Real quick! Which golf facility, built in the last (20) years in Northwest Indiana, has shown the most
promise, been the most talked about, and considered one of the best courses to have ever been
developed in our region? If you answered White Hawk CC in Crown Point Indiana, most everyone would
agree with you. Well now, after a few ownership changes, and the installation of a new, "dynamic"
management team, White Hawk CC is fully ready to attain the potential it so richly deserves!
Opened approximately (15) years ago, White Hawk CC is a beautiful, expansive, (36) hole golf facility. Designed by famed golf architect Dick Nugent, who designed such fine local courses as Briar Ridge CC in Schererville IN, Sand Creek CC in Chesterton IN, The Dunes Club in New Buffalo, MI, and dozens more throughout the world. And although White Hawk CC may be a public golf facility, it has that "private country club" feel about it.
A mostly links-style course, White Hawk CC features rolling fairways, well-designed greens, (with several challenging pin placement opportunities), seven large lakes, wetlands, abundant wildlife, and is surrounded by over (500) luxury homes.
Another striking feature of White Hawk is that "fully-established" sense to the course, that many newer courses lack. The (4) "nine" hole courses - Red Hawk, Silver Hawk, Grey and Black Hawk, give the facility "options" for various rotations. One day the "Red & Grey" may host an outing, while "Silver & Black" may be open to the public. These "options" provide for a new golfing experience upon every visit - and allow ample room for maximizing available tee times.
Built on over (250) acres, (including 90 full acres of lush bent grass tees, fairways, and greens). All (4) nine hole courses are a "unique" grouping of individual challenges. Fours sets of tees allow all to enjoy, and on each tee box you will find information signs providing valuable "positioning" advice for your approach to every hole. The holes are well defined, with ample landing areas where needed, and are not "on top" of each other. The expansive bunkering and water hazards are dangerous, but fair; the yardage markers in the fairways are well placed, and all the "brand new" golf carts are equipped with GPS for ease of play. All (4) courses include some of the finest finishing holes around, and the #8 hole of the Silver course may scare you a little at (667) yards from the back tees! All in all, when you play any of the rotations available at White Hawk CC, you will come away feeling you have been treated to a well-conditioned, well-designed golf course experience.
The golf course(s) at White Hawk CC are even further enhanced by the overall facility and available amenities. White Hawk has been voted as "best outing golf course in Indiana" several times - and for good reason. The clubhouse, currently undergoing a major renovation project, which includes: A new golf shop, a new "19th hole" style bar and restaurant (with all new fixtures, appointments, etc. throughout) is shaping up, and will be ready in early April. It is impossible to describe the quality of the work that is going on - you just have to see it for yourself!
The clubhouse (boasting banquet/outing facilities capable of handling groups of 200+) is a perfect setting for any special occasion you may be planning. Many weddings have utilized the beautiful patio area, and gazebo; and White Hawk CC offers one service totally "unique" to our area - a luxury motor coach with full bar, etc., ready and willing to pick up and drop off your party, outing, or group, to & from most locations throughout Chicagoland! Also available on the grounds are a full sized scoreboard, a remarkable driving range, and a nicely designed pool area. Currently White Hawk has approx. (300) members - with membership packages of all types still available, and quite affordable!
With all this going on - the true story that exists is the change in direction, and ownership/management. CND Management Group LLC - based in Crown Point - is the new ownership group, and the responsible parties for all these great improvements. An extremely significant change is their hire of a "hometown" general manager by the name of Andy Soley. Andy, a local stand-out golfer at Hanover Central (and) Ball State University at one time, and a remarkably qualified professional, whose golf bio is too extensive to fully cover in this writing, has definitely hit the ground running! Including acquiring the equally qualified David Miloshoff (formerly of Briar Ridge CC) as golf course superintendent, and the further hiring of new golf professional Kyle Thompson from Noblesville, IN. And with Anthony Lopez heading up the food and beverage operations, this group should provide great leadership in reaching all of CND's ultimate goals!
Crown Point, Indiana
Crown Point Indiana is located in central Lake County Indiana, and is nicknamed the "Hub City" primarily for its wonderful location. The town was first established by Solon & Mariah Robinson in 1834 - originally from Connecticut. Mr. Robinson was (among other things) the first shop owner, postmaster, and Justice of the Peace in Crown Point.
In fact, the name "Crown Point" was derived thru association with Mr. Robinson's own nickname of the "squatter king" - a name given to him for his tendency to move to new places and lay down roots. Therefore "Crown" and "King" somehow came to form the name "Crown Point"?! A renaissance man of sorts, he lived out his later years in Washington D.C., and was credited with establishing the National Agricultural Society, as well as becoming a well respected writer who was compared favorably to contemporary writers of the day such as Webster, Emerson, Whittier, etc. Soon others followed the Robinson's into this part of Indiana, seizing upon the opportunities that the fertile soil provided, and the town grew.
As Crown Point grew larger, more businesses were establish and formed a "square" surrounding the courthouse that was erected in 1878 in the center of what is still downtown. In 1882, a jail and the sheriffs' home were built (1) block south of downtown, and in 1934, this jail became famous the world over for the escape of the notorious John Dillinger. This jail still stands, and is available for viewing by tour only - for info, call (219)663-3765.
In the early 20th Century, Crown Point developed another point of significance by building up a very achieve marriage trade - and indeed became known as the "marriage mill" of the midwest. This was due to the "no waiting" period for marriage licensing policy enjoyed in the area at the time.
Among the celebrities who utilized these services were: the famous actor Rudolph Valentino, a young fighter by the name of Cassius Clay, football great Red Grange, cowboy movie star Tom Mix, Hollywood producer Michael Todd, and many more.
Today, Crown Point has a population approaching 28,000 - and is truly a jewel of a town in the northwest corner of the state of Indiana. The "square" surrounding the old courthouse in downtown is a thriving grouping of old established businesses, and new (and varied) shops, restaurants and night spots. The courthouse itself has been lovingly restored - and protected - (thank you Lake County Courthouse Foundation - and its many supporters) - and now houses a wonderful array of shops on its lower level. Crown Point is still the county seat, and is home to the (1974) new jail & courthouse located a little north of downtown.
The current city leaders, and indeed all of the citizens of Crown Point, take great pride in their town - as evidenced by the excellence shown in all facets of the community. The well organized growth, the addition of the new "Sportsplex", the new high school, the soon to be finished new library, and the well run (and attended) festivals and events, etc. - all showcase their ability to look towards the future while still valuing their past. Please do yourself a favor and discover/rediscover our regions "hometown" with a visit to Crown Point. To learn more about Crown Point, and get a listing of the many upcoming festivals - log on to www.crownpoint.in.gov.
White Hawk Country Club and Crown Point, Indiana deserve each other - they are both "the whole package", a high quality golf facility in a grand old town. They both support numerous fine charitable causes, and have bright futures. A sign on the new Sportsplex in town seems to say it all "Nobody who ever gave their best regretted it." And good luck to White Hawk on their obvious dedication to quality - I am sure with this ownership/management team in place the sky will be the limit - as White Hawk CC "soars anew"!
For further information concerning White Hawk CC - call the course at (219)661-2323 -or- visit their website at www.whitehawkcountryclub.com. White Hawk CC is located at 1001 White Hawk Dr. in Crown Point, IN 46307. Approx. 1.5 miles west of Main St. on Summit Ave. Drive time from central Lake County Indiana (0) minutes!
This year, the greater Chicagoland area is lucky enough to host all there major tours -and- a Ryder Cup! The Senior PGA Championship will be played at Harbor Shore GC in nearby Benton Harbor, Michigan from May 22nd thru the 27th - for info log on to www.pga.com. In July the U.S. Women's Open will be contested at Blackwolf Run GC in Kohler, Wisconsin - see www.uswomensopen.com. The PGA tour will decide the BMW Championship at Carmel, Indiana's own Crooked Stick CC in early September -check out wgaesf.com - and in late September, the 39th Ryder Cup matches will be decided at Medinah CC in suburban Chicago - www.rydercup.com. Tickets may still be available - give it a shot.
And for local golf travel escapes, try Indiana's golf website www.visitindianagolf.com. This site provides info on great places to play (including lodging) and can also be reached by calling 800-677-9800. Indiana has some of the best golf course destinations in the country - example - good friends Mary & Greg Bachnak who give high praise to the Turkey Run Lodge & Golf Course. And for even more on Indiana golf go to www.petedyegolftrail.com - this new Pete Dye Golf Trail consists of some of the finest courses designed by our states' native son, who is known as one of the truly great golf architects of our time. For even more - try Swan Lake Resort, Spa, and Golf Academy in Plymouth, Indiana - www.swanlakeresort.com.
And just a short drive across the border in Michigan, you will find many quality, fun, and challenging golf destinations - example - if you are in the Dowagiac, Michigan area - try out Hampshire CC - a great (36) hole track (and be sure to say hello to our buddies Laurie & Steve Wells while you are there). Their website is www.hampshire36.com. And for SW Michigan tourist info you can log on to www.swmichigan.org.
We are very fortunate to have some of the finest junior golf instruction programs -and- instructors located right here in our region. This short list of local professionals are all dedicated to promoting junior golf in our area, and to giving that junior you know a better understanding of the great game of golf.
• Rich Morales - Wicker Memorial Park GC & DR (Highland, IN) (219)838-9809
• Bill Abrams - Balmoral Woods CC (Crete, IL) - (708)672-7448
• Dave Perkins - Ringo's Golf Center (Crown Point, IN) (219)942-8929
• Rick Thomas & Carl Swanson - Scherwood GC (Schererville, IN) - (219)865-2554
• Tom Zimmerman - Cedar Creek GC & DR (Crown Point, IN) (219)365-2902
• Matt Memeghetti - Centennial Park GC (Munster, IN) (219)836-6931
• Nancy Bender - Creekside GC (Valparaiso, IN) - (219)531-7888
• Brad Burvan - Sandy Pines GC (Demotte, IN) (219)987-3611
• Dean Gabey - Lost Marsh GC (Hammond, IN) - (219)932-4046
• Jason Gillespie - J&M Golf (St. John, IN) (219)365-5611
Speaking of junior golf - thumbs up - to the "Legacy Foundation" of Lake County who recently assisted the "First Tee" program in our area with a generous grant - the Legacy Foundation assists many fine programs in the region, and (2) local golf programs will be greatly assisted by their generosity; the 1st local chapter of the First Tee located at Creekside GC in Valparaiso, and the Hammond home of the First Tee program located at Lost Marsh GC. The First Tee program - beginning in 1997 - has enhanced the lives of almost (4) million participants in all (50) states. For more info on this wonderful organization, go to www.thefirsttee.org.
A couple of upcoming "demo" days will be held at: Ringos' Golf Center in Crown Point - on Friday, April 27th from 2-6PM - you are welcome to try all the new "Ping" Golf equipment at that time - but please call ahead for a personalized fitting appointment - if that is what you are seeking (219)942-8929. And J&M Golf in St. John will be holding a demo day (including various manufacturers products) on Friday, May 4th from 11-3PM at Palmira GC - also in St. John, IN - Call J&M for info at (219)365-5611 -or- call Palmira GC at (219)365-4331.
Still room for a few groups to sign-up for Lincoln Oaks CC's "squirrel scramble" being held on Saturday, April 21st at 1:00PM (shotgun start) - always a lot of fun - call the course at (708)672-9401 for info. Looking for a great skins game? Indian Ridge holds one every Wednesday afternoon - call for details (219) 942-6850.
"Hats On" - not off - to all those who gave their locks for a good cause on St. Baldricks Day. The good people of Valpo & Crown Point, good friends like Sylvia Pilat!, and Michael Stewart, (Stew at WJOB Radio) - and especially those who did so to honor Katie Crandol of Hammond with their new "do".
Congrats to Alexis & Jim Dedelow at WJOB 1230AM radio station who were among the recent recipients of the 2011 "business persons of the year" award - given out by the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. And Happy 75th Anniversary to the very active Optimists Club of Hammond - always helping the community with its fine programs & service projects.
And watch out if young (10 year old) Cameron Crowe of Hammond takes his golf game to the level of his bowling. You see Cameron just became the youngest southpaw in history to bowl a 300 game! He did it at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, and dad says he enjoys golf as well.
Last Shot: My pick for this year's Masters is - Sergio Garcia - definitely not favored to win - but a great guy who I hope gets it done.
Special Thanks This Month
To: Joann Buehrle at the Crown Point City Hall; Patricia from the Lake County Court House Foundation; Eloise at the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce; Colleen, Mary, Paula, and Laura at the Crown Point Public Library; Anthony, Vito, Andy, and Ron at White Hawk CC; Michael Modrzejewski; my lovely wife Mary; Jeri at Bryan's Florist; Wendy, Sarah, and Sabrina at "What's the Scoop"; Kaitlyn at Crown Brewing; and Jerry at Marv's Barber Shop on the Square. But most of all I want to thank Crown Point Indiana for providing their "best product" to myself and my family - my wonderful mother who was born & raised there.
As always I appreciate your comments, suggestions, questions, etc. Please contact me at our e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org -or- leave me a voicemail at (219)947-4314.
Finally: And for all of those who asked if I would be back on the radio talking about Region golf - after the untimely passing of good friend and radio personality "The Preacher" - the answer is yes - I will be joining Michael Stewart on his "Stew for Lunch" program at approx. 1:00PM the 2nd Thursday of every month - beginning April 12th on WJOB 1230AM. Thanks for asking - please call in to the show at (219)845-1100 -or- you can view the show by logging on to: www.wjob1230.com. And thanks to Stew in advance for having me. -- by Pete Mandich