Golf Buzz

February 16, 2017 - 10:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Happy Gilmore
Today, February 16, 2017, marks the 21-year anniversary of the release of golf-themed "Happy Gilmore" starring Adam Sandler.

Today, February 16, 2017, marks the 21-year anniversary of the golf-themed movie "Happy Gilmore" starring Adam Sandler.

The flick, which rolled in $41.2 million at the box office (and was shot with a $12 million budget) portrays Happy Gilmore (Sandler's character) as a failed hockey enforcer who turns to golf to make enough money in hopes of keeping his beloved grandmother out of a nursing home.

You already knew that, though. "Happy Gilmore" is most well-known for its laugh-out-loud moments -- like Gilmore's fist fight in a pro-am with Bob Barker; any scene with the evil Shooter McGavin; Chubbs Peterson, the pro who was forced to retire early when his hand was bitten off by an alligator, and has the great mini-golf scene teaching Gilmore to putt; and Ben Stiller, the mean orderly at Gilmore's grandmother's nursing home, who forces the elderly to knit sweaters and blankets.

RELATED: Collection of 'Happy Gilmore' swings | Ranking the 5 best golf movies

For the 20th anniversary of the movie in 2016, compiled some fun facts you may not have known. Among our favorites:

- Kevin Costner was the producers’ first choice to play Happy Gilmore antagonist Shooter McGavin. He passed in order to make his own well-regarded (and very different) 1996 golf comedy, Tin Cup.

- Christopher McDonald almost turned down Shooter McGavin as well, because he’d become tired of playing villains. After meeting Adam Sandler and realizing how funny the film would be, he came on board. McDonald has since said it was one of the very best moves of his career.

- Francis Bay, who plays Happy's beloved Grandma, is familiar to Seinfeld fans as the bakery customer who Jerry mugs for a marble rye while snarling, "Ah, shut up, ya old bag!"

Here are a few of our favorite scenes from "Happy Gilmore" including the famous driver swing, which you're lying if you say you haven't attempted:

February 15, 2017 - 9:22am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Still struggling through back spasms that forced his withdrawal from the Dubai Desert Classic after one round two weeks ago and the announcement of his withdrawal last Friday from the Genesis Open and Honda Classic, Tiger Woods -- at the advice of doctors -- also canceled a scheduled press conference for Wednesday.

Tiger Woods -- out once again indefinitely due to back spasms -- was scheduled to meet with the media at the Genesis Open at Riviera on Tuesday.

Woods had been scheduled to play in the event until withdrawing last week, but we still expected to be on site with his charitable foundation being the tournament's primary beneficiary.

On Monday, the presser was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Then, late Tuesday night, it was announced that the Woods presser would be scrapped all together. The 14-time major champion, who did travel to California, was "advised by doctors to limit all activities."'s Bob Harig spoke with Woods' agent Mark Steinberg early Wednesday.

"He is just having a hard time getting these spasms to calm down," Steinberg told Harig. "And he's working on that on an hourly basis. He's got personnel working with him to help pacify that."

Woods made his return to the PGA Tour after a 16-month layoff three weeks ago at Torrey Pines. He missed the cut there and then traveled to Dubai for what was meant to be the second of four tournaments in a five-week stretch.

Woods lasted one round in Dubai before withdrawing due to back spasms, but left the door open for a possible return this week at the Genesis Open and again next week at the Honda Classic.

Last Friday, he canceled those plans, withdrawing from both tournaments. He released this statement:

"My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down. This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week."

The chances that Woods will be able to compete in the 2017 Masters seem to be getting smaller by the day.  

February 14, 2017 - 10:59am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Billy Hurley III
USA Today Sports Images
In an open letter to his late father published by the Players Tribune, Billy Hurley III celebrates the life -- and shows forgiveness -- to the man who rocked his family's world by taking his own life in 2015.

You probably know the story by now, but in case you need a refresher, here it is...

PGA Tour pro Billy Hurley III -- a veteran of the Navy -- was elated in 2015 to be playing near his family home in Virginia at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club for the Quicken Loans National.

Before the event teed off, Hurley faced the media to make a plea: help him find his missing father, Willard Hurley Jr., a man who served many years as a police officer in that area of the country and also walked inside those same ropes at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club serving as a security guard for early Presidents Cups in the 1990s.

Hurley III found out that week that his father had actually already been missing for eight days. Totally uncharacteristic of the man who introduced golf to Hurley III.

Just a couple days after Hurley III's plea, his father was found safe in Texas. He told authorities that he was simply, "traveling" and fine.

This was confusing to the entire Hurley family. Their dad had literally just got up and left for no apparent reason -- at least no reason that they could wrap their heads around.

Once he was found, Hurley Jr. still didn't make a trip back home. Just weeks after he was found safe, Hurley Jr. was then found by the edge of the Potomac dead, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Wow. It wasn't the outcome anyone was hoping for to say the least.

Fast forward a year later. The younger Hurley who had been trying to make sense of it all was finally playing some good golf when the Tour stopped at Congressional for the same tournament -- Quicken Loans National -- from a year earlier where it was made public that the elder Hurley was missing.

Wouldn't you know it, Hurley III went out and won the darn thing.


Don't get it twisted: A PGA Tour win isn't worth more than a life. But in this case, it was the ultimate when it came to allowing the healing process to begin. Things came full circle for Hurley III.

That brings us to today, Feb. 14. 2017.

In a beautiful, lengthy letter published by the Players Tribune, Hurley III penned words of forgiveness to his late father.

Wrote Hurley III:

After 18 months of reading stories about your death, our family has decided to focus on something else: your life.

In our minds, the world needs to know the real you.

Hurley III went on to talk about what it was like being raised by the man he so much loved, a proud, dotting dad.

Toward the end, Hurley III summed up the 2016 Quicken Loans victory and what it meant for the grieving family:

Winning a tournament made it O.K. to celebrate life again. It made it O.K. to have joy again. Winning closed a chapter in my life. I would have made it through the grief process without winning, but the fact that I did flipped everything from, "My dad committed suicide," to, "My dad was a great man."

And that's what you were, Dad. You were a great, great man.

It's a sensational letter that's worth your time.