The proposed renovation plan for Medinah Country Club Course #3 that was originally announced in November 2019 will proceed. The members of Medinah Country Club recently voted to move forward with a master plan for Course #3, which was originally designed by Tom Bendelow and redesigned by Rees Jones. Course #3 has hosted five major championships: three U.S. Opens (1949, 1975, 1990) and two PGA Championships (1999, 2006), as well as the Ryder Cup in 2012.
Two years ago, the club announced announces the retention of an Australian golf course architecture firm OCM Golf, led by US Open Champion Geoff Ogilvy, Mike Cocking, and Ashley Mead, an international golf course design and architecture firm. The group assisted Medinah Country Club in developing its Course #3 master plan.
The complete 18-hole renovation, at a cost of $23.5 million, will also include three new holes. The renovation will begin in 2023 and the course will reopen in 2024. Medinah Country Club Course #3 will host the 2026 Presidents Cup.
“It is with great excitement that I can announce that the members voted with overwhelming approval of the Course #3 Master Plan,” said Medinah Country Club President William R. Kuehn. “This renovation is especially timely as the club looks forward to hosting the 2026 Presidents Cup.”
According to the club, the design will honor the best elements of the course’s history and current layout while developing opportunities to strengthen the overall golf experience. Additionally, the renovation will address course infrastructure improvements necessary to provide ideal playing conditions as well as modifications to support professional tournament operations.
OCM’s Ogilvy said, “We feel incredibly humbled and honored that the Medinah Country Club membership voted in favor of our plan. It’s a huge sign of confidence that the members are as excited with our concept as we are, and we can’t wait to get planning started in 2022.”
Kuehn added that this plan “encapsulates a continuing vision to provide compelling tournament play and a world-class golf experience for members, guests, and the professional tournament player.”
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Geoff Ogilvy, Mike Cocking, and Ashley Mead were heavily influenced by playing and studying the sand-belt courses and by Alistair Mackenzie, who helped design Augusta National Golf Club and Cypress Point Club in the United States and Royal Melbourne Golf Club (West Course) in Australia.
Medinah Country Club is Chicago’s best known and most frequented major championship venue with three US opens, two PGA Championships, the 2012 Ryder Cup and the 2019 BMW Championship. It was founded by a group of Shriners in the 1920s and is the only 54-hole private club facility in Chicago area. It also boasts three world-class golf courses which can be enjoyed by members and their guests.
There have been several renovations to the Medinah Country Club golf courses and its facilities in the last decade, including the rebuilding of Course #2 after a series of restoration programs that lasted over a year. The Course #2 renovation catered to the future of golf by customizing seven tees on each of the holes so that it can be accommodating to any skill level.
On all the three courses, greens were remodeled in the past decade to comply with the specifications of the USGA and were furnished with sub-surface vacuums and the addition of gas-exchange capabilities. Other turfgrass upgrades include:
- A sand mix that provides the scope for internal drainage on tee boxes
- Rototilling, grading and reseeding for fairways
- The bunkers that were installed were equipped with sub-surface draining and erosion liners and used of the a similar type of sand
- The same Creeping Bent Grass was used to replant greens, fairways and tees. Kentucky Bluegrass was used for the roughs.
Here are the most recent renovations for all three courses at Medinah Country Club:
Course #1: Renowned golf course architect Tom Doak undertook the reconstruction and design which was acclaimed by Golf Magazine as 2014’s best private renovation.
Course #2: Renovation completed in 2019 by Rees Jones.
Course #3: In 2011/2012, Rees Jones redesigned Course No.3 in 2012, before it hosted the 2012 Ryder Cup. It also hosted the PGA Championship in 1996 and 2006, the US Open in 1949, 1975 and 1990, and 3 Western Opens in 1946, 1962 and 1966. Several other prestigious events in the pre-PGA tour era were also hosted here and featured legends like LightHorse Harry Cooper. Tiger Woods won both PGA Championships hosted by the club, which also hosted the BMW Championship in 2019.