Bunker Links Municipal Golf Course Celebrates Centennial Year

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Bunker Links Municipal Golf Course in Galesburg opens for its centennial season on Friday, March 1, 2024, with forecasted temperatures more representative of a warm spring day than an average first day of March.

“We are thrilled to open Bunker Links for the first day of the centennial season, and hope that the forecasted terrific weather will equate to a very busy start to the season,” said Bryan Luedtke, Golf Professional at Bunker Links Municipal Golf Course. “It’s not very often that weather allows for play to begin on March 1st, so we are very thankful for this stroke of luck as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bunker Links.”

In 1919, a contingent of Galesburg golf enthusiasts presented a petition bearing 199 signatures asking for construction of a municipal golf course. Development of a municipal golf course took five years to become a reality, with construction of Galesburg’s municipal course beginning in the summer of 1923, and completed in early April 1924. The original nine-hole course was laid out in an area covering 23 acres on the northern edge of Lincoln Park. The land for the initial 9-holes cost $8,970.

The course became so popular that city officials agreed to purchase an additional 16-acre tract to enlarge the course to 18-holes. On April 27, 1929, the expansion to an 18-hole golf course was completed.

A week following the completion of Galesburg’s 18-hole golf course, the Galesburg City Council named the course in honor of its architect, Dwight Carpenter Bunker. Dwight Bunker, usually known and called “Bunk” was not only considered the father of Galesburg golf, but also was the custodian of the park system for over thirteen years, after being appointed as the director of the park system in 1923. Raised in Galesburg, he was recognized as an outstanding athlete and one of the most proficient golfers in the area.

Owned and operated by the City of Galesburg, Bunker Links is open to the public. The course has rolling terrain and water coming into play on 8 of the 18 holes. The practice facility also includes a driving range and a large putting green. A course fly-over video, rates, and season pass information can all be found on the city’s website. Bunker Links was also recognized in 2021 as on the Top 25 most underrated municipal golf courses in America by Golf Magazine, which praised the great playing condition of the course and first class experience provided by staff.

“Staff have been working diligently to ensure the centennial year at Bunker Links Municipal Golf Course is a great experience and hope to have the course full throughout the season to showcase why so many area golfers enjoy golfing at Bunker Links,” said Luedtke. “Anyone not already familiar with the course is encouraged to come out to see why the course has been so well loved over the last 100 years.”

To celebrate the centennial year at Bunker Links, Luedtke has planned a few special events and extras, including a four-person centennial super-ball tournament on Thursday, June 6, 2024, which will also include a live band on the patio after the tournament. New range mats, centennial bag tags for all season pass holders, and a “centennial cup” season-long points race are also planned as part of the celebration. Bunker Links Municipal Golf Course is located at 3535 Lincoln Drive in Galesburg, IL and is open annually March 1 – December 15th, weather permitting. The course is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – dusk, and patrons can call 309-344-1818 to reserve a tee-time. 

***Courtesy of the City of Galesburg***

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