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Catching up on the golf scene as Chicago Golf Show returns

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  • Golfers will get an upclose look at the latest equipment and more when the Chicago Golf Show runs Friday through Sunday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

      Golfers will get an upclose look at the latest equipment and more when the Chicago Golf Show runs Friday through Sunday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer/2016 file

 
 

The Chicago Golf Show is always a tantalizing event, in that a mid-winter walk through the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont is an early forerunner to golf courses opening in the spring.

That's not the case this year, however, as many courses have taken advantage of warmer weather to announce their openings for the season. Still, the 33rd annual show, which opens its three-day run on Friday, will still provide a preview to what's coming on the courses, in the pro shops and at the resorts when golf is in full swing here (see Chicago Golf Show schedule at end).

The arrival of Chicago's biggest of three golf shows is also a good time to catch up on winter developments on the local scene. Biggest of those was the Illinois PGA's decision to return the Illinois Open to The Glen Club in Glenview.

While The Glen hosted the tourney finals a record nine times since 1991, it wasn't used after the IPGA went to an expanded field and two-site format for the finals in 2015. The 54-hole finals were played at Royal Melbourne in Long Grove and Hawthorn Woods in 2015 -- the first time 258 finalists were welcomed instead of the previous 156. St. Charles neighbors Royal Fox and Royal Hawk hosted it last year.

With the IPGA headquartered at The Glen, using the Tom Fazio-designed course as the main site for the finals made sense. Finalists will play 36 of their 54 holes at The Glen. The site for the other 18 holes hasn't been determined.

Here are some other tidbits created after the last putt dropped in the last Chicago tournament of 2016:

Name change: The massive renovation project engineered by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District and Batavia architect Greg Martin in Addison will be completed in the spring and the course -- known in the past as both Elmhurst Country Club and Oak Meadows -- will be called The Preserve at Oak Meadows. While the 288-acre Preserve's opening will be a Chicago season highlight, the adjoining Maple Meadows course will host the most unique event of the year -- a One Club Tournament on April 15.

A time to celebrate: French Lick, the Indiana resort that is the presenting sponsor for the Chicago Golf Show, is celebrating more than the centennial of its Donald Ross Course. Its Pete Dye Course was just named Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association. In July the LPGA's Symetra Tour will hold a tournament on the Donald Ross Course and the next day the first LPGA Senior Championship will tee off on the Dye.

Moving on: Madasyn Pettersen created a sensation when she won the 2015 Illinois Women's Open by a 5-stroke margin at Mistwood as a 15-year old. She recently left her hometown of Rockford, moved to Arizona, and verbally committed to play collegiately at Grand Canyon University.

Legends are coming: The Legends Tour, the official senior circuit for the Ladies PGA, has relocated its Walgreens Charity Championship from Delray Beach, Fla., to Geneva National Resort in Lake Geneva. The event, featuring 60 of the top women players who have passed their 45th birthday, will compete in the $300,000 Red Nose Day Walgreens Charity Championship from May 20-21 after two days of preliminary festivities.

KPMG qualifiers: The 63rd KPMG Women's PGA Championship, which comes to Olympia Fields beginning June 29, has its first four qualifiers. Karen Paolozzi of Atlanta, Alison Curdt of Woodlands, Calif., Jessica Carafiello of Stamford, Conn., and Amanda McCurdy of Arlington, Texas earned berths in Florida qualifying events this month.

• For more golf news, visit lenziehmongolf.com. Len can be contacted by email at lenziehm@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZiehmLen and check out his posts at Facebook.com/lenziehmongolf.

If you go

What: Chicago Golf Show at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont

When: Friday (noon to 7 p.m.), Saturday (9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday (9:30 to 4 p.m.)

Tickets: $5 for adults on Friday (no discounts); $11 for adults (16 and older) on Saturday or Sunday, with $4 for youth (ages 12-15), and children free. Value pack: $30 for 4 adults, Saturday or Sunday only. Tickets at www.chicagogolfshow.com.

Main Stage ScheduleFriday

12:45 p.m.: Grand march with the Shannon Rovers.

1-1:45 p.m.: Peter Longo, a world-class trick shot artist, who also conducts golf camps for the Wounded Warrior Project and teaches disabled students in Spain with Sergio Garcia.

2-2:45 p.m.: Former Bears receiver Emery Moorehead takes a lesson with Charlie Kane, head pro at Foxford Hills in Cary.

3-3:45 p.m.: Brendan Sweeney of French Lick Resort shares the stage with Andy Mears, development director for The First Tee of Greater Chicago.

4-4:45 p.m.: Meet John McCartin, who founded the Chicagoland Golf Academy in 2009 and has served as a lead instructor for the Dave Pelz Scoring Game Schools. He's also head instructor for John Jacobs Golf Schools.

5-5:45 p.m.: Kevin Weeks of Cog Hill Golf & Country Club has been named one of Golf Digest's Top 50 Instructors and Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers.

Saturday

10:30-11:15 a.m.: Former Bears receiver Glen Kozlowski takes a lesson with Kurt Kollmeyer, the PGA director of instruction for GolfTEC Chicago.

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Peter Longo, world-class trick shot artist and golf instructor.

12:45 p.m.: Grand march with the Shannon Rovers.

1-2 p.m.: Former White Sox star Tim Raines, who was selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year, will appear with golf instructor Joe Bosco, a mental performance, short game and putting specialist.

2:30-3:15 p.m.: Brian Bullington, an alum of the Illinois Junior Golf Association and the Mid-American Junior Golf Tour, takes the stage. He played the PGA Tour Latinoamerica in 2016.

3:30-4:15 p.m.: Brendan Sweeney of French Lick Resort returns to the stage.

4:30-5:15 p.m.: Mark Krizic, Illinois PGA Special Award winner, has been the Director of Golf at Ridge Country Club since 2009. His top priority is growing the game.

Sunday

10:30-11:15 a.m.: Former Bears linebacker Jim Morrissey takes a lesson with Kurt Kollmeyer, the PGA director of instruction for GolfTEC Chicago.

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Trick-shot artist Peter Longo returns.

12:30-1 p.m.: High School championship teams presentation with Mark Labiak, president of the Illinois Section PGA.

1 p.m.: Grand march with the Shannon Rovers.

1:15- 2:15 p.m.: Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.

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