We are very lucky to have so many fine public & private courses available to us here in the region – that
sometimes we forget how close we are (in every direction) to so many more. Whittaker Woods Golf Club in
New Buffalo, MI is one prime example! This outstanding course and community offer – great golf – beautiful
beaches – wonderful shops – restaurants and night life – and all only a short drive away!
New Buffalo, MI
Known as the “Gateway to Michigan,” the town of New Buffalo borders the state of Indiana and the city of Michigan City, Indiana. This small town more than doubles in population during the summer months – as tourists and families from (mostly) the suburbs of Chicago – flood the areas’ beautiful summer homes, condominiums & hotels in search of some fun in the sun.
Long known for its many attractions – including – fishing, swimming, - (the public beach is within walking distance of downtown & the Amtrak station *which stops (6) times a day in New Buffalo) – boating (with over 1,000 slips!) – festivals, art fairs, wineries “a plenty,” and now micro-breweries – and much, much, more – (including some great golf!) – New Buffalo is a truly fun recreation area for the young & old alike. For info: contact the New Buffalo Business Association at 888-660-6222 or www.newbuffalo.org.
Whittaker Woods Golf Club
Is – simply put – “Pure Michigan!” A beautiful (18) hole golf course – (opened in 1996 and designed & built by the very talented golf architect Mr. Ken Killian) – that offers you that feeling of “isolation” on every hole – as the many varieties of mature trees surround you (and) the perfectly designed (& manicured) fairways & spacious greens.
Every hole is a unique challenge, with well-placed fairway & greenside bunkering on its many dog-legs, ponds & creeks that are in abundance, and natural wetlands throughout the vast acreage.
The course measures from 4,800 to 7,000+ yards from its (4) sets of tees – allowing all levels of golfers to enjoy their round -and- the yardages are very well marked *(additionally, Whittaker Woods has a free mobile GPS app – with hole by hole “flyovers” at www.golfwhittaker.com).
WWGC is beautifully maintained from tee to green (thanks to veteran Superintendent Scott Curtis & his staff), has excellent drainage, continuous cart paths; marshals keep a close eye on pace of play (with generous tee-time intervals – ensuring quality spacing of groups); electric carts w/ covers & windshields; a full (all grass) driving range, practice area (including sand area) & (2) spacious putting/chipping greens; a very competitive fee structure; (and of course!) that always important beverage cart that never stops moving!
The beautifully renovated 1920’s era farmhouse/clubhouse is a pleasant and “inviting” place to enjoy your favorite beverage (or) some of the wonderful (casual & fine) dining options from Head Chef Dustin James.
There are several intimate dining areas for small groups, the “relaxed” Joe Mack’s Sports Bar, and a variety of patios – (including the “Grand Deck” which surrounds the clubhouse) – (all) containing outstanding views of the course. There is also an excellent, well-stocked, golf shop in the clubhouse & the men’s & women’s locker rooms that are perfect for any group.
(And) WWGC is very outing friendly – with a great staff of professionals, including: General Manager Steve Dell, PGA Professional Ed Scribner, and Food & Beverage Director Chelle Covington all ready to handle groups of all sizes – in the clubhouse -(or)- at the adjacent (all-season, glass-enclosed) “Fairway Hall” - a perfect facility for groups up to 300 for golf outings, weddings, meetings, etc.
And A Little More
Hotels, casino(s) (Four Winds Casino & Hotel and the Blue Chip Casino & Hotel), nightlife, and all that other great New Buffalo “stuff” – are just minutes from the course! So…the next time you, your family, or your group, decide to get away for some fun golf & more – just go…“Next Door”…(to) Whittaker Woods Golf Club and New Buffalo, MI!
Whittaker Woods Golf Club is located in New Buffalo, MI – approx. a (40-50) minute drive from anywhere in Lake County, IN (take 80-94 East to the 1st Michigan Exit & turn right – go to the 1st light (Wilson Rd), turn right on Wilson Rd & it is about a mile down the road – you can’t miss it. The address is 12578 Wilson Rd. New Buffalo, MI 49117 – Phone # 269-469-3400 & web address www.golfwhittaker.com.
*Summers are always great at WWGC (but) the fall season – with those trees turning color – is truly something to see! …On a personal note: Golf Plus’ own Steve Chontos set (and held onto) the course record at Whittaker Woods for many years …way to go Steve!
Some May tour highlights: Long-hitting JB Holmes comes back from injury – wins for 1st time in (6) years. Martin Kaymer wins by (1) shot over Jordan Spieth at the Players Championship. Brendon Todd wins Byron Nelson Tourney for his 1st ever victory (8th first time winner this year – make hay while Tiger is away!) Rory McIlroy comes from (7) back on Sunday to win the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour. And Adam Scott becomes the #1 Player in the World & then wins the next week at The Colonial!
The Seniors saw Bernard Langer win his (20th) Champions Tour event – Kenny Perry wins the Tradition (the 1st Senior major of the year & his 3rd major title in his last (3) starts in majors!), Colin Montgomerie wins the Senior PGA – his 1st win on American soil & his 1st major of any kind. And Miguel Angel Jimenez (50) (the most interesting golfer in the world) wins the Spanish Open on the Euro Tour – becoming the oldest to ever win on that tour (breaking his own record for the 3rd time!)
The LPGA witnessed another great Stacey Lewis victory, Jessica Korda winning the LPGA Classic – and Lizette Salas wins for the 1st time – a great story, a young lady who really beat the odds – go to your computer & search Ms. Salas if you would like to be inspired!
Coming up in June – the US Open will be played at Pinehurst CC in Pinehurst, NC -by- 1st the men – June 12th – 15th (&) then, the following week June 19th – 22nd by the women! Never been done – great challenge to the Pinehurst staff – good luck! The Encompass Championship (Champions Tour) returns to the great North Shore CC in nearby Glenview, IL June 16th – 22nd – children under (18) are Free, as well as all retired & active military – go on out and see some of the past greats: tickets 888-302-5446 -or- www.encompasschampionship.com. (And) the LPGA visits the Blackthorn GC in South Bend, IN June 21st – 23rd – chance to see some great golf – call course for info. (And) another tremendous bio will air on the Golf Channel chronicling the short (but great) career of Payne Stewart – check it out June 8th & 9th.
Not pro’s yet -but- congratulations to the women’s golf team at Duke University on winning the NCAA Championship & to Doris Chen of USC for winning the individual title. – on the men’s side, congrats to the University of Alabama for back-to-back National titles! (&) to Cameron Wilson of Stanford on winning the individual title.
And (OK) wow! …When you tune in to watch the Women’s Open at Pinehurst – look for Lucy Li – an (11) year old! who will be competing against the world’s best (&) who qualified by firing a (68) …winning at that site by (7) strokes!
Locally: The historic Gary Amateur will be played Sat. June 7th & Sun. June 8th at the (equally historic) South Gleason Park Golf Course in Gary, Indiana. This long running event has always crowned some amazing local champions & is probably the most coveted local title in our region – call Gleason for info (219)980-1089 -or- just go on out & see some great golf.
Another important event was held recently at Balmoral Woods GC in Crete, IL – the Will County Amateur – congratulations to Todd Mitchell of Bloomington, IL on his victory – besting the 150 + entrants!
The Highland Chamber of Commerce will be holding their annual (for over 20 years now) golf outing at Wicker Park GC in Highland, IN – fun event – noon shotgun Friday July 18th – call Mary at the Chamber for info (219)923-3666.
The Eagles Club of Cedar Lake is also holding their annual golf outing Saturday June 14th at South Shore CC in Cedar Lake, IN – for info call (219)374-6070.
The 16th annual “Rally For A Cure” golf outing to benefit the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation will be held Saturday July 12th at Duck Creek GC in Hobart, IN – call (219)759-5870 for info – great people – great cause.
The 18th annual 59er Golf Classic outing will be held at Innsbrook CC Monday July 14th – Monies raised helped many good local programs & the scholarship foundation at Andrean HS in Merrillville, IN. Call 219-743-1772 for details.
The 28th annual golf outing to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana will be held Monday July 28th at Briar Ridge CC in Schererville, IN – always a great time – for another great cause – call (219)881-1060 ex. 418 for info.
And my friends at the Local SSSMA golf outing are holding their annual outing Thursday June 19th at Deer Creek GC in University Park, IL. For info call Keith at (708)906-5441 – this program is run by school administrators – and helps kids in their districts.
The 9th annual Omega Open Scholarship Golf Tourney is being held Thursday June 19th at Glenwoodie GC in Glenwood, IL – for details call Tony at (708)280-1917.
And the Harold W. Holmes Memorial Golf Outing for Autism is being held Friday June 20th at Turkey Creek GC in Merrillville, IN – call Ray at (219)808-0661 for info.
Father’s Day is Sunday June 15th – and if you are reading this – Dad loves golf. All region golf shops & golf stores are stocked & ready – give Dad something golf related (or) buy a certificate for a couple rounds of golf & take him out –build a memory! And if a “certain someone else” sees this – I wear a large (and) I need a new wedge!
Which leads me into? Junior golf! …Junior golf programs are starting everywhere - call your local course – golf is great for kids for so many reasons – let’s get them started!
Note: We made it to June! – Contact your local Chamber for festivals, special events, etc. – Enjoy summer while it lasts – play golf in the A.M. & have fun with the family later – (1) suggestion - I noticed Wicker Park is again holding a (9) session summer concert series (great date night) with June 19th (Thursday) being the 1st in the series – the group “Final Say” will be performing, featuring East Chicago’s own “Man With The Hat” – Robby Celestin – I’m only pointing this out because that (100) inches of snow almost killed us – enjoy!
Special thanks this month: To Steve, Nicole & the entire staff at Whittaker Woods GC – to Mike Modrzejewski for all his help – to my lovely wife Mary for her support – to all my new friends at Ameristar! But most of all to our loyal readers & advertisers – thanks for the feedback & support *(get those Hall of Fame votes in!)
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: In a quote many years ago – I think he summed it up for a lot of us: “What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive – the white ball sailing up into the blue sky, growing smaller and smaller, then suddenly reaching its apex, curving, falling, and finally dropping to the turf to roll some more, just the way I planned it.” – Arnold Palmer.