Golf Buzz

March 28, 2014 - 8:28pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Jimmy Fallon and Samuel L. Jackson
YouTube
Jimmy Fallon, with avid golfer Samuel L. Jackson, might wear silly golf clothes on TV, but he is becoming more dedicated to his game.

For decades, "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson punctuated his nightly monologue with a pantomimed golf swing. Ironically, Carson came to prefer tennis as his go-to game.

Now, 22 years after Carson retired, the "Tonight Show" is again being hosted by a golfer – and this time one dedicated to the game.

Yes, it turns out, Jimmy Fallon has playing since childhood. He did a number of golf-related segments on "Late Night" over the years and, now that he's got his hands firmly on the wheel at the "Tonight Show," he wants to get into the game even more.

"Golf is gonna be my thing" now that he's graduated to the "Tonight Show," he said in a recent interview with Jada Yuan in New York Magazine – conducted while they hit balls in a simulator. 

"I have to be a rich old white guy, that's what I have to become," quipped Fallon, who counts Michael J. Fox and chef Mario Batali among his regular playing partners. "It's so sad, but I gotta play the part, man. I've already got my cardigan."

Fallon joined his high-school golf team, he explained, because he heard a school announcement saying, "'Uh, hey, if there's anyone interested in joining the golf team, we need one more player or else we can't have a team.' So I was like, Well, so I'll definitely make this team if I try out."

MORE: Craig Ferguson is golf's latest convert | Kristen Stewart can 'spank' a golf ball

And high-school golf provided Fallon – a self-described non-athlete – with his greatest sports triumph, when he sank a long-distance putt to clinch a team victory.

"Sun's setting, it's quiet, everyone's watching, pressure's on," he recalled. "Oh my God, it was crazy. I go" – he pretends to putt and clicks his tongue – "and I'm just watching it, it's so slow motion, and it fell into the hole, and we won, and everyone’s like Whaat!? 

"If there is a 'Rocky' of golf moments – it was so awesome I'll never forget that," he added. "You'd think a hole-in-one is people's dream. For me, it was just finishing and not being a loser."

Despite all his joking, Fallon is serious about his golf game. He's gone through a personal clubfitting, and is taking weekly lessons. Off the course, he's reading golf books, watching "Caddyshack" and doing calisthenics. 

"I twerk for about 25 minutes. There's a lot of hip motions.

"Shakira," he observes, "is probably very good at golf."

And on that note, here are videos of some of Fallon's golf antics over the years:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
March 28, 2014 - 12:00pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Dufnering
Twitter
It might be hard to believe, but "Dufnering" was born one year ago today.

Today, March 28, 2014, marks the 1-year anniversary of the act of "Dufnering."

Yes, hard to believe, but it was one year ago today that a picture of Jason Dufner slouched over during story time at an elementary school went viral. Everyone -- and we mean everyone -- from fellow golfers to fans to other professional athletes to pets, had a ball mimicking Dufner's iconic(?) picture.

RELATED: The birth of Dufnering The Year of Dufnering | Dufner wins 2013 PGA Championship

We were reminded of this in a tweet posted this morning by David Watkins from NBC 5 Sports in Dallas/Fort Worth -- the man responsible for the spectacular photo:

Months later, Dufner would make even bigger news when he picked up his first major, winning the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

Last fall, he participated in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda and, during the Championship Night Celebration, Dufner himself explained the origin of Dufnering:

This past Monday was Dufner's 37th birthday, where we went back into our "Dufnering" archives to dig up everything we had on the reigning PGA Champ. You can check that out here if you missed it.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

March 28, 2014 - 9:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Ben Hogan
Green Jacket Auctions
These irons used by Ben Hogan during his magical 1953 season are currently up for auction at www.GreenJacketAuctions.com.

Ben Hogan's 1953 season remains one of the most impressive in the game's history. That year, Hogan won five of the six tournaments he entered, including three majors -- the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open. He didn't have the chance to win the PGA Championship because, at the time, the dates overlapped those of the British Open.

Now, golf memorabilia collectors have the opportunity to obtain a very significant part of that historic season -- Hogan's set of MacGregor irons.

WATCH: Incredible golf trick-shot video compilation by Bryan brothers

Green Jacket Auctions has the irons up for auction and will take bids until April 12. According to www.GreenJacketAuctions.com:

This isn't just any Ben Hogan iron set that he may have used once or twice. These are Hogan's actual "working" set from 1953, when he not only won 3 Majors, but was fine tuning his idea for the perfect golf club. Hogan fulfilled his lifelong goal by forming the Ben Hogan Golf Company in late 1953. Once the Ben Hogan Golf Company was formed, Hogan, of course, never used MacGregor clubs again. Therefore, since all of Hogan's used MacGregor clubs date to 1953 and before, they are coveted by collectors.

Green Jacket Auctions also states that these irons are one of only three Hogan-used MacGregor iron sets known to exist and the only set privately owned. The other two sets are owned by the USGA Museum and Merion Golf Club, where Hogan won the 1950 U.S. Open with that famous 1-iron approach to the final green.

So where did these irons come from? Green Jacket Auctions says the set is being offered by former PGA Tour player Jimmy Powell -- a four-time winner on the Champions Tour. The irons have been Powell's, "most cherished possession for well over 35 years, and originally belonged to Hogan's best friend Dennis Lavender," according to the site.

At the time of this post, the current bid was $7,320 and had not yet met the reserve price.

If you'd like to follow the auction, click here.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

March 27, 2014 - 9:09am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Fila Golf
Fila Golf
Fila Golf's Auckland jacket (for men) and Rockingham (for women) are new for 2014.

New for 2014, Fila Golf has introduced its Auckland and Rockingham Waterproof Performance Jackets.

The men's Auckland jacket ($110) features mesh lamination and a detachable hood, a mockneck with fleece lining, contrasting color collar, as well as shoulder, side seam and under sleeve panels for easy flexibility that won't interfere with your swing.

MORE: Visit PGA.com's extensive equipment page | PGA.com Equipment Buzz

Other features include a technical zipper front, self-adjustable sleeve closure with Velcro, two hip pockets with technical zippers, security pocket, shock cord and drawstring with plastic toggles, FILA linear logo embroidered tonal on right back shoulder and extended sport hem.

The Auckland comes in four colors: Silver / Atomic Orange; Black / Viva Red; Black / Silver; and Viva Red / Silver.

It's a jacket that's not only perfect for the golf course, but also for off the course.

Put to the test on a recent trip to the range on a chilly day, the Auckland jacket provided all the warmth you'd need without restricting your swing. The sport hem ensures that the jacket remains close to your body, staying away from your hands at address.

For women, the Rockingham jacket ($110) includes all the same features and waterproof performance of the men's Auckland and is also available in four colors: Silver / Atomic Orange; Black / Viva Red; Black / Silver; and Viva Red / Silver.

To learn more about Fila Golf's Auckland and Rockingham jackets and more offerings for 2014, visit: www.shopfilagolf.com.
 

March 27, 2014 - 8:29am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Gary Player
YouTube
Gary Player, long regarded as the best bunker player who ever lived, showed a small crowd at Pinehurst recently why that's the case.

Nine-time major champion Gary Player paid a visit to Pinehurst Resort recently.

While he was there, the 78-year-old Player made his way over to Maniac Hill -- the practice area at the resort -- and jumped in to one of the many bunkers. Throughout his illustrious career, Player built a reputation as arguably the best bunker player who ever lived.

WATCH: Incredible trick-shot compilation by the Bryan brothers

With a small crowd assembled, Player drove that point home. Player splashed a shot out of the bunker and -- when the ball is barely halfway to the hole -- he repeats, "There it is," four times before the ball drops in the hole.

Pretty cool. Check it out for yourself.

h/t to @PinehurstResort.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

March 26, 2014 - 7:06pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tom Watson and Nick Faldo
Getty Images
Tom Watson and Nick Faldo, both former winners at the RBC Heritage, will tee it up again next month after several years away.
U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson is focused on keeping a close eye on the PGA Tour players who are candidates to make his squad for Gleneagles in September. He'll get to take an extra-close look at some of them next month when he plays the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
 
The RBC Heritage announced Wednesday that Watson and his fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Faldo will be in the field at the popular event the week after the Masters.
 
 
Watson, 63, won at Harbour Town in 1979 and again in 1982, but hasn't played there since 2001. Faldo, 56, won there in 1984 for the first of his nine career PGA Tour wins.