On the Green: June is a great month for golf

If you’re a golf fan, June is a great month because it marks the beginning of a series of golf events that are sure to perk your interest.  Golfers of all handicaps and ages will enjoy June because it offers some great opportunities to see some of the greatest golfers in the world, both young and old, male and female.  Beginning this month and carrying through into September, Chicago golf fans can see their favorite players in some terrific tournaments.  There’s nothing like being at one of these events and seeing these players hit some of those shots that you admire watching TV on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The highlight of the viewing opportunities in the Chicagoland area is the U.S. Open, one of the four majors, which be contested at Erin Hills June 15–18, in nearby Hartford, WI.  What’s great about seeing the pros on this course is their ability to hit shots under tremendous pressure and the fact that Erin Hills is a public venue that anyone can play.  I will have the opportunity to see the U.S. Open at Erin Hills via a Father’s Day gift from my son, and I can’t wait to see the course and the pros in action.

A little later in the month and a little closer to home, you can see the best lady pros compete in the KMPG Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club, June 29–July 2.  If you enjoy golf and are more than 65 years of age, you’ll probably get more out of watching the ladies than the men because their games are more similar to ours.  On a personal level, I can never hit a 300-yard drive, but I can hit one about 240, which is what the ladies hit their shots.

Beginning the month of June is the Web.com Tour event, the Rust Oleum Championship, at Ivanhoe Club in Mundelein, June 5–11.  If you’re not familiar with the Web.com Tour, visit Ivanhoe and see the next generation on the tour.  This event is a great opportunity to see these players in a less congested venue, and I can tell you from personal experience that there’s nothing minor league about these golfers!

In July, there’s the John Deere Classic, which will be played July 13–16 at the TPC Course in Silvis, which is right near the Quad cities, and again this PGA event is being played on a course that is open to the public.  I’ve played it a couple of times and seeing the pros play it in 20 under par gives a whole new meaning to the Tour slogan, “These guys are good!”

In September, venture out to Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Sept. 14–17, to see 70 of the top touring pros compete for the final 30 spots in the Tour Championship.  In addition, this tournament is also a fundraiser for the Western Golf Association and the Evan Scholars.

In addition to these opportunities to see the best players in the world up close and personal, you’ll be able to experience some of the finest golf courses in the world.  Chicago is blessed with having an abundance of terrific golf courses, and these tournaments will be played on some tough tracts.  The shots these players will hit from some of the most difficult lies and under the most intense pressure will amaze you and reawaken your desire to get better at the game.

And speaking of getting better at golf, let me share with some lighter thoughts about the game of golf:

* Golf is a difficult game, but you shouldn’t take it too seriously or lose your perspective—it’s just a game.

* When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more golf balls.

* A golf match is a test of your skills against your opponent’s luck.

* Non chalant putts count the same as chalant ones.

* The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.

* Remember, it’s not a gimme if you’re still away.

* And, don’t forget that no matter how bad you are playing, it’s always possible to play worse.

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