One of the best amateur golfers in Illinois history, Joel Hirsch is a two-time winner of the Senior British Amateur, a back-to-back winner of the Illinois Amateur, and twice winner of the CDGA Amateur. Twice, he's been named the CDGA's Player of the Year, and was also named CDGA Senior Player of the Year in 1998. The following year, at age 58, he qualified for his fourth Western Open. Runner-up in the 1981 British Amateur at St. Andrews, Joel has twice been low amateur in the British Senior Open, and is a veteran of 34 USGA championships, including nine U.S. Amateurs. Hirsch started playing as a child at Sunset Valley, the local municipal course in Highland Park. Mostly self-taught, he led the Highland Park High School team to IHSA titles in 1958 and 1959. He earned a scholarship to the University of Houston, but transferred to the University of Illinois, where he has endowed a golf scholarship. Hirsch is also a longtime WGA director and served as the chair of the Midwest Golf House fundraising committee.