(L) ERIC RUSSELL and (R) CHRIS IORIATTI comprise the Mistwood Golf Club Fitting team. Mistwood Golf is a year round operation. Currently it’s up and running in the dome in Bolingbrook. Lessons and Fittings available. See MistwoodGolfDome.com The domes is located on Rt. 53 or Bolingbrook Drive. Call the dome at (630)-739-7600 _____________________________________________________________________
(L) LEN ZIEHM the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2019, and RORY SPEARS (R) have teamed up to produce the Chicago area’s most complete weekly golf report.
This week Len and Rory talk the PGA Tour, and Northbrook native Nick Hardy’s great week at the Sony Open. Bay Hill getting fans. The PGA Tour leaves Mexico. The Illinois PGA and the CDGA release schedules.
Stonebridge Country Club to host the Illinois Open. Bull Valley Golf Club gets a pair of majors. Tiger backs out again-it really is his back. The reality version of the PGA Merchandise Show. Olympia Fields South Course approved for renovation.
CLICK HERE to hear Ziehm and Spears Podcast Series 2021-Volume 2
A special thanks to our sponsors at Mistwood Golf and the Mistwood Golf Dome. And to the Schaumburg Golf Club on Roselle Road in Schaumburg, where the simulators are now open.
Volume 3 is back next week-so stay clicked in. Thanks for listening Len and Rory.
ERIC RUSSELL (L) and CHRIS IORIATTI (R) comprise the Mistwood Golf-Club Fitting Team. See MistwoodGolfDome.com to book fitting appointments on line. Mistwood Golf Dome is now open daily at 8 Am, and McWethy’s Sports Bar is open. (630)-739-7600. _____________________________________________________________________
THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS-Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, or friend him on Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Testing new equipment in a Club Champion simulator bay.
Kissimmee Florida based Golf Datatech, has announced more growth in golf equipment sales.
Datatech the golf industry’s leading independent market research firm for retail sales, consumer and trade trends, says U.S. golf equipment sales were up in December of 2020-58% over the same period in 2019.
Monday, the National Golf Performance Report for Rounds Played and sales for 2020, will be released.
“December sales are consistent with the golf industry momentum we’ve seen over the last seven months of 2020, ” said John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech, LLC. “As we all continue to deal with the pandemic in our everyday life, golf equipment sales continue to surge, up over 40% for the June through December time frame.”
So what products lead the way in sales for 2020.
Those categories include, golf bags and wedges up 29% and 26%. Green Grass pro shops saw a 1% increase with Off course sales growing by 16%.
“Results show that Green Grass pro shops sales were heavily impacted by government mandated closures and restrictions on businesses,” said Krzynowek. So even though courses may have been open to play golf. Indoor shopping and buying products inside a golf shop did not explode like an Off Course Specialty channel. Which exploded from a significant expansion off online sales.”
IN THE DOME OR IN THE SIMULATORS. Golf season doesn’t end anymore in the Chicago area. Visit the Mistwood Golf Dome on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook, opening daily at 8 Am call (630)-739-7600. The Schaumburg Golf Club has opened it’s simulators on the lower level of the clubhouse. You can play all 27 of the recently renovated golf holes at the Schaumburg Golf Club, located at 401 North Roselle Road. Call (847)-885-9000. _____________________________________________________________________
The Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA).
The Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) has announced they have now opened registration for 2021 CDGA Championships.
2021 marks the 108th season of conducting golf championships.
This years championship schedule has eight gross championships, and numerous qualifiers.
Golfers can look forward to the 90th Illinois State Amateur Championship at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville. And the 101st CDGA Amateur Championship June 21-24 at Bull Valley Golf Club.
Registration is now open at CDGA.org.
Currently there are two events that focus on mid-amateur players (age 25 and up). Three events for seniors only (age 55 and up), and one Four-Ball event that is open to all ages.
Registration for the CDGA’s list of social events starts on Monday Feb. 8th. All events will be conducted under health guidelines in a safe manner. Guidelines and policies could change during the 2021 calendar year as needed.
The Gog Blog is written by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, or friend him on Facebook, and connect on LinkedIn or Instagram.
MISTWOOD GOLF DOME on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook is open daily starting at 8 Am. But you need a reservation for a hitting bay in advance. Because of current Covid-19 rules. Lessons and Club Fittings are available. See MistwoodGolfDome.com (630)-739-7600. ______________________________________________________________________
THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Facebook or LinkedIn/Instagram.
The new Zero Friction Copper Flex Golf Glove.
Oakbrook Terrace based Zero Friction a maker of golf gloves, golf balls, golf bags and other golf products is adding a new product to it’s line.
The Zero Friction new CopperFlex Golf Glove is on the market.
So why CopperFlex ?
Because like other gloves created by Zero Friction, it works well with it’s main responsibility, helping a golfer grip the golf club.
But with copper that’s infused into the glove at the major points of the lining, CopperFlex helps reduce or eliminate hand fatigue, joint pain, stiffness and soreness.
“CopperFlex has been developed to enhance play for those players that have hand fatigue and soreness,” said Zero Friction Founder John Iacono. “Copper is also a natural antimicrobial and decreases the spread of bacteria.”
Like the other styles that make-up the Zero Friction golf glove line. This glove is a universal fit glove, that will mold to your hand and give golfer a guaranteed fit. So you need more. The palm side of the CopperFlex glove, is made with 100 percent Cabretta, which adds durability and comfort. Because of a leather finger patch, that is engineered around the first finger. Golfers get an improved grip on the golf club. And currently comes in three colors, black, white and gray.
So for more information on the new CopperFlex golf glove created by Zero Friction. You can call (630)-317-7700 or visit online Zerofriction.com
THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME is located on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook and is open daily starting at 8 Am. Closing hours do vary. Lesson’s and Club fittings are available, and you can book them online. McWethy’s Sports Bar is open for take out (630)-739-7600. _____________________________________________________________________
THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, or friend him on Facebook, and connect on Linkedin.
Rory Spears in the hitting bay at Club Champion in Willowbrook.
WHAT A WEEKEND on Oahu in Hawaii.
Congrats to our two local players who made the field for this past weeks Sony Open.
To Arlington Heights native Doug Ghim who shot 72-69, but missed the weekend cut. And to Northbrook’s Nick Hardy, who made the cut with four rounds in the 60’s.
Great playing to both. Doug here’s hoping your next tournament brings you two straight rounds in the 60’s, and getting to play the weekend.
Nick Hardy-great job. During Round 2, Hardy needing three birdies in his last 11 holes to make the weekend, made 7. A pair of 66’s on the weekend put Hardy at 16 under par. But it also earned him a check for $113,000+. Well played.
Nick Hardy at the 2020 Evans Scholars Invitational
So what’s next for Hardy. Because he does have a few more weeks off before the Korn-Ferry Tour resumes play in 2021, come mid-February.
It’s always a good idea to strike while the iron’s hot, so why not try a few more Monday qualifiers. And that’s exactly what he will do.
In my interview with Hardy today, he says he will try to Monday qualify at both the Farmers Insurance event at Torrey Pines, and at Waste Management in Phoenix.
CLICK HERE to hear our interview with Nick Hardy after his week at the Sony Open in Hawaii and his T-14th finish.
Welcome to Sand Valley Resort in Nekoosa Wisconsin.
REBUILDING THE LIDO.
The Lido is one of the most historic golf courses ever built on Long Island in New York.
But the original Lido built from 1914 to 1918, when it finally opened in the spring of that year will return in the middle of Wisconsin.
So you ask how ?
Golf architect Seth Raynor built the original Lido over a four year period for a cost of $1,430,000. But back in those days, the average cost of building a golf course was slightly north of $50,000.
The Lido was the place for the upper-class families in those times, as the Lido “roared” into the Roaring 20’s. But come 1942 and with the United States now engulfed in WWII, the U.S. Government needed the land, and the original Lido, a monster of a golf course in it’s day, that played tough to begin with. And was even tougher when the winds blew off the Atlantic Ocean, then went away.
But after the war ended, Robert Trent Jones Sr., came along and created another Lido on another site not far from the original. But it’s now a public course, and has never enjoyed the fame or notoriety of the original Lido.
REDO-Part 2. The idea of recreating the Lido back in it’s original form, has been around since Old Macdonald was constructed at Bandon Dunes almost 15 years ago. But Mike Keiser didn’t feel the land was right, and nixed the idea.
Re-enter architect Tom Doak who was hired a few years back by Keiser to create the third full-sized 18 hole course at Sand Valley, called Sedge Valley. But enter Covid-19 that puts things on hold, and now with some time to think. Keiser breaches the idea of a Lido rebuild with Doak, on the land that was planned for Sedge Valley.
After Doak agrees in part, saying only if the Lido can be rebuilt properly, will he do the project. After finding the right person through Golf Club Atlas, who had enough information on the original Lido, so only then was Doak was confident he could build it the right way. The rebuild of the Lido, the original Lido, the way it was in 1918 is back on the table. Doak’s table, the Keiser families table, and Sand Valley’s table.
Construction is underway, preview play coming in fall of 2022. There might not be an Atlantic Ocean at Sand Valley, but amazing things keep happening there. Stay tuned, the Keiser’s are involved. And that means something special for those who love golf. Stay clicked in-more as I get it.
SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB at 401 North Roselle Road, is another Chicago area year round golf operation. The clubs golf simulators are programmed with all of the recently renovated 27 holes at Schaumburg Golf Club. So now you can play Schaumburg Golf Club year round, inside or outside. To book your hitting bay, call the pro shop at (847)-885-9000 or Schaumburggolf.com. Chandlers Chophouse in temporarily closed. ______________________________________________________________________
THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and friend him on Facebook or connect on LinkedIn. At Stonebridge Country Club home of the 2021 Illinois Open.
ON THE PGA TOUR THIS WEEK !
Congratulations to Northbrook Illinois resident Nick Hardy, the former Big Ten Champion at Illinois, traveled to Hawaii for the Sony Open’s Monday 4-spot qualifier.
But Hardy did survive a 4 for 1 playoff, for the last spot into Sony. Hardy was then paired with another Illinois local player Doug Ghim from Buffalo Grove.
Hardy and Ghim played Illinois Junior Golf (IJGA) tournaments together growing up. But while Hardy made birdies on 7 of his last 11 holes on in Round 2, to make this weekends cut. Ghim shot 72-69 to miss the weekend cut by 5 shots. Hardy backed up Friday’s 63, with a 66 on Saturday. So while he enters todays final round 6 shots back of leader, Wilson Golf sponsored played Brendan Steele. Hardy is T-17 and earned a pairing with 2020 PGA Champion Colin Morikawa.
The Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein.
Pine Meadow Golf Club is announcing that it’s 2021 Ambassador Passport’s are over halfway sold out for 2021.
So you should purchase yours as quick as possible, because this rate of sold passports does not normally happen until into March.
Full season anytime passports are $2495.00, and Junior passports for the season are just $695.00
For more information, see Pinemeadowgc.com or call the pro shop at (847)-566-4563.
FORT LAUDERDALE based Orca Customized golf bags, has been named the official golf bag for the LPGA Amateur division, and the LPGA teaching division. For more information on Orca products, see Orca-golf.com.
Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club-Palm Harbor Florida.
Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor Florida is offering specials.
So are you ready for Florida ?
Because the time is right to head there is now. Forget about winter.
Wouldn’t you rather be playing golf. Innisbrook offers four golf courses.
Including Copperhead, home of the Valspar championship on the PGA Tour. But now the tournament will be played in April. So you can play Copperhead now. Innisbrookgolfresort.com part of the Salamander Hotel and Resort chain.
Chad Johansen’s indoor golf facility at the Go For it Sports Dome in Yorkville.
Chad Johansen and the Chad Johansen Golf Academy is a year round golf operation.
Because now it’s not just Blackberry Oaks, it’s the Go For It Sports Dome in Yorkville. (Near blackberry Oaks).
Chad is teaching the 4-Step process that is helping amateur golfers lower strokes from their score. To hear all the testimonials, see ChadJohansen.com. So head to the Go For it Sports Dome, on Galena Avenue in Yorkville. (630)-383-1698.
The Biion Wonder Woman Shoes
ARE YOU READY-to Walk Like a Warrior on and off the golf course.
Because now you can.
Biion Footwear, made in Canada and now in conjunction with Warner Brothers, has created the Wonder Woman shoes.
Timed with the release of Wonder Woman 1984. For more information please visit BiionFootwear.com. Because Wonder Woman foot wear is now in style.
MISTWOOD GOLF DOME says now it’s club fitting time. Including a special Callaway fitting session at the dome on January 26th from 4-8 Pm. But you need an appointment for a fitting in this session. The new clubs are coming out by multiple companies. So call the dome (630)-739-7600 or Mistwoodgolfdome.com
MISTWOOD GOLF DOME located on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook, is open daily starting at 8 Am. Lessons are available from teaching professionals like Dan Phillips (L) and club fitting through fitters like Eric Russell (R). You must call in advance to reserve a hitting bay- due to Covid restrictions. Visit Mistwoodgolfdome.com or call (630)-739-7600. ____________________________________________________________________
THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or friend him on Facebook, or connect via LinkedIn. At Stonebridge country Club home of the 2021 Illinois Open.
The Illinois PGA Section has announced a majority of it’s 2021 championship schedule.
But not all of it’s events have course sites listed currently. So some are still (TBD).
The big news comes with the announcement that, the 72nd Illinois Open scheduled for August 2-4 will be contested at Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora.
Stonebridge was supposed to be the second course in 2020 for the Illinois Open. But unfortunately had to be dropped due to a format change, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Black Sheep Club assistant professional Bryce Emory is the defending champion.
The Radix Cup on display at Oak Park Country Club.
So after having to be dropped from the 2020 schedule, the Radix Cup is back in 2021.
Returning on June 17th at it’s long time home, the Oak Park Country Club.
The 59th Radix Cup, is expected to be another hard fought battle, between the Illinois PGA Section professionals, and the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) amateurs.
Welcome to the Ivanhoe Club.
The Illinois PGA Section Championship, will move for the first time to the Ivanhoe Club in Lake County.
The section championship that is a qualifier for local IPGA section professionals, to advance into the National Club Professional Championship, will be held from August 23-25.
Ivanhoe was a recent home to a Web.com tour (Now Korn-Ferry Tour) event sponsored by Rust-Oleum. Illinois golf coach Mike Small is the defending champion.
The clubhouse at the Bull Valley Golf Club.
The IPGA Section’s first major championship of 2021, will be the IPGA Match Play Championship.
But the championship moves back to the spring in 2021, and to a new venue the Bull Valley Golf Club in Northwest Suburban Woodstock.
The championship will be played from May 10-13.
Elgin Country Club head golf professional Jonathon Duppler is the defending champion.
Welcome to the Illinois PGA Section.
The Illinois PGA Players Championship, that was won by White Eagle Country Club’s Director of Golf Curtis Malm in 2020 at Conway Farms Golf Club, does not yet have a host site.
A return to Conway Farms in 2021, is not possible, due to a course renovation that will be underway by the last week of September. When the Players Championship is scheduled to be held.
Stonebridge Country Club located in Aurora Illinois will host the 72nd Illinois Open, August 2-4.
Stonebridge Country Club is currently working through a course lengthening renovation, through the Fazio group in conjunction with local architect Mike Benkusky.
Stonebridge’s back tee’s will now measure over 7,000 yards. Involved in the project is past Illinois Open Champion and current Stonebridge Country Club board member Joe Emerich.
The Illinois PGA also announced the return of the Thompson Cup Matches at Ridge Country Club, and the Senior Masters Championship at the Onwentsia Club. Those events were cancelled in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME LOCATED ON Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook is open daily starting at 8 Am. Lessons and club fittings are available, and you can register online. To reserve a hitting bay, sign up online and arrive 10 minutes early, due to current Covid protocols. For more information visit Mistwoodgolfdome.com or call (630)-739-7600. _____________________________________________________________________
The Wisconsin PGA Section
The Wisconsin PGA Section has announced it’s Omega Players of the Year award winners for 2020.
And the section has announced it’s schedule for the 2021 season.
Madison Wisconsin native Jim Schuman-Blue Mound Golf and Country Club (Wauwatosa), was Player of the Year in both the member and Senior Division for the fourth consecutive year. The member honor is the seventh for Schuman (2001, 2002, 2011, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) and his senior honor is his sixth straight.
“It was really great,” said Schuman after wrapping up his year with a win in the match play. “It means a lot, especially at the end of this year.”
The 2020 Assistant Player of the Year award went to Josh Grisa, PGA of Blackwolf Run (Kohler) during his first season as a Wisconsin PGA affiliated associate.
“Winning the honor is right up there in my golf accomplishments,” Grisa said. “It ranks how I played my final year at UW-Stout. It was great we were able to have a season of competing in WPGA tournaments.”
“The year 2020 was far from normal, but one thing that stayed the same was the great golf played by the WPGA OMEGA Players of the Year,” said Chris Hoel, WPGA Assistant Executive Director. “The winners knew they had to perform from the start as they faced an abbreviated schedule with less competitive opportunities to earn points.”
The Wisconsin PGA also announced it’s 2021 schedule. Because in 2021 there will be over 40 tournaments from March through October. The 2021 Wisconsin State Open will be played at two neighboring courses. Blackwolf Run-Meadow Valley Course, and the Pine Hills Country Club in Sheboygan. The state open will have an increased field in 2021, now featuring 204 players.
So for more information see the Wisconsin PGA Section website at Wisconsin.PGA.com.
MISTWOOD GOLF DOME on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook is open daily until 10 Pm. But you must call in advance for a hitting bay. Club fittings and Lessons are available. You can now book them online at Mistwoodgolfdome.com or call the dome at (630)-739-7600. _____________________________________________________________________
Ziehm and Spears Podcast Series 2021-Volume 1. Photo from the Ziehm studio’s in PGA Village Port St. Lucie Florida.
ZIEHM & SPEARS Podcast Series 2021-Volume 1.
Hitting to all Fairways to start the season.
Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Inductee Len Ziehm now in his 52nd year of golf media coverage, and Rory Spears a 30+ year veteran of the golf media and golf industry. Have teamed up to provide the Chicago’s area’s most in depth and complete weekly golf report.
For the first volume of 2021, Len and Rory discuss the return of the PGA Tour, and the Sony Open pairing of local Illinois players Doug Ghim and Nick Hardy.
The upcoming exit of LPGA Commissioner Naperville native Michael Whan. Bringing the PGA Championship back to the Chicago area in 2024. The cancellation of numerous Midwest golf shows scheduled for the next couple of months, leaving the Wisconsin shows as the only option for now.
So for that and more-listen in.
CLICK HERE To hear Ziehm & Spears Podcast Series 2021-Volume 1
Ziehm and Spears 2021-Volume will return next week. Ziehm and Spears podcasts are sponsored by Mistwood Golf, a Chicago year round golf operation. And now the Schaumburg Golf Club, with it’s simulators open. Schaumburg Golf Club, where you can golf the recently renovated 27 holes of the Schaumburg Golf Club now indoors. All winter long.
THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME is open Monday to Friday from 8 Am to 10 Pm, and from 7 Am to 10 Pm on weekends. The Mistwood Golf Dome is located on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook, (630)-739-7600 and Lessons and Club Fittings are available. Come check out Toptracer Range. (R) THE SCHAUMBURG Golf Club located on Roselle Road in Schaumburg, has opened it’s simulators for the winter golf season. You can play all of the recently renovated 27 holes at Schaumburg Golf Club on their simulators. To book a simulator call the pro shop (847)-885-9000. Chandlers Chophouse is currently closed. _____________________________________________________________________
KEMPER LAKES where the late Payne Stewart won his first major golf championship.
Welcome to the Kemper Lakes Golf Club
NOW IS THE TIME to return the PGA Championship to Kemper Lakes Golf Club.
With the 2022 PGA Championship now available, the question is where does it go.
But can the PGA of America expect a golf course to be ready to host a major in 16 months, and do a great job. Not likely. A good job yes, a great job is out of the question.
With major championships taking years to be set up, and courses needing the time for improvements or renovation work.
The Gauntlet would be a challenge for even the best players in the world.
I think every club should have over two years to prepare for a major golf championship.
With Valhalla the site of the 2024 PGA undergoing a re-grassing this year. It would be best to not have the club move up two years into the 2022 spot on the calendar.
But taking it up one year into 2023, could work. Because you could take the 2023 host Oak Hill (east course), and move it into 2022.
The Wanamaker trophy on the 1st tee at Bellerive Country Club during the 100th PGA Championship.
Now you have an opening in 2024, that would give a newly selected club over two tears to be ready.
So why Kemper Lakes in 2024.
Because it would be time to bring the championship back to the club, on the 35th anniversary of the 1989 Payne Stewart win at the club.
Pinehurst No. 2 in 2024 will host the U.S. Open. The USGA will honor Stewart on the 25th anniversary of his last win and passing.
Kemper Lakes is a better golf course now, than it was in 1989. It might not have the most stately clubhouse, but it works for a major championship.
It’s hard to say what the PGA of America will do and when they will announce the changes. But in the meantime, I hope Kemper Lakes makes a pitch to the PGA to host another major in say just 40 months. It could be quite a week, and late May in Chicago works on the calendar side.
LEN ZIEHM & I will discuss this on Ziehm and Spears Podcast Series 2021-Volume 1, sponsored by Mistwood Golf, which will return later this week.
The Gog Blog is written by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow him on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or friend him on Facebook, and connect on LinkedIn.