Golf Buzz

August 1, 2015 - 3:49pm
mark.aumann's picture
Rickie Fowler
PGA Tour | Twitter
Rickie Fowler prepares to putt from 70 feet on the fourth hole Saturday.

From 70 feet away on a monster green, most of us are thinking, "Just get the ball close enough to the hole to avoid a three-putt."

Rickie Fowler obviously doesn't think that at all. Watch this birdie attempt from 70 feet on the par-3 fourth Saturday during the third round of the Quicken Loans National:

 

 

Fowler started walking well before the ball reached the hole. Perhaps he was just planning on marking it once it stopped. But there's also the possibility he knew it was on line the entire way.

In either case, just a "routine" birdie for Rickie. And a nice comeback from a bogey on the previous hole.

Chauncey Billups
KCNC-TV
Chauncey Billups began playing golf because he was looking for an activity where he could spend quality time with friends but still be home with his family in the evenings.
 
As part of his transition out of professional basketball, Chauncey Billups began playing golf about five years ago. Now that he's retired as a player and working as an analyst for ESPN, he's enjoying the game on a more regular basis.
 
He recently played a round with Vic Lombardi, the sports director at Denver's CBS affiliate, as part of Lombardi's "19th Hole" program, and shared some thoughts on the game as he and Lombardi made their way around Cherry Hills Country Club.
 
Billups – a Denver native who made five NBA All-Star teams during a 17-year career that included winning the 2004 NBA Championship with the Detroit Pistons – says he began playing golf because he was looking for an activity where he could spend quality time with friends but still be home with his family in the evenings. 
 
"It's fantastic for camaraderie. That's one of the main reasons why I started," he explained. "When basketball was over, I could still get out there with the fellas, hang out, compete and just have a good time."
 
 
talks One obstacle Billups has had to overcome, he explains, is that "every single thing I was taught (in basketball) is counterproductive in this sport. Strength, speed, overpowering your opponent." 
 
Even so, he's steadily worked his scores down into bogey-golf range. His best score so far, he says, is an 85, but confidently says he'll beat that this summer.
 
Billups showed up for his round with golf balls emblazed with "Mr. Big Shot" – the nickname he earned during the Piston's championship season. So what's the best "big shot" he's ever had on the golf course?
 
"I chipped one in from 70 yards. I felt like it was a hole-in-one," he says. "I went crazy, man!"
 
"The 19th Hole" airs on KCNC-TV after the station's coverage of the Quicken Loans National on Saturday. You can also watch anytime on the station's website.  
 
July 31, 2015 - 3:10pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Billy Hurley III
USA Today Sports Images
Willard Hurley Jr., father of PGA Tour player Billy Hurley III and missing for 12 days, was found safe and sound in Texas, "fine physically and is simply traveling."

Willard Hurley Jr., father of PGA Tour player Billy Hurley III, has been located and is safe.

It was a sigh of relief for the family and anyone else who say the younger Hurley's emotionally-charged press conference on Tuesday before the start of the Quicken Loans National in Gainesville, Va., not far his hometown of Leesburg.

Hurley pleaded for the help of the media and the public in locating his father, who had been missing from the family home for nine days.

RELATED: PGA Tour player's father is missing | Quicken Loans National leaderboard

A report by USA Today's "For the Win" blog, says Leesburg, Va., police have located the elder Hurley in Texas:

"Willard (Bill) Hurley was located safe and sound this afternoon in Texas after a citizen recognized him from earlier media releases. The citizen contacted the local police department who responded to confirm his identity," Leesburg (Va.) police spokesman Jeff Dube wrote in a statement.

Dube said on Friday that Willard Hurley told a detective he is "fine physically and is simply traveling."

"Mr. Hurley did not wish to reveal the reasons behind his departure," Dube added.

In his tearful plea just a few days ago, Billy Hurley III said: "I'm coming to you guys for help. Last Sunday, nine days ago, he took some clothes, took some cash, and no ones heard from him since … No one know why he left, he’s been married to my mom for 30 years and now he’s gone. I just want to let him know that: Dad, we love you and we want you to come home. We have no idea where he is … I just found out so hopefully he checks for my score or my tee time and realizes it’s time to come home."

Thankfully, Hurley Jr. was found safe and sound, but still with a lot of unanswered questions.
 

July 31, 2015 - 11:52am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Nick Watney
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Nick Watney made a par on Friday that was equal parts unusual and remarkable -- he got up and down from behind a cluster of port-o-potties.

On the third hole at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club on Friday in the second round of the Quicken Loans National, Nick Watney found himself in an undesirable position -- directly behind a cluster of port-o-potties.

RELATED: Quicken Loans National leaderboard | Photos from Thursday's first round

Check out this shot that Watney flushed from the toilets:

 

How about that?

Watney would make the putt for par.  

July 31, 2015 - 11:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

There is nothing about golf that I don't love. One of my absolute favorite parts about it is testing out new goodies.

With the summer here and the golf season in full swing, I figured it was a perfect time to share with you some of my favorite golf stuff that I've had the chance to try out.

Some of it will help your game and some of it is just downright cool.

DST Compressor Wedge ($99.99)

What the heck is going on with that shaft? Good question. In terms of "warm-up" clubs, this could be the greatest invention you ever lay your hands on. The scientifically curved shaft is designed to replicate the shape of a normal shaft under its maximum load during impact. Essentially, it forces you into the position where your hands need to be at impact and follow through. Even a short warm up with this club creates a quick muscle memory that you can bring right onto the course, where you're sure to hit more crisp, solid shots. It is a fantastic practice tool that truly makes an almost instant impact. For more infomation, visit www.dstgolf.com.

Big Max Blade+ Push Cart ($299.99)

OK. Before you scoff at the price, consider a few things. When you rent a golf cart, it costs anywhere from $13-$20 for 18 holes (more than that at some places). If you're an avid golfer and paying on the high end for a golf cart, you're looking at about $300 in cart fees over 15 rounds of golf. If you instead invest that money into a push cart, it eventually pays for itself. Not only that, but it has incredible benefits to your health.

Golf 2020 recently did a study on the health-related benefits of walking while golfing. Here are the key findings that were discovered:

- A walked 18-hole round, carrying a bag or using a hand/pull cart, is approximately equal to a 5-mile walk.

- The total caloric expenditure for an 18-hole round is approximately 2,000 calories for walking while carrying clubs and 1,300 calories when riding in a cart.

- Since walking is biomechanically more efficient than running, playing an 18-hole round of golf walking is roughly equivalent to a 3.5- to 4-mile run.

- When walking 18 holes of golf, blood glucose levels fall by up to 20 percent for the young, 10 percent for the middle-aged, and 30 percent for the elderly players, and body weight is slightly reduced for all groups.

- Repeated golf practice enhances balance control and confidence among all age ranges.

- Older golfers tend to have better static and dynamic balance control and confidence than non-golfing older, healthy adults.

- Regardless of handicap, sex, or course played, golfers exceed 10,000 steps during a typical round of golf -- which meets the guideline for exercise recommended by most medical and clinical physicians.

Now that you've seen the benefits of walking, let's get back to the benefits of the Big Max Blade+. I truly believe it is the next-best thing to taking a caddie. Aside from the impressive ease of unfolding, folding back together and slim storage size, I was amazed at how light it was. There was virtually no work required to navigate the course, even when going uphill. It saved a lot of energy you might not have if carrying your bag.

Also -- at least in my case -- I tend to play much better when walking than I do when riding. I have time to think about the shot I want to hit as I walk to the ball. I also had a couple of accessories added to the Big Max Blade+ -- the most useful of which was a storage net that attached to the back of the cart. This made it easy to access sunscreen, snacks, beverages and more.

You know what else I couldn't get enough of about this push cart? Not having to carry anything in my pockets. The top compartment near the handles allow storage for golf tees, a golf ball, ball marker and divot tool. You can also find room for your wallet, car keys and cellphone in the compartment.

I've tried a few push carts over the last few years. While many have a lot of the same features as the Big Max Blade+, I give the Blade+ the edge because of how light it is. Again, it's pretty much like having someone else carry your clubs for you. For more information, visit www.bigmaxgolf.com.

Bushnell Golf Tour X Laser Rangefinder ($499.99)

With a handicap that fluctuates in the 10-12 range, I long figured, "I'm not a good enough player to use a Rangefinder." After getting my hands on one, I quickly realized that I wasn't a good enough player not to have a rangefinder.

At $500, the Bushnell Tour X is expensive to be sure. But you know that old saying, "You get what you pay for?" Well, it applies here. This is the Rolls-Royce of Laser Rangefinders.

Until the Tour X came along, Bushnell offered rangefinders "with slope" and "without slope." The "with slope" version accounts for the "lay of the land" and would give the user a reading of the actual yardage to a target, along with the yardage you should play to given the elevation changes. For instance, a severely downhill shot might have a target distance in actual yardage of 150. But, with the rangefinder, the "with slope" yardage might read 135, meaning you'd want to play your 135-yard club instead. An awesome feature for amateurs, but not allowed for competition, which is why Bushnell also offers a "without slope" version.

The Tour X, however, is 2-in-1 thanks to its utilization of "Exchange Technology." There's literally a clip -- one red, one black -- that attaches to the front of the rangefinder giving you readings "with slope" when you want it and "without slope" when you can't have it.

A rangefinder is a big investment, but if you're a serious player, consider it an investment in your game and, ultimately, an investment in lower scores. Sure, we're not all pros who can hit our clubs within a yard or two of our intended target all the time. But wouldn't you hit it a lot closer to your intended target if you knew the exact yardage all the time?

Since the Tour X is accurate to within 1/2-yard, you're getting just that. For more information, visit www.bushnell.com.

Limited edition adi Camo Collection by adidas ($150-$190)

For the summer, adidas Golf has released a limited edition, individually numbered, camouflage footwear collection. The collection includes four footwear models -- adipower boost, adipower boost sport (men's and women’s) and tour360 x boa. 500 pairs of each footwear model will be available worldwide on www.adidasgolf.com and select retailers.

adidas climachill heather solid polo ($70)

This might be the lightest golf polo I've ever worn, which makes it extra nice on those hot summer days. The "cooling climachill" technology on the inside of the shirt, just below the neck, looks like aluminum dots. As you move around in the hot sun, those dots feel like someone just spilled cold water on you -- incredibly refreshing. If you're looking for a shirt to help you stay cool on a hot day, this is the one. For more information, visit www.adidasgolf.com.

Ashworth Travel Duffle ($349)

Let's face it -- if you're taking a short golf trip, you're going to need a bag to put your clothes in. Ashworth has you covered with its stylish Waxed Canvas and Leather Duffle bag. The duffle includes Old English harness leather, 18 oz. waxed canvas, an adjustable shoulder strap with rolled leather handles, embossed Ashworth branding and 200 denier lining. For more information, visit www.ashworthgolf.com.

Nike FI Impact 2 ($140)

It's amazing what golf shoes can do these days. These aren't your father's golf shoes (though I bet he'd love a pair). Over the years the golf shoe has evolved from the type of design you'd expect to see on an executive in a boardroom to something far more athletic -- so much so, that many of the new spikeless shoes can be worn on or off the golf course. That's the case with Nike's new FI Impact 2. It's designed with a stretchy yet supportive upper that adapts to the motion of your foot for a superior locked-in feel. A Nike Free-inspired outsole offers flexibility and a natural feel on the course. These shoes -- offered in four colorways -- are available on www.nikegolf.com.

Nike Golf Lockup T-Shirt ($35)

Made with Nike's contoured, Dri-FIT fabric, the Lockup T-shirt offers incredible comfort and a close fit. The soft triple-blend fabric is smooth against your skin and even when you sweat, it won't stick. All in all, it's just a fun shirt to emphasize your love of the game even when you're not on the course.You can find it at www.nikegolf.com

Alex DePallo via Twitter
Rickie Fowler provided some liquid refreshment for the media to commemorate his hole-in-one on Thursday.
 
Every golfer knows that a player who makes a hole-in-one is supposed to buy drinks for the house. That custom, no doubt, was started by golfers who never made aces.
 
Rickie Fowler and Ryo Ishikawa both made aces on Thursday at the Quicken Loans National, and Fowler's was especially cool – he made it on his last hole of the day, making it literally a walkoff hole-on-one. How often does that happen?
 
I'm not sure whether Fowler went into the massive clubhouse at the Robert Trent Jones Club and ponied up for everyone in the bar. But, as we see in the tweet below by Alex DePallo of Cleveland Golf, Fowler did buy a barrel full of beer for the good folks in the media center.
 
 
And, if you missed it, here is Fowler's ace: