The Addison, Ill., facility opened for its “preview” season on August 7 after two years of work and a $16.8 million investment. The 288-acre property features woodlands, wetlands, native plants and flowers, river corridor, prairie, drought-tolerant fescue grass and 18 holes.
The Preserve at Oak Meadows, an Addison, Ill., public course, opened August 7 for its “preview” season with environmental sustainability in mind, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In planning the project, government agencies worked with designers to build a golf course that doubles as a conservation project. The result is a massive piece of land (288 acres, more than double most properties) that features woodlands, wetlands, native plants and flowers, river corridor, prairie, drought-tolerant fescue grass and 18 well-designed holes, the Tribune reported.
“People connect with nature out here in many ways,” said Ed Stevenson, who spearheaded the project to make the golf course viable again, of the DuPage County forest preserve. “There’s kayaking, hiking and biking trails, camping.”
The course was built in the 1920s as Elmhurst Country Club, and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County took it over in 1985, invited the public and called it Oak Meadows, the Tribune reported.
Locals dubbed it “Soaked Meadows.” Significant rainfall left some greens and tee boxes under water, limiting revenue. The property also featured a nine-hole facility called Maple Meadows East, the Tribune reported.
“The stormwater had to go somewhere,” Stevenson said.
The $16.8 million project began in July 2015 after the district received a reported $2.6 million from the county stormwater management department and $2.25 million from the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup, the Tribune reported.
Some of the original 27 holes remain, namely Nos. 1 and 18 so the course “feels like an old friend” to regulars, Stevenson said. But by slimming down to 18 holes, moving 700,000 cubic yards of dirt and shaping new wetlands, the property can store an additional 20 million gallons of water, the Tribune reported.
Some of the fairways are raggedy but expected to improve as growing season extends into September. The greens are in spectacular shape, the Tribune reported.
“Lightning-fast,” warned Greg Brend, the starter at the first tee. “The course is phenomenal. You will be on No. 4 and go, ‘Wow.'”
No. 4 is the first of the new holes, a drivable par-4 that requires a 242-yard direct shot from the blue tees. Two other cleverly laid out holes are Nos. 12 and 16, also short par-4s allowing for risk/reward options, the Tribune reported.
Green fees are roughly $60 during preview season and will range next year from $55 (walking, weekday) to $89 (riding, weekend), the Tribune reported.
A fire destroyed the Oak Meadows clubhouse in 2009, and officials expect to build a new one, the Tribune reported.