UL International Crown — July 19-24

UL-International-Crown
By Drew Blass, LPGA Tournament Director
The most exciting women’s team golf event on the LPGA’s 2016 schedule is coming to Chicagoland!
The UL International Crown will be played at the Merit Club in Gurnee, Illinois the week of July 19-24. The UL International Crown is a match play competition between the top 4 players from the top 8 nations by the Rolex Rankings. The inaugural event took place in 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Maryland where Spain was crowned champion over the likes of the USA, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Sweden.
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Chicago’s Merit Club to host 2016 UL International Crown

Northern Suburban gem also site of 2000 U.S. Women’s Open Kraig Kann, LPGA Chief Communications Officer, kraig.kann@lpga.com Kelly Schultz, LPGA Director of Media Communications, kelly.schultz@lpga.com DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 24, 2015) - The 2016 UL International Crown will be held at the Merit Club in Gurnee, Illinois, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced today. The biennial team match-play event is slated to take place July 21-24. Opened in 1992, the Merit Club has been ranked among the top 100 golf courses in the United States by both Golfweek and Golf Magazine. The suburban Chicago venue also has a major championship pedigree. It hosted the 2000 U.S. Women’s Open conducted by the USGA, which was won by LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb. (more…)

Fall is the Perfect Time to Visit Top Windy City Courses

By Jim Zuccarelli October is here and most area courses are offering reduced green fees up to the end of the year, and the cool fall water is the perfect respite from the summer heat to enjoy the fabulous golf found in the Windy City.  Whether you’re looking to play one of the more expensive layouts at a budget friendly discount, or just want to get in a few final rounds at your local links, there is still plenty of time before winter takes hold. Almost every course will have fall rates in play by mid-October, so check online or call for current prices.  Here are a handful of my personal favorites for late season Chicago golf: (more…)

Dawson Armstrong Holes Bunker Shot to Win 2015 Western Amateur

Western Amateur Olympia Fields Find more photos from the Western Amateur in our Flickr album here. From Barry Cronin On the second hole of a sudden death playoff, Dawson Armstrong holed a 20-yard bunker shot for eagle to win the 113th Western Amateur in the most dramatic fashion in memory. Armstrong's stunning shot from the sand fronting the par 5 second hole at Rich Harvest Farms meant that his opponent, Aaron Wise, needed to hole his 25-foot putt to match Armstrong's 3 to continue the playoff. But Wise's putt slid by, and when it did Armstrong fell into the arms of his father, Dale Armstrong, a former mini-tour player who caddied for his son during the two-day match play segment of the championship. (more…)

No “Gimme’s” Here…Windy City Amateur Tours Offer Competitive Golf for All Skill Levels

By Jim Zuccarelli GWAT, WCGT, NIMAGA, GCAM, and NAGT is an alphabet soup of acronyms that may not be recognizable to the average Windy City golfer, unless they are a member of one of the amateur golf tours that operate in the metro Chicago area. Some are affiliated with nationwide organizations that feed into national championships, while others are locally independent, but all exist to provide an outlet for local golfers to compete in tournaments guided by the USGA rule book. “I played competitive 12-inch softball into my early 50’s, and when I couldn’t play anymore due to injuries, the amateur golf tournaments provided an outlet for me to fill the competitive void,” shared Bill Stuhr of Carpentersville at the Golf Week Amateur Tour event at Harborside in May. Round Lake Beach resident Rob Davis drove 70 miles to the south side of Chicago and offered a different spin. “My friends like to stay close to home and don’t like to play the more expensive courses, so this is a chance for me to play the better courses in the area.” GolfWeek Amateur Tour Chicago (more…)

Let’s Play Two! 36 Holes of Great, Budget Friendly Windy City Golf

By Jim Zuccarelli One of my favorite golfing pastimes is taking a day off from work in the height of the summer and playing 36 holes at two of the fine courses that populate the Windy City Golf landscape. Following are some of the best combinations of courses that won't break your budget (under $90 total green fees, including cart) and within a 30 minute drive of one another (as per Google Maps calculation). You may have to do a little advanced planning to secure the right tee times to get all the holes in before dark, but the courses listed start their discounted pm rates no later than 3 o'clock, which should allow you to finish during the majority of the summer. All the rates are as published or as online tee times on the course websites, so additional savings may be scored with coupons, internet hot deals, senior/junior discounts, etc. So leave your cares and the weekend crowds behind and tee it up at one of the following combo’s that include some of the best layouts the Windy City has to offer: (more…)

Medinah will restore – not renovate – this Bendelow course

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm For reasons that have long escaped me, Tom Bendelow is still not in the World Golf Hall of Fame. He was the course architect that, perhaps more than any other, got golf started in the United States. That’s especially evident in the Chicago area. Bendelow’s name has been on about 800 courses that were built from, roughly, 1895 to 1930. Most that have survived have been radically altered, among them Medinah’s famous No. 3 course that has hosted three U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships and the 2012 Ryder Cup matches. [caption id="attachment_1018" align="alignright" width="300"]Superintendent Curtis Tyrrell is tackling another big project at Medinah. Superintendent Curtis Tyrrell is tackling another big project at Medinah.[/caption] Bendelow was the original designer of all three courses on the Medinah property in the 1920s. The No. 1 layout was renovated last year by Michigan architect Tom Doak. More extensive work has been done on No. 3 over the years to prepare that layout for its big tournaments, and Rees Jones was the latest architect to do the work there. (more…)

Public golfers can experience a Donald Ross creation at Ravisloe

Len Ziehm on GolfBy Len Ziehm I guess you can learn something every day. I thought I knew a bit about Donald Ross, the famed golf designer, but I didn’t realize he had designed only one public course in Illinois. That course is Ravisloe in Homewood, which went public when Claude Gendreau purchased the club in 2009. Cheryl Justak, publisher of Golf Now! Chicago, and I had played Ravisloe during its 107 years as a private club (my lone round there was about 20 years ago). We were duly impressed by our long-planned return visit this week. The course was in great shape, the rough was so thick it was frequently difficult to find your ball and the greens and bunkers were both challenging and fun. The clubhouse was nice, too. All in all, a good experience. (more…)