by Samantha Glover, AJGA Communications
LOOKING AHEAD: Preseason Junior at Ravisloe Country Club
Before the Preseason Junior at Ravisloe Country Club begins, let’s take a closer look at our host facility and its rich history.
A PRESTIGIOUS PAST: The course, established in 1901, has seen several renovations and reconstructions throughout its 112-year history. Most noteworthy, is the work done by renowned course designer, Donald Ross.
Although the course was already well received and praised for its championship character, the club sought out Donald Ross in 1916, and he carried out a nearly eight-year long renovation.
Initial changes to the course took place from 1917-1918, and left the course much more challenging. During that time, the original clubhouse was replaced with a Spanish Mission-style one that is still in place today.
Following the Ross renovations, the club was inducted into the Donald Ross Society, and much effort has gone into preserving the features installed by Ross himself. In 2001, David Esler was charged with restoring the club in adherence with the Ross principles.
FACING A DIFFICULT REALITY:
Golf itself is an industry dependent on discretionary income. When the economy began to struggle in the late 2000s, the fate of many golf courses, Ravisloe Country Club included, came into question.
In 2008, as membership dwindled and imminent doom loomed, the club closed its doors. Just a few months later, Claude Gendreau, a veterinary surgeon from the north Chicago suburb of Buffalo Grove, purchased the club and opened it to the public for the first time in its history.
A BRIGHT FUTURE:
Ravisloe Country Club, now a thriving public course, is the only Donald Ross course open to the public in the Chicago area. Since going public, Ravisloe Country Club has received many accolades and was named one of the top-15 public courses in the state of Illinois last year.
As the club continues to grow and form its new identity, it will host the first ever Preseason Junior at Ravisloe Country Club.
This weekend, 96 juniors from 13 states, Canada and Mexico, will travel to Homewood, Ill., to compete. For many of them, this will be their first AJGA competition.