Deeds and WeedsMarch 1, 2009

Illinois Club Reborn as Public Course

Ravisloe Country Club was a private golf club for 108 years. But it couldn't survive the recession of 2008-09.

The facility, located in the Chicago suburb of Homewood, Ill., closed last Oct. 31, a victim of its declining membership. But it was bought Friday by a local veterinarian (and non-golfer), and will reopen April 1 as a public facility, according to this story in Saturday's Southtown Star newspaper. Green fees will range between $49 and $85, depending on the day and time of the round and whether a golfer walks or takes a cart.

Tim MIles, who runs GolfVision, the company that has been brought in to manage Ravisloe in its newest incarnation, told the Southtown Star, "It just wasn't viable as a private club."

The most obvious question is: Why did the local veterinarian, Claude Gendreau, save the course despite being a non-golfer? Because he likes open spaces. A press release described Gendreau as "an advocate of eco-responsibility and sustainable living" who considered Ravisloe "a jewel that needs to be preserved as long as feasible, and we hope the golf operation can sustain our goal of retaining this as open space for years to come." Gendreau also told the newspaper, "I feel more people need to have the opportunity to have access to an environment like this."

-- G.R.