DYE’S HERON POINT NICELY FILLS OUT SEA PINES

 MCQ’S DOME in Bolingbrook, your home for golf, dining and OTB, Mcqsdome.com/       _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory to Hilton Head Island and the Sea Pines Resort. On Twitter @GogBlogGuy Linkedin and Facebook.

THERE ARE many different golf properties on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

The Sea Pines resort is one of the more known ones, as every year after the Masters, the PGA Tour comes to town to play that course with the lighthouse on the 18th hole.

Harbor Town gets the demand, and it’s a very well kept Pete Dye design. But Sea Pines is not all about one golf course, the resort has three courses that guests and members can play. More recently Davis Love III did a renovation on the course now known as Atlantic Dunes. The course has some nice holes on the ocean, and others that catch the eye of most golfers. As a result, the third course on the property Heron Point flies a little under the radar. It doesn’t need to. The other Pete Dye design has plenty of good holes, and doesn’t beat the amateur golfer over the head.

   THE HERON POINT front nine wraps up with solid tests on the Par 3, 7th hole, and the Par 5, 9th hole with a back drop that encircles the green from behind the wetlands.

Heron Point fits the Sea Pines Resort in a perfect way, it carries the low country look and fits with the island land. Between the trees, some homes, wetlands and more. Dye’s design brings a little “Pete” and mixes in with what the property gave him. Yes of course there some railroad ties to be found, and some long running sand bunkers. Water on the course is strategically placed and not always visible off the tee.

Dye takes the style of his famed island green at TPC Sawgrass surrounded by water, and does almost same thing on the par 3, 7th hole, with a green surrounded by sand. If you miss at least your dry, and there is no penalty stroke on the card for being in the sand.

The par 5’s are not long (like the par 3’s) when played all the way back, but Dye creates three-shot par 5’s with doglegs coming at places where you don’t need driver off the tee. The second shot is normally going to have to be longer than the tee shot, to get home in two. On par 4’s it’s not uncommon to see the fairway shrink in width the closer to the green you get. If you want a big test, there are two par 3’s that go about 240 all the way back and a par 5, that plays 617.

Heron Point is fun, Dye style challenging, with fairways that have plenty of non-flat l spots in the fairway. Subtle breaks on the greens, but playable in true Sea Pines style. The third course at Sea Pines, might be a second or a first course at many other resorts. Don’t overlook this Dye-design that’s hidden in between the trees, with hanging moss in the low country. For more information Seapines.com.

THE CRADLE DOES ROCK-OPENING DAY ON A PAR 3

  DAN PHILLIPS IS BACK in the teaching mode, you can find him all winter long at MCQ’s Dome in Bolingbrook, see Mcqdome.com for details. The Callaway Rogue Driver is out, Jailbreak technology has the Epic Driver to a new level. Callawaygolf.com  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory to Pinehurst and on Twitter @GogBlogGuy on Linkedin and Facebook. On the Cradle, Par 3 golf by Gil Hanse.

OPENING DAY FOR GOLF SEASON, is always exciting. But I think it might be the first time I have ever played Round #1 on a Par 3 course.

The new Pinehurst Resort Par 3 course created by Gil Hanse is a winner. It’s just 789 yards of pure fun, and the early results are turning into just what the resort wanted, and what the game of golf needs.

After being closed for 3 1/2 days, great work by the Pinehurst grounds crew and some help from Mother Nature got most of the snow off the Cradle and allowed it to open yesterday afternoon. Within minutes golfers were out playing, and several of them were junior golfers with their parents. In some cases the golf bags were almost as big as the kids carrying them. The Cradle has been an instant success, and golfers, about 40 of them according to resort staff already have made hole-in-ones, including and 8 year old girl being one of the first. She is receiving a Cradle Pin Flag autographed by Gil Hanse for her shot heard through-out the Sandhills.

One regret I have from my first round at the Cradle is that it did not include a par in spite of hitting 5 greens in regulation. Hitting borrowed wedges off of mats and a borrowed putter into some tricky pin placements, didn’t leave me many good looks. But at this point it was just nice to play, after looking at Pinehurst under snow, for 3 straight days.

It was neat to watch the kids play, and several of them were proudly enjoying a course that they felt was their course, and to a point it is. I credit Pinehurst for creating a course that costs only $50 dollars to play. Better yet, you can play it all day long for your $50, free replays (grow the game). The demand to play this short course has created the need for six-some’s at times, but that has not hurt pace of play. Most of the time golfers still play in just over an hour.

The Par 3, 7th hole on the Cradle at Pinehurst

My clubs were in the trunk, but starter Jack Bickart the resorts former Ex-VP of Sales (recently retired) was in the starter shack, and got me a Cradle carry bag, and had me pick a couple of Vokey wedges out of the wedge bag and a Scotty Cameron out of the putter bag and off I went. Most adult golfers will only need 3-4 clubs to play.

I played in 65 minutes and had a great time. There was some white stuff on the course in places, no not the new white tour sand making it’s way into courses, but real snow, the wet stuff that makes for good snowballs. But they don’t travel as far as a Pro-V1.

After golf, I enjoyed my first meal at the new Deuce restaurant in the main clubhouse behind the 18th green of Pinehurst #2. That is also a winner. I’ll have more on Pinehurst in the days ahead, where there is so much going on. You can also visit Pinehurst.com for more details.

PINEHURST RESORT BUYS THE DONALD ROSS HOME

  THE HOLLY INN in Pinehurst, all 82 rooms recently renovated with all the historic southern charm preserved with todays modern features added. Visit Pinehurst.com         _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory to Pinehurst and on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and on Facebook, or Linkedin. Sitting in the rocking chair of the great Donald Ross.

It’s finally done. Something you wondered why it did not happen years ago.

The Pinehurst Resort has finally purchased the home of the famed architect Donald Ross, that sits alongside the third hole of the famed Pinehurst No.2 golf course.

Resort officials confirmed the previous owner moved out at the December, and the resort has begun making some needed improvements to the home, that will take 1-2 months to complete.

The Donald Ross house alongside of Pinehurst Course #2.

Currently noted architect Gil Hanse is working on Pinehurst #4, doing a restoration. When Hanse returns from an out of the country project, he will be the first person to move into the house under the Pinehurst Resort ownership.

It’s expected that Hanse will stay there until he completes his work on the course #4 restoration.

Course #4 is expected to reopen at some point this fall, likely between Mid-September and October 1st. Follow Pinehurst.com and or this website for the announcement of the grand opening date.

Pinehurst is working on guidelines as to what special events might take place at the Ross home, or who will be allowed to stay in the house when it’s ready to welcome overnight stays.

The Donald Ross portrait hanging in the Donald Ross Grill in the main Pinehurst Clubhouse

The new Pinehurst sales and or marketing brochure talks about the Ross Cottage experience.

One can only assume that this piece of golf history, will bring many of Pinehurst’s members and resort guests, special memories and experiences in the years ahead.

The Pinehurst Resort master plan continues to evolve in addition to the Ross Cottage and work on course #4.

The Pinehurst Resort’s new brewery is under construction, located in the downtown area behind the Manor Inn. It is expected to open in late spring or early summer. For all the details on Pinehurst, and the numerous improvements to the resort, please visit Pinehurst.com

WINTER GOLF TRIP-DAY 3 SNOWY PINEHURST

THE GOG BLOG BY RORY SPEARS, Director of content. Follow Rory to Pinehurst, and on Twitter @GogBlogGuy

The Cradle like the rest of Pinehurst is full of snow. 4-5 inches of snow, the melt off is on, and this weekend and next week should be fine for golf here at he home of American Golf.

Today, not so much, as most of the Village and the surrounding communities are closed for a snow day. You see, snow and Pinehurst don’t go well together.

Even the main clubhouse is closed.

Hopefully tomorrow is better day. Snow snow go away, golfers wish to play today. Putter Boy and the Payne Stewart Statue statue look like well crafted snowmen.

The big news here today is the sale of Forest Creek, a development with two courses. For the first time ever, designer Tom Fazio has bought in as a partner, to buy up some of his own courses. His group now owns the 112 unsold housing lots, and over the next two years put over 2 million into improving the two golf courses. Story by the Pinehurst Pilot.

 

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-FRENCH LICK FREEZE OUT

  THE HOLLY INN, downtown Pinehurst, all 82 rooms totally renovated, modern comforts in the middle of southern charm and hospitality. The Cradle 789 yards of Pinehurst Golf by architect Gil Hanse, for more information visit Pinehurst.com #shortgameatpinehurst  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory to the French Lick Resort, and on Twitter @GogBlogGuy

The French Lick Resort was only 85 degrees cooler yesterday. than it was when this picture was taken.

In fact it is almost never 5 degrees in French Lick, but it happens. Of course it had to happen when I arrived to start the 2018 winter golf trip. It’s always interesting to see a golf property when it’s not golf season. Their is a quieter buzz here this time of year, but still some noise in the casino. it’s always great to be here, but I’m looking forward to coming back in golf season.

Day 2, is the trip to Pinehurst from French Lick, there is snow flakes in the air on the way. Some of them might land on the ground in Pinehurst. This is not a good thing.

However with 50’s on the table for Friday, I know I will golf in Pinehurst no later than then. Opening day in Pinehurst, The Home of American Golf is a good thing.

ANOTHER GOOD THING is the release of the Callaway Rogue Driver, pictures are out and you can order one later this week. If the Rogue is as good or better than the Epic, Callaway Golf will have another winner.

CALLAWAY NEWS from Mistwood, Director of Golf Andy Mickelson has switched to Callaway, making his announcement yesterday on Social media. Congrats Andy and congrats to the Mistwood golf Shop that should have a new Callaway.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN, Day 2, less snow, warmer weather, hopefully so. Pinehurst, where it’s always a beautiful day. RS

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-ON THE ROAD AGAIN 2018

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content Rory Spears, Follow Rory to the French Lick Resort and on Twitter @GogBlogGuy

At the 5-Star French Lick Hotel

HERE WE GO, it’s time for day one of the Florida PGA Show road trip.

It’s starting out on the snowy side, but if I can make it past the dreaded NW Indiana area before it’s gets real bad, the days travels might work out.

Day 1 is the French Lick Resort, no the Pete Dye Course and or the Donald Ross Course won’t be open, but the casino will be. Maybe with some luck, both dinner and the caddie tip at Streamsong can get covered all in one pull of the arm of the bandit.

This time there will be snow on the ground at the French Lick Resort, the last time here it was July for the Senior LPGA Championship, and it was warm that day. I’d like to have half of that temperature today.

The French Lick Resort just gets better every year, the management team keeps adding a few things every year. I’m anxious to see what 2018 will bring. The Sr. LPGA Championship will move back to October this year so not to interfere with the new US. Sr. Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club July 9-15.

The French Lick Resort still amazes me, the work that was done to save the property from almost going under by the Cook Group. It took near 600 million to restore things to the 5-Star level they are at today. If you have not played there yet, book you 2018 golf package today. 45 holes of great golf. The views from the top of the Dye course are unmatched in the Midwest.

There is nothing like playing a Donald Ross designed golf course. Many of them are private, so why not go to where you can play a Ross Course open to everyone. The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort is one of the old classics that anyone can play, and you should too whenever you can. Visit Frenchlick.com summer is coming and will be here before you know it.

TODAY Callaway Golf will start announcing it’s new product line including it’s new driver which I may have been calling the new Epic Driver, which will not be the name. The Rogue driver is the new name. Plus those airplane people are back. I love those ad’s. Boeing is back and Callaway has a Rogue Draw driver, which will help you slicers.

Callaway Wedge Guru Roger Cleveland has created the Mack Daddy-Fours and I am really excited to check them out, and see how they match up against Titleist new SM-7’s by Bob Vokey. Bottom line if your wedges are not made by one of the two people I just mentioned, you have the wrong wedges. Get new ones, NOW, and score better.

GOLF NEWS..Golf Course seller expert Chris Charnas of Links Capital Advisors in Evanston, has just sold Antioch Golf Club and Lake Wissota Golf Club in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin. Looking to buy, or sell call Chris at (847)-866-7192.

NORTHBROOK BASED KEMPER SPORTS MANAGEMENT, has been named to manage the Diamante Club in Hot Springs Village in Arkansas, one of the states top courses. In Arizona Greg Leicht has been named the GM at the Bear Creek Golf Complex in Chandler Arizona.

On Wednesday it’s off to Pinehurst, to see the Cradle, please don’t let the snow follow me. PGA Show next week, stay clicked in for all the news. Here we go ! RS.

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-STRIKE ONE

THE GOG BLOG by Director of Content RORY SPEARS, Follow RORY on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and to the simulators at the Schaumburg Golf Club on Roselle Road, where it’s golf season year round. Call the SGC at 847-882-9000 for simulator time today.

  THE FRENCH LICK RESORT, Resort, Spa and Casino open all year. Book your golf packages now, see Frenchlick.com. Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, three golf courses. The Jones, the Hills and the Fazio, Palmettodunes.com.    ______________________________________________________________________

YOU WOULD LIKE TO THINK that when one is in Hawaii that all will be well. Well yesterday as the Sony Open played down to the fourth and final round, things did not go well off the golf course. After nine months of no contract with the golf channel, the audio and visual people including camera operators walked off the job and started picketing in front of the golf course.

Supervisors and non-union folks took over, but at all the Golf Channel produced tournaments yesterday there were issues. These problems will not happening at NBC or CBS televised tournaments. TGC has had a reputation for not paying well over the years, and this might be a signal that it’s time for that to stop. it’s not known if the strike will continue, or maybe now strike talks will get moving and or if things will get settled any quicker . Let’s hope they do.

THERE IS SOME debate now about the new tax plan put in by the government. What’s good for the masses, might not be good for golf. The question being raised is, did President Donald Trump a golf guy in his own right, hurt the industry by taking away folks being able to write off a portion of business golf.

The World Golf Foundation and it’s CEO Steve Mona who monitor such things have been somewhat quiet, and last week when reached by a national publication, Mona reportedly had “no comment”. In that publication former PGA of America president Ted Bishop sounded the alarm with his comments about the changes in the tax law. Saying golf would take a big hit with the new non “write-off” policy.

Personally I found it interesting that Mona would have no comment, since Mona normally has a team of PR people always taking him around to media folks at all the big golf events, or is the figure head of national golf day in DC, which is coming again up this spring.

I interviewed Mona at Medinah during the Ryder Cup in 2012, regarding the economical impact that Ryder Cup week would have on the Chicago area and Illinois in general. If anyone should be speaking on this topic it’s Mona, who as of this morning apparently is now saying the golf-no tax write is not a done deal. We will see.

MASTRO COMMUNICATIONS a PR firm that does it’s share of work in golf, is releasing a study by Datatech that does numerous golf surveys, on the effects that Amazon.com is having on whats called “The Brick and Mortar stores” across the country. One quote calls Amazon a “disruptive force” on the retail industry, and effects it is having or could have on golf stores or pro shops.

Personally ordering any golf products online is not a smart move. Especially golf clubs, maybe and that’s a maybe, you order a shirt or cap online, but other than that, not a chance you should be buying golf merchandise online. I wouldn’t buy anything golf without checking it out in person first, and then taking it home in my car. Stay tuned on this one, or clicked in here.

CLEVELAND GOLF has announced that it has signed an agreement with two-time long drive champion Jamie Sadlowski of St. Paul, Alberta Canada to play it’s products. Which includes the Launcher HB Driver. Sadlowski is in his second year of professional golf playing various tours. It will be interesting to hear the claims of how far this driver hits the ball, especially with the talent of Sadlowski doing the driving.

THE GOG BLOG RERUNS TOMORROW.. stay clicked in. RS

CHIP BECK JOINS PITCHFIX

THE HOLLY INN, all 82 rooms recently renovated, with modern day improvements and the southern comfort of home, Pinehurst.com Play the new Par 3 course the Cradle.       _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. With Chip beck at the White pines Golf Dome operated by KSM. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

Chicago area resident and pro golfer Chip Beck has joined Pitchfix as an ambassador.

Pitchfix a global leader in switchblade style divot tools, has retained Beck to help promote the Fusion 2.5 divot tool named best “Divot Repair Tool” by the editors of golf Digest for two straight years. Beck will start his duties at the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando.

First up Beck will be at demo day and then be at the Pitchfix booth (#2015) in the convention center the next day. Beck will then make appearances for Pitchfix at other golf events.

Beck became the second player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59 at the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational. Beck was also named to the USA Ryder Cup team three times, and recorded a 6-2-1 record. The three time all-american at the University of Georgia was the 1989 Vardon trophy winner. beck was runner up at three majors the 1986 and 1989 US Open, and the 1993 Masters.

“We are privileged to have one of golfs true gentleman represent Pitchfix,” said Bart Fokke, CEO Pitchfix. “In addition to playing professionally worldwide for more than three decades, Chip has gained respect from the golf world for the way he conducts himself on and off the golf course. With the positive personality and inspirational nature, he will be an outstanding ambassador for us.”

“It’s an honor for me to represent Pitchfix, a quality company with outstanding products,” said Beck. “I look forward to sharing my thougts about the Fusion 2.5 with the golf industry at the PGA Merchandise show and golfers nationwide. ”

Pitchfix Fusion 2.5 has a rubberized handle for a soft touch and grip, with colored aluminium trims, a built in pencil sharpener, and patented divot repairing pins, a removable one inch ball marker and 14 color options. Pitchfix has other ball markers and divit repair tools on the market.

For more information see pitchfixusa.com.

TITLEIST INTRODUCES THE 718 IRON

THE HOLLY INN AT PINEHURST, All 82 rooms recently renovated, new everyday comforts of home, while embracing southern comfort and charm, visit Pinehurst.com. On Hilton Head Island Palmetto Dunes, three golf courses, see PalmettoDunes.com.      _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, and to the French Lick Resort. See Frenchlick.com bok your 2018 golf packages now.

Titleist has introduced it’s new line of irons the 718 series.

According to Titleist, the 718 series includes the forgiveness of the AP1 and the tour-proven consistency of the AP2.

As part of the 718 series, Titleist has now introduced a new level of irons called the AP3. These three lines of the 718 series are now available in pro shops and retail stores.

The AP3 is proclaimed by Titleist to have the latest in breakthrough technology and performance that has made Titleist the No.1 iron on the PGA Tour 13 years and running.

The new Titleist 718 Irons group

“Golfers trust Titleist to design and manufacture the premier irons in the game and not make sacrifices,” says Josh Talge, Vice President of Marketing for Titleist Golf Clubs. “Our R&D team is relentless when it comes to improving iron performance and engineering new technologies into head profiles that look, sound and feel great. The invention of the AP3, which combines distance and forgiveness of our best selling, game-improvement AP1 iron with the look and feel of our tour favorite AP2, is a significant advancement that will help a wide range of golfers, and further illustrates why more of the worlds best players have Titleist irons in their bags.”

The 718 Titleist series of irons includes six different models the AP1, AP2, AP3, T-MB, CB and MB. The Titleist 718 irons are in the bag of Justin Thomas who used them to win the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. Jordan Spieth used a 718 T-MB 3-iron to hit his well-known recovery shot from the driving range at Royal Birkdale on the 13th hole to win the Claret Jug.

The NEW Titleist AP3 irons, see more at Titleist.com

2017 PGA Champion Jimmy Walker is using the new AP3, MB irons. If you would like to try the new 718 series, Titleist has it Fitting and Trail events being held at hundreds of locations nationwide. To find those locations, dates and times please visit titleist.com/718.

You can learn more by watching video at Youtube.

The 718 AP1 irons are built for distance with maximum forgiveness, and better than it’s prior generations claims Titleist. The new AP1 is easier to hit, get the ball in the air and stop quicker on the green. New construction of a hollow-body long iron to an undercut cavity on the mid and short irons provides the best in distance and trajectory for each iron. Comes in 4-PW 48-53 degree wedge models.

The new 718 AP3 irons, are amerges of everything that Titleist R&D has learned from the AP1 and AP2 designs. Titleist called the AP3 a hollow-blade design with high-speed face technology. The AP3 irons are available 3-PW 48 degrees.

The AP2 irons are a thinner forged body and face insert that is constructed of high-strength spring steel increases launch and ball speed for more distance.

The 718 T-MB Iron is called the ultimate utility iron. The T-MB is now a full set of irons that delivers maximum distance in the form of a muscle back shaped club. The L-Face insert allows the face to flex more at impact, increasing launch and speed for more distance. Available 2-PW 50 degrees.

The 718 CB Irons, is a continuing Titleist style of cavity backed profile irons, the gives the player a more precise shot with more forgiveness, and an increased sweet spot fora better feel. Available 2-PW

The 718 MB Irons. A classic style muscle back designed for today’s game and with maximum shot control. Muscle-back weighting is behind the sweet spot. Forged in carbon steel for the purist look, sound and feel.

The 718 iron series comes in a variety of shafts, steel or graphite. Most choices come at no upcharge.

AP1 Steel $125  per club, Graphite $140. AP2-3, CB and MB Steel $162.50 per club, or Graphite at $187,50 per club. Titleist T-MB $249 per club and graphite $275 per club.

For more information please see Titleist.com The 718 Irons are now available for fitting or purchase.

TITLEIST INTRODUCES 818 HYBRID

   THE SCOTTY CAMERON Futura 5.5M inspired by Justin Thomas, for more details see Scottycameron.com. With winter upon us, it’s time to think about time on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, the PGA Tour arrives in March. 3 courses Palmettodunes.com  ______________________________________________________________________

With the flag on the LOOP at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon Michigan. The Gog Blog by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content, follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy, Linkedin and Facebook.

The Titleist 18 Hybrid is the newest Hybrid by Titleist on the market.

Titleist called them the longest and most accurate on the market. Giving golfers who are shot makers a new long game weapon on the links.

Now on the market and available for purchase, the 818H1 and the 818H2 have the 2.0 active recoil channel with Surefit Active recoil weights and Surefit Hosel technology. The 2.0 active recoil generates a higher ball speed and a significantly increase in distance.

“We define Hybrids as scoring clubs not rescue clubs. That’s how our R&D group has been designing these clubs for years, and it’s the reason that Titleist has become the clear #1 Hybrid on the PGA Tour,” says Josh Talge, Vice President of Marketing, Titleist Golf Clubs. “The amount of technology we’ve engineered into the 818 is unprecedented for the Hybrid category and will give golfers at every level the confidence to take dead aim from distances they have never done before.”

The new Titleist Hybrid 818, longer and more accurate.

The HI is designed for golfers who have a sweeping swing, and want a fairway wood look to the club. The larger profile provides a higher launch. and Titleist says tremendous forgiveness. The lofts come in 19-21-23-25-and 27 degrees.

The H2  is designed for steeper delivery and prefer the use of irons, and a club that delivers iron like control and exact distance. The H2 comes in lofts of 17-19-21-23.

During the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, Titleist Ambassador Jordan Spieth added a H2 into his bag. Among the other players using the Titleist 818 Hybrid include Andrew “The Beef” Johnson.

The clubs can be fitted into all major shafts including Mitsubishi, Project X and Fujikura. All of these premium shafts can be inserted at no upcharge. The MAP is set at $279, and the MSRP is set at $315.

For more information on Titleist Hybrids, please visit Titleist.com and to find a free fitting location near you, visit Titleist.com/events. To see Titleist 818 hybrids in action on line, video can now be seen on UTube.