History, Mission & Champions

Bo Van Pelt, PGA Tour Player & 1995 Champion – “ Winning the Northern Amateur was one of the highlights of my amateur career.  The competition, course, facilities and tournament are all first class.”


  • The Northern Amateur, founded in 1967 by Arthur J. Ellis, was created under the aegis of the Northern Illinois Men’s Amateur Golf Association.  The first Northern Amateur was held at Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling, Illinois and moved to five sites before coming to Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Indiana in 1983.  Several past champions have gone onto success on the PGA tour including Howard Twitty (1970), David Ogrin (1978), Joe Ogilvie (1993) Bo Van Pelt (1995) Steve Wheatcroft (2001) and Trey Mullinax (2012).  Winners have represented colleges such as Oklahoma State, Alabama, Arizona State, Duke, Indiana, Purdue, TCU and UNLV.  In addition to collegians, mid-amateurs have also been successful.
  • In October 2001, the decision was made to discontinue the Northern Amateur and focus efforts to promote junior golf in Northwest Indiana.  In 2002, the Northwest Indiana Junior Golf Association (NIJGA), was created.  Each year the NIJGA serves approximately 250 kids in junior golf through a series of rules seminars, clinics and tournaments.
  • With the NIJGA being fully established with an Executive Director, Sand Creek Country Club and the NIJGA decided to re-start the Northern Amateur as a joint effort in 2011.
  • The Northern Amateur returned with the mission to provide an opportunity for highly skilled amateurs to play in a top amateur event while increasing exposure to golf courses and tourism along the Indiana lakeshore.