Golf Buzz

July 18, 2013 - 8:45pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Jin Park and his Big Green Egg at the Sanderson Farms Championship
Jin Park via Twitter
Jin Park took to Twitter to show off the Big Green Egg he received at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

The Open Championship is dominating the golf headlines this week, but it's not quite the only game in town.

While the game's best players are battling mighty Muirfield, the best of the rest are down in Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship. The tournament has gone through title sponsors from Viking to True South in recent years.

This is the first year that Sanderson Farms has gotten involved and, as Monte Burke at Forbes.com points out, the big Mississippi-based chicken concern has gone all out to brand the event. Now, a lot of companies do a good job of putting their unique touches on the tournaments they sponsor – this week, for example, the tee markers at the LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic are little gas station pumps.

But Sanderson Farms has gone all out or, as Burke calls it, full chicken. For example:

--the tee markers are chickens painted by children in a local hospital

--the crosswalk signs are chickens

--much of the food available on the course is, of course, chicken

--the big Friday night concert features local blues artist Super Chikan

--and, to me, the kicker: The tournament's official gift to its players is a Big Green Egg! If you follow Twitter, you know that the Green Egg is an object of desire like few others among the PGA Tour players. And if anyone needed a boost after not getting into the Open, the Green Egg is just the ticket.

Apparently, Sanderson Farms is only on board for this year at this point. But if the grilling golfers in the field have any say in the matter, this could be the start of a long and happy relationship.

 

July 18, 2013 - 10:43am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Dustin Johnson
adidas Golf
Dustin Johnson at the adidas Golf, "Weather the Storm," event before the start of the Open Championship.
Before the start of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield, the folks at adidas Golf held an event called, "Weather the storm," where Dustin Johnson and Martin Laird faced a tough test at the North Berwick course in Scotland. 
 
The point of the event was to put the new adidas GORE-TEX outerwear to the test under the most difficult and brutal of conditions.
 
 
Here's the release from adidas Golf:
 
To kick off golf's The Open Championship at Muifield in Scotland, well-known for its variety of weather conditions, adidas Golf executed an all-weather event of Hollywood proportions. The event was in celebration of adidas Golf's new line of weather wear featuring GORE-TEX, and -- appropriately -- pitted golf stars Dustin Johnson and Martin Laird against the elements in a stormy closest-to-the-hole competition during what was actually a sunny Scottish evening.
 
adidas Golf utilized a high-tech weather machine to create weather elements to showcase the strength and versatility of their new GORE-TEX outerwear, and each player spun a wheel to determine what "weather" their counterparts would encounter. Laird kicked off the event as Johnson spun the wheel to determine what weather condition he received for his first shot; DJ purposely stopped it at ‘The Perfect Storm’. The duo continued to take turns for several rounds, until the last round was selected by the adidas Golf Facebook audience. Johnson weathered the storm in a sudden-death overtime and both Tour players walked away completely dry under their new adidas Golf GORE-TEX outwear.
 
A large crowd gathered to watch these two Tour Professionals fighting the toughest of weather conditions on a 225 yard shot, and a total of 5,000 pounds was donated to a local charity of choice in North Berwick. The full press release can be viewed below my signature.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
July 17, 2013 - 3:48pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Tiger Woods at the Open Championship
Getty Images
Tiger Woods has signed a new agreement with Nike Golf to replace his current seven-year deal.

Tiger Woods signed a new endorsement deal with Nike about two weeks ago, according to a report on ESPN.com Wednesday afternoon. The report was confirmed by Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg.

The new agreement replaces Woods' existing deal, which was set to expire at the end of the year. Steinberg didn't disclose the new contract's length or financial terms.

"We're comfortable with where we ended up and the career trajectory that Tiger will be on with Nike," Steinberg told ESPN.com at the Open Championship. "I'm thrilled we were able to complete this deal."

"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Tiger," said Nike Golf President Cindy Davis in a statement released to ESPN.com. "He is one of Nike's most iconic athletes and has played an integral part in Nike Golf's growth since the very beginning. … we will continue to utilize his insights to develop the most innovative products that support golfers reaching their full potential."

Woods began his relationship with Nike upon turning professional in 1996, when he signed a five-year deal said to have been worth $40 million. That deal was followed by another five-year agreement worth $100 million, according to reports, and was followed by the seven-year deal that just now is being replaced.

Woods told ESPN.com last month that "it was just a matter of time" before the contract would be signed. Steinberg had said last month that he felt "confident [Woods] will be with Nike for the rest of his career."

 

July 17, 2013 - 10:02am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Linda Hartough, golf, book, Green Glory
Linda Hartough
"Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors -- Golf's Renowned Venues"
If you fancy yourself a collector of great golf books, we have one you absolutely must add to your library, or better yet, your coffee table. 
 
"Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors -- Golf's Renowned Venues" is a beautiful compilation of paintings by Linda Hartough and photographs by Stonehouse Publishing Founder and photographer Patrick Dickey.
 
Hartough, a landscape painter, has become recognized as one of golf's leading artists. That's no surprise once you see "Green Glory."
 
The book, which runs 250 breathtaking pages, features paintings and photographic images of the 69 courses that have hosted the game's four major tournaments since 1950. It's broken into four sections: The Masters; The U.S. Open; The Open Championship; and the PGA Championship.
 
This is so much more than a picture book, folks. It's a magnificent piece of art.
 
One of the best features of this book is that it isn't just gorgeous painting after gorgeous painting (though we would have been just as content with that). Along with the paintings and photographs, "Green Glory" provides a history of events that have taken place at the featured courses. 
 
Here's a brief excerpt of the portion featuring the Olympic Club, host of the 1955, 1966, 1987, 1998 and 2012 U.S. Opens:
 
"The prestigious Olympic Club in San Francisco, established in 1860, carries the distinction of being the oldest athletic club in the United States. The club's early bylaws stated its mission was "to strengthen and improve the body by gymnastic exercises," and during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Olympic fielded amateur teams in national and international competitions ranging from boxing to billiards, including many Olympic events.
 
"Golf, however, didn't become a part of the club's sports roster until 1918, when the organization took over operation of the Lakeside Golf Club, designed by Wilfred Reid. By 1922 more land had been acquired, and the Olympic Club decided to replace the Lakeside course with two 18-hole golf courses, the Lake and the Ocean, designed by Scotsman Willie Watson and constructed by superintendent Sam Whiting..."
 
The section on Olympic Club also highlights the winners of each of the course's five U.S. Opens, along with the winner's purse from each (in 1955, Jack Fleck collected $6,000 for his win, while 2012 champion Webb Simpson picked up a hefty $1,440,000 for his efforts).
 
If you're a lover of golf, "Green Glory" is one book you cannot go without.
 
 
The book is priced at $55, or $75 if signed by Hartough. You can purchase "Green Glory" here.
 
To learn more about Hartough and all her brilliant work, click here
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
 
July 16, 2013 - 8:19pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Odyssey White Damascus #1 putter
Ian Poulter via Twitter
Ian Poulter has chosen an Odyssey White Damascus #1 putter, which features an unusual face insert.

The great Ian Poulter putter audition is over – and the winner is an Odyssey White Damascus #1 blade.

''My putter is selected for the week,'' Poulter said on Twitter Tuesday from Scotland, where he is playing the British Open. ''It is an Odyssey White Damascus. Rolling it very nice. Testing over for now.''

Never heard of it? That's because it's not available in the United States, or many other places, at least not yet. 

Odyssey is showing it off in Japan this summer, and it apparently will be available at retail in Japan this fall. It's an Anser-style blade with an unsual face insert containing an inner urethane layer and an outer layer of Damascus steel for soft yet solid feel upon impact. 

Damascus steel is popular in Asia, and is created by melting materials such as iron and charcoal with steel pieces to create a metal that is hard yet also flexible. It has been used for 1,000 years or so from India to the Middle East to Japan to create long-bladed weapons with rare strength and eye-catching design patterns. As you can see, the sole of Poulter's putter has a cool-looking white sword.

The White Damascus blade is listed on www.rakuten.co.jp, a big Japanese online retailer, which says the putter comes in 33-, 34- and 35-inch models with a silver PVD finish. The price before tax is listed at 17,800 yen, which works out to about $180.

Poulter, of course announced last week that he was retiring his Odyssey White Hot XG #7 putter, the one with which he putted so well at the 2012 Ryder Cup. He solicited new putters to try out via social media, and received quite a few. 

Poulter also used Twitter to announce some other changes to his bag this week. He's carrying a Cobra AMP Cell 2-hybrid that he says carries 240 yards, along with a 3-iron and 4-iron instead of higher-lofted hybrids. He's also got new 56- and 62-degree Titleist Vokey wedges ''for extra spin.'' These newbies join his incumbent Cobra ZL Encore driver and Amp Cell 3-wood.

''A lot of you are thinking I've changed too many clubs. Every club in the bag I have used before. Even putter shape I've used before,'' he tweeted, adding the hashtag #Relax.

 

Nike Hyperadapt Storm-FIT jacket
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The new Hyperadapt Storm-FIT Jacket from Nike Golf features an impenetrable outer layer for protection combined with the stretch capabilities of a sweater for increased range of motion.

With the world's best players convening at Muirfield this week, a lot of us have the British Open – and British Open weather – on our minds. 

That also includes Nike Golf, which is rolling out its new Hyperadapt Storm-FIT Jacket. This brand-new jacket features an impenetrable outer layer for protection, the company says, combined with the stretch capabilities of a sweater for increased range of motion.

Nike's designers worked closely with some of the company's staff players, including Paul Casey, who wore the jacket last month at the Irish Open, which he won during a week of sunshine, heavy downpours and winds gusting up to 35 mph. Casey and other Nike players are outfitted with the new jackets at Muirfield this week.

''Inspired by our athletes who demand the best in performance, our team set to work to create a jacket built to change the way golfers feel in unfavorable weather conditions,'' said Vice President of Global Golf Apparel Merritt Richardson. ''We are always working to minimize distractions. From reducing sound to enhancing stretch, the Hyperadapt Storm-FIT jacket is the ultimate in protection and performance.''

With no-sew technology throughout the garment's inner layer, designers minimized the potential for chafing. They also added a four-way stretch system to the shoulders and arms that maximizes mobility and eliminates restrictions during the swing. This woven, stretch knit laminate combination reduces noise during the swing and, the company says, provides a sweater-like feel for comfort and protection. 

''Often, athletes will add a size to their rain jackets because they don't want to feel restricted by the fabric,'' said Richardson. ''This leads to a distracting, oversized jacket that is not optimal for competitive play. The Hyperadapt jacket eliminates this issue by providing athletes the protection they need without sacrificing the performance benefits of a stretch pullover.''

Outiffted with adjustable cuffs, the new Hyperadapt jacket is breathable and, Nike says, seam-sealed for 100 percent waterproof protection.

It is available at retail now. Half Zip versions retail for $240, and come in Black, Cool Grey and Game Royal. The Full Zip models retail for $280 and come in Black, Cool Grey, Game Royal and Armory Slate.