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updated: 11/19/2013 6:15 PM

Malm takes his talents to White Eagle

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  • Curtis Malm, the IPGA Player of the Year, is the new head professional at White Eagle in Naperville.

      Curtis Malm, the IPGA Player of the Year, is the new head professional at White Eagle in Naperville.
    Photo Courtesy of Jared Nowak/Illinois PGA

  •  
    Submitted photoDoug Ghim of Arlington Heights, he

 
 

The best player in the Illinois section of the PGA is moving.

Curtis Malm, the IPGA Player-of-the-Year in 2012 and 2013 while an assistant professional at St. Charles Country Club, has moved to White Eagle in Naperville as the head professional.

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Malm, who spent five seasons at St. Charles, won the Illinois Open as an amateur in 2000 and blossomed in the IPGA ranks with back-to-back victories in the section's Match Play Championship at Kemper Lakes in 2012 and 2013. He was the first player in 25 years to win that title in back-to-back years.

The 2013 season also saw Malm match the Elgin Country Club course record when he shot a 9-under-par 63 in an IPGA stroke play event.

Hinsdale in CDGA spotlight

The Chicago District Golf Assn. announced its tournament schedule for its 100th season on Tuesday with Hinsdale Golf Club in the spotlight during the organization's centennial campaign.

Hinsdale was the home club of Francis S. Peabody, the first CDGA president and the man credited with getting 25 clubs together to organize in 1914. Hinsdale will host the CDGA's oldest event, the Chicago District Amateur, June 23-26, and the newest one -- the season-ending Centennial Founders Club Championship, a team competition, on Oct. 16.

Another notable addition to the 60-event schedule is the CDGA Par-3 Championship, to be held Sept. 8 at Lost Dunes in Bridgman, Mich.

Former IWO champ retiring:

Allison Fouch-Duncan, the Michigan golfer who won the 2010 Illinois Women's Open at Mistwood before moving on to the LPGA Tour, is retiring from the circuit.

She declared herself retired after a new conference to announce that her hometown of Grand Rapids had landed an LPGA tournament. The $1.5 million Meijer LPGA Classic will be played at Blythefield Country Club from Aug. 7-10, 2014.

Did you know?

Dan Tully, superintendent at Kemper Lakes the last 14 years, is moving to Twin Orchard in Long Grove. Randy Wahler, the superintendent at Knollwood for 33 years, has announced his retirement.

Northwestern's Emily Fletcher, the Big Ten coach of the year, has landed two prize recruits from California. Sarah Cho and Hannah Kim are both ranked in the top 10 nationally on the Junior Golf Scoreboard.

Jeff Perdew, general manager at Chicago Highlands, and two head professionals -- Wade Gurysh of Knollwood and Nick Papadakes of Old Elm -- have been elected to the IPGA board of directors.

Texas lands Ghim:

The top high school golfers from across the country made their college commitments last week, and one of them earned his scholarship the hard way.

Doug Ghim, an Arlington Heights resident and senior at Buffalo Grove, landed a scholarship to collegiate powerhouse Texas even though he didn't play a round of high school golf the last three years.

"I don't know if it's unprecedented or not," said Ghim moments before a ceremonial signing ceremony at the Golf Nation indoor training facility in Palatine.

Ghim's success came through American Junior Golf Association events rather than playing for BGHS. He played one season for the Bison, finishing third in the state meet as a freshman.

As a sophomore he received an invitation to one of the AJGA's premier events, the Ping Invitational.

"It was a difficult decision," said Ghim. "The Ping is one of the hardest to get in to. Everyone raves about it, but it overlapped with sectional qualifying for state."

Ghim thought it would be "insulting" to his teammates to leave at such a critical point in the season, so he spent the last three years competing solely in junior events across the country. It paid off when he signed with Texas.

Ghim has been, coached only by his Korean-born father since he was 5 years old. Jeff Ghim teaches mainly junior players at Golf Nation and a variety of other locations.

"We're not very rich," admitted Doug. "I'm very proud of our story. I never had the nicest golf clubs or best outfits. The only golf balls I had were the ones my dad and I fished out of the water. It was intimidating going into tournaments. I had to work twice as hard as the other kids."

Without a home course, They looked for the best deals and played lots of twilight golf at public courses.

"I hope my story will show to other kids that aren't as fortunate that -- as long as you have the will -- you can make it to one of these big universities,'' said Ghim.

While Ghim opted to leave the state, both Illinois and Northwestern went largely outside Illinois with their early recruits. The Illini signed Glenbrook North's Nick Hardy along with two Indiana players. NU landed Charles Wang, of Sarasota, FL., and Dylan Wu, of Medford, Ore.

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