News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 1, 2013

Valley golf courses ready — if weather cooperates

Tom Reck
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — Most Wabash Valley golf courses have been open for about a month now, but the number of good golf days has been minimal.

Dave Kennedy, manager of golf operations for the city of Terre Haute, is in his ninth year as the pro at Rea Park. He and others recall last year and compare then to this season.

“We had so many good days last year with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. It’s been lousy this year,” Kennedy noted.

With better weather the past few days, play has picked up at all courses and should be better this week, barring another spring snowfall or rain.

Practice for boys high school golf teams also has been hampered by the rain. Many of them will begin their season Saturday, competing in the Northview Invitational at Forest Park.

While Kennedy is the pro at Rea Park and Hulman Links, he says Mike Roshel is the assistant pro at Hulman Links.

Dave and Don Alumbaugh continue their work as superintendents at Hulman Links and Rea Park respectively. Bailey Craft at Hulman Links and Steph Meyers at Rea Park are among those who handle check-in and other duties at the courses, while Kenny Wooden again is the host and manager for the restaurant at Hulman Links.

Kennedy says season-ticket rates for Rea Park were up some, but the price of a joint Rea Park/Hulman Links ticket is down.

“We are encouraging play at both courses,” he said.

When Hulman Links first opened last month, play was restricted to one nine due to work being done, but both nines were open for play last week.

Kennedy said Hulman Links will have new sources of water and Zoysia grass will be put in at the course as funds become available.

“We will sod the landing area of each fairway and strip sod the remaining area,” he said.

“We have a new point-of-sale system that will provide better reports and track revenue,” said Kennedy.

He said the men’s city tournament will be played in July this year instead of September and that a two-man best-ball event is slated for April 13-14 at Rea Park.

The Rose-Hulman Men’s Invitational and Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference meets are coming up this month and a high school regional will be played at Hulman Links with teams coming from six sectionals in qualifying for the state finals.

Checking out other courses:

• Idle Creek — Ray Goddard begins his 10th season as the course pro. He says a Spring Fling Scramble is scheduled for April 27.

Western Indiana Conference boys golf teams will vie for league honors and Indiana State football and baseball outings are scheduled at Idle Creek, giving fans the chance to meet and play with players and coaches.

• Mark’s Par Three — This course is in its 50th year. The late Mark LaGrange built it in 1963 and regular play began the following season. His family operates the facility and says some special events will be planned for 2014.

Kenny Walsh is the superintendent, and Neil LaGrange is a USTG-certified teaching pro.

Two tournaments played at the course are the Riley Lions Club Junior Tournament in June and Friends of Seelyville Fundraiser. Some of the proceeds from the latter event go to the Mark LaGrange Scholarship Fund.

• River Bend at The Landing — Darrell Davis is the manager of the nine-hole course, and Billy Alumbaugh continues to keep the facility in good shape.

• Forest Park in Brazil — Troy Farris is director of golf at the course. Tom Cain continues his work as superintendent, and John Tribble has been working at the facility since 1997.

As noted, the Northview Invitational is this Saturday with a shotgun start of 1 p.m.

A two-man scramble is April 27-28, and a senior two-man scramble will be played June 1-2, while the Brazil Open is set for June 22-23.

• Hoosier Hills Golf Club — Danny Royer and Wil Strain have operated the nine-hole course for 10 years.

• Oak Ridge in Clay County — Jim Metz is the owner and Brian Metz is superintendent.

Outings are planned throughout the summer with a benefit for the Down Syndrome Foundation set for April 29.

• Matthews Park in Clinton — Richard Brown is manager of the course that was opened for play in 1958. Tom Bekkering is the superintendent.

The Spaghetti Open again is scheduled for early September at the course.

• Geneva Hills at Clinton — Eddie and J.P. Kanizer handle work at the facility. A two-man scramble will be played in May.

• Phil Harris Course at Linton — Most boys high school golf teams in the Valley again will play their sectional at the course. The Linton Miners won the sectional last season.