John Deere Classic Helps Local Charities With Record Sum
In these jaded times, it is good to know that our favorite sport continues to help charitable causes in spectacular ways. In late October, John Deere Classic officials announced that the 2016 tournament won by Ryan Moore helped raise a record $10.5 million for 491 local and regional Quad Cities charities. These contributions placed the event among the top three over the entire PGA Tour schedule.

The total donations were nearly $1.8 million more than the previous record set in 2015. “Everyone associated with the John Deere Classic is extremely proud and appreciative that individual donors, companies, and family foundations stepped up in a big way to make this year’s charitable contribution by far the largest in tournament history,” said tournament director Clair Peterson at a press conference announcing the totals.

This year’s totals bring to more than $81.3 million the overall amount the John Deere Classic has provided to the Quad Cities community since the tournament’s onset in 1971.

Dates for the 2017 Classic are July 13 – 16. Two-time champion Jordan Spieth is expected to compete at the event along with a host of other tour stars. For tickets, updates and more information, visit


  Tickets on Sale for 2017 U.S. Open At Wisconsin’s Erin Hills
A perfect gift for the avid golfer in your household is tickets to the 117th U.S. Open played at Erin Hills in Wisconsin June 15 – 18th, 2017. This will be the first time in history that the state has hosted America’s premier championship, whose titleholders include Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Speith, and Tiger Woods.

Routed over the Kettle Moraine areas left by glaciers, Erin Hills is a walking-only course ranked among the top 10 public courses in the country by Golf Digest magazine. The course will not be open for public play until July 1st following the tournament. Single round daily tickets are $110 for the opening day and $125 for subsequent days. Weeklong passes are also available. Complimentary parking and transportation to and from the golf course is provided. For tournament and ordering information, visit


Grand Traverse   Grand Traverse Resort Hosts Holiday Events
One of the Midwest’s premier resort destinations offers a robust schedule of festivities throughout the winter. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa serves up spa weekend packages and holiday parties to celebrate the season.  Nationally-acclaimed Spa Grand Traverse offers an array of services for both midweek and weekend stays that include massage and body care, facials, nail care, hair artistry, and makeup. Bundled fall and winter deals are highlighted by the Autumn Sunrise Facial which incorporates scents of orange and clove, along with a Fall Harvest Manicure or Pedicure, plus a seasonal cocktail beverage.

Bring in the new year with one (or more!) of the resort’s three different programs. A new year’s eve dance party at the Aerie Restaurant & Lounge will celebrate the 1980s when hair was big and clothes were colorful. A new year’s dinner at the Aerie Restaurant on the 16th Floor features a three-course dinner with optional wine package. Kids 6 – 12 are given a party of their own with crafts, games, building activities, swimming, and a pizza party at the health club and indoor pools.

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa features luxury accommodations, entertainment, gaming, and family activities. For reservations and more information, visit


2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner
Brooke Henderson.

Photo Credit: Montana Pritchard, PGA of America


2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship At Olympia Fields Now on Sale
The LPGA has embraced Chicago as its kind of town. The metro area will host two of the tour’s most prestigious championships beginning in June with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields June 27 – July 2nd. The following year, Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer will take over hosting duties.

“We are excited to bring world class golf and 156 of the world’s best female players to Chicago next summer,” says Sean Riley, championship director. Daily grounds tickets to the 2017 event range from $15 to $35. Tickets at the 1915 Club, which includes access to upgraded patio space, live TV viewing, and complimentary food and beverage, are available for $150.

For tickets and more information, visit

Volunteer positions are still available for the event. Register online or by emailing the championship office:


Cantigny Golf in Wheaton Abuzz about Bees
Scott Witte, director of agronomy at the award-winning Cantigny Golf, has long had a thing about bees. After founding the Bee Barometer Project in 2010, Witte has opened up the property to multiple managed and feral honey bee hives. Together with Lee Cella of the Midwest Association of Golf Superintendents, Witte worked to change the notion that bees and manicured lawns are strange bedfellows.

For their dedication to land stewardship, pollinators, and education of club patrons, Witte and Cella are being recognized with the Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award, an annual honor recognizing individuals and groups who promote bee health and well-being.





Youth On Course Provides Discount Golf For Juniors
The Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella says it will change golf. Tom Watson says that it will get kids involved in the game. All-world basketball superstar Stephen Curry says that it will give kids the opportunity to enjoy the game, regardless of background or means.  
The “it” is:  “Youth on Course," a golf program for youngsters that is sweeping across the country. The concept is simple: provide exposure to the game to youth ages 6 to 18 at a highly affordable price. At present, more than 330 golf courses have signed on for the program, which includes caddie training, paid high school internships, college scholarships, and golf for $5.00 per round.

Born in 2006 out of the Northern California Golf Association, the program has expanded to twelve regions, has subsidized more than 400,000 rounds of golf, hired more than 75 interns and 237 caddies, and awarded over $250,000 in scholarships annually. The program has also partnered with the extremely popular and successful The First Tee program.

For more information, visit:


Sean Riley

Tournament Director Sean Riley


Juniors and Womens Events Slated at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields
Professional golf is coming to Chicagoland in a huge way in 2017. The Rust-Oleum Championship will host a strong field of players on June 8 – 11, while the PGA Tour comes back to town for the BMW Championship at Conway Farms September 14 – 17. Bookended by the two men’s events is one of women golf’s prized tournaments, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields June 27 – July 2nd.

Tournament director Sean Riley points out that the tournament  brings together many great dynamics. “First off, Olympia Fields is a proven championship facility as it has hosted both the U.S. Amateur (in 2016) and the U.S. Open (in 2003). Next, the field is always the strongest of any women’s tournament in the country as last year 100 of the top-ranked 100 women professionals were entered. Combine those two factors with the amazing defending champion Brooke Henderson and a full week of great, inclusive events for women and families, and you are basically assured of an amazing week.”

While the schedule is still being developed, Riley says that one of highlights of the tournament will be a special day where all family members are invited to come to the event to celebrate diversity and inclusion. We are calling it “Family Day” to bring everyone together to have a wonderful time watching great golf at a spectacular venue,” he says.

Still another aspect of the tournament that should make the tournament extra special is its affordability. “Guests can watch the best players in the world play a practice round for $15 or a tournament round for $25,” he says. “A tournament pass for the length of the week is a modest $100.”

Besides low pass rates for adults, juniors 17 and under will be provided free admission.
“Our sponsor KPMG has emphasized its wish to bring people and families together for a fantastic week of golf and fun,” Riley says. Pro-Am openings were still available at press time as are opportunities to purchase corporate tents.
For more information, visit



Leadbetter Joins Club Champion To Promote Club Fitting
By now, everyone knows it’s as much about the club as it is about the player swinging it. Club Champion, one of the country’s premier club fitters and retailers, has signed an endorsement deal with renowned golf coach David Leadbetter to spread the word about the benefits of club fitting. Says Club Champion President Joe Lee, “David is an ideal representative for Club Champion. His reputation as a top instructor and his understanding of club fitting make him uniquely qualified to speak to golfers on the topic of fitting.”

For more information or to schedule a club fitting, call Club Champion at 888-340-7820.