Even in winter, Glencoe Golf Club manager sees green
Updated: January 16, 2013 8:40AM
Stella Nanos, club manager of the Glencoe Golf Club on Westley Road recently gave a behind-the-scenes tour of what goes on at the club in snow season. Nanos and her husband John live in Chicago. Her stepson is John Jr. and her sister Maria lives in Evanston. Meet Stella Nanos, who enjoys drag racing, biking, and bird watching (a perfect fringe benefit).
Q. Why is Glencoe a great place to play golf?
A. The Glencoe Golf Club has undergone many capital improvements over the last six years that have transformed the club into one of the best conditioned golf courses on the North Shore. The playing conditions during the season are impeccable, especially the quality and speed of our greens. The most unique feature is that the golf course is bordered by McDonald Woods and the Chicago Botanic Garden, with residential housing only visible on one hole. When you play here you feel like you are far removed from the city, which adds to the ambiance.
Q. What’s unique about the landscape?
A. The Club is an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and we take pride in the work that has been completed to enhance and protect the golf course environment. I have sighted the following notable wildlife at the golf course; horned owl, barn owl, red tail hawk, peregrine falcon, great blue heron, ruby throated humming bird, kingfisher, indigo bunting, Baltimore oriole, scarlet tanager, coyote, fox and a wide variety butterflies in our perennial butterfly garden.
Q. What’s an outstanding feature here?
A. The second hole, a 549 yard par 5, is the most picturesque hole on the golf course. The tee box is positioned at the highest elevation of the course and your drive descends to the fairway 30 feet below. The back tee box is tucked away and it gives you the feel of teeing off out of a tunnel of trees. The second hole offers a spectacular view of the golf course, especially at sunset.
Q. The most challenging hole?
A. The 16th hole is the most difficult, if the golfers are playing by the rules. On the tee box you are looking at a narrow fairway that is guarded by a pond on the left side and a tree lined lateral hazard on the right side. If playing by the rules, you will add a penalty for any errant shots left or right.
Q. What makes your job special?
A. Annually, we will serve over 30,000 golfers, my responsibility is to make sure they have an excellent experience from the time they pull in the parking lot until they drive away. We are open from sun up to sun down seven days a week, until the snow flies. The most heartwarming stories are the day-to-day relationships that have been built on the golf course. We have a lot of senior players, 60 years old and up, and to see them interact with each other and make new friends is rewarding.
Q. What’s your handicap?
A. My job is my handicap! I love to golf and play as often as possible but I usually don’t play a full round of golf … unofficially, a 16.