It’s hard to think of Bloomington-Normal without thinking of golf.
The neatly manicured greens of the golf courses have become almost as prevalent in the Midwestern state as its ever-growing crops of corn and soybeans.
“Golf is big in this area‚” says Laura Provost‚ associate director of the Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University.
“Traditionally this area has been a business community and a lot of business people play golf. It’s also a health-awareness type community‚ and people enjoy walking outside for the spirit of it.”
The Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University was designed in 1964 and has maintained its status as one of the more popular courses in the area. The 6,730 yard, par 71 course accommodates approximately 30,000 rounds per year and hosts more than 100 tournaments and outings. During the 2000 season the course was closed to undertake an extensive renovations project designed and coordinated by PGA Tour Player and ISU Alumnus D.A.Weibring and his company, Golf Resources, Inc.
Another popular course is The Den at Fox Creek‚ which opened in 1997 as a Championship Arnold Palmer Signature golf course and is part of the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. The department also oversees two other courses‚ Prairie Vista and Highland Park.
“We’re some of the best golf that you can find in the state of Illinois‚” says John Kennedy‚ director of golf for the City of Bloomington.
Designed by Roger Packard, Ironwood Golf Course is Normal's full-service golf facility. Opened in 1990, it features a par 72 championship layout with four water hazards and four sets of tees. There also are a grass tee driving range, large practice putting green and practice bunker.
Golfers of all ability levels may improve their game at The Golf Academy at Ironwood, which is directed by Professional Golf Instructor Craig Onsrud.
The twin cities ranked among the top five in a 2005 Golf Digest survey of the nation’s best cities in which to play golf‚ and the magazine also gave a four-star rating to Prairie Vista Golf Course.
Other top venues in the two cities include Crestwicke Country Club‚ the Golf Learning Center‚ Highland Park and Royal Links.