Galesburg's Bunker Links is ready for a busy 2023. Here's what's new
The COVID-19 pandemic has done to little to disrupt revenue-generating operations and robust play at Bunker Links Golf Course, which has experienced record-setting numbers in recent years.
Galesburg's lone public golf course has attracted more golfers and made more money in the past two years than ever before, and course officials are anticipating more of the same in 2023.
Bunker Links general manager and golf professional Brian Luedtke said the course saw 29,000 rounds of play in 2022, a course record for rounds played in a single year.
"We had a bad spring and got off to a slow start," Luedtke said, "but the weather the rest of the year was great."
The course opened for cart-use last week. Weather permitting, the season could stretch into November.
Here's what locals can look forward to.
16 events already on the books
Groups who have scheduled outings this year starting in May are the Jeppie Memorial Golf Outing, followed in June by Relay for Life, the firefighter's tournament, the Galesburg High School baseball tournament, Timberlake, the United Way/Lolita Junk Memorial and Knoxville SAL.
Playing in July will be Peoria Sandtrappers and the Galesburg Public Schools Foundation. In August will be events for the Galesburg Lions Club, Knox County Crush, Galesburg Elks Club, Abingdon Legion and Shooting Stars. In September will be an event for the Knights of Columbus and in October, the Knox County CEO Golf Outing.
Better sights and sound
Golfers may notice an enhanced TV viewing experience and an upgraded sound system when they enter the clubhouse this year.
Also, some trees have been removed around the course. A new bridge will be build on No. 15 in the fall.
Fees are going up
Like most everything these days, Bunker Links fees will increase in 2023.
"The city felt with the minimum wage going up and gas prices going up, it was justified," said Luedtke, who supervises 20 part-time employees and two full-timers.
Through the month of March, however, the course is offering a spring special of $23 per 18-hole round with a cart and $15 for 9 holes.
After March, the fee for 18 holes with a cart will go up to $35, $30 after 1 p.m. and $25 after 4 p.m. The 9-hole rate with a cart will go up to $19.
Key dates to remember
Among the notable events on the Bunker Links calendar for the year include: the Masters Pool and Masters Pool Skins Game on April 5, the Seniors Only Super Ball on June 8, the Ladies Bixby Cup on June 14, the Bunker Links Ladies Invitational on June 15, the Money Ball tourney on July 6, the Ladies Bixby Cup on July 12, the Iowa PGA Junior 36-hole Classic on July 12-13, the first round of the Ladies All-City Tournament on July 18, the Ladies Bixby Cup on Aug. 9, the Bunker Links Super-Senior and Legends Aug. 10-11, the Men's Club Championship and Senior Aug. 12-13, the Cubs vs. Cardinals Tournament on Sept. 7. and the Year-End Four Person Super Ball on Oct. 7.
Dates on all the All-City tournaments have yet to be finalized. The men's and senior tourney will be held in early July, the junior tourney is slated for early August and the Best Ball tourney will open at Bunker Links on Sept. 10 before moving to Soangetaha County Club on Sept. 16 and Lake Bracken Country Club on Sept. 17.