What happened to country clubs, nursing homes?

In an online story last month, I reported that flooding in Morrison had affected the Morrison Country Club.

The problem: The country club had been renamed the Prairie Ridge Golf Course 8 years before.

Prairie Ridge's golf pro, Heath Warner, sent an email correcting me, so the right name appeared in our print edition.

The lesson: Google maps can be outdated.

But I really should have known better anyway: How many places are called country clubs anymore?

Not many.

In the last few years, Dixon Country Club changed to Timber Creek Golf Club and Rock River Country Club to Rock River Golf and Pool.

Timber Creek and Prairie Ridge are open to the public, but have membership bases. Rock River's golf course is open to the public, but its pool is for members only.

So why did the term "country club" fall out of favor? Probably because it makes these golf courses seem exclusive – the province of the few. Changing their names was a simple way to change that image.

"Opening this former country club up to the public gives everyone the chance to enjoy the golf course, restaurant and banquet venue," Rock River Golf and Pool says on its website.

Country clubs aren't the ones changing their names. So are nursing homes.

Yes, the "nursing homes" category is still in the phone book. But very few use call themselves that anymore.

Dixon Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, for instance, used to be called Lee County Nursing Home.

Now, nursing homes usually include "center" in their names – rehabilitation and nursing centers, living centers, nursing centers.

Those that stick with the old name include Resthave Retirement & Nursing Home in Morrison, Big Meadows Nursing Home in Savanna and Walnut Manor Nursing Home in Walnut.

Why have many changed? The nursing home industry probably figured its image was suffering, so it turned to more positive terms such as "rehabilitation."

Back in the day, hospitals used to be called hospitals. Over the years, some have changed to "medical center."

KSB Hospital in Dixon stuck with tradition. Sterling's CGH Medical Center, the former Community General Hospital, chose a more modern title.

In 2011, a survey showed that consumers prefer "hospital" over "medical center," according to the American Hospital Association.

In other words, old-fashioned names sometimes trump the seemingly more sophisticated, modern ones.

David Giuliani is a reporter for Sauk Valley Media. He can be reached at dgiuliani@saukvalley or at 800-798-4085, ext. 525. 

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