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                                         I love Golf! And I love surprises …not the – your ball comes up buried under the lip of the bunker… -or- …
                                      your perfect drive rolls six inches off the fairway into an impossible lie kind of surprises …no, I’m speaking 
                                      of the kind of surprise where you hit that blind approach shot onto an elevated green, spend a few minutes 
                                              searching – only to hear your buddy call out – it’s in!! …that kind of surprise. Well, that is exactly the way I felt while visiting the (2015) edition of Coyote Run Golf Course in nearby Flossmoor, Illinois.
A Little Background
   Over the years, Coyote Run GC has gone through several “monumental” changes. As best as it can be detailed, the original course of (18) holes was designed by (then) Olympia Fields Golf Professional Mr. Jack Daray, (and), a Mr. Harry Collis – (a gentleman, and fellow golf pro, who assisted in the build-out of many other area courses in the southern Chicago suburbs.
   Opened in the early 1920’s, the course was a private country club at first – (mostly catering to the railroad executives in the area) – and, was known as Cherry Hills Country Club. An additional (18) holes were added – (designed by Mr. J. Meister) – opening in approximately 1935, but over the years, land was lost to developers. The course opened to the public, and several variations of design concepts & layouts were altered – (including much work by Mr. David Gill & his design team). Finally, the Cherry Hills course “settled in,” operating as a public course for about (40) years until the economy forced its closing. And after a period of several years of closure, in stepped the folks at the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, who resurrected the property, restructured the course and created what is now a wonderful golf course, clubhouse, and “viable” community asset.
The Current CRGC
…is a beautifully maintained public course of (18) holes, with an additional (3) hole “short course” – “player-development” area; a very well designed all grass (lighted) driving range (with mats available when necessary & several target greens to assist your practice session); an excellent putting green, and a clubhouse & outdoor patio (with additional tented area), that is perfect for any function/outing you may be planning. *More on this later!!
The Course
…at Coyote Run - (par 71) – measures approx.. 5,200 – 6,500 yds from its (3) sets of tees, is very “playable” for all levels/skills of golfers – including a “strong” challenge to the low HDCP player with its many ponds coming into play on 11 of the 18 holes – and its smallish, rolling greens (with run offs). The course is “walker friendly” – with rolling fairways and more subtle elevation changes, the fairway and greenside bunkering throughout are exceedingly well-conditioned, as are the bent grass tees, fairways, and quick but fair putting surfaces. The rough is just high enough to make you think, and there are several species of trees accenting several holes; pace of play is monitored by starter/rangers during busy periods; the course is well known for its excellent drainage; the carts are covered (&) have windshields; the course has cart paths throughout; the yardages are well-marked; the golf shop is fully stocked, private lessons are available, as well as, an incredible “array” of junior & adult clinics, programs, and leagues of all types; the everyday rates are excellent - (with) – senior & junior rates available, and most importantly – wait for it - …the beverage cart rolls all summer during peak hours!!
The Clubhouse
…including its golf shop, excellent outdoor patio – (over-looking the ninth green, and a perfect place to view the sunset) – the previously mentioned outdoor tented area, which easily handles groups of (120+) and the large (100+) Wiley’s Grill (with lounge & “full bar” area) is among the best places to enjoy “after golf” you will find anywhere in our area. This “grill” offers a full kitchen with a variety of specials (7) days a week, offers live music on full moon martini nights – (you must check this out!) – has several big screen TV’s – a fireplace seating area, an indoor golf simulator, a Wiley’s “frequent flyer” rewards card, a large number of craft beers on tap, (and) …excellent service to boot! – oh yea …who is Wiley? Wiley T. Dog – the grill “proprietor” is golf course Superintendent Dave Ward’s dog! A huge part of Coyote Run & a descendent of a champion sheep herder – Wiley patrols the course 3-4 times daily – (when not running the restaurant) – effectively keeping geese from nesting (or) destroying the grass on the course!
Additionally
   I know I used a lot of superlatives in writing this article – but believe me – when you go out to Coyote Run GC, you will agree – this is a fine golf facility – and a great place to hold any event, banquet, outing, wedding, etc. that you may be planning – as well as – a great place to enjoy a day of golf -or- an evening of fun after golf.
   (And) much, well-deserved credit goes to the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Board – headed up by President Bob Haderlein – and the forward thinking citizens of this area who created a great facility & “reached out” – putting together a veteran staff of professionals including: GM & Golf Pro Tom Denklau, renowned golf course Superintendent Dave Ward, top notch Event & Catering Coordinator Amanda Shulman, and, the marvelous Food & Beverage Manager Shari Klein - this facility is in great hands! Go visit these fine folks – I guarantee you will enjoy the entire experience!
   Coyote Run GC is located in Flossmoor, IL – the address is 800 Kedzie Ave., Flossmoor, IL 60422 – the main phone # is (708)957-8700 – email address is www.coyoterungolf.com - it is easy to find – from NWI, I usually take 80/94 West to Halsted Ave. South – (2) miles to 183rd Ave. – a few miles on 183rd to Kedzie & about ½ mile south (directly on Kedzie Ave.) – (about a 25-30 minute drive from most anywhere in NWI). I’ll see you there!
Golf Shots
On the tours last month:
   The Champions Tour had an abbreviated month – with Olin Browne winning the Gwinnett Championship (and) Billy Andrade & Joe Durant teamed up to win the Legends of Golf Tourney at the incredible Big Cedar Lodge Resort in the Ozarks.
   The European Tour visited China for (2) events - the 1st was the Shenzhen Invitational won by Kiradech Aphibarnrat (scrabble score word worth 2,000 points) from Thailand (and) the 2nd event was the China Open, which witnessed history as native son Ashun Wu became the 1st ever Chinese national to win on the Euro Tour on his native soil. *Hall of Fame golfer Greg Norman has been quoted – (having designed multiple golf courses in China) – as stating: That by the year 2030, the US will have less players than China! (Currently - approx. 25,000,000 “active” US players).
   The LPGA Tour saw victories by S.Y. Kim of South Korea – at the Lotte Championship - Brittany Linsicome win her first major at the Ana Inspiration (an event that witnessed world #1 – (17) year old Lydia Ko of New Zealand) tie Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam’s record of (29) consecutive rounds under par – and then Lydia followed up by winning the Swinging Skirts Classic the week of her 18th birthday!
   Also: The Web.com Tour has become …competitive?! – at the recent Chile Classic – a first round score of even par (71) was good (for only) a tie for 115th place! Really!
   On the PGA Men’s Tour: J.B. Holmes won the Houston Open – an event that featured an all-time record for Swede Freddie Jacobsen (who extended his – “no three putt” hole – stat to an incredible 524 holes!) – Justin Rose won the Zurich Classic, and Jim Furyk posted his 17th tour victory at the RBC Heritage – and oh yea – one other event was held in April – the 79th edition of the Masters – a tourney that never fails to surprise/entertain us all. (And) this year was no exception – as young (21) Jordan Speith (after finishing 2nd last year in his first trip to Augusta) – won in wire-to-wire (&) record breaking fashion! Setting the (54) hole record of (16) under par, tying Tiger Woods’ record of (18) under for the event, making (28) birdies in his (72) holes – (another Masters all-time record) – which included birdieing the tough 10th hole (3) times! …(and) showing a “non-bomber can master the par 5’s (going 12 under on the 16 available) …and now has (8) sub-par rounds to begin his Masters career …Wow! More Master highlights include: Phil Mickelson & Justin Rose finishing in a tie for 2nd at (-14) – a score that would have won 74 of the last 79 Masters’; Tiger playing, making the cut – and getting hurt (again); #1 Rory McIlroy closing strong on the weekend to finish solo 4th; two-time champ Ben Crenshaw playing his last Masters – (after 44 straight starts); Dustin Johnson making (3) eagles in one round (a Masters record) – going (-7) on the 4 par 5’s during Friday’s round! And 6-time champ (75 year old Jack Nicklaus) – “calling his shot” – by stating in an interview that he just might make a hole-in-one during Wednesday’s par three contest – and then doing it! …for his 1st ever hole-in-one at Augusta. 2016? Who knows! Can’t wait. *And on a final Masters note: the 2nd annual Drive, Chip, and Putt event held on Tuesday was another success – please log on to drivechipandputt.com to check out qualifying info for next year …regardless of your junior’s skill level – the competition should be fun!
   (And) try and catch some nearby golf action this summer as: the PGA Senior Championship is played at the historic French Lick Resort May 21st-24th in French Lick, Indiana – info at pga.com; the seniors return to play in the Encompass Championship at North Shore CC in Glenview, Il July 6th-12th – an event where all kids under (18) are free, as well as, all active & retired military – log on to encompasschampionship.com; the 97th PGA Championship is coming back to Whistling Straits GC in Kohler, Wisc. – all the great players will be there! – August 13th-16th – log on to www.pgachampionship.com; the US Amateur is going to be played August 17th-23rd at the fantastic Olympia Fields CC in Olympia Fields, IL – great event – usga.org; and the top (70) in the world will return to Conway Farms GC in Lake Forest, IL for the BMW Championship Sept. 14th-20th - www.bmwchampionship.com - what a schedule!
   DON’T FORGET MOM! Mom’s Day is Sunday May 10th! She loves golf, golf certificates, etc. She always deserves the best! Take her out to her favorite course – FREE golf for Mom at all (4) Hegan owned courses. Call 219-942-6850 for info/reservation; also Wicker Park GC 219-838-9809, Palmira GC 219-365-4331, and many more – call around.
Quick Shots
   Junior golf is everywhere -1st Tee at Lost Marsh GC in Hammond – (219)932-4046; Creekside GC in Valpo (219)531-7888; Glenwoodie GC in Glenwood, IL (708)758-1212; Lansing CC in Lansing, IL has junior golf tourney 708-474-9102; Palmira GC in St. John, IN 219-865-2554, (and) get excited as – Wicker Park GC in Highland, IN introduces its 1st ever “Junior Golf Camp” June 22nd-25th. Classes for kids 8-18 (info? 219-838-9809) with golf professional Bill Springer & a great staff teaching the fundamentals of golf and more!
   More demo days: Saturday May 30th at Balmoral Woods – the Ping tour van will visit from (10-2) – details 708-672-7448; and J&M Golf’s Demo-Day (including most manufacturers) has been rescheduled due to rain-out: Sat May 30th from 11-2PM – call 219-365-5611 for info.
Charity – Charity
   Have some more fun and help a great cause by joining in the 3rd annual “Hunkee Hollow Athletic Club” Golf Outing to Benefit Cerebral Palsy of NWI – the event is Monday June 2nd and will be held at the beautiful Innsbrook CC in Merrillville, IN - great cause – great people – come on out -or- just help out by being a sponsor – call 219-465-5797 for details.
   Special thanks this month to: Amanda, Shari, Tom, Dave, and Dan at Coyote Run GC. To Mike Modrzejewski – great job as always – and my lovely wife Mary (Happy Mom’s Day honey & (also) to my wonderful mother, and to all Mom’s everywhere!)
 As Always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions, questions, stories, etc. Please contact me at our e-mail address: golfplus3@netzero.com or leave me a voicemail at (219)947-4314, and to read past golf course reviews – or to just visit Golf Plus newspaper online – visit our website at GolfPlusOnline.net.
   Lastly: Direct from the voice of Hall of Famer Mr. Gary Player, “the more I practice, the luckier I get!” - See Ya next month - Pete
Run, Don’t Walk, To Coyote Run GC In Flossmoor, IL
by Pete Mandich
GPO Correspondent