Two local golf courses, Aspen Ridge Golf Course in Bourbonnais and Shamrock Golf Course in St. Anne, recently changed ownership.
The owners of Alexander Equipment in Bourbonnais, Jerry and Matt Alexander, sold Aspen Ridge to Brian Rogers in May. The par-70 course totaling 6,191 yards is at 1663 E. 4000N Road (Larry Power Road), just north of Northfield Square mall. It first opened to the public in 1998.
“I play there a lot regularly, and I’d been looking for something to do,” Rogers said of the purchase. “The opportunity arose, and I took it.”
Rogers, 59, sold his eight TD Pete’s gas stations five years ago and had some free time on his hands.
“I sold my business in 2016, so I had been looking for something new,” he said. “I was doing part-time gigs on the side until this.”
Aspen Ridge has 12 mostly full-time employees and is managed by Mark Frechette.
The Alexanders bought the course in 2016 and made some much-needed improvements. The course has a driving range and a clubhouse with snacks and beverages, including beer.
“We just thought it was the perfect time to sell,” Matt Alexander said. “[Rogers] spent a lot of time there, and there’s not a better guy than him.”
Rogers said he’s taking this first year of ownership to observe before making any changes, if necessary. The course is still open daily.
“Any day the weather permits,” he said of the course’s hours of operation. “No carts if there’s any frost.”
The course opens 45 minutes after sunrise and closes 30 minutes prior to sunset, according to its website. The course also offers league play on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There are currently five leagues.
“We’re potentially adding more,” said Rogers, who plays in the seniors league that tees off at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. “It’s kind of why I bought the place. It’s very popular and very fun. It’s just a great group of guys.”
Despite another golf course in the region — South Shore Golf Course in Momence — closing a few years ago and the Manteno Golf Course up for sale, Rogers wasn’t deterred by investing in Aspen Ridge.
“I’m not sure what happened at Manteno,” Rogers said of the course recently being put on the market. “I hope someone steps up and buys it. I think it’s a good time for the golf industry. I do.”
For Shamrock Golf Course in St. Anne, it was purchased on Nov. 19, according to a posting on the course’s Facebook page. Matthew Surprenant was listed as the owner, according to golflink.com, and Matt and Tricia Surprenant referred to themselves as owners on the post. The post, in part, stated: “After meeting with several potential buyers throughout the year, we are so excited to announce that the Kaufman family is purchasing Shamrock. Kamden Kaufman will be the primary operator and brings intelligence, energy, and excitement. He will no doubt do an outstanding job caring for the grounds and improving conditions. His father, Kent Kaufman, and Uncle, Billy Kaufman will also be involved and bring considerable business experience. Together they bring renewed enthusiasm that will bring positive changes to the course and our community. Kamden, Kent, and Billy are the exact buyers we were hoping would purchase Shamrock.”
The course closed for the season on Nov. 15 and will reopen sometime in the spring of 2022.