News Releases
- 2007 -

Barry Cronin
Cronin Communications, Inc.


Chicago-Area Designer Plans More Course Openings And Renovation Work in 2007

LIBERTYVILLE, Illinois (Feb. 14, 2007) – The national Association of Private Clubs & Directors has named Rick Jacobson its Golf Course Architect of the Year, citing his outstanding work in golf course renovation.

Jacobson will be honored with the association’s BoardRoom Magazine Award at the group’s annual meeting set for Feb. 22 in Anaheim, Ca., according to John Fornaro, president and CEO of the Association of Private Clubs and Directors. BoardRoom Magazine is the association’s official industry publication.

Jacobson recently has completed several renovation projects in the Chicago area, including Sunset Ridge CC in Northfield, Bob O’Link GC in Highland Park, Glen Oak CC in Glen Ellyn, Cantigny GC in Wheaton, North Shore CC in Glenview, and the Indian Lakes Resort’s Blackhawk Trace Course in Bloomingdale.

“This is a very significant award for Rick Jacobson,” Fornaro said. “He is being recognized for his outstanding renovation work, and 45 percent of our private clubs will be doing renovations over the next five years.”

Jacobson said he enjoys renovation work because of club members’ positive reactions to an improved and revitalized golf course.

“The most rewarding thing is to go back to the project after it’s been completed and see how the members take a renewed sense of pride in their golf course,” Jacobson said. “Golf course renovation is a short-term inconvenience for members and their guests, but it is the best way to protect the club’s primary asset for the long term and leave a lasting legacy for future members.”

A protégé of Jack Nicklaus, Jacobson founded his design firm in 1991 after working as a member of Nicklaus’ design team.

The BoardRoom Award comes not long after Jacobson was recognized by Golf Digest and Golfweek magazines for his collaboration with former boss Nicklaus on the new Bayside Resort and Golf Club in Delaware. Golfweek called Bayside one of the nation’s top 50 new courses for 2006. Golf Digest named Bayside among its Top 10 new Upscale Public Golf Courses for 2006.

Jacobson’s renovation of Sunset Ridge received the private club Renovation of the Year Award for 2006 from Golf Inc. magazine. His renovation of North Shore CC earned runner up honors for Golf Inc.’s private club Renovation of the Year in 2004, and the Blackhawk Trace course at Indian Lakes Resort was a finalist for Golf Inc.’s public course Renovation of the Year in 2004.

Jacobson’s renovation of Des Moines G&CC, a Pete Dye original, for the 1999 U.S. Senior Open received high praise from players and championship officials along with club members.


LIBERTYVILLE, Illinois (January 24, 2007) – Golf Digest magazine is the latest major golf publication to honor prominent golf course architect Rick Jacobson and his former mentor, Jack Nicklaus, by naming Delaware’s Bayside Resort and Golf Club among its Top 10 Upscale Public Courses for 2006.

An 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Bayside is the focal point of an 850-acre master planned residential community located on the Assawoman Bay in Fenwick Island, Del. Carl M. Freeman Companies are developing 1,640 homes in the community.

“Jack Nicklaus is the greatest golfer ever to play the game and now he is among golf’s most prolific golf course architects,” said Jacobson, who collaborated with Nicklaus on the Bayside design. Jacobson was employed at Nicklaus’ Florida-based golf course design firm from 1983-91 before moving home to the Chicago area, where he grew up.

Golfweek magazine recently named Bayside among the nation’s top 50 new golf courses. In addition, Bayside was runner-up in Golf Inc. magazine’s annual ranking of best new golf course developments in the daily fee category. Golf Inc. is a publication aimed primarily at the golf industry. Also in its November issue, Golf Inc. named Jacobson’s Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis. a finalist in the private club category for best new courses.

Jacobson praised The Freeman Companies’ development team with whom he worked on his award-winning 27-hole Bear Trap Dunes golf resort community in Ocean View, Del. “The Freeman Companies’ vision and commitment to excellence are two key reasons why Bayside turned out so well,” Jacobson added.

Jacobson’s strong relationship with Nicklaus and Freeman Companies’ executives – along with Jacobson’s stellar record of designing courses in the Middle Atlantic region and beyond – made him a natural choice to collaborate with Nicklaus on Bayside.

“It was a pleasure to work with Rick Jacobson again,” Nicklaus said. “Rick is a good guy and a very talented golf course architect. He did a lot of great work when he was with us in Florida and he did the same at Bayside.”

Bayside has been an immediate hit not only with architecture critics but also with paying customers, according to Bayside director of golf Bill Hamilton.

“People love to play it over and over again,” Hamilton said. “Sometimes on the same day.”

Ample fairways enable higher handicappers to get the ball in play off the tee. But comparatively small, elevated greens are protected by challenging bunker complexes, requiring excellence in the short game.

Bayside has five sets of tees to accommodate every level of golfer: the Signature Tees (7,545 yards), the Championship Tees (6,835 yards), Member Tees (6,418 yards), Club tees (5,615), and Forward Tees (5,168 yards).

Strategic thinking is a key to success at Bayside, according to Hamilton. Most shots have strategic alternatives and golfers must “think” their ways around the golf course, carefully considering how to play each hole. “It’s a great risk-reward golf course,” he said.

Bayside also aspires to make its mark as a tournament course. Next year, Bayside will begin hosting significant local tournaments, including the 2007 Delaware high school championship conducted by the Delaware State Golf Association, the men’s Delaware State Amateur, and the Delaware Women’s Amateur. Next August, Bayside also will host a qualifier for the U.S. Golf Association’s Mid-Amateur championship.


© 2002 Jacobson Golf Course Design, Inc.