History of FLGC
Learn about the rich history of the Fox Lake Golf Club
- May 1918 – Louis B. Mason began to lay out a 9-hole golf course on Dickson pasture called Waushara Golf Club and the course was ready for play in mid July. Frank Baker won the first club championship shooting a course record 89.
- July 1919 – Andrew Frank purchased the Tuttle estate which included the 90 acre golf course.
- June 1921 – A road was constructed to Ferguson’s Point, now known as Indian Point.
- December 1921 – Six men (J.M. Rodger, DeMott Church, L.B. Mason, C.M. Jones, A.C. Sager, and Frank Baker) met to begin the start of the new Fox Lake Golf Club.
- July 1922 – The new course was complete and ready for play. The new course was just south of the old Waushara Golf Club. Adrian Schlitzberg became the first club champion later that year.
- 1923 – The first four club tournament was held with Old Hickory, Portage, Watertown, and Fox Lake; Old Hickory was the winner.
- 1924 – There were 70 members of the Fox Lake Golf Club.
- May 1925 – The new club house was opened.
- June 1928 – A new clubhouse was opened with telephone and electricity. Frank Dolven, Fox Lake’s first professional, was hired.
- 1953 – The first tournament for junior boys under the age of 15 was held with Bing Eilers taking medalist honors.
- August 1954 – The first caddie tournament was held and won by Vincent Ptaschinski. The equipment shed was struck by fire and most of the equipment was severely damaged.
- 1961 – The club purchased its first gas powered rental cart.
- 1964 – The course was lengthened to just over 3,300 yards.
- 1972 – The course was re-rated to a 6,088 yard par 70.
- 1981 – A new Primary membership class was introduced.
- 1982 – The course was re-rated.
- 1988 – A new Manual Irrigation system for greens, tees, and fairways was installed in the fall. The board also authorized $20,000 in improvements to the clubhouse.
- June 16,1989 – The first ever Night Golf was played.
- 1995 – Tee times were instituted for playing golf.
- 1996 – Landscape Planners, Inc. drew up rough plans for a new nine holes on the land of Ken Perry.
- 1997 – Fox Lake Golf Club is in its 75th year of operation. Stockholders voted to buy land in Mackford Prairie, which would be traded to Ken Perry for his land east of the golf course.
Fox Lake Golf Club Builds New 9 Holes
The Fox Lake Golf Club was a 9-hole golf course built in 1922. It remained 9-holes until the spring of 2004, when an additional 9-holes was added making the golf course 18-holes.
The land was purchased in the mid-90’s with no real plan in motion for developing. The Board of Directors purchased the farmland from Ken Perry. Several years went by and some members were asking, “When are we going to expand to an 18 hole golf course?”
In 1999, an Expansion Committee was formed, with Tom Bath, Wayne Ruenger, Dennis Hollnagel, Ernie Jesko, Roger Steinhorst, John Schmid and Buck Hollnagel as members. The Board of Directors at the time authorized the committee to spend “X” amount of money to hire an architect to give them an estimate on the cost of 9 new holes. When the Expansion Committee saw these figures they just shook their heads, and more so were in “shock”. At that time, the new nine seemed to be a dead issue.
Then something happened to reopen the planning, and the Committee, once again, became hopeful. In the spring of 2001, Buck Hollnagel, Chairmen of the New Nine Project, was tending bar at Schaumburg’s Supper Club and overheard two customers talking about building a golf course. Randy Came and Shane Otto were in the process of building a new 18-hole course in Wales, Wisconsin, called “The Legends at Brandybrook”. Randy is from Idaho, but grew up in Green Lake and had built many courses in the past.
Buck made arrangements to talk with Randy about the Fox Lake expansion and after a few months, Randy was meeting with the Committee to give a proposal. They began to talk about “real costs”, and the figure was “too good to be true”. The plan cost was about one-third of the previous quote.
The proposal was presented to the Board of Directors and by a vote of 9-2, the Board accepted Randy’s proposal. Many of the Board members were skeptical of the cost, but after several meetings they decided to bring the proposal to the annual stockholder’s meeting. At the meeting, the stockholders voted to go ahead with the project.
The Expansion Committee became the general contractor on the project, doing a great deal of the leg work necessary to get quotes and bids to sublet the work out. This saved a lot of money. Without all of their work, the new 9 holes probably would not have happened. The Committee sent out bid requests for the various items and materials needed. This included the irrigation system, sand and gravel for the greens, seed, fertilizer, earthwork and the installation of the irrigation system.
They set a figure and used that figure for a budget, which was comfortable and could be met. When all the bids were in, they went to Farmers State Bank in Fox Lake and talked with Peter Wallace. He was very helpful and cooperative and a loan was received for the new 9 holes. Because of all the hard work of the Expansion Committee, the project was completed under the budgeted figure and Randy’s proposed costs.
In the fall of 2002, Randy Came and Shane Otto came to the golf course and laid out a routing plan for the new 9 holes. In the early part of October 2002, Rohlinger Construction of Lomira brought in their heavy equipment to start the major dirt work. The weather that year in October was not very good (wet and cold), but Randy and Shane managed to get all nine holes roughed in before Randy returned home to Idaho for the winter.
Randy and Shane returned in the spring of 2003, but once again the spring weather was not cooperating with the long-term plans. Rohlinger Construction finished the major dirt work, while Randy and Shane started to install the irrigation system. Randy shaped and formed tees and greens and dug the trenches for the irrigation system. Shane and local resident Chuck Willard laid the irrigation pipes, strung the wire, and attached and set the sprinkler heads.
In May the drain tile was installed. The surface of the greens started to take shape and was backfilled with pea gravel, with sand and peat being hauled in to spread. Final shaping and grading of the entire new nine began early in June in preparation of seeding. The seeding began with the rough areas, then the fairways and tee boxes. Finally, the final shaping and seeding of the greens was completed the last week of June. Except for growing the grass, the course was completed.
Randy, Shane, Chuck, and one man from Rohlinger built the new 9 holes in a little over 60 working days. This was about 3 1/2 months, even in bad weather. The project came in under budget and the majority of the Board of Directors were happy with what they saw completed.
The process of “grow in” of the grass started in late June and would continue to late August or so. Shane Otto and Chuck Willard were hired for this job. “Grow in'” means babysitting the new grass, 7 days a week. They make sure the seed receives the right amount of water, even with the very dry conditions. This was not an easy task, especially where the irrigation systems did not reach. With Shane and Chuck’s dedication, the course began to turn green. In mid August, mowing of some areas started and by late August, the whole course was being mowed. Due to the dry conditions, there are some sparse areas that might need re-seeding in the fall or spring, but overall the course is coming along well. By late August the maintenance of the course was turned over to Richard Lidtke (Grounds Superintendent) and his staff.
“The course is not done by any means,” said Buck. “We have to add trees, fix some wash outs, re-seed some areas; but for the most part, it should be ready in early 2004 for the golf season.” Improving it with trees and landscaping will be an ongoing process. The new nine has five water hazards; two larger ones and three that people say form a “happy face.” Tall fescue grass will divide the holes and add a kind of links look until the trees are planted.
Being under budget has allowed the Expansion Committee to make plans to have Randy and Shane back in late September or early October to update the irrigation system on the existing nine holes, which should begin shortly.
Depending on the weather this fall, how the new course winters and the weather next spring, the Fox Lake Golf Course Committee members are being optimistic about a May 1, 2004 opening date. Members of the Fox Lake Golf Club are excited about what they see and are looking forward to next year when they can actually play it.
With the addition of the new nine holes, the Fox Lake Golf Course will become an 18-hole facility. They will be able to serve their members and the public better. This is an “open to the public” course, with greens fee players always welcome. They will also be able to accommodate larger outings beginning in the 2004 golf season. Remodeling of the clubhouse to create an area for a pro shop has also been completed.