SPRINGFIELD – Both chambers of the General Assembly adopted a House Joint Resolution early Saturday morning that urges the Illinois Office of Tourism to do a feasibility study on linking together seven golf courses in Illinois into a golf trail that could bring much-needed revenue to Southern Illinois.
Downstate Senators joined in a bipartisan effort supporting the measure, with Republican Sen. Dale Fowler signing on as chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate. Republican Senators Jason Plummer and Terri Bryant also sponsored the bill.
The measure calls for Annbriar Golf Course in Waterloo, Gateway National in Madison, Governors Run in Carlyle, Kokopelli in Marion, Rend Lake Golf Resort in Whittington, Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana, and Stonewolf Golf Club in Fairview Heights into The Abraham Lincoln Golf Trail that could boost tourism and revenue to the region.
Alabama created the highly successful Robert Trent Jones Trail. Iowa and Ohio have also connected many of their golf courses and have seen tremendous positive economic growth by doing so.
Belleville Democrat Rep. Jay Hoffman sponsored the measure, HJR-83, which says the success of linking golf courses into a statewide golf trail, is dependent upon ease of use and so one internet portal would enable golfers to reserve tee times and book lodging at all seven golf courses.
While the trail would initially consist of the seven golf courses listed, it could later expand to include other facilities, including ones in Central and Northern Illinois.