Golf Chicago!
Greg Miles
Greg Miles
Sweet Home Chicago North
by Greg Miles

Foxford Hills to Open

Financial analysts have been telling the nation over the past few months that our economy has been in a slump; so, for many of us, our budgets have been recalibrated toward hamburger, beer and rhinestones; while our tastes still aspire to filet mignon, champagne and diamonds. Well, there is very good news for everyone, wealthy or not, who always seeks to get more for their money. Town & Country Homes is about ready to open Foxford Hills Golf Club—a new upscale public golf course in Cary, Illinois.

Many centuries ago, receding glaciers created a mild undulating effect on the land in the Fox Valley area of northern Illinois, which then evolved into a thick hardwood forest. In this area, over the past 200 years, a percentage of the trees have been forested, but the beauty and characteristics of the hardwoods remain, and this stunning land has been put to a wide variety of uses. Roughly a century ago in Cary this plot of land was used as a mink farm. But presently, Town & Country Homes has begun development of its 325 acre Fox Valley plot, changing it from a land of fine furs into a land of fine family housing complete with golf course.

Of prime importance to golfers, Town & Country Homes decided to allow the golf course to be designed and built first, ahead of the placement of any of the 374 planned home sites. And Town & Country Homes selected Tim Nugent, of Nugent Golf Associates, to be the course architect and GolfVisions, owned by Tim Miles, to be general manager of Foxford Hills Golf Club operations. Both ‘Tims’ are local north suburban products, and bring years of experience to the project.

Tim Nugent is the son of noted golf course architect Dick Nugent, whose famous designs include Koolau in Oahu, Hawaii (the nation’s toughest course; with a slope of 162), Heritage Bluffs in Channahon and of course, Kemper Lakes in Long Grove. Golfers coming to play Foxford Hills will find a striking similarity in Foxford’s 15th, 16th and 17th holes to those of Kemper’s 11th, 12th and 17th holes. Tim Nugent says, “Foxford’s 15th and 16th are on land similar to 11 and 12 at Kemper, and 17 at Foxford Hills also has a peninsula green, but is a little shorter than the famous par-three 17th Kemper.” The younger Nugent calls these three holes at Foxford Hills “a tribute to his father’s Kemper Lakes design”. There is a temptation to nickname n Foxford Hills Golf Club the “son of Kemper Lakes”. Nonetheless, there is plenty else at Foxford Hills that allows this new course to speak for itself.

The first six holes of Foxford Hills play on open land; a small number of trees are present on the final holes of the front side. The back nine plays into a beautifully wooded area. A total of twelve ponds and one re-circulating stream enliven the course. Eleven of the holes were seeded in the spring of 2001 and the remaining seven were seeded in October of the same year.

Each hole at Foxford has a feature that makes it memorable. Of special note are two waterfalls. The first is adjacent to the 9th green, while the other adds beauty and difficulty to the green at the par-three 17th. The opening hole, named “Easy Rider”, is a straightforward, short par-4 that gets the round underway; a dogleg-right par-five follows. Hole #4 (Valley of Sin) has no bunkers, but features a 10-foot deep valley to the right and in front of its green. Nicknamed “Isle of Capri”, the 5th has a lake fronting its green. After a long par-five 6th, which includes 16 of the courses’ 60 bunkers, the medium length par-four 7th hole features a split fairway with scenic apple and elderberry trees along the left side of the left fairway. A chance for an ace or a birdie follows on the short par-three 8th hole that prefaces the downhill par-four 9th.

The inward nine’s opener is a par-five with an undulating fairway. Other notable features on the back nine are beach bunkers on the short par-four 12th hole, a pond with a boulder wall fronting the entire width of the 15th, a well-bunkered medium length par-three 13th hole, the course’s second waterfall adjacent to the peninsula green at the par-three 17th hole. There are also plenty of tall elm, ash and cottonwood trees to provide a mature look and feel to the back nine.

The course plays to a par of 72 and balanced at 36-36. There are two par-threes, five par-fours, and two par-fives on each side. Foxford Hills offers five sets of tees placed at distances totaling 5045 to 7006 yards.

GolfVision’s Tim Miles believes that a visit to Foxford Hills provides “a fun round of golf on a truly championship course”. Keeping the fun in the game is paramount to the Tim Miles philosophy. “We will keep the rough cut to 1 inch not 2 1/2 inches, so that our golfers can find their off-line shots more readily”, he said. Here’s another fact that will help keep rounds enjoyable at Foxford Hills—much forethought has been given to the asphalt cart path pattern along with the drainage grids so that there will rarely be cart path only restrictions at Foxford Hills. Walking is available, but take note, there are some distances from the green to next tee.

For 2002, the price for a round at Foxford Hills is $65 weekday (M-TH) and $75 on the weekend. “We want the daily fee golfer to become aware of our course; to come out and try our course; and to return to replay our course. Hence, Foxford Hills will advertise extensively, include coupons, and offer various discounts, “ says Tim Miles.

Opening day is scheduled for Father’s Day weekend, and while the permanent clubhouse is being constructed, the pro shop and grill are housed in a sizable 1500 square-foot trailer. When ultimately completed, the permanent clubhouse will be a 5200 square-foot southern country style building with wrap-around porch. A driving range will be adjacent to the clubhouse with grass stations and mats and will hit toward the woods of the McHenry County Nature Conservatory.

With its mix of significantly different hole designs and features, Foxford Hills Golf Club is a track with better variety and better value.

Address: 1410 S. Rawson Bridge Road, Cary, IL 60013; phone: 847-639-0400

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Last Updated:7/11/02