THE SCHAUMBURG GOLF CLUB has closed down it’s outdoor operation for 2018, but the indoor upgraded simulator bays are in full swing for winter months. Have your game ready for when the club opens in 2019, and then reopens the Baer Nine around July 1st to have 18 holes of it’s 27 holes restored. You think Tiger vs Phil is exciting, well how about you vs anyone in your match. Play Ryder Cup matches vs your friends on the 2018 Ryder Cup Venue Le Golf National, or 2020 venue Whistling Straits. Several other Top 100 courses have been added as well. See or call (847)-885-9000 to make your tee times. Also enjoy food & beverage from Chandlers Chop House

Hear-Schaumburg Golf Club GM Jon Parsons on the indoor simulator facilities @SGC

THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Facebook, Twitter @GogBlogGuy and Linkedin. By the fire place in McWethy’s Tavern at Mistwood Golf Club.

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR, where I write the annual column about shopping for golfers around the holiday season.

It’s not hard to do in fact it’s pretty easy, so read along and I’ll have you tee off in the right direction.

I know there are those of you who just go out and buy, and figure it’s the surprise that counts, and if something doesn’t quite work out, well he or she can just return it.

Well save yourself the time and hassle and make sure you get it right the first time. There are plenty of things you can buy an avid golfer. Not just clubs or golf balls, or hats or a shirt, you the shopper have plenty of options, which is always a good thing.

Starting at the top, you can get clubs, but don’t even bother unless you know exactly what to buy. Don’t rely on the fact he or she always seems to like the Titleist, Callaway, Taylor Made or Wilson Ad’s. Did your favorite golfer love the Driver vs Driver 2 show on the Golf Channel, did they say the new Wilson Cortex Driver that won the contest looks cool. Well maybe so, but don’t get fooled by the adjustment slider on the bottom of the club and think that’s all your favorite golfer needs. You need to know shaft type, length, type of grip they are comfortable with, and in some cases the color of the club head they might want.

The Wilson Cortex Driver $499.00, is one of the hot new drivers that is just on the market.

What if ? they don’t need a driver, it’s about fairway woods, or do they play Hybrids, what about Irons, wedges and putters. Do you want to buy a full set or one club.

If your buying any amount of clubs, get them fit first. You can buy your favorite golfer a fitting, and ask before you get a fitting certificate, if there is a discount for new equipment for golfers that have used a fitter and wish to buy direct from the location of the fitting. Would you buy a suit not fitted, would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive, the same applies with golf clubs.

There are fitting shops such as Chicago based Club Champion (multiple locations), True Spec Golf (Highland Park), the new PXG store in Northbrook is the place to go, for PXG clubs only. Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and multiple top teachers are now endorsing Club Champion. You can get fit at PGA Tour Superstores, now with three locations (Downers Grove,Schaumburg, and Vernon Hills). The Mistwood Golf Dome in Bolingbrook is another outstanding option.

LESSONS…never a bad idea, regardless of how good your golfer might be. Mistwood now has LPGA veteran Nicole Jeray at the dome and at the golf course. Jeray is focusing on women and junior girls but is great option for any golfer. The rest of the Mistwood teaching and fitting staff is as good as it gets around town. But the Chicago market is fortunate to have plenty of great teachers around the area.

Mistwood instructor Dan Phillips (L) works with a student at the Mistwood Golf Dome.

Fitting is also something you can do with golf balls, get the right brand and the right type. Do you want just a certain brand, or that brand’s X-model- or soft model, or the distance ball.

Yes there are differences.

For those of you who are more comfortable shopping for apparel. There are plenty of options to pick from. It’s not just about shirts or hats anymore.

Pants, rain or all-weather suits are options. Sunglasses are getting designed for golf , what about golf gloves, tees, socks, shoes, pull-overs with long or short sleeves. Does your golfer need some decorations for the home or the office. Golf ball collection racks, and or golf art, golf glass-wear are just three more options. Does your die-hard golfer go play in the rain, if so they might need an a new umbrella, that also holds up on windy days. Waterproof golf shoes for wet or rainy days are a great idea.

Class inductee of the 2019 World Golf Hall of Fame Jan Stephenson is among the latest golfer to have their own line of wines and in Jan’s case, Rum.

Your favorite golfer probably enjoys a beverage after golf, and might enjoy some wine or other type of drink.

Golfers have been coming out with their own lines of wine for years. David Frost started the idea, but it was Greg Norman who really grabbed the ball and ran with it, coming out with several types made in Australia. Jack Nicklaus has his line of wine and ice-cream.

Ernie Els has his wines and so does Luke Donald and Jan Stephenson. Illinois PGA professional Fred Robinson has a distillery up in Lake Zurich north of Chicago (Copper Fiddle), with several types of flavors to pick from.

Pinehurst Resort now has it’s own brewery, and it’s a must visit. Photo by Joy Sarver, of Len Ziehm on Golf.

What about destination travel. There is nothing better you can do for your serious northern based golfer, than getting them down south this winter to a place where they can take the clubs.

A gift certificate toward a stay & play at a golf resort is a wonderful idea. Many of them have fantastic spas and fun casino’s.

There are several properties that host professional tournaments in the winter months, so plan accordingly.

Pinehurst NC. has just reopened Course #4 by Gil Hanse, #4 will be used as part of the 2019 USGA Amateur Championship next August. Innisbrook in Florida home of the Valspar Championship, is home to Copperhead a great course anyone can play, and recently renovated rooms that open this week. There are more options in Arizona if your headed through Las Vegas or out that way for Cubs or White Sox spring training. You can wait until next spring or summer to enjoy resorts a little more up north like the French Lick Resort down in Southern Indiana, that will be opening nice new suites in 2019 right alongside the casino.

If your golfer is a sports fan, there are plenty of stores that sell Zero Friction golf products, that include golf gloves with team, or college logo’s on them. Some golf facilities do give you more bang for the buck on gift cards. Buy $100 worth and get $125 worth, maybe a free round of golf for next spring. DuPage Golf has the holiday bonus gift cards available now at

There are plenty of ways to fix up your golfer by the 25th of December, just review your options of how to do it the right way, before you buy. 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.