The great part about golf is that there is always a back nine, so if you somehow didn't get your fill on the front side - there's always more to be had after the turn. That's what this part of the Beacon News' weekly golf coverage will do for you
but then there is Dubsdread at Cog Hill , Chicago's best hope.
Here's some great insight into the renovation from two of the major players, owner Frank Jemsek and Katherine Jemsek, Vice President of Jemsek Golf....
ABN: Is there a buzz around No. 4 from the public?
KJ: Yes. They're excited, especially now because they're seeing the sod in place and the grass growing on the greens.
Some people are a little over anxious. I noticed a few golf balls out there the other day. Someone went to go test it.
It's a project that's very close to my father's heart, but it's also a project that our customer's are taking pride in because it's their course and whatever we do here they like to be a part of.
ABN: Has Frank been able to enjoy this process...
KJ: The hardest decision my father had was deciding to close the course down for a year and doing it all at one time. Other than that decision, he's been thinking about it so long - he waited until he got the architect he wanted. He got the construction company he wanted - Wadsworth out of Plainfield. He's very excited. You can see it. In the fall he would go out with (superintendent) Ken Lapp and he'd get a phone call, get in the truck and be gone for a couple hours. I think during the construction my dad kind of reminded me of a little kid. He enjoyed the construction, seeing the changes, seeing what you could do al ittle different.
The hardest point now will be the waiting until everything's grown in. Once the construction stops and you have that waiting period, oh, I think that'll be hard for him. And then when the first golfer tees up, no one will be happier than him.
ABN: Now that you're seeing it come together, how do you feel about the process and see a new No. 4 grow before your eyes....
FJ: I'm quite pleased. You know, an architect can look at the golf course and they know what it's going to look like when they put it on paper. For me, like most people, I have to see it on the ground. I'm quite pleased. I looked at their plans and I said 'boy, these looks great' but it's not like seeing it on the ground. The front nine still has a lot of work to get done, the back nine is starting to grow in.
I'm very pleased with the work. The other thing I like about Rees' work, is not only is he trying to make it harder for the PGA Tour pro's, he realized the average guy is the guy who pays the freight, and he's leaving them areas where they have a chance to run the ball up on the greens.
Hopefully when the golf course is done it won't play any harder for us than it used to, but for about a 6-handicap or better it'll be harder. That will be a perfect world for me.
ABN: Will the waiting process after construction be hard...
FJ: I don't know because I'm not to that stage yet. I'd like to get all the construction finished up so I see grass seeds popping up all over. I feel much better about the back nine now that I see grass seeds coming up on it. The front nine where a lot of the greens still aren't shaped, I'm still uncomfortable. I hope that's a problem I have in the future but right now my problem is worrying about the holes we don't have shaped.
ABN: What's the feedback you're getting from your playing public?
FJ: After they play No. 2 course, they can see the new pond on the seventh hole on the No. 4 course. I hear about that from all of them. And now when they drive in and they drive by the 18th fairway and they start to see green - it's not dirt anymore - they're getting excited.
What I'm really looking forward to is the chance to take some people on a ride around the course to see it. Years ago when we built Pine Meadow (in Mundelein) we sold a huge amount of tee times by just driving people around and showing people what was a sspectacular piece of property. I'm hoping to have the same success here.
finally, to get you all fired up for today's action...