Jacobson to renovate Kemper Lakes


Sean Dudley

Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Chicago has hired architect Rick Jacobson to renovate the layout, site of the 1989 PGA Championship and other significant tournaments.

The club has tasked Jacobson with developing a master plan aimed at preserving the stature and overall appeal of the 32-year-old course, located in Lake County 40 miles north of downtown Chicago.

“Our first priority for the course will be to renovate the bunkers, but obviously we want that done within the context of a master plan. In undertaking this renovation our goal is to achieve long-term management and operational efficiencies without sacrificing the strength and character of the existing design. We want to continue to provide a wonderful golf experience for our members while preserving a tour quality golf course,” said general manager Janet Dobson.

The bunker project will contain obvious changes such as the renovation and re-positioning of bunkers, but many of the contemplated improvements will not be noticed by golfers. The project will look to achieve improvements in subsurface course and bunker drainage to enhance playability as well as to improve consistency of sand in the bunkers.

In 2003, the course was purchased by a local team led by developer Stephen Jouzapaitis and Crown Golf Properties and converted to a private club over a four-year period. Kemper Lakes was originally designed by Chicago area golf course architects Dick Nugent and his partner, the late Ken Killian.