INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Golf Committees announced today that Northern Illinois University (NIU) and Rich Harvest Farms, home of the NIU men’s and women’s golf programs, have been selected to host the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships.
This marks the first time NIU will host a NCAA Championship in any sport 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, located in Sugar Grove, IL, is consistently one of Golf Digest Magazine’s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. Additionally, Rich Harvest Farms also been awarded the 2015 Palmer Cup, the 2015 Western Amateur, and the LPGA’s 2016 UL International Crown, a global team match-play event.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase Northern Illinois University and our partnership,” said Jerry Rich, President of Rich Harvest Farms. “NIU hasn’t yet had the honor 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 an NIU alum, it is even more special that I can offer up my course for this 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 both 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.”
NIU and Rich Harvest Farms previously played host to the 2007 and 2014 NCAA Central Regional, the 2003 and 2013 Mid-American Conference Men’s Golf Championships, and the annual Northern Intercollegiate tournament.
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’s Director of Golf, Tom Porten, said hosting this prestigious event is a huge step forward for the Huskie golf programs.
“Bringing this championship to our home course will have a tremendous impact on NIU Golf,” said Porten. “It is particularly gratifying to see the long-time support of NIU alum, Jerry Rich and his passion for growing the game through college golf, recognized. We have a strong partnership and look forward to showcasing college golf’s best in the Spring of 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 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.”
“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 said.
In addition to the 2017 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships at NIU, the NCAA Golf Committees also announced the University of Oregon and Eugene Country Club in Eugene, OR as the 2016 host on Thursday.