2021 PrairieFire Invitational Toptracer Tournament Recap
We had so much fun at the Inaugural 2020 PrairieFire Invitational Toptracer Tournament we decided to do it again in 2021. And we had so much fun in 2021, we’re going to make it an annual tournament. Once again, an enthusiastic, cabin-feverish group of the area’s finest amatuer golfers gathered the Friday after Thanksgiving and took on the PGA National Course of Palm Beach Gardens, FL — from the comfort of heated bays at PrairieFire Golf + Grill’s Toptracer range. It was Deja Vu all over again as Marcus Smith, now an Eastern Michigan University Eagle, chiselled his name on the beautiful flame trophy for the second year in a row. Click on the video to see some of the action and remember – PrairieFire is here for you all year long in all kinds of weather! Reserve a bay and join us today!
Prairie Stories, Episode 1: Sparking Marcus
Marcus Smith is a recent graduate of Winnebago High School, where he played in the Number One position on the Boys Golf Team.
Recruited by Eastern Michigan University, Smith has competed in 53 tournaments since learning the game at age four, winning 25 as of November 2020 – including winning the prestigious Rockford Men’s City over iconic Jamie Hogan in an exciting two-hole playoff.
In this specially produced three-part series of documentary video shorts, you’ll enjoy meeting Marcus and his dynamic coach and father, Marcus Sr. You’ll also hear from PrairieView Head Pro Andrew Schlupp, Forest Preserve Director Todd Tucker, Jamie Hogan and Marcus’ Men’s City caddy, little brother Myles.
You will also learn how his home course, PrairieView Golf Club, helped forge his skills – and why he and Marcus Sr wish PrairieFire had been built years ago.
Prairie Stories, Episode 2: Into The Fire
Follow along as Marcus, Jr his father Marcus, Sr, and rival Jamie Hogan provide the colorful play-by-play of the last hole of regulation and the lone playoff hole at the 2020 Rockford Men’s City Golf Championship.
It was a slugfest of a day filled with ups and downs and plenty of drama as Jamie Hogan, the experienced nine-time Champion sought his 10th Men’s City title in a tight match against Marcus, Jr, the 2020 Illinois State High School Golf Champion. Then, join the players for a good-natured rematch at PrairieFire where they teed it up at Spy Glass, the Toptracer® way!
Both matches were exciting – and as is often the case at the end of closely-fought matches, it was a shame someone had to lose. But, despite the heat of the competition, a brand new-friendship was forged out of good fellowship and mutual respect.
Prairie Stories: Episode 3: Forged In The Prairie
In the third and final episode of our Marcus Smith video series, you will join the entire Smith family for a rollicking morning practice session at PrairieFire Golf + Grill. You’ll get a feel for the loving, supportive dynamics that helped forge Marcus’s character, as well as a look at some other up-and-coming Smith family talent!
You will also get a look at Marcus’ dramatic come-from-behind victory at the first-annual PrairieFire Invitational Golf Tournament last November and a visit with Brandon Gordon and his students at 815 Alive in Rockford, the educational charity to which Marcus donated the $2000 he won that day.
It’s the kind of heartwarming story that only happens in tight-knit communities like ours here in Northern Illinois. Here, the way people care for and support each other is on display every day – and the love of golf can touch lives in the most unexpected ways.
2020 Inaugural PrairieFire Invitational Toptracer Tournament Recap
In the early winter of PrairieFire’s first year, we decided to have a tournament, a gathering of like-minded golf aficionados who were having a hard time accepting the fact that the days were getting shorter, the temperatures colder and the 2020 season was coming to a close. We invited some of the area’s best golfers (Marcus Smith and Jamie Hogan had a rematch of their thrilling Championship round at the Rockford Men’s City, for instance) and fun was had by all. The PrairieFire Invitational Golf tournament was a celebration of everything we love – and the ability we all now have to extend our seasons and play golf literally all year long. And it was all for charity! Watch the video and relive some of the action. It’s never too early to tune your swing for next year, so reserve a bay today!
Welcome to PrairieFire Video
PrairieView Golf Club and the Byron Forest Preserve District are thrilled to bring Toptracer® technology to Byron with PrairieFire Golf + Grill! Toptracer® takes golf – no matter how well you swing the club – to amazing new levels of excitement, instantaneous feedback and fun. Each time you hit the ball, Toptracer®’s colorful interactive screen gives you instant shot replays and lots of cool data in living color. Best of all, at PrairieFire, you’ll hit out onto a real targeted range – in temperature controlled comfort, surrounded by your own private hitting bay. It’s the best of both worlds. No hitting into boring mats at PrairieFire! Swing away and smile in real life!