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updated: 9/17/2013 12:05 PM

Architect: new Medinah No. 1 a 'special' course

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  • Medinah Country Club has completed a major re-design of its No. 1 course, but it won't be ready for play by members until next spring or summer.

      Medinah Country Club has completed a major re-design of its No. 1 course, but it won't be ready for play by members until next spring or summer.
    Photo courtesy of Evan Schiller/Medinah CC

 
 

Medinah Country Club has unveiled its re-designed No. 1 course, the first major development at the club since last September's Ryder Cup matches were played on its No. 3 layout.

Michigan architect Tom Doak began work on No. 1, which opened in 1924, on Oct. 1, the day after the epic Ryder Cup ended. That layout was used primarily for parking during those matches and the re-designed layout won't be opened for play until next spring.

Doak created six new holes in his $6.3 million re-design and also supervised the expansion of the water rentention areas, which will benefit the club's neighbors in a four-square-mile flood plain.

"No. 1 was the most played golf course here," said Doak, "but I had played only No. 3, and I was never the biggest fan of it. I was surprised when the club called me about doing work here, but I'm glad they did. No. 1 was always a good, fun course for the members. Now it's a special course."

One thing Doak didn't change was No. 18, one of the country's few par-3 finishing holes. It'll still require a tee shot over water, and while the challenging par-5 ninth also will keep its place in the rotation.

"No. 9 would be a very good finishing hole," said Doak. "I hadn't thought of reversing the nines at the beginning, but there were a lot of pros and cons both ways. I don't have a problem with a par-3 finishing hole."

"This shows that Medinah continues to move forward," said Don Larson, the club's Ryder Cup chairman. "Now we'll have two world-class golf courses."

U.S. Am champ's NU debut:

Matt Fitzpatrick, the England golfer who won the U.S. Amateur last month, will compete for the first time as a Northwestern fresh in NU's 17th annual Windon Memorial tourney. The 16-team event consists of 36 holes on Sunday and 18 more on Monday at Knollwood Club in Lake Forest.

Fitzpatrick will join all-American Jack Perry and John Callahan, the defending Windon individual champion, in the lineup for NU coach Pat Goss. The Wildcats were edged by Ohio State by a stroke in last year's event at Skokie Country Club.

PGA stalwarts Luke Donald and Hunter Mahan are former Windon champions, and Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland were runners-up during their collegiate days.

Did you know?

Toni Kukoc, the former Bulls' player, is among the early entries for next month's return of the Chicago Open at Cantigny in Wheaton.

Bowes Creek, the Elgin course designed by Libertyville architect Rick Jacobson, has been recognized by the American Society of Golf Course Architects as a 2012 Design Excellence Award winner.

The 27th Illinois State Senior Amateur concludes its three-day run on Wednesday at Blackstone (Marengo) and the 42nd Chicago District Husband-Wife tourney will be held on Thursday at Inverness.

Northbrook-based KemperSports has taken over management of Bull Valley, the private club in Woodstock. It becomes the 15th Illinois facility under Kemper's management.

• For more golf news, check out lenziehmongolf.com. Len can be contacted by email at lenziehm@gmail.com.

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