Golf Buzz

November 27, 2013 - 10:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Phil Mickelson
Getty Images
Phil Mickelson might be cutting back on his playing schedule in 2014, but he has announced that he will return to Scotland to defend the Scottish Open one week before trying to defend the Open Championship.

Admittedly, Phil Mickelson struggled for years to figure out how best to play the demanding links-style golf that's required to contend in the Open Championship.

This past summer, Mickelson traveled to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean a week early to play in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart -- a true lins test, unlike recent Scottish Open's at the beautiful, but inland and tree-lined, Loch Lomond.

During this particular tournament, something clicked for Mickelson. He won a playoff that week over Branden Grace and then went on to win his fifth major overall -- and first Open -- the following week at Muirfield.

READ: The story behind Mike's Golf Shop viral video ad

Mickelson birdied four of the last six holes in an incredible final round of 66 to win the Open by three strokes.

"I played arguably the best round of my career, and shot the round of my life," he said then. "The range of emotions I feel are as far apart as possible after losing the U.S. Open. But you have to be resilient in this game."

Late in 2013, Mickelson announced that he'd be cutting back his competitive schedule in an effort to be ready for the majors. One tournament that won't be cut, however, is the Scottish Open.

The 2014 Scottish Open will be held at Royal Aberdeen one week before the Open at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England.

"Winning the Scottish Open was a huge factor in my success the next week at the Open Championship," Mickelson said in a release. "I was able to acclimate myself to the time change, the weather, the wind, the links conditions and all in the heat of serious competition, which itself was a big added plus."

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

November 26, 2013 - 3:07pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Patrons at Augusta National
Photo: Getty Images
Patrons at Augusta National will get more parking opportunities close to the course soon.

The large crowds that flock to Augusta National each April may be getting some help on their treck to the Masters. 
 

Bloomberg news is reporting that the club recently purchased some real estate off famed Washington Road with plans to convert was was "The Greens" apartment complex into a parking lot for the patrons.

The club did confirm it had plans to use the space for a parking lot but would not confirm any other speculation about future use of the land.

You can read the entire article about the land purchase here.

As someone who has been fortunate enough to attend a number of days at Augusta National during Masters Week, I can certainly confirm that the only downside of the trip is the traffic & parking.  Anything that can be done to alleviate the time spent in the car looking for a spot means more time on the course enjoying the awesomeness that is the Masters.  

Here's hoping this is a move that only adds greater enjoyment to what is already one of sports' greatest and most enjoyable events.

 

You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim

November 26, 2013 - 2:38pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

There are few things more daunting for the average golfer than having to hit a bunker shot to a short-sided pin.

The goal to get out of the bunker is to blast it, yet you also want to be delicate with the pin so close. In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Mitch Lowe offers up some great advice on how to execute a flop shot from a bunker to help you get closer to that short-sided hole location.

 

 

Categories: Mitch Lowe, PGA
November 26, 2013 - 1:33pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
The Puma Monolite golf shoe.
PUMA Golf
The Puma Monolite golf shoe.

Puma Golf has introduced a new shoe for its 2014 line up -- the Monolite -- a versatile shoe designed to provide comfort and style for all 19 holes.

According to Puma, the Monolite weighs in at only 9.5oz., which, it says, is 30 percent less than comparable styles on the market.

"The Monolite is the perfect shoe to kick off our new LiteStyle platform we are launching in 2014," said Tom Manthe, Global Marketing Manager for Puma Golf. "The spikeless shoe goes from the tee box to the clubhouse in effortless style and lightweight comfort."

RELATED: PUMA Golf brings music to the course with new SOUNDCHUCK

The Monolite's Carbon Rubber outsole uses SmartQuill to enhance grip and traction throughout the golfer's swing by strategically shaping and positioning traction lugs directionally. The compression EVA midsole is fully integrated with the external heel counter, creating one cohesive unit that allows for ultimate lightweight comfort and cushioning while maintaining high levels of support and traction.

A premium, waterproof upper made with full-grain leather features subtle design and color details in five hard-to-resist color options. Everfoam is strategically positioned within the upper for a comfortable fit that has slow recovery memory foam adjusting to the contours of your foot with every step.

The Monolite is available in two perforated leather options (Monaco Blue/Lime Green/White and White/Tradewinds/Pomegranate) and three smooth leather options (Tradewinds/White/Monaco Blue, Chestnut/Black Coffee/Vibrant Orange and Black/Castlerock/Deep Lavendar). Each shoe comes with two laces to customize your look as often as you want.

The Monolite Wns (for women) is available in four trendsetting color combinations with an upper inspired by an oxford silhouette. Featuring a yoga mat sockliner (that is literally made out of yoga mat material) the Monolite Wns provides all day comfort and cushioning to keep your feet feeling relaxed and looking great.

The Monolite ($100) and Monolite Wns ($70) are available for pre-order now at http://www.pumagolf.com/monolite-golf-shoes and will hit shelves at select golf retailers starting Dec. 1, 2013.

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

November 25, 2013 - 8:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Nike RZN golf balls
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The four new RZN golf balls from Nike Golf features a Speedlock interlocking core design that helps improve the transfer of energy at impact.

In creating the four new models in its RZN golf ball collection, Nike Golf worked from the inside out.

The company's proprietary Speedlock RZN core technology features an interlocking core design – the core's surface is similar to a waffle iron. This design helps the core connect with the compression layer surrounding it to form a tighter bond that helps improve the transfer of energy through the layers at impact.  

Similar to the way that snow tires utilize aggressive tread to bond with a road surface, Nike Golf explains, the Speedlock core's interlocking geometry helps eliminate the slipping that normally occurs between a traditional, smooth-surface core and the outer layer. When a core slides or slips on impact, the ball loses energy and, as a result, speed and distance. 

''We knew we hadn't pulled 100 percent of the energy that we could out of the existing RZN core,'' said Rock Ishiii, Nike's senior director of golf product development. ''Working in partnership with DuPont, we were able to develop a softer and faster RZN material and created the interlocking core design to reduce energy loss at impact.

''The lightweight RZN material allows us to add weight to the perimeter of the golf ball, which gives the new RZN family an extremely high Moment of Inertia (MOI) in a golf ball,'' he added. ''This provides incredible ball flight stability in all wind conditions.''

GAME CHANGERS: Nike VR_S Covert Driver

When they began considering how to build these new balls about a year ago, Nike Golf designers looked to the past – specifically, the original Haskell ball, which emerged in the early 1900s as the first rubber-core golf ball. The Haskell design – consisting of elastic thread wound around a rubber core under extreme tension – helped make slower materials faster, and Nike engineers explored what that could mean for a lighter, more modern RZN material in the core.

''Tightly wrapped material pulls more energy through the layers, and converts that energy into additional ball speed,'' Ishii said. ''One additional mile per hour produces an average of five yards in additional distance.''

A new spin-optimized coating on the ball's outer surface helps grip the grooves on the clubface for better control on wedge and iron shots. This coating, along with a softer cover and softer compression in the core, helps provide improved sound and feel, especially on off-center shots.

The four new models include:

--RZN Platinum: Tour-level control with moderate spin
--RZN Black: Tour-level distance with less spin
--RZN Red: Distance with longer carry
--RZN White: Distance with softer feel for swing speeds of 95-100 mph

The new balls will be available at retail on March 1, 2014. The Platinum and Black models carry a suggested retail price of $58 per dozen (and a street price of $45.99), while the the Red and White models carry a suggested retail price of $40.00 (and a street price of $29.99).

 

November 25, 2013 - 2:03pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

There are three factors that are of utmost importance when setting up for a golf shot: grip, posture and ball position.

In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Mike Davis tells you how to put yourself in the right positions as you prepare to hit your shot.