HAPPY HOLIDAYS from COG HILL- Courses 1 & 3 open year round, McQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook, part of Mistwood Golf. Black Friday Sale this Friday 8 AM. ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Congrats to Team Illinois from Cog Hill.

PGA Junior League National Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Team Illinois with Coach Kevin Weeks of Cog Hill. Photo’s from the Southwest PGA Section and courtesy of Bill Ibrahim.

For three days the top PGA junior league teams from across the country are on the golf course, trying to win their version of the Little League World Series.

Powerhouse Team Georgia is back in the finals as the final days play tee’s off. In fact a team from Georgia has made the finals in all five of the previous five years have done. For the first time though, Georgia will not play a team from California. This year it’s New Jersey in the championship bracket along with Georgia.

The two divisions are named the Wanamaker and the Ryder Divisions, and four states get round-robin style matches with team from three other states. Georgia and New Jersey both went a perfect 3-0 in their division matches to advance to the finals.

The third place match will feature teams from Ohio and Texas. Teams from Arkansas and California will battle for fifth place. Illinois and New Hampshire will meet to decide the seventh place match.

80 kids are competing at Grayhawk golf Club for the national championship. This number comes from the record total of over 42,000 who played in the league in 2017. to make the nationals a team has t win it’s state championship and them advance through regional competition. The Golf Channel will broadcast a special about the national championships on Dec. 5th at 7 pm CST.

Illinois PGA teacher of he year three time award winner Kevin Weeks of Cog Hill is the Captain of Team Illinois, Weeks lead Team Illinois to the championship match in the PGA Junior Leagues first year in 2012.


  THE NEW CLUBHOUSE at Harbour Town part of the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head South Carolina. (R) The Par 3, 4th hole at Harbour Town home of the RBC Classic. The Harbour Town is a Top 100 you can play, for more information visit     ____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS. Editor and Director of Content follow Rory to Harbour Town at Sea Pines Resort on beautiful Hilton Head Island, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy on the 18th green at Harbour Town.

The construction of a room to honor course architect Pete Dye has begun in the clubhouse at the Harbour Town golf course, a Top 100 You Can Play.

The room will open in February of 2018, and will incorporate the relationship of Dye’s Hall of Fame career as a course designer, to his creation of Harbour Town.

“Harbour Town made my career,” says Dye who got an assist on the course by a young golfer/aspiring architect by the name of Jack Nicklaus.

The course opened almost 50 years ago and just in time for the PGA Tour to come and play the Heritage Classic. That first tournament was won by the “King” Arnold Palmer, who made a late final round charge to win.

 (L) THE PAR 3, 17TH HOLE at Harbour Town. (R) Former Illinois PGA Professional Mike Jones now at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA. stands with Pete Dye in 2016 on the new Dye Designed Shepherds Rock Golf Course.

    THE PETE & ALICE DYE STATUE at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel Indiana (L). Pete Dye at the French Lick Resort and the Pete Dye Course with yours truly.

The Pete Dye room honors the life and works of Dye, and how Dye left his trademarks on course design, including the use of railroad ties, and Smithco bunker rake.

There will be three video’s that one through the themes of Dye’s work. One video will have players and friends discuss favorite holes and courses. Another video relives the famed shots on Dye’s greatest holes. The final video recaptures Dye’s creation and building of Harbour Town.

There will be a Pete Dye award and trophy display, that provides a record of what Dye brought to course design.

“We are thrilled to honor the life and work of the great Pete Dye in our Harbour Town Clubhouse,” says Cary Corbitt, Vice President of Sports and Operations. “The stewardship of Pete Dye’s seminal design is important to us and his longtime contributions to Sea Pines, Hilton Head, and the golf world at large are immeasurable.”

For more information on Sea Pines, Harbour Town and Heron Point designed by Dye, visit or call (866)-561-8802.


  TRUE SPEC GOLF now open in Highland Park and in Florida at Trump National Doral in Jupiter Florida, see McQ’s Dome the Black Friday Sale Nov. 24.   _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS. Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy and to the French Lick Resort.

Golfers are you ready for the 2018 golf season already, if so it’s not to early to start planning your golf trip to the French Lick Resort, located in historic French Lick Indiana.

New golf packages are available in 2018, and they are perfect for a buddies trip, couples retreat, or a girls get-away.

French Lick is your opportunity to play courses designed by hall of Fame designers Donald Ross and Indiana’s very own Pete Dye.

The two hotels that comprise the French Lick Resort, both have history on their side. Both the French Lick Hotel and the West Baden Springs Hotel (The Dome) make for a unique and relaxing experience.

The 17th green on the Donald Ross Course, celebrating it’s 100th year.

For those of you heading for the first tee, your first option is the Eagles,Birdies and Pigeons Package.

Golfers can take their best shots on and off the course. After holing your final putt you can now go shoot sporting clays on the new 73-acre shooting range.

The Hall of Fame Package. This has been French Lick’s most popular golf package. The Pete Dye Course and the Donald Ross Course, are the top 2 “You can Play” courses in Indiana. Both of the courses are ranked in the Top 100 Public Course’s in America. This package includes a 1-night stay at either hotel, with unlimited range use, and course play on both golf courses, prices do vary based on choice of hotel or single or double occupancy.

French Lick Resorts Golf Marketing Director Brendan Sweeney a former Medinah Caddie, show’s off the resorts features at a recent Chicago area golf show.

The Donald Ross Experience.

The 100 year old Donald Ross is a throwback in time as to how golf was meant to be played.

You can experience a golf course by one of the great designers in golf history, and experience how he built it into the rolling Indiana hillside.

The package includes two days of golf on the Ross Course, with your choice of hotel. Carts are included for all round, and shuttle service is available to the course from either hotel. Rates start at $334 per person and fore caddies are available for Ross Course play.

Welcome to the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort


This package includes 4 nights at either hotel, and then three days of golf, with four hours or personalized instruction on the Pete Dye Range.

Pricing can vary on the Pete Dye package, so call ahead for current rates. The Pete Dye Course has been the home of various major championships and remains the home of the Sr. LPGA Women’s Championship for the next four years. In addition to the well stocked pro shop at the Dye Course, the Pete Dye pavilion over looking several holes is a great place for events and Pre-or-post round activities.

To review French Lick Resort packages for golf or other activities, please call (888)-936-9360 or online see French Lick Resort is just over a 5 hour drive from the Chicago area.


  THE GREEN STREET GRILLE IN BENSENVILLE. Come visit former White Pines Golf Dome owner Mike Munro and the staff of Green Street. 120 W.Green Street Bensenville ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. On the new 16th tee box at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer. Home of the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA.

The Women’s KPMG/PGA Championship will be held from June 26 through July 1st in 2018. Danielle Kang is the defending champion, having won the title last year at Olympia Fields Country Club.

This year younger fans will be given the chance to be near the players they love to watch.

One of the best ways to do that is to sign up to be a junior volunteer, and their are still positions open so sign up while you still can.

“We look forward to inspiring the next generation of young golfers in the Chicagoland area during the 2018 Championship, our second year of golf in this major golf market,” said 2018 Championship Director Jackie Endsley. “Planning a Major Championship begins months in advance and it would not be possible to execute such a significant and memorable event without the support of all of our volunteers, especially juniors. We hope that junior golfers in this community will continue to support us this year and participate in the championship.”

The 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer.

The following positions are still available if you sign up quickly.

Junior Leader Board and Thru Boards- Junior volunteers will assist adult volunteers and post scores on Leader Boards & Thru Boards throughout the golf course. Leader Boards display the top eight contestants and how they stand for the day and the event. Thru Boards display the contestants on a particular hole and their relation to par.

Junior Monster Board-Junior volunteers will work with adult volunteers to post the top 10 leaders scores on the large main board.

Junior Standard Bearers- Junior volunteers will follow a specific group in the Championship, carry a scoreboard with their assigned players current scores.

All volunteer positions are filled on a first come, first serve basis and Junior Volunteer positions will be assigned on needs and committee size. Junior volunteers are between the ages of 14-21. Junior volunteers who are ages 14-15 are required to have a parent or legal guardian present with them.

There is no fee for junior volunteers. All junior volunteers will receive a volunteer uniform (Ralph Lauren golf shirt & headwear item), food and water vouchers to use at any on-course concession stand and a copy of the official 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship program.

To volunteer, please visit the Championships website at


  THE US SENIOR WOMEN’S OPEN volunteer opportunities coming soon. THE SR. PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, now accepting volunteers. Both events in July of 2018.       _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Editor and Director of Content Rory Spears, with Mike Jones the birthday boy at Shepherd’s Rock Golf Club at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

If there is one Chicago area golf facility that doesn’t close for the winter season, it’s Cog Hill.

Courses #1 and #3 do stay open all year round, along with the practice facilities on most days. Kevin Weeks remains hard at work in the Cog Hill Barn on the back end of the range.

In the barn is Chicago’s top putting facility complete with everything a golfer could need. Weeks himself is a three-time Teacher of the Year award winner from the IPGA.

One of the fun things that tee’s off the Christmas and holiday season is the Cog Hill Christmas Sale in the 2-4 building. This year it’s 10-4 and will be held on December 2nd.

The Red Barn at Cog Hill, on the back of the range.

Before that is the Black Friday outing on Course #2.

then on Sunday Decembers 10th is the famed Cog Hill Frosty 3 club open, always a favorite.

Then soon to be announced will be the Eskimo Open coming in January of 2018.

On sale now id the Cog Hill 131 Card, which gives those 4 rounds for the price of three. For $131 you get a round of golf on Courses 1-2-3 and a fourth round for free on one of those courses. See which course you like the best and go play it again. The chance to buy a 131 Card ends on New Years Eve. More information on or call (866)-COG-HILL.


THE GOG BLOG by Editor and Director of Content Rory Spears. Follow Rory to French Lick Resort and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Plan your next trip to the French Lick Resort at

THE PGA IS ON THE MOVE, where, anywhere but here it is starting to feel like.

While top Chicago area clubs like Olympia Fields and Kemper Lakes have or will be hosting the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, it seems like other top clubs are getting the even bigger prizes.

It is quite an honor to host the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, but

Callaway’ Paul Schlimm holds the Epic Driver, one of the hottest new clubs in 2017.

some clubs are looking at the other tournaments on the PGA’s list of championships. With the PGA Championship or a Ryder Cup on the top of the list. Olympia Fields and Kemper Lakes would take either one.

There are some folks who will tell you that Olympia Fields got the shaft from the USGA, for hosting the U.S. Amateur in 2015 and then not getting awarded a U.S. Open in return for doing so.

While hosting the U.S. Amateur is something special, the cost clubs

The indoor golf area at the Schaumburg Golf Club, ready to keep you playing golf, all year long.

endure for hosting such an event is starting to become close to a million dollars. The amount they receive in return from the USGA for doing so is less than $50,000.

Where U.S. Amateur hosting clubs get that money back, is by putting on a U.S. Open a few years later. The profit for a U.S. Open is in the millions.

PGA of America events turn a profit as well, including the KPMG. But that number is not what one receives for a PGA Championship, a Ryder Cup or even in some cases a Sr. PGA Championship. With the future dates of the PGA Championship changing to May starting in 2019, the PGA is now looking at other clubs to host it’s biggest tournaments.

THE PAR 4 16TH HOLE at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer is now a brute with it’s new tee boxes. It might play as the toughest Par 4, in the Chicago area. Standing on the 16th tee box at Kemper Lakes.

Several weeks ago the word broke that Southern Hills in Tulsa Oklahoma will receive a PGA Championship between 2025 and 2030. Southern Hills which I have played twice, in my opinion is overrated.

My favorite architect Keith Foster is the clubs current architect. Even Foster has not yet been able to make the course into what it needs to be. But he’s trying to give it some credibility. Olympia Fields North is a much better golf course, and not just because it’s in the Chicago area. During my last visit to Southern Hills, I heard from various club staff members that the last PGA held at Southern Hills (2007) would be the last one ever, and experience with the PGA was terrible. The PGA of America would never be welcomed back, apparently times have changed.

Then last week the news broke that the Olympic Club in San Francisco has jumped from being a USGA site, and will host a PGA Championship and likely the Ryder Cup in 2032. Then this week the announcement is expected that Valhalla, a club owned by the PGA will host the 2024 PGA Championship. Former PGA of America President Ted Bishop even once suggested that Valhalla should be the permanent American soil site of the Ryder Cup. Umm No !

I like Valhalla it’s a nice Jack Nicklaus designed course. I was there to cover the 2000 PGA Championship won by Tiger over Bob May in a playoff, and played the course the next day. While it also did a nice job hosting the Ryder Cup in 2008, it really isn’t a course that screams out for a quick return of an event like the Ryder Cup. Medinah might, but Valhalla does not. Some players joked that the 18th green is shaped like a toilet seat and that’s the rep the closing hole has. So when you lose a match on the 18th hole, I guess all you do is flush it away.

TODAY THE NEWS IS that 2018 BMW Championship host Aronimink will land the 2020 KPMG and the 2027 PGA Championship. So why is Aronimink getting a quick PGA Championship after hosting a KMPG, while both Chicago clubs hosting a KPMG Women’s PGA, have been awarded nothing going forward.

I’M WAITING for the PGA to jump up and award Olympia Fields the National Club Pro Championship, since the championship needs to two courses and Olympia Fields has, yes you guessed it, two championship golf courses.

Before the PGA of America runs out of dates over the next ten years, it would be nice for either Olympia Fields or Kemper Lakes to be awarded another championship from the PGA.

In 2024 the USGA will remember Payne Stewart during the 25th year of his passing and his last major championship, the 1999 U.S. Open by returning to Pinehurst. The PGA could honor Stewart that year as well by going back to the site of Stewart’s first major win, the 1989 PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes. It makes so much sense that it likely won’t happen.

It’s time to announce a Sr. PGA and another PGA Championship in Chicago. I hope Olympia Fields and Kemper Lakes are not being sold false hopes of another big PGA event by the PGA of America, while both clubs have or will be going all out for the KPMG.

Chicago golf fans and both clubs deserve more and deserve better. RS


   IT’S BEEN AN EPIC YEAR for CALLAWAY GOLF. The Epic Driver has taken the golf world by storm, Roger Cleveland’s Mack Daddy Wedges have players improving their wedge and short game play. Callaway will soon announce their 2018 line. #Staytuned.    ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. With Illinois Men’s Golf Coach Mike Small

The University of Illinois and Coach Mike Small announced the signing of four letters of intent to student athletes who will join the Illinois program in 2018.

Two future members of the team hail from Illinois, one from Indiana and one from the nation of Belgium.

The new players include Luke Armbrust of Wheaton Illinois and St. Francis High School. Tommy Kuhl of Morton Illinois, and Morton High School. Noah Gillard of Greenwood Indiana, and Center Grove High School. Adrien Dumont De Chassart of Belgium and the College of DU Christ-Roi.

“We’re excited to welcome four accomplished and successful golfers into our program in 2018,” said coach Small.” Each one of them will bring a strong resume and uniqueness to our team. Together with their skill, work ethic and integrity, they will push each other to new heights in our program for the next four years.”

Senior Nick Hardy from Northbrook (L) is one player Coach Mike Small will have to replace before the start of the 2018-2019 golf season.

Armbrust will join Illinois after a high school career that included being the Illinois State 2A Champion in 2016. Armbrust also won the MAJGT Championship at Geneva National in Wisconsin.

Dumont De Chassart’s career in Europe includes, being the 2017 French Boys Champion. He won both the International Juniors of Belgium and he is the reigning 2017 Belgium International Amateur Champion. He was the winner of the 2017 European’s Men’s Club Trophy.

Noah Gillard is the 2017 IHSAA boys Individual Champion. Gillard was a Rolex Junior All-America Team Honoree, helped his high school win the 2017 ISHAA golf team title. He was the 2017 medalist at the 2016 Hoosier Junior Championship.

Tommy Kuhl is a two-time IHSA state champion in the 2A division (2014-2017). Kuhl set an Illinois state finals record with an 8 under par 63 during the 2017 championship. His two round score of 13 under par is a new state record.

Coach Small feels that all four players not only have great credentials coming into the freshman year at Illinois, but expects all four them to improve and have their games evolve while at the University of Illinois.

The Illinois golf team is currently on winter break and will resume play in February down in Florida.


  NO SNOW at the CRADLE in Pinehurst. The par 3 course is open, see Need new clubs, it’s time for a fitting, go to Highland Park and or visit ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. On the 16th tee box at Kemper Lakes Golf Club home of the 2018 KPMG Championship

In 2018 the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be held at the Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, after a successful week at Olympia Fields last June.

Tournament week in 2018 is June 26 through July 1st.

This week the PGA of America has named Jacquelyn Endsley as Championship Director for this coming years championship.

Endsley previously served as the championship manager at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania. The 2015 U.S. Women’s Open was the most attended women’s open in history.

          KEMPER LAKES IN KILDEER  will host the 2018 KPMG Championship. Above the famed par 5, 15th hole.

Endsley a native of Kohler Wisconsin, spent three years with the NCAA working in corporate relations, marketing and broadcasting. Endsley also spent time with the KemperSports management team, Harborside International, the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA and Kohler Company.

“We’re very excited to welcome Jacquelyn to the PGA of America,” said Kerry Haigh, Chief Championships Officer of the PGA of America. “Jacquelyn has a wealth of previous championship experience, but we also were drawn to her ability to connect with a wide range of people to grow the collaboration between the PGA, KPMG and the LPGA.”

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is a collaboration between KPMG, the PGA of America, and the LPGA, it combines a world class, annual golf champion at a major level, while providing a forum for KPMG’s Women’s Leadership summit and the KPMG Future leaders program, that looks to grow women in the business world in the years ahead.

Danielle Kang who won the championship this year at Olympia Fields, is expected to defend her title. A majority of the top players on the LPGA Tour and Women;s golf are expected to compete at Kemper Lakes.

For more information about the 2018 championship, please visit Kemper Lakes is the former home of many statewide and national golf championships, the most famous was the 1989 PGA Championship won by the late Payne Stewart.

Volunteer and ticket opportunities are now available for the championship. For more information on the championship stay clicked into this website.


   THE INAUGURAL U.S. SENIOR WOMEN’S OPEN at the Chicago Golf Club, July of 2018, volunteer registration opening soon. THE SR. PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, now has volunteer registration open. The Sr. Players Championship at Exmoor, July 2018.    ______________________________________________________________________

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

It’s been a few years since the PGA Champions Tour left town. With the end of the Encompass Championship, the champions tour left Chicago and moved north with the berth of what’s being called the AM-Fam tournament in Madison Wisconsin. Sponsored by American Family Insurance.

Steve Stricker is the playing chairman of that event, which has raised millions of dollars for hospitals in the area.

But now after a few years absence, senior men’s golf is back in town, even if it’s a major championship, and only for one year.

Greg McLaughlin current official PGA TOUR staff headshot.
(Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

The Senior Players Championship presented by Exelon, comes to Exmoor Country Club in the second week of July.

Before the senior players arrives at Exmoor they will be on tour for six months. Currently the champions tour players (all remaining 36 of them) are still wrapping up the Charles Schwab Cup (tour championship) in Arizona.

Former Western Golf Association Tournament Director Greg McLaughlin is now the president of the PGA Champions Tour.

Earlier this week McLaughlin officially announced the 2018 Champions Tour Schedule.

After doing so on live TV, McLaughlin joined BIG 3 partners Len Ziehm and Golfers on Golf for a conference call about the tour and what lies ahead in 2018.

Click here to hear the interview with Champions Tour President Greg McLaughlin.

More information on the PGA Champions Tour, is found at


 THE U.S.SR WOMEN’S OPEN July of 2018 at the Chicago Golf Club, volunteer opportunities coming soon, stay clicked in or visit The Cradle at Pinehurst is now open, par 3 golf at it’s best, designed by architect Gil Hanse. Visit  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the French Lick Resort and the Donald Ross Course in it’s 100th Year, and on Facebook, linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

The Illinois Golf Hall of Fame recently held it’s Bi-Annual induction dinner to enshrine the Illinois Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

Golf professionals the Horton Smith, Gary Groh and Gary Hallberg were inducted this year.

The three professionals joined 82 already enshrined members. The Illinois Golf Hall of Fame is located at the Glen Club. The next class to be inducted will the Class of 2019. The hall of fame was created in 1989 by the Illinois PGA Foundation to recognize those who have contributed to the game of golf here in the State of Illinois.

Ill PGA Hall of Fame inductees Gary Hallberg, Gary Groh, Horton Smith on Friday Oct. 27, 2017. Charles Cherney/Illinois PGA

The Class of 2017.

Horton Smith, was the winner of the first and third Masters Tournament, while winning 32 tournaments on tour. Smith had an association at Oak Park Country Club  during his masters victories.

Smith has seven wins during his rookie year on tour and made the Ryder Cup team. Smith served as president of the PGA of America from 1952-54.

The Horton Smith Award named in his honor is for his efforts to help golf professional receive continuing education.

GARY HALLBERG, was a three time winner on the PGA Tour, and a winner on the Champions PGA Tour in 2010. He was a member of the winning 1977 Walker Cup Team, and was a four time All-American while playing for Wake Forest. He had back-to-back wins at the North-South Amateur at Pinehurst. His international wins gave him victories on four continents. Hallberg won the state amateur and state open two times each.

GARY GROH, the long time head golf professional at Bob-O’Link, was also the winner of the 1975 Hawaiian Open on the PGA Tour. During that tournament Groh defeated both Jack Nicklaus and his longtime friend Arnold Palmer.

During his time at Bob-O-Link, Groh won eight Illinois PGA majors that included the 1994 Illinois Open and four Illinois PGA section titles, his last win coming at age 57. Groh was victorious in 15 IPGA senior major titles. Groh had a run of 13 years where he did not lose in Radix Cup play.

The Illinois Golf Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for the class of 2019, which will be selected in spring of that year.