Bunker Hill Farms and Bunker Hill Charities

There is a saying that ‘charity begins at home’, and if your ‘home’ happens to be in Woodstock, Illinois and your career and business have flourished, and your financial resources have reached a plentiful position, why not utilize your home as a charitable endeavor?

That ‘home’ which is designated for charitable functions is a 7,300-square-foot, three level, luxury lodge located on a 450-acre property owned by Mike Domek. The lodge, built in 2005, has four bedrooms (3 located on the upper level; 1 located on the lower level), sky-high ceilings, and can accommodate 12 guests.

In addition, a 7000-square-foot wrap around terrace provides extra entertaining and relaxation space. It should be mentioned that this ‘home’ was originally intended as a family summer retreat house and was / is occupied by the Domek family only about 20% of the year. Mike’s primary residence is in Bull Valley, Illinois.

“In 2005, my wife and I saw this property and the dream kept building from there,” said Mike Domek, founder of Bunker Hill Farms. “We’ve expanded the original 150-acre area to 450 acres and are excited to keep adding experiences across this beautiful landscape. It started as our home away from home and now we want to share it with the country.”

Paramount among the numerous outdoor activities available at this 450-acre natureland is the unique and challenging 18-hole golf course (non-golfers may opt for fishing, skeet shooting, paddleboarding, or ATV trail touring). The designer of the Bunker Hill Farms course is landscape architect, Harry Vignocchi, known for incorporating ‘toughness’ into his golf routings; for example, his design of neighboring Bull Valley Golf Club has a rating of 77.2 from the back tees at 7325 yards / par 72 / slope 151.

Bunker Hill Farms Golf Course

Bunker Hill Farms Golf Course

With its fine fescue fairways and bent grass greens, the Bunker Hill Farms’ design is the pinnacle of uniqueness in that the 18 holes cover a mere sixty acres, and contain just eight greens; it has parkland golf characteristics in certain areas as well as links-style features in other areas. The routing for the opening nine holes differs from the routing of the closing nine holes.

Occasionally, fairways are shared, and the same green may be approached from differing directions on the same nine-hole routing. A well-guarded green serves as the finishing point for both the opening nine (#9 hole) and the closing nine (#18 hole).

The initial target green for the starting hole on the opening-9 is the same as for the starting hole for the closing-9, however, the tee boxes for hole #1 and hole #10 are at different locations, with hole #1 playing as a par-5 hole while hole #10 plays as a par-4 hole. Hole by hole flyover animations can be viewed at https://bhfarms.com/golf-course/.

Bunker Hill Farms - 7th Hole

Bunker Hill Farms – 7th Hole

With his credentials as a landscape architect, and with the financial backing of the wealthy landowner, Harry Vignocchi has sculpted a beautiful 60-acre golf course, the center of which contains two lakes. Two eye-pleasing features out on the course are an island tee and a 15-foot waterfall.

And as if mother nature hadn’t already contributed enough, on the golf course and at other locations throughout the property, 30,000 young trees (the entire stock of one nursery) have been added.

Harry Vignocchi’s Bunker Hill Farms creation is a dichotomy that contains ‘beauty virtues’ that are accompanied by ‘beast vices’. There is just one single set of tees at BHF that plays at 6709 yards. With several forced carries, well protected green complexes, large mounding, and a few imperceptible movements on the greens, the guesstimated slope at Bunker Hill Farms is 130.

Bunker Hill Farms

Bunker Hill Farms

Named as Chicago Golf Report’s most exclusive golf course in the Chicago area, the annual number of rounds played here totals roughly 250 per year. Most likely there will be only one group on any given day at Bunker Hill Farms. The golf carts feature Bluetooth speakers and fully stocked coolers.

While owning such a spectacular golf course that was hardly ever put to use, friends of Mike Domek asked him if he would donate a round of golf for charity, and it raised $8,000. “This ignited a fire,” says Domek, “and I started thinking about how I had this amazing place that was sitting empty 80% of the time and I wanted other people to enjoy it too. A lightbulb went off and I realized that a charity was the perfect way to do just that.” Thus, Bunker Hill Charities, an extension of Bunker Hill Farms, was founded in 2015 as an Illinois nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, offering customizable itineraries with exclusive full use of the property.

Bunker Hill Farms comprises two main areas: North – silo spa & garden, cottage, event venue, and shooting pavilion; and, South – luxury lodge, golf course, lake, and trails. The cottage is an upscale guesthouse featuring six king bedroom suites, a terrace and outdoor fireplace, fitness center and meeting space. Built in 2017, the 5800-square-foot space offers a truly Zen atmosphere nestled within the wilderness that can accommodate 12 guests.

Cottage and Silo Spa

Cottage and Silo Spa

The Silo Spa is a ‘two-fer’ destination and experience at Bunker Hill Farms. As a truly uplifting accommodation, take the elevator to the Silo’s private studio suite. And as a relaxation experience that is both ‘nearly heavenly’ and ‘down to earth’, the Spa offers an array of treatments with an unparalleled view from high above the treetops, while at the same time offering the ultimate perspective of the botanical garden below through the Spa’s glass floor panels viewable from your massage headrest.

While being the host for charity of golf getaways, corporate meetings, group retreats, and relaxing couples’ outings, the primary fund raising event at Bunker Hill Farms is the annual ‘Rockin’ The Hill’ live outdoor concert. This exclusive charity event launched with a bang in 2014 with Foreigner’s original front man Lou Gramm followed by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Cheap Trick.

Autographed Guitars

Autographed Guitars

Since the inaugural concert, Rockin’ the Hill artists have only gotten bigger and better! The list includes acts such as Randy Houser, David Nail, REO Speedwagon, Bret Michaels of Poison, Tesla, STYX, Old Dominion, Scott Stapp of Creed, and Steven Tyler & The Loving Mary Band. Since 2014, over 2.1 million dollars have been granted to BHF’s charitable partners through the funds raised at Rockin’ the Hill.

For further information about participation in any of the Bunker Hill Charities experiences contact: info@bhcharities.org
(Selected photos courtesy of BHCharities)


Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,300 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

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