Cog Hill's Golf Course Superintendent, Ken Lapp, Passes Away At Age 82
Lemont, Ill., January 18, 2019 - The Jemsek and Cog Hill Family are saddened by the death of long-time Golf Course Superintendent Ken Lapp, who passed away this morning surrounded by his family. Ken was 82 years young. The entire Jemsek Family and Jemsek Golf staff extends our deepest sympathies to his family.
Warmly described a superintendent with “a green body and a green soul,” Ken Lapp was born on April 8, 1936 to Amos and Beatrice Lapp. He was introduced to golf by his father, who was also a Golf Course Superintendent. He started in the golf business at age 13 and never looked back. Ken learned his craft the old fashion way by trial and error, adaptation and expensive phone bills asking for advice from his dad.
Ken was employed at St Andrews Golf & Country Club (West Chicago, IL) for six years before becoming Head Superintendent at Fresh Meadow Golf Course (Hillside, IL) in 1955. In 1973, he moved to Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (Lemont, IL), a four-course facility, as Director of Course Maintenance and remained there until his retirement in 2012. Upon his retirement, Ken was one of only ten superintendents to host twenty or more PGA Tour events. In addition to his twenty PGA Tour events, Ken hosted three USGA National Championships highlighted by the 1997 U.S. Amateur and countless local events. He built a resume few in the golf business could measure up to.
“Ken’s dedication, love and passion for agronomy is unmatched and his legacy will forever be intertwined with Cog Hill," stated Frank Jemsek, Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Owner. "He will be greatly missed."
After 58 years as a Head Superintendent, Ken could not leave the golf course behind. After he retired, he spent the next six years at Pine Meadow Golf Club (Mundelein, IL) working as a member of the maintenance crew and preparing the course for daily play. His commitment and contributions have not only elevated the game of golf at the state level but made a lasting impression globally through his tireless work on the world-class Dubsdread. For all that he accomplished during his tenure as superintendent, for all the miracles he pulled off, and for his quiet and undying dedication to the game of golf he will be remembered.
Ken was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, and daughter and is survived by three sons and three grandchildren. Ken once said the secret to his success is, “you’ve got to have an understanding family and an understanding wife, and I was lucky to have both. Because when you get in extreme weather, you’re out there seven days a week.” The Jemsek and Cog Hill family along with Cog Hill's family of golfers will sorely miss Ken.