Hofmann: H-F parks honors Tennisfest founder
By Maryellen Hofmann Citizen Journalistemail@example.com August 2, 2012 12:46PM
Tom Denklau recently was named general manager and head golf professional at Coyote Run Golf Course in Flossmoor. | Supplied Photo
Updated: September 6, 2012 6:07AM
The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District recently celebrated 25 years of Tennisfest and honored the event’s founder and director, Sylvia Gothard.
According to park district officials, Gothard has worked for 35 years at the H-F Racquet & Fitness Club. She is the club’s racquet sports manager and has directed the tennis festival all 25 years.
Gothard is credited with raising the profile of tennis in the Homewood-Flossmoor area and surrounding communities. Park district officials say she has been running programs, special tennis events and a minimum of 18 tournaments a year at the fitness club since 1977.
Under her watch, the club has won numerous awards including the Chicago Tennis Patrons and Chicago District Tennis Association Facility of the Year for its outstanding and innovative programs.
Additional awards include USTA/Midwest Section Organization of the Year, USTA/National Organization of the Year and USTA/NPRA Excellence in Tennis Programming Award.
Tournaments have included the Maureen Brinker Connelly Foundation’s Little Mo’ Sectionals and Regionals, Special Olympics Area tournaments, National Women’s 35, 45, 55 Indoor Championships, as well as hosting college matches and interleague play.
Gothard personally has been awarded the Billie Jean King Lifetime Achievement Award (2007), the USPTA Illinois State Professional of the Year (twice), Chicago District Tournament Director of the Year (three times), USPTA/Midwest Nancy Mickler Award (three times), USPTA Midwest Pro of the Year (2006) as well as induction into the USPTA Hall of Fame-Midwest Division.
Gothard also is a USPTA Master Professional — one of only a handful of women in the U.S. to hold this honor — a USTA National Certified Referee, and an ITF (International Tennis Federation) White Badge referee.
Of her many accomplishments, she said she is most proud of her students, many of whom have developed into players that have gone on to compete at the college level and many of whom now are full-time tennis teaching professionals.
“When I started this, I just wanted to show tennis through a different light. It’s not something I dreamed would last this long,” Gothard said. “As long as people show up and enjoy it, that’s what counts.”
Local orthodontist opens new office
Downtown Flossmoor’s loss is Homewood’s gain.
Dr. Lisa Grant, whose orthodontic office has been a fixture on Sterling Avenue for 19 years, recently opened a new facility at 18243 S. Harwood, Homewood.
Office manager Robin McElligott describes the new facility as spacious and inviting. The new office is located in Homewood’s business district, adjacent to Aurelio’s Pizza. Grant and her growing staff relocated to accommodate more patients and offer extended hours.
Grant received her doctor of dental surgery degree in 1991 from the University of Illinois Dental School, where she was inducted into the Omikron Kappa Upsilon Fraternity, an honor for excellence in dentistry.
She attended Northwestern University Dental School, where she completed her master of science degree and received her orthodontic certificate in 1993.
She is a member of the Homewood-Flossmoor Chamber of Commerce and is a supporter of many local businesses and charities.
Coyote Run welcomes new golf pro
The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District recently welcomed Tom Denklau as general manager and head golf professional at Coyote Run Golf Course, 800 S. Kedzie Ave., Flossmoor.
Denklau holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis.
Before joining the park district, he served as director of golf at Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale.
He started his 18-year career with Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge and has been a PGA Class-A Professional since 2000.
In his new role, Denklau will be responsible for leagues, tournaments, schedules and programs, as well as interpreting and enforcing golf rules and course regulations.
Denklau said he is impressed with Coyote Run’s reputation.
“I personally enjoy teaching beginners, but I am also focused on increasing group business revenue and production,” he said.
Denklau has been married for 14 years and has four children. He said his lifelong goal is to caddy for one of his children in a major golf tournament.