As region golfers, we suffer too long through our harsh winters, and although the spring months of March,
April, and May have their moments – and do serve their purpose – the month of June…(wonderful June)…truly
sets the standard for Midwest golf!
Mother Nature – (with the assistance of our abundantly talented golf superintendents) – has/have “prepped” the course(s) of our area, the golf shops with their outstanding staffs have stocked their shelves with the latest and greatest items golf manufacturers have to offer, and, (on the mental side), that renewed sense of optimist is ripe in us all… this will be the year I break 100, 90, or (?)… This will be my finest season… I’ll make time, I’ll forego sleep, I’ll attempt to stretch this marvelous gift of June into a double dose – (60 day?!) – period of fun under the sun!
A Couple Of Keys
To achieve your goals… #1 – Check that equipment! Improperly fitted (or) antiquated golf equipment could be holding you back! Our area golf facilities all have qualified professionals with many years of expertise to assist you – shop around, try out some new (or) alternate golf set configurations… hybrids, multiple wedges, more (or less) lofted “woods,” and, a putter that is “just right” to help you make more key putts per round.
#2 – Take lessons! By the way – although key #1 (golf equipment) – is vital! Taking lessons after you shop around (and before you purchase any new equipment) will be a great step in making the “correct” equipment purchase(s)! – I know that for many regular readers of this column, you have heard me make these same points?! over & over…sorry… my reasoning? I believe this sincerely!! We all go through a learning curve with this marvelous game that, at many times, leaves us hopelessly lost – (and often times leaves us feeling like we are stumbling around in a dark room looking for that light switch!) – but I firmly believe golf instruction works… period! You need it, I need it, Rory & Tiger & Jack & Arnold need it! Why? Because golf can be difficult, has many moving parts – with “multiple tools” – and is a sport that demands a “consistent” & “confidant” approach on each and every shot.
That only leaves 2 questions – the 1st is easy… Where to go for instruction? This “region” of ours is fortunate to have many dedicated, talented professionals with the sincere goal of making golf fun for all their students – call any local facility ( &) they will direct you to such instructors… Question #2? What are my goals with instruction? All you need (in the long run) is to learn your “limitations” – (physical - bad back, etc.) & how they can affect your game – “Why” I should change anything? (Why is a big word in taking lessons – use it often!)… and the “key” above all other “keys” if indeed there is just one – learn how to practice… Do not practice one more session without knowing what you are trying to look for (or) achieve... please! And lastly (in such a brief writing) – take “multiple” lessons – a series – no one can explain it all in an hour – no one! – Don’t enjoy the experience/results with that instructor? – Move on… but try to find that person who can show you a way to understand what you are attempting to do with each shot, how to practice, and someone who instills confidence in… you! Golf formula numero uno – (confidence minus fear equals success)!
Ready – Set – Play
(30) days into 60? Make time! Join a league; sign up for a charity tourney; play in a scramble; take a friend, family member, (or) spouse out for a day of golf – (including dinner at one of our great 19th holes)… we all work too hard – have fun & enjoy June - the “true” intro to our region golf season!
Now, as a “special June gift” from some of our great local golf courses/facilities & all of us at Golf Plus Newspaper ( &) golfplusonline.net – A golf give-away!! Just call (219)588-9796 Saturday June 20th and answer the following question – who won the recent AT&T Byron Nelson Championship? Don’t know? Look forward into the next several paragraphs – Hint: His initials are S.B.! Leave your first name ( &) phone # on the recording with your answer – the 1st (8) callers with the correct answer will receive (2) free rounds of golf w/cart to some of these fine courses, gift certificates to these facilities, or a prize! If recorder says full –or- if you do not hear back by July 1st, you did not win – however – we will be having more of these contests throughout the season – just keep following this column every month!
Some May Tour Highlights
LPGA – The North Texas Shoot-Out was won by world #2 Inbee Park of Sourth Korea – The Euro Buick Championship title went to Shanshan Feng (also of S. Korea) – The Kingsmill Championship saw (18) yr old emerging rookie/star Minjee Lee get her 1st win – and veteran Anna Norquist took home the Shoprite LPGA trophy.
The Champions Tour – Insperity Invitational win went to long-time veteran Ian Woosnam of Wales (his 1st ever champions title) – (an event that featured a “greats of golf” division victory for Jack, Gary, & Lee) – the 1st senior major of the year – “The Tradition” – went to Jeff Maggert – and the 76th edition of the PGA Seniors Championship (played in French Lick, IN) was won by Colin Montgomerie for the second year in a row.
The European Men’s Tour – Featured wins by: George Coetzee at the Afrasia Open – James Morrison at the Spanish Open – South Korean (23) year old (former US Amateur champ) Byeong-Hun An at the prestigious European PGA Championship – (this was “Ben’s” 1st win (in his rookie year) – and Soren Kjedsen of Denmark won the Irish Open.
The U.S. Men’s Tour – Witnessed history as Rory McIlroy wins the Cadillac Match Play Tourney – becoming only the 3rd player in modern golf to win (10) titles before the age of (26) – (Jack & Tiger were others) – the “5th major” – The Players Championship watched Rickie Fowler go (6) under on the last (6) holes to get his 2nd tour victory – Rory again won at the Wells Fargo Championship - making (11) birdies on Saturday to fire a (61)! – another emerging star – Chris Kirk – won the Crowne Plaza Invitational – and Australian Steven Bowditch won the rain-soaked AT&T Byron Nelson Championship. – And yes, golf (is) crazy – world #1 Rory McIlroy goes home to play in the Euro PGA Championship & the Irish Open & misses both cuts – go figure!
As most readers know, I am (forced!) to pick/guess who will win each major – so for June’s US Open – I am picking Patrick Reed – (a young star with something he wants to prove) – should find the Chambers Bay Golf Club in Washington state his “proving ground”) – June (18th-21st).
Local Junior Golf
Is everywhere – get them going – a few places include: The many programs at Coyote Run GC in Flossmoor, IL – call for info #(708)957-8700, the new & exciting junior golf camp – (June 22nd-25th, and being headed up by Bill Springer & a fine group of instructors) – at Wicker Park GC in Highland, IN – info? Call (219)838-9809, The 1st Tee of Hammond program(s) – ongoing – at both The Lost Marsh GC in Hammond, IN *which, by the way, is hosting a great 1st Tee tourney for adults August 3rd of this year – to raise money for this program (call 219-932-4046 for details) – As well as a traveling 1st Tee junior program at Wicker Park – check these out! Scherwood Golf Club in Schererville, IN 219-865-2554 – has a junior golf camp Monday June 8th, a junior golf “executive” league starting mid-June and a fun foot-golf junior league every week. Lansing CC in Lansing, IL holds their long-running junior tourney for boys & girls 8-18 on Wed. June 17th. Palmira GC in St. John, IN holds their annual junior golf tour – June 11th-23rd of July – and offers a July “bring a junior free” w/paid adult (for the entire month) program (219-365-4331); The Glenwoodie Golf Course in Glenwood, IL starts the 1st Tee of Chicagoland summer sessions in mid-June – call 708-758-1212 for details; and last, but certainly not least, the great staff at Creekside GC in Valparaiso, IN once again offers their 1st Tee program, as well as, a variety of junior golf events – (219)531-7888. I know I must be missing some – call around (or better yet) if your course does not currently have a program – get one started!
June – Remember June?
Ringo’s on Rte 30, a few miles east of I-65 (219-942-8929), J&M Golf on Rte #41 in St. John (219-365-5611), Cam Golf Wholesale division in Lynwood, IL (708-474-9272) and your local golf course all have discounts for Father’s Day – don’t forget Dad (Sunday June 21st) – a great gift of golf/certificates in always appreciated – or just surprise him with a “date” for golf with the entire family! Tri-way Golf Club in nearby Plymouth, IN (574-936-7936) – has miniature golf, an indoor (and a drive-in) theater(s) as well as (27) fun golf holes. Zig-E’s funland in St. John has miniature golf (and) a lot more (219-558-0496) – still trying to make (60) out of (30) for June!
A Few Other Suggestions
Youche CC in Crown Point, IN – (219-663-1418) – is one of Chicagoland’s finest private country clubs (and offers free tours by appointment. Lansing CC (also private) is open to the public every Monday ($20 w/ cart after 11:00AM!). Longwood GC in Crete is back – go on out (&) re-visit the course (say hi to Chris). Glenwoodie offers a burger & bucket of balls – great burger – great range. Coyote Run – Wiley’s Grill – great place – great food! Duck Creek in Portage Township has Wed. night scramble & dinner specials & Friday fish fry’s – Hi Moose! Scherwood’s Friday fish fry’s are legendary. Chicago Heights Park District courses (708-754-1400) are always fun – with excellent food as well. Sandy Pines in Demotte (219-987-3611) has a must see course & (newly remodeled) lounge/restaurant. And “The Ridge” – Indian Ridge GC in Hobart, IN (219-942-6850) has a Monday night scramble – open to all – as well as their famous Friday feasts! – OK, we can do it! (60) into (30)!
Would Like to mention a few upcoming charity/fund raising/fun events:
- The 4th annual “Hunkee Hollow Athletic Club” Golf Outing To Benefit Cerebral Palsy of NWI still has room for players (and sponsors) – call (219-465-5797) for a fun day of golf and more at the beautiful Innsbrook CC in Merrillville, IN – the event is Monday June 15th.
- Andrean High School is holding their (19th) annual “59er” Golf Classic Monday July 13th at the outstanding Sand Creek Golf Club in Chesterton, IN – proceeds to benefit the Andrean Scholarship Fund – call (219-887-5281) for all the details.
- Tommy’s Tourney – honoring a young man (age 5) who left us much, much too soon to a brain aneurysm – is being held Saturday June 6th at South Shore CC in Cedar Lake, IN – call (219-374-6070) if you can play -or- if you would just like to help out – all proceeds will benefit the “Face To Face Fine Art” Program – a program that provides free hand painted portraits to those who have lost a loved one to a sudden/tragic end.
- The LaSalle Council Boy Scouts of America – “Scramble For Scouts” is seeking players/sponsors/donations – the event is being held Mon. June 29th at Sand Creek – call (219-251-7159) to join in/contribute.
- The (2015) Highland Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing will be held at Wicker Park GC in Highland, IN on Friday July 17th – (219-923-3666) for info – golf, fun, food – can’t beat it.
- The (17th) annual Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation “Rally For A Cure” Golf Outing is being played at the Duck Creek GC on Saturday July 11th – call (219-759-587-) for details – great cause.
- The wonderful Pepsi/Illiana Tour is now in full swing – join on in! This month’s South Shore CC, Palmira GC, Sandy Pines GC, and Scherwood GC should be fun, challenging, & rewarding! – call (219-865-2554) to sign up – great fun & courses every week!
- The 95th Lake-Porter Golf Classic returns again to Palmira – many flights, age brackets, and open to both men & women – become a champion – all skill levels welcome – event runs Saturday & Sunday July 11th + 12th – (219-365-4331) for info.
- (And) the latest & greatest edition of the long-running Gary Amateur Championship is being held at the historic South Gleason GC in Gary, IN. Come on out and vie for this most coveted of area titles – Sat. & Sun. June 13th & 14th – call the course (219-980-1089) to join in -or- just go on out (and) see some great golf.
- (One more) The Viola & Tony Sella Memorial Open is being played Sat. June 6th at Mink Lake GC in Valparaiso, IN – call (219-462-2585) – this scramble is for everyone – and is always a lot of fun.
Just A Little Non-Golf Fun
- The city of Hammond, IN is once again holding their “Eat, Shop, Rock Festival in downtown Hammond – featuring live music, vendors, food, and more – check it out Saturday June 27th (10AM-4PM).
- North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan is bringing back the Wicker Park Summer Concert Series beginning Thursday June 18th – opening up the series on that night will be the wonderful music of “Final Say” – featuring East Chicago Indiana’s own “Man In The Hat” Robby Celestin! This series continues most Thursday nights until September! Showtimes 7:30-10:30PM – 21 & over only $5 fee – great bands – fun time!
- And don’t miss the family friendly/great rides/music/ & more that you will find at this year’s St. Thomas More Fest on Calumet Ave. in Munster, IN. Truly one of the best in our area – this event runs from Wed. June 24th thru Sun. June 28th – info/directions – call (219-836-8610) + say hi to Tim & Laurie for me!
Special thanks this month: To Mother Nature for giving us June – to Dad’s everywhere for just being Dad’s! – to my great assistant & friend Mike Modrzejewski – and to my lovely wife Mary for all her help & support. And 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: I know I left many facilities/events unmentioned – impossible to cover all in one writing – I apologize & will catch up in further editions – example – go see my buddy Krazy Kaplan! …And try to remember (especially this month) the old adage – “No one has ever gone to their grave wishing they could have worked one more day.” – Enjoy June – It only lasts (60) days! See ya – Pete