MISTWOOD GOLF DOME on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook is open daily. This winter the dome has redone it’s putting and chipping area’s downstairs, and the hitting area upstairs. So why not bring your clubs and get ready for the outdoor season ahead. Go practice on Toptracer, grab a lesson or get fitted for new clubs. Because it’s time to get your game right this season-Visit or call (630)-739-7600 #MCWETHYS

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook. On the tee at Pine Barrens, part of Cabot Citrus Farms in Brooksville Florida (formerly World Woods).


There has been much talk in the golf world of late, about both Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman, But there is more talk today about Zach Johnson the new 2023 Team USA Ryder Cup captain.

But back to Phil Mickelson. “Lefty” is almost back in hiding, during a time he should be riding high.

One major publication is asking this question today, was Mickelson supposed to be the Ryder Cup captain. But Johnson named captain by the PGA of America, because of Mickelson’s comments.

THERE HAVE BEEN THOSE who have reached out to me asking, what did Mickelson do that was all that bad in the first place. Because fans are wondering, did he kill someone-No. Did he beat up his wife or harm animals-No. Did he steal money from someone or commit a terrorist act-again No.

So what’s the problem, and why are sponsors dropping him. Because these days the wrong comments can set off the social media masses. Something that corporate America at times takes far too seriously. As a result Mickelson has stepped back from playing in some tournaments But hopefully not the Players Championship, the Masters, or the PGA Championship, where he is the defending champion, in the weeks ahead.

AS THE OLD SAYING GOES-Talk is cheap. But Mickelson’s talking has been costly in terms of sponsorship dollars, but if Mickelson goes and plays golf in the Saudi-Tournaments he could make that money back. I’m just hoping he is back in America on one tour or another, or in the majors before all too long.

GREG “The Shark” Norman is circling PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan these days, like a Great White Shark looking for dinner. What lies ahead seems to be a battle for the lawyers to enjoy. Norman’s letter to Monahan last week suggesting the battle is still on, shows that Norman and a Saudi Golf series of events is not going away quickly.

But there is an easy way to settle this, PGA Tour players should be “released” to play overseas. Plus a player should only have a certain amount of releases per-year to go play Saudi golf, instead of going to all 10 or 12 events. 2 or 3 seems like a good number. The players are independent contractors. So they should have some freedom or say-so, in where they play golf.

Norman had an idea years go, that the tour shot down. But then took Norman’s plan and ran with it themselves, AKA the WGC Golf Championships. This time Norman appears that he is just not going to walk away, and let the PGA Tour or anyone else steal his plan for a series of big money golf events. Stay tuned.

JOHNSON winner of the Masters, British Open, John Deere Classic and the BMW Championship, was named captain of Team USA for 2023.

Johnson knows he has his work cut-out for him. Because Team USA has not won on foreign soil in 30 years. So he says he won’t take that issue likely. Johnson has also named Steve Stricker a Vice-Captain already this morning.

Tour players interviewed this past weekend, said Johnson is a great choice. A mixture of both old and new-school kind of guy. The 2023 Ryder Cup will be played in Italy at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club. Team Europe will want revenge after the large margin of defeat they suffered at Whistling Straits last year.

THE GOG BLOG will be back almost every day the next week or two, finishing up stories from the PGA Merchandise Show. Additionally there are travel pieces coming from great golf destinations like Innisbrook in Florida, Reynolds Lake-Oconee in Georgia. The from Pinehurst and Ross Resorts in North Carolina. So stay clicked in, and there could be some news coming on the local front this week as well. RS


THE WINGS AT MCWETHY’S SPORTS BAR IN THE MISTWOOD GOLF DOME ARE GREAT. So bring your clubs and your appetite and visit the Mistwood Golf Dome on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook. But learn more at or call (630)-739-7600.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

The 77th U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles in Southern Pines North Carolina.

THE 100 DAY UNTIL COUNT in now underway. So do you have your tickets yet for the 77th U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles golf course.

Pine Needles is part of the Ross Resorts group that includes Mid Pines and Southern Pines Country Club. All three courses renovated by architect Kyle Franz. For tickets and other information see #AnnikaIsBack

CALLAWAY INVITES YOU TO CHECK CALLAWAY’S longest fairway woods ever made, the new Rogue and Rogue ST metal fairway woods. See

PINE MEADOW GOLF CLUB in Mundelein has a Titleist Vokey SM8 sale now underway. The SM8 wedges are demo’s. But if your looking for new wedges these SM8 demos are a “steel” at just $99.00 a piece. Call Pine Meadow at (847)-566-4653 (Golf).

FOXFORD HILLS in Cary has it’s annual 4-man Spring Scramble on Saturday April 2nd, tee time for the shotgun scramble is 9 Am. Cost per player is $75.00. But you can sign up today at (847)-639-0400.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS now has a new indoor golf facility called Winners Golf. Just south of Golf Road on the east side of Algonquin Road. Simulators, for golf, golf practice, lessons and fittings. So stop by Winners. (847)-258-3382

CRYSTAL WANG a Sr. at the University of Illinois has been named the Big Ten Women’s Player of the week, after a 13 under par tournament at the ICON Invitational in Texas. Illinois finished second in the team competition, Wang 3rd in the individual competition.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS MEN’S golf team heads to Las Vegas this week for the Southern Highlands Intercollegiate. The Illini men’s team finished third two weeks ago in Mobile, Alabama.

THE CDGA GOLF SHOW has moved to ESPN 1000 starting in April. Tyler Aki and Barry Cronin are your hosts. Details at

THE GOLFZON LEADBETTER ACADEMY after years at Champions Gate Golf Club, is relocating a few miles north on Highway-4 in the Orlando Florida area. David Leadbetter says he “can’t wait to give the first lesson” at the new location at the Reunion Golf Resort. So learn more at

THE LPGA has announced that for the first time, it will host back-to-back events in the Los Angeles area this April.  THE JTBC LA Open is April 18-24, and the JTBC Championship week is April 25-May 1st. So learn more at or the websites of the two tournaments.

Edison Wedges continuing to evolve.

SO DOES YOUR SHORT GAME NEED something new. Because the grooves on your wedges are worn down.

But you say your approach shots need more spin.

But if you have not followed how wedge design has changed in the last few years. Now is the time to learn more at Edison Wedges.

Because Edison Wedges has all the details you need on their new website at So come see what 30 year designer, Terry Koehler is talking about. Because now you can elevate and spin your game to a new level, Kohler Wedges, in stainless steel at $185.00 per wedge.

The Cleveland Black Satin-Smart Sole 4 wedges.

CLEVELAND GOLF has announced the release of the Black Satin finish for the Smart Sole 4 wedges.

Smart Sole 4 is a short game system for the every day player.

The three smart Sole wedges have been created to come handy for specific short game shots.

Models C, S, or G create forgiveness in different area’s of your short game.

So if you are looking for reduced glare from the sun off your wedges, the Black Satin offers less glare on on every chip shot.

The new Smart Sole 4 wedges are available on March 4th. Pricing is $119.00 on steel. But graphite shafts run $129.99. But for more information see

The Gog Blog Speaks Out-returns on Monday. RS.


MISTWOOD GOLF DOME IS OPEN DAILY and ready to help you get your game ready for the summer season ahead. So why not have a practice session on Toptracer or get a lesson from one of the Mistwood professional team. But if your ready for new clubs, there is no place like Mistwood to get or (630)-739-7600.

ZIEHM AND SPEARS PODCAST SERIES IS BACK FOR ANOTHER WEEK. Ziehm and Spears is comprised of Illinois Golf Hall of Fame inductee Len Ziehm, who has over 50 years on the golf beat, with the Chicago Sun-Times or more recently the Daily Herald. Rory Spears is a longtime golf and sports reporter in the Chicago area.

Len Ziehm (L) and Rory Spears (R) in the Ziehm studios overlooking Palm Aire Country Club in Sarasota Florida.



This week Len and Rory discuss Len’s visit to the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour.

Then they follow up on the proposed Saudi venture, and how the PGA Tour and the Greg Norman venture could work together, and come to a happy conclusion.

RYDER CUP 2023-Some thoughts on Team USA Captain Zach Johnson, and expected Team Europe Captain Luke Donald. There’s more on the Florida swing of the PGA Tour, and what that means in the big picture for golf.

CLICK HERE to hear this weeks edition of Ziehm and Spears Podcast Series 2022 Volume 4.

Len and Rory discuss some of the approaching golf season in Illinois and this weeks virtual version of the Chicago Golf Show, normally held in Rosemont.

Thanks for listening-Len & Rory.


UPPER DECK or LOWER DECK unlike some downtown Chicago sporting venue’s, the price stays the same at the Mistwood Golf Dome on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook. So with the outdoor season right around the corner why not come in and practice on Toptracer, or get a golf lesson. But if you need new clubs, Mistwood can fit you with new sticks you need for better golf. So you can book your hitting bay online at, or call the dome at (630)-739-7600. #McWethysSportsbar #BestwingsInTown

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook.

***From Rory Spears*** So far in 2022, several people has ask the question social media, or to me online. What was my favorite round of golf in 2021, or what was the best golf course I played. After some serious thought. I have decided that my round of golf at Baltimore Country Club-Five Farms brings home the prize. BCC was on the front end of a two day trip that included nearby Caves Valley Golf Club, home of the 2021 BMW Championship.

FOR ME a return to Five Farms was a mere 7 years after my first visit to the club. Because while covering the 2014 LPGA International Crown at Caves Valley. I stopped over at BCC while the famed East Course was under going an architect Keith Foster renovation. I received a rain check to return once the course reopened. But while it did take me 7 years to cash it in, I’m glad I did. Fosters renovation is really good and it shows. Because Golfweek Magazine has the East Course at #39 on it’s Classic Course Top 100 list, and it should be even higher in my books. RS

The Baltimore Country Club Clubhouse at Five Farms.

The Baltimore Country Club has been a popular club since day one.

Day 1 came at the clubs founding on January 12th, 1898 at it’s first location at Roland Park.

Because right out of the blocks the club had 600 members, that were part of the 150 acre club, located five miles from downtown Baltimore.

Just over 20 years later, the club decided it needed to move it’s golf operation to a second location. So it acquired land north of the city at Five Farms, where architect A.W. Tillinghast built the East Course at Five Farms. The course first opened in 1926. Once the land at Roland Park was sold off in 1962, that course was closed. But the second course, the West Course at Five Farms opened. But now with 36 holes the original clubhouse was demolished and the current clubhouse was built.

The First hole on the Five Farms East Course.

Because the club gained immediate fame, it took only a year before the course billed as a Tillinghast masterpiece hosted the fifth U.S. Open won by Willie Smith of Scotland.

The club wen through some fires with it’s clubhouse at the Roland park location. Not one, but in fact two fires hit the clubhouse in some 90 days.

But once it reopened, some of it’s original features from 1932, are still in use today. Including the duckpin bowling lanes. Tennis is played at the club and in the late 1930’s and 1940’s, the grass tennis courts were used to host qualifiers for the Davis Cup Matches.

The par 3, 4th hole at Baltimore Country Club’s East Course.

More sporting venue’s such as paddle tennis, a swimming complex, and then new tennis courts which opened in 2007.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) lists the club as one of the first 100 clubs built in the United States. it’s strong history is among the reasons the club now has over 3,000 members in various categories. Baltimore Country Club remains one of only 12 clubs that operates from two campuses.

The back nine opens with a partial island green.

The 1899 U.S. Open started golf championship play at the club. But it was certainly not the last.

Because in 1928 the PGA Championship came calling, and Leo Diegel took home the Wanamaker Trophy.

In 1932 the U.S. Amateur came to Five-Farms for the first time. C. Ross Somerville was the winner. The 1965 Walker Cup held at the club, saw the USA and Britain playing to an 11-11 tie. 23 years later in 1988 the U.S. Women’s Open came for the first time, Liselotte Neumann won with a 72 hole score of 277.

The par 3, 17th hole, is one of the most photogenic ones on the property.

The east Course held the 2007-2008-2009 Senior Players Championship.

Loren Roberts-D.A.Weibring and Jay Haas were the winners.

Baltimore Country Club is one of the two clubs in the world to host a Men’s and Women’s U.S. Open, a PGA Championship, a men’s U.S. Amateur, a Walker Cup and a Champions Tour Major.

Foster’s renovation work began in 2014, and was completed in time to reopen the course in 2015. Championship golf returned in 2017 and 20218 to host the Men’s Big Ten Championship. The University of Illinois won both team titles, and Fighting Illini players Dylan Meyer (2017) and Nick Hardy (2018) won the individual titles. Meyer is now on the Korn Ferry Tour, and Hardy is in his first full season on the PGA Tour.

Last year Foster returned to upgrade the practice area’s as part of the clubs lifestyle improvement program. What’s the next major championship held at Five Farms remains to be seen, but it might not be far away. But whatever that championship is, can’t come soon enough to one of the great classic golf courses in American history.


MISTWOOD GOLF DOME-more than just great chicken wings in McWethy’s Sports Bar. So now is the time to get ready for outdoor golf season. Practice on Toptracer, get a golf lesson, or fitted for new clubs-see or call (630)-739-7600

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter@GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Rory Spears on the tee at Pine Barrens golf course in Brooksville Florida, part of Cabot Citrus Farms. Photo by Len Ziehm.

THE NAMES ARE OUT, for who gets the right to redo the courses at World Woods, or now Cabot Citrus Farms in Brooksville Florida.

SO FIRST ON THE TEE will be Kyle Franz-the Southern Pines based architect who will take the lead on the Pine Barrens golf course.

Some of Franz recent projects include Southern Pines Country Club (NC). Pine Needles home of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open now 100 days out.

Architect Kyle Franz will redo Pine Barrens golf course at Cabot Citrus Farms. Franz pictured here at Pine Needles golf course in Southern Pines NC.

“Cabot Citrus Farms is going to be an extraordinary destination and we are thrilled to be part of the effort. Our goal for Pine Barrens is to take it’s dramatic, sandy land and maximize it into one of the most spectacular courses in the region.”

Franz added.

“In our view , the perfect formula for Pine Barrens combines rugged sandscapes and vegetation that meld with the natural topography. This creates classical contouring and creative short grass recovery shots around the greens. There will be wider corridors of play and multiple strategic routs to the pin. Fascinating grassing patterns, and varied tee box placements so that players get a fresh look at the different options every time they tee it up.”

THE ROLLING OAKS COURSE goes to Keith Rhebb & Riley Johns.

The two designers bring over 40 years of combined experience in the industry. Both working on several major projects in the golf world, including other Cabot projects in Canada and the Caribbean. But more recently Rhebb and Johns created a 10-hole par 3 course at Forest Dunes, now called the Bootlegger. that has received rave reviews.

“We are excited to unlock the potential of Rolling Oaks and have the opportunity to work with ownership that is as enthusiastic about finely crafted golf as Ben Cowan-Dewar and the Cabot team. We look forward to applying our collective experience to design and build a golf course that is engaging, aesthetically pleasing and fun.” Said Rhebb and Johns in a statement.

THE SHORT COURSE RENOVATIONS goes to Mike Nuzzo, most known for his work in Southern Texas at Wolf Point Ranch.

“Both the site and the client are essential to creating a special golf course. But with Cabot Citrus Farms, we have the best of both worlds. Because having a natural sandy site and an innovative, forward thinking client is outstanding. Having fewer traditional constraints for our portion of the project, presents an extra layer of opportunity for creativity. So I’m looking forward to seeing the project come together,” said Nuzzo.

Golfers on Golf will continue to follow the Cabot Citrus Farms project as it advances. The expected reopening is in late 2023. Cabot Citrus Farms will close late spring this year. So improvements can begin.


MISTWOOD GOLF DOME is open daily for golf and dining in McWethy’s Sports Bar. So come get ready for the outdoor season ahead, and practice on Toptracer, grab a lesson or get fitted for new clubs. So book a hitting bay online at or call the dome at (630)-739-7600 and eat at McWethy’s Sports Bar.  Best wings in town.  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook.

The 2022 PGA Show with new sign in front of the orange County Convention Center. Photo by Rory Spears.

THIS STORY BEGINS a series of stories about products and services from interviews done at the 2022 PGA Merchandise Show. Golfers on Golf hopes you enjoy them. RS

OAKBROOK Terrace based Zero Friction Golf is working with Dr. Conor O’Brien on a new golf glove. The glove is designed to protect your hands from micro trauma during your golf swing.  So golfers suffering with wrist or hand pain, should consider the new TheraTec golf glove.

Dr. Conor O’Brien MD-International renowned medical expert in Sports Medicine-wearing the TheraTec golf glove.

Dr. O’Brien who has been team physician for the Irish Olympic Team, is an avid golfer and former rugby player.

ZERO FRICTION Founder John Iacono spoke to other new products from Zero Friction. Because Zero Friction has a new golf push cart for golfers that are walking more when they play golf.

But in addition to the new TheraTec glove are other gloves in the Zero Friction line, plus Iacono has created a new tee. Because with standard tee’s set at 2 3/4 inches. Iacono says the new Zero Friction 3″ tee can help golfers get the golf ball airborne in an easier manner.

SO CLICK HERE to hear the full interview with Doctor Conor O’Brien on the TheraTec Glove. But hear more with Zero Friction Golf Founder John Iacono.

Zero Friction products are available at PGA Tour Stores and at


MISTWOOD GOLF DOME has improved it’s upper-deck and it’s short game area’s for the season. So come out and practice your swing and be ready for the outdoor season ahead. Because it will be here before you know it. So come practice on Toptracer or get a lesson. Do you need new clubs ? Because Mistwood is the perfect place to get fitted for new sticks in your golf bag. The dome id home to McWethy’s Sports Bar with the best chicken wings in town. So book your hitting bay at or call the dome at (630)-739-7600. Mistwood Golf Dome is located on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook.

The Moraine Country Club Clubhouse in Dayton Ohio.

The Moraine Country Club in Dayton Ohio heads into it’s 92nd year, perhaps looking better than ever.

Moraine that first opened for play in 1930 has continued to evolve since the 30’s, into what it has become in 2022.

Because what it is now, is a Top 100,  Classic Golf Course, on a few lists by various publications.

Brand new Western Golf Association (WGA) Chairman Joe Desch a native of Cincinnati, but member at Moraine wasted no time introducing WGA Executives based in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, to his club in Ohio. Because when the WGA visited, they found a classic club just perfect for hosting the Western Amateur, and an agreement was struck shortly thereafter. So Moraine will host the 2024 Western Amateur on the heels of three Chicago area classic courses, The Glen View Club, Exmoor Country Club and North Shore Country Club being the host site in 2021-2022 and 2023.

Welcome to Moraine Country Club in Dayton Ohio.

Moraine Country Club has a great history, even if the list of championship golf is short, what’s on the list is a pretty solid group of tournaments.

The club will tell you that overall they there is not enough acreage to host big events. But some championships fit in just fine. The Western Amateur being just such an event.

Moraine is most remembered for hosting the 1945 PGA Championship, won by the great Byron Nelson for his ninth win during his 11 straight tournament winning streak. Nelson defeated Sam Byrd 4 & 3 in the 36-hole final, after Nelson rallied in the second round from 2 Down with four holes to play, to defeat Mike Turnesa. When the club put together a 75 year anniversary book in 2005, Nelson wrote the forward for it. Nelson still had many great memories from his win at Moraine 60 years earlier.

Byron Nelson is awarded the PGA Championship Wanamaker Trophy in 1945 at Moraine CC. (Center photo).

Currently Moraine still does host some championship play. The USGA normally has a U.S. Amateur qualifier at Moraine almost every year. The club does host the Ohio State Amateur once every ten years.

Two players who have won the Ohio State Amateur at Moraine, and went on to successful professional careers include John Cook and British Open Champion Ben Curtis.

Moraine was designed by Alec “Nipper” Campbell who was not only an architect, but a golf professional. One of his students was Francis Ouimet, the amazing winner of the U.S. Open at just 20 years of age in 1913. Campbell used his connection with Ouimet to have him visit and play Moraine in 1933. Campbell was a pretty good player himself, between the years of 1901 to 1915, Campbell had 5 top 10 finishes in the U.S. Open.

The par 4 seventh hole at Moraine.

So the donation of land by Colonel Edward A. Deeds, a co-founder of automobiles and the Wright Airplane Company got the ball rolling. Or flying off the tee and the fairways.

Deeds though not a golfer himself, saw the fact that other were enjoying the sport. His first deal to build a course on portion of land to Moraine’s founding group was a mere $1 per year, for the first 15 years. Nobody could say no at that point.

While Campbell was Moraine’s original designer, he is not the only architect involved in Moraine’s design. Because the famed NCR Country Club sits right next door to Moraine. When NCR course architect Dick Wilson was building at NCR in the 1950’s, a couple of times he walked over to Moraine to look at a few course issues. As a result, a couple of greens and tee’s were moved at Wilson’s suggestion.

The par 4, third hole at Moraine CC.

But in 1945 the club decided to start beautifying the golf course with the planting of trees.

So many trees in fact, that some thought all the trees, were taking away from Campbell’s vision on how the course should play. Nonetheless trees continued to become a bigger part of the course.

70 years later the club hired one of the worlds best classic course restoration and renovation specialists, architect Keith Foster.

Foster arrived at Moraine and told the club the course had too many tree’s, and it was time to open up the property, create new or restore old sightlines and give the members some room to hit golf shots. So it’s estimated that over 1,000 trees were removed.

But the Foster renovation was more than tree removal. Because there was greens to restore to original size, and a few to slightly relocate so they were out of area’s that flooded. But one of Foster’s strength’s is his bunker work, some golf industry folks who would know call Foster the best bunker guy in the design industry.

The par 3, 5th hole, that plays down from an elevated tee.

So with the tree’s gone, and greens relocated, bunkers reshaped and relocated, and tee’s now properly repositioned.

Moraine Country Club was back on the map. Because it was no longer just an old golf course, it was back being a classic historic and well preserved golf course. Moraine had earned it’s place back on a few Top 100 lists.

But even better news. Foster will be returning to make a couple tweaks on holes 10 and 11, to give them a little sparkle. So when the top amateurs in world arrive in 2024 for the Western Amateur. A high score or low score, match play win or loss, the field should have a week of golf they will really enjoy and never forget.


MISTWOOD THE DOME or MISTWOOD THE GOLF COURSE-One of Chicago’s Year Round Golf Destinations. Because in the dome or at the golf course, Mistwood is one of the Chicago area’s best golf experiences. But while Mistwood Golf course is probably 50 days from opening. The heated golf dome on Rt. 53 in Bolingbrook is open daily. So book a hitting bay-play on Toptracer, get a lesson or club fitting. But remember that both McWethy’s are open, at the course and at the dome for great food and beverage. To get a hitting bay visit or call the golf dome at (630)-739-7600.

L-R Len Ziehm-ING Executive Director Mike Jamison-Dave Lockhart and Rory Spears. The Chicago Golf media award winners.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Recently at the 2022 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Florida, several local Chicago area golf media members, came away with national recognition for their work in the golf industry from the International Network of Golf (ING).

First on the tee I must congratulate the host of the Golf Scene-Steve Kashul and Executive Producer Tom Miller for their 1st place award on Best Internet Golf Video (neither Steve of Tom was present in Orlando-so they are not in the photo).

Dave Lockhart of Golf 360 along with host Patrick Mannelly earned a 1st place award for Best Golf Television Show-congrats to Dave and Patrick.

The Daily Herald’s and Golfers on Golf Radio host Len Ziehm won a national runner up award for competition writing on his Ryder Cup story U.S. Dominates. Len won two more national runner-up awards one with Golfers on Golf Radio for best radio show, and one with me for podcasting.

Finally, I was awarded three national runner-up awards. For the second straight year Golfers on Golf Radio was awarded a national runner-up award for Best Golf Radio Program in America (now in 2020 & 2021).

I am proud to share this award with my co-hosts Ed Stevenson-Bill Berger and Len Ziehm. Our producer Paul Chivari at WCPT 820-AM, and our General Manager at WCPT 820-AM Mark Pinski. Hopefully next year GOG-Radio will bring home the Gold Medal.

Len Ziehm-Craig Devrieze and Rory Spears (L-R) record the award winning podcast at TPC Deere Run.

A second national runner-up award was earned in Golf Podcasting with my partner Len Ziehm. Both Len and I wish to thank the author of “Magic Happens” Craig Devrieze, who authored the 50 Year History Book of the John Deere Classic for being our guest on the award winning podcast.

Recorded in front of the TPC Deere Run Clubhouse during the John Deere Classic. Craig can tell quite a story. When it comes to the saving of the tournament, then becoming one of the best on tour.

Chris Lutzke-Herb Kohler and Dirk Willis at the opening of the Baths at Blackwolf Run in Kohler Wis.

Finally I received a third national runner-up award for my profile writing on Dirk Willis the Vice President of Kohler Golf, for the host-professional story in the Ryder Cup program. Thanks to Dirk for letting me ask him questions for almost an hour to pull the story together. While on a tight deadline from the folks printing the Ryder Cup Championship program.

So now I look forward to the challenge to trying to be a 1st place winner in one the categories next year. Thank you again to everyone who I work with year round. While trying to provide good coverage of various parts of the golf industry.

FINAL NOTES: Architect Greg Martin informs Golfers on Golf. That talks have started with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District for a renovation of Maple Meadows Golf Course in Wood Dale.

Mike Benkusky who did the renovation at Arlington Lakes Golf Course part of the Arlington Heights Park District. Has received the green light to move forward on a renovation of the AHPD’s Par 3 course at Nickol Knoll. The course (also known as Payton’s Hill in honor of Walter Payton) is one of the area’s best par-3 golf courses.

I haven’t hit them yet. But I expect the new 722 C or E series clubs just released by Tour Edge Golf, are pretty good. I’ll report back after testing them out.

The Gog Blog returns tomorrow. RS


MISTWOOD GOLF DOME on Rt. 53 in open daily. Chicago’s premier golf dome is home to Toptracer and McWethy’s Sports Bar. So bring your clubs and your appetite and get your game ready for outdoor golf season. You can practice with Toptracer, get a golf lesson or fitted for new clubs. Book a hitting bay today at or call the dome (630)-739-7600. Because opening day at Mistwood GC is coming soon.

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Chad Johansen of Blackberry Oaks Golf Club in Bristol, has started sign up for his junior golf programs.

CHAD JOHANSEN of Blackberry Oaks Golf Course in Bristol, and a new brand ambassador for Callaway Golf has started registration for his summer golf programs.

Blackberry Oaks has been a leader in junior golf programs for years, under the direction of Johansen who has grown the junior golf program from just several kids, to sold out camps in recent years.

So sign up is now underway for junior golf camps, the junior golf league, high school players coaching and more.

So visit or call the Oaks at (630)-553-7170 or

THE ILLINOIS PGA JUNIOR TOUR has opened registration for the summer. Individual event registration starts on Feb. 28th. Visit for more details, ages must be 14-18 by July 25th. Cost for membership is $65.00. But there are additional fee’s to play in the events. Both junior boys and girls are welcome to sign up.

WOMEN’S GOLF DAY will be Tuesday June 7th of 2022. Facilities can now register for the Early Bird rate at Because clubs can grow their membership or the participation at their courses by getting the ladies out to play golf. So learn more about how your facility can host a Women’s Golf Day event on June 7th.

The Vault is Open at Club Champion.

CLUB CHAMPION GOLF has opened “The Vault”.

So if your looking for more as you build what’s in your bag. You can now try the Vault, a new e-commerce platform from club fitter-Club Champion.

But what Club Champion is working harder at doing, is partnering with golf’s innovators to offer unique, attractive and limited-edition items to a wider range of golfers.

“This is just another way to truly customize the game of golf for our customers,” said VP of Marketing Pat Duncan. “The OEM partners we have lined up for these collaborations are brining incredible creativity to the table, and we’re thrilled to have the freedom to create the products we’ve always wanted to see.”

THE Vaults products are available online only, and be exclusive to the new retailer. The collection opens with a custom colorway on one of the industries move-loved golf shafts: the Fujikura Ventus Blue. So this batch of 100 shafts will have a “Shamrock” green colorway that can only be found through the vault. So the Vault is now open and learn more at

The New Balance Foam X Defender.


New Balance has introduced the Fresh Foam X Defender and the X-Defender XL Technology.

So the Fresh Foam X Defender Last and Upper have improved welded waterproofing.

The FOAM X Defender specifications include, Weight 11.3 oz. Colors come in White/Gray, Black/Red Sizes 8-12, 13/14 Widths D, 2E and 4E. Price $139.95. But not available until March 1st, 2022.

FOAM X Defender SL Specifications. Weight 11.1 oz. Colors White/Gray, Black/Multi, Grey/Blue. Sizes 8-12, 13, 14, Widths D, 2E, 4E. Price $129.95. Available March 1st. New Balance offers a 45-day comfort warranty. See the collection at

CALLAWAY and COG HILL are offering a Callaway TOUR VAN EXPERIENCE on Wednesday March 9th from 11AM to 3 PM. Cost is $60.00. But you must register in advance. But the fee includes the fitting and a dozen Callaway golf balls. So visit

ARE YOU A PETE DYE or PETE DYE family member design. Because if so, your club can be part of the Pete Dye Cup/Pete Dye World Golf Championships. Winners at the local level, can move on to the national championships from October 23-25 at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport West Virginia. Golfers play for the Pete and Alice Dye trophy. The championship is a national fund raiser for Alzheimer’s research. So for more details visit or

THE JERRY RICH-ARNOLD PALMER Caddie Scholarship is now available. In honor of the Rich Harvest Farms relationship with the Arnold Palmer Cup Foundation, the scholarship has been created, applications for his year must be submitted by April 1st, 2022. The amount is $5,000 dollars for 1-year and is not renewable. But for more details visit

THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-returns tomorrow. RS


MISTWOOD GOLF DOME that is open daily until 10 PM is located on Rt. 53 in the town of Bolingbrook. While it’s cold and snowy outside (like today), why not prepare for the winter golf getaway or the summer season ahead at the Chicago’s area’s premier golf dome. Practice with Toptracer, get a lesson or fitted for new clubs that fit your swing or your golf game. But bring your clubs and your appetite as the Mistwood Golf Dome is home to McWethy’s Sports Bar with great burgers, BBQ and wings. So book your hitting bay today at or call the dome at (630)-739-7600. #Mistwood

THE ZIEHM & SPEARS PODCAST SERIES continues this week with Volume 3 of 2022. Hosts are 53 year Illinois/Florida golf industry reporter and Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2019 inductee Len Ziehm. Rory Spears has covered golf for 37 years, and grew up working at two Chicago area golf courses for 11 years. Both Len and Rory have won numerous ING awards for their work in the golf industry. In 2021 ING awarded Ziehm and Spears a national runner-up award for best golf podcasting in the country.

Len Ziehm (L) and Rory Spears show the awards for winning a 2021 ING award for golf podcasting.

ZIEHM & SPEARS are back again.

This time with Podcast Series 2022-Volume 3.

Among this weeks topics of discussion include.

The terrible fire at the Oakland Hills Country Club-Clubhouse in Michigan.

Most of the historic clubhouse has been lost.

The Saudi Golf League is it here to stay. Which should the PGA Tour really do, if the some of it’s players want to play in their events. Welcome back Annika, as Annika Sorenstam commits to the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, after 14 years away from the championship.

SO WHAT ABOUT THOSE FLYING BEER CANS-should the WMPO have fans launching beer cans to the green after a hole-in-one. Local architects Mike Benkusky and Greg Martin get the go-aheads to start key area course renovations.

TOUR EDGE GOLF has just had it’s largest product launch in company history. So what kind of player are you? Possibly a C or and E.

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY Alum Luke Donald is in the running for 2023 European Ryder Cup Captain. All these topics and more are covered by Len and Rory.

SO TO HEAR this weeks edition of Ziehm and Spears click here. Because you want to be caught up on all the golf news in Chicago, as the outdoor season gets closer to reopening for 2022.

So thanks for listening Len & Rory.