Officials from the Forest Preserve District in DuPage County have entered discussions with the Freedom Golf Association and Links Across America about using Green Meadows GC in Westmont, Ill. to create learning areas with shorter holes and chipping and putting areas. The potential partners are “very interested” in the concept, it was reported.
Forest Preserve District officials in DuPage County, Illinois are exploring the possibility of partnering with golf organizations to redesign Green Meadows Golf Club into a “model facility” with accessibility for golfers with disabilities, reports the Daily Herald, which covers suburban Chicago.
If the idea becomes a reality, the nine-hole course in Westmont, Ill. would also offer educational programs meant to grow the game, the Daily Herald reported.
Ed Stevenson, the Forest Preserve District’s Golf Operations Director, said district officials are in preliminary talks with two groups, the Freedom Golf Association and Links Across America, about improving Green Meadows.
Freedom Golf Association is committed to helping golfers with special needs. Links Across America develops shorter courses to introduce young people and others to the game.
“There are lots of programs out there that don’t have the type of site that is truly conducive to their needs,” Stevenson told the Daily Herald. “[The potential partners] recognized an opportunity and an interest in developing a site somewhere that could almost serve as a model for special types of programming.”
Under the proposal, the golf organizations would seek third-party dollars to improve the 40-acre Green Meadows site, and the district wouldn’t be required to contribute any money to the project, the Daily Herald reported.
Using a “wish list” of suggestions from the organizations, a golf course architect recently came up with “an exploratory concept” of what Green Meadows would look like if it were redesigned, the Daily Herald reported, and also determined preliminary cost estimates for the improvements.
Green Meadows would remain a nine-hole course, according to the conceptual plan, the Daily Herald reported. But it would have new areas, including a practice range and a learning area.
Stevenson said the learning area would have short holes and chipping and putting greens that could be used for golf education programs. While everything is exploratory at this point, the Freedom Golf Association is “very interested” in the concept, he said.
“They have a belief that they can reach out within the golf community and potentially raise enough third-party funds,” he told the Daily Herald, adding that the organization is planning to speak with several groups within the golf community to see if they would be interested in helping a fundraising effort.
The Forest Preserve District would have to formally approve any plan to redesign Green Meadows before the work could happen, the Daily Herald reported. Still, officials are excited about the possibility, Stevenson said.
“The hope is that others in the golf community agree and there could be a successful opportunity to raise funds to develop the improvements,” he said.
Green Meadows is one of three golf courses owned and operated by the Forest Preserve District of Du Page County, in addition to Oak Meadows Golf Club in Addison, Ill. and Maple Meadows Golf Club in Wood Dale, Ill.