NIU’S biggest moments in athletics include the Orange Bowl appearance and Jordan Lynch finishing third in the Heisman Trophy race. Both put the university in the national spotlight. That will be the case again these next two weeks as NIU hosts the NCAA men’s and women’s golf championships.
Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove is where the two tournaments will happen. It’s the home golf course for the NIU men’s and women’s golf teams. It’s owner and designer is Jerry Rich an NIU alumnus.
“Are we excited to bring this tournament to a whole new level? You’d better believe it!,” says Rich. “This is where it can be done.”
This is only the third time that both the men’s and women’s tournaments have been held at one location in the same year.
“It’s the biggest event the university has ever had,” says Brad Hoey NIU’s Director of Marketing and Communications.
This is the first time NIU has hosted a Division I Championship event. The women’s tournament will be held this week and the men’s next week. Two straight weeks of having NIU in the spotlight with NIU banners all over the course and NIU being mentioned during Golf Channel’s coverage of the tournaments.
“To think that we are the host institution and Rich Harvest Farms is the host site for the NCAA Championship brings a tremendous amount of cache’ to the university,” says Hoey. “It gives us an opportunity to talk about the great things that we’re doing. With the spotlight like that for two weeks I don’t know what better promotions and marketing you can do than have that.”
Rich and NIU have been working on landing the NCAA Championships for 16 years. Now that it’s happening they want to make it a smashing success.
“Making sure that the student-athletes, coaches, participating teams, fans, friends, alumni have the absolute best experience that they possibly can,” says Hoey. “Our ultimate goal is to make it the best NCAA golf championships ever.”
The women’s tournament begins Friday, May 19th and runs through Wednesday May 24th. The men’s tournament begins May 26th and runs through May 31.