GLENVIEW, Ill. (February 16, 2021) – Ruth Lake Country Club in Hinsdale, Illinois, will host its first Western Golf Association championship when it welcomes the 106th Western Junior Championship, scheduled for June 17-20, 2024.
The Western Junior is the oldest national junior golf championship in the United States. Long considered a testing ground for future PGA TOUR stars, its list of past champions includes Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk and Collin Morikawa. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar also played in the event, which draws the top junior players from around the world every year.
The Western Junior has been played in more than 15 states and at several prestigious Chicagoland golf clubs, but this will be its first stop at Ruth Lake Country Club.
“There aren’t many clubs in the Chicago area that can match Ruth Lake Country Club’s blend of challenging golf and natural beauty,” said Vince Pellegrino, the WGA’s senior vice president of tournaments. “We’re excited to bring this prestigious event – and the world’s best junior players – to Ruth Lake for the first time.”
Founded in 1922 by nine local businessmen, Ruth Lake Country Club – like Ruth Lake, which comes into play on multiple holes – was named for Linus Ruth, a Hinsdale native who died in World War I. Renowned architects William B. Langford and Theodore J. Moreau designed the classic 18-hole layout, and Arthur Hills oversaw a restoration in 2005.
In addition to a championship-caliber golf course, the club boasts a well-established junior golf program that has produced some of the area’s best junior players.
“It will be a great honor for Ruth Lake Country Club to host the 106th Western Junior Championship, said Dr. Jim Noth, club president. “Our club has long been an advocate for junior golf, and we look forward to watching the game’s rising stars compete for this historic title.”
At 6,700 yards from the championship tees, the par 71 layout will test the field. Ruth Lake Country Club has hosted a number of championships and qualifiers for the PGA TOUR Champions, LPGA and USGA, including qualifiers for the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Mid-Am.
“Ruth Lake has presented a fair test for the best players over the years,” said Mark Labiak, PGA head golf professional. “The players will need to take advantage of the par 5s and shorter par 4s, leaving themselves putts from below the hole. The club is excited and honored to be hosting this major junior championship.”
Ruth Lake Country Club has also been a strong supporter of the Evans Scholars Foundation, a nonprofit administered by the WGA that has awarded full tuition and housing college scholarships to more than 12,300 caddies since 1930.
The club has had 36 of its caddies graduate from college as Evans Scholars, beginning with Dale Hofmann, who earned the Evans Scholarship in 1960 and attended Northwestern University. Nine current Evans Scholars caddied at Ruth Lake Country Club.
Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, will host the 2021 Western Junior on June 21-24. The championship will go to Naperville Country Club in Naperville, Illinois, in 2022 and Midlothian Country Club in Midlothian, Illinois, in 2023.
Attendance and parking for the Western Junior are free.