DSC07345 trophy on 15 3 DSDSC07283 Rory Carnoustie DS  THE US OPEN VISITS Erin Hills in 2017, so get your tickets now before the run out, USGA.Org/tickets. Carnoustie fall Golfwear line is out. Carnoustiegolfwearonline.com.    _____________________________________________________________________

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

DSC07389 Mike Small 2016 IPGA Champion DS

Mike Small holds the Kemper Cup as he wins the IPGA Section Championship for the 12th time.

In the Illinois PGA Section Championship there is no other player like University of Illinois golf coach Mike Small.

Small won the championship for the 12th time, with a 2 shot victory over Curtis Malm, Brian Brodell and Travis Johns.

Small finished at 10 under par, with the second place finishers all at 8 under par.

What was different this time at Olympia Fields for Small a member, was that he did not run a way with the title like in past years. Small had to fight back all day and win it, this one was no 7 or 8 shot runaway.

This time it was Curtis Malm’s title to win or lose and unfortunately for the head professional from the White Eagle Country Club in Naperville, he lost it. Leading most of the day, Malm saw Small make back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 with the second birdie for the tie. With both players at 11 under par Malm was home in two on the par 4, 16th hole. Small on right side fringe, but he rolled his first putt up within two feet and made his par.

Malm left himself 4 feet and missed for a three-putt bogey. Now down 1 shot on 17 and with Small in the fairway, Malm pushed his drive right and saw it kick into the brush buy about 2 feet. While taking a stance and trying a practice swing, Malm’s hand got hooked on a sticker branch and it cut open the top of his hand.

Malm had to get a towel from his caddie to wipe away the blood, after electing to take a drop from an unplayable lie, Malm’s attempt to punch out hit a tree and deflected back into the brush about 50 yards closer to the green. Then after another drop he almost holed his approach from 85 yards. After missing a short putt, Malm made a triple bogey 7, and now 4 back with one hole to play Small pretty much had things locked up.

On 18 Small played it safe and had a short par putt lip out, to finish at 10 under par, while Malm hit driver off the deck and was almost on the par 5 hole in two shots. Malm pitched up for an easy birdie to tie Medinah teaching professional (Travis) John’s who would have had second place solo, but his birdie putt on 18 also lipped out. John’s bogeyed holes 1 & 2 and struggle to find his game most of the round. By the time he did down the stretch it was too late to put pressure on Small and Malm.

Click here to hear interviews from Mike Small and runner up Curtis Malm.

Mistwood’s Brian Brodell made a nice final round charge with 8 birdies, but admitted he never felt he had a chance to win starting the final round just too far back of players he knew would not back up. But like Johns and Malm, all three second place finishers qualified for the 2017 Club professional championship.

For Small being a three-time past champion in the Club Professional Championship, he is exempt into the field. Small won a first place check of $11,200 as the section championship continues to be a place for Small to build a retirement fund for himself.

Next years championship will be played at the Stonewall orchard Golf Club in Grayslake.


DSC07345 trophy on 15 3 DSDSC07246 Nemacolin DS THE US OPEN is coming to Erin Hills in June of 2017, tickets are still available at USGA.org. The Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA. 18 Pete Dye holes are open for play, and 18 more are on the way. Opening summer of 2017, nemacolin.com.  _____________________________________________________________________

DSC00233IPGA section sign DSDSC00402Wannamaker holding DS    The Illinois PGA Section Championship is still playing Round 2, due to weather delays and wet conditions at Olympia Fields. Round 2 will resume play on Wednesday at 8:30 if no additional rain falls at OFCC. The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to Olympia Fields and on Facebook, Linkedin and at Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

*Update-Round 2 final Malm -8 Johns -7 and Small -6 atop the leader board.

There have been no carts, and there has been lift clean and place rules in place. But over 10 inches of rain has fallen at Olympia Fields in the last 2 weeks, and grounds chief Sam MacKenzie and his crew have seen all the water they need to see.

White Eagle Country Club professional Curtis Malm is 6 under par but his second round is not complete, he is on the 17th tee box with two holes to play. Three groups back are the other co-leaders 11 time section champion Mike Small the University of Illinois golf coach, and Medinah teaching professional Travis Johns.

Small said the key to his play has been that he has Eagled the par 5, 10th hole in both rounds. But with defending champion Jim Billiter seven under par through 15 holes in round 2, he is only two shots back at 4 under par and the final round could be a shootout.

With the players having a chance to play lift clean and place, the very wet Olympia Fields South Course has been a little more birdie friendly. The real question is as the course dries out on Wednesday, will the set up be a little tougher. Malm suggested as much when he said “let’s move’m back and see what happens”.

Something I’m sure all the leaders will gladly take, especially Johns who is probably the longest hitter near the top of the leader board.

Click here to hear interviews with leaders Mike Small and then Curtis Malm.

Round 2 is now complete with the third round getting ready to start off of tee’s 1 & 10. For more details see IPGA.com.


DSC07300 Rory outside driver and NWLR and carn DSDSC00230the First tee ball DS  RORY SPEARS Sportswear shirt by Carnoustie Golf, see Carnoustiesportswear.com for details on the Fall 2016 line. The First Tee of Greater Chicagoland holds it’s annual Luke Donald taste of the First Tee fundraiser at Medinah Country Club on September 12th. Luke’s special guest is Rory McIlroy so tickets are going quickly. Visit the First Tee of Greater Chicagolands Wesbite or Social media pages to to acquire tickets today.         ______________________________________________________________________

DSC02562 Erin Hills welcome and me DS

THE GOG BLOG, by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Welcome to Erin Hills, home of the 2017 U.S. Open.

They are back, the USGA returns to the Midwest in rare U.S. Open visit as the advance starts today at the Erin Hills Golf Club in Erin Wisconsin.

Erin Hills for some reason is the only U.S. Open site in the Midwest, during a span of 24 years.

The golf media are invited today for a press conference, and course and full facility tour. A great day to gather interviews and some course videos and or pictures.

I will post pictures and interviews this week here on the site, it should be an interesting day and I look forward to seeing what the Erin Hills staff and the USGA has to say. There are still is some limited tickets left on sale for the U.S. Open that will be played in the third week of June next year.

Erin Hills will close a little earlier this fall and not reopen for public play until after the U.S. Open is over in 2018, there are limited tee times and overnight rooms left for this year. See Erinhills.com for more information.

DSC00233IPGA section sign DSJim Billiter Trophy DS The Illinois PGA Section Championship tee’s off today at the Olympia Fields Country Club in South Suburban Olympia Fields. Jim Billiter from the Merit Club is the defending Champion. Illinois golf coach Mike Small is bidding for his 12th section championship title. Players will be walking for round 1, due to heavy rains at Olympia Fields in recent days, and that cart paths do not go around the entire 18 holes.

Top finishers will qualify for the PGA PNC Championship in 2017, where the top 20 finishers in that championship get to play in the 2017 PGA Championship at the Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte. Mike Small is already exempt into the PNC as a past champion.

I HOPE THAT Chicago area golf fans will take the time to go see the Ryder Cup either at Cog Hill on Sept. 7th, or at the Cubs-Brewers game on September 16th at Wrigley Field. It’s small trophy but really neat to see in person. I’m sure those who saw it at Medinah 4 years ago found it interesting.

DSC03255 18 on BPB DS

The 18th hole at Bethpage Black, home this past week’s Barclay’s Championship and PGA Tour Fed Ex Cup event.

The BARCLAY’s at Bethpage Black on Long Island in New York, was the home of this past week’s PGA Tour Fed Ex Cup Playoff event.

The first three rounds all looked pretty good for our local connections, but Sunday was not so good.

Winfield’s Kevin Streelman went backwards, so did Steve Stricker, Luke Donald and Streelman’s co-Wilson staffer Ricky Barnes. Here’s hoping they all advance to Boston next week and then the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel Indiana.

GOLFER ON GOLF RADIO..it’s hard to believe that our 20th show of the season is in the books, and we have only two weeks left. It all ends on September 11th with our BMW Championship recap and our season recap, with a look at the year ahead. We hope you will joins us for our final two weeks. Sundays at 9 Am on AM 1240 WSBC.

If you haven’t had much of a chance to play, go do so. Labor Day weekend is a great chance to get out and get in at least one round of golf, maybe more.

I’m back with more this week, stay clicked in. RS


DSC07246 Nemacolin DSDSC07240 Fatbird DS  NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT, in Farmington PA., who is Fat Bird (R), to find out see Nemacolin.com. 18 Pete Dye Holes Open for Play, 18 more on the way. #2017.  _____________________________________________________________________

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GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO Seated L-R Rory Spears & BIll Berger, Standing L-R Mike Munro & Ed Stevenson. 9 Am Sundays Am 1240.

Week #20 is on the card, and posted in the handicap computer. Special thanks to Ed Stevenson who tee’d it up with only half a voice.

Bill Berger and Rory Spears rounded out the threesome, as Mike Munro had the weekend off.

Val Russell, Publisher of Chicagoland Golf and Tim Clark the President of Wilson Golf joined the show this morning. The new September issue of Chicagoland Golf will coming out this week to golf courses and golf retail stores in the area. Wilson Golf will be launching a short-run series on the Golf Channel in October called “Driver vs Driver”, it’s a contest to design a new Driver for Wilson Golf, the winner or winning team will win $500,000. The driver will go on sale on Black Friday in time for the Christmas and Chanukah Rush.  Wilsongolf.com for more details.

DSC06027 Marshall Mancillas Carnoustie DSDSC07283 Rory Carnoustie DS   Marshall Mancillias (L) President of Carnoustie Golf Sportswear, and Golfers on Golf Editor Rory Spears show off Carnoustie Golf Products, including the new fall line. For more details, Carnoustiesportwearonline.com. More on Carnoustie golf coming up this week. Available at several Chicago area golf clubs and in Pennsylvania visit the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington.



The 24th CDGA Mid-Amateur takes place this week at the Flossmoor Country Club in Flossmoor. Chadd Slutzsky is the defending champion.

The championship is for those players 25 years of age and older.

The format is that the field will play 36 holes this Tuesday, and a cut will be made down to the remaining 35 players and ties, for a third round of 18 holes that will be played on Wednesday.

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Wilson Golf’s Tim Clark, show’s off the Wilson DUO Golf Ball at the PGA Show in Orlando Florida.

The Luke Donald Taste of the First Tee will be held on Monday Sept. 12th starting at 5 PM at the Medinah Country Club.

Luke’s special guest this year is 4-Time major champion Rory McIlroy.

There are different levels of tickets and sponsorship’s, so contact the First Tee of Greater Chicagoland at the offices in Glenview at the Glen Club for more details. Come and enjoy great food and taste some of Luke’s custom designed wine.

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Just in case you missed it.

The Ryder Cup trophy tour is on the move starting tomorrow morning on the Today Show on NBC.

The good news for Chicago area golfers is that there are two stops in the Chicago area, and a couple more stops in the Midwest.

First up right here in town is a stop on Sept. 7th at Cog Hill, contact Cog Hill for arrival time. On September 16th the trophy will visit the Cubs-Brewers game at Wrigley Field game time is 1:20 PM. On the 17th the trophy will visit Notre Dame Stadium for the Michigan State-Notre Dame football game.

On September 2nd the Ryder Cup will visit 2020 Ryder Cup site, Whistling Straits in Kohler/Haven Wisconsin. The Gog Blog Speaks Out, returns tomorrow. RS


DSC02009 Rory and Ryder Cup 3 DS

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. With the Ryder Cup at the PGA Show.

The Ryder Cup that will be contested this Sept 30 and Oct. 1-2 at the Hazeltine Golf Club in Chaska Minnesota, is seeing it’s famed trophy begin a trophy-tour around the country.

That tour will make two stops in the Chicago area.

The first one will be on Sept. 7th at the Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont.

Stop #2 in Chicago will be at Wrigley Field in advance of a Cubs-Brewers game on September 16th. The next day the trophy heads over to Indiana and the game between Michigan State and Notre Dame, with the trophy on display at Notre Dame Stadium.

For more information on the tour, see Rydercup.com.

Golfers on Golf – Chad Johansen Interview

Golfers on Golf is talk radio created by golfers for golfers, and is broadcast live on WSBC 1240AM in Chicago. The program is hosted by Ed Stevenson, Rory Spears, Bill Berger, and Mike Munro.

Hear the interview with Golf Professional /  Inventor Chad Johansen, which aired LIVE during the August 21, 2016 Golfers on Golf Radio broadcast:

Chad Johansen is the Golf Pro / General Manager at the Blackberry Oaks Golf Club, and inventor of The Perfect Putting Aid that is used by 125 players on major professional golf tours.


DSC07246 Nemacolin DSDSC07011 Oak Meadows 18 DS  Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA.,18 holes in play, and 18 more by Pete Dye on the way summer of 2017, see Nemacolin.com. The 18th hole at Oak Meadows in Addison, opening summer of 2017, visit DuPagegolf.com. Rambo Scramble Oct. 15.   ______________________________________________________________________

DSC07300 Rory outside driver and NWLR and carn DS

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Wearing the fall line by Carnoustie Golf, carnoustiegolfwearonline.com. Sold at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in PA.

Mark your calendar and get out the credit card or check book, as your Illinois PGA professionals are raising money again this year, in their Birdies for Charity program.

Last year 36 Illinois PGA por’s gather at the River Forest Country Club in Elmhurst to raise money for several charities.

Coming up on September 6th they will do it again this year. Last year was a record year of $225,000 and this year the goal is $250,000.

Charities this year that will receive funds include, the Ann and Rober H. Lurie Children’s hospital in Chicago. JDRF, the Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charties in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana and the IPGA.

You can visit IPGA.com and log in to sponsor your favorite section professional, or just make a general donation. All funds raised go to the charities mentioned above.


DSC07246 Nemacolin DSDSC07238 Mystic Rock DS Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA., Home of the Mystic Rock Golf Course by Pete Dye, #1 course in PA. you can play. See Nemacolin.com New 18 in 17. ______________________________________________________________________

DSC07283 Rory Carnoustie DS

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Wearing a new Fall Line Shirt by Carnoustie Golfwear.

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DuPage Golf’s, Director of Golf Ed Stevenson at WSBC AM 1240 Chicago, is stepping up for Junior Golf.

You hear him on Sunday mornings as part of the Golfers on Golf Radio show.

He has been the mover and shaker on the renovation project at Oak Meadows Golf Club in Addison, and runs the golf operation at DuPage Golf.

Ed Stevenson who has been a part of golf and gorwing the game here in the Chicagoland area, is stepping up to the tee again, this time on September 9th at the Cantigny Youth Golf Links in Wheaton.

On September 9th Stevenson is taking part in the Illinois Junior Golf (IJGA) annual fund raiser, to help raise money for kids who need a little help with green fees.

The first fundraiser in 2009 generated over $70,000, in 2015 that number was down to over $36,000. This year the push is on to move the needle back in the north direction again. You can support Ed by going to Midwestproshop.com. or for more information on the event itself, visit IJGA.com.

Support Illinois Junior Golf and the golfers of tomorrow, with your donations of today.


DSC07246 Nemacolin DSDSC07220 2nd hole Mystic Rock DS Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA., A new Pete Dye Course will open in summer of 2017, currently Mystic Rock #1 you can play in PA, is open. Nemacolin.com. ______________________________________________________________________

DSC05200 Rory at GP DS

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

Bob Cupp who according to those who knew him best, was much more than a golf course architect.

Cupp in case you missed it over the weekend, passed away at age 76.

Cupp wrote books and played more than golf, he played instruments. In 2012 and 2013 he served as the president for the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA).

Batavia Illinois based architect Greg Martin now serves in the roll as ASGCA president and his this to say about his friend and fellow ASGCA member Bob Cupp.

FullSizeRender Greg Martin DSBob-Cupp-photo DS    ASGCA President Greg Martin (L) and (R) Past ASGCA President the late Bob Cupp.                                                                                                                                          “Bob Cupp was a renaissance man,” said ASGCA President Greg Martin. “He was a poet and author, golf course architect and musician, he loved to tell tales and offer opinions. Bob was a famed golf course architect, mentor to many and a friend to all. As a member and as ASGCA President, he provided lyrical perspective during some very challenging years.”

Martin also added this statement on behalf of the ASGCA.

“On behalf of the ASGCA, we offer our deepest condolences to Bob’s family-know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Bob was an important part of this organization, and more importantly, he was a cherished member of this family.”

Cupp will be remembered for his work with Jack Nicklaus on courses like, Glen Abbey in Ontario Canada, Desert Highlands in Arizona, and Shoal Creek in Alabama. Cupp’s work includes Old Waverly in Mississippi with Jerry Pate, and Liberty National in New Jersey with Tom Kite.


DSC07246 Nemacolin DSDSC07212 The Chalet at NWLR DS  NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT in Farmington PA., Home of the Chalet, a 5-Star Hotel. For more on this resort and Pete Dye Nemacolin Golf, see Nemacolin.com.           ______________________________________________________________________

DSC07273 Rory on 9 DS

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. Over looking the new 9th hole on the second Pete Dye Course at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington Pa.

I must admit, just when you think you have a handle on the golf resort scene across America, you visit a new property and realize you don’t.

Somehow, someway I missed a great property just south of Pittsburgh, called the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington PA. Farmington isn’t all that far from the West Virginia state line if your looking for it on your map or atlas.

Farmington is not only as some would call it, “pretty country”, but it has it’s history and other things to offer.

I really do have to thank former Illinois PGA professional Mike Jones the resorts new Director of Golf for opening my eyes to something or someplace that is pretty darn good and it’s only going to get better. Trust me. The mountain views are spectacular and they might even beat some of those great ocean views Jones had while working at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. Having been to Kapalua some 8 or 9 times myself, those volcano’s and white sand beaches aren’t bad either, but they are a warmer place to be in the middle of winter. But not the place to go for snow skiing.

My three day visit to Nemacolin got more enjoyable by the day, and was capped off with my first ride in a Bentley on the way back to the Pittsburgh airport. What a way to end a golf and destination resort experience, and I won’t forget that trip ever.

Next summer when that new Pete Dye course opens at Nemacolin, the golfers will be flocking to get there. Be sure your make your tee time in advance, 36 holes and a double dose of Dye. Stay with us here on the Gog Blog for updates on the new Pete Dye golf course and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, new course construction, always a good thing.

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20 year-old Curtis Luck of Australia is your new U.S. Amateur Champion, defeating Brad Dalke in the 36 hole final match by a score of 6&4, at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills Michigan.

The match was All-Square after 18 holes, but Luck who in the end didn’t need any, pulled away early in the second 18. It was Dalke who took a 1 UP lead on the 19th hole, but then Luck went on a roll and won the next 8 holes in a row which decided the competition.

Locally Arlington Heights native Doug Ghim who plays on the University of Texas golf team, advanced from stroke play into match play, but lost his second match in the round of 32. Former Illinois Open champion David Cooke, did not advance to match play after making a nice run in the amateur last year at Olympia Fields.

A great effort was put on by Dylan Meyer the Indiana native and member of the University of Illinois golf team. Meyer after winning the Western Amateur, advanced to the Elite 8 before losing a match. Congrats Dylan.

The U.S. Amateur these days is only awarded to courses that have or will host a U.S. Open Championship, Oakland Hills has hosted the U.S. Open and would like another. Real question is, when will they get one. Next open date is in 2027, hopefully the USGA saw what they needed to look at the Midwest again as a future site for the U.S. Open.

THE PGA TOUR wrapped up it’s regular season yesterday in North Carolina, with Si Woo Kim winning by 5 shots at 21 under par. While Chicago area golfers might not know Si Woo, they should know the player who finished in second place at 16 under par and that was NU alum Luke Donald. This finish was just what Donald needed as he vaults up to 48th in the Fed Ex Cup standings. Now he should make the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick. It was another good week for Illinois Golf as DA Points, Luke Guthrie and Scott Langley all made the cut and a check, even if they didn’t make the playoffs.

OLYMPICS..sorry to say I just wasn’t glued in to the Olympic games, and or Olympic golf. Congrat’s to all who won medals, especially golf medal winners Justin Rose and amazingly Inbee Park who had been out injured with a thumb injury for month’s. To work the rust off and win a golf medal is nothing but a great story.

I know everyone who is there called the experience special, and I’m sure for them it was. But the golf course didn’t impress me as much as I thought it would. Gil Hanse and his team I’m sure did the best with what they had, but the course came across looking like another Florida-Muni. Maybe NBC didn’t show the courses finer side. What impact golf in the Olympics will have on the sport going forward is hard to judge, but if there is a golfer winning majors in 10 years from Rio then maybe we will have the answer.

LEN ZIEHM spent the last few days at French Lick Resort covering the LPGA Legends event, his full recap is at lenziehmongolf.com where you can find out who won the championship in a playoff, and how local golfer Nicole Jeray finished.

DID YOU KNOW the fall line of golf clothes by Carnoustie Golfwear is out, I’ll have more on the stylish golf wear of Carnoustie coming up this week.

The Gog Blog returns this week, with a news update and more. Stay clicked in. RS.