Boys Golf: The Lively family of La Grange bonds with golf
Updated: July 18, 2012 6:09PM
Bobby Lively’s first memory of golf was similar to many other kids.
He remembers being out on the course with his dad, Bob, but Bobby doesn’t remember hitting balls or raking sand traps. Bobby’s first memory is a little cooler, such as riding around on the gas cart with his dad at the controls. Bobby may not have realized it at the time, but his father was taking his son to work.
The elder Lively has made a career out of golf by working as a golf course superintendent or the “greenskeeper” in charge of maintaining and improving the course.
“I remember we were always going out everywhere driving around in the cart,” Bobby Lively said. “I thought that was a good time.”
The Livelys have lived in La Grange for the past 10 years since Bob Lively became the superintendent at Flossmoor Country Club. The family formerly lived in Algonquin when Bob worked at McHenry Country Club.
As a senior at Nazareth, Lively continues his own interest in golf this summer as a regular player and then he even caddies in his spare time at Ruth Lake Country Club in Hinsdale. Nearly everyone in the Lively family of La Grange has an interest in golf. Bobby’s twin sisters, Sarah and Katie, are sophomores at Lyons and are playing regularly this summer. The only one not playing golf yet is 11-year-old brother Jack.
Bobby has caddied for five years, but is in his first year at Ruth Lake after previously carrying bags at Edgewood Valley Country Club in La Grange. He made the switch at the suggestion of his father, but was also reunited with former Nazareth teammates Brendan Salvino and Riley Gallagher, who also caddie at Ruth Lake.
“I caddie because it’s good money and I have a good time,” Bobby said.
All three Lively golfers teed off early Monday morning to compete in the Cog Hill Junior Tour, a series of 10 stroke-play tournaments for both boys and girls. Bobby, Sarah and Katie played in Event No. 6 at Cog Hill’s No. 2 course in Lemont. The Tour ends with an invitation-only championship Aug. 9 at famed Cog Hill No. 4 Dubsdread.
At Event No. 5 July 9, Lively tied for third with a 2-over-par 73, while the winner was Anthony Bolden with a 70. In the girls division, Sarah Lively placed sixth and Katie Lively was 10th. LaGrange Park resident Kiley Roache placed seventh.
At Event No. 4 July 5, Lively combined with Gallagher in a two-man team tournament at Cog Hill’s No. 1. The duo tied for fourth with a score of 69 while the team of Lyons’ Chris Sekula and Hinsdale Central’s David Whinery (64) won the 17-team event for the Boys 16-18 division.
The Cog Hill Junior Tour is one of three circuits Bobby Lively plays in during the summer, including the Illinois Junior Golf Association and the Mid-American Junior Golf Tour. Lively has competed in 10 IJGA events and ranks 95th. His best score of the summer in the IJGA was on familiar grounds as Lively shot a 74 to tie for 15th in the Playing Member Sizzler July 3 at Cog Hill.
“It’s fun. I like Cog Hill and it’s close to home,” Lively said.
He ranks 15th in the player of the year standings for the Cog Hill Tour’s 16-18 division. Lively has scored 165 points in four events while the Tour leader is Frankfort’s Nickolas Maleski with 435 points in five events.
Familiar names ahead of Lively are Lyons’ Jack Ferguson (sixth, 230 points) of Western Springs, Lyons’ Chris Sekula (ninth, 200) of La Grange, Whinery (ninth, 200) of Hinsdale Central and Gallagher (12th, 190), a Burr Ridge resident.
Two other local players in the top 20 are Dan Saladino (16th, 145) of La Grange and Nazareth’s Joe Mara (20th, 130) of Western Springs.