Ask any private owner, city or village operated facility, or private country club board, and they will tell you –
keeping a golf course running successfully & profitably can be a real struggle. Challenging weather, the
economy, competition, (and) keeping the interest in golf alive – (as we have witnessed with the closing of
many of our local public & private golf facilities in recent years) – can all prove to be overwhelming obstacles. However, one company – based in nearby Mundelein, Illinois – has served as a “shining light” in this regard, assisting our area in keeping courses open, running efficiently, and most importantly “in the black” for (25+) years – GolfVisions Management, Inc.
A Little Background
GolfVisions was co-founded in 1989 by Mr. Tim Miles Sr. – a man with (currently) over 45+ years of experience in all facets of the golf industry – and was originally operated under the name Greenvisions. Between the years 1995-1998, the company experienced a period of changes until in the later part of 1998, the company name was changed to GolfVisions with its stated goal being – to ensure each leased (or) operated facility be “an aesthetic and financial success.”
GolfVisions, has continued to achieve their stated goals by: Employing the finest staff(s) & PGA members available, (including old friend and current VP of operations – Johnny O’Connor), having many highly experience family members in the field, and through instituting the highest levels of customer service, sound business practices and integrity at all of their properties. (And) is continually sought after by golf developers for consultation (or) renovation of new/existing facilities, as well as, non-golf entities such as home owner’s associations, park departments, or organizations seeking their property maintenance & operations expertise.
The current GolfVisions organization is among the nation’s leading golf course management firms involved in full service operations/management of (17) golf facilities – (and growing) – in (4) states – (including a recent alliance with the city of Valparaiso, Indiana to operate the Forest Park Golf Course & Creekside Golf & Learning Center properties located in their community) – And the historic Longwood GC in Crete, Illinois – which will, yes, will be open for play in 2015! (And) with so many of these golf courses being within a short drive of our area, it should be of interest to us all to investigate the “player’s pass” offered by GolfVisions which includes a great value/all course pass to the GolfVisions “trail.”
For information concerning the “player’s pass” – for a listing of all courses currently managed/operated by GolfVisions -or- for a list of the services they offer – please visit – www.golfvisions.net -or- call (708)562-5247 (and) the mailing address is GolfVisions Management, Inc. 2501 N. Midlothian Rd., Mundelein, IL 60060 – fine people – fine vision!
The world tours all enjoyed an exciting month of March:
- The LPGA witnessed (3) South Korean champions - *World #2 Inbee Park won the HSBC Women’s Championship. * (19) year old star Hyo Joo Kim took home the LPGA Founders Cup title. * And the World Lady’s Championship was captured by So Yeon Ryu. (While) tour veteran Christie Kerr of the US won her 17th career title at the Kia Classic… ( &) yea, she’s #1 for a rea-son - (17) year old Lydia Ko continues to amaze - making (45) cuts in the (45) events in which she has competed, and, currently having a streak of (28) consecutive rounds under par!
- Euro Titles went to South African Trevor Fisher (African Open); emerging star George Coetzee (Tshwane Open); and the Trophee Hassan II Open title was won by journeyman Richie Ramsay.
- The Champions Tour started their March with a 1st ever “senior” victory for Marco Dawson at the Conquistadores Classic; and another win for world-class, multi-tour victor, Mr. David Frost, at the Mississippi Gulf Classic.
- The PGA Men’s Tour titles for March went to Irishman Padraig Harrington (Honda Classic) –long-hitting Dustin Johnson at Doral (giving him at least (1) victory in each of the last (8) seasons) – (22) year old Jordan Speith (at the Valspar Championship) -and- Matt Every defends his title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (the only (2) victories in his career) …while Jimmy Walker closed our the month with his (5th) victory of the last (2) seasons at his “hometown” event, the Texas Open, in San Antonio. * The AP Invite also was witness to (2) oddities?! On Saturday, young Daniel Berger made a double-eagle (2) on the par (5) 16th – completing the rare par 5 “cycle” during his round, a 2, 3, 4, & a par 5 on the (4) par 5’s! - a feat documented only (3) times on the PGA Tour. - And, not to be outdone – Zach Johnson made a double eagle (2) of his own on the same 16th hole during Sunday’s round - two double eagles on the same hole, during the same tourney - a first on any tour!
- On a very special note: Mr. Jack Nicklaus became only one of seven athletes – (Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Arnold Palmer, Roberto Clemente, Byron Nelson, and the great Jackie Robinson being the other six) – to receive the Congressional Gold Medal! – an award given to those in our country for outstanding community service, and, in Jack’s case, for his work with the military & his efforts with children’s health care – well done!
- (And) my annual Master’s pick/guess! Sergio Garcia – at (35), he still has the length & touch to compete at Augusta National – and I just cannot imagine Sergio without a career green jacket.
Remember – Spring is the best time to check out the new equipment and apparel at your local golf shop – for a couple exciting previews – check out Ringo’s “Ping Fitting Day” – Friday, April 24th from 2-6PM – fills up fast (call) for appointment 219-942-8929 -and- J&M Golf will be holding their annual Spring Demo Day – Saturday, April 25th from 11-2 at the beautiful Palmira GC in St. John, IN (all manufacturers of equipment will be on display!) – call (219)365-5611 for info. – In addition – call Palmira (219-365-4331) to sign up for the Spring Scramble that will be taking place the same day (April 25th).
Speaking of scrambles – Indian Ridge holds a Come-One – Come-All Monday Scramble every week – just show up (about 8:30AM) for those who can only occasionally make it – this is a perfect way to get in some fun/competition (&) do not forget their Derby Day Scramble – Saturday, May 2nd – always a ball – call (219)942-6850 for info. -or- for all you golf nuts out there (sorry) – go on over and join in Lincoln Oaks GC’s annual “Squirrel Scramble” - Sat., April 25th - always fun - call (708)672-9401 for de-“tails” (sorry, again)!
Please join me in welcoming veteran PGA Golf Professional Mr. Scott Pless to the region – as he has been named the new General Manager & Golf Professional at the historic Lansing CC in Lansing, Illinois. (And) Scott and his staff want to remind all players that LCC is open to the public on Monday’s – call 708-474-7500 for info. – great course – great people.
Some charity & after golf fun: Come out to Hammond, Indiana for: The Annual Optimist Club Smelt Fry on Saturday, April 18th at the St. Michael’s Ukrainian Hall – raising funds for area youth programs – call Doyle at 219-512-4543 for info -or- that same day from 7-4PM, enjoy the 18th annual Hammond Port Authority’s “Fish Derby” – held at the Hammond Marina – free entry – free parking – free refreshments – bring the kids! Info (219)659-7678 -and- the National Guard Armory in Hammond is holding “Circus Pages” Fri., Sat., & Sun. April 10th-12th – pony & elephant rides, aerial acts, and more – visit www.circuspages.com for free kids passes, etc. -Also- the Indiana Welcome Center on Kennedy Ave. just south of 80/94, has the “Cruisin’ Through The Times” Car Show running all month (until April 30th) – www.southshoreva.com will fill you in. In Valpo – Valparaiso University is holding their 30th Annual Jazz Festival – (this year staring Natalie Cole) - (April 8th – April 11th). – call (219)464-5007… Beer?! The Blue Chip Brewfest in Michigan City, Indiana is being held Saturday, April 11th – visit www.bluechipcasino.com – for the “foamy” details. (And) The United Steelworkers Local 7-1 is planning a series of spaghetti dinners & bake sales at halls throughout NWI over the next few weekends to assist its striking brothers/sisters during these difficult times. Call (219)789-9594 for info/locations, etc.
Special thanks this month: To John O’Connor and the entire GolfVisions organization – to the many friends/family and golf facilities who helped support the benefit held for my brother & sister in law, including J&M Golf, GolfVisions, Steve & Laurie Wells at Hampshire CC, and the wonderful Ameristar Casino & Hotel. To Mike Modrzejewski for his excellent work, and to my lovely wife Mary for her continued support & encouragement.
As Always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions, questions, stories, etc. Please contact me at our e-mail address: email@example.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: My theme this year – enjoying/supporting more courses in our region this season – really strikes home this month after visiting with the GolfVisions Management company. Have you played Duck Creek GC in Portage Township (219)759-5870? Minne Monesse in Grant Park, IL (815)465-6653? (Or) when was the last time you visited one of our region “home” courses – South Gleason Park GC in Gary, IN (219)980-1089? Let’s not take them for granted – we would be a lesser golfing community in their absence. And my tip for April – practice! Make time to practice – especially your short game – your scores will improve almost immediately – practice does work! This is probably best pointed out in words – by author Jim Watkins – who wrote: “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but its persistence.” – See ya, Pete