By Doug Halberstadt
Chances are if you’ve played golf in this area for any period of time you are fully aware we have some of the best public and private courses in the state, and possibly even in the country. There’s only one drawback. After several rounds on the same 10 to 12 courses, even they become a little old year after year.
I’ve found something totally unique for all of us veteran golfers looking for a new challenge. The course is called Mistwood Golf Club, and it is in Romeoville, Ill. The course is less than a two-hour drive from Rockford (97 miles), but once you arrive, you’ll think you’ve traveled thousands of miles back to the birthplace of the game.
Mistwood has been closed since last fall in preparation for their re-opening this Friday, June 15. Course owner Jim McWethy and golf course architect, Ray Hearn, teamed up to bring something fresh and unique to this area that is traditionally only found on the courses in Scotland and Ireland. Mistwood’s renovation includes the addition of an interesting new, yet very old, feature called stacked sod-wall bunkers. There are 19 such bunkers on the newly designed course.
“I couldn’t be happier with how everything has come together on this project, and believe we now have one of the top and most unique golf experiences in the Chicago area,” said McWethy. “The work that Ray did incorporating the sod bunkers and the improvements he made to each hole are spectacular.”
Each of the new bunkers was built in layers of sod, the grass of one connecting with the grass of the next. The result is a look much like the famous British Open courses, which include St. Andrews, Troon, Muirfield and Royal St. Georges.
Another new feature that will make golfers think they are playing somewhere other than in Illinois is the beautiful stone embankments and bridges that impact holes No. 3 and No. 9. The new stone work will provide some stunning visuals for golfers of all skill levels.
Granted, for golfers of my skill level, the last thing we need on a golf course is another hazard or something else to interfere with our ability to advance the ball toward the hole. But I have to admit, I’d love to give it a try. Mistwood is definitely on my list of places to play golf before this summer is over.
For more information about rates and to make tee times at the new Mistwood Golf Club, visit www.mistwoodgolf.net or call (815) 254-3333.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the June 13-19, 2012, issue