Golf Buzz

September 2, 2014 - 11:08am
andrew.prezioso's picture
Rickie Fowler and "Fluff"
Rickie Fowler decided to take a selfie with the legendary caddie, "Fluff."

Caddies aren't generally household names. Sure, golf fans know who Steve Williams is, but quick, who caddies for Jordan Spieth? (It's Michael Greller, by the way)

If the PGA Tour is a family, then the caddies are the little brother. Yes, they are important but it seems to be they always get picked on the most. The most recent example comes from Rory McIlroy, who is clearly getting ready to scare trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

We all know that McIlroy could have done a lot worse to his caddie, J.P. Fitzgerald. Still, you would think helping guide McIlroy to two major titles and a T5 at the Deutsche Bank Championship would entitle Fitzgerald to a little shut eye.

At least Fitzgerald got to sit wherever he wanted. That's a right Lee Westwood didn't afford the caddies on his flight back from the PGA Championship, telling them to head to the back in "cattle class."

Even if Westwood was being serious (which we highly doubt), I'd still rather sit in the back of a private jet than be in first class on any commercial flight.

Also, if you stick with it long enough and get to be an icon, like Mike "Fluff" Cowan. The PGA Tour's selfie king may even want to take a selfie with you.

For all the joking around, there's a lot of camaraderie between golfers and their caddies, proving the concept that it's one big family. For example, many golfers wore black hats and an orange ribbon in memory of Angela Bennett, the wife of Matt Kuchar's caddie, who died unexpectedly last week.

Mickelson-Els
Ernie Els edged Phil Mickelson for the 1984 World Junior Golf Championship title.

Talk about a rematch 30 years in the making. 

On Sunday, Phil Mickelson was paired with Ernie Els during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. This is a familiar pairing for those who have followed either Mickelson or Els for a while now. 

In 1984, Els edged Mickelson for the World Junior Golf Championship title at Torrey Pines. Want proof? Here's a photo of the two: 

It's clear in that photo who the winner is, and not just because of the different sizes of the trophies. Mickelson is making a perfect Eli Manning face, and nobody does a Manning face after a victory. 

With slightly different stakes on Sunday, it was Mickelson who got the better of Els by one stroke. Mickelson finished his round at 1-over, and sits at 2-over for the tournament, with Els one stroke back in each category. 

I can't help but be a little bit disappointed, though. Sunday would have been the perfect time to recreate that photo. Here's to hoping they get paired up again soon. 

 

Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer is reportedly counting the days until he can swing a club again.

For a man who is just a couple weeks removed from surgery to implant a pacemaker, Arnold Palmer sure has continued to make headlines this week. Normally, that could be taken as a sign of trouble for an 84-year-old who just had heart surgery. But not in Palmer's case. 

First, let's touch on the best news. Palmer has stated that he is feeling well and is reportedly counting the days until he can get back out there and play golf. Palmer had the surgery on Aug. 18, at the UMPC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. 

Related: Palmer has surgery to implant pacemaker

Then, there's his grandson Sam Saunders, who fired his second 6-under in a row to take the lead at the Web.com Finals opener. Saunders, 27, finished 45th on Web.com's regular-season money list, and will get a chance to earn his PGA Tour card next year. 

Finally, there's the story that once again shows how much Palmer cares about and respects the game. Last weekend, So Yeon Ryu finished the Canadian Women's Open at 23-under par to set the tournament scoring record. For her exploits, Palmer sent her the following letter.  

It's great to see Palmer is almost back to his pre-surgery form. The game needs one of its best ambassadors -- how many other legends would send this note to a recent high school graduate? 

We can't wait to see Palmer back on the course, but he's probably looking forward to it even more. 

Ty the cocker spaniel
The Austin American-Statesman
Ty the cocker spaniel settled in for a nice long nap after spending 18 hours trapped in a golf course drainage pipe.
A hole-in-one probably wasn't on Bob Williamson's mind as he walked his dog on the Falconhead Golf Course west of Austin, Texas, the other day. But when the pooch – a 7-year-old cocker spaniel named Ty – took off in hot pursuit of a raccoon, Williamson ended up with one dog in a hole.
 
Night was falling and the golfers were off the course as Williamson and Ty took their stroll. And when Ty took off, the raccoon hot-footed it into a 75-yard drainage pipe. The pipe was big enough for Ty to get into – but it narrowed as it went deeper into the ground, and Ty got stuck. Really stuck.
 
Williamson went for help, and local firefighters were able to remove a grate from the opposite side of the drain. The raccoon, of course, climbed out just fine, but the dog was trapped about four feet below the ground.
 
"Standing outside the drain, you could hear him barking," Williamson told The Austin American-Statesman. "The dog's nails were long and couldn't get any traction on the incline, and that's how he got stuck, I think. He was wanting to come out, but he wasn't able to."
 
 
The pup stayed stuck overnight, and the golf course maintenance crew went to work the next morning. They dug for several hours, trying to find the point in the pipe where Ty was trapped. Eventually, they unearthed the section of pipe where the dog was, then used a handsaw to cut into it.
 
With Ty located, the rescuers used pieces of hot dogs to encourage him to move just enough that someone was able to grab him by the collar and pull him out.
 
"There was a little encouragement with a hot dog involved," Falconhead General Manager Laura Gunia said. "He barely fit in [the drain], but he was hungry enough to scoot closer to reach each hot dog piece.
 
"We were determined," she added. "There was no way any of us were walking away regardless of how long it took, and we were always confident of a good ending."
 
So, 18 hours after he entered the pipe, Ty emerged – dirty but unhurt, and ready for a very long nap during which he, no doubt, dreamed of catching that raccoon before they reached the drainage pipe.
 
August 29, 2014 - 12:32pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Kjeragbolten
Below Kjeragbolten is a 984-meter abyss.

We've all played some crazy golf holes in our lives. In fact, not too long ago you told us all about them. But this shot may go down as one of the craziest we've seen in a long time. 

Morten Klovstad, a self-described hobby golfer for 25 years with a 10 handicap, stood atop Kjeragbolten, a boulder lodged between two cliffs in Norway, to hit a tee shot into the fjord below. 

For those of you who aren't up on your Norwegian geography (I'll be the first one to admit that I needed to look this all up), Kjeragbolten is located in Rogaland, Norway. The boulder itself is lodged in a crevice of Kjerag, a mountain above the fjord Lysefjorden. It is a popular hiking spot, and it's definitely worth an image search to see all of the creative poses and pictures people take of it. 

But back to Klovstad's story. 

Related: Our fans tell us about the craziest hole they've ever played

Klovstad, who lives in Norway, had never before been to Kjerag and wanted to "make a great and spectacular photo," as he wrote in an email. As any true golfer would, Klovestad decided to bring his clubs on his maiden trip and turn Kjeragbolten into a tee box. 

Klovestad made the 2.5-hour climb up to Kjeragbolten, a point 1,004 meters above sea level. After taking the photo, he hit what he estimated was a 300-meter drive down into Lysefjorden. But he wasn't satisified with just a drive into the fjord. 

After hitting the shot, Klovestad made the 2.5-hour trek down to the fjord and took a lost ball penalty. He then made a putt to finish up his one-hole round with a 3. 

This type of shot may not be for everyone, but I think it would be a lot of fun. It also produces a great photo and story, and what can beat that?  

August 29, 2014 - 10:23am
Posted by:
PGA.com
tj.auclair's picture
Patriot Golf Day
Jim Mandeville/Nicklaus Companies
PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua joined Major Dan Rooney and 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus on Golf Channel's Morning Drive Friday to talk about this weekend's Patriot Golf Day events.

OWASSO, Okla. -- Golf facilities across the country will host special events and collect donations this Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1) for Patriot Golf Day, the primary fundraiser for Folds of Honor, a charitable organization that provides educational scholarships and assistance to the families of military members disabled or killed in service to our country.

Nearly 5,200 facilities are registered to host Patriot Golf Day nationwide. Golfers can find participating courses and make donations at PatriotGolfDay.com, while non-golfers can participate by learning more and donating at FoldsofHonor.org.

MORE: Visit www.PatriotGolfDay.com | Visit www.FoldsofHonor.org

"For the past seven years, the golf industry has supported Folds of Honor in positively impacting the lives of our American heroes by helping their families realize their educational dreams," said Major Dan Rooney, Folds of Honor founder. "We encourage golfers across the country to hit the links this Labor Day weekend for Patriot Golf Day and pay tribute to our military and the sacrifices they make to preserve our freedoms."

Patriot Golf Day was launched in 2007 and is jointly supported by the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association (USGA). Last year, a record amount of more than $5 million was raised for Folds of Honor through Patriot Golf Day donations and events. Since its inception, Folds of Honor has awarded more than 7,500 educational scholarships to military families. Thanks to donations received through Patriot Golf Day events and partner support, more than 2,050 scholarships totaling over $10 million were awarded in 2014.

Major Rooney, a PGA Professional, USGA Member and former F-16 military pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, founded Folds of Honor in 2007 following his second of three tours of duty in Iraq. Rooney witnessed a profound display of a family’s grief as they welcomed home the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin, inspiring him to create the organization and honor Bucklin’s son, Jacob, with the first Folds of Honor scholarship.

As of January 2014, there are more than 1.4 million dependents of fallen and wounded service men and women from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts alone, and 85 percent do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance.* Folds of Honor’s mission is to ensure that no family is left behind in the field of battle, by honoring their sacrifice and educating their legacy.

*Source: Veterans Administration