Greg Martin has completed a renovation of the golf course at Settler’s Hill in Batavia, on the outskirts of Chicago.
The public course was originally built in 1990 on a landfill site, and has since battled challenges relating to settling, compaction and age, including significant drainage issues.
“This property offers some of the best topography in Kane County and resides on Forest Preserve District land near the Fox River,” said Martin, who prepared a master plan for the renovation in 2015. “There is an abundance of unique landscapes that needed to be fully integrated with the golf course, including prairie land, woodland, creeks, ponds and upland hillsides. The layout needed a full refresh to achieve its potential.”
Martin highlighted the need to address circulation and playability problems that had been caused by drainage and settling issues.
“The plan proposed updating the golf course infrastructure, modernising and expanding the irrigation system, a realignment of the layout to accommodate returning nines, adding a practice range, expanding the putting green, and incorporating a four-hole junior course,” he said.
The golf course was closed for the project in 2020 and Wadsworth Golf Construction was contracted for construction. A Toro irrigation system was installed by Midwest Irrigation, bunkers were lined with Better Billy Bunker. Greens constructed and bunkers filled with new sand from Waupaca Sand Solutions. DLF Seed Research 007 grass was selected for tees, fairways and greens.
“A landfill project is never easy, requiring extensive permitting, approvals and multiple layers of government oversight, but capable project construction management helps to ensure success,” said Martin.
Two new par threes have been introduced, which Martin says provide better green-to-tee connections as well as taking advantage of some of the property’s features.
“The final golf course offers wider fairways and approaches; fewer bunkers, with those remaining being deeper and more relevant; more tee surface; and larger greens that have more pinnable areas,” said Martin. “Feature shaping to help overland flow combined with added drainage was necessary to develop a faster and firmer playing surface.”
The club held a soft opening this autumn, with an official event scheduled for spring 2023.