THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB at 401 N. Roselle Road, is just minutes away from Woodfield Mall. If your ready to play some golf this winter, indoor Chicago style. Do check out the enhanced simulator bays that include new Top 100 courses, and Ryder Cup courses. Have your game ready for spring as the Schaumburgs outdoor 27 holes is coming through renovation, and is looking good. For indoor golf in the simulator bays, do call (847)-885-9000 or visit Chandlers Chophouse for F&B.      ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. On the tee at Talamore Golf in Southern Pines NC.

The Road to Orlando and the 2019 PGA Show continues, with a stop in Pinehurst North Carolina, the home of American Golf.

Pinehurst is already different since the last time I was here one year ago. For starters at the Pinehurst Resort, Course #4 is now open for play since the Gil Hanse renovation is complete. The resort has now opened it’s new brewery at the former Village of Pinehurst steamplant. Crafts beers, Carolina style BBQ, and brick-oven pizza’s are the favorites at this new downtown Pinehurst hot spot. Course #4 has opened to rave reviews, and should make an outstanding second course for the 2019 U.S. Amateur. More improvements improvements are scattered around the property and I’ll detail them when I see them.

I haven’t played Mid-Pines since I first arrived in Pinehurst some 22 years ago, the old Donald Ross course has had a renovation a few years back, that has drawn good reviews. Mid-Pines was the very first course I played when I got to Pinehurst, it was good then. It’s sister course right across the street Pine Needles is gearing up to host the 2019 U.S. Sr. Women’s Open, that was played at Chicago Golf last year. Pine Needles has had renovation work done since my last round was played there about 5 years ago.

Three years ago I played Talamore and the Mid-South Club (formerly Pinehurst Plantation an Arnold Palmer golf course. The two courses are about 1 mile apart, and now have the same ownership, the lodges at Mid-South are a great place to stay and I’m ready to stay there again. In the last three years, both properties have made improvements since the last visit.

There will be a new stop on the hit list Tobacco Road, and course # 508 will find it’s way on to the all-time played list.

The new Pinehurst Brewery is now open in downtown Pinehurst

Last year a blizzard invaded Pinehurst on the day that I arrived, and the snow would not leave, or at least melt-away, until I went away, well almost.

As I was heading for the parking lot I learned the new Par 3 Course, The Cradle was about to open, as most of the snow on the short course had melted or been cleaned off. The tarps had been pulled off the greens and the tee boxes, so I had a chance to head out and squeeze in quick nine holes.

It took only 1 hour and 5 minutes to play. It was fun, and the incredible beverage cart with the sound system was not out, but that was fine, and so is the golf course. Hanse and his team did a great job. The small snow piles still on the course gave the Cradle a nice winter season touch.

This time around Pinehurst will not have snow during our visit, but during the first few days, temps will be chilly with some rain. It might not be a very warm one, but it will be a start to the 2019 golf season in the home of American golf. Can’t beat that.

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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 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.