IL PGA CENTRAL SECTION AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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.

ILLINOIS WOMEN’S GOLF SIGNS THREE

 VOLUNTEER POSITIONS are now open for registration for the 2018 U.S. Sr. Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club for July of 2018, for more information see USGA.org. THE Callaway Epic Red Driver is available for a limited time, visit Calllawaygolf.com       _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

The university of Illinois Women’s Golf team has announced the addition of three new players for it’s golf team in 2018.

Coach Renee Sloan is pleased to welcome the following players to the University of Illinois.

Katie Hallinan, from Loveland Ohio and Walnut Hills High School.

Hallinan was the 2016 Greater Cincinnati Player of the year. In 2015 she was runner up at the D1 high schools state championship. In 2017 she won the D1 state high school championship with scores of 68-69 to set a new state record. She holds her school record for a 9 hole round of 29, and 18 hole round with a score of 67. Hallinan won the Golfweek Midwest Tour Championship.

“I choose Illinois because as soon as i walked on campus it felt like home, The academic support for student athletes and the family atmosphere of the golf program are aspects of Illinois life that are truly unique and what makes me so incredibly lucky to be going there.”

STANG SUKAREE of Huntington Beach California, and the Anaheim Discovery Christian Academy. Sukaree has 14 top 10 AJGA finishes and five victories. In 2017 she qualified for the USGA Junior Championship, and the 2017 USGA Women’s Qualifier. She has three wins in the Toyota Tour Cup series of tournaments.

“I choose Illinois because after visiting I felt I could call it home. I love the school, the golf facility and the coaches. I also will be able to experience a different climate. Lastly, I appreciate the many traditions of university that was established in 1867 and the opportunities that one of the most respected colleges in the country will provide.”

CRYSTAL WANG Diamond Bar, California. Diamond Bar high school. wang was California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) team State Champion. She has eight top 10 AJGA finishes. Wang was the Enagic Junior Champion and the 2016 CIF Runner-up. in 2016 she was named the Inland Valley best girl golfer.

“I choose Illinois because this is the school with people that I feel the most comfortable with and there is a sense of belonging in the golf program that I really believe will help me during my years at Illinois.

TOBACCO ROAD PARTNERS WITH KEMPERSPORTS

KIAWAH ISLAND RESORT home of the Pete Dye Designed Ocean Course and the 2021 PGA Championship, has holiday gift options online see Kiawahresort.com. Maple Meadows is still open visit DuPagegolf.com for details and holiday gift card options.        ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to Tobacco Road golf Club, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy

The ownership group of the famed North Carolina Golf Club Tobacco Road has announced a partnership with Chicago/Northbrook based KemperSports to provide a variety of consulting services to the club.

“In today’s market competitive golf market, we felt that KemperSports was the right partner to help proper Tobacco Road into the future,” said Tobacco Road co-owner Mark Stewart. “The company’s institutional knowledge, deep relationships, national buying power and best class programs will help ensure the long-term peak performance of our golf course.”

Tobacco Road Golf Club in North Carolina.

The golf course is located between Raleigh-Durham and the Village of Pinehurst.

The clubs name comes from the fact the land previously was used for Tobacco farming.

The architect was Mike Strantz who is known for other popular course designs across America. It’s unique location and desing have made the course one of best courses in North Carolina, and in the rich Pinehurst Golf area.

Golfweek magazine calls Tobacco Road the 6th best public course in the state of North Carolina.

“Tobacco Road Golf Club is one of the most iconic golf course designs in the country, and we are privileged to help make this facility the best it can be,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “We look forward to working with ownership to align goals and provide insight that will deliver positive results for the club.”

Golfers can now look to hear more about Tobacco Road as it partners with KSM’s marketing arm and various promotion plans.

For more information on Tobacco Road please see Tobaccoroadgolf.com.

PINEHURST’S DORMIE CLUB UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

THE CRADLE AT PINEHURST this Par 3 course rocks. Work on Pinehurst #4 by Gil Hanse has now started, what’s happening at Pinehurst, Go visit Pinehurst.com #Ross.    ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG written by Rory Spears, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy on the 18th green at Pinehurst #2 by Donald Ross.

The town of Pinehurst is in the news again, but this time it’s not for what is happening at the Pinehurst Resort, which is a place where plenty is going on.

Now just a couple of miles away, comes word that things are moving again at the Dormie Club. The Dormie Club started to come into the news about 6 years ago, as a new sandhills project under the design of architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

The Dormie Club has been purchased by the Nebraska-based golf investment company of Hainoa, LLC, making it the latest addition to the Dormie Network-a network of destination clubs.

 THE 18TH HOLE at the Pinehurst based Dormie Club, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (R).

With the purchase of the club, there will renovations starting quickly on the property that include a new clubhouse, halfway house, and on-site lodging. In time Dormie Club is expected to return to it’s original plan of being a private club by the year 2020.

The club is a short drive from downtown Pinehurst, the Home of American Golf. It sits back among the tall pines and gives golfers a secluded round of play. Dormie Club has elevation change of over 110 feet through out the course. It includes three natural lakes including the breath-taking 55 acre Coles Mill Lake that is over 100 years old.

Some of the design created by Coore and Crenshaw includes reachable par-fours, bunkers that make the player create a strategic route to the green, and a 241 yard reverse-Redan par three.

The Dormie Club has five sets of tee’s and plays 6,883 yards from the back tees, and carries a rating of 73.7 and Slope of 138. It is rated by multiple national golf publications as one of the best courses in North Carolina.

“Dormie Club is a truly exceptional club that was conceptualized as is designed to be a high-end private course,” says Zach Peed of Dormie Network. “Our vision is to make it one of the finest pure golf destination courses in the region.”

With Dormie Club joining the Dormie Network, it joins clubs such as Briggs Ranch in San Antonio, Arbor Links in Nebraska City and Bally Hack in Roanoke.

The course was designed with the Coore and Crenshaw Philosophy of traditional Strategic Golf Design.

For more information visit Dormieclub.com.

INNISBROOK REOPENS IT’S NORTH COURSE

 THE USGA has opened volunteer registration for the 2018 U.S. Sr. Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, to be held in July of 2018, see USGA.org. The EPIC Red Driver now available for a limited time only, Visit Callawaygolf.com #EPICRED         _____________________________________________________________________

Checking into the Innisbrook Resort in Tarpon Springs Florida. The Gog Blog written by Rory Spears, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

The renovation of the Innisbrook Golf Resorts North Course is complete, and the golf course has reopened for play.

The six month renovation that started on June 5th, has seen the replacement of all 18 greens, using a no-till method of turf replacement, that will result in a firmer, and more consistent putting surface.

The greens were redone with a TifEagle Bermuda Grass- the same surface used on the resorts Copperhead Course, that is used for the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship.

North Course 5th hole. Photo courtesy of Innisbrook PR and Ramona Herald.

“The North Course is re-opening with an exceptional putting surface that our guests and members will truly enjoying playing,” said Innisbrook Managing Director Mike Williams. “We never rest on our success as a nationally recognized PGA Tour venue, and the popularity of the North Course offers yet another championship golf venue that attracts golfers from all over the world.”

The renovation included the re-working of the bunkers, general maintenance, and the clearing of all the storm canals, and some general pruning and trimming of trees to create access to the greens, as originally designed by the late Larry Packard. That process has allowed for the return of pin placements that were no longer being used during recent play, with the expansion of the green surfaces. designed by th

The 3rd green on the North Course.

Tee times are now being taken for the North Course, and the championship Copperhead course is now fully settled from it’s renovation of two years ago, that included the addition of the now popular white tour sand in the courses bunkers.

The Innisbrook Resort has four golf courses, and is operated by the Salamander Hotels and Resort chain, founded by the current CEO Sheila Johnson. The resorts four courses were all designed by Packard, who name sits on the resorts famed steakhouse.

The Salamander Resort Chain operates the Hammock Beach Resort on Florida’s East Coast, that has just reopened the Ocean Course designed by golf great Jack Nicklaus after a 13 month renovation.

For more information on the Innisbrook Resort with spa, four golf courses and the Innisbrook Golf Institute call (727)-942-2000 or visit online Innisbrookgolfresort.com. or see SalamanderHotels.com.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-ONE LAST OUTDOOR GOLF DAY

THE GOG BLOG by written by Golfers on Golf radio host and Director of Content RORY SPEARS. Follow Rory on facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. At Bethpage Black.

 THE RED EPIC DRIVER by Callaway Golf, a limited supply available for order now, visit Callawaygolf.com. THE NORTH COURSE at Innisbrook is open after renovation, book your tee times now. Innisbrookgolfresort.com.   _____________________________________________________________________

Chad Johansen in the CJ Putting Lab at Blackberry Oaks Golf Club in Bristol.

With the temperatures hanging in the low 60’s yesterday, there was a need to get out and play golf OUTSIDE, one more time.

Yes, only days ago it seemed like dome season was here to stay. But over the last few days Mother Nature raised the outdoor temps back up to a level where outdoor golf could and would happen for the diehards of the Chicago area.

The glue at Blackberry Oaks Golf Club is it’s GM/Head golf professional Chad Johansen. Johansen is more than just a golf pro, he is someone who has created a junior golf environment at Blackberry Oaks. Motto of the day every day is, “Kids Rule”. In fact one of the biggest surprises in the Illinois PGA Section, is how Johansen hasn’t won some type of IPGA Award for junior golf development. His junior golf numbers grow every year.

Johansen’s Perfect Putting Aid is a winner.

Johansen is the creative type, his Perfect Putting Aid is as good as it gets when finding a way to putt better. Forget some app on your phone, or a video, if you want to putt better it’s simple. Put a Perfect Putting Aid in your living room like I do, or the basement or your office and use it before you play. You will putt better that day, regardless of the green speeds, or the humps and bumps the architects have installed.

The CJ putting lab at Blackberry Oaks.

Last week when Johansen was firing out his social media promo’s, ones that said,” Hey the weather is fine, why not golf on Black Friday instead of shopping” he was on to a little something that brought out the golfers.

As a result when I called Johansen yesterday and said, Hey can I come out and play if your still open and he said he was, with the temps at 63, I made a mad-dash for Bristol with the golf bag in my cars trunk.

The bunker restoration plan is underway at Blackberry Oaks.

When I arrived I found that the BBO Clubhouse was getting some new improvements.

First up the pavement in front of the clubhouse had been redone, and the clubhouse itself was getting a new roof.

The bigger surprise was once on the golf course, I found that many of the bunkers were surrounded by plastic and work had started on some of them.

Blackberry Oaks is a good public golf course that might not get the attention it deserves, it’s fun and long enough at 6,400 yards to give anyone a nice round. But in some spots it was starting to show it’s age, so Kudo’s to Johansen and the ownership group for starting the bunker improvements.

After playing through a twosome and a threesome, I kept hitting fairways with my Callaway Epic Driver and cruised around the course in a snappy 2:45. My low 80’s score wasn’t bad and the fresh air and pace of play made it great for what could be the final outdoor round of 2017. All winter long I’ll be thinking of that 40 foot birdie putt I made on the Par 5, second hole.

But I do know this, if it gets up around 50 next week and some courses remain open, December golf in Chicago is always a rare experience so I’ll be out taking advantage of a gift from Mother Nature.

In 2018 I’ll be looking forward to playing Blackberry Oaks again, when all the bunkers have been renovated. You should as well. RS

VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION OPEN’S FOR U.S. SR WOMEN’S OPEN

EPIC RED a limited edition driver by Callaway Golf, order now at Callawaygolf.com.

THE USGA  has announced that the volunteer registration is now open for the very first U.S. Sr. Women’s Open, to be held from July 12-15 next year.

The championship will be contested at the historic Chicago Golf Club that will be enjoying it’s 126th year of being a golf facility. The club is located in the west suburban area of Chicago, the town of Wheaton Illinois.

The newly renovated North Course at Innisbrook in Tarpon Springs Florida. Pictured the 5th green.

The championship is in need of near 1,000 volunteers, that will serve on 15 committees.

Those committee include, Marshals, Player Services, Leader Boards, and Merchandise. The assignments are given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

All interested volunteers should contact the United States Golf Association at USGA.org/seniorwomensopen.

Volunteers are required to purchase the Volunteer Package for $85. This does include one championship golf shirt, one championship golf jacket, one championship golf hat and championship pin, one water bottle and volunteer credential valid for all seven days of the championship, as well as complimentary food, snacks and beverages on the days they volunteer. All volunteers are asked to perform four shifts of of 5-6 hours per day, through out championship week.

The U.S. Sr. Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club.

The inaugural U.S. Sr. Women’s Open is open to professional females, and amateur females with a handicap index of not more than 7.4, who have reached their 50th birthday as of the first day of the championship.

The field will consist of 120 players who have earned entry through an exemption category or through sectional qualifying at a site across the nation in spring of 2018.

The Chicago Golf Club was founded in 1892 by Charles Blair MacDonald, the champion of the first U.S. Amateur in 1895. The club is the oldest golf club in the United States in continuous use at the same location, and is one of the five founding clubs of the USGA.

The historic Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton.

The 2018 U.S. Sr. Women’s Open will be the clubs 12th USGA Championship and it’s first since the 2005 Walker Cup matches, won by the team from the United States.

There have been three U.S. Opens played at the club (1897,1900,1911) and four U.S. Amateurs (1897, 1905, 1909 and 1912). Other USGA Championships do include the 1903 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the 1979 U.S. Senior Amateur. The club served as the host venue for the 1928 Walker Cup matches.

Ticket information will be announced at a later date, along with the unveiling of the new U.S.Sr. Women’s Trophy. For more information on the championship and the USGA  Golf House Museum in Far Hills, New Jersey, and other USGA programs. Please visit USGA.org.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-HEY AN OUTDOOR DAY

 A SWITCH TO CALLAWAY GOLF, it’s in the bag, it’s that easy. Callawaygolf.com. THE PUTTING Studio in Blackberry Oaks, see Chad Johansen. Blackberryoaks.com #PPA    ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy outdoor golf 1 more time.

Well the fall golf season is over, or is it. Yes it is, now it’s more like the winter golf season or dome golf season. But for today and tomorrow the chance to play outdoor golf does exist.

It was over 60 degrees today based on some reports, and will be close to that tomorrow. Outdoors I go, in case it’s the last chance to play before the snow lands.

I’ll bomb away with the new Callaway Woods, that have lowered my handicap down 3 strokes this summer, and see if I can finish on high note, that means a low score. Bottom line it’s outdoor golf, always a good thing. even though I love our area golf domes. Now if the wind can stay low and rain holds off, that would be great.

GOLFING WITH THE PRESIDENT, it still amazes me that people get upset when the President of the United States goes golfing, seriously folks get a life. If you don’t like President Trump that’s fine, or president’s Obama, Bush or Clinton to name a few.

It doesn’t matter what party you support, but show a little respect. Presidents are people too and they deserve every right to get a little exercise and some fresh air where ever they can get it.

It was surprising, or maybe it wasn’t to hear the outcry from the cry babies about President Trump golfing with Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and a day later the greatest golfer of all time Jack Nicklaus.

Seriously folks get over it, and I’m glad that every president since Dwight Eisenhower except Jimmy Carter has been a golfer, with the late John F. Kennedy maybe the best of them all. If VIP’s or PGA Tour professionals are golfing with President Trump, deal with it and let them enjoy the great sport that it is.

RIP RJ HARPER, the long time head golf professional at Pebble Beach passed away at age 61 from cancer after a battle of over one year. I met Harper on my visit to Pebble Beach and he could not have been nicer. Golf lost a true ambassador in Mr. Harper. My condolences to his family and friends.

OUTGOING CEO Wally Uihlein of Titleist sent a letter to the Wall Street Journal regarding a story about rolling back the golf ball. That has been a topic for a while as golf courses get longer because the ball goes further. Well of course it goes further but that alone has not made courses easier for the average amateur golfer. The average handicap is not dropping in big numbers. If the PGA Tour or USGA wants to do something for it’s events, fine. But let the amateurs have the opportunity to get better, and at times hit a drive long and far like the professionals do.

KUDO’s to my Arlington Heights neighbor Doug Ghim on being selected to the Global Golf Post’s Top World’s Amateur 1st team. U of I players Northbrook’s Nick Hardy (2nd team) and Dylan Meyer Honorable Mention were also named. On the Women’s side Northwestern’s Hannah Kim was named to the second team as well.

There is still a few hours left on Cyber Monday, great golf deals are everywhere. Do go take advantage where you can. The Gog Blog will return this week. RS

GOLF CHANNEL TO RUN PGA JR LEAGUE SPECIAL

   2017 has been an EPIC year for Callaway Golf, stay clicked in during the days ahead and find out what’s new at Callaway Golf in 2018, Don’t forget Cyber Monday deals on the Callaway website. THE NORTH COURSE at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club is open after renovation. Visit Innisbrookgolfresort.com part of the Salamander Resort Chain. ______________________________________________________________________

RORY SPEARS , Editor and Director of Content, for the Golfers on Golf online machine Golfersongolf.com Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy and into the lobby of the 5-Star French Lick Resort. Frenchlick.com

The PGA of America, Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale Arizona, and the National Car Rental Group have formed a partnership with the Golf Channel to create a special of the PGA Jr. League National Championship recently held at Grayhawk Golf Club.

This two-hour primetime feature will air on Tuesday December 5th, 7PM CST with a rebroadcast at 11:30 PM also on the 5th.

The championship match was played between Georgia and New Jersey, with Georgia pulling out a hard fought win in the title match.

Team Illinois at the PGA Junior League matches recently held in Arizona.

The special shown by the Golf Channel will features with the players, some daily highlights, and footage taken from the championship matches and awards ceremony.

The Golf Channel team of Ryan Burr doing the Play-by-Play along with analyst Tripp Isenhour. On course reporters include Billy Ray Brown and Kay Cockerill.

Golf Channel social media host Alexandra Laughlin was on site to interact with the players competing.

In 2017 a record of over 42,000 boys and girls competed in the PGA junior league, which was comprised of over 3,400 teams. In 2016 there was over 36,000 kids involved that played on just over 2,900 teams.

Once arriving on site, the eight teams were divided in two divisions. There was the Ryder Division and the Wanamaker Division. Team Illinois that was captained by Cog Hill’s Kevin Weeks, and coached by Clayton Pendergraft, competed in the Ryder Division and finished 7th in the competition. The players on Team Illinois all competed out of Cog Hill. in Lemont.

“Grayhawk has been fortunate to host national events on every level, and this one is as cool as they come,” said Joe Shershenovich, Director of Golf for Grayhawk Golf Club. “As the host venue, and Southwest PGA Member, we were happy to welcome everyone involved to Scottsdale. Golf Channel’s coverage boosts the profile of the PGA Jr. League by showing kids nationwide just how fun it is to learn and play the game through this unique program. As someone who’s been involved from the beginning. it’s easy to see why the PGA Jr. League is growing so fast. Those who tune into the Golf Channel on Dec. 5 will get an opportunity to see for themselves.”

The PGA Jr. league rpogram on the Golf Channel will be shown next Tuesday on the Golf Channel at 7 PM local CST Time. You can let your junior golfers see first hand how exciting the the league is, and encourage them to participate in 2018.

GOLFVISIONS PLAYERS PASS TIME RUNNING OUT

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

Time is almost up to purchase the 2018 GolfVisions Players Pass, through Midnight tonight.

The included rounds and greens are a $800 dollar value, now for only $99.95 or soon at $249.95

Act now in the final minutes for a great savings.

Golfvisions.net.