Heritage Oaks Golf Club set to open Monday
It's finally here: After two years, the Northbrook Park District's Heritage Oaks Golf Club -- formerly known as Sportsman's Park -- opens next week.
There is a free community open house set for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, and the course officially reopens to the public Monday, Aug. 16.
Make your tee time reservations now by calling (847) 291-2351 or visiting heritageoaksgc.com.
The open house on Saturday includes technology demonstrations, giveaways and a free raffle. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closed since September 2019, the course at 3535 Dundee Road is wrapping up a major renovation to its Classic 18 and Legacy 9 courses and its practice range.
Construction on the new, 10,000-square-foot clubhouse is nearly complete, said Greg Baron, the park district's director of golf.
Designed by RATIO Architects of Chicago and engineered by Gewalt Hamilton Associates of Vernon Hills, in addition to the pro shop, offices and a golf swing Simulator Room, the clubhouse will offer the full-service Acorn Grill restaurant and bar, space for private parties and events, and an outdoor patio terrace.
By late last year, Libertyville golf architect Rick Jacobson had completed most of the work on the golf courses, originally designed by Edward Dearie and opened in 1931. Part of the 2021 late-summer reopening was to ensure the hybrid 007 bent grasses used on select fairways, greens and tees would have two growing seasons to mature.
"We had said late summer was the range it was going to fall in, and we're looking at late summer," Baron said earlier this summer.
Baron said then that final inspections were taking place, and much of the remainder of the work to be completed were detailed "punch-list items" such as door adjustments and ensuring the work is compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act specifications.
As part of the park district's "New Places to Play" initiative, $12.75 million was dedicated to the updating of the former Sportsman's Country Club, which was rebranded as Heritage Oaks Golf Club last December.
In October 2019, the park board approved a budget increase to $13.3 million to account for additional areas of improvement, such as new sets of tees and new fairway grass.
The entire project will be paid for with reserve funds, and the additional funds needed to complete the project did not require any new funding sources, park officials said.
Baron said a couple "major installations" just took place: a Full Swing Pro Series golf simulator went into the facility's Simulator, and TrackMan Range technology was installed in the practice range.
The golf director, who is also a PGA pro, felt fortunate that work on the project started when it did, about March 2020, due to current difficulties with supply chains and increased costs.
Attending a recent event hosted by the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Baron said people "cannot wait" to get on-site.
"A lot of people driving by have seen the clubhouse from Dundee Road, but the 'million-dollar' view is from the inside out onto the backside, as well as when you're playing the finishing holes," he said.
"As you're playing the 18th you're staring right up at a fantastic view of the new clubhouse."
Until golfers can get out there, the Par-3 Anetsberger Golf Course continues to receive a workout. Baron didn't have current numbers of rounds played on the course, but this year's activity mirrors that of last summer when golfers played more than 22,000 rounds on it, nearly double the prior record.
"I know we'd be blowing away 2019," Baron said.
Soon he hopes the other 27 holes and Heritage Oaks' new facilities will be blowing away Northbrook golfers and patrons.
"Overall, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're getting really close," Baron said.