THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-THE LOVE OF THE AM

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DSC03516 A new big 3 DS

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears (L), Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. With USGA President Tom O’Toole (C), and Tim Cronin of the Illinois Golfer and a BIG 3 Partner (R).

The group in the picture to the left, reunited this week for a talk about and the USGA. There were plenty of other topics covered as well, and you will hear them coming up on the Gog Blog over the next couple of days.

I’d like to Thank O’Toole for taking the time to meet with us, it’s amazing how many meetings and responsibilities the USGA President has during the week of the U.S. Amateur.

O’Toole met with the major golf media outlets in the Chicago area. Golfers on Golf, Illinois Golfer, the Daily Herald, Chicagoland Golf, and the Chicago District Golf Magazine. Among the topics that were covered, were U.S. Opens, and the tournament site selection process, being President of the USGA, over-seeing golf balls and equipment, the new U.S. Sr. Women’s Open, the new Fox-Sports Broadcasting deal, the 3 newest U.S. Open locations, Olympia Fields and more.

Tim Cronin will have it on Illinois Golfer, and Len Ziehm will have excerpts in the DH, and for Chicagoland Golf. We hope you will check out what the president had to say.

DSC05175 Bryson during interview DS

U.S. Amateur Champion Bryson DeChambeau talks about winning the U.S. Amateur Championship.

He is interesting, he is unique and HE is the U.S. Amateur Champion. Bryson DeChambeu of California, the SMU Golf Team, and the U.S. Walker Cup Team is a name you should remember.

DeChambeau is very well spoken and has some unique theories on golf balls, (the physics major, tests them in water with Epson salts and takes about 4 per dozen out of play) he has clubs with all Irons the length of a 6-Iron.

Down the road somewhere if DeChambeau isn’t playing professional golf, he will likely be designing golf products for professionals. Watching him over the week it became apparent when he took down Maverick McNealy in the Quarterfinals he was ready to win.

While USC’s Sean Crocker and Virginia’s Derek Bard played well, they just didn’t stack up to the level DeChambeau was playing at. One thing DeChambeau did tell the media, is that he walks fast, and that’s on purpose to make the other play feel like he has to play catch-up or get the feeling he is behind. Which is fine, but when other players like Crocker especially, or Bard walked off the green to the next tee and left DeChambeau to finish the hole, the folks at Fox-TV made an issue of it.

WRONG, if there was some gamesmanship going on, let it go both ways. I think Fox made villain’s of Crocker and Bard when they didn’t have to. As for Fox I enjoyed Greg Norman’s comment about DeChambeau’s drive on 19 was probably in a freight car going the wrong way, while nobody knew where DeChambeau’s drive was, until it eventually turned up deep in the bushes.

OLYMPIA FIELDS next stop.. no it’s not the train stop just left of the first tee on the North Course, but it’s the Ladies LPGA, and I’ll have more on that as the week goes on.

What Olympia Fields Courses did was show themselves off very well. A Tip of the Cap or Golf Visor to Grounds Director Sam McKenzie (one of the best in the business) and his crew for keeping both courses in great shape, 4.5 inches of rain fell over the week.

U.S Open status, some clubs that host an amateur get a U.S Open in about 5 or 6 years, that won’t be the case for OFCC. The U.S. Open is handed out for the next nine years, and the USGA may take a break now for a while in handing out the next one.

For some who still think because of the security bill that showed up in 2003 from Cook County for the U.S. Open will keep another open from returning. Some reports of $900,000 or a million are a little high, cut those numbers in half and you are a little closer to the real figure. Well Guess again.

The fact that the lowest number of the week was 66 on par 70’s courses, and courses held up great under the weather, green speeds were just under 13, where the USGA wanted them, and that some reports said the USGA told the club, that Olympia’s greens were the best of any at any USGA Championship played this year. Doesn’t that count for something, U-Betcha it does. If the U.S Open is not returning someday, it’s because there is not enough space for hospitality on the golf course, or hotel rooms and restaurants in the area. Yes I know what was done at Merion, but that format doesn’t just work everywhere. Check out our interview with Tom O’Toole for more on that.

BUT IF, the PGA is now going to be the avenue of choice, you can put that U.S Open at another choice. It’s been said that after the LPGA is played at OFCC in 2017, a Sr. PGA is next, followed by a PGA Championship. Dates and time TBA. Stay tuned.

FUNNY STORY OF THE WEEK, was the one from the Rochester New York paper that said the 2023 PGA was coming back to Oak Hill, well that’s not funny. But what was funny is that the writer said the club wants a U.S. Open, but is getting rebuffed by the USGA because their market is not big enough to be a big revenue generator for a U.S Open. Say What ?????

Sure, first off the USGA would never tell a club that, and then the USGA takes the open to only big markets? I wonder if the writer has ever been to those big metropolis sized cities of Pinehurst North Carolina, and Erin Wisconsin.

NO LOVE for Tiger. 51 year old Davis Love III won the final PGA Tour event of the season, and played his way into the Fed Ex Cup playoffs. “Playoffs”, yes they start this week at the Barclay’s. Tiger Woods played well this week against a field that has improved at this event over the years, but is still not a strong as many. The par 70 classic style Donald Ross course isn’t regarded as real tough either.

Woods needed a win or a solo second place to make the playoffs, he got neither after heading into the weekend T-1. But as Woods has done on the weekends he has stuck round for (few and far between), he went backwards. But give him credit for making a final push. But as Sunday turned into Monday, Woods now says his hip is bothering him, which could be leading into his lower back as well. If Woods needs more time off to get healthy, he will now have it. Too bad for Dan Hicks NBC/Golf Chanel, better off for the fans who want to hear about today’s stars like World #1 & 2 Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy, and players like Jason Day or Zach Johnson.

It was amazing to hear how the tournament “printed” 49,000 more tickets when Woods said he was going to play. Some of those actually got sold, remember printed is not sold.

THIS WEEK, the LPGA Legends Championship is at the French Lick Resort in Indiana, but locally it’s a week of from tournaments for me, for the first time since the 4th of July weekend. But I’m right back at it next week at Medinah, for the Illinois PGA Section Championship. With the BMW Championship not far behind, I thought that would be the end of the golf tournament season in Chicago.

Not so, the US SpeedGolf championships are coming to the Glen Club in mid-October, I’ll have more on that shortly as well.

In the meantime, do what I’m doing this week, get out and play. See you on the course everyone. 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 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.