Northern Illinois University and Rich Harvest Farms, the home of the NIU men’s and women’s golf programs in Sugar Grove, Ill., have been selected to host the 2017 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, the NCAA Golf Committees announced Thursday.
NIU will host its first NCAA Championship final in any sport for the first time since becoming a major college program in 1969. The women’s championship will be held May 18-24, 2017, followed by the men’s finals May 25-31.
Rich Harvest Farms, named one of America’s 100 greatest golf courses by Golf Digest Magazine, was the site of NCAA Men’s Regionals in 2007 and 2014. In addition, Rich Harvest Farms has been awarded the 2015 Palmer Cup, 2015 Western Amateur, and the LPGA’s 2016 UL International Crown, a global team match-play event.
“This is great news for NIU Athletics, for our very good friends and partners at Rich Harvest Farms and for the entire region,” said Sean T. Frazier, NIU associate vice president and director of Athletics.
“In 2017, we will welcome the very best college golfers and college golf teams in the country to play an outstanding golf course and to compete for a national championship. This is what it is all about! I know that NIU, along with Jerry Rich and his staff at Rich Harvest Farms, will do everything we can to provide a fantastic championship experience for the student-athletes. I want to thank the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Committees, Mr. Rich and his family, and Associate Athletic Director Ryan Sedevie and our golf coaching staff, for all of their hard work in bringing this championship to NIU.”
In bringing the NCAA Championships to the course he designed on 1,800 acres of farmland, and which opened in 1997, Rich continues to exhibit his exemplary support for amateur golf in the United States and in the northern Illinois region.
“The NCAA Championships provide a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase Northern Illinois University and our partnership,” Rich said.
“NIU hasn’t had the honor yet to host an NCAA Championship for any sport, so we are thrilled to be a part of this moment in NIU history. It’s been a passion of mine to nurture amateur golf and as a NIU alum, it is even more special that I can offer up my course for this event. Rich Harvest Farms is looking forward to bringing out the best collegiate golf teams in the nation and watching the future of professional golf emerge.”
Rich Harvest Farms is the home of both the NIU men’s and women’s golf teams, which are also able to use the indoor facility on the property for practice during the winter months. NIU Director of Golf Tom Porten said playing host to the NCAA Championships is an important step forward for the Huskie golf programs.
“Thanks to the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Committees for giving us this wonderful opportunity,” Porten said.
“It has taken a team effort, led by Sean T. Frazier, Ryan Sedevie and (Director of Facilities) Matt Gonzalez, working with the Rich Family to turn a dream into reality. Bringing this championship to our home course will have a tremendous impact on NIU Golf,” Porten added. “It is particularly gratifying to see the long-time support of NIU alum, Jerry Rich and his passion for growing the game thru college golf, recognized. We have a strong partnership and look forward to showcasing college golf’s best in the spring 2017 at Rich Harvest Farms.”
NIU women’s golf head coach Kim Kester believes holding the event at an elite venue like Rich Harvest Farms, as well as the support of the NIU and local communities, will make the 2017 NCAA Golf Championships one to remember.
“It’s exciting to add the NCAA Golf Championships to the list of the top national and international events that have been played or are coming to Rich Harvest Farms,” Kester said. “The course is really a hidden gem in the Chicago area, and I’m excited about the opportunity to expose the rest of the country to the course we get to use every day. We’ve seen great support for the college and international events held at Rich Harvest Farms, including the NCAA Regionals and the Solheim Cup. This event is not only the ultimate showcase event in college golf, but fans will see many future professionals in action.”
In addition to the 2017 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships at NIU, the NCAA Golf Committee also announced the 2016 and 2018 host institutions and courses Thursday.
For more information on NIU golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.