LIV GOLF coming September 16-18 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Here is your chance to see the top professionals in golf, finally back in the Chicago area. So to get tickets see To see what the excitement is about-check out LIV Golf.

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.

Rory Spears with his Callaway Rogue ST-Driver, with the Brava Driver shaft at Heritage Oaks Golf Club in Northbrook. Photo by Ryan Corfield.



ARE YOU READY TO FIND more yardage off the tee. Well who isn’t.

This week I found how to do that, it’s called the Brava Driver Shaft. IT WILL put a little more pop in your drives.

Good fitters and equipment specialists will tell you that one way, you can really improve your equipment. Is to get better shafts. With the USGA tech force putting limitations on most area’s of your clubs, the one way to have some freedom on making your clubs better, is to explore and insert a better shaft. Some shafts can be costly, but they are worth the money if your looking for better results on the course.

Supply chain issues because of Covid-19 were causing delays in getting shafts, and some companies or fitters were trying to get shafts, any shafts from where ever they could, to get new clubs in the hands of their customers.

But those issues are starting to fade says Fitting Specialist Matt Carter at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville Illinois. But Carter along with Mistwood Sr. Fitter Eric Russell, have helped get customers the best shafts on the market in tough times over recent months.

Mistwood Fitting Specialist Matt Carter, inserts the new Brava shaft into the Callaway Rogue ST Driver.

So upon arriving at Mistwood, I set up in the hitting bay and warmed up hitting about 30 balls.

THEN COMES the fun part, as Carter and I start to test my current driver and shaft, before switching my driver the Callaway Rogue ST, into the new Brava driver shaft.

My current shaft is good shaft, it’s the Project X Cypher Black Graphite. A shaft that tested well against my longtime shaft of choice, Fujikura. So it will take some doing by the BGT Brava Driver shaft for me to make a change. But with Carter running the numbers, I’ll see what the data gives us.

The new BGT-Brava Driver Shaft.

BGT says the thinking put into in it’s putter shaft, went into creating Brava.

The Brava Driver Shaft was built as a lightweight shaft. It delivers power and consistency to perform shot after shot, regardless of the golfers swing speed or model of driver. But is built to deliver maximum ball speed, smash factor, reduce spin and produce more center strikes from a better face angle.

While testing head to head, BGT’s results found Brava was up to 10 yards longer than two of the top performing shafts on the market.

BREAKTHROUGH GOLF CEO and Founder Barney Adams added these thoughts. “This shaft was in development for a while, so we are thrilled with the performance. What golfer doesn’t want to hit more good shots. We started best performance attributes in our Stability shafts and let that inspire us to develop a world class driver.”

The Brava shaft is designed with Speedflite NRG technology, and built with premium Toray carbon fiber. This is 10x the strength of steel at a fraction of the weight. So this becomes less energy required when swinging, with better results into an exceptionally stable driver head. For more distance and a tighter ball dispersion.

So Carter and I started to see if BGT-Brava could back-up it’s claims.

Mistwood fitting specialist Matt Carter points out the improvements to my drives using the new Brava driver Shaft.

After Carter put the Brava into my Callaway Rogue ST driver, after a good series of drives my current shaft, the results became apparent quickly.

My drives started landing in places, I wasn’t used to seeing on the Mistwood range.

I had one of those Uh-oh moments where you don’t quite believe what your seeing. So I realized right away that I was gaining distance. But how much distance, and why were my numbers looking better. So after some 10-15 more drives, I stopped hitting and joined Carter at the computer screen to see what the numbers said.

I could tell Carter seemed surprised by what he was seeing. So was I, when I heard the numbers. Because 20+ yards gained in carry alone was stunning. I had more roll-out. But my spin-rate was also way down, my ball speed and smash-factor were trending-up in the right direction. This all done on well used range balls. Not with new Callaway, Titleist or Bridgestone golf balls, fresh out of the sleeve.

But if there was one thing I still have to dial-in, it is my dispersion. Because the new gains had me hitting the ball a little further left than normal. So my set-up might need to get altered. But the new Brava shaft won so many categories, I can say this. The shaft has a new home, in my Callaway Rogue ST-driver.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR Mistwood Golf Club Fitting Specialist Matt Carter break down the numbers, for results by Rory Spears using the new BGT Brava driver shaft.

Mistwood Fitting Specialist Matt Carter when asked about what he saw from the BGT Brava driver shaft.

I asked Carter if the new Brava shaft could be and option for customers at the Top 100 ranked in the country by Golf Digest, Mistwoood Performance Center in Romeoville. Stay tuned, I’m sure Carter and Russell will discuss the idea moving forward. In the meantime, if your a golfer looking into buying a new driver, or improving the one you have.

Then check out and test the new BGT Brava driver shaft. It will make a difference in your game. BGT is coming out with new shafts for wedges, so stay tuned. The Brava driver shaft is $399.99 at


WELCOME to LIV GOLF bringing the golf fan a new style of professional golf. Fantastic fun for all ages. The stars of golf return to the Chicago area, for tickets see

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.

A close up look at what was rumored to be a dead-green. Well it’s not.

DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT the dead greens at Rich Harvest Farms, site of the LIV Golf Series from September 16-18 next month.

BECAUSE IF YOU DID, forget about it, not true, a total falsehood.

With LIV Golf coming to town in less than 30 days, was their a misunderstanding, or did someone try intentionally to give the event a bad name.

The hot rumor at the recent Western Amateur was that Rich Harvest Farms, home of an upcoming LIV Series of Golf event, had lost a couple if it’s greens. Perhaps more of them were in trouble. Rich Harvest Farms owner Jerry Rich’s attempt to restore major professional golf to the Chicago area was failing.

WELL GUESS WHAT-nothing could be further from the truth. So those who have tickets, or want tickets while you can still get them. Will see a really good golf tournament from Sept. 16-18 in Sugar Grove. Perhaps some incredible putting by some of the best players in the world, on some of the best greens in the windy city area.

Another one of the greens in question, RHF hole Silver 7, the par 5.

Golfers on Golf reached out to Jerry Rich after the rumor broke. Rich and RHF Vice President/Marketing Alex Kline Wedeen, offered the opportunity to come see the greens in person and see first-hand their condition.

On Monday afternoon shortly after a quick but fierce summer storm blew through the golf course, GOG went and did a green and golf course tour and in this case, inspection.

The tour conducted by Wedeen, included a visit from superintendent Jeff VerCautren. Who explained what was done to the two greens in question. In late spring two greens had a POA issue, so Rich and VerCautren made the decision to make repairs. Because this would make those two greens, roll as pure as the other 16 greens. Tournament or no tournament, it was work that needed to be done. So it was.

After walking on the greens in question, and crawling around on them as well. You could the tournament now. So LIV golfers should enjoy putting on all 18 greens at Rich Harvest Farms next month.

But the fact that this rumor/story was even going around, was “frustrating and disappointing” said Wedeen.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE FULL INTERVIEW with Rich Harvest Farms VP Alex Kline-Wedeen.

Hospitality is getting close to being “sold-out” for the tournament.

Rich Harvest Farms has a great history of hosting championships, amateur, junior, women’s professional and more.

So from the early looks of things, the LIV Golf experience will be a really good one.

Better than the PGA Tour, that remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, it will be different and likely more fun.

Earlier today, more players announced they would leave the PGA Tour and join LIV Golf. The list included Cam Smith the current “Champion Golfer of the Year” with his recent win at St. Andrews in the Open Championship.

Smith had his reasons for making the move, yes money was part of it. But the chance to spend more time in his homeland of Australia was too much to pass up. Even more players could leave for the LIV after the Presidents Cup. So stay tuned.

By the way, did you hear the story about how great the greens are at Rich Harvest Farms. Yes-you just did.

Learn more about LIV Golf at


MISTWOOD FITTING SPECIALIST MATT CARTER studies the numbers and explains the data to Rory Spears or Golfers on Golf. So do you need an explanation on what’s in your bag, do your current clubs stack-up with the new models. Find out at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville from Carter or Eric Russell at (815)-254-3333.

The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy at the 18tee box of the Pine Valley Golf Club-Pine Valley New Jersey.


Which is always a good thing in my book-LOL.

Rory McIlroy came from behind-six strokes behind to win the PGA Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

Which comes with a big payday, a LIV Series of Golf-like payday. But McIlroy is on the other side of the fence, the PGA Tour’s side of the fence, which maybe or not a good thing.

But does this win take the sting out of four great finishes in the major championships, Top 10’s and all. However McIlroy came away with no wins. So now with the opportunity to take a break from the course, McIlroy has other issues to deal with.

FIRST-UP there is that Subpoena to deal with, in a lawsuit that is coming out from the LIV Series of golf. Both McIlroy and his new business partner Tiger Woods have now been Subpoenaed, hey guys have fun at the depositions scheduled for Sept. 21 and 22 in Jupiter Florida.

THEN THERE IS THAT NEW TECH BUSINESS that McIlroy and Woods have teamed up to create, launching new golf platforms starting 2024. Monday night golf is back along with other golf events. McIlroy should really watch out for who he signs up as a business partner to work with.

THE TOUR INSIDE OF A TOUR is what new commissioner Tiger Woods (or so he thinks) has put on the table. Commissioner for now Jay Monahan who created the current situation in golf by playing hardball from Day 1, seems to be staying out of the way.

20 plus new events for the elite players, with more money on the table. Protected tournaments on the tour include Arnold Palmer’s tourney at Bay Hill, and the Jack Nicklaus tournament The Memorial at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

BUT WHAT DOES it do for the other tournaments, not getting the big payout money from the tour or the sponsor. Chicago already has only 1 BMW Championship in the next four years. But has always had the John Deere Classic as another PGA Tour stop in Illinois. Problem is that the JDC doesn’t seem to be getting any help the PGA Tour office, in being attractive to top players or to the golf fans of the Midwest. Even the AT&T at Pebble Beach might be getting hung out to dry.

THE CHANGES have hit home already in Florida. Where the championship directors at the Honda Classic and the Valspar are in the scramble mode. Because they need to find a way to attract top players with purses smaller than other tournaments.

THIS NEW FORMAT seems to be another ploy by the PGA Tour to steal other folks ideas or the LIV Series of Golf playbook. Hey Jay it seems pretty simple, can’t beat them-join them.

FOR THOSE OF YOU who keep track of such stats. The research is out on which companies have had players with their drivers win the most tournaments on the PGA Tour this year. Titleist leads the way by a small margin over TaylorMade and Callaway. But if you throw in the numbers from Europe and the other tours, the stats may change.

I WILL go visit Rich Harvest Farms tomorrow and get a look at things in advance of the LIV Series of Golf, including the greens that were in question. So more to come on that topic-stay tuned.

I was bummed to see Northbrook’s Nick Hardy run out of gas today at the Korn-Ferry Tour event. Because after rounds of 64 and 65 to start the day T-2. Hardy backed up almost 30 spots with a +6 final round. Here’s hoping Hardy has a chance to get his PGA Tour card back for 2023. Highwood’s Patrick Flavin missed the cut in the Korn-Ferry event by a shot. This too, was a big week for him.

USGA SENIOR WOMEN’S OPEN at NCR-Conway Farms Jamie Fischer rallied on the weekend for a Top 20 finish (T-19). Mistwood Golf Club’s Nicole Jeray had her best round yesterday a 77 to finish in 43rd place. It was great to see both players make the cut and play all four days to get a check.

I’m back at Mistwood GC trying a new shaft by BGT Golf vs what’s in my Callaway driver. Specialist Matt Carter will help with the testing. Details and a review coming before long.

The Gog Blog returns all week. RS


  RICH HARVEST FARMS in Sugar Grove welcomes the LIV Series of Golf Sept. 16-18 so check out you can purchase your tickets today. The fun starts now.

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 late Jim McWethy (L) with Rory Spears (R) outside the Mistwood Clubhouse in Romeoville.


THE RETURN of the McWethy Cup, a memorial to the late owner of the club, Jim McWethy.

McWethy passed away in 2020, from a lung disease. But before he did, he built a lasting legacy in the Mistwood Golf Club and Mistwood Golf Dome.

One piece at time, McWethy rebuilt Mistwood with architect Ray Hearn back-on-board, redesigned the golf course, then the practice area, and then finally the Mistwood Clubhouse. Then McWethy started rebuilding and rebranding the Mistwood golf dome.

THE MCWETHY CUP is Tuesday September 13th, and raises money for PGA Hope and the veterans of this country. So learn more at or call (815)-254-3333.

CLUB CHOICE IRELAND is offering stays at the Martello Hotel, in Bray County, Wicklow. Learn more at

PINE MEADOW GOLF CLUB in Mundelein has announced a change in it’s driving range hours starting on Labor Day Monday, September 5th. Because range ball sales for the day will now end at 6 PM instead of 7 PM. More information call (847)-566-4653.

St. Andrew Golf Course in Scotland-the Swilcan bridge on the 18th hole.

ST. ANDREWS of SCOTLAND has announced the return of advanced tee times in 2023, for the first time before the start of the Covid-Pandemic.

Advanced tee-times have been on hold for over two years.

The ballot for tee times has just reopened and will run through the 7th of September.

But now you can also arrange tee times for the other six St. Andrews golf courses. But for more information on St. Andrews golf packages please visit Applicants will receive the results of the ballot process this October.

SQAIRZ GOLF SHOES is running a Labor Day sale. So now you can save $25 on all Mesh style Sqairz golf shoes. Buy now and receive a special gift.

GOLF DIGEST MAGAZINE has ranked the top golf courses in South Carolina. 11 of those courses are in Myrtle Beach. See which ones made the list at

DAYTONA BEACH area golf is now offering three exciting golf packages, to this now growing golf destination. So check out all the offers at Daytonabeach.Golf.

WILLOWBROOK BASED CLUB CHAMPION continues to grow across America, with the opening of four new locations. But right now there are specials at these new locations that include Albuquerque New Mexico, Wayne PA., San Jose California, and Princeton New Jersey. See more at

The Lawn at Deerpath Golf Course is open.

THE LAWN AT DEERPATH the Chicago area’s largest new putting green, will host a qualifier for the national championship of PopStroke which will be held later this year in Orlando Florida.

POPSTROKE has recently opened locations in several place around Florida, which include Fort Myers, Sarasota, Port St. Lucie and Orlando.

The Deerpath qualifier in Lake Forest will run from 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday September 10th. The competition is nine-holes and each round costs $10 dollars. But the top two finishers at Deerpath will be into the national championship and play for money from a purse of over $100,000 dollars.

But for more information visit the Deerpath golf course website

More photo’s on Facebook-Rory Spears or on Twitter @GogBlogGuy. The Gog Blog returns all week. RS


COME SEE The STARS of PROFESSIONAL GOLF-at Rich Harvest Farms Sept. 16-18.

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.

Fox Lake Golf Club-Fox Lake Illinois. Now for Sale.

FOX LAKE GOLF CLUB is for sale through Links Capital Advisors of Wilmette Illinois

Chris Charnas is handling the sale for the club and LCA.

The golf course is 98 years old and  now approaching it’s centennial season. The club consists of 106 acres, and is active with a positive cash flow. Current ownership is looking to move on to other ventures.

The property is suited for future development with water and sewer to the site and zoning in place for a residential development. There is minimal wetlands on the property so a developer can maximize the economic potential of the property.

So for more information email Chris at to receive an NDA. Or call Chris at (312)-543-7192.


MISTWOOD GOLF ON RENWICK ROAD IN ROMEOVILLE is your place for club fitting and club testing. Fitting specialists Matt Carter (above with Golfers on Golf’s Rory Spears) and Eric Russell (not pictured) can help you determine of the time is right for new equipment in your golf bag. Learn more at or call (815)-254-3333.

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

Callaway CEO Chip Brewer. Photo courtesy of Callaway Golf.


YESTERDAY company CEO Chip Brewer released this statement.

“I am excited to announce that Callaway Golf will be changing it’s name to Topgolf Callaway Brands”.

Because today’s announcement acknowledges our transformation as the leader of the dynamic and inclusive ecosystem, including both on-course and off-course golf, which we call “Modern Golf”.  But this comes with a strong, active lifestyle presence”.

“So our new corporate identity reflects the rich heritage of of the Callaway brand while reinforcing the robust growth momentum associated with Top Golf.”

“We are proud of our strong portfolio of global brands, including Top golf, Callaway, TravisMathew, Toptracer, Odyssey, Ogio, Jack Wolfskin, and WGT. Because this is an exciting time for Topgolf Callaway Brands that supports positive change focusing on inclusivity, diversification, growth and opportunity.”

“So as we undergo our name change, please note that this will not impact our business with you, nor will it change our go-to-market strategy with any of our brands. So business will remain as usual, and we will continue to provide you with the highest level of service. Topgolf Callaway Brands will continue to led by the current Callaway Golf Company management team.”

“In closing, we greatly appreciate your trust and your business. Because you are one of our valued customers. It is a pleasure serving you. So we look forward to continuing our strong partnership with your company.”





THE LIV SERIES OF GOLF is coming to Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove running from September 16-18. So get tickets today and see where the stars play.

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.

Chadd Slutzky wins the 30th CDGA Mid-Amateur at Evanston Country Club. Photo Courtesy of the CDGA.

Chadd Slutzky (Deer Park) continued his exciting run of golf, in the summer of 2022, by winning the 30th Illinois State Mid-Amateur championship at Evanston Country Club.

Slutzky’s final round of 71 (-9) forthe championship, gave Slutzky a one-shot win over Andrew Price (Lake Bluff).

Slutzky tied with Price with one hole to play, managed a critical up and down for par on the 18th green, while Price three-putted to give Slutzky a 1 shot win.

” I have not had a stretch like this before. I don’t think,” said Slutzky. “It means a lot. It’s not a fluke, I’m a good Mid-Am golfer. I can win tournaments when I’m under pressure.”

Slutzky now has three titles in the Illinois State Mid-AM, (2015-2019 and 2022), and has won seven times in CDGA Championships, including three Four-ball titles and the 2017 CDGA  Mid-AM victory.

Slutzky gets another big chance to play Mid-Amateur golf, when he competes in the USGA Mid-Am Championship September 10-15 at Erin Hills and second course the Blue Mound Country Club in Wisconsin.

CDGA Championships for 2022 continue at the 36th Illinois State Senior Amateur Championship at Riverside Golf Club September 19-21.


THE PRO SHOP MERCHANDISE at Heritage Oaks Golf Club on Dundee Road located in Northbrook. Never know what might be on sale. (847)-291-2351

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.

Brian Carroll with the trophy after winning the 2022 IPGA Section Championship at Makray Memorial.

BRIAN CARROLL wins his first IPGA Major, the section championship at Makray Memorial, in a three-hole playoff over University of Illinois men’s golf coach Mike Small, who was bidding to the win the championship for his 15th time.

Carroll went birdie-par-birdie on the three playoff holes, while Small recorded three straight pars during the playoff session.

But things weren’t going so well for Carroll of the The Hawk Country Club at the turn. So you have heard the term before, it all starts up during the back nine on Sunday. But in this case, it’s the back-nine on Wednesday.

University of Illinois Men’s Golf Coach Mike Small putts for birdie on the second playoff hole against Brian Carroll.

Carroll made the turn at 1 under par, hoping to put up a 4 under par score on the back-nine. Which is no easy chore at Makray Memorial.

But Carroll even surprised himself a little, when he went 5 under par on the back nine. Carroll thought if he could post a low number, with several groups still on the golf course, anything could happen and it did.

Because Carroll (67), Small (68) and Roy Biancalana (69) were the only players to shoot under 70. Second round leader Kyle Donovan from Oak Park Country Club, shot in the 70’s for the first time in the championship finishing up with a 75.

Curtis Malm the new General Manager at the White Eagle Golf Club, who was looking to finish out a career Grand Slam in IPGA major championships. Shot an even par 71 to end up T-3. Defending champion Andy Mickelson mounted a brief charge, but fell back to an even par 71 and T-6 finish with Donovan.

There was one player that Carroll didn’t count out and that was Small. Small the 14 time winner of the tournament didn’t disappoint, mounting a late charge, that included a birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff. Neither Carroll or Small had won a playoff in IPGA play, so something had to give.

Too much sand-was a problem for defending champion Andy Mickelson of Mistwood Golf Club.

Carroll hit the fairway and the green on the 16th hole, serving as playoff hole #1. Small pushed his drive into the right rough and his approach came up just short.

But Small’s chip from down in the front gulley, almost went in the hole stopping less than two feet short of the cup resulting in an easy par putt.

But Carroll drained his birdie putt from 10 feet to take a one-shot lead.

The par-3 17th saw both players hit front the of the green. But the problem was a back-left pin placement. Carroll’s attempt to duplicate his 70 foot birdie putt on the hole during regulation, rolled 5 feet past the cup. Small about 15 feet closer than Carroll, then had a birdie putt to tie the playoff. But Small’s putt broke-off and went five past the hole.

Both players made par, so it was on to the par-5 18th hole. Carroll hit the fairway, and Small was just barely into the right rough with their tee shots. Small’s approach landed in the right greenside bunker. But then Carroll hit the same bunker with his approach shot.

Small playing first hit his bunker shot to 18 feet, with Carroll then putting his bunker shot to 10 feet. After Small missed his birdie putt, Carroll made his putt to win the championship and his first Illinois PGA major championship. Which ended a string of second place finishes for Carroll in various Illinois PGA major’s.

CLICK HERE to hear the interview with champion Brian Carroll of The Fox Country Club.

The following players also qualified for the national club professional championship in 2023, to be held in New Mexico.

Carroll, Jeff Kellen of Butler National Golf Club, Malm, Biancalana of Blackberry Oaks Golf Course, Mickelson and frank Hohenadel of Mistwood Golf Club, Donovan, Matt Rion of Briarwood Country Club and Kevin Flack of the Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club.

Earning alternate spots were in order, Eric Hoff Bryn Mawr Country Club, Chris French Aldeen Golf Club, Steve Gillie of Stonebridge Country Club, John Billiter of the Heritage Oaks Golf Club.

AFTER ROUND 1 Golfers on Golf spoke with IPGA board or committee members Andy Mickelson and Curtis Malm, both about their play in the tournament. But also about the golf business in Illinois, and the competition participation levels in the IPGA. This years field was the smallest in years for the section championship.

CLICK HERE to here the interviews with Mickelson and Malm.

IPGA Executive Director Carrie Williams has agreed to offer more on the business side and competition side of the Illinois PGA in an upcoming interview. That interview will be posted here after being conducted.

But to view more photo’s of the champion, visit Rory Spears on Facebook and or GogBlogGuy-Rory Spears on Twitter.


MISTWOOD GOLF CLUB FITTING SPECIALIST MATT CARTER works with Golfers on Golf Rory Spears on club testing in the Mistwood Performance Center in Romeoville. Do you clubs need testing to determine if you need a full or partial fitting. In this case Carter explained it was time for Rory to upgrade his fairway woods and change the loft on new Callaway Rogue Driver. So learn more at or (815)-254-3333

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.

Oak Park Country Club’s First Assistant Professional Kyle Donovan pumps his fist after closing out his second round with a birdie putt.

Writing from Makray Memorial in Barrington.

OAK PARK COUNTRY CLUB’s First assistant professional Kyle Donovan shot a second round 2-under par 69, to take a two shot lead into the third and final round of the Illinois PGA Section Championship at Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington Illinois.

Donovan is no stranger to the golf course, since he grew up playing junior tournaments at Makray. Which is a benefit many of the other professionals in the 106 player field did not have.

Makray is hosting the championship for the first time. But the club has proved to be a good test for the states best professionals, even with conditions that have not been that difficult.

Between Illinois Junior Golf tournaments, and high school golf tournaments, Makray has been a home for those learning the game in their early years. But it’s earning a name this week with the best professionals from Illinois.

But while Donovan has a two shot lead heading into the final round of 18 holes, he better not turn around. Because chasing Donovan from two shots behind, is University of Illinois Men’s golf coach Mike Small. Small has won the championship only 14 times over the years, including one stretch of 8 years in a row.

Small told Tim Cronin of the Illinois Golfer after Round 2, that he is working on a swing change. Because Small admits to being frustrated in his play over the last two years. Will that new swing hold up in Round 3 for Small is the question.

Butler National’s Jeff Kellen is also three under par and is playing steady golf. Kellen like Donovan is looking for his first IPGA major and section championship win. But in Donovan’s case, he has only been eligible to play in the event for about three months.

But maybe a bit of a surprise to be chasing only two shots, is White Eagle Golf Club’s Director of Golf/GM Curtis Malm. Because while Malm has been close to winning the championship before, second place on more than one occasion is still not a win. So for Malm what a win on Wednesday would mean, would be the IPGA career Grand Slam.

Malm previously won the Illinois Open (as an amateur) then the Match Play Championship. But most recently at The Knollwood Club, the Players Championship. Malm’s second place was a close loss to Steve Orrick at Stonewall Orchard.

Defending champion Andy Mickelson of Mistwood Golf Club is five shots back at even par and in sixth place. Mickelson frustrated with his game, was seen on the range two hours after his second round was complete hitting balls. Mickelson is tied with Roy Biancalana who was the low IPGA professional at the Illinois Open earlier this month.

CLICK HERE to hear the full interview with Oak Park Country Club’s Kyle Donovan.

The leaders tee off at 9:40 am Wednesday for the final round of the 2022 IPGA Section Championship. RS


THE 2022 BMW CHAMPIONSHIP has a repeat champion in Patrick Cantlay who won in 2021 at Caves Valley. (R) Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey, it is still ranked #1.

The Gog Blog by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy on the 18th tee at the Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey.

PATRICK CANTLAY has won it again, he is your 2022 BMW Championship, champion.

Cantlay now has a strong chance to win the Fed Ex Cup playoffs two years in a row. Because he is the first player to defend his title in a Fed Ex Cup playoff event.

But he could also be the first player to win the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, in back to back years with a strong showing in Atlanta.

Cantlay’s comments about PGA Tour events having weaker fields because of the LIV series of golf was interesting. But what was surprising was all the talk because Tiger flew in for a meeting with Rickie Fowler. So what’s the point of Tiger flying in, did it change anything. Not likely but time will tell.

Players made comments saying commissioner Woods. But is Woods lobbying for the job, maybe he should retire and take on the position. There is talk about a new business model for the tour, with money coming in from the UK. Might we see a change at the commissioner position. Some publications are already calling out Jay Monahan, saying he is “commissioner for now.” Monahan getting let-go would be the right move.

The final round of the BMW Championship saw BMW having to come up with another scholarship for a deserving caddie. Because Viktor Hovland’s hole-in-one on the par-3 second hole earned a scholarship from BMW. It was the sixth ace during the BMW, when that happens, BMW contributes a scholarship to the WGAESF. Great job BMW.

SPEAKING OF THE BMW the release came out this week about future BMW Championship sites for 2025 and 2026. Chicago was NOT selected. But for those of you thinking this has something to do with the LIV Series of Golf coming to Rich Harvest Farms, you have guessed wrong.

Because it has everything to do with the Presidents Cup coming to Medinah Country Club in 2026. Plus the fall out effects of spending big dollars for hospitality in 2026. But after a run of one BMW Championship in the Chicago area over a span of six years. One would think the 2027 BMW comes here during the last year of their contract.

But the feeling is that Chicago is being abandoned by the Western Golf Association (WGA). But I don’t totally agree with that-at least for now. Starting in 2027, there needs to be renewed commitment to Chicago, regardless of who is the sponsor. OR EVEN what the state of professional golf is by that time.

THE LIV SERIES OF GOLF is coming to Jerry Rich’s Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove September 16-18. But by then the field could be really good, as reports have as many as 5 Top 30 players making the move to LIV at the end of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs. But more Top 50 players will join LIV after the President’s Cup next month. I’ll have plenty more coming on the LIV Series of Golf by next weekend.

PINE VALLEY GOLF CLUB in Pine Valley New Jersey is really good. Because now that I have played the course, I can tell you the club is worth the #1 ranking it has had for years. A future column on Pine Valley is coming next week.

THE U.S. SENIOR WOMEN’S OPEN this week at NCR Country Club in Ohio. I had a chance to play the golf course, NCR South last year and it’s a really good Dick Wilson design. The ladies will enjoy the golf course. I’m rooting on our two local players Nicole Jeray of Mistwood Golf Club and Jamie Fischer from Conway Farms. Fischer grew up only a few blocks away from the club. So this is like a home game for her.

CONGRATULATIONS TO SAM BENNETT from Texas on winning the U.S. Amateur championship 2 Up over Ben Carr at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. I’ve had the pleasure to talk twice one-on-one with Bennett in recent years, and he is a good kid. Bennett showed up at the Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms only days after his father passed away, urged on by his family to do so. Bennett responded by winning the Team USA award voted on by his teammates. He told me that meant a lot to him. I wish Bennett the best moving forward in his golf career.

THE ILLINOIS PGA SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP tee’s off Round 1 today at Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington. Defending champion Andy Mickelson of the Mistwood Golf Club heads up a small but strong field of 108 players. According to record and stat guy Tim Cronin of the Illinois Golfer, it’s the smallest field going back to 2007. Maybe even longer than that. In 2019 the field was 133 players, from 2007 through 2012 it was larger than 150 players. Where are all the Illinois PGA professionals ?

Golfers on Golf will be onsite to provide coverage. The Gog Blog returns all week long. RS