AIR FORCE ONE LAUNCHES NEW CLUB LINE

DSC05886 the halfway house DSDSC05870 HHG DSDSC05877 Susan Phillips HHG DS  The HALFWAY HOUSE located at 555 S. York Rd. In Elmhurst is your home for high tech simulator golf. Are you already looking to play that first round of the year. Forget about outdoor temps, and come enjoy the Halfway House. Work on your swing, play a round or a match with friends, there are over 90 top courses to pick from. The Halfway House is next to HB Jones, and you can enjoy the full HB Jones menu while at the Halfway House. See Halfwayhousegolf.com or call (331)-642-8050. Owner Susan Phillips (R) has already found golf celebs “in the house”. If your still looking for a cold one, don’t be afraid to enjoy “Thirsty Thursdays”, Half Price Beer ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT, and you don’t have to chase the beer cart. Open tonight until 9 PM, til 10 PM on Thirsty Thursdays, and 11 PM on Friday & Saturday nights. Reserve your tee time now. ______________________________________________________________________

DSC05878 Rory at halfway house DS

The Gog Blog Chicago’s #1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Hanging at the Halfway House with the golfers from the shack.

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The new Air Force One DFX Driver

Air Force One, that was previously under the Powerbilt brand, has now become a wholly owned entity and is doing business as Air Force One, and is based in Palm Desert California.

Air Force One is working with Hillerich and Bradsby to distribute nitrogen charged technology golf equipment in International Markets. The Powerbilt name will not go forward in the United States.

“Our goal is to get the word out and to improve our distribution so we can reach our customers interested in trying our patented technology. We have proven technology that all levels of golfers have shown interest in and we just need to improve on reaching them,” said Air Force One President, Ross Kvinge.

AFO is a premium golf equipment brand that uses compressed nitrogen in their product line, and holds several patients in Nitrogen products. Compressed Nitrogen provides tremendous support the club face so that every golfers benefits from a maximum COR and maximum trampoline effect.

Under the new company, AFO will continue to introduce drivers, fairway woods, and premium irons. Part of the re-launch includes the DFX MOI and DFX Tour Driver. New fairway woods the AIR FOIL will be added with irons AFX Game Improvement and AFX Pro Series. AFO plans to introduce a deluxe cart and stand bag along with a new cabretta glove in the Air Force One name.

TPGE-SponsoredBy-2016_c_300pxDSC05824 MCQ's Dome range DSDSC03646 Links and tees dome DS The Tinley Park Golf Expo Feb. 12-14 at the Tinley Park Convention Center sponsored by Beggars Pizza, see Tinleyparkgolfexpo.com and find out about $5 dollar Friday. McQ’s Dome, complete with golf, Horse racing OTB and a sports bar complete with a food & drink menu that you will enjoy. Mcqsdome.com located on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook. Links and Tee’s on Lake Street in Addison is a year-round golf facility, take it outside in the summer, on the course, the range or the mini-golf, now in winter the award winning golf dome awaits you. See addisonparks.org or call (630)-233-7275 Open House Feb. 6,with Steve Kashul host of the Golf Scene on Comcast Sportsnet.                                   ______________________________________________________________________

Air Force One new lines will launch in February of 2016. The new website, AFOGolf.com. There are new facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts as well. Air Force One coming soon.

WORLD GOLF FOUNDATION-NAMES FINCHEM CHAIRMAN

DSC03603 it is dome season DSDSC03957 MCQ's dome hitting area DS  McQ’s Dome on Rt.53 is your place for golf & more. Play the horses in the OTB, enjoy great food and beverage in the sports bar, an official Blackhawks Bar see the champs take on Nashville tonight. But when it comes to golf, it’s your home for demo days, lessons and winter work on your golf game. McQsDome.com or (630)-739-7600.             ______________________________________________________________________

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The Gog Blog Chicago’s #1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. On the 4th at Bandon Dunes.

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Pgatour.com

The World Golf Foundation has named PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem as the Chairman of the World Golf Foundation for 2016, by the Board of Directors. He succeeds Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA of America.

Finchem has been the Commissioner of the PGA Tour since June 1, 1994. Finchem is respected as someone who has build the PGA Tour and it’s reputation as a top sports organization around the world.

While serving as commissioner Finchem has raised more than $1 billion of the $2 billion-plus that has been raised in the tours history for different charity organizations. Finchem has been been involved with the success of the First Tee, that has led to the founding of almost 200 chapters. These chapters have now reached over 6.5 million young people in the last decade.

“As a caretaker and ambassador of the game, I look forward to leading the World Golf Foundation’s Board as we take the game to new heights in 2016,” said Finchem. “With the Olympics on the horizon, it is an exciting time for the industry as we introduce golf to new audiences around the world.”

“Tim has elevated golf’s profile globally and 2016 will be even more compelling with golf’s return to the Olympics,” said Steve Mona, CEO of WGF. “We are in store for an historic year and Tim’s leadership of the WGF brings further promise.”

Serving along with Finchem and Bevacqua, other WGF board members include: Mike Davis, Executive Director of the USGA, Will Jones, Executive Director of The Masters Tournament Foundation, Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the PGA European Tour, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R & A, and Mike Whan, Commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Chris Normyle, Manager, Sponsorships and Events of the Shell Oil Company, also serves on the WGF board as a representative of the WGF’s Founding Partner.

For more information on the World Golf Foundation please see Worldgolffoundation.org.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-FOX AND GREG NORMAN SPLIT

DSC03646 Links and tees dome DSDSC03493 Ready to rock DS   LINKS & TEE’S the Year-Round golf facility on Lake Street in Addison has their award winning golf dome open for our now very cold winter golf season. Stop in at Links & Tee’s for ladies night, lessons and or group lessons and don’t forget the annual favorite the Open House on Saturday Feb. 6th hosted by Steve Kashul. For more information go visit Addisonparks.org, or call (630)-233-7275. The Links & Tee’s golf dome is heated.    _____________________________________________________________________

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The Gog Blog Chicago’s #1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. At the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

It’s almost that time again to head off to the annual PGA of America Merchandise Show in Orlando.

With the temperatures here in Chicago having fallen into single digits, or only raising back into the teens, it is time to go. The Merchandise Show starts next week in Orlando.

The show is a great way to get back into the “swing of things” for 2016. For golfers here in the Chicago area who are not going (show is not open to the public) but are ready for the golf shows here, good news they are less than a month away. The Gog Blog will have reports everyday from the show. Stay clicked in.

The Tinley Park Golf Expo is first up on the tee and this is presented by Beggars Pizza, there dates are from Feb. 12-14, with $5 dollar Friday back again this year.

The Chicago Golf Show that takes place in Rosemont will be held at the end of the February, in the Donald Stephen’s Convention Center.

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The Shark, He Gone !

Last night the news started to get out that after only one year that the “Shark” Greg Norman is out at Fox Sports. No one is quite sure why at this point and Norman has not commented yet.

Some reports have Paul Azinger replacing him, but Azinger has commented that he “works for Espn” and Fox has not offered him a contract to join them.

Norman was the lead analyst for Fox working alongside Joe Buck. Buck’s work received a lot more complaints from viewers than did Norman’s.

The USGA has turned over all media requests on the issue to Fox Sports for comment.

It is good to see Kohler Company Golf GM Jim Richerson running for National Secretary of the PGA of America, I think Jim would be an excellent choice for the office, and hopefully if he is elected, he will stay on the board and move up the chain until he would become president.

Richerson has quite a golf history that has taken him all over the country and from the east coast all the way to Hawaii. His work at Kohler during their major golf events has been nothing short of outstanding.

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McWethy’s Tavern at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, open year round. The Gog Blog food rating **** Four Stars out of four.

I’m still waiting for word from the domes and club companies on some dates for demo days.

I think most of them will be happening when the equipment reps come back from the show in Florida.

But stay clicked in, I’ll post them when I have them.

The Hawaiian Sony Open wrapped up yesterday and it was good to see Steve Stricker and Luke Donald in the hunt again. Neither won the championship, but both made the cut and a nice check. It was surprising to hear the story that Donald almost gave up golf last year, after struggling on the course and seeing his world ranking so far down the list (just shy of 300).

I’ll have more news this week, before heading off to the show. Hit the domes and keep warm. RS.

KOHLER’S JIM RICHERSON TO RUN FOR SECRETARY OF PGA

TPGE-SponsoredBy-2016_c_300pxDSC03646 Links and tees dome DSDSC03603 it is dome season DS  THE TINLEY PARK GOLF EXPO tee’s off from February 12-14 at the Tinley Park Convention Center near Rt. 80 and Harlem Avenue, see TinleyParkGolfExpo.com for more details. $5 Friday admission. LINKS & TEE’S one of the Chicago’s Year-Round golf facilities has their award winning golf dome open for the winter season. Demo days and the annual open house with Steve Kashul of the Golf Scene TV Show coming Feb 6th, for more details visit Addisonparks.org or call (630)-233-7275. Located at 880 lake Avenue in Addison. MCQ’s DOME on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook is your full service sports dome, for golfers try the golf dome and work on your game all winter long, demo days, lessons and more. Play the ponies in the OTB, watch your horse win and pay for your golf and food and beverage in the sports bar with house money. McQ’s is an official Blackhawks Bar, watch the Blackhawks tonight go for an 11th straight win at 6 PM. For more information go to Mcqsdome.com or call (630)-739-7600 for the golf dome.             ______________________________________________________________________

DSC04848 Rory on 16 at WS DS

The Gog Blog Chicago’s No.1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. At Whistling Straits in Haven/Kohler Wisconsin.

Jim Richerson with Derek Sprague PGA

PGA of America President Derek Sprague, presents GM of Kohler Golf Jim Richerson with the host professional plaque for the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Jim Richerson the General Manager and Group Director of Golf for Kohler Co., has announced his candidacy for National Secretary of the PGA of America.

Richerson has recently completed a three-year term, on the PGA of America’s National Board of Directors and is looking to take the next steps in helping grow the game and the overall business of golf.

” I’ve had the great honor to serve in a variety of leadership roles on the local, state, regional and national levels, and alongside some of the best and brightest in the industry, ” said Richerson. ” I’m eager to put my experience to work for the organization, further fostering love of the game of golf and serving the dedicated people behind it.”

Richerson learned the game from his father Bill, a college golf coach and professor at Northeast Missouri State University. In a career that has spanned over 25 years, Richerson has worked at several types of golf facilities, in nine different PGA sections around the country and alongside some of the most knowledgeable people in the game.

Richerson has been involved in four of the last six majors hosted by Kohler Company, and that includes the recently contested 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits that was the highest grossing event in PGA history, breaking records for combined ticket and corporate hospitality sales. He is now involved in the planning of the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Richerson received an endorsement from Brian Baus, the Vice President of the Wisconsin PGA Section. “Jim is a leader in every sense of the word. Everything he does focuses on the PGA Professional, the PGA of America and growing the game.”

If Richerson is elected as Secretary, he would hold the office for two years, and then remain on the board holding the roles of Vice-President and then President.

To learn more see Jimforpgasecretary.com or visit facebook.

THE GOG BLOG’S MID MONTH NEWS COLUMN

DSC03646 Links and tees dome DSDSC05850 MCQ's ariel 1 DS   LINKS & TEE’S  is one of Chicago’s Year-Round Golf facilities. Located at 880 lake Street in Addison, now is the time to come work on your game to be ready for the spring. Call (630)-233-7275 to find out about demo days, ladies night and the annual open house on Saturday Feb. 7th with Steve Kashul of the Golf Scene TV Show, or visit Links & Tee’s on line at Addisonparks.org. McQs Dome on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook is open for golf, pounding the ponies in the OTB, or enjoying great food and drink in the sports bar. McQ’s is an official Blackhawks Bar and tonight watch the Blackhawks play at 6 PM, so go early and hit some balls to get your swing ready for 2016. McQsdome.com     ______________________________________________________________________

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The Gog Blog Chicago’s #1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. @GogBlogGuy.

January news….

The golf industry is gearing up for the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando that is now less than two weeks away.

The Gog Blog and our BIG 3 Partner Len Ziehm will be at the show to bring you all the news, so stay clicked in. BIG 3 Partner Tim Cronin will be in Chicago to hold down the fort for any breaking news here on the local front.

Tim Cronin’s updates can be found at Illinoisgolfer.net with Len Ziehm being found at Lenziehmonolf.com. Ziehm has just posted a piece on Royal St.Cloud Golf Club located in the Orlando Area, but a course with some Chicago area ties to it, and has now posted a piece on the Reunion Resort part of the Salamander Chain in the Orlando area.

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Visit Fujikura.com The No.1 Golf Shaft.

From our friends at the Northbrook based KemperSports Management group.

KSM has been selected to manage the Homestead Golf and Country Club in Leyden Washington, part of a 400 home community since 1993. This Homestead Club is not connected with the historic Homestead in Virginia or the Homestead property located in Michigan.

The club has an 18 hole golf course and is near the U.S. and Canadian border.

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The White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville.

New golf simulator technology is now available at the White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville. KSM along with GOLFZON, an industry leader in golf simulator technology, have teamed up to bring the first Golfzon simulator to the Chicago area.

The GOLFZON vision is a full-immersion golf simulator that gives the golfer a realistic golf experience, while they dozens of courses from around the globe.

GOLFZON takes the golfer to new levels of innovation not found on other simulators, including shot data that includes ball speed, spin, angle of attack and more.

“GOLFZON is the leader in golf simulator technology,” said White Pines Golf Dome General Manager David Thompson. “Our staff is fully-versed in the many wonderful features of both the VISION and GDR simulators and we look forward to demonstrating their capabilities to our guests.”

White Pines is the largest golf dome in the Chicago area with a size of 300 x 300 x 100. For more information visit Whitepinesgolfdome.com.

CHAMBERS BAY managed by KSM is reporting a changing in the demographic of the golfers coming to play the 2015 U.S. Open site. In 2014 Chambers Bay had golfers from 12 states and Canada. In 2015 those numbers jumped to 45 states and 13 countries. The USGA recently announced the economic impact in the area during open week was $134 million. It’s now believed that the U.S Open will return to Chambers Bay at some point after 2024.

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New Miura KM-008 right handed putter.

MIURA GOLF now announced left-handed club models.

The Miura KM-006 LH is now on the market. The same high level performance found on the right handed models, is now found on left handed clubs.

Other additions for left handed golfers include the Y-Grind Irons, and the Cavity Back LH Irons, or the Blade LH-Irons.

For more information on all the new left-handed Miura golf products, visit MiuraGolf.com or follow Miura on Facebook or Twitter.

LAUNCHING AT THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW IN ORLANDO…

In Apparel.. Bette & Court launches it’s 2016 Women’s apparel collection, some of the new colors and designs are Lavender ice, Minty fresh, and Sugar Rush.

Sport Haley a premier women’s golf apparel company, is launching their women’s 2016 fall collection at the show. The new “Once Upon a Time” collections are rich in color, while having maximum comfort and is airy. Styles include Enchanted Forest, Woodland Glen, Mystic Pond and Crystal Ball. See Sporthaley.com.

Aristo 18 and Carnoustie have teamed up to create both trousers and shorts that will be unveiled at the PGA Show. Their theme is that of “Tailored-Performance”. For more details see Carnoustiesportswear.com.

ANTIGUA a leading designer of lifestyle apparel has announced it’s 2016 team of players on tour. On the LPGA Tour is Stacy Lewis, and her Solheim Cup teammates Brittany Lang, Gerina Pillar, and Lizette Salas. Other LPGA players include Amy Anderson, Candie Kung, Alsion Walshe, Alena Sharp, and Kris Tamulis.

On the PGA Tour it’s Tim Clark, Ryan Armour, Brian Stuard, Chesson Hadley. Champions Tour players are Tom Pernice Jr., Steve Pate, Jim Carter, Willie Wood and Jerry Smith. For more see Antigua.com.

WANNA GOLF AWAY…How’s that Scotland trip idea shaping up. Need help.

Well try Golfbreaks.com and let them put together our dream trip of Scotland home of the 2015 British Open at St. Andrews on the Old Course.

If you wish to go this year,now is the time to start the planning. St. Andrews the home of golf gets very busy in the summer and certain tee times at certain times of the year become impossible to get.

If you book by January 31st  2016, for at least a full foursome, will be entered into a drawing for a FREE Callaway Big Bertha Driver.

So call (855)-699-5853 or go online to USA.Golfbreaks.com make that dream trip one that is marked off the bucket list.

0319-headerLinks Captial AdvisorsCharnas (2)                                      Links Capital Advisors Inc. and Principal Chris Charnas have announced their newest listing of golf courses on the market. The Course at Aberdeen in Valparaiso, and just minutes from the University of Valparaiso. The club is looking for new ownership with a fresh approach to marketing and outings. For more information please contact Chris at Linkscapitaladvisors.com or call (847)-866-7192.

The Gog Returns tomorrow..stay clicked in RS.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-SPIETH CHARGES IN 2016

DSC05886 the halfway house DSTPGE-SponsoredBy-2016_c_300px The Halfway House Indoor Simulator Golf and more, 565 S. York Street Elmhurst, see Halfwayhousegolf.com for more information. The Tinley Park Golf Expo is getting ready to tee it up in 2016 at the Tinley Park Convention Center, show dates are February 12-14. More details at Tinleyparkgolfexpo.com. This Year sponsored by Beggars Pizza.      _____________________________________________________________________

DSC00666 Rory in Studio DS

The Gog Blog Chicago’s # 1 Golf News Source by Rory Spears Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

The 2016 part of the PGA Tour tee’d off this past weekend on Maui in Hawaii at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Kapalua Maui is an outstanding place, that I have been to 8 times. In the past years Gary Planos did a great job of running the place and the tournament. Now it’s former Chicago area guy Mike Jones who is getting it done.

Another guy who “got it done” was world #1 Jordan Spieth. Not only was Spieth in the field, he spent the week working off the rust, and shot a measly 30 under par to win by several shots. 30 under par on week 1 of 2016. If Spieth continues like this, he will take another run at the Grand Slam before 2016 is over.

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Addisonparks.org. 880 Lake Street in Addison.

That could be very good for golf. In fact Spieth and most of the other top players were in the field, at least the ones who were eligible to be there. Since you do have to win get in, not everyone in spite of world ranking had an invite.

In the old days when the world revolved around Phil and Tiger, and they quit showing up people started to wonder about the event.

Not anymore, Spieth is already in for next year and he will return, and says he will be there every year if he is eligible to play. Jason Day was there, so was Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson. Rory McIlroy was the one top player who didn’t make it, but once he gets past all that goes with his upcoming wedding, he probably will attend going forward.

How much does the world love Jordan Spieth, well a 52% increase in TV ratings speaks volumes, especially when going head-to-head with the NFL playoffs and the golf not being on a major network.

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McQ’s Dome Rt.53 in Bolingbrook. Golf Dome, Sports bar and OTB. See McQsDome.com for more information.

While I love watching Spieth play, and it’s great for game to have him winning. It still would be good if he doesn’t win all the time, like Tiger did 16 years ago, which ruined golf for a number of years.

But if he wants to make another run at the Grand Slam that would be just fine, it’s been a lot of years since Bobby Jones did it.

What will be tough this year, will be somebody winning the British Open and then winning the PGA Championship two weeks later with this years crazy schedule due to the Olympics.

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McWethy’s Tavern at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville. Open Year round. See McWethysTavern.com for details.

Whatever Spieth does accomplish this year in terms of winning will add to his career that is really taking off. But if he has a big year with 6 or more wins, then he is going to explode across the globe.

ESPN will have to create a “Spieth Seeker” for all the tournaments he plays in.

Spieth won’t be in this weeks Sony Tournament over on Oahu, but he will be back before you know it on the west coast swing. You see he is not skipping that either, he would like to win at Pebble Beach and the celebrity format is not scaring him away, like it does some guys. In fact it seems little if anything scares Spieth, he surely wasn’t afraid to start talking the Masters up, while still on Maui.

As Spieth charges into 2016, so does golf. Ratings are already up, and numbers from 2015 have come in on the positive side. The top courses in the Chicago area are all reporting an increase in rounds played in 2015, courses with recent renovations are getting off the charts demands to play.

As I start to get ready to depart for Florida and the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show, it’s a year filled with a lot of promise. I’m hoping that it stays the course, and Spieth does as well. RS.

JORDAN SPIETH WINS KAPALUA AT 30 UNDER PAR

DSC03493 Ready to rock DSTPGE-SponsoredBy-2016_c_300px  THE LINKS & TEE’S Golf Dome is open and ready for your winter practice sessions, but the year-round golf facility can keep your game in shape 365 days a year, visit Addisonparks.org or call (630)-233-7275 for details on special events including the annual open house on Saturday Feb. 6, with Golf Scene host Steve Kashul, located at 880 Lake Avenue in Addison. The Tinley Park Golf Expo is back for another year and bigger and better than ever, the convention center is near sell out for booth space, and golfers who attend will have plenty to enjoy. TinleyParkGolfExpo.com Feb. 12-14.           ______________________________________________________________________

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The Gog Blog Chicago’s #1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Working out indoors, it’s that time of year.

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Jordan Spieth with U.S. Open Trophy at Chambers Bay

No Jordan Spieth has not won the U.S. Open or the Masters yet this year, but he wasted little time in sending a message that he is ready for the majors and more, by shooting 30 under par on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Maui to win the real 2016 PGA Tour opener, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Spieth played well overall and putted better, on some tricky Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore greens on the Plantation Course, that’s on a few Top 100 courses list.

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Visit PGATour.com for more information on Jordan Spieth’s first win of 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jordan Spieth recaps his opening season win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, Maui.

The PGA Tour continues this week on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, with the Sony Open.

THE GOG BLOG’S FAVORITE CHICAGO AREA PUBLIC GOLF HOLES

TPGE-SponsoredBy-2016_c_300pxDSC05824 MCQ's Dome range DS THE TINLEY PARK GOLF EXPO at the Tinley Park Convention Center Feb. 12-14, details at Tinleyparkgolfexpo.com. Sponsored by Beggars Pizza a south side treat. McQsDome.com Where are you hitting golf balls, playing the ponies and enjoying great BBQ while watching all the sports action this weekend. There is only one place to do that and it’s on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook and the McQ’s Dome, part of the McWethy Golf Operation that includes Mistwood & McWethys Tavern now open at Mistwood Golf Club ______________________________________________________________________

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The Gog Blog Chicago’s #1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears, Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy in the grill room at Shepherd’s Crook Golf Club in Zion.

This column comes as a spin off to something recently done in my local paper, the Daily Herald.  A Thank you to Jim Davis of the paper and his foursome for putting together their favorite 18 holes in the Chicagoland Area.

It got me thinking, what are my favorite public holes. I know my thoughts are the same as Davis had on a few holes, but not many. So I have created my own list, of my favorite Chicagoland area public course golf holes. The list however is created with a few rules. No.1, I have to have played the course for it to be on the list. No.2, I limited the list to having one hole per course to recognize as many of our local courses as possible. No.3, courses under renovation were not eligible, sorry to Oak Meadows and Arlington Lakes. Maybe you will make next years list.

My course will be a par of 72, and I do have a third nine for a total of 27 holes. Below is how I set it up.

1st hole, The par 4, 376 yard 13th hole at Bowes Creek in Elgin. The hole is fairly straight with a small left turn in the last 100 yards. Good opening hole from this Rick Jacobson design.

2nd hole, The par 4, 393 yard 16th hole at Stonewall Orchard in Grayslake. Most golfers play this hole on the Arthur hills design at 325 yards. A fun short par 4 when played that way.

3rd hole, The par 4, 420 yard 4th hole at the Glenview Park District Golf Club, that just reopened from a Jacobson design. This hole requires a demanding drive before it slopes down into a small valley the last 100+ yards in front of the green.

4th hole, The par 3, 155 yard 4th hole at the Highlands of Elgin Golf Club. Art Schaupeter created a pair of outstanding par 3’s on the front nine at HOE. The 4th is shorter than the 7th, but there is less room to miss this green that is surrounded by a variety of hazard’s.

5th hole, The par 5, 563 yard 15th hole at Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein. The William Flynn classic design’s 15th hole starts right and curls around left to a three tier’d green, that has a Pinehurst like feel and bunker style with high grass down the left side.

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The Pine Meadow Par 5, 15th hole.

6th hole, The Par 4, 374 yard 3rd hole on the South Nine at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton. Architect Greg Martin’s recent renovation really brought this nine to life, the second shot brings the golfer into the green over water, on a right to left curving fairway.

7th hole, The Par 3, 218 yard 12th hole at Prairie Landing Golf Club in West Chicago. At the grand opening shotgun it was the first hole I played that day. Just because it was a par 3, didn’t mean it wasn’t a demanding opening tee shot. A left to right green behind a water carry on this RT Jones Jr. design. Holes 9 and 18 are both great finishers on this course.

8th hole, The Par 5, 548 yard 7th hole at Balmoral Woods in Crete. The courses #1 handicap hole. I made birdie the first time I played it, and haven’t pressed my luck by playing it again. It took three demanding shots and a great putt to make birdie.

9th hole, The Par 4, 420 yard 1st at Cantigny Golf Links in Wheaton (Woodside). This dogleg right is tempting from the tee, but hidden bunkers and mounds on the bend, stop all but the biggest hitters in their tracks quickly.

After a quick stop at the halfway house I’m on to the 10th hole.

10th hole, The Par 4, 371 yard 10th hole at Orchard Valley Golf Club in Aurora. This Left to Right Dogleg is all-risk reward with houses right. But a well placed tee shot can lead to early birdie to start the back nine.

11th hole, The Par 3, 156 yard 4th hole at the Glen Club in Glenview. A tricky tee shot from an uphill tee box, down to a well protected green with sand and high grass.

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The Par 5, 3rd green at Mistwood Golf Club

12th hole, The Par 5, 566 yard 3rd hole at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, designed by Ray Hearn.

There is a new back tee that is seldom used that allows this hole to play back around 600 yards.

But this newly designed hole, started a three-phase renovation that’s now complete at Mistwood. The green is a half-island green, and when the pin is on the right side, any attempt to get home in two shots looking for an eagle, is a real risk-reward.

13th hole, The Par 4, 325 yard 11th hole at Village Links in Glen Ellyn. This hole plays right around 300 for most golfers, big hitters love to try and hit the green off the tee.

14th hole, The Par 4, 416 yard 14th hole at Foxford Hills in Cary. The prettiest area of the course, that has a stretch of great holes with elevation changes through the trees, the 14th is one of them.

15th hole, The Par 3, 240 yard 6th at Cog Hill in Lemont (Course 4 Dubsdread). One of the long carry demanding par 3’s on the course. Nothing wrong with Dubs par 3 holes 12 and 14 either, but this one is surrounded by less sand but has a multi-tier green.

16th hole, The Par 4, 326 yard 15th hole at Wilmette Golf Club in Wilmette. A recent Martin renovation put some excitement into this hole. Many golfers love to try and hit the green here with their tee shot, most don’t make it. But it’s the last great birdie hole on my course.

17th hole, The Par 5, 575 yard 18th hole at Shepherd’s Crook in Zion. Architect Keith Foster created a solid three-shot closing hole, that requires a second shot from the low part of the fairway to raised green, that sits right in front of the grill and patio of the clubhouse (which means a gallery on many days).

18th hole, The Par 4, 475 yard 16th hole at Glenwoodie Golf Club in Glenwood. After a demanding tee shot, comes an approach that must carry a wide creek to an uphill green built into the side of a hill.

The Rory Spears Course, Par 36-36=72 yardage 3,476+3,461= 6,928.

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The Par 3, 170 yard 7th hole at Mt. Prospect Golf Club.

The Honorable Mention Nine to complete my 27 hole facility.

Par 3’s. 1. Mt. Prospect’s 170 yard 7th hole, was almost my first hole-in-one back in high school. Architect Dave Eslers recent redesign turned a really good hole into a great hole.

2. The 216 yard, 15th hole called “anchor” on the Port Course at Harborside International in Chicago.

3. The 172 yard, 4th hole at White Deer Run in Vernon Hills. This island green is knee knocker for most golfers early in the round.

Par 4’s. 1. The 411 yard 5th hole at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge. This dogleft right around water and over sand, is called “beach-comer”.

2. The 416 yard 5th hole at Thunderhawk Golf Club in Beach Park. I played this hole with Robert Trent Jones Jr. on opening day, made a solid par. One of the few holes there that’s in the woods, and well done.

3. The 340 yard 18th hole at Maple Meadows in Woodale. This hole is not long, but it’s tight with sand and mounds up the left side. The deep green is no picnic, but a chance for a final birdie here to end your round in style.

The Par 5’s. 1. The 672 yard 11th hole at The Golf Club of Illinois in Algonquin, known as Grant’s March. The tee shot is the key, but even then you need two more good shots to be home in three. Most pars here come after 1-putt greens.

2. The 543 yard 18th hole at Steeplechase Golf Club in Mundelein. Depending on the wind, there are some chances to get home in two shots, but with water short and right of the green, getting home in two is rare. A big balcony on the clubhouse usually gets the golfers a gallery on the final hole.

3. The 555 yard 18th hole at Makray Memorial in Barrington. This demanding par 5 has water on one side, and deep sand bunkers on the other. Par is a great score here.

My third nine is Par 36, yardage at 3,494.

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Links and Tee’s Golf Dome at 880 Lake Street is open daily for the winter golf season. See Addisonparks.org

CLOSING NOTES: My apologies to a few courses I like that didn’t get in. Like Ravisloe, in Homewood, Heritage Bluffs in Channahon, and Chevy Chase in Wheeling. Some of my favorite holes that didn’t make the cut are the Par 5 1st at Mt. Prospect, the Par 4 10th at Mistwood, and several holes late on the front nine at Heritage Bluffs. The Par 3 8th at Shepherd’s Crook, the Par 5 3rd hole at Stonewall Orchard. The Par 4 16th on Dubdread at Cog Hill. A few holes including the great par 3 12th at Phillips Park, the par 3 17th hole and par 5 18th hole at Chalet Hills are both good enough and fun enough to make the list as well.

I could go on and on with my list, but my point here is that there is plenty of great public golf around the area. If your up for a challenge, take my list and go play as many holes from it as possible this coming summer. It will make for a great golf season in the year ahead. RS

THE GOG BLOGS FALL CLASSICS-SEBONACK GOLF CLUB

TPGE-SponsoredBy-2016_c_300pxDSC05824 MCQ's Dome range DSDSC03646 Links and tees dome DS TinleyParkGolfExpo.com The Tinley Park Golf Expo Feb. 12-14 at the Tinley Park Convention Center, sponsored by Beggars Pizza. McQ’s Dome Open daily is your winter home for golf, playing the ponies in the OTB, or checking out all the sports action in the sports bar, an official Blackhawks Bar, come see the champs try and score title #4 in seven years, see McQsBar.com Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook. In Addison Links & Tee’s golf is a year round facility, right now the award winning golf dome is open for the winter golf season, lessons, ladies nights & more, Addisonparks.org or call (630)-233-7275.      _____________________________________________________________________

Rory on 18 Sebonack DS

The Gog Blog Chicago’s #1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears, Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy on 18 at Sebonack Golf Club.

It’s another chapter of our fall classics, or great golf on a cold day. It’s 2016 now, it might be January but you can still think golf.

New York’s Long Island area is loaded with great golf courses, but the most recent addition to the area is the Sebonack Golf Club. All snugged into a little area between the famed Shinnecock Hills Golf Club and the National Golf Links.

Course owner Michael Pascucci an avid golfer found a parcel of 300 acres that he purchased for a reported $45,000,000. But it wasn’t all that easy in spite of that investment, in order to get permission to build the course, Pascucci had to donate some of the land and make a financial contribution to the local Southampton area. Credit him with staying patient and seeing his dream through.

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The tee shot on 2 at Sebonack.

Pascucci decided to take advantage of the property and what it offered, water views, rolling hills and dunes. He decided that two architects in this case would be better than one, and went after two of the best to build his course, Tom Doak and Jack Nicklaus.

All of this is captured in a great book written by Golfweek’s Brad Klein and Carol Harrelson, it’s called “Building Sebonack”.

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Heading home for the turn on the 9th hole.

When it was built the course was complete with views of Long Island’s Peconic Bay and Cold Spring Pond. When you add in the rolling fairways, waste dunes and undulating greens and swale’s that leave golfers the need to add some creativity to their next shot, it’s not long until golf’s overseeing body came calling with a U.S.Women’s Open Championship in 2013. Inbee Park won with a score of 8 under par.

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The Par 4, 11th hole has a great view of the bay.

While the club is in between classic greats like Shinnecock Hills and the National Golf Links of America, the course has a completely different look than it’s neighbors.

The club is also known for it’s large clubhouse, that has scenic views of the golf course and the bay, it also looks out on National Golf Links, which is an outstanding view.

Sebonack has cottages on the property that are among the best you will find anywhere, for a great look at the golf course visit the clubs website and watch the video. You will enjoy the music as well at Sebonack.com.

TINLEY PARK GOLF EXPO ANNOUNCES NEW TITLE SPONSORSHIP

TPGE-SponsoredBy-2016_c_300px

Beggars Pizza comes on board this year to join this ever growing show. Keep it here for details on the Tinley park Golf Expo, coming February 12-14 at the Tinley park Convention Center, that is near sell out for exhibitors again this year.

Beggars Pizza, many south side locations, including U.S. Cellular Field during White Sox games.

TINLEYPARKGOLFEXPO.COM