Encompass tourney gets the spotlight at Chicago Golf Show
By Len Ziehm
The only pro golf tour event in Chicago in 2014 will also headline the 31st Chicago Golf Show.
The Encompass Championship, which made its Chicago debut on the Champions Tour in 2013, will be the presenting sponsor of the winter attraction that begins a three-day run at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on Friday (FEB 21).
Jeff Sluman, the Champions Tour veteran from Hinsdale, will become the fourth former major champion to appear at the show, following John Daly (2008), Craig Stadler (2012) and Lanny Wadkins (2013). Sluman won the 1988 PGA Championship. Stadler was the champion in last year's Encompass Championship at North Shore in Glenview. The Encompass Championship returns to North Shore from June 16-22.
Bears' stars Robbie Gould and Patrick Mannelly and Northwestern men's basketball coach Chris Collins will also make appearances on the Main Stage at the show, and 10 Illinois PGA representatives will offer instruction tips.
The over 400 exhibitor booths include representatives from 80 domestic and international travel destinations. Visitors can also receive half-price tickets to this year's Encompass Championship and a pass to play one of the 11 Chicago courses managed by GolfVisions as part of their attendance at the show.
Show hours are noon-7 p.m. on Friday (FEB 21), 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday (FEB 22) and 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday (FEB 23).
Former world No. 1 and Northwestern great Luke Donald has changed management companies. He left International Management Group to join Lagardiere Unlimited.
Donald will now be represented by Steve Loy, who is also Phil Mickelson's agent. Lagardere represents 45 PGA Tour players, easily the most of any agency according to Sports Business Daily.
Here and there
The Western Golf Assn. has decided to take its Western Amateur back to Point O'Woods, the tourney's long-time Michigan home, in 2019. Point O'Woods hosted the premier amateur event 40 times between 1963 and 2008 and winners there included Tiger Woods, Mickelson, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange and Tom Weiskopf.
Mistwood, in Romeoville, was a big winner after its massive remodeling effort. Golf magazine tabbed the course as its Renovation of the Year for 2013 and Golf Range magazine placed the new Mistwood Performance Center among the top 50 ranges in the U.S.
Jay Casaletto, the former head pro at Royal Melbourne in Long Grove, will serve as Chicago tour director for Golf Channel's Amateur Tour this season.
Billy Casper Golf has taken over management of Rob Roy, the Prospect Heights nine-holer.
Metamora Fields, site of the fourth and last of the Illinois PGA's four major tourneys, has a new head professional in Dion Hoegh. Erin Strieck, the head professional for 13 years at Eagle Ridge in Galena, has moved to Iowa's Spirit Lake course.
Jeff Perdew, general manager of Chicago Highlands in Westchester, has been elected to a three-year term on the Illinois PGA board of directors. Trey Van Dyke, Oak Brook's head pro, is now the Midwest representative on the PGA of America's board of control
Revised: 02/19/2014 - Article Viewed 19,747 Times
Written By: Len Ziehm
My 41-year career on the Chicago Sun-Times sports staff ended with my retirement on June 30, 2010. During that stint I covered a wide variety of sports, but golf was a constant. I was the paper's golf writer for 40 years, during which time I covered 27 U.S. Opens, 10 Masters, 17 PGA Championships, four U.S. Women's Opens and the last 34 Western Opens in addition to a heavy load of Chicago area events.
For 20 years I was a columnist for Chicagoland Golf, a newspaper that suspended publication following the death of founder and good friend Phil Kosin in 2009. (This is not to be confused with the publication of the same name which was introduced in 2013 after being known as Chicago Area Golf for three years). I also contributed a chapter to a history book on the Solheim Cup and have been a member of the selection committee for the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame.
As a player I remain just an avid hacker with a handicap that never has dipped below 16.
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