Brothers Steve and Scott Leathers purchased the Westlake Village Golf Course in Winnebago, Ill. and renamed it the Lynx Golf Course at Westlake Village. The brothers purchased the club, which closed four years ago after losing $135,000 a year for six years, for $550,000 and plan to invest a “significant” amount of money over the next five years.
The former Westlake Village Golf Course in Winnebago, Ill. is set to reopen this summer under a new name with new owners, the Rockford Register Star reported. Brothers Steve and Scott Leathers purchased the 18-hole course on March 30 with plans of returning it to its former glory and renaming it the Lynx Golf Course at Westlake Village.
“The target is for golf to open on August 1,” Steve Leathers said. “The greens have to be redone. That’s really the only thing that holds you back from golfing. The greens are being refurbished and reseeded.”
The course closed four years ago after losing $135,000 a year for six years, Midwest Irrigation and Swan Hills Golf, LLC., owner Peter Beaves told the Register Star in 2018. C+RB reported on the closing at the time.
Since then, the 131-acre site has been converted to an agricultural property for the production of hay, the Register Star reported. The course was designed in 1999 by David Esler, who also designed Black Sheep Golf Club outside Chicago.
The brothers purchased Westlake Village for $550,000 and plan to invest a “significant” amount of money over the next five years, the Register Star reported. In return, they are asking for a 10-year tiered tax abatement from Winnebago County.
In year one, the tax abatement rate would be 100% but by year 10, the rate would decrease to 25%, the Register Star reported.
There are 172 lots that abut the golf course, based on 2021 aerial photos, 34 of them are vacant lots, the Register Star reported.
The number of vacant lots will soon decrease by one as Leathers said as he is in the process of purchasing one, the Register Star reported. He is hopeful that once the golf course reopens it will continue to drive more residential development.
The clubhouse, featuring a new 25-by-67-foot deck out back, should reopen as early as June 1, Leathers told the Register Star.
“So there will be outdoor seating for people to enjoy the weather,” he said. “The target is to have some music and bands out here down the road.”
Leathers said he plans to hire eight full-time and seven part-time employees, the Register Star reported. Leathers also plans to work with the Pecatonica and Winnebago school districts to make Lynx their practice and home competition course, similar to the former golf course before it shut down.
The request for a tax abatement request was approved 6-0 by the county’s Economic Development Committee and is expected to go before the Winnebago County Board for a vote Thursday night, the Register Star reported.