Featured Golf News
Cog Hill's Dubsdread to Reopen in Mid-May
The remodel of Cog Hill's Dubsdread course is nearly complete. The course, which was closed for the entire 2008 season for the $5 million renovation, will reopen for play on May 15.
"We believe the golfers will be very happy with the changes we have made to Dubsdread," said Frank Jemsek, CEO of Cog Hill Golf & Country Club. "The routing remains the same but every hole has undergone renovation from tee to green to restore the original design integrity and overall character inherent in the work of the original architects. Dubsdread remains a pleasant challenge for the average golfer, but will offer more strategic shot-making options and risk-reward challenges for the tour professional."
Architect Rees Jones oversaw the renovation of the layout, its first since opening in 1964. The extensive work on the par-72, 7,600 yard track, originally designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee, included reconstructing all 18 greens and tee complexes, reshaping the fairways, adding a pond on No. 7, significant tree management and the repositioning and sculpting of 98 bunkers.
One of the biggest investments took place underneath the greens. A state-of-the-art moisture-removal system called SubAirŪ was installed on all 18 greens. The system promotes healthier and stronger playing surfaces through moisture management, subsurface aeration and root zone temperature control. Used at such fabled courses as Augusta National and Pebble Beach, Dubsdread is the only course in the Chicagoland area to use the SubAir system.
"SubAir is like a vacuum system that hooks to subsurface drainage under greens so when we get heavy rains, we can accelerate the drainage process by sucking water out," said Cog Hill's superintendent Ken Lapp. "We can also change that system to cool greens during hot dry spells by blowing air into the root zones. This system will allow Dubsdread to have consistent, faster, tournament condition greens throughout the season."
Along with the greens, nearly every bunker was completely reshaped and reconstructed to improve visual definition, enhance sight lines and create a more classic design style. Several of the original traps were relocated to cope with the modern game, restoring their original intent. Greenside bunkers were repositioned and tucked closer to the greens to more effectively protect cupping areas. Although most bunkers were deepened, their unique grass "fingers" and "noses" continue to provide golfers with walkouts.
The tee complexes at each hole was also reshaped and reconstructed. Each hole has multiple, square tee pads, strategically placed at varied yardages and angles of play to improve alignment and overall playability.
"This is a great piece of golf property and Dick Wilson did a wonderful job with the original design," said Jones. "Many of the greens have been made a lot smaller because the green complexes are more important today than in past. The ball goes so far now. Back when Dick Wilson designed this course and like my father, Robert Trent Jones, they always built big greens because on long holes you would hit woods into them, now you hit mid-irons. So the green complexes have to be smaller. We still will have the Dick Wilson tongues and little small areas of greens. But the golfer will have to make choices, go for the fat of the green or go for the Dick Wilson tongue. That will depend on where you hit your tee shot, and the penalty will be greater if you go for the small part of the green and miss it. There will be all kinds of choices so this will be a course of continuing interest."
Over the years Dubsdread has been one of the favorite stops on the PGA Tour. It hosted the Western Open from 1991-2006 and the BMW Championship in 2007. After a one-year hiatus, 70 of the world's best golfers will return September 7-13 for the 2009 BMW Championship. The tournament is the third in the four-event FedEx Cup series.
"We are very excited to have the tour back at Dubsdread and are looking forward to seeing how the players like the course," Jemsek said.
Green fees for the upcoming season are $150, which include golf, cart and range balls. In addition to Dubsdread, the facility contains three other 18-hole tracks along with a year-round learning center and a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse. For more information or a tee time, call 866/264.4455 or visit www.coghillgolf.com.