Mt. Prospect is located in surburban Chicago, ten minutes from O’Hare airport
Esler Design worked to stay true to the original design of the course
The original designer of the Mt. Prospect course is not known
The architectural styles of C.B. MacDonald and Seth Raynor inspired the latest work
Barcel believes Mt. Prospect is now the ‘perfect fit for a quiet suburban neighbourhood’
The course at Mt. Prospect Golf Club near Chicago, Illinois, will reopen for play on 1 August.
The Esler Design firm collaborated with Wadsworth Construction to carry out renovation work, with the course closing back in June 2014.
GCA caught up with Brett Barcel, Mt. Prospect’s PGA director of golf operations, to find out how the project progressed.
“Construction began in late 2014, and three holes had dormant seed for the winter,” he explained. “Three more fairways needed to be totally reseeded in the spring. Wadsworth did a fine job with construction and Esler Design was on hand during all phases of construction.”
“There have been many challenges along the way, with detention areas proving particularly difficult. We didn’t want any new water hazards on the golf course so we had to make large grass basins. One of which was the driving range.”
Mystery surrounds the identity of the original designer of the Mt. Prospect course. The course was built in 1927, and Barcel previously explained that the course boasts some ‘amazing green complexes’, hinting that the layout was most likely put together by someone with significant architectural calibre.
With this in mind, Esler Design aimed to keep the spirit of the course true to its 1920s beginnings with the recent work.
“Esler Design wanted the course to be true to Mt. Prospect’s origins,” said Barcel. “The firm applied a style similar to that of C.B. MacDonald and Seth Raynor with the bunkering and green complexes. Template hole renditions were also included. The greens are very challenging and have been returned to original plateau push up green style.”
Barcel confirmed that grow in had been a little slow due to cool temperatures, with the new variety of hybrid bentgrass preferring warmer conditions. He is however pleased with the project’s outcome, and feels the course at Mt. Prospect will be well received by players when they return in August.
“The result is a very classic looking golf course that’s not overpowering, because it never really was,” he concluded. “It’s the perfect fit for a quiet suburban neighbourhood – something quite unique for any golf market.”