ARE YOU READY! I sure am. For days like this at 96 degrees and playing the nations oldest country club, the Philadelphia Cricket Club where they had a country club for over 40 years, before they had a golf course. (ABOVE) hitting from the Wissahickon’s Course 18th hole, an old A.W. Tillinghast classic recently renovated by Keith Foster.
I’m looking forward to more rounds like this one, on great courses on warm days where the company is great and the 19th hole has everything that hits the spot.
YOU CAN go hit it outside this weekend at Cog Hill, where on Sunday it’s the annual Eskimo Open. Last year was a record low for golfers as the temps got down around zero and the snow was piled up. This year there should be only small amounts of snow and temps closing in on 40. Here’s to a good turn out.
Beyond this weekend, what’s ahead. Well in 2015 there’s a lot to look forward to and you need to take advantage of it. Course’s that will reopen for play from renovations, to great tournaments and more.
What am I looking forward to, plenty.
Starting in January there is the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando. This will be my third straight year at the show and I will have plenty of stories about new products, and things to help you enjoy your rounds of golf even more in 2015. During my time in Florida and a few other states, I’ll be visiting some properties and passing some along travel destination idea’s for when old man winter really hits us hard.
In February the golf shows here in town. First up on Feb. 6-8 is the Tinley Park Golf Expo, and on the last weekend of the month it’s time for the Chicago Golf Show to visit Rosemont.
By April it will be time for the Masters. Like the rest of the golf world I’ll be watching as everyone pulls for Rory McIlroy to keep his major win streak alive, and then get both a green jacket and a career Grand Slam. Later that month, Golfers on Golf Radio should return to WSBC & WCFJ Radio.
In May the local golf season will start to take shape, and everyone will start to learn more about the tournaments coming to town. By June we will see if the Glenview Park District golf course and the Mt. Prospect Park District golf course are ready to reopen from renovations. It will be interesting to hear the responses from golfers who try to tackle the classic course style changes at Mt. Prospect. In June the Palmer Cup will tee off at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.
The U.S. Open will tee off at Chambers Bay for the first time. It’s always fun to watch the U.S. Open when you have played the course and see how the pro’s play it. Can Phil Mickelson complete the career Grand Slam.
In July the Encompass Championship returns for the last time to the North Shore Country Club, it’s a new date for the tournament. It appears Encompass will not return as sponsor in 2016, and North Shore is expected by then to be undergoing a renovation. The John Deere Classic will be back at TPC Deere Run in the Quad Cities, another exciting shootout is expected, and the field gets better every year. A British Open at St. Andrews the home of golf is always a treat.
The Illinois Open will have a larger field and will need two courses. Details are still unfolding from the Illinois PGA. The Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open will be played at Mistwood, that will begin tournament week with an event in it’s new clubhouse. The following week will have the Western Amateur at Rich Harvest Farms.
In August the last USGA event on the calendar for years to come in the Chicago area, tee’s off at Olympia Fields. The championship will use both courses and should be outstanding.
The PGA championship returns to Wisconsin and the highly rated Whistling Straits Course, part of the American Club resort in Kohler/Haven. Maybe Steve Stricker can get a major championship in his home state.
In September the PGA Tour returns to the Chicago area as the BMW Championship drives back into Conway Farms in Lake Forest.
Iowa native Zach Johnson won the championship when it was last held at Conway Farms in 2013. Since then the club has redone it’s greens and made some other “tweeks” around the golf course and off the golf course.
In October the Chicago Open will played for the third straight year and benefit Illinois Junior Golf.
In the fall course renovation season will start again. At this time the long awaited for project at the Oak Meadows Golf Club is expected to start, and maybe a few others.
2015 has so much going on, I can’t wait for it to start getting into gear. Happy New Year and 2015 golfers, see you in the domes on the golf course and at the tournaments.