SAND VALLEY ANNOUNCES 2018 DATES & UPGRADES

   TICKETS ON SALE NOW for the 2018 Sr. Players Championship at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park July 9-15. See cspgolf.com for details.IT’S BEEN AN EPIC YEAR for Callaway Golf, and the Epic Driver, The #1 selling driver in the USA every month this year, for more information, Callawaygolf.com Epic Red now available for a limited time.   _____________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content. Follow Rory to Sand Valley and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

2017 isn’t even in the books yet, but it’s already time to circle some dates on your 2018 calendar.

The Sand Valley Golf resort one of the fastest growing destination golf properties located in Nekoosa Wisconsin, has already announced some special dates for next year.

The Sand Valley Golf Course designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw will open when the resort opens in April.

The Par 3 course known as the Sand Box will open the remaining 11 holes on May 1st. This past fall the first six holes of the 17 holes on the course opened for preview play. So all 17 holes will be open in 2017.

Your on the first tee at the Sand Box, the 17 hole par 3 course at Sand Valley.

The Sand Valley Golf Course the resorts first golf course, has been on the receiving end of a few national awards. First was best new course by Golf Magazine. Then Golf Digest Awarded Sand Valley the Best New Course of 2017 award in it’s last issue.

The award came with some words of praise from GD Architectural Editor Ron Whitten.

The resorts second course Mammoth Dunes by David McLay-Kidd, will have all 18 holes fully open as of May 31st. Start booking those tee times soon.

The second green on Mammoth Dunes by David Kidd.

The resort will have more improvements for 2018. There will be a new restaurant along with more lodging that will include single King rooms.

There will be a new practice center and more. If you have not yet been to Sand Valley, the menu at Craig’s Porch is very good, and it starts with the Pork taco’s that at only $1.50 a piece are the steal of the day.

For more information on Sand Valley Golf Resort, please call (888)-651-5539, or see on line Sandvalleygolfresort.com. There has not yet been any announcement by owner Mike Keiser about a third course or who the next architect might be. But stay clicked in right here for details if that announcement is made.

Sand Valley is between a 3 hour and 20 minute-to 3 hour and 50 minute drive, to most of Chicago and the Chicagoland area.

 

RICH HARVEST FARMS TO HOST 2021 PALMER CUP

 THE RYDER COURSE at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie Florida has reopened from renovation,tee times are being taken now. PGAVillage.com. SAND VALLEY has now announced opening’s in 2018 for Mammoth Dunes and the Par 3 Course. Stay tuned.    _____________________________________________________________________

THE PALMER CUP AT RICH HARVEST FARMS, RETURNS IN 2021. The Gog Blog by Director of Content Rory Spears, follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

IN 2015 THE UNITED STATES won back the Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms from Team Europe.

Now the sequel has been announced for 2021 in Sugar Grove. The 2021 Palmer Cup will be the 25th annual playing of the Ryder Cup style matches. Rich Harvest Farms will be the first site to be a repeat host of the matches.

By 2021 it will be the fourth Palmer Cup that is played with both men and women as part of the event. The competition will be held from June 11-13 in 2021.

The Palmer Cup returns to Rich Harvest Farms in 2021.

“Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation is pleased the Arnold Palmer Cup matches are returning to Rich Harvest Farms,” said Amy Saunders, President of Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. “Jerry Rich and Rich family have shown great commitment to men’s and women’s golf at all levels. Jerry has a passion to introduce the game and all the positive attributes it teaches to young people.”

The late Arnold Palmer Speaks at Rich Harvest Farms in 2015.

In 2017 Rich Harvest Farms played host to the NCAA National Championships as well as the Northern Intercollegiate event hosted by Northern Illinois University.

The golf course is played from the back tee’s to a par of 72, and a yardage of 7,715 yards. Rich Harvest Farms is the home for the non-profit Kids Golf Foundation, that has been a benefit to the over 150,000 kids it has connected with over the years. Rich Harvest Farms has been a host to the 2009 Solheim Cup, two Western Amateurs (2003-2015) and the upcoming in 2019 Western Junior Golf Championship.

The winning 2015 United States Palmer Cup Team

“I am very thrilled to bring the Arnold Palmer Cup back to Rich Harvest Farms and the Chicagoland area,” says Jerry Rich, President and CEO of Rich Harvest Farms. “When we hosted this prestigious event in June of 2015, the community showed great support, and my staff and I ready to expand on that success. It is exciting to watch the growth of the Arnold Palmer Cup to include mixed teams of men and women from the United States against the rest of the world for these thrilling matches. While showcasing the best collegiate players in the world, the Arnold Palmer’s legacy also will be on display during the duration of the event, and that is what makes this event one of the greatest events to host.”

The teams will now have 10 players and 24 matches will be played before the winners of the Palmer Cup are decided.

THE GOLF SCENE WINTER EDITION NOW AIRING

 TPT SHAFTS from Switzerland, coming to America see TPTgolf.com. A replay is coming up on Friday Dec.15th of the PGA Jr League Championship, The Golf Channel.  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content, follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy At McQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook

The world of local Chicago golf stays moving in the winter, with the winter edition of The Golf Scene, hosted by Steve Kashul.

The show will air at a variety of times this month on NBC Sports Chicago, formerly known as Comcast Sportsnet.

This years winter edition includes features like the following.

A look at the Las Vegas National GC.

Cleveland Golf representative Chuck Thiry talks Cleveland Golf equipment.

Steve Kashul hosts the Golf Scene on NBC Sports Chicago

There will be a preview of the Tinley Park and Lake County Northern Illinois Golf Expo Shows.

A tour of the PGA Tour Superstore facility and a review of the benefits for shopping there.

Come see the inside of MCQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook, A golf dome, a sports bar and an OTB for horse betting all rolled into one.

A review and update at the Golf Center of Des Plaines, home of the Chili Open in January of 2018.

Check local listings for times and replays of the show if you missed it the first time. NBC Sports Chicago, and hosted by Steve Kashul. NEXT SHOWING this Wednesday at 5:30 PM.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-STAY OUT OF THE TIGER TRAP

    MIKE MANDAKAS’ ELEVATION GOLF is now open in Willowbrook, lessons, fittings, simulator play and more see Elevationus.com. (R) CALLAWAY Golf 2018 coming soon. pictured above, the Roger Cleveland, Mack Daddy Callaway wedges. Callawaygolf.com ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content Rory Spears. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE that just one week ago, it was 66 degrees and I was playing outdoor golf at DuPage Golf’s Maple Meadows.

Today my furnace just kicked in again as it’s only 38 degrees outside. Yes it is dome season or it’s indoor golf facility season at places like True Spec Golf in Highland Park, or Elevation Golf located in Willowbrook.

What those places have showed me in the last couple of months, is that there is really a reliable way to get properly fitted for the clubs that will help you play your best golf on the course. If your thinking new clubs this winter, do not hesitate to check out either of those places before buying. You should make sure family members get you a fitting, instead of buying you clubs off the rack at a golf store this holiday season. It’s a smart way to spend your money.

THE TIGER TRAP, I get it that it’s the slow season for golf on TV, but the big circus over Tiger Woods playing in a silly-season event was no big deal. The golf media needs to learn to not fall back into the Tiger Trap that haunted golf for years. Golf is not just about Woods. There is no player in the history of the sport that has brought “more shame to the game” than Woods. For those of you that like to call him “The Goat” (greatest of all time), you need serious help. Get over it now, Woods is not and never will be The Goat, but has a chance to continue to be “a goat” when it comes to golf and life in general.

As you look at years old numbers on participation in the sport of golf, or TV viewing numbers, you can see the drop in them coming from back in “Woods hey-day” of the sport. It’s hard not to laugh when these days someone is quick to say “well he moves the needle”. Yeah well what needle is he moving, and in what direction is he moving it in.

It was shocking to see the Hero Outing get mentioned with only Woods score being given. On day three here in Chicago, at least WBBM radio’s Rick Gregg finally mentioned the great golf, LEADER Charlie Hoffman was playing. On Sunday night CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke finally announced Rickie Fowler had won. At least Rick and Megan got the story right, can’t say much for many other media types who ignored the real major story line.

The Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee is not jumping on the Woods bandwagon and now “The Shark” Greg Norman is agreeing with Chamblee. As Woods prepares later this month to turn 42, and coming off his latest back surgery (there have been several) along with multiple knee surgeries and other injuries. It’s hard to believe there is still enough in the tank to make a run against the stars of today’s game like Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and a few others.

2018 marks 13 years since his last Masters win, 12 years since last British Open win, 11 years since last PGA Championship win, 10 years since last U.S. Open win.

In all reality, the next chance Woods has to win a major, is when he turns 50 and goes to the Champions Tour, if he elects to do that. His 9th place finish in a field of 18 players, half of them on vacation during the Hero event, doesn’t show us much at all. The fact Woods moved up several hundred spots in the World Golf rankings from that outing is a laugh, and even Spieth wasted no time getting on Twitter to poke fun at the situation.

I’m looking forward to 2018 and the tournaments coming to the Chicago area and the Midwest. I’m not looking forward to a 2018 golf season, that’s all Tiger-Tiger-Tiger. Been there, done that, won’t do it again, time to move forward.

USGA and R&A finally rule on call in’s for rule violations. It’s about time. As of now there are no more call in’s accepted from television viewers for rules violations. This was long overdue and golf can move forward without controversies coming from what viewers see at home. Details are still unfolding, and I will post more in another story, likely after the USGA put’s out an official statement on the new rule.

The Gog Blog returns this week. Go buy golf presents for everyone in your favorite foursome in the holiday season we are currently enjoying. RS

TPT RAISES THE LEVEL OF GRAPHITE SHAFTS

THE RYDER COURSE at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie Florida, has reopened this past week from renovation, tee times now being taken see PGAVillage.com. Golf Pro Mike Mandakas has opened Elevation Golf in Willowbrook, lessons, fittings, simulator play and more. For more information visit Elevationus.com or call Mike at (847)-652-3293.    _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content, Rory Spears. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. With new Callaway Golf metal woods and Epic Driver.

THESE DAYS it’s as important to have the right shaft in your clubs, as it is to have the right clubs or brand of clubs.

When Golfers on Golf spoke with shaft makers this year at the PGA Show, or made our visit to the USGA product testing facility in 2014, there was one theme in common.

Shaft improvement was one way that you could still really improve your clubs. With most manufacturers up against the wall of USGA standards in golf balls or club heads, the one area where there is some room for improvement is in the shaft. Right now in America shaft leaders like Fujikura and a few others are finding ways to make that next bold leap in shaft improvement, before the USGA limits could get tighter. In the meantime top professionals and amateurs are looking at the golf shaft as the next area to improve the equipment in their bag. You should as well.

TPT Golf Shafts, Switzerlands next big contribution to the world of golf.

TPT Golf has announced a new variety of golf shafts, with “Thin Ply Technology” (TPT) a carbon fiber material and a patented manufacturing process that has been created by parent company, North Thin Ply Technology SARL. These new shafts are taking performance levels to new heights.

The TPT process allows for the fiber placement to be spread around the shaft in a way that builds a spineless shaft, that can eliminate shaft inconsistencies that form in current traditional methods. As a result, TPT shafts not only have a great feel to them, but produce a tighter shot dispersion, with low spin that adds increased distance.

The TPT team of experts are now building shafts for professional tour players. One of those experts is Jean-Jacques Rivet who has been at the center of creating the new range of TPT shaft performance, Rivet has developed a shaft fitting process in order to totally customize individual shafts.

Rivet has been joined in the development phase by renown golf coach David Leadbetter, who has added input on the technology side and entered into a partnership with TPT. The two have built a shaft fitting network, that is tied into the Leadbetter Golf Academies around the globe.

“In a sport where feel is everything, TPT shafts offer a unique level of feel to golfers,” says Leadbetter. “This is the most technically advanced shaft for distance and direction, which makes your bad shots better.”

The combination of these talented individuals, has allowed for the design of a shaft that takes into consideration physical capabilities of the human body and the movements of a golf swing learned through instruction. As a result, TPT is now designing the best conforming products for both professionals and amateurs.

NTPT is no stranger to sports. Coming on the scene in America with products for America’s Cup yacht sailing, in addition to Formula one race cars, and later in snowboards. For more information on a new golf shaft, that’s now making it’s presence felt here in America, see tptgolf.com.

EDITORS NOTE** Golfers on Golf has been sent a TPT Shaft for review and will announce our findings after testing is complete in another story here. So stay clicked in. RS

RYDER COURSE AT PGA VILLAGE REOPENS

  ELEVATION GOLF in Willowbrook and TRUE SPEC GOLF in Highland Park now provide Chicago area golfers with two outstanding places for golf lessons and fitting. Take your game to a new level, Truespecgolf.com or Elevationgolf.com for more details. ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content, Rory Spears. Golf in Florida is always fun, especially at PGA Properties. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

The PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie Florida has announced that it’s Ryder Course is now reopened from it’s renovation in time for the head south winter golf season.

The upgrades to the golf course have made the Ryder Course a better course for year round play, even in Florida’s warm summer months.

Improvements to the golf include, all new drainage, all bunkers completely redone, Celebration Bermuda a hybrid strain known for it’s durability and fast recovery was put into place in the fairways, and gives those area’s a supreme color contrast.

The Ryder Course complete from renovation at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie Florida.

“Our dedicated staff has accomplished an impressive transformation that cements PGA Golf Club as a top golf destination in Florida,” says Jimmy Terry, PGA Senior General Manager. “The stunning renovations are shining examples of our dedication to providing great course conditions day in and day out to our club and PGA members, as well as guests.”

All 18 holes have been restyled with native and ornamental grasses, providing a new look to the course. The tee boxes have been redone with Sea Isle Paspalum, a hybrid, and green have been re-grassed with the TiFEagle Bermuda, that makes the course consistent with the other courses at PGA Village.

The Ryder Course at PGA Village is a newly renovated course, and waiting for your visit during the winter ahead.

The new fairway tees that have been created allow for a short course for junior or novice players.

The renovation of the course is the final piece of a property wide 10 million dollar series of improvements. The Villages other courses, the Pete Dye Course reopened last year after a renovation and the Wanamaker Course had work completed in 2015.

The renovation to the Wanamaker Course saw the course jump to #20 on Golfweeks list of Best you can play in state, with the Dye Course moving up to #23 on the same list.

The PGA Village golf courses in Port St. Lucie are less than a two-hour drive from the cities of Miami and or Orlando. There are neighboring hotels and restaurants including a Sam Sneads restaurant just a few minutes away.

For more information or to book tee times visit PGAVillage.com or call (772)-467-1300.

MIKE MANDAKAS OPENS ELEVATION GOLF

 2017 A EPIC YEAR, now for a limited time only Get EPIC RED. See Callawaygolf.com ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. With Mike Mandakas at Elevation Golf in Willowbrook.

Mike Mandakas is on the move. His former place of instruction Pellican Golf at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton is in the review mirror.

Mandakas earlier this year relocated to Willowbrook, and has never looked back.

His Elevation Golf is elevating players by the day to a new level in golf. It’s a great look at your game, your swing and what you do right, and what your doing wrong on the golf course.

Golfers are now demanding more off the golf course, and places like Elevation Golf are stepping up and providing just that.

Golfers you too can walk through the door and elevate your game to the next level.

Whether you want to play a round of golf on a simulator, at a high end course because your have never played there, or your next trip is taking you there and you want a “practice round” places like Elevation can provided that and more.

More, is getting the instruction that you want, getting fitted into the clubs you need, or even getting checked on how well your brain keeps up with your golf swing, you can get put into the greener side of the fairway. Mandakas and the pro’s that bring their students to Elevation Golf are making players better. It doesn’t matter if they are beginners, kids looking to be on their schools golf team, trying for that college scholarship, thinking of turning pro, or the baby-boomer that still wants to win the club championship, Elevation Golf is for you.

Mandakas (R) works with a student on a big screen that tracks ball flight, speed and distance.

Mandakas a former assistant golf professional at both Medinah Country Club and Olympia Fields Country Club, maintains that it’s not the plan to have all students swinging with the same swing, and not to put all golfers in the same brand of equipment.

It’s about making everyone who wants to get better, be a better golfer, it’s as simple as that.

In the middle of the facility is a good sized putting green, so the golfer who needs putting work can receive top level help on the green, just as much as the player who has driver issues off the tee.

Click here to hear the interview with Mike Mandakas from Elevation Golf in Willowbrook.

A look at Revalation Golf and it’s putting area.

Mandakas says now is the time to do your off course work, so you are ready to play when the golf courses reopen in late March or early April.

If you are thinking new clubs, it’s not bad idea to starting about what you want to add to your bag for 2018.

You can purchase in front of Christmas and get some great deals, or what until the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando in late January is over, where the newest products get announced by the equipment companies. During the winter season is the best time to get fitted, get your club order placed, and comfortable with them before your first outdoor tee time, whether it’s here in Chicago, or down south in the spring.

For more information on Elevation Golf which is part of a Sports Performance facility that is located at 7850 S. Quincy in Willowbrook, see Elevationgolf.com or look for them social media. You can reach Mandakas at Relavation Golf by phone at (847)-652-3293.

ERIN HILLS READIES FOR 2018

   THE GREEN STREET GRILLE now OPEN in Bensenville. Owners Jim McWethy and Mike Munro two golf dome owners and former owners, invite you into their new venture on Green St. in Bensenville, where The Golf Channel is always on the Big Screen. More on social media #Eatatgreenstreet. A tip of the cap or golf visor to everyone at the DuPage Country Forest Preserve District on the Green Star Award from the Golf Digest Magazine for the work at The Preserve at Oak Meadows in Addison. Dupagegolf.com     _____________________________________________________________________

11th hole at Erin Hills; Erin, Wisconsin; August, 2010. PM shoot; photo by Paul Hundley

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content, Rory Spears. Follow Rory all the way to Erin Hills, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

The folks at Erin Hills want to thank everyone for a wonderful and very special 2017. As the home of this years U.S. Open heads into a year for the first time in over a decade where there is no USGA event to plan for, they focus even more on you the guest, the golfer, the person who loves the great game of golf. The U.S. Open saw over 5,200 volunteers to work the event, and over 200,000 fans who showed up to be there in person. The golfers who played Erin Hills in 2017, waited until after July 1st to do it.

This year Erin Hills will open for public play on May 7th, and there are several new enhancements to the facility. Those improvements will be discussed closer to opening day. Erin Hills is now taking tee times and overnight lodging requests for 2018.

To make your reservations now, you need to call (866)-772-4769. For more information you can visit Erinhills.com. Erin Hills #44 in America by Golf Digest Magazine.

Erin Hills and it’s main clubhouse and surrounding cottages.

There are now special packages for early May, the 4th of July and the around Labor Day weekend and near the seasons end in the fall.

You can purchase full rounds at $295.00 per round and including lodging, and at these special times and then earn discounts or complimentary rounds of golf the next day.

Erin Hills is now one of the six golf courses in America that have hosted a U.S. Open, that are open to the public golfer to enjoy. So come play where the worlds top professionals and amateurs competed for the major title of U.S. Open Champion. Come play Erin Hills, in the heart of Wisconsin a quickly growing golf mecca.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-ONE AND DONE

  THE CHICAGO GOLF CLUB home of the inaugural U.S. Sr. Women’s Open coming in July of 2018, volunteer sign up now underway, visit USGA.org. CALLAWAY EPIC RED Driver now available for a limited time only, for more information see CallawayGolf.com.  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content Rory Spears, Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Golfersongolf.com is a part of Golfers on Golf Radio Am 750 WNDZ Chicago. Pulling in the cart at Maple Meadows after that final 18 holes of 2017.

A few weeks back I declared it Golf Dome season, but no sooner than I posted that, Mother Nature created a 10-11 day window of temps in the 50’s and 60’s.

Outdoor golf season was back on again, as the remaining open public courses started drawing 60-85 die-hard golfers a day. The amount of daylight hours per day are limited, but golfers came out. There are deals galore and the novelty of playing golf after Thanksgiving or into December are pretty cool, (pun very much intended).

While this little window to hit it one more time outside was fun, at the end of last week it really became apparent that the window was closing on Monday once and for all. If you listened to the weather reports, everyone from WGN’s Tom Skilling to all the other weather guys and gals made it clear, Monday in the 60’s and Tuesday high’s around freezing (32). Lock and load it’s was time to go one more time.

Mike Munro and Jim McWethy invite you to enjoy The Green Street Grille, in Bensenville.

I arrived at Maple Meadows about 9 AM ready to go, I got out of my car and the wind had already picked up. But it was still pretty warm out, actually 65 when I teed off about 9:10. It was 67 degrees when I came in, I wish my score had been 67, but it wasn’t to be as the winds blew many of my tee shots and approaches off line. My new Callaway Epic Driver which has been the key the last six months in hitting fairways, could only manage eight fairways (my average is about 10-11 since the switch to Epic). I took the six pars including par’s on 17-18 and called it an outdoor season.

The Second tee box at Maple Meadows was getting winter ready.

The good thing about real late fall or early winter season golf, is that it normally moves quickly. I played 18 holes as a single in 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Even though the sun popped out a few times for a quick couple of minutes, it didn’t stay long. It seemed to send the message that the season was ending. The few other golfers I did see ahead or behind me, seemed to be playing quickly, like they knew it was a game of “Beat the Clock” and the last grains of sand were running out of the shaped hour-glass.

When I drove to the Par 5, 1st hole at Maple Meadows there were no cups or small flags in the putting green, there were no tee markers on the tee boxes. They were packed away for the winter ahead, and only the flags in the green remained. The water coolers, and garbage cans were gone, missing along with the Porta-potties. The course workers were spraying, sanding and covering the tee’s trying to finish what they could.

When I came off the third green, it’s not hard to look across the street at the now award winning Preserve at Oak Meadows. The Preserve had already been closed for some five weeks after it’s shortened preview season. It really doesn’t seem like some five months had passed since Ed Stevenson the Ex. Director of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District and my radio partner on Golfers on Golf Radio announced, the Preserve would open for a few months this year to give golfers a sneak-peak at the new look public golf course. In 2018 The Preserve will have it’s official Grand Opening season.

The Par 3, ninth hole is the thrill of the day. As my six-Iron from 168 just misses finding the cup for my second career ace, that possibility will now have to wait for another year. Of course that four foot birdie doesn’t go in either off the Sidehill-downhill lie to a wicked pin placement. Or maybe it’s just the evener-upper after my 32 footer dropped on the fifth hole for a nice par.

The back nine see’s a bad 3-putt double bogey on the Par 5, 11th hole. The double is a downer and then you realize it’s the last Par 5 you will see this year, UGH. As you stand on the 12th hole, you tell yourself your running out of holes for 2017, make the best of what’s left.

You take a moment after the 14th hole to look around, the sun is trying to break through as if to say hey it’s golf season again. But you see only a few golfers on the holes ahead and behind and you start to think, what happened to the 2017 golf season, and all the tournaments we looked forward to attending or in my case working. On the 15th tee box a tough 468 yard Par 4, it’s overcast again but it doesn’t feel like holiday season. There is no sign of Christmas lights or decorations, it feels more like Thanksgiving is two weeks away, and it’s hard to think that in 48 hours you will be at Woodfield Mall to wrap up your holiday shopping.

After missing a 12 foot par putt on the Par 3, 16th, you wonder how the season will end.

You hit a great drive on 17, but pull the approach. A nice chip over the corner of a bunker leaves you two feet for a par that you easily make. Fortunately 18 is a replay of 17, solid drive in the fairway and an approach that finds the green. A 35 foot birdie runs a foot past the cup but you tap it in to call it a season. As you drive your cart back into the clubhouse, the sun comes out and there are four golfers getting into carts ready to head to the first tee box.

One of them announces, golf in December isn’t this great. You admit it is, and think for a second about another 18 holes. Then you think about making par on 17&18 and you know it’s time to quit while ahead.

As you put your clubs in the trunk it sinks in that the 2017 golf season is over. You enter the clubhouse to return the cart key and staffers are setting up for a Christmas party that night and, “It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year” is playing.

Chicago area outdoor golf in December is wonderful, I have only done it five times. The first time was 10 years ago at Fresh Meadow with my former pro the late Bob Held. We tee’d off at 12:15 on December first with the temperature at 66 degrees. On 15 it dropped quickly and was down to about 53, and then only 46-47 by the 18th tee box.

After putting out on 18, it was great feeling, golf in December in Chicago, wow. Bob and I had a quick drink and I left the course 30 minutes after putting out, one mile down the road the snow started falling and 1-2 inches of snow had fallen by the time I got home. That was cutting it close.

When I got up yesterday I knew there was time for one more round, and I got it done. Here’s hoping your final round of 2017 ended the way you wanted it to. If not, it really is  golf dome season and time to consider lessons, new clubs after a fitting or both. The 2018 season will be here before you know it. It’s only one month until the Eskimo Open at Cog Hill and St. Andrews. The short course at the triple-deck range in Des Plaines is having a Chili-Open that same weekend in January.

Yes, you will be outside again before you know it. I for one, can’t wait for Florida in January. Until then, see you in the golf domes. RS

PRESERVE AT OAK MEADOWS WINS GOLF DIGEST AWARD

  THE FRENCH LICK RESORT home of the Donald Ross and Pete Dye Golf Courses, along with two historic hotels, see Frenchlick.com and book your winter or 2018 stay. The Golf Dome is OPEN so is the restaurant and OTB at McQ’s, visit Mcqsdome.com.     _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG part of Golfers on Golf Radio, by Director of Content Rory Spears. Follow Rory to the Preserve at Oak Meadows, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

Editors Note***

Golf Digest has recognized the work done by DuPage County Forest Preserve District Executive Director Ed Stevenson, and architect Greg Martin at Oak Meadows, now called The Preserve at Oak Meadows. All of us at Golfers on Golf applaud our partner Ed Stevenson, and architect Greg Martin for their countless hours of work that has resulted in the re-creation of one of the Chicago area’s best Public Golf Courses. RS

The Preserve at Oak Meadows earns Golf Digest Magazine’s Green Star Award.

The Green Star Award recognizes, acknowledges and promotes the environmental solutions  by golf development.

Ed Stevenson is the Executive Director of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, that operates The Preserve at Oak Meadows in Addison.

“I am thrilled that the Preserve at Oak Meadows has been acknowledged and honored and that it will forever be listed with some of the most iconic golf courses in the world,” said Martin. “It is necessary to acknowledge the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County for their courage to pursue this project. Our mission was to thoughtfully integrate environmental benefit with a great golf course that could better withstand flood events.  It validates our effort to integrate an exceptional an exceptional golf experience with valuable environmental benefit.”

Greg Martin designs the holes of the Preserve at Oak Meadows in his Batavia Office.

“The Preserve at Oak Meadows demonstrates that a golf course can serve golfers and the greater community,” Ron Whitten, golf architecture editor, Golf Digest Magazine.

“The changes that we made to the property are going to be good for golfers, good for the habitat and good for the community for decades,” says Stevenson.

“The newly-renovated Preserve at Oak Meadows melds together form and function. The unique design incorporates Salt Creek and the critical wetland area’s. These changes benefit the site and the surrounding community,while providing an interesting and playable golf experience,” said Kimberly Erusha, USGA Green Section.

The Par 4, 7th hole at the Preserve at Oak Meadows

Golf Digest Magazine instituted it’s Green Star Award in 2009, to recognize golf facilities that “demonstrate the best in sustainable, efficient and innovative environmental practices that every golf facility could emulate.”

Some of the previous winners of the award include the following golf facilities, or golf courses. Pinehurst #2, The Rio Olympic Course, Kiawah Island Resort Course, Pebble Beach Resorts and the Bandon Dunes Resort Golf Course. For more information see this months issue of Golf Digest Magazine.