Pete Mandich, a former Andrean High School standout, will feature articles of area golf courses
throughout the 2011 golfing season. Below is a brief bio.
l First started hitting balls at age 3 and playing at Calumet GC
l Grew up playing mostly at Gleason Park and Gary CC (now Innsbrook)
l Mentored by PGA Golf Professional Herb Meinert
l Won several junior golf tournaments, including Lake-Porter Junior Champion 1973
l Played and captained Andrean’s golf team 4 years
l Played collegiate golf at Tulane University and Western Michigan University
l Participated in Indiana Jr., Indiana Amateur, Western Amateur, CDGA events (several)
l Played in countless professional events throughout the Midwest & Florida
l Head golf professional at Balmoral Woods G&CC
l Asst. golf pro at Butterfield CC (Oakbrook, IL)
l Head golf pro at Crystal Lake CC (Crystal Lake, IL)
l Worked with or advised a multitude of golf related businesses & manufacturing companies
l Founded & owned 3 separated golf companies
l Built and owned golf driving range & miniature golf course
l Golf instructor for 35 years
l Guest speaker for various PGA sections throughout Midwest as well as National Golf Foundation
l Personal: Currently resides in Hammond, IN, married to the talented local singer Mary “Mystica”, 3 children
Recipe for Success: The New Pheasant Valley
- by Pete Mandich
Begin With: One man’s vision (Ed Naum)
Add: A history of wonderful rounds of golf
Pour In: A talented golf family (Chuck, Paul, Dave Hegan)
Sift Out: A few difficult years
And Take: One step at a time
Built in 1967 by Ed Naum, and run by Ed & Kevin Naum for approximately 35 years, Pheasant Valley CC stood out as a course that challenged the best golfers in the area. If you wanted to succeed here you better bring your “A” game, and be ready to play eighteen solid holes of golf. One slip-up and you were headed for a big number.
After a rocky period involving an ownership change in the first decade of this century, topped off by drainage flooding in 2008, it looked like Pheasant Valley was about to be added to the list of area golf facilities that would be lost forever. But, in stepped area golf legend Chuck Hegan and his family to resurrect this storied facility. Starting just last spring (2009) with son Paul taking point on the course, and Paul’s brother Dave working on the amenities inside, the work has been nothing short of outstanding.
The most important and difficult improvements are not readily visible - they involve a drainage problem, caused by outdated, incomplete, or destroyed services. After the excellent handling of this problem - new cart paths were installed to increase the opportunity for consistent play through periods of inclement weather. (Like this spring!) A multitude of maintenance and conditioning problems were further addressed and are ongoing. Paul Hegan will be the first to tell you he is still not satisfied, however the course is really beginning to round into good condition.
There are multiple new sets of tees springing up to improve the playability of the course, especially for juniors, seniors, ladies, and less experienced golfers. This should really add an opportunity for more people to enjoy the course - but if you insist on playing the black (back) tees, the course will still give you all you can handle. Take notice: with the newest pond on the right side of hole #16 - this is now a two shot par-4 for all but the most daring of long ball hitters.
As for the clubhouse and grounds - every week you will notice the quality of work going into the various improvements. Dave Hegan has upgraded the entire clubhouse which is now very inviting and comfortable. The golf shop is stocked, new carts have been added, and the banquet room can handle up to 100 diners. Green fees are reasonable, and a multi-course membership package for 2011 is still available involving all four Hegan-family courses - Pheasant Valley CC, Oak Knoll GC, Indian Ridge CC, and Summertree GC. Also check out the senior and special group rates. The friendly staff will be happy to assist you in every way. Take a drive out to the country and see the new Pheasant Valley. I know you will be glad you did! It’s located on 141st Ave. in Crown Point, 2 miles south of St. Anthony’s Hospital - phone number is (219) 663-5000.
Lastly, I would like to thank the Hegan family for their work here at Pheasant Valley. The choice to take on the project means a lot to the many fans, and loyal customers of this golf course.
The best part about writing this column is running into old friends and seeing what is going on in Region golf.
It was great to spend time visiting with Rusty Lashenik at Indian Ridge CC in Hobart recently.
Nice to see Wally and Maureen are continuing to run a great golf shop at Ringo’s. Good to see Dave there as well.
As of this writing, 125 golfers are headed to the Jasper, Indiana area for a group golf outing. This group was largely put together by Steve Vermejan - wonderful to see Region golfers coming together like this. Good luck to Ron Kotso, Dave Gill, Tom Zimmerman and the gang. Stay dry!
I understand Bill Springer got a hole-in-one on hole #12 at Wicker Park GC on Easter Sunday - had to be a great skin!
Lost a fine man in Verne Washburn this past month. Verne was, among other fine works, past president of Gary CC (now Innsbrook). Good to see his wife Rosalee and sons Jim and Rick are keeping golf a family tradition.
Please listen-in to W.J.O.B. 1230 A.M. on Thursday, May 5th, and every first Thursday of the month for “Golf Shots” on the radio live at 1:00pm or you can view the show on-line by logging onto www.WJOB1230.com. Give me and “The Preacher” a call at (219) 845-1100.
As always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions, questions, stories, etc. Please contact me at our e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for further news, discounts, events, etc. at GolfPlusOnline.net.
On a personal note: Thank you for all the inquiries concerning my wife Mary, who had a health scare recently. She is doing well and will be back singing at Freddy’s Steakhouse in Hammond on Friday and Saturday May 6th & 7th. For her further schedule you can log onto Facebook “Mary Mystica”. Also, best of luck to our son Josh, niece Desiree, good friend Nicole Garza and other Northwest Indiana musical hopefuls trying out for X-Factor.