THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-PGA AWAY, NO WAY

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BY: RORY SPEARS, SR. WRITER & ASSISTANT EDITOR. ON THE 4TH AT BETHPAGE, BLACK COURSE

It’s Thanksgiving week and I’m not thankful that our outdoor golf season got cut short by Mother Nature. Last year I played into early December with a round on Cog Hill’s No. 3 course, I know today it will be about 40 degrees out and you ask why not go tee it one more time.

Sorry, I did my round at Kiawah Island on the Ocean Course this past January with a temperature of 42 degrees when I tee’d off. It was only 38 when I came in off 18, lunch by a fire place never felt so good. I’m hoping Mother Nature makes up for the early winter with a great spring, both the Mt. Prospect Golf Course and the Glenview park District Golf Course that have undergone renovations over the last 5-6 months could use a good spring to help grow some grass.

I have toured both properties in the last couple of weeks. Both courses got finished before the cold temperatures hit. But both got the last few holes shaped and seeded only a couple of days before freezing temperatures arrived, those holes will take some time to grow in come spring. I’ll have a look at both courses coming up this week. Stay clicked in.

A couple of Mt. Prospect based golfers have emailed me with concerns about the price tag for the renovation. That number is closing in on 9 million dollars, and could exceed that number. While the number is high, and higher than the other recent renovations around town, it appears Mt. Prospect will have a great product when it opens. In my interview with architect Dave Esler, Esler believes that residents won’t see much or any increase in price to the play course. But non-residents might see a bump. While it makes sense, I do feel for Mt. Prospect residents that might wish to golf with friends who live a mile or two away from the course, and live just over border into Des Plaines and or Arlington Heights. If those non-residents get hit hard, they will quit coming out.

You have to wonder how the price tag got as high as it did, but in recent article about the upcoming park board elections one board member felt, the delay’s by the board in getting the project rolling might have been a mistake. It appears it could be a seven figure mistake. There is an old saying, “he who hesitates is lost”. Another old saying is one that goes, “timing is everything”. It appears the timing in Mt. Prospect wasn’t the best. I wish the board the best as they now debate a new 6-9 million dollar pool project because as everyone knows, unlike golf courses, pools lose money.

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Pete Bevacqua the CEO of the PGA of America was quoted as saying the PGA Championship could be moved out of the USA at some point in the future. Which leads to the question, WHY ?

There aren’t really any good reasons to take a major championship out of the country. Does anybody really think that the British Open is coming to America anytime soon.

American golf fans already have one championship that they have to get up at 2 AM to watch, do we really need another. To do that in back to back months is really crazy, and it doesn’t take a committee or a task force to figure that one out Pete.

Instead, why don’t you or someone in your organization take a page from the book of Mike Davis and the USGA, and create some new venues in America for your championship. The USGA went out and fixed up Bethpage and made that work, now Davis has Chambers Bay and Erin Hills on it’s calendar. I’m sure there is a golf course, or a market that could use a boost from a major championship in town, start looking for something new if you must and create a new venue. There are some venues you have used in the past, that are overdue for a return.

Please stop just moving into places that the USGA has moved on from, and while we are at it, enough is enough with Valhalla.

A TIP OF THE CAP OR GOLF VISOR.. to the folks at Kempersports for the well done open house on Saturday at the White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville. KSM bought the dome from long time owner Mike Munro in the last few months.

It was great to see all things that were going on, and Champions Tour Golfer Chip Beck in the house giving lessons to kids. whitepinesgolfdome.com for more on what’s ahead.

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BIG 3 PARTNERS RORY SPEARS & TIM CRONIN, WITH USGA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MIKE DAVIS AT THE CDGA 100TH.

If you missed it over the weekend, my feature 20 minutes with USGA Executive Director Mike Davis ran yesterday. Do check it out if you have not already seen it.

Fellow BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm is advancing for us into Florida, and around the Southeastern states. At Lenziehmongolf.com, Len has just posted a story about his last few days at Bay Hill, but it appears that Ziehm did not encounter the King while he was there.

Did you get a final round of golf in over the weekend, I saw several groups out playing on the weekend, good for you if you played. It was nice to see.

I’m off today to meet with Mistwood owner Jim McWethy and a take a look at the clubhouse construction, afterwards I’ll see what’s new at MCQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook, or Phase 2 of McWethy Golf.

If you’re thinking new equipment for 2015, now is the time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on a plan of what you might do. Start dropping hints that with the holidays coming, that’s what you need. But do not let a non-golfer go shop for you, and then let them yell surprise when the holidays arrive. You might spend the next year being sorry. Granted their thought is a nice one, but let them help on golf related things other than clubs.

The Gog Blog Returns tomorrow, Stay clicked in.

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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 Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.