Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicago's Mistwood Golf Club Completes Major Renovation Project

High-end public facility will re-open in June 2012

(ROMEOVILLE, IL) - Mistwood Golf Club, one of the premier public golf facilities in the Chicago area and the annual site of the Phil Kosin Illinois Women's Open, has completed its multi-million dollar course renovation project. Owner Jim McWethy announced that the layout would re-open in June 2012.

The renovation work was directed by Michigan architect Ray Hearn, Mistwood's original designer. A new learning center is also being constructed, and plans for a future clubhouse are in the works.

McWethy's decision to completely revamp the facility was not an easy one, given these trying economic times. Though Mistwood was a well-respected layout before the renovation, McWethy wanted to create a destination experience for golfers from Chicago and throughout the Midwest. He believes the renovation has done that.

"It is incredibly rewarding to see where we have come with the project. We've created one of the finest courses in the Chicago area," said McWethy. "I am thrilled with the work that Ray performed in upgrading the course to an entirely new level with the aprons around the greens, the new bunkers, tees, and the changes to the third hole."

"Chicago area golfers will be very impressed with the changes that we have made and the overall playability the course presents for all levels of players. I believe we have now created one of the top golf experiences in the Chicago area," continued McWethy.

McWethy closed the course last year in August, to allow Hearn to begin the renovation. Construction on the 5,000 square-foot learning center, which is scheduled to begin this winter and be completed by the time the course re-opens in June.

"A big part of this renovation was due to my love of the game," McWethy admitted. "By expanding, we ran counter to the rest of the golf world, but I feel it was worth it to stay competitive in this industry."

Hearn's original Mistwood creation opened in 1998 and earned the respect from players of all levels. He is convinced the newly renovated Mistwood will be even better received this time around.

"I could not be more pleased with the renovations my company has completed at Mistwood. The shot value, strategy, playability and beauty of each hole has been enhanced significantly," said Hearn, who is credited with five other Illinois projects, most notably the renovation of Flossmoor Country Club -- a prestigious private facility.

His renovation at Flossmoor was cited as the 2009 Renovation-of-the-Year by GOLF Magazine.

Hearn, based in Holland, Mich., has a portfolio that includes courses in Michigan, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Idaho, Oklahoma and Kentucky. His design career has also expanded internationally in Russia, France, Croatia, Vietnam, Egypt, South Korea, Mexico, India and the Bahamas.

"Even though by definition, Mistwood is not a links-style course, my renovation work will lend itself to a links like feel,'' said Hearn. ''Every golfer dreams about playing links-style courses in Scotland and Ireland, and now with 18 stacked sod wall bunkers and flowing fescue grasses incorporated into the Mistwood design, golfers of all levels will have a unique experience unlike anything else in the Chicago area.''

When Mistwood opens in June, it will be held to a higher standard. The end result includes "strategic improvements" on each of Mistwood's 18-holes. The most noticeable is at the par-5 third hole where the green has been relocated to create space for the new clubhouse. The creek that used to be in front of the green is now behind it-and it has been expanded to a pond creating a new visually stunning golf hole.

When all is said and done McWethy expects to have one of the best public courses in the Chicago area.

''If you have an exceptional product, market it well, and take great care of your customers, I do believe that -- even in this market -- you can be successful,'' said McWethy. ''I go to other golf courses today and come back even more excited about what we have done at Mistwood."

For more information about Mistwood Golf Club, visit www.mistwood.net.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com

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