Heritage Oaks, Oak Meadows projects show major progress

Two of the biggest golf projects in the history of the Chicago area reach milestones this week.

The Northbrook Park District’s new Heritage Oaks course holds its dedication ceremony on Thursday while the DuPage Forest Preserve District’s Preserve at Oak Meadows, in Addison, has announced the opening of its new clubhouse.

Both were a long time coming.  Heritage Oaks is the new name for Sportsman’s, a 27-hole facility that has been in operation since 1931. Sportsman’s was closed for the 2020 season as Libertyville architect Rick Jacobson conducted a complete renovation of the courses and range. A new clubhouse was also  part of the massive project. While there’ll be some limited play over the weekend, the courses open for public play on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Preserve of Oak Meadows is on the brink of completing an overhaul that started in 2009 when the old clubhouse was destroyed in a lightning attack and the course was beset with major flooding issues. Oak Meadows was a more lengthy process than Heritage Oaks because of that until Aurora architect Greg Martin supervised a lengthy renovation of the property.

That was a $16 million project, and the results have been well-received, but the construction of the new clubhouse wasn’t  started until the course work was done. Now director of golf Ed Stevenson is ready to declare the clubhouse open, though full-service dining is still in limbo.

“We very quietly opened our doors in the middle of the night`and transferred the old pro shop to the new clubhouse,’’ said Stevenson.

Head professional Jamie Nieto now has his office there and golf merchandise is on sale.

Crunch time for Streelman, Ghim

This week’s Wyndham Championship in North Carolina concludes the PGA Tour’s regular season and Wheaton’s Kevin Streelman and Arlington Heights’ Doug Ghim are both in the field with berths in the lucrative FedEx Cup Playoffs already assured.

The top 125 in the FedEx Cup point standings are in The Northern Trust  next week at Liberty National in New Jersey. Streelman in No. 56 and Ghim No. 80. The top 70 after that tournament will advance to the BMW Championship, played this year at Cave’s Valley in Maryland. Streelman appears a safe bet to make it there but Ghim needs a strong showing over the next two weeks to cash in big-time.

HERE AND THERE: Only three Chicago area players teed off Monday in this week’s 312-player field in the  U.S. Amateur at Oakmont, in Pennsylvania – Charlie Nikitas of Glenview, University of Illinois player Brendan OJ’Reilly of Hinsdale and Kenilworth veteran Charles Waddell, the Glen View Club champion….Nikitas, who played collegiately at Miami of Ohio, will take advantage of an extra year of eligibility and will play next season at Alabama.  He made the move after his coach at Miami, Zac Zedrick, was named associate head job at Notre Dame by head man John Handrigan…..Mistwood teaching pro Nicole Jeray was assured after her strong showing in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open that she will have a spot in the Senior LPGA Championship.  The other major championship for senior women will conclude its three-year run at Indiana’s French Lick Resort later this month….The Chicago District Four-Ball Championship concludes Wednesday (TODAY) at Flossmoor Golf Club.