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.

THE GOG NEWS BLOG-WEEKEND EDITION

GOLFERS ARE YOU READY- FOR IRONS & WOODS opening this fall in Long Grove IL. on Rt. 53 North of Lake Cook Road. HDGolf simulators and more. #yearroundgolf.    _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. On the North Course at Eagle Ridge in Galena IL.

IT’S BEEN A ROUGH WEEK for those courses in Lake County Illinois. So many of them this week received 5-7 inches of rain.

Because of that amount of rainfall, some courses have had to be closed, or go without carts. Golfers on Golf wishes them the best in getting reopened, and back up to full speed this week.

ILLINOIS MENS GOLF. The schedule is out. Coach Mike Small says the teams mission statement remains the same this year. “We will play against the best competition and on the most respected golf courses in America, and our fall schedule backs that up,” said Small. “Our players will have an opportunity to build a resume against the nations top golf programs.”

The Illini start the seson at the Maui Jim Invitational in Scottsdale AZ.. After Round 1 Illinois sits in 4th place, but Freshman Jerry Ji from the Netherlands, leads the championship after a first round 7 under par 63. In Round 2, Ji shot a 2 under par 68, Ji is now third place. Illinois fell back to 10th place.

Coach Small said,” the team came out flat and that does not sit well with the coach staff.” Small added he expects the team to come out strong in the final round, and finish the tournament strong.

Illinois has it’s own invitational at Olympia Fields next weekend Friday-Sunday, 11 ranked teams in the top 30 will compete. October 14-15 the Illini will compete at the Crooked Stick Intercollegiate in Carmel IN., October 20-22 is the Tavistock Collegiate in Windermere FL. The final fall event is the Cypress Point Classic in Pebble Beach Cal. on October 28-29.

PINE MEADOW GOLF CLUB in Mundelein has reopened from heavy rainfall, and has carts out. Greens have been cut and rolled, bunkers might still be washed out. For details call (847)-566-GOLF. Or visit Pinemeadowsgc.com.

The Illinois practice facility, for both men’s and women’s teams.

The University of Illinois Women’s Golf Team, will have three new events this fall says Coach Renee Slone.

“These new tournaments will certainly test the players and enable us to grow and develop,” said Slone.

#16 Illinois opens their fall season this weekend in Toldeo, at the Glass City Invitational. October 27-29 Illinois heads to Oklahoma for the Schooner Fall Classic. And October 8-9 Illinois will host it’s own invitational at Medinah Country Club, on it’s recently renovated Course No.2. Illinois closes out it’s fall schedule from October25-27 at the Landfall Tradition hosted by UNC-Wilmington. The spring has the Illini women playing in five tournaments before the Big Ten Championships at TPC River Bend in Ohio, April 24-26.

Illinois has three players that have been named, BIG TEN players to watch. They include Tristyn Nowlin, Kornkamol Sukaree, and Crystal Wang.

  CLUB CHAMPION and PXG GOLF are working together and offering FREE 0211 Iron Trials. Golfers you have 30 free minutes to test the new PXG 0211 Irons. Club trials by the nation’s largest clubfitter, builder and retailer. Golfers have access to over 200 iron shaft options, and Trackman swing analysis technology.

Club Champion has over 60 locations nationwide now including Schuamburg Illinois, located of course on Golf Road.

“A trial at Club Champion seemed like an incredibly effective way to show off the performance and feel of our brand new PXG 0211 Irons,” said PXG founder and CEO Bob Parsons. “Their fitting expertise and technology are an ideal combination for showcasing the outstanding new club technology we’ve created.”

The new PXG 0211 irons gives golfers the PXG high standard of quality, while delivering a price tag at under $200 per clubhead.

“Club Champion is one of the few fitters than can offer PXG to it’s customers, and we’re excited to bring the 0211’s into the mix,” said Nick Sherburne, founder of Club Champion. “These new irons bring the sough-after PXG craftmanship to a wider range of golfers, and this trial is a great way to demonstrate their performance.”

Hurry because the deadline is coming soon. Call Club Champion at (888)-340-7820

TOPGOLF is expanding around the globe.

Dallas based Topgolf, a global sports and entertainment community, has now announced plans to expand into central Europe.

Topgolf will now open new venues in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. These venues will be opening over the next several years.

It’s expected that eachvenue will add at least 350 jobs. The expnasion is part of a new agreement between Topgolf and and the Switzerland based Greenreb Ltd. Locally there is no announcement yet on the opening of the new Schaumburg IL. location, on the site of the old Motorola campus. But construction is advancing, and the site looks close to opening. More details at Topgolf.com.

GOLF360 is back on NBC Sports Chicago

GOLF360 is backwith Dave “Links” Lockhart, and former Chicago Bear Patrick Mannelly.

The current edition includes features on the City of Elgin golf courses, the Highlands of Elgin, and Bowes Creek.

Golf instruction from 2015 Illinois PGA Golfer of the Year Bill Abrams. The Kankakee Elks Golf Club and a clinic held at the BMW Championship. Upcoming viewing options include Sunday 9-15 3:30 PM, Monday 9-16 at 5 PM, and Sunday 9-22 at 4:30 PM on NBC Sports Chicago.

The new Callaway JAWS wedges by Roger Cleveland

THE NEW CALLAWAY JAWS wedge line created by designer Roger Cleveland, is now available for pre-order at Callawaygolf.com.

Cleveland who has been designing wedges for over 40 years, has created what he feels are the most aggressive grooves ever built.

They will give golfers better control and exceptional spin, which gives golfers the one-hop and stop results they look for. JAWS wedges for when your wedge shots need to spin. See more at Callawaygolf.com and watch the podcast video with Roger and Dave Neville.

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

PINEHURST’S MANOR INN REOPENS FROM RENOVATION

  IRONS AND WOODS COMING THIS FALL TO LONG GROVE IL. on Rt. 53 North of Lake Cook Road. HDGolf simulators, interactive sports, slots and more. #golfyearround  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Facebook or Linkedin. Onthe 18th green at Pinehurst No.2. (R) The historic Manor Inn of Pinehurst, has now reopened. (Picture by Rory Spears, of the Manor Inn during the renovation phase in January of 2019).

  THE MANOR INN (L) inside the front door of the Inn this past January. (R) The Inn had it’s windows boarded up during the renovation earlier this year.

The Manor Inn has reopened in Pinehurst and is welcoming guests back after an extensive renovation. The Manor Inn is the youngster of the three Pinehurst Resort Hotels, because it’s only 96 years old.

The historic and “haunted” Holly Inn opened first on New Years Eve, in 1895. It was then followed by the Carolina Hotel in 1901.

THE NEW MANOR BAR (L) AND THE REMODELED MANOR LIBRARY (R). Photo’s courtesy of Alex Podlogar-Pinehurst Resort PR.

The Manor Inn is the latest of a series of project renovations at the Cradle, or Home of American Golf, the Pinehurst Resort.

There have been course improvements on Courses 1,2,3,4, and 5. Most recently on Course #4 with renovation work by Gil Hanse. Hanse and his partner Jim Wagner, along with their Caveman Construction Crew, not only renovated Course 4, but built the fun and very popular 9-hole par 3 course, “The Cradle.”

And off the course, have been the resort additions of a new swimming pool, the Deuce Bar in the main clubhouse behind the famed 18th green of Pinehurst Course No.2. There have been renovations to the Holly Inn and the Carolina Hotel, more recently has been the opening the Pinehurst Microbrewery in the Village of Pinehursts former steam plant.

“Our intention was to improve upon and modenize the guest experience while still preserving the Manor’s unique charm,” says Bob Dedman Jr., Pinehurst Resort’s Chief Executive Officer. “I think we’ve accomplished that in fine fashion.”

The renovation has transformed the Inn’s 43 guest rooms. And the interior has only 15% of the inn’s original framing still intact.

The Manor Inn came to be in 1923, when the Lexington Hotel on the inn’s current location was raised in 1922. And owner Mrs. Erma C. Bliss designed the new hotel, not common for a woman to do during that era. Her vision included new steam heat, an electric elevator, with space for table tennis and card playing, and the early 1950’s saw a TV room added. Arnold Palmer stopped at the inn during his Pinehurst visits.

A Manor Inn bedroom with a King-Sized bed. Photo from Pinehurst Resort.

Bliss’ style of gathering space, has returned as part of the inn’s renovation.

Guests can reserve a hospitality suite for the duration of their stay.

The new North & South bar opens in early December, and will feature craft beer from Pinehurst Brewing Co. in addition to an extensive whiskey selection.

New Memorabilia and photos around the bar, will display the history of the historic North & South Amateur Championship, that has been played in Pinehurst since 1901.  Because a new element of the bar’s design, will be the ceiling, that shows an illustration of the original routing of Donald Ross’ first four Pinehurst golf courses. The map is from 1922, so it coincides with the time period the inn first opened for business.

“Our mantra is simple,” says Dedman. “Always Pinehurst, but always better.”

Pinehurst is only 65 minutes from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and 90 minutes from the Charlotte-Douglass International Airport. To book tee times and resort stays or packages, visit www.Pinehurstresort.com, or call (855)-235-8507. It’s always a beautiful day in Pinehurst.

RENOVATED SUNSET VALLEY READY TO ADD ON

IRONS & WOODS is coming to the Long Grove IL. this fall. Located on Rt.53 North of Lake Cook Road (Behind Menards). HDGolf simulators will power the way to a full year round golf season in the Chicago area. Hold your private function, and enjoy the slots. Stay clicked in here, to follow the build-up and be ready for opening day. #irons&woods  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Linkedin or Facebook. On the 18th green at Sunset Valley in Highland Park.

ABOUT THIS TIME last year Sunset Valley Golf Course was reopening from a Rick Jacobson renovation.

And like most courses when they start welcoming the golfers back for play, after the architect and construction crews are done. There is still need for some grow-in time.

But one year later Sunset Valley looks like it has been back in play for 3 years. It has matured that quickly, and local golfers enjoying the benfits. Play is up and maybe by as much as over 10,000 rounds, from when Sunset Valley last had a full season of golf. General Manager Ryan Ochs says the course renovation, has received a great response from golfers.

The Par 3, 4th hole at SVGC, is considered by many to be the signature hole.

Ochs wrote this message in the 2019 Sunset Valley Golfer Guide.

“As we embark on the 2019 golf season, I would like to extend a huge thank you to our loyal Sunset Valley golfers. We are proud and excited to welcome you back to our first full season of golf at the “new” Sunset Valley. We appreciate your patience and unwavering support through the past two years.

The new course offers challenges to every level of golfer. Because each hole has it’s own unique features, that make you use your creativity as you make your way around the golf course. For your enjoyment, we encourage you to select the proper set of tee’s based on your handicap. After your round is complete, I hope you will stay for a cocktail and a bite to eat at our new 13ninety restaurant to enjoy the breathtaking views of Sunset Valley on the patio.

I look forward to seeing you on the golf course. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate, and warm days will arrive. So please remember that our “new” new course is young and maturing. We hope you will help take care of the course by repairing divots and ball marks. See you at Sunset.”

The new Sunset Valley Clubhouse, complete with outdoor patio and comfortable couch seating.

Golf architect Rick Jacobson who oversaw the renovation, was awarded with a 2018 Design Excellence Award. Which is award by the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA).

The facility itself, was honored by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association. Because it received the Outstanding Facility of the Year Award.

The award goes to only one facility from over 2,000 facilities in the state.

The Par 4, 8th hole at Sunset Valley Golf Course.

The clubs 1390 address on Sunset Road, has been used to name the 19th hole. Sunset Valley founded in 1920,  has now announced more improvements.

Ochs was proud to recently announce the club is now adding a new short-game and junior golf practice area.

Jacobson is returning to design the area, and fund-raising for the project is underway. Among the first to step up and support the project, was Illinois Golf Hall of Fame member and former British Amateur Champion Joel Hirsch.

Sunset Valley GM Ryan Ochs (L) and Operations manager Cole Sangren (R), stand by the short game area plan chart, and the fundraising board. In the clubhouse.

Sunset Valley has created special events and programs, to welcome the golfers back.

You can join the Sapphire Club for $100 and earn reward points towards green fees and merchandise for money spent.

How about this, Kids play free. Yes after 5 pm junior golfers 18 and under play free, when joined by a paid adult green fee and cart.

Golfer appreciation day is coming up on Friday September 20th. And with a paid greens fee, you get a free breakfast or lunch and the option of 20% off on pro shop merchandise.

Sunset Valley has become one of the best public courses in the area, so come see what all the enjoyment is by playing the Sunset Valley Golf Course. Located right off the Edens Expressway in Highland Park. Visit sunsetvalleygolfclub.org or call the course at (847)-432-7140.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-NEW SCHEDULE AND BAD KNEES

  IRONS & WOODS will open this fall in Long Grove IL. located on RT. 53 North of Lake Cook Road, behind Menards. With the addition of HDGolf simulators the Chicago area now has a year round golf season. Stay clicked in for updates on the Grand Opening.    _____________________________________________________________________

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

GOLF SEASON is now headed into the colorful, fall golf season.

It’s always a great time to play, and so the colors are out in full. At times there are deals to be had, and the courses are not quite as crowded. So enjoy the walk, and get the most out of your remaining outdoor swings.

Because of the bad spring, maybe there will be a great fall. So golf season can go into December. That is wishful thinking of course, but until the snow falls. I’ll keep thinking that way.

In the meantime, get out and play. I know I will every chance I can get.

CONGRATULATIONS to Team USA in their 15.5-10.5 come from behind victory in the 2019 Walker Cup, at the Royal Liverpool-Hoylakes links. And it’s the first USA win on foreign soil in years, the 2021 Walker Cup will be held at Seminole Golf Club in Jupiter Florida.

THAT CRAZY PGA TOUR SCHEDULE is drawing more complaints. The Greatest Player of All-Time Jack Nicklaus, called the compressed schedule hurtful to the majority of the PGA Tour events. With a “major-type” event every month, what’s happening is that most players are playing only once in between the big events. So that’s making most of the regular tour stops, a non-stop for major players.

Rory Mcilroy chimed in his concerns over the new schedule. But is there much the tour can do, if they want to stay ahead of the NFL season with their playoffs. I wasn’t a fan of the new condensed schedule, because I still like the PGA Championship in August. It doesn’t seem right having the last major on U.S. soil being the U.S. Open on Fathers Day. And the last major of the year two weeks after the 4th of July.

Can the tour make players at least one a year play in 2 events between majors. Either that or more major support of events before the Players Championship or the Masters. But what happens to tournaments between the majors, that are being made non-significant.

So what can the tour do. I would give those tournaments more Ryder Cup and FedExCup Points for starters in 2020. Could the players who earn the most $$$ between the Players Championship and the week before the FedExCup Playoffs start earn a bonus, and or split money from a pool. Because something needs to be done.

THOSE BAD KNEES both Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson have had knee surgery since the Tour Championship in Atlanta. It makes you wonder how many more players are playing hurt, or will have some procedure or another done in the weeks ahead. With Woods, it really makes you wonder how much his broken down body can take.

This is fifth reported knee surgery, along with four on his back. But there are reports this was knee surgery number nine. One would have to wonder how much Woods plays in 2020. Will his tour continue, as a farewell tour.

I’M REALLY excited for my Golfers on Golf Radio partner Ed Stevenson, on the announcement by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District that they are ready to break ground on a new clubhouse and visitors center for the Preserve at Oak Meadows. Next Tuesday the 17th will be the ground breaking. Stevenson serves as the Executive Director for the DuPage County FPD.

I played the Preserve golf course this past week for the first time in 16 months, and it has really matured. Get out and play it if you haven’t yet, or if it’s been a while. You will notice a difference.

Today marks a return after almost one year to Sunset Valley GC in Highland Park, to see how that renovation is working out. And how things are maturing there.

It will be around 90 degrees this week, so pull out the sunscreen and go play. See you on the links. The Gog Blog returns this week. RS

TITLEIST ADD’S NEW HYBRIDS-IRONS AND BAGS

IRONS & WOODS coming this fall to LongGrove IL. Located on Rt.53 North of Lake Cook Road (Behind Menards) HDGolf Simulators, slot machines & fun. #yearroundgolf  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG -by Rory Spears, Director of Conetent and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or Linkedin and Facebook.

TITLEIST GOLF has released several new products, in time to close out the summer golf season.

All of the new products are now in pro shops and golf stores.

So what’s next you asked. Well here is what you get.

The new Titleist TS Hybrids, part of the Titleist Speed Project. These new Hybrids bring a new higher launch, less spin, and increased MOI for added distance.

Titleist TS2 and TS3 Hybrids

These style Hyrbids are “not” considered “rescue clubs” by Titleist. They are now viewed as scoring clubs.

TS2 is the club for golfers with sweeping swings, lookin for high launch and more distance. TS2 has the look of the fairway metal. And TS3’s are for players who hit down the on the ball. TS3 works for players who want the feel or look of an Iron.

“Pretty much every golfer we’ve had test a TS Hyrbid has had the same reaction-these clubs just go,” said Josh Talge, Vice President, Titleist Golf Club Marketing. “TS Hybrids will be the type of club players want to hit.”

Five Titleist PGA Tour staff players have put these clubs in play. AMP is $279.00. visit Titleist.com for details on available lofts on each club and shaft availability.

The Titleist T-Series Irons

Titleist says the #1 Iron on the PGA Tour just got better.

The new T-Series Iron creates better speed, and distance control across the club face.

T100, T200 and T300 models comprise the new line of irons.

T100 is regarded as a players iron, that comes with the signature Titleist feel. Besides the fully-forged cavity construction, is a balanced co-forged, dual-density tungsten. This allows for distance control with stability.

T200 adds a powerful distance concept, with a tour inspired look. The T200 allows for a high launch and stopping power, that makes near misses nearly perfect.

T300 with it’s faster ball speed and preferred feel, allow for maximum forgiveness. The fast cavity-back style provides a high launch, long distance and forgiveness.

“There are three key elements to hitting great iron shots. Dispersion, distance, and angle of descent,” says Marni Ines, Director of Titleist Irons Development, Golf Club R&D. “T-series technology helps players hit the ball longer, and hit their number more consistently. So even when they don’t make a perfect swing, dispersion is tighter so the ball stays on line.”

More than 20 Titleist staff players have put these irons in play on tour, with Jordan Spieth among the first. Using the T100’s.

See Titleist.com since prices per model do vary. Irons and shafts available do give the golfer multiple options.

The Titleist CB 620 Iron.

Titleist has created what they call, irons for purists and shotmakers. The Titleist MB 620 and CB 620 irons keep the Titleist tradition of creating tour-proven shot control, and superior feel in both cavity back and muscle back irons. Now complete with merged profiles for players who mix both styles.

“The ‘600’ designation is credit to our 600 series of forgedblades from the early-to-mid 2000’s,” says Josh Talge. “The designs are from an important part of our Titleist heritage.”

The 620 irons made their debut at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Seven Titleist staff players have the 620’s in play including two former major champion winners, Webb Simpson and Jimmy Walker.

Steel shafts are $175 per club, with graphite shafts available $187.50 per club with a variety of shafts available.

The new Titleist Tour bag.

This new golf bag made it’s debut on the PGA Tour, at the start of the FedExCup Playoffs.

And it’s the stylish bag used by Justin Thomas during his victory, at the BMW Championship played at Medinah during the playoffs.

The new style and design come from feedback and input, from PGA Tour players and caddies.

The 2020 Jet Black Collection, come with a variety of top notch materials. With the Titleist mix of colors that include Red, White, and Black. “I’m absolutely pumped with the creation of this new bag,” said Thomas. “It’s really slick.”

Thomas is now one of the over 150 players who have used a Titleist Tour Bag on the PGA Tour this year. The tour bag is available now for $550.00, and the full jetblack collection will be available in early 2020.

More information on Titleist golf products at Titleist.com.

PRESERVE AT OAK MEADOWS SET FOR CLUBHOUSE CONSTRUCTION

IRONS & WOODS COMING THIS FALL TO LONG GROVE IL. on Rt. 53 North of Lake Cook Road (Behind Menards). HDGolf simulators, Slots and more fun. Year Round Golf ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears-Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy Linkedin or Facebook. On the second tee at the Preserve at Oak Meadows in Addison.

THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER.

It’s been over a decade since the clubhouse at Oak Meadows, was destroyed by fire in early 2009.

Since then there has been a call to get Oak Meadows a new clubhouse. And now that day is finally coming.

Last week the Dupage Country Forest Preserve District commissioners, voted unanimously to approve the building of a new clubhouse, and visitors center.

Oak Meadows has been renamed the Preserve at Oak Meadows when the golf course reopened from renovation. The board of commissioners approved the highly regarded Pepper Construction Company as the construction manager for the project. With a “guaranteed maximum price contract” of $12.6 million dollars or less.

The drawing of the purposed clubhouse, created architect Dan Wohlfeil of Wohlfeil Design.

Groundbreaking  for the new facility will be at noon on September 17th. Work will then continue through September of 2020, when the clubhouse and the visitors center will open.

The 18,018 square foot one-story building has been designed by Daniel Wolhfeil. And it will include a restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. A multi-purpose event room, outdoor viewing terrace, the golf pro shop, locker rooms, kitchen and office space.

The floor plan for the new Preserve at Oak Meadows Clubhouse and Visitors Center.

Wohlfeil’s design plan for the building includes a reinterpretation of midcentury modern architecture, with angled flat roofs, and transition spaces to mix the inside and outside.

The large expansive windows will allow for scenic views of the golf course. The windows feature an enviromentally sound green roof, that is a bird-safe glass which will reduce the number of birds hitting the glass while in-flight. The building will include LED light system’s, that are in compliance with ComEd’s energy efficiency program.

The new-look solar powered golf cart storage barn.

Another upgrade to the property was the approval by the commissioners, to install a solar powered system to the Preserve’s golf cart storage barn.

The system will power the Preserve’s fleet of 75 golf carts. This landmark decision will make the Preserve at Oak Meadows, the first golf course in the country, with a fully solar-powered fleet of golf carts.

“I am thrilled by the enhancement of this project through solar power,” said Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Daniel Hebreard. “The new building will be a terriffic venue for events ranging from golf outings to Forest Preserve District education programs. The solar arrays support our organizations mission for all who visit The Preserve.”

The DuPage County Forest Preserve District acquired the former Elmhurst Country Club in 1985, and used the orginal 50,000 square foot clubhouse until the 2009 fire destroyed the building. So there was an immediate call to replace the structure.

But in a plan presented to the commissioners by current Forest Preserve District Executive Director Ed Stevenson, who previously served as the Director of Golf Operations, Stevenson suggested addressing the golf course’s severe flooding problems first. Stevenson’s plan included improving enviromental conditions, and upgrading an aging infrastructure across the Preserve before replacing the clubhouse.

The par 4, 16th hole at the Preserve, the signature hole of the golf course.

The Forest Preserve District elected to adopt the plan. And selected architect Greg Martin, to oversee the course renovation and restoration program.

Work started in 2015, and the course had some preview play in 2017, before a full reopening of play in 2018.

The number of golf holes was reduced from 27 to 18, and now only 15% of the 288 acres at the preserve, is used for golf. The renovation created storage area’s to hold 20 million gallons of storm water, to reduce flooding to the golf course and the surrounding communities.

The Forest Preserve District created 25 acres of wetlands, 43 acres of riparian habitat. And restored 13 acres along the Salt Creek Corridor, to improve water quality and plant and animal diversity.

Since reopening in 2017, the Preserve At Oak Meadows has received awards from numerous golf publications and enviromentalists. Including “Renovation of the Year” from Golf Magazine.

The par 3, 10th green at the Preserve at Oak Meadows.

Golfweek Magazine has named the Preserve at Oak Meadows, the 6th Best Public Course in Illinois. And rated it the No.1 public course in DuPage County.

Golf Digest gave the Preserve it’s Green Star enviromental award, for enviromental development through golf.

Architect Greg Martin received a Design Excellence Award, from the American Society of Golf Course Architects. The American Society of Landscape Architects presented the Preseve with a Merit Award.

“The former clubhousewas a favorite gathering place for nearly a century,” said Forest Preserve District Commissioner Marsha Murphy, District 1. “Since the fire in 2009, the community has been anticipating a place to serve the public and create memories for the next 100 years.”

According to the Forest Preserve District. The Preserve at Oak Meadows and the district’s golf operation, have demonstrated the ability to support operating expenses with golf revenues. But when the new clubhouse is completed, it will help generate additional revenue and financial sustainability, without subsidy from the tax levy. Besides, future golf profits will help support other Forest Preserve District programs.

So for more information on the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, call (630)-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, for golf news see Dupagegolf.com.

IPGA AWARDS POSH & ROSINA SENIOR MASTERS

IRONS & WOODS COMING THIS FALL TO LONG GROVE IL. ON RT 53 NORTH OF LAKE-COOK ROAD-Located behind Menards. Irons and Woods will be home to HDGOLF, slots, and more sports activites. Plus fun-fun-fun. So stay clicked in for more details on the grand opening. Chicago area be ready for golf season all year round.      ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for GOLFERS ON GOLF. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and Facebook or Linkedin.

ED POSH receives his Senior Masters Award from IPGA Executive Director Carrie Williams (L). Billy Rosinia and his IPGA Senior Masters Award (R) at the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest.

Ed Posh and Billy Rosinia were named winners, of the 2019 Illinois PGA Senior Masters in July. Both Posh and Rosinia were presented with their awards, by Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the IPGA.

Post got his start in golf during WW II in 1942, at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem PA., because at age 13 he became a caddie.

“I really enjoy being around people. And was as good as anybody at handling all types of situations,” says Posh, who recently celebrated a 90th birthday. “Kill them with kindness. I enjoyed that.”

As time went on, Posh moved around in the golf business between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And during this time, he spent a couple years in the Army. Which included time in German and France, building runways for military aircraft.

Then after some winter golf work in Florida, Posh headed to the Midwest. His stops included Orchard Ridge Country Club in Fort Wayne IND., then Charles Country Club, Glen Oak, before moving over to the new Village Links Golf Club in 1967. Posh then became Village Links first head golf professional.

From the Village Links junior golf program, came players like former PGA President Roger Warren, Kemper Lakes GM John Hosteland, and David Glod Founder of Tour Edge Golf. The Ed Posh Scholarship Shootout, has raised over $856,000 dollars in 24 years, to help send kids to college.

BILLY ROSINIA watched his dad play golf in the Cook County Amateur at Columbus Park Golf Course, when he was just six years old and became hooked on golf.

” I have always loved being inside the ropes competing in events against challenging players on beautiful golf courses,” said Rosinia.

Rosinia learned the game of golf at Fresh Meadow Golf Club and Driving Range, when it was run by Jemsek Golf. But since he enjoyed all-sports, his football skills took him to college at Missouri Western. So one day after getting crunched by a bigger player, he started to have doubts about football.

During the following summer where he worked hard on his golf game. Rosinia soon found himself out west at Mesa Community College playing golf. His level of golf grew to where he found himself playing mini-tour events, and two Western Opens at Cog Hill. In 2008 Rosinia played in the U.S. Sr. Open at the Braodmoor, where he made the cut and qualified for the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores.

Rosinia says he is a “public course guy”. So if you give hime 9-holes a driving range and a food and beverage operation. He is in his eliment.

That and a little-more is what Rosinia has at Flagg Creek Golf Club in Countryside, since 2000 when he started. Where he is the General Manager/Head Golf Professional.

FORMER ILLINOIS PGA PRESIDENT JIM OPP-PASSES AWAY

2016 Illinois Open Champion Carlos Sainz Jr. (L) receives the Illinois Open trophy from then IPGA Section President Jim Opp (R). (file photo)

Long time Illinois PGA Section professional Jim Opp, passed away yesterday in his home.

His wife Susan, broke the news on social media to Jim’s many friends, and fellow IPGA professionals.

For many years Opp was the head golf professional at Randall-Oaks and Bonnie Dundee Golf Courses.

Opp recently worked at the Illinois Open, where he told his friends he was headed into the hospital for back surgery. Opp seemed to be making progress from the surgery, and came home from a rehab session on Saturday. Some time later he felt dizzy before going to bed for the evening. Shortly afterwards according to his wife, he went into cardiac arrest.

In 2017 at the annual IPGA Section awards, Opp took pride in seeing several of his former assistants, receive section awards that year. Over the years, Opp won several section awards himself. He started in the golf business in 1977, and was a resident of Palatine.

Dates and times for memorial services are still pending.

TRAVIS JOHNS WINS IPGA SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP

IRONS & WOODS coming this fall to Long Grove IL., on Rt.53 North of Lake Cook Road behind Menards. Irons & Woods will have HDGolf simulators, slots and more.        _____________________________________________________________________

BY-RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and or Facebook.

TRAVIS JOHNS rallies to win the 97th and or 98th Illinois PGA Section Championship, depending on which historical records you wish to accept.

Ruth Lake Country Club head golf professional Mark Labiak, with 2019 IPGA Section Champion Travis Johns.

IT WAS OVER, then it wasn’t. In golf where no lead is safe. 12-time IPGA section champion Mike Small got a dose of just that.

While champion Travis Johns a teaching professional at Medinah Country Club, had to figure it out for himself over the last few holes. The fact he was actually winning, came as a surpise to him.

Johns along with playing partner Garrett Chaussard, the teaching professional at Skokie Country Club thought something was up when they reached the 15th tee. Both of them thought someone hit the water on the par 3, 14th hole. They were so right. Going splash and making his second double bogey in a row, was Small. And at that point Small’s lead was gone for good.

2019 IPGA Section Champion Travis Johns drives the green on the par 4, 10th hole. To begin his back nine comeback. Photo by Nick Novelli.

Ruth Lakes par 4, 10th hole was the turning point. The dogleg right around water played differently for Johns and Small. Johns went for the green off the tee. It’s a full water carry of 268 yards, playing into a strong 2-club wind. As Johns put it, it was playing more like 286. Johns ripped a drive that landed just over the pin, and rolled 25 feet past the cup. Johns missed the eagle putt, but tapped in for birdie.

But Small’s approach landed in a bunker just short right of the green. His lie wasn’t great from a rake mark. His third shot barely found the front right fringe. Two putts later, his bogey 5 started a very unlike Mike Small run. Small’s back nine starting at ten was bogey, bogey, bogey, double bogey, double bogey, and then a bogey on 16.

Mike Small hits his drive on the first hole, in the second round.

Runs like that don’t happen to Mike Small, especially in a tournament that some pro’s call the Mike Small Invitational. After the second double-bogey on 14, several players had a chance to win, and maybe none of them knew it until after their round was over. The only two players that had a clue they could win were Brian Carroll from the Hawk Country Club, and Andy Mickelson from Mistwood Golf Club. Playing with Small, they were shocked Small couldn’t get off the bogey train.

Some might feel that it would have been fitting for Carroll to win. He has been close before, with several top 3 finishes. In fact it was Carroll who had a two-shot lead on Monday, after a brilliant 5 under par 66 in Round 1. But rains wiped out Carroll’s round, as the IPGA ordered a do-over on Monday night.

But as Small made bogey’s, Johns added birdies on 13, 14 and 15. And Chaussard the reigning two-time IPGA Match Play Champion, had birdies on 13 and 15. Both he and Johns were having their own little match play event, until they got swarmed by the arriving media and photographers on the 15th green. At that point they knew they were close, but never grasped that Johns was alone in first place, and Chaussard was in second place. But both players turned up the concentration level at that point and dug in. Johns and Chaussard both had birdie putts on 17 and 18, but both settled for pars.

But in the end, those pars were good enough when Small, Carroll and Mickelson couldn’t rally in the closing holes. White Eagle Country Club professional Curits Malm played steady golf for two days with a pair of 71’s, and moved up for a three-way tie for fifth.

Click here, to hear interviews with Champion Travis Johns, Mike Small, runner-up Garrett Chaussard, and Brian Carroll.

Defending Champion Dakun Chang had the low round of the day, with a 68. But all it did was earn him a tie for 9th with Mistwood’s Chris Ioriatti. Both Chang and Ioriatti qualfied for the National Club Professional Championship. Joining them will be Carroll, Mickelson, Malm, Johns, Chaussard, Chris French from the Aldeen Golf Club, and Julian Thompson from Ravina Green. Small was already exempt as a past champion. But with the new early dates for the event in 2020, he might not be able to compete. Because of his coaching duties at Illinois.

For Johns the win gives hime 3 IPGA Major Championships, he only needs the Illinois Open for the career Grand Slam. Johns earned the winners check of $12,000, with Chaussard getting $8,500 for his second place finish.

IPGA SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP DAY 2-ROUND 1

IRONS & WOODS OPENING THIS FALL IN LONG GROVE IL. On Rt.53 North of Lake Cook Road (behind Menards). HDGolf simulators, and slot machines. Golf season is now year round in the Chicago area. Come out and enjoy Irons & Woods all year round. ______________________________________________________________________

The Illinois PGA Section Championship at Ruth Lake Country Club.

THE ILLINOIS PGA cancelled the First Round of the section championship, after repeated rain storms soaked the Ruth Lake Country Club.

So in effect, they called a do-over.

The round was cancelled, after 36 players in the field had posted scores. Besides that, there were more players on the last 2 or 3 holes, that were near finishing.

Whether or not it was right thing to do, it left a bad taste in the mouth of many of the pro’s for one reason or another. What came to light on Tuesday morning, was the clubs superintendent telling the IPGA on Monday afternoon. That after the third rain delay, the course was unplayable.

By Tuesday, there was talk that the restart issue needs to be addressed by the section board later this year. Another surprise, was the championship being shortend to 36 holes. Which had been done before. In the 1990’s when rains hampered play at Kemper Lakes, shortening the event.

Mike Small drains his birdie putt on the 18th hole, to close out a stellar round of 63, in the delayed first round of the Illinois PGA Section Championship at Ruth Lake CC.

What wasn’t a surprise, is that 12-time winner of the championship, University of Illinois coach Mike Small. Shot a lights-out 8 under par 63. So Small holds a 5 shot lead over Andy Mickelson from Mistwood Golf Club, whose birdie on 16, got him to 3 under par.

Small’s opening round on Monday was a 1 under par 70. So with the benefit of an extra practice round, Small came out and lit up Ruth Lake on Tuesday.

Click here, to hear interviews with Mike Small and Andy Mickelson the Round 1 leaders.

Kurt Rogers of the South Side Country Club, made an Ace on the par 3 third hole. Rogers holed a 3-wood from 242 yards.

Second and final action is underway at Ruth Lake. Golfers on Golf returns returns with a final recap later today.