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From Our Editors
Find a Rich Golfing History Right in Your Own Backyard Sportsman’s Country Club in Northbrook opened in 1931 and was designed and built by Edward Dearie Jr., a name you might not immediately recognize but someone who worked for the legendary Donald Ross. Dearie had been head construction foreman for Ross, renowned for his work on the Inverness Club, site of many national championships, Seminole Golf Club, winter home of the great Ben Hogan, and Pinehurst No. 2, site of the 1999, 2005 and 2014 U.S. Open.
You can see the Ross influence in many of Dearie’s holes at Sportsman’s. You’ll find traditional push-up greens that both reward good shots and challenge recovery shots from wayward approaches. The course is designed to accommodate the traditional southwesterly prevailing winds as well as the occasional and refreshing easterly that blows in off the lake in summer. Your tee shots will require strategy but won’t overly punish the occasional hook or slice. You’ll find a course that is both classic in design and fun to play. Sportsman’s Country Club was privately owned, though still open to the public, for most of its history, until it was sold to a developer in the late 1970s. In an outstanding display of civic pride and effort, citizens of Northbrook voted to allow the Park District to buy the course. Thanks to their efforts, the 18-hole course, the driving range, and the buildings on site were bought by the district in 1978. The East 9 was sold to School District 225 as a future high school site; however, it was sold to the Park District in 1990. Today, all 215 acres are proudly owned and operated by the Northbrook Park District!
Now, in a new development aimed at preserving this historic property, we have renewed the classic design and brought Dearie’s outstanding work back to life. The district hired the awarding-winning firm of Jacobson Golf Course Design in Libertyville to restore 18 holes of the layout. The East Nine had previously undergone renovation some years ago.
The Jacobson firm has revived the original intent of Mr. Dearie’s bunker designs, to enhance the beauty and playability of the classic layout. Greens were replanted with a new variety of bentgrass; some of them were also regraded.
Now it’s time for you to come out and enjoy this historic and serene course, in all its traditional beauty, and see why we consider Sportsman’s to be the “jewel” of the North Shore!
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