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THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS. Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory into 2017 on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

WHERE DID IT GO, time flies when you’re having fun. It sure does.

What will you remember about 2016 when it comes to golf or your golf game.

I know what I’ll remember about golf in 2016. First on the tee is the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Team USA wins the cup for the first time in 8 years, and Patrick Reed is the star.

What a fun experience it was, and from the music track that played through the golf course, I still have Prince songs dancing through my head. The late artist was from the state of Minnesota and got plenty air time all week long through the grounds.

The King, Arnold Palmer speaks at the 2015 Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms.

THE KING Arnold Palmer passed away in late September, and the sport of golf lost a legend.

Palmer’s Ryder Cup golf bag from the team he captained, was next to the First Tee at the Ryder Cup.

Palmer had been scheduled for heart procedure the next morning in a Pittsbrgh area hospital, but never made it to the operating room.

Arnold Palmer was a role model on how to do things the right way, with a touch of class and how one should carry themselves in life. It will be interesting how the PGA Tour event at Palmer’s Bay Hill Lodge in Orlando will move forward, or what life will be like around Latrobe CC, in PA., Palmer’s northern base. I’m sure tonight there will be a few golfers who end 2016 by drinking an Arnold Palmer, not a bad choice.

THE MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS produced 4 first time major winners. Danny Willett in Augusta, Dustin Johnson won the U.S. Open at Oakmont, Henrik Swenson outdueled Phil Mickelson at The Open Championship, and Jimmy Walker won the PGA.

What did you do on the golf course that you will remember the year 2016 for ?

IN MY CASE, I enjoyed working the Ryder Cup, the BMW Championship, The John Deere Classic, the new Rust Oleum Web.com event, the LPGA International Crown, the Western Amateur the IPGA majors and the Illinois Women’s Open. Non-tournament wise the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando in January really gets members of the golf industry fired up for the year ahead, I look forward to being there again next month.

On the golf trip front, I played six courses around my travels to the PGA show. Highlights were the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, home of the Valspar PGA Tour event, open to the public. The famed Pinetree Golf Club just north of Miami (private), Joe Jemsek’s visit there in the early 1960’s helped him decide to hire architects Joe Lee and Dick Wilson to build Cog Hill #4 Dubsdread.

In the summer the Golfers on Golf Radio show went to Myrtle Beach for a live remote and broadcast, it was so much fun we might do it again in 2017. I had summer trips to the new Sand Valley in Wisconsin, a USGA event at Erin Hills home of the 2017 US Open, and up to Michigan to visit Forest Dunes and the new Loop course or courses by Tom Doak. A return visit to the Grand Traverse Resort and a round on the Bear was a joy. I do recommend a visit to the Wisconsin Dells area, to play Wild Rock a fun course.

I went to Pennsylvania to see the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and catch up with former IPGA Professional Mike Jones the new Director of Golf at Nemacolin. NWLR has a great 18 hole course, the #1 public course in PA. by Pete Dye, and another 18 holes by Dye that opens on July 1 of next year. Put it on your hit list now.

It was nice to see and play the Arlington Lakes Golf Club that reopened from renovation, and to follow the progress of the Oak Meadows project in Addison.

I took some time to upgrade the equipment in my bag. A badly needed new Titleist 915 D2 driver, and a new set of Titleist 716 Irons were a big help. If your clubs are more than 4-5 years old, it’s time to make some changes.

2016 GOLF was a fun year, I’m ready to make 2017 even better. On Monday I look ahead to 2017, stay clicked in, and Happy New Year from all of us at Golfers on Golf, Mike Munro, Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger, and Rory Spears.

See you in 2017, starting at the indoor golf shows.          

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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 810AM 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.