THE WISCONSIN DELLS- FAIRFIELD HILLS GOLF

  THE FEX CUP TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta is underway. Watch the playoffs on NBC. BOOK YOUR Play & Stay today at the French Lick Resort. Home of the Pete Dye Golf Course and the Donald Ross Golf Course. FrenchLick.com  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

PART 1 of 3. Our recent visit to golf in the Wisconsin Dells, is highlighted in three parts, including playing golf when you have a “Need for Speed”.

WELCOME TO FAIRFIELD HILLS in Baraboo Wisconsin. (R) Fairfield Hills Owner and Barrington Illinois resident-Jim Tracy in his pro shop at the Fairfield Hills Golf Course.

FAIRFIELD HILLS is golf, that’s perfect for all skill levels. But it’s even better if your short on time and still have a need to play. First on the tee, once you drive past the driving range you will find 12 very fun golf holes. Five of them are par 3’s. But that doesn’t mean they are pushovers. Because at yardages of 191-198 and 204, the tee shot must be good one, if you expect par of birdie.

The Par 4 fifth hole at Fairfield Hills.

Owner Jim Tracy bought the course eight years ago, and has made the facility better ever since.

Tracy will tell you that there has been a lot of work put into the range. Several improvements in and around the clubhouse.

But maybe the best yet, is that he added three more holes, giving Fairfield Hills 12 in total.

The longest hole is the par 5, 11th hole that plays 404 yards. Yes-no typo. Only 404. But for you bombers, don’t expect an easy birdie or even eagle. The tee shot requires some precision to the end of a short fairway. But even a shot in the fairway, leaves a somewhat blind longer second shot. Then hit your wedge in, and take your chance on the green one-putting for birdie.

The par 4-6th hole plays 288 yards.

While Fairfield Hills is in Wisconsin, don’t plan on just a flat golf course. In fact the tee boxes on holes 6 & 9 share the highest elevation on the golf course.

So enjoy the elevated downhill tee shot on the two par 4 holes.

There is one hole over 400 yards, one hole over 300 yards. As a result you can move around Fairfield Hills quickly. Because the total yardage for 12 holes is just over 2800 yards.

One recent visitor playing as a single, played all 12 holes in one-hour and 40 minutes. Tracy’s well stocked pro shop not only has plenty of needed golf supplies, but if your a fan of any of the Wisconsin Teams such as the Packers, Brewers or the UW-Badgers. You can find headcovers and other items with those teams logo’s stitched in.

Tracy keeps Fairfield Hills fun and friendly. It’s one of those courses where as soon as you walk in the front door of the clubhouse, everyone makes you feel right at home. Tracy might be the owner, but at times he is on the tractor out cutting the fairways, greens or the rough.

CLICK HERE to hear the interview with Fairfield Hills owner Jim Tracy.

Fairfield Hills is located in Baraboo, just south of Rt. 90 and before you get to the Wisconsin Dells area. So if you want to get some golf in before you hit the Dells, or one last round on the way back to Illinois. Fairfield Hills is just the place to go. Perfect location if your getting in some golf before of after a UW-Badgers Football game.

THE BEST WAY to book tee times is to call (608)-356-5524. Online you can visit Fairfieldhillsgolfcourse.com. Home of 3-6-9 and 12 hole loops. See more photo’s of Fairfield Hills at Rory Spears Facebook Page-or Rory Spears on Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-SR. LPGA AT FRENCH LICK WRAPS

  WELCOME TO THE PETE DYE COURSE at the French Lick Resort. Mistwood Golf Club professional Nicole Jeray hits her opening drive in Sunday’s final Round of the Senior LPGA Championship. But if you need a play & stay please visit FrenchLick.com  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on Facebook or LinkedIn. On the 15th hole at Moraine Country Club.

(Reporting from the Donald Ross course clubhouse in French Lick Ind.)

ONE MORE TIME-Congratulations to Trish Johnson on yet another win on the Pete Dye Course, at the French Lick Resort.

But the run is over, for now anyway at French Lick. Because this was the last year of the deal to host the Senior LPGA Championship.

What started out as a five year deal, ended up being four. Because last years championship was wiped out due to Covid-19. But prior to the five year Senior-LPGA Championship, was a legends Tour event, so this more like 8 year run is now over. So where to-for the Senior LPGA Championship.

Well the hot rumor is the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor Florida will be the home in 2022. But with new dates, like October. Because the 2022 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at NCR in the Dayton Ohio area, will jump into this years just completed Senior LPGA Championship.

BUT THE French Lick Resort isn’t done hosting championship golf. In fact in 2022, French Lick will host the Big Ten Championships in early May. The Indiana State Open (date TBD), and what becomes the biggest event on the women’s Symetra Tour the first week of August.

French Lick already had a Symetra Tour event in July, that was played on the Donald Ross course. But in 2022, the championship moves over to the Pete Dye course, for the next three years. Click on my interview with French Lick Director of Golf Dave Harner below.

CLICK HERE to hear the interview with French Lick’s Dave Harner.

I’M REALLY PROUD of Mistwood Golf Club teaching professional Nicole Jeray had another Top 25 finish in the a woman’s senior major. You can tell her game is improving by the pairings she is getting. Which included Laura Davies in yesterdays final round, and Rosie Jones on Saturday’s Round 2.

CLICK HERE to hear the interview with Nicole Jeray after Round 3 in the Sr. LPGA Championship.

AND on the Mistwood front-kudo’s to Andy Mickelson for winning the Illinois PGA Section Championship last week at Ivanhoe. But if you missed it, check out Golfers on Golf Radio WCPT 820 AM, on the cloud. We have plenty from Mickelson on the show.

BUT IF WOULD LIKE to hear this years champion Trish Johnson, of course I have an interview with her as well.

CLICK HERE to hear the interview with 2021 Senior LPGA Champion Trish Johnson.

THE BMW Championship at Caves Valley. Which is not an easy golf course, event though champion Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau put on a show. But folks, it’s time to cut DeChambeau some slack. great guy if you get to spend anytime around him like I have. But yes-he does need to start talking to the media every week. Too bad he didn’t sink the putt on the 18th on Friday, that would have given him a score of 59.

I’M HEADED HOME for a quick overnight stay, after 3 days at the French Lick Resort. Where I must tell you, the golf courses are in great shape. But then it’s off to the Wisconsin Dells where I will catch up with my Gog Radio and podcast partner Len Ziehm who is already there. But more on that trip and the Dells new short-courses will be coming up later this week. RS

GOG BLOG’S SUNDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-FRENCH LICK EDITION

THE FRENCH LICK RESORT in historic French Lick Indiana, is home to the 2021 Sr. LPGA Championship. Come play the Pete Dye Golf Course. So visit FrenchLick.com      ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Chicago’s Year Round Golf News Source.

THE FINAL DAY of the Senior LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort, with past champion Trish Johnson holding a 1 shot lead over three players.

Tied for 18th place is Mistwood Golf Club’s very own Nicole Jeray, who made the cut, that came at +9 by six shots.

Jeray is +3 after 36 holes, and will tee of with past champion of the championship, and winner of the first U.S. Senior Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club Laura Davies.

But Conway Farms teaching professional Jamie Fischer missed the cut for Sundays play by 2 shots.

CLICK HERE to hear our Round 2 interview with Nicole Jeray of Mistwood Golf Club, as she competes at the French Lick Resort, in the Senior LPGA Championship.

THE PRE-SEASON NCAA Coaches poll has Illinois #10 in national rankings. ILLINOIS is the only team from the Big Ten that is ranked in the top 25. But Ohio State and Michigan State were in the Others Receiving votes list.

THE BRICKS ARE BACK at the new Waveland Facility for the First Tee of Greater Chicago. But for only $300 you can add your name to one of the bricks at the facility. See all the details at FirstTeeChicago.org.. Because you can still help build the program, Brick-by-Brick.

BERNIE FRIEDRICH the Senior VP of Golf at Boyne Resorts in Michigan, has been selected as the first winner of the Michigan PGA Section’s Executive of the Year award. See more at Boyne.com

ISLAND RESORT holds it’s intercollegiate tournament next weekend September 5-6. Last years individual winner James Piot, and the new reigning U.S. Amateur champion returns. Because Nine schools will compete for the title, the competition will be exciting. So learn more at Islandresortgolf.com.

LARRY BLATT of Chicago won the CDGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Bloomington Country Club. But Blatt had to survive a three-hole playoff with David Keenan of Champaign to take home the trophy. Blatt and Keenan advanced to the playoff by being the only players under par.

Bryson DeChambeau

The 2020 U.S. Open Champion, and the 2017 John Deere Classic champion, who also has won the U.S. Amateur championship at Olympia Fields, and the NCAA National Championship, is back winning again in Illinois.

Bryson DeChambeau coming off a second round 12 under par score of 60, this past week at the BMW Championship has now joined Willowbrook based Club Champion.

“I’m excited to partner with Club Champion,” said DeChambeau. “I know Club Champion shares my desire to learn all the data, and pushing boundaries in finding all the best equipment.

“Adding Bryson to our team just makes total sense,” said Adam Levy, CEO of Club Champion. But you can learn more on this new partnership at ClubChampionGolf.com.

BOB VOKEY Wedges with Aaron Dill have created a limited edition 60A wedge, that has been inspired by Geoff Ogilvy. So learn more at Titleist.com or Vokey.com.

The Gog Blog Speaks Out-returns tomorrow. But you can photo’s of some of our above postings by Visiting Rory Spears on Facebook or on Twitter at GogBlogGuy.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO WEEK 20-TOURNEY TIME

THE FRENCH LICK RESORT of French Lick Indiana, plays host the Senior LPGA Championship this weekend on the Pete Dye Golf Course. See more at Frenchlick.com  _____________________________________________________________________

Golfers on Golf Radio Am 820 WCPT-Rory Spears, Ed Stevenson and Bill Berger. Tee time at 4 Pm

Golfers on Golf Radio returns for Week 20, on WCPT Am 820.

This week Ed Stevenson and Bill Berger in the WCPT clubhouse, with Rory Spears checking in live from the 5-Star French Lick Resort in French Lick Indiana.

French Lick is playing host to the 4th annual Senior LPGA Championship. Which is back after a year off because of the pandemic.

THE BMW Championship is playing at Caves Valley in Owings Mill Maryland. So thoughts on the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs, and Bryson DeChambeau’s bid for a 59.

So this weeks show also includes video guy and brew-master Dave “Links” Lockhart of Golf360 TV. You will hear from IPGA Section Championship champion Andy Mickelson of Mistwood Golf Club.

The fourth member of Chicago’s favorite foursome Len Ziehm has the week off.

TEE TIME is 4 PM on WCPT 820 AM. But you can also listen live on WCPT820.com or watch the show on WCPT 820 Facebook page. On your phone at the Tune-In Radio App just search WCPT 820.

BUT IF you need a mulligan because your on the golf course. Visit Soundcloud.com/Chicagosprogressivetalk and scroll down to the podcast replay of the show.

Thanks for listening, Ed, Billy, Len and Rory.

CATCHING UP WITH WGA CHAIRMAN KEVIN BUGGY

THE 18TH HOLE and THE 3RD HOLE for this weeks BMW Championship at Caves Valley. So tune in the Fed Ex cup playoffs and enjoy the golf. Top 30 move on to Atlanta. _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on Facebook or LinkedIn.

2021 WWGA Junior Champion Mara Janess with With WGA Chairman Kevin Buggy at Aurora Country Club

HE IS EVERYWHERE !

BUT WHO IS that guy, in the green jacket, you see him at every Western Golf Association (WGA) event.

But you can also find him at both of the Women’s Western Golf Associations (WWGA) Championships as well.

Because the WWGA Amateur was at Park Ridge Country Club, his home club, you knew that WGA Chairman Kevin Buggy would be there watching.

Kevin Buggy on his home turf, Park Ridge Country Club.

Buggy was at the WGA Boys junior championship, the Western Amateur at The Glen View Club. But this week duty takes him to Caves valley for the BMW Championship in Maryland.

While Buggy is a busy guy, involved in the recent architect Greg Martin renovation of Park Ridge, past president of the club, and the member who has seven club championships in his bag. He did take time to sit down on the outdoor porch at Park Ridge Country Club, to talk Park Ridge Country Club, the WGA, the WWGA, caddies and more.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW with WGA Chairman Kevin Buggy.

This week during the BMW Championship, it’s one of the best ways for the Western Golf Association to promote the Evans Scholars Foundation. But it’s drive to put caddies in college, on scholarship, and giving some deserving kids a chance. A chance that without the Evans Scholarship, would not be able to attend college. Who said that carrying a golf bag doesn’t pay-off.

During his two-year term as Chairman, Buggy will help the WGA with it’s long term planning that will run into the year 2030. Part of that planning includes bringing the WWGA tournaments up to, and more on level with the Boys Junior and the Western Amateur. Buggy will help make the WGA a coast-to-coast operation, that will offer more caddies a ticket to a college degree.

Buggy has been a WGA Director since 2008, and holds a degree from Villanova University. He started his term in January of 2008, when he succeeded Frank Morley.

MORE details on the Western Golf Association (WGA) at WGAESF.org.

THE 2021 BMW CHAMPIONSHIP AT CAVES VALLEY

IT’S PLAYOFF TIME ON THE PGA TOUR-this week it’s the BMW Championship from Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mill, Maryland. Jon Rahm is back defending his title.  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf.com and Golfers on Golf Radio WCPT 820 Am Chicago. #BMWCHAMPIONSHIP

THE WADLEY TROPHY and the BMW Championship trophy at Caves Valley-Photo’s by Rory Spears.

THE PLAYOFF’S ARE HERE.

With the second leg of the Fed Ex Cup Playoff Series the BMW Championship, being run by the PGA Tour and the Western Golf Association (WGA).

But this year there are fans at the tournament, unlike a year ago, when Covid was running wild and no spectators could be at Olympia Fields, in Chicago’s south suburbs.

In 2020, Jon Rahm drained a 50 foot putt on the first playoff hole to win the championship. But this year Rahm returns not only as defending champion, but as the reigning U.S. Open Champion after Rahm won his first professional major championship at Torrey Pines in June.

The par 3-third hole-championship routing

But Caves Valley is a modern golf course. It’s not the old classic that makes Olympia Fields what it is.

Caves valley will be new to most of the current PGA Tour players, because most of them have not played here before.

Jordan Spieth who spoke on media day, has played the course more than ten times. But never in championship form for a tournament. Spieth’s sponsor Under Armor has it’s offices in the Baltimore area. So when Spieth comes to town, Caves Valley becomes a fun day of golf for the three-time major champion. Spieth knows the golf course can play tough if the PGA Tour sets it up that way.

Hole 9, will be number 18 for the BMW Championship.

Caves Valley first opened in 1991 and was designed by Tom Fazio. Who was first hired in 1986, to build the course.

But it didn’t take long to attract championship golf. Because by 1995 the USGA had brought the Mid-Amateur championship to the golf course.

Seven years later Don Pooley won the U.S. Senior Open there, as the USGA made it’s second visit to Owings Mill.

Then the NCAA was right behind. In 2005 the Men’s NCAA National Championships came along (Women followed in 2009), right in front of the Palmer Cup in 2007 (now called the Arnold Palmer Cup).

The LPGA brought the first International Crown to Caves Valley in 2014 won by Team Spain. Caves Valley then hosted the Senior Players Championship in 2017.

WGA Senior Vice President of Tournaments Vince Pellegrino speaks on media day in June.

“We’re thrilled to be taking the BMW Championship to Caves Valley one of the finest clubs in United States,” said WGA Senior Vice President of Tournaments Vince Pellegrino. “The clubs scenic and challenging course layout will provide a perfect test for the worlds top players. In addition to being a remarkable venue for fans and PGA Tour partners.”

Caves Valley sits on 962 acres of rolling hills, complete with pastures, wetlands and wooded areas. But the golf course saw changes in recent years. After the LPGA International Crown, the bunkers were dug-up and made larger. They were redesigned with steeper faces, and new white tour-angle sand was added.

When play concludes on Sunday, the top 30 players with the most Fed Ex Cup points, will advance to the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

ANDY MICKELSON WINS 100TH ILLINOIS PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

MCWETHY’S TAVERN AT THE MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB located on Renwick Road in Romeoville. The Mistwood Golf Club is home to 18 Ray Hearn designed golf holes, a Top 100 performance center complete with club fitting bays. So visit Mistwoodgc.com     _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Reporting from the Ivanhoe Club in Mundelein.

2021 IPGA Section champion Andy Mickelson of Mistwood Golf Club. The only player under par in all three rounds at Ivanhoe. Photo by Nick Novelli.

Winning a Illinois PGA major championship is pretty special. So for Mistwood Golf Club Director of Golf, winning his first major felt really good. Mickelson finished the championship at three under par (213), and was the only player in the field of 115 players, to break par for the championship. Garrett Chaussard of the Skokie Country Club tied for second place at +1 with Kurt Rogers of the Champaign Country Club.

Mickelson wasn’t flashy in the final round. Because the 15 pars he carded, was really all he needed with other leaders backing up on the front nine. Starting the third round one shot behind Chaussard, Mickelson played the front nine in even par. But that was good enough to have a three shot lead at the turn. Mickelson birdied the 10th hole and added 8 straight pars, to coast in. Mickelson had a four shot lead on the 18th tee. But he made par after hitting his tee shot left of the fairway, but very safe and away from the water on the right side of the fairway.

Skokie Country Club’s Garrett Chaussard finished T-2 at the IPGA Section Championship. Photo by Nick Novelli.

Chaussard continues to be the most consistent IPGA Section player in the majors this year. After a runner up finish in the IPGA Match Play at Bull Valley, Chaussard was in contention through 45 holes at the Illinois Open this year, before the final nine holes caused a rough finish. Chaussard ended up T-37. Chaussard entered this week in 5th place in the 2021 Player of Year point race. With another second place finish in a major, he will move up the list.

Kurt Rogers of the Champaign Country Club tied for second place with Garrett Chaussard. Photo by Nick Novelli

Rogers 60, was pleased with his second place finish. But the thought of earning a trip to the National Club Professional Championship at Barton Creek Resort in Austin Texas in early 2022 really hit home. “At my age this is probably my last shot in that event,” said Rogers. “I’m going to try and make the most of it.” Rogers score of 71 (-1) was one of the seven third round scores that finished under par.

University of Illinois Men’s Coach Golf Mike Small who had won the championship 13 of the last 16 years, hit a round patch at the end of Round 2 and to Wednesday’s final round.

CLICK HERE to hear final round interviews with champion Andy Mickelson, and runner-up finishers Garrett Chaussard and Kurt Rogers.

Because after the weather restart on Tuesday, Small had three holes to play 16-17-18. But the defending champion finished double bogey-bogey-quad bogey, seven over par. But the rough patch for Small didn’t end on Tuesday. Because he made triple bogey on the first hole in Wednesdays final round. All Small needed was four pars on those holes and he would have won by two shots.

Mickelson, Chaussard and Rogers will be joined by Tim Streng (Wildcat Academy), Chris French (Aldeen Club), Frank Hohenadel (Mistwood GC), Matt Slowinski (Hinsdale CC), Brian Carroll (The Hawk Country Club), David Paeglow (Kishwaukee CC), Reece Bartelt (S.M.A.R.T. Golf and Fitness), and Small, at the 2022 and 55th PGA Club Professional Championship at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa, in Austin Texas next April.

With the victory Mickelson earns the first place check of $9,800 from the purse of $81,650. The final IPGA Major of the year, is the Players Championship at The Knollwood Club in Lake Forest on September 27-28th.

CHAUSSARD LEADS IPGA SECTION WITH 18 HOLES OR MORE TO GO

IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO HEAD OUT TO THE FRENCH LICK RESORT and tackle the Pete Dye Golf Course. The Senior LPGA tee’s of this weekend. See FrenchLick.com     _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect with him on LinkedIn/Facebook

Skokie Country Club’s Garrett Chaussard hits a shot in Round 2 of the IPGA Section Championship at Ivanhoe. Photo courtesy of IPGA and Nick Novelli.

ROUND 2 is NOT Over.

But most of the leaders finished before the second and final delay of the day, struck the Ivanhoe Club.

Skokie Country Club teaching professional Garrett Chaussard holds a 1 shot lead, over both Wildcat Academy instructor Tim Streng, and Mistwood Golf Club’s Director of Golf Andy Mickelson.

First Round leader Frank Hohenadel is two shots back and the final player under par at -1. Hinsdale head golf professional Matt Slowinski sits alone in 5th place at even par, after a second round of 70 (-2). Slowinski is not out of it. Streng’s morning round of an even par 72, has him in the mix for his first IPGA Major win.

But the story of Round 2, besides the weather was Chaussard, whose 2 under par (70) left him at 3 under par for 36 holes. Chaussard will play in the last group with Streng and Mickelson, unless Hohenadel makes a push over his last three holes he has to  finish.

CLICK HERE, AND HEAR FROM LEADER GARRETT CHAUSSARD and Andy Mickelson who is in second place.

30 players did not finish round 2. Several more that would not have made the 36 hole cut, have withdrawn from the championship. Because the cut as of now is at +15, some players around the cut line will finish on Wednesday morning.

The morning flight was able to get out on the golf course before the afternoon temperatures hit 93 degrees. But at 4:27 Pm local time, lightning was detected and play was stopped. The players were sent back on the golf course at 6:20, after a nearly two hour delay.

Mistwood’s Andy Mickelson is one shot behind leader Garrett Chaussard. Photo by Nick Novelli.

Speaking with the media around 6:50 Pm, IPGA Executive Director Carrie Williams said the stoppage of play horn would sound in about 7 minutes. While daylight wasn’t the issue, Williams said a second rain front was closing in. But the IPGA wanted the players to be able to finish any hole they were currently playing, before having to quit for the day. About 15 minutes later the front Williams spoke of arrived. When it did, heavy rain started to fall.

Chaussard came right out of the restart with a birdie on the 16th hole. But to maintain his one shot lead, he made a tough 8 foot par-saving putt on the 18th hole. Mickelson emerged from the delay, with par’s on 15, 16, and 17. But a ten foot missed par putt on 18, left him a shot behind Chaussard.

13 time winner of the section championship, University of Illinois Men’s golf coach Mike Small had just made eagle 3 on the par 5, 15th hole when the horn sounded. The eagle left Small tied for the lead. But after the restart, Small played holes 16-17-and 18 in Double Bogey-Bogey and Quad Bogey. Small starts the final round now 7 shots off the lead.

Ivanhoe that has played fast and firm for most of the first two days, will be a little wet when play resumes on Wednesday.

HOHENADEL TAKES ROUND 1 LEAD AT PGA SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP

 MCWETHY’S AND MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB are open daily for golf, great food and beverage, lessons, practice and club fitting. So learn more and see Mistwoodgc.com.     ____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS-Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect with Rory on LinkedIn.

University of Illinois Men’s Golf Coach Mike Small, has won the Illinois PGA Section Championship 13 of the last 16 years, including in 2020 at Medinah. Small among the 1st round leaders at Ivanhoe in Round 1.

REPORTING FROM THE IVANHOE CLUB.

Team Mistwood Golf Club is back in the mix at the Illinois PGA Section Championship.

In 2020 both Mistwood Director of Golf Andy Mickelson, and head professional Frank Hohenadel spent the final day trying to chase down eventual champion Mike Small.

But the University of Illinois Men’s golf coach could not be caught on Medinah’s Course #1, winning for the 13th time in 16 years. This year it’s Small that is lurking after the two Mistwood pro’s as Hohenadel’s 3 under par 69, is the first day leader. Mickelson and Small are T-3 two shots back at 1 under par, after posting 71’s. Garrett Chaussard of the Skokie Country Club shot 71. Chaussard has been in the IPGA Match Play Championship finals the last four years, and was in contention through 45 holes at this years Illinois Open.

BUT COMING IN LATE was Wildcat Academy professional Tim Streng. Streng was the only player in the field from the afternoon flight to shoot under par. Streng carded a 2 under par 70. His birdie on the 9th hole, his 18th hole, came by playing the par 5, with 5-iron, 7-iron and wedge into the green.

THE LEADERS all said the Round 1 set-up left them hitting driver only twice all day. But that could change in Round 2.

Mistwood GC Frank Hohenadel leads by 1 after Round 1.

ACE IS THE PLACE in Round 1. The 187 yard par 3, 17th hole yielded not one but two ace’s in the morning flight. Brian Dalton of Stonewall Orchard GC, made it two years in a row with a hole-in-one at the section championship. Dalton who made an ace in 2020 in the final round at Medinah Country Club, did it again this year, using a 7-Iron from 187. But Dalton ended up the round with a +5 score of 77.

TWO FOR ONE as this time Dalton had company in the ace competition. Because Doug Bauman from Biltmore Country Club a two time past champion in 1996 and 1997, recorded the days second hole-in-one also on the 17th hole. Bauman’s 187 yard shot was struck with a 6-iron.

“I knew I hit it good,” said Bauman. “The ball hit about six feet in front of the cup. Since I was playing with Jim (Sobb-Director of Golf and host pro from Ivanhoe) there was about nine members out watching us. But when they all started jumping up and down and clapping their hands. I knew it was in.” Bauman a two-time past champion in 1996-97, carded a 77 (+5) for his opening round.

Sobb also a two-time past champion from 1999-2000, carded 82 +10 on his home course. New head golf professional at Ivanhoe Jim Billiter the 2015 champion had 76 (+4). 2019 winner Travis Johns had 81 (+9).

CLICK HERE TO HEAR IPGA Round 1 leaders in order Mike Small, Andy Mickelson, Frank Hohenadel and Tim Streng.

The players all agreed the course was playing tough. Which was proven when the scoring average for the day was sitting at just over 79.0.

The cut will be made after Tuesday’s second round.  Golfers on Golf will cover all three rounds of the IPGA section championship.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-TOURNEY TIME IF YOU SIGNED UP

THE FED EX CUP PLAYOFFS CONTINUE this Thursday at the BMW Championship at the Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mill Maryland. Jon Rahm is back to defend his title.  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook. On the 15th hole at Moraine Country Club in Dayton Ohio.

TOURNEY TIME.

YES it’s tourney time again this week, here in town or on the road for our Chicago based golf organizations.

ON THE TEE today is the Illinois PGA Section Championship, that moves to the Ivanhoe Club in Mundelein.

University of Illinois Men’s Golf Coach Mike Small has won the tournament, 13 times in the last 16 years. So there is a funny one about this event being the Mike Small Invitational.

Because last year on Medinah’s #1 course, Small took charge in Round 2. Then he held off charges on the final day from Mistwood Golf Club professionals Andy Mickelson and Frank Hohenadel. But this year past champion Jim Billiter is the new head professional at the Ivanhoe Club, and will put up a good challenge on his home turf. Ivanhoe Director of Golf Jim Sobb should have respectable numbers as well.

But there is more at stake here. The top 10 finishers and Small, head to next years National Club Professional Championship. From there, the top 20 finishers are in the field at the 2022 PGA Championship that takes place at Southern Hills in Tulsa.

Welcome to Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mill Maryland, home of this weeks BMW Championship.

THE BMW CHAMPIONSHIP is back on the tee this week, in Owings Mill MD.

While all of us here in Chicago miss the tournament when it’s out of town. It’s easy to see why the Western Golf Association (WGA) and the PGA Tour are in Maryland this week.

Because first and foremost, Caves Valley is a great golf course. I first went there in 2014 for the UL-LPGA International Crown. But then this June I returned for media day, and played the golf course. It’s a really good track-really good. Much improved since I saw it in 2014. Second of all the club and it’s foundation are really supportive to the game, the WGA, and in little ways I haven’t seen from other clubs that have hosted the BMW. So if Wilmington Country Club in Del. is as good next year, I won’t have any issue with the tournament out of town in 2022. But by 2023 it does need to return to Chicago, regardless of who the sponsor is by then. I’ll have more on the BMW as the week goes on.

THE FRENCH LICK RESORT-home of this weeks Sr. LPGA Championship.

THE FIVE YEARS of the Senior LPGA Championship went by quickly. So fast that in fact only four of the championships were actually played due to the pandemic.

So unless the LPGA has a secret site for 2022 lined up, the championship needs a new home for next year.

FRENCH LICK has done a wonderful job over the five years with the championship. But The Golf Channel deal that put the tournament in October for two cold years, didn’t help. Because Mother Nature chipped-in with upper 40 and low 50 degree days.

DEFENDING CHAMPION HELEN ALFREDSSON is not in the field this year. Because she forgot to sign up. But when she realized she missed the date, she tried to enter but it was too late. Our friend at the Illinois Golfer Tim Cronin says that the British Open tournaments, will contact players right before the deadline to remind them of the deadline approaching. Because you would think a defending champion would want to return. Maybe the LPGA should have checked in with Alfredsson to see if she wanted to play.

THE USGA has admitted to a U.S. Open ticket scandal that involved a former employee. That former employee now faces up to 20 years in federal prison, for stealing U.S. Open tickets, and selling them to brokers, who resold them from 2013 to 2019. The former employee is listed in court documents as Richard Fryer, an assistant admissions director. Fryer allegedly took some 23,000 tickets over the years in question. Both he and the brokers reportedly made some $3.34 million dollars in ticket resales. People who work in ticket sales, will be watching to see how this case gets settled.

THE FED EX CUP PLAYOFFS are delayed this morning. But stay tuned to coverage later in the day. The Gog Blog is back all week. RS.