Springbrook and Naperbrook golf courses retire debt from capital projects
On Dec. 1, Springbrook and Naperbrook golf courses made the last payment on a 2006 bond issue of $4.87 million for capital projects to officially retire the debt.
The debt was issued to complete essential improvements in 2008 that have enabled the courses to continue to thrive in a competitive golf market.
One of the most important improvements made in 2008 was the complete replacement of the 35-year-old original irrigation system.
The new system provided quality, reliability, control and efficiencies that helped maintain course conditions through seasonal dry periods.
Another course enhancement was the addition of on-course restroom buildings at both golf courses, with plumbing, sinks and separate facilities for men and women.
These buildings were requested by golfers and replaced the portable restroom units.
Both Springbrook and Naperbrook clubhouses were updated with expanded kitchen areas, new basement access for carts, and new storage and office space.
Additionally, at Springbrook Golf Course, new restrooms and a walk-up window for concessions were added outside the clubhouse.
Both the driving range tee and the parking lot at Springbrook were expanded, and Naperbrook renovated its bunkers, removing and replacing sand and drainage.
Going forward, new capital improvements at the golf courses will be funded through the Naperville Park District's annual capital budget.
"Through careful planning and financial stewardship by the board of commissioners, the park district's golf courses were able to retire the debt on schedule," said Executive Director Ray McGury. "We appreciate the support of the community to maintain and grow the game of golf for youth and for all ages."
Youth golf participation at Naperbrook and Springbrook Golf Courses continues to grow, with a 13% increase in junior program participation from 2018 to 2019.
The golf courses not only provide golf lessons, camps and clinics for juniors, but also offer a wide range of tournaments, leagues and events for youth.
New for 2019 was Golfapalooza, a free event for junior golfers that included food and fun, putting and chipping contests, hitting range balls, and an introduction to lesson programs.
Despite challenging weather, combined rounds at both courses total nearly 70,000 annually, averaged over the past 10 years, and driving range use at Springbrook has increased as a result of renovations in 2017.
The continued popularity of the courses, support from the board of commissioners for strategic capital improvements, and proactive management by park district staff have resulted in a positive net income from golf operations.