MISTWOOD’S CLUBHOUSE CONSTRUCTION

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BY: ASSISTANT EDITOR, RORY SPEARS

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MISTWOODGC.COM

The renovation of the Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville has entered it’s final phase. That would be the construction of the clubhouse. The work in phase three started in August and continues to make progress.

The project started over two years ago when owner Jim McWethy decided it was time to make Mistwood into what it was supposed to be from day one.

First up was the rehiring of architect Ray Hearn who was the original architect of Mistwood. Hearn was given the chance or a second chance to do what he wanted to do the first time around. As McWethy says, “I wanted to give to Ray a chance to bring a little bit of Scotland and Ireland to the western suburbs.” That part of the plan has been completed and is a success.

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JIM MCWETHY STANDS ON MISTWOOD’S SWILCAN BRIDGE

The golf course is now complete with some 20 Sodwall bunkers and fescue, that give Mistwood the feel of a British Open. Mistwood now has it’s own version of “Amen Corner”. ┬áThe locals call it “Kelpies Corner.”

What is Kelpie you ask. You need to visit Mistwood to find out, you will return but all of the golf balls in your bag on the first tee might not.

There is a touch of island green to be found at Mistwood as well, that would be on the redone third hole. Add a few new tee boxes and mistwood now plays a bit longer, as in over 7,000 yards for those big hitters who are looking for that type of challenge.

The golf course is the home of the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open, and it’s likely to get more tournaments in the years ahead. But first the other two phases of Mistwood had to get completed.

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THE MISTWOOD PERFORMANCE CENTER

Phase two is the Mistwood Performance Center that is a full indoor and outdoor facility.

First up, is the inside of the center that is part performance, part repair and part food and beverage. The bar is one of the best 19th holes you will find at any golf course public or private. It too will fit right in with those found in Scotland or Ireland.

The outside is one of the biggest putting greens you can find in the area. The full size natural grass or matted range, is complete with target greens and bunkers. The new short game area adds another factor to the Performance Center. The recent results at the Illinois State High School Golf Championships, show that both boys and girls and teams that use Mistwood and their professionals had a very successful championship.

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THE CLUBHOUSE WORK IS WELL UNDERWAY

Phase three is now underway as of August when the wrecking of the old clubhouse started. Now the old structure  has been completely removed and the new walls have started going up.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” said McWethy. “Almost nothing will be as innovative, creative and attractive as this will be.”

The design is created by the Chicago based Daniel Wohlfeil, and the clubhouse is expected to open in June well ahead of the IWO that will be played in July.

The new clubhouse is actually not one building, but two. The outlook will be one that has the same stone look as the Performance Center, that was also designed by Wohlfeil. The overall look should resemble a Scottish village.

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The outside of the clubhouse.

The one building will be the banquet facility, that will be able to hold from 250-300 people for various types of functions.

“We do want people who are not golfers to still have a place they can come for a great meal,” said McWethy.

The other building will have two stories, with the lower floor housing the pro shop and the locker rooms. While the upper floor will have staff offices complete with a view of the golf course. The underground area will serve as an area for storage including and area for golf carts.

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The purposed inside look of the new clubhouse.

McWethy makes no secret of wanting more tournaments than just the Illinois Women’s Open.

“We want more,” said McWethy. “We are interested in more national amateur and professional events for both men and women.”

McWethy admits that the economy is not yet where it should be, but he believes that if you offer a good first class product the golfers and business will come.

“There is still enough business out there and plenty of people playing golf,” said McWethy.

One thing that the club has noticed since the golf course reopened, is that golfers are coming from further away to play the golf course. Another positive is that junior program is growing as well.

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THE WALLS ARE GOING UP AT THE MISTWOOD CLUBHOUSE

” We have built a great golf course, and now we have the Performance Center,” said McWethy. “Now the clubhouse is third piece of the puzzle, when it’s done I feel we will have one of the finest golf facilities in the area.”

The golf course was originally designed by Hearn and it opened in 1998. The Hearn renovation left the golf course closed in part of 2011 and 2012.

Since then the golf course has received multiple awards for the renovation grom Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. For more information on Mistwood, please visit Mistwoodgc.com or call (815)-254-3333.

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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.