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
South Shore CC - "Surprise" on the Lake
- by Pete Mandich
South Shore CC on Cedar Lake in South Lake County Indiana has been a well respected golf course for many years. However, a little research tells us that the course has maneuvered itself through many twists and turns. The course was originally opened during the golf boom of 1928 - The name?...”Surprise Park Golf & Boat Club”...a private club, designed by U.S. Golf Architects, Inc. of Chicago with help from the legendary golfer Chick Evans.
“Surprise” is the surname belonging to one of Cedar Lakes’ oldest and most respected families - dating back several generations, and, the people to whom we owe the existence of this fine facility.
The private club pushed through some difficult years during the Depression Era, closed for most of World War II, reopened again as a private club, was sold, sold again, and became a public course around 1960. The course was again sold, and finally was purchased in 1975 by Cecil Hays and Charles Lo Verde, and is currently run by Mr. John Hays.
*If you haven’t been taking notes: please review the introduction - there will be a quiz!!
Soon after the 1975 purchase Mr. Cecil Hays asked his son John (age 19) if he would “like to work at a golf course” - his answer set the stage for the next 35 years in the history of South Shore CC, and in the life of one John Hays.
Around 1979 John, a few friends, and some local tradesmen removed the original 1928 clubhouse, a very necessary move for safety reasons, etc., and built the existing “new” clubhouse. Next, he moved on to adjusting the flow of a creek on the course, establishing new drainage, added (4) new ponds, planted 300 to 400 trees, put in over 50 new sand traps, a wonderful series of cart paths, maintenance sheds, a halfway house, developed and ran a staff of approximately 25, created an outstanding dining room, lounge, patio area, and golf shop...and more!
So, a lesson for you youngsters out there: if your dad ever asks you a question like “Would you like to work at...” - give it some thought - and maybe reply - “Can I get back to you on that, dad!”
Anyway, what we have today is the evidence of that hard work, and a very well designed golf course layout, where in all (18) holes are still original to the 1928 architectural plans.
The course has well manicured tees and fairways, the yardages are true and well marked, the greens are an excellent strain of bent grass - small enough to challenge your shotmaking, yet large enough to be fair. The 9th hole is often referred to as the “Signature Hole” of the course - beautiful but not without hazard. Note: Because of the excellent drainage and cart paths, you will find South Shore open when many other courses may be closed - call ahead to check.
South Shore CC offers a Thursday night men’s league, a very well attended Friday night mixed league as well as other league opportunities - join in - or just enjoy the great open play pricing which includes a $10.00 replay during the week ($12.00 on weekends).
South Shore hosts a variety of outings supporting wonderful causes, including the Eagles Club outing to benefit the Special Olympics, an upcoming (July 21st) outing to “Support The Cure” for breast cancer, Cedar Lake Girls Softball (in conjunction with Hunley’s Bar & Restaurant of Cedar Lake), and others involving the local Moose Clubs of Crown Point and Lowell, as well as The Cedar Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Important: Take time to join the fun on August 12th, 13th and 14th for South Shore CC’s famous “Beach Party” - includes (3) bands, (2) DJ’s, and lots of food and drink. And for winter fun - South Shore is a host site for “Moto On Ice” - motorcycle and quad racing on the lake - on most Sundays.
South Shore golf course is a laid back, playable, fun course. Go on out, relax, play with friends and meet some new friends. The staff in the golf shop including Bruce and Jim, others working in the clubhouse, dining room & lounge (like Andrea), and even John Hays himself will make you feel right at home.
Friday nights are great for the fish fry & steak specials (at affordable prices - and best of all enjoy the patio at dusk for the sunset over Cedar Lake.
South Shore is more than just a golf course, like many courses of its’ age, it has avoided subdividing, made it through a great depression, several wars, and as we have seen, many ownership changes - but it remains the “Surprise” on the lake in this jewel of a town.
For further information concerning South Shore CC go to www.golfsscc.com or call the golf shop at (219) 374-6070. South Shore CC is located at 14400 Lake Shore Drive in Cedar Lake, Indiana.
The title of this writing “Surprise on the Lake” includes a “Surprise” of a different kind! I was not kidding when I said there will be a quiz! Here is how it works. On a piece of paper or on our entry form write down the answers to these (2) questions:
#1: What year was South Shore CC opened?
#2: How old was John Hays when his father asked if he would like to work at a golf course?
- But Wait - There is a “Surprise” 3rd question that will be revealed on Thursday, July 7th on “The Preacher’s” radio show on WJOB 1230 AM. At approximately 5:00pm in order to be eligible to win one of several prizes, including free rounds of golf, gift certificates for golf merchandise, dinners, etc., - you must mail in the answer to all (3) questions.
If you must miss the broadcast on the radio you can log on to the website: GolfPlusOnline.net anytime after July 7th for the question. Just click on Monthly News Briefs and scroll down - you’ll see it. When you have all (3) answers mail it to: Golf Plus Newspaper c/o J&S Publishing, 322 Quail Dr., Hobart, IN 46342. The drawing will be held in public at South Shore CC on Wednesday July 27th at approximately 7:00pm. The winners need not be present. All entries will be included in the drawing.
Important: You must include your name, address, and phone number on the same piece of paper with your answers. Winners will be notified by Saturday, July 30th - by phone - if not present at drawing - and the names & prizes they have won will be published in the August edition of Golf Plus. No age limit - junior golfers are welcome to enter. Good luck!!