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Len Ziehm On Golf

Batavia’s Martin is one busy course architect

Batavia-based Greg Martin has been one busy golf course architect within the Chicago area of late. Three of his public course projects are about to open for the season, and at least three others are in the works.

Martin handled two renovation projects last fall — the front nine at Fox Run in Elk Grove and the South nine at Arrowhead in Wheaton. Only the back nine at Fox Run has been playable so far this surprising spring, but the opening of the front is now scheduled for April 20.

The 27-hole Arrowhead facility has 18 of its 27 holes in operation. Martin has been working on that layout in nine-hole increments. He completed work on the East nine and did his work on the South last fall. That nine is to re-open in late April, with no date set yet. The West nine,which hasn’t been given the Martin touch yet, is now open, and Martin will do his work there in the fall.

Last fall he also did some tweaking at Settler’s Hill, in Batavia. That course is scheduled to open for the season around May 1.

Martin also expects to apply his talents at Wilmette, Mount Prospect, Prairie Bluff, in Lockport, and Oak Meadows, in Addison, in the near future. Oak Meadows will be the biggest project of the bunch. One of Chicago’s oldest public layouts, it was created as private Elmhurst Country Club in 1919 and assumed public status under its current name in 1986.

A charming layout that was the site of Ben Hogan’s victory in the 1941 Chicago Open, Oak Meadows has been hampered by flooding problems for years.

“We know we need to fix the golf course,’’ said Martin, whose firm was chosen from the 22 who applied for the job through the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. He isn’t sure how many of the present holes will remain, or if the adjoining East nine-holer will be incorporated into the re-design.

“Nothing’s off the table now,’’ he said. “Nos. 1, 2, 17 and 18 — those are great holes. We should keep them in some way.’’

Oak Meadows, which also lost its clubhouse in a fire several years ago, will remain in its current state for two years as design plans are finalized and work permits are acquired. Martin doesn’t expect the project to be completed until 2016.

“That reveals the complexity of the issue that exists,’’ he said. “We want to solve as many problems as we can.’’

Dubs set to open

Cog Hill’s Dubsdread course, a PGA Tour site every year but one since the Western Golf Assn. moved the Western Open there in 1991, opens for the season on Saturday (APRIL 14). The Lemont layout won’t host the pros this time, as the WGA moved September’s BMW Championship to Crooked Stick in Indianapolis. Jemsek Golf, though, has been working with both the PGA Tour and U.S. Golf Assn. in an effort to bring another high-profile competition to its 72-hole complex.

In the meantime, the Jemseks have altered the superintendent duties. Scott Pavalko, who joined the staff last year to ready Dubsdread for its last BMW Championship, will now also assume responsibility for the No. 2 course as well. The retiring Ken Lapp will oversee Nos. 1 and 3.

Here and there

The Illinois PGA has its Pro Pro competition scheduled for Monday at Chicago’s Harborside International….Dewey Lewis, who has taught and competed at Cog Hill for over 30 years, has been rewarded with emeritus status….The Downers Grove Golf Club will host the 36th annual Pine Hollow Open on April 28. Entries will be accepted through April 18….A Demo Day has been scheduled at Cog Hill on April 28….Cantigny, in Wheaton, has scheduled five Welcome to Golf clinics from adults and families. They’ll start in May.