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updated: 7/4/2014 4:46 PM

Movie night Saturday at Bittersweet Golf Club fairway in Gurnee

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  • While players are expected in daylight at Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee, a movie for the Families in the Fairway promotion is on tap for Saturday night. "The Legend of Bagger Vance" starts at 8:45 p.m.

       While players are expected in daylight at Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee, a movie for the Families in the Fairway promotion is on tap for Saturday night. "The Legend of Bagger Vance" starts at 8:45 p.m.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Kristina Kovarik

      Kristina Kovarik

 
 

Gurnee's Bittersweet Golf Club will get an extra workout Saturday.

After golfers traverse the 18-hole course in daylight, village government and the Gurnee Park District will welcome guests for a free movie starting at 8:45 p.m.

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Mayor Kristina Kovarik said it'll be the second annual Families in the Fairway promotion. It's another example of the village-owned Bittersweet being used for purposes other than golf, such as the annual Frosty Fest that moved there from Viking Park in January.

"To me, it's the most beautiful piece of property in Gurnee and the only people who see it are the golfers," Kovarik said.

Moviegoers can enjoy free popcorn and use golf carts if they want to enjoy the move drive-in style. Food and adult beverages will be sold in Bittersweet's clubhouse.

Kovarik said village officials decided the long Fourth of July weekend was a good time to reschedule the movie, which was postponed due to poor weather June 7.

"Not everybody travels (for the holiday weekend)," Kovarik said. "People want to do something with their families."

Village government spent about $525,000 in public money to buy Bittersweet two years after it fell into foreclosure in 2009. The course sits on 240 acres near Almond Road and Grand Avenue, west of Gurnee Mills.

In November 2012, village trustees awarded a five-year management contract to Mundelein-based GolfVisions. Last year, Bittersweet ended in the black by $160,000 -- a first for the course that opened as a public-private venture in 1996.

Kovarik said the fact public money was used to take over Bittersweet is reason to find ways all residents can enjoy the property. She said the village is in the early stages of organizing a fundraiser at Bittersweet for Gurnee American Legion Post 771 in summer 2015.

With National Golf Foundation statistics from 2013 showing a net loss of 400,000 players in the United States, some courses are going beyond the traditional sport and trying to lure visitors with activities, such as a golf-soccer hybrid called FootGolf.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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