August 21st Radio Broadcast

Golfers on Golf is talk radio created by golfers for golfers, and is broadcast live on WSBC 1240AM in Chicago. The program is hosted by Ed Stevenson, Rory Spears, Bill Berger, and Mike Munro.  This week’s show includes:

  • Legendary golf writer Len Ziehm checks in with a live report from the French Lick Resort and the LPGA Legends Championship.
  • Blackberry Oaks Golf Pro Chad Johansen talks about tour players using his invention “The Perfect Putting Aid,” and his new game improvement tool.
  • The guys chat about Olympic Golf in Rio, and our very own journalist-athlete “Speedy” Rory Spears reminisces about “running a 4 minute and 50 second mile!”


DSC07261 Eric Johnson DSDSC07246 Nemacolin DS   ERIC JOHNSON (L) is the new teaching professional at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Academy, he joins Nemacolin after teaching at the famed Oakmont CC that hosted this years U.S. Open. For details on this resort destination see   ______________________________________________________________________

DSC04467 the foursome pic 4 DS

Golfers on Golf Radio is, Standing L-R Mike Munro and Ed Stevenson, Seated L-R Rory Spears and Bill Berger.

Golfers on Golf Radio is back for another Sunday in week 19 of our 22 week run for the 2016 Chicago area golf season. Have you been out playing, well summer is slipping past us quickly and before long it will be time for fall golf.

Tee time as always is 9 AM on AM 1240 WSBC. Chicago’s favorite Foursome will only be a three some this week, so we hope if your a single you will join us.

This week our special guests are, Len Ziehm reporting live from the French Lick Resort and the LPGA Legends Championship, and Blackberry Oaks Golf Club General Manager/ Head Golf Professional Chad Johansen.

Chad in Studio DS

Chad Johansen in his putting studio at Blackberry Oaks.

Johansen in addition to being a golf professional who has created one of the area’s largest junior golf programs, is also an inventor.

A few years back Johansen created the PErfect Putting Aid that is sued by 125 players on the major professional golf tours. Including Jim Furyk who has shot under 60 twice since using the PPA, and Henrik Stenson this years “Champion Golfer of the Year” when he won the Open Championship.

THIS WEEK…we will recap the John Deere Classic and talk about this weeks U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills in Michigan.

If you missed the show live, later this week the show will be posted on our website, check it out there.

All of us at Golfers on Golf Radio are proud to welcome the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort as a sponsor of our show. See there website at

The Gog Blog will be back this week with several features, including a look at the fall collection of Carnoustie Golfwear. With that Go Play ! RS.


DSC07223 Big John Daly DSDSC07246 Nemacolin DSDSC07271 new hole 9 DS A JOHN DALY ON THE ROCKS-WELCOME TO NEMACOLIN-WE ARE WORKING ON IT and adding even more to your guest experience, please visit     ______________________________________________________________________

DSC07215 Rory at the Chalet 2 DS

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to places like the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

***Editors Note***                                                                                                                This is the last piece of a 4 part series on an emerging destination, both in golf and in the world of 5-Star and 5 Diamond Properties. If you enjoy full scale resorts, you need to add Nemacolin to your bucket list. (ABOVE) Standing in front of the Chalet at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, the Chalet is class, comfort, luxury and style all rolled into one. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, part of the 84 Lumber Hardy family since 1987.

DSC07260 Mike Jones and Eric Johnson at academy DS

Golfers will enjoy the fact this two man team is behind the Nemacolin Resort Golf Operation. (L) Mike Jones Director of Golf with (R) Eric Johnson Director of the resorts teaching academy.

It’s still hard to believe that such an incredible resort property has flown under the radar the way Nemacolin has. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is likely the best resort destination in America that most people have not heard of before.

That will change and quickly.

There are so many things going on that will lift this resort to an even higher level. A 5 Star management team from four, five star properties is now working at Nemacolin. At Nemacolin the saying has been to “Expect the Unexpected”, going forward guests will know what to expect in terms of comfort, relaxation, service and activities.

When Mike Jones came over from Kapalua in Maui to run the expanding golf department, he quickly hired Eric Johnson away from Oakmont Country Club. Johnson a Top 100 teacher in America per Golf Magazine, is also on the Golf Digest Top 40 Teachers under age 40 list. Johnson is already improving the academy. A club fitting professional has been hired that can put you in new sticks before your 9 AM tee time. Nemacolin also has a caddie program, which allows golfers to enjoy fore-caddies or with proper notice to the pro shop, walking caddies.

DSC07261 Eric Johnson DS

Teaching Professional Eric Johnson moves in the Scotty Cameron putter stand in the Sam Putt LAB.

While there is much to be excited about on the golf front, it’s amazing all the things that resort guests can do at Nemacolin.

If your junior golfer is not ready by next summer for a double-dose of Dye, get them out on the Nemacolin mini-golf links that are much more than just a few windmills.

Need more, okay how about a full service spa complete with an indoor Olympic size swimming pool. There are additional pools outside, that include an adults only pool, a kids pool, and whirlpools. If you love animals the Nemacolin Zoo has Bears, Lions, Tigers, and Wolfs. There are live Buffalo and Elks on the property as well. Roaming the property and not in the zoo, are herds of deer that are visible at various times of the day.

DSC07274 Falling Rock DS

Falling Rock, Nemacolin’s version of the “Crows Nest”, it was once called the “best clubhouse I have ever spent the night in.” PGA Tour Golfer Vijay Singh.

Activities also include, the Kidz Club, that has game rooms and is located near the Kidz Spa and PJ’s Ice Cream and Pizza parlor.

There are plenty of shops to browse and a Cigar Bar to enjoy your favorite lit rolled-up pleasure.

The tennis courts have just been redone to USTA specifications, and there are plenty of trails to run, walk or go for a ride on if wish take a Jeep Rubicon for an off-road experience.

Do you enjoy hunting, you can head down to the 140 acre Nemacolin Field Club that provides plenty of shooting options and 35 sporting clay stations. If you like fishing Nemacolin might be the place for you. Between the stocked ponds and mountain streams, a fisherman will have plenty of places to cast their line. The Croquet and Badminton Court’s are ready to host your match, and if you are ready to test your climbing skills you can scale the 50 foot climbing wall.

If you can’t make it out to Nemacolin in the summer, and are in need of a winter getaway, Nemacolin has miles of cross-country ski trails, and down hill trails if you have a need for speed. If you enjoy tubing, you can ride the tube through the snow. While at Nemacolin you can practice for your bowling league, on the eight lane bowling alley.

As “Dirty Harry” Clint Eastwood would say, do you feel lucky. If so then maybe the Lady Luck Casino on the property is for you, plenty of slots and table games to enjoy. If you need your exercise you can work out at the Spa, or you can visit the Hardy Girls gym an Olympic size facility where you can work on your gymnastic routines. The Carousel ride has the horse’s running. There is an art studio if you love to paint inside, or outside in the great outdoors. For those needing a more gaming action, there is a very popular area for Paintball Wars. The auto collection is worth a visit if your enjoy classic cars.

There are several restaurants to enjoy while on property. Including the Aqueous Steakhouse. The Tavern where you can see all the games, and Mulligans at the Mystic Rock clubhouse. While you might not find Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield or Bill Murray, the Caddy Shack Restaurant has plenty of other food and drink options for you, you can dine by the pool, in the lobby at the Sunset Terrace at Falling Rock, before or after golf. The wine cellar has 21,000 bottles to pick from, enjoy.

DSC07240 Fatbird DS

Meet “Fat Bird” the resorts logo, who also serves as tee markers on the golf course.

The resort is pet friendly. So if you need to bring your dog or cat along so it doesn’t go hungry or get lonesome back at your home, bring them along to Nemacolin where they have a hotel of their own, and you can visit them every day during your stay.

At Nemacolin you can enjoy your own peaceful getaway,or a family getaway. The resort has all the facilities you or your business will need for corporate conferences and meetings and or presentations.

Is that special day in your life coming up, weddings, anniversary’s, birthday or graduation parties can all be held at Nemacolin. No size, to big or small.

Lodging accommodations include the Chalet, the Lodge, Falling Rock, Private Homes, and Two-Bedroom townhouses.

GETTING THERE.. is easier than you think. By air, there are three choices. Fly into Pittsburgh PA., Alexandria West Virginia, or if your own personal small plane can land on the 3,900 square foot landing strip behind the Chalet, just fly it in yourself.

The mountain drive into the resort has outstanding scenic views that span for miles, and passes some area historic sites in the Farmington Area.

For more information and a more detailed list of activities at the resort, please visit the resorts website at or call (724)-329-8555, or toll free at (800)-422-2736.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, A New and Emerging Destination in the World of 5-Star resort properties. Isn’t it time you visited the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.


DSC07174 The NWR Scoreboard DSDSC07176 Mike Jones gets cart #1 DS PUT YOUR NAME ON THE BIG BOARD at Mystic Rock Golf Club at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA., (R) Mike Jones one of Illinois’ very own is the new Director of Golf at Nemacolin. For more information please visit     ______________________________________________________________________

DSC07231 Rory on the 12th DS

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to Mystic Rock GC and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

It’s the #1 course in Pennsylvania that you can play. Yes that’s right the Pete Dye designed Mystic Rock Golf Club at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA.

What started in 1995 has really grown into a mature, fun test of golf. The PGA Tour loved the place from 2000 until 2006 while they were here during the 84 Lumber Classic.

84 Lumber owners the Hardy family, also own the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort since the 1980’s. It has gotten better ever since.

DSC07238 Mystic Rock DS

One picture says it all.

While the resort had 36 holes for a while, the old links course has been mostly eliminated for the development of the new Pete Dye course that is not yet named, and will open in 2017.

In the meantime there is Mystic Rock the first Dye creation on the property, and it’s a good one. If you have been to other Dye courses you will notice a few Pete Dye signature trademarks along the way, but Dye’s magical touch at Mystic Rock is about the rocks, and not the railroad ties. But Mystic Rock really fits in with the mountain area where the course is located.

DSC07220 2nd hole Mystic Rock DS

The Par 4, second hole requires a solid drive or you could find some of Mystic’s Rocks.

Right from the start of Mystic Rock you feel the Dye presence, a raised fairway on the first hole with a long running Dye style bunker on right, that will keep you from trying to cut the corner. Stay left, stay safe and you have a great chance of opening your round with a par or maybe even a birdie.

The second hole requires a solid drive to clear the rock-cropped ravine right, and a pond on the left. But a drive that doesn’t clear the left side of the ravine, leaves a drive that falls on the left side of the fairway, and approach shot that will have a few fairway and green side bunkers to carry.

DSC07223 Big John Daly DS

John Daly swings from a Mystic Rock near the 5th green.

By the green on the 5th hole is a waterfall, an 84 Lumber logo, and a statue of “Big” John Daly swinging away.

Daly did swing away for several years in the 84 Lumber Classic but never came away with the title. But with a couple of well placed shots, you can come away with an eagle or birdie on this par 5.

You the golfer get quite a journey through the rolling terrain, and in between Pete’s Rock’s when you play the Mystic course. Their are several statues on the course, like Daly, Sam Snead, and Chief Nemacolin on the 16th tee box. Perhaps one day there will be one of Dye.

After the 9th hole that requires one of your best tee shots off the day, the back nine starts out in spectacular fashion with a slight left to right dogleg. That’s followed by what some call the course’s signature hole a 634 yard par 5 from the tips. This hole involves a water carry, and some navigation around two water hazards and a green tucked into an area right up to the water and behind the clubhouse.

The par 3, 12th hole is one of the prettiest par 3 holes you will find anywhere, with a Pete Dye “I dare you” green front that sticks it’s nose out into the pond that fronts the green. Miss short, left or right and you are wet. Chicago area golfers might compare the green to the par 3, 11th hole at the only Dye course in the Chicago area, Ruffled Feathers.

The 13th hole is a great short par 4, but a middle-center pin location leaves the hole in between two classic Dye styled pot-bunkers in front of and behind the green.

The closing holes 16-17-18 have such a risk reward factor, that in match play you can really close out your opponent quckly should they try to gamble their way back into the match. Water protects the left side of the 16th green, that sits behind a narrow runway  leading to the front of the green on this par 5 hole.

DSC07239 MR par 3 17th DS

The par 3, 17th hole at Mystic Rock will test the best golfers nerve. For those who know Pete Dye, this hole compares to the River Course #4 in Kohler and 17 on the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort.

The 17th hole is a par 3 that is only 204 from the tips, but a long left side water hazard can be a real challenge when the pin is on the left side of the green.

Bailout, sure no problem there, except for the deep pot bunker that Dye hid on the right side of the green. 17, yes have fun and trust your swing.

18 can play 468 yards from the tips but remains a fun golf hole, this dogleg right takes you past the big scoreboard that brings back memories of the PGA Tour playing the 84 Lumber Classic. There is plenty of space around the green for other members of your group or outing to watch their friends finish up while looking for that final birdie.

So until that second course of Dye unveils itself in 2017, why not come and enjoy the first 18 holes of Nemacolin, and enjoy another Pete Dye, Dye-abolical creation. So much fun all rolled into one course, that is until “wait until next year” arrives.

See A final look at the resort tomorrow with our Part 4, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort becoming a new destination.


DSC07174 The NWR Scoreboard DSMike Jones with Pete Dye at Nemacolin   HOW DID YOU SCORE, Find out on the big board at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Mystic Rock golf course. New Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Director of Golf Mike Jones (L) with legendary Hall of Fame Golf Architect Pete Dye.    _____________________________________________________________________

DSC07231 Rory on the 12th DS

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to courses like Mystic Rock at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA. as well as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

He’s Back ! Yes after almost 20 years Pete Dye has returned to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in the mountains of Farmington Pennsylvania.

Dye’s first creation at the resort still stands tall and is the #1 course in the state you can play. But as the resort looks to be a better golf destination, Dye is back working his magic again and come 2017, his next course that will be one of his last will open for play.

If you going to be a golf destination you really need two courses, which is what the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is turning into. As golf course creator and golf visionary Mike Keiser would say, with one course your a curiosity, two courses makes you a destination. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort will now become a destination.

DSC07182 par 4 1st hole DS

The first hole is starting to grow in.

The first few holes are starting to grow in and are taking shape. They are already something to look at.

While the architects Dye and associate Tim Liddy, along with Director of Golf Mike Jones still sort out a couple of back tee box locations, the first hole is growing in and almost looks ready for play right now.

After a tee shot with a short carry over a waste area, the second shot can go to the green or for the bump and run players use the big embankment to run the ball onto the green. But no matter how you play the hole, it will catch your eye right from the start of your round.

DSC07185 Jones tee on the second hole DS

Hole #2 might still require a few tweek’s and your looking out from one of them.

The second hole is one that could still see some changes, either near the green or back on the tee. Currently in the photo (Left) is the back tee box, but Jones, Dye and Liddy are kicking around adding a back tee box from the spot this picture was taken. Yes a tree might still come out. No through the uprights shots will be played from here.

Near the left side of the green could see some clean out, in terms of trees and waste area’s. There might be a chance for the big hitters to go for the green from a few of the forward tee boxes, it would be a shot that is serious risk-reward.

DSC07271 new hole 9 DS

The Par 4, 9th hole, with water near the green.

Some current changes involve helping balance out the yardage for the nines that on the first draft was much longer on the backside, in fact almost a 1,000 yards longer.

That won’t be the case when all is set and done. Par is expected to be 72.

One hole seeing what looks like a really fun change, is the par 4, 9th hole. Now with an elevated tee box and a fairway that can play downhill, golfers can test their approach shot skills to a green that is guarded by water on the rightside that runs up to a rock wall surrounding the green.

DSC07201 14th green new course DS

The Par 3, 14th hole has endless possibilities.

After a few solid Par 4’s to start the back nine, all of which could still see some little changes, the par 5, 13th hole is a dog leg right will be a tester.

Then comes the Par 3, 14th hole that has a lake behind it. There could be some additional tee boxes added before it’s done, but this hole is one that golfers will talk about. It will be a great contest hole during outings.

DSC07195 by 18th green DS

Crews are hard at work on the 18th hole, a long par 5 to end it that will have Pete smiling.

The closing holes will test your game, there is length and some demanding elevation change that kicks in on the 16th hole. What will happen with the green is still not yet decided, but do think uphill second shot when it’s all done.

When you reach the Pinnacle of the 18th hole and we’re not talking about a the golf ball here, you will know it. The distant views out through the mountains will be breathtaking.

It will be another 75 days of construction before all the work is done, and then it will be about having the grass grow in and the sand in the bunkers being allowed to settle.

The still unnamed golf course will open in 2017, the date should get determined by how bad old-man winter is from November through March. Here’ hoping for an easy winter that allows for play by early to mid-summer. Once opening day is announced, book your tee time, they will fill up quickly.

Part 3, Pete’ Dye’s Mystic Rock at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is up next. Stay clicked in for details.


13165941_10154190167574116_8521955656900211775_n NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORTMike Jones with Pete Dye at Nemacolin   NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT in Farmington PA., new Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Director of Golf and Activities Mike Jones (L) with Hall of Fame golf architect Pete Dye, on site at the new second course being built at Nemacolin. Open’s in 2017.     ______________________________________________________________________

DSC07215 Rory at the Chalet 2 DS

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears. Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to places like the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

***EDITORS NOTE***                              Just when you thought you have seen it all in the golf world, you soon realize you haven’t.

I have been to resorts in and out of the country, from the far west Islands of Hawaii, all the the way to Long Island, Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon and around back to Washington. So how did a destination like the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort slip under my radar, that’s a question I keep asking myself.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort might be the best resort in America you have never heard of, but that is quickly changing and it won’t be that way for very long. This Farmington Pennsylvania resort just over an hour south of Pittsburgh, is now thinking big instead of small.

The credit starts at the top with the ownership the Hardy family. Joseph A. Hardy III the founder of the 84 Lumber Company, and his daughter Maggie Hardy-Magerko have taken a property he bought at auction in 1987, and have continued to expanded it, while enhancing the guest experience to levels of 5-Stars and 5-Diamonds.

DSC07176 Mike Jones gets cart #1 DS

Former Illinois PGA and Kapalua Maui Golf Professional Mike Jones, is the resorts new Director of Golf and Activities.

Within the last year the Hardy’s have started to put together a team of top resort managers to take the resort to a new level, and make it more of a national destination. The personnel at the top level of the resort now include high-level directors from properties like Sea Island in Georgia, the Greenbrier in West Virginia, The American Club in Kohler, and Kapalua on Maui in Hawaii.

For Chicago golfers that have traveled to Kapalua, or have played clubs in the Chicago area like Stonebridge CC, Steeplechase GC, The Golf Club of Illinois, Thunderhawk, or Cantigny Golf in Wheaton they might recognize the name Mike Jones. Jones has returned to mainland USA after 8 years at Kapalua, and yes he does admit he knows there is such a thing as winter in Pennsylvania. That being said he is looking forward to the new challenge at Nemacolin.

If the resort name is one you have heard of only recently, there might be a chance that you watch the Bachelorette on ABC. A recent episode that was filmed at the resort brought so many hits to the properties website, that it almost crashed. But 65,000 hits in one day can do that on the world wide web. Just credit the resorts Director of Marketing and PR Ashli Mazer for creating some real major buzz for Nemacolin.

DSC07193 the 9th hole DS

The 9th hole on the new Pete Dye Course, will see stunning rock walls nestled around water that golfers will need to avoid.

While Jones is new to Nemacolin, golf on the property is not.

Pete Dye arrived in 1995 and the resorts second course Mystic Rock opened. A small course called the Links Course was put in by previous ownership in 1972-73.

But it was the Dye-designed Mystic Rock that started attracting golfers to the to resort. It also attracted the PGA Tour for several years starting in 2004 when the 84 Lumber Classic was the newest tournament on tour.

DSC07174 The NWR Scoreboard DS

The 84 Lumber Classic scoreboard still stands to the left on the 18th green on Mystic Rock.

Players like VJ Singh, Ben Curtis, Chris Dimarco, Jason Gore and Robert Allenby were winners of the 84 Lumber Championship that ran from 2000 to 2006. The resort even had a sponsorship deal with two-time major winner John Daly.

But after the tournament left, some of the big time golf played there did as well.

While there are no immediate plans to bring back the PGA Tour, some high level tournaments could be headed back in the direction of Nemacolin in the years to come. With the construction of a second course by Dye, the resort would have the #1 course in Pennsylvania “You can Play”, in Mystic Rock, but a second course still not-named that could rate very highly as well.

Tomorrow as part of a series of stories on Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, the Gog Blog will look at the new Dye course that will open in 2017. Only 76 days remain in the construction phase, and then all that will be left to do, is let the grass and greens grow in and mature.

Stay with us and stay clicked in. RS


DSC05670 Royal Melbourne par 3 5th hole DSGlen club clubhouseDS THE KEMPER CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP September 26-28, play courses like the Glen Club, Royal Melbourne, and Hawthorn Woods. Sign up you and your partner for this two man team event, a few spots still remain. You can call (847)-832-6401 to register today. ______________________________________________________________________

DSC07147 Rory and Deere ball DS

THE GOG BLOG, by Rory Spears. Editor and Director of Content, Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. At the John Deere Classic.

This past week I was at the John Deere Classic, so were BIG 3 partners Tim Cronin and Len Ziehm. Val Russel from the Chicagoland came down for the final round. But nobody else from the Chicago Golf media made the trek out to Silvis Illinois, better known as the Quad Cities.

But my point here is not who was at the John Deere Classic, but who wasn’t. Yes there was the Olympic Golf going on, and the U.S. Sr. Open as well was playing in Ohio. Illinois golf coach Mike Small was in the field there, and made the cut.                         But what bothers me is the field that didn’t come out to the JDC this week. I asked Zach Johnson the two-time major winner and past JDC Champion, Johnson also serves on the JDC Championship board had other players talked to him about playing the John Deere Classic this year.

Johnson admitted he had not been sought out like he thought he would be and was disappointed by that, and planned on doing some recruiting on his own. Regardless of what happened, or in this case didn’t happen as in players not coming, the JDC field was not it should have been.

I feel bad for Johnson and people like Tournament Director Clair Peterson who put on a great show, and offer the players a pretty good week while in the Quad Cities. It became obvious when the date change got announced last year, Peterson thought he could turn it into a positive. Perhaps land some top players who always “talk” about playing the Deere but because of it’s week in front of British Open dates they never do. When some top players pulled out of the Olympics, there was hope they might play the Deere. But they didn’t.

Just maybe several top players needing Ryder Cup and or Fed Ex Cup points would jump in. That for the most part did not happen either. I know it’s a crazy schedule year, and the Olympics make things even tighter.

Tiger Woods of course is out action, but Phil Mickelson is not. Jim Furyk must be still celebrating his 58 from Hartford last week. There are a few other top players on the Fed Ex Cup points list, that could use some Ryder Cup points and vice-versa.

What’s even more amazing is that Illinois based players like Luke Donald continue not to play at John Deere, and this year Kevin Streelman skipped out as well. Both players went to Connecticut last week, and skipped a home game in their back yard. Most PGA Tour players don’t do that.

Deere was in the middle of a three week gap between the PGA and start of the playoffs, you would have thought players that need a break would have grabbed a week off after the PGA and a week off in front of the playoffs to rest up. But that didn’t happen.

Peterson and Deere do a great job of giving the players of the future a chance to play a PGA Tour event while still an amateur, or give out exemptions to new professionals. Two players that have really benefited from that in recent years have been Jason Day and Jordan Spieth, neither showed up this year after pulling out of the Olympics and Spieth is the JDC defending champion.

I spoke with Peterson yesterday afternoon and asked him to sum up the week, date change, rainy and hot weather, how did it work out.

Peterson said they (the tournament) were thrilled on how all weekend after the rain finally went away the community showed up in big numbers to support the event, and how the sponsors continued their support even with the date change.

When asked if the JDC could avoid a conflict in 2020 when the Olympics return, Peterson admitted he hasn’t thought out ahead that far yet. But maybe somewhere in 2019 when the tour starts to think about the 2020 schedule, it would be nice if John Deere and the tour could make sure the John Deere Classic doesn’t get the short straw in an Olympic head-to-head again. It’s time the PGA Tour hear’s the Deere.

ILLINOIS GOLF, it was a great week for Illini golf. Steve Stricker, Charlie Danielson and Scott Langley played well at the Deere, coach Mike Small made the cut at the U.S. Sr. Open at Scioto in Ohio, and Illinois alum Thomas Pieters almost earned a medal at the Olympic games in Rio.

Seeing this type of play on different tours and in different countries show that Mike Small is really building a solid golf program at the University of Illinois.

NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT in Pennsylvania is my destination of the week. The resort some 50 miles from downtown Pittsburgh is really growing. They have one 18 hole course and another under construction. Former Illinois PGA professional Mike Jones is now Director of Activities there and I’ll be on site to check out this rapidly growing golf destination.

THE GOG BOG RETURNS this week, stay clicked in. RS


13165941_10154190167574116_8521955656900211775_n NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORTMike Jones with Pete Dye at Nemacolin  NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT near Pittsburgh, 18 holes open for play, 18 more on the way coming 2017. Right former IPGA professional Mike Jones now Director of Activities at Nemacolin with Hall of Fame Architect Pete Dye, designer of both courses. ______________________________________________________________________

DSC07147 Rory and Deere ball DS

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the John Deere Classic and on Facebook, Linkein and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

Ryan Moore is your 2016 John Deere Classic Champion. Moore shot 65-65-65-67 to win for the fifth time on the PGA Tour.

Moore had stellar run of 46 holes with out a bogey to finish the championship, which was great play on a wet TPC Deere Run golf course.

Moore had to hold off Ben Martin who made a great run to finish at 20 under par, but in spite of the fact that Moore did not make a birdie on the last holes, Martin was not able to close the gap any closer than 2 shots.

Click here to hear the interview with 2016 John Deere Classic Champion Ryan Moore.

DSC07168 Ryan Moore trophy 3 DS

2016 John Deere Classic Champion Ryan Moore with the trophy.

Rod Pampling started the final day being first out at 7:20, Pampling was a single and plowed his way around the TPC Deere Run Course in 3 hours flat. The first twosome was Alex Prugh and Joey Garber who played in 3:30, they did a nice job of setting of the pace on a beautiful day in the Quad Cities.

John Deere Classic board member and two-time major champion Zach Johnson managed to get a few birdies late in the round to close with 68. But the feeling of being in the clubhouse just as the leaders were teeing off on Sunday was different for the 2012 JDC Champion.

Johnson graded parts of his game this year “just a C”, and some other parts to be “A or A-“, Johnson appears happy with his short game, but not so much with his long game especially his driver. The stats show than when he makes bogey it usually starts with a drive that finds the rough. Johnson talked about missing the fairway on his final hole on Sunday by 75 yards. But he feels he and his team will work through this valley and figure it out.

John Deere tee marker DS

Hear the Deere !

Steve Stricker just could not figure out the greens this year, Stricker said that maybe because of the large amount of rain the course received over three days, that it led to a lot of grain in the green.

As a result he had no feel for the greens.

Stricker did call the tournament, “Down a little this year and we’re missing Jordan Spieth too.” He also felt the tournament would be better off back in it’s July dates come 2017.

Stricker will play the Barclay’s and then who knows as he says. He will continue to play in the Playoffs as long as he is eligible to do so. Then get ready for his role as a Vice-Captain in the Ryder Cup. Stricker said he is looking at the possibility of being the 2020 Ryder Cup captain at Whistling Straits, but admits that’s a long way off.

The John Deere Classic will return to it’s July dates in 2017, visit for more details and information.


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Golfers on Golf Radio this Sunday has Ed Stevenson at the controls with a surprise guest host. Rory Spears checks in live from the John Deere Classic.


Golfers on Golf Radio continues to play through the back-nine of the golf show season, and today with only 5 shows remaining, Ed Stevenson will hit the studio with two regulars missing.

Mike Munro and Bill Berger have the week off and Rory Spears will check in live from the John Deere Classic in the Quad Cities near the Mississippi River.

Stevenson wont fly solo, he will have a surprise guest host, and a few guests to make for an exciting hour of golf talk.

Golfers on Golf Radio teeing off at 9 Am on AM 1240 WSBC, Chicago’s Longest Running Radio Golf Show.

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The John Deere Classic wraps up today.

DON’T FORGET to check out coverage on the John Deere Classic, the only PGA Tour event that comes to Illinois every year.

Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker might not win this year, but you can bet there will be plenty of final round excitement.

The first three days have been plagued with rain that has caused delays.

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ARE YOU READY FOR SOME South Carolina Golf.

Right now there are summer specials at the Kiawah Island Resort, located on the south side of Charleston. You can book your stay at the famed 5-Star Sanctuary Resort Hotel.

Kiawah’s Pete Dye designed Island Course has hosted a Ryder Cup, a PGA Championship and has another PGA Championship on the way, just a few years away. So go enjoy Kiawah, right now at a discount.

Chad in Studio DS

Chad Johansen is inventing great products again. Visit

The great golf inventor from Bristol Illinois is at it again. Chad Johansen the former head professional and now Gm at Bristol Oaks Golf Club in Bristol has created the Guide for Golf.

If you are working to improve your game, then why not have access to all the golf lessons you need and when you need them.

Johansen who created the famed “Perfect Putting Aid” used by the 2016 Champion Golfer of the Year Henrik Stenson, and by the new Mr. 58 Jim Furyk has now launched The Guide for Golf. Visit Guide for Golf and stay tuned to Golfers on Golf Radio for a future live interview with Chad Johansen (the former Mr. Nike golf).

The Gog Blog returns on Monday with the Gog Blog Speaks Out. RS


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DSC07147 Rory and Deere ball DS

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the John Deere Classic, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

Round 2 is in the books, the cut was made on Saturday morning at -3 and 73 players made the cut.

Round 3 got underway at 1:30 with the players going off both tee’s and in threesomes.

When Round 2 ended, Wesley Bryant was still the leader at 12 under par, but he had company at the top of the leader board in the person of Ryan Moore. Steve Marino was in third place just one shot back. Moore had a birdie put on his last hole for sole possession for the lead but could not convert. Zach Johnson played much of Round 2 at 1 over par, but a late birdie for the John Deere Classic board member left him where he finished Round 1, at 6 under par.

The rare sight was Steve Stricker needing a birdie to stay for the weekend, with only 3 holes to play in his second round. But he put his approach shot to 8 feet on the Par 3, 16th and made that. Then his chip to 7 inches on the Par 5, 17th gave him an insurance birdie.

Both media day guests Charlie Danielson and Aaron Wise playing on sponsors exemptions made the cut. Wise on the number at 3 under par, Danielson at 4 under par after a rocky finish of bogey-double bogey-bogey.

Some other locals making the cut were, Mark Wilson of Elmhurst, former Illini Golfer Scott Langley. Patrick Rodgers a former WGA Junior Champion at Blue Mound CC, was one of the first leaders, but had to make birdie on the last hole to make the cut.

Playing the long par 4, 9th hole called Howitzer. Rodgers hit his drive about 350 yards, and then stiffed his approach shot to 5 feet. With the cut on the line, Rodgers calmly made the putt for birdie and a ticket to the weekend. Former Illini players DA Points was three under par and backed up to 1 over par to miss the cut, along with Luke Guthrie who finished at 2 over par.

Round 3 play started at 1:30 PM, with the leaders teeing off at 3:30 PM local time.

The afternoon wasn’t much better for Zach Johnson, who after 36 holes, wasn’t any better off than he was when he started the day. In 36 holes Johnson didn’t gain one shot, and was still at 6 under par after a bogey on 18.

The news was better for the Illini guys. Danielson had it to ten under par, but a bogey on the ninth hole his final hole left him at 9 under par. Danielson made eagle on 18 when he holed a 9 Iron from 150 yards. Right behind him was Stricker who made a couple of afternoon birdies and finished at 7 under par.

The real story of Round 3 was the late finish in the dark, but some lighted scoreboards around the 18th green allowed the players on the back side to finish. Played ended at 8:26 in the dark and with the bugs swarming.

When it was over Ryan Moore after his third straight 6 under par 65 that left him at 18 under par, held a 1 shot lead over Ben Martin and Morgan Hoffman.

Click here to hear the post round interview with Ryan Moore, the tournament leader.

Now Sunday should play like a normal Sunday. Everyone in the field and at John Deere and the PGA Tour hopes so as well.