Illinois Golf - golfing in Illinois
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Golf   >   Illinois Golf


Illinois Golf

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Golf in America (Sport and Society)

By George B. Kirsch

University of Illinois Press
Hardcover (280 pages)

Golf in America (Sport and Society)
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In this concise social history of golf in the United States from the 1880s to the present, George B. Kirsch tracks the surprising growth of golf as a popular, mainstream sport, in contrast to the stereotype of golf as a pastime enjoyed only by the rich elite. In addition to classic heroes such as Francis Ouiment, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, and Ben Hogan, the annals of golf's early history also include African American players--John Shippen Jr., Ted Rhodes, and Charlie Sifford--as well as both white and black female players such as Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Betsy Rawls, Ann Gregory, and former tennis champ Althea Gibson. Golf in America tells the stories of these and many other players from different social classes, ethnic backgrounds, races, and genders.

Examining golf's recent history, Golf in America looks at the impact of television and the rivalry between Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, both of whom in 1996 were impressed by an upstart named Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. Kirsch also highlights the history of public golf courses in the United States, from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to Boston's Franklin Park, Chicago's Jackson Park, and other municipal and semiprivate courses that have gone relatively unnoticed in the sport's history. Illustrated with nearly two dozen photographs, this book shows that golf in America has always reflected a democratic spirit, evolving into a sport that now rivals baseball for the honor of being acclaimed "America's national pastime."

Golf and the American Country Club (Sport and Society)

By Richard J. Moss

University of Illinois Press
Hardcover (232 pages)

Golf and the American Country Club (Sport and Society)
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In this entertaining cultural history, Richard J. Moss explores the circumstances that led to the firm establishment of the country club as an American social institution and its inextricable connection to the ancient, imported game of golf. The founders of the early country clubs sought to counter the nationalization and standardization of American life by creating closed, controlled communities that reminded them of the village America being snuffed out by industrialization. Initially little more than informal groups of friends playing golf in pastures and orchards, country clubs were soon draped in "instant" history and prestige and their members distinguished by uniform dress. By 1901, the country clubs that had sprouted all over the country had undergone another change, becoming "country estates" in the suburbs where the prosperous registered their social status. The transformation of the club from country retreat to suburban playground went hand in hand with a widespread shift in attitudes toward health and sport. Golf was perceived as a democratic game, one that was physically sedate enough to accommodate players of both genders and all ages and that employed a handicap system to level the playing field. Other factors spurred the growth and expansion of country clubs in the 1920s: the advent of professional golf architects, the rise of public golf courses, increased discretionary time and income for many Americans, and a shift away from the Protestant ethic of deferred gratification toward values that justified increased leisure and pleasure. The Depression brought this expansion to a screeching halt. After World War II the business of golf changed, with public and private daily-fee courses, corporate country clubs, and gated golfing communities, as on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, presenting steep competition for the private clubs. Moreover, the clubs confronted demands for equal access by minorities and women. Pairing a conversational tone with rock-solid scholarship, "Golf and the American Country Club" offers a readable and even-handed treatment of a venerable and controversial American institution.

Northbrook (Images of America: Illinois)

By Karie Angell Luc & Northbrook Historical Society

Brand: Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2008-10-20
Paperback (128 pages)

Northbrook (Images of America: Illinois)
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Northbrook, “the Village of Friendly Living,” was incorporated on November 18, 1901, as Shermerville. Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties brought new hopes, dreams, and a new identity―Northbrook, named for the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River. An airport and seven golf courses opened, and new streets were paved in anticipation of a building boom that went bust, cut short by the Great Depression. Early-1940s expansion was temporarily put on hold for World War II, but by 1949, subdivisions began sprouting up in farm fields. The long-anticipated growth of Northbrook had finally begun. New roads leading to Northbrook and the desire for suburban living caused the quaint 1950s community of 3,348 to grow to 11,635 residents a decade later. Today almost 35,000 people call Northbrook home.

Babe: The Life and Legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Sport and Society)

By Susan E. Cayleff

University of Illinois Press
Paperback (368 pages)

Babe: The Life and Legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Sport and Society)
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One of the most gifted athletes of all time, Babe Didrikson Zaharias dominated track and field, winning two Olympic gold medals and a controversial silver in 1932 before going on to compete in baseball, bowling, basketball, tennis, and particularly in golf. An American public smitten with her wit, frankness, and "unladylike" bravado helped her become an American legend. In Babe, Susan Cayleff offers a comprehensive, in-depth biography of a woman who was a great athlete at a time when women's roles and opportunities were severely limited. Through interviews with Babe's friends and family, golf peers, and medical personnel, Cayleff sensitively reveals the life and probes the legend of this unusual American hero. Included is a for-the-record discussion of the remarkable love Babe shared with Betty Dodd, the young golfer who was her constant companion in her last years. Stricken with cancer in her prime, Babe went public as a self-help role model able to beat the disease. Her bravery further endeared her to the American public.

Flossmoor (Images of America: Illinois)

By Elise D. Kabbes

Brand: Arcadia Publishing
Released: 1999-08-09
Paperback (128 pages)

Flossmoor (Images of America: Illinois)
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The Village of Flossmoor, Illinois, was incorporated in June 1924. The vote was the result of a movement that began in the furnace room of the new Leavitt Avenue school, where the men gathered for a “smoke” during a PTA dinner. At the time of incorporation, the population of Flossmoor was 265 and the Village encompassed almost two square miles. The settlement of Flossmoor, leading up to incorporation, was the outgrowth of three distinct movements. German immigrants fleeing political upheaval in the 1840s were the first European settlers in the area. The commercial ventures of the Illinois Central Railroad make up the second significant factor in the development of Flossmoor. The Flossmoor train depot was, and is, the hub of Flossmoor. The extension of the train line and the settlement of Flossmoor had one final impetus―golf! This year, the Flossmoor Country Club celebrates its 100th anniversary, still nestled in the original neighborhoods of Flossmoor with street names bearing witness to the founders’ love of golf, including Evans, Caddy, Bunker, Brassie, and Hagen.

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