Downstate Illinois’ Rock River is steeped in history

By Len Ziehm

ROCK FALLS, IL. —  I’ll admit it.  I’m a sucker for golf history. That explains why it seemed a good idea to stop by what had been Rock River Country Club en route to the PGA Tour’s John  Deere Classic in Silvis, about 40 miles further west.

Rock River Celebrating 100 YearsOfficially known now as Rock River Golf  & Pool, the facility is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013.

Several clubs in the Chicago suburbs have long past  year No. 100.  The Downers Grove golf course was America’s first 18-hole course when it opened in 1892.  It was reduced to a nine-holer long ago and is now owned by the Downers Grove Park District. Continue reading

NW Indiana: Start is spectacular at Lost Marsh

By Len Ziehm

Lost Marsh Clubhouse Hammond

HAMMOND, Ind. – The Lost Marsh golf course didn’t exist when I lived in Northwest Indiana from 1967-69 and was just getting serious about golf. What a shame!

Back then, while working for the Hammond Times immediately after finishing college, the courses of choice were Wicker Park – it had a player-friendly course, the best hot dogs in Indiana and a most friendly staff – and the much newer Scherwood, in Schererville. Then there was Woodmar, right next to Wicker, but it was a private club and difficult to get on. Continue reading