Just a chip shot south of Rockford along beautiful Illinois Route 2 in easy-going Byron lies a magical golf course that plays like the best country clubs in the region, but costs like a muny. Sculpted out of an ancient landscape once home to majestic bison and other denizens of the wild, this is a big course with a big, generous heart.
Weaving its way through remarkable tall grass prairie and the remnants of old oak savanna and other hardwood stands, PrairieView is a golf course where you can breathe, relax and enjoy the beauty of the natural environs remarkably untouched by architect James Spear’s design.
As is the case with most exceptional golf courses, what Spear left is as important as what he added. What he removed was minimal – and what remains is an amazing, naturalistic example of God’s hand relatively untouched by man’s: a true rarity in the world of golf.
A mid-course pond menaces the right side of tricky par four #5, feeding a narrow, bubbling creek that comes into play on the long, lazy par five #2 and the somewhat more menacing par five #6. The creek feeds another, smaller pond that comes into play for long hitters on the dogleg par four #7 and gets everybody’s attention on the lengthy, challenging par three #8.
In all, 63 strategically placed sand bunkers dot the PrairieView’s18 fascinating holes. Home to many local, state and regional tournaments, PrairieView Golf Club stretches from just shy of 5,300 yards from the forward tees to nearly 7,200 yards from the daunting tips.
Simply put, this golf course has game to spare for golfers of any level – but is fair enough from the appropriate tees to make play fun for players of all levels.
At an average of 8,000 square feet, “sprawling” accurately characterizes the Penncross bent grass cultivar greens while the tee boxes and fairways consist of a Penneagle/Seaside/Emerald bent grass cultivar blend. The primary rough is Kentucky bluegrass – which you will be happy to be in rather than the tall grass prairie and abundant wildflowers and woods lining the rough on many holes.
Immaculately maintained by a talented GCSAA-certified superintendent and his dedicated crew, PriairieView’s conditions easily live up to those of the region’s finest clubs – while surprising golfers in the pro shop with surprisingly low greens fees.
A member club of the Chicago District Golf Association and proudly enrolled in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, PrairieView is home to more than just golfers; it hosts many species of wildlife and bird life, as well – much to the delight of golfers. There are no modern day live bison, however!
Just a short, pleasant drive south from Rockford along the meandering Rock River and Highway 2, PrairieView Golf Club is set on the edge of peaceful Byron astride a lofty hill that offers dramatic elevation changes on several holes on the challenging back nine, including a tight but potentially ego-pleasing downhill tee shot on homeward-bound #18.
Todd Tucker, Executive Director of Byron Forest Preserve District, had this to say about PrairieView Golf Club …
“PrairieView Golf Club is a gem. Honestly, it’s no coincidence the club is owned and operated by a respected, award-winning Forest Preserve District that restores and maintains so much land here in Byron. First and foremost, we are naturalists. Our mission is to save land for the benefit of nature itself and the enjoyment of the citizens of Byron – as well as visitors to our community. In that spirit, we decided to make the best golf course we possibly could, while altering the landscape as little as possible.”
“Here at PrairieView Golf Club,” Tucker continued, “your game will be challenged. And, all players are amazed at the experience of just being on this beautifully maintained property. It’s peaceful and relaxing here at PrairieView. It’s a wonderful place to get away from the daily grind.”
Tucker also addressed the new logo change PrairieView Golf Club recently pursued.
“We were inspired to chose the bison as our symbol,” he said. “Why? Because those majestic animals, which can weigh a ton, stand six feet tall and run 35 mph were at the very center of the biodiversity of this region up until the 1830s. They were very common here.”
“To tell the truth, I wish we could have live bison here now,” Tucker said. “But the bison silhouette in our logo will have to do. It serves as a reminder of the true grandeur of the land we are blessed to enjoy here in Byron – and our pledge to keep it as pristine as possible. The bison is an uniquely American animal, a true part of the heart and the heartland of our nation. It is a symbol of our natural heritage: of power, speed and biodiversity. We think it’s the perfect icon for PrairieView Golf Club.”
If you love the game of golf and you’ve never played PrairieView Golf Club – treat yourself soon. We suspect you’ll be planning your return visit before you make the turn. And, when you do visit PrairieView, be sure to check out the newest addition to our facility – our incredible new eight-bay Toptracer range: PrairieFire Golf + Grill. Complete with a full-service kitchen, fireplaces, a cozy bar and temperature-controlled hitting bays, PrairieFire will keep your passion for golf burning year ‘round – winter, spring, summer and fall. Click here to visit our PrairieFire website today.