Sportsman’s “Classic 18” par-70 golf course has always had the elegant styling of one of golfing’s greatest architects, Donald Ross. That’s because it was designed by Edward Dearie Jr., construction crew chief for Ross who became an outstanding architect in his own right. Clearly, Dearie had paid attention to his master’s triumphs.
In 2004, the Jacobson Golf Course Design firm of Libertyville renovated our memorable 18 holes and enhanced the elements that made it a great course in the first place.
The renovation created additional challenge to a traditional layout. As you play our course today, you’ll find the biggest change compared to the original design is that every bunker on the course has been modified. Some bunkers have been eliminated, and other were moved to more strategic locations.
“The problem was that as golf club technology advanced, some of the bunkers that were meant to increase the difficulty of the course for highly skilled golfers were actually catching the balls of higher handicap players. Now they will challenge the better golfer,” said Doug Myslinski, head designer for Jacobson.
Some bunkers were simply rebuilt with modern construction techniques for drainage and erosion control. New sod was placed around the bunkers to enhance the classic design of the course.
A few tee boxes were enlarged and/or leveled. Some greens were regraded and every green was replanted with a new variety of bentgrass. The entire fairway on No. 7 was raised to improve drainage.
“There’s no question now that the course more truly reflects the Ross style of design because of this restoration,” said Myslinski.
Sportsman’s East Nine is considered among the best 9-hole courses on the North Shore. Home to avid and enthusiastic golfers of all ages, it’s the place for a shorter, quicker golf fix. With its rolling greens and modern style bunkering, the East 9 is a great getaway on a summer afternoon, and the place to stretch your legs with a game of golf.
The East 9 is home to Sportsman’s “Family Golf” course. Tee boxes by US Kids Golf allow young players of all ages to tee it up while playing from proper distances and maintaining speed-of-play.