GRAND NATIONAL & HAMPTON COVE two facilities on “The Trail” Rtjgolf.com #bama ______________________________________________________________________

NEWS-THE WEB.COM TOUR has changed it’s name to the Korn-Ferry Tour. Sponsored by global consulting firm Korn-Ferry. The Evans Scholars Invitational will be part of the tour, and return in 2020. The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy Facebook-Instagram or Linkedin.

The 102nd Western Junior at Rich Harvest Farms

Three golfers, Chris Fosdick of Middlefield CT., Pierce Hunt of Hartland WI., and Sudarshan Yellamaraju from Ontario Canada, are the co-leaders after Round 1 of the 2019 Western Junior Golf Championship.

Hunt has committed to play college golf at the University of Illinois, for Coach Mike Small and the Fighting Illini.

The three golfers all shot 3-under par 69. They were the only players to break 70. Only 12 players broke par, and the stroke average for the day was 76.99.

Hunt birdied the par 5, 18th hole for seventh birdie of the day. He made four bogeys. Hunt was happy he put himself into position for the rest of the championship. In 2018 he missed the 36 hole cut at Evanston.

Five players were tied for fourth place with 2 under par 70’s. Because of a 90 minute fog delay to start the day, not all the players completed Round 1. Played was halted at 8:32 PM, with several threesomes on the golf course.


First-Round leader Brooke Biermann followed up her first round 68 with an even par 72, to earn medalist honors at the 93rd Women’s Western Junior Championship.

Biermann of Wildwood Mo.,leads Sarah Arnold of St. Charles IL. by one shot. Biermann is a junior at Lafayette High School, and Arnold will join the Western Kentucky University Golf team this fall.

Both players are looking forward to the match play part of the championship. There was a seven-player playoff to determine the final players into the top 16, and the match play. Audrey Tir of Winnetka was one of thelast players into the field.

Sweet 16 and quarter final matches are today, with the semi-finals and championship matches set for Thursday. Past champions include Nancy Lopez, Candie Kung, Christie Kerr, and Grace Park.


PLAY SOME OF THE BEST GOLF in the Midwest, at the French Lick Resort in French Lick Indiana-See Frenchlick.com. Visit the courses of Dupage Golf-Dupagegolf.com Play the Preserve at Oak Meadows. Now the highest rated course in Dupage County. _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears-Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. At Rich Harvest Farms, home of this weeks Western Junior Championship.

The Prestwick Country Club has been named host, of the 2020 Women’s Western Amateur, and the 2022 Women’s Western Junior Championship.

Next year’s Women’s Amateur will be played from July 20-25. The Women’s Junior Championship will be contested from June 20-24.

The 2022 Junior Championship, marks the 50th anniversary of the victory by the great Nancy Lopez at Prestwick in 1972. Lopez went on to win again in both, 1973 at Lake Geneva Country Club, and in 1974 at Sand Point Country Club. Lopez also won the Women’s Western Amateur Championship in 1976.

(L) Golfers on Golf Host Rory Spears-with Nancy Lopez at the Chicago Golf Club. During the inaugural U.S. Sr. Women’s Open. (R) The WWGA Amateur trophies.


“The Women’s Western Golf Association has a long history dating back to the early beginnings of competitive golf for women, and a tradition that rivals any in golf. We look forward to the 120th Amateur Championship, and the 96th Junior Championship to be held at Prestwick Country Club,” said Susan Wagner, National Media Director for the WWGA and past president. “Not only will players enjoy Prestwick’s golf course, but the countless attractions that the Chicagoland area has to offer.”

Starting this year, the Women’s Western Golf Association and the Western Golf Association, are partnering in conducting both WWGA Championships.

“We’re excited to bejoining the WWGA in bringing these two championships to a club of Prestwick’s stature,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA Senior Vice President of Tournaments. “We’re looking forward to working with the WWGA this year and beyond to promote women’s golf through the Women’s Western Junior and Women’s Western Amateur.”

Prestwick Country Club’s logo

Prestwick Country Club first opened in 1964, and the golf course was designed by Larry Packard.

The course features large fast greens, and challenging fairway bunkers.

“Prestwick Country Club is proud to host both, the Women’s Western Amateur in 2020, and the Women’s Western Junior Championship in 2022. The Prestwick members, staff and the Board of Directors are excited for this opportunity to extend our golf course and facilities to these wonderful tournaments and players,” said Todd Mistina, President of Prestwick CC. “We cannot wait to see the future of women’s golf at our doorstep, and we’re honored to be part of their future.” There are already many women searching for where they can find the Best Golf Wedge For High Handicappers for their game.

The Women’s Western Amateur will have a field of 120 amateurs, with handicaps of 5.4 or less. After 36 holes of stroke play, the field will be reduced to 32 players for the match play portion of the championship. This years Women’s Western Amateur will be played, from July 15-20 at the Royal Melbourne Country Club, in Long Grove Illinois.

The Women’s Western Junior Championship, is open to girls 18 years of age or younger. Their handicaps can not exceed 14.4. The championship begins with 36 holes of stroke play, with the top 16 players advancing to match play to determine the champion.

So for more information, visit wgaesf.org or wwga.org.


 WILSON GOLF GM TIM CLARKE-The Wilson Cortex Driver. Visit Wilsongolf.com           _____________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears-Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Facebook or Linkedin and Instagram. At Erin hills in 2017.

GARY WOODLAND is the 2019 U.S. Open Champion at Pebble Beach.

For Woodland it’s his first major championship, and it’s one you had to feel was coming. Considering the way he played at Bellerive, during the PGA Championship last year. Woodland’s 13 under par winning score, was one shot better than Tiger Woods winning score, at Pebble Beach in 2000.

I must tip the cap or golf visor to Woodland, on this historic win, on one of the great iconic golf courses in the world.

For Tim Clarke, the Genral Manager of Wilson Golf, congratualtions. This type of win, can help move the momentum forward of a brand name, like Chicago based Wilson Golf. Clarke might have made the GM signing of the year, when this past winter he signed Woodland to an equipment deal with Wilson Golf.

Gary Woodland poses with the trophy following his three-stroke victory to win the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif. on Sunday, June 16, 2019. (Copyright USGA/JD Cuban) Special thanks to the USGA for providing the above photo to Golfers on Golf.

Wilson Golf has been on the upswing, in the golf equipment world for the last couple of years. Because Wilson sells outstanding products, that are well priced for the average amateur golfer. And that has made a big difference.

The exposure Wilson Golf has had, from the Driver vs Driver, and Driver vs Driver 2 reality shows on The Golf Channel haven’t hurt. The current model winner “The Cortex” by Evan Hoffman is a solid product. But the exposure with Woodland strolling down the fairways with the Wilson Golf visor is visibility and exposure, that even Clarke can’t buy.

For everything Wilson Golf, I recommend visiting Wilsongolf.com. But somewhere along line, Clarke had a visit with Woodland that has really paid off. If there was any questions that Wilson Golf products can compete, with the big boys of the golf equipment industry, they have been answered.

For now Woodland is playing Wilson Irons, and they delivered down the stretch. Off the tee, in the fairway, and everywhere Woodland needed them to come through. Because of the success this week, maybe Woodland add’s more Wilson clubs in his bag, moving forward.

THE PUTT that Woodland holed on the 18th green to win the championship, was the best putt to close out a U.S. Open championship since 20 years ago, when Payne Stewart won at Pinehurst in 1999. The putt was longer than Stewarts, on a tougher putting surface. That I can attest to, having played the 18th green at both courses.

Now the question is, how big is the bonus Clarke has to pay Woodland for winning a major championship ? Whatever the number is, I’m sure it’s worth it.

BROOKS KOEPKA again showed the world, his is not only a class act, but is the hottest player in the game right now. Second-First-Second in the first three majors of 2019, makes him player of the year. Right here-Right now. Koepka gave it all he had, in trying to match Willie Anderson, for three straight U.S. Open wins.

When Koepka went four under par through the first five holes, the golf viewing audience locked in for a historic battle to the finish. Justin Rose was in that battle for a while, until too many up and downs didn’t happen from various bunkers, so ended his chances.

AFTER SHOOTING the same score for three rounds. Charlie Danielson (Illinois), and Luke Donald (Northwestern), were paired together Sunday. Illinois gets the win, because Danielson carded a 1 under par 70. While Donald closed out with, a 2-over par 73.

THREE FORMER ILLINI missed the 36-hole cut. Nick Hardy 1 by shot at +3, and Luke Guthrie and Thomas Pieters by several shots more. Evans Scholars Invitational winner Scottie Sheffler, missed the cut by 2 shots.

SO IF YOU ARE READY FOR MORE U.S.OPEN ACTION, you can visit USOPEN2020.com and apply for tickets at the Winged Foot Country Club.

Golfers on Golf will work with Wilson Golf for a strong presence on our radio show next weekend. Stay tuned.

BIG 3 PARTNER Len Ziehm has posted another travel destination story, on his Lenziehmongolf.com website. This weeks feature is on Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

THE WAS SOME GOOD give and take between Tiger Woods and his old Coach Hank Haney. Haney gave his honest opinion about the Korean influence on the LPGA Tour, and the recent Korean dominance at the U.S. Open Women’s Open. Woods came out taking a shot at Haney, some called Haney a racist. Haney apologized for speaking the truth, and then was suspended from his XM radio program. Haney responded by asking, should Woods be looked upon as an expert on women’s issues.

THIS WEEK is Junior Golf Championship Week for both the Women’s Western Golf Association in Carmel Indiana. While the WGA Boys Junior Championship is closer to home, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. owner Jerry Rich invites everyone out for FREE, to see all the golf, played by some future stars in professional golf.

IT HIT HOME HARD when I learned of the passing of Duncan Finigan, the marketing director of OOFOS footwear. Finigan lost her 4 1/2 year battle with breast cancer on May 26th. Because of her great sales approach to me in the press room at the PGA Merchandise Show in 2017, I went and visited the OOFOS booth. What I found was the best and comfortable pairs of footwear, I had ever felt on my feet. If your feet hurt after golf, or you are a caddie on your feet all day, slip-on a pair of OOFOS. Because the name speaks to the comfort level you will feel.

THE 58TH ANNUAL RADIX CUP MATCHES, scheduled for last Wednesday June 12th at Oak Park Country Club, were halted by threatening weather. Because the clubs lightning detector went off, every time it appeared play could start. The CDGA amateur team is looking for a third straight win, in the series over the Illinois PGA professionals.  So both sides are looking for a make-up date.

THE GOG BLOG returns all this week. Stay tuned. RS


  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY & US Open Sunday at Pebble Beach-Leader Gary Woodland.   _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears-Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Linkedin and Facebook. Over looking Payne’s Valley at Big Cedar Resort. Hollister Mo.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD-Go play some golf and enjoy the U.S. Open. Can Wilson Golf’s Gary Woodland get it done for major title No.1. We will see.

At 6 PM the Golf Scene with Steve Kashul returns on NBC Sports Chicago. Features include Cantigny Golf and Sunset Valley Golf Club, and a look at some new equipment on the market.

Reruns will be shown this week. Tuesday night and twice on Friday. Check local listings for times.

IT’S TIME FOR JUNIOR GOLF to take the main stage this week. Along with the Women’s KPMG Championship, that will be played at Hazeltine Golf Club, in Chaska Minnesota. First in Minnesota, Ireland’s Leona Maguire has accepted a sponsor’s exemption to compete at this weeks championship.

ON THE JUNIOR CIRCUIT.. The 93rd Women’s Western Amateur Championship tee’s off from the Woodland Country Club in Carmel Indiana, with practice rounds today. 78 players are in the field for this years championship, including defending champion Janice Kim. Past champions include Nancy Lopez a three-time winner from 1972-74.

The 102nd Western Junior Championship begins on Tuesday


AT RICH HARVEST FARMS in Sugrar Grove. Practice Rounds start for the 102nd Western Junior Golf Championships tomorrow. First round tee times start at 7 AM on Tuesday and Wednesday. After the first 36 holes, the field gets cut to the low 44 players and ties. The players who make the cut, will play 36 holes on Thursday to determine this years champion.

Rich Harvest Farms owner Jerry Rich, invites golf fans to come and enjoy the championship, at no charge for admission or parking.

Come see the future stars of the PGA Tour this week. Several current PGA Tour players are past champions of this championship. Rich Havrest Farms will play host to the Big Ten Championships in 2020. You can follow all the action for this weeks WGA Junior Championship at thewesternjunior.com or on Twitter at @WGAChamps.

Dave “Links” Lockhart’s Golf 360 on NBC Sports Chicago

GOLF 360 IS BACK. For the 2019 golf season. This year it air’s on NBC Sports Chicago.

Check local listings for times the show will air. And or, you can always watch 360 Golf when you want, on You-Tube.

The show is hosted by the 100th greatest Chicago Bear of all-time, long snapper Patrick Mannelly.

The first edition includes features on the recently renovated Sunset valley Golf Club in Highland Park. The U.S. Senior Open at the Warren Course in South Bend. All that and more. See Golf360 with Patrick Mannelly and Dave Lockhart.

OUR BIG 3 PARTNER LEN ZIEHM has posted a new travel destination feature at his lenziehmongolf.com. Grandover Resort in Greensboro North Carolina, is this editions story.

THE WGA and the BMW Championship are having a Fathers Day Special on Tickets for this years championship at Medinah, coming up in August But you must purchase those tickets by today. See BMWChampionship.com for details.

THE ARLINGTON HEIGHTS PARK DISTRICT has announced some specials for it’s 9 Hole Par 3 Course Nickol Knoll, they are featuring both a Free Youth Round and Early Bird Specials Call 847-590-6050 for visit AHPD.org for details.

MCWETHY’s Tavern at Mistwood Golf Club has anounced Kids under 10 Eat Free, with a purchase of an entree by an adult. Also earn point at McWethy’s by signing up for the rewards program by Texting McWethys to 578277.

KIDS PLAY FREE GOLF in Myrtle Beach. More than 50 courses in the Myrtle Beach area are offering free golf to the junior golfers when accompanied by a paying adult. Learn more at Playgolfmyrtlebeach.com.


HAMPTON COVE and GRAND NATIONAL part of Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, 26 golf courses at 11 sites rolling up and down the state. Learn more RTJGolf.com ______________________________________________________________________

GARY WOODLAND the long hitter with Wilson Golf, can he hang on and win this weeks U.S Open. He leads after 36 holes. Golfers on Golf Radio (L-R) Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger and Rory Spears, bring you national golf with a Chicago Flavor. Join us this morning for an hour of great golf talk, on Am 750 THE BIG WNDZ-Chicago. Our Tee Time is 10 AM.

OUR GUESTS TODAY INCLUDE-The new Illinois Golf Hall of Famer, long tim Illinois PGA Section Section Professional Emil Esposito.

The first lady of golf in New York, Ann Liguori joins us from Pebble Beach on the Left Coast, to report on the U.S. Open.

All this and more, including a report from my visit to Big Cedar Resort in Hollister MO.

Join us at 10 Am this morning Am 750 WNDZ.


  THE MARRIOTT FLORENCE-MUSCLE SHOALS from the Elevated 360 Grille Restaurant above the hotel. THE SHOALS-36 holes of golf. See RTJGOLF.COM            ______________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. Or now Instagram at Rorygolf18

IT’S U.S. OPEN WEEK, and that is always a wonderful thing, and one of the highlights of golf season.

It is sad that it’s the last major of the year on U.S. soil, because I do like having a major in August. Maybe having the BMW at Medinah will feel like a major.

Pebble Beach gets the call this week, and it should be a good one. Pebble always is.

The great players have won here U.S. Open week, and done it in different ways. Blowout wins, late chip-in’s and more. The drama this time around, should be great like in the past.

The U.S. Open trophy stands at Pebble Beach.

The favorites are Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, and they should be. Koepka is going for history. He is the first golfer since Curtis Strange at Medinah in 1990, attemptiing to win three U.S. Open’s in a row.

Koepka could win this week, and it would surprise nobody. Four majors in two years is pretty special, five would be even better. With a win Koepka would equal Willie Anderson’s record, now over 110 years old.

Last week the odd’s makers were not giving Rory McIlroy much of chance. You could have Rory in the Vegas betting parlors for 16-1. Then McIlroy goes crazy and wins the Canadian Open in record fashion, with a 61 on Sunday. He is no longer 16-1. But the third choice of the book-makers. Is Rory ready to win the U.S. Open again, because he won the Canadian Open. Hard to say, but he better start quickly, and not wait until Sunday to make a charge.

PHIL MICKELSON will be the sentimental favorite. Trying for his first U.S. Open win and the career Grand Slam. Nobody would be picking him, if he had not won at Pebble 4 months ago. This could be his last real chance to win a U.S. Open, with age and health working against him. His birthday is on the weekend, you will hear people singing for him. Maybe cheering him on as well.

What about Tiger. What about him? His tank looks a little low, since his win at the Augusta. He was not a factor at the PGA, at Bethpage where he had won before. So what makes Pebble Beach any different. He could finish respectable, and he could miss the cut.

THE BROADCAST TYPES at Fox Sports will be under the gun again, to get it right. Can they come through. I’m not happy with the late finish, especially in round three. It backfired on NBC in 2010. Early players enjoying warm sunshine, and leaders freezing on late holes as the temperatures dropped by the back nine.

FINALLY THERE IS THE USGA, can they get the set-up just right this time. Nobody wants to see Phil double-hitting a ball again. Or replays to see if a ball is vibrating. I just hope the par 5, 18th hole decides a winner with a 25 foot birdie putt. Something that would resemble Payne Stewarts putt to win the U.S. Open, like he did 20 years ago this week.

The Gog Blog returns on Wednesday from the Johnny Morris Big Cedar resort near Branson. Enjoy the Open.


GOLF ALABAMA visit the courses of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. See Rtjgolf.com  ______________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy Linkedin and Facebook. On the Trail in “The Shoals”.

BAMA-ROLL TIDE… Roll Golf Ball and yell War Eagles, all in a weeks work, when you tour the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, that zigs and zags through the state of Alabama.

I didn’t get to see the majority of the RTJ Trail, that spreads out through the state, and is 26 courses on 11 sites, and is 468 holes. So much golf, not enough time. Calls for a return to Bama I would think. I tee’d it up on four of the 26 courses, and played 72 holes of the RTJ Trail. Plus 18 more holes on the FarmLinks Course, that is now part of Pursell Farms. All-in-all, a good week. What I did learn is that golf is not the only “trail” in Alabama. Try hitting the Marriott Hotels that are close to the trail courses, and you will find a “Trail of Spa’s”. Which will get bigger because they are expanding and adding a few more.

Welcome to RTJ Golf at Grand National, and the Marriott has a spa as well.

I had golfed in every southern state except Alabama, so this trip was a must do. In addition I was tired of golf here in Illinois, that was played in cold weather, deep rough and wet conditions. And no roll on the golf ball either.

While the Alabama temperatures weren’t steamy hot, it did get a little warm for a few holes here and there. While major threats of rain were lurking most of the week. The rain only appeared for a few holes on two of the five days….phew. The RTJ Trail is public golf at it’s finest, and Alabama deserves a lot of credit for how they pulled this off. THERE IS NO-WAY Illinois could do this, politics would get in the way and likely ruin everything. Like it so frequently does in the Land of Lincoln.

I started at the top of the state in Huntsville, where they build rockets for NASA and support the space program. It’s a quick flight down from O’Hare on American Eagle.

HAMPTON COVE has 54 holes and I played the River Course, the only course without a bunker. If you hate getting out of sand traps, the River Course is for you. I had fun playing the par 5, 8th hole from the tips at 678 yards. Water comes into play on 16 of 18 holes to challenge golfers.

NEXT STOP MUSCLE SHOALS the Marriott Shoals has one of the great restuarants you will find anywhere. John Cougar once sang, “get a leg up”, but here at the Shoals you will get a dinner up, way up, in the states only revolving restaurant. The 360 Grille Restaurant has views for miles, while over looking the Tennessee River.

UP UP and AWAY..at the 360 Grille Restaurant at Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa, looking down from the 360 grille on the hotel.

The Shoals has two golf courses. One is the Fighting Joe course and the other is the Schoolmaster Course. Votes from the staff are split on which course is better.

I only got to play Fighting Joe, which at over 8,000 yards is a fight. I did play the 716 yard par 5, 12th hole, at 716 yards. Who goes all that way to lay up.

It is now the longest hole, I have ever played. By the time I was through, I was calling Fighting Joe, Jungle Joe, for all the high weeds on each side of several holes. Since I was breaking in new clubs, I wasn’t sure where each shot was going. What I do know, is that in over some 3,000 career rounds of golf. Only 3 times have I lost 10 or more golf balls in a single round. This was one of them (-10). When I do go back to Alabama, I won’t seek a rematch with Joe, not worth it.

Muscle Shoals is home to the some of the most famous recording studio’s of all time. Including Rick Hall’s Fame Studio. Get the DVD and watch the documentary, well worth it.

DAY 3 of our trip, was the stay and play at Pursell Farms, see my story from yesterday. Pursell Farms and the FarmLinks golf Course was the highlight of the trip. Awesome place.

GRAND NATIONAL’S Lake and Links Courses closed out the trip, and I stayed at Marriott Opelika, near the University of Auburn campus. It too has a spa that you should visit, especially if you need a massage or some relaxation.

The par 3, 16th hole. Tougher challenge than Sawgrass 17th.

The Lake Course has plenty of water as it circles around a lake (of course). It was the most scenic course of the trip.

The par 3 16th hole, is pretty, get your camera ready. But it’s not a shorty like 17 at Sawgrass. The tips are at 230 yards, and from there the next tee box is at 182 yards.

The Lake Course has it’s share of water, but plenty of room to play golf, and move the ball around. It was maybe the most fun course I played all week. Add it to your must play list, when you visit “Sweet Home Alabama”.

The final 18 holes was the Links Course at Grand National. Good course, but our group of media types enjoyed the Lake Course better. The Links Course has it’s share of what I called “Twisted Fairways”. You know the ones where there isn’t a lot of fairway that leaves you flat spots for shots. There are plenty of mounds, uphill-downhill lies, bunkers and some water.

When playing the downhill par 4, 17th, my partner noted it was fun to finally play a downhill hole. RTJ always did like elevated greens, and there are several of them.

SO 4 DOWN and 22 Trail courses to go. So like Arnold said, not that Arnold, I’ll be back. You should visit too, the RTJ Trail is a neat concept. Too bad Illinois isn’t smart enough to do something like this.

OTHER NEWS…ROAR-REE, McIlroy heats up for the U.S. Open with a final round 61 to win the Canadian Open. Is he ready for another?

Our U.S. Open preview runs tomorrow. How about Hank Haney, dishing it back at Tiger Woods. Well said Hank.

THE GOG BLOG RETURNS TOMORROW, and then I’m off to Branson to Preview Ozark National and the Johnny Morris built Big Cedar Lodge. RS


WELCOME TO THE ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF TRAIL-Alabama See rtjgolf.com   ____________________________________________________________________

Welcome to Farm Links, the golf course at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga Alabama.

FarmLinks is, for those who might be hungry, not a promotion for Bob Evans Restaurants and their famed “smokey links.”

But being down on the the farm in Alabama, while playing on the states top rated public golf course, means you’re at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga.

While you do get great southern style food on property, visiting this destination property means more than good food. Because, if there is any property in Alabama that serves up southern hospitality, and golf at it’s finest, it’s Pursell Farms.

David Pursell is the Co-Founder and CEO of Purcell Farms. The Longhorn Cattle Logo was created by Pursell.

The name on the front gate has now changed from FarmLinks to Pursell Farms. But FarmLinks is still the name of the golf course, designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan and partner Dana Fry.

The course was opened for play in 2003.

Yardage on the golf course ranges from 7,444 at the tips, to 5,250 from the front tees. FarmLinks plays to a par of 72.

The history of Pursell Farms dates back well over 100 years. According to stories from the area’s history, there has been everything from battles with Indians, to visits from famous Spanish explorers. In the town of Childersburg just 11 miles away, that dating back to it’s Indian heritage, is one of the oldest townships in the country. During WWII, Childersburg was home to a munitions plant, that among other things, helped produce “heavy water” needed for the  making of the atomic bomb.

Jimmy and Chrissy (nee-Parker) Pursell, were married after being introduced by the  area’s most famous celebrity, Jim Nabors. Who not only sang at the couples wedding, but served as Jimmy’s best man. The friendship between Nabors and the Pursell families has lasted a lifetime, that meant nearly 70 years. Nabors would travel to Pursell Farms almost every year, to see his long time friends.

The Inn at Pursell Farms-photo courtesy of Pursell Farms

As time went by, Nabors told current owner co-founder and CEO David Pursell and his wife Ellen, that his belongings from his Beverly Hills home were stored in two storage facilties in Honolulu, where Nabors had moved to after leaving California. David and Ellen flew to Hawaii just prior to opening the Inn, and went through boxes with Nabors for three days. Several notable items from Nabor’s collection, were shipped back to the Inn at Pursell Farms, and are on display for guests to view.

They include Nabors Brunswick pool table. Hollywood celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Ronald Reagan, Burt Reynolds, Loni Anderson, Jackie Gleason, Bing Crosby, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Tim Conway, Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jackson Five, are all known to have played games on this table. Guests of Pursell Farms can play pool on Nabor’s historic pool table that is located in Old Tom’s Pub.

Pursell Farms has the original script books from Gomer Pyle USMC, and the Jim Nabors Variety Hour. These are the books that Nabors studied to learn the lines for the shows. An attempt was made to get the books from the Andy Griffith Show, but those could not be located.

The Masters Row cottages off the 11th fairway, are all named for Masters champions.

When Nabor’s completed Gomer Pyle USMC, the family that owned General Mills, the shows main sponsor for 6 years. They sent Nabors a 300 piece pewter collection as a gift. The entire collection were comprised of antiques, with some pieces dating back to the 1600’s. That collection is now part of Pursell Farms.

Before the over 3,200 acres of land that is now Pursell Farms, it was called Farm Links. Farm Links opened in 2003, as the world’s first (and only) Research and Development golf facility. Serving in a way to help golf course superintendents study grass and fertilizers. David Pursell who was serving as CEO for the families fertilizer business called Polyon, would bring in superintendents for a three day-two night program, hoping to get them to switch their home courses to Polyon fertilizers. Over 10,000 golf course superintendents, many of them from Top 100 rated golf courses, came and took part in the seminars. As a result, Pursell Technologies went from #6 to #1, in the sales of controlled release fertilizers for golf courses.

The par 3, 17th hole on Farm Links. Sitting behind the green, is the home that would house the superintendents during their visits.

In 2006, the Pursell’s made the decision to sell the fertilizer business, but not the family farm or the golf course.

Because of the leadership of David Pursell, the property has become a golf destination property.

The FarmLinks golf course has been rated the #1 public course in Alabama, for 8 of the last 9 years, by one national golf publication. FarmLinks hosted the Alabama Men’s State Amateur Championship in 2011. It was won by current PGA Tour player Smylie Kaufmann.  Kaufmann shot 16 under par over four days, to win the championship. And nearly won himself a green jacket in Augusta a few years later. Kaufmann shot 16 under par over four days, to win the state championship.

David Pursell trained as a graphic artist at Auburn University. His artwork on display at Augusta National in the Butler Cabin, along with Shoal Creek Golf Club and the Greenbreir Resort in West Virginia. But he is extemly proud of his design that serves as the logo for Pursell Farms. Pursell’s created logo, is a longhorn cattle swinging a golf club, in the style and attire of the great Bobby Jones.

The iconic 5th hole on FarmLinks at Purcell Farms.

No top destination golf course is complete without a dynamic signature hole.

While an argument can be made for the par 3, 17th hole called Big Gulp. The is no doubt that the par 3, 5th hole Hang Time, is the signature hole.

Sitting 170 feet above the 4th hole, golfers enjoy a scenic drive up a cart path. It’s 17 stories above the green below. So get your camera’s out.

While most golfers enjoy the challenge of hitting the green. The 5th hole has recorded more hole-in-ones, than any other hole at FarmLinks.

David Pursell says that with over 3,200 acres, there is room to build two more golf courses at Purcell Farms. After playing FarmLinks, golfers will be anxious to see when a second course might be announced.

The great view from the tee boxes of the fifth hole, can be topped by one other location at Pursell Farms. It’s called the “Secret Place”, a lookout from the top Chalybeate Mountain, that sits over 1,000 feet aboove sea level. Because it sits so high, visitors can enjoy views into four area counties.

If your ready for the best southern hospitality in Alabama, visit Pursell Farms and the FarmLinks Golf Course at, Pursellfarms.com or call (256)-208-7640. Purcell Farms is found on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram. #golfatthefarm.


THE EVANS SCHOLARS INVITATIONAL concludes today at the Glen Club. Admission is free. Tee times moved up to 9-11 AM. Gates open at 8:30. The Glen Club is home to the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. Final voting for the Class of 2019 will be Thursday night.    ______________________________________________________________________

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

IT’s TIME for short sleeves and T-Shirts. Memorial Day weekend is here. It is golf season, rain or shine.

MARCELO ROZO has a 1 shot lead over Vince Covello headed to the final round of the Evans Scholars Invitational.

Tyler McCumber son of former Western Open champion Mark McCumber is in third place two shots back.

Luke Guthrie is in 5th place, Vince India is in 9th place. Nick Hardy is in 48th place, to wrap up the local players.

Tee times are from 9-11 am with the gates opening at 8:30. Free admission for the final round of the invitational. UPDATING-See our story on the final round of the ESI, won in a two hole playoff by Scottie Sheffler.

Click here to hear interviews with local stars, Nick Hardy, Vince India and Luke Guthrie from the final round of the Evans Scholars Invitational.

VISIT HILTONHEADISLAND.COM and learn more about the $27.5 million dollar renovation and expansion to the runway, that added 700 feet. As a result, bigger jets are landing. United has started some flights from O’Hare Field. Check with your favorite airlines to check flights to Hilton Head Island. Traveling to HHI has never been easier.

PINE MEADOW Golf Club in Mundelein has fitting days coming up. Ping returns on Saturday June 22th, from 10 Am until 2 Pm. Check out the new Ping line of clubs and junior clubs. For fitting appointments call the club at (847)-566-4653 (GOLF).

More to follow in the Sunday columns ahead. RS


FARM LINKS ALABAMA’S #1 Rated Public Golf Course-stay and play. Make your plans through Pursellfarms.com. THE PRESERVE at OAK MEADOWS visit DuPagegolf.com.  _____________________________________________________________________

Golfers on Golf Radio Am 750 WNDZ Ed Stevenson-Bill Berger and Rory Spears.

THE SEASON MAKES THE TURN TODAY… With Golfers on Golf Radio Week #11.

The golf season is is kicking into high gear, with the weather finally arriving that shows it’s golf season.

This week when Golfers on Golf radio tee’s off at 10 AM. On the BIG AM 750 WNDZ, your hosts Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger and Rory Spears have a great show planned for this morning.

Rhonda Parchem is first off the tee with news on all the golf in the Wisconsin Dells area, there are several golf courses in the Dells that you should know about.

Then at 10:30 David Pursell Co-Founder and Ceo of Pursell Farms in Sylacauga Alabama, joins us. Pursell Farms is home to Farm Links the # 1 rated public course in Alabama.

We will have some U.S. Open preview talk, and bring together the week in golf. Some hot topics and more. Join us at 10 Am on the BIG Am 750 WNDZ.