News Releases
- 2005 -

Barry Cronin
Cronin Communications, Inc.


Construction Also Has Begun on Anets Golf Course

LIBERTYVILLE, Illinois (Aug. 22, 2005) – The rejuvenation of the Northbrook Park District’s Sportsman’s CC will begin Monday (Aug 22) when nationally prominent golf course architect Rick Jacobson breaks ground on Phase I of a major bunker and greens renovation project.

The overall goal of the project is to recapture and enhance the “Donald Ross” feel of the original 18-hole course, which was laid out 75 years ago by Edward B. Dearie, who worked for the legendary course architect as a golf course construction crew chief in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

A 27-hole facility located at 3535 Dundee Road, Sportsman’s original 18-hole course will be renovated nine holes at a time, according to Mark E. Miller, PGA Director of Golf Operations for the Northbrook Park District. Construction on the second nine is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2006. During construction, the facility’s third nine – which is not being renovated - will be integrated with the other nine to form a “Hybrid Course,” so that 18 holes will be open throughout the project. The entire project is expected to be completed in the June of 2007.

Miller has reduced prices during construction, with the 18-hole weekend non-resident fee decreasing to $36 from $45. Price does not include cart. In 2003, the 18-hole course had 45,000 rounds played and the nine-hole course 35,000 rounds, Miller said.

In addition to restoring Ross-style bunkering, Jacobson said he plans to relocate various bunkers that have become obsolete as a result of high-tech clubs and long-flying golf balls.

“Some of the bunkers will be realigned and repositioned to accommodate today’s golfers,” Jacobson said. “Our goal will be to balance the functionality of the golf course with the strategic value hole-by-hole.”

Miller said Sportsman’s also will be re-grassing all of its greens with new state-of-the-art A-4 bentgrass. The greens project also will entail re-grading the greens where necessary and recapturing the perimeters of the original greens, which have blended into the collars over the decades.

“In general, greens shrink over time and bunkers grow,” Miller said. “The new design will have larger greens and smaller bunkers – which should probably make some of our customers happy.”

Meanwhile, construction has begun on Jacobson’s renovation of the Anets Golf Course, 1750 Techny Road, formerly owned by a private company and purchased by the park district in 2000. The project consists of all new greens, sand bunkers and grass tees (in place of mats), a full irrigation system and drainage work. A new practice putting and chipping green is planned at the southwest corner of the golf course. The park district also is planning a new clubhouse. It will re-open in 2006.



LIBERTYVILLE, Illinois (August 5, 2005) – Nationally prominent golf course architect Rick Jacobson will join Jack Nicklaus on Monday, August 8 for the grand opening of the new Bayside Resort Golf Club in Fenwick Island, Delaware.

Bayside is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on which Jacobson collaborated with his former mentor. Located on the Assawoman Bay, the golf course is the focal point of an 850-acre master planned community being developed by Carl M. Freeman Companies.

“It’s always a true honor to work with the greatest golfer ever to play the game,” said Jacobson, a senior designer with Nicklaus’s firm before starting his own company in the Chicago area in 1991.

“Jack has an almost photographic memory, and his memories of the thousands of golf holes he has played over the course of his life serve as a continual source of inspiration for the golf courses he designs today,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson previously worked with Freeman on the award-winning 27-hole Bear Trap Dunes golf course resort community in Ocean View, Delaware . His strong relationships with Freeman and Nicklaus along with his stellar track record in the Mid-Atlantic region made him the natural choice to work with Nicklaus on the project.

Bayside is an 18-hole course that measures an eye-opening 7,545 yards from the Signature Tees. Its four other sets of tees measure 6,835 (Championship); 6,418 (Member); 5,615 (Club), and 5,168 (Forward).

But the course isn’t so much about length as it is about strategy that makes every hole interesting to play and enjoyable to look at.

“It’s a very interesting course,” said Bill Hamilton, Bayside’s director of golf. “The big thing is that on every hole there are a lot of options for the golfer. There is a lot of risk and reward on every hole. If you want to play safe off the tee, you can, but your shot to the green will be that much tougher.”

Hamilton also praised the aesthetic flow of the golf course.

“The other thing is that there are three signature features on the golf course: marshland, woodland and meadow,” Hamilton said. “Some of the holes are in wetlands areas, others are tree-lined, others are open. The routing of the golf course takes you in and out of each of the different areas so each hole has a different style. When some of the officials of the Delaware Golf Association came out to see the course, they couldn’t believe the variety.”

On Monday, Aug. 8 Nicklaus will play the golf course, explaining each hole to invited guests along the way.

Bayside is a residential resort community that ultimately will become a private club with play limited to residents and guests. Already 420 of the planned 1,600 homes have been sold along with 100 of 450 total memberships.



LIBERTYVILLE, Illinois (XXXX , 2005) – With two major amateur tournaments scheduled to be played at Cantigny Golf in the next two years, course officials have turned to nationally prominent golf course architect Rick Jacobson to develop a master plan for improvements to one of the Chicago area’s most highly-regarded public courses.

Jacobson’s master plan renovation calls for enhancing the strategy, challenge, and aesthetics of the course in advance of its hosting the 2006 Western Junior Amateur and the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links championships. The course opened in late 1989.

“Cantigny is set on a beautiful piece of property, but due to advances in ball and equipment technology, the course needs to be updated to give the best amateur players in the world a memorable challenge and to give everyday players a more enjoyable overall experience,” Jacobson said.

So far, Jacobson has renovated holes 3 and 4 on the Woodside nine with holes No. 1 and 9 Woodside to be renovated this fall, Jacobson said.

On the 226-yard par 3 third hole, the one large bunker in front of the green was replaced with three smaller bunkers that frame the green and provide for a strategic approach. While all three bunkers appear to be greenside, only the middle one actually is, providing a challenge for stronger players. The other two bunkers are separated from the green by chipping areas so that higher handicap players have a broader margin for error on the hole.

This spring, Jacobson renovated Woodside No. 4 by re-contouring the fairway, narrowing the landing area for longer hitters, and reworking the greenside bunkers to improve aesthetics and drainage. Fescue grasses were planted behind the green to provide a native prairie backdrop to help frame the uphill par four.

This fall, Jacobson will install new fairway bunkers on the Woodside No. 1 hole to pinch the landing area and to visually “turn” the dogleg to the right. Meanwhile, on Woodside No. 9, Jacobson will add three fairway bunkers in strategic areas – one on the left and two to the right of the tee shot landing area. In addition, his plan calls for environmental plantings in the left approach to delineate the limits of the existing water hazard. The renovation of three bunkers short and right of the green will complete the transformation of Hole No. 9.



LIBERTYVILLE, Illinois (August 3, 2005) – Members at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield, Ill. have been enjoying the fruits of a major course renovation designed and directed by nationally prominent golf course architect Rick Jacobson.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Don Wallace, the club’s grounds and greens chairman, who worked closely with Jacobson on the project. “Rick caught the essence of what we wanted to do. We changed everything on the golf course, except the length and the routing. It got done on time and on budget, and Rick gets a lot of credit for that. I’m a huge Rick Jacobson fan.”

Originally designed in 1924 by the prolific William H. Diddel and renovated a short time later by Charles Wagstaff, Sunset Ridge has undergone a comprehensive renovation under Jacobson that took 10 months. The course closed last July and reopened May 28 of this year.

“It’s always a treat and an honor to work on a traditional-style golf course, where the challenge is to maintain the integrity and classic character of the original design while adapting the strategic design elements of the course in order to challenge today’s players who are utilizing modern equipment technology,” Jacobson said. “The goal always is to improve the golfers’ overall experience from the standpoint of challenge, aesthetic beauty and playing conditions.”

The renovation included all new and expanded teeing areas aimed at accommodating players of various levels; the “visually stunning” redesign and reconstruction of all 72 existing bunkers; the addition of several new bunkers aimed at creating strategic challenges for low handicap players; resurfacing of all greens with A-4 bentgrass; removal of non-strategic trees to improve turfgrass growing conditions; construction of a new putting green; pond dredging; a new drainage system; new cart paths and curbing to facilitate golfer circulation, and fairway contouring. Greens have been expanded and restored to their original shape to recapture strategic pin placements.

Jacobson also performed a major overhaul of the par 3 15th hole to improve the playability and aesthetics of the hole.

“We essentially rebuilt the par 3 15th hole,” Wallace noted. “We rebuilt and repositioned the green and we replaced the existing Cor-Ten steel wall in front of the green that wasn’t very attractive with a New York fieldstone wall. Now, it looks like a great hole and it plays like a great hole.”

The course could not be lengthened, as it is landlocked, but the new bunkers – located 270 to 290 yards from the back tees – pose a significant new challenge for better players. “The course might not be longer but for the longer hitters there are a lot more obstacles,” Wallace said.

The most obvious difference aesthetically is the bunker work. “There is a dramatic change in the way the bunkers look,” Wallace said. “They used to look like saucers. Now they look like jigsaw puzzle parts. The look of the bunkers now is visually stunning.”

Although the club did not add length, its slope rating on the championship blue tees increased to 134 from 130, presumably because of the new bunkers designed to catch the errant shots of big hitters.

The course plays 6,752 from the championship tees and 6529 from the regular white tees. A senior tee (6,180 yards), women’s tee (5,301 yards) and women’s championship tee (5,850 yards) also have been added. The goal of the new teeing areas was to attain a balance for all levels of golfers.



© 2002 Jacobson Golf Course Design, Inc.