TRISH JOHNSON READY TO DEFEND SR. LPGA TITLE

 TRISH JOHNSON Hugs the Sr. LPGA Championship Trophy at the Pete Dye Golf Course at the French Lick Resort, her title defense begins today back in French Lick.

  The Schaumburg Golf Club now has it’s simulators open for fall and winter golf, so If this weeks cool spell has you wanting to play or practice inside, visit the Schaumburg Golf Club on Roselle Road, just minutes from the Woodfield Mall. Play Le Golf National home of the 2018 Ryder Cup, or Whistling Straits home of the 2020 Ryder Cup. For more details go online and see Schaumburggolf.com or call the club at (847)-885-9000.

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

SENIOR WOMEN’S GOLF IS BACK with another major. No the majors on this tour did not end with the play at the Chicago Golf Club back in July.

Trish Johnson who took third place at Chicago Golf, is back at the French Lick Resort where she has two straight wins on her resume.

She won the inaugural Sr. LPGA Women’s Championship here on the Pete Dye Course in 2017, and won the Legends Tour event here the year before that. Just in case you were wondering, yes, Johnson loves the Pete Dye Course, here at the French Lick Resort.

Johnson who hails from England, knows it will get tougher this time around to pull off a three-peat on the Dye Course this week. Fellow England native Laura Davies who won the U.S. Senior Women’s Open by a whopping 10 shots, is here and ready to sweep both majors. Juli Inkster, and Danielle Ammacapne second and fourth in Chicago three months ago are lurking as well.

What French Lick won’t be this week is, as hot as it was in July, where the thermometer hit over 90 on a few days. It won’t get much over 60 here this week in Southern Indiana.

The terrain on the Dye Course with it’s rolling hills and some uphill shots won’t play easy this week, that old concept of “use more club it’s uphill” will come into play and the fact that the Sr. Women’s Championship is a 45 years of age and up championship, might offer some of the 40-somethings a chance to be real competitive in cooler and windy conditions.

Click here to hear the interview with defending champion Trish Johnson and our BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm, who’s stories on this weeks championship are running today on, The Morning Read, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and on LenZiehmongolf.com.

Golfers on Golf will be at the French Lick Resort for all three rounds. So stay clicked in.

MCQ’S IS MISTWOOD GOLF DOME-TOP TRACER-JERAY JOINS STAFF

   THE PRESERVE AT OAK MEADOWS still open for the fall DuPagegolf.com. THE BAER NINE at the Schaumburg Golf Club is coming along through renovation very well and is expected open around July 1st. The Players Nine is open, Schaumburggolf.com. The simulators at SGC are open, play Le Golf National home of the 2018 Ryder Cup.     _____________________________________________________________________

MC’Q’S IS GONE, well the name is anyway and, MISTWOOD GOLF DOME-Powered by Top Tracer is the new name of the facility beginning shortly. This new experience for golfers is exclusive to the Mistwood Golf Dome for at least the next 18 months.

           MCWETHY’S TAVERN already a huge success at Mistwood will share the name over at the Mistwood Golf Dome/Powered by Top Tracer, in the form of the Bar & Grill adding the McWethy name is some format, such as McWethy’s Sports Bar, or McWethy’s Bar and grill. Name is still TBD.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, or on Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. In the dome now known as the Mistwood Golf Dome, Powered by Top Tracer.

IT’S A NEW DAY coming in the colder months ahead for Chicago area golfers, as McQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook, already the premier golf dome in town, is changing it’s name, it’s look, and what it offers you the golfer.

TopTracer already part of Top Golf will be added in a new deal, that is now exclusive to the Mistwood Golf Dome for at least the next 18 months.

The grill area is being upgraded as this story is getting written, and will look different in a couple of weeks.

Another great chapter being added to the Mistwood Golf Scene, is the newest addition to the Mistwood professional golf staff, long time Chicago area LPGA veteran Nicole Jeray, who will compete in this weeks Sr. LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort, in French Lick Indiana. Jeray finished in 7th place last year in this event.

Nicole Jeray competes in the 2018 Illinois Women’s Open at Mistwood.

Jeray a long time veteran of women’s professional golf, and a past champion in the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open  that is contested at Mistwood every July, is looking forward to having a bigger role at Mistwood.

Jeray confirmed her role at Mistwood with BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm who is already on site at the French Lick Resort for this weeks Sr. LPGA Championship.

Jeray who has been sporting the Mistwood logo on her tour bag at recent events, told Ziehm she is “excited” about this new opportunity. Mistwood Golf Club’s Director of Golf Andy Mickelson spoke with Golfers on Golf about the changes that are coming.

Click here to hear the interview with Mistwood Director of Golf Andy Mickelson.

Stay clicked in to Golfersongolf.com for more details on this breaking development.

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR IL. GOLF HOF CLASS OF 2019

 DUPAGE GOLF home of the Preserve at Oak Meadows, and Maple Meadows where the annual Rambo Scramble tee’s off this Saturday Morning at 9 Am. Last call for sign up DuPagegolf.com. ERIN HILLS home of the 2017 U.S Open has it’s last call for 2018 tee times, Erin Hills is closing this Sunday. Book your 2019 times now at Erinhills.com     _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. On the new 9,000 square foot putting green at the Schaumburg Golf Club. Phase two of the renovation is moving along on the Baer Nine.

2019 marks another year for a class to enter the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. New members are now elected in every other year.

The hall is now accepting nominations for the class of 2019. Applications can be found online at Ipga.com and or illinoisgolfhof.com. Deadlines to submit nominations is January 4th, of 2019.

“Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Foundation which oversees the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. “Over the years, we’ve inducted many of the great leading individuals who have contributed to the rich history and tradition of the game right here in Illinois and we look forward to adding more names to this roster in 2019.”

 THE LOGO of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, and the Glen Club in Glenview that is the home of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame.

This year there is a new digital nomination process that will allow nominators the option to edit, or revise and save work, or share with others who are providing additional information to the nomination.

All of the nominations will be reviewed by the committee in April of 2019, the list will be trimmed to 10 finalists. In May the committee will hear in-house presentations from speaking on behalf of the candidate. Once those presentations are complete, the committee will vote and the inductees will be decided and contacted that evening. In the event the inductee is not reachable or deceased, the representative of that nominee will be contacted.

“The state of Illinois is steeped in golf tradition and there are many deserving individuals from all categories of the game to consider for nomination,” said Tim Cronin, Illinois golf historian and chairman of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Selection Committee. “We encourage anyone interested in submitting a nomination to visit the website and learn about past inductees and exactly how to nominate someone new.”

The selection committee is comprised of representatives of the five golf associations in the Chicago area that include, the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) the Illinois Junior Golf Foundation (IJGA), the Midwest Association of golf Course Superintendents, the Western Golf Association (WGA) and the Illinois PGA Section.

Anyone nominated stays active for 6 years, which is three different HOF Classes, unless that person does not receive one vote in the initial selection process. The following 22 nominees are already on the ballot for this coming year.

        IPGA Professional EMIL ESPOSITO (L) a former Illinois High School State Champion, and winner of both the IPGA Section Championship and Illinois Open. LEN ZIEHM (R) has written for the Sun-Times, Daily Herald, Chicagoland Golf, and the Chicago District Golf Association Magazine, along with other national publications. Ziehm is already in the Illinois State Soccer Hall of Fame, for his media work and coverage of Soccer.

The list is headed up by 50+ year veterans of dedication to golf in Illinois, IPGA Section professional Emil Esposito (53 years), and golf writer Len Ziehm (51 years). The other nominees include Doug Bauman, Robert Berns, Louis M. Brown Sr., Rick Dalpos, Rich Hammel, David Huske, Drue Johnson, Phil Kosin, Greg Kunkel, William Langford, the late Carol Mann, Tim Miles, Bruce Patterson, Francis Peabody, Gary Pinns, Harry Radix, Jerry Rich, Jim Suttie, Roger Warren, and Bob Zender.

Visitors to the Glen Club can visit the Hall of Fame when the club is open, the most recent class in 2017 consisted of Gray Groh, Gary Hallberg and Horton Smith.

PGA-CBS AND ESPN REACH 11 YEAR DEAL

 THE 12TH HOLE ON THE BAER 9 at the Schaumburg Golf Club on Roselle Road in Schaumburg, Phase two of the renovation is moving along, and the Baer 9 should be open for play by July 1 of 2019. When the weather turns, take it inside to the SGC simulators. Play Le Golf National home of the 2018 Ryder Cup, Schaumburggolf.com. THIS COMING WEEK, the Senior LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort in French Lick Indiana, tickets for all three rounds just $5 per day. See Frenchlick.com. Trish Johnson the winner in 2017 is back to defend her title on the Pete Dye Course.      ______________________________________________________________________

  THE MAPLE MEADOWS CLUBHOUSE PART OF DUPAGE GOLF is ready for this weekends Rambo Scramble, sign up now if you wish to play in the challenging pin placement 2-man scramble. DuPagegolf.com. THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS the Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. At the French Lick Resort in the French Lick Hotel lobby.

THE PGA OF AMERICA CENTENNIAL BOOK

The PGA Centennial Book that came out a couple of years back, could add a new chapter if it was being written today.

The PGA of America has announced a new partnership with both CBS and ESPN to run from 2020 through 2030, to include start to finish coverage of the PGA Championship. The new contract gives the PGA and CBS a relationship that will extend for 40 consecutive years. ESPN and ESPN+ will increase viewer coverage during early round play. The 2020 championship that will be played at Harding Park near San Francisco will be the first championship under the new agreement.

With the championship moving to May next year, and becoming the second major on the calendar, the date change is expected to heighten the PGA brand and it’s other initiatives. The new May dates should improve television viewership, and puts the PGA at the front end of golf season for most of it’s PGA members. This should also help the PGA of America promote it’s “grow-the-game” initiatives.

    BETHPAGE BLACK (L) WILL HOST THE 2019 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP and the OCEAN COURSE at KIAWAH ISLAND (R) will host the 2021 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP.

“For nearly half a century, CBS Sports has been a vital member of the PGA of America extended family while delivering our major championship to golf fans across the country,” said PGA Chief Executive Officer Seth Waugh. “We are also thrilled to partner with ESPN and connect with sports fans through the reach of the ESPN networks. The PGA is a major that not only typically delivers the strongest field in golf, but is synonymous with historic moments that resonate with golf fans everywhere. As we move this iconic championship to May, we are extremely excited that CBS and ESPN will present the highest quality product with the state-of-the-art technology through a broadcast team that shares our mission to grow the sport of golf.”

CBS Sports first broadcast the PGA Championship from 1958-1964 and has been the home of the PGA Championship since 1991. The opening tee shot through the final putt drop, should allow viewers some 175 hours of championship golf.

The PGA will use both networks to showcase it’s programs in several area’s to help grow the game.

PURDUE WINS ILLINI INVITE AT MEDINAH

 THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB is rolling through Phase Two, of it’s three phase renovation of it’s golf facilities. The Baer Nine (Holes 10-12 above L-R) is now under renovation and should reopen around July 1 of 2019, SchaumburgGolf.com for details.  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram On the new 9,000 Square foot putting green at the Schaumburg Golf Club.

THE FIRST ILLINI INVITATIONAL is in the books and the Lady Boilermakers of Purdue have taken home the trophy from the Medinah Country Club.

Purdue shot a three round total of 837, to defeat Kent State by 4 shots (841), Illinois was third (845) and hung-on to defeat the University of Miami Florida by 1 stroke, as Miami carded an (846).

The news was good for Illinois in the fact that Illinois shot 19 under par, which was the low team score in school history. Junior Tristyn Nowlin who recorded send place finishes twice this past summer at Mistwood during the WWGA National Amateur Championship and the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open tied for the low Illini score in Round 3 with a 69. Freshman Crystal Wang led Illinois with an 8 Under par score for the championship, she shot a 5 under par 67 in Round one, one of the best scores in the history of the Illinois women’s golf program.

Click here to hear interviews with Illinois players Senior Bing Singhsumalee (14th place at -3) and Junior Tristyn Nowlin, follow by Coach Renee Sloan.

  THE CHAMPIONS the Purdue Boilermakers (L) and the host and third place finishers the Fighting Illini of Illinois.

All indications are that the event will return to Medinah in 2019. Illinois has two more tournaments to play in this fall. The course played to a par of 72, and 15 schools participated. Fightingillini.com has full coverage of Illinois sports all year round.

The recently renovated Medinah Course #2 has been well received by club members and their guests. Players and Coaches from several schools said the golf course was in outstanding shape, and the renovation headed up by former Medinah Superintendent Curtis Tyrell and architect Rees Jones were very good.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-SCHAUMBURG SIZZLES

 THE 11 HOLE TEE BOX ON THE BAER COURSE at Schaumburg Golf Club, wide enough to create options and new angles, ready for play July of 2019. For more details see Schaumburggolf.com THE PRESERVE at Oak Meadows, part of DuPage Golf, come and play Maple Meadows this Sunday in the Rambo Scramble DuPagegolf.com    ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Creation and Content. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. Wearing the new Peakvision aviator sunglasses, see Peakvision.com to order.

It might be October, but there is much going on in the golf world.

The post Ryder Cup fires still burn around Team USA, and the PGA Tour has started the 2019 season, yes already. Phil Mickelson is back playing, and announcing he is cutting back his schedule in 2019 and beyond.

Looks like he is borrowing one from the Steve Stricker playbook, and speaking of Sticker, sources are saying he will be selected as the Captain of the 2020 Ryder Cup Team at Whistling Straits in Haven/Kohler Wisconsin. #Goodluck.

THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB, every time I go there since the renovation has started, I get more and more impressed by the work the Park District and architect Todd Quitno are doing. The park board and GM Jon Parsons have done a stellar job in giving the golf course and clubhouse a full renovation, and golfers are loving the end result.

When everything is said and done around July of 2020, golfers will have one great set of 27 holes to go play. That, along with the new putting greens, driving range and revamped downstairs area with simulators that now include Le Golf National and Whistling Straits the 2018 and 2020 Ryder Cup venues, make the SGC now a full year-round golf facility.

Below-zero, 10 inches of snow outside, no problem, off to Schaumburg GC and lets go tee it up. When it’s all done, SGC will be one of the Top 10 public courses in the Chicagoland area, if not Top 5, it’s that good. The Baer Nine that is under renovation right now, is pretty much done work wise, and now it’s into the grow in phase. There might be another tee box added on one of the par 3 holes, but that’s about it. The two water holes 10 and 18 have a new rock wall front between the wet stuff and the greens. The Baer Nine should be open for play around July 1st of next year, but with a warm fall, mild winter, good spring, who knows maybe late June is not out of the question.

Based on what I have seen on the first two nines, I can’t wait to see what Quitno has cooked up for the final nine holes, the Tournament Nine. More at Schaumburggolf.com.

IF YOU DID MISS IT, drop down on the webpage and see our weekend features on architect David McLay Kidd, creator of Bandon Dunes, Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley, and in Washington State Gamble Sands. Kidd has just been selected to build the second course at Gamble Sands, that is quite a destination property. I haven’t been there yet, but I’m told by those who have it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but these days that’s where some of the best new courses are located. Fly to Seattle’s airport Sea-Tac, rent a car and drive almost three hours and you are there, nothing to it.

I posted some pictures of the Baer Nine from last week’s tour at the Schaumburg GC, and our feature on ProCheck, that measures the compression on your golf ball. Pro Check makes sure that your new looking golf ball on the outside, still has the guts on the inside to go the distance it should. Procheckgolf.com.

THE ILLINI WOMEN’S invite at Medinah is underway, and Illinois is in third place, chasing leaders Purdue and runner up Kent State. I’ll head out for the final round and provide a recap.

THE ILLINI MEN have won for the second straight year in South Bend at the ND Fighting Irish invitational on the Warren Course that will host the 2019 U.S. Sr. Open next summer. For Illinois it’s their second straight win, after winning at Yale two weeks ago

Giovanni Tadiotto and Bryan Baumgarten both recorded T-4s with 12 under par scores for the three rounds. Michael Feagles was 6th at 11 under par. Illinois was 44 under par and Georgia Southern was second at 34 under par, University of North Carolina was third at 31 under and Iowa was 4th at 19 under par.

“I’m very happy with this win and the way we played in the last round, expanding upon our lead,” said head coach Mike Small. “In team golf, when you have a lead going into the final round, that’s what you do, you build on it. It was a total team effort with the junior class leading the way and playing from strength and commitment.”

Next up for #17th ranked Illini is the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational October 21-23 at Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere Florida, that will showcase some of the nations top teams, headed up by #11 Arizona State.

SOME WARMER WEATHER the next few days, go play. RS

PROCHECK YOUR GOLF BALLS COMPRESSION

 THE BAER 9 at the Schaumburg Golf Club is moving through it’s renovation, and will be ready for play by mid-summer of 2019, see SchaumburgGolf.com. NEXT WEEKEND is the famed Rambo Scramble at Maple Meadows, see DuPagegolf.com to sign up now. ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Creation and Content, follow Rory on Twitter@GogBlogGuy and on Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. In the simulator at the Schaumburg Golf Club, that now has new courses to play including Le Golf National, home of the 2018 Ryder Cup.

The golf industry has learned in recent years how important the fitting process is.

It’s not just drivers, but fairway woods and hybrids, irons, wedges and putters.

Now the fitting process has moved beyond clubs, it has made it’s way to golf balls. But how do you fit your golf ball and make sure you are getting maximum distance, through the proper compression and swing speed.

Enter ProCheck, a new device that golfers can use to create better length, which is something all golfers are looking for, a way to hit it further.

The ProCheck device on the golf bag, checking out a Callaway golf ball.

“Callaway has long understood that compression plays a key role in optimizing the performance and consistency of golfers. We at Callaway have tested ProCheck golf ball compression tester and found it to be an excellent tool for the consumer. Its reading can help golfers determine the right ball for their game,” says Jason Finley, Director, Brand Management, Callaway Golf.

“A golf ball’s compression has a significant impact upon how far it will travel, with the golfer’s ultimate goal being to match ball compression with swing speed to achieve maximum distance. The correct compression causes the ball to have the optimum degree of flattening at impact to create a trampoline-like energy transfer and greater distance. When testing a ball, the accurate compression will quickly be displayed on the ProCheck(R) LED screen.” said John Donahue, President of Golftek LLC, the manufacturer of ProCheck.

ProCheck checking out a Bridgestone Golf ball

Donahue took the initiative to help create a device like ProCheck, when after speaking with golfers who said the newer covers on top level golf balls might be durable, and still look new after use, but can lose their compression.

Donahue with a masters in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, then took the next step of starting the development.

Golfers who swing slower (80 Mph) or less, should use a lower compression golf ball, golfers with higher swing speeds of (100 Mph) and up, should use a higher compression ball. Where you store your golf balls, like a winter in a cold garage can effect the long-term effectiveness of a golf ball.

ProCheck measures force over a select time interval to record an accurate force value. ProCheck has a high speed micro-processor that captures the force of a tested golf ball, then processes the information before displaying the data with an accurate reading to the golfer.

For more information or to purchase a ProCheck golf ball compression tester, visit Procheckgolf.com.

SCHAUMBURG’S BAER NINE MOVES FORWARD

 THE FRENCH LICK RESORT has announced a 17 Million Dollar renovation, that includes a new rooms addition at the French Lick Hotel. October 15-16-17, the Senior LPGA Championship returns to the Pete Dye Course and tickets are just $5 per day, with proceeds befitting Riley’s Children’s medical program. Frenchlick.com for details.     _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. Putting on the new putting green at the Schaumburg Golf Club.

PHASE TWO of the three part renovation of the Schaumburg Golf Club is now well underway, and it’s moving along at a good speed.

It’s not likely at this point that the Baer 9 that’s currently under renovation will open any quicker that the July 1st, of 2019 target date, but with a warm fall, mild winter and a good spring, who knows what could happen.

General Manager and head golf professional Jon Parson’s gave Golfers on Golf a recent tour of the Baer Nine and progress is moving along very well.

THE BAER NINE tenth hole (L) on August 1st, and the Baer 9 tenth hole on October 5th (R).

Parsons says the design team headed up by architect Todd Quitno, with input from Parson’s and the SPD decided to install a little more “fun” to the Baer Nine that golfers should really enjoy.

A massive new horseshoe shaped tee box on the 11th hole, gives the daily set up team, some options for golfers on where to tee off from.

The fun comes in the shape of some new tee boxes, designed with angles to allow golfers a chance of a better tee shot, that could improve the approach shot into the greens.

A few greenside bunkers are not really greenside bunkers. They might look that way from the fairways, but there is a small landing zone between the front bunker and the fringe of the green. That approach shot to a front pin that comes up two feet short of the green, just might not leave the golfer buried in the face of the bunker.

The 12th hole on the Baer has a small bit of elevation change from the fairway.

The frontal area’s of the greens on holes 10 and 18 that have some water, still leave golfers with some space up-front for the shot that comes up just short or spins back.

In addition the old rusted metal supports between the greens and the water have been removed and new rock wall fronts have been added.

In multiple places there has been some mounding added, that not only works to help protect golfers from shots on other holes, but could with a friendly bounce help put golfers back towards the fairway, or leaving them with a closer chip shot around the green.

There are several new tee boxes, including some back tee boxes that will add some yardage to the Baer Nine when it reopens. Golfers are loving the improvements to the Players Nine, that reopened on July 1st, along with the driving range, putting green, short game and lesson area’s.

DID YOU KNOW, that Schaumburg is now a year round golf facility. Winter or not, year round golf is an option at the SGC. The simulators have been updated with several new courses, including Le Golf National in France that just hosted the Ryder Cup. If you think you could play those holes better that Team USA did, now here is your chance to do just that. 2020 Ryder Cup venue Whistling Straits in Haven/Kohler Wisconsin is also now an option on the SGC simulators.

It’s only early October, so come out and play outdoor golf until the snow lands at the Schaumburg Golf Club, and enjoy some food and beverage at Chandlers Chop House the clubs 28th hole. Remember SGC is a 27 hole facility. Continue to follow updates on the Schaumburg Golf Club renovation here at Golfersongolf.com and next summer on Golfers on Golf Radio Am 750 WNDZ.

For more information call (847)-885-9000 or visit SchaumburgGolf.com

CATCHING UP WITH ARCHITECT DAVID MCLAY-KIDD

WELCOME TO SAND VALLEY GOLF RESORT, in Nekoosa Wisconsin, Mammoth Dunes by David McLay Kidd now with all 18 holes open. Visit Sandvalleyresort.com.       _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation, Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or on Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. On the patio at Sand Valley Golf Resort.

THERE ARE now legions of golfers who know who David McLay Kidd is, and they all have Mike Keiser to thank for that.

It was just over 20 years ago when Keiser went to Scotland and got introduced to the son of golf course superintendent Jimmy Kidd the long time caretaker of Gleneagles. David Kidd had learned golf from his dad, he had worked the courses at Gleneagles growing up learning tee’s, greens, fairways, bunker styles and design.

As Kidd learned golf and golf courses, he decided that he could help build golf courses or restore them, which sounded like a better idea than just maintaining them on a daily basis.

Architect David McLay Kidd is proud of his Scottish heritage and proudly still wears a kilt.

In the Mid-1990’s when Keiser starts asking Kidd questions about designing a golf course that would be built on some sandy soil located next to an ocean, and at that time the land is covered by Gorse. Yes Gorse, that prickly shrub that most Americans only see on the television when the are watching the British Open.

By the time Keiser is finished with Kidd, he knows he has found his designer to help build a golf course on some land he has bought in Oregon, alongside of the Pacific Ocean. Kidd then travels to America, is excited about what he finds, and that the work to clear the Gorse and create Bandon Dunes is underway. Kidd’s stellar design that Keiser hopes will attract enough golfers to play 10,000 rounds in it’s first year so he can break-even from a financial standpoint, attracts so much play, that after two months Keiser knows his oceanside walking-only venue will likely produce close to 25,000 rounds in season number one. Immediately plans begin to build a second golf course, and Keiser hails Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to create 18 more holes that become Bandon Trails.

Golfers come from everywhere to play Bandon Dunes that sits on top of the Pacific Ocean shoreline.

With Kidd not landing anymore work at Bandon Dunes, he takes advantage of new his newly found popularity in America and sets up his own shop in Bend Oregon.

As Kidd moves on, so does Keiser. As time moves forward the two parties don’t seem to be on course to work together anytime soon. Then Kidd lands a project in Washington State, that becomes Gamble Sands, which is still emerging as a destination property.

As Keiser starts to zero in buying the property now known as Sand Valley, he calls Kidd to come see the land. Kidd hears central Wisconsin, and wonders if Keiser is crazy, but convinces Keiser to visit Gamble Sands to see his latest work. As Keiser walked off the 18th green, he calls Kidd, and tells him he loves Gamble Sands, and that Kidd has rediscovered the vision that made him so successful at Bandon Dunes.

The 6th hole at Gamble Sands in Washington State.

As a result Kidd is told he has a chance to design the first course on the land Keiser says he will buy in Wisconsin, and that he is likely to call Sand Valley.

Kidd heads to Wisconsin and checks out the sandy acreage, he creates a plan for the first 18 holes and submits it to Keiser.

Then on Christmas eve Kidd gets a call from Keiser, who is quick to wish Kidd a Merry Christmas before telling him that he has hired Coore and Crenshaw to build the first course at Sand Valley.

The Par 4, 6th hole on Mammoth Dunes, with a horseshoe styled green that is nothing short of “fun” to putt.

Kidd admits to being disappointed, but when opportunity knocks to built the second course at Sand Valley, and that he can use any of the remaining land that Coore and Crenshaw have not touched, he gets to work. His routing across much of the highest elevation on the property earns him the right to design Sand Valleys second golf course.

After coming up with the routing, that has the current third hole on Mammoth Dunes being his 18th hole, Keiser changes gears and announces the current location of the main clubhouse and villa’s and wants Mammoth Dunes to start and end at the new clubhouse location. Now the trick for Kidd is to make that all work, which he does and as a result, Mammoth Dunes is now drawing golfers from around the globe, and praise from the guests, media and national course raters of multiple golf publications.

Click here to hear the feature interview with architect David McLay Kidd, creator of Bandon Dunes, Mammoth Dunes, Gamble Sands, and likely to start work on Gamble Sands II in 2019.

During the interview, Kidd announces he has recently been selected by the owners of Gamble Sands to design the second course. While Tom Doak was recently named to create the third course at Sand Valley, the question is, might he get yet another chance to work for Mike Keiser at Sand Valley, or maybe somewhere else. There are those hush-hush Keiser projects that are still in hiding, likely behind the some sandy dunes, in the woods or along the coastline of a big body of water. Maybe that next announcement is not far off, hopefully it’s just not 20 years apart like it was from Bandon Dunes to Mammoth Dunes.

Golfers everywhere are eagerly waiting to hear about the next David McLay-Kidd and Mike Keiser project, it can’t come soon enough.

ERIN HILLS WRAPPING UP 2018 IN GREAT SHAPE

 NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITIES MEN’S GOLF TEAM your winners in this weeks Marquette University invitational at Erin Hills. TRISH JOHNSON is getting ready to defend her title in the SR. LPGA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP at the French Lick Resort in 10 days. Tickets only $5 per day. October 15-17. Frenchlick.com for more information ______________________________________________________________________

It’s not too late, get your favorite foursome to Erin Hills, the course closes after play on Sunday October 14th for the season. The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation, follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram.

ERIN HILLS home of the 2017 U.S. Open, is still open for 2018, but you need to hurry if you would like to get in a round on this public U.S. Open venue, that has turned into a great Midwest golf destination.

There is a fall special for the upcoming final week of the Erin Hills golf season, visit Erinhills.com to find out how much you can save with two rounds of golf and a 1 night stay in a cottage or room  in the lodge over the Erin Hills pub.

Since the pro’s and top amateurs left town Erin Hills has continued to make improvements and make the guest experience all that much better.

The U.S. Open collection on display in the main lobby, complete with Brooks Koepka’s 8-Iron.

There has been some improvements on the golf course. They include the redoing of the Par 3, 9th hole tee box, that is no longer just individual pads, but a fully connected larger teeing area that allow the hole to be played from angles never before attempted.

Erin Hills is not done adding that concept to a few other holes on the golf course, this fall that idea will be added to two other holes (hear our interview with Erin Hills professional Rich Tock for more details below).

U.S. Open venues with a plaque on one hole, give a sense of great golf history. That being said, Erin Hills has put down the Justin Thomas plaque, that is from the spot Thomas hit his over 300 yard 3-wood during Saturday’s third round when he shot his record open score of 63. (See plaque in picture above).

How about a comfortable bed in a Erin Hills cottage, that over looks the golf course.

Some of the other new highlights include, the Kettle Course for those who need a few holes of warm up when they arrive late in the day, before hitting a full 18 the next day.

Evening fun in the caddie barn, where the Ping-Pong tables, Pools tables, darts and other action all takes place.

Who needs a great beverage for after a round of golf on Erin Hills. The clubs new beverage is the Fescue Rescue, that is 1/3 Jamison’s, 1/3 Ginger Beer, 1/3 Lemonade, and some lemon juice. It’s goes down smooth on the rocks or not. If your at Erin Hills, no visit is complete without having at least one Fescue Rescue.

Click here to hear our interview with Erin Hills Professional Rich Tock, who recaps some U.S. Open, and what might be next with the USGA at Erin Hills.

10 days left in the golf season for 2018 at Erin Hills, with the some days coming next week. With only 16,000 rounds played at Erin Hills this summer, the course is in outstanding condition. Visit Erinhills.com for information on final week specials.