Golf Buzz

January 30, 2014 - 2:35pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Payne Stewart
Getty Images
Payne Stewart would have been 57 on Jan. 30th, 2014.

Happy birthday Payne Stewart.

Golfer, gentleman, icon, champion. Can't really add too much to that list...nor would you want to.

Stewart, who won eleven PGA Tour events (including three major championships) showed that hard work and perserverence could - and should - be rewarded in the game. Even more, class and humility would always be a part of golf's culture as well.

His throwback fashion style, complete with plus fours and ivy caps, made him distinctive. His engagement with fans made him popular. His fiery passion made him a champion. And of course, his fist pump at Pinehurst (the '99 U.S. Open) made him a legend.
 

 

Each year, the PGA Tour recognizes a player who "shows respect for the traditions of the game, commitment to uphold the game's heritage of charitable support and professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through dress and conduct." The name of the award? The Payne Stewart Award...naturally.

The then 42 year-old golfer was in his prime, coming off one of the most memorable U.S. Open wins of all time - and being a part of one of the most incredible Ryder Cup comebacks ever (Brookline), when he was taken from us in a tragic airplane accident in Oct. 1999. But his legacy and spirit still live on. Very strong in fact.

Pinehurst, which has immortalized that fist pump with a now famous statue off the 18th green, will be hosting both the men's and women's U.S. Opens this year. There will be much talk about Payne Stewart and his place in the game. As there should be.

Stewart would have been 57 years-old today. Hoping he's teeing it up somewhere and celebrating with a fist pump.
 
John Kim's Twitter avatar includes Payne Stewart (and once he tried to change the avatar and was shamed into not doing it by many).  You can follow him on Twitter at @johnkim.

January 30, 2014 - 9:55am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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CS2 training aid
CS2 Putting Aid
The CS2 putting aid serves many functions that all point to one major result for you -- a more consistent putting stroke.

How many times throughout the course of an 18-hole round of golf do you three-putt? If the answer is anything more than "zero," that's probably too much.

Even if you rarely three-putt, you can always use more consistency on the greens.

That's where a company called "CS2" comes to the rescue. "CS2" stands for: "Consistent Stroke/Consistently Square" (putter face at impact).

CS2 offers an incredibly helpful putting aid that's sure to improve your stroke, which will result in more confidence on the greens and less strokes recorded on your scorecard.

RELATED: PGA Professional mastermind behind popular Orange Whip swing tool

The CS2, essentially, is a board that is designed to give golfers a great visual as well as intuitive feel as to what is happening in their putting stroke.

Watch the video below where European Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, who has been known to make some huge putts under pressure, explains how you can use the CS2:

 

 

The CS2 is basically a two part training system.

"The first part is what we call the base plate," explained Ronnie Mathews, one of the men behind CS2. "We recommend that golfers start with this only, as it will help them to understand their own preferred putting path. We do not believe that there is one perfect putting stroke -- rather that each golfer needs to find his own preferred path. The guide rails on the base plate are completely adjustable to accommodate any putter head size, and also the golfer's current skill level. In addition, you will see that the rails can be set up for a 'square to square' stroke, or can be arced to accommodate an 'in to square' stroke. This arc can vary from slightly inside, to quite radically inside."

Once the preferred putter path is determined, Mathews recommends that the golfer record the preferred setting and set up to those specific numbers for each practice session. Golfers should become so comfortable with the setting that they can make a putt with their eyes closed.

The second part of the CS2 training system involves learning how to return the putter face to square at impact.

"In this stage, the runway is clipped onto the base plate, and the two adjustable end gates are clipped onto the runway," Mathews said. "To start, the end gates should be set at their widest setting. The objective now is to roll the ball through the end gates without hitting either side. Once the golfer is regularly doing this, the gates can be made tighter. Once the golfer is getting the ball through the tight setting most of time, they are already vastly improved putters."

CS2 also teaches the golfer proper alignment and aim. The base plate has lines which show a square putter face at address, as well as a reflective patch to give an indication of where there head is.

"We do not believe that every golfer's head has to be directly over the ball, therefore the reflective patch is not an 'eye mirror,' but rather a guide as to where your head is," Mathews said. "The line on the runway gives the golfer a great visual image of the intended line of putt."

The beauty of the CS2 is that it works just as well indoors as it does outdoors -- welcome news for those of us who can't get out to the course in brutal winter weather conditions.

To learn more about the CS2, visit www.cs2putting.com.

The CS2 Putting Aid is available for $89 and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

CS2 also offers a Putting Cup (included with the putting aid, or sold separately for $12.99).

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

 

January 29, 2014 - 11:21pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning
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Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning teamed up in the pro-am before the 2009 Quail Hollow Championship.
Tiger Woods is well known as a fan of the Oakland Raiders, which means that he'll have to cheer for some other team in the Super Bowl this Sunday.
 
So who'll it be?
 
Perhaps surprisingly, Woods will be backing the Raiders' AFC West rivals, the Denver Broncos, over the opposing Seattle Seahawks. So what's the deal?
 
''I like the Broncos. I'm good friends with Peyton (Manning),'' he said in Dubai, where he is playing the Omega Dubai Desert Classic this week. 
 
''Let's be honest, he got scrutinized pretty hard when he left (the Colts) that he would never be the same after his neck surgery, and it's right, he's not the same; he's better,'' Woods added. ''That's cool to see. That's cool to see the hard work that he put in to shut everybody up.''
 
Hmm, sounds like Tiger can relate to Peyton more than a little.
 
I’m not sure when those two first met, but Woods played with Manning in the pro-am before the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte back in 2009 (as seen in the photo above), and he and girlfriend Lindsey Vonn (a Vail residnet who's a big Broncos fan in her own right) attended the Broncos-Chiefs game in Denver back in November.
 
 
January 29, 2014 - 7:03pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Mobile Warming outerwear
courtesy of Mobile Warming
The women's softshell vest (l) and men's jacket from Mobile Warming contain heating elements powered by small lithium-ion batteries that are sewn into each garment.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the fifth one:
 
With most of the country in the deep freeze, it seems like a great time to explore clothes that can keep your warm on the golf course. I could name a dozen or more clothiers that produce outerwear that is easy to swing a club in while fighting off the wind and rain. But to me, the one company that stands out in making golfwear for those most challenging days on the course is Mobile Warming.
 
Based in Milwaukee, Mobile Warming creates golf clothes – as well as separate lines for motorcyclists and general outdoors enthusiasts – with a unique feature. They contain portable heating units powered by batteries that are sewn into each piece.
 
Specifically, the company's products – which also include a heated back wrap, heated mitts and even a heated golf cart seat – use what Mobile Warming calls far-infrared heat (FIR) and ultra-fine metal fiber heating technologies that provide active heat through a portable power-supply in the form of a small lithium-ion battery. Each garment contains heating panels on the chest and back lined with steel alloy fibers that insulate the upper body quickly and for up to 10 hours.
 
 
The Mobile Warming line of golfwear includes a rain jacket, softshell jacket, heated shirt and a sleeveless vest that the company says was designed with input from PGA Professionals. Among the benefits of these garments is that the heating system keeps the upper-body muscles warm and loose, and eliminates the need for multiple layers that can restrict the full-swing motion.
 
The battery units have a built-in control so wearers can choose from among four different levels of heat and, the company says, the batteries can be recharged 500 times (a charger is included). Each garment is made from lightweight Windshark fabric, which is waterproof, windproof and stretchable. And in case you were wondering, the garments conform to USGA rules.
 
Some of the pieces, like the heated shirts, can – and should – be worn under regular outwear. The shirts in particular are made of a stretchy antibacterial fabric designed to wick away perspiration, and even have mesh side inserts to help you regulate your temperature.
 
The price range for Mobile Warming gear ranges from $219.99 for rain jackets down to $159.99 for heated shirts and softshell vests, and there are lines for both men and women. They are available at select retailers and at www.MobileWarmingGear.com.
 
 
 
January 29, 2014 - 2:30pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Payne Stewart
Photo: Courtesy Pinehurst Resorts Twitter
Pinehurst Resort tweeted out a photo that showed the iconic statue of Payne Stewart in a new beautiful way.

Give Pinehurst Resort credit. They've taken a situation that certainly doesn't help business - and turned it into a way to celebrate an icon and their venue.

With a snow storm blasting many areas of the Southeast, Pinehurst was covered in a somewhat rare but still significant snowfall. So what'd they do? They shared a great photo of their most celebrated champion, Payne Stewart.

 

 

Pinehurst Resort has been great at sharing their news and images via their blog. You can check it out here.

January 29, 2014 - 1:53pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Callaway's Harry Arnett and Annika Sorenstam
Photo: Courtesy Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf's Harry Arnett poses with Callaway brand ambassador Annika Sorenstam at the 2014 PGA Show.

The question I have been asked the most - by far - in my career in golf has been, "How can someone with no real background, connections or particular talent to play, also get a good job in golf?"

Since I fit that description quite well, you'd think it'd be an easy answer for me. But it seemed to me that it was a combination of timing, luck and persistence. That's a hard formula to replicate, much less advise as a route to follow. And even more, I always leave out what might be the most important quality of all - you have to love golf. I mean, really love it.

READ: How one industry exec turned his love of golf into a successful career

So enter my good friend Harry Arnett, the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Callaway Golf. He and I often joke we're the same person (very similar backgrounds: Atlanta raised, huge Falcons fans, picked up game late, etc.). His latest blog on the Callaway Golf website proves (as does his title, paycheck, golf game, etc...) that's we're actually kind of different and that he's way cooler than I am.

Harry's latest entry on his Callaway Golf blog gives a GREAT account on not only how he, a golf "outsider" became one of the most respected names in the industry, but also how chasing the golf dream means more than just making the winning putt at a major championship. He was not the first to go down this road, but his ability to turn his avocation into his career is one that we can all (golf or not) learn from as we all chase our dream jobs.
 

 

From his endless hours in golf shops to bookstores to visits (announced and unannounced) to famous golf courses, read how his passion for the game (including a part-time job in a bag room) ultimatley led to his position now. And don't just read it, think about how it can apply to your dreams. It's a good read, it's a good lesson. No matter what your dream job might be.