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VIEW FROM THE ’TOPS Michigan’s Triumphant Treetops Resort

SIZE DOES MATTER Wisconsin Has a Huge Hit in Mammoth Dunes


Harborside Looking Better Than Ever





Reverse Your Course at

e Loop

The Loop — Black No. 6/Red No. 12

Electric golf cars now available for e Loop experience. Imagine playing a course in one direction one day, then reversing the routing and experiencing a completely different course the following day. Introducing e Loop, Tom Doak’s Int reversible, links-style course. When combined with the original Forest Dunes course, a Tom Weiskopf design, you won’t nd two more contrasting styles of golf at one resort ... anywhere.

Forest Dunes No. 18 | (989) 275-0700 | Roscommon, Michigan

JUNE 21-23, 2019 University Ridge Golf Course | Madison, WI

Visit AMFAMCHAMPIONSHIP.COM for tickets and more information


Tournament Host

@AmFamChampionship @AmFamChamp /AmFamChampionship

American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 ©2018 015706


Larger Than Life 34

Mammoth Dunes Lives Up to Its Hype — And So Much More

Share Your Stories 44 Enter Golftime’s Great Golf Story Contest

Slammer & Squire at World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Florida

50 Windy City Wonder Harborside International Looking Better Than Ever

60 Coast With the Most Florida’s First Coast of Golf the Ultimate Winter Getaway

80 The Gear Is Here Check Out This Year’s Excellent Equipment

Photo by Nile Young Jr.

The Fantastic Forest 24

Treetops Resort a Fantasyland of Up North Golf

Volume 14, Issue 1

Editor’s Note


88 Pro Golf Preview

Bump & Run


96 Industry Insider

Rules of the Game


102 Midwest Select

Instructor’s Corner


The First Tee 74

Your Guide to Chicagoland and Surrounding Area Golf

112 The Back Nine

Editor’s Note

A Division of Killarney Golf Media, Inc. P.O. Box 14439 Madison, WI 53708

Phone: 608-280-8800 Fax: 866-877-9879


ometimes, moderation is a very good thing. You can definitely have too much salt, fast food, or Kardashians, for example. But sometimes — let’s be honest, pretty much anytime golf is involved — more is more. We’ve applied that motto to this special Preview ’19 issue of Golftime Midwest, which is bigger and better, from cover to cover … to cover. For the very first MIDWEST time, we have two covers for this issue, making it twice as nice for our readers around the Midwest. SIZE MATTERS That also means we have two cover stories, devoted to two properties that definitely know ENTER THE GREAT CONTEST more is more: Treetops Resort has count ’em, five courses, including our Best in Michigan winner, the Rick Smith Signature. Check it out MIDWEST starting on page 24. For our other cover story, VIEW FROM THE ’TOPS we take you back to Nekoosa, Wisconsin’s Sand Valley, where developer Mike Keiser knew adding another course would be a good thing. So ENTER THE GREAT instead he added two, including the gargantuan golf course called Mammoth Dunes, our Best New Course winner from 2018. See what the big deal’s all about starting on page 34. If all that’s not big enough, head over to page 50, for Gary D’Amato’s feature on Harborside International, where he found this Chicago gem better than ever after its upgrades. Since it’s still brutally cold here in the Midwest, we know you all want to get away in a big way. For a great option, check out Dennis McCann’s feature on Florida’s First Coast of Golf, on page 60. For the biggest, baddest, most drool-worthy golf gear this year, turn to our Equipment Preview on page 80. And we take a peek at golf’s future in our Industry Insider on page 96, all about the futuristic phenomenon called Topgolf. Finally, we give you Golftime’s Great Golf Story Contest, starting on page 44. We all have some great golf stories to tell, so share yours at, for your chance to win a getaway to Eagle Ridge Resort! Whew. There you have it, another issue jam-packed with great golf. We know when it comes to golf, more is more. And you don’t deserve any less. PREVIEW 2019

Michigan’s Triumphant Treetops Resort

John Hughes



Harborside Looking Better Than Ever


GolfTime SPR19.indd 1



1/20/19 9:39 AM


Michigan’s Triumphant Treetops Resort

SIZE DOES MATTER Wisconsin Has a Huge Hit in Mammoth Dunes


Harborside Looking Better Than Ever

EDITOR Don Shell

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Gary D’Amato Danny Freels Rob Hernandez Dennis McCann



FOUNDER Kim Thompson

©Copyright 2019 Golftime All rights reserved. Golftime is not responsible or liable for any errors, omissions or changes in information.



GolfTime SPR19.indd 3




1/20/19 9:39 AM

Photo by Nile Young Jr.


Photo by Jeff Bertch

Meet Mammoth Dunes, Wisconsin’s Huge Hit



Trappers Turn Golf Club continues to inspire excellence with an unparalleled golf experience. Trappers Turn features 27 holes of award winning championship golf. Set amidst the scenic canyons of Wisconsin Dells, Trappers Turn is the destination for golfing enthusiasts. Visit for the best available rates.




Photo by Nile Young Jr.


COURSE OF THE WORLD: The Caribbean’s Crown Jewel Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course Rarest of Beauty in the Bahamas The Caribbean is home to some of the world’s most scenic seaside golf clubs, but Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course in Great Exuma, Bahamas, might be the fairest of all. The Greg Norman-designed gem has six signature holes hugging the coastline of a scenic peninsula, and prevailing trade winds providing

plenty of challenge. The course is a crowning amenity of the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort, ranked the No. 1 golf resort in the Bahamas. Visit

Bump & Run

TECH TALK: The Future is Now with GolfScope If you’re like a lot of golfers, reading greens is tougher than a textbook. Couldn’t it be more like a video game, with on-screen guides to help you? Thanks to the new app GolfScope, why yes, yes it can. GolfScope is an Augmented Reality (AR) app that uses your phone’s camera and GPS to create a 3D map and on-screen overlay of the green, helping you see the contour and break, as well as the preferred path of your putt. The app, out now for iOS devices, has a $19.99 annual fee or $2.99 monthly fee, a small price to pay to pack some punch in your putting. Visit

Bump & Run

Spike It, You’ll Like It Man, after a hot, humid day on the golf course, there’s nothing’s better than a tall, ice-cold Arnold Palmer, right? Think again. Now there’s a new take on the ol’ Arnie, with Arnold Palmer Spiked, with 48.5 percent lemonade, 48.5 percent tea — and 5 percent ABV (alcohol by volume). So if you’re looking for an update on an old standby, Spiked might be right up your alley. We’re guessing it’s what the King would’ve wanted.

TIGER WATCH­– We’re tracking the return of Tiger Woods,

the golfer, and the new South Shore Golf Club project underway in Chicago: The Golfer: HOT He had some ups and downs in 2018, but it’s safe to say Tiger is back. With his win in the Tour Championship in September, Woods’ ranking climbed to 13th in the world, a jump of 1,186 spots since December 2017. And with as many as 19 events on his docket for 2019 (plus another Tiger vs. Phil matchup!), we can’t wait for the season to start.

The Course: HEATING UP The proposed South Shore Golf Club, as part of the Obama Presidential Library in the Jackson

Park area of Chicago, now has an engineering firm, the Smith Group, and a red-hot architect rarin’ to go. “I first learned the game on public courses playing with my Pop,” Woods told GOLF in a statement. “I hope this course will be more than just golf and also make a positive impact in the community. We are eager to proceed toward groundbreaking at Jackson Park and South Shore.” The project is expected to break ground sometime in 2019. You can follow the progress at WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


Springs Course - Architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. North Nine Course - Architects Roger Packard and Andy North

Both Rated

by Golf Digest

GREAT GOLF and so much more in Spring Green, Wisconsin!

The House on the Rock Resort combines championship golf with breathtaking views and excellent service. While designing 27 holes of golf, three prestigious golf course architects took advantage of the amazing natural surroundings. The House on the Rock Resort offers flexible packages, contemporary and casual dining, a Spa, and Fitness Center.

608-588-7000 400 Springs Dr. Spring Green, WI 53588

Enjoy the natural beauty and sites of this unique area including: The House on the Rock, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, The American Players Theatre and more. Join us for an unforgettable Couple’s or Family Getaway, visit our website for more information. Just 35 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin along the Wisconsin River.

Bump & Run

A Dome to Call Home The Mistwood Golf Dome Installs Toptracer Range Technology Sure, there’s probably a foot of snow on the ground as you’re reading this, and your clubs are gathering dust in a corner of the garage. But Chicagoans should put them back in the trunk, and head over to the Mistwood Golf Dome in Bolingbrook, Illinois, one of the top indoor facilities in the Midwest. Owned by Mistwood Golf Club’s Jim McWethy, the 60,000-square-foot dome recently installed the new Toptracer Range technology, the first indoor golf dome in the country to get it. “We are extremely excited to bring the Toptracer technology to the Mistwood Golf Dome transforming our indoor dome driving range experience to a fun and virtual environment

that will precisely track players shots as if they were outside on interactive screens and provide fun gaming applications for both golfers and non-golfers,” Dan  Bradley, Mistwood general manager, said.

Try Before You Buy

Global Golf ’s U-Try Helps Fight Equipment FOMO It’s a common problem. You see a new golf club on TV or in a magazine and wonder if it’s the answer to all your life’s problems, but do you dare spend big money before you find out? Now you don’t have to. Global Golf ’s U-Try program allows you to select individual clubs or even iron sets from all the leading brands and try them for two weeks. Select up to two new clubs at a time for $25 each or one set of irons for $100 and try them on the range, on the course or anywhere else. If you decide to keep the club the trial cost will be deducted from the purchase price. If the trial clubs are not keepers you sim-

ply return them in the same box in which they arrived using the prepaid label provided. In a recent trial, the selected driver arrived only days after it was ordered, and a follow-up email contained reminders on adjusting the club to get the best performance. Another email contained a “one week left” reminder, and the return process was as simple as had been promised. If you suffer from FOMO (or buyer’s remorse), Global Golf ’s U-Try might just cure what ails you. To take a look at 2019’s top gear, see our Equipment Preview on page 80. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


Bump & Run

Orange, But No Slice

TaylorMade’s new Project (s) balls add spice to your scores If you’re looking for another way to stand out on the course, look no further than the new Project (s) balls from TaylorMade. These matte orange beauties are built for beginners and the average player, with its dual core producing the triple threat of lower spin (think, less slice!), greater distance, and softer feel. $24.99/dozen, For more great gear, check out our 2019 Equipment Preview, starting on page 80.

News of the Weird

Taking ‘Skins Game’ to a New Level Think you’ve seen it all on the golf course? Well, at Australia’s Humpty Doo Golf Club, you certainly could have. The club hosted the first Wandering Bears Nude Golf Day, in partnership with the Brujul Nude Retreat, turning the public course into a “fully privates” place to play for the day. Dozens turned up to take it off, which we’d say takes a lot of … guts.



Rules of the Game

USGA’s New Rules Meant with You in Mind By Don Shell


e’ve all been there. You’ve got a good round going, really smokin’ it. But on the 10th tee, a tight, tough par 4, you overcook it, probably out of bounds. After the new USGA-recommended three minutes of searching, no dice. You could head all the way back to the tee, or you could do what you probably have been doing all along — play the new USGA “local rule” of stroke and distance from the nearest fairway to where your ball disappeared. That’s just one of many, many changes to the USGA Rules of Golf for 2019, which are clearly meant to speed up play and make it more enjoyable for average players. Here are the Top 10 changes for 2019: 1 Ball Moved During Search or on the

Putting Green No penalty for accidentally moving your ball during search or on the putting green.

2 New Procedure for Dropping a Ball

Your ball must be let go from knee height and fall through the air without touching any part of your body or equipment. 3 Time For Search Before Ball is Lost

Your ball is lost if not found in three minutes (rather than the previous five minutes). 4 When to Replace a Ball That Moves

on the Putting Green After your ball has been lifted and replaced, if it then moves, always replace it on its original spot even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no clear reason. (Sorry, it’s not retroactive, Dustin Johnson.)

5 Ball Played From Green Hits

Unattended Flagstick in Hole No penalty if your ball played from the putting green (or anywhere else) hits the unattended flagstick in the hole.

6 Moving or Touching Sand in a

Bunker or Loose Impediments Relaxed Rules relating to loose impediments and touching the ground in a bunker.

7 Encouraging Prompt Pace of Play

It is recommended that you play “ready golf” and make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds. (YES!) 8 Maximum Score Form of Stroke Play

A new “Maximum Score” form of stroke play is recognized, where your score for a hole is capped at a max score. 9 Expected Standards of Player

Conduct The Rules speak directly to the high standards of conduct expected from players.

10 Local Rule: Alternative to Stroke and

Distance A new Local Rule provides an alternative to stroke-and-distance relief for a ball that is lost outside a penalty area or out of bounds: a two-stroke penalty played from nearest fairway to where your ball was lost.

For a complete look at the USGA’s Rules of Golf, visit WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


Beloit, Wisconsin

Award-winning staff with WI PGA & Golf Digest Indoor & outdoor facilities for year-round instruction Sam PuttLab, K-Vest, Trackman 4, TPI Certified Titleist Advanced Club Fitting Center Learn more at Ph: 608.473.0095

Instructors Corner

Committed to Growing the Game

Ironworks is Focused on Equipment Performance and Junior Programming


ronworks Golf Academy’s mission is to grow the game of golf. As the only golf performance academy in Wisconsin partnered with Golf Channel Academy, Ironworks Golf Academy (IGA) has grown from 1,000 students to more than 3,000 from Minneapolis to Chicago and beyond in the span of three years. “There are two things behind our success,” explained Travis Becker, PGA professional and director of instruction and club fitting for the IGA. “First, we offer fun, educational programs that deliver performance results for all genders and skill levels. Second, we utilize state-of-the-art feedback technology and firstclass facilities, both outdoors and indoors.” Studies have shown that if a golfer is playing better golf, he or she will in-turn play more golf. There is no faster way to improve performance than by making sure equipment is customized and properly fits the golfer. Now more than ever, certified fitting technicians use science and technology to collect data from the swing, club and ball, then players are involved in a testing process to determine best look, feel and sound while the club fitter focuses on performance. Club fittings can show immediate performance results for all ages and skill levels. To assist in growing the future of the game, IGA instructors spend almost half of their time with juniors. In 2018, the team worked

with more than 400 junior golfers, with 100 of them being new to the game. IGA offers multiple private instruction game-changer series for juniors looking to take their game to the next level with high-intensity instruction. If juniors age 4 to 21 are looking for fun group-learning experiences, PGA Junior Leagues and player performance programs are available throughout the year and students have access to various technologies, including Trackman 4, K-Vest, SAM PuttLab, FlightScope, BodiTrak, V1 video software,

and golf simulators. “These new programs and technologies focus on fundamentals, course management, routines, the mental game, and shooting low scores,” Becker said. “But as a whole, the goal is to improve everyone’s golf performance and knowledge, and, most importantly, to get every junior hooked on the game for a lifetime.” Visit to learn more about Beloit, Wisconsin’s Ironworks Golf Academy. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


Instructors Corner

Travis Becker PGA Professional

Chris Pytell PGA Professional

Travis Becker is the Director of Instruction and Club Fitting for the Ironworks Golf Academy located in Beloit, Wisconsin. In 2015, the Wisconsin PGA voted Travis the Teacher of the Year, and was rated by his peers as one of Golf Digest’s “Best Teachers” in the state of Wisconsin. In 2016, Travis was also selected by the Golf Channel Academy to become the only lead coach in the state of Wisconsin. In addition, Travis has been recognized by Titleist as a Top 100 club fitter.

Chris Pytell has conducted more than 10,000 individual and group lessons since 1994. He enjoys instructing men, women, and junior golfers of all ages and levels, having transformed many junior players into competitive collegiate golfers. Because he believes that the learning process accelerates when golf is taught at a simple level, his lessons concentrate on the fundamentals of the game. Chris still plays in 10–15 PGA tournaments annually, believing that by maintaining his competitive edge he will help his students achieve their full potential.

Iron Works Golf Academy

Skokie Sports Park


847-674-1500, ext. 3100

625 3rd St., Suite 100, Beloit, WI 53511

3459 Oakton St., Skokie, IL 60076

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MASTERPIECE Three decades after Robert Trent Jones Sr. put them on the map, Treetops Resort looks better and stronger than ever By Don Shell Photography By Nile Young Jr.



GAYLORD, Michigan — It’s a rainy, sub40-degree day in early October, the kind of cold, damp morning that makes you want to pull the covers back over your head and fast-forward to May. Most days, that is. Today, a date with the 7,028 yards of a glorious green golf course called the Masterpiece at Treetops Resort awaits, and neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow (or in today’s case, all three) could keep me away. Sound crazy? Guess again, friend. This place is packed. While most happy hackers would retreat to their basements on days like today, not 26


much can keep people away here. It’s that kind of rabid loyalty that has kept Treetops at the top of so many golfers’ wishlists year after year. With five fantastic golf courses, five restaurants, full-service spa, conference center and recently renovated Lodge and Inn rooms, it’s not hard to see why. We heard loud and clear from that fan base last year, as Treetops cleaned up in the first Golftime Magazine Best of the Midwest Awards, winning Best Course in Michigan (the Rick Smith Signature) and Best Value in the Midwest (unlimited golf stay-and-play packages start at $99). Treetops is the un-

PREVIOUS SPREAD: The Rick Smith Signature’s fantastic, 485-yard, par-5 15th. RIGHT: The awesome, dogleg-right, 452-yard, par-4 eighth of the Masterpiece ends with a peninsula green.

questioned crown jewel of the Gaylord Golf Mecca, a 15-member collection of courses in the region that earned it the award for Best Golf Destination in the Midwest (see sidebar), and deservedly so. You’d be hardpressed to find a place so perfect for the quintessential “Up North” golf experience, with towering hardwoods, dramatic elevation, and stunning golf design from some of the game’s greatest architects.

HARRY’S WAY And it all started here, at the resort an automotive mogul named Harry Melling created

when he bought the Sylvan Nob Ski Area back in 1983. Melling had a vision to turn the little ski hill into a resort, and then a golf resort, and then making it a full-on, fourseason destination, back when there were painfully few such things in the Midwest. By 2001, when it hosted the televised Par-3 Shootout, Treetops had gone even further, becoming an international golf destination among the best in the world. He and the late, great golf architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. started it all in 1988, when they opened the Masterpiece, a truly fitting name if there ever was one. Hot off the success of the first course, Melling moved quickly to add others. He tapped Tom Fazio to build the Premier in 1992, and gave his brash, young golf pro named Rick Smith the chance to try his hand at design that same year: The result was Threetops, considered by many the best par 3 course in the country. Seeing what Smith could do, Melling ordered up a sequel, and Smith’s Signature opened in 1993. The Smith-Melling collaboration continued with the resort’s fifth course, the Tradition, in 1995, as well as a golf academy and training facility. Melling died in 1999, but his legacy lives on here. Today the resort offers far more than golf to make it one of the game’s premier destinations. Melling expanded the original lodging from a 40-room inn, to the now 238 varied guestrooms, chalets and condos. Treetops added a 10,000-square-foot conference center, a full-service spa and a children’s center. Golfers, skiers, and families all came in droves. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The signature hole and inspiration for the resort’s name, the 180-yard sixth hole is magical. Treetops has a variety of fine fare in its five restaurants. You never forget you are Up North. The Rick Smith Tradition’s par 3 ninth.

STATE OF THE EMPIRE But like pretty much everyone else in the industry, Treetops didn’t escape the recession unscathed, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015. It emerged with a reorganized ownership, a vastly better balance sheet, and the same rabid following from golfers across the Midwest and beyond. Treetops has proven too big — and too beautiful — to fail. “Obviously everybody had tough times, in ’07 and ’08, and all that (stuff),” said Barry Owens, the resort’s affable general manager. “It’s really tough for the daily fees, and especially the daily fees in this region, that don’t 28


have a population base around it. I think when you look at the resorts, they have so much to offer and complement. You come up for a weekend with your wife, she doesn’t golf, she can go do her thing, whether it’s go to the spa, or go into town, or relax, you know, and I think that’s to our advantage.” Owens, now in his 12th year at the resort following several years at nearby Garland Resort, has seen his share of highs and lows in the industry. But he says the state of the resort and the region is as strong as ever. “It was a good season, and we recently, just about a year ago, completed the room

All About Town

Gaylord’s more than golf now

Believe it or not, there’s more to Gaylord than great golf. The city itself has gotten bigger and better in recent years, with a bustling main street full of fun shops, eateries and watering holes:

To Eat: IRON PIG SMOKEHOUSE You love barbecue? Of course you do. Then you’ll love you some Iron Pig, with ribs, rubs, brisket and pulled pork (and much more) to choose from. GOBBLERS OF GAYLORD (989) 732-9005 Family-style restaurant famous for its turkey dinners. ’Nuff said. DIANA’S DELIGHT Best breakfast in town, if you feel like venturing out in the a.m.

To Drink: TAP ROOM 32 PUB & GRILL Contemporary bar/restaurant with 24 craft brews on tap and some good eats, as well.

renovations in the Lodge and the Inn (to the tune of $4.5 million), which has been a huge plus for not only the people that golf here, but for the meeting business world, the conventions, the associations, all those types of things,” Owens explained. “We were almost sold out this week. I joke with our sales director that ‘It’s your job to overwhelm operations.’ So he walked up to me earlier this week while I was helping re-set a room, and he said, ‘How am I doin’?’ I said, ‘Grab a chair, man.’”

REASON FOR THE SEASON But while it’s obvious there’s plenty keeping the place packed year-round, we came here for the great golf, which the resort offers in

SNOWBELT BREWING Gaylord’s newest brewery with an impressive array of brews.

What Else to Do: THE IRON BELLE TRAIL Michigan’s home to a new bike trail called the Iron Belle, which stretches from Belle Isle State Park in Detroit all the way across the Mackinac Bridge to Iron Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It runs right through the middle of Otsego County, with a trailhead right in downtown Gaylord, complete with restrooms and a big firepit. Visit for more information.

unbelievable amount. You need look no further than the first tee of the Masterpiece for Exhibit A. Following a “warmup” round on the riotous Threetops the night before, the Masterpiece is a thrill-ride from start to finish. The opening hole, a serpentine, 525-yard, par-5 stunner that finishes with a pond-guarded green, gives you a good shot at birdie off the bat. Other highlights on the front include the 201-yard, par-3 fourth hole, which was built in the early 2000s to accommodate new condos, and the Signature’s signature hole, the 180-yard (straight down!), par-3 sixth. This fantastic par 3 offers limitless views across the Sturgeon River valley, and is also WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


the signature hole for the resort. Legend has it Melling and Jones Sr. stood atop that tee and Jones said, “all you can see is treetops.” The resort had a new name from that day forward. The back nine starts with the colossal, 600-yard, par-5 10th, and if you ever reach the elevated green, turn around and marvel at the panoramic vista around you — Pure Michigan at its finest. Treetops’ courses sit on a whopping 1,500 acres, and it shows. The finishing stretch is special, with the 363-yard, par-4 15th and 152-yard, par-3 16th offering great birdie opportunities, before finishing out with the wide-open, par-4 17th, and tight, tough, 579-yard, par-5 finale. The Masterpiece proved to be every bit as excellent as advertised, but there was plenty more where that came from. Following a mouth-wateringly wonderful Kobe beef burger in Treetops’ highly-rated Sports Bar, the Tom Fazio Premier beckoned. Fazio, one of the game’s greatest architects, has painfully few designs in the Midwest, and the Premier is his only design in Michigan. The course is quintessential Fazio, however, and playing out over 6,832 yards of Northern Michigan splendor, the Premier is far more pretty than penal. The architect focuses on the ebb and flow of the course, evident from the elevated tee of the dogleg-right, 431-yard, par-4 opener, easing you into your round. The reachable, 517-yard second hole is another great chance to start strong. The Premier packs plenty of bite, of course, which you’ll find in the heavily bunkered, uphill, 421-yard, par-4 third hole, and the skinny, 373-yard, par-4 seventh. The beautiful back nine is highlighted by the 195-yard 11th, wrapping around a large lake, and the go-forit-gorgeous, 362-yard, par-4 15th. Not surprisingly, Fazio saves his best for last, with the dramatic, 471-yard, par-4 finisher, complete 30


The Gaylord Golf Mecca With well-known architects like Rick Smith, Tom Fazio, Tom Doak and Rees Jones (among many others), golf academies, fine dining and lodging, it’s no wonder why the Gaylord Golf Mecca was ranked as the fan-favorite destination by our readers. Here’s a look at what you’ll find: BLACK LAKE GOLF CLUB (pictured left)

The Rees Jones-designed Black Lake is owned by the UAW and is most definitely worth the drive from Gaylord to its home in Onaway. GAYLORD GOLF CLUB

A classic country club in the northern hardwoods. INDIAN RIVER GOLF CLUB

Built in 1922, Indian River is one of the oldest clubs in Northern Michigan. LOON GOLF RESORT

The Loon Golf Resort offers three courses, The Loon, The Lakes and The Ridge. MICHAYWÉ - THE PINES

Michaywé is a founding member of the Mecca, and a Gaylord must-play. OTSEGO RESORT

Home to the Classic course and the criminally underrated, Gary Koch-designed course called The Tribute. THE NATURAL AT BEAVER CREEK RESORT

The Natural is one of the friendliest courses in the lineup, and makes a great start or finish to your golf trip to Gaylord. For more information and golf packages, visit



LEFT: Director of Instruction Joe Charles leads Treetops’ award-winning golf academy. RIGHT: PGA staff professional Mark Hogan shows the way on the Signature’s 18th.

with beautiful bunkering to heavily guard the narrow green. As the years have gone by, the course has been overshadowed a bit by the Masterpiece and the Signature, but Fazio’s Premier is pure premium grade golf design.

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED After a cold, wet day on the course, a hot meal in the Hunter’s Grille, offering Treetops’ finest fare, was just what the doctor ordered. A heaping helping of clam chowder, followed by the apple-spiced pork loin entrée was the perfect end to an exhilarating day. Then it was off to the comfort of my pillowtop mattress back at the newly renovated Lodge for an early evening. Dawn awaited, and Treetops’ Grand Finale with it. The Rick Smith Signature course was voted the best in Michigan by our readers, which is a pretty bold statement with the number of worthy competitors the club faces. But after a round here, it’s clear you won’t find a finer example of Pure Michigan, “Up North” golf anywhere. The Signature has it all: dramatic elevation and limitless views, towering hardwoods and sleepy pine forests, shaggy bunkering and classic course design. From the start, a 447-yard par 4 that plays downhill to a postcard green, you know you’re in for a treat. For further proof, consider the club’s five fantastic one-shotters. 32


The first of the par 3s, the 186-yard fourth, is reminiscent of Crystal Downs, tucked away in the pines like you just stumbled on it in the forest. The front’s awesome, 190-yard eighth is another highlight. The back nine’s highlight reel includes the 556-yard, par-5 10th, and the wide and wonderful 485-yard, par-5 15th, which narrows in the neck and plays uphill to an amphitheater green, kicking off a spectacular finishing stretch. If you don’t say “Wow,” when you turn the corner to the Signature’s sweet 16th, the dramatic, 368-yard, par-4 thriller, you’d better see your doctor immediately. That sets up the last of the club’s pretty par 3s, a tough, 217-yarder that drops off all around it. Smith’s finale is another thing of beauty, and before you hit from the elevated tee, turn to your right at one of the best views on the property. The uphill, 363-yard, par-4 18th offers risk-reward off the tee, forcing you to place your shot perfectly for the best look at the uphill green. It’s a fantastic finish for a special course, one worthy of all its accolades. We didn’t tackle the Rick Smith Tradition this trip, which was already packed-to-thegills with great golf. That just shows how incredible a collection Treetops truly has, and gives us another reason to return. As if we needed more. Visit for more information.



Photo by Evan Schiller






Mammoth Dunes Takes Wisconsin’s Sand Valley to Another Level By Dennis McCann



were too penal, too difficult and too merciless, and he earned his share of criticism for it. But in designing Mammoth Dunes, he set out to build a golf course that would be more playable, with wide and welcoming fairways that would instill confidence on the tee, lessen the penalties for errant shots and make recovery shots achievable. He envisioned golfers playing 18 holes without losing a ball, all part of what he called his new mission “to remind people that golf could be fun again.”

Photo by Jeff Bertch

NEKOOSA, Wisconsin — After attending the grand opening of his new Mammoth Dunes course at Sand Valley Golf Resort in June, architect David McLay Kidd didn’t get back to Wisconsin the rest of the year. But the Scotsman did, naturally in this day and age, follow Twitter and the golf press to see how his latest creation was being received. Splendidly, he was pleased to hear again and again. It wasn’t always so. In the past, Kidd has acknowledged building golf courses that

PREVIOUS SPREAD: Mammoth Dunes’ vast sandscape is on full display at the 450-yard, par-4 fifth hole. ABOVE: The incredible, 553-yard, par-5 home hole at Mammoth Dunes will leave you hungry for more. And by all accounts, Mammoth Dunes is most certainly that. “I haven’t had anyone yet tell me they didn’t have fun (playing Mammoth Dunes),” Kidd said last fall, as the inaugural season was nearing an end. “I seem to have achieved what I set out to do, which is to accentuate that site … and let people have a blast playing golf.

“So far, it’s getting rave reviews.” He wasn’t, pardon the expression, kidding. Despite following right on the heels of the Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw designed Sand Valley course, which was named No. 57 on one top 100 course list shortly after it opened in 2017, Mammoth Dunes was immediately declared a grand sequel. If Coore-Crenshaw delivered a popular movie in designing WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM




closely followed by “gargantuan” and its many synonyms, because unlike the big man who answers to Tiny or the milquetoast to Butch, this golf course was well and truly named. Mammoth Dunes is simply mammoth, with fairways that stretch up to 120 yards wide in places, with massive greens and a routing that leaves first-time players wondering if they are wandering ever deeper into the golf wilderness. The Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella called it

Photo by Jeff Bertch

Sand Valley, said golf writer Joe Passov: “David McLay Kidd’s Mammoth Dunes captures the Oscar … “It’s fair to say that Mammoth has the potential to be considered among the most fun courses in golf — in elite company, for sure.” And golf writer Len Ziehm echoed the notion, calling it “the most fun golf course I’ve ever played. And that’s saying a lot. There are a lot of fun courses out there.” If “fun” was a favored descriptor, it was

The 420-yard, par-4 17th showcases just how forgiving a course can be, with a fairway nearly as wide as it is long. “a big, big, big, bold golf course,” while Adam Lawrence, the editor of Golf Course Architect, said that “visually (Mammoth Dunes) is off the charts. I do not believe I have every seen a larger-looking golf course … one is simply blown away by the scale.” So Kidd has a winner, and so does the Mike Keiser-owned golf resort that has already become a bucket-list destination in

just its first few years in existence. The two courses now open have proven so successful that Sand Valley has announced the selection of architect Tom Doak to design yet another regulation course, tentatively called Sedge Valley, that will likely stretch to just over 6,000 yards and play to a par 68. That will be Sand Valley’s fourth course, because this year the resort also opened a 17-hole par-3 course WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


Photo by Jim Kelsh

called the Sandbox (see sidebar). Glen Murray, the resort’s general manager, had said at the beginning of the season that going forward with a fourth course would depend in large part on whether enough players turned out to support those already in place. Spoiler alert: They did. “Our rounds were great,” said Michael Keiser Jr., who with his brother, Chris, is involved with the operation at Sand Valley. When the highly anticipated Mammoth Dunes was finally opened, he said, “that pent-up demand was unleashed.

“I haven’t had anyone yet tell me they didn’t have fun … I seem to have achieved what I set out to do, which is to accentuate that site … and let people have a blast playing golf.” David McLay Kidd 40


“The number of rounds really on both (courses) exceeded our expectations.” The courses have their similarities, from the same grasses to oversized greens and of course the obvious sandy base. Both have five par 5s and, except for golfers with medical excuses, are walking only. Caddies are available. The biggest difference between the two is Mammoth Dunes’ epic scale. It has nearly 20 percent more grass than the Sand Valley layout, which Kidd said was the key to the course’s playability. A player who is confident about hitting a fairway will be able to swing more freely, Kidd said, calling “the width and the ability to recover,” a gift to the occasionally wayward golfer. “At Mammoth Dunes we did everything we could not to bring fear to the golfer,” Kidd said. “(The hugeness) certainly gets your attention. Golfers love to be aggressive and I’ve given them that chance.” The Scottish-born Kidd burst onto the national golf scene when, at just 29, he was hired by Mike Keiser to create Bandon Dunes on the rugged coast of southern Oregon. That course is now rated among America’s top 10 layouts and, with the addition of four more courses, Bandon Dunes has become one of the world’s top golf destinations. Kidd has acknowledged that he later went overboard in designing courses that were too difficult that left golfers frustrated over high scores and too many lost balls. A frustrated golfer, he now says, is not likely to want to return for another expensive beating. It led him to introspection and a new philosophy of course design that no longer means protecting the course against an average player making par, but against an attacking golfer

Thinking Outside the ‘Box’

Sand Valley’s ‘Sandbox’ course a short-and-sweet treat Sand Valley may have gone big, big, big in unveiling the new Mammoth Dunes course in 2018, but at the same time it gave its guests small ball. Meet the Sandbox, a 17-hole short course designed, as was the resort’s original Sand Valley layout, by architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Located just 50 yards from the resort’s clubhouse, the Sandbox is routed through a restored sand prairie — hence the name — that adjoins the same V-shaped sand ridge that is the most prominent feature of Mammoth Dunes. Holes on the short course range from 40 to 140 yards in length and greens were built in a variety of styles, including a biarritz, double plateau, redan and more. The Sandbox is a great place for golfers to test their short games after a day of crushing drivers on the Sand Valley and Mammoth Dunes courses, but it was mostly designed with fun in mind. The short course is a place where groups can let their hair down after a day of more challenging golf — it’s not unusual for players to carry three or four clubs in one hand and a beer in the other — yet still have the chance to make a birdie or even hole-in-one from every tee. Glen Murray, the resort’s general manager, said guests at the clubhouse can judge from the loudness of cheers how golfers on the Sandbox are doing. An ace gets the loudest roar, birdies somewhat less.

Murray said the short course is not considered a novelty but instead is viewed as a third course at Sand Valley. More and more, he said, groups are coming to play Ryder Cup-style competitions using all three courses. His own buddy group elected to play two rounds at the Sandbox during a three-day visit because it allowed more time for socializing after play. “The cool thing about the Sandbox is we can all play together as an ‘eightsome,’” he said. “I’m so thrilled that the Sandbox was built because it just adds another dimension to the resort.” Despite its Lilliputian dimensions, especially when compared to Mammoth Dunes, the Sandbox is no pushover. In July, the par-51 short course hosted the first Wisconsin State Par 3 Championship, sponsored by the Wisconsin State Golf Association, and only three players broke par. Bill Feehan Jr. of La Crosse won with a 3-under 48. And just as its big brother courses have been declared best new courses in their first year, the Sandbox was also a winner. Golf magazine awarded it the “best new short course,” honor for 2018, saying “good players are engaged by the imaginative contours and beginners by the scenery and relative lack of obstacles. After one season, it’s clear: Golfers of every skill level love the Sandbox.” WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM




The dominant feature at Mammoth Dunes is, well, a mammoth dune ridge along which Kidd routed a number of holes. Notable holes include the par-3 eighth which has an “island” green surrounded not by water but by sand. On the par-5 seventh hole Kidd discovered the stone foundation of an old settlement home and left it in place as part of a most unusual bunker. The 14th is a downhill drivable par 4 — it stretches just 297 yards from the second set of tees — that was designed by Golf Digest’s Armchair Architect contest winner Brian Silvernail of Florida. Similarly, the par-4 sixth hole is also potentially drivable for big hitters and boasts a large, horseshoe-shaped green. Sand Valley won immediate “best course” honors after its 2017 unveiling and expectations were that Mammoth Dunes would also be so honored. Indeed, in its December issue Golf magazine named it the best new course of 2018. Yet, Murray said there is no obvious consensus among visiting golfers that one

Above left by Nile Young Jr.

making birdies or eagles instead. Before beginning work on Mammoth Dunes, Kidd and his design partners went to Bandon Dunes to examine what had made the course so successful and employed many of those features in the new Wisconsin course. In addition to wide fairways he included large greens that could be approached from a variety of angles. Some even were designed to funnel approach shots in the proper direction. It proves, he said, that it is still possible to give a golf course “the same visual ‘wow’ experience,” as a more difficult layout while also allowing the average golfer to experience success while still challenging the better players. “That’s the genius of it,” said Murray, the general manager who plays to a 2 handicap. “He’s built something that hits the sweet spot with good players as well as (average) golfers. “That was the whole point of Mammoth, that it would be all about fun. How do we reward the golfer if they hit the right spot.”

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The course that started it all, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s stellar Sand Valley, named Best New Course in the country in 2017. The Leopold Cottages have everything your group needs — including fire pits, outdoor decks, and a short walk to the first tee. The Lodge offers the creature comforts (Keurigs!) and excellent views. Sand Valley’s three dining options are great any time of day.

course is superior to the other. “It’s too early to tell,” he said, “(but) it’s very fun for us to listen to the debates in the bar.” Michael Keiser Jr. said it is only natural that golfers will have favorites, but “what’s fortunate for us is that it’s about 50-50. (And) regardless of which course is your favorite you still want to play both. The vast majority of our guests play both.” There is no timetable for when the Doakdesigned fourth course will enter the debate. “We were eager to get to this point, where we are today,” Keiser Jr. said. “There’s certainly demand for the next course but we’re in no hurry.” Also in 2018 Sand Valley opened Aldo’s Farm and Table restaurant, named for the

noted Wisconsin ecologist Aldo Leopold. A copy of Leopold’s iconic “A Sand County Almanac” can be found in each of the resort’s guest rooms, which include lodge rooms, cottages and suites. The resort also added nine grass tennis courts to its roster of amenities. Other activities include nearly 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing and, in season, snowshoeing and crosscountry skiing. Sand Valley Golf Resort is located near Nekoosa, Wisconsin, about four hours from Chicago, just over two-and-a-half hours from Milwaukee and less than three-and-ahalf hours from Minneapolis. Visit WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM



Share Your Best Golf Stories for Your Chance to Win a Trip for Six to Eagle Ridge Resort! GALENA, Illinois — “See that little sliver of cart path, between those two boulders?” the man asked me, pointing up the rocky hillside like some kind of polo-and-khaki-clad spirit guide. “That’s known as Kowalski’s Gap, after a friend of ours hit it right there once, and it ricocheted off the cart path and right up next to the green!” We were playing the aggressively uphill, 390yard, par-4 16th hole of The General at Eagle Ridge Resort (at right), an awesome Andy North design, and I was the stranger to this group of buddies, who befriended me a few holes before. With that swing thought visualized in our minds, the trio began to tee off. Push left. Short center. Fade right. I was batting cleanup, and it was my turn. “Aim for Kowalski’s Gap,” they whispered to me again. Like Luke Skywalker’s photon torpedoes hitting the exhaust port on the Death Star, my tee shot incredibly started sailing right at that tiny, five-footwide gap, drilling it perfectly and with the familiar “tonk!” sound of ball meeting blacktop. Miraculously, it shot straight up, high, high into the heavens and — just as advertised — right up near the green. The crowd goes wild. 44


Photo by Nile Young Jr.

By Don Shell



Sure, I flubbed my chip and two-putted for par, but that didn’t stop us from talking about it in the clubhouse afterward, or from me recounting it many times since. See, stories like these are some of the reasons we play this ridiculous, maddening, mystifying game — and now we want to hear yours. We want to hear your best golf stories, the ones that make you laugh, cry, or beam with pride. Want to enter? Here’s what we’re looking for: • True (or mostly true) stories that happened to you or you witnessed on the golf course • Funny 46


Photos by Nile Young Jr.

Eagle Ridge Resort, in the rolling fields of Galena, Illinois, is one of the Midwest’s best golf resorts, with four fantastic courses, including The General, designed by Andy North. You can win a weekend golf getaway for six to Eagle Ridge Resort, just share your best golf story at!

• Incredible • Human interest • Longer than a Tweet, but shorter than a novel, OK? Just visit us online at to enter our contest. We’ll randomly select the winners from the entries, and our panel of judges will choose some of the best stories to publish in our 2019 Summer Issue. Prizes include two Laser Link rangefinders, and a weekend golf getaway for six to none other than Eagle Ridge Resort, a package valued at more than $2,100! That’s right, maybe you, too, can aim at Kowalski’s Gap.


3ACCURACY o 3SIMPLICITY o 3SPEED o You get it all with a rangefinder from Laser Link Golf. Try the new GS1 Slope! Slope measurement and slope adjusted yardage display at the touch of a button!

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GOLFTIME MAGAZINE’S GREAT GOLF STORY CONTEST – OFFICIAL RULES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. 1. PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: The GOLFTIME MAGAZINE’S GREAT GOLF STORY CONTEST (\”Sweepstakes\”) begins on February 1, 2019 at 12:00 a.m. and ends on May 1, 2019 at 12:00 a.m. (the \”Promotion Period\”). The sponsor of this Sweepstakes is Killarney Golf Media (“Sponsor”). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each Entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Sweepstakes. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes. Sponsor may be reached by email at during the Promotion Period. 2. ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal and eligible residents who are 21 years of age (the \”Entrant\”). Sponsor, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (the \”Promotion Entities\”), are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize. Household Members and Immediate Family Members of such individuals are also not eligible to enter or win. “Household Members” shall mean those people who share the same residence at least three months a year. “Immediate Family Members” shall mean parents, step-parents, legal guardians, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, or spouses. This Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited or restricted by law. 3. PRIZES: One winner will be randomly drawn to receive an Eagle Ridge Golf Extravaganza for Six People! Two winners will be randomly drawn to receive a Laser Link Rangefinder. One winner will be randomly drawn to receive an amazing golf weekend at the famous Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa in Galena, Illinois. This weekend will include two days of unlimited golf (for up to six people) on one of their four courses: the legendary General, the majestic North Course, the wooded South Course or the undulating East Course (cart fees included). In addition, you will stay at one of their three-bedroom homes for two nights, and enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet at the Woodlands Restaurant. (Prize is valid thru 6-1-20.) Occasional blackout dates may occur. Value of this Eagle Ridge Extravaganza is $2,100! Tucked among the Galena Territory’s 6,800 rolling acres of woodlands and countryside, Eagle Ridge Resort is the ultimate golf destination with four championship courses that are challenging, scenic, and a must-play for golfers. Eagle Ridge’s crowning achievement, The General, consistently ranks among Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses. Eagle Ridge is also recognized for its “country elegant” hotel and homes, quaint shopping, and excellent dining. This Sweepstakes is open to legal and eligible residents. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.



4. HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Sweepstakes during the Promotion Period online by visiting the entry form, which can be found on the following website Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the Entrant. Any attempt by Entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will void Entrant’s Entries and that Entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. Sponsor’s database clock will be the official timekeeper for this Sweepstakes. 5. WINNER SELECTION: The Winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected at random from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The winners will be announced with publication of the Golftime Magazine Summer 2019 issue, after the Promotion Period by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. 6. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information after the random drawing. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within seven days of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively \”the Prize Claim Documents\”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor. 7. PRIVACY: By entering the Sweepstakes, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address and any other personally identifiable information with the other Sweepstakes Entities for the purpose of administration and prize fulfillment, including use in a publicly available Winners list, and agree to periodic email communication from the sponsor. 8. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability for (a) any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, or for any faulty or failed electronic data transmissions; (b) any unauthorized access to, or theft, destruction or alteration of entries at any point in the operation of this Sweepstakes; (c) any technical malfunction, failure, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or communications line failure, regardless of cause, with regard to any equipment, systems, networks, lines, satellites, servers, camera, computers or providers utilized in any aspect of the operation of the Sweepstakes; (d) inaccessibility or unavailability of any network or wireless service, the Internet or website or any combination thereof; (e) suspended or discontinued Internet, wireless or landline phone service; or (f) any injury or damage to participant’s or to any other person’s computer or mobile device which may be related to or resulting from any attempt to participate in the Sweepstakes or download of any materials in the Sweepstakes. If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned for reasons which may include without limitation, infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which may corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes in whole or in part. In such event, Sponsor shall immediately suspend all drawings and prize awards, and Sponsor reserves the right to award any remaining prizes (up to the total ARV as set forth in these Official Rules) in a manner deemed fair and equitable by Sponsor. Sponsor and Released Parties shall not have any further liability to any participant in connection with the Sweepstakes. 9. WINNER LIST/OFFICIAL RULES: To obtain a copy of the Winner List or a copy of these Official Rules, send your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to KILLARNEY GOLF MEDIA cc: GOLFTIME MAGAZINE’S GREAT GOLF STORY CONTEST at PO Box 14439, Madison, WI 53708-0439. Requests for the names of the winners must be received no later than four weeks after the Promotion Period has ended. 10. SPONSOR: KILLARNEY GOLF MEDIA cc: GOLFTIME MAGAZINE’S GREAT GOLF STORY CONTEST at PO Box 14439, Madison, WI 53708-0439



In the shadow of Chicago, on the shores of Lake Calumet, Harborside International Golf Center is a treasure hiding in plain sight By Gary D’Amato



CHICAGO — Just eight miles south of the Chicago Loop and mere yards from the non-stop (and often stopped) traffic on Interstate 94, Harborside International Golf Center hides in plain sight, an oasis of superb public golf in the middle of the concrete jungle. Getting there (especially during rush hour) can be a challenge, but when the golfer turns onto the long entrance drive off South Doty Avenue, the effect is calming. The death grip on the steering wheel relaxes, nerve endings rubbed raw by lane-jockeying are soothed and anxiousness gives way to anticipation as rumpled green turf comes into view. The facility includes two well-conditioned 18-hole courses, Port and Starboard, that 52


are basically mirror images of each other — faux links with challenging green complexes and wide, wind-swept fairways framed by fescue-topped mounds. From high points on the treeless terrain, golfers are treated to unencumbered views of Chicago’s impressive skyline to the north. Both courses were designed by Dick Nugent. The Port opened in 1995 and the Starboard followed by one year. Nugent, who died on Jan. 1, 2018 at 86, is one of the underappreciated golf course designers of the last 50 years. A Chicagoan and a protégé of Robert Bruce Harris, he partnered with Ken Killian before heading his own firm, which produced Bob Lohmann and Jim Engh, among others.

PREVIOUS SPREAD: The twin 16th and 17th holes at Harborside International’s Port Course are surrounded by water near Lake Calumet. ABOVE: The Port’s 407-yard 17th. BELOW: Harborside’s impressive clubhouse offers fine dining and pretty great views, too. The Nugent/Killian portfolio includes Kemper Lakes and Forest Preserve National (now George W. Dunne National). Just around the shoreline in southwestern Michigan, Nugent designed The Dunes Club, an acclaimed nine-holer, for Mike Keiser. Wisconsin golfers know him as the architect of Green Bay Country Club and the codesigner, with Killian, of Abbey Springs Golf Course and Lake Arrowhead. Harborside represents some of Nugent’s best work, especially considering the fact that the courses were built on a massive but

featureless construction landfill. As was the case at Whistling Straits, Harborside was bulldozed into existence. “They pushed a ton of dirt,” said general manager Brian Dutler. “Essentially, they





Harborside’s signature hole is the nautically shaped, 216yard, par-3 15th hole, “Anchor.”

brought all (the topsoil) in. It was a construction landfill so you’ve got a lot of cement, a lot of rebar, a lot of fill and who knows what else.” Harborside is advertised as a links experience and there are definitely some links characteristics, primarily ever-present wind, plentiful bunkers and the nearest tree being off property. It has the right look, but the turf is bentgrass and softer than the sand-based fescue found in Scotland and Ireland. “There’s a little sand,” Dutler said, “but because of the landfill aspect side of this thing it doesn’t get the true links-style bounce and roll.” Also, though Lake Michigan is close at hand, the nearest body of water actually is Lake Calumet, which comes into play on the closing holes of both the Port and Starboard. It’s not the ocean, but it will swallow errant shots just the same. The Illinois International Port District owns the facility and it’s managed by KemperSports, so you know what you’re going to get: excellent playing conditions, attention to detail and top-notch service. Kemper isn’t shy about spending money on course improvements, and a $1.7-million renovation in 2017 addressed drainage and bunkers; 60 were removed, the rest re-done with new sand. Superintendent Steve Kellerman also cut back the tall native grasses just outside the fairway corridors and on hillsides so that a golfer can miss a fairway by several yards and still have a reasonable recovery shot from bluegrass rough. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


In addition to 36 terrific, Dick Nugent-designed golf holes, Harborside International’s greatest amenity is its fantastic views of the Chicago skyline. “We tried to make the golf course a little more playable and a little more strategic,” Dutler said. “On holes where there were five bunkers near a green, we got rid of two or three of them. The bunkers that were 50 to 60 yards from the green that the casual golfer finds himself in, we wanted to try to make the golf course a little bit more playable, so we took them out. But yet there are still a lot of bunkers out there and a lot of trouble to get into. It’s a challenge on both golf courses.” The courses are nearly identical in length and Slope and course rating. The Starboard is 7,166 yards from the back tees with a Slope of 135 and a course rating of 74.7. From the regular tees, it’s 5,914, 121 and 69.1. The Port is 7,164 yards from the back tees with a Slope of 136 and a course rating of 74.8. From the regular tees it’s 5,977, 124 and 69.4. Often at 36-hole facilities, one course is favored by golfers and thus gets heavier play, with the staff challenged to market the “lesser” course. That’s not the case at Harborside. Starboard was ranked 13th on Golfweek’s 56


2014 list of America’s Best Municipal Courses and Port was ranked 47th. Other than the whimsical, par-3 “Anchor Hole” on Port, complete with a boomerang green fronted by an anchor-shaped fairway surrounded by sand, the courses are nearly interchangeable. Thus, Dutler said, they are rarely separated by more than 1,000 rounds in a season. “As far as playability and condition, there is no difference between the Port and Starboard,” he said. “You can ask 20 golfers out here and you’re going to have 10 who like Port and 10 who prefer Starboard. That’s nice to have in a 36-hole facility; that we do have two equally conditioned courses that are equally well thought of. “Golfers definitely have a preference, but if they have to play the other golf course, they’re more than thrilled with that experience, too.” The closing stretches on both courses get your attention, both for their aesthetics and the challenge they present when the wind is



All tournaments include greens fees, cart fees, range balls and flighted prize pool, with Major Events (highlighted in red below) featuring double prize pools! Milwaukee Tour Schedule

Chicago Tour Schedule

5/4 5/18

4/27 5/11 6/15

Season Kickoff

Fire Ridge Meadowbrook CC


Abby Springs GC

Season Kickoff

Mistwood Prairie Landing GC Harborside International

Chicago v St. Louis “Shootout” 6/29

Weaver Ridge GC

Milwaukee Playoff Events



Chicago Playoff Events

8/3 8/24 9/28

Glen Erin GC Brown Deer GC

Washington County

Chicago & Milwaukee Events Midwest Open Team Championship 5/31

Bull at Pinehurst Farms


Whistling Straits

Chicago v Milwaukee “Battle” 7/27

Thunderhawk GC


10/5-10/6 TPC Deere Run

Chicago v St. Louis Milwaukee v Minneapolis

7/13 8/10

8/24 9/7

Stonewall Orchard Turnberry CC

Preserve at Oak Meadows Bowes Creek CC


Bull Valley GC

Chicago Team Tour Schedule 7/14 8/18

Highlands of Elgin Harborside International



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Home of the 2019 Midwest Open

WHISTLING STRAITS June 1-2, 2019 – Kohler, Wisconsin

There’s just a wee bit of sand to be found at Harborside. up, which is just about always. The 425-yard, par-4 16th on Starboard is reminiscent of No. 8 at Whistling Straits. The well-designed hole turns slightly to the right along Lake Calumet, with a split fairway giving players an option off the tee. The wider plateau fairway to the left is easier to hit but presents a longer approach; the lower fairway on the right is narrow and brings the water into play, but leaves a shorter approach. That hole is followed by a par 3 requiring a carry over water. My good round fell to ruins here as my tee shot ballooned in the wind and sailed short and right to a watery grave. The bailout left is no bargain, however, because three bunkers present a downhill shot to the green, with water beyond. The 18th is a long par 5 that bends to the right, along the water. The Port course has a similar strong closing stretch, with Lake Calumet bordering the par-4 16th and 17th holes and the par-5 18th. This time, though, the water is on the left. Harborside draws mainly from Chicago’s 58


south and southwest suburbs and also from the near north side. From the Loop, with no construction and manageable traffic, it’s just a 15-minute drive. The facility has a golf academy staffed by three instructors and also is utilized by The First Tee. The range and short-game practice areas are top-notch. “We’re happy with the changes and modifications we’ve made and the relationship we have with the (Port District) that has allowed us to keep improving the facility,” Dutler said. “In the daily fee public space, there’s a lot of places that aren’t capable of doing that. With the conditions we provide and the experience that is provided to our guests, they want to keep coming back. That’s a great sign of how healthy the golf operation is. “We’ve been here since 1995 but there’s still a ton of excitement and energy about the potential that this facility can still strive to be.” Please visit for more information.

Photo by Nile Young Jr.

Coastal Geaux Tell It On The COMEBACK

MOUNTAIN Florida’s Hurricane-Ravaged Palm Coast Returns the Ultimate Getaway Louisiana’sasAudubon GolfWinter Trail isGolf a tasty treat.

The food is really good, too By Dennis McCann

By Danny Freels

Courtesy Florida’s First Coast of Golf


OPENING SPREAD:The stunning, seaside par-3 17th on Ocean Hammock. ABOVE: The wonderful Tom Watsondesigned Conservatory Golf Club at Ocean Hammock. RIGHT: The King & Bear offers a unique design by two of the game’s greats — Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. 62


Photo by Nile Young Jr.

n 2016, one golf publication rated the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort Golf as No. 10 on its list of Best Courses You Can Play. And then, suddenly, you couldn’t. That same year Hurricane Matthew savagely walloped Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the eastern seaboard, in its wake leaving more than 600 dead and damage in the billions of dollars. Golf was just another casualty, far down the list amid such devastation, but the loss was real. At the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course, the hurricane’s high winds caused a storm surge that flooded the course with saltwater that killed grass, damaged tees and bunkers and more. Owners took what they called the long view, closing the course for a complete restoration that would include re-grassing with salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum and rebuilt tees, bunkers and greens. In 2017 Hurricane Irma arrived but the new grass held up and the golf course reopened in November with a ceremonial first foursome that included PGA legend Lee Elder and





Flagler, an industrialist and a founder of Standard Oil who was instrumental in hotel and railroad development in early Florida. The vibe here — with 19 miles of beaches, extensive hiking and biking trails, nature preserves, fishing and paddling — is decidedly less hectic and crowded than some other parts of Florida. (On several occasions when I perhaps indelicately referred to it as “less crazy” than other areas, residents nonetheless nodded agreement.) Add in oceanside dining spots, the family-friendly Marineland Dolphin Adventure and more than a few worthy historic sites — beginning with St. Augustine, America’s oldest city — and it all adds up to a place winter-weary Midwesterners will embrace. For golfers, the allure is as shiny bright as a brand new Titleist. The umbrella group Florida’s First Coast of Golf lists dozens of courses from Amelia Island on the north to Palm Coast and Flagler Beach to the south,

Above left and right by Nile Young Jr.; bottom right courtesy Florida’s First Coast of Golf

tennis great Ivan Lendl. In two past visits wind and rain dashed my plans to play the Ocean Course, but last spring I stood on the first tee on a day that was windy but otherwise gorgeous. In the distance, missing roofs on large condo buildings still displayed evidence of Irma’s wrath, but the golf course was indeed back in all its green grass and white sand glory and all the more beautiful for its magnificent blue ocean views. Again, it’s a course you can play — maybe even should. And it’s far from the only one in this northeast corner of Florida. On that note, some geography: Palm Coast — not to be confused with Palm Beach, though when I tell friends where I go they often do confuse the two — is midway between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach in Flagler County. Flagler County, the Flagler beaches, Flagler Hospital and Flagler College in St. Augustine are all named for Henry

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: The awesome 18th at the Slammer & Squire, designed by Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen. The World Golf Village is home to, among many other things, the PGA Tour Academy. The fantastic finish to the St. Johns Golf and Country Club near St. Augustine. a region that includes golf-rich Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach, home of the famous — or infamous, if you are on the tee of the knee-knocking par-3 17th with its hit-or-go-swimming island green — The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Golf magazine has called the Pete Dyedesigned Players one of the 50 best courses in the world, and it is certainly among the best-known challenges in the game. Also in Ponte Vedra Beach is Dye’s Valley Course, which has hosted a number of tournaments through the years including the Senior Players Championship, the Cadillac NFL Golf Classic and the United Van Lines Aces Challenge. You don’t need Gary Player television commercials — though if you watch golf

how do you miss them? — to know that the World Golf Hall of Fame, eight miles north of St. Augustine on International Golf Parkway, is a place every golfer should see. And having visited it on two occasions, I would agree, and allow enough time to view the amazing memorabilia Hall of Famers have donated to the member locker room, absorb five centuries of golf lore revealed in the hall’s permanent and traveling exhibits and to stroll across a life-size replica of the Swilcan Burn Bridge from the Old Course at St Andrews. And bring an extra credit card — the PGA Tour Superstore has more temptations for golfers than any sailor ever encountered on shore leave. Of course there is also playable golf at WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM




St. Johns Golf & Country Club near St. Augustine for a scheduled round and even had my clubs on a cart before I learned my tee time was actually at St. Johns Golf Club about 20 minutes away in Elkton. But no problem. I arrived in time at the 18-hole public course that bills itself as friendly to both visitors and, because it is relatively flat, to walking golfers as well. Strong winds added to the challenge, but all in all it was a fun round of golf. Another day it was not wind but thunder, approaching lightning and a tornado watch that ended a planned round at Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club in Ormond Beach, after just one hole. (I made par on the opening hole, though, so for once in my life can claim to have played in level par.) A residential community, Plantation Bay offers 45 holes of golf, and while I played only the one on my first visit we stopped for a quick nine on our day of departure and left wishing we’d had time for more.

Above left and right courtesy Florida’s First Coast of Golf: photos bottom right by Nile Young Jr.

World Golf Village, with two notable tests of the game. The King & Bear is the only golf course co-designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, boasting two nines of varying styles. The front nine is a more open, links-style stretch of golf, while the back features many tall pines and spreading oaks. The second course is the Slammer & Squire, designed by architect Bobby Weed along with Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen. In addition to the Ocean Course, Hammock Dunes Resort is also the home of the Tom Watson-designed Conservatory Course, where highlights include “waterfalls, babbling brooks and veneered field stonework.” Watson was not shy when it came to hazards, sprinkling the course with 140 sand and coquina bunkers and even three sodfaced bunkers to pay homage to the British courses he so loves. Speaking of hazards, with so many golf courses in close proximity a visiting player must be careful with names. I arrived at

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The oldest city in the U.S., St. Augustine is truly a sight to see. One of the most famous courses in the world, the The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass’s 558-yard, par-5 11th hole is trouble at every turn. Great food is found everywhere in Florida’s First Coast. Take away all the gorgeous golf and historical St. Augustine and all you’re left with are miles and miles of beautiful beaches. For those who don’t always shoot level par, instruction is available at either the PGA Tour Academy at World Golf Village, a fullservice teaching facility, or the Golf Made Simple program at Hammock Beach Resort. There is much to do in the Palm Coast area than just golf, hard as that may be to imagine. An hour to the north is Jacksonville, the largest city in Florida in terms of both population and land size, where visitors will find a vibrant riverside district, downtown theaters, a zoo and the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Orlando, with its world-famous Walt Disney World and other family-luring theme parks, is just 90 minutes to the west. St. Augustine’s historical sites are well worth taking in, whether on foot or by horsedrawn carriage rides. Flagler College, set

in the “gilded age palace” that once was Henry Flagler’s Hotel Ponce de Leon, has been called one of America’s most beautiful college, and visitors shouldn’t miss Fort Matanzas National Monument, a fort that dates to the 17th century. Also just 30 miles away, Daytona Beach is home to both the Daytona 500 and the LPGA. Visitors can tour the World Center of Racing at Daytona International Speedway, take in the Museum of Arts and Sciences or climb the second tallest lighthouse in Florida. For more on Palm Coast and Flagler County, visit For information on golf courses, packages or golf instruction, please visit Florida’s First Coast of Golf at WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


GOLF IN MINNESOTA Where the best golfers in the world play … both men and women!

Visit Minnesota The STATE of GOLF 68


The land of 10,000 water holes invites you to test your game at some of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the world — enjoy Minnesota golf. - By Steve Dowling “THE STATE of GOLF” - MINNESOTA As the winter season drags on it only makes sense that golf becomes top of mind. Did you know Minnesota is the only state to have hosted all 13 USGA championships plus the Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, Solheim Cup, PGA of America and others? Last but not least, Minnesota hosted the 2016 Ryder Cup and it’s coming back in 2028! So, what’s next for Minnesota? The 2019 PGA Women’s Championship! The best golfers in the world play in Minnesota – both men AND WOMEN! Minnesota is well known as the State of Golf! Now is the time to start planning your trip to the 2019 KPMG PGA Women’s Championship which will be held late June at Hazeltine National Golf Club. The Championship focuses on the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course. When you come to watch the best golfers in the world compete on this grand stage, be sure to bring your golf clubs along. The Minnesota golf season will be in full swing and its nationally renowned courses will be in prime condition for play.

QUALITY + VARIETY + VALUE The overall “Quality” of golf in Minnesota is unparalleled. The Minnesota golf landscape constitutes a hall of fame of “Award-Winning” courses. The “Variety” of Minnesota courses is diverse and woven into Mother Nature’s natural beauty. True “Value” is a major attribute of golf in

Minnesota with green fees lower than other golf hotbeds around North America.

MINNESOTA’S BUCKET LIST It’s not too early to start planning your Minnesota trip. The KPMG PGA Women’s Championship will be here before you know it. Whether you’re coming for a few days, weeks or months, Minnesota’s “bucket list” of must-play golf courses can be found with the Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance featuring the state’s top public courses and resort courses.

ABOVE: The Classic at Madden’s on Gull Lake. LEFT: Superior National Golf Course. We’re excited to have you visit our wonderful state to watch the world’s top golfers tee it up AND for YOU to play where the best golfers in the world play – both men and women! Enjoy the Quality, Variety and Value of Great Golf – Play Golf Where the Best Golfers in the World Play. Visit Minnesota - the STATE of GOLF For more information on golf in Minnesota please visit or WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


1. Arrowwood Resort

2. Black Bear Golf Course

3. Braemar Golf Course

4. Breezy Point Resort


5. Chaska Town Course

Visit one of out member facilities and experience some of the finest golf in the United States!

6. Cragun’s Resort

7. Destination Bloomington

8. Edinburgh U.S.A.

9. Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort

Play the

10. Golden Eagle Golf Club

BEST of the BEST

11. Grand View Lodge

12. Legends Club

13. Madden’s on Gull Lake


14. Minnesota National GC


16. Ridges at Sand Creek

18. Rush 94Creek Golf Club 35E

19. Stonebrooke Golf Club 17 20





5 20. StoneRidge Golf Club 7 19 23 12

35 21. Superior GC 16 National


5 19 16



3 23 12 27




St. Cloud


22 Twin Cities


17 20 15



23. The Wilds Golf Club

24. Thumper Pond Resort www.thumperpond .com

25. Twin Cities Gateway CVB

26. Wilderness at Fortune Bay

27. Willingers Golf Club





84 70

10 4

THE 2019

22. Territory Golf Club




Twin Cities







Alexandria St. Cloud

17. Royal Golf Club









25 8

10 4





15. Prestwick Golf Club






Madden’s on Gull Lake Voted 53rd Best Resort in the World by Conde Nast Traveler readers, Madden’s offers upscale accommodations (including new multi-bedroom houses), dining and endless recreation for golf groups, reunions and retreats. With four on-property courses, you’ll find Madden’s to be a golf destination like no other. Featuring The Classic at Madden’s (5-Star and Top 100 in US and ‘#1 buddies destination in Minnesota’); the historic Pine Beach East, Pine Beach West, and a Social 9, Madden’s offers a course for every golfer. Located in the heart of the Brainerd Lakes area on 1,000 acres with miles of lakeshore, a reputation of gracious hospitality make Madden’s a world-class destination.

Guest Rooms: 285 63 Holes of Golf


Par 72, 7,012 yards

Pine Beach East Par 72, 6,151 yards

Pine Beach West Par 67, 5,070 yards

Social 9

Par 27, 1,341 yards | 800.233.2934 | 11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd

Minnesota National Golf Course Minnesota National Golf Course is a magnificent 27-hole golf course built on 600 lakeside acres in Northern Minnesota’s wilderness, surrounded by towering pines, hardwoods and wildlife. The 18-hole championship course features bentgrass tees, fairways and greens with Ohio white sand bunkers and plays over 7,200 yards. TeeTimes Magazine named Minnesota National a Top 10 Golf Resort in the state in 2017, in addition Twin Cities Golf stated “Minnesota National Golf Course was in the best overall condition of any course we’ve EVER played!”

Championship Course 18 Holes, Par 72, 7,230 yds

Savanna Course

9 Holes, Par 33, 2,478 yds | 218.426.4444 | 23247 480th Street, McGregor

Giants Ridge Resort Giants Ridge is the only Minnesota golf resort that has two courses that each have been named the best public course in the state and have been named to Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses list. In terms of quality and value there are few destinations that can compare to Giants Ridge. | 800.688.7669

Two 18-hole Courses Lodging Resort Activities

| 6329 Wynne Creek Drive, Biwabik WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM



Legends Club Legends Golf Club, recognized as National Golf Course of the Year, is an 18-hole championship course nestled in a wooded, yet marshy, area south of the Twin Cities. It is conveniently located just 2 miles west from Highway I-35, about a 25-minute drive from both downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul and 20 minutes from the Mall of America/MSP Airport. Legends Club is one of the few daily-fee public golf courses where you experience private club feel, amenities and quality. Come add your story to the Legends.

Holes - 18 Yards - 7,063 Par 72 | 952.226.4777 | 8670 Credit River Blvd., Prior Lake

Superior National Golf Course Great Golf by the Greatest Lake! Mountains, canyons and rivers – few golf courses are fortunate enough to be built around just one of these breathtaking elements; at Superior National, we have all three. Our 27-hole course weaves in and around this remarkable landscape while overlooking vast stretches of Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains and the rugged Poplar River. It is family friendly and playable for all levels plus a definite challenge for the scratch player. Great golf by the greatest lake!

Holes - 27 Stay and Play Packages Available | 218.663.7195 | 5731 MN-61, Lutsen

Twin Cities Gateway Visitors Bureau We’re Above Par!

As the home of the 3M Open, a PGA Tour Event, July 1-7, 2019, at the TPC Twin Cities and with 9 golf courses and 22 hotels to choose from, the Twin Cities Gateway is a great destination for your next golf getaway! Located just minutes away from downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul and all major attractions, shopping, dining and entertainment. For a great day, play and stay in the ‘Gateway!

Contact Twin Cities Gateway | 763.785.5640 | 10801 Town Square Drive, Blaine 72



Breezy Point Resort Breezy Point Resort proudly presents the nationally recognized Deacon’s Lodge, an Arnold Palmer Signature course named in honor of Arnold’s father Deacon “Deke” Palmer. Additionally, Breezy Point offers its original championship course Whitebirch, a fan favorite, and the Traditional course which played host to both Patty Berg and Walter Hagen in the 1920s and 30s. Complemented by 4 unique restaurants, “Dockside” sports and entertainment bar, spa, boat marina, paddle driven cruise boat, sugar sand beaches and multiple accommodation options, Breezy Point has been Minnesota’s “goto” resort for over 90 years. Breezy Point Resort specializes in custom “Stay and Play” packages assembled to meet the golf retreat dreams of any group size. Breezy also offers the only true all-inclusive option golf packages.

Three 18-hole Courses Resort Lodge and Condos | 800.432.3777 | 9252 Breezy Point Drive, Breezy Point

Wilderness at Fortune Bay Plan that perfect golf getaway by booking a Stay-andPlay package at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay! This challenging course, located on beautiful Lake Vermilion, continues to garner national awards for its playability, breath-taking views and excellent customer service! We’re also home to an award-winning resort, feature several dining options and 24/7 gaming! • Best Casino Courses in America#8 Nationally, #2 Minnesota — Golf Week • America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses#57 Nationally; #2 Minnesota — Golf Digest

18-Hole Resort Course Hotel, Marina, Casino | 800.992.4680 | 1450 Bois Forte Road, Tower

Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau Great Northern Golf Trail of Minnesota & Wisconsin is Growing This dream itinerary along the Great Northern Golf Trail of Minnesota and Wisconsin will make you a hero among fellow golfers. Your journey starts in Bloomington, MN – Home of Mall of America and MSP International Airport - you can tee off on more than ten “bucket list” Midwest courses, including three new additions: Deacon’s Lodge, SentryWorld and Erin Hills. To Learn more about 2019 Golf Packages and Pricing: Visit us at

43 hotels 9,300 + hotel rooms | 952.858.8500 | 2131 Lindau Lane, Bloomington WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


The First Tee

For the Good of the Game Midwest Chapters of The First Tee help kids learn the love of golf — and life


ith millions of kids of all ages taking part across the country over the years, The First Tee might just be the greatest grassroots grower of the game. More importantly, it’s done wonders for the kids, as well. The First Tee is a youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. With support from The First Tee’s Founding Partners — the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA Tour and the USGA, The First Tee delivers programs that introduce kids to the game of golf and its inherent values, reaching 15 million kids since launching in 1997. The First Tee offers programs in all 50 states through: the National School Program in more than 10,000 elementary schools, 150 chapters at more than 1,200 golf courses and The First Tee DRIVE at 1,300 youth centers. In the Great Lakes region, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, The First Tee impacts kids at 190 golf courses, and more than 150 youth centers and 1,000 elementary schools. Chapters in these states offer golf and life-skills program year-round at most locations. Some special highlights for 2019 are: WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


The First Tee

Wisconsin The First Tee of Southeast Wisconsin is partnering with new schools this spring in Fond du Lac, Waukesha, Greenfield and Milwaukee. Nine elementary schools with launch The First Tee National School Program. The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin is opening a fourth Learning Center location in Reedsburg. More than 300 youth will receive life-skills education and reading and math intervention programs during afterschool programs in 2019.


The First Tee of Greater Chicago partners with Exelon to bring more opportunity for 76


girls and women in golf. The First Tee Girls in Golf Academy is a week long camp (June 17-21 at Harborside International golf course, see our story about Harborside on page 50) that will provide 40 girls ages 12-17 an opportunity to work on their golf skills, play and explore STEM Golf concepts, culminating in playing in a nine-hole tournament at the Exelon Women’s Invitational at Cog Hill on June 20.

Ohio At The First Tee of Greater Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts learn golf and life skills while earning a badge. The First Tee of Greater Miami Valley is

Maximize Your Play Time

The best golf destinations cover a lot of ground beyond the 18th green. French Lick Resort is the golf getaway with more to love. We have 45 holes of golf, including championship courses by legendary designers Pete Dye and Donald Ross. Add in hundreds of ways to win at the casino, casual and fine dining plus other amenities, and the numbers are on your side for an epic golf trip. French Lick Resort brings it all together with golf, food, fun and gaming at one unforgettable destination. For groups of 8 or more, give our golf group sales manager Alex Whiteman a call at 812-936-9300 (ext. 7227) to get the ball rolling.

Must be 21 years or older to enter the casino. Gambling Problem? Call 1.800.9.WITH.IT!

The First Tee Equipment 2018 holding an Over the Edge rappelling fundraiser on Aug. 9. Though partnership with the Memorial Tournament and Scotts, The First Tee of Central Ohio will be taking over 100 kids to enjoy Junior Golf Day at the Memorial Tournament (held May 31 – June 2, see our pro golf schedule starting on page 88) in 2019. This day includes up close and personal interactions with PGA Tour players, autographs, lunch and a great day of first class golf. The First Tee of Greater Akron is now offering year-round programming at Mud Run Golf Course and Driving Range with the addition of an indoor golf simulator. Young golfers have the opportunity to play alongside Canton City police officers at The First Tee of Canton at the annual Cops Fore Kids. Lunch is provided and kids get to check out a SWAT truck and watch a K9 demonstration at this August event. The First Tee of Cleveland is opening a new location in Westlake this year. They will celebrate the summer season on Aug. 10 with a cookout and huge tent sale.  

Keeping Score

The First Tee, by the Numbers 190 — Midwest golf courses participating in the programs

1,200 — Courses nationwide participating 150+ — Number of youth centers participating in the Midwest

1,000 elementary schools 50 — Number of states with a First Tee program 9 — Core Values The First Tee instills in program participants: Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, Judgment

15 million — Number of kids participating in the program since launching in 1997


The First Tee of Lake County is celebrating their 20th anniversary at their annual golf outing on July 10 at Lost Marsh in Hammond.


This year The First Tee of West Michigan will expand from two to four teams competing in PGA Jr. League, providing opportunities for young people in The First Tee’s programs in Muskegon and Holland to represent their communities for the first time. 78


With the Dow Great Lake Bay Invitational coming to the area in July, the chapter is looking forward to offering The First Tee programs in Midland this year. Youngsters who take part in the Travel League at The First Tee of Northern Michigan will have an opportunity to play at many outstanding locations including Mackinac Island. To find out more information and a program in your area, visit





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Golf Tech Talk

Equipment Preview


STUFF Blast off in 2019 with the gear to take your game to the next level By Dennis McCann

Callaway Epic Flash Sub-Zero

Some day, as we finally concede to our robot overlords, we may look back at Callaway’s new Epic Flash series of drivers as the thing that started it all. The drivers use artificial intelligence and machine learning to test 15,000 different variations of its new Flash Face technology, which is designed to transfer energy from the face to the ball. The Sub-Zero variety also includes the clubmaker’s “Jailbreak” technology, with two stabilizing bars to stiffen the crown and sole at impact, promoting ball speed even as it reduces spin. It also has an adjustable head, perimeter weighting, and all the top tech you’d expect. Put it all together, and the club offers the kind of speed and precision we as humans just can’t compete with. Just do what it says! $599, — DS

TaylorMade M5 Looking to inject some life into your game? TaylorMade’s got the stuff to literally take you to the limit, with its new M-series of drivers. The M5 and M6 feature resin-injected clubheads designed to initially exceed the USGA’s allowable COR, then pulling it back to just inside the line. The result is a killer club your competition will never see coming— but they’ll sure hear it when it goes boom. $549.99, — DS

Equipment Preview

Titleist TS2 and TS3 Driver The “S” in Titleist’s TS drivers stands for speed, not surprising in that Titleist says its TS2 and TS3 models were the result of two years of building new drivers that would put “greater speed into every detail.” The drivers feature what Titleist calls the thinnest titanium clubface in the game and a refined shape to increase clubhead speed for more distance. The TS2 allows a player to swing more aggressively with more forgiveness across the face, while the TS3 offers an adjustable sweet spot “for speed-tuned performance.” $499.

Callaway Weather Apparel Summer golf in shirts and shorts is fine, but it takes the right apparel to make spring and fall comfortable for the serious golfer. Callaway’s Fall Weather Series features waterproof clothing for men and women designed by Perry Ellis International. Items include heathered fleece sweaters and vests with insulated thermal material for warmth and water repellant outer fabric, the full-zip puffer jacket and vest designed to offer warmth without interfering with range of motion through the swing, and a waterproof seam-sealed jacket that features splash proof zippers and adjustable storm cuffs to keep water out. The line also includes waterproof pants and the fully lined and insulated women’s quilted Thermore jacket.

Equipment Preview

Nexbelt Nexbelt “the belt with no holes” uses a unique ratcheting system called PreciseFit to allow the wearer to adjust in smaller increments than traditional pin/buckle style belts, guaranteeing a sure fit. For 2019, Nexbelt offers a new premium series of pebble grain leather belts. Wearable both off and on the course, the flip-down face of the buckle reveals a hidden magnetic ball marker. Available in more than 150 different belt and buckle combinations for men and women. $59 and up.

IGOTCHA Ball Retriever Every golfer knows the dilemma: water, water everywhere and not a retriever in sight. IGOTCHA’s new line of Jawz retrievers for 2019 feature colorful rubberized surfaces that can easily be seen in the water and singlepiece head designs with no moving parts to grip the ball securely from either side. The retrievers come in three sizes — 10-foot, 14-foot and 18-foot reach lengths — and the stainless steel handles can collapse from 15.5 to 21 inches. $29.95-$49.95.

Bentley Golf Accessories Not many of us will ever drive a Bentley, but for about the price of a single car payment any golfer can stand proudly on a green with a Bentley ball marker. The line of Bentley accessories, like the company’s line of golf clubs, carry price tags that might make the average muni player blanch, but for the one-percenters for whom price is no object, how about a milled stainless steel Bentley ball marker $130, pitch mark repair tool $170 or cap clip $170? If that’s making you sweat, you might need the Bentley golf towel, made of premium cotton fabric with leather touches $75.



Equipment Preview

Six-Wheel Travel Cover There’s nothing more frustrating that lugging an oversized golf club travel bag through a crowded airport. The Bag Boy Company’s new Freestyle Six-Wheel Travel Cover comes, as advertised, with six rotating wheels to give its user the ability to push or pull while the case is completely upright or tilted and pulled in the traditional manner. With room for a full-size cart bag and clubs inside, the cover also features a large external pocket and four handles for ease of getting it in and out of a car trunk or baggage carousel. When not in use it folds down to a small package that can be placed in an included storage bag. $219.95.

Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedge How about a shot-saving wedge that comes with a hip-hop name and design to match? Callaway’s Mack Daddy 4 wedge features two types of milled grooves depending on the loft and a new way of increasing surface friction between the grooves. Instead of cutting into the flat surfaces, the MD4 mills ridges that Callaway’s designers say “rise from the surface to create more contact points” for increased spin on even the shortest shots. Available from 46-64 degree lofts with four sole grind options. $150.

Tour XDream Putter by MLA GOLF How about a putter that pairs science with golf? MLA, for Multiple Line-detector Activation, employs a new patented alignment technology based on the theory that all humans have internal guides to compare and analyze sensory information that control the line and pace of putts. MLA putters are designed to take advantage of those guides, using input from a long-time expert who has for more than 20 years performed studies of the science between the human’s perceptions and his motor skills. MLA putters promise to deliver the top aim in golf. Starting at $129. 84


Christmas Mountain Village™ Etched into the rolling hills of Wisconsin Dells, Christmas Mountain Village welcomes the public to a golf experience rated four-star by Golf Digest: Challenging 18-Hole Championship Course • Family-Friendly 9-Hole Course Full-Service Pro Shop • Practice Facilities • Lessons • Club Rentals Clubhouse with Restaurant & Bar

Call 608.254.3971 to book your tee times. | Find Us on Facebook



©2015 Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited, Inc. All rights reserved. CMV.04.15.28 05/15

Equipment Preview

Odyssey Exo Putter The leading maker of putters continues to ride its popular White Hot insert in the Odyssey Exo line of putters. These mallets come in a variety of styles, from the wing-back Exo Seven, to the more traditional rounded Rossie putter, but all feature multiple-material construction and Microhinge technology to offer immediate forward roll for better accuracy and distance control. $299.

Short Par 4 Are you someone who can’t get enough gear? Short Par 4 offers a subscription membership that will deliver a box of new golf clothing and accessories to your door every month. Simply take the gear survey to let them know your style preferences and Short Par 4’s curators will choose items to fit both your body and your personality. The Fairway membership box (from $49.95 per month) will contain a two-item outfit or one item and two accessories. Also available are the Executive membership ($99.95) and, for the truly flashy golfer, the Rickie Fowler Tour Experience membership ($125), offering gear from Fowler’s sponsors.

adidas adipower Golf Shoes The new line of adidas adipower shoes was designed to offer golfers more stability without adding to the weight of the shoe. The company first examined how weight shifts in the feet during the swing to determine where more stability was needed. Then it used a process called forging to heat-press, or harden the material, in that part of the shoe to provide extra support. The adipower line includes spiked shoes for both men and women (adipower 4ORGED) and a spikeless version for men (adipower 4ORGED S). All models feature adidas’ BOOST midsole for more energy return and cushioning. $130-140.



Check out our Golftime website to keep up with news and offers! Golftime Magazine is dedicated to people who realize the world’s greatest game is more than a pastime, people who appreciate the rich variety and value in the region they call home. Find us on


Dustin Johnson at the BMW Championship 88


2019 Pro Golf Preview

Hot Dates

It’s setting up to be a scorching summer for golf in the Great Lakes, with big events around the region in 2019

Photo courtesy Western Golf Association


or those of you who feel the Upper Midwest has been slighted in recent years by scant PGA Tour offerings, 2019 could be your year. Thanks to a revamped PGA schedule, which ensures that the season ends prior to the first football being teed in the fall, two new men’s events have been added to this region’s schedule. In late June the Detroit Golf Club will play host to the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic. The Classic will mark the first time a PGA Tour event has been held in Detroit. In early July, young tops old at TPC Twin Cities as the 3M Open makes its debut on the Tour schedule, supplanting the 26-year run of the PGA Tour Champions’ 3M Championship. The two new events launch a PGA Tour swing through the Midwest that comes to a close in mid-July with the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois. Oh, and speaking of football (and when it comes to Notre Dame, why not?), mark June 27-30 on your calendar as the U.S. Senior Open makes it way to the Fighting Irish campus in South Bend. It’s especially noteworthy since it will be the first time the event has been played on a college campus course — the terrific Warren Dunes Course designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Plus, there is one lineup change to note on the PGA Tour with the BMW Championship returning to the Chicago area in midAugust. The LPGA, meanwhile, will be adding a new wrinkle to its playbook with the inaugural Dow Great Lakes Invitational in Midland, Michigan. The mid-July invite will be the first official team event in LPGA Tour history. The world’s top women golfers will also be visiting Hazeltine National Golf Club in June for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. It marks only the second time a women’s major championship has been played in Minnesota. Still not enough for you? Wait, there’s more. Here’s a look at the 2019 tournament schedule in the Golftime region: WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


2019 Pro Golf Preview Tour EVANS SCHOLAR INVITATIONAL COURSE: The Glen Club TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: 2019 is the inaugural year for the Invitational. May 30-June 2, Dublin, Ohio

PGA Tour THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT COURSE: Muirfield Village Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Bryson DeChambeau TV: CBS/Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Bryson DeChambeau won a two-hole playoff to capture the 43rd Memorial Tournament. May 31-June 2, Des Moines, Iowa

PGA Tour Champions PRINCIPAL CHARITY CLASSIC COURSE: Wakonda Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Tom Lehman TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: The 2018 Classic raised a record $4.35 million in support of Iowa kids. June 7-9, South Bend, Indiana

Symetra Tour FOUR WINDS INVITATIONAL COURSE: Blackthorn Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Maia Schechter THE SKINNY: Maia Schechter’s 11-under 205 was good enough for a one-stroke victory. June 13-16, Grand Rapids, Michigan



THE SKINNY: The victory was the first in nearly a year for So Yeon Ryu. June 13-16, Springfield, Illinois Tour LINCOLN LAND CHARITY CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Panther Creek Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Anders Albertson THE SKINNY: Anders Albertson shot 25 under par to set a new 72-hole scoring record in garnering his first win on the tour. June 14-16, Decatur, Illinois

Symetra Tour DECATUR-FORSYTH CLASSIC COURSE: Hickory Point Golf Course DEFENDING CHAMP: Isi Gabsa THE SKINNY: The Classic is the longest running tournament on the LPGA Symetra Tour and the third longest running women’s golf tournament. June 20-23, Chaska Minnesota

LPGA Tour KPMG WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Hazeltine National GC DEFENDING CHAMP: Sung Hyun Park TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Sung Hyun Park won in a playoff over Nasa Hataoka and So Yeon Ryu. June 21-23, Madison, Wisconsin

PGA Tour Champions AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: University Ridge Golf Course DEFENDING CHAMP: Scott McCarron TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Last year, Scott McCarron held on for a one-stroke victory over hometown favorite Jerry Kelly.

Photo by Jim Kelsh

May 23-26, Glenview, Illinois

Ariya Jutanugarn – 2018 LPGA Player of the Year



2019 Pro Golf Preview

Symetra Tour ISLAND RESORT CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Sweetgrass Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Ruixin Liu THE SKINNY: China’s Ruixin Liu overcame a threeshot deficit to post her first Symetra Tour victory in 2018. June 27-30, Detroit Michigan

PGA Tour ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC COURSE: Detroit Golf Club TV: CBS/Golf Channel THE SKINNY: After a ten-year hiatus, the PGA Tour returns to Michigan with the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic, which replaces the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour schedule. June 27-30, Notre Dame, Indiana

PGA Tour Champions U.S. SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Warren Golf Course DEFENDING CHAMP: David Toms TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: David Toms won by one stroke in 2018 at Broadmoor Golf Club. 2019 marks the first time the Open has been played on a college campus. June 28-30, Maineville, Ohio

Symetra Tour PRASCO CHARITY CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: TPC RIVER’s Bend DEFENDING CHAMP: Muni He THE SKINNY: The Championship moves to Maineville after being in Cincinnati in 2018. July 4-7, Blaine, Minnesota

PGA Tour 3M OPEN COURSE: TPC Twin Cities 92


TV: CBS/Golf Channel THE SKINNY: The 3M Open replaces the 3M Championship, a PGA Tour Champions event that had a 26-year run in the Twin Cities area. July 4-7, Oneida, Wisconsin

LPGA Tour THORNBERRY CREEK LPGA CLASSIC COURSE: Thornberry Creek at Oneida DEFENDING CHAMP: Sei Young Kim TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Sei Young Kim set the LPGA scoring record with a 31 under par for the tournament. July 11-14, Akron, Ohio

PGA Tour Champions BRIDGESTONE SENIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Firestone Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Vijay Singh TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: The Bridgestone Senior Players is one of five majors on the PGA Tour Champions schedule. July 11-14, Sylvania, Ohio

LPGA Tour MARATHON CLASSIC COURSE: Highland Meadows Golf Club DEFNDING CHAMP: Thidapa Suwannapura TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Last year, Thidapa Suwannapura defeated Brittany Lincicome in a playoff. July 11-13, French Lick, Indiana

Symetra Tour DONALD ROSS CLASSIC AT FRENCH LICK RESORT COURSE: The Donald Ross Course DEFENDING CHAMP: Stephanie Kono THE SKINNY: UCLA all-American Stephanie Kono posted a one-stroke victory in 2018.

Photo by Micheal Klemme

June 21-23, Harris, Michigan

Blackthorne Golf Club, South Bend, Indiana

July 11-14, Silvis, Illinois

PGA Tour JOHN DEERE CLASSIC COURSE: TPC Deere Run DEFENDING CHAMP: Michael Kim TV: CBS/Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Michael Kim, the 2013 college Player of the Year, left the field in his wake by posting an eight-stroke victory last year.

two-person teams competing in foursomes and four-ball. Aug. 2-4, Janesvile, Wisconsin

Symetra Tour LPGA Legends JANESVILLE GOLF CLASSIC COURSE: Janesville CC THE SKINNY: A new event on the Symetra Tour schedule that will see the LPGA Legends also competing for their own 18-hole championship.

July 17-20, Midland, Michigan

LPGA Tour DOW GREAT LAKES BAY INVITATIONAL COURSE: Midland Country Club TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: The new Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational will be the first official team event in LPGA Tour history and features 72

Aug. 9-11, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Symetra Tour PHC CLASSIC COURSE: Brown Deer Park Golf Course DEFENDING CHAMP: Laura Coughlin THE SKINNY: Laura Coughlin posted her first professional victory with a 16-under 200 last year. Juli Inkster — U.S. Senior Women’s Open WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


Bernhard Langer — PGA Tour Champions



2019 Pro Golf Preview Aug. 15-18, Medinah, Illinois

Sept. 13-15, Grand Blanc, Michigan



COURSE: Medina County Club (No. 3) DEFENDING CHAMP: Keegan Bradley TV: Golf Channel/NBC THE SKINNY: The 2019 edition of the BMW Championship will mark the fourth time since 2013 that the event is being played in the Chicago area.

COURSE: Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Paul Broadhurst TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Paul Broadhurst won the inaugural Challenge by two strokes.

Aug. 15-18, Columbus, Ohio Tour NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course DEFENDING CHAMP: Robert Streb TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Last year’s tournament went to the wire, with Robert Streb winning in a one-hole playoff. Aug. 16-18, Battle Creek, Michigan

Symetra Tour FIREKEEPERS CASINO HOTEL CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Battle Creek Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Marta Sanz Barrio THE SKINNY: Last year, Marta Sanz Barrio fired a 30 on the back nine to post a 65 on the final round to a fuel a one-stroke victory. Aug. 30-Sept. 2, Newburgh, Indiana

Photo by Jim Kelsh Tour WEB.COM TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Victoria National Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Denny McCarthy TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY:  Denny McCarthy posted won by four shots in 2018 at Atlantic Beach CC.

Sept. 20-22, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

PGA Tour Champions SANFORD INTERNATIONAL COURSE: Minnehaha Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Steve Stricker TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: The tournament enters year two of a five-year commitment. Sept. 26-29, Indianapolis, Indiana

LPGA Tour INDY WOMEN IN TECH COURSE: Brickyard Crossing Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Sung Hyun Park TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Sung Hyun Park defeated Lizette Salas in a playoff to take home the title in 2018. Oct. 14-16, French Lick, Indiana

LPGA Legends Tour SENIOR LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Pete Dye Course DEFENDING CHAMP: Laura Davies TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Last year Laura Davies posted a four-stroke victory to win her 87th tournament title.



Industry Insider

Golf’s Virtual Reality Topgolf’s transforming game into a multimedia entertainment extravaganza By Don Shell

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — The ball sails high through the cold January air, the perfect trajectory, the perfect line, hitting smack-dab in the center ring by the flagstick, 185 yards away. Yes! That’s 120 points! I retreat to my heated couch and refill my glass from the pitcher on the table, and watch the flatscreen above me for the recap of my turn. I’m at the new Topgolf in the 98


Metro Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, and I immediately know two things: This is the future of the game. And I’m completely hooked.

Industry Insider Like some kind of cyberpunk sports fantasy, Topgolf offers tons of modern architecture, entertainment options, and neon.

Started nearly 20 years ago by twin brothers Steve and Dave Jolliffe in Watford, England, Topgolf has quickly evolved into a worldwide phenomenon and growing multimedia empire. The brothers’ idea started simply enough, trying to make the humdrum driving range experience more exciting, turning to technology to help track players’ shots. The idea grew from there, and today Topgolf is essentially your daddy’s driving

range — on a boatload of steroids and neon. These massive entertainment hubs come complete with multiple levels and high-end bars, heated hitting bays and pulsing beats. The company’s Las Vegas location even has four swimming pools! (And cabanas.) If you’re one of the few people who’ve never heard of Topgolf, Topgolf spokesperson Caroline Jerome sums up the concept nicely. “Topgolf is like a larger-than-life playground with massive colorful targets in an outfield where guests hit golf balls in hopes of earning points and beating their friends,” Jerome told Golftime. “The balls are microchipped and guests can earn points based on accuracy and distance.”  Since its humble days on dusty British driving ranges, the Topgolf empire has exploded to more than 50 locations in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. This Auburn Hills location is one of the newest, and the soldout crowds practically line out the door of the massive, 65,000-square-foot facility. One Saturday night in January the wait time for a hitting bay was a laughable five hours. Like everywhere else Topgolf has been, the crowd is squarely set in the coveted 18-34 demographic marketers everywhere salivate over. How? Why? The “secret sauce” to Topgolf really boils down to this: It’s an absolute riot. “The concept is simple: Topgolf is everyone’s game,” Jerome explained. “Whether you’re an avid golfer or someone who has never picked up a golf club before, anyone WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM


Industry Insider

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Topgolf offers multiple levels of high-tech hitting bays, replete with flatscreen readouts of your round. Modernism abounds here. Topgolf’s fare makes it not just the best driving range you’ve been to, but maybe the best bar, too. BELOW RIGHT: Topgolf is having an enormous impact on growing the game, with youth programs and instruction, too. can have a great time at Topgolf and create special memories.” With most players staying at Topgolf for two hours, with plenty of music, food and drink and comfortable couches to lounge on, cool bars and dozens of TVs everywhere you look, Topgolf is golf’s cooler cousin. Topgolf succeeds by improving on all the sticking points for the game of golf itself — namely, that it’s too hard, too time-intensive and too expensive. The result is a game that transcends the traditional sport, one that attracts and appeals to the masses in ways golf itself has struggled to do in recent years. “More than half of Topgolf’s guests identify as ‘non-golfers’ so it isn’t uncommon that Topgolf is the very first interaction that indi100


viduals have with the game of golf,” Jerome said. “It’s a low-pressure environment that encourages friendly competition with friends and family.” A casual glance around the Auburn Hills facility confirms this, with groups of friends, couples, and clearly non-golfers dominating the clientele this visit. Topgolf is affiliated with Callaway Golf, and provides clubs at every bay, or players can bring their own bags, too (most don’t). And while purists might scoff at the idea of Topgolf providing a path to greater participation for the game itself, the proof is pretty clear in some National Golf Foundation statistics. The NGF’s 2017 study found that not only is Topgolf driving players to the game,

Industry Insider but a whopping 23 percent of all new players got their first experience with the game at a Topgolf. And a full 75 percent of nongolfing Topgolf players said they wanted to try the sport on a real course after playing Topgolf. Additionally, according to the NGF, the number of people who played on a golf course for the first time in 2017 increased for the fourth straight year. Add those stunning stats to Topgolf’s treasure-trove of Millennials (70 percent of its 12.75 million players in 2017 were 35 or younger), and you can see why the game’s top brass is positively giddy over the game’s cooler cousin. “Topgolf’s success is proof that interest in the traditional game is massive, and Topgolf is an approachable place where golf’s ‘latent demand’ activates that interest,” NGF’s Chief Business Officer Greg Nathan said in a release. “The golf industry is incredibly fortunate to have Topgolf and other approachable off-course options as a bridge to help turn non-golfers into passionate golfers.” But Topgolf’s growth is far from limited to the golf courses themselves. The brand is growing in seemingly every direction, from the multimedia (including cooking, music, variety and the Topgolf Tour shows on its Youtube channel), as well as apps and other avenues to get into the game. The Golf Channel even features Topgolf with its popular Shotmakers show. “Topgolf has evolved into a brand that can be touched by a variety of consumers,” Jerome said. “We recently acquired World Golf Tour which is the most popular golf app in the world where guests can literally play Topgolf 24/7 along with other wellknown courses around the world. Other brand extensions include the Swing Suite and Toptracer — both allowing Topgolf to

expand in markets that don’t have a venue just yet.” Topgolf’s Swing Suites are indoor Topgolf simulators designed with the full experience in mind, which the Toptracer retrofits existing driving ranges with aspects of the Topgolf technology and gameplay. Like every successful business, maybe the best indicator of Topgolf’s growing success — besides the nearly 13 million visitors in 2017 alone — is the number of imitators that have sprung up to challenge its market share. The past few years have seen the massive Drive Shack open in Orlando, with five more locations planned by 2020, and the Jack Nicklaus-affiliated The Flying Tee open in Oklahoma, and more on the way. With all that in mind, don’t look for Topgolf to take its foot off the gas just yet, Jerome says. “The sky really is the limit on where Topgolf will be next! We have some exciting content coming out this year for our guests, along with expansion into countries like Canada, Mexico and Dubai,” she said. “2018 was a big year for the brand and we are excited for all that is to come this next year.” Whatever the future brings for the company, it’s clear golf’s future is a little brighter thanks to Topgolf’s irresistible neon glow. For more information, visit



Photo by Nile Young Jr.

Ravines Golf Club, Saugatuck, Michigan


Want to be listed in the Midwest Select section? Just email

Midwest Select Abbey Springs Golf Course (R)

Bear Slide Golf Club (P)

Bob-O-Link Golf Club (PV)

Ackerman Hills (P)

Bedford Valley Golf Course (R)

The Bog (P)

A-Ga-Ming Golf Resort (R)

Beeches Golf Club (P)

Bolingbrook Golf Club (P)

Aldeen Golf Club (P)

The Beloit Club (PV)

Bon Vivant (P)

Anetsburger Golf Course (P)

Berrien Hills Golf Club (P)

Bonnie Brook Golf Course (P)

Angels Crossing Golf Club (P)

Beverly Country Club (PV)

Bonnie Dundee Golf Club (P)

Annbriar Golf Course (P)

Big Fish Golf Club (P)

Boone Creek Golf Club (P)

Antioch Golf Club (P)

Big Run Golf Club (P)

Boughton Ridge Golf Course (P)

Apple Canyon Lake Golf Course (P)

Billy Caldwell Golf Course (P)

Boulder Ridge Country Club (PV)

Apple Orchard Golf Course (P)

Biltmore Country Club (PV)

The Bourne Golf Course (P)

The Arboretum Club (P)

Binder Park Golf Course (P)

Arlington Lakes Golf Club (P)

Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex (P)

Arrowhead Golf Club (P)

Bittersweet Golf Club (P)

Aspen Ridge Golf Course (P)

Black Forest at Wilderness Valley (R)

Atwood Homestead Golf Course (P)

Black Hawk Run Golf Club (P)

Aurora Country Club (PV)

Black Sheep Golf Club (PV)

Chesterton, IN, 219-921-1192

Balmoral Woods Country Club (P)

Blackberry Oaks Golf Course (P)

Deerfield, IL, 847-945-2660

Barrington Hills Country Club (PV)

Blackberry Patch Golf Club (P)

Indianapolis, IN, 317-492-6572

Barrington Park District (P)

Blackstone Golf Club (P)

Madison, WI, 608-244-1822

Barker Lake Golf Course Legend (P)

Blackthorn Golf Club (P)

Hoffman Estates, IL, 847-781-3681

Bartlett Hills Golf Club (P)

Bliss Creek Golf Course (P)

Bristol, WI , 262-857-2302

Battle Ground Golf Club (P)

Bloomingdale Golf Club (P)

Lockport, IL, 815-836-8858

Bay Harbor Golf Club (P)

BlueTop Ridge at Riverside (P)

Milwaukee, WI, 414-352-8080

Fontana, WI, 262-275-6111

West Lafayette, IN, 765-494-3139 Kewadin, MI, 800-678-0122 Rockford, IL, 815-282-4653 Northbrook, IL, 847-291-2971 Vicksburg, MI, 269-649-2700 Waterloo, IL, 888-939-5191 Antioch, IL, 847-395-3004

Apple River, IL, 815-492-2477

Bartlett, IL, 630-540-4807 Buffalo Grove, IL, 847-913-1112

Arlington Heights, IL, 847-577-3030 Wheaton, IL, 630-653-5800

Bourbonnais, IL, 815-939-1742 Rockford, IL, 815-623-2411 Aurora, IL, 630-892-3785 Crete, IL, 708-672-7448

Barrington, IL, 847-381-4200

Barrington, IL, 847-381-0687

Winter, WI, 715-266-4152 Bartlett, IL, 630-837-2741

Battle Ground, IN, 765-567-2178 Bay Harbor, MI, 866-548-7427


Cicero, IN, 317-984-3837

Battle Creek, MI, 269-965-3385

South Haven, MI, 269-637-2600 Beloit, WI, 608-473-0089

Benton Harbor, MI, 269-925-9002 Chicago, IL, 708-636-8700

Hayward, WI, 715-934-4770 Lockport, IL, 815-838-1057 Chicago, IL, 773-792-1930

Barrington, IL, 847-381-1960

Battle Creek, MI, 269-979-8250

West Lafayette, IN, 765-494-3139 Gurnee, IL, 847-855-9031

Gaylord, MI, 866-585-7090 Stockton, IL, 815-947-3011

Sugar Grove, IL, 630-879-2000 Bristol, IL, 630-553-7170

Coldwater, MI, 517-238-8686 Marengo, IL, 815-923-1800

South Bend, IN, 574-232-4653

Sugar Grove, IL, 630-466-4177

Bloomingdale, IL, 630-529-6232

Riverside, IA, 877-677-3456


Highland Park, IL, 847-432-0917 Saukville, WI, 262-284-7075 Bolingbrook, IL, 630-771-9400

Bourbonnais, IL, 815-935-0400 Waukegan, IL, 847-360-4730

Carpentersville, IL, 847-426-5511 McHenry, IL, 815-455-6900

Bolingbrook, IL, 630-739-4100

Lake In The Hills, IL, 847-854-3010 Marseilles, IL, 815-496-2301

Bowes Creek Country Club (P) Elgin, IL, 847-214-5880

Boyne Highlands Resort (P) Harbor Springs, MI, 866-548-7427

Boyne Mountain Resort (P) Boyne City, MI, 866-548-7427

Brae Loch Golf Course (P) Grayslake, IL, 847-968-3444

Braidwood Fairways (P) Braidwood, IL, 815-458-2965

The Brassie (P)

Briarwood Country Club (PV) Brickyard Crossing (P)

Bridges Golf Course (P) Bridges of Poplar Creek CC (P) Bristol Oaks Country Club (P) Broken Arrow Golf Club (P) Brown Deer Park Golf Course (P) Bryn Mawr Country Club (PV) Lincolnwood, IL, 847-676-2660

Midwest Select Buck’s Barn Golf Resort (P) Thomson, IL, 815-259-8278

Bucks Run Golf Club (P)

Mt. Pleasant, MI, 989-773-6830

Buena Vista Golf Course (P) DeKalb, IL, 815-758-4812

Buffalo Grove Golf Club (P) Buffalo Grove, IL, 847-537-5819

The Bull at Pinehurst Farms (P) Sheboygan Falls, WI, 920-467-1500

Chicago Hts Park District Golf Course East (P) Chicago Hts, IL, 708-754-3673

Chicago Hts Park District Golf Course West (P) Chicago Hts, IL, 708-754-1400

Butler National Golf Club (PV)

Coachman’s Golf Resort (R)

Butterfield Country Club (PV)

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (P)

Calumet Country Club (PV)

Columbus Park Golf Course (P)

Cantigny Golf (P)

Conway Farms Golf Club (PV)

Cantigny Youth Links (P)

Country Lakes Country Club (P)

Cardinal Creek Golf Course (P)

Countryside Golf Course (P)

Carriage Greens Country Club (P)

The Course at Aberdeen (P)

Cary Country Club (P)

Coyote Creek Golf Club (P)

The Castle Course at Northern Bay (R)

Coyote Crossing Golf Course (P)

Homewood, IL, 708-799-2230 Wheaton, IL, 630-668-8463

Wheaton, IL, 630-668-8270 Beecher, IL, 708-946-2800 Darien, IL, 630-985-3730 Cary, IL, 847-639-3161

Arkdale, WI, 608-339-9891

Cedardell Golf Club (P) Plano, IL, 630-552-3242

Centennial Park Golf Course (P) Munster, IN, 219-836-6931

Chalet Hills Golf Club (P) Cary, IL, 847-639-0666

Chapel Hill Country Club (P) McHenry, IL, 815-385-3337

Chesapeake Run Golf Club (P) North Judson, IN, 574-896-2424

Wisconsin Dells, WI , 608-254-3971 Wilmington, IL, 815-476-4000 Edgerton, WI, 608-884-8484 Lemont, IL, 630-257-5872

Chicago, IL, 312-746-5573 Lake Forest, IL, 847-234-6979

Naperville, IL, 630-420-1060 Mundelein, IL, 847-968-3466 Valparaiso, IN, 219-462-5050 Bartonville, IL, 309-633-0911

West Lafayette, IN, 765-497-1061

Coyote Run Golf Course (P) Flossmoor, IL, 708-957-8700

Crab Orchard Golf Club (P) Carterville, IL, 618-985-2321

Craig Woods Golf Course (P) Woodstock, IL, 815-337-3116

Crane’s Landing Golf Club (R) Lincolnshire, IL, 847-634-5935

Cress Creek Country Club (PV) Naperville, IL, 630-355-7300

Crestview Golf Course (P)

Wheaton, IL, 630-665-2988

Kalamazoo, MI, 269-349-1111

Westchester, IL, 630-214-9490

Traverse City, MI, 231-946-2975

Chicago Golf Club (PV) Chicago Highlands (PV)

Crystal Tree Golf & Country Club (PV)

Woodstock, IL, 815-338-3111

Bellaire, MI, 231-533-9000

Cinder Ridge Golf Course (P)

Oak Brook, IL, 630-323-1000

Crystal Lake, IL, 815-459-1237

The Chief Golf Course (P)

Morton Grove, IL, 847-965-5353

Burnham Woods Golf Course (P)

Oak Brook, IL, 630-990-3333

Crystal Lake Country Club (PV)

Orland Park, IL, 708-403-3000

Bull Valley Golf Club (PV)

Burnham, IL, 708-862-9043

Lake In The Hills, IL, 847-659-1766

Chick Evans Golf Course (P)

Christmas Mountain Village Golf Resort (R)

Woodstock, IL, 815-337-4411

Crystal Highlands Golf Facility (P)

The Crown Golf Club (P)

Crystal Woods Golf Club (P) Dayton Ridge Golf Club (P) Ottawa, IL, 815-434-0145

Deer Creek Golf Club (P)

University Park, IL, 708-672-6667

Deer Valley Country Club (P) Deer Grove, IL, 815-438-4653

Deer Valley Golf Course (P) Big Rock, IL, 630-556-3333

TPC Deere Run (SP) Silvis, IL, 309-796-6000

Deerfield Golf Club (P)

Riverwoods, IL, 847-945-8333

Deerpath Golf Course (P) Lake Forest, IL, 847-615-4290

The Den at Fox Creek (P) Bloomington, IL, 309-434-2300

Devil’s Head Resort (R) Merrimac, WI, 800-472-6670

Discover Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo, MI, 800-888-0509

Douglas Park Learning Course & Mini Golf (P) Chicago, IL, 312-747-7670

Downers Grove Golf Course (P) Downers Grove, IL, 630-963-1306

Eagle Brook Country Club (PV) Geneva, IL, 630-208-4653

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa (R) Galena, IL, 800-892-2269

Eaglewood Resort & Spa (R) Itasca, IL, 877-285-6150

Eastern Hills Golf Course (P) Kalamazoo, MI, 369-385-8175

Edgebrook Country Club (SP) Sandwich, IL, 815-786-3058

Edgebrook Golf Course (P) Chicago, IL, 773-763-8320

Edgewood Valley CC (PV) La Grange, IL, 708-246-2800



Midwest Select Elgin Country Club (PV)

Gaylord Golf Mecca (P)

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (R)

Elmbrook Golf Course (P)

Geneva Golf Club (PV)

Grayslake Park Golf Course (P)

Erin Hills (P)

Geneva National Resort (R)

Graystone Golf Links (P)

Evanston Golf Club (PV)

George W. Dunne National Golf Course (P)

Elgin, IL, 847-741-2707

Traverse City, MI, 231-946-9180 Erin, WI, 262-670-8600 Skokie, IL, 847-676-0300

Gaylord, MI, 800-345-8621 Geneva, IL, 630-232-2055

Lake Geneva, WI , 262-245-7000

Evergreen Golf Club (P)

Oak Forest, IL, 708-429-6886

Evergreen Park Country Club (P)

Glenview, IL, 847-724-7272

Acme, MI, 800-236-1577 Grayslake, IL, 847-548-4713

Tinley Park, IL, 708-720-6600

Great River Road Golf Club (P) Nauvoo, IL, 800-233-0060

Green Acres Country Club (PV)

The Glen Club (SP)

Northbrook, IL, 847-291-2200

Evergreen Park, IL, 773-238-6680

Glen Flora Country Club (PV)

Frankfort, IL, 815-469-3350

Highland Park, IL, 847-432-3600

Glen Oak Country Club (PV)

Westmont, IL, 630-810-5330

Flagg Creek Golf Course (P)

Glen View Club (PV)

Waukegan, IL, 847-360-4777

Flossmoor Country Club (PV)

Glencoe Golf Club (P)

Marquette, MI, 906-225-0721

The Fort Golf Resort (R)

Glendale Lakes Golf Club (P)

Foss Park Golf Course (P)

Glendarin Hills Golf Club (P)

Fountain Hills Golf Club (P)

Gleneagles Country Club (P)

Augusta, MI, 269-731-4149

Four Winds Golf Club (P)

Glenview National 9 GC (P)

Chicago, IL, 312-782-7837

Elkhorn, WI, 262-723-5722

Exmoor Country Club (PV)

Waukegan, IL, 847-244-6300

Chicago, IL, 312-616-1234

Glen Ellyn, IL, 630-469-5600

Countryside, IL, 708-246-3336

Golf, IL, 847-729-6500

Family Golf Center Illinois (P)

Flossmoor, IL, 708-798-4700

Indianapolis, IN, 317-543-9597 North Chicago, IL, 847-689-7490 Alsip, IL, 708-388-4653

Mundelein, IL, 847-566-8502

Fox Bend Golf Course (P) Oswego, IL, 630-554-3939

Fox Lake Country Club (P) Fox Lake, IL, 847-587-6411

Fox Run Golf Links (P)

Elk Grove Village, IL, 847-228-3544

Fox Valley Golf Club (P)

North Aurora, IL, 630-879-1030

Foxford Hills Golf Club (P) Cary, IL, 847-639-0400

Frankfort Square Park District Golf Course (P) Frankfort, IL, 815-469-1600

Glencoe, IL, 847-835-0250

Glendale Heights, IL, 630-260-0018 Angola, IN, 260-624-3550

Lemont, IL, 630-257-5466

Glenview, IL, 847-657-1637

Glenview Park Golf Club (P) Glenview, IL, 847-724-0250

Glenwoodie Golf Club (P) Glenwood, IL, 708-758-1212

Golf Center Des Plaines (P) Des Plaines, IL, 847-803-4653

Golf Club of Coldwater (P) Coldwater, MI, 517-279-2100

The Golf Club at Harbor Shores (R) Benton Harbor, MI, 269-927-4653

The Golf Club of Illinois (P) Algonquin, IL, 847-658-4400

Green Garden Country Club (P) Green Meadows Golf Course (P) Greenshire Golf Course (P) Greywalls (P)

Griffith Golf Center (P) Griffith, IN, 219-923-3223

The Grove (PV)

Long Grove, IL, 847-550-0983

Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort (P) Harborside International (P) Harrison Hills Golf & Country Club (P) Attica, IN, 765-762-1135

Harry Mussatto (WIU) (P) Macomb, IL, 309-298-3676

Harry Semrow Driving Range (P) Des Plaines, IL, 847-296-5764

Hawk’s Eye Golf Resort (R) Bellaire, MI, 866-868-8181

HawksHead Links (P)

South Haven, MI, 269-639-2121

Hawk’s View Golf Club (P) Lake Geneva, WI, 877-429-5788

French Lick Resort (R)

The Golf Courses of Lawsonia (P)

Hawthorn Woods Country Club (PV)

Fresh Meadow Golf Club (P)

Golf Nation (PV)

Hayward Golf Club (P)

Fyre Lake National Golf Club (P)

Golf Vista Estates Golf Course (P)

Galena Golf Club (P)

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa (R)

French Lick, IN, 888-936-9360 Hillside, IL, 708-449-3434

Sherrard, IL, 800-575-1394 Galena, IL, 815-777-3599


Green Lake, WI, 800-529-4453 Palatine, IL, 847-202-4653 Monee, IL, 708-534-8204

Lake Geneva, WI, 800-558-3417


Hawthorn Woods, IL, 847-847-3259 Hayward, WI, 877-377-4653

Heather Ridge Golf Course (P) Gurnee, IL, 847-367-6010

Heritage Bluffs Public Golf Club (P) Channahon, IL, 815-467-7888

Midwest Select Heritage Glen Golf Club (P)

Ironwood Golf Course (P)

Lake Park Golf Course (P)

Hickory Hills CC (P)

Island Hills Golf Club (P)

Lake Shore Country Club (PV)

Hickory Knoll Golf Course (P)

Itasca Country Club (PV)

Lake Zurich Golf Club (PV)

Paw Paw, MI, 269-657-2552

Hickory Hills, IL, 708-598-5900 Lake Villa, IL, 847-356-8640

Hickory Point Golf Club (P)

Forsyth, IL, 217-421-7444

Hickory Ridge Golf Course (P) Galesburg, MI, 269-382-6212

High Point Golf Club (P) Essex, IL, 815-365-4000

Highland Park Country Club (P) Highland Park, IL, 847-433-9015

Highland Woods Golf Course (P) Hoffman Estates, IL, 847-359-5850

The Highlands of Elgin (P) Elgin, IL, 847-931-5950

Hilldale Golf Club (P)

Hoffman Estates, IL, 847-310-1100

Hinsdale Golf Club (PV)

Clarendon Hills, IL, 630-986-5330

The House on the Rock Resort (R) Spring Green, WI, 608-588-7000

Hughes Creek Golf Club (P)

Normal, IL, 309-454-9620

Centreville, MI, 269-467-7261 Itasca, IL, 630-773-1800

Ivanhoe Club (PV)

Mundelein, IL, 847-970-3800

Jackson Park Golf Club (P)

Chicago, IL, 773-667-0524

Joe Louis “The Champ” Golf Course (P)

Riverdale, IL, 708-849-1731

Des Plaines, IL, 847-391-5730

Glencoe, IL, 847-835-3000 Lake Zurich, IL, 847-438-2431

Lake Lawn Resort (R) Delavan, WI, 262-725-9066

Lakemoor Golf Course (P) Lakemoor, IL, 815-759-0011

Lakewoods Forest Ridges GC (P) Cable, WI, 800-255-5937

The Leelanau Club (P)

Joliet Country Club (PV)

Bingham, MI, 231-271-2020

Kampen Course (P)

Fox Lake, IL, 847-587-6795

Kankakee Country Club (P)

Libertyville, IL, 847-362-5733

Joliet, IL, 815-723-9613

West Lafayette, IN, 765-494-3139 Kankakee, IL, 815-933-6615

Kankakee Elks Golf Club (P) St. Anne, IL, 815-937-9547

Kemper Lakes Golf Course (PV) Long Grove, IL, 847-320-3450

Ken Loch Golf Links (P) Lombard, IL, 630-620-9665

Leisure Village Golf Course (PV) Libertyville Golf Course (P) Lick Creek Golf Course (P) Pekin, IL, 309-346-0077

Lincoln Oaks Golf Course (P) Crete, IL, 708-672-9401

Lincolnshire Country Club (PV) Crete, IL, 708-672-5090

Links & Tees Golf Facility (P)

Kishwaukee Country Club (PV)

Addison, IL, 630-458-2660

Richmond, IL, 815-678-7940

Klein Creek Golf Club (P)

Plainfield, IL, 815-886-2132

Princeton, IL, 815-879-6531

Knollwood Club (PV)

Marion, IL, 618-997-5656

Kokopelli Golf Club (PV)

Williamsburg, MI, 231-938-9800

Lacoma Golf Club (P)

Lockport, IL, 815-838-8692

Elburn, IL, 630-365-9200

Hunter Country Club (P) Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course (P) Idlewild Country Club (PV) Flossmoor, IL, 708-798-0514

Indian Boundary Golf Course (P) Chicago, IL, 773-625-9630

Indian Hill Golf Club (PV) Winnetka, IL, 847-251-1711

Indian Lakes Resort (R)

Bloomingdale, IL, 630-529-6466

Indian Oaks Country Club (P) Shabbona, IL, 815-824-2202

DeKalb, IL, 815-758-6849

Winfield, IL, 630-690-0101

Lake Forest, IL, 847-234-1600 Marion, IL, 618-997-5656

East Dubuque, IL, 815-747-3874

Lafayette Golf Course (P) Lafayette, IN, 765-458-4588

LaGrange Country Club (PV) LaGrange, IL, 708-352-0066

Lake Barrington Shores GC (PV)

Hobart, IN, 219-942-2577

Barrington, IL, 847-382-4240

Scotts, MI, 269-327-1327

Lake Bluff, IL, 847-234-6771

Indian Ridge Country Club (P) Indian Run Golf Club (P)

Lake Bluff Golf Club (P)

Inverness Golf Club (PV)

Lake Doster Golf Club (P)

Inwood Golf Course (P)

Lake Michigan Hills Golf Club (P)

Palatine, IL, 847-359-0244 Joliet, IL, 815-741-7265

Plainwell, MI, 269-685-5308

Benton Harbor, MI, 269-849-4653

The Links at Carillon (P) The Links at Kokopelli (P) LochenHeath Golf Club (P) Lockport Golf & Recreation Club (PV) Longwood Country Club (P) Crete, IL, 708-758-1811

The Loon Golf Resort (R) Gaylord, MI, 989-732-4454

Lost Marsh of Hammond (P) Hammond, IN, 219-932-4046

Lost Nation Golf Club (P) Dixon, IL, 815-652-4212

Lynx Golf Course (P)

Otsego, MI, 888-586-5969

Makray Memorial Golf Club (P) Barrington, IL, 847-381-6500

Manistee National Golf & Resort (R) Manistee, MI, 231-398-0123



Midwest Select Manitou Passage Golf Club (P)

Moss Creek Golf Club (P)

Old Top Farm Golf Course (P)

Manteno Golf Course (P)

Mt. Prospect Golf Club (P)

Old Wayne Golf Course (PV)

Maple Hills Golf Course (P)

Naperbrook Golf Course (P)

Cedar, MI, 231-228-6000 Manteno, IL, 815-468-8827 Augusta, MI, 269-731-4430

Maple Meadows Golf Club (P) Wood Dale, IL, 630-616-8424

Marengo Ridge Golf Club (P) Marengo, IL, 815-923-2332

Marquette Park Learning Center (P) Chicago, IL, 312-747-2761

Marywood Golf Club (P) Battle Creek, MI, 269-968-1168

Winamac, IL, 574-595-3142

Mt. Prospect, IL, 847-259-4200 Plainfield, IL, 630-378-4215

Naperville Country Club (PV) Naperville, IL, 630-355-0747

Nettle Creek Country Club (P) Morris, IL, 815-941-4300

Nickol Knoll Golf Course (P) Arlington Heights, IL, 847-590-6050

Nippersink Country Club & Lodge (SP)

East Chicago, IN, 219-391-8362

Genoa City, WI, 262-279-6311

McHenry, IL, 815-385-3435

Glenview, IL, 847-729-1200

McArthur Golf Course (P)

Crystal Lake, IL, 815-479-9361

West Chicago, IL, 630-231-1350

Olde Mill Golf Club (P)

Schoolcraft, MI, 269-679-5625

Olympia Fields Country Club (PV) Olympia Fields, IL, 708-748-0495

Onwentsia Club (PV)

Lake Forest, IL, 847-234-0120

Orchard Valley Golf Course (P) Aurora, IL, 630-907-0500

Otsego Club (R)

Gaylord, MI, 800-752-5510

Otter Creek Golf Course (P)

McHenry Country Club (PV)

North Shore Country Club (PV)

Columbus, IN, 812-579-5227

Meadowlark Golf Course (P)

Northmoor Country Club (PV)

Palatine, IL, 847-359-4020

Meadows Golf Club (P)

Northwood Golf Club (P)

St. John, IN, 219-365-4331

The Medalist Golf Club (P)

Oak Brook Golf Club (P)

Orland Park, IL, 708-448-6063

Medinah Country Club (PV)

Oak Club of Genoa (P)

Palos Hills, IL, 708-599-0202

The Merit Club (PV)

Oak Grove Golf Course (P)

Freeport, IL, 815-235-3611

Mid-Iron Golf Club (P)

Oak Hills Country Club (SP)

Park Ridge, IL, 847-823-0410

Oak Meadows Golf Course (P)

Evanston, IL, 847-475-9173

Oak Park Country Club (PV)

St. Charles, IL, 630-584-4914

Hinsdale, IL, 708-562-2977

Blue Island, IL, 708-385-1994 Marshall, MI, 269-789-4653 Medinah, IL, 630-773-1700

Libertyville, IL, 847-918-8800 Lemont, IL, 630-257-3340

Midlane Golf Resort and Suites (R) Wadsworth, IL, 847-360-0550

Midlothian Country Club (PV) Midlothian, IL, 708-371-2626

Milham Park Golf Course (P) Kalamazoo, MI, 269-344-7639

Mill Creek Golf Club (P) Geneva, IL, 630-208-7272

Minne Monesse Golf Club (SP) Grant Park, IL, 815-465-6653

Mission Hills Country Club (PV) Northbrook, IL, 847-498-3200

Mistwood Golf Club (P) Romeoville, IL, 815-254-3333

Morningstar Golfers Club (P) Waukesha, WI, 262-662-1600

Morris Country Club (PV) Morris, IL, 815-942-3628


Highland Park, IL, 847-432-6092 Rhinelander, WI, 715-282-6565 Oak Brook, IL, 630-368-6400 Genoa, IL, 815-784-5678

Harvard, IL, 815-648-2550

Palos Heights, IL, 708-448-5544 Addison, IL, 630-595-0071

Oak Park, IL, 708-453-5554

Oak Springs Golf Course (P) St. Anne, IL, 815-937-1648

Oak Terrace Resort (P) Pana, IL, 800-577-7598

The Oaks Golf Course (P)

Cottage Grove, WI, 608-837-4774

Odyssey Country Club (P) Tinley Park, IL, 708-429-7400

Old Elm Club (PV)

Fort Sheridan, IL, 847-432-6272

Old Oak Country Club (P) Homer Glen, IL, 708-301-3344

Old Orchard Country Club (P) Mt. Prospect, IL, 847-255-2025


Palatine Hills Golf Course (P) Palmira Golf Club (P) Palos Country Club (P)

Palos Hills Golf Club (P) Park Hills Golf Course (P) Park Ridge Country Club (PV) Peter Jans Golf Course (P) Pheasant Run Resort (R) Pheasant Valley Country Club (P) Crown Point, IN , 219-663-5000

Phillips Park Golf Course (P)

Aurora, IL, 630-256-3760

Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club (P) Pierson, MI, 888-533-7742

Pine Hills Golf Club (P) Ottawa, IL, 815-434-3985

Pine Lakes Golf Club (P) Herrin, IL, 618-942-6816

Pine Meadow Golf Club (P) Mundelein, IL, 847-566-4653

Pinecrest Golf & Country Club (P) Huntley, IL, 847-669-3111

Pistakee Country Club (P) McHenry, IL, 815-385-9854

Midwest Select Plum Creek Country Club (P)

Resorts of Tullymore & St. Ives (R)

Sandy Hollow Golf Course (P)

Plum Tree National Golf Club (P)

Rich Harvest Farms (PV)

Sandy Pines Golf Course (P)

Pottawatomie Golf Course (P)

Ridge Country Club (PV)

Schaumburg Golf Club (P)

Prairie Bluff Public Golf Club (P)

Ridgemoor Country Club (PV)

Scherwood Golf (P)

Prairie Isle Golf Club (P)

Ridgeview Golf Course (P)

Scovill Golf Club (P)

Prairie Lakes Resort (R)

River Bend Golf Course (P)

Senica Oak Ridge Golf Club (P)

River Forest Country Club (PV)

SentryWorld (P)

River Glen Country Club (P)

Settler’s Hill Golf Course (P)

Kalamazoo, MI, 269-343-3906

River Heights Golf Course (P)

Seven Bridges Golf Club (P)

Byron, IL, 815-234-4653

River Oaks Golf Course (P)

Shady Oaks Country Club (P)

River Pointe Country Club (P)

Shamrock Golf Course (P)

Riverside Golf Club (PV)

Shanty Creek Resorts (R)

Rob Roy Golf Course (P)

Shepherd’s Crook Golf Course (P)

Robert A. Black Golf Club (P)

Shiloh Park Golf Course (P)

Rockford Country Club (PV)

Shoreacres (PV)

Rolling Green Country Club (PV)

Silver Lake Country Club (P)

Royal Fox Country Club (PV)

Silver Oaks Golf Club (PV)

Royal Hawk Country Club (PV)

Silver Ridge Golf Course (P)

Carmel, IN, 317-573-9900 Harvard, IL, 815-943-7474

St. Charles, IL, 630-584-8356 Crest Hill, IL, 815-836-4653

Prairie Grove, IL, 815-356-0202 Marseilles, IL, 815-795-5107

Prairie Landing Golf Club (P) West Chicago, IL, 630-208-7600

Prairie View Golf Club (P) Carmel, IN, 317-816-3100

The Prairies Golf Club (P) PrairieView Golf Course (P) Prairie Vista Golf Course (P) Bloomington, IL, 309-434-2217

Prestwick Country Club (PV) Frankfort, 815-469-2136

Purgatory Golf Club (P) Noblesville, IN, 317-776-4653

Quail Ridge Golf Club (P) Ada, MI, 616-676-2000

Rail Golf Course (P)

Springfield, IL, 217-525-0365

Randall Oaks Golf Club (P) West Dundee, IL, 847-428-5661

The Ravines (P)

West Lafayette, IN, 765-497-7888

Ravines Golf Club (P)

Saugatuck, MI, 269-857-1616

Ravinia Green Country Club (PV) Deerfield, IL, 847-945-6200

Ravisloe Country Club (P) Homewood, IL, 708-798-5600

Red Arrow Golf Course (P) Kalamazoo, MI, 269-345-8329

Red Tail Run Golf Club (P) Decatur, IL, 217-422-2211

RedTail Golf Club (P)

Village of Lakewood, IL, 815-477-0055

Renwood Golf Course (P)

Round Lake Beach, IL, 847-231-4711

Stanwood, MI, 800-972-4837

Sugar Grove, IL, 630-466-7610 Chicago, IL, 773-238-9400 Chicago, IL, 708-867-8400

Kalamazoo, MI, 269-375-8821 Lisle, IL, 630-968-1920

Elmhurst, IL, 630-279-5444 Fishers, IN, 317-849-8274 DeKalb, IL, 815-758-1550

Calumet City, IL, 708-868-4090 Hobart, IN, 219-942-2747

North Riverside, IL, 708-447-8152 Prospect Heights, IL, 847-253-4544 Chicago, IL, 312-742-7931

Rockford, IL, 815-962-0948

Arlington Heights, IL, 847-253-0400 St. Charles, IL, 630-584-4000 St. Charles, IL, 630-443-3500

Royal Melbourne Country Club (PV) Long Grove, IL, 847-913-8380

Ruffled Feathers Golf Club (P) Lemont, IL, 630-257-1000

Rockford, IL, 815-987-8888

DeMotte, IN, 219-987-3611

Schaumburg, IL, 847-885-9000 Schererville, IN, 219-865-2554

Decatur, IL, 217-429-6243 LaSalle, IL, 815-223-7273

Stevens Point, WI, 866-479-6753 Batavia, IL, 630-232-1636

Woodridge, IL, 630-964-7777 Amboy, IL, 815-849-5424

St. Anne, IL, 815-937-9355

Bellaire, MI, 231-533-8621 Zion, IL, 847-872-2080 Zion, IL, 847-746-5500

Lake Bluff, IL, 847-234-1472 Orland Park, IL, 708-349-6940 Braidwood, IL, 815-458-2068 Oregon, IL, 815-734-4440

Skokie Country Club (PV) Glencoe, IL, 847-835-5835

South Gleason Park Golf Course (P) Gary, IN, 219-980-1089

South Shore Country Club (P)

Ruth Lake Country Club (PV)

Cedar Lake, IN , 219-374-6070

Salt Creek Golf Club (P)

Momence, IL, 815-472-4407

The Sanctuary Golf Course (P)

Chicago, IL, 773-256-0986

Hinsdale, IL, 630-986-2060

Wood Dale, IL, 630-773-0184 New Lenox, IL, 815-462-4653

South Shore Golf Club (P) South Shore Golf Course (P) Spider Lake Golf Resort (R) Hayward, WI, 715-462-3200



Midwest Select Spirit Hollow Golf Course (R)

Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course (P)

University Ridge (P)

Spooner Golf Club (P)

Tagalong Golf Resort (R)

Valley Green Golf Course (P)

Sportsman’s Country Club (P)

Tahkodah Hills Golf Course (P)

Valley-Lo Sports Club (PV)

Burlington, IA, 319-752-0004 Spooner, WI, 715-635-3580 Northbrook, IL, 847-291-2351

Springbrook Golf Course (P) Naperville, IL, 630-848-5060

St. Andrews Golf & Country Club (P) West Chicago, IL, 630-231-3100

St. Charles Country Club (PV) St. Charles, IL, 630-377-9340

St. Ives Golf Club (R)

Stanwood, MI, 800-972-4837

Stardust Golf and Country Club (P)

Chicago, IL, 312-742-7930

Birchwood, WI, 800-657-4843 Cable, WI, 715-798-3760

Tam O’Shanter Golf Course (P) Niles, IL, 847-965-2344

Tamarack Golf Club (P) Naperville, IL, 630-904-4000

Tanna Farms Golf Club (P) Geneva, IL, 630-232-4300

Telemark Golf Course (P) Cable, WI, 715-798-3104

Terrace Hill Country Club (PV)

Johnston City, IL, 618-527-4122

Algonquin, IL, 847-658-4653

Mundelein, IL, 847-949-8900

Kalamazoo, MI, 269-344-0040

Steeple Chase Golf Club (P)

Thornapple Creek Golf Club (P)

Stone Creek Golf Club (P)

ThunderHawk Golf Club (P)

Stonebridge Country Club (PV)

Timber Pointe Golf Club (P)

Stonehenge Golf Club (PV)

Timber Ridge Golf Club (P)

Stonewall Orchard Golf Club (P)

TimberStone at Pine Mountain (R)

Stony Creek Golf Course (P)

TPC Deere Run (SP)

Storybrook Country Club (P)

Traditions at Chevy Chase (P)

Streamwood Oaks Golf Club (P)

Trappers Turn Golf Club (P)

Sugar Creek Golf Course (P)

Tuckaway Golf Club (P)

Summertree Golf Course (P)

Tullymore Golf Club (R)

Urbana, IL, 217-367-3000 Aurora, IL, 630-820-8887

Barrington IL, 847-381-8600 Grayslake, IL, 847-740-4890

Oak Lawn, IL, 708-857-2433 Hanover, IL, 815-591-2210

Streamwood, IL, 630-483-1881 Villa Park, IL, 630-834-3325

Crown Point, IN, 219-663-0800

Sunset Ridge Country Club (PV)

Beach Park, IL, 847-968-4295

Poplar Grove, IL, 815-544-1935 Minocqua, WI, 715-356-9502

Iron Mountain, MI, 906-776-0111 Silvis, IL, 309-796-6000

Wheeling, IL, 847-465-2300

Wisconsin Dells, WI, 800-221-8876 Crete, IL, 708-946-2259

Stanwood, MI, 800-972-4837

Verona, WI, 608-845-7700 North Aurora, IL, 630-897-3000 Glenview, IL, 847-729-5550

Vernon Hills Golf Course (P) Vernon Hills, IL, 847-680-9310

Villa Olivia Country Club (P) Bartlett, IL, 630-289-1000

Village Green Golf Course (P) Mundelein, IL, 847-566-7373

Village Greens of Woodridge (P) Woodridge, IL, 630-985-3610

Village Links of Glen Ellyn (P) Glen Ellyn, IL, 630-469-8180

Visit Green Lake

Green Lake, WI, 800-253-7354

Walnut Greens Golf Course (P) Schaumburg, IL, 847-490-7878

Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame (P)

South Bend, IN, 574-631-4653

Water’s Edge Golf Club (P) Worth, IL, 708-671-1032

WeaverRidge Golf Club (P) Peoria, IL, 309-691-3344

Weber Park Golf Course (P)

Skokie, IL, 847-674-1500 ext. 3600

Wedgewood Golf Course (P) Plainfield, IL, 815-741-7270

Western Acres Golf Course (P) Lombard, IL, 630-469-6768

Westmoreland Country Club (PV) Wilmette, IL, 847-251-4600

Whisper Creek Golf Club (P)

Merrillville, IN, 219-980-5170

Huntley, IL, 847-515-7682

Crystal Lake, IL, 815-459-3356

Vernon Hills, IL, 847-680-6100

Northfield, IL, 847-446-5222

Turkey Creek Golf Club (P)

Sunset Valley Golf Course (P)

Turnberry Country Club (PV)

White Deer Run Golf Club (P)

Twin Lakes Golf Club (P)

White Eagle Golf Club (PV)

Highland Park, IL, 847-432-7140

Swan Lake Resort (R)

Plymouth, IN, 800-582-7539

Swanhills Golf Course (P)

Westmont, IL, 630-852-7167

Twin Lakes Recreation Area (P)

Belvidere, IL, 815-547-3232

Palatine, IL, 847-934-6050

Harris, MI, 906-723-2251

Long Grove, IL, 847-634-3800

Sweetgrass Golf Club (R)

Twin Orchard Country Club (PV)

Sycamore Golf Club (P)

University Golf Club (P)

Sycamore, IL, 815-895-3884


University Park, IL, 708-747-0306


Naperville, IL, 630-983-6836

White Hawk Country Club (P) Crown Point, IN, 219-661-2323

White Mountain Golf Course (P) Tinley Park, IL, 708-478-4653

White Pines Golf Club (P) Bensenville, IL, 630-766-0304


Midwest Select

Whitetail Ridge Golf Club (P)

Willowhill Golf Course (P)

Woodbine Golf Course (P)

Whittaker Woods Golf Club (R)

Wilmette Golf Club (P)

Woodruff Golf Course (P)

Wicker Park Golf Club (P)

Wing Park Golf Course (P)

Woodstock Country Club (PV)

Wild Rock Golf Club (R)

Winnetka Golf Club (P)

Wynstone Golf Club (PV)

Willow Crest Golf Club at Oak Brook Hills Marriott (R)

Wolf Run Golf Course (P)

Yarrow Golf & Conference Center (R)

Wood Wind Golf Club (P)

Zigfield Troy Golf (P)

Yorkville, IL, 630-882-8988

New Buffalo, MI, 269-469-3400 Highland, IN, 219-838-9809

Wisconsin Dells, WI, 608-253-4653 Oak Brook, IL, 630-850-5530

Willow Glen Golf Club (P) Great Lakes, IL, 847-688-4593

Willow Run Golf Course (P) Mokena, IL, 815-485-2119

Northbrook, IL, 847-480-7888 Wilmette, IL, 847-256-9646 Elgin, IL, 847-931-5952

Winnetka, IL, 847-501-2050 Aurora, IL, 630-906-1402

Westfield, IN, 317-669-8550

Homer Glen, IL, 708-301-1252 Joliet, IL, 815-741-7272

Woodstock, IL, 815-338-5355

North Barrington, IL, 847-304-2810 Augusta, MI, 800-563-4397

Woodridge, IL, 630-985-9860

Woodbine Bend Golf Course (PV) Stockton, IL, 815-858-3939

Chicagoland Practice Facilities Addison Links & Tees Golf Facility (P)

Golf Center Des Plaines


Golf Farm

Addison, IL, 630-458-2660

Long Grove, IL, 847-634-3363

Bartlett Golf Center

Des Plaines, IL, 847-803-4653 Wauconda, IL, 847-526-4000

Better Shots

Golf Learning Center at Hamilton Lakes

Birdies & Eagles

Green Valley Golf Range

Bartlett, IL, 630-830-9385 Gilberts, IL, 847-697-5000

Itasca, IL, 630-773-7997

South Elgin, IL, 847-931-2233

Hanover Park, IL, 630-289-6600

Gurnee, IL, 847-549-6090

Greyslake Golf Practice Center

Bobby’s Hunt Club Golf Center Boulder Golf Range

Hoffman Estates, IL, 847-426-1588

Bushwood Golf Practice Center Maywood, IL, 708-344-2700

Chicago Family Golf Center Chicago, 312-616-1234

Chicagoland Golf Academy Chicago, IL, 312-285-4673

Crystal Lake Learning Center Crystal Lake, IL, 815-479-9150

Ditka’s Sports Dome

Bolingbrook, IL, 630-739-7600

Diversey Driving Range Chicago, IL, 312-742-7929

Double Eagle Practice Center Justice, IL, 708-458-9200

Douglas Park Learning Course and Miniature Golf (P) Chicago, IL, 312-747-7670

Flagg Creek

Countryside, IL, 708-246-3336

Fresh Meadow Learning Center (P) Hillside, IL, 708-449-6767

Parfection Park Golf Center Yorkville, IL, 630-553-6855

Partner Golf Center

Chicago, IL, 773-286-2060

PGN Fun Village

Hickory Hills, IL, 708-430-7900

Pro Circle

Spring Grove, IL, 815-675-2747

Riedy’s Tee Time

Grayslake, IL, 847-752-8483

Lisle, IL, 866-587-3122

Des Plaines, IL, 847-296-5764

Skokie, IL, 847-674-1500 ext. 3100

Harry Semrow Driving Range

Skokie Sports Park

Highland Park Learning Center

Sugar Grove Driving Range

Joe Louis Driving Range

Sunset Meadows

The Driving Range at Libertyville Sports Complex

T-Time Golf Range

Highland Park, IL, 847-433-3422 Riverdale, IL, 708-849-1731

Libertyville, IL, 847-367-1506

Links & Tees Golf Facility Addison, IL, 630-458-2660

Lippold Park Family Golf Center Crystal Lake, IL, 815-477-5401

Marquette Park Learning Center (P) Chicago, IL, 312-747-2761

Master Golf

Grayslake, IL, 847-223-6886

Sugar Grove, IL, 630-466-4554

Arlington Heights, IL, 847-394-5865 Homer Glen, IL, 708-301-6500


Wood Dale, IL, 630-595-4653

The Players Club of Chicago Justice, IL, 708-924-9889

Village of Bridgeview Sports Dome Bridgeview, IL, 708-924-8290

Westland Golf

Huntley, IL, 847-669-0204

Woodland Trails

Fresh Meadow Learning Center

Mt. Prospect, IL, 847-296-4653

Oakton Driving Range

Woodridge, IL, 630-985-9860

Hillside, IL, 708-449-6767

Park Ridge, IL, 847-692-3580

Zigfield Troy Golf (P)



The Back Nine

Brother, can you spare … a few yards? by Danny Freels


his past October, at the PGA Tour’s opening event of the 2018-2019 schedule, the Safeway Open in California, Patrick Rodgers recorded a measured tee shot of 428 yards. Seriously. A drive of four hundred and twenty-eight yards. Many years ago, when I was much younger, I won the long-drive hole at an outing with a poke that my playing partners and I guestimated went 290 yards. Since the balls back then didn’t go nearly as far as they do today, it was probably a bit shorter than that. To my surprise, however, not only did my drive hold up during the morning round of that outing but through the afternoon round as well. My prize was the use of a brand new Lexus Coupe for two weeks. I’m sure I thought 1) I looked slick in that cool car and 2) I could really bust a driver. Silly me.

Patrick Rodgers At the long-drive contest prior to last year’s PGA Championship (in soft conditions), Bryson DeChambeau won it with a whack of 331 yards. Yikes! But wait. PGA Tour rookie Cameron Champ hit tee shots on the Tour last year that averaged — averaged — 343.1 yards in length. Now I am not a big guy; never have been 112


(5 foot 11¾ inches tall, 150 pounds when I was in my 30s). PGA Tour member Bud Cauley is about 5-foot-7, 160 pounds and his average tee shot last year was 311.1 yards. A big drive for me today goes about 180. What is going on? Aren’t the new golf balls supposed to be helping us hackers, too? This past Labor Day I made my second hole-in-one. On the scorecard, the middle of the green from the tees that I now play is listed at 107 yards. The location of the hole on that day, however, was up front — maybe 100 yards from where I teed off. I hit 7-iron, and a pretty solid one at that. Players on the PGA Tour these days routinely hit a 7-iron 175-180 yards. For my first hole-in-one, back in 2007, I also hit a 7-iron — that time from 140 yards. Jeez Louise (as Fred Couples used to say), I’ve lost 40 yards in just 11 years! Over the decades, as my height and tee shots have gotten shorter and my GIR has dropped into the 2s and 3s, I’ve found that the only way for me to score — ironically — is by improving my short game. So be it. I will continue to marvel at the distances the top players hit it but I won’t despair. And if I’m fortunate in the future to make a third hole-in-one, I suspect it will be on a par-3 course and that I will probably accomplish it with a driver. Will I report this feat and be ready to endure the guffaws and catcalls from fellow golfers? You bet I will. Danny Freels is a longtime golf writer, editor, and (semi) happy hacker. Follow his love/hate relationship with golf in Golftime Midwest.

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Profile for Killarney Golf Media

Golftime Midwest Spring 2019  

The latest edition of Killarney Golf Media's biannual magazine featuring destination features, equipment reviews, personality profiles and o...

Golftime Midwest Spring 2019  

The latest edition of Killarney Golf Media's biannual magazine featuring destination features, equipment reviews, personality profiles and o...