Two golf championships to take place in Carbondale area

By Gus Bode

IHSA and MVC championships bring strong competition to Little Egypt

The 2003-2004 school year will be a championship one for women’s golf in Southern Illinois.

The Illinois High School Association girl’s golf state finals will be take place at Makanda’s Stone Creek Golf Club in the fall, and the SIU women’s golf team will play host to the Missouri Valley Conference Championships April 18-20 at Hickory Ridge in Carbondale.


The IHSA tournament, scheduled for Oct. 17-18, will be co-hosted by SIU women’s golf head coach Diane Daugherty and Carbondale Community High School Athletic Director Vicky King.

“It’s going to hopefully benefit our program, getting the best high school players in Illinois to come here and see Southern Illinois and play Stone Creek,” Daugherty said.

The tournament will be a major undertaking, with both volunteer and financial support necessary.

“We’re going to need all the golfers and non-golfers in Southern Illinois, not just Carbondale, to be volunteers,” Daugherty said. “We’re going to need a bunch of volunteers, even more than we have for the Saluki Invitational. We have 100 for that.”

This is the farthest south a state championship has ever been taken place. The bowling finals, played in Alton, are the next-most southerly.

The event will also have a major economic impact on Southern Illinois. Daugherty and King have already booked 200 hotel rooms for that weekend, and Daugherty estimates a minimum of another 200 will be used.

“We hope it’s a win-win situation for the community, for SIU, for our team, for the high school, Stone Creek, everybody,” Daugherty said.


Six months later, Daugherty’s team will be competing in the Missouri Valley Conference Championships, scheduled to be held at Hickory Ridge in Carbondale.

The clubhouse at Hickory Ridge is scheduled to be completed in time for the MVC Championships, but if it’s not finished, Daugherty said her team will play at Stone Creek.

Last spring’s Saluki Invitational was played at Stone Creek due to problems with the greens at Hickory Ridge, but Daugherty would prefer to play at Hickory Ridge.

“I think we actually have a little bit more of a home-course advantage at Hickory,” Daugherty said. “The greens, the tees are a little bit closer so there’s not as much shuttling. Stone Creek you’re walking in and out of homes, so you have a lot more walking from greens to tees.

“Hickory’s been our home since it was built, so we’ll be back there.”

Reporter Ethan Erickson can be reached at [email protected]