BY: RORY SPEARS
AT MT. PROSPECT GOLF CLUB
THAT IS PREPARING TO UNDERGO THE KNIFE
The Mt.Prospect Golf Club goes in front
of the Mt. Prospect Park Board tonight
at 7 PM, for further discussion about the
long awaited renovation project. For
more details visit Mppd.org. David Esler
is the architect for the project.
Several recent media reports have listed
the possible cost estimates to be as much
at 6.75 million for the golf course. With
another 1.6 million for a new maintenance
center. These figures are only estimates
as the park board prepares for the final
bids to come in. A vote to finance the
project could happen tonight or at next
In response to questions from golfers who
have thoughts one way or another regarding
the project. Golfers on Golf took the time
to speak with several industry experts, and
or people familiar with many of the recent
renovation projects in the Chicago area. In
some cases public records or interviews
with area golf media were used, to obtain
best possible cost figures.
Those conversations led to getting figures
of cost, and what work was done during
those projects. There is no such thing as a
normal renovation, in each case renovations
change pending the needs of the golf course.
The different area’s that make up renovations
* Drainage and Irrigation.
* Sprinkler systems.
* Bunker work, moving or reshaping, adding
* Tee box work. Moving or raising, reshaping
and or leveling.
* Adjusting fairways, reshaping or contouring.
* The adding or removing of trees. Or trimming
and raising the canopy heights.
* Greens. The redoing or restoring to original
green size, or new grassing or sloping. The
addition of Sub-Air systems. Or rebuilding
of greens to USGA specifications.
* The creation of a new storm water management
system, moving or reshaping of ponds, creeks
or more. This can involve the creation or the
improvement wildlife habitats.
* Practice area’s, bigger ranges, putting greens,
adding or more natural grass teeing area’s or
the popular addition of short game area’s.
* The rebuilding of maintenance area’s or even
the renovation or rebuilding of a clubhouse.
Parking lots, cart paths, driveways.
* The cost of some architects can be a factor,
bring in Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw and
partner Bill Coore, or a Tom Doak and the
bill gets bigger. One person interviewed for
this story said, as soon as Nicklaus sets foot
on the property add about $500,000 to the
For the purpose of this story, the cost of the golf
course renovations itself were reviewed. What
does need to be taken into account, is that some
costs can vary over time. Some companies have
been known to offer good prices to get work, if
they are not busy or after the economy struggled
in 2008-2009 or shortly after 9-11.
PHILLIPS PARK-AURORA The city of Aurora
back in 2000 saw the need to improve their golf
Architect Greg Martin came in to run the project,
that cost about $3.2 million. The renovation was
a a total redo of the golf course, and irrigation.
The end product saw an improved golf course,
a home for the First-Tee of the Fox Valley area
and a 3-hole practice course and improved range.
In 2013 Phillips Park was honored by the ASGCA,
the American Society Golf Course Architects.
Martin’s work won a design excellence award.
Based on the increase in business since the work
was completed, the money was well spent.
COYOTE RUN-FLOSSMOOR The renovation
was done in 2003 by Martin. This full renovation
included some heavy lifting in the area of storm
water retention, the course added a junior facility
and practice area. Cost $3.4 million.
THE PAR 3 5TH HOLE ARROWHEAD’S WEST NINE
DURING THE RENOVATION FALL OF 2012
ARROWHEAD GOLF CLUB-WHEATON.
All three nine’s of this 27 hole facility were
redone from 2010-2012. One nine was done
each fall season, as a result the club kept 18
holes open at all times.
Martin oversaw the project that included a full
bunker and drainage renovation. Tee boxes were
redone, one green moved and some minor tree
work was done. The sand was upgraded to the
white tour sand. Cost about $1.4 million
FOX RUN GOLF LINKS-ELK GROVE. This
2012 Martin project included new drainage and
fairway irrigation. In addition to bunkers and
some minor tee-tree work. Cost $2.5-2.7 million.
PRAIRIE BLUFFS-LOCKPORT. This was a
bunker only project done in the fall of 2012,
by Martin. Cost to add or remove bunkers,
reshape and add new sand $300,000.
BOTTOM PICTURES HOLE 18 AND 18 GROWING IN
WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT-WILMETTE This
is a Martin project. The course is being regrassed
and regraded. All greens, bunkers and tee’s being
redone along with drainage, to help ease flooding
from the neighboring branch of the Chicago River.
Cost $2.8 million.
OAK MEADOWS GOLF CLUB-ADDISON,
this Martin project is a whopper. It’s the area’s
biggest renovation project. Oak Meadows is
operated by the Dupage County Forest Preserve
District, it has had flooding problems from
Salt Creek for years.
As a result the property will reduce from 27
holes to 18. Work will begin in 2015, and the
course is expected to reopen in early 2017.
Hole movement, bunkers, trees, tees, greens
and more to upgrade the course.
Besides major storm water issues to resolve,
the golf course is the not the entire project.
The clubhouse burned down over five years
ago and needs to be replaced. The overall
Oak Meadows project will create new wild
life habitats, trails for walking, running and
biking. The property will be designed to hold
and store water after major storms, and keep
Salt Creek from being as big a problem as
it has been in the past, due to flooding.
Cost estimate for the golf course at this time,
is almost $6 million.
MEDINAH NO.1 COURSE-MEDINAH This
Tom Doak renovation is taking shape with the
course expected to reopen in June. Doak and
his team had to fix some flooding issues the
course had, and that required permits to handle
storm water issues.
Greens were moved in from up on the fence
on Medinah Road, in case the road was ever
widened. Trees came out, bridges added, the
bunkers redone with white tour sand. The tee
boxes were squared off and more. Cost is at
almost $7 million.
COG HILL- COURSE NO.4 (DUBS) Architect
Rees Jones did the work on at Cog Hill.
Greens were redone with sub-air, tee boxes
squared off, some trees taken out, and
bunkers were redone. A pond was added
on the 7th hole.
Drainage and irrigation with some fairway
sloping was included. Cost $5.2 million.
OLYMPIA FIELDS SOUTH COURSE-Olympia
Fields. In 2007-08 Olympia Fields brought in Steve
Smyers to renovate it’s South Course. A new hole
was built and greens and tees were redone, toss in
bunkers and trees removed to add almost 1,000
yards in length. A new sprinkler system was put
in, that was much of the cost that totaled up to a
figure of $2.9 million.
The club is currently doing a historical restoration
on it’s famed North Course. Some bunkers added,
some removed, new tour style sand, and a pond on
the 18th hole is being adjusted. Cost approx. $1.1
THE KNOLLWOOD CLUB-LAKE FOREST. The
club had this Colt-Alison 1924 classic redone
in two phases starting in 2009.
Renovation and restoration specialist Keith
Foster was brought in as the architect. New
white tour sand was added, green size lost
over the years was restored. Many trees were
removed, and some 300 yards in length was
added, bringing the course up to over 7,200
yards. Tee boxes were redone, fairways did
get reshaped in places.
Drainage was improved, and improvements
were made in the range and short game area.
Cost $1.95 million.
MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB-ROMEOVILLE
Owner Jim McWethy brought back original
architect Ray Hearn to renovate Mistwood.
McWethy (above in green shirt) had Hearn
give Mistwood a links style look and feel.
Hearn (above with McWethy and in one of
his pot bunkers) did just that.
The golf course had 20 sodwall bunkers
added and fescue grown in. Storm water
management was a step in the process.
Hearn added tee’s and did some creative
work around the greens, while restoring
greens and added cupping area’s. New
bridges that look like they came from the
real St. Andrews links, and stone rock
faced walls around water area’s ran the
bill up near $6 million.
That figure does not include the seven
figure amount that McWethy put into the
new Performance Center at Mistwood,
which has become one of the area’s top
public courses because of the renovation.
The course is adding a new clubhouse
over the next year or three.
CHEVY CHASE COUNTRY CLUB-WHEELING.
The Wheeling Park District, had architect Bob
Lohmann in around 2003 to help with major
flooding issues the course had. But other things
were addressed at the time, like trees, bunkers,
drainage and more. Some minor tee work is
ongoing now. Some reports had the project
cost near $3.5 million.
KEMPER LAKES COUNTRY CLUB-KILDEER
The main part of the Rick Jacobsen renovation
plan of Kemper Lakes, is to redo the bunkers.
in 2012 the project started with the back nine
green side bunkers. Reshaped and new sand
was added. The front nine green side bunkers
were completed last fall, fairway bunkers this
fall. Then the practice area and some minor tee
and tree work after that. While no exact figure
is available, the cost is believed to be around
the one million mark. Maybe a little less.
It doesn’t stop there. A few years back the
Hoffman Estates Park District spent a few
million to renovate The Bridges at Popular
Creek and reduce flooding issues.
Glenview Park District will close early this
year for renovation work. Some courses are
spending into the low six-figure range to
upgrade practice facilities. Like Silver Lake
in Orland Park and Royal Melbourne CC in
What renovation work does besides making
the course more playable for golfers, it reduces
maintenance costs and gets players out on the
course faster after rain storms and get carts
out quicker. All help the courses make more
2013 BMW Championship host Conway Farms
will start having work done this summer too.
Whether it’s curiosity or an improved product
that tells golfers, we are making an investment
in our product and in you. Courses that have
made improvements in recent years have seen
an increase in business. Let’s hope the same
holds true when Mt. Propsect is done with
their renovation work.