Golf Buzz

August 23, 2016 - 9:49am
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T.J. Auclair
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Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Fallon
Jordan Spieth paid a visit to the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday night and relayed a fantastic story about a Bill Murray one-liner in a recent round the pair shared together.

In New York for this week's PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup-opener -- The Barclays at Bethpage Black -- two-time major champion Jordan Spieth paid a visit to the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday.

Spieth, who has locked up his spot on his second consecutive Ryder Cup USA team, talked to Fallon about a variety of things, but two stories in particular really stuck out.

First, Spieth talked about having played golf with actor Bill Murray on a number of occasions. Spieth praised Murray's ability to keep things fun during all 5 1/2 hours of those sometimes dreaded pro-am rounds, making everyone laugh with his one-liners on every hole.

In their most recent round, Spieth relayed a story about how a fan got Murray's attention and gave the Caddyshack star a cigar. Murray immediately walked the cigar over to Spieth's manager's 9-year-old son. Looking confused and wondering, "what the hell am I supposed to do with this," Spieth said the young boy gave the cigar back to Murray.

Without missing a beat, Murray asked the boy, "What? Are you trying to quit?"

See Spieth tell the story here:

Spieth also told Fallon about putter he's been using for "some 7-8 years now" and discussed how its appearance has changed through the years:

Spieth tees it up on Thursday in search of his third victory this season. 

August 22, 2016 - 9:12am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Lucas Glover
Lucas Glover was spectacular in the second round of the Wyndham Championship last Friday, firing a 9-under 61. But, it's his 19-inch putt for 60 that's garnering a lot of attention.

Nineteen inches was the only thing standing between 2009 U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover and a score of 60 at the Wyndham Championship on Friday.

"Only" is probably a harsh way of putting it, when you consider that putting has been the achilles heel of Glover's game for several years. What looked like nothing more than a tap-in for par and 60 to the viewer watching at home, was anything but for Glover.

One definition of "yips" is "extreme nervousness causing a golfer to miss easy putts."

PUTTING TIPS: How to read greens, make more putts | Putting videos

That's the only way to explain what happened to Glover on this putt. Check it out:



That was tough to watch. He nearly whiffed the putt and went on to make his only bogey of the day.

Glover followed up the 61 with rounds of 73-67 on the weekend to finish in a tie for 22nd.

This isn't meant to pile on Glover, who is in the opening event of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup this week at -- of all places -- Bethpage Black for the Barclays. But, here's a close look at some key putting stats that have really been Glover's undoing this year:

Strokes gained putting: -.177 average; -11.147 total; Ranked 140th on the PGA Tour
Three-putt avoidance: Ranked 126th on Tour
Putts per round: 29.66; Ranked 176th on Tour
Total putting: Ranked 161st on Tour

Now, you want to know an amazing Glover stat? He's ranked No. 1 on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation. He's just not making much once he gets on the dance floor. 

ryan yip
USA Today Sports Images
A Tour event threesome may have the most hilarious and unfortunate threesome ever.

In general golfers are a superstitious bunch. We have a lucky ball marker, we never wash the ball we made an eagle with, and we don't use a ball we found in that same round.

If that description sounds like you, then you're really not going to like this.

This week's Tour event, the News Sentinel Open, had possibly the craziest threesome ever in golf. In the third to final grouping on Sunday was Jhared Hack, Adam Schenk and Ryan Yip.

That's right: Hack, Schenk, and Yip. If you're superstitious, that has to be like a nightmare.

So how'd it go for the group?

Well it wasn't a complete disaster like you might think, as all three shot under par scores, but in the end none of them got within five strokes of the lead.

As is the case most of the time with superstitions such as these, the results were...inconclusive. So carry on with your lucky ball markers and unwashed balls, and if you ever have the chance to join a foursome with three gentlemen named Hack, Schenk, and Yip? Well that's a choice you have to make for yourself.


August 19, 2016 - 1:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Si Woo Kim
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Two weeks removed from the PGA Tour's first ever score of 58, Si Woo Kim nearly shot a 59 in the second round of the Wyndham Championship on Friday, but just missed a 50-foot putt.

Si Woo Kim was red-hot at the Wyndham Championship in Friday's second round.

Just two week's removed from Jim Furyk's PGA Tour-record low score of 12-under 58, Kim flirted with a score in the 50s for much of his round. With three holes to play, Kim needed to play them in 2 under to crack 60.

Kim parred the par-3 seventh (his 16th hole of the day), birdied the par-4 eighth and needed a birdie at the ninth for 59.

Things looked grim after his tee shot, which found the left rough. But, Kim managed to find the green with his approach shot, setting up this 50-foot birdie try for a 59:



Whoa! That thing almost dropped in! Woo had to settle for a 10-under 60 to move to 12 under for a four-shot lead early in Round 2.

Kim's score was the fourth of 60 or better on the PGA Tour this season.

August 19, 2016 - 11:36am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Verne Lundquist
During a recent "Just Not Sports" podcast, Verne Lundquist shared some hilarious stories about the filming of "Happy Gilmore."

Earlier this week as part of the 20-year anniversary of the movie Tin Cup's release, we also compiled a list, ranking the top-5 best golf movies of all time.

It's no surprise that Happy Gilmore was on the list.

After the story was published, we were contacted by our friend Brad Burke from the "Just Not Sports" podcast, who shared a couple of fantastic behind-the-scenes stories that longtime CBS and Turner commentator Verne Lundquist revealed on the podcast recently (You can listen to the podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud).

Most notably, was the shocking admission that Lundquist never saw the full script for Happy Gilmore and had no idea what the movie was about exactly until he saw it at the premiere.

RELATED: 5 Best golf movies | Best golf movie characters | Best golf movie quotes

"I saw only (the script for) my scenes, so I didn’t know the first half of the movie. So when I saw it I was somewhat shocked," Lundquist said. "They flew Nancy and me from Colorado out to the Universal lot for the premiere... We went in, sat down, and that's the first time I'd seen the whole thing. And I thought, holy cow, this is some kind of vile movie."

"People I think took it for what it was. And it was an early career Adam Sandler movie, and it still gets shown on cable every night."

Lundquist said he caught some grief from Pat Haden, his broadcast partner at the time, for being in the movie.

"I was at a preseason game with Pat Haden, and he remains one of my dearest friends," Lundquist said. "And Pat and I were doing the Giants and somebody, and we were down on the field. We were walking off toward the north end zone, and he said, 'By the way, I just gotta tell you something. I am so embarrassed for you. I took my daughter to see this silly movie you were in.' And he was giving me every bit of phony indignation he could. He said, 'Are you at all embarrassed about being seen in a movie like that? You should be.' And I said, 'Oh, come on, come on, come on.' So we get to the end zone, and there three teenage girls right above that wind tunnel at the north end of the old Giants Stadium. And as Pat and I were about to walk into the tunnel, one of the girls looks at me and she said, 'Hey Verne, Happy Gilmore!' And I said, 'Pat, I rest my case.'"

Also funny was the story behind Lundquist's broadcast partner in the movie, producer Jack Giarraputo.

Giarraputo is a longtime friend of Sandler.

"Right before we got started, (the director) looked at this tall, good-looking guy named Jack Giarraputo," Lundquist told Just Not Sports. "And he said, 'Jack let's have a little fun.' This was like a week before they wrapped shooting. He said, 'I want you to go back to wardrobe... get a coat and tie, get some make-up on, and then you sit next to Verne. And you just react to what he's saying, but you can't say a word because you're not a member of the Screen Actor's Guild.' So the guy sitting next to me in I think it's almost every scene was Adam Sandler's roommate at New York University. And it was just an inside joke."




August 18, 2016 - 9:26am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rob Labritz offers putting tips
USA Today Sports Images
PGA Professional Rob Labritz explains the most effective way to read greens in order to give you a chance to make more putts.

We've all been there. You hit a great shot into the green, you're feeling good about yourself, but then you see the break your putt is going to take and you freak out a little bit.

It's OK. "Reading greens is a little bit of an art form," PGA Professional Rob Labritz told us. But, it's not an art form that you can't master by following some simple steps.

Labritz says one question he's often asked is: "How the heck do you read greens?"

Fair question -- one that Labritz has a rather simple and logical answer for: If you can see hills and slope, you can read a green. Reading the green, Labritz explained, happens before you even reach the dance floor.

RELATED: Advice for breaking 100 | Short-game instruction videos | Putting videos

Generally, people are riding golf carts on the course," he said. "This isn't going to do anything to help you read greens. If you're on a cart, you're going to pull up to the sides of the greens. You're not getting a good look at the green, straight on, from the front. I'd say you should start reading the green when you're 20 yards out. That's where you can really start to see the slope."

Once you're 20 yards out, Labritz encourages you to start looking at the green from left to right and front to back. If you do that, the idea is that by the time you reach you're ball you already have a good idea of how the putt is going to move. If you've done your homework on the walk up to the green, you'll already know that it's pitched a certain way."

"Reading greens is just seeing slopes," Labritz said. "You see it all the time -- people looking at the break from every direction and a lot of them don't really know what it is they're looking for exactly. That's why you need to read the green from the front and really pay attention on the walk up."

But what if you find yourself in a low area?

"Get yourself to the lowest spot you can either on the green, or just before the green in the fairway," Labritz said. "This is going to give you an almost high-def look at the slope. If you're right over the top of the ball, you're not going to see the slope or the subtleties. Think about it. It's like being in a plane, flying over the midwest. Everything looks flat as a pancake. But, if you were down there on the ground, you'd quickly notice it isn't nearly as flat as it looked from the sky. It's the same with putts. If you're reading from right on top of the ball, you're not going to see what you would if you were further away."

If you're interested in getting a little more sophisticated with your green reading, it might be worth it to check out AimPoint -- a system you've seen the likes of Adam Scott utilize on the PGA Tour where the player feels the slope with his or her feet and then uses his or her arm and fingers to determine where to aim.

"AimPoint is a nice way of getting used to slope in the green," Labritz said. "It's a system that works. You need to learn it, but it's a tool that'll help you read greens."

Are you someone who takes a caddie? If you do or have, surely you've been in that situation where he or she says, "hit the ball to this spot and you're golden."

Labritz warns you to be cautious with taking such advice.

"I'm not discounting caddies at all, but when you have one they usually point at a line and say hit it here," he said. "I appreciate them saying it'll be the line. But it's all about your speed. There are lots of lines for every putt. It's nice to get the general direction down, but it's all about speed. If you hit a putt hard, it's going to take less break. The softer you hit it, the more break it'll take."

While there are probably loads of thoughts dancing through your head as you prepare to stroke your putt, there's really only one you need to remember, Labritz said. Don't overthink it.

"The best putters are the ones who have studied the green before they get to the ball," Labritz said. "Once they address the putt, the mind goes blank, they think about nothing and just stroke the ball."

There are only two ways to miss a putt, Labritz said:

1. You mishit it.
2. You misread it.

"That should simplify it a lot," he said. "Those are the only two ways to miss. Do your due diligence on the way to your ball, pick your line and let your speed knock it in. Speed and line are the two most important aspects in place when it comes to putting and I can tell you that speed is way more important than line. People get far too concerned with the line when they should be focused on speed."

Rob Labritz, who has played in four PGA Championships (he was low-Club Professional in 2010 at Whistling Straits), is currently the Director of Golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in BedFord Hills, N.Y. He was also the PGA Met Section Player of the Year in 2008 and 2013, as well as the Westchester Golf Association's Player of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015. You can learn more about Labritz at and you can follow him on Twitter, @Rlabritz