Watch Now: Related: DA Weibring Continues To Shoot Up For ISU Golf Programs | Sports

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  Watch Now: Related: DA Weibring Continues To Shoot Up For ISU Golf Programs |  Sports

The low number wins in golf. Nobody knows better than DA Weibring, the former Illinois star who has had a long, successful career on the PGA and Champions tours.

The special thing about Weibring is that he passionately shoots high in the ISU golf programs for men and women.

“He thinks big, he dreams big,” said men’s head coach Ray Kralis. “On a 1 through 10, he’ll shoot a 12 or 13. He sees it differently. “

Weibring was back on the golf course that bears his name on Friday helping raise money for Redbird Golf. He has done this many times since he graduated in 1975 and turned pro.

The funds for this year’s Weibring Golf Classic are earmarked for the creation of new changing rooms for men and women at the Weibring Golf Club. In typical Weibring style, they’re more than just a place for Redbird golfers to stow their gear.

“It’s going to have a country club feel with nice wooden lockers and branding on the walls to tell some of the story (the programs),” said Kralis. “It will be something that motivates the guys a little bit. Hopefully it will give them some incentive to put their name on the wall. We want them to leave a legacy. “

The walls will be filled with images and accomplishments of former Redbird eminent people and teams. How many strokes is that worth on the course? It’s hard to quantify, but fourth-year coach Breanne Hall smiled at the prospect of her players regularly seeing past champions.

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“I think that’s important … that the current players know the history of the program and see who paved the way,” said Hall. “It has been a rich history of several MVC championships for the women’s program. We want to honor the teams that laid the foundations. “

The Weibring Classic also benefits a foundation account that helps cover travel expenses, etc. In doing so, Weibring is giving something back to a program that has given him great competition, a scholarship and a degree.

The changing rooms will be the latest in a series of improvements. Weibring played a key role in the renovation of the Weibring Golf Club, the expansion of the Mounier Golf Training Center and the restoration of the bunkers on the course.

He has other big projects in mind. One is in the process of dredging a lake at # 13 and readjusting the fairway that surrounds it. Another is the addition of a building for the teams on the practice area.

“Every top program has one of those where you can hit balls in or out,” said Weibring. “We have plans for that.

“The slogan is ‘Get better every day’. That depends on the program and the facility. I think people will see that. “

Weibring said the golf course was generating more revenue than last year, which was good as golf was one of the few activities people could safely do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re making money, we’re fine,” he said. “I think they put the expenses in the right positions. What we’re trying to do is if we can make some money, they’ll put it right back in the facility, which will benefit the entire community and programs. “

The hope is that the upgrades lead to championships. The women’s team finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in April, two shots behind first place. The men finished second, four strokes behind Master Loyola.

Weibring likes the direction of both programs, saying that Hall is “upgrading the women’s team” and Kralis has recruited young players with “really good potential” to replace outstanding players who graduated in the last two years.

Players from both teams appreciated the good participation on Friday … and Weibring.

“It’s amazing to have his support,” said Junior Ali Schrock, the former Pontiac High School star. “I just shook his hand and had to talk to him. It is great that he is coming back and supporting our program so much. This is really unique and special for us. “

Senior Andrew O’Brien was primarily drawn to ISU from the Mounier Training Center and said, “It was super cool to come to a mid-major and see how big the exercise facility was.”

He was also enthusiastic when Weibring was in charge of the refurbishment of the bunkers two years ago.

“I’ve loved the golf course before,” said O’Brien. “But it has grown from a good public walk to a country club. It’s really great.

“He (Weibring) is probably the only contributor when it comes to fundraising for us. He puts it all together. He is also willing to share a lot of good knowledge about golf with us. He was at the highest level. “

A back injury has kept Weibring from playing professionally in recent years, but he remains competitive. Its mission is to provide Redbird golfers and their coaches with everything they need to compete.

“We’re making progress,” he said.

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Randy Kindred is a retired columnist and sports editor for The Pantagraph.

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