History of D.I. Golf League
TWILIGHT GOLF LEAGUE
1956 — 1981
The Divine Infant Holy Name Fathers Club Twilight Golf League first began play in the summer of 1956.(The League was actually formed in the fall of 1955 but to count this the 26th year would only tarnish the silver.) Len Weigel was President of the Holy Name when it was announced that a golf league was being formed. The idea was greeted with enthusiasm by 30 golf-hungry members and probably somewhat less enthusiastically by their wives and/or girlfriends. All that was needed some rules, a way to chooseup sides, and a golf course! A twilight league had been operating for some time in Mt. Prospect and it was from their format that the D.I. League took shape. The thirty players were divided into six teams of five men each and were named after the stars of the day(and a few of their predecessors) and in 1981 a touch of nostalgia has been added with teamssimilarly named Hogan, Snead, Demeret, Sarazen and others of that era, A schedule was then adopted that began with the first Thursday in Daylight Savings Time and ended as late in August as possible without teeing it up by moonlight, or conflicting with the Thursday night bowling league. Finding a golf course was easy. Howard Ericson, then and now the major domo of Fresh Meadows, made both nines available and league play has never been elsewhere. Fresh Meadows was laid out differently then. The tenth hole ran north along Wolf Road as does No. 1 today but was a short par four,with the green located close to the fairway bunker which is on the right side of the present first fairway. Number 11 was a par 3, also northbound along Wolf Road, with the green located north of the present second tee. The course then turned west and many of the holes were situated on what is now cemetary property. In 1961 when the cemetary claimed some of the land, the course was squeezed south and extended west to its present layout. Points were awarded the winners in 1956 in the same manner as they are today but a 5 man team could win all 20 points. That is, until the League Secretary at the time noticed that Joe O'Leary's team was always a man short and Joe could never exceed 16 points! ( The missing player said he intended to play just as soon as he finished paneling his basement!) It was then that the 16 point rule, to allow for absenteeism, was adopted. That, too has changed with the increase in the league's size.
The first awards banquet was held at Louis' Restaurant on Lake Street in Addison, and in addition to golf, the hottest topics of the day were the coming election and whether Westchester should have underground or overhead water storage facilities. Water did not interest everyone, however, and spirit were so high that the League decided to convene at Louis' again the following year. The restuarant has since undergone extensive remodeling.
In 1957 the League grew to a membership of 50 and it was decided to award a special trophy to the player who won the highest number of points, regardless of the class in which he played. What was missing was a name for that award, The history records are not clear, but a member of the clergy, either Father Charles Langan or his then assistant and very close friend, Father Donald Temple, pointed out that the Divine Infant statue in the school was affectionately referred to by the children as "The Little Sergeant" and a name for the award was born. Later, in 1963, following the sudden death of a charter member and a great friend, Fred Lockwald, the name was changed to the Fred Lockwald Sportsman's Award.
One May 26, 1960, the League's first hole-in-one was scored on the original second hole, a par 3 over a treacherous pond, measuring a deceivingly long 130 yards. Those who believed me say I used a pitching wedge and those who have seen me play say it was a 4 iron. One thing it wasn't was a lucky shot. The Hole-In-One Club was not formed until the following year and only Gene Osiget to the restaurrant on time for thekowicz and Frank Bidinger (1972) have profited from their "aces". There is currently over $700 just waiting for a winner.
The League has flourished since its inception 25 years ago, culminating in this Silver Anniversary Dinner Dance. It grew to 60 in 1958, to 72 in 1964 and currently boasts 84 playing members and a dozen or so "rabbits" waiting in the bushes. Players come from Naperville, Downers Grove, La Grange Park, Western Springs, Indian Head Park, and even Westchester! The Holy Name Fathers Club has been re-named the Holy Name Men's Club, and if the league continues its success, it may have to be called "The Divine Infant Holy Name Grandfathers' Twilight Gold League".
But as Archie Bunker would say, "Whatever!" We're just glad it turned out so well.
TWILIGHT GOLF LEAGUE
1956 — 1986
The Divine Infant Men's Club Twilight Golf League is continuing it's 30 years of success as predicted by our founders Jack Foster, Bill Wood and Joe O'Leary. Maybe we should be renamed "The Divine Infant Holy Name Grandfathers' Twilight Golf League" or better yet, "The Divine Infant Holy Name Fathers' and Grandfathers'Late Afternoon/ Twilight Golf League." "Whatever!" This year we have tried to accomodate those players who for whatever reason wish to play early. These reasons are many, but, the most important one is to get to the restaurant on time for the senior citizen's discount. We have instituted classes "Y" and "Z" (no reflection on ability)---which will begin play shortly after 3pm. Our golf course is undergoing another change. Hole #4 will now be a par 3 with the green at the top of the rise; while #5 becomes a short par 4 using the same green with water to cross, reminding us all of #15 at Augusta. The change at #4 may help us stop driving balls into the mauseleum. We are pleased to say that the League has just expanded to 96 ardent,never-absent players, assembled into 12 teams with 8 flights. In Spring of '84 the League experienced it's first team draft night in the " old church " or "new gym". Father David Cortesi boasts of being the last player selected that night, and to add salt to the wound, he was traded to another team for two nuns and a player to be named later. The draft continues to be a success in more ways than one-it allows for another nicount, no pay! Bill is now honing his game in Florida,ght of early morning poker (see Jim Golden for details). We have experienced 4 holes in one since Frank Bidinger's in 1972. Late one Thursday in 1982, after all play had ceased, Bill Mele scored an ace on #11 while practicing and playing several holes out of order. Sorry Bill, it doesn't count, no pay! Bill is now honing his game in Florida. Lou Lysak and Frank Bidinger scored holes in one in 1984 on holes #11 and #15 respectively. They did split $800 and bought the house, Last year Jim Hyland joined the hole in one club and he too bought for the house but had to dent his wallet as Lysak and Bidinger cleaned us out the year before. Tonight you will see the new Fred Lockwald Little Sargeant Award Plaque which is awarded to the player who wins the most points regardless of class. This plaque will be on permanent display in Langan Hall. It is interesting to note that we celebrate our Diamond Anniversary in the wake of Jack Nicklaus' sixth Master Championship at the age of 46. This only goes to prove as Ben Hinsdale has maintained that " Age and Deceit willalways triumph over Youth and Ability"
Welcome to the Diamond Celebration!
Howie Burgh Jr. President
Don Sloan Vice President
Paul Koutek Secretary
Dave Klima Treasurer