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Thursday, 30 March 2017 12:57

Spring means golf opportunities abound in Stateline area

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A golfer chips to the green on hole No. 17 at Hawk’s View Golf Club in Lake Geneva. A golfer chips to the green on hole No. 17 at Hawk’s View Golf Club in Lake Geneva. Dan Plutchak/Staff

Whether it’s signing up youth for their first lessons, participating in the weekly men’s or women’s scramble, teeing it up for bragging rights at a municipal tournament or joining the gallery at a PGA touring event, 2017 will offer Stateline area golf enthusiasts a wide variety of options to enjoy the links.

(More Spring Home & Outdoors stories are HERE.)

One such effort features the Walworth County Visitors Bureau, which is teaming up with nine golf courses in hopes that families and individuals will get out their clubs more often this year through a passport program.

Free or discounted rates will be offered at Alpine Valley, Lake Lawn, Country Club Estates, Delbrook, Hawk’s View, Evergreen, Geneva National, Grand Geneva and Whitewater Country Club.

The passports are valid throughout the golf season. They include two certificates for complimentary greens fees at all nine clubs from opening day through May 25 or from Oct. 2 through closing day. Passports also include one certificate for buying one greens fee, getting one free from May 26 through Oct. 1 at all nine participating golf clubs, providing a total 27 rounds of golf.

The cost of the passport is $149.95 and may be purchased online at LakeGenevaGolfTrail.com or at the visitors’ bureau office, 2375 E. Geneva St., Delavan. Only 400 passports will be available. Call 262-728-6000 for more information.

U.S. Open

Meanwhile, those who wish to see the world’s top players up close and personal can join the daily mass of thousands attending the 117th U.S. Open Championship, which will be played June 15 through June 18 at Erin Hills, located about 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee near Hartford. Lead-up activities are scheduled June 12 through June 14.

Erin Hills will be the sixth public-access course to host the championship, with more than 35,000 spectators expected to attend each day and more than 5,000 volunteers working at the scenic venue that is like few others.

It is routed over the Kettle Moraine areas left by glaciers, surrounded by wetlands and a river, with ground that consists of glacial till of varied composition of sand and small rock. Course architects used fescue for the fairways to emphasize the natural contours of the property and provide a firm-playing surface that plays shorter than its length on the scorecard.

For more information, go to www.usga.org. For details about tickets, go to www.usga.org/tickets.html.

First tee

And who knows? Maybe a top contender for one of the LPGA or PGA’s most coveted trophies will cut his or her golfing teeth through the First Tee program, which provides opportunities for youngsters age 6 and older with all skill levels (boys and girls) to learn and/or improve their games.

One example in the Stateline area is the city of Janesville, where the organization is beginning its fifth year with sessions at Blackhawk and Riverside golf courses.

The offerings will be divided into four programs:

n Saturday Spring Target Sessions, Riverside: This three weeks worth of lessons establishes the foundation for youth to become life-long players: good judgment, problem solving and approaching adversity with a level head and incorporating them into each lesson.  

n Friday Junior League, Blackhawk: This 10-week league offers the same lessons as the spring target sessions. Instruction lasts from 30 to 60 minutes, followed by two, five or nine holes of golf (accompanied by adult mentors).

n Junior Academy, Riverside: Golfers learn the same rules of the game, but their lessons last for 105 minutes, with instruction divided between the practice areas and the golf course with an emphasis placed on the former. Players will be placed into age categories of third through fifth or sixth grade and sixth/seventh through ninth grade with a limit of 30 golfers per class.

n Junior Golfing Leagues, both courses: Participants must have completed Junior League, Junior Academy or nine-hole Junior League to take part in this eight-week program. Each session starts with 15 to 30 minutes of instruction before nine holes of play at Blackhawk or 18 holes at Riverside.

For schedules, fees and more information, go to www.janesvilleriverside.com or www.janesvilleblackhawk.com. Contact Steve Loomis at Riverside at 608-757-3080, Nathan Laird at Blackhawk at 608-757-3090 or email questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Pro-am golf

These youngsters then could develop enough to participate in some of the best tournaments in Rock, Walworth or Winnebago counties, one of the top events being the Beloit Health System Foundation’s Pro-Am.

Professional golfer Rocco Mediate will be the featured guest pro at the 32nd annual tourney, which is scheduled at The Beloit Club on Monday, July 31.

Mediate, who turned pro in 1985, is a six-time winner on the PGA tour. Now a member of the Champions Tour, Mediate has won three championships including the 2016 Senior PGA Championship. He has been featured in the top 20 of the official world golf rankings and is widely considered one of the best putters in golf.

The tournament invites 96 amateur golfers and 24 state pro players. Each team includes four amateurs and one pro. Mediate will be stationed to play the 10th hole with each fivesome.

Proceeds will benefit the Hendricks Family Heart Hospital. Call Lara Hermann at 608-363-5724 for more information.

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