Ravisloe Country Club was founded in 1901, when Theodore Moreau and James Foulis laid out a course for the members within what had previously been known as the Briggs Farm in Homewood, Illinois. Within a decade, another fifty-five acres of adjacent land was acquired, allowing the club to commission a William Watson redesign of the layout.
Following advice received from a number of top professionals such as Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, when it was suggested the course lacked a sufficient number of “traps and pits,” the club called in none other than Donald Ross to carry out a major renovation which lasted several years.
Approaching the club’s centenary celebrations, David Esler was called in to restore the course to its former glory and the results of this work received much critical acclaim. Unfortunately, falling membership numbers forced the club to close soon after, only for it to reopen as a public facility the following year, in 2009.
The course is far from long at only 6,300 yards, playing to a par of 70, with back-to-back par threes at the 6th and 7th and par fives at the 2nd and 3rd. Water comes into play on occasion, with the pond in front of the 7th green and the creek wandering through the 14th and 15th holes as the only significant aquatic hazards.
The feature hole on the back nine is the slightly right doglegged par five 13th, which is carved from dense woodland, with bunkers alternately lining either side of the fairway as it heads to an elevated green. The layout concludes with three par fours, the last of which is laden with more than a dozen fairway and greenside bunkers en route to the home green.
July 30, 2009