The unique green at the 9-hole St. Charles, Ill. course had been eroding into the river for a number of years, but a 218-foot timber wall will now secure the land. The shoreline stabilization project at the Robert Trent Jones-designed course is part of the Park District’s comprehensive 5-year Master Plan.
A recent shoreline stabilization project at the Pottawatomie Golf Course in St. Charles, Ill. has preserved and saved the picturesque island green that draws so many to the historic 9-hole course, the Kane County Chronicle reported. Work began in February to build a 218-foot timber wall to stabilize the east side of the island green that had been eroding into the river for a number of years.
Caused in large part by floods and boat traffic, the severity of the erosion had reduced the footprint of the island, the Chronicle reported.
“We knew we needed to save the green,” said Laura Rudow, superintendent of parks and planning, deputy director.
Golf Course Manager Ron Skubisz applauded the board for approving the project, the Chronicle reported.
“The island green is the signature hole of the golf course in beauty and difficulty,” he said.
From the west side of the island, the green juts out into the water, connected by a flower-lined stone bridge, the Chronicle reported. For golfers, the hole surrounded by the river, adds a dimension of difficultly to their game. During construction, the third hole was temporarily moved to a different location, but is slated to be open for play this month.
This shoreline stabilization had been in development since 2015 and was earmarked as a priority capital project in the St. Charles Park District’s Comprehensive 5-year Master Plan, adopted in 2018, the Chronicle reported. The scope of the project includes building the timber wall, regrading, installing sand bunkers, and landscaping.
“As the owners of this land, the St. Charles Park District has a responsibility to maintain the history and integrity of the golf course,” Rudow said of prioritizing the shoreline stabilization.
Designed by golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Pottawatomie Golf Course opened in 1939, the Chronicle reported. The island green was his first island-green design.
Funding for the course at the time was made possible by a Works Progress Administration grant to get the unemployed back to work after the Great Depression, the Chronicle reported. The grant provided funding for other amenities as well, including the ball field, swimming pool and amphitheater.
“The course is a St. Charles landmark. It’s where generations of family members grew up playing golf and now bring back their son or daughter or grandson or granddaughter to play together,” Skubisz said.
Not only does it represent a piece of history in St. Charles, the Chronicle reported, it has maintained its status as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 1997.