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 the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.

ILLINOIS PGA ANNOUNCES REVISED 2020 SCHEDULE

  THE WHITE EAGLE GOLF CLUB IN NAPERVILLE-will be host to the 71st Illinois Open ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS-Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on LinkedIn or Facebook/Instagram.

Former IPGA Section President Mark Labiak-hands the 2019 IPGA Section trophy to Travis Johns of Medinah Country Club.

With the Covid-19 pandemic creating havoc in society and the world of sports, the Illinois PGA Section has been forced into the scramble mode to create a schedule with tournaments for competition, for it’s section members, and the top amateur players who will enter the 71st Illinois Open at the White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville.

After months of hard work and having to reshuffle the deck, the revised schedule is in place for the months ahead in 2020.

The good news is that the four major championships will still be held, but with some changes.

The Illinois Open was cut down to it’s former field size of 156 players, and a two course system was reduced to one, with Stonebridge Country Club taking a mulligan to a later date in the years ahead. The PGA section championship is still on for Medinah Country Club from August 24-26.

The IPGA Match Play Championship was delayed from May at the Kemper Lakes Golf Club, to September 15-18 at the Elgin Country Club, with a new format of stroke play that determines the final 64 players that move into the match play brackets.

The seasons final major the IPGA Players Championship will be contested from October 5-6, and remain at Conway Farms. But will have a field of 35 players, by invitation only from the standings of the Bernardi Player of the Year points race.

“We worked diligently over the past few months with our Board, Officers and Tournament Committee to develop a tournament schedule that was both safe for participants while preserving the Major Championships and other key events,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA and Illinois PGA Foundation. “We’d like to thank all of the Illinois PGA Professionals and facilities for their dedication and flexibility to help us create our new 2020 tournament schedule.”

The Illinois PGA Assistant Professional Championship (Monday July 13 Cress Creek) and IPGA Senior Professional Championship (Merit Club August 10-11) will serve as national qualifiers.

Unfortunately the following events were cancelled for 2020. The Pro-Pro-Pro Scramble, the Spring-Fall Pro-Assistant IPGA Senior Stroke Plays 1-2-3-4. IPGA Assistant Stroke Play Events 1-2. The Radix Cup, Thompson Cup and Royal Cup Matches. IPGA 1-Day Pro-Am (both). IPGA Senior Masters IPGA Sroke Play 6.

In October three Pro-Am’s will take place. October 1st at Onwentsia the Ryne Sandberg IPGA Foundation Pro-Am. October 4-5 the IPGA Fall travel Pro-Am at Sand Valley Resort in Nekoosa Wisconsin. From October 19-21 in Pinehurst the Meyer-Brown-Miller Invitational. For further information please see IPGA.com.

USGA LEAVES FOX AND RETURNS TO NBC

                   THE 2020 U.S. OPEN coming this September on NBC-Yes that’s right NBC.

THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf Radio and Golfersongolf.com follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and Facebook or LinkedIn.

The USGA’s time in the Fox hole is over, effect yesterday, the United States Golf Association (USGA) is no longer TV partners with Fox Broadcasting and has returned to the NBC broadcasting network.

It appears that the USGA and Fox had different idea’s about what to show and when over the past few months, with the major conflict being the two U.S. Opens. Both the Men’s U.S. Open in September and the Women’s U.S. Open in December, cause scheduling conflicts for TV time. With Fox wanting to stay with NCAA and NFL football on the weekend, and the USGA expecting it’s U.S. Open’s to be televised on Fox, and not Fox Sports 1, as Fox had hoped to do.

                         USGA.org.

“We are thrilled to acquire the remainder of the Fox Sports’ USGA agreement, and will carry the designated USGA events, including the U.S. Open, through 2026,” said Pete Bevacqua,president of the NBC Sports Group. “Adding these prestigious USGA events to our incredibly deep golf business, led by our long-term deal PGA Tour partnership, as well as the Open Championship and the Ryder Cup, positions us as absolute leaders in the golf space. This deal is advantageous for all parties, including NBC Sports, Golf channel, Peacock and the USGA, but also Fox Sports, and we thank them for working with us to complete this transaction. It further solidifies our platforms as the destination for golf viewers and enthusiasts, with NBC, Golf Channel, GOLFNow and GOLFPASS.”

“Partnering with NBCUniversal, including Golf Channel, gives us an, unparalleled opportunity to connect and engage with the core audience more directly and routinely, and as a non-profit, to continue to have a significant and lasting impact on the game,” said Mike Davis CEO of the USGA.

In 2021 the USGA schedule will be played in full, and the new agreement with NBCU will allow for full uninterrupted coverage of eight USGA events because of the partnership with Rolex. The last hour of the final round will be uninterrupted, with out any interruptions.

“Fox Sports has cherished its time with the as home to the USGA Championships for the past six years. This is a relationship and partnership that has been second to none,” said Eric Shanks, CEO and Executive producer of Fox Sports. “Recent events calling for the shift for the U.S. Open created scheduling challenges that were difficult to overcome. While we are proud of the success we’ve built over the these years, this is a win for golf fans everywhere, a win for the USGA and a win for FOX and NBC Sports.”

“Fox brought significant innovation to golf broadcasting by elevating technology and enhancing fan experience,” said Davis. “We appreciate the partnership we have had with FOX Sports, and FOX Sports efforts over the last six years to produce world-class events.”

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS RECEIVES GIFT OF ATKINS GOLF CLUB

THE FORMER STONE CREEK GOLF CLUB is now the ATKINS GOLF CLUB at the University of Illinois (pending trustee’s approval). More information at Illinois.edu.           ____________________________________________________________________

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

The Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois

The University of Illinois has released the following statement.

The Atkins Group (TAG) has donated more than 300 acres of real estate in southeast Urbana, highlighted by the Stone Creek Golf Club and it’s associated buildings and equipment to the University of Illinois and the University of Illinois Foundation.

The Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) will operate the golf club. The club will remain closed for the remainder of 2020, while undergoing improvements on and off the golf course. The course will remain a public golf course while serving as home for the men’s and women’s golf teams for the University of Illinois-Fighting Illini. The total value of the gift exceeds 15 million dollars.

“We are so grateful to Susie, Spencer, Todd, Suzette and the entire Atkins family for their continued generosity to the University of Illinois and Fighting Illini Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. “Working with them to develop the full breadth of this remarkable gift has been a true pleasure. We are excited about the future of the golf course and the benefits it will have for our varsity golf programs and, of equal importance, our entire community. We believe such a broad-based, visible presence from the University will help generate great value and stability to the homeowners and businesses in southeast Urbana. As part of the gift the university receives more than 100 residential lots, and over 70 undeveloped acres of land.

The golf club is an 18-hole public golf course located on nearly 190 acres. The course was closed in January of this year, as the Atkins family (TAG) and the University of Illinois worked towards this agreement. As part of the agreement the Illinois DIA will hire a golf course management firm to operate the golf course, the off course operation and will oversee meaningful improvements to the golf course, that will benefit both the men’s and women’s golf teams.

Click here to our the interview with University of Illinois Men’s golf coach Mike Small.

“We are excited for the opportunity to connect with the University of Illinois, again,” said Spencer Atkins. “As discussions progressed, it became clear to the family that a donation befitting our mission would be in line with the University’s vision and commitment to our community.”

Click here to hear the interview with Illinois Women’s golf coach Renee Slone.

The newly named Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois will reopen for public play in the spring of 2021. Both coaches spoke to looking forward to seeing improvements that will help the facility become among the best college golf courses in the nation, hosting future championship events.

The gift will count towards the $300 million dollar fundraising goal for the DIA. Which is part of the University-wide $2.25 billion dollar fundraising effort.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-STREELMAN BOUNCES BACK

THE VOLVIK GOLF BALL HOLIDAY PACK-learn more about Volvik on this Saturdays Golfers on Golf Radio. CHAD JOHANSEN’s 4Step Process-with pro Chip Beck coming up this Tuesday at 8 PM. For more details please see 4StepProcess.com #Bettergolf      _____________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or on Facebook and LinkedIn. On the par 3, 17th hole at The Fort Golf Course in Indy.

ILLINOIS are you ready for a set of more relaxed golf restrictions that went into effect last Friday.

Lets hope they make a day at the golf course more relaxing and more enjoyable.

If you need a set of the new guidelines, see our story here from last Friday, or visit the CDGA.org website, or the Illinois PGA website Ipga.com.

There are some courses that will fully tee off all the guidelines in another week starting Monday July 6th after the 4th of July weekend.

AP REPORTING and thanks to an assist from the Illinois Golfer, NBC is back in the picture in handling the U.S. Open, and apparently that will start at Winged Foot this September. The AP story says that NBC will take the U.S. Open back for the last 7 years of what was the Fox contract, and that Fox is out after 5 years in what was a 12 year deal with the USGA effective immediately.

Wilson Golf staffer Kevin Streelman had a runner-up finish at Hartford in the Travelers Championship.

Wheaton’s Kevin Streelman had a great bounce-back weekend, after two straight missed cuts after the PGA Tour restart.

Streelman did miss the cut at Harbour Town, but he had a bounce-back round on Friday with a 67 before heading out of South Carolina.

Hartford is one of the wins that Streelman has had in his PGA Tour career.

Streelman finished at 18 under par just one shot back of winner Dustin Johnson. It was nice of Streelman to put in a plug during his post round interview for both of his childhood courses, Cantigny and Arrowhead golf club both in Wheaton. It was also nice to see Golfers on Golf Radio guest from June 20th, Wilson Golf’s Brendan Steele have a Top-10 finish with his T-6th.

THE KORN FERRY Tour is home to some of our local players this year. Vince India of Deerfield, Nick Hardy of Northbrook, Doug Ghim of Arlington Hts., and Brad Hopfinger of Naperville all made the cut this past week. With India’s 18th place finish leading the locals. Nice to see India bounce back from a rough final round a week ago, when he had the lead going into the last round.

Congratulations to Devin Johnson for winning the Blackberry Amateur with a 12 under par score of (132). Played at Blackberry Oaks, and run by Chad Johansen, sponsored by Wilson Golf and Michelob Ultra.

GREAT NEWS FROM PINEHURST-so many groups have returned that the historic Carolina Hotel was full and the remodeled Manor Inn was opened. Add a few more more guests, and the Holly Inn will have to be reopened as well. Details on rooms at Pinehurst, see Pinehurst.com. There are plenty of tee times still available, so bring the clubs when your travels take you to the Sandhill country. See Lenziehmongolf.com for his recent story on the Pinehurst area.

LOOKING AHEAD this week here, the Illinois PGA has announced it’s 2020 schedule, and what events will get played and which ones will get cancelled. Plus more features on my trip to Indiana, and Honma Golf has launched the TR 20 Irons that are getting good reviews. RS

THE GOG BLOG’S SUNDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-LATE EDITION

  THE PRESERVE at Oak Meadows in Addison continues to move forward with it’s new clubhouse that should be finished this year. More on the Preserve at DuPagegolf.com.    _____________________________________________________________________

THE CHICAGO DISTRICT GOLF ASSOCIATION-CDGA.org

If you are not aware, the State of Illinois has lifted more of the restrictions that have been affecting golf in Illinois.

If you are not aware of the changes, you should visit the CDGA website, at CDGA.org.

Some golf courses are waiting until Monday July 6th, to fully implement all of the changes. Check in with the pro shop, before arriving at the golf course, to find out what changes have already taken place and which ones will begin in a few days.

The Illinois PGA website IPGA.com has also included an update on the current restrictions.

FROM MYRTLE BEACH-Lansdon Robbins of UNC Wilmington/Davidson NC, shot a final round 5 under par 67 to win the inaugural Golfweek Myrtle Beach Collegiate at the Barefoot Resorts-Dye Course. Taylor Roberts a freshman at Florida State, led wire-to-wire, and finished with a 4 under par, two shots better than Marissa Wenzler (Kentucky) to win the women’s tournament.

Overall 119 players-78 men, and 41 women played in the 54 hole event.

THE FOUNDERS GROUP that owns and operates 18 golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area, is now allowing walking year round. Details at Myrtlebeachgolftrips.com.

SENTRY WORLD in Stevens Point Wisconsin. Has issued a statement through general manager Mike James. James the says facility has made a difficult decision and will keep Sentry World closed through at least September 8th. At that time they are hoping to reopen for the remainder of the golf season. Details at Sentryworld.com. Home of the famed flower hole.

     PGA.com

THE 2020 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP will be played on August 3-9 at it’s original location Harding Park Golf Club, located in the city of San Francisco.

As of now the championship is playing played with no fan attendance.

As a result, the championship be held at Harding Park has the support of San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed.

The PGA looks forward to returning to the San Francisco area in 2028 with the PGA Championship and the 2032 Ryder Cup, both to be held at the Olympic Club. More details at PGA.com.

The Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena Illinois has announced the opening of it’s new Highlands Restaurant on July 3rd. For both lunch and dinner 7 days a week. For more details on the reopening of the restaurants and food operation at Eagle Ridge, please visit Eagleridge.com

THE GOG BLOG written by Rory Spears-returns tomorrow. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or Facebook and LinkedIn.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO-WEEK 10

WCPT AM 820-HOME OF GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO in it’s 30th season. Golfers on Golf Radio (L-R) is Rory Spears, Ed Stevenson & Bill Berger. Every Saturday at 10 Am.  ______________________________________________________________________

Wilson Golf’s Tim Clarke stepped in as Guest-Host last weekend, and talks about the growing Wilson Golf Brand with Ed Stevenson (L). The late Jim McWethy who passed away this past week, and Rory Spears at the Grand Re-opening of Mistwood Golf Club.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO on the tee at 10 AM on AM 820 WCPT. You can now listen live on line at 820wcpt.com, or watch us on Facebook. If your on the range or the golf course, download the Tune In APP and Search WCPT 820. If you missed the show visit the Cloud at SoundCloud.com/Chicagosprogressivetalk.

Today’s guests include Mistwood General Manager Dan Bradley and Golfers on Golf radio contributor Len Ziehm of the Daily Herald and LenZiehmOnGolf.com. Join us for a great show and tribute to a man who contributed so much to golf in the Chicago area.

CDGA ANNOUNCES ILLINOIS PHASE FOUR GUIDELINES FOR GOLF

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and Facebook or Linkedin. With Mistwood owner Jim McWethy who passed away this week at age 76, from a lung condition.

THE Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) has posted the new Phase 4 for Illinois golf guidelines set down by the governor’s office.

These changes to operational restrictions went into effect this morning at 6 AM.

The CDGA along with the Illinois PGA, the Midwest Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Club Managers Association, and recently the Western Golf Association (WGA) have worked together to get the golf courses reopened in Illinois for 2020.

There have been changes on the course, and to cart rules, practice area’s and the clubhouse area, and inside of clubhouses. Individual caddies are now permitted, but there are restrictions. If you take a caddie you should try to not have them handle your clubs at all, or on limited occasions Beverage carts are now permissible. The locker rooms are open, along with halfway houses. Lessons can take place including group lessons of 50 people or less.

For more information visit CDGA.org.

In all cases, golfers should use smart judgement around ALL golf facilities. Wear a mask if you feel you need one, and do practice social distancing at all times. There is no need to crowd the beverage cart worker, or the halfway house or pro shop workers. Do not be mean or difficult to course workers who wear a mask.

While there is no evidence that handling a flag stick or reaching into a cup on the green could give you the Covid-19 virus, avoid doing so as much as possible.

IF YOU have symptoms of Covid-19, do not go to a golf facility. If someone in your household has Covid-19 or the symptoms of the virus, do not go to a golf facility. Be prepared to handle your own golf ball, and bring hand sanitizer if you have with you to the golf course, for use after your round.

Walkers do realize that bench’s will not be out on the golf course, and bringing your own water bottle ( with water or something else in it) is a good idea.

Leagues and shotgun start style golf outings are now welcomed back to the golf course.

Golfers on Golf Radio Am 820 10-11 on Saturday mornings will discuss the changes in restrictions tomorrow morning. Join us live or online Wcpt820.com or watch on Facebook to learn more.

ZIEHM & SPEARS PODCAST SERIES 2020-VOLUME 15

  LEN ZIEHM (L) in Port St. Lucie Florida and RORY SPEARS (R) in WCPT Am 820 studio’s home of Golfers on Golf Radio in it’s 30th season. Saturdays at 10 AM-join in.    _____________________________________________________________________

CLICK HERE to hear Ziehm & Spears Podcast Series 2020-Volume 15.

This weeks topics include, Len’s travels to the Carolina’s and Rory’s trip to central Indiana, the Crooked Stick golf club, home of next month’s 2020 Western Amateur.

Len and Rory recap the PGA Tour, the Korn Ferry Tour and how our Illinois local players are faring on them. What about the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, will it get played.

Remembering Mistwood Golf owner Jim McWethy, the world of golf lost a friend in McWethy when he passed away this week at age 76. More changes in the Illinois restrictions coming tomorrow. Stay clicked in. RS

BACK HOME AGAIN FROM INDIANA-GOLF TRAVEL FEELS DIFFERENT

  THE MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB on Renwick Road in Romeoville, get your tee times by calling the pro shop at (815)-254-3333 or visit Mistwoodgc.com Red-White & Blue Scramble is coming up on the 4th of July, sign up now, this event normally does sell out. _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Facebook or LinkedIn. With the late Jim McWethy at Mistwood Golf Club.

IT FELT GOOD TO TRAVEL AGAIN, it also feels good to be back home again from Indiana.

The golf road trip was only three days and two nights, but it was great to get away. Somethings however were different, other things felt more like normal.

But Indiana seems to be ahead of the curve, while Illinois lags slightly behind.

Illinois will catch up a little more as things open up on the golf side starting tomorrow. July 6th seems to be a date when everyone will take another step forward in putting this crazy virus behind us. Let’s hope that is the case.

Indiana is off to a great start in putting things together. Gasoline is back down to $2.07 a gallon for starters. The golf courses are moving ahead. In some places it’s like June of 2019, and in others that status will be in place on July 6th. Golf actually seems pretty normal, it’s the rest of traveling that can still be an issue.

The Marriott Fairfield in Carmel is 4 miles from the 2020 Western Amateur venue, Crooked Stick Golf Club.

The Marriott Fairfield Carmel that is only two years old, is still doing all the safe things for it’s guests.

It might have large elevators, but only 3 people in them at a time. The housekeeping staff won’t visit everyday, unless you ask for them.

One great thing about Fairfield’s, is the breakfast downstairs in the morning. Currently that has changed, into a paper bag on the counter by the front desk. It contains a granola bar, a danish, and a carton full of orange juice. That’s it, but the coffee bar is open for those of you who need a cup of Joe to start your day. The health club did not look busy, but it seemed like every time I walked past, someone was in there sanitizing the facility.

As for the food side, my dinner the first night was at Five Guys. Nobody has masks but the employees, and only six tables were spread out in the restaurant. I took my food to go, and went back to the hotel. My second night was dinner at Chili’s, Terry the bartender where I sat alone, makes a great frozen margarita. The tables were not movable, but guests were spread out and not sitting near each other. Only the employees wore masks in the entire restaurant, with about 40 guests dining inside.

Welcome to the Pfau Course at Indiana University.

The new Pfau Course at Indiana University home of the Hoosiers golf teams has just opened in the last 12 days.

It was supposed to open maybe last fall, which turned into April 1st of this year. Thanks to Covid-19 that did not happen until June 15th.

In fact only GM Greg Bishop the course’s superintendent and one other staff worker were allowed on the grounds every day for almost two months. All they did was cut the fairways, the greens and tee’s everyday, sometimes for 12 hours a day to keep up and make sure the new course wasn’t overgrown before opening day even rolled around.

The clubhouse is still closed, and the open bathroom count is but only 1. A co-ed special in the cart barn. The food and beverage for now, is a couple boxes that have small bags of pretzels, granola bars, and a bin of ice that has nice cold bottles of water. The Styrofoam is still in the cups, and there are no rakes to be found on the golf course. I’ll have more on the golf course in the next few days.

The Brickyard Crossing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Of more concern is the famed Brickyard Crossing Golf Course located next to, and inside of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This really good Pete Dye designed golf course has four holes that run through the inside of the track itself.

It’s a great venue so I hear, and a popular bucket trip stop, for those enjoy both golf and car racing, and for those traveling the Pete Dye golf trail.

Problem for 2020 is that the course has not yet opened for the year, because it got classified as a sporting venue due to the holes in the race track. But it will on July 6th. Then it will be open for about 6 weeks before it closes for two weeks around the new dates for this years running of the Indy 500. Then it reopens until it closes for the season in the fall. Another issue that has come spinning out of Turn 2, is that the track could close for good. Rumors have been flying since new track owner Roger Penske bought the track last year. I’m told Penske likes golf, and even is a member at the home of the Masters Tournament, but might need space for a new Formula One track to host that type of racing. If that track gets built, Dye’s masterpiece will get the checked flag.

Welcome to Crooked Stick Golf Club, home of the 2020 Western Amateur. Yes it will get played.

Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel Indiana is home to this years 2020 Western Amateur.

NHL hockey referee Garrett Rank is the defending champion, and has told me that he will defend his title in late July.

The great news is that the Western Amateur will get played starting on July 28th, and running through August 1st.

During my visit this past Tuesday the club marked a return to pretty much the “old normal”. After much research and consulting with medical experts, and golf industry professionals, the club learned that touching the flag stick or a bunker rake will not make you sick from Covid-19. So the Styrofoam in the cups are gone, and the bunker rakes are back out on the golf course. I’ll have much more on Crooked Stick in my Western Amateur preview story, and the club remembering it’s architect the late Pete Dye.

Welcome to the Fort Golf Course at Harrison State Park in Indianapolis.

The Fort Golf Course in Indianapolis is really good, and one of the best state park golf courses anywhere.

General Manager Bruce Rearick says operations at the golf course will change around July 6th. As for the next few days, the drinking fountains in the clubhouse are not running, and the water coolers are missing from the stands that still sit empty on the golf course.

The golf carts all have signs on them telling customers that their cart has been sanitized. The Styrofoam is in the cups and the employees all have masks. But I did not see any masks on the customers. More on the Fort as we get closer to the Western Amateur in late July.

If your looking to travel you can, it might and feel a little different at the hotel or in the restaurant, but within days most golf courses will be pretty much back to normal, whatever normal is these days.

Ziehm and Spears Podcast Series 2020-Volume 15 returns tomorrow.

MISTWOOD MOURNS LOSS OF OWNER JIM MCWETHY

THE MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB in Romeoville, get tee times by calling (815)-254-3333.  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy With Jim McWethy at Mistwood Golf Club

It’s not a good day when you lose people like this far too early in life.

Jim McWethy a friend of many and of golf, passed away yesterday at 76, which is too soon. No he wasn’t victim of the Corona Virus, but it doesn’t matter.

McWethy had a condition called ILD, it’s a scarring of the lung tissue. He had been living with oxygen tanks by his side for months.

I’m glad he played one hole of golf with me last year at Mistwood. I never thought it would be the last one, but it was so I will remember it forever.

When Jim called me on June 12th to update me on his condition, I was surprised. Our 5 minute conversation took a lot out of him, it felt like he was calling to say good-bye. As it turned out, he was. I’ll miss our late night talks about golf, sports, politics and more.

Jim was a member at the famed Chicago Golf Club, and he could have just enjoyed the private club life at a Top 100 golf course. Instead he poured millions into the total redo of Mistwood and the Mistwood Golf Dome, and a few other business ventures. He made his mark on public golf.

He was proud at what Mistwood Golf and the food and beverage had become, and he should have been, he left a legacy on how to do things the right way. Jim McWethy had a commitment to excellence.

What’s really sad is that right now with the Corona virus out there, there won’t be a big wake and funeral service we could all attend. Everyone who knew Jim will have to say good-bye in their own way.

In our short conversation Jim promised me that Mistwood is in good hands and will be run by his two children, and current GM Dan Bradley. As usual Jim will be correct and things will move forward. In time I’m sure Mistwood will have an event to remember Jim, and that’s something all of us who knew him should do as well.

Golfers on Golf Radio will remember Jim McWethy on our show this weekend at 10 AM on Am 820 WCPT. RS