THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-4 DAYS OF LIV GOLF-WHAT WE KNOW

CAM SMITH WITH THE TROPHY beat out Peter Uihlein (L) and Dustin Johnson (R) to win the 2022 Chicago LIV Invitational. (R) Fans line up to watch the players warm up.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

LIV GOLF CEO Greg Norman with Rory Spears on the path at Rich Harvest Farms during the LIV Golf Chicago Invitational.

FOUR DAYS OF-LIV GOLF

WHAT WE KNOW and WHAT WE DON’T.

LIV GOLF brought many of the stars of professional golf back to the Chicago area. Something that is clearly lacking in the Chicago market.

Say what you want about Chicago or Illinois these days, but one thing is really clear about professional golf, both men’s and women’s is clearly lacking in this major market (more on this later).

BUT AS FOR LIV-it was a good show of golf-NOT an exhibition by some of the best players in the world. Because if your going to call LIV Golf an exhibition, you can all golf tournaments an exhibition. In some ways aren’t all sporting events an exhibition, if you answered yes, you would be correct.

Sunday night as fans were streaming towards the exits, their were two guys walking in front of me, one said, so this is what the future of professional golf looks like. Then both agreed it wasn’t to bad after all. In fact I didn’t hear all the negative comments I expected to hear over the four days. But nobody seemed to have a bad word to say, about anything. Very rare in these days and times.

AFTER SUNDAYS PLAY had ended, and the pictures had all been taken, I started to head back to the media tent and found LIV Golf CEO Greg “The Shark” Norman leaving as well. So I chased him down to get a few words about the week at Rich Harvest Farms, and the Chicago golf market. A few was all I got as he raced off for the private jet parked down the street.

ME: Greg your thoughts on how the week turned out and the venue ?

NORMAN: The venue is fantastic, really fantastic.

ME: Any chance LIV would come back here next year ?

NORMAN: YES !

ME: Greg your thoughts on the turnout-it seemed like the attendance was way up for a LIV Golf tournament.

NORMAN: It was an unbelievable venue. Unbelievable crowds, Chicago stood up and LIV is alive. We love it here.

With that the Shark headed off to Washington DC. and some meetings with politicians. But according to a few published reports the week in DC. might not have gone as well as it did at Rich Harvest Farms.

HOWEVER it does appear LIV Golf will return to Rich Harvest Farms come 2023. Rich Harvest Farms owner Jerry Rich tells me LIV Golf is welcome back IF they wish to return. According to Norman it sounds like they will. LIV Golf officials who could not be quoted tell Golfers on Golf they pretty much expect to be back in Chicago and RHF come 2023.

BUT WHEN! While nothing is official, the LIV GOLF CHICAGO 2023 Tournament is expected to move up on the calendar. Because media reports from the Northeast suggest Boston is not back on the LIV calendar in 2023. But could that change, yes it could.

IF BOSTON doesn’t return, Chicago could move to Labor Day weekend, OR maybe into August is the thought. BUT with the BMW Championship back at Olympia Fields in August, would LIV go in front of, or behind the BMW on the calendar. BUT, what about the same week as BMW. Again nothing is official, but any week in August is currently on the table. Because golf organizations seem to like scheduling on top of one another, it wouldn’t surprise me to see both events go head-to-head. But I believe that’s unlikely to happen. The week before BMW is the odd’s on favorite in my book.

THINGS WILL BE OFFICIAL when the 2023 LIV Golf schedule comes out, which will see about 6 more tournaments upping the schedule to 14 events. The schedule will be released early to mid-November, after the LIV Tour Championship at the Doral Resort in late October. It will be nice to see a big golf event at Doral again on the Blue Monster. I’ve played the course twice and I’ll call it a fun-but challenging golf course. It sure beats playing your tournament in Mexico.

But the bigger announcement is which players will be the next to jump from the PGA Tour to the LIV series of golf. Some suspect right after the Presidents Cup, I think nobody will make the move right now. Later this fall or come winter, maybe a few more players will jump.

A fan or do you call them patrons, asked me what’s up with a TV deal. Well it depends on who you speak with. David Feherty didn’t leave NBC and The Golf Channel to do internet broadcasting.

Golfers on Golf has learned there are two television partners in the fold, with four year deals starting in 2023. But Norman is suggesting there could be more. What’s funny is all the know-it-all’s on places like Twitter, saying this network or that network said no already.

But how many said no, before LIV signed all the players they did. Are they now reconsidering that stance. Yes that could be the case. At this time it’s fair to say that CBS and NBC won’t be TV partners with LIV. But anyone else is fair game. So if your looking for LIV Golf on television in 2023, you will likely find it.

ATTENDANCE AT RHF, was tracked by LIV officials when you checked in at the gates. What I do know is that 1,500ish were on-hand for Thursday’s pro-am. Friday’s Round 1, saw about 8,000 to 8,500. Saturday’s numbers were over 18,000. The final round on Sunday was just north of 20,000.

SO FOR THE WEEK, I’ll say 48,000, not bad for mid-September. 2022 BMW Championship numbers, not even close to LIV from what I saw in Wilmington Delaware. Friday and Saturday’s rounds 2 & 3 in Wilmington were sold out before the day even started at 35,000. The Sunday numbers at Wilmington were almost at 35,000 again. The attendance for the BMW at Medinah was nearly 130,000, Caves Valley in 2021 was around 110,000 with it closer to 125,000 plus in Wilmington.

LIV GOLF has a long way to go to catch those figures. But Chicago did set records for LIV Golf, that’s early in it’s first year of play. The best previous day for LIV Golf was 12,000+ in Boston. Rich Harvest Farms broke that record by 10 AM on Saturday morning.

I was asked what the atmosphere was like. Simple, when you look around and Cam Smith, Dustin Johnson, and Peter Uihlein are on one hole. You turn around and Phil Mickelson is on the next hole, then having Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood on another hole. It doesn’t seem like a PGA Tour event, it seems more like the Ryder Cup or a major championship.

IT WAS INTERESTING hearing gallery talk with people saying the PGA Tour could be finished or out of business by the end of 2023. Well that won’t happen. Because if the tour hangs on to Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Matt Fitzpatrick and Scottie Scheffler it will be fine. There are no indications that any of those players are leaving either.

I’M not used to the shotgun start yet, with players riding out on carts with AC/DC’s Thunderstruck cranking in the background. This while the parachute guys are landing around the golf course. The large gallery behind all 48 players at the range as they warm-up at the same time is kind of neat. The fan village behind the 18th hole, with contests and more, are not new. But the set-up that was in place at RHF was enjoyable for the fans, who were not out walking the golf course.

From a media standpoint having every player finish at the same time, isn’t an easy to get your work done. Parking was the best since the Western Golf Association (WGA) ran media parking at Cog Hill, no shuttle required. The food was very good everywhere, but BMW gets a slight nod in that race. Both on the course and in the hospitality/media tent area’s.

AGE WISE-the galleries were younger than a PGA Tour event, which I expected. AS Richard Dawson would say on Family Feud-Survey Says- or in this case surveys show, the average age of a PGA Tour event fan is in their 60’s. LIV GOLF fans tend to be in their mid to upper 30’s.

GREG NORMAN may not be everyone’s favorite person these days, but when Norman was out an about in public area’s, he was chased by fans seeking an autograph or a picture. Nobody had a bad word to say-chant’s of “Shark” rang out in area’s on the Rich Harvest grounds. Rich Harvest Farms owner Jerry Rich was shaking the hands of fans, thanking him for bringing LIV Golf to the Chicago area.

FORMER BLACKHAWKS ANNOUNCER PAT FOLEY had a saying that went “for those of you who keep track of such things”. A reference to stat keepers, or media types who needed updates on scoring or penalty changes. So one stat I started keeping track-of, was a logo count. So in tipping the cap or golf visor to Foley, here are the winning clubs who logo’s were most visible at Rich Harvest Farms. #1 Olympia Fields, #2 Medinah, #3 Butterfield #4 Rich Harvest Farms, #5 Butler National. Honorable Mentions to Cantigny Golf, Chicago Golf Club and White Eagle Golf Club.

FORMER BEARS HEAD COACH MIKE DITKA once referred to some fair-weathered Bears fans as “cowards and losers”. Based on the some comments not only myself, but several other local and national media members received in email or social media form for doing our jobs at Rich Harvest Farms. It appears there are still some of “those people” out there.

TO THE POSTER on Twitter who asked-LIV GOLF or THE PGA TOUR, the answer is both. Because there is no reason to take sides. So enjoy both tours and enjoy the golf wherever it takes us. But the general feeling by many of those both in the media and the industry, is that a merger will someday take place. Time well tell.

The feeling of many fans walking around Rich Harvest Farms was that with the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, LPGA Tour, Epson Tour, the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association (USGA) skipping Chicago, or having nothing scheduled here for years to come. LIV GOLF was a welcome site.

THE WGA is bringing the Korn Ferry Tour to town on a yearly basis, and provides the Chicago market with some of the best amateur golf almost every year, golf fans will find anywhere. But there is still something to seeing the best professional players in the world here in town. Because whether it’s a PGA Tour event, a Ryder Cup or a major championship, those championships are special.

BUT IN THE END-LIV GOLF is NOT the PGA TOUR. BUT it’s not trying to be. Because both tours have a different style, which doesn’t mean one or the other is bad. For now, I’m just hoping LIV GOLF Chicago 2023 and the 2023 BMW Championship don’t end up the same week next August. Here’s hoping that’s not too much to ask. RS

THE GOG BLOG’S SUNDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-NEWS COLUMN

MISTWOOD-MATT (Matt Carter) points out the improved numbers from a recent product testing, in the Mistwood Performance Center in Romeoville. SO with summer gone, and if your game is still struggling, visit Matt or Eric Russell at Mistwood Golf Club and get retested, refitted, or re-shafted. It makes a world of difference. Mistwoodgc.com to book a fitting appointment today. PINEHURST #8 has reopened from a summer-long restoration of this Tom Fazio designed golf course. Learn more go visit Pinehurst.com.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Rory Spears (L) and Len Ziehm (R) in the lobby of the Heritage Oaks Golf Club in Northbrook Illinois.

***The Presidents Cup continues into todays final round at Quail Hollow-with the USA holding a big lead over the International Team 11-7 ***.

LEN ZIEHM of Lenziehmongolf.com has just posted a recap of his golf trip to Gulf Shores in Alabama. So read more from Len on top rated courses like Kiva Dunes.

What’s the best golf in Gulf Shores, Alabama ?

Get the updates from the Daily Herald’s Len Ziehm-co-host of Golfers on Golf Radio, and the Ziehm & Spears Podcast Series.

Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) CDGA.org

THE CDGA is winding down it’s 2022 golf championship season.

Scott Frankenreider 55, of Peoria won the 36th annual Illinois State Senior Amateur at Riverside Country Club.

Frankenreider survived a three hole playoff with Ted Pecora of Winnetka, scoring 12 to Pecora’s 13.

The final round saw Pecora card a 2 under 69, compared with Frankenreider’s (+1) 72. Which forced the playoff. Frankenreider who had stepped away from competition to follow his children’s athletic endeavors for years, appeared to not miss a-beat during his time away. But for full results see CDGA.org.

THE CDGA wraps up it’s 2022 championship season with the CDGA Senior Amateur Fourball, this Monday through Thursday Sept. 26 through the 29th. But the first day of play will determine which 16 teams move on the match play portion of the championship. Among the favorites are Vince Antoniou (Butler National) and Mark Esposito (Blackberry Oaks), this team has reached the match play five times. So for more information and results, see CDGA.org.

 

Pine Meadow one of the few places in Illinois to find the work of famed architect William S. Flynn. Pinemeadowgc.com

PINE MEADOW has announced that starting Monday October 3rd, range ball sales will cease at 5 PM.

GOOD NEWS…

Pine Meadow has announced that there will be NO core aerification this fall.

Core samples were tested and proved that aerification would NOT be needed. So golfers enjoy the run to the end of the season.

THE DENIL-SCRAMBLE still has a few sports available for next Sundays event. So to sign up-call Pine Meadow at (847)-566-GOLF (4653).

TOPTRACER MOBILE RANGE is now at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville. So check out all the options Toptracer Range gives you to play or practice while on the range. Mistwoodgc.com. But for more information you can call (815)-254-3333.

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS Senior Adrien Dumont de Chassart has earned the Men’s Golfer of the Week award, from the B1G Ten Conference. Chassart finished in a T-2 for the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club. Illinois was second in the team championship, behind Stanford University.

VATTANAC GOLF RESORT-Cambodia, announces new management team at the Troon Golf property.

Chris Geraghty is the new General Manager, with James Durkin as the Golf Operations Manager, Rory Tinker is the new Head Golf Professional, and Sambath Chheang will be the Sales & Marketing Manager. The resorts 36 holes were designed by Nick Faldo. But for more information see Vattanacgolfresort.com

LAB GOLF Putters in nickel. LABGolf.com

LAB GOLF has a special on blemished putters. But this limited supply is going quickly.

So there are various models and editions of those models you can find a “steal of a deal on.” LAB GOLF Factory Second putters.

But for more information, please visit LABGolf.com.

THE PODCAST-LAB Golf CEO Sam Hahn jumps on the podcast with Club Champion founder Nick Sherburne and Co-Host Cassie Bausch to talk LAB Golf Putters and getting fit for a LAB Golf putter at Club Champion. But for the details on LAB Golf putter fittings at Club Champion, visit Clubchampiongolf.com or see Labgolf.com.

Sqairz For Women. Sqairzgolf.com

SQAIRZ GOLF SHOES.

Because they could be the best golf shoe you will ever wear.

But what has been for the guys, is now ready for the gals.

Because ladies feet aren’t just a different size, they are built differently. So Sqairz golf shoes, built golf shoes for gals in a different way. So ladies see what your missing in golf footwear. Sqairzgolf.com

DUNLAPS SPORTS AMERICAS the umbrella over companies such as XXIO, Srixon, Cleveland Golf and ASAICS, has announced it’s return to the 2023 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Florida-Jan. 24-27. Mike Powell President and COO said,” it’s time to get back to doing things in person.” DUNLAP joins Peter Millar and others in announcing a return to the show, that saw a decrease in participation last year because of the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

THE WGA CADDIE ACADEMY is been awarded a $125,000 donation from the PGA-Korn Ferry Tour. The award will help programming at the five caddie academies (with a sixth facility located in Ohio) on the way in 2023. But for more information see PGATourhq.com or visit WGAESF.com.

The Sun Mountain stand alone golf bag.

MISSOULA MONTANA based Sun Mountain has created the new WeatherMax Stand Bag, and Weather Max Cart Bag.

The new golf bags, Sun Mountain says will offer the ultimate in golf bag durability.

Because over time fabrics that are exposed to sun and UV rays-fade and grow weaker.

The new golf bags are part of the 2023 Sun Mountain line. But they are now arriving in golf shops.

Retail prices are $359.99 for the stand bag, and $439.99 for the cart bag.

But not only will these new bags offer Sun-UV resistance, but they are water resistant and durable.

So for more information visit golf retail stores, pro shops and or visit Sunmountain.com.

Grande Dunes Resort Course in Myrtle Beach has reopened from summer restoration project.

THE GRANDE DUNES RESORT COURSE in Myrtle Beach South Carolina, has opened from a summer restoration project on September 15th.

The four month project was directed by architect John A. Harvey, who worked with original architect Roger Rulewich.

Grande Dunes greens now have the new TifEagle ultradwarf bermudagrass greens and the restoration of the courses greens to their original size.

So add almost 40,000-square feet of putting surface, which amounts to a 33% increase. But add the original shapes of the bunkers, that make the golf course more visually appealing. Because of an additional 8 acres of fairway, golfers now have less excuses not to hit them.

But the improvements were not just on the golf course, throw-in clubhouse renovations that include outdoor dining area’s. Founders Group International has 21 Myrtle Beach golf courses in it’s portfolio. So view the view list of courses, many of them having had recent improvements at Foundersgroupinternational.com or MyrtleBeachgolftrips.com.

The Gog Blog Speaks Out-returns tomorrow. RS

MALPEDE & FITZGERALD 2022 SENIOR MASTERS WINNERS

MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB’S MATT CARTER can put you through a club fitting, get the right clubs in your golf bag. Finish the season strong-Mistwoodgc.com (815)-254-3333

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

2022 IPGA Senior masters winners Bob Malpede (L) and Kevin Fitzgerald (R) with their awards at the Onwentsia Club.

THE 2022 Illinois PGA Senior Masters winners have been announced.

Retired Illinois PGA professionals Bob Malpede and Kevin Fitzgerald were honored by the section for their many years of dedication to golf in Illinois.

Both Malpede and Fitzgerald were honored as part of the Senior Masters IPGA Senior outing in the morning, and the pro-am in the afternoon.

Malpede worked at clubs like Stonebridge in Aurora, before founding the Stonewall Orchard Golf Club in Northern Lake County. But he then went on to work as Director of Golf at White Deer Run in Vernon Hills, before retiring last December.

Malpede started in golf working for his parents golf club-Pistakee Golf Club in McHenry. But while he growing up, Pistakee was known for the Friday Night fish-fry’s that became popular at places like Stonewall Orchard, and White Deer Run.

Fitzgerald worked at several clubs public and private, before embarking on a 17 year run at Harborside International. Fitzgerald spent three years working at two courses for Billy Casper Golf. But then he spent one year at Kankakee Country Club and then headed into retirement this past January.

The Senior Masters Championship that was postponed from July. Because of heavy rains that hit the Onwentsia Club the weekend before. Roy Biancalana and David Paeglow tied for first place with two under par scores of 69.

So for more information please visit IPGA.com.

CAM SMITH WINS FIRST CHICAGO LIV GOLF INVITATIONAL

LIV GOLF MADE IT’S FIRST STOP IN THE CHICAGO AREA-At Rich Harvest Farms.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

2022 LIV Golf Chicago Invitational winner Cam Smith (with trophy) stands between runner-up Peter Uihlein (L) and third place finisher Dustin Johnson (R).

Reporting from Sugar Grove IL.

CAM SMITH earned his first win since the British Open in July, when he held off charges from Peter Uihlein and Dustin Johnson.

For Smith, it was his first win as a member of LIV Golf. Smith shot a third round 69 to go along with rounds of 66 and 68 to finish at 13 under par.

Both Uihlein and Johnson finished at 10 under par, but Uihlein was awarded second place. Because of a better final round score. The 4-Aces team headed up by Johnson, won it’s fourth straight team event. The 4-Aces team are comprised of Johnson, Pat Perez, Patrick Reed and Talor Gooch.

With today’s $4 million first prize and team winnings for finishing third, Smith has won $15,182,897 and 66 cents during the 2022 calendar year. This figure does not include any signing bonus money Smith received for joining LIV Golf. The reported figure was that Smith received was $125 million dollars, for becoming part of LIV.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR WINNER CAM SMITH and the Four Aces Team of Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez, Patrick Reed and Talor Gooch.

But with a final round of 67, Sergio Garcia snuck up for a fourth place finish. Because of an amazing recovery shot on the 18th hole from next to the broadcast studio, Phil Mickelson who had the putter working during the final round carded a 66, which was the low round of the day for the entire field. Mickelson ended up in a tie for 8th place, after opening the day in 26th place. The strong finish earned Mickelson almost an additional $500,000. Not bad for a days work on the golf course.

A scary moment happened on the second hole, when Bryson DeChambeau started to duck under the galley rope. DeChambeau had pulled his tee shot left of the fairway, and into the gallery. But after hitting his shot, he attempted to return to the fairway. But as he started to duck under the gallery rope, volunteers lifted the rope and it scraped across his face.

DeChambeau immediately hit the ground, and appeared to be holding his face and covering his left-eye. But shortly after laying on the ground, DeChambeau got up and slowly returned to action on the hole.

The next LIV GOLF event is in Thailand from October 7-9. But then after a week in the Middle East, the tour returns two weeks later and tee’s off for the Tour Championship at Doral Golf.

Sunday’s galleries appeared to be slightly larger than Saturday’s attendance which came in at just over, 18,000.

The Gog Blog returns on Monday and then all week long.

CAM SMITH LEADS THE LIV AFTER 36 HOLES AT RICH HARVEST FARMS

LIV GOLF IS HERE and so are the Chicago Golf Fans at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. But it’s not too late to join in the fun, get your tickets now Tickets@LIVGolf.com

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

NEW LEADER CAM SMITH is all smiles after taking a 2 shot lead at Rich Harvest Farms.

CAM SMITH has moved into position at the top of the leaderboard, at the LIV GOLF tournament, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove Illinois.

Smith used a fast start and better finish to over take first round leader Dustin Johnson by 2 shots, heading into Sunday’s final round.

Smith’s four under par 68 included three birdies on the front nine. But after a bogey 6 on the par-5 11th hole, Smith rolled in birdie putts on 17 and 18 to finish at 10 under par.

Johnson however started shaky with a bogey on the first hole, after pulling his drive left of the fairway, and into the gallery. But he quickly rebounded with a birdie on the second hole, before running off five straight pars. Then Johnson got into red numbers for the day, with a birdie on the 8th hole.

But Johnson could not get anything going on the back nine, which included seven pars and two bogeys. The end result was a (+1) 73 on the day, which left Johnson at 8 under par and two shots behind Smith.

Peter Uihlein and Brooks Koepka discuss their team SMASH GC, that’s now 2 shots off the lead in the team side of the competition.

Peter Uihlein was the days big mover, with a 6 under par 66.

Uihlein actually started with a bogey, but when he reached the back nine of the golf course, Uihlein reeled off five birdies and no bogeys.

During the frontside, Uihlein had two more birdies and only one bogey. So now Uihlein is in the hunt at 7 under par. Uihlein trails Smith by only 3 shots and Johnson by 1 shot.

So Smith-Johnson Uihlein will get paired together in the group starting on the first hole.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR leader Cam Smith’s press conference after Round 2

CLCIK HERE to hear Peter Uihlein and Brooks Koepka’s press conference.

IN THE TEAM PORTION of the tournament. The Four Ace’s lead again by 1 shot, but have two teams within two shots behind them. The Four Ace’s are comprised of Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch, Pat Perez and Patrick Reed, they have won the team competition the last three tournaments. The team champions each week, see the four players that comprise the team, split $3 million dollars.

RECORD LIV CROWD. While LIV officials could not directly confirm, sources say the attendance for Saturday was just over 18,000. But even if that number sounds low, it is a new one day record for LIV Golf. But the old record of 12,000, was shattered on Saturday at Rich Harvest Farms by 10 Am.

What will Sunday bring, come out to Rich Harvest Farms and enjoy the final 18 holes. See which player and which team come away with the trophies and the biggest pay days.

LIV GOLF AT RICH HARVEST FARMS-DAY 1 DJ TAKES THE LEAD

LIV GOLF IS HERE at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Tickets@LIVGolf.com for all weekend. Final Round is Sunday. Golfers on Golf Radio WNDZ AM 750 tomorrow 10am

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Dustin Johnson’s 9 under par 63 gives him the first round lead at Rich Harvest Farms.

AND THEY’RE OFF

LIV GOLF is underway at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.

Day 1 is in the books and Dustin Johnson who holed a long putt to win in Boston two weeks ago. Is back on top again, with 36 holes to play.

Johnson opened with a 9 under par 63, to hold a three shot lead over Cam Smith, winner of this years British Open and the Players Championship. Matt Wolfe sits solo in third place-four shots back.

Bryson DeChambeau 69, was followed by Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson with 70’s. Mickelson’s 2 under par round included a triple bogey on the third hole.

During his post round press conference, Johnson said his game is “good shape.” When asked about Rich Harvest Farms Johnson said, “I’ve never been here before, but I warmed up with 9-holes Tuesday, 9-holes Wednesday and then Thursday’s 18 hole pro-am.”

But overall the response about Rich Harvest Farms has been great from the players, most who have never seen the golf course before. Mickelson called Rich Harvest Farms, “A fun place to play”, and said he has great memories in Chicago, even Ryder Cup week in 2012 at Medinah Country Club, in spite of losing the cup.

Mickelson called Chicago a “great golf market, with plenty of good golf courses,” then added that Chicago is a town that really supports it’s golf.

Attendance was better than expected. Because one report a few days ago suggested that only 1500 tickets had been sold for Fridays opening round. Before the 12:15 local time shotgun start, the main parking lot had over 2,500 cars in it. Gallery estimates for Friday were over 6,000. But with volunteers, workers, media, and players, the likely total on property was close to 8,000 people.

The atmosphere was a plenty of people having a good time. With many enjoying the hospitality on a warm day, that included both chipping and putting contests. Saturdays second round is expected to have the largest crowd, with Sunday drawing good in spite of it being an NFL Sunday. Many of the Day 1 attendees, stay for the post round concert.

Round 2 will be the standard shotgun start at 12:15. A full recap will be here on Golfersongolf.com. Golfers on Golf Radio with Ed Stevenson, Len Ziehm and yours truly, wraps up it’s season again, with a recap on LIV Golf from 10-11 AM on WNDZ AM 750.

LIV GOLF GETS UNDERWAY AT RICH HARVEST FARMS

LIV GOLF IS HERE LIVE at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. September 16-18, get you tickets now at Tickets@livgolf.com Golfers on Golf Radio is back for Part 2, a look at LIV Golf. We hit the tee at 10 AM this Saturday morning on WNDZ AM 750-Chicago. Ed Stevenson and Bill Berger in studio, with Rory Spears live at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Len Ziehm checks in from the Palm Aire studio’s in Sarasota Florida.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Bryson DeChambeau speaks at Rich Harvest Farms in pre-tournament press conferences.

LIV IS HERE !

SO LIV-IT-UP at Rich Harvest Farms this weekend, as the stars of professional golf are back in town.

Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Cam Smith, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Bryson DeChambeau and Ian Poulter are here.

The three day 54 hole event should be plenty of fun. Because the days play all starts at once, ( A shotgun start at 12:15) there is no need to arrive at 6:45 Am to see your favorite players tee off. You won’t have to wait until almost 2 Pm to see your favorite player or players tee off.

What will the atmosphere be like. It’s hard to say until the tournament tee’s off here tomorrow. But another question is how will the men professional’s score at Rich Harvest Farms. Because many of the top tournaments here have been amateur tournaments, the 2009 Solheim Cup was ladies professionals in a match play format.

Owner Jerry Rich’s design has never been called easy. So scores may not go super low. But don’t be surprised if someone finally beats the course record. (Probably owned by Jerry Rich himself-or someone from the 2015 Western Amateur or the 2017 NCAA NationalĀ  Championships.

CLCIK HERE TO HEAR the press conference with Bryson DeChambeau at Rich Harvest Farms.

Joaquin Niemann (L) and Anirban Lahiri meet the media pre tournament at Rich Harvest Farms.

This weeks yardage will be set at 7,408 yards, with a par of 72.

First place money is $4 million dollars to the winner. But the top four finishers will all make over $1 million dollars.

Not bad for less than a weeks work playing golf.

The field has 48 players, the 48th place finisher will earn $120,000 dollars. There is no cut where players leave with empty pockets.

CLICK HERE to hear Joaquin Niemann and Anirban Lahiri.

The broadcast of this weeks tournament is on line and at LIVgolf.com. Golfers on Golf will be at Rich Harvest Farms all week to cover the tournament. So stay clicked in for all the coverage you need.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-LIV IT UP AT RICH HARVEST FARMS

LIV GOLF ARRIVES THIS WEEK at RICH HARVEST FARMS in Sugar Grove. So join all the fun and order tickets at Tickets@LIVgolf.com The stars of golf are back in town.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

LIV IT UP WEEK IS HERE.

SO WHAT WILL the LIV Golf series event at Rich Harvest Farms this week be like.

Well for one, I’m interested in finding out. Because in some ways, I still don’tĀ  know exactly what to expect.

Sure it’s golf. But a three day format, with teams, a shotgun start, entertainment going on all day around the property.

What will the galleries be like. The demographics show that the average age of a LIV golf patron, is in their mid-30’s. As compared to being in their 60’s for the PGA Tour.

I will be out at Rich Harvest for four days from Thursday through Sunday to see what it’s all about. So if your curious, head out to Rich Harvest Farms and see what it’s all about. The field will be great, with all of LIV’s top players in the field. I’m curious to see how well the pro’s will score at Rich Harvest Farms.

THE USGA MID-AM has had some bad breaks with the downpour that hit both Erin Hills and Blue Mound Country Club in the Milwaukee area on Sunday morning. Erin Hills got 5.3 inches of rain and Blue Mound got a full six inches. So Sunday’s Round was cancelled before it started. But through plenty of hard work by the grounds staff, play resumed at close to noon on Monday. Due to the delays and updated schedule, 12 players had to WD.

But here’s to a strong finish by the players who have stuck around to see their week on the two great courses, play itself out.

THE WOMEN’S WESTERN GOLF ASSOCIATION (WWGA) holds it’s annual meeting this week at the Glen View Club. The 2022 Woman of Distinction award, which will see Judy Rankin being honored. Rankin announced a retirement from her long time post of broadcasting earlier this year.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS will enter this years NCAA Golf season ranked #11 in the country in the Bushnell/Golfweek ratings. The Fighting Illini Invitational starts on Friday at Olympia Fields Country Club.

I hope to see everyone out at Rich Harvest Farms this week. So get your tickets and come out to see stars of professional golf. RS

THE GOG BLOG’S SUNDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-NEWS COLUMN

RICH HARVEST FARMS IS READY FOR LIV GOLF this coming week from September 16-18. The stars of professional golf are finally back in town. Tickets@LIVGolf.com. Singer and Songwriter Jason Derulo will be performing after Round 2 on Saturday. #LIV

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Bill McCarthy Director of the 2022 Mid-Amateur Championship.

THE 2022 USGA Mid-Amateur Championship is underway.

***BREAKING NEWS***

Todays second round of the 2022 Mid-Amateur Championship will not be played today, due to incoming severe bad weather.

Because heavy rains will hit both Erin Hills and Blue Mound Country Club. The rain fall will not allow for play to continue on Sunday, when rains hit both courses in the 8 Am hour.

Round 2 continues Monday, but the final round could be delayed. For more information see USGA.org.

Heritage Oaks Golf Club on Dundee Road in Northbrook.

FALL EVENTS are coming to Heritage Oaks in Northbrook.

This coming Friday September 16th is couples golf night at Heritage Oaks.

But followed by the Ladies Club Championship on Saturday September 17th.

The following weekend September 24th and 25th is the Men’s Club Championship. So sign up today for the events listed. But there are more events coming including Night golf. So visit Heritageoaksgc.com.

WILMETTE BASED LINKS CAPITAL ADVISORS is handling the sale of two golf courses. The Royal Golf Club in St. Elmo Minnesota, which is located 15 minutes from St. Paul in the Twin-Cities area. St. Elmo is a Arnold Palmer-Annika Sorenstam design. In North Carolina near Pinehurst, located in West End NC is the Seven Lakes Golf Club, now for sale. So for more details see Linkscaptialadvisors.com or call Chris Charnas at (312)-543-7192 or email Chris@links-cap.com.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS will host it’s annual Fighting Illini Invitational this Friday-Sunday 16-18 at the Olympia Fields Country Club. But Illinois with it’s entire team returning from last year, starts the season ranked 11th in the country. Eleven teams are ranked or in the receiving votes category.

THE ILLINI WOMEN’S golf team travels to South Carolina to open their season this week in the Cougar Classic, hosted by the College of Charleston. 18 teams will play the Yeaman’s Hall Club at a par of 71, and yardage set at 6,279 yards.

THE DEERPATH POPSTROKE QUALIFIER was held this past Saturday. The two winners that advance to the nationals in Sarasota Florida were, Justin Hagstrom-1st. With Fabien Duboeuf-2nd. The finals will have $125,000 dollars in prizes.

THE ILLINOIS WOMEN’S STATE SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP will take place this week at the Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa in Galena. There will be 79 players in the field. So for more details at IWGA.org.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-returns tomorrow. RS

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO SPECIAL EDITION-LIV GOLF PART 1

LIV GOLF COMES THIS WEEK to Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Sept. 16-18. The stars of professional golf are finally back in town. Get your tickets at LIVGolf.com.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Chicago’s Favorite Foursome-Golfers on Golf Radio is back for a 2-week run on WNDZ-AM 750 on Saturday mornings. LIV GOLF is HERE.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO once thought to be done for the year, is back for another two week run on WNDZ AM 750-Chicago.

Hosts Rory Spears and Len Ziehm return for this special edition to preview the upcoming week at Rich Harvest Farms.

Because the “Stars are Back in Town”. For the first time since Medinah in August of 2019, the stars of professional golf are here in the Chicago area.

So join Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cam Smith, Bryson Dechambeau, Harold Varner, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and others at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove (near Aurora) this Friday-Sunday September 16-18.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR Golfers on Golf Radio’s LIV GOLF at Rich Harvest Farms preview show.

Our guests included Rich Harvest Farms Vice President Alex-Kline Wedeen, and the publisher of the Illinois Golfer-Tim Cronin.

Next Saturday-Rory Spears checks in LIV-E from Rich Harvest Farms, with Ed Stevenson and Bill Berger in studio at WNDZ. Len Ziehm will be live at the Palm-Aire studios in Sarasota Florida.

You will hear from LIV players and get recaps of the standing after Round 1. thanks for listening Len and Rory.