DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Golf Club is open for its 130th season.
Founded as a nine-hole course in 1892, the historic course in 1893 became America’s first 18-hole golf course, according to a news release. Now a nine-hole par 36 course, Downers Grove Golf Club is owned and operated by the Downers Grove Park District. It is open to the public from sunrise to dusk Sunday through Saturday, weather permitting, at 2420 Haddow Ave.
The Downers Grove Golf Club holds a significant place in U.S. history. The course was established in 1892 as the original Chicago Golf Club, when Charles Blair Macdonald, who was, according to Golf Journal, “a true and imposing pioneer of golf in America,” persuaded 30 of his Chicago Club colleagues to contribute $10 each to design and construct a nine-hole golf course. When the inaugural season had ended, Macdonald convinced Chicago Golf Club members to add nine more holes to the course. So in 1893, the first 18-hole golf course in the U.S. was established on the site. After numerous owners and being converted back to a nine-hole course, the site was purchased by the Downers Grove Park District and renamed the Downers Grove Golf Club in 1968.
Today, the Downers Grove Golf Club offers opportunities for golfers of all ages to experience the stunning, well-maintained course, the release stated. Children ages 3 to 18 can learn the game of golf and improve skills with golf camps all summer long. Private, semi-private and group lessons are led by two certified golf professionals and include parent/child, junior and adult lessons. A Ladies Scramble League and Junior League for children ages 12 to 18 are offered starting in June. Adult couples can compete against other couples in a friendly competition featuring contests, prizes, dinner and an adult beverage at the Couples Scramble from 2 to 7 p.m. July 16.
The driving range at the Downers Grove Golf Club offers a range shelter covering 10 of the 24 hitting stations. The shelter features seating, infrared heaters and ceiling fans designed to provide a comfortable golf experience even on rainy days. The range also features a large practice putting green, sand trap and chipping area. Renovations recently were completed to the short game area of the driving range to create a new lesson tee. It will provide a private learning experience by certified instructors from the PGA, USGTF and PGTCA. A new short game green and bunker will be available behind the lesson tee for use by students and the public.
The newly renovated clubhouse provides golfers with a comfortable setting to relax, grab a sandwich or snack and enjoy a cold adult beverage. The expanded pro shop offers an extensive line of merchandise from the top manufacturers in the industry. New this summer will be a rotation of local food trucks and vendors on select days.
Last year, Downers Grove Golf Club welcomed a record-setting 44,717 rounds on the course.
Ken McCormick, general manager of the Downers Grove Golf Club, looks forward to another great season this year.
“It’s fantastic to see so many new and returning golfers enjoying this truly unique and historic course,” McCormick said in the release. “As the course celebrates its 130th anniversary in 2022, we encourage golfers to visit over the coming year to see the great improvements we’ve made and to learn about this significant site and its part of golfing history.”
As a certified Audubon cooperative sanctuary, the course features mature trees, natural areas and wildflowers.
To learn more about the Downers Grove Golf Club, view golf rates and register for programs or events, visit downersgrovegolfclub.org.