Score one for area golf professionals: The professionals held on for a tightly contested MAGA/Gateway PGA Cup Matches and earned a 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 victory over the amateur team at Gateway National Golf Links. The amateurs scored a 15 to 9 victory in 2009, but this year the pros proved they can win this event, too. Each team had 14 players.
FOUR-BALL CHAMP IONSHIP
The team of David Strickland and Ryan Eckelkamp captured the third Metropolitan NET Four-Ball Championship at Norwood Hills Country Club. Strickland/Eckelkamp found themselves tied with the team of Tommy Wohlgemuth and Skip Berkmeyer with 2-under par 69s after an extremely windy day on the West Course. The team would capture the title on the second play-off hole with a birdie on the par 5 second hole.
The Gateway PGA Junior Golf Program begins the 2010 season with new and exciting options. The most important is the introduction of BlueGolf, a scoring system that will be incorporated at all levels. When you register as a member through BlueGolf, you get an ID and password to use for future entrance. All the scores will be registered online when the players step off the course.The program includes kids age 5 up to graduating high school seniors. About 1,000 golfers are expected to take part in the series of more than 100 tournaments. Visit the juniors page at gatewaypga.org for more info.
Parkway South grad Scott Langley helped lead Illinois to back-to-back Big Ten golf titles. The Fighting Illini returned the entire lineup from 2009’s conference title and survived an all-out blitzkrieg from the likes of Michigan, Northwestern and finally Iowa, surviving for a three-shot victory to accomplish the feat no Illinois team has in nearly 70 years. Junior Chris DeForest edged out Langley, who is a junior, for the Les Bolstad Award signifying the top stroke average in the Big Ten this year (71.54).
HIGH SCHOOL GOLF
Westminster Christian Academy recently won the Webster Cup golf tournament at Cresent Farms Golf Course and had the medalist, too. DeSmet was second with a score of 306. Parkway South came in third at 320 and Chaminade was fourth at 323. A total of 150 golfers competed.
Parkway West’s Gabe Laske finished third. He also shot a 72 but lost the tiebreaker. Eureka’s Matt Miklas shot a 73 to finish in a tie for fourth with DeSmet’s Nick Arman.
With the season just beginning for most golfers, it’s important to remember that while talent and skill play important roles, the success of anyone’s game relies greatly on having the right equipment. If you want to improve your game, here are some pointers:
Use clubs that fit. Clubs that are too heavy will be difficult to control. A club that’s too long or short will throw off a golfer’s stance and swing.
Get a custom fit. Custom club fitting can greatly improve performance. Clubs fit to body type and ability help promote posture, straighter and longer drives, and more accuracy with your irons.
Regrip your clubs. Fresh grips are proven to shave three to four strokes off a single round, so changing your grips annually will keep you playing your best.
Go hybrid. The forgiveness of a hybrid club is awesome. Though the designs and lofts vary from make to make, they generally have a small, compact head, wide sole and low center of gravity.
Play the Right ball. The surface of most golf balls consists of 300 to 400 dimples, which are designed to improve the ball’s aerodynamics. If your game needs more distance, consider using a ball that reduces spin and carriers farther.
If you have golf news to report, contact me at email@example.com. In the meantime, hit them straight.