The Mount Prospect Golf Club dates back to the 1920s. It will soon get a makeover that will bring the 18-hole course clear into the 21st century.
Golf course leaders stress, though, that the last thing they want to do with the upcoming renovation plan is throw away all of the course's history.
"We never wanted to turn this into a 'modern' course," said Brett Barcel, director of golf operations for the Mount Prospect Park District. "We wanted to maintain the character that it has, the atmosphere. I think our plan does that."
The park district will close the course on June 16 so renovations can proceed. It will be closed for about a year.
The renovation plan, which the park board approved on May 28, includes new irrigation and drainage systems, an expanded (and relocated) driving range and various changes to all 18 holes, among other items. The price tag for the project, including professional fees and contingencies, is expected to total about $8.4 million.
Barcel said he's excited about the plan. The drainage/irrigation improvements will give the course a state-of-the-art "undercarriage," he said, which will cut down on associated maintenance costs for years to come. And the new driving range will be an important source of revenue for the park district going forward, he said. Park district officials estimate that the current range generates between $15,000 and $20,000 a year. The new one might generate as much as $100,000, officials believe.
"When you combine that with how we're preserving the character of the course, I think it becomes something really unique in this area," Barcel said.
The park district plans to borrow $9 million to pay for the project. District officials have said that property taxes will not have to be raised to pay off the debt.