EAGLE RIDGE RESORT & SPA OWNER MARK KLAUSNER (L) AND NEW GM STEVE GEISZ are getting the Eagle Flying High Again. #DontTakeUSforGranted for booking your next getaway, please visit 63 Holes of Golf and more.

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.

(L-R) Eagle Ridge owner Mark Klausner, Marketing Director Colin Sanderson, General US Grant, Rory Spears.


Last week the General Golf Course at Eagle Ridge in Galena IL., celebrated it’s 25th anniversary. I was proud to be back after 25 years to play it all over again.

Because on May 27th of 1997, The General opened for play with a grand opening outing.

Eagle Ridge members, homeowners, some golf staff members, media members, vendors and VIP hosts Bears Coach Dave Wannstedt and his wife Jan were on-hand for the opening.

So were some “Union Soldiers” and General U.S. Grant, or at least someone who looked like and maybe smelled like he did back in the 1860’s. The civil war era cannon was aimed down the first fairway, when Wannstedt suggested it be re-aimed and fired towards Green Bay.

The weather on May 27th 1997 wasn’t that great, it was overcast all day and the temperatures never hit 60. But this time with a 30-minute delay involved, the rain stopped shortly before the start, and as Eagle Ridge Director of Golf Mike Weiler read the format for the day, the sun came out and stayed out until almost the end of play. The temperature this time around made it up to 69 degrees.

So this time there were no Porta-Potties, but real bathrooms. The courses was in great shape in-spite of a 1/2 inch of rain in the morning. But this time the winners were determined on the golf course. Not in a putt-off in the clubhouse bar. There were contests on every hole that made for so much fun. This time there was only 13 foursome’s with few last minute cancellations due to the rain, those people sure made a mistake. This years outing never saw 1 drop of rain. I think two years from now will be the 40th anniversary of the South Course, outing please.

Eagle Ridge owner Mark Klausner shows off the new Stonedrift Spa, which will be a difference maker for the resort.

A FEW THINGS HAVE CHANGED at Eagle Ridge, since I was last there in early May.

Because the Stonedrift Spa is much closer to opening, and finally will open in just a few weeks. I took an updated tour with resort owner Mark Klausner and this spa looks really good. I think those who enjoy spa’s, will love the new Stonedrift Spa.

But back downstairs in the main-inn building, I found new General Manager Steve Geisz, who has now been on the job for 4 months. Geisz an 8 year U.S. Army veteran of Operation Desert Storm, is working to get the spa opened before moving on to another project.

BUT WHAT WILL THOSE PROJECTS BE. It appears that a restoration of the Main-Inn seems to be on-tap, with updated look outside and redone rooms on the inside. But for you golfers, the practice areas and range will see improvements. So stay tuned.

CONGRATULATIONS to IPGA member Roy Biancalana on qualifying for the 2023 Senior PGA Championship in Frisco Texas. The first major championship played on the courses at the new home of the PGA of America.

THE FIGHT CONTINUES for World Golf ranking points. But it’s time for a few members of the board at the OWGR to resign for conflict of interest reasons. If things are not settled quickly.

THE WEATHER GETS BETTER later this week, but outdoor golf season is slipping away. So get out and play while you can. The Gog Blog returns this week. RS

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WCPT AM820 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.