Golf Buzz

July 24, 2016 - 11:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
PGA Junior League Golf
PGA
Two players in a PGA Junior League Golf match on Friday night -- John Berrigan, 10 and Harrison Mancill, 13 -- made back-to-back holes in one.

This just might be the coolest golf story to cross our desk all year long.

Harrison Mancill, 13, and John Berrigan, 10, did something amazing on Friday night. In the final match for two Hilton Head PGA Junior League Golf teams at the Country Club of Hilton Head (Country Club of Hilton Head #2 vs. Wexford Plantation), the pair had back-to-back holes in one on the 89-yard, par-3 fifth hole.

RELATED: Four aces in one day at same course in same tournament

The National Hole in One Registry sets the odds of two players from the same foursome acing the same hole at 17 million to one.

Not bad for two kids whose combined age is one year older than Jordan Spieth.

Mancill was the first to score an ace, dropping the ball in the hole with a wedge. Berrigan, representing the Wexford team, immediately answered with his 9-iron shot.

Mancill is the son of PGA Member Jim Mancill from Sapelo Hammock Golf Club in Shellman Bluff, Ga. 

garrett rank
USA Today Sports Images
28-year-old NHL referee and cancer survivor Garrett Rank made the cut this week at the RBC Canadian Open playing as an amateur.

If the visionary and prophetic film "Happy Gilmore" taught us anything, I guess it's that hockey and golf aren't too far apart.

At least I think that's what Garrett Rank would say, a 28-year-old amateur golfer and professional hockey referee from Elmire, Ontario, who just made the cut at the RBC Canadian Open.

His full-time job is as an NHL referee, after being promoted from the minor leagues earlier this year. But with it being the offseason and all, Rank is up for a little golf. After qualifying for the tournament by winning the 2015 Mid Amateur Championship, he proceeded to fire off rounds of 69 and 75 to make the cut at even par.

He spoke with PGATour.com to explain how he keeps his game sharp during the season.

“I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t take my clubs with me when I was on the road,” he said with a big smile. “I think it helps me and makes it a little easier for me because I know that this isn’t the end of the world, whether I shot 65 or 75.”

Amazingly, that's not even the most incredible part. Rank was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011, but overcame it and maintains the physical shape required to be both a referee and a world-class amateur golfer.

I don't know about you, but I know who I'm rooting for this weekend at Glen Abbey.

 

hole in one
Wikimedia Commons
On Wednesday at the Billy Casper Pro-Member Tournament, four different golfers recorded holes-in-one, including two in the same grouping on the same hole.

Whenever you see a headline like this, you immediately do a double-take.

So let me try and put this into perspective.

The National Hole In One Association has been recording holes-in-one for over thirty years, and have determined the odds of players hitting one. Golf Digest simplified the information into a nice infographic, but here's what we learned.

The odds of a professional golfer making a hole-in-one are about 2,500 to one. For low handicap amateurs, those odds rise to 5,000 to one. If you're an average amateur golfer, your odds of making an ace go up to 12,500 to one.

Here's where it really gets ridiculous. The odds of two amateurs playing in a foursome both making aces in one round skyrockets to 1,300,000 to one. But for two amateurs to each make an ace in the same foursome on the same hole? The odds on that are 26,000,000 to one, but come on, that would never happen.

Until it did, Wednesday at the Billy Casper Pro-Member Tournament in San Diego, California.

Andy Warren, an assistant pro at The Bridges Golf Club, was paired with 80-year-old Clark Gilson, a former marine helicopter pilot. Warren took a 6-iron, Gilson a driver on the 180-yard third hole. Incredibly both walked away with a one on the scorecard.

As if that wasn't crazy enough, later in the round players in the group in the two groups immediately in front of them each had a player who made an ace at the 13th hole. The odds of all of that happening on the same day have to be infinitesimal.

But aside from the unbelievable rarity of the event, the day produced some great stories as all holes-in-one do. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“My eyes aren’t that great anymore,” Gilson said. “I knew when hit the ball it was really good, but I couldn’t see it. Then everybody is saying, ‘good shot’ and ‘that could go in.’ I thought they’d got together and said (whispering), ‘Tell him it went in.’ That was my first thought.”

The enthusiastic reaction convinced Gilson it was real.

“It was kind of stunned silence at first,” Warren said. “I don’t think any of us believed it. We were waiting for someone to tell us we were on ‘Candid Camera.’ You can’t imagine how stunned we all were.”

When they got to the green, Gilson took a picture of the two balls in the hole. He and Warren posed for a picture – with Gilson being somewhat sheepish about having used a driver.

“I tried to hide the club behind me,” Gilson said with a chuckle. “My wife said, you hid it so awkwardly it stood out.”

 
jordan spieth, smart shoes
USA Today Sports Images
Under Armour equipped Jordan Spieth with "smart shoes" during the Open Championship, which counted the number of steps he takes during a round.

We are in the information age, especially in professional sports. And though golf is known sometimes as a late adopter, it can't stop the influx of technology that's being used to perfect the games of the top players.

We all know about the TrackMan, but now a new technology is looking to improve how golfers measure their exertion on the course. This is something that has never been done before, since wearable tracking bands are not allowed during competition.

Fortune.com has the story of Under Armour finding a way to circumvent that by eqipping their signature golfer, 23-year-old Jordan Spieth, with "smart shoes."

All told, Spieth racked up 54,000 steps during his four rounds at The Open, which comes to about 13,500 per round. For perspective, the "average" person who wears a tracking band is recommended to walk between 7,000-10,000 steps per day, though the disparity is not surprising considering the average person is not likely to walk around a field for five hours straight.

But Under Armour is not stopping at shoes. The story continues with the incredible lengths the partnership has gone to to track the training habits of Spieth.

He also says he uses the UA Record system to track his sleep and eating patterns. He shared with Fortune that he prefers to sleep at least 8 hours every night (with the goal of about two hours of deep sleep). In terms of his food intake, Spieth favors “whole, real foods” as much as possible, and his go-to snack right now is granola. He admits he could do better staying more hydrated (his goal is to consume at least 140 ounces of fluids each day).

I wonder what John Daly would think of all this, a man who has the same amount of majors as Spieth and for whom we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of his PGA Championship victory at Crooked Stick.

 

July 21, 2016 - 3:53pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Andrew Johnston
@europeantour
Take a tour of the place that golf's new cult hero, Andrew "Beef" Johnston, calls home.

Andrew "Beef" Johnston is stealing the hearts of golf fans worldwide with his everyman attitude.

But is it all too good to be true? A few seconds into this fantastic video by the European Tour that was posted today, we thought: perhaps it is.

RELATED: Golf's new cult hero: Andrew 'Beef' Johnston

I mean look at that photo above. That's not a house! That's a mansion!

But, guess what? The joke's on us. And it's a good one...

As it turns out, Beef -- who finished eighth last week in the Open -- is simply renting a two-bedroom flat inside that mansion.

Enjoy the tour. It looks like the ultimate bachelor pad -- huge TV, bare walls, beer in the fridge, but no food.

This guy is the best.
 

July 19, 2016 - 2:36pm
matthew.craig's picture
gareth bale golf
Twitter / GarethBale11
Wales' soccer star Gareth Bale combined soccer and golf skills for an impressive 30 second display of juggling mastery.

International soccer star Gareth Bale has been a little busy this summer.

On the pitch, he played brilliantly at UEFA Euro 2016, leading his underdog country of Wales to the semifinals. Off of it, he got engaged to his long-time girlfriend.

That's not to say that the self-proclaimed golf fanatic hasn't had time to hit the links. His supposed six handicap is impressive, but his juggling ability combining both foot skills from soccer and club skills from golf is mind-blowing.

Bale kept the ball up for 30 seconds, racking up 58 total touches.

 

Think you could do better? 

It's a resounding no for me personally, as my personal record is like six touches with my club, and there's no way I'd be able to get more than two with my feet.