THE OCEAN COURSE AT HAMMOCK BEACH RESORT-JACK IS BACK

  THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME, is now open daily until 10 PM, come checkout the new Toptracer and McWethy’s Sportsbar on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook (630)-739-7600. IT’S year round golf at the Schaumburg Golf Club on Roselle Road, the simulaotrs havebeen updated with Top 100 and Ryder Cup courses. Schaumburggolf.com (847)-885-9000.     _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation, Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. On the 17th hole on the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort.

MATTHEW WAS HERE and now Jack is back.

The Hammock Beach Resort in the Palm Coast area on the East Coast of Florida, has a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, that included six golf holes that gave views of the Atlantic ocean, that is normally a great golf experience.

Then one day in October of 2016, the course had a visit from the forceful winds of hurricane Matthew and things changed quickly.

The Bermuda grass was never intended to handle the amount of salt water that Matthew dumped on the Ocean Course. The nine foot waves crashed all over the course and killed the grass, and did damage to other parts of golf course.

The par 4, 9th hole runs along the ocean, and is rated as the No.1 handicap hole on the golf course.

So on October 6th of 2016 the course was closed and the Nicklaus design team was contacted, and a master plan was created to restore the ocean front golf course.

The restoration of the golf course included staying with the original Nicklaus design, but included a re-grassing of all fairways, greens and rough, with a salt-tolerant “Platinum Paspalum.”

Reconstruction was needed to repair all of the tee boxes, bunkers and green complexes, most of which has been damaged in the storm. But the work didn’t stop there. The Ocean Course has a dune line that runs for over a mile, and is still being restored to the guidelines created by the State of Florida Conservation Department. As a result, there are some new dunes forming that are creating better protection for the coastline, while the clearing out of the bush-line along the coast, has created amazing  new views for golfers while playing the Ocean Course.

The 174 yard par 3, 17th hole on the Ocean Course.

Nicklaus told resort officials, that he still liked the original design, and didn’t want to change the golf course during the restoration, just restore and improve what had been lost or damaged during Matthew.

There is a fair amount of water on the Ocean course, and not just along the ocean. But it doesn’t make the golfer repeatedly hit forced carries into the green.

The course has six sets of tee’s to play from and the yardage ranges from, 4,202 up front, to the Level VI tees or the tips that play at 7,176 and to a par of 72. At times, the wind off the ocean can be strong so golfers should take that into account before deciding what set of tee’s to play from.

Since the restoration the Ocean Course has received several awards from various national golf publications.

   The view from the bridge on the way to the first tee, and the plaque that tells about the work done by the Nicklaus Team.

Click here to hear an interview with General Manager Brett Hauer, and Head Golf Professional Jeff Hager, on the Ocean Course, the Hammock Beach Resort, and the resorts second golf course, The Conservatory by Tom Watson, located just minutes from the resorts hotel, has served as one of the host golf courses for the B1G Ten Conference Men’s Match Play Golf Championship, along with the Ocean Course.

  The clubhouse at the Conservatory the Hammock Beach resorts second golf course designed by Tom Watson, and par 4, second hole at the Conservatory (R).  The Conservatory at 7,740 yards is the longest course in the State of Florida, and has the highest slope and rating.

  The Hammock Beach Resort Hotel, and a sunrise view of the ocean from one of the spacious rooms located within the hotel (R).

Hammock Beach Resort is located 20 miles south of St. Augustine on Florida’s east coastline, with scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean. It has numerous activities besides golf, and they include a highly rated spa. In the clubhouse is the resorts Atlantic Grill for fine dining. There are multiple pools where you lounge and decide if a dip in the ocean or the pool is best for you. If your game is Tennis or Volleyball, Hammock Beach has those options for you. There is plenty to do for the kids and summer is a busy time for the resort, since with it’s ocean front location, the resort does not get as hot as some other locations in Florida.

The drive to Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom and other Disney Park’s is only 90 minutes. There are more planned improvements for the resort in the months ahead, so click into the resorts website at HammockBeach.com. The resort phone is (386)-246-5500, and pro shop number for tee times or other golf questions is (386)-447-4611. The resort is an easy drive from either the Jacksonville or Daytona Airports.

TITLEIST ANNOUNCES NEW FOR 2019 INCLUDING THE PRO V1

THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB is now a year-round golf facility, and you can enjoy simulator golf all-winter long. The bay area has room for food and beverage , that you can order from Chandlers Chop House right upstairs. Why not play matches against your foursome on the 2018 and 2020 Ryder Cup venues. Have your game ready for the start of the outdoor season by playing in the simulators all year round. For tee times and more information visit Schaumburggolf.com or call the golf course at (847)-885-9000.    _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. On the 18th hole at Mid Pines in Southern Pines NC.

(Reporting from the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando FL.)

Titleist the No.1 ball in golf, has made it’s top performing golf ball the Pro V1 and Pro V1x even better, which might be hard to do, but Titleist says they have done it yet again.

Titleist has not stopped with just the golf ball, late in 2018 they upgraded their drivers with the addition of the TS metal woods. On the wedge side, Bob Vokey the “Wizzard of Wedges” has added a new look to the SM-7 wedges. More on that in another story.

Click here to hear Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing Michael Mahoney discuss the improvements to the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf ball.

Titleist VP of Golf Ball Marketing Michael Mahoney talks the Titleist golf ball.

The new Pro V1’s have everything that golfers look for, ways to fly it further, a reduced spin rate, and better feel where you need it on the golf course.

Titleist has not given up on it’s others golf ball models, leaving the golfer with options for the type of golf ball they want to play, and one that puts them in the price point they want to pay.

From the professional level, Mahoney says that Titleist professional staff players have been very pleased with the results of the new Pro V1’s while playing on tour.

Click here to hear the interview with Brett Porath the Titleist Director of Club Fitting.

Titleist professional staff players have been pleased with what Brett Porath, the Titleist Director of Club Fitting says are “the results from the new Titleist TS-2 and TS-3 metal woods and including an ultra-thin Titanium crown that allows for faster speed.” The feeling is that the TS-2 and TS-3 metals are the best drivers that Titleist has ever built.

Both Titleist TS metals and the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are now available in golf pro shops and retail outlets.

You can see for yourself by testing the TS metals at a Titleist demo day. See Titleist.com to find demo days near you, and for more information on Titleist products.

KARRIE WEBB FOR NIPPON SHAFTS

  THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME in Bolingbrook is now open daily until 10 PM. This year the dome had added Toptracer Technology, which gives golfers several options on how they can enjoy their time in the golf dome. While there golfers can enjoy great food and beverage while in McWethy’s Sportsbar. See everything the Mistwood Golf Dome has to offer at Mistwoodgolf.com or call (630)-739-7600. THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB has become a year round golf facility with the addition of it’s simulator bays, that now include several Top 100 courses and the next Ryder Cup venue Whistling Straits. Visit Schaumburggolf.com or call (847)-885-9000 to book your tee time. #chandlersforfood.    ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Linkedin and Facebook. At the French Lick Resort Hotel.

(Reporting from Orlando Florida and the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show)

The 2019 Merchandise Show started with demo day on Tuesday, and a few LPGA professionals were on hand to promote various products. Seen were Lexi Thompson, and Karrie Webb.

Webb joined demo day on 48 hours before her departure to play in events in her native Australia, to speak on behalf of Nippon Shafts, a product she has used for years.

With shafts now as important as the rest of the club in many cases, picking the right shaft during a fitting process can add much to a new club or set of clubs.

Karrie Webb speaking with the media at the Nippon Shaft tent at demo day.

Webb is looking forward to a year where at 44 she is just shy of being old enough to play in the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick come October. Age requirements for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open are 50 years old.

Webb is already a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame with her 41 wins worldwide.

She won the U.S. Women’s Open in 2000 at the Merit Club in Libertyville.

Click here to hear the interview with Hall of Fame inductee Karrie Webb speak about her game, and playing with Nippon Shafts on her clubs. For more information on Nippon Shafts, see Nippongolf.com.

MEET EVAN HOFFMAN WINNER OF DRIVER VS DRIVER 2

INSIDE OR OUTSIDE, The Schaumburg Golf Club on Roselle Road has an exciting 2019 shaping up for golfers. First on the tee now is you when you come and work on your game this winter in the updated simulator bays on the lower level of the clubhouse that are now complete with several new Top 100 golf courses and Ryder Cup venues. The second phase of the renovation the Baer Nine should be complete around July 1st and open for play. Schaumburggolf.com or call the club at (847)-885-9000 #teetimes     _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. At the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show, Orlando Florida

(REPORTING FROM ORLANDO-and the Orange County Convention Center)

On Tuesday the demo day at the Orange County National Golf Club was packed with show attendee’s and one of the hot spots was the Wilson space when you entered the range area.

There was a line to hit and check out the new Wilson Driver Cortex and Wilson’s other clubs. The Distance challenge was a big hit in more ways than one.

This year being at demo day was different for the winner of Driver vs Driver 2, Evan Hoffman, because last year he was a secret and was kept away from most everyone who did visit the Wilson area, because it wasn’t supposed to be known who the finalists were.

Driver vs Driver 2 winner Evan Hoffman holds his winning driver the Cortex at the Wilson booth on Demo day

This year was different. Hoffman was one of the big hits with both media, and golf professionals lined up to meet him and Hoffman could talk to anyone he wanted.

Hoffman called the process nerve wracking, saying he knew that other finalists had good designs and you don’t know what the judges will do or think.

While the show ran only six weeks on the Golf Channel , the entire process took over one year to complete. But the process is one that Hoffman would go through again in “a heartbeat”. There was a hint from Wilson Golf President Tim Clarke that another show could be in the works, and an announcement could come in a few months, stay tuned.

Click here to hear the interview with Driver vs Driver 2 Winner Evan Hoffman.

Hoffman spent demo day looking at other equipment around the big circular range, who knows what he might come up with next time, if Wilson has another club creation program. See more at Wilsongolf.com

TIM CLARKE AND CORTEX HAS WILSON GOLF ON THE MOVE

 THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB at 401 North Roselle Road is home to a simulator golf cave, that has made the club a year-round golf facility that golfers are enjoying. With Schaumburg’s outdoor nine’s undergoing a three year renovation, the simulators give you a chance to have your game ready for summer golf, when the second nine the Baer Nine reopens around July 1st. Play golf at TPC Scottsdle and TPC Sawgrass, and the 2020 Ryder Cup venues. Schaumburggolf.com or call (847)-885-9000 for tee times.  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. On the range with the Epic Flash Driver by Callaway.

(Reporting from Demo Day at the PGA Show, Orlando Florida)

The comeback is on, and that’s great news for Chicago based Wilson Golf that has sales on the rise, and golfers being impressed by the product that has been coming out on the market.

Wilson’s Driver vs Driver shows have been a stroke of genius by golf division president Tim Clarke. The current winning Driver the Cortex, is so popular that the initial product run that Wilson did, has sold out in less that 60 days.

Wilson Golf President Tim Clarke has a lot to be smiling about these days,as the 2019 golf season kicks in.

Clarke says he can’t speak to what might be happening next in the golf reality show front, but hints to watch for an announcement about what might be coming next, over the next few months.

The Cortex might have had demo day goers lined up to hit the Cortex or take the Wilson Golf distance challenge, but there was other things for Clarke and Wilson to be happy about. There are improvements in the Wilson fairway woods, Irons and golf balls.

Wedges seems to be area where Wilson might not yet stack up against other leading companies in the industry, so maybe Wedge vs Wedge could be next.

The Cortex is one of the leading hitters at this years demo day and 2019 PGA Merchandise Show.

Adding to the Wilson professional staff was another one of Clarke’s goals for 2019, and he landed a top 20 PGA Tour player in Gary Woodland. Woodland put Wilson products in his bag at the PGA Tour real season opener at Kapalua the Tournament of Champions, and Woodland had the lead after three rounds, played great in the final round but fell to second place. But still not a bad finish at a big event for the first week of having new clubs in the bag.

Woodland did not have Cortex in the bag that week, but there is still a chance that could happen this year, Stay dialed in.

Click here to listen to the interview with Wilson Golf President Tim Clarke, about new clubs, golf reality television, and new exciting staffers.

Clarke is also excited about the fact that long time Wilson staffer Padraig Harrington will serve as the 2020 team Europe Ryder Cup Captain at Whistling Straits.

Wilson Golf is making a comeback and selling well in the market place, find out all the details at Wilsongolf.com.

BRAD BREWER-HIS ACADEMY AND THE KING

 THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME ON RT 53 IN BOLINGBROOK is Chicago’s premier indoor golf dome, now open until 10 PM daily, the Mistwood Golf Dome is home to Toptracer technology, McWethy’s Sportsbar, and a the Top 100 club fitting location in the country. See what all the excitement is about, visit mistwoodgolfdome.com or you can call (630)-739-7600. THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB has redone it’s simulators with several new Top 100 golf courses and the 2018 and 2020 Ryder Cup venues. Be ready for the summer ahead when Schaumburg Golf Club opens it’s second renovated 9, The Baer Nine around July 1st. Golf year-round at Schaumburg Golf Club located at 401 N. Roselle Rd., minutes from Woodfield Mall, Schaumburgolf.com (847)-885-9000   _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy with the NEW Epic Flash driver by Callaway. Get fitted for one at the Brad Brewer Golf Academy in Orlando Florida.

(Reporting from Orlando FL. home of the 2019 PGA Merchandise show)

THE EXCITEMENT is building as the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show is ready to tee off, with demo day today at the Orange County National driving range and practice facility.

Then the following three days are spent at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. But just a par 5 away from the convention center, is one of the top teaching academies not only in Florida but the country. The Brad Brewer academy is the home of teaching professional Brad Brewer, and is the place where  “The King” Arnold Palmer would go to work on his game away from the masses at at his home course Bay Hill. Some years ago Palmer had Brewer help him launch the Arnold Palmer golf schools. The Brad Brewer Academy is located within the Shingle Creek Golf Club and the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, with over 1,500 rooms.

Brad Brewer outside his academy in Orlando.

Brewer’s connection to Palmer hasn’t been lost on the many major corporations that attend his school, to provide their executives with instruction to learn the game of golf and how important it is, in the world of business today, and how important golf can be in a corporate team building experience.

Brewer a PGA-Class A Professional was a successful competitor on the Australia-Asian PGA Tour, and the Nike/Hogan Tours.

Hitting Bays at the Brad Brewer Academy, have the Rosen at Shingle Creek as a target in the background.

Brewer has received the North Florida PGA teacher of the year award, and Junior Golf Leader of the Year. Brewer was named a Top 100 teacher by Golf Magazine. The Golf Channel hired Brewer to produce and advise on their online instruction.

Brewer has been the author of, My Golf Journal, Golf for Everybody, Mentored by the King, and the soon to be published, Pro Secrets. Brewer an artist in the world of painting, is an advisory staff member to TaylorMade-Adidas, FlightScope, and the PGA of America’s President’s Council.

Click here to listen to the interview with Brad Brewer, on his academy and working with the King, Arnold Palmer.

Mentored by the King, by Brad Brewer

Brewer’s book, Mentored by the King, includes Arnold Palmer’s Success Lessons for Golf, Life and Business.

It’s 206 pages of reading, without pictures and provides solid good reading.

Another good thing about the Brewer Academy is his team of instructors that includes Chicago area native Chris Spalla, who leanred the game while growing up at the Olympia Fields Country Club in the south suburbs.

Instruction from Brewer and his team comes on the range, in the video rooms, in front of the monitors and on the golf course. If you are ready for new equipment, why not get your fitting done at the Brad Brewer Academy. Shingle Creek Golf Course that surrounds the academy, had a renovation four years ago, and was one of the last golf courses Palmer himself worked on before his passing.

If your game, your group, or your company is ready to head south, warm up and get ready for the golf season ahead, why not start the year out right at the Brad Brewer Golf Academy in Orlando. You can on course at the award winning Rosen Shingle Creek Luxury Hotel at preferred Academy rates. For complete pricing see bradbrewer.com or call (407)-996-3306. Shingle Creek is home to a conference center, and almost 500,000 square feet of meeting space.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-SHOWTIME IN ORLANDO

  THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB has year round golf available, and the updated simulator bays are now stocked with new Top 100 Courses and the 2018 and 2020 Ryder Cup venues. Play Ryder Cup style matches with your foursome and have your game ready for the summer season at the Schaumburg Golf Club. By July 1st the Baer Nine is expected to be open, and 18 of 27 holes will be complete from the renovation. The Schaumburg Golf Club is located at 401 N Roselle Road, near Woodfield Mall. For more information see Schaumburggolf.com or call (847)-885-9000. SGC year round golf ______________________________________________________________________

 THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, or at Linkedin and Facebook. In the pro shop at Grande Dunes Golf Club in Mrytle Beach, and in Orlando at the for the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show.

SHOWTIME and the real launch of the 2019 golf season takes place this week with the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. More than 40,000 PGA professionals and golf industry professionals will attend. All the big prime-time players will be here. There has been some talk about Taylor Made not being here, oh well, so what, their loss. Maybe they aren’t a PTP’er after all. Club companies like Mizuno are returning after some years away, and they aren’t alone. I expect a great week at both demo day and for three days on the convention floor.

Before I get any further, condolences to the family and friends of Ken Lapp, the long time superintendent at Cog Hill who passed away last Friday at the young age of 82. Lapp spent 58 years in the golf business, working at St. Andrews in West Chicago, then at Fresh Meadow, and finally back with the Jemseks at Cog Hill and Pine Meadow. “He will be missed,” said Frank Jemsek. “Ken’s dedication, passion and love for agronomy will always be intertwined with Cog Hill.”

Ken was always there for us media types over the years and when he was needed to talk about Dubsdread around tournament week, and during the renovation of the golf course. He will be missed.

THE WEATHER is not great here in Orlando, sunny and 50, but it should get better as the week goes on. I know it’s much worse at home, but that shouldn’t stop the golfers from heading out to the Schaumburg Golf Club for some rounds in the simulators, or out to the Mistwood Golf Dome, where it’s nice inside for golf, or to see all the sports action on the big screens in McWethys Sports Bar.

Arlington Heights and Arlington Lakes Director of Golf Tim Govern.

I had a chance to speak with Tim Govern over at Arlington Lakes in Arlington Heights before I left town. Tim sends out a reminder that you can now sign up for permanent tee times or other tee times, and special events at Arlington Lakes for the summer ahead. See the website Ahpd.org or call the golf course at (847)-577-3030 for more information.

Arlington Lakes is a fun golf course to play, especially since the completion of the Mike Benkusky renovation a few years back. You can play 3-6-9 or 18 hole rounds, a great place to play for those who don’t have time for a full round of golf.

As for demo day tomorrow. I’m looking forward to finally testing out the new Wilson Cortex Driver, the winner of Driver vs Driver 2 on the Golf Channel. Another driver that is supposed to be incredible is the new Callaway Epic Flash, with speed unmatched in the industry, that should be a fun one to hit.

Go enjoy golf on a cold and snowy day in Chicago, check out the Mistwood Golf Dome in Bolingbrook on Rt 53, afterwards have some food and beverage in McWethys’ Sports Bar. Open daily until 10 pm. Mistwoodgolfdome.com or call (630)-739-7600 A Top 100 in America club fitting location.

Since I’m in need of wedges that actually work, I’ll be testing the new Callaway Mack Daddy wedges, co-designed by Callaway designer Roger Cleveland, and “Lefty” Phil Mickelson that should be a treat. Titleist has just announced that the “Wizzard of Wedges” Bob Vokey just in time for the show has launched his new SM-7 wedges.

Callaway has made an announcement about it’s apparel line with the new Swing Tech line. As far as professionals in attendance go, Greg Norman will do a broadcast on XM from the show. LPGA star Karrie Webb will be at demo day tomorrow promoting the line of shafts she is now using in her clubs.

The opening hole at Tobacco Road golf club in Sanford NC.

Last week before leaving Pinehurst I had the chance to go finally play a course a had heard some interesting things about, Tobacco Road. The course is about 30 minutes from downtown Pinehurst in the town of Sanford, and it’s well worth the drive.

The architect the late Mike Strantz was ahead of his time. I hear that Strantz was taking hits and arrows about the course when he passed away, and I’m surprised by that. You could say Strantz was ahead of his time, or a visionary. His design of Tabacco Road is really good. I know the normal line is that it’s a “love it or hate it” golf course. Put me down for a vote on the “love it” side. If you have played places like Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley, Erin Hills, or Streamsong, and like those courses, you will like Tobacco Road. There are some blind shots, but ways to overcome that are marked with old steam pipes. I enjoyed the theme with tee markers that are parts from equipment used to harvest Tobacco.

It’s the type of course that if Mike Keiser built it with any of his regular group of architects, everyone would be raving. There is a great quote from Strantz in the yardage book where he says,” I don’t care if people think my courses are too hard.” Strantz did leave golfers some challenging golf, but made them fun. If your near Sanford NC, or in Pinehurst, take the side-trip to Tobacco Road, it’s a neat golf experience.

When you get back to Pinehurst, then go to the new Pinehurst Brewery and enjoy all the locally brewed beers that just got put on tap.

BIG 3 partner Len Ziehm joins me for a few podcasts this week from the show, stay clicked in for that.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JACK NICKLAUS, the greatest Golfer of all time is 79 today, and spent time last week with Mike Scully at Reynolds at Lake Oconee in Georgia, working on his deigned golf course there.

With the that, I’m off to see for the first time Orlando’s top golf school, the Brad Brewer Academy. It’s showtime this week, stay clicked in, plenty more to come. To all of you back at home, keep warm, I know it’s a cold one. RS

THE SUNDAY MORNING SHORT GAME-MYRTLE BEACH EDITION

THE DOUBLETREE by HILTON MYRTLE BEACH, an oceanfront beach hotel. THE GRANDE DUNES Golf Community and golf course, do visit Myrtle Beach for your next golf destination trip. 90 golf courses to pick from and home of The World Golf Amateur.  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook. In the pro shop at Grande Dunes Golf Club Myrtle Beach

THE WEEK AHEAD is going to be a great one, the PGA Show tee’s off on Tuesday in Orlando Florida, stay clicked in for the all the news.

With that the Gog Blog is saying Good-Bye to our hosts for this weekend, the people in Myrtle Beach. There was 70 degree weather for weekend golf, and it felt great.

Orlando may have a chilly, for Orlando that is day or two, but it will be much better than Chicago.

Myrtle Beach is quite a growing area and housing market is booming here, some of the land is coming from golf course sales, that private owners could not pass up, more in our Monday column.

The 2019 Western Junior Championship that will be played at Rich Harvest Farms, is looking for volunteers.

The 102nd Western Junior Championship that will be held at Jerry Rich’s Rich Harvest Farms this coming June, is looking for volunteers.

The Western Junior has a long history of turning out winners that go on to successful college and professional careers.

Here is your chance to get right up close and watch the future stars of tomorrow.

Visit the WGA website to sign up. See WGAESF.org and be a part of this great event.

The Gog Blog will have more from Jerry Rich in the days ahead on this great event, the first of three championships in three years at Rich Harvest Farms. Which include the 2020 Big Ten Championship and the 2020 Palmer Cup named for Arnold Palmer.

THE EVANS SCHOLARS CHAMPIONSHIP on the Web.com tour coming to the Glen Club this June, has put out the call for volunteers. This tournament will feature many of the best players on the Web.com Tour, and is expected to have some local players competing.  More on this tournament and the news from Illinois PGA on making Ridgemoor Country Club the second course for the Illinois Open, and for Ruth Lake Country Club becoming the home of the 2019 Illinois PGA Section Championship.

The Gog Blog returns from Florida. RS

MYRTLE BEACH GOLF AND OCEANFRONT LODGING

 THE DOUBLE TREE by Hilton should be your oceanfront lodging option in Myrtle Beach. Located right on the Atlantic Ocean and minutes from golf courses and and top notch dining choices, the DoubleTree has everything guests could want. Rooms at the DoubleTree are selling quickly for the World’s Largest Amateur Championship coming up this August in Myrtle Beach. The hotel is located at 3200 S. Ocean Boulevard. For more information see myrtlebeachresortdoubletreebyhilton.com or call (800)-222-TREE

Click here to hear an interview with DoubleTree Director of Sales and Marketing Alan Fabris, on DoubleTree in Myrtle Beach. Fabris, a former longtime Chicago area West Suburban resident, loves working with Chicago area golfers and golf groups. #MBGOLF ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or on Linkedin and Facebook. At Grande Dunes Golf Club in Myrtle Beach SC.

IT’S CALLED THE GRAND STRAND but Myrtle Beach is really several things wrapped into one. It’s one of the biggest golf capitals in the country, its the location of one of the biggest home building boom’s, it’s oceanfront beach access at it’s finest, and it’s just plain fun.

While Myrtle Beach is a first class golf location, it doesn’t always come with first-class prices. If your looking for a place to enjoy everything you want to do on a golf getaway, Myrtle Beach can be shaped to fit any budget.

There are no shortage of hotels lined up on the ocean, with miles of great beach’s. The hotels like the DoubleTree by Hilton work with various groups of golf courses to provide a level of golf that you and or your group desire. Coming down by yourself or with a foursome, your covered. A larger group from your club, or a corporate group is no problem either, when it comes to Myrtle Beach, the more the merrier. The ocean views from the DoubleTree rooms or the lobby bar, make any visit outstanding. When it comes time for breakfast, the hotel cafe comes complete with a chef making your breakfast Omlets. Sit and enjoy the ocean view poolside or while in the hot-tub, your choice.

Your seat is waiting at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Myrtle Beach, drinks please.

Golf is a big part of Myrtle Beach and with almost 100 golf courses to pick from, golfers have plenty of choices.

One of the biggest golf events in the country is the World’s Largest Amateur played in Myrtle Beach every August.

More than 3,200 golfers tee it up for a week full of golf, and championships in their handicapped flights. When golf is done for the day, the World’s Largest 19th hole is packed full of excitement and entertainment. Thousands of golfers have been known to have not just a good time, but a great time. Your playing partners could be three guys from New York, Myrtle Beach or even the part of the country you reside in. When the championship is over, sometimes you will have new golf partners for life.

The Par 3, 11th hole at Grande Dunes is a fun but challenging hole, where a mid-round birdie is possible.

One of the courses that you can be connected with through your stay at the DoubleTree, is GrandeDunes.

GrandeDunes is a signature design by renowned golf architect Roger Rulewich who for year was part of the Robert Trent Jones team. Rulewich has been part of the work done on famous courses in America and around the world.

GrandeDunes is a golf community, and GrandeDunes slogan is, Live here, Play here, Stay here. With 2,200 acres of land, the golf course and resort club is surrounded by upscale residences, and waterways where a boat or three might pass by during your round.

A boat sails past the par 3, 14th green.

GrandeDunes has flipped it’s nine’s but the original routing still has enough support from golfers, that on occasions golfers get to start on the back nine first to play the original design.

Either way GrandeDunes is good golf, with six sets of tees that range in yardage from a lengthy 7,578, to a yardage up front of 5,353. GrandeDunes was voted the 2009 National Course of the Year, and in 2014 hosted the PGA Professional (club professional) national championship. Ten of it’s holes have water in play, but not always a major factor.

The GrandeDunes clubhouse sits behind the 18th green.

If your trip to GrandeDunes requires a some extra work before you tee off, the club has full practice facilities, including a driving range, chipping green with a greenside bunker, and a large putting green.

Indoors the clubhouse a bar and grill area, with a full sized dining room and locker room. GrandeDunes was designed to be a private club during it’s initial stage, so the feel and first class member style treatment remains a part of the club.

The par 5’s are no pushover, with the number one handicap hole being the 560 yard 13th hole,which is also the shortest of the courses four-par five holes. three of the four par 3 holes, can play over two hundred yards. Longer hitters will enjoy the shorter par 4, sixth hole. The back tee’s are at 365 yards, but the other tee’s are shorter and can be adjusted to play as a short par four.

If your golf getaway is ready for one of golf’s largest golf destinations, Myrtle Beach South Carolina. Make sure your stay and play includes the DoubleTree by Hilton and GrandeDunes Golf, see Grandedunesgolf.com or call (888)-886-8877.

Don’t forget you can now sign up for the 2019 World’s Largest Amateur, in Myrtle Beach coming in late August. It’s one of the most fun weeks of golf competition in the country.

TALKING PINEHURST WITH PRESIDENT TOM PASHLEY

 THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME is now open daily until 10 PM, and is located on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook. This year the addition of Toptracer has golfers talking and improving their game all winter long, and getting dialed in on what they need in new equipment for the summer ahead. If your ready for a break this weekend from the snow, head over to the Mistwood Golf Dome, hit some balls and enjoy a beverage especially if you have had a workout moving snow. See Mistwoodgolfdome.com or call (630)-739-7600 #golf    _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin or Facebook. With Pinehurst Resort President Tom Pashley in the Deuce.

Pinehurst the home of American golf has been a busy place in recent years, and that won’t stop this year.

Pinehurst resort will host the 2019 U.S. Amateur in August and add another major championship in golf, to it’s long and impressive resume.

In recent years the resort has undergone numerous changes both on and off its golf courses.

In the last few months alone, the Gil Hanse renovation on Pinehurst #4 has been a huge success since the course reopened for play last fall. On a smaller scale the Cradle, the Pinehurst 789 yard bundle of fun nine hole par 3 course has been a busy place. The resort has created the Deuce, a sports bar styled area behind the 18th green of Pinehurst No.2 that has been a hit with members and resort guests alike.

Pinehurst Resort President Tom Pashley stands at the first tee of the redone Pinehurst #4 golf course.

There have been renovations to the resorts hotels, the historic Carolina, and the Holly Inn. The next big restoration is now underway with work happening at the Manor Inn, rooms will be set up for groups, with common rooms for meetings and activities.

The practice area’s have seen improvements, and the Thistle Due putting green has been moved and redone. A new swimming pool has emerged and is a hot, or shall we say cool spot in the summer months.

Changes were made to courses #1 and #3 to help make way for the Cradle. In between courses 2&4 there is a new halfway house under construction, that will be complete with an upper deck, or the Pinehurst version of the Crow’s Nest. If walking either course has you worn out at the turn, take a load off your feet for a few minutes. Just don’t keep your caddies waiting too long, or throw a wrench into the pace of play.

Pinehurst not only has the U.S. Amateur this year, but another U.S. Open in 2024. From all accounts they will be ready for both, even though the work at the Manor Inn should be wrapping up right about amateur week.

The man in the middle of all these projects is Pinehurst’s resort president Tom Pashley, whose watch has accomplished in just a few years, what some properties might need decades to do. Pashley and his team have moved Pinehurst forward into modern times, while preserving the resorts history and traditions. The restoration of the Donald Ross cottage that sits alongside of the Pinehurst No.2 that is now owned by the resort is a good example.

Click here to listen to the interview with Tom Pashley on everything Pinehurst.

One of the newest hot spots in Pinehurst is the Pinehurst Brewery, that is a big draw just about every night. If you like BBQ, or brick-oven pizza’s or your choice in variety of beers, many of them made locally, then the Pinehurst Brewery is for you. The brewery was created in the towns former steamplant that supplied the energy to the village. The only thing now coming out of the rebuilt brick-by-brick smokestack is the smell of some freshly cooked BBQ, and it smells great.

So whether it’s to go play some golf, drink some beer, or enjoy the other comforts in life mixed in through some southern hospitality, Pinehurst should be on your list of places to visit in 2019. Coming to watch the U.S. Amateur and seeing the professionals of the future is a great idea too. It’s always a beautiful day in Pinehurst. See Pinehurst.com. to plan your stay.