Love: Park Hills making strides after recent club sale

It’s great to see that Park Hills Golf Course is moving in the right direction after several years of struggling while accumulating a significant amount of debt.

Although the recent sale of the club includes a requirement that the golf course remains open for just five years, overwhelming local consensus is that the Sheetz and Fiore families are committed to keeping Park Hills Golf Course a viable part of the local landscape for many years to come.

Hollidaysburg’s Scott Stultz – involved in the local golf scene for decades – summed it up best: “You couldn’t find two more classy families to get involved with Park Hills.”

Koehle returns

Congratulations to Iron Masters head pro Tom Koehle, who will be returning to the role of golf coach for Penn State Altoona in 2014.

Although outgoing coach Greg Ferguson’s passion and knowledge of the game will be missed, Penn State Altoona welcomes back a coach who led the Lions to four Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championships and appearances in four NCAA Division III National Golf championships from 2004 through 2011.

Local flavor

The following local golfers are participating in this week’s Pennsylvania Amateur Public Links Championship at Colonial Golf Club in Harrisburg: Gregory Ferguson of Tyrone, Artie Fink Jr. of Altoona and Steve DeStefano of Duncansville.

Huntingdon’s Ed Strickler is competing in the senior division.

LPGA starts fast

After several years of stagnate TV ratings and difficulty holding onto sponsors, the LPGA Tour has been on quite a roll so far this season.

The past three weeks have seen exciting finishes with winners who are among the most compelling young personalities in women’s sports – Lexi Thompson (19 years old), Michelle Wie (24) and Lydia Ko (17). Add to these names a list of other popular winners from earlier this year – Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb and Anna Nordquist – and things are certainly looking up for the LPGA.

Another potential bright spot for the tour is scheduled for late June. This year’s U.S. Women’s Open will be held at the same site the men are using for their U.S. Open – the historic Donald Ross masterpiece, Pinehurst No. 2 Golf Club in North Carolina.

Ken Love covers area golf for the Mirror. His column runs on Fridays.