Sports campus gets Grand Opening

How do you celebrate the opening of the largest amateur sports complex in the nation? First, it’ll take about 1,000 feet of ribbon and some very large scissors. Add some live music, hot dogs and popcorn, of course, a ferris wheel and fireworks. And, that’s just the beginning of how Westfield will kick off the official opening of Grand Park June 20-22.

There will be plenty of action on several of the 57 fields and diamonds, including baseball, softball and lacrosse tournaments.

Hamilton County Sports Authority has invited about 600 VIPs for the grand opening, June 21. It will be a chance to help Westfield show off the 400-acre multi-sports campus. In addition to VIPs, the Sports Authority has invited about 50 national governing bodies of sport to take site visits of Grand Park, and hopefully convince them to bring their tournaments to Hamilton County.

“Grand Park is an incredible asset to Hamilton County, and we’re already getting great feedback from sports organizations around the country that have interest in bringing new events here,” said William Knox, Hamilton County Sports Authority director. “It will create new opportunities for other sports sites in the county, for our hotels, restaurants and other attractions.”

While Hamilton County Sports Authority’s VIP party is invitation-only, the Grand Park grand opening celebration is open to the public and begins with a free concert and other activities from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 20 and continues through June 22. For a list of activities, visit GrandPark.org.

Prairie View Golf Club lands five-year contact with IHSAA

Hosting golf championships is nothing new for Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel. In the past, the course has been known for hosting professional golf championships. Until this year.

This fall, it will host the girls high school state golf championship, and in June 2015, it will host the boys high school state tournament. It’s part of a new, five-year contract inked this spring with the Indiana High School Athletic Association. The tournaments move from The Legends of Indiana Golf Course in Franklin.

The championships bring up to 1,000 spectators annually, offering a great economic opportunity for Hamilton County hotels, restaurants and other attractions.

“This is quite an honor, and we are very proud and excited to be the host of the premier golf championship for boys and girls in the State of Indiana,” said Doc O'Neal, owner of the 206-acre course, the only Indiana golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Additionally, Prairie View hosted the collegiate Mid-America Conference Championship in May and will host the Indiana PGA Championship in August.

NCAA brings Division 1 Regionals to Sagamore

The NCAA has selected Sagamore Golf Club in Noblesville to host the 2015 Division I Men’s Golf Regionals. While the tournament isn’t until next spring, hopefuls will get an introduction to the Jack Nicklaus-designed course this fall.

Known as the Regional Preview, the Oct. 12-15 event gives golfers a chance to play the course, and allows organizers a chance for a trial run. Ball State University is the host school and partnered with Hamilton County Sports Authority to bid for the Regionals.

“The October preview will be like a dress rehearsal for us,” said Sarah Billman, sports coordinator for the Hamilton County Sports Authority. “We’ll have our volunteers there, and make sure we have everything in place for the spring regional event.”

NCAA play isn’t new to Sagamore, which hosted the NCAA Division II Championship in 2010, Dan Witt, the club’s PGA Professional also was on the Cardinal’s golf team from 1999 to 2002.

Sagamore Golf Club will be one of six regional sites. Others are at UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C., The Farms Golf Club in San Diego, The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas, Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Washington and The Course at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut.