THE NORTH COURSE at Innisbrook has reopened from renovation, the resort is now taking tee times and reservations for 2018, see #Copperhead  ______________________________________________________________________

The Gog Blog by Director of Content Rory Spears, from the fire place at McWethy’s Tavern it the Mistwood Clubhouse. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

It’s the day after Christmas and all through the clubhouse not a creature is stirring not even anxious golfers or club professionals.

Boy’s it’s cold out, only 7 degrees today here in the Chicago area. There is still an inch or two of snow from Sunday mornings dusting.

Bur fear not golfers, the daylight is lasting longer each day now, and we have all gained about 5 minutes per day already.

BUT THE REAL QUESTION IS what did you get for Christmas from Santa, your family or friends, or even the people in your favorite foursome. I hope that all golfers got something golf related, I did. A 2018 golf calendar, and $$$ from Mom and Dad to go buy those Pinehurst logo’d slacks in the way to the PGA Show in Florida next month.

My BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm already has some, so I do have to keep up with the Ziehm’s. I might need something from Streamsong as well, the Black Course by Gil Hanse is open and I plan to be stopping by after the PGA show.

Okay, did you get clubs? If so hold off on those high expectations right away. If they came right off the rack and you were not fitted. STOP RIGHT THERE. You might be in for a surprise. Go get checked out before the warm weather gets here. Go to True Spec Golf in Highland Park, Elevation Golf in Williowbrook, McQ’s Golf Dome in Bolingbrook, or the Schaumburg Golf Club in Schaumburg.

Those are four places in the Chicago area where you can get checked out on golf clubs to see if you have the right ones. Now if you got gift cards or a check, before you go buy clubs or even a new club, still hit one of the above recommended places and get fitted before you buy. ALWAYS the smartest way to go. For putter fittings two great other options include the barn on the range at Cog Hill with Kevin Weeks, or the putting lab at Blackberry Oaks with Chad Johansen.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR GOLF BALLS, there is a neat little price war going on between Titleist and Callaway. Titleist lowered the prices on year end 2017 Pro V’s down about 8 dollars to the same cost of Callaway Chrome. So Callaway now appears to have done the same thing and lowered it’s prices by about 8 dollars a dozen, so they are still cheaper than Titleist. For those of you looking for a deal, Callaway Chrome end of year 2017 stock, $31 per dozen. Grab them now.

GOLF GETAWAYS..for New Years or over the next couple of months. You do need to do a searching online. BUT, there are various resorts in WARM WEATHER offering deals if you book NOW. Check it out. The NHL All-Star game is in Tampa Florida the end of January, I’m not sure what Blackhawks will be playing yet, but a great getaway to see hockey and play golf all at once. As far as the desert goes, spring training will be here before you know it and Cubs and Sox fans will want to head out to Arizona, for baseball and golf. Book now before those properties fill up.

THE DOME’s ARE OPEN, with the cold temperatures outside, it’s a great time to visit McQ’s in Bolingbrook, Links and Tee’s in Addison, White Pines in Bensenville, Buffalo Grove and maybe a couple of the other smaller domes around town.

IF YOU CAN BE PATIENT. The new 2018 equipment will start coming out in less than 30 days at the PGA Show, so if you want the latest and maybe the greatest, give your reps and pro’s some time to get back from Orlando, and go visit them right after the Super Bowl and plan ahead. I will start passing along information as I get it from from the equipment manufacturers.

OUR INDOOR GOLF SHOWS, Chicago Golf Show, Tinley Park and Lake County shows are offering ticket specials, check online for details.

Within the next two weeks I will be at McQ’s Dome testing out the latest in shaft technology with the McQ’s-Mistwood pro staff. Then I will have a review with thoughts from the pro’s. The new TPT Golf Shaft created by a group of engineers in Switzerland and teaching guru David Leadbetter, is having success oversea’s and is coming here to America.

It was nice to see Mistwood professional Dan Phillips back teaching again, Dan spent the last year+ working on the marketing side for Mistwood and McQ’s, and while he did a great job there, he is now back on the golfside. Need a lesson go see Dan at McQ’s.

PS..the new menu at McQ’s is just plain good, new Master Chef Anton can cook up quite a feast, go enjoy. The Gog Blog returns tomorrow. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 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.