Two days after the Tornado, when I made my first visit to Hillcrest, the look ahead toward the road to recovery was daunting. The scope of what had to get done was immense and it took several hundred volunteers to pull it off. From church groups, civic organizations, golf teams and friends of Hillcrest the tasks at hand were completed. Golf courses and vendors from around the state came together to get Hillcrest what they needed to get back on their feet. Golf Course Superintendents from Chicago and across the state organized to provide equipment, seed, chemical and tools to help in the process. Vendors donated everything from top soil to consulting services in order to expedite the process. This was true collaboration among the golf industry and one that I can say I was proud to be a part of. That is how our industry works, we willingly help those in need and that is a beautiful thing in a highly competitive industry! No one looking for recognition or an advertising opportunity they just wanted to help.
|18 Green 2 days after the Tornado|
|18 Green Today after grow in|
|June 11, 2014 Hillcrest Opening Day...Jr. Day!|
|A look across the course 2 days after the tornado|
|A look across the course today|
There is still plenty of work to be done and it will get completed in time but for now Hillcrest is open and back to introducing people of all ages to the great game of golf. It has been a very rewarding experience for me personally. Having the opportunity in getting to know Brian and Chuck has been great. I do not know of two better men who could deal so well with the plethora of challenges that they were faced with. They completed each task while looking for the next challenge ahead. Out of this terrible tragedy I have been rewarded. I have 2 new friendships in Chuck and Brian and I am the lucky one!
The driving range should open soon and step by step Hillcrest Golf Center, like the rest of the community, is getting back on course! GOLF STRONG
P.S. I would like to thank my intern from Michigan State University, Brett Vander Heide, for his efforts at Hillcrest. He had one of the most interesting internship projects I have ever seen. He worked with Superintendent Chuck Bishoff in getting the course repaired for the 2014 season. Thanks Brett!