Illinois Golf Spotlight Shines on KemperSports

CANTIGNY-GOLFAs the 2020 golf season is about to begin in Illinois the spotlight is already shining on KemperSports, highlighting local KemperSports golf facilities as well as KemperSports personnel.

Greg Baresel

Greg Baresel

In its listing of the best golf teachers in each state for 2019-2020, Golf Digest identified more than 650 of the game’s top instructors across the entire Unites States. Included in this list for Illinois, Golf Digest selected two instructors teaching at KemperSports facilities: Connie Demattia, Cantigny Golf, Wheaton, and Greg Baresel, Cantigny Golf, Wheaton.

“Teachers are an integral part of growing the game and increasing youth participation,” said Steve Skinner, CEO of KemperSports. “The Golf Digest list is golf’s most comprehensive nationwide ranking. We are proud of the instructors who have ranked among the country’s best and thank them for their commitment to cultivating strong learning experiences at their respective facilities.”

Connie DeMattia

Connie DeMattia

At the close of the 2019 golf season Connie DeMattia was also honored by the Illinois Section PGA as its recipient of the 2019 Youth Player Development Award. The Illinois PGA Youth Player Development Award recognizes the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth golfers.

DeMattia runs one of the largest junior golf programs in the Chicagoland area at Cantigny, which included more than 1,500 junior golfers in its programs in 2019. DeMattia designed the five stages of involvement for the Cantigny Golf Academy several years ago to meet the needs of the market and his junior golfers.

This marks DeMattia’s first Youth Player Development Award of his career. His previous awards from the Section include the 2010 Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year and the Illinois PGA Player of the Year Award in 2005.

And, in just the past six months the spotlight has shone on one other KemperSports golf instructor, Vince Juarez, the general manager of Deerpath Golf Course in Lake Forest, who has received recognition and awards from both the PGA of America and the Illinois Section PGA. Recently, the PGA of America announced that Vince Juarez has earned PGA Master Professional status, the highest educational designation that can be obtained by a PGA Member.

Vince Juarez

Vince Juarez

Juarez achieved PGA Master Professional status in General Management; to be eligible for this designation, the PGA Master Professional Program first requires a minimum of 10 years of PGA Membership and entails a curriculum process culminating with the presentation of an extensive project. A member of the PGA of America can earn the prestigious PGA Master Professional status only upon approval of their unique project and successful completion of its presentation.

“Reaching the highest level of educational achievement in the PGA of America is a great honor,” said Juarez. “I would like to continue to mentor and inspire other PGA Members who wish to further their career through advanced PGA certifications.” With this personal quest, Juarez also captured the 2019 Illinois PGA Section’s Horton Smith Award which recognizes the Illinois Section PGA Professional who is a model educator of PGA Professionals. This award is designed to give special recognition to an individual PGA Professional for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education.

There have also been recent accolades awarded to local golf facilities managed by KemperSports. Based upon ratings from Golf Advisor’s community of recreational golfers for characteristics such as course layout, staff friendliness, pace of play and off-course amenities, four public courses in the KemperSports portfolio were chosen as ‘best in state’ — Cantigny Golf, Bolingbrook Golf Club, and Harborside International Golf Center’s Port and Starboard Courses.

Again quoting Steve Skinner, CEO of KemperSports,“Golf Advisor Golfers’ Choice Awards are important to us because they come from consumer ratings – everyday golfers from all walks of life and all levels of golf experience. We’re very proud of the properties and teams recognized on these lists for their commitment to creating best in class customer experiences.”


Glen Club – 11th Hole

The Glen Club appears on the current list of Golfweek’s ‘Best Courses You Can Play in Illinois’. Located at the former site of the Glenview Naval Air Station, The Glen Club sits at the heart of a 195-acre refuge that features rolling terrain, dramatic elevation changes, tranquil lakes, meandering streams and stunning vistas, including the Chicago skyline in the distance.

The Glen Club, masterfully designed by Tom Fazio, opened in 2001. The Glen Club is a regular site for the Illinois Open, a Korn-Ferry Tour tournament, multiple charity events, and corporate outings. The Glen Club has been the headquarters of the Illinois Section PGA of America and home to the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame for the past 19 years.


Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,300 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

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