Golf Board President Doug Short discussed the improvement program Monday morning at the course.
"As much as possible, we hope to return the course back to the original Pete Dye design," Short said.
Landscaping has been done around certain areas near the cart path on holes No. 2, 5 and 7. Holes have been filled all over the course and some sodding has been done.
Fourteen new pine trees were planted throughout the course. Twelve Bradford pear trees were added at the No. 1 tee area and the No. 8 rough area. Posts have been placed by the cart paths in various locations and roped off to protect high stress areas of grass.
A lot of work is in progress. A new sign is being erected on the west side of the course by the road just south of the clubhouse. The attractive brick structure will read "Forest Park Golf Course". A new tee area is under construction on the practice facility.
The 18th hole area is getting a complete new facelift. Concrete has been poured by the cart barn south of the hole to aid golf carts coming and going to the course.
"That improves the looks greatly and helps facilitate drainage," Golf Pro Mark Rogers said. "New flower gardens will be added around the 18th green area, also, to improve its appearance and the image golfers take with them as they leave the course."
Improvements will continue as money allows. The board plans to put in more bunkers. This Fall, Greens Superintendent Tom Cain will aerate and overseed all the fairways at a cost of approximately $7,000-$8,000. That was last done about five years ago.
Next spring Cain will try to implement a spraying program for fungus on the fairways. The project, which has never been done at the Forest Park course, will improve the quality and playing conditions of the fairways. It's subject to funding which will cost about $9,000.
The golf course is a self sustained organization but is only able to maintain, improve and meet many of its goals due to bequeaths, private donations and grants from the Clay Civic Memorial Foundation.
Anyone interested in donating to the Forest Park Golf Course either by estate planning, or monetary gifts can do so by contributing to or working through the Clay Civic Memorial Foundation. Donors to the Foundation can stipulate that their funds go to the golf course.
Time and labor have also been donated. The Forest Park Men's Club provided volunteer labor for the landscaping projects done on holes No. 2, 5 and 7.
Short said its been reported that, nationally, golf play has decreased the last three years. He thinks the decrease may be due to reduced discretionary income, aging of the population and that this generation of parents spend more time with their families.
"We hope to increase access of the course to kids, women and new players," Short said. "Families can spend time together on the golf course."
Vice President Garry Wolfe agreed and added, "Our ultimate goal is to increase play and provide continuous improvement of our facility.
"We want to provide a premiere recreational facility to attract new industry and offer quality living," Wolfe continued. "We hope to help make Forest Park the jewel of the Wabash Valley because of the quality of golf and its affordability."