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Hamilton County Sports Daily
  • Celebrate the migration of birdlife through the Indiana Dunes region at the fourth annual Indiana Dunes Birding Festival from May 17-20. 

    The festival is a partnership with environmental groups to highlight the Indiana Dunes area’s rich biodiversity and birdwatching opportunities. The Indiana Audubon Society organizes the festival. Indiana Dunes State Park and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore serve as site hosts.

    While many festival events are booking fast, spots remain available for the Saturday night keynote dinner, silent auction and presentation.

    The keynote speaker is Greg Miller, who was portrayed in the movie, “The Big Year.” Miller will speak about being a paid bird consultant for the movie and how you can do your own big year in search of birds. The dinner takes place at Duneland Falls Banquet Center.
  • Newgarden wins soaked IndyCar race at Barber

    BIRMINGHAM, AL — After a torrential downpour postponed Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the Verizon IndyCar Series went back to Barber Motorsports Park on Monday and Josef Newgarden claimed his third win in four years at the track. 

    The Tennessee native started on the pole and led the field away Sunday while the rest of the field struggled in low visibility. The low grip caught out Marco Andretti who spun early but kept his car going.

    The lower visibility also caught out Ed Jones as he hit the back of Charlie Kimball’s car that sent the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet into the Turn 17 wall and bringing out the race’s first full course yellow.

    This win was Newgarden’s second of the season after Phoenix.

    “It seemed like it was pretty straightforward all day,” said Newgarden. “We weren't having yellows. It was dry. Then that rain made it very nerve-racking. I think for us we did the only thing we could. We went to rains as soon as it intensified, we had to. I think it was the right thing to do, just because we're in the lead, we have the most to lose by not putting on rains early."


  • Adaptive lacrosse draws interest
    INDIANAPOLIS - Even though many people in Indy are thinking about the Pacers this weekend, another sport is picking up speed in the area. A local nonprofit hosted a clinic this weekend for wheelchair lacrosse players.

    Indy Adaptive Sports put on the event at the Park Tudor gym, the Times newsgathering partner WTHR reported. Saturday was a training day and on Sunday, people got to experience a real game. The clinic was opened up to anyone age 14 and up, regardless of whether they need to use a wheelchair in their daily life.

    "We are very excited and fortunate to be able to host this event, here in Indy, and have so many top athletes share their time and skills," said Brian Galloway, founder of Indy Adaptive Sports. "Wheelchair Lacrosse is a tremendous team sport and the clinic will be teaching the many skills needed to play it successfully. The goal is three-fold: To bring awareness to Wheelchair Lacrosse. Help new players develop skills. Recruit players for the Indy Rip team."
  • Standouts in preserving cultural resources were presented with 2018 Indiana Historic Preservation Awards at the statewide historic preservation conference this week in Columbus.

    The DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA) presented the awards during the “Preserving Historic Places” conference in Columbus on Wednesday. The DHPA will then presented the Hoosier Preservationist Award, the highest award it bestows, on Thursday.

    The DHPA presents awards annually to recognize outstanding efforts in historic preservation and archaeology. As the State Historic Preservation Office, the DHPA oversees the federally funded Historic Preservation Fund grant program, the federal Reinvestment Historic Tax Credit program, and the state’s Historic Homeowner Tax Credit program. The agency also functions as the central repository for historic structure and archaeological site records.

    The awards are:
  • Noblesville golf courses now open for the season
    It’s about that time of the year to start getting into the swing of things.

    As the weather and outdoors begin to feel more like spring — almost — Noblesville Parks’ golf courses have opened for the season. 

    The City of Noblesville operates two public golf courses – Fox Prairie, 8465 E. 196th St., and Forest Park, 701 Cicero Road. Each is now open for daily tee times and golf outings.

    “It's been a long winter that Mother Nature doesn't seem to want to let go of,” said Noblesville Golf Director Gary Deakyne in a press release. “But, we are very excited to be able to have both golf courses open and we look forward to a great 2018.” 
  • Student-Athlete Tip of the Week
    With the end of the school year only five or six weeks away, all student-athletes should be thinking about finishing strong in the classroom.

    This time of year it is so easy to look ahead to summer. However, don't forget about the importance of your grades. The last weeks of school are just as important as the first few, so don't let your grade-point average slip. Think of the end of the school year like it's the end of a ballgame. Don't let all the hard work disappear in a one or two week period.

    Whether you play a spring sport or not, the next few weeks could determine a college choice down the road. Don't look back next year (whether you are a senior or underclassman) and say, “If my grades were better last year, I could be attending the college of my choice.” 
  • Countdown to Indy 500 continues with Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach
    LONG BEACH, California — Alexander Rossi dominated the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. 

    Leading 71 of the race’s 85 laps, the California native pulled his No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda into victory lane for his third Verizon IndyCar Series victory, throwing the Andretti Autosport pilot into the championship lead.

    Rossi started from pole and took an early lead that was wiped away with a first-lap caution after Graham Rahal hit Simon Pagenaud, sending the Frenchman into the first turn wall and out of the race. Rahal was assessed a drive-thru penalty for the avoidable contact.

    After the restart, Rossi pulled away from Team Penske’s Will Power before pitting on Lap 25. Rossi resumed the lead after Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay made their respective stops on Laps 30 and 31.
  • INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday the Fan Midway is getting some exciting additions for the Month of May.
    One of the most anticipated attractions in go karting in the infield.

    IMS is teaming up with Speedway Indoor Karting to offer fans an opportunity to race go karts around a track in the infield.

    Karting will cost $5 per ride, and you must be at least 14 years old to participate. Up to six drivers will be allowed to simultaneously race on the track.

    Other attractions include flight simulators for fans to get a glimpse of what it's like flying F-16C Fighting Falcon jets. The U.S. Air Force will be on hand with virtual reality headsets to show fans the capabilities of the jets flown by the Thunderbirds.

  • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering a fundraising opportunity at the Indianapolis 500 on May 27. 

    ?Volunteers will each earn $100, and $50 will be given to the volunteer's Post, Unit, Squadron or Chapter, and $50 will be given to the Department Commander's Project, iVETS. One hundred volunteers would earn a check for $10,000 for a single day.??

    Each volunteer will be given $10 in Track Bucks for lunch. Water and ice will be supplied by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.??Each volunteer will be issued a yellow IMS volunteer t-shirt and receive a unique American Legion, Department of Indiana, track volunteer pin. 

    Registration is due by Sunday.
  • OUT IN THE OPEN: Speed Goats, Dust and Wide-Open Spaces
    When I saw the giant snake lying across the road, I realized we were probably in over our heads.

    This moment was one of several memorable instances during our just-concluded work/play trip to central Arizona. Our base of operations was Prescott, the first territorial capital of the 48th state, located in the high desert halfway between Flagstaff and Phoenix.

    The circumstance of our great hullabaloo was something that simply cannot be experienced in Indiana. My wife and I were miles from a paved road in Prescott National Forest, without a winch, high-clearance vehicle jack, auxiliary lighting, extra water or cell phone service. The ‘road’ we were traversing was actually a rock-strewn, washed-out snake path that had undoubtedly killed far sturdier vehicles than the citified SUV were were driving.

    At a top speed that sometimes reached ‘saunter’ we were trying to find the Puntenney ghost town, built around a limestone kiln at the turn of the last century. 
  • Three people with significant ties to Indiana high school basketball will be recognized with Virgil Sweet Awards at the 2018 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association annual clinic later this month.

    Virgil Sweet Awards are presented to those who have provided meritorious service in the promotion of basketball across Indiana. The award is named in honor of Sweet, the former Valparaiso High School basketball coach and former executive director of the IBCA.

    This year's recipients are former Columbia City and Fort Wayne Canterbury girls' coach Wayne Kreiger, Terry Downham of Kokomo and former Franklin Community girls' coach Walt Raines.

    Each will be honored during a program on April 20 at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. Kreiger is the honoree from District 1. Downham is the recipient from District 2. Raines is the honoree from District 3.

    The full clinic runs April 20-21 with Indiana University men's coach Archie Miller as the headline speaker. Other featured speakers are Marian University women's coach Katie Gearlds, Southern Illinois men's coach Barry Hinson and Emmanuel (Ga.) College men's coach T.J. Rosene. Admission to the clinic is $50 for IBCA members and $100 for non-IBCA members.

  • Student-Athlete Tip of the Week
    There were many interesting stories coming out of Augusta National last week during the playing of golf's most prestigious tournament, the 2018 Masters. 

    Patrick Reed was the winner, with Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth finishing 2nd and 3rd. However, it's what Spieth said after his round that really surprised me. He said he played the entire day without ever looking at the scoreboard. He played for more than five hours without knowing how anyone else was scoring, but himself.

    This process is somewhat common in individual sports. Players this past week said over and over that they only focused on their on game and what they could control. No need worrying about the opponent.
  • Tickets on sale for special ‘Listen Up’ event with quarterback, author
    INDIANAPOLIS – WFYI Public Media is celebrating PBS’ May launch of The Great American Read with a special “Listen Up” conversation featuring two of Indianapolis’ best-known residents: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and internationally best-selling author John Green.

    Luck hosts the Andrew Luck Book Club podcast that airs on WFYI 90.1 FM on the last Monday of each month. Green is a New York Times best-selling author known for “Looking for Alaska,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Paper Towns” and other works.

    “Andrew is a voracious reader and I’m looking forward to talking books with him,” Green said. “It will also be an opportunity to highlight a wide-range of books as PBS searches for America’s favorite book with its Great American Read project.”
  • Game officials Tom Walters and Michael Zehr will be will be recognized with special awards at the 2018 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association's annual clinic.

    Walters and Zehr will be honored as respective winners of the Roy Gardner and Mildred Ball awards during a ceremony April 20 during the 2018 IBCA Clinic at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. 

    The full clinic runs April 20-21 with Indiana University men's coach Archie Miller as the headline speaker. Other featured speakers are Marian University women's coach Katie Gearlds, Southern Illinois men's coach Barry Hinson and Emmanuel (Ga.) College men's coach T.J. Rosene. Admission to the clinic is $50 for IBCA members and $100 for non-IBCA members.
  • Newgarden wins at Phoenix
    Many second-guessed Tim Cindric’s decision to bring 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden down pit lane from the lead with 18 laps to go in Saturday night’s Desert Diamond Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway.

    While under caution, Robert Wickens, James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi stayed out, but Hinchcliffe and Rossi fell victim to Newgarden immediately on the restart with seven laps to go of the race’s 250 scheduled.

    After defending for a final few laps, Newgarden scored his first victory of the 2018 IndyCar season ahead of Wickens, Rossi, 2016 Phoenix winner Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

    “The team, they did such a good job,” Newgarden said. “The car was good, the strategy was better, the pit stops were the best. So I'm really proud of them and what they did. I think they deserved the win tonight. I was proud to drive the car with Verizon and Team Chevy.”

    Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud started on the front row and led away from the start until Pietro Fittipaldi hit the wall, bringing out a caution on Lap 41 and the field came down for pit stops two laps later.
  • Horseshoe pitching league ready for new season
    Horseshoe pitching is a sport that became popular during the glory days of Rome. 

    The horseshoe toss grew into one of the most played games around. Whether at picnics, or company and family gatherings, people would gather for some fun and relaxation. 

    Since its heyday, the sport’s popularity has decreased in time. But, a sport many believe to be dead, still exists in Sheridan. 

    The Sheridan Horseshoe League is ready to start another summer of fun and relaxation at the Biddle Memorial Park courts, located at 608 E. 10th St. 

    The league uses a handicap system similar to bowling, which helps level the playing field for players of all skill levels. This year, the league will hold three open tournaments for people of all pitching abilities.
  • One of the Indiana State Museum's most popular events is back.

    The Pinewood Derby returns today. Homemade tiny cars will race down the two-story, 125-foot track as they compete to be the fastest cars. The Best in Show competition is also today, awarding the car with the best design.

    But if competition isn't for you, the museum also hosts fun runs to see how your car performs. Fun runs are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, the Times news gathering partner WTHR reports.
  • Third annual Topgolf Tour invites players to compete for $50,000
    Topgolf players across America and the United Kingdom will soon compete for the glory in the 22-city Topgolf Tour. Registration for the regional tournaments are open at topgolf.com/tour, with the first tournament on July 29. One of the Topgolf Tour locations is right in the neighborhood, too, at Topgolf Fishers at 9200 E. 116th St. 

    The winning two-person team from each regional tournament will be outfitted head-to-toe in Under Armour and will earn a trip to Las Vegas for the Topgolf Tour Championship, plus a chance at returning home with the $50,000 cash prize.

    "Excitement for the Topgolf Tour builds every year. With players of all backgrounds competing, Topgolf truly is Everyone's Game," said Topgolf Media President YuChiang Cheng. "We are proud to introduce a military division and support the Veteran Golfers Association this year to provide a social and athletic outlet in which veterans can participate."
  • INDIANAPOLIS – Pacers Sports & Entertainment announced Friday that Bankers Life Fieldhouse has been certified as a “sensory inclusive” venue for the hundreds of events taking place there each year.

    Partnering with New York-based KultureCity, Pacers Sports & Entertainment event staff members have been trained by leading medical professionals in how to recognize guests with sensory needs and, if warranted, provide them with sensory bags. The bags include noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads. They are available to all Fieldhouse guests for games and concerts.

    “Our goal is to promote an accommodating and positive experience for everyone who comes to an event at the Fieldhouse,” said Erin Dlouhy, PS&E’s Senior Director of Guest Experience. “Since beginning this program at the start of the Indiana Pacers season, we have provided a significant number of the sensory bags to our guests, including children, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”
    Mud: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.


    You would think that something as ubiquitous as mud would inspire some kind of fondness among outdoor enthusiasts. The truth is that we all loath the vile filth, despoiler of good pants and bane of laundresses everywhere.

    Mud, however, is the hallmark of outdoor adventure. We roll in it, step in it, fall in it and occasionally get stuck in it. Depending on our emotional age, we literally or figuratively throw it around in an effort to dirty our friends and enemies. It lines waterways, spreads out across fields and even lurks underneath the crunchy brown leaves carpeting the forest floor.

    Right now is the annual Season of Mud. Every March in Indiana, the ground thaws, the rains come and the outdoors world turns into a morass of brown sticky goop, sure to cling to every boot. It is equally sure to find its way onto beige living room carpeting across the state to the great delight of mothers and wives.
  • Thirteen players have been selected for the 2018 IndyStar Indiana Boys All-Stars, it was announced Wednesday.

    Those chosen to the team will play three games in June -- one exhibition game against the Indiana Junior All-Stars as well as home-and-home contests against the Kentucky All-Stars.

    The 2018 Indiana Boys All-Stars are: Damezi Anderson of South Bend Riley, Gavin Bizeau of Plainfield, Jarron Coleman of Cathedral, Chance Coyle of Bloomington South, Kevin Easley of Lawrence North, Sean East of New Albany, Aaron Henry of Ben Davis, Eric Hunter of Tindley, Mekhi Lairy of Evansville Bosse, Romeo Langford of New Albany, Robert Phinisee of McCutcheon, Dean Tate of Warren Central and De'Avion Washington of Terre Haute South.

    The head coach for the 2018 Boys All-Stars will be Jim Shannon of New Albany. He will be assisted by Mike Hall of South Newton and Scott Radeker of Lafayette Jeff.
  • COACH'S CORNER: Matt Cherry

    Coach's Corner is a 'Q' and 'A' featuring the coaches of Hamilton County high schools. This week's volunteer is Fishers varsity baseball head coach Matt Cherry. 

    Q: What path did you take to get to get to where you are today as the varsity baseball head coach at Fishers?

    A: This is my 12th year at Fishers. I was hired to begin the program in the fall of 2006, coaching in the school’s inaugural season in the spring of 2007. I am the only coach in Tiger Baseball history. We had four losing seasons our first four years, but have built a solid tradition with five winning seasons in the last seven years, including finishing 27-6 in 2017 and winning the school’s first HCC and Sectional Championships. We began last season ranked No. 2 in the IHSBCA Poll and finished the regular season ranked No. 3 before beating No. 1 Carmel in the Sectional Championship.

    Q: Who is your favorite MLB team? How old were you when you started to like them, and what drew you to the franchise?

    A: My favorite MLB team is the Chicago Cubs. I started watching the Cubs when I was old enough to watch TV. They were on WGN every day after the Bozo Show, and I would literally watch almost every game every day during the summer. My favorite player growing up was Mark Grace (that is why I wear No. 17). However, I’ve learned over the years that he was/is not the best role model. 

  • Lions’ first dodgeball tournament a success
    A team named 45s Hitman won the Noblesville Lions Club’s inaugural dodgeball tournament, a fundraiser that recently took in March at Ivy Tech Community College in Noblesville. 

    The team was made up of Jeremiah Wood, Jake Wood, Tylar Pharis, Tony Pharis, Kevin Sears, Jake Hilton, Matt Davis and Brody Kalbaugh.

    Second-place award in the dodgeball tournament went to the Adriene’s Flowers team, which was made up of Alec Clark, Mark Gowdy, Luke Shannn, Tyler Roberts, Harry Buttar, Darius Dowdell, Isaac Moore and David Olson.

    There was a full field of 16 teams who played double-elimination dodgeball. 
  • Student-Athlete Tip of the Week

    This past week marked the beginning of another Major League Baseball season. It's hard to believe that the players prepare and practice during spring training for over five weeks (along with exhibition games) before the official start of the season.

    Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, one of the best left-handed pitchers in history, was quoted In Sports Illustrated saying that "People (sports writers) writing about spring training not being necessary have never tried throwing a baseball." In other words, practice time before the beginning of any sports season is important and should be taken seriously.

    How seriously do you take your preseason workouts and practices? 

  • Indiana University’s men’s basketball coach Archie Miller highlights the agenda for the 2018 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Spring Clinic.

    Miller, who recently completed his first season with the Hoosiers, is scheduled to be joined over the two-day clinic, April 20-21, by Southern Illinois men’s coach Barry Hinson and Marian University women’s coach Katie Gearlds, who has twice guided the Knights to NAIA national titles. T.J. Rosene, coach at Emmanuel College in Georgia and also a member of the Point Guard College staff, is the keynote speaker on Saturday.

    Sessions begin at noon on April 20 and run through 9:10 p.m. at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. Sessions resume at 8:30 a.m. on April 21 and conclude at 12:30 p.m.

    Cost to attend the clinic is $50 for current-year IBCA members and $100 for non-members.

    In addition to the headliners, 10 of the 12 IBCA Coaches of the Year will offer their secrets to success. 

  • Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 24, the NBA announced Monday.

    Oladipo led the Pacers to a 3-0 record on the road from March 27 to Sunday. He averaged 26 points, five rebounds, 6.7 assists and 3.7 steals per game and shot 67.4 percent from the field over Indiana’s three wins.

    He finished with 11 steals over the Pacers’ three games last week, and leads the NBA with 2.3 steals per game this season.
  • ABA Pacers legends appear at grand opening of Bruno’s Shoebox

    A few months ago, retired sports writer Conrad Brunner brought vintage sports cards and memorabilia to downtown Noblesville with the soft opening of Bruno’s Shoebox. On Saturday, Brunner brought real-life vintage sports stars to the square.

    In conjunction with the official grand opening of Bruno’s Shoebox, Brunner arranged for ABA Pacers’ legend Bob Netolicky, Pacers co-founder Dick Tinkam and sports writer Robin Miller to appear in the shop. The trio signed copies of their recently released book, “We Changed the Game,” that chronicles the history of the ABA from their first-hand recollections.

    “I knew that their book was coming out about the same time we were planning on doing the grand opening,” Brunner said. “So, I figured I’d ask, right? One of my specialties is vintage sports, and they kind of symbolize that in this town.”

  • INDIANAPOLIS — Indy Eleven fans can once again watch the “Boys in Blue” on WISH-TV and MyINDY-TV 23 (WNDY) in 2018. 

    The team and Central Indiana’s CW and My Network affiliates finalized their partnership for the fifth straight season it was announced Thursday. 

    “The Indy Eleven faithful have grown used to the consistent, high-quality coverage that WISH-TV and MyINDY-TV 23 has provided for the last four seasons” said Larry Linde, Indy Eleven's Director of Corporate Partnerships & Broadcasting. “This partnership has produced some of the best broadcasts in U.S. Soccer, as well as quality exposure for our partners. We are looking forward to another season of all-star coverage from the WISH-TV and MyINDY-TV 23 team." 

    For the third consecutive year, Indy Eleven’s local broadcast schedule will include 20 live United Soccer League (USL) regular season matches, including all 17 home games at Lucas Oil Stadium and three additional away contests. 
  • INDIANAPOLIS – For the 25th year, the Indiana Pacers are joining The Indianapolis Public Library to present Call-A-Pacer, 

    The program, which STANLEY Security Solutions sponsors, allows callers to listen to featured Pacers players, alumni and personalities read classic barnyard-inspired stories. 

    Fans of all ages can call either 317-275-4444 or 877-275-9007, or log onto Pacers.com to hear the players read pre-selected children’s stories. In addition, fans also can visit their local library to check out the featured book of the week and receive a poster or autographed photo of that week’s featured reader. The phone lines are open 24 hours.

    The program tips-off Monday with Victor Oladipo reading Horseplay! written by Karma Wilson.
  • With the indoor Pickleball open gym season at the Recreation Annex ending April 24, Noblesville Parks and Recreation has announced its end of season tournament.

    The annual tourney will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on April 13. Teams must pre-register by April 11. Cost is $10 per team. First prize winners will take home a 12-visit punch pass valued at $50. For more information or to register a team, contact the parks department at 317-770-5750 or visit www.noblesvilleparks.org.

    Because of maintenance, the Recreation Annex will be closed April 15. Any re-opening delays for April 16 will be announced on the parks department’s social media accounts.

    While the indoor season is about to close, the Noblesville Parks Department also announced the resurfacing of the tennis courts to create two combination Pickleball/tennis courts for outdoor play at Forest Park.
  • Authors of new ABA book make stop in Noblesville
    Noblesville residents and American Basketball Association fans can get an up-close and personal account of behind-the-scenes stories about the ABA Pacers that have never been told publicly before.

    ABA Pacers’ legend Bob Netolicky, Pacers co-founder Dick Tinkam and sports writer Robin Miller will make an appearance at Bruno’s Shoebox in Noblesville on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. to sign copies of their new fly-on-the-wall book “We Changed the Game.” 

    “We’re having our Grand Opening weekend for the game and card store … so we thought it would be a nice event to have,” said long-time Indianapolis sports personality and the owner of Bruno’s Shoebox Conrad Brunner. “Sometimes I think the ABA guys are more popular than the NBA guys in this town. It’s amazing the crowds that they draw when they do these types of things.” 
  • Earlier this week, the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association named its six boys basketball coaches for the 2017-18 season. Now, it’s the girls’ turn. 

    Jack Campbell of Chesterton, Brodie Garber of Fairfield, Debbie Guckenberger of Brownsburg, Stacy E. Mitchell of Warren Central, Bob Meier of Castle and Jason Simpson of Greensburg have been selected as this year’s honorees it was announced Thursday. 

    Voting occurred from late January through early March, said IBCA executive director Steve Witty, and honors are awarded according to IHSAA district boundaries: Campbell and Garber in District 1; Guckenberger and Mitchell in District 2; and Meier and Simpson in District 3.
  • The warm weather is on its way, which is the perfect time to sign up for a class to get back in the swing of things — or at least get your golf swing back. 

    Mike Abbott, the 2008 Indiana PGA Teacher of the Year, will instruct the lessons at The Bridgewater Club, located in Carmel at 3535 E. 161st St. 

    Each class is an hour and runs for five straight weeks. Evening classes include cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres. Register quick, though — only eight spots are available per class.
  • OUT IN THE OPEN: It’s Just a Phase
    If you’ll pardon me, I’m a tad busy: I’m in the middle of “a phase.”

    The other day I had a few hours to think about this because I was driving 300 miles to participate in an activity that many would consider a trivial waste of time in the outdoors, much like golf. As the endless highway rolled on, I realized that not only was I firmly in the middle of another outdoor phase but that such unhealthy behavior was common among my other outdoor buddies.

    The term “going through a phase” is often used to describe the recalcitrant teenager who acts on changeable whim more frequently than he or she changes apparel during the course of one afternoon. It was my ex-wife who first used the idiom to describe sportsman who had likewise fallen prey to some kind of wild, all-encompassing passion that involves considerable time, money and effort, only to be abandoned when the next hottest idea strikes. Sometimes these phases last only 15 minutes, such as when you realize that amateur snake wrangling is a bad idea while sometimes they last long enough to become a full-fledge hobby.