8 OF THE TOP PLAYERS in the UL International Crown, teeing off tonight in South Korea, catch all the action on The Golf Channel, 32 players, 8 countries, 1 Crown, the USA is the defending champion. WILSON GOLF GM TIM CLARKE, and former NHL star and Chicago Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick serves as judges on Driver vs Driver 2, see the path to the next new innovative driver by Wilson Golf, Tuesday nights on TGC.   ____________________________________________________________________


THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. At the Justin Thomas Plaque in the 18th fairway at Erin Hills. L-R Roofing pros Perry & Glenn, Erin Hills pro Rick Tock, and yours truly. Photo by putting king Chris Johnson.

THERE IS AN OLD SAYING GOLF, that you Drive for Show and Putt for Dough.

For Erin Hills Caddie Chris Johnson that saying hits it dead center in the cup.

Last year Johnson made it all the way to Las Vegas, where he took second place in the Major Series of Putting (MSOP).

This year Johnson when he is not lugging bags around Erin Hills home of the 2017 U.S. Open and the 2011 U.S Amateur, Johnson is working on his putting, something that paid off pretty well for him last year in Las Vegas. With a second place finish in 2017, Johnson took home over $42,000 for sinking a few putts. Last month Johnson returned to a local MSOP qualifier at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton, and now he advances back to the Jack Nicklaus designed putting course on the Strip in Las Vegas, where he has another chance to take home $75,000.

Chris Johnson by the Caddie Barn at Erin Hills.

When your out playing golf at Erin Hills, there are plenty of good caddies, but on Erin Hills greens landing Johnson as your caddie can shave a few strokes off your scorecard.

Johnson doesn’t just stand off to the corner of the green and suggest you hit it one-ball out. He stands over your ball and gets a real look at what kind of putt you have, before you have to step up and roll it. Not bad considering what some caddies at top clubs, actually do give you before expecting a big fat tip. So when your round is done at Erin Hills and your enjoying a nice cold Fescue Rescue on the patio by the clubhouse or by the fire pit behind the pub. That golfer walking up the first fairway, might be Johnson heading out for some practice.

Click here to hear the interview with Erin Hills caddie and putting champion Chris Johnson.

The Major Series of Putting ( championship finals are October 23-28 on the strip in Las Vegas. If your in the town that never sleeps, go cheer on Chris. The MSOP is open to anyone who wants to pay the entrance fee to compete.


 PEAKVISION SUN GLASSES designed by golfers for golfers, The season is not over yet, play Erin Hills a US Open venue you can play see  ______________________________________________________________________

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

Northwestern University just went north to Wisconsin and returned the favor.

It was only a week ago that Marquette University came down to Lake Forest  Illinois and won the Northwestern Invitational, the Windon Championship at the Knollwood Club.

But this time it was Northwestern’s turn to shine up in Wisconsin, as the Wildcats returned the favor and won the Marquette Intercollegiate at Erin Hills.

The Wildcats hung on to defeat the Arizona State Sun Devils by two shots, and host Marquette by 10. NU shot a three round total of 858, with ASU at 860 and Marquette at 868.

Northwestern with the winners flag from Erin Hills

Northwestern’s Director of Golf Pat Goss said, “our team worked really hard yesterday to get in the final pairing for the final round.”

The key to the final round and the win for NU, was the stellar play of all five of their players on the back nine, holes 12 through 16 where the five NU players shot a combined 15 under par. There was one eagle, 14 birdies and just one bogey.

Wildcat Ryan Lumsden shot a final round 67 to win the individual title.

Click here to interviews with Northwestern Universities Director of Golf Pat Goss, and Ryan Lumsden, followed by Marquette’s Hunter Eichhorn and Coach Steve Bailey.

Bailey the former NU assistant to Goss said if his team wasn’t taking home the trophy, he wouldn’t rather hand it to anyone else other than Goss, who he worked under for five seasons in Evanston.

The University of Iowa team suffered a tough break when they had to be Disqualified after Round 2, for not being able to post and official four-man team score. One player Matthew Walker was injured during play on the front nine and had to withdraw from play. Then on the back nine Gonzalo Leal Montero who was in second place at the time, had a misinterpretation of a rule and was disqualified. All six of the Hawkeyes players were able to compete in the final round.

Marquette University and Northwestern University will meet again in two weeks at the University of Indiana Invitational in Bloomington Indiana. Marquette also won the Northern Illinois Intercollegiate at Rich Harvest Farms last month.


  THE RYDER CUP STORE IS OPEN IN KOHLER, just looking ahead to a comeback that is needed. This week our interview with David McLay Kidd designer of Bandon Dunes, Mammoth Dunes and Gamble Sands and Gamble Sands 2 _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation, follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. Hitting the fairway on 16 at Whistling Straits.

IT WASN’T a hard prediction to make. You could feel Europe revving up for the Ryder Cup, over 51,000 a day on the golf course, and even the Tiger Woods PR hype machine, could not say everyone was there to see Tiger. In fact pretty much everyone was there for the atmosphere of the Ryder Cup.

They always are, and this year was no different, TV ratings were fine as always. What those viewers saw was another Team USA, who simply was not good enough. What Team USA needs, is more players like Justin Thomas, and less of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson who couldn’t even earn a half point over three days. Tiger was 0-4 and Phil was 0-2. I said three weeks ago, picking them both was a mistake, and it sure was. The blame however doesn’t fall completely on Tiger and Phil, they had plenty of help in handing the cup back to Europe.

I don’t know who the captain will be in 2020, hopefully Steve Stricker in his home state of Wisconsin at Whistling Straits. But the captains picks need to be smarter ones than this time. (2-10-0) was lowest percentage ever by Team USA captains selections. I don’t know how much pressure there was on Jim Furyk to pick Tiger and Phil, but it’s about time those picks contribute. Unfortunately Bryson DeChambeau didn’t deliver much either, the Ryder Cup rookie was 0-3-0. Tony Finau who was left hanging until being selected as the final member of Team USA, did some fine playing even crushing one of Europe’s hottest players Tommy Fleetwood 6&4 in the singles. Finau was 2-1-0 over three days of play.

Jordan Speith who had played well over the first two days, was exposed on social media by Patrick Reed’s wife Justine on Saturday, as not wanting to be partnered with her husband. Speith then went out and got crushed by Thorbjorn Olesen 5&4. Maybe the wife’s or girlfriends should stay off social media during the matches. Speith still has not won a singles match at the Ryder Cup.

What I do hope for, is that the recent task force that was put together by the PGA, isn’t reshuffled in major moves because of the loss. Another new task force with new idea’s is not needed. Kohler on the Lake will be here soon enough, now let’s just go play, and see who ends up making the team in some 22-23 months from now.

Golf architect David McLay Kidd, designer of Bandon Dunes, Mammoth Dunes and Gamble Sands to name a few.

It was great to catch up with architect David McLay Kidd this past week. Even better was the news that Kidd has been selected by the owners of Gamble Sands in the state of Washington to design the second course at that property that now has much needed over night rooms.

It was Kidd’s work at Gamble Sands that the Keiser family saw, than had them bring Kidd back to work at Sand Valley on Mammoth Dunes. My recent visit to SV, confirmed after playing the entire course this time around, that Mammoth Dunes is one of the best and most fun golf courses I have ever played. The Par 3 Sandbox Course by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw is a bunch of fun as well. My interview with Kidd will run later this week. So stay clicked in.

SPEAKING OF WISCONSIN, I’ll make my first visit back to Erin Hills over the next couple of days, since the 2017 U.S. Open. Marquette University has it’s college golf invitational there today and tomorrow. Marquette won the NIU invite at Rich Harvest Farms a few weeks back, and more recently Northwestern’s Windon invitational that was played at Knollwood last week. A few Illinois schools have made the trek north and I’ll be present for the final round tomorrow.

THE ILLINOIS MEN’S GOLF TEAM wins on the Yale Golf Course at the Macdonald Cup, with a 15 under par score. Bryan Baumgarten led the way for Illinois with an 8 under par score, he finished second for the tournament. THE ILLINI Women’s also had a 1st place finish at the Coeur D’Alene Collegiate with an even par score for the 3 round total. Freshman Crystal Wang led the way with a second place finish, by shooting a three day total of 1 under par. Illinois was second at this event last year, and should move up from their #23 ranking. Next up for the women’s is the Illini Invite next week at Medinah Country Club.

WHISTLING STRAITS and Kohler are now on the clock for the 2020 Ryder Cup, lets hope the USA can win back the cup on it’s home soil.

DRIVER vs DRIVER 2, hits the airways tomorrow night on The Golf Channel, and will run into early November. Wilson Golf has a plan in place with the USGA this time around, so the winner should be a conforming club right away.

OCTOBER is here and we are now fully into the fall golf season, get out and enjoy it while you can. It will be getting dark sooner by the day. RS