GOING ROGUE the new driver and line of clubs by Callaway Golf, see Callaway Golf in full swing at MCQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook on Saturday morning. Learn more on Callaway Golf during this event. See McqsDome @Twitter for current details.  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. With a Rogue Driver at demo day, during the 2018 PGA Show.

Pebble Beach never lets us down, it’s great scenery and better golf from one of the most iconic courses in the world.

Pebble Beach was the best PGA Tour event of 2018, no doubt, no question. The best field you could ask for, a nice upgrade on celebrities that made viewing very enjoyable. Bill Murray is still fun watch and always will be. A big congratulations to Ted Potter Jr. on his win, and to Kevin Streelman our local native on his win in the pro-am with NFL professional Larry Fitzgerald.

Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson all tied for second place. Streelman finished in 6th place and fellow Wilson Staff player Troy Merritt finished in 8th place. This week it is off to Riviera, a place where six college players will play for a spot in the field of this weeks event today. One player in the challenge is Doug Ghim of the University of Texas and Arlington Heights. We wish him the best, in getting in the field and getting the best of the course that he almost won the 2017 U.S. Amateur on last August.

THE TINLEY PARK GOLF EXPO, was this last weekend and the weather probably cost show owners Joe Copeland and Gregg Tengerstrom some show goers. But as has been the pattern, the show gets better every year. It was good to see booths from Mistwood, McQ’s Dome, Cog Hill, Balmoral Woods, Tullymore, Old Oak and a few others there this year. I am anxious to see who Joe and Gregg have lined up for their Lake County show this coming weekend, at the Lake County Fairgrounds that starts on Friday.

I attended the show on Friday, getting their later than normal due to bad weather and bad roads. What was nice, was to see one major equipment company in attendance and that was Callaway Golf, that had Chicago area main rep Paul Schlimm in the house. Where was everybody else ? Hello locals like Wilson, and Tour Edge, other power players like Titleist, Taylor Made and Ping, nowhere to be found. I guess everyone in the equipment business is conceding to the power of Rogue in 2018, and the Chrome Soft golf ball.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, I found the claim put out by Titleist in their press release and on their ad during the final round of Pebble Beach yesterday to be quite false. BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm and I each started our round on the Dye Course at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie with a sleeve of the new Titleist Tour Soft golf balls. Len had better luck with them than I did. I lost all three of mine within 12 holes.

To be honest the Tour Soft felt like a Pinnacle to me, a ball that has always felt like a rock. The ball flight wasn’t right, but I had some success with Tour Soft around the greens. What I had with Tour Soft was zero distance off the tee. I played the last six holes with the Callaway Chrome ball and immediately gained 25-30 yards off the tee, and a better feel on my fairway shots. Chrome Soft feels better off the face of a Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter than Tour Soft does. I thank the folks at Titleist for giving me a few sleeves of the new ball to try out, but I think Titleist needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.

If I can recommend one thing to all golfers for the year ahead, spend the early part of the golf season checking out different golf balls. I spent many years playing Titleist’s Pro V1X and thought nothing would ever beat it. Well no other ball has beat it yet, but the Callaway Chrome Soft X is just as good. A few years back Callaway golf balls were in a car trailing Pro V’s by the length of the home stretch in a horse race. Now both balls are neck and neck as they come to the finish line in my books. I think golfers should ask themselves this question, if you can get the same ball in terms of performance, and the Callaway Chrome ball is about 8-9 dollars cheaper per dozen, which ball should you buy. Yeah, go Callaway and used the extra money in the 19th hole. With the progress Callaway is making in the golf ball world, they could roll past Titleist by 2019.

THIS COMING SATURDAY at McQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook, the premier golf dome in the Chicago area, is a Callaway Wedge clinic and demo day. I suggest if you have not hit the new Rogue club line, stop in and do that, it might be a game changer for you.

THIS WEEK I have an interview with Callaway Golf CEO Chip Brewer on the tee sheet, stay tuned for that, I expect it to be one, you will want to hear.

CONDOLENCES to friends and family of long time radio broadcaster Al Wester, who was the voice of Westwood One radio for years, Wester was 93. When I covered my first golf majors in the late 1980’s at Medinah, Wester had a radio booth behind me, but the glass booths didn’t stop me from hearing Wester’s booming voice when he was on the air. I felt important at a young age sitting in front of Wester, who was quite a name at the time.

BIG 3 PARTNER LEN ZIEHM  has a few features up on his website from the past week. At you can catch up on what’s new with Florida resident (now) Jeff Sluman Champions Tour player. Sluman sold his Hinsdale home and now resides in Florida full time. Ziehm also found Lance Ten Broeck who at 62, is splitting time playing on the Champions Tour, and caddying for Ernie Els.

B1G TEN GOLF NEWS, Men’s match play championship results from down in Florida saw Purdue win the championship. Some up’s and downs for #1 seed Illinois that got beat by Wisconsin and Indiana. The Hoosiers who ranked at the bottom of the Big Ten last year, seem to be making strides in the spring season of this year. Illinois had a big win over Northwestern, but sixth place is not where Coach Mike Small expects to be in a Big Ten meet. Illini Senior Dylan Meyer received a sponsors exemption to play in the Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour next month at the Innisbrook resort in Palm Harbor Florida.

The Gog Blog returns tomorrow, stay clicked in. 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.