CHEVY CHASE WORKS TO REOPEN AFTER FLOODING

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THE GOG BLOG an extension of Golfers on Golf Radio. By Editor and Director of Content Rory Spears. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy more on Pinehurst later this week.

EDITORS NOTE: It was stunning news to hear what happened at the Traditions of Chevy Chase in Wheeling. Being out of town when the massive July rain storm hit, I was unaware that flooding had closed Chevy Chase since Mid-July.

In the late 1980’s I worked at Chevy Chase for a couple of years. One of them cut short be a massive rain storm that flooded the course on July 31st.

After being closed for 10 days, all of the employees were called in for a meeting, and told that the course would not reopen for 1987. The flood waters had damaged too much of the golf course. When Chevy reopened a week later than normal in April of 1988, the grass was still “iffy” in places and the customers complained, permanent tee time holders wanted the option to not play if they chose to do so. The Park District refused the demand and eventually by mid-summer things got better. Only to be hit again by another storm that shut the course down for 8 days. At that point the park shared with the employees that they planned to do something to help stop the flooding.

A renovation plan with an architect suggested widening and deepening the creek, and making the pond deeper and a little wider to hold more water. While some steps for were taken, it was just after 2000 when renovation work was done, that helped reduce flooding and improved the golf course. A water retention basin was created left of the par 5 second hole to help hold water. A visit I just made to the course showed it was still full of water. Some of the water Chevy Chase gets now, comes from the townhouse development that borders the north side of the golf course. What can be done going forward is a good question. But what is known is the course has been closed for almost two months, and a reopening date is unknown. I wish my old place of employment the best in getting the doors open again and tee sheet full before winter arrives. RS

      The Traditions at Chevy Chase Clubhouse (L), and the sign in front of it today (R).

The Par 3, 13th hole at Chevy Chase still has some growing in to do.

On July 11th the rains came and many of the north suburban golf courses were affected after some 10+ inches of rain fell in the area.

The ones along the Des Plaines river seemed to be the hardest hit, but some near the Fox River had issues as well.

The good news is that many if not almost all of them are back up and in play. Chevy Chase in Wheeling is one of them that is still not open. Opening day is still unknown by the Wheeling Park District and the golf staff at Chevy Chase. The were parts of the golf course that were untouched by the flooding, and those area’s look great. Some of the parts that got flooded, unfortunately still have a way to go.

The 14th fairway at Chevy Chase in Wheeling

The park district says that 14 out of 18 fairways were affected. The 8th green was the hardest hit, and 50% percent of the green had to be fixed.

The losses have been over 10,000 rounds of golf and some 36 outings.

the park board says they will reopen the golf course when golfers can play the course without damaging it further and the golfers playing experience is not impacted by the damaged area.

During the repair time the park district has seeded 15 acres with bent grass and 25+ acres of rough. During the time the course has been closed, repairs crews have done other projects. They include bridge and cart path repairs, along with work on the sprinkler system.

The Wheeling Park District is hopeful that the course can reopen later this month. Time will tell. Monitor this website and the park district website/facebook page for details.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.