By Team Ravisloe–Bob Carpenter, General Manager, Steve Dell, Director of Golf, and Johanna Morawski, Director of Events & Marketing
It’s a new 2021 golf season! Where do you want to play golf? Have you made a bucket list of courses to play this year? In choosing your course, what do you expect out of your decision?
Life is a series of expectations. Birthdays, anniversaries, events, graduations, weddings, sporting events, concerts, etc. The excitement that builds before each expectation is exciting. When it’s over, there is a momentary letdown, but you quickly move on to your next anticipation.
One of your friends told you about an old course that is open to the public, Ravisloe Country Club. You discover it was built in 1901, redesigned by the famous Donald Ross and is the #1 rated classic course in Illinois. It piques your interest. You read a little more and find a detailed history about Ravisloe, its new owner, Dr. Claude Gendreau and you like what you’re reading about the course, the clubhouse and the vision he has brought to this 120 year old golf course.
You make your tee time and decide that Ravisloe is where you have to go! The country club feeling is everywhere for the public golfer. From the moment you drive through the gates, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The pace is slower, the grounds perfectly landscaped and the mission style clubhouse looms over the trees welcoming you to a new experience.
Though the aura is a feeling of Scotland, the facility provides all the modern conveniences. A new “state of the art” Full Swing Golf Simulator is now fully operational in the new upstairs golf training room. Big screen TVs are everywhere. New Yamaha golf carts will include Yama-track GPS and offer you a variety of internet options both visibly and audibly.
The clubhouse is magnificent. A 1910 wonder built by George Nimmons who built Olympia Fields. The outside staff and inside staff immediately make you feel like you are an old member returning for another round of golf. The hallway to the washrooms, the banquet rooms and courtyard all please your discerning eye. Then your round begins!
You realize on the first hole that you are teeing up on the very tee that Harry Vardon and Ted Ray teed up on in 1913. You read all the names of famous golfers that played Ravisloe and your first tee jitters get worse. As you look out onto the fairway you see the fairway is framed by trees and the typical Donald Ross bunkers.
Your drives roll nicely out on the manicured fairway grass, you are underway! Throughout the round, each hole offers you spectacular challenge of golf, nature and your environment. Bunkers and eyebrows are everywhere! Greens are undulating and sloped. Trees line every fairway but never interfere with a shot from the fairway–they only become your enemy when you hit an errant shot. You like each hole better than the last. You wonder what the next hole will bring. You do not want this round to end.
But it does, with a beautiful 18th hole that meanders near the Rossy’s Roost outside grill. Patrons are watching you putt out; some may cheer when your stroke rolls in. You notice the back of the clubhouse is every bit as stunning as the front. You make the decision to join the people on the patio for food and drink.
As you are sipping the beverage of your choice, you are totaling your scorecard when a thought crosses your mind…you can actually remember every hole!
The sun is setting out past the 18th green and you realize that you have just enjoyed your day spent back in time more than you could have imagined. Your bucket list is checked off, but you make a new promise……You vow to come back again and again and again.