Golf Buzz

January 10, 2014 - 12:32pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Ted Bishop
PGA of America
PGA of America President Ted Bishop is going to have the opportunity to make a case for a "grandfather period" on the anchored putting ban for recreational golfers at the USGA's Annual Meeting on Feb. 8.

PGA of America President Ted Bishop will have the opportunity to make a case for a "grandfather period" for recreational amateurs when it comes to anchored putters at the USGA Annual Meeting on Feb. 8.

In a letter to PGA Members, Bishop wrote that he, along with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, would jointly attend the USGA Executive Committee meeting in Pinehurst, N.C., to formally request a "grandfather period" for recreational amateurs who anchor long putters.

READ: PGA to adopt USGA's 2016 ban on anchored putting strokes

"As you know, the USGA and the R&A have approved Rule 14-1b, which bans the anchored stroke, effective Jan. 1, 2016," Bishop wrote in the letter. "The leadership at the PGA of America and the PGA Tour both believe that it would be reasonable to offer recreational golfers who anchor a longer period of time to convert to the approved method of making a stroke. For example, when the 'Grooves Rule' was instituted in 2009, the USGA allowed a 15-year 'grandfather period' for amateurs to switch to conforming golf clubs.

"We believe our request for a 'grandfather period' can further assist you, the PGA Professional, in transitioning recreational golfers who do anchor, to the approved method."

To support the request, Bishop has asked PGA Professionals to submit their own stories and/or case studies to be used during the presentation.

Bishop has said this request is not intended to reignite the debate on anchoring -- the PGA of America has accepted the USGA decision to invoke Rule 14-1b in 2016.

Bishop's hope is that the USGA will consider a grandfather period to simply give amateurs a longer period to make the transition.

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

January 10, 2014 - 10:18am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Joost Luiten
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Joost Luiten made an albatross in the second round of the Volvo Golf Champions on Friday.

Dutch golfer Joost Luiten might not be a household name in the U.S. And, if he went by his full name -- Willibrordus Adrianus Maria Luiten -- he might never be a household name anywhere.

But on Friday, during the second round of the European Tour's Volvo Golf Champions tournament in Durban, South Africa, Luiten hit what will certainly be the best shot you see all day, if not all week.

Playing Durban Country Club's 580-yard, par-5 10th hole, Luiten holed his second shot from the fairway for a rare albatross.

You can watch video of the shot here:

 

 

The 28-year-old Luiten is a three-time winner on the European Tour.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair

January 10, 2014 - 2:40am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ian Poulter
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Ian Poulter stands out on the course for his attire almost as much as for his game.
Happy 38th birthday, Ian Poulter.
 
The ebullient Englishman was born Jan. 10, 1976 in Herfordshire, England, and has earned a spot among golf's most unique personalities.
 
Poulter took up golf at age 4, and worked as an assistant pro and golf shop manager before turning professional at age 20. He was the European Tour's rookie of the year in 2000 and has amassed a dozen victories on the PGA Tour and European Tour, the biggest of which are the 2010 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions.
 
He's a Ryder Cup monster – he was on the winning European teams in 2004, 2010 and 2012, and owns a remarkable 12-3-0 record that includes an undefeated 4-0 ledger in singles. He's a social media monster, too – with more than 1.5 million Twitter followers – as well as one of the world's more enthusiastic supercar collectors.
 
And, of course, Poulter is one of golf's most fashion-forward dressers. With his spiked hair and eye-catching tartan trousers, he stands out on the course for his attire almost as much as for his game. He's well known for ironing his own clothes before he hits the links, and his Ian Poulter Designs is one of golf's fastest-growing clothesmakers.
 
To celebrate his birthday, you can click here to see a photo gallery of Poulter in some of his most colorful attire through the years.
 
 
January 9, 2014 - 7:20pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Paulina Gretzky and Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson via Tiwtter
Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky, now that they're engaged, are spending time together on and off the golf course.
We all know that golf is a great pastime for families. So, obviously, do Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky.
 
Golf's hottest ''it couple'' this side of Tiger and Lindsey apparently have been spending some quality time on the links together. And Paulina obviously isn't just riding along in the cart.
 
On Thursday, she posted an Instagram video of her taking a swing, with the caption: ''Gettin a little better thanks to my coach djohnsonpga.''
 
I don't know how much golf Paulina has played, but in the video she's got a nice, athletic swing. And with DJ giving her advice, she likely could become quite a good player.
 
Paulina's foray onto the links comes about a year after she was first spotted with DJ. They have shared many photos on social media since then, and announced their engagement last month. But this is the first time I'm aware of that she has been shown on the golf course. If she develops the love of game that her parents and siblings have, it certainly won't be the last.
 
Here's her video. Click on the Instagram link in the tweet to see it:
 
January 8, 2014 - 8:45pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Michelle Wie
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Michelle Wie's "tabletop" putting stance might look extreme, but it's got to be a lot more comfortable than the one she tried out in the tweet below.
If you watched any women's golf last year, no doubt you saw Michelle Wie's ''tabletop'' putting stance. I know I did a double-take when I first saw her bend at the waist until her back was parallel to the ground before taking her stroke. 
 
She took a lot of ribbing for her unique stance, and even made fun of it herself on a few occasions. And during a visit to the David Leadbetter Academy on Wednesday, she jokingly showed us the latest adjustment to her stance (that's her on the right):
 
 
''The 2014 version of the 'tabletop' putting stance,'' she tweeted, adding a couple of hashtags: #donttrythisathome and #leadbetterschoolofputting. 
 
I can only agree with everyone who responded with ''Ouch!'' or some derivation thereof.
 
About an hour after she posted her photo, putter extraordinaire Luke Donald weighed in on Twitter. His verdict: ''Still too upright.''
 
As unusual as her stance looks, her putting numbers have improved pretty dramatically. She finished the 2013 season ranked 51st on the LPGA Tour in putting with an average of 29.88 putts per round – that's a big jump over 2012, in which she finished 119th with an average of 31.16 putts per round.
 
 
 
 
January 8, 2014 - 7:28pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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James Franklin is one of the hottest names in coaching - with many teams trying to lure away the Vanderbilt coach.

As a proud Vanderbilt alum, the last few football seasons have been nothing short of magical. Three bowl games in a row, back-to-back nine-win seasons and back-to-back bowl wins. Remember, this is Vanderbilt! In my four years there, I might have seen nine wins total. We played more Homecoming Games than we had wins each year. It was...well...sad.

So all the credit in the world has to go to Coach James Franklin. Under his guidance, the team has gone from a laughingstock to ending the last two years ranked in the top 25. Everybody associated with Vanderbilt knows his value, acknowledges it and appreciates it – especially those who have been a part of less glorious football times.

Of course, as you can imagine, other schools have noticed, too. His name is often floated as being recruited by a plethora of other "bigger name" schools. Recently, Texas, Penn State and even the NFL have been mentioned as possible next stops. It seems his days in Nashville might be numbered.

So much so that another proud alumnus, Brandt Snedeker, who still sports the Vandy logo or mascot as often as possible – and can often be seen roaming the sidelines – is taken a proactive approach in trying to keep him. Snedeker tweeted today an offer that there's no way Coach Franklin could turn down, right?

Here's hoping it works. If not, I'm sure Brandt will find a way to make the next coach feel at home – on the sideline and the golf course.

You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim