As 20 area couples chipped in $2,000 each, they dreamed of one day building a golf course.


As 20 area couples chipped in $2,000 each, they dreamed of one day building a golf course.

Some even signed a bank note for the money, which was a lot of cash in 1957.

Their dream, however, led to the beginning of Arrowhead Country Club.

With only $40,000 from those couples, Arrowhead opened as a nine-hole course.

Four of those original founding members still belong to the country club  — Rose Allen, Maude Mullen, Ted and Clara Faner and Evie Williams.
Arrowhead celebrated its beginnings with a ribbon cutting, couples scramble and celebration June 6 and 7.

Intent on making their dreams come true, it was no joke when a large group gathered April 1, 1958, to adopt a constitution and bylaws and choose the first slate of officer.

By May that year, Arrowhead’s members soared to 176 people. The next month, they hired a golf course architect.

By the summer of 1959, construction began on the first nine holes. Cost of the dream was $32,000, and it opened in June 1961.

Groundskeeper Roy McIntyre cared for the greens and fairways.

That same year, members secured a loan for $100,000 to build the lower level of the clubhouse, as well as other facilities.

In the fall of 1961, the clubhouse doors opened. But the memberships’ dreams continued.

They wanted to add a swimming pool, which opened the following summer.

Authorized membership increased to 300, and by 1963, that was achieved.

Eight years later, a second nine holes were completed, and membership approved constructing the second part of the clubhouse and two tennis courts. Authorized membership increased to 400, and Arrowhead hired its first club manager — Ken Bornsheuer.

Eventually, three cart sheds were added to store members’ golf carts, and dredging of the lakes started in 1978 to provide adequate water and better fishing.

McIntyre retired in 1978, and Bruce Anderson became the new greenskeeper.

During the annual membership meeting in 1979, approval was given for completion of lake dredging, watered fairways and clubhouse renovation.

Much building took place in 1980 — addition of the clubhouse deck, pipe laid for watered fairways and cleaning of the big lake.

Watered fairways became a reality in 1981, and the country club hosted the Class A high school state boys’ golf finals from 1982-87.

After Bornsheuer retired, Jim Haynes was employed as club manager.

Statewide fame came in 1986, when Patty Ehrhart won the Illinois State Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament.

By 1988, membership approved refinancing the club at $400,000, using that money to improve the course, clubhouse, pool and lake, as well as construct a new pro shop.

Two practice tees opened in 1992, and a shag range began operation.

Haynes retired in 1997, with Ron Ghidina coming on board as director of golf.

When Anderson left in January 2000, Reid Kolberg advanced to superintendent of grounds and greens.

Several new updates took place during the winter of 2000.

In the ballroom/banquet area, a new bar area, oak woodwork, large windows overlooking the course and lakes, wallpaper, carpeting, ceiling, lighting and furnishings were added.

A new deck on the west side of the clubhouse hooked up with the existing deck.

Both the women’s and men’s bathroom were enlarged and completely renovated, including wheelchair accessibility and wall-to-wall ceramic tiling.

That spring, three new pools were installed — a four-lane lap pool, a 12-foot diving well and a shallow kiddy pool.

A private poolside adult deck was constructed, and the patio areas equipped with new umbrella tables, chairs and grills.

A new golf course irrigation system was installed in June 2003.

The club has a state-of-the-art dual row automatic underground irrigation system.

When Shawn Crabel departed in November 2006, Sandi Elwell became club manager, overseeing all clubhouse management, including business and administrative duties, member relations, the bar, snack shop and swimming pools.

Bill Kraft, the club’s president from 1988-92, is once again the club president.

To date, Arrowhead has 395 members.

One thing officials say has not changed at Arrowhead Country Club is the club’s original intention — to provide “a family oriented private club offering golf, swimming, fishing, camping and picnicking on over 200 acres of rolling countryside, lakes and steams ... where members work together to create an atmosphere of pride and fellowship.”