By Sue Moore
Golfers can expect some new upgrades when they head to the area’s newest golf course, Angels Crossing Golf Club on W Avenue in Vicksburg.
More food choices will be offered this year since the course has acquired an outside grill to cook burgers and chicken breast sandwiches, says Jeff Rohrstaff, PGA pro and director of golf. Some other food items may be added to the mix, as well.
The large party tent will be equipped with electricity for the first time to meet the needs of wedding parties, graduation celebrations and other private gatherings, he says. A business plan was put together that, if achieved, will mean the course will break even and actually return about $45,000 to the village treasury.
The clubhouse gets new décor each year under the watchful eye of Rohrstaff, as he likes to make sure that it looks its best at all times.
The bar now has a liquor license and will be serving draft beer and some wines. The bar is watched over by Shannon Hilliard, manager of the food and beverage areas.
Others on the management team are Mike Tichvon, the superintendent and greens keeper; Scott DeClerck, Rohrstaff’s assistant; and Terry Brennan who works in the pro shop.
When Angels Crossing opened in 2005, it quickly won an award as one of the Top 10 public access courses in the state. It has 18 holes of picturesque fairways, huge greens and a brand new clubhouse.
Since its opening, It has been through the ups and downs of being privately owned, bank owned, and now Village-owned. It has been meticulously maintained since the Village acquired it in 2009.
In 2013, 23,000 rounds were played with expectations of upping that slightly this year if the weather is favorable. There has been minimal ice damage on the putting greens, tees and fairways, even though this has been a winter of heavy snow and freezing temperatures for three months, says Tichvon. Snow mold will be minimal because of the fall applications of a preventive throughout the 360 acres.
Opening day will need to wait until the snow melts, the fairways dry out sufficiently, and the winter debris is picked up, he says.
The course attracts golfers from near and far because of its unique beauty. Its rolling fairways border Portage Creek on the north side and Barton Lake on the west side.
It was designed by W. Bruce Matthews, with classic features inspired by courses found in Scotland in the early 1900s. The dream of the original owner was to transform the property that had been owned by Simpson Paper Company for many years. The paper mill was closed in 2002 by Fox River Paper Company and the site became available for new possibilities.
Many area people invested in developing the course as an economic development for the community. According to Rohrstaff, this looks like the year which could fulfill that early promise.