Sue Smith watches her drive on the first hole at Flagg Creek on Oct. 14. She is not surprised the course is so popular. (Photos by Steve Metsch) 

Sue Smith watches her drive on the first hole at Flagg Creek on Oct. 14. She is not surprised the course is so popular. (Photos by Steve Metsch) 

Flagg Creek Golf Course scores with record profit-sharing

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By Steve Metsch

Moments before teeing off with three friends, Maria Garino, of Willowbrook, said she wasn’t surprised Flagg Creek Golf Course posted its best year ever in terms of revenue.

“They have the best employees around. They have no ego. They come here, they do the job they’re asked to do and are perfectly happy to do it,” Garino said before teeing off on Oct. 14.

Her thoughts were echoed by her playing partners and starter Vince Cuomo.

“The grounds crew does a great job. We get a lot of steady patrons who come the same time every week. And, we’re close to Chicago,” Cuomo, of Melrose Park, said.

The success of Flagg Creek was a topic at the Oct. 12 Countryside City Council meeting when Ald. Tom Frohlich (1st) said Countryside and the Pleasant Dale Park District will split $230,323 in profit sharing from the golf course.

“Flagg Creek currently has a bank balance of $580,000,” Frohlich said. “Less the required reserve of $150,000 and the additional reserve of $200,000 for repaving the parking lot and lighting, that leaves a profit sharing payable of $230,323.”

The council unanimously approved the profit-sharing plan. The total is a record high, Mayor Sean McDermott said.

“Hats off to everyone who’s working on managing that golf course because that is a significant amount of money,” McDermott said. “We’re doubling what we’ve done previously.”

The mayor noted that Flagg Creek – which opened in July 1993 – this year was ranked fifth by Chicago Golf Report among best nine-hole courses in the area.

The website praised Flagg Creek’s putting green, driving range, short game practice areas and how Greg Martin designed the course where Maplecrest, a 12-hole course, once was.

“Martin’s design philosophy for the new Flagg Creek was a course that is suitable for players of all levels. There are no forced carries to scare juniors, women and seniors, but there are risks that the low handicapper can take. The course has four par-4s including the 403 yard ninth, four par-3s and the fifth hole a tricky 466-yard par-5,” the review said.

The city and park district are co-owners of the golf course.

“We expected (profit sharing) would be a good number,” Frohlich said. “More people have discovered the golf course during the COVID time and they’re still coming back.”

‘They have good management in there, too,” added Frohlich, who chairs the Flagg Creek Advisory Board.

Also golfing with Garino on Oct. 14 was Sue Smith, of Indian Head Park. Smith, who worked for 15 years at the golf course, said having nine holes makes a difference.

“People can stop at play after work, before work. It’s great for kids. Great for beginners. They have some great leagues you can join. It’s not your typical nine holes,” Smith said.

Smith said her husband called the ninth hole “the hardest par-four you’ll ever play.” With that in mind, she said, “If I bogey it, I’m ecstatic.”

Smith offered some advice for newcomers playing the ninth hole with its narrow fairway and strategically placed pond guarding the green.

“Don’t ever add up your score before you get to that hole,” she said.

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