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EUREKA — Trustees of Eureka's golf course plan several improvements, including more trees, as the course enters its 97th season.

The plan includes replacing damaged and misplaced trees with species that are easier to maintain, including oak, maple, evergreen and ornamentals, said trustee Mitch Davis. “Kaufman Park Golf Course has always had a lot of trees, and we would like to maintain that reputation,” he said.

Golfers and the public can help by making donations at varying levels.

The course, 800 W. Center St., also will see replacement of all sprinkler heads in order to evenly water greens. Tee boxes will be reseeded, and fairway turf will be improved. The clubhouse will be upgraded with LED lighting and new exterior paint.

The course recently purchased some equipment, Davis said, which is a “big deal” because “in the past we have had to borrow equipment from board members and others.”

The purchases include a John Deere tractor with loader, a used 100-inch zero-turn mower and a used aerator. 

The course is a not-for-profit entity and receives no tax dollars or outside funding. “All our revenue comes from season passes, greens fees and cart rentals, along with our annual July fundraiser, the Duane Nussbaum memorial outing,” Davis said.

The course offers a ladies’ league on Tuesday mornings throughout the golf season, with optional evening play. Senior men play weekdays at noon, and a men’s league plays Thursday evenings beginning in mid-May.

Eureka was one of the first communities in Central Illinois to have a golf course, according to late historian Burrus Dickinson in his book, “History of Eureka, Illinois.” Members of the Commercial Club proposed the idea in fall 1921. They reached an agreement with Ben J. Kaufman to build a course on land he owned just west of the city.

Play began with just five holes, which expanded to nine in later years. Originally called Eureka Country Club, it was renamed Eureka Golf Course upon its charter as a nonprofit organization in 1941. Kaufman later deeded the land to trustees to “provide a park for the public use of the community, either for a golf course or for other park purposes at the discretion of the trustees,” Dickinson wrote.

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