I was among the 140 golfers that participated in Tuesday’s event on Medinah’s No. 2 course. Jim Cornelison highlighted the pre-golf luncheon with his signature rendition of the National Anthem, an experience made even more memorable when done Blackhawk-style in the confines of the club’s ballroom. More money was raised from a spirited auction, one item of which included two paintings.
The golf was delayed twice by rain – once before the round started and once while it was in progress – but the event was still an unqualified success. Mark Slaby, a Medinah member and the event founder, said this latest Medinah Patriot Day will gross over $200,000 to aid military families and that’s up from the $140,000 the event grossed last year.
“For a golf outing that was outstanding,’’ said Slaby. “Our message is being amplified. We sold out (the playing spots) 50 days in advance and I suspect that if you haven’t applied by February next year you’re not going to get in. We’re trying to get people to sign up quick.’’
Slaby had to work through a Ryder Cup on Medinah’s No. 3 course and a Tom Doak renovation that closed the club’s No. 1 course. Next year No. 2 will be closed for a restoration (I’ll be reporting on the particulars in Facebook/lenziehmongolf).
Medinah Patriot Day, though, has awarded 67 scholarships over its first six years and now has a full-time executive director, Michael Ziener.
“We have an opportunity to take the event to another level,’’ said Slaby. “Next year we’ll be back on the No. 1 course and will try to expand to two courses, and by this time next year we’ll be over 100 scholarships.’’