Kemper Sports ManagementFALL 2000
VOL 9 NO 2

500 Skokie Boulevard Ste 444
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: 847-291-9666  Fax: 847-291-0271


"When golfers come to play The Glen Club, they won’t believe they are playing on what were once airplane runways."

World-Renowned golf architect Tom Fazio talked about his latest project at the gala event.

That’s what golf course architect Tom Fazio told more than 220 guests who attended a gala cocktail party on the site of The Glen Club, the new 18-hole championship layout he is designing for KemperSports Management and partner Mike Keiser of Keiser Golf, on the former Glenview Naval Air Station base in Glenview, Illinois.

The $25 million project will feature an upscale championship golf course, open to the public and slated to be the site of the annual Illinois PGA’s Illinois Open tournament. A 48,000 square-foot clubhouse will house the headquarters of the IPGA and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, an interactive museum highlighting the history of golf in the state. The facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2001.

"What a project to come back to," said Fazio. "It’s been about 10 years since I have designed a golf course here in the Chicago area. If anyone told me that when I did get back here I’d be designing a golf course on a naval air station base, I never would have believed it.

This is a great project for us," Fazio said. "Because there so many great courses in the region, Chicago-area golfers have a unique appreciation for the sport and for the places where it is played. We are thrilled to be returning to Chicago.

"Being a former military base, the site presents a unique challenge to our team," he continued. "But, no doubt, The Glen Club will be a world class facility, the kind that has sealed the Chicago area’s reputation as a great golf town. This is especially true considering that one of the most highly regarded management companies in the golf industry is at the helm. My team is thrilled to be working with KemperSports."

The fact that the world-renowned architect was present for the occasion, generated even more excitement. Fazio, widely regarded as the leading golf course architect of his generation, has designed 20 of the "Top-100 Best Modern Courses" by Golfweek and named "Top-10 Architect of All-Time" by Golf Digest. His peers have named him "Golf Course Architect of the Year" three separate years, an unheard-of achievement.

Fazio took a brief respite from his hectic schedule and officially unveiled his work-in-progress to the public. Village officials, corporate members and selected guests were all on hand to enjoy a social gathering and spend some time talking with Fazio and some of the key KemperSports personnel involved in The Glen Club.

For the few who were still doubtful about what kind of a golf course facility could be made by transforming flat-as-a-pancake runways into rolling, undulating golf course fairways, a guided tour was made available.

Dirt was moved and shaping had taken place on holes 1 through 5, so guests were four-wheeled to the No. 1 green, all the way around No. 2, behind the tee at No. 3, around 5 green, up 5 fairway to 5 tee and a stop at the par-3, No. 4 hole where they could compete in a closest-to-the-pin contest and be a part of the ceremonious "I Hit One of the First Balls at The Glen Club." Former Glenview Mayor and Kemper Insurance employee Jim Smirles won the contest.

Taking the tour was all that a group of prospective corporate members needed. KemperSports has a limited number of corporate memberships for sale, and after seeing the site, several interested parties rapidly signed on the dotted line.

"If this event is any indication, then The Glen Club is well on its way to its goal of continuing the tradition of great golf courses being created in the Chicago area beginning 100 years ago," said Steve Lesnik, CEO of KemperSports Management.

Josh Lesnik, acting as General Manager of The Glen Club, echoed the enthusiasm.

"Seeing all this activity and talking with people who are excited about it because they can now visualize what is going on here really adds to the excitement KemperSports feels for this endeavor," said Lesnik, who is finishing up his stint as GM at Bandon Dunes in Bandon, Oregon, before returning full time to The Glen Club this fall. Under his reign, Bandon Dunes was crowned "No. 1 Upscale Golf Course in 1999" by Golf Digest.


Left to right: Rob Goulet and Ernie Els,  J. Michael Poellet and Brian Costello, both of JMP Design Group got together for a final review before grand opening day.

"I am very excited that Whiskey Creek is open and golfers are experiencing my first golf course design," said two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els. "The goal here was to create a layout reminiscent of more traditional designs, similar to the courses where I won my two U.S. Opens. I believe that has been achieved."

That was Els’ reaction to debut of Whiskey Creek Golf Course, the new 7,001-yard layout in Ijamsville, Maryland, created by Els and architect J. Michael Poellot of JMP Golf Design. The 18-hole course, located on the border of Montgomery County, Maryland and less than 45 minutes from Washington D.C. and Baltimore, received rave reviews from critics and players alike.

The Washington Times led the pack with its review in May of 2000: "Whiskey Creek could push Bulle Rock as the area’s best daily-fee facility. As it is, this course immediately joins the region’s upper echelon quartet of Augustine (Leesburg, VA), Beechtree (Aberdeen, MD), Raspberry Falls (Leesburg) and Swan Point (Issue, MD). And the extremely reasonable price tag includes cart fee, small bag of balls and the Prolink system. Overall, this layout oozes more disarming personality than a room full of gin-soaked Brits, proving that Els has at least one other major talent. Quite simply, the aptly named course is 110-proof - smooth and solid with just enough bite."

In its April, 2000 issue, Golf Magazine detailed the "30 mile views…spectacular tee shots…and the par-5 finishing hole that is truly remarkable…"

Over 350 players came out on grand opening weekend. All had an enthusiastic reaction, and were impressed with the design and the conditioning of the new layout.

"It was a great opening weekend," said GM Tom Saathoff. "We had a lot of players come out and enjoy the new facility and said they couldn’t wait to get back here. They had nothing but good things to say about the golf course and its conditioning."

It has been three years since KemperSports Management first approached Els about doing a golf course design. The 30 year-old South African boasted a successful record where competitive golf was concerned, but golf design was an entirely different story. Els welcomed the new challenge but did not want to disappoint when it came to this new endeavor.

"Whiskey Creek is my first venture in golf course design," said Els, "Michael (Poellot) was the main man," he continued. "I’m still learning this side of the business and that takes time. I’m excited about it, though. I’ve played some great golf courses and I have a sense of what makes a great golf hole. I’m using that knowledge and building upon it. I’m also keeping in mind what I don’t like about golf courses, such as tricked-up layouts. Of course, I don’t want my courses to be pushovers, either. I want them to be playable."

Els made several trips to Maryland, checking in on Whiskey Creek’s progress. What he may have lacked in experience he more than made up for with his extensive background.

It resulted in a golf course that is a tried-and-true championship layout. Whiskey Creek is an honest golf course, with its challenges and hazards in plain sight. And in keeping with Els’ preference for classic courses, the holes at Whiskey Creek have been designed to challenge a player’s shot making ability.

"Whiskey Creek is a course where you have the opportunity to play a full range of golf shots and really think about your strategy for playing each hole," Els said. "It’s a course that offers that traditional feel to the public golfer, not just a course where you bang the ball around."

At the same time, Els and Poellot were determined to make the golf course as playable as possible. Higher handicappers will like the generous fairways, the multiple sets of tees, the open approaches provided to most greens and the gentle contours of the greens themselves.

"Whiskey Creek offers a wonderful opportunity for a highly memorable round of golf due to the great diversity of the natural setting of the site’s surroundings," said KemperSports Senior Vice President Steve Skinner. "The golf course is a very true test of golf that we know golfers of all abilities will enjoy playing time and time again."

Els plans on returning to Whiskey Creek in early August for an official Grand Opening celebration.

Whiskey Creek Golf Club is bordered by a high ridge of hardwoods and a winding, free-flowing creek, containing many different environments and natural features: springs, streams, stone walls, wetlands, rock outcroppings, broad meadows, pine forests and dramatic views of the Catoctin Mountains. Poellot and Els designed Whiskey Creek, taking full advantage of its spectacular setting.

"The property is amazing," Poellot added. "It’s only 40 minutes from Washington, DC, but it feels like a different world."


Chicago prides itself on being "The City That Works." Thanks to the vision and efforts of Mayor Richard M. Daley, the Chicago Park District and KemperGolf Management Chicago, that reputation lives on with the announcement of three new junior learning centers designed to provide access to golf for Chicago area youth.

The Marquette Park Learning Center

On behalf of the Chicago Park District, KemperGolf Management Chicago, an affiliate of KemperSports Management, has begun construction. The learning centers, which will be located at the South Shore Cultural Center, Marquette Park and Douglas Park, are specifically designed to promote a positive environment in which kids can learn the game of golf and some of the lessons it can teach.

"This is wonderful for the city of Chicago and children who love the game of golf," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "Even kids who had no interest in the game at all, may now want to try golf, too. I look forward to the opening of these learning centers."

Construction of the South Shore Learning Center began in mid-April with three practice greens: one 7,000 square-foot bentgrass putting green, two 4,000 square foot bentgrass chipping greens, one with a large bentgrass approach area and one with two sand bunkers. A hitting station is also slated. In addition, junior tees are being added to the 9-hole golf course at South Shore.

A driving range located on Marquette Island will be the main attraction at the Marquette Park Junior Learning Center. It will feature a 40,000 square foot grass tee with 40 hitting stations. Six target greens, all of varying yardages, will be situated down range. The center will also feature a chipping and putting green along with junior tees on the existing 9-hole course.

A three-hole golf course will be built at Douglas Park Junior Learning Center. There will be three tees on each hole, allowing juniors to play each hole three times, each time from a different yardage. Youngsters can then use the practice green and the 10 hitting stations to be built.

"The Chicago Park District, in conjunction with KemperGolf and its affiliates, has been a leader in junior golf programming. The Chicago Park District has received a tremendous amount of support for junior golf from parents and kids. Hundreds of kids want to play the sport and we are proud to provide the opportunity," said CPD General Superintendent David Doig.

"KemperSports has had a twenty year commitment to junior golf. We are gratified to be able to assist the Mayor and the Park District in providing more access and programming for Chicago area youth," said Jim Hahn, who manages KemperGolf Management Chicago.

Targeted opening dates for the junior centers are: South Shore Learning Center, August 15, 2000; Douglas Park Learning Center, April 1, 2001; and Marquette Park Junior Center, May 2, 2001.


The SBC Senior Open crowned rookie Senior Tour player Tom Kite its champion when the event made its annual stop at Kemper Lakes Golf Course in Long Grove, Illinois, June 5 to 11, 2000. It was Kite’s second Senior PGA Tour victory since joining its ranks this season. He carded 71-68-68-207 and collected $210,000.

SBC Senior Open champion Tom Kite hoist his trophy.

The SBC, formerly the Ameritech, was played a little earlier than usual this year in order to accommodate the U.S. Women’s Open, which was hosted by The Merit Club in Libertyville, Illinois and scheduled for the SBC’s usual dates.

The date change didn’t halt the week-long list of activities that were planned, including free admission to three days worth of pro-ams. Wednesday’s pro-am featured the main attraction: an appearance by NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan, who played on Wednesday.

And it certainly didn’t have any ill effects on Kemper Lakes Golf Course, which enjoyed some of its highest praises in its history this year. The players, as well as the local and national media, all lauded the northwest suburban facility.

"It’s one of the greatest public golf courses," said Gary Player. "The conditioning is impressive and it’s a great golf experience. Perennial Senior Tour favorites Lee Trevino and Lanny Wadkins were in agreement, and added, "This is one of the best, if not the best, course that we play during the year."

"Fans, players and the media really got the chance to see what the course and the facility are about," said Kemper Lakes Golf Course head professional Emil Esposito. "The course looked so good, it commanded everyone’s attention."

The championship would be decided on No. 18. Fleisher, playing one group ahead of Kite, decided to go for broke and a birdie as he stepped into the No. 18 tee box. Unfortunately, his approach shot wound up in a bunker. He escaped, but then pulled a 10-foot par putt, finishing 69-72-68-209 with a one stroke edge over Kite.

Kite, who was unaware of Fleisher’s bogey when he wielded his 7-iron approach to the middle of the green, easily canned the 28-foot birdie putt that remained.

"I’ve been putting well lately, although I’m still shaky on the short ones," said Kite. "But my long putting was excellent all week, and you can’t help but feel confident when you have that going."

"I took a gamble and lost," said Fleisher, who took second place at the SBC for the second straight year. "I thought a birdie could win the tournament. I probably should have tried to make 4 and waited to see what Tom did."


For those who believe you can’t mix business and pleasure, Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia, shatters that myth, combining a high-end conference center with resort amenities. KemperSports Management, whose business is pleasure, has been hired as the development manager to design and build another 18-hole golf course to compliment an existing 18-hole Robert Trent Jones, Jr., course.

"Lansdowne is a first-class quality facility and consistent with our philosophy of working with the "Best in Class" facilities. It’s a perfect match," said KemperSports CEO Steve Lesnik. "Our goal is to continue Lansdowne’s tradition. It’s a wonderfully natural setting for a golf course, so there aren’t any excuses not to create something very special."

Located in the Potomac River Valley and surrounded by the rolling settings of West Virginia, Lansdowne not only offers golf to its patrons, but also a driving range, putting and chipping green, four tennis courts, racquetball and volleyball, indoor and outdoor pools, and walking and jogging trails.

The 45,000 square-foot conference center features a 120-seat tiered amphitheater, audio-visual center and personal conference planning managers to assist.

Visitors to Lansdowne can also experience historic sites and battlefields, wineries, antique centers, outlet and shopping malls, the Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts and the Nation’s Capitol.

Lansdowne is 8 miles from Washington Dulles International Airport and 25 miles from Washington D.C. KemperSports will assemble the design team, including a world-class golf course architect, get the project permitted and oversee construction which should begin next summer.


Golf Digest published its 2000-2001 edition of "Places to Play," a golf guide that tabulated reader’s comments and then ranked 6,000 public and resort courses in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Islands, using a 1 to 5 Star System:

Basic Golf.
Good, but not great.
Very good. Tell a friend it’s worth getting off the highway to play.
Outstanding. Plan your next vacation around it.
Golf at its absolute best. Play at any price at least once in your life. 
1/2 One-half equals one-half star.

In addition to the guide, courses were judged in nine categories: 5 Star Courses; Great/Good Value; Great/Good Service Facilities; Great/Good Condition Courses; Great/Good Pace of Play Courses. The top 200 courses were designated as "Good" or "Great." The top-50 and ties received a "Great" rating, while "Good" courses were those that finished in the next 150 and ties.

The highest KemperSports Management facilities to receive recognition included:

Kemper Lakes Golf Course in Long Grove, Illinois:
Good Condition and Stars

Desert Willow’s Firecliff Course in Palm Desert, California:
"Great" Condition and Stars

Eagle Knoll in Hartsburg, Missouri
"Good" Pace and Stars

Crowfield Golf & Country Club in Goose Creek, 
South Carolina Falcon Ridge in Lenexa, Kansas

Desert Willow was one of only three California courses to earn the "Great Condition" ranking; Eagle Knoll was the only Missouri layout to be designated "Good Pace" and Kemper Lakes was one of 11 in Illinois to earn "Good Condition."

Other notables and reader comments:

Bayou Oaks in New Orleans, Louisiana  
     1/2 "Friendly staff moves ‘em in and moves ‘em out."
Hidden Valley Resort & Golf Club in LaGrange, California
1/2 "Interesting and challenging. A thinking golfer’s course."
Pine Forest Country Club in Somerville, South Carolina
1/2 "Hidden gem in Somerville."
Pipestone Golf Course in Miamisburg, Ohio  
     1/2 "A country club for the public."
The Timbers at Troy in Elkridge, Maryland 
1/2 "Great layout."
California Golf Course in Cincinnati, Ohio  
     "Great municipal course."
Glenview Golf Course in Cincinnati, Ohio  
     "Good public course, challenging from the tips."


PipeStone   For the third straight year PipeStone played host to the Dayton Open Qualifier for the tour event held that week at Yankee Trace Golf Club in Centerville, Ohio…A field of 160 players squared off for 14 open spots… New additions to the staff for 2000: Food & Beverage - Shonda Gilmore, Billie Mohroc & Adrianne Marciniak and Golf Shop - Matt Yoxtheimer & Brenda Davis
Rockwood   Head Golf Professional Bryan Huus was elected to PGA Membership… Sean Calvert was promoted from Shop Assistant to Assistant Golf Professional… Ryan Rafferty was hired as Assistant Superintendent…
Royal Melbourne   New Food & Beverage Team: Wendy Bailey was promoted from Catering Sales Manager to Food & Beverage Manager… John Brennan, who worked with Wendy at Bull Valley, has also joined the RM staff… RM hired its first full-time fitness director, Constance Olson
Marlton   The 3rd Annual "Drive for Education" benefited 4 area schools and raised over $15,000… F&B Supervisor, Allana Huffman, received certification in the Safe Food Handling program… John Faires, was promoted to Golf Shop Manager… The signature No. 17 hole was recently listed in the Washington Flyer Magazine as one of the "18 Sweetest Golf Holes in the Area"… A Titleist MAPGA Junior Tour event is scheduled for July. A field of 144 players participated in the "Joe Sanford Benefit Charity Tournament" to benefit a family who was dealing with Hodgkin's disease and its effects… Gordon Donahue, Cart Staff, recently spent 16 days in Japan through his high school exchange program… F&B staffer Allyson Ervin is expecting her first child in August...
Pine Forest   Promotions: Rich O'Brien to Membership Director and Mary Silvia to Food & Beverage Manager… Assistant Golf Professional Brad Miller transferred from Crowfield… Low Country Amateur comes to Pine Forest August 11-13… The course will also participate in the National Golf Course Owners Association's (NGCOA) City Wide Golf Blitz August 3…
Crowfield   New Hires: Daryl Connelly as Head Golf Professional, David Burton as Assistant Golf Professional and Brad Shinovich as Assistant Golf Course Superintendent… Crowfield will host the National Golf Course Owners Association's Charleston Golf Blitz on August 2…

Water’s Edge   The IPGA Senior Stroke Play was held at Water's Edge on June 26th, 2000. Gary Groh of Bob-A-Link CC shot 2-under-par-70 in the 32-player field…

Holly Hills   Promotions: Mark Freemott was promoted to Food and Beverage Director at Holly Hills. Mark relocated from Royal Melbourne where he was the Banquet Manager… Dave Younker was promoted to Food and Beverage Supervisor... Andrew Coffman was promoted to Assistant Superintendent after working on the Grounds Crew for 6 years... Mary Hudgins was promoted and transferred to Whiskey Creek as the Food and Beverage Manager… Still waiting for marketing guru Scott Abel to pop the "M" question to fiancée Jennifer Anderson…

Kemper Lakes   Club manager Laura Young-Cray is expecting twins this winter. Kemper Lakes also enjoyed a successful Mother’s Day brunch and an Easter brunch, featuring the Easter Bunny…

Avon Field   The oldest public course west of the Alleghany Mountains hosted the Youth Golf Association (YGA), the oldest junior golf tournament in the greater Cincinnati area. Built in 1914, Avon Field was tallied a par-66 for the boys and par-67 for the girls. A total of 180 children, ages 8 through 17, participated in the event…

Home Office   Congratulations to Nancy Hovey on her move to the Construction Administrative Assistant position. She will be organizing the construction offices of fellow HO staff members Dan Cunningham and David GroelleAdrienne Berdovich joined the Home Office staff as Retail Analyst…

Bandon Dunes   For the first time in its 100-year history, the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Men’s Amateur Championship was held at a public golf course. A field of 168 participants competed for 64 spots in match play competition. Ryan Whittaker defeated Todd Miller, the son of Johnny Miller, in a one-hole playoff for medallist honors, while Jeff Quinney of Eugene, Oregon, who plays golf for Arizona State University, was the champion…

Desert Willow   Desert Willow was the perfect setting for a Mother’s Day brunch that attracted well over 200 guests. The Pro Shop staged a three-day Mom’s Day Sale and, on top of that, moms got to play golf for free! On Father’s Day, dads and their kids played for one rate that included golf and a great barbecue lunch - the Grill Room served over 150 steaks! Plenty of moms and dads also capitalized on the Father’s Day Savings in the Pro Shop… The Firecracker Open was held on July 4. Two man teams played Two-Ball cumulative. There were Gross and Net winners and a barbecue lunch was offered…

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