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.

TINLEY PARK GOLF EXPO OPENS

   THE TINLEY PARK GOLF EXPO IS OPEN all weekend long. MCQS DOME part of Mistwood Golf, is rolling with excitement all winter long. Chicago’s premier indoor golf dome, complete with an OTB for horse race wagering, bar and grill complete with a new menu. Golf club fittings, lessons and more. See Mcqsdome.com or call (630)-739-7600. ______________________________________________________________________

THE TINLEY PARK CONVENTION CENTER, home of the Tinley Park Golf Expo running this weekend.

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content Rory Spears.

Yesterday was the opening of the Tinley Park Golf Expo, that runs all of this weekend as well. For golf show owners Joe Copeland and Gregg Tengerstrom who run a nice show, they deserved a better fate.

It was nice for me to arrive about 2:45 pm and find quite a few cars in the parking lot, more than I expected to find, since Mother Nature was awful, and left roads in terrible condition. My drive south on Rt. 355 was terrible, as the toll road was not plowed south of 75th street all the way to I-80. The city of Tinley Park plows were out around the convention center and doing a great job.

   THE NEW CALLAWAY ROGUE DRIVER, can be hit at the Tinley Park Golf Expo, one of the hot spots was the Mistwood Golf booth, across the from McQ’s Dome booth in the center of the show floor. Live TV golf action from Pebble Beach in the Mistwood booth.

Some of the other things to check out at the show, are golf booths from the Chicago District Golf Association, Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, Tullymore Golf in Michigan, Old Oak, Balmoral Woods. A few of the area private clubs had booths, with information on memberships and special events.

Do you need clubs? These days I recommend that everyone get fitted for new clubs, but if your looking for specials, there was some used stock and or new clubs that were being closed out for great prices. Needs shoes or a new golf bag, there were great prices on those items found on the show floor.

Lessons, free ones. Always a good idea. The lesson area has the Mistwood Golf Club professionals in the hitting bays offering free lessons. On the back wall there is an area to test hit clubs, including the new Callaway Rogue line, a must check out for any golfer considering new clubs in 2018.

The Tinley Park Golf Expo runs today and tomorrow, next Friday and the weekend, Copeland and Tengerstrom take their show on the road to the north burbs and Lake County at the Lake County Fairgrounds. For the Northern Illinois Golf Show. More details in the week ahead.

PGA VILLAGE IS GREAT DESTINATION GOLF

 MCQS DOME in Bolingbrook is your place for winter golf, OTB horse racing and the best food and drink you will find at any indoor golf dome in the area. mcQ’s is part of Mistwood Golf, and the Mistwood golf pro’s are there to help you with your game all winter long. So stop in and see Dan Phillips, Brian Brodell, John Platt and Chris Ioratti and be ready for when the snow melts in less than 60 days. Visit Mcqsdome.com today. ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content RORY SPEARS, with BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm on the Dye Course at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie Florida. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Linkedin and Facebook.

PGA Village in Port St. Lucie is one of the PGA of America golf clubs, and the winter home to PGA professionals from around the country, to get their game ready for the year ahead.

But it’s not just for the professionals, and the club should not be confused with PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens that is some 35-40 miles south of the PGA Village courses.

PGA National is the home of the Honda Classic, and the fame stretch of closing holes designed by Jack Nicklaus called the “Bear Trap”. There is nothing like that at PGA Village, but there are tournaments, mostly with PGA club professionals or some college events.The PGA Winter Championships are played there, and earlier this week, Mary Grimes of Minnesota earned herself a spot in the Women’s KPMG Championship that will be played in the Chicago area at the Kemper Lakes Golf Club this June.

Welcome to PGA Village in Port St. Lucie Florida.

What PGA Village offers are some real good golf courses, and a full size practice area that is rated among the best in the country. The 35 acre PGA learning center allows golfers to work on any part of their game.

The overall master plan on the property is changing a bit, with some parts on both sides of Interstate 95 for sale, but when it’s all said and done, PGA Village will have a solid facility with everything a golfer for could ask for.

If your from up north and want to go work on your game, with great PGA professional instruction, than PGA Village is for you. Is it your year for new clubs, wanting to your handicap into single-digits, or understanding course management a little better, you can get a good grip on those things at PGA Village. Currently if you visit PGA Village, you can see the Ryder Cup on display in the main lobby, outside the pro shop.

The first hole of the newly renovated Ryder Course, Par 4, 430 yards from the tips.

If you have not been to PGA Village in a few years, what you have missed are improvements to all three of the golf courses. All three golf courses have been renovated over the last three years and it shows.

The 54 holes are named the Ryder Course that has a Ryder Cup theme and history to it, with plaques by the tee boxes with Ryder Cup tournament  history and recaps on them. Tom Fazio is the designer of the Ryder Course, and the Wanamaker Course, with Pete Dye designing the Dye Course. PGA Village also has a short course.

Click here to her the PGA Village podcast by PGA Village resident and long time Chicago Golf writer Len Ziehm, and yours truly.

The three golf courses are all very good, and the improvements on all courses have been well received. While there are some houses on all the courses, there are not many and they really don’t come into play. You won’t be hitting over anyone’s BBQ or pool when your trying to get home in two on a par 5.

The Ryder Course was the last course to reopen from renovation, in December of 2017.

The Par 3, 12th hole on the Ryder Course

The Ryder Course is a solid challenge, for advanced golfers, but with it’s seven tee combinations and combo routing’s there is a length that can be played by any golfer of all skill levels to have a fair round of golf.

The fairways are generous, and there is not an excess of water where one needs to bring at least a dozen balls for every round.

Coming out of the renovations were several changes, but most importantly were the greens, that have now settled in and are in great condition and rolling very well.

The Par 5, 5th hole on the Pete Dye Course, with a greenside full of bunkers and mounds.

The Dye Course has some traditional Pete Dye in it, even though Pete is a little more generous off the tee than normal, because he didn’t disguise the landing area’s as much as he has done at other clubs.

The approach shot here is where the challenge lies. Dye has created some interesting green complexes, with more than his normal amount of “pot bunkers” and mounding. The “love-grass” bushes are frequent (love grass because you don’t love it when you in them) so have your short game ready.

The greens on the Dye Course rolled very well, and it won’t take much to get the ball to the hole on your putts of any length. As for the Wanamaker Course, it’s a little bit of a mix between the Dye and

The bar and grill in the main clubhouse is very good, and come complete with plenty of specials, especially around Happy Hour. Order your burger and you find that PGA of America logo stamped on top of the bun. There are several hotels right at the PGA Village exit and a Sam Snead’s restaurant that is also very good.

PGA Village might not be a full normal style resort, but there is plenty for the golfer to do if you want a winter getaway, that will help improve your game for the year ahead. For more information please visit PGAVillage.com.

THE WIZARD OF WEDGES CREATES THE NEW SM7’S

  TIBURON NAPLES, a Troon Golf Experience, with 36 holes of Greg Norman designed golf courses, the Ritz Carlton and more, TiburonNaples.com. MCQS Dome is part of Mistwood Golf  and currently the Mistwood Golf Staff is teaching there all winter long, McQ’s is your home for winter golf, OTB horse racing, great food and beverage in the McQ’s bar and grill, and an official Blackhawks Bar on game day. See Mcqsdome.com    ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. Swinging good at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor FLA.

THE WIZARD OF WEDGES is back with even more upgrades to his Titleist Bob Vokey line of wedges. The man who calls the PGA Tour his lab, has for 2018 come out with his new line of SM7 wedges, that are in the bags of some of the worlds top professional players, and can be in your bag starting on March 9th.

Titleist says the new SM7 wedges will give golfers a more confident golf game through craftsmanship, technology and performance.

The new SM7’s with their advancements have seen four of them enter the bag of this weeks defending champion at Pebble Beach Jordan Spieth.

The SM7’s bring an increased shot versatility, improved distance and trajectory control with more spin.

Vokey now has six proven sole grinds, F, S, M, K, L and the new D grind. All of which can be put in your bag after a recommended wedge fitting, fitters can be found at www.vokey.com. The S-Grind was developed on input from Steve Stricker.

 THE VOKEY SM7 WEDGES, Vokey PGA Tour rep Aaron Dill shows off the new line of wedges, the wizard (working hard in the background) has created.

Click here to hear our interview with Vokey Wedges PGA Tour Representative Aaron Dill, on the new SM7’s and more.

While Vokey is the face of wedge design, his “right-hand man” for over 10 years Aaron Dill is the Titleist Vokey PGA Tour rep, who attends 40 tournaments per year. When it’s Spieth a Justin Thomas or Stricker who need a new wedge at tour event, it’s Dill who does the building and grinding.

The new grind the D-Grind is a high-bounce wedge, which offers a high measured bounce with the crescent shape of the M-grind for shot making versatility. The SM7’s have 23 combinations of loft, bounces and grinds.

The SM&’s have a Spin Milled groove pattern cut at a tighter tolerance than previous models, the SM7’s will deliver up to a 100 rpm on the average shot. In the first two weeks on tour, more players are using the SM7 wedges than any other brand played on tour.

SM7’s come in three finishes, Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel and Jet Black. The Tour Chrome is the bright finish, with the brushed Steel being the darker color, with Jet Black has had black paint fill added to eliminate any reflection.

“one thing I know about working with tour players the last 20-years is that they won’t put a new wedge in play unless it’s better,” says Master Craftsman Bob Vokey. “Every time we come out with a new one we have to prove it. I can’t tell you how many times in the last couple of years, players have asked me how can we make anything better than the SM6. Based on how quickly guys are switching to the SM7, we know we have done it.”

You can have your wedges personalized or with custom options, including shafts, grips, ferrules or stamping and paint fill. Vokey SM7 wedges will be $149.00 MAP. For more information visit Vokey.com.  Release date in pro shops is March 9th.

THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW-TWO PEA’S IN A POD-CAST THAT IS

  PGA VILLAGE in Port St. Lucie Florida, three courses including the recently renovated and reopened Ryder Course and full practice area’s, get your game ready for 2018, see PGAVillage.com. MCQ’s DOME, in Bolingbrook, the Mistwood Golf Staff is there teaching all winter, and currently running a special on Callaway Golf Balls, buy three dozen get one dozen free. McQ’s Dome, work on your game, play the horses in the OTB, enjoy food and drink in the bar and grill. MCQsdome.com. Part of Mistwood Golf.   _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Twitter@GogBlogGuy and on Linkedin and Facebook. With Len Ziehm of Lenziehmongolf.com on the Pete Dye Course at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie.

TWO PEA’S IN A POD IS BACK, Award winning writer Len Ziehm, joins your’s truly in breaking down what’s big in golf, and what isn’t.

What is big and is the starting point for golf in 2018, is the annual PGA Merchandise show in Orlando Florida that just took place two weeks ago.

Len and I have recorded our annual podcast report on the PGA show, what we found, what we saw, and what we enjoyed the most is part of our report.

Who were the big winners on demo day at the range, and then back at the convention center. What’s new that caught our eye, we lay it out for you on the tee, so you can hit it down the fairway, or use it or wear it on the golf course. Two Pea’s in a Pod, Cast that is, is here.

Click here to hear Len and Rory’s review of the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

The next Two Pea’s in a Pod-Cast that is, will run later this week, as Len and Rory discuss PGA Village in Port St. Lucie Florida.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-BACK IN THE SADDLE

  THE FRENCH LICK RESORT is gearing up for the another season of golf, the Donald Ross Course, the Pete Dye Course and the Valley Links Course, visit the casino and spa, Frenchlick.com. MCQ’s Dome your home for winter golf, OTB horse racing and great food and beverage in the grill. A Blackhawks bar, Mcqsdome.com #Mistwood         _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy Linkedin and Facebook. At demo day 2018 with the new Callaway Rogue Driver.

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN, yes I’m finally home from warm and sunny Florida and there is some catching up to do.

I was on the road for 19 days, and on  too many days there was too much driving to do, between stops, to have a proper amount of time to punch out all the stories I have. That being said do stay with us because over the next month there will be plenty of stories to tell about the trip.

There is much to tell about the PGA merchandise show, and what I found and learned. Beyond that, there is what’s new at Innisbrook Resort home of the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead Course (which I played), and the newly renovated North Course. Word is now that Innisbrook will close it’s South Course this June, and begin renovation work, with the course reopening late in 2018 or early 2019. I am hoping that the resort owner by Salamander resort will then redo it’s Island Course that could use some upgrades. See Innisbrookgolfresort.com for details on a stay and play. I will add a story on Innisbrook in the days ahead. For this years Valspar, Rory is coming, it’s a big story, sure beats Tiger.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, there was some talk about Tiger moving the needle at the Farmers, CBS says it’s ratings took a big jump. The numbers maybe a bit exaggerated but maybe there is some truth to it. You see this week when rock icon Elton John’s tickets went on sale for his concerts later this summer at the United Center, they sold out reportedly in less than 1 minute. I guess there is market for former stars on a farewell tour, the same could be said about Woods, who is likely one more injury away from calling it quits for good.

NEXT STOP NAPLES, I played two properties there, first up Tiburo`n where the accent is on great golf and more at this Greg Norman property. I had heard things about these Norman courses being too tight, to this, to that. Forget it, not true, this private but public venue is a winner and worth your visit when you want to do it the right way. For those if you who enjoy great accommodations off the golf course there is the Ritz Carlton, and better yet for those who want a great tasting beer, forget the Dilly-Dilly, Go Tiburon Red you will be glad you did. A special thanks to Ricky Potts in marketing for pointing us in the right direction here. Available on property on tap only. Our story and pictures will be another highlight in the posts ahead.

QUAIL WEST-NAPLES former Illinois PGA Pro and former section president Casey Brozek has really landed on his feet at the Quail West Country Club, where over 32 million in improvements taking place. This country club should be a model for doing it right and a having a a solid plan for bringing members. The new Wellness Center and other improvements, include health club space, spa and salon. The 36 holes are two solid courses named the Preserve and the Lakes Courses, both winners originally done by Art Hills with Hills disciple J. Drew Rogers now on board for progress going forward. My interview with Brozek plays in the days to come.

STREAMSONG BLACK, my third visit to Streamsong allowed me to play the new Gil Hanse Black Course that has been opened for just over 4 months. Black is a great addition to the resort, it fits well and compliments the Red by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and the Blue by Tom Doak. Some of the work around the sand dunes Hanse had to work with is simply amazing. Not many architects can make an under 100 yard par hole 3 hole from most tees, as challenging and fun as Hanse. Streamsong.com book your tee times today, my feature is still to come.

PGA VILLAGE, Port St. Lucie, played with BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm. For my last of 11 rounds on the trip (9 of 18 holes, 2 of 9 holes) Ziehm and I played the (Pete) Dye Course at PGA Village, where the Ryder Cup was on display in the lobby of the clubhouse. I also played the recently renovated Ryder Course while in PSL. Ziehm and I will add our podcasts of the PGA Show and PGA Village and it’s courses coming up soon. Do stay tuned and clicked in.

ZIEHM has posted a story recap on the PGA Merchandise Show on his website lenziehmongolf.com and Len has all the latest on Florida area golf if your headed that way yet this winter. Len also won three awards at the merchandise show from the International Network of Golf (ING). One from a story in the Arlington Heights Daily Herald on 2017 U.S. Open Champion Brooks Koepka, another on the Grand Geneva Resort in Wisconsin in the travel writing category, the final award came from a piece done on Illinois Open and Illinois Amateur Champion Patrick Flavin. “I was caught by surprise,” said Ziehm on winning three awards.

Then there was the drive home, where the temperature dropped from 81 to 16 in Arlington Heights, at least the snow waited until I was less than two miles from home.

ON THE HOME FRONT, BIG 3 partner Tim Cronin was the lone golf media member in attendance at the recent City of Chicago hearing on a proposed new lakefront Jackson Park golf course. His story is at Illinoisgolfer.net. This project originally proposed as a $30 million dollar project, is now being billed as a $60 million dollar project. The question is where that money comes from, and as of now there is now no money to make the project happen.

Golfers on Golf has learned that architect Ben Crenshaw did tour the proposed routing with project director Mark Rolfing, and decided the project was not a good fit for he and partner Bill Coore. Apparently BC and BC have their style of land they like to work on, and this was not the right fit aka “horses for courses”. Coore and Crenshaw are hoping before too long that Pinehurst Resort will give the go-ahead for a redo of the course formerly known as “The Pit”, and use that land with new land the resort has purchased around the area where the former Pit routing ran. C&C wish the Tiger Woods design group nothing but the best with the Chicago Lakefront project should it come to fruition.

The Chicago area winter golf shows start this week in Tinley Park on Friday. More on that to come. RS

PINEHURST IMPROVEMENTS CONTINUE

  DRIVER VS DRIVER 2, with judges Tim Clarke of Wilson Golf and former Blackhawks and NHL star Jeremy Roenick, coming this fall on the Golf Channel. RORY IS COMING to the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in Florida this March, on the Copperhead Golf Course that you can play, or the renovated North Course, see Innisbrookresort.com _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory to Pinehurst and on Twitter @GogBlogGuy Linkedin and Facebook. On the Par 3 course the Cradle at Pinehurst.

PINEHURST, that is known as the “Home of American Golf”, or the “Cradle of American Golf” has a new Par 3 course called “The Cradle”, and it does rock.

The Cradle is part of a mater plan the Pinehurst Resort is using to keep it’s long storied history and tradition in place, but making modern day improvements to all the facilities so the resort is keeping current with today’s demands from their members and guests.

The Cradle that opened last fall has been a big hit, sometimes demand is so strong that groups have gone out in six-some’s. But no worries, pace-of-play is really not effected. Looking for a deal to play Pinehurst Golf, play the Cradle at $50, and you can keep going around all for your $50. It is one of the best deals in all of Pinehurst.

A view from the 7th hole on the Cradle.

While the Cradle is been making most of the news in Pinehurst, other items of note include, the new Pinehurst Restaurant and Brewery opening this summer, and then this fall the reopening of Pinehurst #4, after the Gil Hanse Renovation.

Course #4 should reopen about October 1st, says resort President Tom Pashley.

The resort has also purchased the historic home of Donald Ross and took control at the start of 2018. The resort is doing some fix up work to the house and then will use it for special events to TBD.

Click here to hear our interview with Pinehurst Resort President Tom Pashley.

The resort has had a great sucess with the new restaurant called “Deuces” behind the 18th green of Pinehurst #2, and the resorts new swimming pool. More work on courses #1 and #3 will start after things conclude on Course #4. When the course work is complete, courses 1-4 all designed by Ross will have more of an original feel to them.

On the lodging side, the Holly Inn the first hotel in the village that opened on Jan. 1 1896, has recently come off a full renovation of all 82 rooms. The Carolina Hotel is having it’s walk of Pinehurst photography history redone as well. Pashley still expects the old Pinehurst area course called “The Pit” will return in new form at some point. Stay tuned for that update. In the meantime visit Pinehurst.com

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-TIGER TRAP SPRUNG?

 DAN PHILLIPS is back teaching at McQ’S Dome in Bolingbrook part of Mistwood Golf, see Dan or any of the highly rated golf staff for your winter season improvements, see mcqsdome.com or mistwoodgc.com for details. THE NORTH COURSE at Innisbrok and the greens are rolling-fast. Make your tee times today visit Innisbrookresort.com              ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory to Innisbrook Resort, and on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or Facebok and Linkedin.

THEY SURE KNOW HOW TO PUT OUT A BIG WELCOME, the Innisbrok Golf Resort in Palm Harbor that is. I had a lot of fun with the resorts retired sales manager Doug Schmidt, and PR star Ramona Herald with the banners and signs that announced my arrival, it was for me right ? who else could it be.

It was a fun weekend to be in the Tampa area, golf and the NHL All-Star game all in one. I did the smart thing and stuck around Innisbrook for the golf, and got out early yesterday and beat the heavy rain that dumped over 3 inches starting in the afternoon and running into early evening. It was more rain than the area had received in almost two months. But on Sunday morning it was a great sunny day and the greens on the recently renovated North Course were rolling. About 13 on the stimp according to one marshal who would know. It was almost Oakmont like, there is no problem getting the ball to the hole. I like the North Course and the work that was done and now it appears the South Course will close in June for upgrades, stay tuned.

Copperhead is in great shape for the upcoming Valspar Championship in March, the only drawback was the cart path only two months out. The renovation from two years ago has kicked in and resort golfers are enjoying this course as much as the pro’s will in March (5-11). The Snake Pit, holes 16-17-18 are a fun but challenging test to finish your round. More on Innisbrook in the week ahead.

THE TIGER TRAP, has it started up again, or was it a one week frenzy. There were complaints galore about how the Farmers TV broadcast this past weekend turned into all Tiger and occasionally the players who were winning. Golf needs to be very careful about going down this road again, and risk losing viewers and people playing the game.

For those of you who think Tiger is #GOAT, Greatest of all time. Please seek help, that is all.

Hopefully after one week much of this will be over and golf can return to the great run it’s had in recent years. I get it, Woods is kind of like rock star on his farewell tour and people want that one last look before he goes away for good.

Speaking of the Farmers, it is still not over and because the final group took six hours to play 18 holes and the playoff didn’t finish before the sun set. Now with only 12 marshals available, no fans will be let back in to see the finale. By the way, has JB Holmes hit the ball yet, another one of those should bring a “that’s two” from the rules officials.

THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW was a great way to start the 2018 golf season, and I’ll have plenty in the weeks ahead from what I saw there.

The show’s big winner’s were Callaway, Wilson, Titleist and Taylor Made, all with new product or in Wilson’s case real exposure on the new Driver vs Driver 2 program that will start airing in the fall. Callaway’s Rogue Driver, Woods and Irons drew plenty of attention and I have you hearing from the Callaway experts who created Rogue.

WITH THAT it’s off to Naples and a look at Tiberon, a new stop for us. RS.

THE DEMO DAY WINNERS ARE

   WILSON GOLF GM Tim Clarke and former NHL star Jeremy Roenick are two of the judges for Wilson Golf’s Driver vs Driver 2, coming in fall on The Golf Channel. McQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook is your place for winter golf, OTB and a great grill. Mcqsdome.com ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG BY RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory to the PGA Merchandise Show, and on Twitter @GogBlogGuy. With the new Callaway Rogue Driver.

DEMO DAY, it’s like the opening tee shot for the annual PGA Merchandise Show.

It’s one big circular driving range, that has a lot of golf pro’s and other folks hitting golf balls.

It’s one of those days where if you are a range ball pick up guy, like I once was, you just keep driving all day long.

I decided to get there early this year, a good idea, but the line to get in was several hundred deep if, you had preregistered. Right out of the blocks the buzz was over at the Wilson area on the range, as the judges got introduced for the Driver vs Driver 2 show, coming this fall after the Ryder Cup on The Golf Channel. Plus the chance to hit the prototypes competing on the show, and then get interviewed with your thoughts on the clubs, and then a chance to be on the show when it starts to air.

It will be interesting when the shows run, who made it on the air, and who got left on the cutting room floor. Wilson will have a winner in time to launch it around Black Friday. Former Chicago Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick tells me he will put the winning driver in his bag when it hits the market.

IN ADDITION to Wilson, another one of the days big winners was Callaway Golf that had everyone lined up to hit the new Rogue Driver, and other Rogue clubs in the line. I hit the driver and after topping the first one on my first swing of the day, I really smoked the next five shots. This club has “plenty” of potential.

Besides the Rogue Callaway has improved it’s Chrome X golf ball and it’s line of Mack Daddy Wedges by Roger Cleveland. No complaints here on either of those products.

TITLEIST came though as a winner on demo day in the wedge area, with the new SM 7’s by Bob Vokey. The wedge area was filled most of the day with golfers just hitting flop shots into the target green.

There was some buzz over Cleveland Golf, and Ping as well. Taylor Made with it’s new R4 had a line of people waiting to that club as well.

But when it was all said and done, I’d say Callaway Golf, Wilson Golf and Titleist came away as the three winners. Generating the most traffic at their stations with new products and the new Driver vs Driver TV show. RS

WILSON GOLF ANNOUNCES JUDGES FOR DRIVER VS DRIVER 2

  DAN PHILLIPS is back teaching at McQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook, and this summer at Mistwood Golf in Romeoville, Mcqsdome.com for details, or call Mistwood Golf at (815)-254-3333. THE NORTH COURSE AT INNISBROOK, has reopened from it’s renovation, call for tee times and play Copperhead home of the Valspar Tournament of the PGA Tour, please visit Innisbrookgolfresort.com to play your winter getaway now.      _____________________________________________________________________

Wilson Golf GM Tim Clarke and former NHL and Chicago Blackhawks star Jeremy Roenick will serve as two of the judges for Driver vs Driver 2 on The Golf Channel this fall.

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

(Reporting from Orlando FL.)

Demo started off with a bang, and it was Chicago based Wilson Golf that came off the first tee quickly.

Making announcements of the new judges for Driver vs Driver 2 to shown this fall after the Ryder Cup on The Golf Channel.

While Tim Clarke the GM of Wilson Golf is back as a judge for the second run of DVD 2, former USGA spec guy Frank Thomas and former Chicago Bear LB Brian Urlacher are out. They have been replaced by former Chicago Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick and UK blogger Rick Shiels. Melanie Collins returns in her role as MC and host.

The show which is more than halfway taped, had more filming done today at demo day, the first day of the PGA show in Orlando. Numerous golfers got to try various prototypes and give their input in front of the camera’s, some folks might end up on TV during the show.

Click here to hear the Wilson DVD 2 judges, Tim Clarke, Jeremy Roenick, and Rick Shiels.

Clarke adds that some of the contestants who did not win the first time around, entered again, and one of them with a revised team who made the final six or so last time, is back in the running again. While it’s not known how many episodes their will be before a winner is named, Wilson is hoping to launch the club in November, so golfers can by it this time on Black Friday, in time for the holiday rush.

That is if the USGA does not get in the way with a non-conforming issue, like in 2016 when the Triton won.

I asked Roenick in front of Clarke if he will put the winning entry in his bag when the show is over, and he says he will. Roenick says he played a lot of his golf with the Triton in his bag over the last year. For more details visit Wilsongolf.com.

FAZIO-BY GEORGE THAT IS, LOOKING GREAT AT PALMETTO DUNES

THE NORTH COURSE AT INNISBROOK IS OPEN FROM RENOVATION, book your tee times now at Innisbrookgolfresort.com. DAN PHILLIPS is back in the teaching mode at MCQ’s Dome and Mistwood, see mcqsdome.com or mistwoodgc.com for lessons.       _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG BY RORY SPEARS Director of Content. Follow Rory to Palmetto Dunes resort on Hilton Head Island, where the George Fazio Course is back up and looking good. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy. No rain this year.

IT TOOK FOUR TRIES, but I finally made it out on the Fazio course at Palmetto Dunes resort on Hilton head Island.

My first three attempts saw, course closed for an outing, a rain out and then closed for repairs from hurricane Mathew damage. But 2018 is a different story, I showed up and played this time in under three hours, and the course was all the fun a golfer can hope for and then some.

While many of the courses in the low country of South Carolina, that are part of the resorts or in between the housing developments, can have tight fairways or a lot of water, the Fazio course does not. While there are a few holes with water, it’s not everywhere. When hurricane Mathew blew through in 2016, it hit the course pretty hard. It caused the loss of over 400 trees and it destroyed the bunkers. Credit Palmetto Dunes Resort for taking out the damaged trees and opening up the course. The Fazio course was closed for over five months while repairs and upgrades were done.

The first hole on the Fazio Course, plenty of room for your opening drive.

Palmetto Dunes used that time to make improvements and mostly to redo all the bunkers on the course, and it shows.

The greens were redone and the quality of turf around the property is much improved.

As a result, while the course is in great shape, it’s a straight forward right in front of you golf course with plenty of room to hit some golf shots.

While hitting the fairways might not be real hard, the challenge here is to hit the greens on your approach shots. 17 of the 18 greens are elevated, so don’t be afraid to hit a little more club coming in. The greens are in great shape and roll very well.

 The Par 3, 4th hole (L) and (R) the Par 3 17th hole on the George Fazio Course.

The Palmetto Dunes resort has three courses, the Jones, the Hills and the Fazio. While the courses of Robert Trent Jones and Arthur Hills seem to get most of the attention, don’t let the Fazio slip past you. This redone course is one will you enjoy. Go Play. For more information see PalmettoDunes.com.