THE DONALD ROSS COURSE at the French Lick Resort is celebrating 100 years, join the party, make your tee time at Frenchlick.com. Callaway’s Paul Schlimm show’s off this years hottest new driver, the Callaway Epic Driver, see Callawaygolf.com for more. _____________________________________________________________________
THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the Preserve at Oak Meadows, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy
FINALLY it’s open for the golfers to come enjoy, today the Preserve at Oak Meadows reopens for golf to the public golfer.
The renovation project that started in early July of 2015 has wrapped up. But then maybe it hasn’t, and actually the process to restore Oak Meadows started long before the dirt started getting moved in 2015.
It really started soon after the April of 2009 fire that burned down the old clubhouse. There was insurance money and smarter heads all came to the table and realized, why just rebuild a clubhouse when there is much more we could do here. Oak Meadows flooded and it flooded to frequently, quite often leaving the golf staff run by head professional Ed Stevenson scrambling to move outings or permanent tee time holders over to Maple Meadows across the street, or maybe lose the business all together. That needed to stop.
Jenna Koeppen of Elmhurst and a member of the York High School girls golf team, test drives the new Preserve layout in a preview round.
Stevenson then worked with a team from the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, to sort through the over 20 architect firms that wanted to redesign the golf course.
In the end, Aurora based Greg Martin and his team won the bid, and the project started moving forward. It was Martin along with Stevenson that had a vision of what the old Oak Meadows could be come, and the Preserve is what has risen from the flood waters of Salt Creek.
What golfers now have is one of the best public layouts in the Chicago area, if not the entire state of Illinois. Granted there are still a few small grow in patches around the golf course, that will likely all be gone by spring of 2018. Martin calls the Preserve the most rewarding project if his career, so why not have a rewarding round of golf for this summer by test driving the Preserve. If you wish to enjoy some golf in 2017 during the Preserve’s preview season, check in at Dupagegolf.com for all the details.
THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP on tap this week from Charlotte North Carolina, where University of Illinois golf coach Mike Small is in the field, along with Kevin Streelman from Wheaton.
There is some talk that this week the PGA of America will announce the switch of the PGA Championship to May, from the month of August. While some folks think this is a great idea, to move it further away from the NFL. I’m not big on the idea. First off it requires that the PGA Tour moves the Players Championship back to March, which is not a bad idea.
But the whole concept of the U.S. Open in mid-June being the last major of the year on American soil fr the year, doesn’t work for me. Then it will feel like there are no majors to watch in the heart of summer. It’s said then every four years the championship is not affected by the Olympics, what if golf doesn’t last in the Olympics. Plus last year I did not get that big of a buzz from Olympic golf, and many other folks did not either. If I’m professional golf in America, I’m not taking a back seat to the Olympics every four years.
THE SOLHEIM CUP, the Ryder Cup of Women’s Golf is on tap next week in Des Moines Iowa, did you know. Well the people of Iowa probably do, but not many folks beyond the Hawkeye state. I’m sorry but the LPGA still needs to promote their big events better than they do. Good luck to both sides and GO TEAM USA.
THE 115th Western Amateur. Kudo’s to everyone at Skokie Country Club and Western Golf Association for a great week, and a great championship, highlighted by an exciting final match between Norman Xiong and Doc Redman, won by Xiong. The longest ever, 22 holes. Skokie continues to be a great venue for this top amateur golf championship. Good luck to Sunset Ridge the next host in 2018.
The Gog Blog Returns with more Illinois Open all week long. RS