"Great results come with great effort," says Dale Balvin, Director of Golf at Eagle Ridge Inn & Resort.
For Eagle Ridge, this philosophy seems to be working. After a number of recent improvements, the Galena, Ill., resort continues to build its reputation as the "Golf Capital" of the Midwest.
According to Balvin, improvements have been made on several of the resort's courses to simply meet the demands that guests expect from a first-class golf facility.
"Due to simple wear and tear, golf courses are constantly changing," says Balvin, who manages all aspects of golf on the resort's four top layouts. "But to stay competitive among so many outstanding courses, we have to go above and beyond the necessary improvements to make sure all of our courses are in the best condition possible."
Following are among the golf course improvements put into place this year:
- New cart paths were added on the 4th, 8th and 18th holes.
- Stairs were added on the 9th and 17th holes for better foot access.
The South Course
- Signage was enhanced.
- Bunker restructuring continued to improve playability and appearance.
- The creek system was renovated to improve playability, appearance, and drainage.
The North Course
- The lake level on the16th hole was raised to improve visual aesthetics.
- Approximately five acres were identified throughout the course to grow in native grasses, which will enhance hole definition and appearance.
Even after tough weather over the past several months, Balvin reports that the course quality this year is unlike any other at Eagle Ridge. "Our greens," he says, "are in the best condition ever."
A Family Affair
Aside from the improvements made on the courses, Eagle Ridge also has made many improvements off the course as well. This includes its continued commitment to family golf and the addition of the Eagle Ridge Junior Golf program.
For the 2001 season, any player 17 years old and under is eligible for junior golfing programs:
- Junior players can play the resort's East Course on Sunday after 1:00 p.m.-Thursday for free when accompanied by an adult.
- Junior players are only charged a $15 rate on The General, North and South Courses after 1:00 p.m. Sunday - Thursday.
- On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays before 1:00 p.m., junior players are only charged a rate of $55 on The General, North and South Courses -- a 50% discount! They may also play the East Course on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before 1:00 p.m. for $15!
"We continue to build our programs and amenities that cater to families," says Michael Scholz, Vice President and General Manager of Eagle Ridge, the Midwest's premier vacation destination. "The junior golf program not only allows families to enjoy their vacation together, but also provides younger golfers with the opportunity to develop their skills on several of the top courses in the country."