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Par for the Course: Golf in the winter? Yes, you bet!

Par for the Course: Golf in the winter? Yes, you bet!


By Susan Jenior

Staff Writer


Happy New Year.

As the holiday season draws to a close it has been a unique Christmas in December for golfers with the outstanding weather making it perfect to hit the fairways across the greater Portage County area.

Fairways at Twin Lakes in Kent, Raccoon Hill in Kent and Olde Dutch Mill in Lake Milton have found their fairways filled on weekends when temperatures have been hovering above 40 degrees.

Our family has played three straight weekends in December.

Of course, golf is our family sport, so that is probably not a surprise.

We have a cart cover and a small propane cup-holder heater making golf in December a fall-like experience.

If you want to play winter golf, make sure you call ahead for tee times and to check the golf course is open.

Bring a blanket or dress for winter because the open fairways are perfect for a wind chill.

Here’s hoping you received a new set of sticks under the tree and find an open, warm day to make a tee time to play the game we all love.



Golf Digest named its selections for Best Teachers in Ohio and local golfers made the list.

Randy Dietz (left) stands with his son Austin during a Junior PGA event in which dad caddied for son.

Randy Dietz, a teaching professional at Windmill Golf Center and graduate of Kent State University and Kent Roosevelt, was No. 8 on the list.

Todd Casabella, a teaching professional with own teaching facility and instructor at Barrington Golf Club in Aurora also made the top 10, chosen for the fifth spot on the best teachers list.

Rounding out the locals on the list, Steve Parker, an alumnus of Kent State, was named 18th.



The Southeast Pirates’ girls golf team were featured in the top events of 2023, honored by the Northern Ohio PGA.

Southeast was one of the girls teams receiving sets of clubs, over 60 sets were awarded through the Clubs Fore Kids.

The program awarding of clubs was one of the top-10 moments in the NOPGA this season.

The Pirates were recognized for their outstanding season, as well as Taylor Blazek becoming the first girls golfer from the district to qualify for the OHSAA’s state championship.

Members of the Southeast High School girls golf team, along with head coach Cindy Fesemyer, stand with their new set of golf clubs that were donated to the program by the Northern Ohio PGA.



As 2023 comes to an end, it is time to express appreciation for the golfers, coaches, managers and parents who again made possible the success of the series of Portage County Amateurs.

Sunny Hill Golf Course in Brimfield, Raccoon Hill Golf Course in Kent and Windmill Lakes Golf Course in Ravenna host the four Amateurs each season. The courses welcome preschoolers to seniors on their fairways.

Bryan Harvey and Larry Picicco, coaches for the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders’ girls golf team, run a successful girls golf clinic and have been instrumental to the success of the Kids Am and the Junior Amateur. Harvey is also the manager of the Fairways at Twin Lakes, a title sponsor for the four Amateur tournaments.

The Northern Ohio PGA has provided valuable rules analysis when needed and high-school coaches encourage their youth golfers to compete in the events.

The Portage County Amateurs are looking forward to again recognizing success at the four tournaments this summer: 94th Portage County Amateur, 54th Portage County Senior Amateur, 18th Matt Mishler Junior Portage County Amateur and the 10th Portage County Kids Amateur, this season.

A final thank you to Portage Sports.

It has been a pleasure covering golf and bowling for Portage Sports, with immediate results and full coverage for everyone from youth and juniors through seniors enjoying the sports they can play for a lifetime.

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