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Sunset Valley Golf Course Renovation

Review and Feedback on Draft Sunset Valley Hole-by-Hole Renovation Plan

Draft Plan of the Sunset Valley Golf Course Renovation
Sunset Valley Golf Course Renovation Plan – A New Course for the Future

Project Overview

Since 1920, Sunset Valley Golf Course has been a valued historic part of the community however, the clubhouse built

in 1956 and the course, which still features some of the original 1920 elements, are in vital need of renovation to provide a great golfing experience for the community.  Sunset Valley renovation project is the first GreenPrint 2024 Track One initiative to be implemented.

Elements of the proposed renovation plan:

 Estimated Project Schedule

Clubhouse Design Phase: February 1 – March 31
Clubhouse Construction Documents Phase: April 1 – May 31
Permits Received: April 15 – May 1
Golf Course Contractor Mobilization: May 1
Golf Course Construction Begins: May 15
Clubhouse Bid: July 15
Clubhouse Bid Awarded: September Board Meeting
Golf Course Construction Ends: September 15
Clubhouse Construction: October 2017 – May 2018
Golf Course Opens: July 1, 2018

Project Team

Jacobson Golf Course Design
Gewalt Hamilton & Associates
Woodhouse Tinucci Architects

Sunset Valley Golf Course is closed temporarily as the Park District prepares for a major renovation of the course slated to begin May 2017. The planned renovation was classified as a priority capital improvement project outlined in the Park District of Highland Park GreenPrint 2024 10-year master plan.  

With a strong fall and early spring turf growing season, the course is expected to re-open July 2018.

During the renovations, the Sunset Valley golf professionals are operating the Highland Park Country Club golf course, so golfers will be able to book tee times with them at the Highland Park Country Club through December 31, 2017.

Project Updates


Despite the rainy April weather, the project is still on schedule. Construction teams began rototilling, staking and shaping holes #15, #17, #8 and #9 green complexes.  Next steps will include installing the drainage system for the Parks Operations and Golf Operations building.  This new system will filter through the golf course to a bioswale that will eventually reach the Skokie Canal.  A temporary bridge will be installed across the canal which will allow the construction crews to transport materials from the south side of the golf course to the north side.  


On April 17, construction began on the Sunset Valley Golf Course! 

A construction trailer and other construction equipment have been set up in the Sunset Valley Golf Course parking lot and material deliveries for the project have begun.  The District will make every effort to limit these deliveries through the adjacent neighborhood and route them to enter the construction site from Frederickson Place (just east of the Hidden Creek AquaPark). However, at certain times during the project some deliveries will need to enter the neighborhood through Bob O’ Link Rd.

The Park District and construction crews will abide by the City of Highland Park ordinances.  Construction will only take place from 7am – 7pm on weekdays.

As an added benefit to the neighborhood, the course renovation includes demolition of the 70-year-old Parks Maintenance Garage located to the south of the golf course.  Once the building is demolished, the site will be graded and seeded as a grassy open space.  In addition, all the District’s park crews and vehicles will be permanently relocated to a new maintenance facility located off Frederickson Place (west of the golf course) eliminating that daily traffic from the neighborhood.

This is a two-phased project: 

Phase 1 – golf course renovation (April – September)

Phase 2 – clubhouse renovation (October – May 2018)

With a strong fall and early spring turf growing season, Sunset Valley is expected to re-open July 2018. 


The Park Board approved the Sunset Valley Golf Course renovation contract at the January 31, 2017 meeting. The renovation project includes regressing of tees, fairways, and greens, 18 new USGA greens, hole shaping (undulations & sloping), storm water management improvements, multiple tee complexes, cart path re-routing and curbing, lake expansions on holes #4, #12, and #16, and new green sites for holes #5 & #13. The Park Board directed staff to go to bid on all of these improvements based on the Golf Advisory Committee recommendation. In addition, the Board approved upgraded bunker sand, cart path seal coating, and a new irrigation system controller.


Woodhouse Tinucci Architects will present club house design options to the Golf Advisory Committee for their consideration and input on Wednesday, September 28.


The final design phase of the project is underway based on the direction given by the Golf Advisory Committee and approved by the Board in June and July.  Rick Jacobson from Jacobson Golf Course Design is finalizing the hole-by-hole drawings with narratives.  During this phase Jacobson is working closely with Gewalt Hamilton on the storm water management layover.


The Sunset Valley Golf Advisory Committee Meeting was held on 6/22/16 to review the base plan and prioritize golf course enhancements. The list of golf course enhancements were created from the public input process. Jacobson Golf Course Architects presented the design plans for Sunset Valley that met the goals of the Park District’s GreenPrint master plan.

GreenPrint Plan Goals:

In addition to the GreenPrint Plan improvements, the following course enhancements were presented as additional improvements:

The Golf Course Advisory Committee provided direction that all enhancements are warranted and would be great for the golf course. The committee came to consensus however, that the first two enhancements (additional 9 greens, re-shaping holes, and storm water management) are must haves and should be included in the project.

The next step is for staff to present the plan with the options to the Park Board at the July 12th Workshop Meeting.


The Sunset Valley Resident Golf Advisory Committee Meeting was held on 5/18/16 to continue the public input process of the design development process. The design development process started in March and will be finalized in July of 2015. This phase includes 4 public meetings in which the district is seeking input from residents and constituents. The goals and objectives that were identified by the Golf Advisory Committee in March were presented at the meeting.

A draft hole-by-hole conceptual plan was also reviewed with the Committee and the public and their comments were taken hole by hole. (see draft plan below)  

Sunset Valley Hole-by-Hole Draft Plan – 5-18-16

The next step for the project will be an edit of the plan by the District and the architect based on all public input. The next draft will be presented for further input at the June 22, 2016 Golf Advisory Committee Meeting, which will be held at West Ridge Center (636 Ridge Rd.) at 7 pm.


The next Sunset Valley Resident Golf Advisory Committee meeting will be held at West Ridge Center, 636 Ridge, on Wednesday, May 18 at 7 pm.    Rick Jacobson from Jacobson Golf Course Design will present the proposed course renovation first draft design.   Residents who wish to join the meeting remotely from a mobile device, computer or landline phone may click on the link or call the numbers below.

Join the meeting:
Join the Audio Conference: (404) 801-3225 or (734) 746-0035
Access Code: 486-524-399#

See Meeting Agenda 5.18.16



The Sunset Valley Resident Golf Advisory Committee Meeting was held on 3/23/16 for an overview of the renovation project and meet the project team.   The advisory committee will continue to meet on a monthly basis throughout the design phase to provide their input.  Follow-up committee meetings are scheduled at 7pm at West Ridge Center on the following dates:

May 18
June 22
July 13