Golf: Inwood Golf Course to host Long Drive Competition
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media July 4, 2013 9:46PM
Frank Hohenadel. | File photo
Updated: August 6, 2013 6:26AM
No fairways in regulation. No clutch putt with a tournament line. Brian Legan keeps it simple. Hit it straight, hit it far and hit it hard.
The general manager at Inwood Golf Course in Joliet, Legan and Inwood will host the 8th Annual Joliet Park District Long Drive Competition, starting at 4 p.m. Friday.
“This is something we look forward to every year,” Legan said. “We have had a lot of success with it the past few years, and we are looking at another good field (this year).”
Beginning at 4 p.m., competitors over four divisions will have a chance to blast from the tees in hopes of claiming the longest drive. Each competitor will be given six balls per entry and will have three minutes to hit all six.
Only shots that land in the driving grid (about 40 feet wide) will be counted.
The senior division (55 years and older) kicks things off at 4 p.m., with the women’s division following at 4:30 p.m. and the Mac division (between 45 and 55 years old) at 5 p.m.
The Open division wraps things up at 6 p.m. Saving the best for last, Legan has seen some weird occurrences over the years late in the competition.
“It’s odd, because for two hours the wind will be blowing out as things unfold,” Legan said with a laugh. “Then right before 6 p.m., the winds changes and blows right at them (as they tee off). We wanted to open it up to the divisions, giving the event a lot of appeal.”
Legan also points out the different setting also adds a different layer to the proceedings. Teeing off on your own with a group is one thing. Doing so in timed fashion with spectators watching is one very different story.
“You get up there to the tee, and it is a different feeling,” Legan said. “That energy and adrenaline is flowing, and sometimes it comes down to who can harness it. To hit it further, you want to put a good swing on the ball, good contact and go with it, just hit it solid.”
Already looking ahead to next year, Legan foresees some changes in the future, ranging from a change in dates to avoid the Fourth of July holiday to tweaking the driving grid. For now, though, the addition of the divisions over the past few years has produced more than worthy results.
“We wanted to open it up to the divisions, giving the event a lot of appeal,” Legan said. “People can come out and compete, then sit back and watch the big guys hit.”
Jason Bogart is the defending champion for the Longest Drive competition, having won the event in both 2012 and ’10. Frank Hohenadel won in ’11 and ’07 while Ryan Schultz (2008, ’09) and Adam Tatro (’06) also have claimed the competition’s top honors.
Family time at Cog Hill
Cog Hill Golf & Country Club is offering four different Family Golf Programs in July.
“Take Your Child to the Course” week runs July through Sunday, with children 17 and younger receiving a free greens fee when accompanied by a paying adult on Course No. 1. “Take Your Daughter to the Course Week” runs Monday through 14 with a similar free greens fee.
“Take Your Children to the Range” is offered throughout July with children 17 and younger receiving a junior bucket of balls.
Cog Hill also is offering Family Golf Sundays and Wednesdays through August, with nine holes offered ($10 per golfer), along with a golf cart and a snack. Cog Hill has two sets of yardages for family golf.