Golf Buzz

Nead custom putters
Courtesy of Nead Custom Putters
Nead Custom Putters is owned by Gene Nead, crew chief of the No. 98 Phil Parsons Racing team from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, who began building putters as a hobby.
When it comes to putters there are a few who stand above the rest. While the Scotty Cameron may be the most sought after, there are other companies that deserve a look, especially if you want something that is uniquely yours. One of those is Nead Custom Putters.
 
The Charlotte-based company is owned by Gene Nead, crew chief of the No. 98 Phil Parsons Racing team from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, who began building putters as a hobby during his “quiet time” away from the track.
 
“Building putters is something I have enjoyed doing since I was young  It was sort of like the game of golf.  My quiet time between complete chaos,” he said. “I really never thought of it as business until the last few years… it was just my quiet time.”
 
 
Nead’s “quiet time” activity has turned into a full-fledged artistic endeavor. Nead builds a lot of custom, one-of-a-kind items, but also produced some mass-produced products, such as their best-selling BiTi mallet.
 
“[Our] most popular model over the years has been our BiTi Mallet. It was an original design a few years ago that has a carbon or stainless head with a titanium rear flange,” Nead said. “Every time I make a run of them they aren’t around for long.”
 
Some may think the putters are a tad pricey, but when you consider each one is meticulously hand-crafted in North Carolina, and realize they perform as well as they look, it’s a small price to pay. These putters aren’t just for show.  According to Bunkers Paradise these bad boys perform, too.
 
I don’t think we target any one group, I feel like we just build a great product,” Nead said. “Some of our exotic materials used in our putters will be more for the golf collector-type people… but we also try to keep putters rolling out that are affordable with more of a personalized touch than can be found at your local golf store or national chain.”
 
To get your hands on your own Nead putter, visit NeadCustomPutters.com or WantsAndNeads.com for pre-built putters and Nead accessories.
 
March 7, 2014 - 11:24pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Phil Mickelson at Doral
Cheyenne Woods via Twitter
Tiger Woods' niece Cheyenne Woods snagged this shot of Phil Mickelson taking a mental-health break on Friday en route to three double bogeys and a 75.
The scores posted Friday at windswept Doral were eye-popping – the low score was 70 and the average score was almost 76. Only three players broke par on the day, and only four are under par through 36 holes.
 
And then there's this: 63 players played the second round, and hit 113 balls into the water.
 
So, needless to say, the gentlemen who endured that day to remember/forget had plenty to say about their experience. Several of them took to Twitter to vent – and a few LPGA Tour stars chimed in as well. Here's a rundown of some of the best comments we saw:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bubba Watson's bulletproof Oakley pickup truck
Courtesy of Oakley
The entire exterior of Bubba Watson's new Oakley truck is bulletproof (including the windows) and wrapped in a black digital camo print.
Bubba Watson introduced us to his very un-goofy bulletproof truck late last month. He collaborated with Oakley – yes, the sunglass and apparel company – to add to his growing collection of vehicles.
 
But aside from the video shot from a phone, we didn't get many details on the truck. Now we have some insight from Oakley. It's a 2013 Ford Raptor Super Crew Cab that was customized by Mike Smith Fabrication in Huntington Beach, Calif., taking nearly six months to complete.
 
"One of the things that really impressed Bubba was our Sports Marketing trucks at Oakley Headquarters; in particular a surf-specific truck with all the cool gadgets we had installed after market," said Al Janc, Oakley Sports Marketing Manager of Golf, on Oakley's website. "As a result, we decided to build Bubba this bulletproof vehicle that he could enjoy, while helping to represent the brand and at the same time protect he and his family. It was great fun taking what he wanted in a truck and adding things we thought were cool to come up with this finished product together."
 
The entire exterior is bulletproof (including the windows) and wrapped in a black digital camo print. On the front is a reworked "6160 billet aluminum" Oakley grille, with an Oakley logo built onto the hood and made of the same material as the grille.
 
 
The interior is accented with one of Watson's favorite colors, lime green, in the leather stitching on the seats, in the Oakley logo on the head rests, on the doors and on the console.
 
And then there's the horn. By touching a remote button, Watson gets one of four distinct horn sounds, including the legendary General Lee jingle.
 
"I have to say that my team at Oakley has really out-done themselves… again," Watson said, adding, "We went with the Ford Raptor because it’s a great truck, it's functional and I already knew I liked it because this will be the third one I've owned. Seeing the finished product is even more impressive than I imagined.
 
"My favorite thing would have to be that it's bulletproof. How many people can say they have a bulletproof truck? I can! Plus, it has a matte black and gray 'digital camo' paint job, big off-road tires and lime green accents on the interior. It's awesome!"
 
March 7, 2014 - 4:56pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today
Believe it or not, the 91-foot, 7-inch putt Tiger Woods made on Friday wasn't even the longest of his career.

Making long putts is so in style this week.

First, LPGA star Paula Creamer knocked down a 75-foot eagle putt for a walk-off playoff win on Sunday in Singapore.

Today at Doral in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Tiger Woods rammed home a 91-footer for birdie at the par-3 fourth hole.

Check it out:

Officially, Tiger's putt was 91 feet, 7 inches, making it the longest putt holed on the PGA Tour in the last five seasons (it moved Woods to 2 over for the tournament and 6 over for the day when it was holed). However, as unbelievable as that putt was, it isn't even the longest of Tiger's illustrious career.

In the 2001 Tour Championship at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Woods holed a 123-foot, 6-inch putt.

Impressive stuff.

And, if you wanted one more look at that bomb Creamer made Sunday, here it is:

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

 

March 6, 2014 - 10:42pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Henrik Stenson at Doral
Henrik Stenson endured a second lowlight in five years at Doral on Thursday, but this time he at least got to keep his clothes on.
The newly renovated Blue Monster at Trump National Doral is eliciting a wide range of opinions from the players in the Cadillac Championship. We can forgive Henrik Stenson if his view opinion isn't as positive as some of his fellow competitors.
 
Why, you ask?
 
Well, though it's really no fault of the course, the Blue Monster gave the world No. 3 a real head-shaker of a moment on Thursday – for the second time in five years.
 
Stenson hit his drive down the par-4 second hole, and pulled out a wedge. Instead of sticking it close, though, he inexplicably hit a dead cold shank. The ball shot right at about a 60-degree angle, flew over the gallery and wound up a good 50 yards right of the green. 
 
No one ever found the ball, and Stenson wound up making a double bogey.
 
 
Now, remember up above where I said this was the second time the Blue Monster has gotten Stenson? It was right here at Doral back in 2009 when he hit a drive into the mud, setting up one of the most memorable recovery shots in PGA Tour history.
 
In that instance – which happened only a couple hundred yards away on the par-4 third hole – Stenson surveyed his wayward tee shot, then stripped down to his underwear and his glove and climbed down into the goop before successfully – and messily – splashing out. He explained later that he didn't want to play the rest of the day with mud all over his clothes. 
 
He did look great the rest of the day, but it might not have been worth it. The video of that shot remains one of the most famous, or should we say infamous, in golf history. And, he admitted later, "I'll probably take that to my grave with me."
 
Here are the two shots, with the shank on top and the mud ball below:
 
 
March 6, 2014 - 9:33pm
john.holmes's picture
Light-up golf ball
The Light-Up Golf Ball from Night Sports is LED-infused with a light that can illuminate the ball for up to eight minutes.
A “flashy” golf ball might just be the answer to golf course overcrowding or lack of day tee times: glowing balls that light up on impact.
 
That’s the story being reported on TIME Magazine’s tech website, which details the Light-Up Golf Ball from Night Sports. The glowing pellets are LED-infused with a light that can illuminate the ball for up to eight minutes as you search for it in the black of night. It’s like your own mini-lighthouse!
 
 
Each ball reportedly has a 40-hour battery, making them perfect for multiple after-hours rounds. The only trick finding a golf course that will allow you to play at night. (Stupid rules.)
 
But therein lies an opportunity many golf courses may consider. If their patrons complain about finding a tee time on a busy Sunday, or if the course is prone to overcrowding, extending tee times past dusk may be the answer.
 
Oh, and if you’re wondering whether or not night golf is any fun, here’s a video I took of Graeme McDowell defeating me in a closest-to-the-pin contest in Chicago from 2012*. It’s a little hard to follow the golf ball tracer, but the guy stuck it to three feet.
 
 
(*Note: All that’s required to have a similar experience is the 2010 U.S. Open Champion and gallons of Guinness Black Lager.)