Ravisloe Update: 'Someone had to fall'

April 23, 2009

Deeds & Weeds has already covered the story of Ravisloe CC, the 108-year-old suburban Chicago club that was sold to a local veterinarian and turned into a public facility this month after a catastrophic decline in membership. This story, which appeared last week in the Chicago Tribune, gives more details on Ravisloe's demise as a private club.

It's an all-too-familiar scenario: There were too many private clubs in the Homewood-Flossmoor neighborhood (perhaps five, according to the story), and with the economic downturn in recent years it gradually become obvious that at least one of them would eventually have to close:

"People who care about golf in the south suburbs have been holding their breath for 10 years," said Terry Lavin, a member at both Beverly and Olympia Fields (two of the private clubs in the area), told the Tribune. "Someone had to fall. But Ravisloe was not the most likely."

The article goes on to provide a good update on the private club market in the area. For now, the rest of the clubs in Homewood-Flossmoor -- including Idlewild, which picked up as many as 100 former Ravisloe members when it closed -- are still private. But the conditions of doing business have definitely changed.

"One thing we can put in the history column on the South Side is the term 'waiting list,' " Lavin told the Tribune. "It's like trying to find a mastodon."

-- G.R.