THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-SHUTDOWN

MISTWOOD’s Director of Golf Andy Mickelson hits a shot from the Mistwood Golf Dome, which is now closed through April 7th. Details at Mistwoodgolfdome.com but McWethy’s Sports Bar in the dome is open for carry-outs. (630)-739-7600

THINGS HAVE CHANGED IN JUST ONE WEEK.

Now they stay the same until April 7th, when Illinois Governor (D) J.B. Pritzker will have his mandate lifted about staying at home.

Let’s hope the mandate gets lifted on the 7th, I’m not sure how much more the people of this state can take.

I was sent a question yesterday that read, “at what point do we worry less about maybe saving lives, because we need to worry about saving our own livelihood.” Good question, hopefully it’s one that all of us won’t have to worry about.

With the governors mandate that kicked in at 5 Pm on Saturday, the golf courses that were still open shutdown. Jemsek Golf had Cog Hill, Pine Meadow and St. Andrews all close on Saturday. For now it’s the right thing to do.

What was interesting was a video posted by head professional Dennis Johnsen at Pine Meadow. Not only did Johnsen mention his new golf carts will be ready for golfers when they return, but that Pine Meadow will use this time to start the spring aeration so the course is done with the process by the time it reopens.

I would think that more clubs should take advantage of this plan while they are in the shutdown mode. When golfers do return, do they want to return to aeration holes, I would think not. Of course late Sunday afternoon’s and Sunday nights snow might be prevent aeration from starting today. But by Tuesday with temps in the 50’s, grass should be, re-appearing.

IT WAS GREAT TO CATCH UP WITH LEN ZIEHM on Saturday from his Florida home in PGA Village. Ziehm could not talk real long because he was headed out to play golf, because in Florida the golf courses were not shut down. They did have restrictions, but they were still open for play.

There are theories about the virus, still unproven I might add, but that the virus is not doing as well in warm weather. Time will tell if that’s true, but if it is, northern golfers might have to head south and look for 90 degree days and go out to play. FYI-Ziehm still has his weekly golf column running the Daily Herald on Wednesdays.

Mentored by the King-by Brad Brewer.

IF YOU ARE STUCK in your clubhouse, I might suggest that this is a great time to catch up on your reading. Whether it’s golf online, in your favorite golf magazine, or in a golf book that you bought or were given as a gift.

I have started catching up on my golf reading, and my first book is by professional Brad Brewer who has a teaching academy in Orlando. Brewer was Arnold Palmer’s right hand man in several area’s for years. So if your looking for some good golf lessons on and off the golf course, get a copy of Mentored by the King-by Brad Brewer. $16.99 US.

When I’m done with Brewers book, I have more to read on Jack Nicklaus and some of his great golf designs, Lee Pace’s book on the history of Pinehurst, and the Centennial Book on the PGA of America. Look for some post’s I’ll call “book club” in the weeks ahead.

While indoors, be careful swinging your clubs in the living room, or the office, you might break something. But it is a good time to work on your putting. If you are still undecided on new clubs, now is a great time to do some research on “IF” news clubs are right for you. I’m hoping the club and ball makers will drop the prices a bit, and have a “Back to Golf Sale”. With numerous golfers out of work for a while, peoples budgets for golf have been impacted.

With the Masters postponed until likely October, and the PGA postponed, the next major on the tee is the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in June. Could the U.S. Open be the first major, what about the British Open being the first major. At this point when golf does resume on the professional level, the schedule is going to be very interesting. Expect changes imposed by the PGA Tour and golfs governing bodies.

I’m back tomorrow, and keep it here for the golf news around town. In the meantime #cleanupyourclubhouse RS.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.