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Sunset Valley Wins Facility of the Year Award

1/29/19 -On Friday, January 25, the Park District of Highland Park (PDHP) was presented with the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s (IPRA) Outstanding Facility Award for the district’s newly renovated Sunset Valley Golf Club. The award was presented at the IPRA annual business meeting held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. This is the association’s top award presented to one agency out of over 2,000 from across Illinois for outstanding and unique achievements in the design and development of new or renovated parks and recreation facilities.  The Park District of Highland Park won the IPRA Outstanding Facility Award for the renovation of Rosewood Beach in 2016. 

“We are very pleased to kick off the new year with this significant honor and recognition from IPRA,” commented Brian Kaplan, President of the Board of Commissioners for the Park District of Highland Park. “It has been extremely rewarding to work cooperatively with our residents and our dedicated staff to create this one-of-a-kind facility for our community.”

In August 2018, Sunset Valley Golf Club re-opened to the public after an extensive $7 million, 18-month   renovation to the 18-hole golf course and clubhouse.  The 98-year old club has a new lease on life with a distinctive British Heathland course design accommodating every level of golfer with the unique features unlike any other golf course in the area and a new clubhouse with striking views of the course.  The project included a complete renovation of all tees, fairways, greens, bunkers as well as overall infrastructure, drainage and storm water management.

Unique features of the club now include:

The new course also features state-of-the-art golf carts. Sunset’s new high-efficiency, lithium ion cart fleet drives with zero-emissions. The carts feature 10-inch interactive GPS touch screen monitors to enhance the golfer experience including: HD hole graphics so golfers can visualize specifics of the location of water hazards, bunkers and pin placement; on-screen pro tips; digital scorecard offers email option; yardage to pin; 3D hole flyover with full screen HD video; food and beverage menus and ordering.

Though Sunset Valley is now arguably one of the finest courses new on Chicago’s north shore, it has its roots as a community course where generations of golfers learned to love the game. Here, the likes of Joel Hirsch, Illinois Golf Hall of Famer and Patrick Flavin, 2017 Illinois State Amateur and Illinois Open champion honed their golf skills as youngsters.

In keeping with its legacy as the “course for all,” the new Sunset Valley is a participating course in the Chicago District Golf Association “Youth on Course” program. The program allows young golfers ages 6-18 the opportunity to play at the course for $5. To take advantage of the Youth on Course $5 rate, young golfers should sign up for membership at


Photo: (left to right) Brian Romes, PDHP Director of Recreation and Facilities; Brian Kaplan, PDHP President of the Board of Commissioners; Debbie Trueblood, IPRA Executive Director; Kathleen Donahue, PDHP Deputy Director of Operations; Ryan Ochs, Sunset Valley Golf Club General Manager