GOLF, Ill. – July 20, 2023 – The Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Selection Committee voted to advance 10 nominees as finalists for consideration into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2023. The Hall of Fame Selection Committee will vote to confirm the final inductees at its next meeting on July 25. The committee had 26 nominees to review as potential finalists.
“We had outstanding nominees to choose from representing many aspects of the game,” said Selection Committee chair Tim Cronin. “We now have our 10 finalists set and will vote on them at the final Selection Committee meeting next week, which will determine the 2023 Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class.”
The following nominees were voted as finalists:
- Doug Bauman – A dogged competitor, Bauman has won five state majors since arriving at Biltmore Country Club from Wisconsin in 1985. He captured two Illinois PGA Professional Championships in succession in 1996 and 1997, but has made match play his specialty, with three Illinois PGA Match Play titles, four runner-up placings, and three more appearances in the semifinals. More recently, he’s won a pair of Illinois PGA Senior Match Play titles at Shoreacres. He’s 6-6-2 in 14 Radix Cup appearances.
- Randy Kane – Nicknamed “The Family Doctor” for his close attention to the turf quality of the Chicago District’s courses, Kane has a doctorate in plant pathology from Cornell University and served as the Chicago District Golf Association’s first director of turfgrass programs from 1985 through 2006. He was a leader in identifying problems and passing the solutions to some 400 clubs in the CDGA area.
- Ken Lapp – Born to be a golf course superintendent like his father, Lapp spend 70 of his 82 years working on golf courses, 58 of them as a course superintendent, and all of them working for Jemsek Golf. He started as a teen at St. Andrews, became superintendent at Fresh Meadow at 19, and eventually spent 40 years as boss of all that grew at Cog Hill’s four courses. In his time, Cog Hill hosted 20 Western Open / BMW Championships, plus three USGA championships and the Western Junior. Lapp lived in a house adjacent to the 18th fairway of Dubsdread, steps from the maintenance facility, and after his retirement from full-time work, spent six more years on the grounds crew at Pine Meadow.
- Michael Miller – Built the stature of the Illinois Section and area of golf in general over 20 years as the Illinois PGA’s Executive Director. Miller helped create the Illinois PGA Foundation, attracted corporate sponsors for the Section’s championships, including the Illinois Open, and boosted the visibility of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame through permanent exhibits at The Glen Club. In his time, the Section created the Youth Skills Challenge for the 2006 PGA Championship, which was resurrected for the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.
- Tim O’Neal – Like mentor Bill Ogden before him, Tim O’Neal has been a mentor to many assistants in his 22-year career as Head PGA Professional at North Shore Country Club. O’Neal was an assistant to Ogden for three years before taking the head job at Country Club of Peoria, returning to North Shore in 1995. Twice a Section Professional of the Year (first in South Florida in 1994, then in Illinois in 2005), O’Neal also served on the Illinois PGA and Foundation boards and is currently President of the Illinois PGA Foundation. Twenty-three of his assistants and students have become head professionals, directors of golf or instruction across the country. In recent years, O’Neal has been responsible for reuniting hundreds of PGA Professionals with their earned share of a total of $3 million held in a forgotten retirement savings fund created by golf manufacturer Slazenger in the 1980s.
- Bruce Patterson – A two-time Illinois PGA professional of the year (1993, 1996), Patterson was instrumental in creating and nurturing the Illinois PGA Foundation. The longtime Head PGA Professional / Director of Golf at Butler National Golf Club spent a decade as President of the Foundation and was also the Section President in 1995-96, and also a PGA of America Regional Director. Named the Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year in 2001, he is among the best at getting his players to escape bunkers. He earned PGA Master Professional status with a thesis on hosting a PGA Tour tournament, in Butler’s case the Western Open, at his club.
- Joseph Roseman – An inventor, manufacturer, architect, superintendent and player. All those titles apply to Joe Roseman, who arrived in Illinois in 1917, when he was 29 and immediately began to revolutionize the agronomy business. One of his larger projects was the 36-hole Pickwick Golf Course in Glenview. It was taken over by the Navy when World War II began, and the 18 remaining holes lasted until The Glen Club was laid atop much of the original course. The company he was a major investor in also controlled Elmgate, which is now Glenview Park GC, and Wilmette GC before Northwestern University acquired it. Next to Wilmette, his innovations included one of, if not the first, lighted golf course for night play, a nine-hole par 3 layout. The lack of modern bug spray and the Depression times force the closure after a few years.
- Dave Ryan – Coming out of Taylorville, Ryan has built a formidable resume in senior amateur golf. Four times (2009, 2013, 2015, 2016), Ryan’s won the Illinois Senior Amateur. Seven times in an eight-year span from 2009 through 2016, he won the Chicago District Golf Association’s Senior Player of the Year award. Three times he captured the Central Illinois Player of the Year honor. And in 2016, he won the U.S. Senior Amateur at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis. He’s 8-5-2 in 15 Radix Cup appearances.
- Bruce Williams – A descendant of a long line of family members significant in the golf community in the Chicago metropolitan area, Bruce Williams grew up on the grounds of Beverly Country Club where his father, Bob M. Williams (IHOF inductee 1990) was the Golf Course Superintendent. Bob eventually moved his family to Lake Forest, Illinois to be the Golf Course Superintendent at Bob O’Link Golf Club in Highland Park, Ill. And after college Bruce went to work for his father at Bob O’Link Golf Club. Bruce worked his way up to Assistant Superintendent and eventually succeeded his father as Golf Course Superintendent when he retired in 1976. It was during his 20 years at Bob O’Link that Bruce developed his reputation as a leader and respected expert in the profession of golf course management. After his 20 years at Bob O’Link, Bruce headed for sunny Los Angeles where he assumed the position of Director of Golf Course and Grounds at another top 100 club, the Los Angeles Country Club. In 2010, Bruce returned to Wauconda, IL where he continues to expand his entrepreneurial endeavors as the International Sales and Marketing Director for Brandt Fertilizer Company.
- Bob Zender – The club champion at Northmoor Country Club at the age of 14, Bob Zender served early notice that he was a player. He reproved that in college, winning back-to-back Big Ten individual titles at Purdue in 1964-65, scoring second-team All-America honors in the latter year. He won the first of three Illinois Amateur titles in 1964, with back-to-back wins in 1970-71. His record Illinois Amateur score of 270 at Kankakee Country Club in 1971 stood until Nick Hardy’s 260 in 2016. Zender also won the Sunnehanna Amateur in 1971, and after turning pro, won the PGA Tour qualifying tournament, the start of a 10-year tour career. During that time, he had 232 PGA Tour starts, and made 108 cuts. He won three straight Illinois PGA Championships (1976-78) as a Tour member. Years before, he became coholder of the Ridgemoor course record, having matched Ben Hogan’s 62.
The Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, November 10, 2023 at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill., home of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame.
About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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