After experiencing a summer where the regular professional golf tours stayed away from Chicago, excluding the biennial Ryder Cup, it looks like we may not have to relive this situation for at least three more years. According to a recent Crain’s report, the Champions Tour will be staging an annual event in Chicago through 2015.
Glenview’s historic North Shore Country Club is scheduled to host the Encompass Championship on the Champions Tour next June 21-23. Presenting sponsor of the event, Encompass Insurance, has deep ties to Chicago and is headquarted in Northbrook. The company is a subsidiary of The Allstate Corporation and was purchased from Chicago’s CNA Financial in 1999.
The Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay was held this April and won by Michael Allen. The 2013 event will move to its new June date on the Champions Tour schedule and will have a healthy gap between the The 2013 BMW Championship, which will be held at Conway Farms in nearby Lake Forest the week of September 9-15.
This will be the first appearance for the Champions Tour in the Chicago area since the 2002 SBC Senior Open which was won by Bob Gilder at Harborside International. The SBC Senior open was contested for twelve straight years in the Chicagoland area and won three times by Hale Irwin. From 1991-1995 the event was played at Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora. The SBC Senior Open moved to Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Long Grove between 1996-2001. The 2002 event was its only appearance in Chicago at Harborside International.
The Encompass Championship will feature a pro-am format similar to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA Tour. The Champions Tour players also will compete in a traditional 54-hole stroke-play format during tournament rounds Friday through Sunday.
Designed by the prestigious golf architecture firm of Colt, MacKenzie and Alison, the current North Shore Country Club was a late arrival to the Chicago golf scene in 1924. Nearly sixty other golf courses were in business by the time North Shore Country Club opened its gates for play. Upon completion of the Glenview club, course architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie would soon turn his attention to his most famous design, Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia.
North Shore Country Club has hosted multiple major golf tournaments including the 1933 US Open, which was won by amateur Johnny Goodman. The club has also hosted the US Amateur twice and the 2011 Western Amateur. Ethan Tracy won the prestigious Western Amateur Championship at the North Shore Country Club with a 1-up victory over current PGA Tour player Patrick Cantlay.
2013 Encompass Insurance Golf Pro-Am
June 21-23, 2013
North Shore Country Club
1340 Glenview Road
Glenview, IL 60025