DOWNERS GROVE, IL—In celebration of its 131st season, the Downers Grove Golf Club has been renamed the Belmont Golf Club to honor the history of this legendary course. Owned and operated by the Downers Grove Park District, the Belmont Golf Club is located at 2420 Haddow Ave. in Downers Grove, IL. The course officially opened for the season on Thursday, March 16, and tee times are available (weather permitting) online at the course’s new website at belmontgolfclub.org.
In 1892, Charles Blair Macdonald, the grandfather of American golf, designed the first nine holes west of the Allegheny Mountains in Downers Grove, Illinois, at Belmont Road. At this original site of the Chicago Golf Club, Macdonald designed nine more holes for the course in 1893, making it the first 18-hole course in the United States. By 1895, Chicago Golf Club members decided to build a new 18-hole golf course near Wheaton, Illinois, and abandoned the Belmont location.
In 1899, Herbert J. Tweedie and a group of friends formed the Belmont Golf Club on the site. As a founding member of the Belmont Golf Club, his first major accomplishment was to keep several of the original holes of Chicago Golf Club in play after their move to Wheaton.
The location of the 18 holes in Downers Grove are most famously known throughout golf history as Belmont Golf Club, one of the original courses of the western golf association founded in 1899. The current layout of the course features 6 holes that have had very minor changes to them dating back to the late 1800s. These holes are referred to as the “Original Six” and includes holes number 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, and 9.
Over the last two years, the Belmont Golf Club has completed exciting improvements to the site to enhance the visitor experience. On the course, bunkers on holes 4 and 8 were reconstructed. A moveable canopy was installed on the lesson tee to create a more comfortable private lesson experience. Interior clubhouse renovations included the expansion of the Pro Shop plus new furniture, flooring and countertops in the dining area. Outside the clubhouse, an expanded outdoor patio with stamped concrete and new furniture was completed last fall. To provide more shade and a unique entertainment space, a large pergola will be installed over the outdoor patio in the months ahead.
Ken McCormick, General Manager of the Belmont Golf Club, encourages golfers to visit over the coming year to play the historic course and see the exciting changes for themselves.
“We hope golfers will join us for our Belmont Golf Club Celebration this spring to dedicate the new name and kick off another great golf season,” said McCormick.
In celebration of the renaming of the course, a tournament and celebration will be held on Saturday, May 20. The event will include a team tournament followed by a dinner celebration to highlight the history of the course and the improvements the Park District has made over the years.
During the tournament, teams of four will compete against each other in a scramble format event with contests and prizes included. A shot gun start will begin at 2:30 pm. After the dinner, golfers can stay and enjoy a game of bags with your friends or just hang around and enjoy a beverage or two. The $50 fee per person includes greens fees, carts, prizes and dinner. To register your team for the tournament or to attend the renaming dinner celebration for $15, call the Clubhouse at 630.963.1306.