Park Hills enjoys 50th year

FREEPORT—July 30, Park Hills Golf Club will celebrate its 50th Anniversary.

In 1955, after previous failed attempts, Freeport residents were finally persuaded to approve a bond issue authorizing the funding for the community’s first public golf course. That $150,000 bond issue purchased land for $250 an acre from the W. T. Rawleigh Co. and enabled the Freeport Park District to construct the 18-hole “East” course designed by architect C. D. Wagstaff.

From those humble beginnings, Park Hills has continued to grow figuratively and literally—now occupying 320 acres with two championship 18-hole courses, a driving range, practice greens, a full-service pro shop and a comfortable clubhouse. Almost 50,000 rounds of golf are played at Park Hills each year.

The 50th Anniversary celebration, over a year in planning, is designed to encourage golfers and non-golfers to visit Park Hills and experience vast expanses of professionally tended fairways, greens, tees and wildflowers.

Special events include the skills of golf trick shot artist Peter Longo, nicknamed “The King of Clubs.” Longo travels the country demonstrating his uncanny ability to make seemingly impossible golf shots using a variety of unusual golf clubs. Longo is very personable and enjoys a wry sense of humor. Golfers and non-golfers will enjoy his show.

Tethered hot air balloon rides will allow a birds-eye view of Park Hills and will be ongoing throughout the day. The view will be unforgettable—and free.

Park Hills has acquired several large four-person golf carts just for this event. The special carts will allow guided tours of the courses and wildflower areas—sights normally seen only by those playing golf.

FHN will provide a series of Sports Medicine Clinics throughout the day. There will also be demonstrations of new golf equipment by the manufacturers.

Grilled pork chops will be prepared fresh starting at noon, and a prize drawing will be held every hour from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for prizes including a new Toro lawn mower, a portable DVD player, a Palm Pilot, an MP3 player and a digital camera.

Everyone is invited to help Park Hills celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Park Hills Golf Club is part of the Freeport Park District. The Freeport Park District manages more than 700 acres of parks and recreation areas including Krape Park, Read Park and Oakdale Nature Preserve.

From the July 27-Aug. 2, 2005, issue

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