THE INAUGURAL U.S. SR. WOMEN’S OPEN at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton from July 12-15, Tickets are on sale now at usseniorwomensopen.com #golfhistory.        ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Facebook and Linkedin. At the Arnold Palmer memorial at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

WE ARE GOLF, and some refer to yesterday as National Golf Day. But what yesterday was, is a way to show that golf makes a difference in society and adds much to the economy in America.

Recent numbers released show that golf is again growing in America, something that many industry insiders have known but multiple news writers have had go right over their heads.

Yesterday National Golf Day and WE ARE GOLF took the message of our great game right to the members of congress. Which is something they need to hear,because so many uninformed people, complain when President Donald Trump, or other political leaders take the time to play this great game. The misconception that golf is for the one percenter’s, and is not for everyone is wrong and always will be. While some players will never be good to enough to play on the PGA Tour is true, players of all skill levels can enjoy the game.

Yesterdays numbers included a record-high 230 meetings with members of congress that represent 40 of our states. The topics covered were the economical and social impact, along with environmental contributions the sport makes to our nation. This year was the 11th year of National Golf Day.

During the meetings with our Senate, House of Representatives, Executive Branch and federal agencies directors, the U.S. Golf Economy Report that was put together by TEConomy Partners, shows that $84.1 billion in activities was driven by golf in 2016, which is a 22% percent increase from from the $68 billion in 2011.

The golf industry supported a $191.9 billion dollar amount in total activity, including 1.89 million jobs and 58.7 billion in wages and benefits. In 2016 golf raised $3.94 billion dollars for charities through tournaments and other events.

“Golf is healthy and we continue to collaborate on way to have a positive impact in America,” said Steve Mona CEO of World Golf Foundation and administrator of WE ARE GOLF. “Meeting with many powerful lawmakers and influencers helps educate people about golf’s numerous benefits, grow participation and preserve the games legacy for future generations.”

National Golf Day was not lost on members of the U.S. Senate.

“Golf is a lifetime sport. It teaches values to the young and helps the seasoned golfer stay physically fit. Nebraska boasts, some of the most diverse and beautiful golf destinations in the world,” said Senator Debra Fischer (R-NE). “On National Golf Day we celebrate our love for the game and renew our commitment to ensure Americans can continue playing golf for generations to come.”

The CAGR figures surrounding golf include the following numbers.

  • $34.4 billion in revenue from golf courses, clubs, driving ranges and other facilities (combined 2.9% compounded annual growth rate since 2011).
  • $25.7 billion in tourism spending (4.6%CAGR)
  • $7.2 billion in new home construction in golf communities (18.5% CAGR)
  • $6.2 billion in sales of golf equipment, apparel and supplies (1.4% CAGR)
  • $2.4 billion in professional tournaments, associations and player endorsements (3.16% CAGR)
  • $1.9 billion in investments to improving existing golf facilities (4.6% CAGR)

Golf raised almost 4 billion dollars for charities in 2016, and numbers not yet released indicate that 2017 will show more growth in areas listed above.

For more information on gold economic impact in America, please visit wearegolf.org.


 THE CALLAWAY ROGUE DRIVER, isn’t time you went Rogue, See Callawaygolf.com. The French Lick Resort has spring specials to play the Dye and Ross Courses, visit Frenchlick.com FRENCH LICK with two tournaments in summer and fall. #Casino-Spa.  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and Facebook and Linkedin. At Garbor Shores home of the 2018 Sr. PGA Championship.

With all the championships in the area, the media day circuit had to begin soon, and it does today, with a stop at the Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton or Michigan.

The Kitchen-Aid Sr. PGA Championship is first on the tee, and defending champion Bernhard Langer joins the day with some thoughts on his win last year at Trump National in DC.

That win at Trump National earned Langer an invite to play golf with President Donald Trump, which due to scheduling has not yet happened, but Langer says he will golf Trump when the scheduling works out and he is looking forward to it. One thing that Langer was looking forward to doing was defending his Sr. PGA Championship title, but he announced today that, that won’t happen.

Langer’s son is graduating from high school that weekend in Florida and as Langer explained, in his family it’s family first. But Langer does plan to play the other four senior majors this year, including the Sr. Players Championship at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park.

That leaves the championship wide open, but 2015 champion at Harbor Shores Colin Montgomerie should be among the favorites.

After doing the media day skit with PGA communications guru Julius Mason, Langer did a media session with the attending press.

Click here to hear the media session with Bernhard Langer during media day at the Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor.

The Golf Club at Harbor Shores is a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course. One thing was noticeable on the course during media day, was the area’s around the 10th, 11th and 12th holes that have been cleaned out for better spectator viewing. It should help make for a great championship come the end of May. I’ll have more details about the Senior PGA and comment from Bernhard Langer in the days ahead.

IT WAS NICE ON OUR GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO SHOW this past Saturday t break a little more news. Illinois Open and and Illinois Amateur Champion Patrick Flavin announced he will defend his title at the Illinois Open August 6-8 at the Glen Club and Ravina Green the second course. Flavin added he might remain amateur this summer. There is no word yet where the area’s BIG 3 college seniors, Doug Ghim, Nick Hardy and Flavin will be playing once they turn professional, that is except for Hardy who will make his professional debut at the Rust Oleum Championship the first week of June at the Ivanhoe CC in Mundelein. Hardy was given an exemption to play in the Web.com event, and will turn pro there.

I’d like to thank our guest host Chad Johansen the Pro-GM from Blackberry Oaks GC in Bristol and home of the Blackberry Amateur on June 23-24, the goal this year is to finally fill the field at 120 players. In past years the field size has been in the mid-90’s and it’s time this year to get all 120 spots.

THIS WEEK our guest host is the publisher of the Illinois Golfer Tim Cronin, who is also an author who has written several books on area clubs and the Western Golf Association. Mistwood Director of Golf Andy Mickelson is in the house on May 5th.

THE WEATHER is starting to break a little, hopefully it means more time on the course for everyone, we are sure due for the golf season to get into full swing. RS

April 21 Broadcast

Golfers on Golf Radio is talk radio created by golfers for golfers, and is broadcast live on WNDZ 750AM in Chicago. The program is hosted by Ed Stevenson, Rory Spears, Bill Berger, and Mike Munro.  This week’s show includes:

  • PGA Professional Chad Johansen, of Blackberry Oaks, joins Rory Spears and Ed Stevenson in studio.
  • A LIVE interview with Wilson Golf General Manager Tim Clarke about invasions in golf equipment, and the upcoming season 2 of reality show “Driver vs. Driver.”
  • Conversation about the Illinois Open, the Blackberry Amateur, and the Chad Johansen Golf Academy.


  THE U.S. SR WOMEN’S OPEN coming to the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton from July 12-15,tickets on sale now usseniorwomensopem.com THE ILLINOIS OPEN on August 6-7-8 at the Glen Club, and Ravinia Green as the second course, details at Ipga.com      ______________________________________________________________________                       CHICAGO’S FAVORITE FOURSOME IS BACK FOR WEEK #2

  CHAD JOHANSEN OF BLACKBERRY OAKS GOLF CLUB joins ED, BILLY and RORY in the studio today, he’ll talk the Blackberry Am on June 23-24 #Fillthefield and his golf inventions and the CJGA where Kids-Rule.

BLACKBERRY AM SPONSOR WILSON GOLF will have it’s GM Tim Clarke join us to talk the new Driver vs Driver Show and everything else Wilson Golf.

GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO the TEE TIME is 10 AM on Am 750 WNDZ this morning, so join us before or after your round today.

LONG TIME GOLF WRITER AND AUTHOR TIM CRONIN joins us for Week #3 as our guest host.

MORE  golf news coming here later today.


  THE U.S. SR. WOMEN’S OPEN AT THE CHICAGO GOLF CLUB  JULY 12-15, Tickets are on sale now see USGA.org. CHAD JOHANSEN GM-HEAD PROFESSIONAL of the Blackberry Oaks Golf Club holds the Blackberry Amateur trophy. Johansen will serve as the guest host on Golfers on Golf Radio tomorrow morning Am 750 WNDZ 10-11 AM.     _____________________________________________________________________

Patrick Flavin is the reigning Illinois Open and Illinois Amateur Champion

The Illinois PGA will have the Illinois Open return to the Glen Club for an 11th time. This year the second course will be the Ravinia Green Country Club in Riverwoods.

This will be the first time the Illinois Open will visit Ravinia Green.

Patrick Flavin is the defending champion. The first two rounds will be played at both courses, with final round play hedl at just the Glen Club.


“Once again we feel we have two outstanding championship sites to host the 69th Illinois Open Championship,” said Carrie Williams, executive director of the Illinois PGA. “The Glen Club has been a longtime partner of the Section and his to our headquarters and Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, and is truly a championship course. Ravinia Green’s tighter tree-lined layout contrasts in style to the Glen Club, and we are really looking forward to showcasing the clubs recently updates amenities. The two courses will provide challenging play in different ways and their close proximity to one another will ease logistics for players, fans, sponsors, staff and officials.


This will be the fifth year of the Illinois Open needing two courses, due to an expanded field size. The 2018 field will have 264 contestants. In advance of the championship there will be eight qualifying events that will take place between June 26th and August 1st..

The first round of the Illinois Open will be played on Monday August 6th, the second round on the 7th, with the third and final round being played on Wednesday August 8th.

After the first 36 holes the field will be cut to the Low 50 player and ties, or any player within ten shots of the lead. The Glen Club plays to a par of 72 and will be set at 7,170 yards. Josh Lesnick, president of KemperSports the Glen Clubs management firm says that, “we take great pride in hosting the Illinois Open at the Glen Club, and have enjoyed a longtime relationship with the Illinois PGA.”

Danny Behr, head professional of the Ravina Green Country Club spoke on behalf of his club getting the opportunity to host it’s first Illinois Open.

“We are extremely excited for our club to partner with the Illinois PGA and be a host for the Illinois Open,” said Behr. ” the course and the club have been around for 50 years and as far as quality and difficulty it ranks right up there with all the other top courses in the North Shore.”

The first of eight qualifiers will be held on June 25th at the Bartlett Hills GC in Bartlett. the Illinois Open dates back to 1922, and to register to compete in this years championship please visit IPGA.com.


The National Golf Links clubhouse

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Creation and Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

THE NATIONAL GOLF LINKS on Long Island in New York and famous neighbor to clubs like 2018 US Open site Shinnecock Hills GC, and the Sebonack Golf Club, saw it’s clubhouse suffer damage from a daytime fire.

Over 100 fire fighters helped haul water up to the clubhouse when firetrucks could not fit through the front gates. Smoke was seen pouring out of one area of the clubhouse. Early reports say there is significant damage to some of the historic area’s of the clubhouse.

There was some work going on to an outdoor area of the clubhouse and it’s roof, that could be the cause of the fire starting. The club is known as the home of the famous windmill tower that sits near the closing and opening holes. National Golf Links was the site of the first Walker Cup matches in 1922. The matches returned to the area in 2013.

The C.B. Macdonald course later renovated by Seth Raynor is one of the most historic courses in the country and normally rates high among the lists of Top 100 courses. Golfers on Golf toured the clubhouse a few years back, and will speak about more about tragic event on Monday and on Golfers on Golf Radio this Saturday morning.


  BLACKBERRY OAKS GM/PRO CHAD JOHANSEN joins Golfers on Golf Radio this Saturday for Week #2 as our celebrity guest host. Blackberry Oaks in Bristol is the home course for the Blackberry AM on June 23 and 24. See Blackberryoaks.com. Golfers on Golf radio Am 750 WNDZ 10 Am on Saturday mornings through Sept. 8th.     _____________________________________________________________________

  FROM FAR HILLS to WHEATON the word is out, Tickets are on sale for the Inaugural U.S. Sr. Women’s Open this July 12-15 at the Chicago Golf Club. NOW is your chances to get U.S. Open tickets from a very first U.S. Open, which doesn’t happen every year.    THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS (L) at Far Hills and the USGA Museum in New Jersey. Follow Rory on facebook, linkedin and twitter @GogBlogGuy and to the Chicago Golf Club home of the C. B. Macdonald statue #USGA #Srwomensusopen        ______________________________________________________________________


As of today fans can now purchase tickets for the U.S Sr. Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton Illinois.

Dates of Championship week are July 12-15, there are not likely to be tickets for purchase on practice rounds days.

“As one of the five founding clubs of the USGA, Chicago Golf Club has deep roots in the game of golf,” said Matt Sawicki, championship director. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome golf fans to sucj a historic venue for this monumental moment in women’s sports.”

Unlike most major USGA championships, the USGA, WILL ALLOW fans the special opportunity to walk within the ropes. Spectators will be able to walk the fairways of this venue, as long as they keep a respectful distance from players. The USGA is hoping this one of-a-kind intimate experience is a enjoyable one.


The USGA is offering two ticket options to be a part of this historic week.

The Trophy Club Ticket Package (Thursday-Sunday). The $50 dollar package includes two “Good Any Day” tickets with access to the Trophy Club and it’s upgraded tent facility with air conditioning. These tickets can be printed at home and then traded in for hard tickets at the venue.

The Trophy Club Ticket $30, is the same as above (except) it is good for only ONE DAY. Tickets can be purchased at ussrwomensopen.com. Kids that are 18 and under do receive complementary admission when accompanied with a paying adult. For questions regarding tickets@usga.org or by calling 1-800-698-0661

The format will be a four-day walking only 72 hole championship. There will be a cut to the low-60 players and teis after 36 holes. The total purse for the event is $1 million dollars.

The Chicago Golf Club was founded in 1893 by Charles Blair Macdonald, and was the host of the first U.S. Amateur. In 1923 the course was renovated by Seth Raynor and is still mostly the same. This will be Chicago Golf’s 12th USGA Championship with the last champion being the 2005 Walker Cup matches, won by the united States over a team from Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. Women’s Amateur was conducted at the club in 1903.

For more information on the USGA and it’s championships please visit USGA.org.


  BLACKBERRY OAKS GM/PRO CHAD JOHANSEN holds the Blackberry Am Trophy, the Blackberry Am will be contested on June 23-24. Johansen will sit in as the Golfers on Golf Radio Celebrity host this Saturday on Am 750 WNDZ, Chad will talk about the BB-AM, Blackberry Oaks Course imprrovements, the CJ Golf Academy and his golf inventions that include the Perfect Putting Aid and the Guide for Golf, Saturday morning between 10-11 am,  TICKETS NOW ON SALE for the U.S. Sr. Women’s Open visit USGA.org for this historic event in golf at the Chicago Golf Club July 12-15 #USGA.        ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook, with soon to be pro Nick Hardy.

University of Illinois Senior Nick Hardy of Northbrook, is about to end his college career in just a few weeks.

Hardy will then begin his professional career in Mundelein at the Rust-Oleum Championship on the Web.com Tour, from June 4-10 at the Ivanhoe Country Club. Hardy was granted a special exemption along with Wheaton native and Ohio State alumnus T-K Kelly to play in the championship.

Kelly is already a professional and is competing on the Latinoamercia Tour.

See Rustoleum.com for more tournament information

“I’ve had a great college experience at the University of Illinois and have learned a lot from Coach (Mike) Small,” said Hardy. “I  look forward to a strong finish with my teammates and then move on to the next phase of my golf career. I know how valuable a sponsors exemption is and I am very appreciative to the Rust-Oleum Championship for giving me this great opportunity.”

Kelly also expressed his gratitude to the championship for providing him with an exemption into the field.

“I am very thankful to have received a sponsor exemption to play in the Rust-Oleum Championship,” said Kelly. “I look forward to coming back to Chicago and playing in front of my friends and family.”

Kelly earned his first professional victory last year, and has conditional status on the Web.com Tour.

“The Rust-Oleum Championship is thrilled to be able to award sponsors exemptions to Nick Hardy and T-K Kelly-two of the finest young players to come out of the state of Illinois in decades,” said Tournament Director Scott Cassin. “We know both players plan to compete at the highest level and use the tournament as a springboard to future success.”

Hardy has played in both the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Open’s and made the cut in the 2017 John Deere Classic. Kelly in 2017 won the Puerto Plata DR Open in the Dominican Republic and had four other Top 10 finishes. Kelly is a two-time Illinois State Amateur champion.


Golfers on Golf Radio has returned for 2018, L-R Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger and Rory Spears at WNDZ AM 750

Golfers on Golf Radio is back on the air for yet another season. Chicago’s longest running golf radio show was back on the tee this past Saturday. It came off the first tee firing and breaking some real golf news.

Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger and I are looking forward to the next 21 weeks of being with you on Saturday mornings, either after your round, or before you head out to your first tee.    MCQ’S DOME in Bolingbrook is the premier dome in the Chicagoland area, if your looking out the window at all the snow this morning and looking to hit the golf ball. Go visit McQ’s Dome the best option until the outdoor courses are ready for play. #MCQS

 NEED MORE DOMES how about a trip to the French Lick Resort. The historic West Baden Hotel at the French Lick Resort is a Must-Stay. Right now check out the Sunday and Monday stay package and golf at the French Lick Resort now $600 Frenchlick.com

IT WAS REALLY GOOD TO BE BACK ON THE AIR this past Saturday morning with our first edition of Golfers on Golf Radio for 2018. Having Arlington Heights native Doug Ghim live from the University of Texas, fresh off his Low-Amateur week at the Masters was a great drive off the first tee.

It was great news that Doug will turn professional right after the U.S.Open at Shinnecock, and in the meantime I wish him and Texas Teammates a nice run in the NCAA National Championships, hopefully they will play Illinois or Northwestern in the finals.

After our interview with Dave Neville of Callaway Golf, Brendan Sweeney of the French Lick Resort joined us, where we learned about the resort adding 9 more holes to it’s Valley Links course, exciting news indeed. Pete Dye disciple Tim Liddy and Golfweek golf architecture guru Brad Klein will walk the FLR property in a few weeks and submit a routing to the resort. Golfers on Golf Radio is looking to bring in some celebrity guest hosts over the course of the year, stay tuned and or clicked in, and we hope it will lead to more story’s getting broke on the air during GOG Radio.

THE PGA TOUR once again did a smart thing by moving up the tee times to complete the fourth round of the RBC Heritage Championship at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. While the final round of the tournament was shown on CBS, it had been taped earlier, which was no big deal. The galleries enjoyed a nice day, and were able to see the completion of the championship before bad weather arrived.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL could learn from this. For all the stadiums that don’t have a dome or a retractable roof, moving around start times would be a real good idea. After sitting at both Cubs and Sox games in bad weather, both this year and in other years, it’s amazing how many games could have been played with earlier start times, or later start times in some cases.

TOMORROW the weather is supposed to be back in the 50’s. Hopefully it will be time to take the golf game back outside. All of the clubs that had spring scrambles or other events schedule for this past weekend, pushed them back a week or so because of the weather. Check in with your club to find out the rescheduled date.

BIG 3 PARTNER LEN ZIEHM has checked in from his clubhouse in Port St.Lucie Florida in the PGA Village. Ziehm has posted two columns on his Lenziehmongolf.com website. First up is golf in Key West Florida and the second is a book review of the new book called “Tiger Woods”, not approved by Woods, which means it’s likely to be good and truthful. Ziehm’s columns are back running in the suburban Arlington Heights Daily Herald on Wednesdays for another year.

LAST WEEK I went to Mistwood golf Club to attend the Callaway Golf Day for the Illinois PGA Section professionals. It was very informative and I will post a story recapping the day. Events like this are a great way to learn about the product line and more companies should do it. With the golf equipment market changing the way it is, golf companies should have days like this with both the pro’s and the general public on occasion. Given the right time and the right venue, I bet they would be well attended.

IT WAS not surprising to again see the ball numbers posted in the Titleist commercial that ran during the RBC yesterday. With Titleist having 91 players and the second highest being in the low 20 somethings. While the #1 ball in golf had a lead, and all those players are getting paid to play the ball, the days of Titleist at 118 and second highest competitor at 11, have changed in to 91-22. The market is changing.

Golfersongolf.com will be back this week with more stories, and yes I have some catching up to do after the last ten days, or missing days here, due to getting ready for the radio show. But it is great to be back on the air , 21 more exciting weeks to go. RS

Doug Ghim Interview

Golfers on Golf Radio returned to the air on AM750 WNDZ on Saturday morning at 10:00am.  We opened the season with Masters low-amateur Doug Ghim, of Arlington Heights who checked in from his school the University of Texas in Austin.

Ghim shared some great Masters week stories and announced that he will turn professional the week after playing in the U.S. Open at Shinnecock, but first wants to help Texas win the NCAA Championship.  He also reminisced about his day playing junior golf with the Illinois Junior Golf Association (IJGA), and the Mid-American Junior Golf Tour (MAJGT).

Listen to the interview:

Golfers on Golf is talk radio created by golfers for golfers, and is broadcast live on WNDZ 750AM in Chicago. The program is hosted by Ed Stevenson, Rory Spears, Bill Berger, and Mike Munro.