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posted: 3/14/2018 11:19 AM

What's next for Mill Creek Golf Course in Geneva?

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  • Mill Creek Golf Club in Geneva may not reopen this season, possibly leaving people who booked golf outings and wedding receptions in the lurch.

    Mill Creek Golf Club in Geneva may not reopen this season, possibly leaving people who booked golf outings and wedding receptions in the lurch.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

It's not entirely clear what will happen next at the closed Mill Creek Golf Course, but it seems reasonable to assume that the Shodeen Group will have it back up and running at some point. It's too valuable of a parcel to think any differently.

We do know that couples who had wedding receptions or golf outings booked there after May were left to scramble for new sites after Arcis Golf revealed it would no longer operate the site.

Arcis Golf operates Eagle Brook Country Club in Geneva, Fresh Meadow Golf Club in Hillside, Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont, Tamarack Golf Club in Naperville and Whitetail Ridge Golf Course in Yorkville, as well as other sites in other states.

Arcis confirmed that Mill Creek has been turned over to its "original owners" in the Shodeen Group, but it is not known when, or if, the facility will open again this year. Officially, Arcis' contract on the site expires May 31.

Shodeen officials aren't saying much about their plans, at least not until after they officially have the site back in their control.

Some threads on Facebook suggest Shodeen plans to upgrade the place and reopen it, but possibly not until next year. My golf sources tell me some of the same things and that those in the Mill Creek neighborhood won't be disappointed when the site reopens.

This makes sense. Shodeen also operates the nearby Tanna Farms Golf Course, and had expanded that to 18 holes after it operated as a nine-hole course for a few years.

Area golfers and those who plan corporate or community events have booked many rounds of golf and community events at Mill Creek over the years. The site really is the centerpiece of the entire Mill Creek subdivision on Geneva's far west side.

It most certainly has been an effective home course for the Geneva High School golf teams, which may be left scrambling for a new home.

"We are in limbo right now, and our fall schedules are set, so we are exploring other golf courses in the area for both our boys and girls golf teams to see what the options are," Geneva Athletic Director Dave Carli said. "We also run a summer camp at Mill Creek for our incoming and current high schoolers."

Carli is hoping he can get a clearer picture of what is happening soon, as he knows Mill Creek has been an excellent venue for the school's programs.

"We've really enjoyed it there because of all of the amenities, as well as the putting green," Carli said. "They have always been very accommodating for us."

Golf teams are usually graced with fine players who cultivated their trade at area country clubs to begin with, so it seems to make sense that maybe Eagle Brook Country Club and the Geneva Golf Club would come into play in some fashion as options. Or if Shodeen Group wants to keep the Geneva kids on a property it manages, maybe Tanna Farms?

Fewer links choices?:

The notion of high school golf teams having to scramble around because a home course is closing permanently or temporarily is not an unusual occurrence.

Batavia High School had to do it a couple of years ago when the Fox Valley Country Club along Route 25 in North Aurora closed. That site is now under review for a new subdivision.

In the meantime, the Bulldogs golfers ended up at Pheasant Run Golf Course on the east side of St. Charles.

That site, at various times, also has been part of discussions for a different type of development, and it especially left questions as to whether the site would keep its driving range open this year.

But both the course and range will be open this year, and golfers needing tuneups for their games can expect to see longtime instructor Rich Flores giving some lessons out there this spring and summer.

Flores, still undergoing periodic chemotherapy treatments for his blood illness of the past few years, said he had to leave his job at the indoor training facility at the Campana building because it was too difficult to keep up a rigid schedule. Instead, he began teaching out of his home indoor facility again.

Rick Bell, another longtime instructor in the area, was previously at Pheasant Run, but has since set up shop at Prairie Landing Golf Course, as he wasn't sure how the Pheasant Run or Mill Creek situations would play out.

More burritos:

The trucks and equipment in the parking lot of the empty White Castle location along Randall Road in Batavia is a sign of new things to come -- as in more burritos.

Facade work will continue to change the look of the place and passers-by will soon begin to notice that a new Burrito Parilla Mexicana restaurant will open at that spot.

The chain has locations throughout the area -- West Chicago, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Carol Stream, Naperville and Lisle.

Anthony's grand gesture:

We know Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs is an excellent human and baseball player. He's provided plenty of examples of both.

So, it was no surprise to hear what Rizzo did after he apparently spotted my story about Cole Spiegel, a fourth-grader from Wheaton who has an extraordinary love of baseball and Rizzo -- but also a rare genetic disorder that makes him vulnerable to various cancers.

Cole's grandfather, Duane Buttell of St. Charles, told me that Rizzo, himself a cancer survivor, sent Cole an autographed photo and personal letter of encouragement.

dheun@sbcglobal.net

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