Golf Buzz

December 6, 2013 - 10:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jason Dufner
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It seems Jason Dufner's three favorite things these days are winning golf tournaments, Auburn football and annoying good buddy Keegan Bradley.

Ever since the 2011 PGA Championship where Keegan Bradley edged Jason Dufner in a playoff at the Atlanta Athletic Club, the two have formed a bond.

Like any two alpha males, however, that bond is fostered more by ribbing than anything else.

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The number of stunts the two have pulled on one another over the last couple of years seem endless. Here are a few just from this year: When Bradley switched from a visor to one of those flat-billed hats, Dufner tweeted a picture of the Lego Man in a construction helmet and asked if that was the look Bradley was going for; at the PGA Championship -- which Dufner won at Oak Hill -- the two were part of a pre-tournament money match. Bradley, trailing in the match with partner Rob Labritz, a PGA Professional, said to Labritz, "Hey Rob, did I ever tell you this story? I was 4 down with five to go and I won this tournament," -- that's what Bradley did to Dufner in the 2011 PGA and he said those words loud enough for Dufner to hear; paired together at the 2013 Tour Championship, Bradley holed out a shot for eagle from the fairway and immediately Dufnered in celebration.

There have been many more moments between the two, the latest of which came on Thursday in the first round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club.

After Dufner hit a shot from a bunker, Bradley's caddie, Steve "Pepsi" Hale, walked into the bunker to rake. As he stepped in, Hale picked up a massive rock, handed it to Dufner and said, "You want a souvenir?"

Dufner took the rock and walked directly to Bradley's bag and stuff it in one of the pockets.

Here's the video:

 

 

Sure, Pepsi picked up on it while it was happening, but it was classic nonetheless.

Bottom line: Bradley and Dufner need their own reality show.

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

December 5, 2013 - 3:55pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Sun Mountain
Sun Mountain
The new V1 Sport push cart from Sun Mountain.

The newest version of Sun Mountain's Speed Cart golf push cart, the V1 Sport, combines the most popular features of past Speed Cart models with new colors and graphics plus it folds and unfolds easier than ever, has an improved brake system, and mag wheels.

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The new for 2014 Speed Cart V1 Sport features a quick-release E-Z Latch System to allow easier folding, unfolding and handle height adjustment. V1 Sport also features maintenance-free synthetic wheels with solid foam tires and a new pin brake system, which replaces the former caliper brake, to securely lock the wheels in place.

Additional features on the Speed Cart V1 Sport include adjustable brackets that secure a golf bag without using straps or cords, an umbrella mount that secures an open umbrella to shield you (and your clubs) from rain (or sun) and an accessories tray with a scorecard holder, drink holder and a mesh headcover tray.

The patented fold down design of Speed Cart allows the lightweight 17 lbs. cart to fold down in seconds and conveniently fit into a car trunk. Optional accessories for the Speed Cart include a Sun Mountain UV golf umbrella, Speed-Paq™ bag for extra storage, cart seat, sand and seed mix bottle, a storage cover, and cart mitts that smartly attach to cart handle. Speed Cart V1 Sport colors for 2014 include white/lime, silver/pink, black, blue, gunmetal/red, silver, and gunmetal/orange.

Speed Cart V1 Sport is in stores now with a suggested retail price of $199. To find your most convenient retailer, call 800-227-9224 or visit www.sunmountain.com.

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

 

December 5, 2013 - 1:00pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

One of the most important aspects of golf when it comes to scoring is control of your wedges.

In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Ron Philo Jr. demonstrates how you can improve your scores by mastering the three-quarter wedge shot.

 

December 5, 2013 - 10:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Sweden's Joel Sjoholm
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Sweden's Joel Sjoholm played his first hole in the European Tour's Hong Kong Open in sneakers on Thursday after arriving at the course just in time for his scheduled tee off.

The European Tour is in China this week for the Hong Kong Open. For most who play that tour, it sure is a long way to travel. Therefore, jetlag is no surprise.

But, what happened Thursday morning isn't something you see very often in professional golf -- one player was disqualified for showing up late for his tee time, while another got there just in the nick of time and was forced to play the first hole in his sneakers.

Let's start with the unfortunate DQ of Finland's Joonas Granberg. According to a SkySports.com report (found by Golf Channel's Ryan Lavner), Granberg was disqualified when he showed up to the wrong tee box for a scheduled 11:50 a.m. local time tee off. Granberg went to the first tee, but oddly, was meant to tee off on the 11th hole.

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The 26-year-old ran to No. 11 only to see that his caddie wasn't there. The caddie had gone to the 10th tee -- the more usual starting place for a two-tee start. When the caddie couldn't get to the 11th tee in time, Granberg was disqualified.

Then there was Sweden's Joel Sjoholm, who arrived at the course for his tee time with no time to spare.

"I set six alarm clocks this morning and woke up in desperation at 7:58 a.m., tee time was 8:30 a.m. and we live a good 25 minutes from here so I was panicking to the tee box," Sjoholm told European Tour Radio, according to the Sky report.

Sjoholm was lucky to snag a quick taxi. That got him to the course, but not with enough time to go to the locker room to change from sneakers into his golf shoes.

"They went to the locker for me and I played the first hole in sneakers until I came up to the green when they were standing nicely there with two pairs of shoes so I could pick," he said. "It was the royal treatment!

"It felt quite awkward and when I was standing over the first tee shot I realized I hadn't even tied the laces on my sneakers, which are a half size too big as well."

As expected, the day only got better for Sjoholm after nearly missing out on the tournament. He shot a 2-under 68 and was four shots off the pace.

"I am happy I shot minus two -- I should not even be here," he said in the report. "I am really happy at the moment. Maybe I should do it more often because it's a long time since I started that good."

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

December 5, 2013 - 9:20am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Titleist
Titleist
Titleist has introduced the new Scotty Cameron Futura X Dual Balance Putter.

Titleist has announced that its Scotty Cameron Futura X Dual Balance putter is now available worldwide through Titleist authorized golf shops (MSRP, $399).

The new Futura X Dual Balance mallet, a product of comprehensive putting research and golfer testing, provides maximum stability through the stroke and at impact from a high MOI, counterbalanced design, Titleist says.

The Futura X Dual Balance putter features advanced perimeter stability weighting in the head and a standard length of 38 inches with a large diameter 15-inch grip that reduces hand action for a smoother, more stable stroke. A 50-gram counterweight in the butt of the putter shaft helps golfers make a proper stroke with the butt of the shaft pointed at the midsection.

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"We've found, through our last 20 years of high speed video research with tour players, that the best putters in the world point the butt of their putter at their midsection throughout the putting stroke," said Master Craftsman Scotty Cameron, whose putters have been the No. 1 choice of players on the PGA Tour since 1997 and counting. "From address, to the backstroke, at impact and through the forward stroke -- the butt of the putter remains pointed to about the same 1- or 2-inch circle in their belly area.

"With Futura X Dual Balance, the goal was to slow down the butt end of the putter and keep it stable. If you have quick hands, drag the butt away, or you struggle to make a consistent stroke with a conventional putter, Futura X Dual Balance is a great option."

The proper length of a Dual Balance putter is three inches longer than a golferʼs conventional putter length. Accordingly, the standard length of Dual Balance is 38 inches, three inches longer than the standard length of a conventional 35 inch Scotty Cameron putter. The large diameter Cameron Flat Front Winn grip has a colored section at the top that indicates the proper hand placement at 35 inches, which keeps the 50-gram counterweight above the hands for maximum effect. The 15-inch grip length also allows for multiple hand placement options and the ability to grip up or down, depending on the player's preference.

"The higher we can get the butt weight, the more counterbalance effect there is," Cameron said. "The additional three inches provides stability but keeps the putter unanchored."

Precision milled from high-grade 6061 aluminum, the Futura X Dual Balance head utilizes a heavy stainless center section and stainless heel and toe to deliver a precise counterbalance with an extra 50 grams in the head and a 50-gram weight in the shaft. The overall headweight is 400 grams, 50 grams heavier than the standard Futura X.

"We developed numerous prototypes using various counterbalance weighting techniques and tested them with golfers at the Putter Studio and on the PGA Tour," Cameron said.
"When we introduced dual balance technology, the player feedback was extraordinary. Itʼs very balanced, itʼs very controlled. It slows everything down and promotes a more flowing, lethargic stroke without the putter feeling too heavy. Some players have said it feels like an SUV versus a sports car."

The Futura X Dual Balance head also features advanced perimeter stability weighting with four stainless heel-toe weights, two 20-gram weights on the rear balance bar and two 10- gram sole weights in the front corners of the putter. The resulting deep CG plus the perimeter weighting under the face creates forgiveness and solid feel for a great roll.

"That rear balance bar allows us to add considerable weight a fairly long distance away from the shaft axis, which is really what drives the high MOI," said Cameron. "Can you get it too far back weighted? Absolutely. We put the balance point so it sets well and maximizes the MOI and the resistance to twist at impact on off center hits."

The putter has a Frozen Titanium finish that helps reduce glare, two black sightlines and red cherry-dot weights in the sole and balance bar. The mid-milled face texture draws a crisp sound from the aluminum face and body.

A double-bend, stepless steel shaft with one shaft of offset provides a square, technical visual at address.

The original Futura X head design was the direct result of Cameron's extensive work with Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott, who used a prototype version of the putter in winning the 2013 Masters Tournament. Scott, who has been using Cameron putters for more than a decade, calls his Futura X "the most stable putter I have ever played."

For more information, visit www.titleist.com.

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

December 5, 2013 - 12:04am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods
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Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have huge Twitter followings, but neither seems too interested in getting more active on the micro-blogging platform.

I don't know about you, but I am a huge Twitter fan. Of course, I use it mostly as a ''town crier''-type news service, and I'm most certainly not one of the best golfers in the world.

Apparently, some of those best golfers in the world aren't are enamored as I am.

At the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge on Wednesday, both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were asked about their thoughts on Twitter. Neither exactly embraced it with open arms.

When asked how much he used Twitter to keep up with golf and other sports, as well as gauge his fans' reaction to various happenings, McIlroy said: ''Not as much as I used to, if I'm honest.''

His biggest issue, he explained, is that fans tend to overreact to both the good and the bad.

''In terms of the outside public, what I feel like I've learned this year is they think that your good is better than what it is, and I think they think your bad is worse than what it is,'' McIlroy said. ''hen you do well, you get hyped up so much, and when you do badly they think it's the worst thing ever.  So there is no real balance in it.

''So there is no point in getting carried away with the hype, and no point in getting carried away with the criticism, either,'' he added. ''So I don't look at the comments that much, if I'm honest. I'll look at my timeline and people that I follow. But in terms of what fans and public are saying, I try not to look into it too much.''

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Woods, at the ripe old age of 37, said he was too old school for this new-fangled Twitter thing, and admitted that girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, a mere 29, has encouraged him to be more active.

''She certainly has hinted that (he tweet more), but I grew up in a different era, and it's a little bit different for me,'' he said. ''I'm still a little bit old school. I'm kind of getting towards it, but still not quite grasping the whole concept yet, but I'll get there eventually.''

Somehow I doubt Tiger is truly too ''old school'' to be ''grasping the whole concept'' of Twitter. I can certainaly understand his reluctance to get too engaged, given the huge reaction his every media utterance prompts. But he's a smart, funny guy, and I think we'd all very much like to get more of his thoughts, especially about all aspects of his golf game, even if it's limited to 140-character bursts – that goes for Rory, too.

And perhaps Woods is headed that way. It was pointed out to him that he tweeted five whole times over a two-day period in his give-and-take with Auburn fan Jason Dufner – a new record for him.

Tiger smiled and replied, ''I'm hot, aren't I?''

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