Longtime Lauderdale Lakes resident Lawrence Myers sits beneath the freshly restored water tower, named for his grandfather who is credited with designing the Lauderdale Lakes County Club’s course. Myers funded the costly project as well as the scenic Myers Park which has also enhanced the lake district-owned course.

By Maureen Vander Sanden

SLN Staff

While Lauderdale Lakes Country Club touts spectacular views of Don Jean Bay’s sparkling waters, a recent upgrade to the nine-hole course has given golfers even more reason to enjoy hitting the links locally.

In an effort to improve the 45-acre course, while giving homage to its rich history, lake resident Lawrence Myers got to work more than a year ago pitching plans for the restoration of the country club’s historical landmark water tower, and the creation of Myers Park.

He began by digging into records at the Walworth County Register of Deeds office last year, where he learned his grandfather, Edward H. Ravenscroft, bought the course in 1933 from a group that also owned the historic Sterlingworth Hotel.

The group was about to default on notes held by State Bank of Elkhorn, Myers said, before his grandfather made the purchase and redesigned the course to today’s layout.

After months of planning and construction, matched with thousands of dollars, Myers vision for LLCC came to fruition recently during the 2012 season.

What was previously considered an “eye soar” according to LLCC General Manager Chris White is now a source of pride for those living in the Lauderdale Lakes Lake Management District, which owns the near century-old country club.

Before Myers stepped in to fund the project, the 1920s water tower, once used to supply the club house, was in disrepair – it’s footings failing, wooden catwalk reduced to a couple boards, and roof missing, while trees and surrounding brush were slowly overtaking the aging structure.

Renamed Ravenscroft Tower, it now stands proudly on the eighth fairway projecting a colorful image of the area’s lake and rolling hills, complete with an impressive steel ladder to the catwalk- skirted tank, and a sturdy roof.

“I’m really happy with the way it turned out,” Myers said last week from under the transformed structure framed by fresh landscaping. “I was really happy to do this, something had to be done. It was really to the point where it might have been dangerous,” he said.

White said he is pleased with the projects’ outcome as well.

“We’ve gotten some very positive responses. (The water tower) was dilapidated. It really is a landmark to this country club,” he said.

“Everyone appreciates what Larry did, that’s to say the least,” he added.

But to the 71-year-old retired investor, seeing others enjoy the course where his family has left a mark makes his efforts most rewarding.

The course design hasn’t changed since Ravenscroft take it over in the 30s.

“I played a lot of golf courses, and even though its just nine holes, it’s difficult – with probably the smallest green in the world,” Myers said of his grandfather’s design.

White agreed.

“It’s like stepping back into time to golf this course,” he said.

“Yes, it’s a throwback,” Myers chimed in.

He hopes to do more work in the future to add to its vintage feel.

“In the ‘30s, each hole had its own name. We want to go back to that, so we’re looking for ideas that would reflect the history of the area,” he said.

He also wants to see more groups take advantage of LLCC’s scenic offerings.

Just last weekend, Myers Park provided the backdrop for a summer wedding.

“We’d like to encourage people to come use the park. It’s not a big facility but it is available for anyone.

White said a small fee would be charged to groups that host events at the park.

Those interested can contact White at (262) 742-2454.

Lauderdale Lakes Country Club, N7498 Country Club Drive, is open to the public, through the week, March through November.

Before work on the historic landmark began more than one year ago, the 1920s structure was considered to be an eyesore on the course.

 
 

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