University of Illinois Picks Troon to Manage Atkins Golf Club
By Dave Daubert
The University of Illinois Athletics Department has chosen Troon, the world's largest golf management company providing service to over 585 locations around the globe, to oversee all operations at Atkins Golf Club in Urbana including golf, agronomy, sales and marketing.
"We are excited to partner with Troon for the management of the golf course operation at AtkinsGolf Club at the University of Illinois," said Jackie Szymoniak, Assistant Athletic Director of University Athletics. "Troon is recognized as a leader in golf management and particularly for developing premium golf course conditions and exceptional customer service, which is pivotal as we renovate and enhance the Atkins Golf Club. As progress continues with the golf course and clubhouse renovations, we feel confident that Troon will ensure our vision is upheld and that is an asset to the Fighting Illini golf teams and the overall Champlain-Urbana community."
Atkins Golf Club is an 18-hole public golf course located on approximately 190 acres. Formerly known as Stone Creek and designed by Tim & Dick Nugent in 1998, the course has served as the home course of the Fighting Illini men's and women's golf programs for over 20 years. In June 2020, the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that The Atkins Group donated more than 300 acres of real estate in southeast Urbana, highlighted by the Stone Creek Golf Club and its buildings and equipment to the University and the University of Illinois Foundation. In recognition of the Atkins Group's generosity, the golf course was renamed The Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois.
The University's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics owns the golf club, which was closed during the 2020 season while undergoing improvements. In November of 2020, golf course architect J. Drew Rogers was selected to help transform the course into a nationally recognized collegiate facility, while also providing the local community with a first-class golf experience. During the course refinement project, which is expected to take five to six months to complete, Rogers is adding length to the layout with new tees, while creating enhanced playing strategies through turf reduction and realignments of fairways as well as improving the presentation of the bunkers.
"This enormous gift will allow the Atkins Golf Club to transform itself into a nationally recognized facility to complement our existing 14,000 square foot Demerjian Indoor Practice Center and 24 acre Lauritsen Outdoor Practice Center," says the well respected Fighting Illini Head Golf Coach, Mike Small. The new Atkins Golf Club is expected to reopen for public play in the fall of 2021 with a newly renovated golf course.
"The University of Illinois golf program has as a tradition of excellence, and its home course should be representative of that," said Philip Martin, Troon's Senior Vice President and Head of Operations for the company's new Chicago office. "Troon is very excited to be on board at Atkins Golf Club and looking forward to enhancing the club, the University, and the local Champaign-Urbana community."
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Revised: 03/19/2021 - Article Viewed 6,263 Times - View Golf Course Profile
About: Dave Daubert
David has been writing about golf since the turn of the century. He was Managing Editor at a regional golf magazine for 11 years, published in Canada, the IAGTO and a Staff Writer for The Georgia Golf Trail. His insightful perspective brings golf to life.