MISTWOOD GOLF DOME the new shell inside and out. The Mistwood Golf Dome is open daily, but you need to reserve a tee time for a hitting bay. Club fittings and Lessons are available. All McWethy’s are open for carry out food orders. You can get a beverage while hitting balls in the dome. The Mistwood Golf Dome is located on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook, details at (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. 2021 is a Ryder Cup Year.

2021 is finally here. Took long enough.

So everyone is ready for a fresh start, and I can’t say I blame them.

But what will this new year be like, how will it turn out ?

The first week of golf in 2021, has the largest field at the Tournament of Champions in Maui, at Kapalua. So that sounds promising.

Bad news is that some tournaments scheduled for later this month or next month, are already talking no fans. I though that was behind us. Because you do know that people are getting their Covid shots.

Well okay, not everyone right away, but every month more and people will get them. I’m curious how long it will take for CBS or ESPN to show Masters promo’s this week. “Hey everyone it’s only 90 days out.” Didn’t Dustin Johnson just win his first green jacket. So let’s let him enjoy it, at least for a few more months anyway.

I’m looking forward to the return of the John Deere Classic, and seeing the 50th Anniversary of that tournament in July. The PGA sounds much more appealing this year, with the Ocean Course at Kiawah on tap. Torrey Pines is a great tour stop, it doesn’t excite me as a course for the U.S. Open. It will be nice to have the British Open back as well.

IF RESTRICTIONS remain in the overkill mode here in Illinois, I wonder how fast golf course operators will move to get our local courses open this spring. Root for warm weather by March and a lack of snow.

I know the biggest question is, can golf sustain the growth boom it’s had over the last 6 months. My prediction is this, golf numbers will fall somewhere in between where they were in 2019 and where they ended up in 2020. I suspect those who bought equipment in 2020, will continue to play as much or more. What’s likely to happen, is tee times should remain full, because golfers who could not play as much as they wanted to in 2019, will take those tee times that now become available.

Will the PGA of America merchandise show have the impact it normally does. Being in the virtual format, means it won’t. So hopefully it’s not a total waste of time. Here’s hoping it’s back to being a main stream industry event in 2022.

Locally the Chicago District golf Association should be to play a full schedule, and the Illinois PGA as well. No reason not to, unless spring weather is awful.

On the equipment side, when will companies release new products. Hard to say, here’s hoping there are plenty of new releases over the next two months. I’m sure there will be quite a few as golf season readies a return to the northern states.

LEN ZIEHM and I will have more thoughts from our crystal golf ball when our podcasts return around the 14th of this month.

I’ll be looking forward to the opening of the Preserve at Oak Meadows Clubhouse in Addison. The golf course and clubhouse at Sportsman’s in Northbrook. A full year at Schaumburg Golf Club with all 27 holes open.

Now all I need is a new shaft in my driver, and I’m still badly lacking 4-Iron in my bag.  I need to get one-quickly. The Gog Blog returns this week. 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 WCPT AM820 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.