Architect Rick Jacobson Has Full Work Schedule

With projects underway in Asia and Europe as well as Winnetka and Williamsburg, Ill., 2008 is shaping up to be busy - and travel-intensive - for Chicago-area golf course architect Rick Jacobson. "Busy is a good thing," said Jacobson, who was named 2007 Golf Course Architect of the Year by the national Association of Private Clubs & Directors. "In recent years, as opportunities to build new courses in the domestic market have decreased because of economic conditions, we have worked diligently to increase our international presence."

Despite the slowdown in the U.S. market, Jacobson this year will break ground on a new 18-hole course in Virginia and complete construction on another 18-hole course in the Chicago area. Here's a brief rundown of what Jacobson and his staff will be up to in 2008:

* Jacobson currently has a 36-hole and an 18-hole resort-style course under construction in southeastern China - Lion's Lake and Chaozhou. The latter of which could increase to 27 holes. A third project is in the planning phase.

* A groundbreaking is set for April on Jacobson's new 18-hole resort course called Jewel of the Sea in the Calabria region of Italy. Located on the "toe" of the Italian "boot," Calabria is Italy's southernmost region and is just east of Sicily across the Strait of Messina. An Irish developer is targeting golfers from England, Scotland and Ireland as well as Northern Europe.

* On this side of the Atlantic, another spring groundbreaking is set for Jacobson's new Hawk's Nest course, an 18-hole original design in Williamsburg, Va. Hawk's Nest is a "Brownfield" redevelopment project set on a stunning piece of property in York County. The property was used during World War II for underground, bombproof fuel storage tanks. There will be no homes on the golf course.

* Groundbreaking is set for this fall on Jacobson's renovation of Swan Point Yacht & Country Club in Charles County, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C. Swan Point is an 18-hole course integrated into a master planned residential community.

* Bowes Creek Country Club in Elgin, Ill. is scheduled to complete construction this summer. Bowes Creek is an original 18-hole design by Jacobson. It is a public course set in a Toll Brothers, Inc. real estate development in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

* Construction has been completed on the 18-hole Harbor Station Golf Club, the focus of the Harbor Station resort community in Prince William County, Va., in suburban Washington, D.C. Harbor Station is Jacobson's second design collaboration with his mentor, Jack Nicklaus.

* The East Course at Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, Ill. will feature a new island green as a result of a Jacobson renovation. The existing 18-hole course will be reduced to nine holes plus a previously nonexistent practice range. Jacobson previously renovated the West Course now known as Blackhawk Trace.

* Jacobson is renovating the Winnetka Golf Club in Winnetka, Ill., a municipally-owned, 18-hole public course designed by William B. Langford that opened in 1904.

* Jacobson will open a new practice range as part of a master plan renovation at Edina CC in suburban Minneapolis. A bunker renovation plan will be finalized this year.

* Cantigny Golf club in Wheaton, Ill. will have the benefit of a new Jacobson-designed practice range and short game area when it hosts this year's Illinois State Amateur later this summer.

* This fall, Jacobson will install a new short game practice area at Links & Tees Golf Facility operated by the park district of Addison, a suburb west of Chicago.

* The 1920s-vintage18-hole course at the Lake Lawn resort in Delavan, Wisc., will undergo a master plan renovation by Jacobson.

* Jacobson will break ground on the final phase of his renovation of Happy Hollow Club, in Omaha, a William B. Langford design that opened in 1925. Golf Digest ranks the course fifth best in the state of Nebraska.

* Jacobson's master plan renovation at Meadowlands CC in Blue Bell, Pa. in suburban Philadelphia will start its second phase this summer.

With projects spread all over the world, Jacobson will be collecting plenty of frequent flier miles in the coming year. "The travel can sometimes get to be a grind, but we're very fortunate to be able to work on a diverse group of projects - from designing original courses to renovating older classic courses and making them relevant to today's game while retaining the rich heritage of the original designs," Jacobson said.