Straddling the border of southeastern Cook County Illinois -and- northwestern Lake County Indiana lies the
historic and scenic Lansing Country Club. An (18) hole golf course (&) “multi-recreational” facility, offering fun
for the entire family; with great service, wonderful dining, a true sense of community -and- all offered with
several of the finest membership “value packages” available at any club in the Midwest!
Lansing, Illinois – A Brief History
Approximately 12,000 yrs ago, Lansing, Illinois was (60+) ft. beneath the waters of the (then) much-enlarged Lake Michigan. As the waters receded, and the area became inhabitable – the entire area became home to (primarily) the Woodland (&) Hopewell Indians. As western migration started to colonize the area – more and more (mostly) Dutch and German settlers moved in (approx. 1830’s) (&) they found an area made up of marshy & well-timbered land with a combination of prairie/sand & clay soil.
The family 1st credited with settling in Lansing was – Mr. & Mrs. August Hildebrandt – who farmed an area on/near what is now Torrence Ave. The town, however, was named (in 1854) after one Henry Lansing, the 1st postmaster (&) owner of the general store he established in “town.” Soon shops sprung up – (serving the farmers (&) workers in the vast onion fields in the area) – along the prehistoric sand ridge of the retreating Lake Michigan (&) which we now know as Ridge Road. In 1861, the Pennsylvania Railroad began serving the area, and after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 – Lansing flourished with its brickyard trade (helping to rebuild a large part of its devastated northern neighbor) (and) which included the famous “Lahban Brickyard” – located where the current Lansing CC property now rests.
In 1893, the (3) villages of Bernice, Oak Glen, & Lansing – incorporated into (1) centralized town – (Lansing, Illinois) – with approx. (250) residents. In the early 20th Century Henry Ford built “Ford” Airport to service his nearby plant in south Chicago & which included a zeppelin/blimp hangar. (To be re-named the Chicago-Hammond airport, and eventually the (current) Lansing municipal airport). Lansing continued to expand with light industry & services, etc. – and by 1930 boasted a population of (3,500+) – and with its comfortable homes, better roads & proximity to Chicago – was home (by 1960) to over (10,000) residents.
The current town of Lansing Illinois is a very active, highly “community” oriented, wonderful place to call home – led by Mayor Dan Podgorski & dedicated civic leaders, with award winning organizations, churches, and schools – (2) downtown areas (along Ridge Road & Torrence Avenue) – a great parks department, several festivals throughout the year (including) the famous “Good Neighbor Parade” and all manner of shops, restaurants, “and night spots.” And even though the town has expanded to approx. (30,000), Lansing continues to hold on to that small-town “home-town” feel – and is proud of it!
Lansing CC – Some Background
Originally founded (in 1940) as the “Lansing Sportmans’ Club” – (a mostly fishing & trap shooting social organization) – the name “Lansing Country Club” has only been in use since (approx.) the mid 1980’s. A constantly evolving club, establishing its “new” clubhouse in (1954), building (9) holes for golf in the early 1960’s, and adding the 2nd (9) holes in 1972. This fine facility continues to value its original multi-sport(s) charter throughout the entirety of the club’s (175) acre property.
The beautifully conditioned (18) hole golf course – with its “sporty” (par 31) front nine & “challenging” (par 36) back nine – with water coming into play on (15) of the (18) holes! – allows all levels of players to enjoy their round.
There are a multitude of men’s, women’s, and mixed (very active & well-organized) league options; a well stocked golf shop (with a comfortable umbrella covered table area in front); good carts w/covers – cart paths throughout, a modern irrigation system, a nice putting green & range, junior golf instruction, an on-course beverage cart for your convenience; a large scoreboard for recording your outing or special event, is home to the T.F. South High School golf team(s); and has an array of very competitive events & championships throughout the year. Example: Current men’s club champion Chuck Starcevich -and- women’s champ Sammi Sloan – who fired a course record (59!) in this year’s club championship!
But Wait – There’s More
Although most golf clubs stop with just golf offerings – Lansing CC offers much more! The (2) large stocked lakes on the property allow for a variety of recreational opportunities; including: fishing – with a variety of species, such as bass, crappie, pike, walleye, catfish, blue gills, and more – boating (including pontoon boats) is/are permitted (with boat rentals available); ice fishing is also available; bocce ball leagues (with a current enrollment of 90+ players!) are also very active -and- played adjacent to the clubhouse on well-conditioned “grounds”; and the fall & winter bean bag evening leagues are a lot of fun & very well attended. Add in the wonderful dining offered in the “Signature Room,” the banquet (&) meeting rooms (with room for 20-225), and the “special events” and dances held throughout the year (and enjoyed by the 150+ members) -and- you have a club that you can truly say – has it all!
Like Most golf & country clubs – the staff/service really make a difference! And here at Lansing CC, this outstanding group – lead by – General Manager (&) PGA Golf Professional Scott Stephanuik (who started working at LCC at the age of 12! – and grew up right across the street from the club) is no different. Scott’s assistant golf professional Dewey Sullivan, veteran golf course Superintendent Daniel Augdahl – and his staff – including Jose Contreras & Butch Liptak, Office Manager Chris Laase, Head Chef extraordinaire Dan Wrenn, Bar Manager Jeff Remaley, and bartenders (who make the bogey’s go away!) like Morgan (&) indeed the entire staff – make the LCC experience something very special!
Lansing, Illinois and Lansing Country Club are the “real deal!” Both have that “hometown” feel and sense of community that make them unique -and- remember Lansing CC “IS OPEN” to the public for golf on “MONDAYS” throughout the season (&) OPEN to ALL for dinner (Tues – Pasta Night) (Friday – Fish Fry) – October thru April -AND- is currently encouraging new members to join! So go on out to LCC – check it out -(and)- maybe you will soon call Lansing Country Club YOUR private country club!
Lansing CC is located at 18600 Wentworth Ave in Lansing, IL (60438). The # is (708)474-7550 – www.lanscc.com - is easy to find (1/2 mile south of Ridge Road (on) Wentworth Ave). Many membership options are available – and all at an outstanding $ value!
A Very Sad Footnote
When writing any article about this wonderful facility, it is impossible to leave out the tragic circumstances of July 24th 1966 – when a small plane carrying the treasured touring golf professional Tony Lema, his wife Betty, the pilot, and one other passenger – overshot the landing strip (at the then Chicago-Hammond Airport) and crashed into the side of the 7th green at Lansing CC – killing all aboard. Mr. Lema, (who was only (32) years of age), was flying into the Chicago area to play in the famous Lincolnshire Open – in nearby Crete, Illinois – was known as “Champagne Tony” – for his habit of celebrating his victories with the press corps with champagne “all-around” – was at the height of his career, having won (5) events in 1964 – including a famous duel with Jack Nicklaus for the British Open crown. Mr. & Mrs. Lema were to be greeted upon their arrival by Mr. Walter Perko (the golf professional at Lansing CC at the time), and, Chi Chi Rodriguez – a dear friend and fellow golf professional. A plaque near the 7th tee commemorates the passing of Mr. Lema, (an ex-marine), his wife, and the others. We will never know how great a career he may have had, but his easy smile, his infectious “charisma” (with the fans & fellow professionals alike), have never truly been replaced.
Congratulations to the US team on their recent victory in the President’s Cup (18½-15½) over the “world” team – played at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in suburban Columbus, Ohio. (And) to Fred Couples for “captaining” (3) winning teams in a row! (And) I look forward to the (2015) matches, which will be played in South Korea for the first time. Speaking of looking forward – (2014) promises to be a banner year for all the major tours – the European Tour is developing some new stars, the Champions Tour & “regular” PGA Tour are both constantly bringing in “new blood” that is making life interesting for the veterans; and with Lydia Ko (16) now joining (as a professional), the already flourishing LPGA Tour – that tour is headed no where but up.
Locally – Fall & Winter rates are in effect everywhere! Take Advantage! Although October weather was a little less than we had hoped – the last few Nov’s & Dec’s have been pretty good lately. -But- no matter what the weather brings, please support your local golf course -or- golf retailer, they usually have some great discounts this time of year – (Christmas is sooner than you think) – and our region facilities really do appreciate your loyalty! Remember, just because the course may be a little too brisk for your taste, the clubhouse (with their fish fry’s & cold beer) are still (mostly) open – and are a great place to enjoy some “down time.” -And- many of our local courses will be open year round – call & check it out.
However, if the weather does completely push you indoors – try out the “Dome” in Crown Point, IN – (219)663-3663 – which is open for golfers during the week beginning in mid-November -or- Rio’s Country Club in Valparaiso, IN (219)465-5200 for league/simulator play – a lot of fun- (or) places like Creekside GC & Training Center also in Valpo (219)531-7888 – great indoor nets and simulators are available. Call around – many more facilities may be offering indoor nets, etc. this year.
Great deals are to be found at the annual “multi-shop” golf equipment & apparel sale being held Nov. 15th – 17th at Balmoral Woods GC on #Rte 394 in Crete, IL – call (708)672-7448 for info.
The second annual “Chili Open” is being held Saturday November 9th at the Lost Marsh GC in Hammond, IN – great scramble (with) even greater chili – call Dean Gabey (219)932-4653 & enjoy.
And plan ahead for the “Tinley Park Golf Expo,” which will take place Feb 7th – 9th, 2014 – at the Tinley Park Convention Center. The best show in Chicagoland – includes hundreds of exhibits, interactive events, and most of the new equipment from the major manufacturers. For info -or- to have your own booth, call (708)990-3779 – www.tinleyparkgolfexpo.com.
Last Chance to win: I will be appearing (for the last time this season) as a guest on “The Back Room” radio show starring “Larry The K” and “Big George.” I will be on Thursday Nov. 21st at approx. 6:30PM – to discuss local golf goings on & GIVING AWAY a few rounds of golf to some of our fine local courses. For a CHANCE TO WIN - or just to listen in – tune in to WJOB1230AM –or- log on to www.wjob1230am.com to view the show. The call-in number is (219)845-1100 – Good Luck!
And…This just in: What a great finish to a “stellar” high school career – Valparaiso High School Senior golfer – Miss Harley Dubsky – walked away with the individual title at the 41st Indiana High School Girls State Championship -as- she fired an even par (144) for the (2) day event. Local team qualifiers Valpo – finished 9th, while Lake Central finished close behind in 10th place, and Chesterton came in 13th. Congratulations to all -and - watch for Harley’s name going forward – you’ll be seeing it!
Special thanks this month: To Scott, Dan, Dewey, and all the staff at the Lansing CC; to Michael Modrzejewski for all his help; to Patti & Debbie At the Lansing Public Library; to the town of Lansing, IL for providing their “best export” – my lovely wife Mary! To Larry The “K” & Big George for having me as a guest on their fine WJOB broadcast(s) this year (and congrats to WJOB1230AM on (90) years in operation & the “Big Move” into their new studios!) (And) most importantly – we at Golf Plus newspaper & GolfPlusOnline.net would like to thank all our readers and advertisers who have been there for us all season! Mucho thanks!
Enjoy your turkey – and as always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions, questions, stories, etc. Please contact me at our e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a voicemail at (219)947-4313, and to read past golf course reviews – or to just visit Golf Plus newspaper online – visit our website at GolfPlusOnline.net.
Lastly: The famous funnyman Buddy Hackett said: One day I was playing golf in the deep south – and I hit my ball in the swamp (where) I happened upon an alligator wearing a shirt with a picture of a man on it! See ya! – PM