IRONS & WOODS coming this fall to Long Grove IL., Chicago area are you ready for a year round golf season. HDGolf simualtors, slots and more in the new fun location. You can find Irons & Woods on Rt. 53 North of Lake Cook Road (Behind the Menards store). ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS. Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter @GogBlogGuy. On the putting clock at Medinah CC.

WHAT A WEEK that came to an end on Sunday night.

Medinah, the BMW Championship, the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods, and golf in general, are raising a lot of questions.

First of all, it’s not a surprise that Justin Thomas won the championship. But how he did it, with a course record 61 and by shooting 25 under par. Has left some folks with raised eyebrows.

The Medinah membership has to be stunned. Because seeing the famed #3 Course get shredded like a second course at some amateur event, that needs two courses because of field size shouldn’t happen.

The 18th hole on Medinah #3.

If 25 under par can happen on Medinah 3, what will happen on the Olympia Fields North Course, during the 2020 BMW Championship.

One former Olympia Fields member suggested on social media this past weekend, that 30 under par is not out of the question, and he might be right.

Because of the low numbers, there is some discussion, about how the PGA Tour is setting up its golf courses. But when given perfect scoring conditions, PGA Tour players will chew up any course. Maybe, the tour as they look to shrink the field each week during the playoffs, should make each course a bit tougher each week. Tighten up the fairways, and make the rough a little more penal. Instead of 3 or 4 tough pins, it should be 7 or 8 per round. Both Erin Hills and the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort can play at over 8,000 yards, now that could be fun to watch.

The late Joe Jemsek always suggested, he would put the pins in the bunkers onĀ  Course 4, Dubsdread, if the pro’s shot to low at Cog Hill. Maybe he was on to something, Joe was always ahead of his time.

THE NEW FORMAT heading into East Lake, gives Thomas a 2-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay and a score of 10 under par on the first tee come Thursday. I’ll tackle that issue on Thursday in another column.

BMW IS BACK, for at least 3 more years. That one snuck out of the car-park early in the week and caught many folks by surprise. Kudo’s to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune (The official media outlet for years, of the Western Golf Association) for breaking the story.

I spoke with Greenstein and even he was surprised at the turn of events. Greenstein said that on the Friday before championship, that he had learned that the company LG was going to be the new sponsor. But by last Monday that had all changed. And it appears yet another change at the top of BMW management, cleared the way to stick around the PGA Tour for three more years.

The champions wall by the first tee at Olympia Fields Country Club, host of the 2020 BMW Championship. Which name will join the wall in 2020, after the BMW Championship.

WHAT WE DO KNOW, is that the new deal is for three more years. And 2020 will stay at Olympia Fields on the Southside. Besides that, the future is up in the air. Apparently even the WGA doesn’t know where the tournament going beyond next year.

So the rumor-mill is this. 2021 to either Caves Valley in Maryland, outside of the great city of Baltimore. And or back to Cherry Hills near Denver Colorado. But it’s there where the picture gets fuzzy. If those sites are named as the out of town courses, what years will they host.

So will the new contract stipulate the championship must be in Chicago every other year. Could the BMW drive out of town for two straight years in 2021 and 2022. Or could 2022 be a Chicago course year, before a travel date in 2023. But again in 2023, there is no contract. Might Conway Farms in Lake Forest be on tap for 2022 ?

Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest hosted the BMW Championship in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Might they play host again in 2022.

WGA Sr. Vice President of Tournaments, Vince Pellegrino suggested the following idea during an interview with BIG 3 partner Tim Cronin and yours truly, during the Sr. Players Championship at Exmoor in 2018.

That if the tournament would be staying in town every year, he wouldn’t mind having it at Jackson Park once the course gets redone. But will it ever get done ?

So that question still lurks, but it could get answered tomorrow when City of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses city issues, and needed budget cuts. There was supposed to be a press conference at Medinah with Tiger Woods, and other key players such as Mike Keiser and Mark Rolfing, that never happened. Supporters of the course, seemed in the gloom and doom mode, and fearing the mayors comments on Tuesday might not be good news. Word is steps that need to be taken, in order for some work to get done this fall have not been completed.

SPEAKING OF WOODS the story that did not get written last weekend, was this Tigers last appearance in a tournament in Chicago. Because some people believe it is.

Tiger Woods walks to his ball in the left rough and trees, on the ninth hole. During Sunday’s final round.

Woods apparently is looking at a reduced schedule in the years ahead. Which begs the question, can he earn enough FedExCup points to make the BMW next year. Or any year.

The USGA and the PGA don’t seem to have any plans to bring the U.S. Open, or the PGA Championship, or the Ryder Cup to Chicago any time soon. That doesn’t give Woods any options to play here. Down the road if a Senior U.S. Open were to come to Chicago, and Woods actually plays in the them. That seems to be the best chance for Woods to ever play in Chicago again, if he fails to make the field at Olympia Fields next August.

THE FINAL GOLFERS ON GOLF RADIO for 2019 airs this Saturday at 10 AM, 23 weeks has flown by quickly. I hope you will join Ed Stevenson, Bill Berger and I for one more hour of golf talk on the BIG Am 750, WNDZ. The Gog Blog returns this week. Go Play, area courses are in great shape. 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.