(Feb. 22, 2017) – The fairways where the legendary Ben Hogan once walked now will be known as The Preserve at Oak Meadows.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County on Tuesday formally renamed what had been known for 30 years as the Oak Meadows Golf Course in Addison to reflect the $16.8 million transformation of the 288-acre property into something much more than 27 holes of flood-prone, 1920s-era golf.
The Preserve at Oak Meadows is the result of a major environmental restoration project resulting in a forest preserve that promises improved stormwater management, greater water quality in Salt Creek, enhanced habitat for fish and other aquatic species, and a premier 18-hole public golf destination rivaling any in the Midwest.
“The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is excited to give this incredible property a new name that more accurately reflects what it has become: a revitalized preserve — a place where conservation and recreation thrive together,” said Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore. “We believe The Preserve at Oak Meadows is a model for how conservation agencies can blend ecological initiatives with golf and recreation.”
“Area residents have enjoyed golf at this location for nearly a century, but some may not have realized the many other benefits this property could provide” said Forest Preserve District Commissioner Marsha Murphy, District 1. “Our work to renovate the course exposes the true beauty of the landscape and its functions. The new name is a fitting tribute to our agency’s greater conservation purpose and sets the tone for a world-class golf experience.”
To accommodate the ambitious ecological and stormwater management aspects of the project, the number of golf holes was reduced from 27 to 18. The result is an entirely new golf course designed by nationally-known golf course architect Greg Martin.
Only 15 percent of the 288 acres is dedicated to fairways, greens and teeing areas, officials said. Improvements also include a connection to the regional Salt Creek Greenway Trail, making The Preserve accessible to hikers, joggers and cyclists.
The District and its partners, the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup and DuPage County Stormwater Management, funded the restoration project. The River Prairie Group of the Sierra Club also supported the project’s initiatives.
One of the giants of the game, Hogan won the 1941 Chicago Open at what was then Elmhurst Country Club, an 18-hole private club at this location originally designed by prominent golf course architect Charles W. Wagstaff. The Forest Preserve District acquired the course in 1985, renaming it Oak Meadows, and later bought the adjacent Brookwood Country Club.The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 4 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter
and Instagram pages.