Golf Buzz

September 3, 2013 - 9:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Mizuno MP-54 irons
Courtesy of Mizuno Golf
The long and mid irons in the Mizuno MP-54 set feature a Milled Step Muscle with a cavity cut into them to help provide extra forgiveness and a higher ball flight.

Many players get into golf by playing game-improvement irons and, sure enough, their games improve. Then what?

That was the question Mizuno's designers and engineers asked themselves. Their answer: the new MP-54 irons, the follow-up to Mizuno's MP-53 set.

"Over the past several years, Mizuno's MP iron category has expanded to a point where consumers expect a 'player' iron look and feel with the forgiveness of today's technologically advanced equipment," said Vice President of Product Management Chuck Couch of the challenge Mizuno faced.

The MP-54s are created for better players – those with handicaps from scratch up to about 12 – who want a bit more forgiveness than classic blades provide. At various stages of development and testing, Mizuno staff players including Luke Donald, Charles Howell III and Jonathan Byrd provided their feedback.

What makes them unique is the ''Milled Step Muscle'' in the 3-iron through 7-iron. As is the case with many Mizuno clubs, each MP-54 is forged from mild carbon steel, and the 3- through 7-irons feature a thick muscleback with a 4-millimeter-wide slot. 

This Milled Step Muscle allowed the engineers to reposition the removed weight around the head's perimeter, which increases stability on off-center hits. It also creates a deeper center of gravity for more forgiveness and a higher ball flight, all while maintaining the necessary heft behind the ball to deliver a solid impact. 

The scoring irons – 8-iron down through pitching wedge – don't have the slot. Instead, they feature Mizuno's Solid Muscle Design – essentially, a solid clubhead, thicker in its bottom half, to improve playability. Those attributes also are enhanced by a perimeter grind on both the heel and toe, and the clubs feature Harmonic Impact Technology (H.I.T.), in which Mizuno's engineers tune the clubhead design to maximize feel and feedback.

By comparison, Mizuno says the MP-54 clubheads will be about the same size as the MP-53s, but will offer a more heavily beveled sole for cleaner turf interaction. And, of course, the cavity cut into the MP-54s gives them a lower center of gravity than the MP-53s.

The MP-54s will be available at retail on Sept. 9 in both right-handed and left-handed models, and will carry a suggested retail price of $999.99. They come outfitted with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts and Golf Pride M-31 58 round grips, though a variety of custom shafts and grips also are available. Custom set make-ups also can be assembled from in mixed or combo sets or with MP-H4 long irons.

For more information, visit www.mizunogolf.com.

 

September 2, 2013 - 8:31pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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COBRA Golf
COBRA Golf
The Tour Trusty is made of Cast 8620 Carbon Steel and available in a Tour Matte Satin and Tour Matte Black PVD finish.
COBRA Golf has introduced a new family of performance wedges under its Trusty line set for release on October 1.
 
Here's the announcement from COBRA:
 
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Tour inspired performance, look and feel combine in the new Tour Trusty product line to create a new family of wedges designed by COBRA Golf in conjunction with Tour pros. Featuring COBRA’s Tour notch K-Grind, a Tour preferred shape and Variable Feed Rate Milling, Tour Trusty wedges are designed for precision wedge play and shot versatility.
 
“Our Research & Development team worked tirelessly with our Tour athletes like Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter, Lexi Thompson and Jonas Blixt to create the Tour Trusty wedge,” commented Tom Preece, Vice President of Research & Development. “With their input and our research and technology, we have developed a true performance wedge that will perform in the toughest conditions.”
 
The non-offset compact shaping delivers excellent alignment at address and the groove edges and volume have been maximized to the USGA allowable limit. COBRA’s new Tour notch K-GrindTM provides heel and toe relief for Tour-trusted versatility around the greens. This combination allows golfers to hone in around the green for optimized shot making.
 
COBRA’s proprietary Variable Feed Rate milling consists of two depths of cut to maximize spin on even the shortest of shots. The Tour Trusty has double the amount of surface roughness than the Trusty Rusty and new, wider grooves to provide maximum spin so golfers can stop the trickiest of shots around the green. Adding to that, the Tour Trusty has a straighter leading edge and new, wider grooves for improved spin.
 
The Tour Trusty is made of Cast 8620 Carbon Steel and available in a Tour Matte Satin and Tour Matte Black PVD finish. This does more than just make a great looking wedge – it provides excellent feel and reduces glare for the golfer.
 
The Tour Trusty (MAP $119) will be available in 11 loft/bounce options in both right and left handed models (48.08°, 50.08°, 52.08°, 54.10°, 56.12°, 56.08°, 58.08°, 60.10°, 60.06°, 62.08° and 64.08°). All options will be available in a Tour Matte Satin or Tour Matte Black PVD finish with a True Temper Dynamic Golf S200 shaft and Golf Pride® New Decade MultiCompound Whiteout grip.
 
The Tour Trusty will be available at golf retailers on October 1, 2013. To find an authorized COBRA dealer near you, visit http://cobragolf.com/dealer-locator
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 
 
September 1, 2013 - 3:42pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Kevin Stadler at the Deutsche Bank Championship
Getty Images
Kevin Stadler and the rest of the field are dealing with damp conditions at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Sunday after a long rain delay in the morning.

How many times have you started a round, played a few holes and wished you could just go back to the first tee and start over? That's what the PGA Tour did today.

The third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship got under way as planned this morning, but rain and lightning brought play to a halt around 8:45 a.m. ET. After the weather finally cleared up a couple hours later, officials decided to throw out all the scores and restart the round from scratch.

Zach Johnson and Stuart Appleby, in the first group, had reached the sixth hole when play was halted. A total of 14 players had teed off.

The restart also saw the players re-paired – instead of twosomes off the first tee as originally planned, they were grouped in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees at TPC Boston. They also are being allowed to lift, clean and place their balls.

If you're wondering, this is the second event this season in which the PGA Tour has re-started a round – it happened twice at the season-opening Hyundai Championship in January.

The threat of scattered thunderstorms remains this afternoon, and actually the chance of rain increases as the afternoon goes forward, according to the PGA Tour.

Monday's forecast also calls for a 60 percent chance of rain, and as a result, the final-round tee times already have been moved up. The players again will be grouped in threesomes off the first and 10th tees, with tee times running from about 8:00-10:00 a.m. ET.

Follow the action along with us on our full leaderboard.

 

August 31, 2013 - 9:13pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Phil Mickelson flop shot
courtesy YouTube/PGATour
Phil Mickelson's flop shot at the Deutsche Bank left the crowd and fellow players in awe.
So the thing about the best players in the world - they really are the best players in the world. Not only are they consistently good, even when they struggle, they are ridiculously good.  
 
Let's talk about, arguably, the most exciting player in the world to watch - Phil Mickelson.  His ability to get on birdie streaks is tremendous, but it's his fearlessness and daring when he's not in the middle of the fairway is what really make him "must see tv."  
 
Consider what happened on Saturday, during the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.  Mickelson, who had flirted with a 59 the day before, was the exact opposite of his opening Phil. He was all over the place, driving it left and right, missing greens, finding bunkers, etc. But do you know what he shot on the day? Even par. How?  Well, shots like the one he hit on hole No. 11.
 
In short, it was a flop shot from a tough lie in the rough. 
 
In long, it was a shot that had Tiger Woods and Adam Scott laughing at how good it was. It was a shot that Phil himself noted, "I've not seen anybody else hit that shot...it sure looks good."
 
It was mostly indescribable - even Mickelson said he couldn't describe the mechanics of the shot in a way that people could understand. But it doesn't matter if you can see how great and fun a shot it was.  And you can.  Watch it here. 
 
You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim
August 31, 2013 - 8:26pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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William Campbell, a former U.S. Amateur champion who played on eight Walker Cup teams and later served two years as president of the U.S. Golf Association, died Friday, the USGA has announced. He was 90 years old.

Campbell was USGA president from 1982-83 and served on its executive committee for 10 years. In 1987 he became only the third American to be elected captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, and the only man to have led both of golf's governing bodies. 

Campbell served in the Army during World War II, graduated Princeton in 1947 and remained an amateur golfer his entire career. He competed in the U.S. Amateur for 33 straight years, winning in 1964. He also won the U.S. Senior Amateur twice and the North & South Amateur four times. 

He played on eight Walker Cup teams from 1951 to 1975, never losing a singles match and never playing on a losing team. He was the playing captain in 1955. As an amateur, Campbell played in the U.S. Open 14 different times and played in the Masters an amazing 17 different times.

"Mr. Campbell was one of the game's great champions and finest gentlemen," said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. "His contributions to amateur golf and to the USGA have been many and profound." 

Campbell was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990, and you can read much more about his career in his official Hall of Fame biography. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 
August 30, 2013 - 11:06pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Sophie Gustafson
Getty Images
Sophie Gustafson is retiring after five LPGA Tour titles and 13 crowns on the Ladies European Tour.

Sophie Gustafson of Sweden retired from the LPGA Tour on Friday after missing the cut in the Safeway Classic. 

"It's with mixed emotions that I'm now choosing to step away from the LPGA," tweeted Gustafson, who has battled a severe stuttering problem. "Thanks for all your kindness over the years." 

She gave no indication of how long she'd been considering retirement, or what her future plans might include.

Gustafson, 39, won the last of her five LPGA Tour titles in 2009. She also won 13 times on the Ladies European Tour and topped that circuit's money list three times. She entered the week ranked No. 131 on the LPGA Tour money list.

The long-hitter played in eight Solheim Cups, going 13-12-6. She was 4-0 in Europe's 2011 victory in Ireland and made an inspirational statement at the event by doing a lengthy television interview.

Ron Sirak of Golf World wrote an excellent profile on Gustafson, detailing her lifelong battle with stuttering, back in early in 2012. If you're not familiar with her story, I encourage you to check it out.

UPDATE: Beth Ann Baldry over at Golfweek reported Saturday that Gustafson plans to return to the Ladies European Tour, where she dominated early in her career. You can read her story here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.