37th Chicago Golf Show tees off Friday with most exhibitors ever

  • Every imaginable golf club is on sale Friday to Sunday at the Chicago Golf Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

    Every imaginable golf club is on sale Friday to Sunday at the Chicago Golf Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 2/26/2020 6:28 AM

Carrie Williams, the executive director of the Illinois PGA, calls the Chicago Golf Show "the unofficial start of the Chicago golf season." Maybe it should be designated as the official start, based on the wide range of participants in the three-day event that tees off Friday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

This year's 37th staging of the show will have more than 400 exhibit boots, the most in the event's history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

While the celebrities featured on The Daily Herald Main Stage are mainly present or former football stars -- Robbie Gould, Patrick Mannelly, Jay Hilgenberg, Emery Moorehead and Otis Wilson -- World Long drive competitor Steve Kois of Wheaton will be there, too.

Attendees will again receive free golf rounds at the 14 area courses operated by GolfVisions. It's the 11th year that GolfVisions President Tim Miles has offed that incentive to attend the show, and the Illinois PGA will have 60 of its professionals on hand to provide swing and putting lessons. Indiana's French Lick Resort returns as the show's presenting sponsor.

Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $6 Friday and $11 Saturday and Sunday. Kids 12 to 15 get in for $4 and the show is free to those 11 and younger.

U.S. Open qualifiers

The U.S. Golf Association has 109 sites for U.S. Open qualifying, and four are in Illinois. Both facilities owned and operated by the Jemsek family are included. The Dubsdread course at Cog Hill in Lemont hosts May 4, and Pine Meadow in Mundelein hosts May 11.

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Other Illinois locals are May 4 at Spencer T. Olin in Alton, and May 11 at Illini Country Club in Springfield. Illini will host a local for the 42nd consecutive year. Sites haven't been announced for the sectional qualifiers, which will send survivors directly to the U.S. Open proper at New York's Winged Foot course June 18 to 21.

BMW tourney update

The Western Golf Association announced its BMW Championship is headed out of town in 2021 after this year's event is played in August at Olympia Fields. Cave's Valley, in the Baltimore suburb of Owings Springs, Md., hosts the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoff event Aug. 17 to 22.

The tournament rotated in and out of Chicago since 2007 with Medinah hosting last year. The event was set for Olympia Fields -- which meant back-to-back Chicago stages -- when contract negotiations with the auto manufacturer stalled temporarily.

The WGA also announced sites for two of its women's championships in 2021, both at suburban private clubs. The Women's Western Amateur is at Park Ridge and the Women's Western Junior at Aurora.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Here and there

Wheaton's Kevin Streelman has been named to the 2020 PGA Player Advisory Board.

• Jordan Abel-Haq resigned as executive director of the Illinois Junior Golf Association to become a loan officer for Chicago's Homeside Financial. He was with the IJGA for nearly 10 years, the last four as executive director.

• Joliet Country Club, one of the oldest golf facilities in the Chicago area, is apparently headed for redevelopment. Joliet operated as a private club for 114 years before going public and being renamed Joliet Golf Club last July.

• Cog Hill started a Senior Club for players 60 and older. A $35 membership fee gives players a reduced rate Monday through Thursday on the Nos. 1 and 3 courses, which are open all year.

• Vince Juarez, general manager at Deerpath in Lake Forest, and T.J. Sullivan, director of instruction at Golf-Tec Oak Brook, have earned Master Professional status from the PGA of America.

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