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Article updated: 2/4/2014 8:14 PM

KemperSports ready to run Cantigny Golf Club

KemperSports management will soon take over operations at Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton, bringing 16 Chicago area courses under the KemperSports umbrella. Cantigny will celebrate its 25th year this season.

KemperSports management will soon take over operations at Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton, bringing 16 Chicago area courses under the KemperSports umbrella. Cantigny will celebrate its 25th year this season.


Photo courtesy of Cantigny Golf

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February is again showtime for Chicago golfers. The third annual Tinley Park Golf Expo begins a three-day run on Friday at the Tinley Park Convention Center, with the 31st Chicago Golf Show taking over the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on Feb. 21 for a similar three-day run.

In the meantime, though, there has been a lot going on within the Chicago golf scene even during these extraordinary winter months. Most notable is a management change at Cantigny, the well-regarded 27-hole facility in Wheaton


Northbrook-based KemperSports will take on management duties in mid-February, leading in to Cantigny 25th anniversary season. Cantigny becomes the 16th Chicago golf facility under the management of KemperSports.

The takeover triggers the start of a busy year for Cantigny. The facility will host the Illinois State Amateur for the fourth time and also welcome the Chicago Open for the second straight year.

Changes in the pro shop:

Dick Wagley, named the Illinois PGA Professional of the Year in 2013, has announced his retirement at Indian Hill in Winnetka, and Jay Casaletto, the head professional at Royal Melbourne in Long Grove, has decided to leave the golf business.

Their departures at two of the area's most prominent private clubs led to replacements being named at both places. Wes Warren replaces Wagley and Brad McMillan takes over at Royal Melbourne. Neither are newcomers to Chicago golf.

Warren spent the last nine seasons as head professional at North Shore Country Club in Mequon, Wis., but he was an assistant at Onwentsia in Lake Forest from 1999-2003 and Indian Hill (2004) before moving to Wisconsin.

McMillan was named director of golf at Royal Melbourne. He had been general manager at Turnberry in Lakewood from 2010-13.

Riverside, Evanston selected:

The Western Golf Assn. has picked host clubs for two of its upcoming Junior championships. The Western Junior will be held at Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside in 2015, and at Evanston Golf Club in Skokie in 2018.

Flossmoor will host the Western Junior this year from June 16-20, and Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove will be the site in 2017. The WGA hasn't named a site for the 2016 Western Junior yet.

Riverside and Evanston will host the prestigious tourney for the first time. Both were among the 11 charter members of the WGA when it was established in 1899. Only seven charter clubs still exist.

Remembering Packard:

Larry Packard, a nationally known golf course architect whose Chicago creations include Lake Barrington Shores, Palatine Hills, Ravinia Green in Deerfield, Turnberry in Crystal Lake and Silver Lake in Orland Park, has died. He was 101 and lived the last few years in Tarpon Springs, FL.

Packard's son Roger also was a course designer, with one of his best known works being Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton.

Packard, a former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, is best known for his courses at Innisbrook Resort in Florida. The Copperhead course there has been a PGA Tour site, and home of the Transitions Championship, Tampa Bay Championship and this year's Valspar Championship.

• For more golf news, check out Len can be contacted by email at

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