For half a century, club has attracted golfers from throughout the region
MCNABB — Founded in 1968, the course at Edgewood Park Golf Club has since become a destination for golfers from throughout the region.
Starting with nine holes and no water hazards, the popular links were reconfigured in 1995 by well-known designer Jim Spears into a full 18-hole, 6,600-yard regulation course with a variety of challenges and a rating of 71.7. The course’s signature hole is No. 14, a 513-yard par five.
“I’ve been coming here for five years and really enjoy the course, the friendly people and the great layout,” Don Goebel, of Henry said.
Privately owned, Edgewood Park has approximately 220 members and is open to the public. Members also enjoy reciprocal benefits with several other area courses, and tee times can be scheduled through the popular website GolfNow.
Board members said joining GolfNow has increased interest in the course and has helped expand knowledge of Edgewood Park beyond the local area.
The links are the home turf of the Putnam County and Henry-Senachwine high school golf teams, and both the district and sectional high school tournaments are hosted by Edgewood Park, as well. The Putnam County team has qualified for the state competition for the past two years.
Additionally, they’ve also hosted both the Illinois Valley Women’s and Men’s Invitational Tournaments, as well as being the home of the PC Booster Club Tournament and other fundraisers.
To help nurture new interest in the game, Edgewood has recently held a three-day Kids Camp for 31 children, in grades 1-8, which taught them the important fundamentals of the game and the associated etiquette.
Edgewood Park golfers can hone their short game on the practice green, make use of a chipping area, and can also practice their swing with the newly added driving range, complete with targets and ball rental.
Par has recently been increased from 72 to 73 (36 on the front nine and 37 on the back) because of a change to the 13th hole.
“Our new shoot on 13 has made a par 4 into a par 5, and a lot of our players love the additional challenge,” Edgewood Park Manager Connie Casford said.
The new shoot will be a nightmare for any duffers who struggle to keep their ball straight and true. With a narrow window to the fairway and bordered heavily by trees, shots must travel above multiple sections of a winding creek and a steeply graded rough, which will undoubtedly be consuming a lot of balls.
For the 19th hole, the clubhouse offers sandwiches, a bar and a pro shop. A supper club adjacent to the clubhouse is unfortunately no longer open, but Casford was hopeful a new owner will reopen it eventually.
Board members said while the course has many local golfers, it also regularly attracts players and members from Peoria, Henry, Ottawa, Streator, Tonica, Princeton, LaSalle-Peru and the rest of the Illinois Valley region.
Dale and Cathy Myers, of Streator said they loved the course from the first round they played at Edgewood Park, and added they became members as soon as there was an opening five years ago.
“We like that it’s 18 holes and that it’s a nice course. It’s the best in the area, and everyone is so friendly here,” Cathy said.