Rich Harvest Farms and Atlanta Athletic Club to Host Palmer Cup
WILMINGTON, Del. – Rich Harvest Farms and Atlanta Athletic Club will host the 2015 and 2017 Palmer Cups, respectively, announced Palmer Cup Chairman Jim Awtrey and Mr. Arnold Palmer at the opening ceremony of the Palmer Cup.
“The Palmer Cup continues to be played at great venues,” said Mr. Palmer. “I’m aware of the great success of the Solheim Cup recently played at Rich Harvest Farms and the most recent Ryder Cup Captain’s Challenge. I am pleased and grateful that Jerry Rich has agreed to host the event there. It should be another great Palmer Cup. Atlanta Athletic Club will be a wonderful setting for our 20th anniversary of the Palmer Cup. It certainly has proved in the past what great championships can be staged there. I’ve had the opportunity to play Atlanta AC numerous times and have always enjoyed the course. I’m sure it will be a great tournament on a great golf course.”
Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., will play host to the 2015 Palmer Cup. Site of numerous amateur, collegiate, and professional tournaments, this top-rated course is proud to add the Palmer Cup to its slate of events.
“We are extremely excited to be hosting the 2015 Palmer Cup,” said Jerry Rich, Chairman and Owner of Rich Harvest Farms.“ This event is in tune with everything we do here from our Kids Golf Foundation, caddie program, and commitment to amateur golf, as well as being the home of the Northern Illinois University Huskies Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams. Arnold Palmer’s vision for bringing together the highly talented collegiate players with the young caddies and youth in the Junior Clinic is a true culmination of what is most important – growing the game. My team and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this special event.”
Located less than an hour outside of Chicago, Rich Harvest Farms is an ultra-private, members-only club, consistently ranked in Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. Owned and built by Jerry Rich, the course consists of 18 perfectly manicured holes and is a 1,820-acre showcase of nature and agriculture. With state-of-the-art meeting spaces, numerous lodging options and non-golf amenities that include a private car museum, miles of horseback riding trails and three fully stocked lakes for fishing, Rich Harvest Farms offers distinguished facilities in a luxurious setting.
Rich Harvest Farms, from its Professional tees, plays at a length of 7,715 yards, as a par 72, has and continues to play host to numerous amateur, collegiate, and professional tournaments. These include the Solheim Cup (2009), newly released International Crown (2016), as well as the Ryder Cup Captain’s Challenge (2012) and numerous USGA Qualifiers. This list also includes the Western Amateur (2015) and Centennial Western Junior (2017) and Western Junior (2003). Northern Illinois University Huskies Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams are proud to call Rich Harvest Farms their home course and so the following have also been hosted at the course: NCAA Men’s Division I Central Regional (2007, 2014), MAC Championship (2003, 2012), and an annual Northern Intercollegiate (2010-Present).
A hidden gem at Rich Harvest Farms is the Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois, a nonprofit junior golf organization founded in 1998 by Jerry Rich and longtime friend Don Springer. Today, the Foundation has impacted the lives of over 150,000 youth through golf and its valuable life lessons. Rich Harvest Farms has also been the site for many Foundation fundraisers, including the Bob Murphy Pro-Am annually hosted for ten years, and the newly created Chip Beck #59 Champion’s Tour Pro-Am (2013).
Atlanta Athletic Club boasts a long and proud history of golf, sports and social activities and has hosted a U.S. Open and three PGA Championships.
“The Atlanta Athletic Club has a long history of hosting major golf championships and the club has always been a strong supporter of amateur golf,” said Atlanta Athletic Club President Robert Dutlinger. “We believe the 2017 Palmer Cup will be another outstanding opportunity to showcase some of the best young talent in the world on our Highlands course. Our entire membership is excited to be hosting such a prestigious event and we eagerly look forward to June 2017 and having the Palmer Cup here at the Atlanta Athletic Club.”
In 1898 a group of young men joined forces to create the Atlanta Athletic Club (“AAC”), a private club where they could enjoy indoor and outdoor athletics with their business associates and friends.
Originally located on Edgewood Avenue in downtown Atlanta, the club grew quickly. In 1908, John Heisman, of Heisman Trophy fame, was hired as the first athletic director while he was attending Georgia Tech. That same year, the AAC opened its country location and the East Lake golf course, where a young Bobby Jones learned the game of golf. Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones, Jr. later became President of the Atlanta Athletic Club and he remained a member until his death.
The downtown club outgrew its location and in 1924 the club built a 10-story building on Carnegie Way. That facility included an indoor pool, dining rooms, a barbershop, ballrooms, a men’s grille and 60 overnight accommodations for members and their guests. At that location, dancing and dining on the rooftop were a very popular attraction, especially during the hot Atlanta summers.
The East Lake course and the Carnegie Way location were eventually sold and the club relocated to “Riverbend,” a property on the fast-growing north side of Atlanta. The club added a Par 3 course, a new clubhouse and an athletic center on the property. Robert Trent Jones designed two new golf courses at the new location, Highlands and Riverside. Robert Trent Jones’ son, Rees Jones, later redesigned both courses; the Riverside course in 2002 and the Highlands course in 2005.
The Atlanta Athletic Club has a proud history of hosting national golf and tennis events. In 1963, the club hosted the prestigious Ryder Cup Championship at its East Lake golf course. In 1976, the club hosted the first of many championships on its Highlands course, the U.S. Open, won by Jerry Pate. Three PGA Championships have been held on Highlands; in 1981 Larry Nelson won the Championship, in 2001 David Toms captured the Wannamaker Trophy, and in 2011 Keegan Bradley won following a stirring playoff with Jason Duffner. In 1990, the club hosted the U.S. Woman’s Open Championship on the Riverside course. And in August next year the Atlanta Athletic Club will host the U.S. Amateur.
Today, the club is a vibrant hub of activity for families and individuals interested in athletic and social opportunities, all in one magnificent location. The Atlanta Athletic Club is nationally and internationally known for its facilities and services. Our two 18-hole golf courses, nine-hole par 3 course, 42,000 sq. ft. athletic center, air conditioned indoor tennis courts and outdoor courts, aquatic facility with Olympic-sized pool, splash pad, high dive and water slide, many beautiful club rooms and three dining facilities make up a superior social and recreational offering for its members and their families.