Chicago's Mistwood Golf Club will come out of spring refreshed and ready for today's players
There may not be many new golf course openings these days, but there are a few renovations. One example is Mistwood Golf Club, a public facility in the Chicago area.
The course, which plays host to the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open, closed on Aug. 22, and plans call for not only a new golf course but a new clubhouse and learning center as well. The project will include substantial changes to the Ray Hearn-designed golf course, which is expected to reopen next May.
Mistwood?s owner, local Chicago businessman Jim McWethy, made the decision to completely revamp the facility, despite these trying economic times. “A big part of this renovation is due to my love of the game,” he said. “By expanding, we are running counter to the rest of the golf world.”
The remodeling of Mistwood is being done in three phases. The first phase is the golf course construction, which includes lengthening the course to over 7,000 yards and making improvements to every hole.
The second phase will be the construction of the learning center. The original clubhouse and cart barn will be torn down as soon as the learning center is completed. It will feature spacious indoor and outdoor hitting stations, a practice putting green, state of the art computer analysis and golf simulators. Initially though, it will double as Mistwood’s clubhouse when play resumes until the new clubhouse opens.
The third phase is the construction of the 32,000-square-foot clubhouse.
“At first we thought we would do everything at once, but then realized it would make more sense to do it in phases to avoid any construction problems along the way,” said McWethy. “Deciding when to start the clubhouse is difficult. We would like to break ground by fall 2012, but we have to get the course changes and learning center out of the way first.”
Routing of the golf course will remain the same, but some of the holes will be changed significantly. The most noticeable change will occur on the par-5 third hole, where the green will be relocated to make room for the new clubhouse. The creek that used to be in front of the green is now behind it, and it has been expanded to a pond. In addition, new beautiful Lannon stone walls were added along hole No. 3 and behind the par 3, 9th hole adding some stunning visuals for golfers to experience.
“Re-calibrating a golf course for shot values is where a golf course architect earns his money,” said Hearn. ?Strategic improvements for all levels of golfers is the name of the game. I really enjoy improving my courses over time in terms of shot value, strategy, beauty and playability, which I believe we have now accomplished here at Mistwood Golf Club.”
Hearn, based in Holland, Mich., has a portfolio that includes courses in Michigan, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Idaho, Oklahoma and Kentucky. His design career has also expanded internationally in Russia, France, Croatia, Vietnam, Egypt, South Korea, Mexico, India and the Bahamas.
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