Is This Really Illinois? Eagle Ridge Soars in Scenic Galena

By Jim Zuccarelli [caption id="attachment_1009" align="alignleft" width="300"]Eagle Ridge 4th Hole - South Course Eagle Ridge 4th Hole - South Course[/caption] The drive west on Route 20 offers occasional glimpses of the increasingly majestic views as the topography gradually changes from farmland flat to the rolling hills of the Galena Territory in the northwest corner of Illinois. Upon arriving at the vast Eagle Ridge resort property, the thick woods, rock outcroppings and steep elevation changes made me wonder if I had somehow took a wrong turn and left Illinois, as what I found is unlike 99.9% of the state I’ve called home my entire life. (more…)

Here and there: French Lick dominates in hosting senior majors

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm Dave Harner, director of golf at the French Lick Resort in southern Indiana, looked for a big event to spotlight the stunning Pete Dye Course when it opened for play in 2009. He ended up establishing the premier event for the LPGA’s Legends Tour – the only 54-hole event on the circuit for women professionals 45 and over. The first Legends Championship was played in 2013 on the Dye-designed layout built on one of the highest points in the Hoosier state. That event quickly became something special, as the Legends Hall of Fame opened the same week as the tournament in the historically-rich West Baden Springs Hotel nearby. And that wasn’t all. (more…)

Here and there: PGA happy with Harbor Shores’ changes

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm Golf courses generally get toughened up before they are used for a major professional tournament. That wasn’t the case at Harbor Shores, the Jack Nicklaus design in Benton Harbor, Mich., however. Harbor Shores has already hosted the Senior PGA Championship twice and has already been awarded that plum for 2016 and 2018. It’ll play differently for the future events. Bob McFeeter, managing director for the course, unveiled changes to six greens (Nos. 1. 2 and 6 on the front nine and Nos. 12, 14 and 16 on the back). Two fairways, at the sixth and 14th holes, also underwent some tweaking and beach sand at the No. 7 hole was replaced with regular bunker sand. (more…)

Spring is a Great Time to Play Top Windy City Courses

By Jim Zuccarelli There’s been a few starts and stops to the Spring of 2015 golf season, but it finally looks like the milder weather is here to stay.  Here’s a sample of courses at every corner of Chicagoland, from super expensive to moderately priced, offering sizable savings from in-season green fees thru April into early May.  Rates can change without notice, so check your favorite layouts for the most current fees: (more…)

Golf Course at Marquette Park a Vintage City Option

By Jim Zuccarelli Marquette Park 3rd HoleThe golfing options within the city of Chicago are surprisingly limited, with only 144 holes of public access golf available to the 2.7 million citizens. By contrast, my current hometown of Lemont (population 16,000) has 126 holes inside its borders. I grew up just 2 blocks beyond the west edge of the city in Oak Lawn, and one of the courses I frequented as a teenager was the 9 holes at Marquette Park. This layout at 67th & Kedzie is the southwest side outpost of the 63 holes currently operated by the Chicago Park District. (more…)

Ross Inspired Ravisloe a Windy City Treasure

By Jim Zucarelli Windy City Public Golfer’s Guide Ravisloe - 1st HoleAnyone who watched the Men’s or Women’s 2014 U.S. Opens at Pinehurst #2 were treated to the golf course architectural genius of Donald Ross, arguably the most revered and accomplished designer to have worked on American soil. According to the Donald Ross Society, 13 courses in the Chicago area from 1913 to 1921 were either new creations or redesigns by Ross. All were private clubs until 2008, when Ravisloe Country Club in south suburban Homewood was sold to veterinary surgeon Dr. Claude Gendreau and became a public fee facility. (more…)

Redefining afternoon tee with the Ladies

EWGA Chicago MetroBy Shirley Brown, President EWGA Chicago Metro Chapter The Organization for Women to Learn, Play and Enjoy the Game of Golf Attention all ladies (and gentlemen) who are interested in learning the game of golf or who already play. Are you looking to play more golf? Maybe expand your network of golfing buddies? Check out the links listed below to learn more about the EWGA and the Chicago Metro Chapter. http://ewga.com/index.php/ewga/faqs.html http://ewga.com/index.php/ewga/member-benefits.html http://www.myewga.com/chicagometroilchapter/home The EWGA is THE Golf Community for Women. As the largest women-focused national amateur golf association in the United States with chapters in nearly every U.S. major market and corporate center, the EWGA has connected more than 100,000 women who share a passion for cultivating relationships and enjoying the game. The Chicago Metro Chapter of the EWGA has been in existence since 1994, and is growing strong! We have over 300 members; offer 25+ leagues in Chicagoland and NW Indiana, a full complement of weekend golf events, fun and competitive golf and more! Our player development program includes clinics, lessons, and events geared specifically to the new golfer. We even organize both social and golf activities during the winter months for all levels. (more…)

Tips from the Pro – Coming Over The Top

Dave Fazio - EaglewoodBy Dave Fazio, Golf Sales Manager   Eaglewood Resort & Spa If you are a golfer you've probably heard the expression Coming Over the Top many times. So what does this mean and importantly what can I do to stop it?  Well, Coming over the top is when your upper body starts your downswing first or ahead of your lower body. Another way to look at this is the right shoulder (for a right handed golfer) is moving in an outward fashion instead of a downward direction. This results in the golf club coming over the top of the desired swing plane.  In doing so the player has an outward to inward swing pattern resulting in a slice if the club face is open or a straight pull if the club face is closed. See picture below for details. (more…)

It Ziehms to Me: Florida Historic Golf Trail is something special

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm Golf trails are nothing new. Courses and clubs have formed marketing partnerships for years with varying degrees of impact. In the United States alone there are at least 50 trails. Texas has five separate of them. Colorado Golf Trails is one marketing entity, but it promotes 10 different trails within that state, and some of those trails have as many of 12 courses. Go to http://www.golftrips.com/golftrails/ to check out the various trails out there. [caption id="attachment_891" align="alignright" width="300"]Golfers of all abilities have enjoyed Riviera for 62 years. Golfers of all abilities have enjoyed Riviera for 62 years.[/caption] Most famous is probably the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which unites 11 Alabama golf facilities. It’s been a rousing commercial success, but some of the “trails’’ amount to nothing more than websites. I’ve played all the courses on Indiana’s Pete Dye Golf Trail and some courses on a few of the others, including the Robert Trent Jones. This winter, though, I’ve been introduced to one that is different – and in some ways better – than all the others. (more…)

It Ziehms to Me: Senior Women’s Open is finally a reality

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm The U.S. Golf Assn. has finally committed to holding a national championship for senior women players. Though long overdue, that’s good news. On the other hand, the first such tournament won’t be held until 2018 and there will be differences between the first U.S. Senior Women’s Open and the only other major event for senior women, which is put on by the LPGA Legends Tour. [caption id="attachment_878" align="alignright" width="300"]French Lick’s Pete Dye Course hosts the only major championship for senior women now, but that will change in 2018. French Lick’s Pete Dye Course hosts the only major championship for senior women now, but that will change in 2018.[/caption] The Legends Championship has been played the last two years at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind., which is also the site of the Legends Hall of Fame. The Legends event is over 54 holes; the first U.S. Senior Women’s Open will be over 72 holes. Players can ride in the Legends event, won the first two years by Lorie Kane and Laurie Rinker. As per USGA tradition in open championships, the Senior Women’s Open will be walking-only. And, of course, the Legends is for former LPGA players while both amateurs and professionals can compete in the Senior Women’s Open. (more…)