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

THE GOOD YEAR BLIMP flies over Florida today and televised golf match for charity. Golfers on Golf Radio at WCPT Am 820-L-R Rory Spears, Ed Stevenson and Bill Berger. 10 Am on Saturday mornings, listen live or Wcpt820.com or watch on Facebook ______________________________________________________________________

Illinois PGA Professional Chad Johansen “The Man With the Golden Jacket” invites junior golfers to play the Kids Course at Blackberry Oaks in Bristol IL.

Blackberry Oaks in Bristol IL., General Manager and head golf professional Chad Johansen, who is also the inventor of the Perfect Putting Aid, that has been used by 150 PGA Tour professionals, has created a 9-hole junior golf course on the driving range at Blackberry Oaks.

The longest hole is just 86 yards, with the shortest hole being over 20 yards.

If your junior golfers need something to do during the virus shutdown, get them out to play the kids course at Blackberry Oaks.

Follow the reopening progress at Blackberry Oaks from both the virus State of Illinois guidelines, and flood issues from our wet spring. By visiting online Blackberryoaks.com or calling (630)-553-7170.

THE RADIX CUP

Late on Friday afternoon both the Illinois PGA and the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) announced that the 59th annual Radix Cup has been canceled for 2020, due to the Covid-19 virus.

The Radix Cup that pits the top Illinois PGA professionals, vs the top amateur players in the Chicago District Golf Association has seen both sides come up with victories in recent years, on the Donald Ross designed Oak Park Country Club golf course. Efforts were made to find an alternative date, but in the end that was not possible. More information at CDGA.org and IPGA.com.

The Million Dollar Hole on Slick Rock Golf Course at the HorseShoe Bay Resort near Austin Texas.

May 29th is the date, when the famed Horseshoe Bay Resort near Austin Texas, will reopen.

Horseshoe Bay is home to four golf courses, and three of them have recently undergone renovations. So have some of the pro shop grill areas.

Horseshoe Bay is not only one of the finest resorts in Texas, but one of the best resorts in the Southwest.

The most recent course Summit Rock was designed by Jack Nicklaus. For more details see Hsbresort.com.

RAINSUITS FOR RESPONDERS program that was launched by KemperSports Management, the Illinois PGA and FootJoy, has now entered into a partnership with the Illinois VFW. For more information on this program, watch the Champions for Charity Match this afternoon, or visit RainSuitsforResponders.com.

THE BGT (Breakthrough) Golf Putting Lab has reopened in Richardson Texas. The BGT putting lab is not just a putting lesson, but a full evaluation of your putter. Your putter gets a full analysis and gets fined tune right on site.

BGT Putt Lab does recommend that all clients use their best judgement during these times. BGT will provide face masks, hand sanitizer, and each club will be thoroughly cleaned an disinfected after the fitting. Details at Breakthroughgolftech.com.

LINKS CAPITAL ADVISORS and Chris Charnas are involved with the auction and sale of two golf properties the week of June 8th. Heddles Hideaway Golf Course is designed by George Cobb, who designed the Augusta National Golf Club’s par-3 course.

BANEBERRY GOLF RESORT in Eastern Tennessee is up for auction the week of June 8th, the price includes the motel, villa’s and over 100 lots. More details by visiting Linkscapitaladvisors.com or call Chris Charnas at (312)-543-7192.

Club Champion’s store in Willowbrook Illinois.

CLUB CHAMPION based in Willowbrook Illinois, has announced a FREE fitting with an equipment purchase of over $500.00 for a limited time.

Club Champion has already reopened 42 of their 74 stores with 12 more stores reopening by Memorial Day and the week ahead.

This promotion runs for 6 weeks after a store reopens from a Covid-19 shutdown. “We want to make it easier to play your best golf,” said Nick Sherburne, founder of Club Champion. “We know our customers are itching to get out there and play. This promotion is a great way to tee off your best season yet with better equipment.”

The Gog Blog returns tomorrow. RS

GOLFERS ON GOLF & CDGA EX. DIRECTOR ROBERT MARKIONNI

RORY SPEARS-Golfers on Golf, follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

The Allied Golf Association that is comprised of the Illinois PGA, the Chicago District Golf Association, the Club Managers Association, and the Midwest Golf Course Superintendents Association, has been hard at work trying to drive home what works and what doesn’t during our Covid-19 times, to the State of Illinois governors office.

In this past week they made some progress.

Starting on Friday May 29th some of the very restrictive rules on golf will be lifted, and golf in Illinois will return a little bit more towards normalcy.

The return of foursomes really helps, and getting carts out isn’t bad either. While the terms on driving ranges and lessons are still a little cloudy, it does appear they will open, and maybe club fittings will be an option as well.

Robert Markionni Executive Director of the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA).

Robert Markionni the Executive Director of the Chicago District, is among those in the front lines leading golf back to NORMAL in Illinois.

For that golfers, golf media, club operators, owners, and the over 50,000 people employed in the golf industry in Illinois, thank him.

It’s been a tough fight for golf in Illinois, as Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) has left golf behind the curve in getting the industry back on it’s feet.

Let’s hope it won’t take until July to get even more of the golf restrictions lifted.

On Friday, Markionni spoke with Golfers on Golf, and spoke about the restrictions getting lifted this coming Friday and how tough it was to cancel both the CDGA Amateur and the Illinois State Amateur, both event who last saw interruption back in World War II.

CLICK HERE to hear the interview with CDGA Executive Director Robert Markionni.

The Gog Blog returns tomorrow, don’t forget live TV with the Skins game in Florida raising money for Covid-19 relief tomorrow afternoon. RS

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO WEEK 5 AM 820 WCPT

  GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO at 10 AM every Saturday Morning on AM 820 WCPT, with your hosts (R) Ed Stevenson-Rory Spears and Bill Berger. Your can listen live on line at Wcpt820.com or on the Tune-In Radio APP then Search WCPT820. If your out on the golf course and miss the show, visit Visit Soundcloud.com/ChicagosProgressiveTalk. If you would like to watch the show, you can see it on Facebook Live on the WCPT page.  ______________________________________________________________________

Golfers on Golf Radio contributor Len Ziehm joins us live from PGA Village in Port St. Lucie Florida.

Welcome to Week 5 of golfers on Golf Radio on Am 820 WCPT.

Our tee time is 10 am.

Joining us first on the tee for the front nine, is Dr. Bern Bernacki, who is the President of the Golf Heritage Society. We discuss collections, memorabilia, and golfing with the hickory shafts.

Joining us for the back nine this week is our contributor from the Daily Herald, Len Ziehm from Florida.

Len will discuss golf in Florida as compared to Illinois, and the golf travel resort scene.

In and out of the breaks, will be excerpts of our interview with Chicago District Golf Association’s Executive Director Robert Markionni. The full interview will be posted here on Saturday afternoon.

Join us at 10 Am on Am 820 WCPT for Week 5 of Golfers on Golf Radio now celebrating it’s 30th season, and is Chicago’s longest running golf radio show.

ZIEHM & SPEARS PODCAST SERIES 2020-VOLUME 10

ILLINOIS GOLF HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019 INDUCTEE LEN ZIEHM (L) and GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO TALK SHOW HOST RORY SPEARS (R) at Wcpt Am 820 ______________________________________________________________________

CLICK HERE to hear Ziehm and Spears Podcast series 2020-Volume 10.

This podcast was recorded two hours prior to Governor J.B. Pritzker allowing for a reduction of restrictions on golf, that will take effect on May 29th.

Covered in this podcast are the challenges that Illinois golf courses are facing, not only from Covid-19 restrictions, but flooding from last weeks heavy rains.

Thoughts on the United States Golf Association (USGA) making changes to the championships they are still conducting, which isn’t many, by eliminating qualifiers for the remaining championships. Which left golfers and media members referring to the U.S. Open’s as the U.S. Closed or the U.S. Invitational.

Some thoughts on equipment makers, and what they could do to move more product in a year that has kept people off the golf course, or in a worse financial position than they were in a few months back.

Ziehm and Spears-spraying to all fairways in Volume 10, check us out. Len Ziehm joins Golfers on Golf Radio Am 820 WCPT, this Saturday morning at 10:30.

SOME RESTRICTIONS LIFTED AS OF MAY 29TH

2019 ILLINOIS GOLF HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE-Len Ziehm (L) and Rory Spears host of Golfers on Golf Radio Am 820 WCPT Saturday mornings at 10 AM. #Golftalk      ______________________________________________________________________

Governor of Illinois JB Pritzker has lifted some restrictions on golf starting May 29th.

Foursomes are now a go. Carts are good, with 1 person per-cart, unless you live in the same household. Ranges will open and lessons can happen, with restrictions.

Fore-caddies will be allowed. More details unfolding.

USGA ANNOUNCES CHAMPIONSHIP CHANGES & CANCELLATIONS

   RORY SPEARS (L) Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf, and Len Ziehm (R) contributor to Golfers on Golf Radio on Am 820 WCPT-Saturday’s at 10 AM.   _____________________________________________________________________

      THE US OPEN at Winged Foot-September 14-20, The U.S. Women’s Open at the Champions Golf Club in Houston Texas December 10-13. Details at USGA.org.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has made several changes to it’s 2020 championship schedule, due to fall out from the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The 120th U.S. Women’s Amateur scheduled for August 3-9 at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville Maryland, and the 120th U.S. Amateur, scheduled for August 10-16 at Bandon (Ore.) Dunes Golf Resort, will be conducted as scheduled, providing CDC guidelines make it possible to do so.

However the USGA has announced the remainder of the USGA amateur championship  schedule has been cancelled for 2020. Those championships include the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur that was scheduled from Aug. 29-Sept. 3 at Berkeley Hall Golf Club in Bluffton S.C., the U.S. Senior Amateur (Aug 29-Sept. 3 at the Country Club of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Farms Mich.); the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot Va., and Independence Golf Club in Midlothian, Va.); and U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur (Sept.12-17 at the Lakewood in Point Clear, Ala.).

“Throughout this process, our primary focus has been the safety and well-being of everyone involved, including the players, volunteers, host club representatives and staff,” said John Bodenhammer, senior managing director of championships for the USGA. “We have not taken these decisions lightly and wish we had more options. But with a continued, keen interest in doing what is best for all involved, although we are extremely disappointed, this is the right decision.”

Six other championships were previously canceled, including the men’s and women’s Amateur Four-Ball, the boys and girls Junior Amateur’s and the men’s and women’s Senior Open’s.

The Men’s and Women’s U.S. Open’s and the two U.S. Amateur Championships will be held without qualifiers, and the entire fields will be filled through exemptions. For the health and safety of various golf associations across the country that conduct qualifiers, the USGA decided holding them was not seen as a viable option.

“As you can imagine, this was an incredibly difficult decision,as qualifying is the cornerstone of USGA championships,” said Bodenhamer. “We take great pride in the fact that many thousands typically enter to pursue their dream of qualifying for a USGA Championship and we deeply regret that they will not have that opportunity this year. But this structure provides the best path forward for us to conduct these championships in 2020.

Entrance applications for some 2021 USGA Championships have been delayed until the week of July 6th. More details at USGA.org.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-FLOOD PAIN

  THE WEST BADEN HOTEL at the French Lick Resort, in French Lick Indiana, is starting a phased-in reopening of rooms. See Frenchlick.com for more information. ERIN HILLS is now open for the season. See Erinhills.com for current golf information.   ____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and LinkedIn or Facebook. In the WCPT AM 820 Studios, home of Golfers on Golf Radio in it’s 30th season.

RAIN-RAIN please go away. It’s bad enough that golf courses have had to deal with the restrictions because of the Covid-19 Virus, but add on these flooding rain storms, and the outlook gets even worse.

Most courses today on Monday May 18th, are closed, or putting out golfers onto very soggy fairways. Regardless of how good the drainage is, at any course.

Blackberry Oaks in Bristol Illinois, and course general manager and head golf professional Chad Johansen have been among the hardest hit by flood waters. It’s sad. Ask any Illinois PGA member who one of the hardest working section members is, and they will tell you Johansen, who is a tireless promoter of the game, and grows the game with kids as good as anybody in the State of Illinois. All Johansen could say on social media today is, he didn’t know when Blackberry Oaks could reopen. Hopefully it will be sooner, than later.

There were more courses in addition to Blackberry Oaks that were closed today, some will still be closed tomorrow. Hopefully things dry-out by the weekend, and those reported 80 degree temperatures for this weekend. actually happen. Golf in Illinois needs a good dry weekend, with a minor heatwave attached.

CLICK HERE to hear thoughts from Len Ziehm about the cancellation of the Illinois State Amateur and the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) Amateur.

I have to admit that I was surprised about the cancelling of the two championships at this point on the calendar. I would have enjoyed a 1-Day shootout at several clubs, to see who qualifies for the field in early July. Kind of like the first two-days of the NCAA basketball tournament #Marchmadness. CDGA-please reconsider.

LEN ZIEHM a 2019 inductee into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, joins us live this Saturday on Golfers on Golf Radio Am 820 WCPT at 10:30 AM.

Len Ziehm the Daily Herald golf columnist, will join us live this Saturday on Golfers on Golf Radio on AM 820 WCPT, about 10:30.

Ziehm posted today on his website Lenziehmongolf.com a feature about the return of live to television yesterday. Check it out.

The TaylorMade Golf Driving Relief event saw Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson win a 19th hole, closest to the pin contest over Matt Wolff and Rickie Fowler, to win the over-all money total that was donated to Covid-19 Relief charities. It was nice to see the historic Seminole Golf Club on television for the first time. But after watching one event in this style, I’m not so sure I want to watch another one next weekend regardless of who is competing.

CLICK HERE to hear the Golfers on Golf Radio interview with golf architect Bobby Weed, designer of Michael Jordan’s new Grove XXIII golf club in Hobe Sound Florida.

Golf architect Bobby Weed-photo not taken at Grove XXIII.

This past Saturday, architect Bobby Weed the designer of the new Grove XXIII golf club, Michael Jordan’s golf club.

After doing some work at the neighboring Medalist Club, Weeds efforts caught Jordan’s eye. That along with a few other recommendations of Weed from golfers Jordan knew, landed Weed the job of walking through dirt-piles with Jordan during the construction phase of Grove XXIII.

Weed moved downstate and lived on the property as Grove XXIII took shape.

All of us at Golfers on Golf enjoyed having Weed make his Chicago media debut on the creation of Michael’s golf course with us. According to Weed Grove XXIII doesn’t look a traditional Florida style golf course. To see some great pictures of the course, check out today’s online posting of Links Magazine.

THE USGA has made some announcements today in regards to not having U.S. Open qualifying this year, what championships will be held and under what guidelines. For more details visit USGA.org.

I will be monitoring course conditions this week, and hope to gain some insight on what the Governor and the State of Illinois are considering on golf restrictions, once we get past the Memorial Day weekend.

THE GOG BLOG returns all week. RS

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

THE SEMINOLE GOLF CLUB one of the best Donald Ross designs he ever created, is on TV for the first time today, as home to the TaylorMade Driving Relief charity event.      _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy LinkedIn or Facebook and Instagram. On day in South Carolina at Palmetto Dunes Resort, that’s much like today in Illinois.

DRIVING RELIEF by Taylormade Golf, live today at 1 PM, local time, with Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, vs Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff, raising money for Covid-19 relief.

While NASCAR is running today as well, it’s really golf that is leading the USA back into the world live sports.

MORE GOOD NEWS is that some of the golf destination properties are getting their courses open. Or now getting their rooms open along with the golf courses.

Sure there are still restrictions, but even in some states, they are now starting to go away. Hopefully for good.

GAMBLE SANDS IN Washington State, designed by David Kidd, says Fore-or better yet Four on the tee !

GAMBLE SANDS in Washington State is now welcoming Foursomes to the first tee starting today.

You can book your foursome and a  Stay & Play at Gamblesands.com or by calling (509)-436-8323.

The course did not have any play in the month of April, so it’s in pristine condition says Gamble Sands. There are no rakes in the bunkers, and do please leave the flagsticks in the holes while putting out.

There is a hand sanitizer station in-route to the first tee box. The Danny Boy Bar & Grill is now open for Breakfast-Lunch and Dinner, seven days a week from 6:30 am to 9 pm, and their is a full bar available. Gamblesands.com a David Kidd design.

HorseShoe Bay in Austin Texas, the waterfall on Slick Rock.

HorseShoe Bay Resort near Austin Texas, is ready to welcome back golfers and resort guests starting May 29th.

Three of the four resorts golf courses have been recently renovated.

The resort also has one of the most amazing miniature golf courses you will ever play.

For more details on all the courses including the resorts newest course by Jack Nicklaus, visit HSBResort.com Welcome to Texas, the Lone Star State.

THE PGA of AMERICA will introduce a variety of new digital platforms instead of holding the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience that had been scheduled for August 18-19 at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. “We certainly wish we could stage this years PGA Fashion and Demo Experience, the health and well-being of everyone involved is our highest priority,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley.

Blackberry Oaks GM-professional Chad Johansen.

BLACKBERRY OAKS General Manager Chad Johansen who has been active during the Covid-19 pandemic, has created a new junior golf course on the Blackberry Oaks driving range.

The nine hole course has holes ranging from 22 yards, up to almost 100 yards. At the golf course where kids rule, the only issue right now is how to get some standing water off the golf course, after the recent rains.

Golfers can check in with the Blackberry Oaks pro shop at (630)-553-7170 to learn when the temporary junior golf course will reopen.

IN MUNDELEIN at the Pine Meadow Golf Club, Professional Dennis Johnsen has made the Pine Meadow range a 5-hole par 3 golf course, while driving ranges are closed due to the orders of the State of Illinois. Details at Pinemeadowgc.com or call (847)-566-GOLF.

Joe Charles the new Director of Instruction at the Boyne Golf Academy.

BOYNE RESORTS has named Joe Charles as the Director of Instruction for the Boyne Golf Academy, located at the Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain properties.

Charles is a 15-year member of the PGA of America, and a TPI Certified Golf professional who specializes in golf video analysis, biomechanical motion analysis, and launch monitors, a TPI level 2 Junior Golf Certified Instructor, and U.S. Kids Golf Certified Instructor.

“I am excited to be joining the team at Boyne Golf Academy and look forward to bringing my approach to help students achieve their goals and enjoy golf even more as a result,” said Charles. “I believe that every student is different and always strive to take an individual approach incorporating the right mix of comprehensive and fun concepts.”

For more information visit Boynegolf.com

WOODSTOCK COUNTRY CLUB in Woodstock IL., this 9-hole Tom Bendelow classic design is now for sale with an asking price of just under $900,000 for more information see Linkscapitaladvisors.com or contact Chris Charnas at (312)-543-7192.

RYDER CUP CAPTAIN STEVE STRICKER has named Davis Love III and Zach Johnson as Vice-Captains for the 2020 Team USA Ryder Cup team. As of now the Ryder Cup will be played this September at Whistling Straits in Haven/Kohler Wisconsin. 2003 U.S. Open Champion at Olympia Fields Jim Furyk was named a few months ago by Stricker as a Vice-Captain.

THE FIRST TEE of Greater Chicago has announced that former Illinois Amateur and Illinois Open Champion Patrick Flavin, and Chicago Blackhawk Alex Debrincat have been named ambassadors for the organization. Joining PGA Tour pro Luke Donald and Chicago Cubs infielder Ian Happ. More information at firsteeofgreaterchicago.org.

THE GOG BLOG returns tomorrow on Monday. RS

GOLF STARTS THE RETURN OF LIVE TV SPORTS EVENTS

LEN ZIEHM at PGA Village in Port St. Luice Florida (L), and member of the 2019 Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, adds his thoughts to Golfersongolf.com on a return of live golf to TV.  _____________________________________________________________________

BY LEN ZIEHM-A  special to Golfers on Golf…..

IT WON’T BE LONG NOW. Live television sports competition is about to return, and golf is leading the way. While tentative tournament schedules were drawn up months ago, now there’s something concrete and-as a purely personal perk-the first two events will be conducted almost in my backyard.

A four player charity skins game put on by equipment manufacturer TaylorMade will kick things off on Sunday. It’ll have three of the games top stars-Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler-participating along with a promising up-and-comer, Matt Wolff.

Welcome to Seminole, one of the all time great Donald Ross Classic designs making it’s television debut.

They’ll play at the Seminole Golf Club a famous course in Juno Beach that has never been on television. McIlroy and Johnson will take on Fowler and Wolff, both Oklahoma State alums, in a four hour telecast that will be played without spectators. It’ll raise at least $4 million for Covid-19 relief efforts.

Not only that, but the event-called the TaylorMade Driving Relief-will provide the first look at what tournament golf will be like in the “new normal.” The players won’t have caddies. They’ll be carrying their own bags, practicing social distancing and adhering to a variety of new policies designed to make golf safe in these trying times.

“We have a big responsibility on ourselves to make sure that we practice all the guidelines that the PGA Tour is going to set in place,” said Johnson. “Obviously everyone is going to be watching what we’re doing, so it’s very important to do this correctly.”

  RORY MCILROY (L) and DUSTIN JOHNSON (R) team up in the TaylorMade Driving Relief event tomorrow at Seminole Golf Club.

“It’s really cool to bring some live sports back,” said Fowler. “Everyone is taking the right measures to make sure it’s being done the correct way.”

NEXT WEEK the first major tour event since the pandemic concerns kicked in will tee off. The Korean LPGA Championship will have three members of the world’s top 10-all Korean players-among those competing for a $1.8 million dollar purse. There won’t be any American players or TV coverage for that one, but on May 24 another televised event will put the spotlight back on South Florida.

“The Match: Champions for Charity,” another four-player televised event featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, will be played at the Medalist Club in Hobe Sound, which is just 18 miles from Seminole. “This will be more of a fun thing, with legendary quarterbacks rounding out the foursome. Woods will team with Peyton Manning and Mickelson with Tom Brady.

There’s some interesting, off course sidelight to this one, which also won’t have spectators. Mickelson is in the process of establishing a residence in South Florida and is joining Michael Jordan’s new club, Grove XXIII, which is also in Kobe Sound. Brady who signed with a new team-the Tampa Bay Buccaneers- in footballs off-season, recently became a member at Seminole.-LZ.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO WEEK #4-WCPT AM 820

WCPT-AM 820 home for the 30th season of Golfers on Golf Radio. Tee time is every Saturday Morning at 10 AM. Listen live on the radio or wcpt820.com, watch us on Facebook Live, or check out Tune in Radio APP and search for WCPT820. If you’re on the golf course and miss the show, hear it at Soundcloud.com/Chicagosprogressivetalk. ______________________________________________________________________

Golfers on Golf Radio is (picture above L-R) Ed Stevenson, Rory Spears and Bill Berger.

Week #4 Tomorrow May 16th on WCPT-AM 820 Chicago. Dirk Willis Director of Golf for Kohler Company and Whistling Straits, home of the 2020 Ryder Cup joins us about 10:10. Then it’s Bobby Weed, golf architect and designer of Michael Jordan’s new Grove XXIII club in Florida, is live with us about 10:30.

We will hear from our contributing Hall of Fame Golf writer Len Ziehm with some thoughts on the canceling of the CGDA Amateur and the Illinois State Amateur in July.

We are on the tee, at 10 AM join us. Ed, Bill and Rory.