About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.


TIME HAS RUN OUT-says the new clock to golf outside at the Schaumburg Golf Club, but the simulators are open for the winter golf season. New courses for the fall season include Bethpage Black on Long Island, and the Colorado Golf Club. Simulator hours are from 9 Am to 8 Pm, with Chandlers Chophouse right upstairs now open at 4 Pm. If your in need of a holiday gift for yourself or favorite golfer. The award winning pro shop is stocked with golf apparel including longsleeve shirts for the cooler days ahead. You can book simulator times at (847)-885-9000 or more details at Schaumburggolf.com.      _____________________________________________________________________


FROM THE GREEN STREET GRILLE IN BENSENVILLE it’s The Gog Blog by Director of Content and Creation Rory Spears. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Linkedin and Facebook.

SO THE HOLIDAYS ARE CLOSING IN, and it’s almost time to start shopping for everyone on your gift list.

Black Friday is right around the corner, and some places are running Black Friday sales in advance of Black Friday.

Eagel Ridge Resort in Galena, started it’s Cyber Monday Sales today. Of course right behind Black Friday is Small Business Saturday, an then the Cyber Mondays on a large scale.

So today to get a bit of a jump on things, is our GOG third annual column about holiday shopping for the golfer. Maybe it’s you the golfer that needs things, and if you get armed with cash or gift cards, what should you do. Where should you go, what should you buy. If your buying for another golfer and your not sure what they really need, don’t just guess. Save everyone the time and hassle upfront by making the best possible purchase.

WHAT TO GET…find out what they need, from them, from their regular playing partners, from their pro, or from what you see. From the courses they like to play at, can you sneak a peak in their golf bag, to see what kind of clubs they play, golf balls and golf gloves they use. Did they get soaked the last time it rained on them while golfing, because their umbrella is too small or bent. Are those golf shirts looking long in the teeth, well time for new shirts, caps, pants and even shoes and socks.

IF YOUR THINKING CLUBS- DO NOT, just go buy them off the rack in the store and stick them under the tree. That, is a disaster waiting to happen, even if you know what brand to buy. If your favorite golfer wants to do that-let them. But like a car, test drive or hit what your going to buy. Do get fitted or get some numbers on Trackman or SAM Putt, when you test hit the clubs. It’s always a good idea to try different brands, lofts and weights.

If your favorite golfer is not ready for new clubs, they might just need to be regripped, always a good gift option. You do not need to buy a full set, so don’t scared off by prices. You can just buy a driver, 2 fairway woods or a hybrid. Wedges are cheaper, or just a putter. You can get top of the line putters for $350 or $400, which is a great gift and beats a $1,000 or more spent on a full set of irons or woods.

BUYING GIFTS FOR GOLFER DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN CLUBS. Whether it’s a man or a women, or a junior golfer there are other options. Golfers can always use golfballs, if your buying balls make sure you buy the right brand, and type of ball. Golf gloves and not outdoor gloves for when it’s cold, but for grip. Many companies make gloves, make sure you get the right brand, and for the right hand-or right or left hand.

APPAREL-there are plenty of options here. Shirts, long or short sleeve, or vests. Pants or Shorts. Shoes and Socks, there are several types of golf shoes, including with or without spikes. Socks are getting stronger and reinforced in traditional ware spots for longer life. Caps or visors. Jackets or all-weather suits, there is newer materials that allow for a better swing when wearing them. They breathe better so you don’t get too hot on warm days, when dodging the rain drops.

ACCESSORIES, include pull or push carts. Golf bags, or head covers for the clubs. A water or drink bottle, to bring your favorite beverage, needed beverage, or energy drink to the golf course. Always a good idea, if your favorite course does not sell your needed beverage.

THE GIFT CARD-never a bad idea for any golfer. Most facilties and golf stores have them. So do resort destinations. If your looking for a getaway, even if you don’t golf. Why not join your significant other at a nice resort, he or she can golf and you can shop, enjoy the pool, the spa, or casino. I golfed with a couple from Chicago in Kohler at Blackwolf Run, because their kids got them a gift card to go there. So they did and they were having a blast.

LESSONS-never a bad idea with your local Illinois PGA professional or a golf school at a resort. Yes pro’s will sell gift cards for a single lesson or series of lessons.

WHERE TO BUY..you can do it in person, always the BEST IDEA, or online or over the phone as plan B or C. You can go to golf courses, golf retail stores, resorts, practice and fitting facilties, or sporting goods stores.

Golfers on Golf will be sharing idea’s through the holiday season right up to December 25th. So stay clicked in, if you need ideas.

CLOSING THOUGHTS-top wedge designers Roger Cleveland of Callaway and Bob Vokey of Titleist both have new wedges coming out-our stories this week.

HAPPY 30th Anniversary to the people of the video game The Golden Tee, still here and it keeps improving.

NICE SHOOTING ARCHITECT GIL HANSE, on his second hole-in-one this year, on his short par 3 course “The Cradle” in Pinehurst. Visit Pinehurst.com for winter specials.

TIGER…been a tough couple of weeks for the Captain of the USA Presidents Cup Team. First he picked himself for the team, and caught some flack for doing it. Got razzed by Kevin Kisner on social media for leaving Kisner off the team. Got called out by Presidents Cup team rookie opponent Abraham Ancer, who said he wants Woods in a match. Woods got scolded for dropping the F-Bomb while live on Australian Radio.

The good news for Tiger, is that his Payne’s Valley course design at the Big Cedar Resort near Branson Mo., is coming in nicely and should be a top new play in 2020. My story on Big Cedar Resort and PV-runs in this months CDGA Magazine, see Cdga.org to give it a look.

The Gog Blog returns this week. RS


TIME TO GO INSIDE-well if so, do it at the Schaumburg Golf Club where the simulators are up and running, with new courses like Bethpage Black and the Colorado Golf Club. Maybe more additions by January. Call (847)-885-9000 for simulator tee times, they do go quickly, do check out the pro shop for winter season golf wear. Schaumburggolf.com. ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by Director of Content and Creation, Rory Spears. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin or Facebook. At Mike Munro and Jim McWethy’s Green Street Grille.

WELL MORE COURSES HAVE CLOSED THIS WEEK for the season, and it’s likely that even if the snow melts this week, there will not be many outside options left to play.

So lets hope that it gets warm enough where there might be a couple of outside days left. #fingerscrossed

I finally had a chance to get back and enjoy the great food, at the Green Street Grille in Bensenville. While there is a little bit of road constrction going on in the neighborhood. It’s still worth it to stop in, and enjoy the GSG. Since there is no dome at White Pines this winter, the GSG is the place to spend your time, and your dimes this winter while in Bensenville.

EAGLE RIDGE IN GALENA, All year round.

Eagle Ridge has you taken care of, leading into the holiday weeks.

There are November specials all this month. Then starting tomorrow and running through December 16th, Eagle Ridge will have Cyber-Mondays.

What exactly happens on Cyber Mondays, well you need to visit Eagleridge.com and check all the details. But the ER will be full of excitement all of November and December. Eagle Ridge the season never ends.

LINKS CAPITAL ADVISORS and Wilmette based Chris Charnas is involved in the sell off of the Warrior Golf Courses portfolio. Three courses up for sale coming up in early December. For more details see linkscapitaladvisors.com or call Chris Charnas at (312)-543-7192.

Cabot Links of Canada

Give the gift of Cabot, is the pitch coming in from Canada.

Cabot links that is adding a Par 3 course, called “The Nest” that will open in June of 2020.

But if you book a stay by December 6th for 2020, you receive a hand forged steel bag tag, and a Cabot Links greeting card.

So if you ready to play no longer two, but three of best golf courses in Canada come the summer of 2020. Book Cabot Links now, at Cabotlinks.com.

The choices at the Spirits of French Lick Winery/Distillery. Just across the street from the French Lick Resort and the West Baden Dome Hotel,  at Rt.56 and Sinclair Street.

What started out as wine, has now evolved into spirits and a cafe with some good pizza and other food choices. Hours Sun-Thurs. 11-5, Fri-Sat 11-9 Pm. So when you go visit, the French Lick Resort, and stay in the new suite rooms now open. When you hit the casino or sports book, head across the street for a great 19th hole. You can visit online at Frenchlickwinery.com or call (812)-936-2293. #VISITFRENCHLICK #holidaygiftideas

The Gog Blog Speaks Out returns tomorrow. RS


  THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB has closed for the outdoor golf season, but this year round facility is the simulators ready for the winter golf season. There is a great selection of courses to pick from, including new options like Bethpage Black on Long Island, and the Colorado Golf Club. SCHAUMBURG GC has one of the best selections of golf wear, including long sleeve shirts for winter season ahead. For simulator tee times call the pro shop at (847)-885-9000, for more on the Schaumburg Golf Club, and Chandlers Chophouse, the final phase of the course renovation, Schaumburggolf.com.   _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by Director of Content and Creation Rory Spears. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, or on Linkedin and Facebook. It’s opening weekend at Topgolf in Schaumburg.

Cleveland Golf has created a new line of clubs, that are now available heading into the holiday season.

HB Turbo Irons, Launcher UHX Irons, and the Launcher Halo. The new additions include Launcher HB Turbo Woods and introduces Frontline, the new way to design a putter.

The Launcher HB Turbo Irons, have been designed to deliver forgiveness and an easy-to-hit profile. So this profile is launched at players looking for more distance and accuracy.

Clevelands Launcher HB Turbo Irons

“These irons allow game improvement players the ability to get the ball into the air better than any iron on the market,” said Dustin Brekke, Director of Engineering, Research and Development. “Now with a thinner, hotter face, the Launcher HB Turbo Irons give you a half club more distance over the previous generation.”

The redesigned HiBore Crown takes the crown and puts the center of gravity low, and deep with in the base of the Launcher HB Turbo Irons. Some innovations that mke up the HB Turbo Irons include, Hollow Construction, Turbocharged Faces that are thinner, but made from a high strength steel, so the ball speed and distance increase.

Clevelands Launcher HB Turbo Irons are available in men’s and women’s sets, and come in both left handed and right handed options. The set is priced at $799.99 per seven piece set, make it $899.99 for graphite shafts.

LAUNCHER UHX IRONS the new Launcher UHX Irons the are the most progressive set of hollow and cavity back irons on the market. Brekke says,” this combination of cavity backed and utility irons into one set offers the perfect blend of distance and accuracy. A new variable face pattern delivers more distance.”

Clevelands UHX Launcher Irons

The lower and deeper weighting offers more distance than traditional cavity backed irons.

But the 8-iron through pitching wedge feature a cavity back construction, that feature precision and control. What you get is a transition to create a unified iron set.

Besides the construction, comes a steel face insert that is goes into the long iron, for higher ball speeds. The Tour Zip Grooves and enhanced Laser Millings, that deliver consistent spin when firing for the pin.

Options and prices run similar to the HB Turbo Irons.

The Cleveland Launcher Halo.

The Launcher Halo is optimized for a better interaction from tough lies, so when you hit the rough and you recover on the hole.

A new steel allows Launcher Halo to improve ball speed, even when the swing is off-center.

Launcher Halo is priced at $199.99 comes in 16-19 and 22 degrees.

Cleveland Turbo Woods

“Reintroducing Cleveland Woods andIrons two years ago has been very successful,” says Brian Schielke, Marketing Director at Cleveland Golf. “However, the new Launcher HB Turbo Woods represent a huge step up from the previous generation. Because they are sleeker, faster and more forgiving. What golfers are looking for off the tee.”

Jeff Brunski, VP of Research and Development at Cleveland Golf says the HB Trubo Woods,” are engineered to hit long straight drives. We have squeezed weight out of every corner of the club head in order to produce one of themost forgiving drivers we’ve ever made.” The turbocharged cup face offeres a thickness pattern that delivers more speed across the clubface.

HB Turbo Drivers come in 9-10.5 and 12 degrees for a MAP of $349.99. HB Turbo Fairway Woods are a 15 degree 3-wood, and 18 degree 5-wood. Fairway woods are listed at $229.99 each. More information at Clevelandgolf.com.

Cleveland has introduced a way to create putters. It’s called Frontline.

FRONTLINE a new way to design a putter, is Cleveland’s new putter creation.

“By pairing an extreme center of gravity with an improved speed and optimized face, we’ve designed a putter that uniquely maximizes directional and speed consistency. Combined with slick black cosmetics, great shapes and hosel options for different stroke types, Frontline is the enite package,” said Jacob Lambeth, Research and Dvelopment Engineer at Cleveland Golf. The foundation of Frontline is Tungsten Forward Weighting, that puts two Metal Injected Molded tungsten weights in the face of the putter. Hosel options include a single-bend for straight strokes, and a slant-neck option for golfer that add an arc to their stroke.

Frontline comes with Lamkin SINKFit Pistol Frontline grips, available in 33″, 34″ and 35″ length options. The Frontline 4.0 loft blade is $179.99, with the three mallet models, Elevado, Cero and Iso listed at $199.99. Now Available, and more information at Clevelandgolf.com.


  THE FRENCH LICK RESORT UNVAILS the new Valley Sports Bar and suite rooms tied into the casino. Great for golf groups- see Frenchlick.com. TOPGOLF in Schaumburg opens today, are you ready for some outdoor golf and more. Please visit Topgolf.com     ____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content And Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or Linkedin and Facebook. On the 6th hole at Pinehurst #2. (Jan of 2019).

WHO CARES HOW COLD IT IS OUT, you can always head south to play more golf.

SO YOU WANNA GOLF AWAY- Pinehurst is running a winter special, that runs this December through the end of February in 2020. See Pinehurst.com.

Yes it could be a little chilly, but Pinehurst is always great, at anytime of the year. So if there is no snow, or only a little, you can play the Nine-Hole Cradle Course by Gil Hanse which is a real joy. The round goes by quickly if it’s cold out. Besides there is more great news, and that is the historic Manor Inn has reopened from renovation. And just in time for the holidays. #pinehurst

  THE MANOR INN (L) DURING RENOVATION- AFTER REOPENING THIS FALL (R) photo’s by Rory Spears (L) and courtesy of Pinehurst Resort (R). See Pinehurst.com

THE NEW VALLEY SPORTS BAR (L)-AND NEW ADJOINING SUITE ROOMS located just off the casino floor at the French Lick Resort. Opening today-See Frenchlick.com

  GOLF360 RETURNS in December on NBC Sports Chicago, with a look at the new Payne’s Valley Course at Big Cedar Lodge-near Branson Missouri Golf 360, will run 9 times in December, starting with the first airing on December 8th at 5 Pm. See local listings for more showings. (R) the 4th hole at Payne’s Valley, (photo by Rory Spears). See the year end travel issue of the CDGA magazine, and the feature on Big Cedar Resort and Payne’s Valley by your’s truly.

Bay Harbor in Michigan-part of Boyne Golf.

Congratulations to Bernie Friedrich the longtime Senior VP of Resort Sales and Golf for Boyne Golf, on his well deserved induction into the Michigan PGA Golf Hall of Fame.

Besides the Hall of Fame induction, Friedrich was named winner of the Michigan Sections Bill Strausbaugh Award, that is awarded to someone who helps or mentors others in the PGA Industry.

Boyne Resorts is the largest golf resort operation in the state of Michigan. With three properties including Bay Harbor. Visit BoyneGolf.com

The newly renovated Gleacher indoor golf facility at Northwestern University.

IT’S OPEN, Northwestern University officially unveiled the updated Gleacher Center on Wednesday, to the student athletes of the men’s and women’s golf teams.

Northwestern University trustee Eric Gleacher (class of 62) in addition to his wife Paula, the major donors, were on hand for the special reopening of the facility.

Besides the Gleachers in attendance, was the all-time greatest NU golfer in the schools history Luke Donald. In addition to Donald were other golf team alumni from both the men’s and women’s teams. NUsports@northwestern.edu for more details.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN JACKET-Chad Johansen of Blackberry Oaks Golf Club in Bristol, has opened his indoor winter facility at the Go For It Sports Dome in Yorkville, near Blackberry Oaks. So visit CJGA.com for more details. Where #kidsrule three simulators with putting greens. You can now improve your game all winter long.

Piercen Hunt 2019 Western Junior Champion at Rich Harvest Farms, will join the University of Illinois starting in the 2020-2021 season.

PIERCEN HUNT from Hartland Wisconsin and Arrowhead HS, has announced he will join Coach Mike Small and the Fighting Illini in the 2020-2021 season.

Hunt is #22 on the Rolex AJGA rankings list and a three-time Wisconsin Golf Coaches Association Player of the Year. This past June, Hunt crushed the field at Rich Harvest Farms, and won the 2019 (WGA) Western Junior Championship.

“We are so extremely excited to welcome Piercen Hunt to the Illini golf family,” head coach Mike Small said. “In addition to being a champion at the highest level levels of junior golf, Piercen brings unquestioned character and strong work ethic to everything that he does. Since the first time we saw Piercen play, we felt he would make a great Illini.”

Hunt is a two-time Wisconsin High School State champion, and has a list of junior golf awards from various organziations. Hunt said, “having the chance to learn from Coach Small and other top players in the Illini Golf family. But this was the perfect fit for me and my family. So I hope to add to the rich history that surrounds Illinois Men’s Golf.”

ILLINOIS has also announced it’s spring schedule. It will start on Feb. 1st in Florida at the Tinervin Cup-matches with alumni players. And it’s followed by a trip to Alabama for a tournament on Feb. 10-11, the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate. And then it’s off to Hawaii and back to Calusa Pines in Naples Florida. The Big Ten season wraps up with the Confrence Championship at Rich Harvest Farms May 1-3 of 2020.

The Tournament 9 at the Schaumburg Golf Club is not ready for play, just yet. So take it indoors and enjoy Schaumburg’s simulators. Book your tee times by calling (847)-885-9000.

EXPERTGOLF.COM invites golfers to watch short video’s on a variety of topics, including rules instruction and golf tips. And besides there is no charge, so check out more at Expertgolf.com.

ONE SWING CLUB MATCHING can be done through the Bio-Match fitting centers, and the results have been very good, regardless of the players skill level. See Rational-golf.com. So if your looking for a more consistent ball-flight, see what Bio-Match fitting centers can offer you. Because you will get more from your game, and your swing.

LEN ZIEHM at lenziehmongolf.com has posted a recap of his trip to Mission Inn Resort in Howey-In-the-Hills Florida. Because Mission Inn has two golf courses for golfers to enjoy, they can enjoy 36 holes.

THE GOG BLOG returns on Saturday. RS


  BETHPAGE BLACK home of two U.S. Open’s the 2019 PGA Championship, and the 2024 Ryder Cup. ARE YOU READY for the challenge ? No need to drive to Long Island NY, just go play it at the Schaumburg Golf Club 401 N. Roselle Road. Now on the simulators in the clubhouse-below Chandlers Chophouse. Tee times at (847)-885-9000. ______________________________________________________________________

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

Titleist Experimental EXP-01 Golf Ball

The Titleist team of over 75 engineers, scientists, and physicists, continue to work on creating the next bet golf ball.

But while some ideas never get out of the lab, the new Titleist EXP-01 golf ball has. So it’s an experimental multilayer constructed golf ball, with a urethane cover and formulation process. Has made it out the door and onto the golf course.

Since October 1st, there has been a limited one time launch of this ball, now available while supplies last in USA, and Candian pro shops.

“The EXP Project invites golfers into the early stages of our R&D process, and allows us to broadly test experimental materials, constructions and processes that could be integrated into any segment of our golf ball line,” says Michael Mahoney, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing. “EXP-01 is truly an exploratory product and besides there is no better way to evaluate our progress, than by getting it into the hands of dedicated golfers.”

Titleist is looking for feedback on this golfball from golfers who are playing it. $39.99 per dozen. So you can order on Titleist.com via My Titleist.

THE NEW TITLEIST TruFeel Golf Ball. With a soft feel.

NOW AVAILBLE is the new soft feel Titleist TruFeel, that has been reimagined with a new TruTouch core and with new TruFit aerodynamics.

The TruFit cover that comes in White, Optic Yellow or Matte Red starting in January. Gives the golfer a golf ball with an ultra-soft feel around the green, or your approach shot into the green.

Mahoney says that, “in this category of golf ball we continue to see competitive products that sacrifice distance or short-game spin in order to gain feel. Because TruFeel strikes the perfect combination of balance of extremely soft-feel and all-around performance. Our enginners have advanced the low-compression technology to add speed and distance in the long game while preserving the feel that golfers tell us they love.”

And besides, there is a new sidestamp to serve as alignment aid. Cost is $22.99 per dozen. More information at Titleist.com.


THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB at 401 North Roselle Road, is open year round. When you can’t golf outside, the simulators are open on the lower level downstairs from Chandlers Chophouse, in the clubhouse. The award winning pro shop has a great variety of golfwear, for all seasons. See Schaumburggolf.com or call (847)-885-9000.     _____________________________________________________________________

Welcome to PGA Village in Port St. Lucie Florida, home of the PGA Assistants Professional Golf Championship.

The PGA of America National Assistant Club Professional Championship, is on the tee tomorrow in Florida.

The PGA Village’s Wanamaker Golf Course will be the host course. The course is located in Port. St. Lucie.

The Illinois PGA Section is proud to have four assistant’s, that have qualifed for the championship.

They are Kevin Flack (Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club), Sean Gervais (Chicago Golf Club), Jeff Kellen (Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club), and Adam Steinhofer (Ridgemoor Country Club). The field will be 132 players. And the championship will be a four-day 72 hole stroke play championship. The top four finishers get births into the National (Club) Professional Championship in 2020.

“We are very proud of the Assistant PGA Professionals that have qualified for this event,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section. “We have a competitive group of Assistants and Associates in the Illinois Section. And the individuals representing our Section this week, makeup a strong group. We wish them the best of luck.”

Mistwood Golf Club, Director of Golf Andy Mickelson is a past champion in this championship. All four players have their first tee time in Round 1 tomorrow, in the 8 Am hour.


THE WHITE EAGLE GOLF CLUB & THE STONEBRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB will team up to host the 2020 Illinois Open from August 3rd-5th, the Illinois PGA has announced.   _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Linkedin or Facebook. Teeing off on the 18th tee at White Eagle Golf Club.

The Illinois PGA has now officially announced the locations, and dates for it’s “Opens” in 2020.

The Illinois Open Championship will be played August 3-5. But for the first time since 2016, it moves away from the Glen Club.

2020 launches the combination of White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville, and Aurora. The second course being Stonebridge Country Club, that development only runs through only Aurora.

So the distance between both courses is a short one, which will make it easy for the players to commute back-and-forth, between the courses.

The 18th hole at White Eagle Golf Club, will be the closing hole for the 2020 Illinois Open.

“We so cherish the relationship that we have with The Glen Club and Kemper Sports,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section. “The Illinois Open will be returning to The Glen Club in the future, but we are excited to move the state championship of golf around the state of Illinois.”

“We are thrilled to host the 71st Illinois Open at White Eagle,” said Curtis Malm, Head PGA Professional at White Eagle Golf Club. “The Illinois Open showcases the best golfers in the state of Illinois,both professionals and amateurs and we couldn’t be happier to bring this event to White Eagle.”

In 2019 the club emerged from a two-year architect Todd Quitno renovation of all 27 holes. Which has created a buzz about the golf course at White Eagle. The club’s membership numbers have grown by a significant amount, in the last 18 months.

THE PAR 3, 8TH HOLE at Stonebridge Country Club.

At Stonebridge, the club is also seeing a resurgence in membership, after making improvements in the last two years.

Tom Fazio the clubs orginal architect had his team return, and upgraded the golf course.

The new look Stonebridge has a current style, that would have been great to have, when the PGA Champions Tour and the LPGA were bringing tour events to the club. Back in the early 1990’s, and again after the year 2000.

The Illinois Open will have a field of 264 players, and qualifying events start in late June. So any legal resident of Illinois, professional or amateur. Can attempt to qualify for the Illinois Open. But amateurs must have a verified handicap index of 10.0 or less.

THE PAR 5, 3RD HOLE at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, home of the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open.

The 26th annual Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open, will be played in July of 2020.

And the Illinois PGA will now partner with Mistwood in running the event.

“We are very excited to partner with the Mistwood Golf Club to assist with this already highly regarded tournament,” said Williams. “The Illinois Women’s Open features some of the best female golfers in Illinois. And throughout the Midwest, and rest of the country. Mistwood Golf Club has been a great host of this tournament for many years.”

The 54 hole IWO championship is played over two days. However, 36 holes are on day one, before a cut to low 40% and ties for the final round. In addition, players handicaps must be 15.0 or less to enter.

“We are so excited to partner with the Illinois PGA,and to further the reach of the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open,” said Andy Mickelson, Director of Golf at Mistwood Golf Club. “This event has been the foundation for competitive women’s golf in Illinois and we have been proud to host for the last 20 years. It was Phil’s wish to host the best women in Illinois tournament golf and beyond. So partnering with the Illinois PGA only further ensures his legacy, and high levels of womens golf will remain in Illinois.”

The 2020 Illinois Senior Open returns to Royal Fox Country Club, after being held there for the first time in 2019. The late September event will be open to professionals and amateurs, who are 50 years old by the first day of play. And amateurs must a verified handicap of 10.0 or less.

The par 3, 12th hole at Pine Meadow GC in Mundelein.

The Illinois Super Senior Open returns to it’s orginal host course, the Pine Meadow Golf Club in October of 2020.

After 2 years at Makray Memorial Golf Club. The 36-hole event has no cut and four different age group champions. 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75 and up. Players must be 60 by the first day of the championship. And amateurs must have a verified handicap index of 14.0 or less. The event is open to all legal residents of Illinois.

For more information  please visit IPGA.com.


  THE SCHUAMBURG GOLF CLUB at 401 N. Roselle Road has the pro shop fully stocked with warm weather golf gear. If your ready to start the holiday shopping, stop in the pro shop and pick up something your favorite golfer could use. (847)-885-9000. THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME ON RT. 53 in Bolingbrook is now open the indoor winter golf season. So is McWethy’s Sportsbar the best golf dome food in the Chicago area. So visit the dome complete with Toptracer and visit Mistwoodgolfdome.com.          _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy Linkedin or Facebook. In the snow with Putter Boy at Pinehurst.

NOT THIS AGAIN. Nothing like some snow to ruin a round of golf.

I played in light flurries at the Glen Club once, with Len Ziehm and the Late PGA Tour player Jarrod Lyle, it was a media day. We all quit after nine holes.

It was the smart thing to do that day. I have had to pull off the road in route to the PGA Show in January in Kentucky when the snow hit. It kept me from making it to Pinehurst that year. The following year I made it to Pinehurst, after it snowed all day. Four days later I wasn’t golfing yet, but got in a quick 9 on the Cradle (The Gil Hanse par 3 course) before leaving town. Which was mostly clear of snow. Five miles past Pinehurst there was no snow, that was the cut off line. Never fails. This year I hope the good folks in Pinehurst don’t suggest that, I brought the snow with me again.

What’s even worse is that this is not our first snow of the fall. I say that because it’s not officially winter yet. That, is still over a month a way. I know most of our courses will close, but if today and tomorrows now melts off, maybe there is still one more day of upper 50’s or 60 degrees, where we can hit it, outdoors one more time in 2019.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN JACKET-Chad Johansen getting it done all winter long. #kidsrule

YOU HAVE TO appreciate “The Man with the Golden Jacket”.

He’s Chad Johansen the general manager and head golf professional, at Blackberry Oaks Golf Club in Bristol (near Aurora). Johansen created the slogan #kidsrule.

And they do at Blackberry Oaks, and in the Go For It sports dome in Yorkville (close to Blackberry Oaks). So why does golf season never end with Johansen and the Kidsrule programs.

It has a lot to do with giving kids something to do, and of course growing the game. But it’s an introduction to a great game that lasts a lifetime. Johansen has enlarged his space at the golf dome, and has started a winter golf program, and high school golf program for the winter season. Everyone is not on the football or basketball team, and kids are looking for sports to play. And because the kids who love playing golf summer, don’t need a 5 month break in the winter away from what they love to do.

That doesn’t mean you have to play all winter long. I have always believed in putting down the clubs and taking a winter break. It gets you fired up to play when the weather starts to break in the spring. In fact taking a break is good for the golfer. Steve Stricker once told me a story about how he puts down the clubs for a few months during the winter season. Stricker talked about going down south to play in a tournament and finding out kids that were better than him the previous year, had quit the game. He would learn that they “burned out” playing every day. “Just trying to get better” you know, the most over used cliche in sports these days.

Johansen has three simulators and putting greens, he is running contests. Like his own version of Drive, Chip and Putt. The kids love it, and parents are having fun watching, and maybe looking forward to joining their kids on the course next spring. I’d like to recommend for someone trying to get better at putting. Johansen’s Perfect Putting Aid is still one of the best swing aids for putting I’ve ever seen. In the meantime, check out Chadjohansen.com or Blackberryoaks.com for more details. Because #kidsrule even in the cold and snowy months. (630)-553-7170 to reach Blackberry Oaks.

TOPGOLF which opens it’s new Schaumburg facility (by Algonquin and Meachem Roads) this Friday, has hired Stuart Foster as it’s Chief Marketing Officer. Just in time for Topgolf’s expansion into the Far East. China, Hong kong, Taiwan and the Phillipines, all have Top golf headed their way. Topgolf.com.

IN THE PAST DUE COLUMN-I have been meaning to congratulate the Western Golf Association (WGA) for finally reaching it’s goal of 1,000 caddies attending school at a time. Because it’s been a goal of the WGA to make that mark for a few years, and this fall they finally did.

THERE are a few new releases on the equipment side, I’ll have for you this coming week from Callaway, Titleist, and Cleveland Golf. So stay clicked in.

FINALLY-Tiger Woods picks himself for the Presidents Cup Team. Why ? Picking himself. Hey everybody, I pick me. Seriously why. I think Woods should have kept himself on the bench, and just jumped in if Brooks Koepka’s knee flared up forcing the World’s #1 player to have to sit out a match or two.

Are you now more likely to watch the Presidents Cup at some early hour from Australia with the captain playing. I thought not.

THIS WEEKS Global Golf Post+ a great read by the way if you have not signed up yet for a subscription. Ed “the grip” Fiori recaps beating Tiger Woods at the Quad City Classic in 1996 (now the John Deere Classic).

THE SHARK should not be surprised. Greg Norman mentioned he was upset that Woods snubbed him, after Norman wrote out a congratulations note to his neighbor and drove it to the front gate of Woods estate. After Woods won at Augusta last April. So apparently Woods never acknowledged Norman’s letter, which rubbed the “Shark” the wrong way.

ON VETERANS DAY today, kudo’s to new World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson for holding an outing today, that benefits the vets at her Tarpon Woods Golf Course, in Palm Harbor Florida. With that, I’m off to see the new release of the movie Midway.



BEHTPAGE BLACK on Long Island home of two U.S. Opens, the 2019 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup. And its one of the new courses on the simulators at the SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB, are you ready for the challenge. Call the pro shop at (847)-885-9000 and make your simulator tee time. COURSE IS OPEN today outside. Schaumburggolf.com located at 401 North Roselle Road #yearroundgolf  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy Linkedin or Facebook. On the tee at Bethpage Black, Bethpage NY.

Steve Orrick (Country Club of Decatur) is the 2019 Central Illinois Player of the Year for 2019.

Orrick has now won this award two straight years, and four times in the last seven seasons.

“Steve has long been one of the top players in both our Chapter and Section tournament events and it’s wonderful to see his efforts rewarded with the CIPGA Chapter Player of the Year honor this season,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section. Orrick was a top five finisher in all CIPGA events he played in this year. Orrick was T-11 at the Illinois Open, and T-3 in the fall at the Players Championship.

The new Topgolf in Schaumburg.

TOPGOLF will open it’s new Illinois facility on November 15th.

It’s location is alongside Interstate 90 just west of Rt.53. and on the property that was once the Motorola Communications campus, at Algonquin and Meachem Roads.

Because of it’s heated hitting bays, that keep temperatures 20-30 degrees warmer that actual outside temperatures. Topgolf is expected to remain open year round. Details at Topgolf.com.

The new Club Champion Store in Schaumburg

Club Champion that has recently opened seven new locations across America, is proud to announce it’s winter promotion.

The winter promotion doesn’t just run through the holidays, it runs through the end of January (Jan.31-2020).

So if your golfer needs better clubs for the winter, now is time to receive 50% off on a full-bag fitting. You can receive 33% off on all other fittings. Please visit Clubchampiongolf.com for details.

The new Erin Hills Drumlin putting course.

THERE ARE FOUR GREAT REASONS to book Erin Hills for 2020, so why wait, because you can do it now.

The Drumlin putting course is now open and stay’s open every night until 11 Pm, under the lights when needed.

In addition to the U.S. Open tested golf course, there is plenty of lodging on the property. And the food and beverage are top notch. Do try a Fescue Rescue drink, it’s good. Erinhills.com (866)-772-4769.

The entrance to Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa Wis.

SAND VALLEY RESORT reports in that 2019 was another great season for the resort.

During the 2020 season, work should start on the next golf course, created by golf architect Tom Doak.

But in the meantime, if you are starting your holiday shopping for your favorite golfers, why not check out Sandvalley.com because the online shopping specials have tee’d off. Don’t forget to play Sand Valley, Mammoth Dunes and the Par 3 course-The Sandbox in 2020.

With artist Cassy Tully at the BMW Championship

The Cassy Tully holiday artwork and her famed ornaments are ready to go for the holiday season.

Golfers if your in the need for golf art work to decorate your home, office, or even the dorm room for you college goers.

So visit online Cassytully.com And don’t forget to watch in 2020, to see what Cassy creates for the Ryder Cup.

GOING GREEN IN MYRTLE BEACH if you are tired of Brown being the new Green, like many golfers are, head to Myrtle Beach SC. where courses are going Wall-to-Wall Green. The Founders Group International the largest golf ownership group in Myrtle Beach, has overseeded it’s 11 courses to ensure lush green grass all winter and all spring long. Because the ryegrass overseed has already taken root, all 11 golf courses are in prime condition. To see the list of FGI courses see FoundersGroupInternational.com.

PINE MEADOW in Mundelein, is now running a sale on used PRO-V1’s and PRO V1x golfballs. Used only on Titleist Thursdays, so the balls have all been hit only 20-25 times. Less than 9 holes of play. $14.95 a dozen. Call the pro shop for details (847)-566-4663 (GOLF) or Pinemeadowgc.com.

BEN HOGAN GOLF has added PTx PRO BLACK Forged Irons, featuring a Diamond Black Metal finish. It’s the third product the company has added this year. But these products are only available to golfers exclusively at Benhogangolf.com.

Because the darker finish is 7 times stronger and more durable than nickel chrome. It reduces glare and provides better contrast with the golf ball. Besides it provides better alignment and accuracy.

Scott White CEO of Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company, says the Hogan clubs have “execptional market momentum right now.” White says the company remains committed to creating the “highest quality and best performing golf equipment in the world.” And that the compnay remains committed to Mr. Hogan’s mission of building top level golf equipment. So White says the company took it’s time designing the PTx PRO Irons because they wanted them to perform as good as they looked.

More information at BenHoganGolf.com or social media facebook, twitter, instagram.

The new Srixon Green golf ball.

Srixon Golf has announced the launch of the Soft Feel Brite golf ball, and in three colors.

The new Soft Feel Brite ball is available in Brite Orange, Brite Green, and Brite Red. But it is now  only available for purchase in North America.

“Soft Feel Brite offers everything you love about Soft Feel,” said Brian Schielke, Marketing Director at Srixon. “It delivers distance, exceptional feel, and now, enhanced visibility from tee-to-green to form a high quality matte golf ball.”

The new Soft Feel brite ball offers more distance, with more feel and control. So golfers will be able to follow the ball flight, with the new visibility colorful covers. More information at Srixon.com.


  COMING IN JULY OF 2020-THE TOURNAMENT NINE (L) at the Schaumburg Golf Club. NOW HERE (R) new-Bethpage Black, on the simulators downstairs from Chandlers chophouse. Tee times at Schaumburggolf.com or by calling (847)-885-9000.  ______________________________________________________________________

Welcome to the Grove Country Club, in Long Grove. Home of the 2020 WWGA Junior Tournament.

The Grove Country Club will play host, of the 94th Women’s Western Junior Championship in 2020. Tournament week is scheduled from June 15-19.

For the second time, the WGA and the WWGA will conduct the championship as partners.

” We’re so elated to have The Grove host our Women’s Western Junior,” said Vince Pellegrino WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “Because this championship attracts some of the top junior golfers in the country, and the course layout will provide a worthy challenge.”

The Grove’s Clubhouse (front view)

78 of the top ranked women’s amateur players, who are 18 years of age or younger will comprise the field.

Players must have a handicap of 14.4 or less.

After a practice round on Monday June 15th. 36 holes of stroke play will follow on June 16-17 to determine the 16 players, that will advance to the mtach play portion of the championship on June 18-19.

“Each year, the girls who compete in the Women’s Western Junior represent golfs best and brightest rising talent,” said Jackie Wacker, Women’s Western Junior Chairman. “Our 2020 field is sure to be no exception.”

Renowned golf architect Robert Harris built the course in 1964. And the course plays to a par of 72, and length of 7,000 yards (shorter for the championship). But the routing has over 60 bunkers, and water in play on multiple holes so accuracy will be needed.

“We’re looking forward to hosting the Women’s Western Junior,” said Fred Reeder, Director of golf at the Grove. “We’re so excited to be hosting a national event with a long history. We expect a great week of competition.”

Gabrielle Gilrowski of Westfield Indiana was the 2019 champion. Some notable past champions do include, Cristie Kerr (1994), Grace Park (1993), and Nancy Lopez (1972-74). For more information visit womenswesternjunior.com.