NIMAGA - Northern Illinois Men's Amateur Golf Association

NIMAGA Notes - January, 2009


50 Years of NIMAGA

Best as we can determine, no current member was a member 50 years ago when NIMAGA set out to be the Chicagolands premiere golf tour for the working man. Yes many of you were around in 1960, including one of our oldest members, Dick Gerasta who would have been about 30 (forgive an old man forgetting the exact age of another old man). In celebration of this historic year, the NIMAGA Board has set up a committee to review recommendations for how we can make this a memorable year. There will be some merchandise available including NIMAGA hats with a new 50 year notation. The member guest tournament in May will invite some of NIMAGA’s oldest members (some retired from work and golf). So stay tuned in to see what’s new as we celebrate 50 years of a great organization.

Volunteers Wanted

NIMAGA is a not-for-profit organization with an all volunteer Board of Directors that manage both the organization and the golf tournaments we conduct. The Board meets monthly from March to November and whenever the need arises. Board members review each event and the Board considers changes to keep NIMAGA tournaments a fair value for all. Individual Board members volunteer their time based on their individual life/business experiences. Most hold several roles in making NIMAGA a great organization recognized by many including the USGA. We have future needs for people with management experience, financial accounting, web/internet management, art direction, golf rules and interpretation knowledge and marketing/membership experience. Even if your experience does not fit these categories, a drive to help operate in any capacity and give of your time to make this a great organization can be enough. We need new Board members and volunteers if we are to continue toward 100 years.

John Brdecka is going into his third year as our President replacing long time member and Past President Roger Scott who still is active and very helpful when asked. Steve Mueller was just elected to Vice President replacing Wally Svihula who passed away this last year. Frank Fiarito was elected Treasurer replacing Dan Dorr who has held this position for many years. Secretary of the organization continues to be Brian Alberts and John Johnston is our Tournament Chairman. These five people are the officers of the Board. If you have a desire to help in any way or would like to be considered for the Board, please let one or more of the Board members know (you can find entire list on the web site). We need and appreciate all that you have done in the past and hope that many of you can find ways to help in the future.

Dan Dorr resigned from the Board and his Treasurer position after many years. Carl Janas resigned from the Board both effective this past Fall. The Board and members thank them for their many years of service.

So what’s new for 2009?

New Courses for 2009 (not played in 2008)...

  • Marengo Ridge — After Tax Midweek
  • Red Tail — NIMAGA Cup
  • George Dunn National — July Midweek
  • Naperbrook — August Classic
  • Broken Arrow — NIMAGA Players Championship
  • Glendale Lakes — October 2 man Best Ball.

NIMAGA Players Championship (Previously Tournament of Winners)

Long time members are aware that what was previously called the “Tournament of Winners” was in effect NIMAGA’s “Club Championship”. A request to rename this tournament to the “NIMAGA Players Championship” was approved to better identify this prestigious event. The NIMAGA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP is a qualification event better referred to the rules on the web page. Past winners of low gross and low net get a 3 year exemption. Winning trophy’s are provided to the low gross winner and first through fifth places in the net category. All trophy winners are exempt into the next year’s tournament. All participants receive a high quality crystal glass with the NIMAGA logo and year. Many NIMAGA members have a substantial collection of these glasses to recognize their accomplishments of qualifying for this event over the years.

A number of years ago this tournament was moved from late September to the third week in August due to a problem with playing on aerated greens. However, this move caused August to have 2 two-day tournaments on weekends in one month and some felt this was too much. This tournament has now been moved to the second weekend in September (12th and 13th). This replaces the regular monthly tournament held that same weekend. To provide another opportunity to qualify for this tournament the Septmeber Classic has now been moved up to August 16th and will now be called the August Classic (a one day event).

The NIMAGA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP is a 36 hole event. All eligible players who apply will compete on the first day of the event. However, the field will be cut for the second day to include the five low gross players and approximately 50% of the field who shot the lowest net scores in the first round. First year members may now qualify. See the web page for all qualifications.

It is the Boards goal to emphasize this Tournament as our “Club Championship” so that each player makes a goal of qualifying and playing in this prestigious event every year.

Why only 1 Low Gross Prize and multiple Low Net prizes in each RegularTournament?

A few years back we changed the prizes to include the Low Gross winner in each division recognizing the golfer who shot the best score of the day on any given course in any division. A question was asked as to why only 1 low gross prize and many net prizes. The answer although somewhat obvious is that we all have handicaps and thus we are all eligible for the net prizes, the purpose of the low gross was to recognize the lowest score regardless of handicap. One of the Board concerns is that each division (regardless of handicap) be treated equally. With this said, the lowest handicap division (currently Palmer) has had some instances where a tie for low gross required a playoff. One or both of the playoff participants upon losing the playoff may end up getting minimal net winnings or no winnings at all. Is that fair? Tough question. The Board has debated this subject before and spent a fair amount of time with this subject again this Fall.

For 2009 as a test year, the Palmer division will have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place low gross prize in addition to their net prizes. As the prize pool remains the same, the net prizes will be reduced based on the field. As always, the prize pool will serve to pay out approximately 30% of the field. Low Gross and the Low Net will take priority then 2nd/3rd Low Gross over low net and each player can win only one prize. This only applies to Regular tournaments each month where there are 3 divisions.

The Board will gauge comments and responses and look at the year in review to determine if this rewarding multiple gross and net winners is a viable format at the end of the 2009 golf season.

Membership Prices for 2009 to $55 from $50

Our membership prices for 2004 were $80 prior to 2/19 and $90 after 2/19. In 2005 the Board reduced the membership fee to $50 in an effort to increase membership. Our $50 regular membership fee has been $50 for the next 3 years. Effective for 2009 we will raise this to $55 or 10% which is actually only 2.5% annualized over the past 4 years.

We will still offer a $10 discount to anyone who signs up with a new member. That’s $10 each for the past member and their new guest. Get two new members and you save $20 and so on (new members are $45 each if signed up with a past member). Over the past several years our biggest source of new membership is our current members. If you know of someone interested, please bend their arm a bit or bring them to a tournament as a guest to see that it is not all that complicated. We need new members every year and with the current economic environment, we will need more new members for 2009 than previous years.

Package members will be $475, up from $450 in 2008. Package membership includes membership cost and entry in to each of the regular monthly tournaments (not mid-weeks or special events). This price still includes a discount for those who would likely play in all events during the year. An added benefit is that as a package member, you can send in all tournament applications at the beginning of the year thus avoiding each monthly time deadline.

The NIMAGA Board has strived to keep our costs down and pass those lowered costs along to our members. This years tournament courses (costs) are just a little over last years, and yet we were able to secure earlier tee times which benefits all.

Membership costs go up after February 16. So send in your application or renewal as soon as possible.

Pay for your Membership and any tournaments online?

A new feature we hope the membership will appreciate is the ability to sign-up or enter a tournament(s) and pay for it on-line rather than mail a check. There will be a slight increase to your cost as an up-charge for the pay-pal cost. If you have any questions or problems, please let us know. Registration for all tournament entry will be posted in late February.

Golf Tec

Golf Tech has once again teamed up with NIMAGA and will provide gift certificates for their golf swing analysis to a member selected at random each tournament and division. We thank Golf Tec for their support.

New Member Orientation

We will have our annual kick off to the season at The White Pines Golf Dome. This new member orientation in late February or early March is a great way for ALL of our members to see if our golf muscles are still working. Keep a look out for these dates and please come see us before we kick of the season on April 4th.