Golf Buzz

October 30, 2014 - 8:51am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Trick shot, golf, putting
YouTube
What's cooler than nailing a ridiculous long putt? How about nailing that same ridiculous putt twice with one stroke?

Remember that crazy video last week of the guy with the three-foot birdie putt in Scotland who chose to take the scenic route to knock it in? Click here if you need to refresh your memory.

In the spirit of that story, we put together a piece asking readers to share their wildest putt stories.

We read many a great tale based on your submissions.

But, there was one that stood out among the rest. It was from an Australian man named Matt Field.

Field wrote up this brief description before linking to a video: "I like to make simple things difficult..."

And, here's the video:

That was pretty cool.

 

I tracked down Field to learn more about the video. As it turns out, there was a purpose to what many of us might consider a trick putt.

"Putting the two balls is just a part of my practice to make sure I've got the putter face square," Field told PGA.com. "I got a bit bored so decided to try something different."

Field pulled off the "double putt" at Brookwater Golf Club in Queensland, Australia.

"Brookwater has a heavily sloped practice green so I thought 'why not?' The putt was about six feet, but I hit it about 20 feet past, up the hill and back in the hole. It took me about 10 attempts."

And when the two balls finally dropped into the cup?

"The people on the club balcony thought I was a bit weird when I high-fived myself!" Field said. 

October 29, 2014 - 12:12pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Olympia Fields pin flag
The Olympia Fields pin flag features four wings representing the original four courses at the club.

When you go to a golf event, what’s your go-to souvenir? For a lot of people, it is a commemorative pin flag.

We talked to Sam MacKenzie, director of grounds at Olympia Fields Golf Club, Olympia Fields’ pro shop and Justin Mengel, the 2015 PGA Championship director, to get more information about pin flags. And this is what we learned.

Design

Olympia Fields: There have been a few different variations of the flag featuring the club’s logo, but the ones currently in place feature the club’s original logo. The decision on which ones to use went to MacKenzie, and it came down to personal taste. The original logo features four wings to represent the four courses Olympia Fields originally had before some debt during World War II forced the club to sell some of its property, MacKenzie said.

PGA Championship: Each year brings with it a new flag design to create what Mengel called a “personalized flag” for each tournament. Part of the annual change is applied to the PGA Championship logo to keep up with the PGA’s brand strategy. For instance, this past year’s pin flag featured some argyle elements to it, which could also be seen in all the PGA Championship advertisements and other material.

Quick Nine: Golfers tell us about their wildest putts

Length of use

Olympia Fields: The club replaces the pin flags once per year. The old ones are usually a bit faded and tattered, and they get put out to the driving range. After a year there, they are usually discarded.

PGA Championship: The flags get swapped out once per tournament, usually after the second round depending on the weather. Sometimes, an extra set is used before the event for special events like media day. The used flags – except for the one on the 18th green, which is given to the winner -- are given as a gift to either PGA Championship staff, members of the host club or grounds crew.

Purchase

Olympia Fields: Pin flags are most commonly sold in nine packs, so MacKenzie will purchase three packs for an 18-hole course. Those extra flags are necessary in case any of them get stolen or damaged, or are awarded as a memento to a golfer who hit a hole-in-one on that hole.

PGA Championship: Two full sets of pin flags for the 18 holes are ordered from a its long-time supplier, a company called Standard Golf at a price of roughly $16 per flag. The order will usually be placed in the late spring for that year’s tournament.

Sale

Olympia Fields: The pro shop ordered 250 pin flags, featuring a different variation of the course logo, to sell to golfers for around $30 in 2014. So far, the shop has sold 200 of those flags. But with the course set to host next year’s U.S. Amateur Championship, the shop will increase its inventory.

PGA Championship: The average number of commemorative pin flags sold is about 10,000 per year. They are identical to the ones used on the course and are often used for collecting autographs or framing. They have always been one of the more popular keepsakes for spectators.

Related: Get your PGA Championship gear here

October 29, 2014 - 11:10am
andrew.prezioso's picture
Victoria GC
Photo courtesy of Victoria Golf Course
This is the seventh fairway at Victoria Golf Club that is said to be haunted by the "friendly" ghost of Doris Gravlin.

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? Sure, you may not believe in them but they can be pretty entertaining. 

We searched online for some popular tales and decided to do some digging to find more on the origin of these stories. See below.

Victoria Golf Club (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

Legend: The story goes that in 1936, Doris Gravlin was murdered by her estranged husband after a nighttime meeting on the course. Her body would not be found until five days later when a caddie noticed it along the shoreline of the bay at the seventh hole. Police deemed the crime a murder-suicide as the body of her husband, Victor, would be found by a fisherman a month later.

Now the ghost of woman in a white gown has been reported to hang around the course. As the Greater Victoria Public Library reports:

She will rush towards people, then disappear. She also exhibits a variety of other behaviour. One night, for example, a man saw her as he was out walking on the course. He turned around, and then turned around again, and she was facing him every time. After completely boxing him in, she disappeared. On another night a woman was out walking the course with a group. A wild wind suddenly sprang up, blowing at them from all directions, despite it being a perfectly calm day. Some of the group became very frightened. As the woman hung back from the rest of her group, she felt someone with a cold, clammy hand take her hand. She assumed one of her friends needed comforting. Then she noticed that all her group had moved on, and she was alone. The hand then disappeared.

Final Word: We'll let Scott Kolb, general manager at Victoria, let you know whether this course is haunted.

Yes, but she is a friendly ghost. ... Our security camera sometimes have a glow that floats around and odd things will happen that our staff will just say, “Must be Doris playing tricks on us again.” I'm not a big ghost guy but I must admit that something is out there that has fun with us. 

City Park Golf Courses (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Legend: In the early 1960s, two women were finishing their round on the 18th green when a man shot and killed one of them. Now, there are claims of people hearing a gun shot and a woman screaming on the 18th green even though there is no one there. It has been so clear that it has prompted people to call the police.

Final Word: This seemed a little vague to be true. When we reached out to the New Orleans Public Library to see if there were any mentions of the murder in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, nothing was found. The newspaper search was extended from 1950-80 and no results were found. Joseph Giorlando, director of instruction at Rabito Golf at City Park, also scoffed at the idea of the course being haunted.  

Pasatiempo Golf Club (Santa Cruz, Calif.)

Legend: We got this tip on our Facebook page. According to Gary Lynd, the ghost of Alister Mackenzie walks Pasatiempo. It does make sense that if Mackenzie were to haunt any course, it would be Pasatiempo. Although Mackenzie did design Augusta National and Cypress Point, Pasatiempo was where he decided to live and his house still sits right by the sixth hole. And according to Ken Woods, the PGA Professional and head professional at Pasatiempo, Mackenzie's ashes were spread around the course. 

Final Word: With not much to go on online, we turned to the general manager of Pasatiempo, D. Scott Hoyt, to see if he's heard any tales. Hoyt said he had not heard of any ghosts at the course. Woods also mentioned that he has not heard anything about Mackenzie's ghost being seen on the course.

Trails West Golf Course (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.)

Legend: Back in the 1880s, Catherine Sutter was traveling through Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with her family when her two children disappeared. She spent all winter searching for them, but could not find them and died. The legend continues that the continues that Native Americans found the children and kept them safe throughout the winter. The following spring, they were bringing the children back to Sutter when they found her dead. Now people claim to see Sutter wandering around the course with a latern continuing the search for her children.  

Final Word: With the origin story dating so far back, it is very difficult the accuracy of this tale. The PGA Professional at Trails West, Keith Stilwell, said he is familiar with the story but neither he nor any of his clients have any run-ins with the alleged ghost. 

October 29, 2014 - 10:41am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bryan Brothers
GolfDigest.com
This glow-in-the-dark special from the Bryan Brothers might give you a new appreciation of how incredible their trick-shot skills truly are.

It's been a big week for the Bryan Brothers.

Our favorite golf trick-shot artists posted their best video to date on Monday.

Today, they followed up with a special Halloween-themed, glow-in-the-dark trick video on GolfDigest.com.

Check it out:

Obviously there are a lot less shots in this video than a typical Bryan Bros. release. However, I did like the explanation on the "hit he deck" shot and how it showed us how far the ball actually traveled.

The glow-in-the-dark golf balls also answered a question I get from skeptics: Yeah, it's cool that they can pull off those shots, but where is the ball really going?

Answer: Right down the pipe, it appears.

October 29, 2014 - 9:17am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Instagram
Miguel Angel Jimenez has a work out routine unlike one we've ever seen before.

It's safe to say that Miguel Angel Jimenez marches to the beat of his own drum.

The latest example? This Instagram post by the European Tour's physio team:

 

Spotted the legend M A Jimenez hanging around in the gym using the equipment in his own unique way!! #bmwmasters

A photo posted by ETPI (@etpi_physiounit) on

Yes, that's Jimenez, upside down, doing whatever it is he's doing.

It's still not our favorite Jimenez fitness routine though...

October 29, 2014 - 8:57am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Sergio Garcia
USA Today Sports Images
Sergio Garcia did everything but win on the PGA Tour in 2014-15. Will that change this season?

The PGA Tour 2014-15 season rolls on this week at Kuala Lumpur Golf & CC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ryan Moore is the defending champ after outlasting Gary Woodland in a playoff a year ago. The field includes a lot of big names, highlighted by the likes of Sergio Garcia, Billy Horschel, Jason Dufner, Charl Schwartzel and Davis Love III.

RELATED: CIMB Classic tee times | Jordan punks Bradley on Twitter | Horschel's attitude

Here are five players to keep in eye on in the fourth tournament of the new season.

5. Hideki Matsuyama
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T3 Frys.com Open
Reason to watch: I really expected Matsuyama to take off after snagging his first PGA Tour win in June at the Memorial. It's not necessarily that he played poorly after the win -- he only missed the cut once in his next nine starts and played through to the Tour Championship -- but he didn't set the Tour on fire either. Well, in just two starts this season, Matsuyama is already halfway (two) to his top-10 total (four) from last season. After a tie for third at the Frys.com Open, he tied for 10th at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He should be refreshed after a week off. A year ago, Matsuyama tied for 25th at the CIMB Classic. He'll improve on that this time around.

4. Ryan Moore
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Missed cut at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: I'm not going to make a big deal out of that missed cut in Vegas for Moore. It was his first start of the new season. Shaking off the rust. He returns to Malaysia this week as the defending champ after edging Gary Woodland in a playoff in 2013. Moore's CIMB win in 2013 was one of seven top 10s he enjoyed in the 2013-14 season. He's looking to make the Tour Championship for the first time since 2012, so why not get the momentum started at a familiar place?

3. Paul Casey
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
First start
Reason to watch: In 2009, Casey was the No. 3-ranked player in the world. Due to injuries, he slipped down in recent years, but showed signs that things are moving in the right direction over the last several months. Though he didn't have a single top 10 on the PGA Tour in 16 starts during the 2013-14 season, Casey did win in the middle of September at the European Tour's KLM Open. His game is on the rise again and he'll be a player to watch throughout the season.

2. Gary Woodland
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
First start
Reason to watch: Woodland's runner-up finish to Moore at this very event in 2013 proved to be his best tournament of the season. It was one of five top 10s overall. The long-hitting Woodland has made big strides in his short game, and is regarded by many as the best athlete on Tour. Injuries have been a problem at times and that seems to be the only thing holding Woodland back. This two-time Tour winner is one of those players you can envision contending every time he tees it up.

1. Sergio Garcia
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
First start
Reason to watch: The only thing Garcia didn't do on the PGA Tour in 2013-14 is win. In 16 starts, he made the cut 15 times and finished among the top 10 on 10 occasions, including three runner-up efforts and two third-place showings. That's impressive stuff. One of Garcia's rare non-top-10 finishes was a T11 at the CIMB Classic. I like his chances this week.