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Sunset Valley Golf Course Renovation

On Course for Exciting Changes

New Hole #4 rendering .

Take a Sneak Peek at the Sunset Valley Golf Club Renovations>

To review the Hole-by-Hole Renovation Plan, click here

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 featured some of the original 1920 elements, were 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:

Project Schedule

Clubhouse Design & Construction Documents: Feb – May 2017
Golf Course Construction: May 15 – Oct 2017
Clubhouse Bid: July 15, 2017
Clubhouse Bid Awarded: September Board Meeting
Clubhouse Construction: Oct 2017 – May 2018
Golf Course Opens: Aug 2018

Project Team

Jacobson Golf Course Design
Gewalt Hamilton & Associates
Woodhouse Tinucci Architects

Sunset Valley Golf Course is closed temporarily while the renovation project progresses.  With a strong fall and early spring turf growing season, the course is expected to re-open mid-summer 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

6/20/18 Update

Significant progress has been made both the inside and outside the Clubhouse at Sunset Valley Golf Club.  Outside the Clubhouse, the concrete patio and tent pad has been poured and cut, and the stone knee wall is complete.    Site excavation has been completed and prepared for asphalted areas sod on the north, east and south sides of the Clubhouse.  The patio trellis is currently being installed and is scheduled to be completed in the coming weeks.   Inside the Clubhouse, can-lighting and low voltage electric has been set and the HVAC system is installed.  Drywall has been completed and painting has begun.  Floors are being prepared for installation of bathroom, kitchen and bar tile. Glass doors and walls have been installed and the new look of the Clubhouse is finally starting to show from both the inside and outside. 

Additional projects at the SVGC site have also begun.  The conversion of the cart barn to accommodate the electrical golf carts is underway.  Power has been trenched from the clubhouse transformer to the cart barn and shelving to accommodate the charging stations have been installed.  Near the end of the June the parking lot lights will begin to be installed with anticipated completion in early July.


Parking Lot Lighting, Cart Barn Conversion and Car Charging work completed       July 9, 2018

Parking Lot Asphalt work to begin                                                                                       July 9, 2018

Landscaping work to begin                                                                                                   July 16, 2018

Clubhouse building/site construction substantial completion                                     July 20, 2018

All site work/projects completed                                                                                        August 3, 2018

Grand Opening                                                                                                                       August 10, 2018

5/16/18 Update

The recent rain has helped everything  ‘green up’ on the new course.  Hole #3 is almost fully ready and  Hole #2 is filling in and growing nicely.  It is expected that everything should be filled in by June and even more in July.    The biggest hurdles will be Holes #1 and #7 which will take time and good weather. 

5/1/2018 Update

Demolition of the clubhouse was completed in the month of April, making way for interior construction to begin. New underground plumbing has been installed, inspected, approved, and patched.  Layout for the Interior walls and doorways is completed, and drywall framing has begun.  Masonry walls have been repaired and constructed.  Ceiling framing has begun in the locker rooms and will continue throughout the building in the coming weeks.  The exterior of the building should start to progress in the coming weeks with the welcome of warmer weather.  Underground drainage lines are being installed and soon the concrete patio will be poured.  Construction is on schedule to be completed by early July. 

4/11/2018 Update

Demolition of the clubhouse site began the week of March 12 and is nearing completion. Work on the outside of the clubhouse  included the removal of landscaping vegetation, bushes and trees, asphalt, concrete pads and sidewalk surrounding the clubhouse as well as the starter hut, concrete slab, and light ballads.  Inside the clubhouse work included removal of existing drywall, plaster and gypsum on the walls and ceilings; doors, windows, framing and exterior wall for new storefront glazing were removed and boarded; flooring was removed;  locker rooms have been demolished; electrical and plumbing fixtures were removed; and a structural beam has been removed to allow for a consistent ceiling height.

Additional progress includes installation of the footings, foundation and piers for the outside patio that wraps around the north, east and south of the building and installation of down spout drains.   Inside construction will begin this week.

3/20/2018 Update

Bids for the Sunset Valley Golf Club clubhouse renovation were approved by the Board of Commissioners at the February meeting,  Construction crews are on site and demolition work at the clubhouse will begin this week. 

11/11/17 Update

The Golf Course renovation is finished! The weather has turned colder and germination has not occurred on the last two holes seeded (1 and 7).

  • Green covers are on the last two greens and tees to help encourage germination before freezing temperatures set in.
  • Final punch list items will be addressed this fall and spring.
  • Gewalt Hamilton is on-site  for  the final survey of the property. This survey will be submitted to the Lake County Storm Water Commission and the City of Highland Park to make sure the course is in accordance with flood plain requirements.
  • The cart paths will be sealed next year before opening.

10/19/17 Update

The Sunset Valley Golf Course Renovation will be finished this week. The last holes that will be seeded this week are holes #7 and #1. The picture to the left is a picture of the new signature hole 4 (par 3). 

9/14/17 Update

The course is taking shape! Grass is starting to germinate on hole #3 and the construction team should finish preparing and seeding all of the holes in October. The picture is 10 days post seeding of hole #3.

8/24/17 Update

Update on the Sunset Valley Golf Course Renovation Project for late August. 

  1. Bunker Construction has commenced. Hole #3 is completed and ready to be finished this Friday (8/25). The construction crew will be able to start finishing approximately 3 holes per week depending on weather.
  2. The rock wall on #4 is complete.  The green will be constructed in the next couple of days and the hole will be finished soon!

8/9/17 Update

Update on the Sunset Valley Golf Course Renovation Project for early August. 

  1. The pond expansion on #12 has started
  2. Over 5,000 yards of topsoil will be moved to the north side of the golf course to create landforms
  3. New landforms have been created between #10 tee box and #17 fairway

7/26/17 Update

Update on the Sunset Valley Golf Course Renovation Project for mid-July. Even with the rainy weather things are still moving forward at SVGC. 

  • The irrigation subcontractor has been onsite tying into the existing irrigation system. They will begin testing the system prior to seeding in the next couple of weeks.
  • The new green site for #5 has been shaped and drainage, pea gravel and greens mix have been installed. 

7/11/17 Update

The month of June started off with fantastic weather. However, the end of the month

• The new Park & Golf Operations building bioswale drainage system is seeded.
• Rototilling, staking and shaping of greens #1, #5, #6, #10, #11 and #14.
• Greens drainage, gravel layer and greens mix for #15, #17, #8, #9 and #16.
• Top soil is being redistributed to #3. This will be the first hole that will be completed. • The irrigation main line is currently being tested.
• The rock wall on #4 will be installed in the next couple weeks.
• The pond expansion on #4 is finished and work will begin on the pond expansion on #12.
At the end of July, Wadsworth will begin finishing the holes.  This will include fine shaping and seed bed prep. Sod will be installed around greens, tees and bunkers.has been abnormally wet. The course received 2.2 inches of rain in approximately four hours on June 29. The course was flooded for 24 hours until the canal receded. Current progress includes:
• The seed has germinated between on the pond bank between #16 and #17

Greens mix installed on #15 green

6/28/17 Update

The pond between Holes #16 & #17 has been completed and seeded.  And, green  complexes on #15, #17, #8, #9 and #16 are completed and ready for drainage, pea gravel and greens mix.

Pond between Holes #16 & #17

Green Complexes

6/14/17 Update

    • Pond Expansion between #16 and #17
    • POGO bioswale drainage system graded, surveyed and ready for rock and seed
    • Rototilling, staking and shaping of #12, #13, #2, #3, #10
    • Removal of irrigation heads and cutting and capping existing irrigation pipe (In-house)
    • The irrigation sub-contractor will reuse the irrigation heads that are removed and tie into the existing irrigation line where it is cut and capped
    • Removal of existing bunker sand (In-house). This sand will be redistributed to the areas that will be planted with fescue seed
    • New Storm water drainage system. This system will go out to Sunset Road along #9 Fairway per City permit requirements

Next steps include the pond expansion on #4 and #12. 70% of Sunset Valley sits in a floodplain. The improved drainage system and pond expansions created will help facilitate the water off the playing surfaces much faster.

5/3/17 Update

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.  

4/20/17 Update

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. 

2/9/17 Update

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.

9/7/16 Update

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

8/22/16 Update

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.

6/24/16 Update

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:

      • Tee re-grassing
      • Fairway re-grassing
      • Re-building 9 greens to meet USGA specifications
      • Renovate all existing bunkers and provide erosion control
      • Cart path replacement for areas that are in very poor condition
      • Address existing drainage system problems for the entire site and improve subsurface inlets
      • Modify and address fairway drainage where possible

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

      • Re-building additional 9 greens to meet USGA specifications (totaling all 18 greens)
      • Hole shaping and additional storm water management improvements
      • Multiple tee complexes to create different course lengths
      • Cart path re-routing and additional curbing features
      • GPS mapping which include as-builts for the drainage system
      • Hole #4 enhancement (larger lake and stone wall to reshape the hole)
      • Hole #5 enhancement (new green site which includes a longer hole)
      • Hole #12 enhancement (expansion of the lake)
      • Hole #13 enhancement (new green site which includes a longer hole)
      • Hole #16 enhancement (expansion of the lake)
      • Hole #10/#11 enhancement (includes a drivable par 4 and redesigned holes)

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.

5/19/16 Update

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.

5/2/16 Update

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

3/24/16 Update

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