Golftime Midwest -2022 Spring Preview Issue

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PREVIEW 2022

MIDWEST

Rock the Vote! Pick the Best of the Midwest for Your Chance to Win a Trip to Fabulous French Lick Resort!

RYDER CUP IN THE REARVIEW A Look Back at the Historic U.S. Win, and What’s Ahead for Midwest Golf

OLDIE BUT A GOODIE

Wisconsin’s Lake Lawn Resort Has Been Wowing Guests Since 1878 www.golftimemag.com

HEAVENLY HIGHWAY

Chicagoland’s I-55 Corridor a Stretch of Seriously Great Golf


www.clubatlaclabelle.com


GOLF ACADEMY BELOIT, WISCONSIN

Ironworks Golf Academy has been recognized with several accomplishments, including:

TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE

NEXT LEVEL

Wisconsin PGA Teacher of the Year Golf Digest Top Teacher of the State Ping Top 100 Club Fitter Taylormade & Titleist Premier Club Fitter PGA Junior League State Champions Golf Channel Academy Facility

LEARN MORE AT IRONWORKSGOLFACADEMY.COM • 608.473.0095




Contents

You Can Drive I-55 24

It’s tough to top Chicago’s corridor of cool courses

Best of the Bunch 34

We need your help to pick the Best of the Midwest Awards

40 Grand Old Golf

Wisconsin’s wondrous Lake Lawn Resort a great getaway 140 years in the making

50 Back to the Beach

Alabama’s great Gulf Shores looking better than ever

60 After the Party

After the long-awaited Ryder Cup, the Midwest golf scene looks to the future


Volume 17, Issue 1

Editor’s Note

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76 Industry Insider

Bump & Run

8

82 Pro Golf Preview

Instructor’s Corner

18

Rules of the Game 23

88 Equipment 96 The Back Nine

ON THE COVER: The Dye Course at French Lick THIS SPREAD: Purgatory Golf Club, Noblesville, Ind.


Editor’s Note

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

Phone: 608-280-8800

PRESIDENT John Hughes

GENERAL MANAGER Jim Kelsh

jim@killarneygolfmedia.com

MARKETING DIRECTOR AND SALES Sarah Starmer

sarah@killarneygolfmedia.com

Megan Augustin

megan@killarneygolfmedia.com

EDITOR Don Shell

editor@golftimemag.com

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

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Nile Young Jr.

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Muddy Creek Creative

FOUNDER Kim Thompson

©Copyright 2022 Golftime All rights reserved. Golftime is not responsible or liable for any errors, omissions or changes in information.

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reaking 100. Your first eagle. Your first ace. Golf is all about milestones, and we have more than a few to share with you in this issue. First up is the return of our flagship “Best of the Midwest Awards,” where you, our esteemed readers, help select what’s great about Great Lakes golf. We have some incredible prizes to give away again this year, including a golf getaway to one of the Midwest’s very best destinations, the fabulous French Lick Resort. Check it out starting on page 34, then head over to golftimemag.com to vote for your favorites and your chance to win. We help celebrate another milestone with our friends at Bolingbrook Golf Club, which is celebrating its 20th year this year. (We remember when it was just a glimmer in Arthur Hills’ eye.) Read more about it and some of the other great golf along Interstate 55, starting on page 24. When it comes to milestones, not many have had more than Lake Lawn Resort, which has been a vacation hotspot in Wisconsin’s Walworth County for more than 100 years! We take a walk down memory lane at Lake Lawn, with our feature starting on page 40. Gary D’Amato takes a tour of The Lido starting on page 76, which is opening later this summer near Wisconsin’s Sand Valley. It’s the Michael & Christopher Keiser-Tom Doak collaboration to resurrect the C.B. MacDonald (with Alister MacKenzie) creation that was closed by the U.S. Navy exactly 80 years before. This issue marks a few milestones on a personal level, too. We bid farewell to our stellar and ever-sunny sales and marketing director, Sarah Starmer, who is retiring to spend more time swinging clubs and not selling to them. We’re in good hands, though, with Megan Augustin stepping into Sarah’s considerable cleats. This issue also marks my 10th year with Golftime Magazine, a milestone that came up much quicker than I could imagine. In that time we’ve covered some of the coolest clubs, courses and characters in the game, and I wouldn’t trade it, even for an ace. To mark the occasion, we returned to one of our favorite warm-weather destinations, Gulf Shores, Alabama. Read all about it starting on page 50. There’s plenty more in store this issue, including the end of an era at Whistling Straits (page 60), and the year’s hottest gear (page 88). We hope you enjoy it all as much as we do, and we hope you hit your share of golf milestones this year, too. Thanks for reading.

MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS




Bump & Run NEWS & NOTES FROM THE WORLD OF GOLF

COURSE OF THE WORLD: ‘Cheshire’ Grin World-Class Club Will Have You Smiling Ear to Ear Old meets new at England’s Carden Park Hotel, one of Europe’s lushest golf getaways. Located on 1,000 acres in the rolling hillside of Cheshire, England, Carden Park is home to two championship courses — the Cheshire (built in 1910 by Herbert Fowler) and the Nicklaus

(named after its designer, Jack) — as well as a vineyard, hotel, and a new $15 million spa ranked the No. 1 luxury destination spa in Europe. When do we leave? Visit cardenpark.co.uk for more information.


Courtesy Unbounded Media

Bump & Run

Midwestern Trailblazer

New movie tells the tale of Ann Gregory, a pioneer in Black women’s golf As a Black women’s golfer in the Civil Rights era, Ann Gregory never quite received the fanfare she deserved. That all may change now, thanks to a new movie about her life’s trials and triumphs, “Playing Through.” Born Ann Moore in Aberdeen, Mississippi, on July 25, 1912, she eventually married Percy Gregory and moved north to Gary, Indiana. When Percy headed off to serve overseas in World War II, Ann passed the time by taking up golf, joining the nearby Chicago Women’s Golf Association, an all-Black organization that played at several regional public courses. It turns out she was a natural, and became a true pioneer, too. Gregory became the first Black woman to compete in a USGA event, and quickly racked up an impressive trophy collection. 10

MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS

By 1947, she won the Chicago Women’s Golf Association Championship, the Joe Louis Invitational and the United Golf Association Championship! Despite her successes, Gregory wasn’t quite a household name, which surprised Curtis Jordan, whose mother once competed against Gregory. So he sought to fix that, and began writing the script to “Playing Through.” “When I found out about Ann Gregory, I thought, why don’t I know more about this woman? Why isn’t she more celebrated for her courage and bravery and the things that she did?” Jordan said in one interview. “That was the driving factor for me to write this.” Jordan, who is also producing and starring in the film, is in currently in negotiations for distribution of the film. Stay tuned.


Crafted by Mother Nature. Shaped by Champions. Trappers Turn features three unique but complementing championship 9-hole courses, a putting course, and a Par-3 experience designed by two-time U.S. Open Champion Andy North. Nestled in a canyon carved by glaciers and filled with lush clusters of maple, basswood and ash, Trappers Turn encompasses some of the most panoramic golf holes around.

Year Round Dining | Seasonal Golf | Book your tee time today at TrappersTurn.com


Bump & Run GOLF TECH: TaylorMade Stealth Driver The time is up for titanium, if the brain trust at TaylorMade has its way. The renowned clubmaker is anxious to usher in a new era it’s calling the “Carbonwood Age,” thanks to its new Stealth line of woods. Unlike almost every major driver on the market the past 20 years, the Stealth stands apart with a face made of not one, not two, but 60 layers of razorthin carbon sheets stacked atop each other. The sound and feel is similar to the familiar titanium, but the performance, TaylorMade touts, is simply next-gen in forgiveness and distance. Starting at $579. taylormadegolf.com. For more of the year’s hottest gear, see page 80.

NEWS OF THE WIERD:

Drive For Show, Rob Banks For Dough? Before Thomas Randele died last year from lung cancer last year at the age of 71, his wife called all his golfing buddies to their home to say farewell. The beloved car salesman and former country club manager in suburban Boston couldn’t speak by that point, but he had an incredible story to tell. His real name wasn’t Thomas Randele, it was Ted Conrad, and he’d spent more than 50 years on the run from a major bank heist in Cleveland in 1969. Conrad walked away with $215,000 (worth a whopping $1.6 million today), and promptly disappeared. He turned up in Boston six months later as Thomas Randele, beginning a new life cut off from everyone he once knew. During 12

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the 1970s, Randele worked as an assistant golf pro, giving lessons at a country club outside Boston and later becoming its manager. He also met his future wife, and the two had a daughter. His secret remained safe for 50 years. Not even his wife or daughter knew until he told them in what authorities described as a deathbed confession.


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

Both Rated

by Golf Digest

UNPLUG AND ENJOY A Peaceful Getaway at The House on the Rock Resort The House on the Rock Resort combines championship golf with breathtaking views and fantastic amenities. 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, dining, 80 suites, a Spa, Indoor/Outdoor pools, and a Fitness Center.

Enjoy the scenic drift-less area with unique sites like: The House on the Rock, American Players Theater, and Taliesin. Join us for an unforgettable Couples getaway, buddies trip, or family vacation. Visit our website at www.thehouseontherock.com for details and descriptions. The House on the Rock Resort is located just 35 minutes west of Madison along the Wisconsin River.

www.thehouseontherock.com | 608-588-7000 | 400 Springs Dr., Spring Green, WI 53588


Bump & Run

AROUND THE REGION The Latest Golf News from the Great Lakes

Unheralded Classic Lincoln Hills Heads into Second Century Unless you’re a local, you’ve probably never heard of Lincoln Hills Golf Club, a delightful design laid out on the shores of Lake Michigan in Ludington, Michigan. The club originally opened for play in 1921 on the site of an old artillery field, and now a century

later, it’s looking better than ever. And it’s also opening its doors to the public, as a semiprivate facility, giving visitors a chance to play this windy, walkable parkland classic. Visit lincolnhillsgc.com for more information.

Hot on the heels of another Midwest Major venue’s makeover — Oakland Hills’ famed South Course — Medinah Country Club announced plans for its own multimillion retooling. The site of five Major championships and the 2012 Ryder Cup, Medinah’s No. 3 course is getting a massive $23.5 million renovation, ahead of its 2026 hosting of the Presidents Cup. The club is working 14

MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS

with Ogilvy, Cocking, and Mead (comprised of Geoff Ogilvy, Mike Cocking, and Ashley Mead), an international golf course design and architecture firm. The changes — which the club says are designed to honor the past and toughen it to today’s standards — will begin in 2023, with expected completion in ’24, leaving plenty of time for fine-tuning before the world’s best come back to Chicago.

Right and above, Photos by Nile Young Jr.

Medinah Getting Major Makeover


Bump & Run

Lincoln Hills

Arcadia Bluffs’ New Take on the 12th With the massive shoreline erosion the eastern shore of Lake Michigan has experienced in the past couple years, almost every bit of coastline in West Michigan was affected. That includes the beautiful bluffs flanking one of America’s Top 100 courses, Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club’s Bluffs Course

(arcadiabluffs.com). As a result, the course created a secondary green complex roughly 250 feet inland on the Bluffs’ 12th hole, a scenic, 431-yard par 4, future-proofing the hole from further issues. Purists, never fear, the existing green is still in play. Let’s all hope it stays that way.

WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Bump & Run

Big Things Happening at Boyne One of the country’s best collections of golf resorts — Boyne USA — continues to build on its successes. The company’s Bay Harbor Golf Club was recently named to Golf Digest’s 100 Best Courses in America in 2021, climbing 17 spots on the list to No. 63. Boyne’s also brought renowned architect Ray Hearn in to work on a number of projects there, including renovating the No. 1 and No. 16 holes on the acclaimed Donald Ross Memorial course at Boyne Highlands. Hearn’s work has the holes looking more like the originals they are meant to honor. Boyne isn’t stopping there, with Hearn’s 16

MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS

help. Work is beginning on a fairly significant renovation of The Moor course at the Highlands, changing some of the angles and restoring bunkers. But the biggest project at Boyne might be the proposed short course it’s tapped Hearn to create, beginning next year. Hearn’s planning the course to have a “highlight reel” of his favorite nine green complexes from Scotland, England and Ireland. We can’t wait. Visit boyne.com or rhgd.com for more information.


Island Resort Off to a Roarin’ ’22

Nile Young Jr.

It’s not even half over, but 2022 has already been a banner year for the folks at Island Resort & Casino, near Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. First, the resort took the wraps off its incredible $33 million expansion and new hotel, and the resort’s Sweetgrass Golf Course has been named the 2022 Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). Not a bad way to start. The resort’s new hotel, which opened on New Year’s Eve, is connected to the existing 11-story Palm Tower, and features 138 guest rooms and suites, Horizons Steakhouse, and the resort’s new family water attraction, Splash Island. The expansion also offers an added perk for golfers with the expansive Golf Suites. The 675-square-foot suites are complete with a king, double queen, sleeper sofas and

a common area, all with breathtaking views of the year’s national course of the year, Sweetgrass. Designed by Paul Albanese, Sweetgrass features an open layout and some of golf’s most fun greens to putt (Redan, Biarritz, island and double Green), as well as the famous island green No. 15. The course also plays host to the Epson Tour’s Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass, and has a number of events benefitting kids and the community, too. Visit islandresortgolf.com for more info.

KemperSports Takes On Oldie But a Goodie One’s been a Chicago-area landmark for more than 100 years, while the other just seems that way. Together, KemperSports and Canal Shores Golf Course will usher in a successful second century. KemperSports announced that it has been selected by the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association (EWGCA), a 501(c)

(3) not-for-profit charitable organization, to manage Canal Shores Golf Course in Evanston, Illinois. Canal Shores opened in 1919 and was designed by prolific golf course architect Tom Bendelow (of Medinah fame). The 3,600-yard, par-60 layout is long on charm and just enough challenge. KemperSports’ plans include improving course conditions, off-course culture and amenities, and continuing to serve as environmental stewards, having won awards from the Friends of the Chicago River and recognition by the National Wildlife Federation as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Visit canal shores.org for more information. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Instructor’s Corner

Impact: ‘The Moment of Truth’ By Travis Becker, PGA ne of the greatest feelings for golfers is a crisp, solid shot. This millisecond experience is the moment of truth when the clubface impacts the golf ball and sends it to its destination. Here are four keys to help you produce a consistent impact position that produces solid shots:

O

backwards just past your trail foot, keeping the sole of the club on the ground. Then drag your way through the impact zone, focusing on keeping the handle in front of the club head and transferring your weight to your lead leg. Repeat this drill seven times in slow motion without a golf ball.

1) Make sure you have an athletic setup with your posture, grip, aim, alignment and ball position. The best way to work on your setup is by using a mirror. Check your spine tilt, grip, ball position, and body alignment. Remember, your setup is a sample preview of your impact position. Poor setup equals poor or inconsistent impact positions.

4) Lastly, you can implement a golf ball using small swings (hip to hip) to continue to build a good impact position. When you can strike three solid shots in a row, make your swing slightly longer and faster. Keep repeating this process until you have worked all the way up to your normal swing length and speed.

2) Feel a correct impact position by using an impact bag or pillow. Without moving the club on the backswing go directly to this position at impact. Tilt the handle of the club just outside your lead hip, creating a slight bow in your lead wrist. Make sure the leading edge of the clubface stays perpendicular to your target line. Next, open your hips towards the target about 45 degrees and feel about 70-80% pressure on your lead foot, making sure you keep your shoulders and chest square to the target line with your head slightly behind the clubhead. You have now put yourself into a great impact position. Repeat this drill over and over to build the correct feel.

Travis Becker was awarded 2021 Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin PGA. The Ironworks Golf Academy has been recognized by Golf Digest as a Top 100 club fitter for 20212022. To learn more about Ironworks Golf Academy fitting philosophies please visit their website at www.ironworksgolfacademy.com.

3) Slow motion movements are a great way to train a new swing improvement. A great drill to work on impact using slow motion movements is called the drag drill. Use a 7or 8-iron, set up at address and move the club WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Instructor’s Corner

Travis Becker PGA Professional Travis Becker is the Director of Instruction and Club Fitting for the Ironworks Golf Academy located in Beloit, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin PGA voted Travis the Teacher of the Year in 2015, 2019 and 2021. He was also rated by his peers as one of Golf Digest’s “Best Teachers” in the state of Wisconsin. In 2016, Travis was 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.

Ironworks Golf Academy

625 3rd St., Suite 100, Beloit, WI 53511 608-473-0095 www.ironworksgolfacademy.com

GOLF ACADEMY BELOIT, WISCONSIN

Ironworks Golf Academy has been recognized with several accomplishments, including:

TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE

NEXT LEVEL

Wisconsin PGA Teacher of the Year Golf Digest Top Teacher of the State Ping Top 100 Club Fitter Taylormade & Titleist Premier Club Fitter PGA Junior League State Champions Golf Channel Academy Facility

LEARN MORE AT IRONWORKSGOLFACADEMY.COM • 608.473.0095




Rules of the Game

All News (but not Rules) is Local

T

he difference between the Rules of Golf (which are in effect by default) and Local Rules (which are in effect only if that particular Committee says so) is an important distinction for golfers to appreciate. Watching televised golf adds to the confusion, as often Local Rules are involved there that are not always in effect at the courses where we often play. Even professional golfers get tripped up occasionally, for example by incorrectly assuming that a Local Rule that is in effect one week is in effect the following week. For each of the following, answer whether that situation is covered by a Rule of Golf (ROG) or Local Rule (LR): 1 A player may take line of play relief from a sprinkler head when his ball is within two club-lengths of the sprinkler head and the sprinkler head is within two club-lengths of the putting green. Answer: LR 2 A player may take free relief for an embedded ball in the rough. Answer: ROG (was a LR before 2019) 3 In both match play and stroke play, a player may practice putting or chipping on or near the last putting green. Answer: ROG (a LR may prohibit this)

By John Morrissett

4 A player gets free relief if her ball lies in an aeration hole in the fairway. Answer: LR 5 A player may remove a stone from a bunker in which his ball lies. Answer: ROG (was a LR before 2019) 6 A player must take free relief from a decorative flower bed. Answer: LR 7 A player may take free relief from a hole made by the maintenance staff. Answer: ROG 8 A player must play the same brand and type of ball throughout the round. Answer: LR 9 In a team competition, the team captain may give advice to members of the team. Answer: LR 10 If a ball strikes a power line, the player must replay the stroke. Answer: LR John Morrissett is Competitions Director at Erin Hills and former Director of Rules of Golf for the USGA.

WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Highway

to


A 30-MILE STRETCH OF I-55 IN SOUTHWEST CHICAGO FEATURES SOME OF THE BEST GOLF — AND BEST FOOD — THE LAND OF LINCOLN HAS TO OFFER By Danny Freels

WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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he very first road to connect Chicago and St. Louis was called the Pontiac Trail. This was in 1915, however, so “road” as we know it now is definitely an overstatement. Through the years, this frequently renamed north- and southwesterly route was eventually paved and widened and then repaved and rewidened to handle the growing number of vehicles that traveled between two of America’s largest cities. By 1957, what was once a trail was a modern, four-lane highway spanning 295 miles and now named Interstate 55, or I-55 for short. As cities, towns and villages sprang up on both sides of this ever-growing thoroughfare, so did a number of very fine golf courses. Today, lovers of the game around the Windy City are well aware that it’s worth a trip — for a day or a week — along a portion of the road once known as U.S. 66. 26

MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS

Some 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago sits the lovely Village of Lemont. (“Village of” rather than “City of” is quite common in this part of Illinois.) Widely known for its quaint and historically maintained architecture, Lemont is also recognized as a major contributor to the building of the Illinois Michigan Canal that was constructed between 1836 and 1848. Something else the area is known for is the 72-hole Cog Hill Golf & Country Club. Once owned by the three Coghill brothers and originally consisting of only 36 holes (the first course opened in 1927, the second in 1929), the facility was purchased by Joe Jemsek in 1951. A former caddie turned golf professional turned course owner (he bought Chicago’s St. Andrews GC in 1939), Jemsek would eventually become one of the area’s most beloved figures in the game. “Some people


OPENING SPREAD: Mistwood Golf Club earned “Renovation of the Year” honors in 2014. ABOVE: Cog Hill’s famed Dubsdread course. BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Cog Hill’s No. 1 course, No. 2 course and No. 3 course complete the stable. like yachts,” he once said, “or girls or horses. Me, I like golf.” His main goal was to provide a country-club experience to golfers of all abilities and income brackets. In 1963, Jemsek hired architect Dick Wilson (designer of Bay Hill and Doral’s original Blue Monster course in Florida, among others) to build the No.3 course at Cog Hill. A year later, Wilson and

architect Joe Lee went to work on a fourth course, this one to be known as “Dubsdread.” Today, the facility is run by Jemsek Golf and not only is it regarded as one of the best in the state but in the whole country. Courses No.1 and 3 at Cog Hill are considered the most playable and least demanding of the four. Both meander through and around lots of trees and each features more

WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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than a bit of sand and water to challenge even better players. Five tees are available on each hole and both courses measure between 4,500 and 6,500 yards. No. 2 at Cog Hill — known as “Ravines” — and Dubsdread, on the other hand, are something else entirely. A favorite of regulars, Ravines features elevation changes that you won’t find at the other three and it can make the course play even longer. Four tees are available, the shortest measuring 6,300 yards. From the tips, though, Ravines measures a very healthy 6,893 yards.

Dubsdread — so named to clearly indicate it’s no place for beginners — turned out to be the highly attractive, high-quality, supremely challenging golf course Joe Jemsek envisioned in the mid-1960s. Today, it’s big, beautiful and tough. How big? From the back tees, all four par 3s measure well over 200 yards and two of its par 5s top out at over 600 yards. How tough? Tough enough to hold its own with the best players in the world. Over the years, Dubsdread has been the main course for the U.S. Amateur, U.S Public Links and U.S. Women’s Public Links, as well as the site of the Western Open and BMW Championship on the PGA Tour on several occasions. For anybody looking for a great place to tee it up 28

MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS

Nile Young Jr.

Cog Hill has hosted the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship, among many other tournaments.


Follow the Food At the beginning of your Chicago-area golf trip, you’d be advised to do more than sample the fantastic food available around town. And it all starts with Lou Malnati’s delicious deep-dish pizza. Since the 1940s, Malnati’s has been famous for making its pizza “backwards.” Unlike most pizza, Malnati’s “toppings” are first placed on the crust, then the cheese and sauce are spread out on top. With almost 60 locations in the Chicago area, Malnati’s is a must visit. For something a bit fancier, head to the hidden gem called the Topaz Cafe (pictured left, topazcafe.com), just off I-55 in Burr Ridge. The Topaz offers a fine contemporary American menu specializing in steaks, chops and seafood. Take your pick of the outdoor patio, two indoor dining rooms, lounge, or even the VIP room for the high rollers. It’s a great place to spend your Nassau winnings. Toward the end of your trip, make sure to chow down on the wide variety of chicken dishes that are available at White Fence Farm restaurant in Romeoville. First established in the early 1920s, back when I-55 was still called U.S. 66, White Fence Farm is as famous for its chicken as Malnati’s is for its pizza. Owned and operated by the Hastert family since 1954, the original location in Romeoville offers indoor dining for groups of all sizes. Too busy playing golf to sit down for a meal? White Fence Farm also has four carry-out locations – including Plainfield. For great golf and great food, you can’t beat I-55. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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in the Chicago area, Cog Hill is a can’t-miss. The charming Village of Lemont is also home to Ruffled Feathers Golf Club, the only Pete Dye-designed layout in the Chicago area. Co-designed with Pete’s son P.B., an equally highly regarded architect with over 50 courses on his resume, Ruffled Feathers is a pretty, parkland-style track that opened in 1991. A choice of four tees are available on each of the holes at Ruffled Feathers (a fifth if you count the “Junior” markers), and it measures between 5,273 and 6,898 yards. As it is with most — if not all — courses that we play, choosing the right tees to match our ability is important. This is especially 30

MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS

true, in my opinion, if the name Pete Dye is attached. The par 3s here, for example, are strong to say the least. Three of them, from the back tees, measure over 200 yards. The fourth, the shortest by a lot, still requires a 100-yard carry to a green that’s almost entirely surrounded by water. (Hey, what would a Dye course be without a peninsula putting surface?) In addition, tall trees line many of the fairways, there’s plenty of wetlands and water to skirt and/or play over, and the greens are good sized and well undulated. Wait! I almost forgot to mention the 114 bunkers scattered about the gently rolling property. Believe it: Ruffled Feathers


Ruffled Feathers’ awesome 11th hole is classic Pete Dye design, a 155-yard par 3 over water to an island green, reminiscent of the architect’s famed 17th at Sawgrass. is definitely Dye-abolical. A few miles west of Cog Hill and Ruffled Feathers, on the other side of I-55, is Bolingbrook Golf Club. Located in the village of the same name (naturally), Bolingbrook is a pretty and long layout that was designed by Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest and opened in 2002. From the air, Bolingbrook looks as flat as the lush farmland that surrounds it. It isn’t and semi-blind shots are not uncommon, which can be disconcerting for firsttime visitors. Part of the reason comes from

the numerous forced-carry tee shots and approaches over ponds, lakes and patches of native grasses. The holes are wide, however, and what trees there are seem well off to the sides. The fairways are wide, too, but often winding like a snake which can make them harder to hit. Well-placed fairway and greenside bunkers, as well as a few fall-offs around the putting surfaces, complete this pretty picture and provide additional challenge to both average and more skillful players. “Risk/ reward” is big at Bolingbrook. Many of the WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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RIGHT: Bolingbrook is an Arthur Hills design celebrating its 20th year this year. BELOW, RIGHT: The Links at Carillon is a fan-favorite in the Windy City with 27 holes. ideal landing areas are clearly in view but so are the many hazards that edge into those spots from one side or the other. Thankfully a safer but longer route is always there for the taking. Well … perhaps not at the 15th, a short but scary par 3 over water to an island green. Like a Venus flytrap, it’s very attractive but very dangerous, too. From the back tees, Bolingbrook measures just over 7,100 yards. Fortunately, four other tees are available, the shortest coming in at just under 5,000 yards. A few miles southwest of Bolingbrook, back across I-55 once again, there’s another quaint village to visit and another fun course to play. Located outside of the Village of Plainfield, The Links at Carillon is a 27-hole facility that Golf Digest has rated one of the “Best Places to Play.” The three 9s here — the Red, White and Blue — are all the work of architect Greg Martin. The Blue and White opened in 1990, the Red was built in 1996. Once you see this very attractive facility — much of it weaving through a residential community — you may wonder why they didn’t name it The Lakes at Carillon. That’s because, brother, there’s a lot of water to contend with and keep you on your toes.

¨ ago hic to C

Bolingbrook

Cog Hill Ruffled Feathers

Links at Carillon Mistwood

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At many of the holes here, the farther back you play them the tighter the tee shot. If thick bushes or deep bunkers aren’t waiting to gobble up wayward golf balls, there’s a road or a river also ready to ruin your score. And even though it’s true the greens at The Links at Carillon are big, they’re also well guarded. So while you’re on your toes, be sure to tip-toe around the greenside trouble as well. Of the three 9-hole combinations — each offering five tees — the Blue/Red measures between 5,045 and 6,574 yards and the White/Blue measures between 5,167 and 6,631 yards. The Red/White combo is the longest, measuring between 5,344 and 6,899 yards. Sorry to keep harping on this, but choosing the right markers is important here. If you do, the chances are good you’ll have a fun time at a facility that’s known for almost always being in excellent condition. Playing all these fine courses — no matter if it’s spring, summer or fall — can make a golfer thirsty for more. Well … for a wee dram of something right out of Scotland, be sure to belly up to the first tee at Mistwood


Golf Club before your trip along I-55 is over. Located a few miles south of The Links at Carillon, outside of the (no surprise) Village of Romeoville, Mistwood is a gorgeous layout originally designed by architect Raymond Hearn in the early 2000s. A dozen years later, the facility’s new owner hired Mr. Hearn to renovate Mistwood and make it even better. That he did. Golf Magazine thought so, too, honoring the course with its “Renovation of the Year” award when all of the work was complete. Today, Mistwood offers five sets of tees between 5,332 and 7,005 yards. For those golfers that have never played in Scotland or Ireland (I have and it’s a treat), you’re in for an Americanized version. The golf is different, the scenery is spectacular, and the experience is what you make of it. What’s different about this very pretty course and so many across the Atlantic, is that you don’t have the same opportunities to play “along the ground.” (In Ireland once, I used my putter from 50 yards out and it was the right choice!) The main body of water here, the aptly named “Loch” St. James, is ever-

present — whether in the form of a creek, pond or the loch itself, and the only choice is to play over. Also common at Mistwood are tall patches of fescue and bunkers of all kinds and sizes — large and small, both sand and grass. In addition, there are 20 revetted bunkers, hazards with tall front walls made of sod bricks. Once in there, you’ll probably have two choices: sideways or backwards. My advice is: don’t go in there. My other advice is: do make an effort to tee it up at Mistwood Golf Club. As I’ve said so many times, picking the right tees is a good idea. Maybe the best idea, however, is to pick I-55 when you’re looking for great golf southwest of the Windy City. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Win a Grand Prize Golf Getaway to

Cast your vote for the Best in the Midwest Awards and you’ll be entered to win an amazing golf weekend at the famous French Lick Resort! This weekend includes 2 rooms for 2 nights and a round of golf on each of the legendary Pete Dye Course (pictured) and the iconic Donald Ross course!

Visit www.golftimemag.com for complete prize details and official rules. Vote today!


GOLFTIME MAGAZINE’S

Best of the Midwest Awards

2022 W

elcome to the 2022 Best of the Midwest Awards, where you tell us what’s so great about golf here in the Great Lakes. This year’s awards select the best overall course in the Midwest, as well as the best in each state (and some other categories for good measure). But now we need you. Vote for as many or as few categories as you like, just make sure to give us your name and contact information. Eligible voters have a chance to win* the grand prize of a golf getaway to the fantastic French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana, home to two of the Midwest’s best courses by Pete Dye and Donald Ross, as well as a casino and excellent accommodations. Make your voice heard. Just head to our website, golftimemag.com, to cast your ballot today. Just one ballot per person, please. The contest starts Feb. 14 and runs through April 29. Watch for winners on our website and in the next issue of Golftime Midwest. *For official rules, please visit our website.

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What’s the Best Course in the Midwest? Arcadia Bluffs, Michigan Whistling Straits, Wisconsin Erin Hills, Wisconsin Cog Hill, Illinois French Lick Resort (Dye Course), Indiana Forest Dunes (Dunes Course), Michigan Sand Valley, Wisconsin Treetops (Signature Course), Michigan Other – Cast your vote online

What’s the Best New (or Renovated) Course in the Midwest (2019-2022)? American Dunes, Michigan The Club at Lac La Belle, Wisconsin The Bootlegger Short Course, Michigan The Baths at Blackwolf Run, Wisconsin Pfau Golf Course at IU, Indiana Pioneer Pointe, Wisconsin Other – Cast your vote online

Best Course in Wisconsin Whistling Straits Erin Hills Sand Valley Mammoth Dunes The Links Course at Lawsonia University Ridge SentryWorld Other – Cast your vote online

Best Course in Illinois Cog Hill No. 4 – Dubsdread Kemper Lakes The Glen Club TPC Deere Run Eagle Ridge – The General Harborside International (Port Course) Other – Cast your vote online CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Whistling Straits; American Dunes; Giants Ridge; Sand Valley; Forest Dunes. 36

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ABOVE: Treetops’ Rick Smith Signature Course won the 2018 Best Course in Michigan category. RIGHT: Galena’s Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is always award-worthy.

Best Course in Indiana Prairie View Purgatory The Kampen Course at Birck Boilermaker French Lick Resort (Dye Course) Warren Course at Notre Dame Brickyard Crossing Other – Cast your vote online

Best Course in Michigan Arcadia Bluffs Bay Harbor Forest Dunes American Dunes Harbor Shores Treetops (Signature Course) Grand Traverse Resort (The Bear) Other – Cast your vote online

Best Course in Minnesota Giants Ridge (Quarry Course) Wilderness at Fortune Bay The Classic at Madden’s Giants Ridge (The Legend Course) Rush Creek Stone River Other – Cast your vote online 38

MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS

Best Golf Destination Kohler, Wisconsin Hamilton County, Indiana Gaylord, Michigan Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Traverse City, Michigan Twin Cities, Minnesota Galena, Illinois Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin Other – Cast your vote online

Best Par 3 Best Par 4 Best Par 5 Best Service Best Turn Lunch Best 19th Hole *Visit www.golftimemag.com for official rules and cast your vote online.


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DELAVAN, Wisconsin — Many golf resorts claim a colorful history, and some do have stories to tell. But how many of those stories date to the early Mound Builders, and feature a band of later Indian residents led by Chief Big Foot, whose name still graces a high school and country club? Or tell of wintering circuses that included clowns and elephants named Romeo (who killed five handlers) and Juliet, the invention of pink lemonade, dancing to the biggest of the big bands, and a long succession of owners over its 140 years, including one group of Chicago men who 42

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muscled their way into control bearing slot machines? Yes, Lake Lawn Resort, which boasts two miles of Delavan Lake shoreline in southern Wisconsin’s Walworth County, has a colorful past worthy of one of the nation’s longestrunning getaway retreats. As Dick Gifford, Lake Lawn’s concierge and unofficial historian put it, “This place has probably the most unique history of any resort in the area.” Or, likely, far beyond. Lake Lawn, in concert with the local historical society, is in the early stages of exploring the creation of a


PREVIOUS SPREAD: Majestic Oaks’ terrific 12th, a 513-yard par 5 that begs you to go for it in two. ABOVE: The excellent, 401-yard, par-4 18th is a fine finisher. museum of the resort’s history, said Eileen Cole, sales and marketing director. The resort has undergone many changes since it opened as a guesthouse in 1878, but its mission remains the same — offering recreation and relaxation to generations of visitors, especially from the Windy City just a short drive away. “Chicagoland provided the bulk of the guests in the early years,” Gifford said.

“We’re an hour and a half, two hours most, from even the south side of Chicago. Chicago families have been coming here for years and years.” Delavan Lake is not as well-known as nearby Geneva Lake, famed for its ring of historic mansions built primarily by wealthy Chicago industrialists, but has long been a playground for visitors who want to fish and swim and enjoy all manner of watercraft. As WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Gifford said, “The lake is our asset, and we’re the lake’s asset.” But recreation on land is big, too. Lake Lawn opened its first nine holes of golf in 1926 and added nine more in 1929. In 1989, the course was renovated by Dick Nugent, who also designed Kemper Lakes in Chicago and who used famous holes at Pebble Beach as inspiration for redoing Lake Lawn’s greens. The course, now called Majestic Oaks, indeed boasts many impressive oak trees (not always so “majestic” when they are blocking your shot), well-bunkered, undulating greens and, given its presence on

Delavan Lake, scenery that doesn’t quit. If first-timers ask what to expect, Thomas Howe Jr., director of golf at Majestic Oaks, says, “It is a sporty course with very fun green complexes, and being lakeside it’s very pretty. It’s a lot of fun. It’s tree-lined (but) it has quite a bit of character to it.” Oh, thanks to a nesting pair of feathered residents near the 18th hole, eagles are available even for the least skilled players. One of the perks of Howe’s job, he said, is “I get to watch these bald eagles. They’ve had five babies since we’ve been here.” Just add that to Lake Lawn’s long story.


CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: The 420-yard, par-4 15th; A rare photo of a juvenile bald eagle, perched near the family’s nest alongside the 18th hole; the 210-yard, par-3 13th; the 172-yard, par-3 17th. The first inhabitants of the Delavan Lake area were part of the Woodland Indians who arrived as early as 1800-2000 B.C. Mound Builders who occupied the land between 5001000 A.D. left as evidence of their existence 100 or more effigy mounds around Delavan Lake, with the heaviest concentration on what later became the Lake Lawn site. Most of those were disrupted by later development but a handful of mounds, now permanently protected, remain on resort property.

From about 1770 through 1836, Potawatomi Indians, including Chief Big Foot, had a small camp on the Lake Lawn property along with their main village in Fontana, which explains Big Foot High School in Walworth, Big Foot Country Club in Fontana and a statue in Fontana depicting the chief’s last look at Geneva Lake before his people were relocated. In the 1840s the land where the resort now stands was purchased by Edmond and WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Jeremiah Mabie as winter quarters for their U.S. Olympic Circus, the first of dozens of circuses that spent time in the area over several decades and gave Delavan a rich circus history that is still celebrated today. Despite his reputation as a killer of men, which hardly kept the curious from lining up to see him, the notorious Romeo elephant is remembered by a life-sized statue in downtown Delavan. Juliet, in her defense, was a far more docile pachyderm known for pulling the bandwagon in the circus parade. When she died in February 1864 she could not be buried because the ground was frozen so the circus decided to drag her onto the surface of the lake, where a hole was cut to drop her through the ice. Just another circus legend, a skeptic might suggest, but in 1931 a bone fragment found in the lake was determined by Chicago’s Field Museum to be the bone of an Indian elephant. Juliet, of course. One other circus legend involved Mabie Brothers clown Pete Conklin, who wanted to make lemonade in a vessel he borrowed from an equestrian who had just dyed her tights bright red in it. So, it’s Conklin we thank for pink lemonade. What is now a 270-room modern and amenity-rich resort opened much more modestly as a small, two-story frame hotel operated by Manie Mabie. But over the years new owners expanded the resort to include cabins, more lodging, dining facilities and more amenities, including golf. At one time Commonwealth Edison purchased the resort for use by its employees. Not by coincidence, Lake Lawn was one of the first in the area to CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The Lake Lawn Queen, the elephant statue, pool, the cottage/northwoods feel in the rooms.

boast electric lights. During the big band era, Commonwealth Edison built a ballroom at Lake Lawn Lodge, as it was then known, that was the center of an active lakeshore ballroom scene. Entertainers included some of the biggest names in the musical game, from Lawrence Welk and his band to Joe Smothers and the Original Carolina Nighthawks, a 10-piece orchestra that traveled the world. In later years as musical tastes changed, performers included Bill Haley and his Comets and, in the 1970s, The Hollies.

MAJESTIC OAKS BOASTS MANY IMPRESSIVE OAK TREES, WELL-BUNKERED, UNDULATING GREENS AND SCENERY THAT DOESN’T QUIT. In 1936 Lake Lawn was purchased from Commonwealth Edison by George W. Borg, known as “Mr. Clutch” after being credited with inventing the automobile clutch. Borg opened the resort to the public as well as to his employees but later sold the resort after declining to get involved with unsavory Chicago residents who brought with them illegal slot machines. A short time later, slot machines were banned for good. What followed was a procession of different owners who continued to expand the resort and its offerings, including a 22-acre airstrip for private planes and more amenities. An outdoor pool was added in 1988, its marina was expanded and the resort became WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Originally completed in 1929, Midwest architect Dick Nugent redesigned and renovated Majestic Oaks 1989, preserving its past but bringing it up to modern standards. known as a place for weddings, conferences and many family reunions. In 2010 the resort closed when its then-owners ran into financial difficulty but was purchased by a new group of investors in 2011 who have continued to upgrade facilities and amenities. Even a worldwide pandemic was but a blip for Lake Lawn, Cole said, who pointed out recreation was possible even with strong safety protocols in place. “It’s not affecting business,” she said. “It’s better than ever. It’s an outside resort … we’re a recreation place. It bodes well for people who are trying to stay safe. All the activities have really boomed this year. Golf, oh my, golf has been going crazy.” That was certainly the case in 2020, Howe said, in part because Illinois kept its courses closed after Wisconsin courses were allowed to reopen and golfers poured across the state line with clubs in hand. Strong play continued in 2021. Majestic Oaks is part of a golf trail that includes top courses in the 48

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Lake Geneva area, including Grand Geneva Resort, Geneva National Resort and Spa, Hawk’s View Golf Club and several more. Other activities available to area visitors include Lake Geneva Cruise Line tours that take in the lake’s historic estates and cruises on Delavan Lake aboard the Lake Lawn Queen, a 76-foot, two-level cruise boat with an open-air deck for spectacular views. Tours include glimpses of five Frank Lloyd Wright homes and other historical landmarks on Delavan Lake and sometimes include live entertainment. The truly adventurous can just take a hike. The 21-mile Geneva Lake is ringed by a shore path that is open to walkers who want up-close-and-personal looks at historic mansions. It can be walked in one long day or broken up into segments for more manageable walks. Please visit www.lakelawnresort.com or www.VisitDelavan.com for more information.


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Explore Lake Lawn Resort. Set along two miles of Delavan Lake’s shoreline, this historic Lake Geneva area landmark is the ultimate destination for year-round getaways, retreats, weddings, meetings, and events. Located just 10 minutes west of Lake Geneva, Lake Lawn Resort is a fullservice resort offering spacious and well-appointed guest rooms, 18-hole championship golf, boat and water sport rentals, cross-country skiing and ice-skating, three pools, a marina, a spa, and multiple dining options.

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Kiva Dunes’s 175-yard par-3 13th


BAMA Bold, Beautiful

Bodacious beaches and bunkers await you in the golf-rich strip of sand called Gulf Shores, Alabama By Don Shell “Sitting here at the Flora-Bama ’Bout to open up a big old can of Good times, unwind. Sitting right here at the Flora-Bama. Don’t it feel good?”

— Kenny Chesney, “Flora-Bama”

GULF SHORES, Alabama — Man, I needed this. That’s the only thought in my head as I roll along Beach Boulevard, windows down, music up, taking in the miles-long row of gleaming high-rise, seaside condos, pastel rental homes, and shabby-chic beach bars and shrimp shacks: I needed this. But hey, after nearly two maddeningly painful pandemic years, we all do, don’t we? You better believe it. So I did what many of us do in times of stress — head for the familiar, something a little slower and simpler. And friends, lemme tell you, Gulf Shores, Alabama — this sliver of powdery white sand sidled up alongside the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico — is truly the “comfort food” of golf destinations. In a very good way. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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It’d been a minute since we last visited this part of golf country, and a decade or so sure can make a difference to a place. Here on the Gulf of Mexico’s Emerald Coast, as it’s called, we found Gulf Shores looking better than ever, and the golf every bit as great as we’d remembered. What’s that? Never heard of Gulf Shores? Well, while it might not have the golf-persquare-inch riches of Myrtle Beach or Florida, there’s no shortage of big-time, big-name and reasonably priced courses dotting the map up and down the coast here. The Gulf 52

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Shores/Orange Beach area golf scene is flush with variety, beauty, pedigree — and affordability. How affordable? Three-round/threenight stay-and-play packages to Gulf Shores go for as little as $435 on one of the area’s top travel sites, coastalalabamagolf.com.

COAST WITH THE MOST It wasn’t the mouth-watering price points that brought us back to these shores, however, it was the memory of the area’s killer courses. There are no fewer than 14 gems in the Emerald Coast crown to keep you busy


CLOCKWISE, ABOVE: The Arnold Palmer-designed Lost Key offers plenty of sand, wind and water, all of which you’ll find on the 598-yard, par-5 first hole; the drivable, 328-yard, par-4 fourth hole; Lost Key has fine dining as well as championship golf. off the beach, built by big-name players and architects like Arnold Palmer, Jerry Pate and Earl Stone, among others. We started our trip almost immediately after wheels touched down at Pensacola International Airport, which is the preferred place to fly into Gulf Shores from pretty much anywhere (it’s a 45-minute drive away). But just a quick rental car jaunt from the

airport sits Pensacola’s Lost Key Golf Club (lostkeygolf.com), a tricky-but-terrific Arnold Palmer track just steps from the gulf ’s sandy shores and Perdido Key. Clocking in at just over 6,800 yards, the par-71 course has plenty of sand, wind and water to make the perfect warmup for our weekend. With comparatively tight fairways and firm, fast greens, Lost Key keeps you on WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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your toes from start to finish. Designed by Mr. Palmer and partner Ed Seay in 1997, the course underwent a major redesign in 2006, adding more than 2,200 native trees and 13,000 wetland plants, as it became Florida’s first Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary. But you’ll find little sanctuary in this tight, tough test, which clocks in with a steep slope of 144 and a rating of 74.3. Lost Key’s first hole is a fair and accurate representation of all that you’ll find here, a needlenosed, 598-yard par 5 with plenty of trees and wetlands to make errant shots pay the price. Other highlights are the impressive par 3s — all five of them — including the club’s signature 13th hole, a 150-yard par 3 playing over water to a heavily sloped peninsula green. By the time you reach the reachable, 580-yard, par-5 18th, you’ll have found plenty of challenge and triumph at Lost Key, a fantastic first stop or final round to bookend your golf getaway. Luckily for us, this was only the beginning. Heading west on FL-292, past Perdido Key and the world-infamous Flora-Bama, we cross state lines into beautiful ’Bama. Like the Flora-Bama itself, which sits smack-dab on the Florida-Alabama state line, it’s virtually impossible to tell where Florida ends and Alabama begins, as it becomes a blur of towering condos and pastel-painted beachside bungalows. There’s certainly no shortage of affordable vacation rentals available in the area, many right on the beach or the Little Lagoon that cuts through the heart of Gulf Shores. Our rental was lagoon-side, and included its own private pool and dock, in addition to sleeping 12 battle-weary golfers.

GREAT GULF GOLF We found the perfect way to start the next day just down the street from our rental, at 54

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Border Bash

The Flora-Bama packs enough fun for two states at once Some landmarks are flat-out famous. The Grand Canyon. Mount Rushmore. Disney World. Others — the really fun ones — aren’t just famous, they’re infamous. That, friends, is the Flora-Bama Lounge & Package. The Flora-Bama, for the uninitiated, is a massive entertainment and music venue almost too big to seat in a single state, and sits squarely against the Florida-Alabama line. As with any infamous landmark, the legend tells of it spanning two states, but in reality the entirety of the bar rests in Perdido Key, Florida. Originally constructed in 1964 when the Alabama county next door was still dry, the Flora-Bama quickly became a popular destination (go figure). In the nearly 60 years since, it’s added on and added on, becoming a mishmash of antechambers and music stages and satellite bars, and is now more beloved than ever. From its famous Bushwacker chocolate milkshake mixed drink, to its live music 365 days a year, the bar’s events range from chili cookoffs and fishing rodeos to the Annual Mullet Toss (the fish, not the hairstyle) and big beachfront concerts. One night there on a previous visit, a giant tour bus rolled up, and out piled the platinum-selling country band, Big & Rich, who were thirsty and ready to hang out. It’s true what they say, at the Flora-Bama, you just never know what the night has in store. Please visit florabama.com for more information.


the Sunliner Diner (sunlinerdiner.com), famous for its classic car motif, ’50s vibes, all-day breakfast and seemingly bottomless Bloody Marys. Fully charged, we headed off to our next test of gulf golf, at Gulf Shores Golf Club (gulfshoresgolfclub.com), which like the Sunliner, exudes old-school cool, from the plantation-style clubhouse to the Spanish moss making home on the many old oak trees dotting the property. Originally designed by Earl Stone in 1963, the club was renovated and modernized by Jay and Carter Morrish in 2007, restoring the greens and bunkers and stretching it to a beefy 6,856 yards. But it’s not the length that will jump up and bite you at Gulf Shores — it’s the subtle, speedy greens and plentiful hazards in play. You’ll find both right off the bat, with 56

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the 345-yard, par-4 opener, a dogleg-right requiring a fade to find the fairway before attacking the green well-guarded by water. Survive unscathed there and you have the template for success the rest of the way. Other highlights at GSGC are the sweet, 172-yard, par-3 sixth hole, a watery, wellguarded one-shotter, and the awesome, 327yard 11th, a drivable par 4 begging you to try and fly the beach-sized fairway bunkers. Gulf Shores’ finisher is one of the best in the area, a 526-yard, par-5 test, taking a pair of perfect shots to get home in two. If you can successfully navigate over the creek guarding the small green, you’ll have a good chance to end on a high note. Working up an appetite, we headed to one of Gulf Shores’ biggest, baddest and most happenin’ hotspots, The Hangout


CLOCKWISE, ABOVE: Gulf Shores Golf Club exudes old-school cool, like the 175-yard, par-3 fourth hole, The Hangout is a more modern version of the Flora-Bama, The 340-yard finishing hole at Cypress Bend is as pretty as it is penal. (thehangout.com). This massive entertainment complex is home to several stages for live music, outdoor games and fire pits, and one of the area’s famous annual attractions, the Hangout Music Fest. Held each May, the massive beachfront festival features such heavy hitters as the Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, Paul Simon, and The Chainsmokers. This year’s lineup is headlined by Post Malone, Halsey, Doja Cat and Tame Impala, among dozens of other acts for the three-day extravaganza (hangoutmusicfest.com). Unfortunately, we were there in the offseason, so we settled for a few buckets of Coronas and some of the bar’s delicious seafood boil, a shrimp, snow crab and

sausage-filled tradition ’round these parts. But we’ll definitely be back someday in busier times (if only for a foam party).

FUN-FILLED ’FARMS Rested and ready to begin anew, next up was Craft Farms (craftfarms.com) which features a double-dose of Arnold Palmer-designed tracks on the site of R.C. Craft’s former soy farm. The 7,000-yard Cotton Creek (built in 1988) and the 6,800-yard Cypress Bend (added in 1998) each offer impeccable conditions, challenging golf and a 4 ½-star rated experience by Golf Digest. Like much of the Gulf Shores area, the club was hit hard by Hurricane Sally in 2020, which made landfall WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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and gave the clubhouse and courses quite a lashing. Work was still underway to repair the stately, plantation-style clubhouse, but the courses have fully recovered. Both courses wind their way through a lovely residential community, and not surprisingly play very similar — plenty of water, wide fairways, big bunkers and fast, undulating greens in pure Palmer style. The older, longer, somewhat tougher of the two, Cotton Creek, features water on 14 of its 18 holes, including the sinister sixth hole, a tricky, 395-yard par 4 with a wraparound pond in play all along the right side and the approach. You’ll contend with the eponymous creek on Cotton Creek’s awesome 11th hole, which crisscrosses the fairway twice in its 397 yards. Place your tee shot correctly, and you’ll face a mid-iron into the two-tiered green. 58

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Cypress Bend is a touch drier and shorter than its big brother, but take it lightly at your peril. Despite being a decade younger, Cypress Bend has a similar look and feel to Cotton Creek, creating a contiguous championship complex that gives you an idea of what to expect in the second act of your double feature. Highlights of Cypress Bend include the picturesque par-3 sixth hole, which plays 170 yards from the tips while navigating water left, water right, and beautiful bunkering all around. The awesome 11th hole is a 375-yard par 4 that takes a precise tee shot to avoid water along the left side of the fairway, followed by a surgical second shot over water to a green guarded by a bunker on the left. That’s a good tuneup for the track’s fantastic finishing hole, a 505-yard par 5 that forces you to carry the creek, avoid it


Kiva’s killer 18th features the course’s massive waterway and 49-yard-deep green!

all along the length of the right side, then carry it once more on your approach to the postage-stamp green. Glorious.

KIVA IS KING After a very long night at arguably the area’s most famous (or infamous) landmark — the Flora-Bama (see sidebar) — we prepared for the other main event, Kiva Dunes. Kiva Dunes (kivadunes.com) a stunning, secluded golf resort close to the area’s beautiful beaches, is the poster child for one of America’s hidden golf havens. It’s been named the No. 1 public course in Alabama, one of America’s Top 100 courses, and it’s little wonder why: Kiva’s a beauty to behold and the perfect example of the quality and affordability people can find in this corner of the country. Designed in 1995 by developer Jim Edge-

mon together with his friend, former U.S. Open champ Jerry Pate, Kiva is the unquestioned crown jewel in the Emerald Coast lineup of courses. Kiva has grown into a full community, replete with rental properties, condos and beachside bungalows, tennis courts and pools and plenty more. But we weren’t here to look at rental real estate (at least, this time), we were here for the 7,092 yards of green goodness called Kiva Dunes. Right from the 415-yard, par-4 opening hole, which begs you to break out the big lumber, you know you’re in for a riproarin’ time. Other highlights include the sublime No. 9, a 428-yard par 4 bisected by an intracoastal-esque pond protecting the green, and the gorgeous, 175-yard, par-3 13th, with a wide waste area in front and the club’s impressive elongated lake on the left. That lake touches no fewer than six holes at Kiva Dunes, making it the track’s unheralded architectural hero (or villain). You’ll see that lake up close and personal when you tackle the spectacular, 458-yard, par-4 finisher here, with the lake running nearly the length of the right side and up past the biggest green on the course — 49 yards deep! Later on, looking out at the 18th from the back patio at Kiva Dunes, with drinks in hand as the setting sun cast everything in a warm orange glow, we just had to smile at our return trip to the Gulf Shores area. When it comes to beauty, affordability and just good ol’ fashioned beach-bound fun, friends, we had to agree: Kenny Chesney had it right. Don’t it feel good, indeed. Visit gulfshores.com for more information. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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AN ERA Ryder Cup capped a phenomenal championship run for the Kohler Co. and Whistling Straits By Gary D’Amato, Photography by Jim Kelsh

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HAVEN, Wisconsin — The 43rd Ryder Cup marked the end of an incredible run for Kohler Co.’s hospitality division, which played host to two U.S. Women’s Opens, a U.S. Senior Open, three PGA Championships and the Ryder Cup in a span of 23 years. Few other courses in the United States can claim to have been the host venue for such a diverse list of championships in such a short period of time. Now, the question is, what’s next? “Who knows?” said Herbert V. Kohler Jr., the 82-year-old executive chairman of Kohler Co. “The USGA (United States Golf Association) has all sorts of majors, not just with men and women but senior events, juniors, amateurs. There are still a lot of things around.” Certainly, golf has become as vitally important to Kohler Co. as are toilets, kitchen fixtures, furniture and generators. The company owns two iconic resorts — The American Club in Kohler and The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland — and five world-class golf courses, with a sixth in the planning stages. Simply put, major championships sell tee times. Whistling Straits, where the U.S. Ryder Cup team completed a historic 19-9 drubbing of Team Europe in September, attracts golfers from throughout the world who want to play where history has been made. After a wildly successful PGA Championship at the Straits in 2004, it took mere Viktor Hovland, one of the world’s Top 10 players, went 0-3-2 in his Ryder Cup debut. 62

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Photo by Rob Hernandez

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Juli Inkster — U.S. Senior Women’s Open WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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months for the PGA of America to offer the 2010 and 2015 PGAs and the 2020 Ryder Cup to Kohler Co. in a blockbuster package deal. The contract for the latter, however, was not signed until 2013. “The PGA of America was a little reluctant to give it to us because their major sponsors like to sell product on the coasts,” said Kohler, who conducted the interview relaxing in the Kohler Co. chalet at Whistling Straits on the final day of the Ryder Cup. “So here we are in the midlands of Wisconsin, and it took 66

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some talking and some guarantees before they consented. “I think if you asked them today, they’re very pleased and rather overwhelmed. On Thursday, these Wisconsinites bought more in the merchandise tent than anyone had bought in a single day in the history of golf.” When it comes to the majors and the Ryder Cup, money talks. Given the success of the U.S. team captained by Steve Stricker, robust corporate hospitality sales and the 40,000 enthusiastic fans who filled grandstands,


PREVIOUS SPREAD, TOP: Fans flocked to Kohler to witness a U.S. Ryder Cup rout, starting at the first tee. PREVIOUS SPREAD, BOTTOM: Fans showed why this is one of golf’s oldest rivalries. Michael Jordan made an appearance. Spaniards Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia. U.S. had a decisive home- course advantage. ABOVE: The European fans came out in force, despite COVID-19 difficulties getting here. lined fairways and opened wallets, the PGA of America would be crazy not to consider bringing the Ryder Cup back to the Straits. The problem is, the event is scheduled out in America through 2037, so the next open date is 2041 (the matches alternate between the U.S. and Europe every other year). Beth-

page Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., hosts in 2025; Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minnesota, gets its second Ryder Cup in 2029; The Olympic Club in San Francisco hosts in 2033; and Congressional CC in Bethesda, Maryland, gets the matches in 2037. “To date, there has not been a course in WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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the U.S. that has ever hosted it twice,” said Jim Richerson, president of the PGA of America and the former director of golf at Kohler Co. “Hazeltine will be the first to do that. When it will come back here, if it will come back here … as far as historically speaking, this might be the only time ever the Ryder Cup is played in Wisconsin.” What about the PGA Championship? It’s unlikely to return to the Straits now that the tournament is held in May. Before 2019, the tournament traditionally was held in August. “It’s hard to work further with the PGA of America, which is too bad,” Kohler said. “They moved the time for the PGA Championship to the month of May, the third week 68

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of May. At that point, it’s not been warm enough in this state to let the fescue grow properly. So other than a Ryder Cup, which is a little bit out of the picture, who knows?” Kohler has passed the baton to his son, David Kohler, the president and CEO of Kohler Co. David surely is working behind the scenes to bring big golf events to Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. Herb Kohler, though, will forever be known as the visionary who brought big-time golf to the state. His contributions earned him induction into the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame. And the building of Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits spurred other high-end golf construction throughout the state.


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The U.S. team had plenty to smile about in its 19-9 rout. Brooks Koepka went 2-2 for the Red, White and Blue. Golf royalty Paulina Gretzky and Dustin Johnson. Flags whip in Whistling Straits’ winds. Vice captain Phil Mickelson gives his approval of the team’s play. Erin Hills followed and played host to the 2011 U.S. Amateur and the 2017 U.S. Open, both firsts for Wisconsin. Erin Hills gets the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2022 and the U.S. Women’s Open in 2025. Sand Valley, a sprawling resort in the Town of Rome, has courses designed by David McLay Kidd and the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, plus a 17-hole par-3 course. The Lido, a recreation of a famous course on the East Coast, is under construction. “Well, of course it’s competition,” Kohler

said. “It’s good for them, good for us. It’s attracting a lot of people to this state. The more, the merrier.” But Kohler started it all, and he received huge ovations from the fans when he was introduced at the Ryder Cup opening ceremony and on the first tee Friday morning. “They’re amazingly appreciative,” he said. “They really are. It’s quite remarkable. Even though they hiked 20,000 steps in a day (on the Straits). They’re extraordinarily appreciative.” WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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TEE IT UP IN MINNESOTA Time To Travel

“The STATE of GOLF” - Minnesota www.ExploreMinnesotaGolf.com

www.StateOfGolf.com

Superior National Golf Course — Photo by Peter Wong


A new year means the opportunity to set goals and create lists for your golfing “bucket list.” After filling up hometown tee sheets the last two years, golfers are looking to hit the road to enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures: a golf trip. - By Steve Dowling As players search for the ideal golf destination, Minnesota has long been one of the game’s popular vacation spots and continues to be a trip of choice for golfers looking for a premier golfing experience at a refreshing affordable price point.

“THE STATE of GOLF” - MINNESOTA 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, Woman’s 2019 PGA Championship and others? Last but not least, Minnesota hosted the 2016 Ryder Cup and it’s coming back in 2028!

for their money, and Minnesota delivers at every level. Minnesota is home to the golf courses and golf resorts of the Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance. These upscale tracts deliver a great experience in combination with quality and variety – the VALUE is unmatched. 2. It’s easy to get here. Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport is home to hundreds of nonstop flights from across the North America as well as Europe and Asia. Throw in easy access from North-South and East-West Interstate systems and this is a surprisingly accessible destination.

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. Whether you’re coming for a few days, weeks or months, Minnesota’s “bucket list” of mustplay golf courses can be found with the Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance.

BEST TRIP Why is a Minnesota golf trip one the game’s best? Here are a couple reasons: 1. No matter where you are on the socioeconomic spectrum, everyone likes value

Courtesy Wilderness at Fortune Bay

QUALITY + VARIETY + VALUE = YOUR BUCKET LIST

AN INVITATION We’re excited to invite you to visit our wonderful state of Minnesota. At this point, what’s left to decide? It’s time to start planning your 2022 golf trip to play the bucket list of great Minnesota courses. Quality, Variety and Value of Great Golf Play Golf in the Heartland of Golf Visit Minnesota - the STATE of GOLF For more information on golf in the heartland-Minnesota visit: www.ExploreMinnesotaGolf.com www.StateofGolf.com, #OnlyinMN WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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EXPLORE MINNESOTA GOLF ALLIANCE

Giants Ridge Two legendary Minnesota Golf Courses. One Location. Giants Ridge has long been considered one of Minnesota’s best resort golf vacation destinations. Year after year, national golf publications have ranked The Legend and The Quarry near or at the top of the best public golf courses in the nation not just for play, but for value as well. Giants Ridge just received Golf Digest’s Editor’s Choice for Best Golf Resort in the Midwest. Two 18-hole Courses Lodging Resort Activities

www.giantsridge.com | 800.688.7669

| 6329 Wynne Creek Drive, Biwabik

Meadows at Mystic Lake Meadows at Mystic Lake Golf Club is a true golf resort with golf, hotel, casino and convention center. Located in Prior Lake, Minnesota, the facility is just down the highway from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Minneapolis/ St Paul International Airport. The award-winning public golf course is a full-service golfing destination, enhanced by nearby food and entertainment venues, including The Meadows Bar and Grille and Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, all just steps away from one of the Midwest’s largest gaming floors which is open 24/7. This is more than a round of golf - it’s an experience. The golf course has drawn numerous prestigious awards and recognitions from Golf Digest, Golfweek, and Midwest Gaming and Travel.

18 Hole Championship Course Hotel • Casino Convention Center

www.golfthemeadows.com | 952.233.5533 | 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd, Prior Lake

Madden’s on Gull Lake Voted #1 Resort in the Midwest by Conde Nast Traveler readers, Madden’s offers upscale accommodations, dining, and endless experiences. Featuring The Classic at Madden’s (5-Star and Top 100 in U.S. and ‘#1 buddies’ destination in Minnesota’), the historic Pine Beach East, Pine Beach West, and the Social 9 courses, Madden’s offers 63 holes of unforgettable golf for an experience like no other. Located in the heart of the Brainerd Lakes area.

285 Guest Rooms , 63 Holes of Golf Classic: Par 72, 7,102 yards Pine Beach East: Par 72, 6,154 yards Pine Beach West: Par 67, 5,070 yards Social 9: Par 27, 1,341 yards

www.maddens.com | 800.233.2934 | 11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd 72

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EXPLORE MINNESOTA GOLF ALLIANCE

Wilderness at Fortune Bay Plan that perfect golf getaway by booking a Stayand-Play package at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay Resort Casino. Located on beautiful Lake Vermilion, Wilderness continues to garner national awards for its playability, breath-taking views and excellent customer service! This is also an award-winning resort, feature several dining options and 24/7 gaming!

18-Hole Resort Course Hotel, Marina, Casino

• America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses-#72 Nationally; #3 Minnesota — Golf Digest • Best Casino Courses in America #7 Nationally; #1 Minnesota — Golfweek

www.golfthewilderness.com | 800.992.4680 | 1450 Bois Forte Road, Tower

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 four 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 “go-to” resort for 100 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

www.breezypointresort.com | 800.432.3777 | 9252 Breezy Point Drive, Breezy Point

Legends Club Legends Golf Club, recognized as National Golf 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 either 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 - 7,126 Par 72

www.legendsgc.com | 952.226.4777 | 8670 Credit River Blvd., Prior Lake WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau Great Northern Golf Trail This dream itinerary along the Great Northern Golf Trail in Minnesota and Wisconsin will make you a hero among fellow golfers. Your journey starts in Bloomington, Minnesta, home of Mall of America and easily accessible to Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and continues on to 16 bucket list Midwestern golf courses. New additions include Deacon’s Lodge, White Eagle GC, SentryWorld, and Erin Hills. Contact us for course openings and personalized 2022 golf packages and pricing.

45 Top Brand Hotels! Home of the Ryder Cup 2016 & 2028

www.greatnortherngolftrail.com | 952.278.8518 | 2131 Lindau Ln. Ste 420, Bloomington

Superior National Golf Course The Greatest Golf on the Greatest Lake The 27-hole golf course features the Premier River and Canyon 18 and the fun Mountain 9, which also offers Footgolf. With the Sawtooth Mountains for a backdrop on one side, and Lake Superior on the other, and the Poplar River running throughout, it’s no wonder Superior National is recognized among Minnesota’s Top 10 Destination Golf Courses. An unforgettable golf experience year after year.

Stay and Play Packages Available 27 Holes

www.superiornational.com | 218.663.7195 | 5731 MN-61, Lutsen

The Courses of Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance 1. Arrowwood Resort

12. Minnesota National GC

www.arrowwoodresort.com

www.mnnationalgolfcourse.com

2. Braemar Golf Course

BEST of the BEST

3. Breezy Point Resort

www.breezypointresort.com

4. Chaska Town Course

www.chaskatowncourse.com

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5. Cragun’s Resort

6. Destination Bloomington 7. Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort www.giantsridge.com

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15. Royal Golf Club 18

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Alexandria

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19. Territory Golf Club

www.territorygc.com Twin Cities

20. The Wilds Golf Club www.golfthewilds.com

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17. StoneRidge Golf Club 18. Superior National Golf Club

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Duluth 16. Stonebrooke Golf Club

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www.gravelpitgolf.com

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8. Gravel Pit Golf Course

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14. Ridges at Sand Creek

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Brainerd

www.bloomingtonmn.org

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9. Legends Club

13. Prestwick Golf Club

Play the

www.braemargolf.com

Rochester

www.ExploreMinnesotaGolf.com

21. Wilderness at Fortune Bay Rochester www.golfthewilderness.com

22. Willingers Golf Club www.willingersgc.com


If you love

Erin Hills, Whistling Straits, Kohler, Sand Valley, The Ryder Cup, SentryWorld, Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Badgers, cheese, tournaments, Lake Michigan, friendly golfers, views, beer, lakes, fun, and so much more… Then you need to follow

The Voice of Golf in Wisconsin

Best golf writers in the state with Gary D’Amato, Rob Hernandez and Dennis McCann. Daily updates on all things golf.

www.Wisconsin.golf Killarney Golf Media publishes Wisconsin.golf and Golftime Midwest


Industry Insider

‘Extremely blown away’ The Lido will jump to the top of golfers’ bucket lists when it opens in 2023 at Sand Valley. By Gary D’Amato

TOWN OF ROME – Brandon Carter has given nearly four dozen tours of The Lido to prospective members and guests at Sand Valley Resort and has gotten three nuanced reactions. “They are either blown away, very blown away or extremely blown away,” said Carter, the resort’s marketing and communications manager. Count me a member of the extremely blown away crowd. Standing in the middle of The Lido last fall, surrounded by a vast expanse of turf and sand, I was overwhelmed by the scale of the course, which is under construction just to the north of the resort proper. Though The Lido is being built on 225 acres, the treeless terrain made the place feel 10 times bigger. Angry gray clouds gathering on the horizon added to the effect. The Lido will be a private club when it opens in 2023 — a soft opening is anticipated for this summer or early fall — though some weekday tee times will be available to Sand Valley guests. The course will be the centerpiece of a 1,200-acre conservancy that will be separate from, but complement, the resort’s 53 holes (Sand Valley, Mammoth Dunes and a 17-hole short course, the Sandbox). Sand Valley, owned by the Keiser family and modeled after patriarch Mike Keiser’s Bandon Dunes in Oregon, has rapidly become one of America’s top golf destinations. The project was made possible by Chicagoan Peter Flory’s unparalleled collection of photos, newspaper articles and rare aerials, which he used to produce a stunning virtual rendering. 76

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The Lido is being reborn on 225 windswept acres outside the Town of Rome near Sand Valley Resort. That is all well and good, but what makes The Lido so eagerly anticipated is that it is a faithful reproduction of a fabled “lost” course on Long Island, noted for the men who designed and built it: Charles Blair Macdonald and protégé Seth Raynor, the Ruth and Gehrig of early golf course architecture in America. A third member of that Mount Rushmore, a young Alister MacKenzie, contributed the design for one hole, years before he and Bobby Jones would build Augusta National. This is not a “replica” course. It’s The Lido Golf Club reincarnated. It is golf’s equivalent of raising Atlantis from the ocean depths, or rebuilding Pompeii, brick by painstaking brick. It’s an audacious project, one that will invite scrutiny from course architecture buffs, grace the covers of golf magazines and jump to the top of discerning golfers’ bucket-list courses. If you think that’s an exaggeration, consider this: Carter said he has a backlog of some 750 emails from golfers who expressed 78

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interest in joining The Lido. They were too late. Membership was capped at 166, a number that was reached quickly, with founding members paying a $50,000 initiation deposit. The original Lido Golf Club was a collection of classic template holes from the British Isles, built with 20 million wheelbarrows of sand dredged from a nearby channel in what was, for its time, an incredible feat of engineering. The course opened in 1917 but was demolished during World War II by the U.S. Navy, which declared the area a strategic defense site. The Lido measured a then-preposterous 6,693 yards, which strained the limits of hickory-shafted clubs of the period. Before it disappeared, leaving myth as an heir, it was by acclaim the most demanding golf course ever built. “It was the longest, hardest course in the world at the time,” said Peter Flory of Chicago, a student of classic golf course architecture and perhaps the world’s leading


Industry Insider authority on The Lido. “And it was incredibly wild out there with the grasses and the sand and the wind and the ocean.” Brothers Michael and Christopher Keiser, the operators of Sand Valley, weren’t the first to dream about bringing The Lido back to life. In fact, Ban Rakat Club near Bangkok, Thailand, recently opened Ballyshear Golf Links, a Lido-inspired layout designed by Gil Hanse. “I’ve talked to Michael about that, and he’s talked to Gil,” Carter said. “I think there’s certainly some holes out there that are very similar to the original, but then (Hanse) has his own holes out there, too.” The Keisers didn’t want a course inspired by The Lido. They wanted The Lido. They hired architect Tom Doak to recreate the course, with features accurate practically to the linear foot. The project was made possible by Flory’s unparalleled collection of photos, newspaper articles and rare aerials, which he used to produce a stunning virtual rendering. That was the DNA. The site, a blank slate of unremarkable sand scrub, could easily be molded by Oliphant Golf and Doak’s shapers. “Other than the sandy base, it wasn’t a great site for golf,” Carter said. “But that allowed us to get every detail right. If you look at the wind charts for the original site and then you compare those charts to this location, throughout the year the wind speeds and directions match almost identically. And so, the way this course is oriented matches the prevailing wind on the original site. “I think it’s such an important factor that this course may not have happened if that wasn’t completely right. These holes are designed with such purpose that you really need the element of wind.”

Thanks to long stretches of ideal weather this year, construction is ahead of pace and 13 holes are grassed. We walked them on a day that was so calm, not even the tiniest ripple disturbed The Lido’s prominent water feature, a lagoon. It was a mirror, reflecting the pines and past-peak fall colors on the course’s perimeter. Carter, who lives just down the road from the site and has walked it more than 100 times, was moved to whip out his cellphone and take photos. “I’ve been out here on days where it feels very much like Bandon,” he said. “A threeor four-club wind, easy. (Sand Valley) has some holes that are kind of in valleys or below ridges, so you get blocked from the

THIS IS NOT A “REPLICA” COURSE. IT’S THE LIDO GOLF CLUB REINCARNATED. IT IS GOLF’S EQUIVALENT OF RAISING ATLANTIS FROM THE OCEAN DEPTHS , OR REBUILDING POMPEII, BRICK BY PAINSTAKING BRICK wind. Out here, you don’t. I would say it blows one or two clubs harder here than it would at the resort.” The routing and design elements are ingenious. Golfers of all abilities will love The Lido because it can and will be played countless different ways, through the air and on the ground. The fescue fairways are generous in width, but the optimal landing areas are not always evident from the tee. The massive WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Industry Insider

The Lido will soft-open as a private club later this summer, offering select weekday tee times to guests at Sand Valley Resort. greens, some 50 yards wide and three clubs deep, are situated and fortified in ways that reward favorable angles and punish careless approaches. The direction and intensity of the wind will make The Lido a course played as much by feel as by a yardage book. On one day, a par 4 may be a driver hit with abandon downwind followed by an easy wedge; the very next day it might be a cautiously steered 3-iron followed a 6-iron cut into a crosswind. Such care has been put into The Lido to get it exactly right that an “editing” process, post-shaping, has sometimes necessitated shifting a fairway bunker just a yard or two. The entire 15th green, Carter said, was moved a few feet when it didn’t match up precisely with the topographical mapping. “I think with the amount of information that Peter has collected, the goal for Tom and his crew is that, whenever someone comes out here, they can’t present a picture or an image and say, ‘This isn’t right. Look at this bunker,’” Carter said. “They’re not cutting any corners. If you talk to Brian 80

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Schneider, who does a lot of the bulldozer shaping for Tom, I think he’d say the toughest part has been the editing process. “Normally, when you’re building any other golf course, you wouldn’t touch it. You know, ‘That looks good, this is fine.’ But that editing process is done to make sure it’s right.” A few liberties have been taken to spread holes apart for safety’s sake. For instance, on the original Lido, which was built on a compressed site of about 150 acres, the green on the fifth hole encroached into the fairway on No. 13. Doak separated them by 20 yards so that golfers putting on No. 5 won’t get plunked by errant shots from the 13th tee. But he then built an identical second “green” into the edge of the 13th fairway, complete with bunkers, so that the hole plays exactly the same as did the original. That kind of attention to detail is extraordinary. It’s why The Lido, with five holes still being shaped and months before the first divot is taken, already feels like magic. Visit thelido.com for more information.


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.

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2022 Pro Golf Preview

The Next Normal With the Ryder Cup (and lockdown) behind us, fans can flock to these Midwest tournaments

W

Photo by Jim Kelsh

ith the Ryder Cup safely stowed on American shores, here’s hoping normalcy — and fan galleries — will continue to return to the Midwest tournament golf scene. The Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits drew top billing last summer and for those who would still like to bask in its spotlight, you’re in luck. Some of its major contributors will be out to defend tournament championships this summer in our region. Team member Patrick Cantlay will defend his title at The Memorial Tournament in early June. Cantlay defeated fellow U.S. teammate Collin Morikawa for the victory. U.S. captain Steve Stricker has a title to defend at The Bridgestone Senior Players Championship in July, and tour journeyman Joe Durant looks to repeat at the PGA Tour Champions’ Ally Challenge in August. Not to be overlooked, Nelly Korda, ranked No. 1 on the LPGA women’s tour, will be out to repeat her championship at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in June. Tournaments scheduled for 2022 include:

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May 26-29, Benton Harbor, Michigan

June 10-12, Madison, Wisconsin

PGA Tour Champions KITCHENAID SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

PGA Tour Champions AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP

COURSE: The Golf Club at Harbor Shores DEFENDING CHAMP: Alex Cejka TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: With his victory, Alex Cejka became the first golfer on the Champions Tour to win his first two starts in major championships.

COURSE: University Ridge Golf Course DEFENDING CHAMP: Jerry Kelly TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Madison native Jerry Kelly defended his 2019 championship. The tournament was postponed due to COVID-19 in 2020.

May 26-29, Glenview, Illinois

June 16-19, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Korn Ferry Tour NV5 INVITATIONAL

LPGA Tour MEIJER LPGA CLASSIC FOR SIMPLY GIVE

COURSE: The Glen Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Cameron Young TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: The NV5 Invitational replaces the Evans Scholar Invitational on the tour schedule.

COURSE: Blythefield Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Nelly Korda TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Nelly Korda picked up her fifth LPGA championship with a 25-under-par 263.

June 2-5, Dublin, Ohio

PGA Tour THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT COURSE: Muirfield Village Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Patrick Cantlay TV: CBS/Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Patrick Cantlay took advantage of tournament leader Jon Rahm having to withdraw due to COVID. Cantlay needed one playoff hole to defeat Collin Morikawa.

June 24-26, Harris, Michigan

Epson Tour ISLAND RESORT CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Sweetgrass Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Morgane Metraux THE SKINNY: Her victory in 2021 was the first for Morgane Metraux, a native of Switzerland and student at Florida State. June 30 – July 3, Silvis, Illinois

June 3-5, Des Moines, Iowa

PGA Tour Champions PRINCIPAL CHARITY CLASSIC COURSE: Wakonda Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Stephen Ames THE SKINNY: Stephen Ames’ one-shot victory was his second on the PGA Tour Champions circuit.

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PGA Tour JOHN DEERE CLASSIC COURSE: TPC Deere Run DEFENDING CHAMP: Lucas Glover TV: CBS/Golf Channel THE SKINNY: It was Lucas Glover’s first win in 10 years on the PGA Tour.

Photo by Jim Kelsh

2022 Pro Golf Preview


John Daly

Patrick Cantlay

July 7-10, Akron, Ohio

PGA Tour Champions BRIDGESTONE SENIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Firestone Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Steve Stricker TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Steve Stricker posted a six-shot victory over defending champion, and fellow Wisconsinite, Jerry Kelly. July 13-16, Midland, Michigan

LPGA Tour DOW GREAT LAKES BAY INVITATIONAL DEFENDING CHAMPS: Ariya and Moriya Juntanugran COURSE: Midland Country Club TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Sisters Ariya and Moriya Juntanugran combined for a 24-under 256 to win the only team event on the LPGA Tour.

July 14-17, Springfield, Illinois

Korn Ferry Tour MEMORIAL HEALTH CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Panther Creek Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Taylor Moore THE SKINNY: Texan Taylor Moore posted a threestroke victory. July 21-24, Blaine, Minnesota

PGA Tour 3M OPEN COURSE: TPC Twin Cities DEFENDING CHAMP: Cameron Champ TV: CBS/Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Cameron Champ fired a 15-under 269 to win the tournament by two strokes.

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July 28-31, Detroit Michigan

Aug. 4-7, French Lick, Indiana

PGA Tour ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC

Epson Tour FRENCH LICK RESORT STROKE PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP

July 29-31, Battle Creek, Michigan

Epson Tour FIREKEEPERS CASINO HOTEL CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Battle Creek Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Fernanda Lira THE SKINNY: It was the first professional championship for Spain’s Fernanda Lira. 86

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COURSE: The Pete Dye Course DEFENDING CHAMP: New event THE SKINNY: The purse for this new event on the Epson Tour calendar will be a record-setting $335,000. Aug. 12-14, South Bend, Indiana

Epson Tour FOUR WINDS INVITATIONAL COURSE: Blackthorn Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Lilia Vu THE SKINNY: In addition to winning the tournament, Lilia Vu also took home the 2021 Potawatomi Cup

Photo by Paul Hundley

COURSE: Detroit Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Cam Davis TV: CBS/Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Cam Davis won in a five-hole playoff.


Erin Hills, together with Blue Mound Golf and Country Club, host the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship this September.

TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Joe Durant’s one-shot victory was his fourth championship on the PGA Tour Champions circuit.. Sept. 1-4, Sylvania, Ohio

LPGA Tour DANA OPEN PRESENTED BY MARATHON COURSE: Highland Meadows Golf Club DEFNDING CHAMP: Nasa Hataoka TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: It’s a new name and a new date for Northwest Ohio’s stop on the LPGA Tour. Sept. 1-4, Newburgh, Indiana Aug. 25-28, Columbus, Ohio

Korn Ferry Tour NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course DEFENDING CHAMP: Adam Svensson TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Canadian Adam Svensson set the tournament scoring record by three shots with a 17-under 267. Aug. 26-28, Grand Blanc, Michigan

PGA Tour Champions THE ALLY CHALLENGE COURSE: Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Joe Durant

Korn Ferry Tour UNITED LEASING & FINANCE CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE: Victoria National Golf Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Joseph Bramlett TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: American Joseph Bramlett fired a 20-under 268 to win the tournament by four strokes. Sept. 10-15, Erin and Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

U.S. MID-AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP COURSES: Erin Hills and Blue Mound Golf and Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Stewart Hagestad TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Stewart Hagestad claimed his second title in five years, becoming one of six golfers to be multiple winners of the event.

WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Equipment Preview


FULLY EQUIPPED WHATEVER YOU’RE IN THE MARKET FOR THIS SEASON, YOU’LL FIND SOME OF THE YEAR’S BEST GOLF GEAR RIGHT HERE By Dennis McCann

Adams Tight Lies Fairway Woods When they came on the market in the mid-’90s, AdamsGolf’s line of Tight Lies game improvement clubs resonated with many frustrated everyday golfers. The company was acquired by TaylorMade-adidas golf a decade ago but now newly redesigned versions of Tight Lies fairway woods and hybrid clubs are available again. They still feature the raised heel and toe designs to help higher handicap players get through the shot but slightly larger face areas and a slotted sole to produce fast ball speeds and better results from off-center shots. Starting at $149. adamsgolf.com


Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Odyssey’s line of White Hot putters is hardly cooling off after 20 years on the scene. The recently released White Hot OG #1 model combines the classic look that has long appealed to both Tour players and everyday golfers, but in addition to the traditional two-part urethane insert, the OG also comes with a fine milled finish. Available in classic blade design or mallet versions. $220. odysseygolf.com.

The Claw Golf Gloves Fred Couples may play golf without a glove, but most golfers want the dependable grip gloves designed for the job can offer. The Claw line of golf gloves offers superior grip while also providing airflow cooling to keep your hands comfortable under any conditions. The leather palm will not crack or harden like other gloves do and last longer than most leather gloves. Styles are available for men and women. $23. clawglove.com.

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Equipment Preview

Callaway Rogue ST Drivers The arms race in golf starts and ends with the driver, and always has. The aptly named Rogue driver from Callaway has been an outlaw standing apart from the pack in recent years, but has gotten bigger and badder than ever in the latest iteration. Callaway used artificial intelligence-aided design techniques to produce what it calls the fastest, most forgiving driver ever, thanks to its tungsten heel weight and “jailbreak” speed frame. Models include the Max, which promises more forgiveness to everyday players, and the Max LS, which makes the same promise for better players. $549. callawaygolf.com.


Equipment Preview

Footjoy HydroLite Rain Jacket Golf isn’t played under a dome, so unless you’re content to be merely a fair-weather player you need clothing that will let you withstand whatever the elements throw down. The FootJoy HydroLite Rain Jacket provides function and versatility that will let you play even when adverse conditions strike. The 2.5-layer construction results in a jacket that is stretchable, waterproof, breathable and can be easily packed in your golf bag. Waterproof cuffs prevent rain from creeping in where it’s not wanted. Colors range from more subdued black and charcoal to a bold red or blue plaid. $195, footjoy.com.

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Equipment Preview

Ping i59 Irons Creating golf equipment isn’t rocket science, but rocket science can make for better equipment. Exhibit A: The Ping i59 line of irons, which boasts an aerospace-grade aluminum insert joined to the forged carbon steel body. The result are clubs that will produce consistent impact and solid feel and provide golfers of all abilities with a flighted trajectory and extra forgiveness. $1,500/set. ping.com.

Skechers GO GOLF Skech-Air Whether you walk the whole course or merely the distance from your cart to the green, your feet want to be comfortable. Skechers has a full line of comfortable golf footwear and some, like the Skechers GO GOLF Skech-Air – Dos, promise air-cushioned comfort. The shoes also offer a water repellent leather upper along with an air-cushioned midsole, memory foam insole and spikeless traction outsole. The relaxed-fit design provides plenty of toe and forefoot room. $95. skechers.com.

WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM

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Equipment Preview

SkyCaddie SX550 Put a caddie in the palm of your hand. The redesigned SkyCaddie SX550 is a lighter and slimmer version of the popular SX550 model but still boasts a 5.5-inch full-color touch screen, ultra-fast multicore processor for the fastest response and comes preloaded with more than 35,000 ground-verified, error-corrected course maps. Armed with all the information you will ever need, all that’s left for you to do is make the shot. $400. skygolf.com

Batcaddy Electric Cart How about a caddie that will carry your clubs wherever your worst shot takes you and never expect a tip? The Batcaddy line of electric golf carts allows you to walk the golf course confidently while knowing your clubs will be there when you get there. Seven models are available, along with a range of battery types. The RemoteControl X4R model comes with an oversized anti-tip wheel design (or the Mountain Slayer for even more stability), and offers nine forward and reverse speeds, downhill speed control and more, all with fully directional remote control. $900. batcaddy.com.

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Datrek Carry Lite Bag Your average Tour player’s golf bag can get as big as a house and carry enough gear to require a camel to carry it instead of a caddie. But those who want to walk the course and carry their clubs want something simple, durable and light. Datrek’s new Carry Lite minimally designed but fully functional stand bag weighs just 3.9 pounds but still features five zippered storage pockets, full-length dividers, a swivel-hit shoulder strap and cushioned hip pad for added comfort while walking. The Carry Lite comes in six colors. $210. datrek.com.

Callaway Jaws Wedges Callaway calls its Jaws Full Toe wedge an “absolute spin machine” that will give golfers better control on all types of wedge shots. Added to the full-face Jaws grooves is new surface roughness to produce more spin and reduce glare. Try the traditional Jaws Full Toe Chrome model or the handsome Jaws Full Toe Raw Black design. $170. callawaygolf.com


The Back Nine

Returning the Favor

I

by Danny Freels

n the summer of 2016, I applied to be a volunteer at the U.S. Amateur Championship at famed Oakland Hills Country Club here in southeast Michigan. Lucky for me, not only was my application accepted, I got the job I asked for: emptying the trash cans on the golf course. You’re probably thinking: Is this guy nuts? Why would anybody want to haul away trash bags? There were two reasons: One, it gave me a chance to see much of Oakland Hills again, a course I was fortunate to play (in a previous life) maybe 35 times. And two, it gave me the opportunity to watch some of the best amateur golfers in the world compete. This past August I volunteered again, this time to work at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at the highly regarded but not well known Country Club of Detroit. Located in the very pretty city of Grosse Pointe Farms, a block or two from the shores of beautiful Lake St. Clair, CCD proved to be a good test and a great venue. I didn’t do

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trash this time, but I did help at the practice range. Once again, I was able to watch some of the best amateurs in the world hit balls. As well as they play, though, they are seniors, after all. After spending a lot of time and money to make the field, two of the competitors missed their tee times and were disqualified. (Hopefully, they didn’t forget to take their meds that day, too.) Working at the Amateur was great fun, my fellow volunteers and I were treated wonderfully, and we were able help the members of the club and the United States Golf Association conduct an exciting and enjoyable tournament. Best of all, it was another chance for me to give something back to the game I’ve loved since I started caddying at the of age 13. If you should hear about a local, state or national tournament being held near you, think about volunteering. I have no doubt you’ll be glad you did.


Steve Stricker Tournament Host

JUNE 10-12, 2022 UNIVERSITY RIDGE GOLF COURSE, MADISON ,WI

VISIT AMFAMCHAMPIONSHIP.COM FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION @AmFamchampionship @AmFamchamp /AmFamchampionship American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 ©2022 20598


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