My brother and I played Fox Valley Golf Club for the last time on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2015.
We walked all 18 holes, a tribute to the beauty of the perfect fall day, the tenacity of my brother, who’s still carrying his clubs at the ripe old age of 68, and to the course itself, which has provided us with so many good times and fond memories for almost half a century.
Wish I could say we played better. I shot 85, he shot 86, with an assortment of gimme’s and mulligans. Wish I could say I parred the last hole, but I didn’t. Missed a 6-footer. Probably fitting, considering all the bogeys I’ve racked up there in past 47 years.
I started playing golf when I was 11. My dad decided to take me to the course one day, and it only took a few rounds to fall in love with the game. We played a lot of golf, my dad and me, over the years. Some of my very first rounds were at Fox Valley, and I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say we played there hundreds of times.
It was Fox Valley “Country Club” in those days, but it was purchased by the city of Aurora a few years later, and it was a city of Aurora press release that announced the course will permanently close after the final round of golf is played on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.
“For more than four decades, the Fox Valley Golf Club on Route 25 has been a destination location for golfing and special events,” the press release said, adding that it was annexed to North Aurora more than 20 years ago.
“The city of Aurora and golf staff want to thank patrons who have continued to support the Fox Valley Golf Club over the past 40 years,” said Jeff Schmidt, Aurora PGA operations manager.
The release said Fox Valley’s demise was “due to its aged infrastructure that required more than $1 million in upgrades, coupled with an increasingly competitive golf market in the Fox Valley.”
The Aurora City Council voted unanimously earlier this year to sell the facility to Odawa Development, LLC for $5 million. According to word of mouth, it will be developed as a retirement community. That’s confirmed by David Hulseberg, CEO of Seize the Future, Aurora’s non-profit development corporation, who told Golf News that the 106-acre property at 2500 North River Road (Route 25) would be developed into “targeted senior housing.”
For those who’d like to enjoy a final round at the Fox Valley Golf Club, special discounted daily rates will be offered. Call the Fox Valley Golf Club at 630-879-1030 to schedule a tee time. I highly recommend you do.
Last Sunday a perfect day for golf — sunny and warm for the season, hardly a lick of breeze. The fall color was at its peak, and the course was a picture postcard. If I had been thinking at all, I would have brought my camera and taken some photos for Facebook posts and posterity.
I’m running out of time today, so I’m not going to find the right words to sum up. I keep going back to that line from Field of Dreams, when the Terence Mann character mentions memories so thick you have to brush them away from your face.
Fox Valley was one of the places where I learned how to play golf, where my dad, now 93 and living down the street at the Holmstad retirement center, took the time to teach me the game, where my brother and I could share the experience of that last “long walk spoiled” together on a perfect fall day. And for that I am forever grateful.
Good bye, Fox Valley Golf Club. We’ll miss you.
Phillips Park Alternative
City officials remind golf enthusiasts of the city-owned Phillips Park Golf Course, a national award-winning facility that is a popular golfing destination for players throughout Chicagoland and for charity golf outings in the area.
A quality championship level facility, the 18-hole Phillips Park course at 1001 Hill Ave. boasts modern features like “USGA” Greens, a computerized irrigation system, multiple tees, larger greens, better overall drainage systems, strategically placed bunkers and water hazards, cart paths and a driving range, as well as a three hole Junior Course. Learn more at www.phillipsparkaurora.com.
Fox Valley Golf Club
Both 18-hole courses are owned and operated by the City of Aurora. For information on rates, or to learn more about the new Annual Card, contact the Phillips Park Golf Course Pro Shop at (630) 256-3760 or the Fox Valley Golf Club Pro Shop at (630) 879-1030.
To maintain the course’s scheduling, staff, equipment and facilities to provide a great golfing experience at a reasonable price.
The Fox Valley Golf Club, built in the 1920s (630) 879-1030, located on Route 25 in North Aurora, is an 18-hole golf course that plays 5,927 yards. The course has bentgrass/annual bluegrass greens, bluegrass/ryegrass fairways, tees, and fully automated irrigation on greens, tees, and fairways. Several ponds enhance the aesthetics of the course, along with 56 sand bunkers.
About the City of Aurora
Located 35 miles west of Chicago, Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois with a population of 200,456. Aurora is known as the “City of Lights” because it was one of the first in the nation to illuminate its streets with electric lights. Situated along the Fox River and the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (Interstate 88), the city extends 46 square miles encompassing Kane, DuPage, Kendall and Will counties. Aurora also is home to six public school districts and seven townships. For the latest news, access to an archive of past news releases or to follow the city on Facebook or Twitter, visit the city’s website at www.aurora-il.org.