Fantastic Four: Friendship Farm has family connection to John Deere

Hewitt tree highlights this spectacular hole

SILVIS, Ill. - Any golf course that's home to a PGA tour event by definition has to be among the best of the best.

TPC Deere Run is no exception. Network television showcases this elite course every year, but not every part of it.

We're taking you to some places the cameras don't by showing you some holes you don't often get to see.

Local 4 News' second offering of The Fantastic Four highlights Friendship Farm.

An adoring and encouraging crowd is a hallmark of the John Deere Classic.

With help from the tremendous volunteer effort, it's built a reputation among the pros as one of the friendliest stops on the tour.

Emblematic of that is Friendship Farm, the fourth hole at TPC Deere Run.

"It's my favorite hole on the golf course," says TPC Deere Run Head Golf Pro Ron Scheyd. "The views on this hole are incredible."

The name is actually a tribute to the property that was known as Friendship Farm for more than four decades.

It was one of the top Arabian horse farms in the country owned by Patricia Hewitt and her husband William.
She was the great great granddaughter of John Deere.

"You'll see in this fairway, there's a tree, an oak tree right in the center of the fairway. That's what we call the Hewitt Tree," says Scheyd. 

The Hewitt Tree makes a fantastic first impression.

Once past it, the fairway leaves you in a valley surrounded by rolling hills looking up to the green.

A walk up to back of the green is worth the reward. You'll find yourself at the highest point on the golf course and a view that goes on for miles.

It's beauty the pros can't let get too intoxicating.

Friendship Farm's friendly nature gives them options when it comes to playing it off the tee.

"You can aim to the right of the Hewitt Tree and take a little distance off, but it's a little bit narrower landing area so you're game has to be on point or you can play a little left of the tree where you have a little wider area to aim for, however, it's going to add a little distance to this hole," says Scheyd.

Friendship farm is a 454-yard par four for the pros. It's 356 for us regular Joes.

TPC Deere Run Head Pro Ron Scheyd shows us how it's done.

Ron opts to go right of the Hewitt Tree and nails a perfect drive.

Hawkeye Headquarters Reporter Adam Rossow follows suit with a strong drive himself.

Not by choice, Local 4's Jim Niedelman winds up taking the long way home by going left of the Hewitt Tree and a long 175 yards or so left to the hole.

An OK second shot leaves Jim just short of the green.

Adam makes a great second shot and hits the green.

Ron enjoying the fruits of his strong drive found himself with 81 yards to the hole and he sticks it.

Ron and Adam made strong efforts on their birdie putts, but couldn't sink them.

The three had a decent scorecard all around; both Ron and Adam walked away with pars and Jim came away with a bogey five.

Friendship Farm was friendly to all of them and they made sure to enjoy the view before moving on to the next of the Fantastic Four.


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