THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content Rory Spears. Part of Golfers on Golf Radio. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. At Glen Dornach in Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, the direction we should be going right now.

Congratulations to Cog Hill’s Kevin Weeks and Bill Abrams at the Golf Solutions Academy at Balmoral Woods Country Club, for being named by the GRAA as being among the Top 50 Golf Instructors on in America.

GRAA is the Golf Range Association of America. Weeks is also a three winner of the Illinois PGA Section’s Teacher of the Year award.

His putting lab has had numerous visits from PGA Tour players and top ranked amateur players.

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Steve Orrick is the 2017 Illinois PGA Central Section Player of the Year.

The Illinois PGA section announces that Country Club of Decatur head golf professional Steve Orrick has been named the Central Illinois PGA Section Professional of the Year.

“The Central Illinois Chapter is an important extension of the Illinois Section and includes outstanding PGA Professionals who are deeply involved in both Chapter and Section activities as these award winners exemplify,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section. “PGA Professionals are the experts in the business and the game of golf and these winners are taking that responsibility very seriously.”

Orrick has served on various committees and filled several section chapter positions, he is also a past winner if the Illinois PGA Section Championship.

The Mount Hawley Country Club and it’s staff came away with a strong showing in 2017, with three staff members earning awards this year.

David Lundy is Mount Hawley’s head golf professional and Lundy was named the Merchandiser of the Year award winner. Lundy directs the over 1,000 square foot pro shop. Lundy’s assistant professional Richard Phillips was named Assiatant Professional of the Year, Phillips was named a two-time winner as he was also honored with the Horton Smith Award. Phillips has worked in the golf industry for over 20 years.

Bill Abrams of the Golf Solutions Academy at the Balmoral Woods Country Club was named Teacher of the Year. This was the second time Abrams has won the award previously winning in 2004. Abrams was named Section Professional of the Year in 2015. His slogan of ” you won’t get worse before you get better” is well known and a comfort for new students or frustrated golfers finally realizing they need lessons.

Lance Olson the head professional at the Champaign Country Club, was the winner of the Youth Development Award. Olson’s programs include a TOT’s group that brings together the youngest level of junior golfers, age 5 and under. He runs the year end junior golf championship, that allows juniors a way to put their name on a trophy which becomes part of the clubs history.

Paul Betteridge of the Pekin Country Club was named winner of the Bill Strausbaugh Award. Paul has worked as the clubs head professional for 11 years. The Strausbaugh Award goes to a professional who helps mentor others, and Betteridge continues to have been factor to in the careers of many of his current and former assistants.

Tim Buscombe the former head professional at the Lincolnshire Fields Country Club for 25 years, was named winner of the Richie Hammel Award, for a career of distinguished service to the section. Buscombe was previously IPGA Professional of the Year in 2006 and received numerous other section awards.

Casey Pyne of the Crestwick Country Club was named Player of Year for his play on the course during section events in 2017.

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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.