Sandburr Run reunites Thomson, Illinois, through golf

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

It's opening day at Sandburr Run in Thomson, Illinois.

It's really special after longtime Buck's Barn closed at the site along Route 84 three years ago.

On Monday,  you'll find three generations of the Houzenga family. They're swinging, smiling and savoring the return of this golf course.

It's kind of like reuniting with an old friend.

"We were so glad we had some investors that really thought there was a need for this," said golfer Leon Lange.

It wasn't always so pretty. The nine-hole course needed lots of work back in April. After sitting idle for three years, staffers had to start from scratch.

Remarkably, they opened the course a full month early.

"I think it brings back a meeting spot for everyone to kind of come together," said General Manager Zack Swanson.

While it's great for golfers to be back out here, Sandburr Run is important to this community. It's a symbol of success.

That's the case for Sandi Law and Susan White.

"I can see it's only going to get better," Law said.

They played golf for years at the Buck's Barn complex. Sandburr Run becomes more than just a golf course. It's really a Thomson landmark.

"You smell the pines, and it's so refreshing with the nice breeze," White said. "It's just a great place to play."

Opening day is like a community reunion. Sandburr Run will be a place for friends and families like the Houzengas.

"It's just fun to play again," said Tom Houzenga.

"It's going to take off," Lange concluded. "It'll work."

For these golfers, it's like seeing an old friend for the first time.

Sandburr Run is at 5020 Illinois Route 84. (815) 902-6063.

Hotel and bar service is also available on-site.

The official grand opening will take place on August 1 and 2.

Buck's Barn restaurant remains closed. After a recent sale, the property could return as a banquet hall in coming months.