Bold, Beautiful Boyne
One of the Midwest’s Best & Brightest Gets Better Than Ever
TO LIV FOR
w Infamous Ne r u To lf o Pro G dy in W to s e Com ll Fa City this
THE VOTES ARE IN!
Our Readers Picked the Best of the Midwest
IN FULL BLOOM
Wisconsin’s SentryWorld Finally Back — & Beautiful www.golftimemag.com
Dynamic Dynasty 24
Started with $1, Boyne Resorts have become some of the best in America
Crowning Achievements 34 Our esteemed readers pick the very best Midwest golf has to offer
Volume 17, Issue 2
50 Southern Comforts
Mississippi offers a whole host of great eats, treats — and golf
58 Welcome to the Jungle
We take you inside the PGA Tour’s raucous Waste Management event
66 Tournament Schedules
Bump & Run
80 The Back Nine
Rules of the Game 23
Worth the Wait 42
ON THE COVER: Beautiful Bay Harbor, photo by Nile Young Jr. THIS SPREAD: The stunning, signature 16th at SentryWorld.
Photo by Nile Young Jr.
Closed more than two years, Wisconsin’s SentryWorld is back & better than ever
Know Your Audience A Division of Killarney Golf Media, Inc. P.O. Box 14439 Madison, WI 53708
Phone: 608-280-8800 Fax: 866-877-9879
PRESIDENT John Hughes
GENERAL MANAGER Jim Kelsh
MARKETING AND SALES Megan Augustin
EDITOR Don Shell
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.
here’s an old adage attributed to Henry Ford about the merits of customer feedback: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Now, whether or not Ford ever said those words is debatable, but from the automaker to Amazon to Apple, it’s clear customer feedback isn’t always the answer to innovation. It is, however, a great way to make your audience engaged and appreciated, and that is exactly what this issue is a tribute to. You. We turn the reins over to our readers in this issue, which celebrates all that’s great about golf in the Great Lakes, through the eyes of our esteemed followers. In this issue we unveil the worthy winners of our second Best of the Midwest Awards, starting on page 34. Did our readers get it right? Take a look and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org! Like Henry Ford, we take you behind the scenes with another titan of industry in this issue, with our cover story on Boyne Resorts. Our interview with president and CEO Stephen Kircher offers an insightful look at the future of the company, and the future of the golf industry. Don’t miss it, starting on page 24. We also take the wraps off one of the Midwest’s most magical courses, covering the grand re-opening of sensational SentryWorld, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The course was closed for nearly two years as they tweaked the already-dynamite design and added lavish new lodging, and now it’s back and better than ever before. Check it out, starting on page 42. With the warm weather on its way out soon (sniff!), we offer a great place to extend your golf season, with the great golf near the gulf in Mississippi. From the courses to the casinos, betting on a good time isn’t much of a gamble. Read our feature starting on page 50. Last but not least, we take you inside the ropes of the PGA Tour’s most fan-friendly event, the infamous Waste Management Phoenix Open at the famous TPC Scottsdale. It’s every bit as raucous and rip-roaring as you’d imagine. Read all about it on page 58. There you have it, a jam-packed issue full of great content by the people, for the people. As always, thanks for reading.
MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS
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 NEWS & NOTES FROM THE WORLD OF GOLF
COURSE OF THE WORLD
Royal, If Not Ancient
Yes, the Grand Old Lady — aka the Old Course at St Andrews — received its much-deserved fanfare at the 150th Open Championship earlier this summer, but another course in the St Andrews area deserves a closer look, as well. Namely, the drop-dead gorgeous Duke’s Course. Designed by Australian (and five-time Open champ) Peter Thompson in 1995 and
now owned by none other than the Kohler Co., the dramatic Duke’s rides the bluff up above the Old Course and the “auld grey toon,” of St Andrews. Should you make your pilgrimage to St Andrews (and you should), don’t miss The Duke’s. Visit thedukescourse.co.uk for more information.
BRAND NEW LUXURY COTTAGE! 6 Bedroom/6 Bathroom, Sleeps 12 Golfers
Bump & Run
Indiana’s Premier Golf Resort & Marina Harbor Links at Sagamore Resort Golf Advisor Top 50 Course 4 Years in a Row
COMING SOON: Titleist TSR Woods They’re sleek. They’re sexy. They’re probably out of your league. No, we’re not talking about the divorcee that just moved in down the street, we’re talking about the new TSR woods from Titleist. Making their debut on the PGA Tour at the Traveler’s Championship, the new TSR line is an upgrade over the popular TSi lineup. Already in the bags of Tour heavyweights like Open Champion Cameron Smith, Cameron Young, Will Zalatoris and Max Homa, the early word is the clubs are “like a Ferrari.” Coming later this year to a pro shop near you. titleist.com.
News of the Weird
Next on the Tee … Happy Gilmore (really!)
Ainsley’s Café & Harbor Bar P.B. Dye Design Specializing in Stay and Play Packages Customizable Packages Extended Golfing Season
765-458-7431 ext. 221
email@example.com www.harborlinksgc.com 15179 Old State Road 101 Liberty, IN
His name’s Gilmore, and he hits bombs. Of course he goes by the name Happy. Landon James Gilmore, a junior golfer at Indiana’s Bloomington High School South, turned more than a few heads this summer when he stepped onto the first tee at the local qualifier for the U.S. Open in Indianapolis. Next on the tee … Happy Gilmore! He’s gone by the nickname since he was little, when he was winning long-drive contests just like his namesake’s 1996 movie starring Adam Sandler. And while the real-life Happy’s 80 score wasn’t quite good enough to make the U.S. Open, he did shoot a 35 on the back and gave the golf world the hero it needs for these times. Here’s hoping he finds his “Happy place” and makes the cut next time. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
1. Arrowwood Resort
Bump & Run
Home of Great Golf and the 2016 & 2028 Ryder Cups
2. Braemar Golf Course www.braemargolf.com
3. Breezy Point Resort
Play golf where the best golfers in the world play!
4. Chaska Town Course www.chaskatowncourse.com
5. Cragun’s Resort www.craguns.com
The land of 10,000 water holes invites you to test your game at some of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the world — enjoy Minnesota golf.
6. Destination Bloomington www.bloomingtonmn.org
7. Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort www.giantsridge.com
8. Gravel Pit Golf Course www.gravelpitgolf.com
9. Legends Club
10. Madden’s on Gull Lake www.maddens.com
QUALITY VARIETY PRICE-POINT VALUE
11. Meadows at Mystic Lake GC www.golfthemeadows.com
12. Minnesota National GC www.mnnationalgolfcourse.com
13. Prestwick Golf Club www.prestwick.com
15. Royal Golf Club
18. Superior National GC www.superiornational.com 94 94
19 Twin Cities
20. The Wilds Golf Club 2 4
19 Twin Cities
17. StoneRidge Golf Club
15 17 13
16 20 21. Wilderness Fortune Bay 11 9 at 35 www.golfthewilderness.com 14 22
2 4 6 16 20 11 9 35 14 22
15 17 13
YOUR GAME. YOUR TIME.
We’ve Entered the Golden Age of Golf Watches TAG Heuer E4 (above) Opulence meets excellence. Form matched with function. Packed with all the cuttingedge shot tracking and smartwatch technology you can ask for, and wrapped in all the luxurious design you expect from TAG Heuer, the E4 is the creme de la creme of golf watches. It’s the perfect way to make all your golf friends jealous, even if your swing won’t. $2,650. tagheuer.com.
Looking for something more luxurious? Garmin’s Marq Golfer offers all the great features of the Approach series, in a fashionable frame as fit for the course as the boardroom. $1,850. Have time for more? Check out our Gear Guide on page 72.
Garmin Approach S62 (right) Garmin has long cornered the market on the best GPS-enabled smartwatches, and practically pioneered the golf GPS watch. Their latest offering, the Approach S62, only builds on that long tradition, packing seamless shotmaking and onboard-AI Virtual Caddy into this stellar smartwatch. And the additional club tracking sensors can help you analyze every facet of your swing to make the absolute most of your data — and your round. $499 and up. garmin.com.
22. Willingers Golf Club
16. Stonebrooke Golf Club
8 3 5 10
19. Territory Golf Club
8 3 5 10
14. Ridges at Sand Creek
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AROUND THE REGION
Sand Valley Still Growing, TPC Comes to Wisconsin & More
Sand Valley Resort is Getting Bigger, Bolder and Better than Ever Before The sprawling Sand Valley Resort in central Wisconsin, already one of America’s premier golf destinations, is getting a whole lot bigger. In May, Sand Valley began on a multifacility expansion that will include a restaurant, pool complex, tennis center, practice facility and what is being billed as the “world’s largest putting course.” “The putting course going to be eight acres, so it’s almost 400,000 square feet,” said Michael Keiser, who owns and manages Sand Valley along with his brother, Chris. “The Himalayas at St. Andrews is three acres. The Punchbowl at Bandon (Dunes) is 2.5 acres. It’s hard to fact-check, but I don’t think anything is close to this.” 14
MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS
The centerpiece of the expansion is Sedge Valley, an 18-hole course designed by Tom Doak and in the early stages of construction. The course is inspired by the classic heathland courses of London and the English coast. Doak is simultaneously working on the Lido, a private club associated with the resort. The Lido is scheduled to open in 2023, followed by Sedge Valley in 2024. The 12,000-acre resort already boasts world-class layouts designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (the original Sand Valley Course) and David McLay Kidd (Mammoth Dunes), plus a 17-hole par-3 course designed by Coore and Crenshaw (the Sandbox). — Gary D’Amato.
Photo by Nile Young Jr.
Wisconsin Course Getting Promotion to TPC Status One of the most-whispered secrets in the Midwest golf scene is secret no more. When it reopens in late summer of 2023 after a complete overhaul, the former Cherokee Country Club in Madison, Wisconsin will be known as TPC Wisconsin. It was announced in May that the Madison property would become the 30th course in the PGA Tour’s TPC’s network of upscale golf facilities. The club, the only one in Wisconsin to carry the TPC banner, will be added as a licensed property, with ownership and operations remaining in the hands of Cherokee Park Inc. Dennis Tiziani, Cherokee Park owner, said the transition will allow the course to offer “the oneof-a-kind experience we envision for our members.” The course built on the edge of the Cherokee Marsh opened 60 years ago. It closed after last season to allow reconstruction of the course, including the regrading of all fairways and greens, replacement of greens, tees, bunkers and cart path system,
a new irrigation system, and environmental improvements to existing ponds and waterways. PGA Tour pro Steve Stricker, a 12-time tournament champion who is Tiziani’s sonin-law, is leading the design work. “I couldn’t ask for a better scenario with my first golf course design project to be the same property that I spent the better part of 30 years of my golf career and where I have raised my family,” Stricker said. The overhaul of the property will also include improvements to the golf academy adjacent to the golf course and the clubhouse. In addition to golf, the new TPC Wisconsin will offer tennis, swimming, pickleball and other activities. The remodeled Golf Academy will feature indoor hitting areas, club and putter fitting areas, an indoor putting green, room for food and beverage offerings and a short game practice area with Toptracer technology. Seeding of the property is expected to be completed soon and the course is slated to reopen by August 2023. We can’t wait.
Back From the Grave: Illinois Course Reborn It’s not often a course goes to hay and lives to see another day, but that’s what’s happened to the newly renamed Lynx Golf Course at Westlake Village, in Winnebago, Illinois. The former Westlake Village Golf Course lost a reported $135,000 a year over several years, prompting the original owners to sell the 131-acre property to a literal haymaker. But the land was bought by brothers Steve and Scott Leathers this spring for $550,000, with plans of returning it to its former glory.
The biggest lift was the renovating of the green complexes, delaying the start date to Aug. 1. The brothers have big plans, and said they’ll invest a “significant” amount of money into it over the next five years. In the meantime, the club offers full food and beverage and even on-site gaming, in addition to the David Esler-designed course. Visit lynxgolfatwestlake.com for more information. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
If you love
Bump & Run
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 Peninsula Golf Club
Share your feedback with us at firstname.lastname@example.org! “Picked up your Golftime Midwest magazine in Chicago a few weeks ago. Loved your article on Gulf Shores golf. “I have a rental property at Peninsula Golf And Racquet Club. I was curious as to why you didn’t mention Peninsula as one of the top golf destinations in Gulf Shores. I’ve played the courses you’ve mentioned, and Peninsula’s 27 holes are above par with all the courses in Gulf Shores. Combined with the tennis club and other amenities (pier and cabana beach), it is one of premier clubs and neighborhoods in Gulf Shores. Not to mention, Morgan Freeman lives down the street and plays daily when he’s in town - and he plays one handed. “Anyhow, I’m biased..... but I do enjoy your work and magazine. If you make it back, I can hook you up with a rental and some golf. “Have a great summer….” — Darren Dedman
TIGER WATCH– We’re tracking the return of Tiger Woods,
the golfer, and the new South Shore Golf Club project underway in Chicago: The Golfer: TEPID Tiger’s disappointing +9 finish and missed cut at the 150th Open at St Andrews showed just how difficult his recovery from a life-threatening auto accident has been. He shows promising signs, however, including a massive, 412-yard drive on the Old Course’s 14th hole. Hope springs eternal for a full recovery next year.
MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS
. The Course: STARTING TO THAW Long languishing in red tape, the Jackson Park project is back in play, with new designs submitted to the Chicago Park District. The project continues to face public scrutiny, this time over the planned removal of 2,100 trees in Jackson Park and South Shore Nature Sanctuary. The park district promises to replant every lost tree. Stay tuned!
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
Time for Your ‘Wedge-ucation’ By Dillon Parisi
re you looking to gain consistency and improve your short game? The best way to do that is to become wedgeucated. It is important to understand what bounce is in a wedge and how it affects your short game. Wedge bounce is the angle created between the leading edge and the lowest point of the trailing edge on the sole of the club, which will dictate how the club engages the turf. Bounce is forgiveness. Too often we see golfers who have too little bounce in their wedges, and it affects their performance. The better the bounce matches your swing and setup the more consistent your ball striking will become. There are many different variables to consider when choosing a wedge, and that’s why it’s important to get fit for your wedges. Here are a few other points to consider: • The conditions of the courses you play. With softer course conditions, we recommend medium to high bounce to prevent the club from digging too much. With firmer conditions, we recommend lower bounce so the club can get into the turf.
• Angle of attack and whether you’re a “digger” or “sweeper” can affect bounce in wedges. Diggers should have more bounce, while sweepers should have less. • Your miss tendency. This can be helpful when determining their most effective bounce. Players who tend to chunk their chips should try more bounce, while players who blade should try less bounce. Knowing you have the correct bounce in your wedges will give you the tools needed to make confident decisions and swings to improve your performance around the greens and help lower your scores! Dillon Parisi is a Certified Club Fitter and PGA Apprentice with the Ironworks Golf Academy in Beloit, Wisconsin. For more information visit ironworksgolfacademy.com.
• Tendencies in your setup. Ball position and where your weight is determines if you use the leading edge more or trailing edge more. • Patterns in your technique. Whether you hit down on the ball or “flip” your hands to help the ball in the air will change how the bounce will interact with the ground. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
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 both 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.
GOLF ACADEMY BELOIT, WISCONSIN
Ironworks Golf Academy
625 3rd St., Suite 100, Beloit, WI 53511 608-473-0095 www.ironworksgolflab.com
Ironworks Golf Academy has been recognized with several accomplishments, including:
TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE
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
Well, That’s a Relief! (Or Is It?) 1 When taking relief from a paved cart in the general area, the player must drop within one club-length of the nearest point of complete relief. Answer: True. Rule 16.1b 2 When taking lateral relief from a red penalty area, the player must drop within two club-lengths of the estimated point where the original ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area.
By John Morrissett
of complete relief (no club-length). Answer: True. Rule 16.1d 7 When a player’s ball in play has been moved by a spectator in the general area and the player is not certain of the exact original spot, the player will estimate that spot and place a ball within one club-length of that spot. Answer: False. Rules 9.6 and 14.2c
Answer: True. Rule 17.1d 3 When playing another ball from the fairway because his approach shot just went out of bounds, the player must drop as near as possible to the spot from which he just played. Answer: False. Rules 18.2b and 14.6 4 When taking lateral relief for an unplayable ball in a bush in the general area, the player must drop within one club-length of where the original ball lies in the bush. Answer: False. Rule 19.2 5 When taking relief for a ball on a piece of paper in the general area, the player will lift the ball, remove the paper and then drop within one club-length of the spot directly under where the ball was on the paper. Answer: True. Rule 15.2 6 When taking relief for a ball lying in temporary water on the putting green, the player will place a ball on the nearest point
8 When taking relief for a ball lying in temporary water in a bunker, the player will drop in the bunker within one club-length of the nearest point of complete relief. Answer: True. Rule 16.1c John Morrissett is Competitions Director at Erin Hills and former Director of Rules of Golf for the USGA. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
HEIR THE FOUNDER’S SON TAKING BOYNE RESORTS HIGHER AND FURTHER THAN EVER BY DON SHELL
BAY HARBOR, Michigan — It’s a warm, windy summer day here in one of the Midwest’s most beautiful burgs, an opulent outpost atop a sliver of craggy cliffs, with the brilliant blue of Little Traverse Bay beyond.
Here, surrounded by multimillion-dollar homes, yacht clubs, and the luxurious Inn at Bay Harbor, sits the sensational Bay Harbor Golf Club, arguably the finest championship track Arthur Hills ever designed, and the unquestioned crown jewel in the Boyne Resorts collection of courses. With three distinct nines — the lakeside Links, the pine-forested Preserve and the crazy, craggy Quarry — Bay Harbor has been dubbed the “Pebble Beach of the Midwest” for its incredible views and indelible experience, and is rightly ranked one of the top 100 public courses in America. And make no mistake, Bay Harbor is a superb experience, from the sensational scenery to the stellar service, but it is but one gem in a Boyne Resorts crown that grows bigger and bolder by the year. “Since 2015, we’ve seen extraordinary 26
MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS
growth,” said Stephen Kircher, CEO and president of Boyne Resorts, and the son of the company’s founder and pioneer Everett Kircher. “We have a lot of good people in the right seat on the bus. And each one of our 14 resorts have a 10-year vision of where we’re going.” That vision is an exponential continuation for the little resort company that Everett Kircher started back in 1947, a vision few could see or believe when it began. Like many men in the post-WWII era, Everett had set out into the world to start his own business. A Detroit native but an avid outdoorsman, he set his eyes on a beautiful parcel of Northern Michigan land, complete with towering forests and the highest peaks for miles around. He envisioned thousands of people flying down those hills in a winter wonderland — the perfect place for skiing.
OPENING SPREAD, LEFT TO RIGHT: The Moor is quintessential Up North golf. Boyne Resorts president and CEO Stephen Kircher. ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The swiss-themed Chalet Edelweiss at Boyne Mountain Resort recently underwent a massive renovation of its rooms. Bay Harbor offers unparelleled views of Little Traverse Bay, dubbing it the “Pebble Beach of the Midwest.” But to the man he would buy the land from, it was just a 40-acre clump of trees and hillside, unspectacular and unwanted. “You want to build a ski hill here?” the man asked Kircher incredulously. “Tell you what.You can have it for a dollar.” That was how the deal was done, and that was how Boyne was born. One dollar. For an empire. Today the father’s son is taking that company to new heights, growing it into the third-largest mountain resort company in North America, with 11,000 employees in 14 properties, from Vancouver, Canada to Maine and plenty in between.
“Each one of these resorts have a 10-year vision of where they’re going,” Kircher explained. “Each has a unique opportunity, a unique DNA, unique attributes … some of them have golf and some don’t have golf, and obviously our Michigan footprint is heavy on a four-season concept, but we’re not a golf resort, we’re an and. We’ve got a lot of different reasons to come to us than just the golf. “The resort communities around us and the natural attributes of Northern Michigan are all part of that amenity set that makes our destination unique in the summertime in North America.” Continued on page 30 WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
A MOUNTAIN OF GREAT GOLF A Look at Boyne’s Midwest Resorts BOYNE MOUNTAIN
BOYNE FALLS, MICHIGAN boynemountain.com The original resort Everett Kircher founded in 1947. Boyne Mountain is the site for the magical Mountain Grand Lodge.
Golf Facilities THE MONUMENT — par 72 — 7,086 yards The Monument course opened to rave reviews in 1987, and features a mile-long cart ride to the summit of the mountain, so bring a camera. Boyne has plans to upgrade elements of the Monument course, with the help of Ray Hearn. THE ALPINE — par 72 — 7,017 yards Named one of America’s best resort courses, the Alpine’s summit is also the peak of Boyne Mountain, and the course has views of Deer Lake.
THE HIGHLANDS HARBOR SPRINGS, MICHIGAN highlandsharborsprings.com Everett Kircher purchased Boyne Highlands in 1964, and Boyne has made the recently renamed The Highlands one of the Midwest’s best golf destinations, complete with a massive upgrading of the resort’s main lodge in 2020.
Golf Facilities THE MOOR — par 72 — 7,179 yards The Moor plays through woods and (plentiful) wetlands for a decidedly rousing round.
DONALD ROSS MEMORIAL — par 72 – 6,840 yards The Memorial features 18 of the famed architect’s greatest holes, painstakingly recreated here. St Andrews, Pinehurst, Royal Dornoch and Oakland Hills are all represented, among others. Architect Ray Hearn is busy renovating some of the holes to be closer to the Ross originals.
THE HEATHER — par 72 — 7,218 yards Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the Heather is the course that started it all back in 1970, and remains one of the country’s best resort courses, offering a challenging test from the first to the memorable 18th.
BAY HARBOR GOLF CLUB BAY HARBOR, MICHIGAN bayharborgolf.com
Harbor Springs Bay Harbor
Owned by Boyne and operated by Marriott, the Inn at Bay Harbor is situated on the shore of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, offering an elegant experience for guests. The Inn offers 105 guest rooms, including one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, as well as fine dining, spa and beach amenities. The Inn also underwent a $2 million
Bay Harbor opened in 1996 and quickly became one of the country’s finest golf resorts, ranked No. 20 by Golf Digest. Designed by Arthur Hills in collaboration with Stephen Kircher, the course features three distinct nines, with each nine unique and memorable. The Links nine has been compared to Pebble Beach, with views of Little Traverse Bay. The Preserve nine is true Up North golf, through forest and wetlands, and the Quarry nine plays around, over and through the old limestone quarry in dramatic fashion. Extensive practice facility and teaching center. Petoskey
CROOKED TREE GOLF CLUB BAY HARBOR, MICHIGAN boynegolf.com Located “across the street” from the Inn at Bay Harbor, the Crooked Tree Golf Club is perched on bluffs high above Lake Michigan. The 18 holes have been sculpted from centuries-old pine and hardwoods of old Michigan farmland, a nd the back nine opens to breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. Visit boynegolf.com for more information and packages.
BAY HARBOR, MICHIGAN innatbayharbor.com
Boyne Highlands also features a 9 hole par 3 course (due to be rebuilt next summer), extensive practice facilities and teaching center.
THE INN AT BAY HARBOR, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION
renovation a few years ago, as it joined Marriott’s exclusive Autograph Collection Hotels brand, one of just 100 in the world. It’s easy to see why.
THE ARTHUR HILLS — par 72 — 7,312 yards The Arthur Hills features some of the most dramatic elevations and greens in the Midwest. The signature 13th drops nearly 200 feet from the tee to the wide fairway below. It’s a roller coaster of a course.
Bay Harbor Links Bay Harbor Quarry Boyne Falls 3 Bay Harbor Preserve 4 Crooked Tree 5 The Heather 6 Arthur Hills 7 Donald Ross Memorial 8 The Moor 9 The Alpine 10 The Monument 1
6 5 8 7
Harbor Springs Bay Harbor 1 2 3 4
10 9 WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
SOARING HIGHER It’s that kind of vision that makes Boyne unique, along with the inherent (and, perhaps inherited) ability to bridge the gap between vision and reality. And there’s no better example, literally and figuratively, than Boyne’s new SkyBridge Michigan project. When it opens later this fall at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan, SkyBridge Michigan will become the world’s longest timber-towered suspension bridge, spanning a massive, 1,203 feet between peaks, 118 feet in the air.
“IT’S AN UNEXPECTED GOLDEN PERIOD FOR THE GOLF INDUSTRY … IT’S AN AREA THAT’S HEALTHY RIGHT NOW AND NOT OVERBUILT LIKE IT WAS … “SO IS THE FUTURE MORE GOLF? PROBABLY, EVENTUALLY.” “The SkyBridge Michigan project is going to blow people away,” Kircher said. “It’s going to be an attraction that’s going to probably drive traffic unlike anything else we’ve ever done, honestly. To put it in perspective, it’s twice as long as the Tennessee incarnation (Gatlinburg SkyBridge at sister property, Gatlinburg SkyLift Park), and it’s going to be quite attractive.” Guests will ride a chairlift to the top of 30
MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS
the mountain to walk the SkyBridge, which also connects to the resort’s extensive paved trail system. The panoramic views provided might just be the best in the Midwest. SkyBridge Michigan is one of several “tentpole” projects outlined in the company’s 2030 plan (2030.boynemountain.com), which also includes expansion and rebuilding of the airport runway in Boyne Falls, addition of the world’s first eight-person chairlift, significant lodging upgrades and even an outdoor waterpark, adding on to the company’s successful Avalanche Bay indoor park at Boyne Mountain. But Boyne and Kircher’s vision spans even further than that SkyBridge, with an ear to the market, and an eye on the horizon. Exhibit A is the company’s plan to add solar arrays as part of its “Forever Project” push for sustainability, setting a goal to be carbon zero across its North American operations by 2030. All of the company’s grand plans are laid bare on their websites for all to see, in an effort to increase community connection, and to spark inspiration. “It is a way to instill a sense of connection and direction and leadership within those communities,” Kircher said, “and embracing what’s possible and the potential for each of these resorts. And we’re trying to do that, obviously, with the sustainability efforts with trying to be net carbon zero by 2030, which is going to be a tall task. But we know we’re on track to do that. I mean, obviously there’s growth, but sustainable growth — both economically and being a good steward of the land.”
THINKING ‘GREEN’ Being good stewards of the land also includes improvements to the company’s extensive
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The Alpine runs up and above and around Boyne Mountain. The resort’s putting course is family-friendly fun. The new SkyBridge Michigan will open this fall and offer incredible Up North views. golf offerings. While a relatively small portion of the resorts’ revenue (the company sees roughly 200,000 golfers across its 13 courses each year, compared to 4 million skiers), Kircher is undoubtedly passionate about the game. He’s also proficient, having played golf for Big Ten power Michigan State, and still carries a sub-single-digit handicap today, despite playing infrequently due to his other duties. “I’ve been averaging about 15 rounds a year for about a decade,” he laughed. “I
haven’t played 36 holes in at least five to eight years. I’m a .7 (handicap). I hit balls a fair amount, but I still struggle being dialed in under pressure. I’m always optimistic that somehow I’m going to get to the next level (I guess every golfer says that). But I’ve got new equipment — the new Titleist TSi3 and I’ve picked up 24 yards (off the tee). It’s incredible how much further those clubs go, and that’s always fun.” Kircher has worked for the company fulltime since 1988, and worked in the golf shop WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
in the summers since 1978, cleaning range balls for Bernie Friedrich, the longtime senior vice president of golf operations for Boyne, who recently became director of golf course renovations and development. Friedrich is a busy man these days, with several renovations, revisions and additions on the docket for several of the company’s 13 courses, including 10 in Michigan alone (see sidebar). The company has big plans across its golf properties, starting with the renovation of the Donald Ross Memorial course at The Highlands Resort, to be closer to the eponymous architect’s original classics. Expertly handling the renovations is Michigan-based Raymond Hearn, who’s been in the midst of a “rebuilding” boom the past decade in the industry. A five-time Design Excellence Recognition Award winner, “Renovation Ray” is an expert in restoring classic clubs to their past glory, as well as a true student of the game’s greatest courses and architects. Hearn’s partnership with Boyne also 32
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includes three new short courses, one at The Highlands, another at Sugarloaf Golf Club in Maine and at Boyne’s Big Sky ski resort in Montana. Some of his other work includes renovation of practices areas, as well as helping Boyne build a master plan for its golf properties. “Boyne has been a ton of fun, a great partner, and Stephen Kircher has been a good friend,” Hearn said. “For the par-3 course at The Highlands, I said, ‘Let me pick out my nine favorite greens, and let’s not try to replicate them, but let’s have some fun with them.’”
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE Boyne’s bid to bolster its golf isn’t just good business, it’s also great timing, Kircher said. “It’s an unexpected golden period for the golf industry,” he said. “And certainly that part of our business has flourished and done very well and it’s allowing us to refocus capital and to elevate the experience. It’s an area that’s healthy right now and not overbuilt
LEFT: Boyne’s Crooked Tree course is right across the street from Bay Harbor, offering views of the lake and a recently renovated (and fun) finishing stretch. ABOVE: The Monument’s finishing hole makes it easy to see why it’s one of the best resort courses in the country. like it was, and there’s probably opportunity to expand and enhance the product at Boyne. “We have three courses we could build, and the (proposed) Pete Dye course is still sitting out there, and I’d love to build a Pete Dye, and have someone who’s worked with him execute it on his behalf. We have an amazing routing for that, and there’s also two courses in The Highlands we could build. “So is the future more golf? Probably, eventually. We have the short course that’s about to start next summer. But we’re focused on elevating existing facilities first, and then looking at new down the road.” While the future remains to be seen, Kircher believes the pandemic’s golf boom is here to stay. “We don’t know, definitely,” he explained. “But what we do know is, last summer, with arguably post-COVID for most people, we
saw the strength continue nationally in golf. People picked up the game during COVID and they seemed to stick with it. Our current patterns are the same as last summer, if not better. I think that the COVID bounce is going to stay for a number of years. Can we maintain it? Keep people in the game? Making golf more fun, more accessible, those are great additions to introducing people to the game. “Golf is addictive. It’s like nicotine. You’ve got to be committed to it, but once you get to that level, it’s the greatest game ever invented.” Back here at Bay Harbor, sipping a drink on the clubhouse deck as we watch the sun slowly dip behind the green into the bay, we couldn’t agree more. Visit boyneresorts.com for more information. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
Best of the Midwest Awards
D I S P ETU
F E A ET
Whistling Straits Still the Heavyweight
Champion of the Midwest
ast seas of sand. Terrifying tee shots. Crashing surf. And sublime sunrises. These are all part and parcel with the sensational experience known as Whistling Straits, the rightly renowned golf resort on Lake Michigan’s western shore, in the tiny town of Haven, Wisconsin. Home to two terrific Pete Dye-designed championship tracks — the Irish Course and the Straits Course — Whistling Straits has been a fan favorite ever since it opened in 1998. Since then the Straits Course has hosted three PGA Championships, a U.S. Senior Open, and the epic 2021 Ryder Cup. Thanks to the votes of our readers, the Straits has another notch on its heavyweight champion belt — as the repeat overall winner of our Best of the Midwest Awards. The Straits is one of many fantastic fan favorites in this year’s awards, including Michigan’s Arcadia Bluffs, Illinois’ TPC Deere Run, and Indiana’s incredible Dye Course at French Lick Resort. 36
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Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks to all of you who voted!
Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wis. The Straits won its the second straight overall Best in the Midwest Award — and deservedly so. For those who’ve never been, it’s a simply sensational, supernatural place to play. A must-visit for any serious Midwest golfer.
Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wis. Not surprisingly, the Straits Course took home the top spot in its home state, staving off the serious contenders of Sand Valley, SentryWorld, Erin Hills, Lawsonia and more.
TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill. A longtime staple on the PGA Tour, the D.A. Weibring-designed TPC Deere Run is a first-time winner of the Best of the Midwest
CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: The Quarry Course at Giants Ridge is the rocky, rightful winner of Best in Minnesota. The Dye Course at French Lick Resort is a beautiful beast and the Best in Indiana. TPC Deere Run is a longtime stop on the PGA Tour, and a first-time winner of our Best in Illinois award. Awards, edging out perennial Chicago favorite Cog Hill for the Best in Illinois title.
The Dye Course at French Lick Resort, French Lick, Ind. Carved out of the rolling hillside on the highest point in all of Indiana, the eponymous Pete Dye-designed Dye Course at French Lick Resort is simply a sight to behold, and a true treat (and test) for any golfer lucky enough to play there. It’s little wonder why the course lapped the field to win Best in Indiana once again.
Giants Ridge (Quarry), Biwabik, Minn. Carved, as the name suggests, from an old iron quarry — as well as some of the Great
North’s toughest timber and terrain — the Quarry Course at Giants Ridge has worked its ruggedly handsome way into the hearts of golfers throughout the Midwest. A top pick on a long line of “best of ” lists, it’s only fitting to find it as the winner of our Best in Minnesota category.
Arcadia Bluffs (Bluffs Course) Arcadia, Mich. Seas of sand. Terrifying tee shots. Crashing surf. Sound familiar? Consider it the sunset-side “sister from another mister” of the Straits Course. While it may lack the Major pedigree of that course due west across the lake, Arcadia Bluffs is every bit as beautiful and thrilling, which is why it’s Michigan’s fan favorite by a lake-sized margin. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
ABOVE: After two years and $5 million in renovations, Wisconsin’s Lac La Belle is the deserved Best New Course winner. RIGHT, FROM TOP: The Straits’ sensational 17th hole is the Best Par 3 in the Midwest, while Mammoth Dunes’ dramatic 14th hole wins Best Par 4. Arcadia Bluffs’ massive, 633-yard 11th hole culminates at lakes’ edge, as the Best Par 5 in the Midwest.
BEST NEW COURSE
The Club at Lac La Belle, Oconomowoc, Wis. One of Wisconsin’s oldest golf clubs, this lovely lakeside track originally opened in 1896 as a private course. Fast-forward 125 years, and it’s been reborn as the Club at Lac La Belle, a public course and premier re-entry into the Midwest golf scene. Redesigned by Craig Haltom, the course closed for two years during the extensive, $5 million renovation, with the results certainly worthy of this year’s Best New or Renovated Course Award. It’s looking great headed into the next 125 years.
BEST PAR 3 The Straits Course No. 17, Haven, Wis. Anyone who watched Jordan Spieth’s stupendous Ryder Cup shot from the shoreline, far below the Strait’s 17th green — which somehow defied physics to fly up, up and next to the pin — understands the terrifying beauty of this treacherous, 223-yard par 3 nicknamed, “Pinched Nerve.”
BEST PAR 4
Mammoth Dunes 14th, Nekoosa, Wis. The risk. The reward. Did we mention the risk? That’s the calculation you must weigh 38
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when you play this delicious, devilish drivable par 4 at the sensational Sand Valley Resort. David McLay Kidd designed this downhill, 325-yard hole to tempt you into doing something super — or stupid, depending on how you perform. That’s why it’s been voted the Best Par 4 in the Midwest. Good luck!
BEST PAR 5
Arcadia Bluffs No. 11, Arcadia, Mich. It’s one of the most picturesque par 5s on the planet, a stunning, 633-yard roller coaster culminating in a cliffside green, that melts away into the wide blue of Lake Michigan. It’s also your repeat winner as the Best Par 5 in the Midwest, and we couldn’t agree more.
BEST DESTINATION Kohler, Wisconsin
With four Top-100 courses across two facilities, including the Straits, the Irish Course and Blackwolf Run, plus the luxurious American Club Resort Hotel, it’s little wonder Herb Kohler’s golf heaven was the overwhelming winner of our Best Destination category. While we’re spoiled with a treasure trove of great golf resorts in the Midwest, it certainly doesn’t get any better.
Erin Hills, Erin, Wis. From the bag boys curbside, to the caddies on course and everyone in between, the service is the unheralded MVP of Erin Hills, by making you feel like an MVP every step of the way. Add in the 7,731 glorious green yards of world-class golf course, and you’ve got all the ingredients to make one of America’s best bucket-list courses.
Luck of the Draw Wisconsin’s Ryan Trautsch was the lucky winner of our grand prize drawing to French Lick Resort, who’s in for one of the best golf trips of his 25-year golfing career.
BEST LUNCH AT THE TURN Sand Valley, Nekoosa, Wis.
Sure, you can go with the bratwurst. It’s tried, it’s true, it’s tough to screw up, right? But if you want the best lunch at the turn in the Midwest, friends, you want some of Sand Valley’s pulled pork or chicken tacos (or both). These savory snacks are the perfect finger food to keep you going on the back nine, especially when you wash them down with one of the nine Nye’s ice cream sandwich flavors on hand!
BEST 19th HOLE
Arcadia Bluffs, Arcadia, Mich. Grab your favorite drink, and saunter your way down the steps and out onto the lawn. Pull up one of the white Adirondack chairs lined in a row, facing due west, out toward the 18th green. As the sun slowly sinks into the wide blue of Lake Michigan beyond, reflect on your round in the company of friends. Feel the warm glow of the summer sunset on your face, as the bagpiper plays from the hill behind you. This, friends, is post-golf perfection, and once again the Midwest’s best 19th hole. What did we miss? Tell us your favorites! Email email@example.com or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/golftimemag. 40
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Trautsch has been around the game for quite awhile, and even worked for a few golf courses while in college. The Madison area resident primarily plays Prairie du Chien Country Club, where his parents live. Like any devoted golf fan in Wisconsin, he also attended the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits last fall. Congrats, Ryan!
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Arcadia Bluffs’ sunsets are a sublime setting for post-round reflection (and libation), making it the easy favorite as Best 19th Hole. Sand Valley’s eats are the Midwest’s best treats, and Best Lunch at the Turn. The excellent caddies are just some of the many reasons you’ll find the Best Service in the Midwest at Erin Hills.
After Incredible Upgrades, Reborn SentryWorld Reopens More Stunning Than Ever. BY GARY D’AMATO - PHOTOGRAPHY BY NILE YOUNG
ENTERING THE NEXT
STEVENS POINT — Links courses are all the rage in 21st century golf course architecture and “brown is the new green” is the catchy mantra. Still, there’s nothing quite like a verdant, tree-lined course — softer around the edges and easier on the eyes than its windblown links cousins— to inspire the golfing soul. SentryWorld, the course that designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. famously called his Mona Lisa, has been doing just that for four decades. Built on the sprawling Sentry Insurance campus, it has long been a standard-bearer for parkland courses in the Midwest. Beauty is in the eye of the tee-holder, and nearly everyone who plays SentryWorld agrees that it lives up to Jones’ declaration. 44
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And now, after two renovations — a major tear-down and rebuild in 2013-’14 and a second tweaking and the addition of a boutique hotel in 2020-’21 — SentryWorld 2.0 (or maybe 3.0?) is better than ever. Like succeeding incarnations of the Apple iPhone, SentryWorld has kept its best features and added layers of improvements. During the most recent closure to prepare the course for the 2023 U.S. Senior Open, a SubAir System was installed beneath the greens and drip-line irrigation was installed in the bunkers Also new when the course reopened on June 1, 2022, were 20-minute tee times, which ensure an unhurried pace of play and allow the golfer to immerse himself or herself in the round with minimal distractions.
PREVIOUS SPREAD: Right from the 476-yard, par-4 first hole, the pristine conditions are apparent. CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: SentryWorld’s 424-yard, par-4 13th plays around the property’s large lake. The 508-yard, par-5 ninth contends with the creek. The back patio of the resort’s clubhouse is a perfect place to reflect on your round. There’s never a wait on a tee box for a green or fairway to clear, and there’s never a group pushing from behind. SentryWorld now charges $275 per round, but that fee is all-inclusive. Two handsome concession buildings were built at strategic crossovers; golfers pass them four times during their round and have their pick from hot and cold sandwiches, a wide variety of snacks and a full bar. They can take as much as they want — everything, including tipping, is included in that $275. Pay in the golf shop and leave your wallet in your car. It is not an inexpensive round of golf, but
you’re paying for the experience: ideal pace of play, impeccable service and amenities and indulgences which cannot be found at your local jam-packed course, with its nine-minute tee times, rattling gas carts and beverage carts that may or may not show up. But the biggest change is the addition of the Inn at SentryWorld, built adjacent to the 18th fairway. The 64-room hotel opened March 29, 2022, to rave reviews and completes the resort, because traveling golfers no longer have to stay off property. “I think the arrival of the new Inn was such a key amenity,” said Mike James, WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
SentryWorld’s general manager. “It really transforms us into a true destination facility. People want to stay for a couple of days and not worry about getting in their car and driving someplace.” The Inn was designed by Swaback Architects of Scottsdale, Arizona., using the same dramatic lines and materials it used in the redesign of the clubhouse in 2013-’14. The two buildings, located practically side by side and connected by a walkway, blend seamlessly with one another. “They look like they were built at the same time,” said Chad Bates, the Inn’s general manager. All but 12 of the rooms feature balconies overlooking the 18th hole. The private third 46
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floor has a spacious Executive Lounge which can be accessed by guests who stay in junior executive suites on the floor. Complimentary snacks and beverages can be enjoyed on a terrace overlooking the course. However, it’s the little things that add up to a memorable stay at any hotel, and this is where the Inn at SentryWorld excels. Toe-stub lights under the beds are activated by motion, so a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night doesn’t become, literally, a trip to the bathroom. The bath sheets — most people call them towels — are big enough to swaddle a small car. The ingredients for a Wisconsin Old-Fashioned, along with instructions on how to make one, are left in every room ($12). Upon checkin, guests
The 526-yard, par-5 fifth hole is a true risk-reward test for even the best of players.
are offered a Spotted Cow or a glass of wine. “If someone is coming over to your house to visit, you’re going to offer them a drink when they arrive, and you’re probably going to have something they would prefer,” Bates said. “It’s those little things that people notice.” The Inn also features The Outfitter, which Bates calls “a gift shop on steroids.” In addition to the typical sundries and snacks, The Outfitter rents Trek bicycles and fishing poles in the summer and cross country skis and snowshoes in the winter. SentryWorld’s history of stops and starts
over the last decade would be a death knell for many golf facilities. But because the course is owned by a Fortune 1000 company, there has never been pressure to generate revenue through rounds played. The company has taken its time, and spared no expense, to make sure it gets things right. “We consciously don’t worry about the number of rounds played,” said Pete McPartland, chairman, president and CEO of Sentry Insurance. “I don’t want the course to be overplayed. It’s not about the more golfers, the better. It’s about a great experience for people that do play the course.” WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly, lifelong Wisconsin residents, are intimately familiar with SentryWorld — Stricker won a state high school championship there in 1984 — but nearly every other golfer in the field for the 2023 U.S. Senior Open (June 29-July 2) will be seeing SentryWorld for the first time. They will find a course nearly as perfect in its presentation as turf and sand can be. The greens are firm and fast, the surrounds flawless, the fairway turf tight, the bunkers works of art. If it is not Augusta National in terms of conditioning, it is very, very close. SentryWorld can be stretched to 7,300 yards. The course will test the players off the tee and to a greater extent on shots into the bold green complexes. Deep bunkers, false fronts, falloffs into collection areas and audacious contours will require short-game imagination and execution. Most of the fairways on the par-4s and 5s have been narrowed, some of them considerably. If you’ve played the course once or twice you probably wouldn’t notice, but for 48
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those who have played it often, the difference is dramatic. The narrowing of fairways necessitated the moving of fairway bunkers, and a few strategic bunkers were added. The greens on Nos. 5 and 18 were rebuilt and the green on No. 4 was modified. The signature “Flower Hole,” the par-3 16th, was left untouched. The hole dates to the course opening in 1982 and was the idea of then-Sentry chairman John Joanis, who suggested to Jones that a “lake of flowers,” rather than water, surround the green. “We knew that we had to make some changes,” James said. “The USGA wants to challenge these players, especially in major championships, with every club in their bag. We also added a few new tees so the golf course now stretches just over 7,300 yards. On top of that we added the SubAir System just to make sure that we can control, as much as we can, the greens during the championship. The greens will be as firm and fast as we want them to be.” The USGA was blown away by Sentry’s
CLOCKWISE FOR UPPER LEFT: The 348-yard, par-4 fourth, the 161-yard, par-3 12th, the Jones rock in honor of the esteemed architect, the stunning signature Flower Hole, the 176-yard, par-3 16th.
management team, staff and enthusiastic community support for the 2019 U.S. Junior Girls’ Championship. Hundreds of volunteers showed up unannounced on the Saturday morning of the championship to clean up debris after a violent windstorm. “It was stunning,” McPartland said. “I’m not sure if the officials from the USGA had encountered a lot of that when they’ve had rainstorms and power outages. I would like to think that that had some influence with (SentryWorld getting) the Senior Open. The USGA is thinking that, OK, we don’t have to worry about volunteers or enthusiasm for this tournament in central Wisconsin.” The pride of ownership at SentryWorld extends beyond the walls of Sentry Insurance headquarters, just down the road from the course. The USGA’s requirement of 1,800 volunteers for the Senior Open was met more
than a year in advance of the championship, and a waiting list was established. People in Stevens Point are proud of the course, and deservedly so. “I think this is a gem for our community,” said Sara Brish, executive director of the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Sentry and the SentryWorld team has been tremendous to this community for the past several decades and I think the community is really appreciative of that and really embraces them. “Not only does Sentry and SentryWorld take pride in the community but the community really respects what they’ve done to build this community and make it a place where people want to live and play and recreate.” And, also, to play golf. Visit sentryworld.com for more information. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
A GOOD BET FOR
GREAT GOLF From the Coast to the Capital, Southern Mississippi is All About Good Times By Danny Freels
ike many Americans, the citizens of Mississippi have plenty of passions. There’s college football, of course. (Believe it: Auburn vs Alabama has nothing on Mississippi State vs Ole Miss.) There’s seafood. There’s an hour or two or a long weekend at a local casino. And, yep, there’s golf.
Well-known golfers coming out of Mississippi include PGA Tour player Pete Brown, amateur standout Ann Gregory (who eventually called the Chicago area home), the Golf Channel’s Jim Gallagher, Jr. and current PGA Tour Champions member Glen Day. Dr. Cary Middlecoff, the winner of three major championships and a member of the Golf Hall of Fame, wasn’t born in the state but he did play at Ole Miss and was the school’s first All-American golfer. On top of all that, Mississippi offers some of the prettiest and most enjoyable golf courses in America. If you’re looking for some good golf, great food and lots of fun, a smart place to start is beautiful Coastal Mississippi.
Gorgeous ‘Golfport’ Considering that it’s located on the Gulf of Mexico and one of the largest ports in the state, it’s not hard to figure out how the city of Gulfport got its name. After a recent visit 52
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there, however, I’m ready to call it Golfport not Gulfport. Windance Country Club (windancecc.com), owned by the Island View Casino Resort in downtown Gulfport, was designed by former PGA Tour player Mark McCumber and opened in 1986. Winding its way through a forest of tall pines, this very pretty layout features a number of elevation changes, large putting surfaces and plenty of water in play throughout, making it a fitting setting for the smattering of homesites dotting the back nine. While pretty, Windance is also very playable, with four sets of tees available, measuring between 5,093 and 6,667 yards. Due to many of the holes playing uphill, this fun layout can play longer than its total length. The Island View Casino Resort, by the way, is golf central to the several courses on the western side of Coastal Mississippi. It offers two separate hotel towers – including one on the beach – with 974 total rooms and suites (smoking and non-
OPEN SPREAD: The Roy Case-designed gem called The Refuge. CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: Windance Country Club is part of the Island View Casino Resort and designed by Mark McCumber. The Pines course is one of two Earl Stone-designed courses at The Club at Diamondhead. The Cardinal course is the stellar sister to The Pines. Island View Beach Casino is a great place to try your luck after your round. smoking), two casinos, 2,600 slots, 49 table games and numerous dining opportunities.
‘Diamond’ in the Rough Another fine choice is the Club at Diamondhead (theclubatdiamondhead.com), roughly 25 miles west of Gulfport. Located in the city of Diamondhead, halfway to New Orleans, this 36-hole facility is as playable as it is pretty. The two courses here – the Pines and the Cardinal – were both designed by Earl Stone and both opened in the 1970s. Mr. Stone, if you don’t know that name, was a Naval officer during World War II who later designed dozens of golf courses throughout the South. In addition to Mississippi, there are Earl Stone courses in Alabama, Florida,
Louisiana and Kentucky. While neither of the fun courses at Diamondhead are considered long by today’s standards, both feature rolling terrain, lots of tall trees, well sloped putting surfaces and enough water and sand to get and keep your attention. Opened in 1970, the Pine course offers a choice of five tees and a measurement between 4,120 and 6.784 yards. The Cardinal course, which opened in 1978, also offers five tees but is slightly shorter, measuring between 4,084 yards and 6,729 yards. From Diamondhead, head north from Gulfport for roughly 30 minutes to the city of Saucier. There you’ll find Grand Bear Golf Club (grandbeargolf.com), a gorgeous Jack Nicklaus-designed layout that’s only WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
Watery Wonderland DON’T MISS THE MISSISSIPPI AQUARIUM While you’re in Gulfport, be sure to set aside two-three hours for a visit to the Mississippi Aquarium (msaquarium.org). Located just down the street from the Island View Casino Resort, the aquarium is a non-profit organization dedicated to a wide variety of aquatic animals that inhabit the Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico and other nearby bodies of water. Simply put, the MSAQ is both enlightening and amazing – for visitors of all ages. There are indoor and outdoor exhibits, 12 fresh and saltwater habitats and over 200 species of aquatic animals, including bottlenose dolphins, North American river otters, sharks, stingrays, an American crocodile and an American alligator, just to name a few. On one level of the building, there’s a small pool with stingrays and other critters swimming back
and forth and available to be gently touched. On another level, there is an enormous glass tube filled with water and schools of fish of all shapes and sizes swimming around in circles. There are turtles, crabs, octopus and many other colorful and interesting creatures that are a delight to see and learn about. In fact, there’s so much to see and do – including an aviary, a restaurant and gift shop – a two- or three-hour visit might not be long enough.
a “bear” if you play it from the wrong tees. Even though I’m a long-time admirer of the playing career of Mr. Nicklaus – 18-time major championship winner on the PGA Tour and arguably the greatest golfer of all time – I can’t always say the same for some of the 54
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CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: The Grand Bear clubhouse is full of rustic elegance. The Grand Bear course plays alongside the Biloxi River. Dancing Rabbit’s Azaleas course. Dancing Rabbit’s Oaks course. Pearl River Resort even includes a massive water park. Pearl River Resort’s bar is perfect for post-round libations. Try and turn your luck around at the Golden Moon Hotel and Casino.
courses he’s designed. Grand Bear, however, is both an exception to my ambivalence and exceptional. Located deep within the magnificent DeSoto National Forest, at the end of a long, winding road a few miles from the nearest highway, Grand Bear is nothing less than a golfer’s dream. It’s big, it’s beautiful and – best of all – it’s playable, even for a semi-hack like myself. It’s also secluded, with nary a house, condo or swimming pool anywhere in sight or sound. The clubhouse is pretty spectacular, too. If you ask me, that’s what I call golf heaven. Opened in 1999, this fabulous golf course was the site of the Rapiscan Systems Classic on the PGA Tour Champions this past April. Five sets of tees are available at Grand Bear, measuring between 4,802 and 7,204 yards.
‘Pearls’ of Wisdom If you’ve played your cards correctly and played Grand Bear, the next smart play is to keep going north for about three hours to the Pearl River Resort (pearlriverresort.com). Located in the town of Choctaw (also known as Philadelphia) northwest of the capital city of Jackson, Pearl River is a sprawling facility built on the ancestral lands of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. In addition to delicious dining to suit almost every taste, Pearl River features the Golden Moon Hotel and Casino (600 rooms), the Silver Star Hotel and Casino (500 rooms) and a 23-acre water theme park. For even more of a good WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
Feelin’ the ‘Flo’
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP: The brand-new Sheraton Flowood, the Refuge is a challenging trip through the trees, the stylish, modern rooms at the Sheraton. BELOW RIGHT: The Missy Sippy rooftop bar is a great place to take in the sunset. time, head on over to Dancing Rabbit Golf Club (dancingrabbitgolf.com) on the nearby banks of the Big and Little Dancing Rabbit creeks. The 36 holes here – the Azaleas and the Oaks – are two of the best and most challenging courses you’ll find anywhere. The Azaleas, designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1997, offers five sets of tees and a measurement between 4,909 and 7,158 yards. Be advised, however, that it also features some serious elevation changes (and the views that go with it). Equally beautiful but not quite as hilly is the Oaks, a Jerry Pate design that opened in 1999. Slightly shorter from the tips but just as challenging, the Oaks has five tees to choose from and a measurement between 56
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5,097 and 7,076 yards. Just east of Jackson, in the very pretty town of Pearl, is Patrick Farms Golf Club. A Randy Watkins design that opened in 1999, this course was not built to bite your head off or eat your lunch. It’s a fairly wide-open layout that’s also rather flat. The front nine winds its way through a residential area and the back nine will soon do the same (apparently there’s a housing boom around these parts). All-in-all, Patrick Farms is all about fun, not pain. The fairways are wide, the greens aren’t too demanding and there isn’t a whole lot of water or sand. The course measures between 5,032 and 6,907 yards, and there are four sets of tees to choose from.
If you’re in need of one more stay-and-play opportunity, head over to the nearby city of Flowood. There you can check into the brand-new Sheraton Flowood Hotel & Conference Center, conveniently located just five minutes from Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. This very fun facility features 200 modern and comfortable guest rooms – including three junior suites and a “Mayor’s suite” – over 25,000 square feet of meeting space and several places to eat, drink and be merry. The Sheraton Flowood’s very cool lobby bar, “Twins,” offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus lots of room for lounging. For a bit more quiet but equally great food, take a stroll down to Rebecca’s, the Sheraton’s all-American on-site restaurant. Dishes include local specialties such as southern style chicken and shrimp and grits. But after you check in be sure to check out the The Refuge Golf Course (refugegolfms.com) right on the property. Designed by Englishman Roy Case and opened in 1988, The Refuge is lined by tall trees that give it (I thought) a bit of a “Northern Michigan” appearance. Over the past couple of years, however, this very attractive layout has undergone a renovation by course architect Nathan Grace that has made it more popular than ever. Even though the course is somewhat on the flat side – allowing us short hitters a bit more roll – The Refuge is quite a challenge. The greens are well
Of Heritage, and History MISSISSIPPI MUSEUMS Near Jackson, take a trip downtown and find out even more about the state you’re visiting at the side-by-side Museum of Mississippi History (mmh.mdah.ms.gov) and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (mcrm.mdah.ms.gov). Within the walls of the impressive building you’ll find numerous exhibits and galleries that chronicle and explain some 15,000 years of Mississippi history – from the state’s first inhabitants around 13,000 B.C. all the way to the present. Thanks to the innovative exhibits, films, educational programs and hundreds of artifacts, you’ll learn about Mississippi becoming a state, its love of music and sports, its involvement in wars – both here and abroad – its long struggle with civil rights, and a whole lot more.
undulated, there are numerous bunkers, and there’s plenty of water in play that’s not always visible. I’m sure it’s a good test for even the better players. Five sets of tees are available at The Refuge, measuring between 4,439 and 7,013 yards. But wait. Before you check out of the Sheraton Flowood, be sure to take an elevator ride up to “Missy Sippy,” the hotel’s rooftop bar, for a sunset sip of your favorite drink on the balcony. You’ll be treated to a gorgeous view of downtown Jackson that you won’t soon forget. Like “Missy Sippy,” the great golf, fine food and fun times available on a trip to central and coastal Mississippi is a can’t-miss. Please go to visitmississippi.org/golf for more information. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
WM PHOENIX OPEN LIVES UP TO ITS LARGER-THAN-LIFE BILLING STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB HERNANDEZ
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t’s where Milwaukee’s time-honored Summerfest meets the ol’ Greater Milwaukee Open. It’s where Chicago’s famous Wrigley Field bleachers meet the ol’ Western Open. It’s where Ann Arbor’s mammoth “Big House” that is Michigan Stadium meets the ol’ Buick Open. It is a golf tournament so immense that it has not one, but two nicknames – “The Greatest Show on Grass” and, in the hashtag-fueled world of social media, #ThePeoplesOpen. As golf bucket lists go, the Waste Management Phoenix Open deserves its place on yours, even alongside golf ’s greatest stages like Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, St Andrews and Augusta National. But not because the TPC Scottsdale is some sort of holy grail after the last putt is holed, the grandstands come down, the trash hits the recycler and the beer stops flowing. On the contrary, the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale sits at No. 29 on Golf Digest’s biennial ranking of Arizona courses. Golfweek magazine ranked it No. 4 on the state’s “Best Courses You Can Play” in its June 2022 60
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ranking. And, for the discerning destination golfer, its hefty $389 greens fee during the high season around the tournament, can go a long way toward, say, the $595 (plus cart) that Pebble Beach is commanding this year. A ticket to the WM Phoenix Open, on the other hand, might be one of the best deals in all of golf (admission tops out at $75 on Friday and Saturday). And if baseball fans can be drawn to the Valley of the Sun in huge numbers for exhibition games every March, then why not spend the first week of February in Scottsdale watching some of golf ’s best tee it up and have a good — dare I say unforgettable — time doing it? Truth be told, I was skeptical when presented with the idea of the TPC Scottsdale being a better destination option with a tourna-
PREVIOUS SPREAD: The infamous 16th hole at the WM Phoenix Open is the place for plenty of cheers (and beers). CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Fans wear their hearts (and heroes) on their sleeves here. The tournament brings out all the stars, from Sahith Theegala, Aaron Rodgers, and Justin Thomas ment ticket than a tee time. But I’d never been there for either until I made it my mission in February to see what the tournament fuss was all about and whether its other nickname – The Wasted Open – was remotely accurate. This event has a reputation larger than nearby Camelback Mountain. In the “playing the odds” section of its spectator guide, it gives even odds to “one young female fan in a romper and 4-inch heels suffering a highankle sprain trying to navigate the pathways above the ninth green” and 3-1 odds to a “millennial bro sleeping soundly on a grassy mound outside the 16th hole after a busy day of ‘hydrating’ with adult beverages.” That Sunday’s visit to the TPC Scottsdale got a little fuzzy at one point should speak to the intoxicating powers of tournament golf in these parts when it mixes with beer and sun-
shine – lots of sunshine (and maybe a few free drinks at the enticing Desert Oasis). Note, however, it took me five days to reach a state of mind it takes most tournament veterans less than five hours to achieve. Don’t believe me? Here’s my day-by-day tournament diary:
Tournament week begins, for me, somewhat by chance when I see fans wearing a variety of NFL jerseys moving as a large pack toward the 10th tee during the Annexus Pro-Am. And then I see who they are following – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who at the time was free-agent eye candy to those trying to woo him to their team. “Come to Denver!” one fan screams, drawing a smile from Rodgers, while another bellows: “Pittsburgh!” WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
Rodgers, one of a dozen current and former NFL and MLB players in the pro-am, poses for as many photos as a walk from one green to the next tee would allow. In between, he signs dozens of autographs and plays credible golf in the scramble event. As he approached the fourth green midway through his back nine, Rodgers made the day of two elderly Packers fans who live in a retirement community near the course. He spent about five minutes chatting with Sandy Bing, 79, and Marlowe Sorensen, 84. “He said to someone ‘I don’t need to putt; I gotta see my ladies,’ ” Bing said excitedly. “I was this close to him,” Sorensen said. “I could have scrubbed his little beard.” Young. Old. It really doesn’t matter. The WM Phoenix Open brings out the crazy in everyone.
I am in full-on reporter mode when I arrive at TPC Scottsdale for Round 1 and head right to No. 16 to “investigate” the most famous par-3 hole in all of golf – aka “The Coliseum.” There have been 11 holes-in-one on No. 16 since the Phoenix Open moved here from the more button-downed Phoenix Country Club in 1987 – none more famous than the one Tiger Woods made in 1997. I’d like to report that echoes of his shot can still be heard, but you can’t hear much over the din of the only hole on the PGA Tour fully enclosed by fans. There is ample seating in the bleachers right of the green and I settle in behind fans from Wisconsin, about a half-dozen 30-somethings on a guys’ week in the desert. One has stumbled upon an abandoned headset a secuThe tournament is a legendary party place on the PGA Tour, and 2023 should be super-sized, as Phoenix is also the site of the Super Bowl. The same week! 62
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If You Go When: Feb. 9-12, 2023. Where: TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale Arizona Tickets: Admission is free for Monday and Tuesday practice rounds. Tickets are $50 for the Wednesday pro-am, Thursday’s opening round and Sunday’s final round. Tickets are $75 for the second and third round. (Fans 15 and under are free all week when accompanied by an adult.) Getting to the golf course: Free parking is available at lots at Westworld, Salt River Fields and a lot at the intersection of Hayden and Mayo in Scottsdale. All three lots are located off the 101 Freeway. Getting to Phoenix: In addition to numerous flights from major airports in the Midwest to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix (PHX), there are flight options from regional airports into nearby Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA). Getting a seat on the 16th hole: There appeared to be more available public seating beneath the corporate suites adjacent to the fairway leading from the tee box to the fairway on the famous par 3 known as “The Coliseum.” Lines were longest to access the grandstands behind the green. What to do when the golf is finished: The party doesn’t stop when the WM Phoenix Open is finished each day. There are nightly concerts Wednesday through Saturday at the Birds Nest near the main entrance to the TPC of Scottsdale. If you want to get away from the golf course, famous Old Town Scottsdale is located 20 minutes south of TPC Scottsdale. Golf fans from the Midwest will feel at home at Loco Patron, a popular gathering spot for Wisconsin Badgers fans. However, the Golftime Midwest staff is partial to the margaritas at Frank & Lupe’s Old Mexico. What to wear: Golf fans run the fashion gamut at the WM Phoenix Open. From a weather standpoint, temperatures during the 2022 tournament were in the upper 70s or low 80s under a sunny sky most of the week. Lows were in the upper 40s or low 50s, but they can dip into the upper 30s that time of year. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
rity guard seemingly left at the beer tent and he uses it to radio “his superiors” one minute and then lead the shenanigans the next. We do everything fans who choose to take in the action at No. 16 are trained to do. We boo shots that miss the green or even those that roll off onto the fringe. We implore the standard bearer with each group to “SPIN THE SIGN!” and beg each golfer to “TIP YOUR CAP!” I feel like a designated driver at the world’s largest frat party. Reportedly, 750,000 “servings” of beer would be sold at the 2022 event. I estimate half were consumed by fans on No. 16.
The Friday of WM Phoenix Open week ought to be declared a local holiday because, clearly, nobody’s at work. Even my wife, whose company had a small skybox overlooking the 17th hole, has taken the day off and come to see how hard I’ve been working the past two days. We pack a lot into a short amount of time and match our thirst for getting steps in with 64
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our thirst for exploring the vast Stadium Course property and then we get lucky – we find the Desert Oasis in an area between Nos. 5, 6 and 7. There, we are given a punch card that entitled us to up to 10 free samples of products from the likes of hard seltzer vendors Topo-Chico, Vizzy and Arnold Palmer Spiked and local craft brewers such as Saint Archer and Hop Valley. The buzz is building and it’s only Friday!
A real news hound would have set an early alarm and joined the thousands who arrived by 5 a.m. for the mad dash to the 16th hole once the gates opened at 7. However, another commitment keeps me from arriving until just after noon and, even though I feel like I was swimming upstream against fans filtering out like it was bar time, my tardy arrival gives me a unique perspective on the week’s signature moment. As I enter the main gate, a deafening roar emerges from the heart of the course. As
The WM Phoenix Open is the nicknamed “The People’s Open,” for good reason. it turns out, golfer Sam Ryder has not only made a hole-in-one at No. 16 (the first tournament ace there since 2015), but has been showered with $10 cans of Miller Lite and Coors Light – not just their liquid contents, but dozens of the half-drank, 16.9-ounce aluminum cans – tossed onto the green by fans, resulting in a lengthy clean-up and 30-minute gap between groups. A key point in my week comes as I leave. A fan is giving away a ticket for Sunday’s finale.
Just when I figure I’ve had my fill of #ThePeoplesOpen, I find a neighbor to join me for the final round and, together, we discover a whole ’nother side to golf ’s biggest party. Call it a tactical mistake or tactical genius, but we head right to the Desert Oasis as it opens at 10 a.m. I explain the “sample” rules and, with little to no competition for our Arnold Palmer Spiked, we start there, make our way to other vendors and then watch a little
golf (you may have figured out by now that very little golf is watched over the course of the weekend). You didn’t read it here, but the opportunity to rinse, wash and repeat that agenda might just exist for those who treat their servers well or happen upon a sample card with punches left. I’m not going to reveal how much we had to drink, but – by the time I led my friend over to the 16th hole to, y’know, catch our celebratory breath – let’s just say that we fit right in. After spending five days sampling the most entertaining tournament on the PGA Tour, it would not be a stretch to say the WM Phoenix Open is the Super Bowl of spectator golf. And, in 2023, the tournament will put that reputation to the test against THE Super Bowl. Football’s biggest night will commence across town at State Farm Stadium in Glendale a few hours after the final putt is holed and a champion crowned at the TPC of Scottsdale. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
Erin Hills, site of the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
LIV and Let LIV
The World’s Most Infamous Golf Tour Stops in Chicago This Fall
Photo by Paul Hunley
MIDWEST GOLF IN YOUR HANDS
’hey took the money and ran. Lots of it. Who are “they?” Well, there is Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Lefty himself, Phil Mickelson. You can also throw in a prickly Ian Poulter and fiery Sergio Garcia and there you have some of the the biggest names on the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Tour which, in mid-September, will head to Chicago, one of eight stops in 2022. Rich Harvest Farms will play host to the LIV Tour on Sept.16-18. The tour, which flipped the golf world on its side this year, features shotgun starts and a stroke-play format over 54 holes, as opposed to the standard 72 holes on the PGA Tour. There are no cuts and the leader after 54 holes is the winner. He will pocket a cool $4 million. On the other end of the competitive spectrum, where love of the game towers over huge payouts, is the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. It features the top amateurs 25 years of age and older. They will compete in southeastern Wisconsin at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club and Erin Hills. As most can remember, Erin Hills hosted the 2017 U.S. Open. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
Highland Meadows Golf Club
Aug. 25-28, Columbus, Ohio
Sept. 1-4, Sylvania, Ohio
Korn Ferry Tour NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CHAMPIONSHIP
LPGA Tour DANA OPEN PRESENTED BY MARATHON
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.
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.
Aug. 26-28, Grand Blanc, Michigan
PGA Tour Champions THE ALLY CHALLENGE COURSE: Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Joe Durant TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Joe Durant defeated Bernhard Langer by one stroke to win the 2021 tournament. 68
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Sept. 1-4, Newburgh, Indiana
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.
Photo by Jim Kelsh
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. Sept. 16-18, Chicago, Illinois
LIV GOLF INVITATIONAL SERIES COURSE: Rich Harvest Farms LIVE VIEWING: LIVGolf.com, Facebook, YouTube 70
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THE SKINNY: The Chicagoland event is the last of the individual competitions on the LIV Tour. The next scheduled event in October will be a team competition. Sept. 16-18, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
PGA Tour Champions SANFORD INTERNATIONAL COURSE: Minnehaha Country Club DEFENDING CHAMP: Darren Clarke TV: Golf Channel THE SKINNY: Darren Clarke won on the second playoff hole.
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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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FINISH YOUR SEASON STRONG WITH SOME OF THE YEAR’S BEST GEAR
HERE’S THE LATEST GOLF GEAR, CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES THAT CAUGHT OUR EYE RECENTLY: Sound the Scary Theme Song The horror movie that changed viewers’ love for the water forever has an entirely different meaning when it comes to golf. The Callaway line of Jaws Raw wedges combine some of the most aggressive grooves in golf with a raw face to achieve maximum spin. Callaway designers use tungsten technology to produce a weighted club for both feel and control. And with craftsmanship grown from Roger Cleveland’s 40 years of designing wedges, you’ll approach those sand shots with equal parts pride and confidence. $179.99. callawaygolf.com.
Wrap It, Don’t Sweat It
Remember that horror shot of a mountain of golf bags piled up at the airport after the Scottish Open, or the sad story of professional Troy Mullinax, whose clubs arrived at St Andrews for the Open Championship bent and battered? Protect your clubs with Bag Boy’s latest golf bag cover, the T-10 bag cover with crust-resistant ABS top for maximum club protection. A specially designed internal foam padding offers extra protection for your clubs while traveling. It also comes with a lockable, full wrap-around zipper for easy access and packing, anti-burst strap, two external oversize pockets and two internal mesh pockets along with a durable, skid-resistant base. Available in three colors, $219.95. bagboy.com.
Put a Wingman in Your Bag
There’s nothing wrong with your game, or your psyche, that a new putter can’t fix. Tour Edge has launched a new line of Exotic Wingman 700 series putters that come with three modern mini-mallet faces and six hosel options. Cascading “moment of inertia” properties match the size of the Wingman putter head to provide maximum stability and roll, while optimized alignment options take the guesswork out of lining up putts. Interchangeable sole weights on the heel and toe are offered in every model. The Wingman 700 Series became available in August and carry a retail price of $199. touredge.com.
Adapt, and Just Play
The recent inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open at Pinehurst proved (as if it needed to be shown again) that golf can be a game for everybody. The tournament features 96 golfers, all with some form of disability. Now comes a new line of golf clothing by MagnaReady, specifically designed to simplify the dressing process by eliminating buttons and button holes in favor of a patented magnetic closing system. Simply overlap the two sides of a shirt front and the magnetic closure will send you securely to the first tee. Available in shirts, jackets and other items, MagnaReady’s offerings are for anyone with arthritis, an artificial limit or any other condition that limits mobility while still offering comfort and performance. magnaready.com. 74
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Not sure whether to chip or putt those shots around the greens? With PING’s new ChipR, part wedge and part putter, you can do whatever feels right at the time. The new stainless steel do-it-all club was inspired by PING’s original CHIPPO, introduced in the 1970s by PING founder and innovator Karsten Solheim for golfers who lacked confidence with a traditional wedge and struggled around the green. With a length of a putter and loft approaching that of a nine iron, the ChipR is designed for those shots of 40 yards or less around the green using a putting stroke to create bump-and-run shots that will lead to more short putts. The ChipR retails for $195 with stock steel shaft, $210 with graphite. ping.com. WWW.GOLFTIMEMAG.COM
Get a Grip, Ladies – With Style
Want a shoe that will perform well on the course but look great after golf as well? The ECCO W Golf Biom Hybrid offers the stability and comfort you’ll need to take on any course but is perfect for the clubhouse or beyond as well. ECCO HYDROMAX guarantees your feet will stay dry even under very wet conditions, while the durable leather, low profile design gives a stylish silhouette for all-day comfort and style. Up to 100 traction bars will prevent slipping, while a removable comfort-fiber insole will provide the cushioning.$140. us.ecco.com.
CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF LAKESIDE LODGING | GOLF | WATERSPORTS | SPA
Cutting-Edge for Everybody
PXG made a big splash in the golf world a few years ago by aiming its high-tech equipment at the world’s best players, a strategy that has won the company’s representatives lots of cash and hardware. Now, PXG is offering its newest line of PXG 2011 XCOR2 irons that are aimed at helping everyday players as well. Even better, the new line comes with a more affordable price tag, allowing those who haven’t won huge purses to at least win a few bucks off of their friends. With a broad range of golfers in mind, engineers have used performance data from PXG fitting specialists to feature varied blade lengths, offset and bounce for great forgiveness and maximum control in shorter irons. Available in chrome or the new Xtreme Dark finish. PXG.com.
Finding the Perfect Number
One of the biggest names in dependable distance devices has a new addition to its line of wearable range finders, the LX2 GPS Smart Watch, described as a simple but powerful way to hone in your shots. Pre-loaded with more than 35,000 of SkyGolf’s ground-verified maps, the LX2 quickly provides distances to the front, center and back of greens along with fairway and layup targets. Stylish enough to wear on or off the course, the LX2 offers a full line of technological advancements, including a full-color screen that’s easy to read in even the sunniest conditions and other features previously found in the company’s higher-end range finders. The LX2, which weighs just two ounces, retails for $199 with no annual fees required. skygolf.com
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, marina, spa, and multiple dining options.
L A K E L A W N R E S O R T. C O M 76
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Springs Course - Architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. North Nine Course - Architects Roger Packard and Andy North
Equipment Equipment Preview Preview
by Golf Digest
For That Quick Round
Is it a running shoe? Is it a golf shoe? Does it matter? SQAIRZ has unveiled its latest line of high-performance lightweight Speed Mesh shoes for men and women. Designed to be both stable but flexible, these shoes are built to provide maximum comfort while still allowing full power transfer through the swing. SQAIRZ builds shoes with distance, balance, stability and speed in mind, finishing them off with specially placed comfort padding, STA-Put laces and other innovations. $199. sqairz.com
Make Every Day Sunday
Sometimes less really is more. Sunday Golf has just released the El Camino, which it calls “a new midsize, lightweight golf stand bag for minimalist golfers.” Leave those heavy, clunky staff bags to the professionals and pretenders, with this bag that works for walkers or riders. The El Camino weighs just four pounds but hits all the necessary bases with a four-way divider, full-length dividers, frosty pocket for those necessary fluids, velour-lined valuables pocket, apparel pocket and more. The El Camino, perfect for golfers who don’t need 14 clubs every round, retails for $179.99 and comes in four colors. sundaygolf.com
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 78
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The Back Nine
Yo, New Golfers: Move It Or Lose It
everal years ago while working as an editor for a company that published golf books, I was asked to make a trip to Ireland. The reason was because we’d just published a book by an Irish author and it was about to make its debut. Since I had done the editing, I was encouraged to go. I was excited to see Ireland for the first time but more so because the author had been one of the country’s best amateurs for years and he wanted us to play golf. I learned a couple of things. One, Irish courses can be funky. At famous Lahinch Golf Club, there’s a cemetery next to the first tee. At another hole there, a par 3, you don’t aim at the flagstick because you can’t see it. The green is on the other side of a tall, grass-covered sand dune so you aim at a white rock that’s lined up with the pin every morning. Something else I learned was that Irish
by Danny Freels
golfers don’t dawdle. Start chatting before you chip and you’ll hear, “Get on with it.” Putz while you’re putting and someone in your group is bound to say, “Get on with it.” At another course, I paused before a shot after noticing that a nearby golfer looked exactly like the actor Richard Harris. “That’s his brother,” my author replied. Then he said, “Danny, get on with it.” Since then, here in Michigan, I’ve seen golfers use a range finder 50 yards from the green. I’ve also seen several players line up the putting line on their ball before they hit a tee shot. Due to the pandemic, lots of new players are enjoying golf (more than 3.2 million rookies, according to the National Golf Foundation) but our rounds are getting slower. My advice? Get on with it …
10 nationally acclaimed golf courses right in your own backyard. Why wait? Call 866.535.0790 to plan your trip now! 80
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