Minne Monesse G.C., located just south of the village of Grant Park, IL, was first opened in 1928, closed
during the World War II years of 1942 – 1945, held as a private homestead for nearly (20) years, lovingly
restored in the early 1960’s, and is currently operated by the wonderful Hurley family. And even though the
course is quite active, hosting many tournaments, charitable functions, and golf outings, it is “just the place”
if you are looking for a relaxing day of golf in a peaceful country setting.
A Little History
Before the first “settlers” set foot upon this part of Illinois, the area was the long-time home of the Pottawatomie Indians. For many decades this band of Native Americans were peacefully governed by Chief Yellowhead –or- (Min-ne-ma-ung) – (which is Yellowhead in their native language). Chief Yellowhead was, (although history is not quite clear on this point), most probably the brother of the great Shawnee Chieftain Tecumseh – known as the most influential of all the tribal chiefs of the time.
As the first settlers found the fertile land to their liking, and through treaty and the western migration of the buffalo, these Native Americans were replaced by more and more European settlers, and small towns sprang up throughout the area. Among these settlers was the reverend James Campbell whose son C.C. Campbell is most commonly referred to as the founder of what is now Grand Park, IL. C.C. Campbell through his influence and talents persuaded the railroad to stop on this land (in approx. 1869), and in the town that he named “Grant” after his long-time friend President Ulysses S. Grant. Later the railroad asked that name be altered to avoid confusion with another stop – and so “Grant” became today’s’ Grant Park.
Grant Park flourished in the early 20th Century, until tornadoes, fires, and migration of many to the larger city of Chicago put a stop to the town’s growth. Once again farming became the primary function of this area, and today the village of Grant Park is a beautiful, quiet place – home to approx. 1,500 – with some light industry, beautiful homes, many churches, highly regarded schools, and as peaceful a place as you will ever find.
Minne Monesse GC
In the early 1920’s – a boom period for the development of golf courses – Mr. Willard Smith of Momence Illinois, along with some friends, acquired land south of Grant Park, IL for the purpose of building a golf course. And in 1928, the (9) hole course opened, and was named “Minne Monesse”. The name was derived through the combination of Chief “Monesse” with whom Mr. Smith had become quite familiar through his study of the native people of the area; and “Min-ne-ma-ung” - the native name for Chief Yellowhead –or- in combination with “Yellowhead Township” as the area was known.
In April of 1938 – Denny Sullivan was named as the golf professional, and by all accounts, the facility was highly praised and quite active. However as World War II broke out, the course found it impossible to continue, and the course was sold, and the land was used as a pasture for cattle, as well as a turkey farm. In the mid-1940’s, the land was again sold to a gentleman who turned the property into his family’s private residence and the memories of the golf course were all but gone.
But a hero, in the form of past golf professional Denny Sullivan would not give up! For the better part of (2) decades, Mr. Sullivan would not give up trying to acquire the property & restore the golf course that he had come to love. Finally in 1960, upon the passing of the property owner, Mr. Sullivan, and his family, acquired “Minne Monesse” – (probably and architectural site by now) – and (with the help of the extremely talented superintendant Mr. James Gerlach) – miraculously brought the course back to life! And, by the mid-1960’s, with the purchase of additional land, opened the new/restored (18) hole version of Minne Monese GC.
Minne Monesse GC – Today
In 1980, after a lifetime of working in corporate real estate, Mr. Ed Hurley noticed that Minne Monesse GC had once again become available for purchase. Having always been interested in the game of golf, and believing that the best way to become a better golfer might just be to own your own course, he took the plunge and acquired Minne Monesse GC. Becoming a better player may not have truly come about, but a lifetime of pleasure involving the operating of this fine facility with his family more that made up for it. Today his daughter Debra (who handles the inside operations) and his son Tim (who handles the course & property) work side by side with Ed – and Ed states in his own words that “After (32) years here at Minne Monesse, his family and he continue to enjoy sharing a lot of fun and experiences with their customers and staff.”
The Course Itself
Minne Monesse Golf Course is a challenging (18) hole course with some “fun holes” that give you a chance to make a few birdies. With (3) sets of tees, players of any skill level can enjoy the course – but be careful, and play conservative where needed. The course is watered throughout, (new 2004 water system), has excellent drainage, cart paths where needed, good carts with covers & windshields, well-conditioned tees, fairways, and greens, and beautiful mature trees throughout. Yardage markers are highly visible and accurate, well-placed ponds, tightly mowed rough, well-manicured fairway & greenside bunkering, and hole lay-out signs on tees to assist you. There is a nice practice area, putting green, and driving range, and a half-way house for your convenience.
The clubhouse has a large (100+) dining room w/ fireplace, a nice bar overlooking the 18th green, a well-stocked golf shop, an additional banquet area – capable of holding an additional (75+) for outings, etc., and a small but comfortable outside deck with tables. And great food (especially on Friday’s) is available in the dining room.
The course is home to numerous tournaments, events, and meetings of all types, as well as, leagues and junior golf clinics. Above all, Minne Monesse is, and always has been, a welll-run, well-managed, comfortable home for the game of golf, and together with the nearby village of Grant Park, offer you “peaceful country beauty.”
For further information concerning Minne Monesse GC – call the course at (815)465-6653 –or- (800)339-3126. Mailing address: P.O. Box 465, Grant Park, IL 60940. Minne Monesse GC is located on E. Rte 17, approx. (45) south of Chicago, IL – is easy to find – and approx. a (30-45 minute) drive from anywhere in Lake County, IN & great rates, too!!
Congratulations to Evansville Harrison H.S. Boys Golf team on their first ever State Championship! The finals played at The Legends GC in Franklin, IN also saw Valpo H.S. finish 19th, and Lake Central’s Mike Barenie finish his high school golf career in style.
Plan ahead: On Sept. 15th (Saturday), Indian Ridge GC in Hobart, IN will be home to the second annual “Verta Richards Foundation” Golf Outing. This event raises money for the study of pancreatic cancer, and will include breakfast – (9:00 shotgun start) – snacks on the course – and a great dinner. Call for info: (219)942-6850.
This Month: White Hawk CC in Crown Point, IN will be hosting The Hackers-n-Halos Annual Golf Outing to benefit children – to be held on July 13th (Friday) – for details go to www.haloofhope.net.
And in August: South Shore CC in Cedar Lake, IN, on Saturday August 4th, hosts the “Cedar Lake Girls Softball Golf Outing” – for further info call Terri Blagojevic at Hunley’s – (219)644-9190.
Small Change: “Golf Talk” on WJOB 1230AM (with Michael Stewart) has altered the starting time. To listen in with Michael and myself on Thursday July 12th, you will have to tune in at approx. 2:30PM –or- if you prefer to view the show, you can log on to www.wjob1230.com; and to meet “Stew” – as well as – other WJOB personalities -- show up on any Thursday night at Freddy’s Steakhouse on 165th & Kennedy in Hammond, IN – starting at 6:00PM. There will be music, good food, and lots of fun – Join in.
More Junior Golf: 12 year old Yianni Kostouros of Crown Point, IN finished 1st at the recent US Kids Golf Qualifier in Indianapolis – firing a 78! – Will be traveling to the World Championships August 2nd - 4th in Pinehurst, NC – Good luck Yianni! And, new friend, and recent Hanover Central grad Trever Thoms of Cedar Lake, IN will be attending the “Golf Academy of America” in Orlando, FL – follow that dream young man! One more – Congratulations to the Illinois Junior Golf Association – celebrating forty-five years of great service – to learn more about this fine organization, log on to www.ijga.org.
July is what we wait for all Winter – warm weather, courses in great shape, twilight rates, etc. – Enjoy! But you know we have to keep the family happy too! So bring your whole family out to the course – get everyone involved and for after golf, here are a few events you might want to check out.
• Cedar Lake Summerfest: July 4th-8th – Cedar Lake, IN (www.cedarlakesummerfest.com).
• Gary’s South Shore Air Show: July 6th-8th – Gary, IN (www.southshorecva.com).
• Festival of the Lakes: July 19th-22nd – Hammond, IN (www.gohammond.com).
• St. James Fun Days: July 19th-22nd – Highland, IN (www.stjameshighland.org).
• Pierogi Fest: July 27th-29th – Whiting, IN (www.pierogifest.net).
• Taste of Chicago: July 11th-15th – Chicago, IL (www.tasteofchicago.us).
• The Lake County Fair: August 3rd-12th – Crown Point, IN (www.lakecountyfair.com).
Enjoy July – We will miss it in January!
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 voice mail 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.
Special Thanks This Month:
To everyone at Minne Monesse GC – including Ed, Debra, Tim, and Shadow. Kim at the Village Hall, Bill Wold with the Chamber of Commerce, Chris & Lisa at the post office, and especially Vic Frahm with the Grant Park Historical Society.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE: A benefit will be held to help assist with expenses/etc. involving the untimely passing of our friend Jordan Vezey - at - John’s Place on Ridge Rd & Cline Ave in Griffith, IN on Saturday July 15th. Cost is $10 per person, or $15 per couple – with food, drink specials, a silent auction, raffles, and LIVE entertainment starting at noon – Including Mary Mystica, Tracy Okamato, A Bit Of Timepeace, Whiskey Business, Bakers Men, and a live comedy show. Come on in after golf, enjoy yourself, and help pay tribute to a fine young man. Any questions call John’s Place at (219)838-4490.