Golf Buzz

June 30, 2016 - 4:59pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
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gregory bourdy bees
Golf Channel
Gregory Bourdy is swarmed by bees after hitting a shot during round one of the French Open.

As PGA Tour players look to transition to links-style golf in preparation for the Open Championship, a few of the game's best have opted to play in the French Open at Le Golf National, including Rory McIlroy and Masters champion Danny Willet.

Experts always say that links golf brings a whole new set of challenges, but this probably isn't what they had in mind.

During round one, Danny Willett and Gregory Bourdy had to deal with a swarm of bees on the 12th fairway. Captured by Golf Channel.

And by the tone of the announcers, it didn't even seem like an uncommon occurance. In fact, their reaction was, "it could've been worse, at least it wasn't hornets."

 

What? If that's me I'm running like a wild person whether it's bees or hornets.

That was until I saw this other video of what hornets can do. While the bees were a mild inconvenience, the hornets will make you strip down and jump in a lake.

 

How would you react if bees swarmed you while you're playing golf? Or, heaven forbid, hornets?

 

June 29, 2016 - 4:09pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
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J.R. Smith golf
Twitter / PGATour
Of course J.R. Smith has a pretty golf swing.

Every so often we are reminded how truly talented professional athletes are.

Especially those from the NFL and NBA.

This applies to the golf course, where a lot of players like to spend their off-seasons. NBA star Steph Curry is a scratch golfer, as is Philadelphia quarterback Sam Bradford. Andre Iguodala, Curry's teammate on Golden State, claims to have dropped his handicap 20 strokes in the last few years despite only playing in the summers.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward J.R. Smith is no exception. Here he is showing off some serious clubhead speed - with Dustin Johnson's driver - on the range at Firestone Country Club, site of this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. 

 

 

 

And yes, he had a shirt on.

 

June 29, 2016 - 1:49pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
samuel l jackson golf
Wikimedia Commons
Samuel L. Jackson is both an avid golfer and fan of the game.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson is a huge sports fan, and can have an intelligent conversation about anything from Lebron James' legacy to badminton in Vietnam.

In a recent interview with The Undefeated, he talked about both of those things, but chose golf without hesitation when asked what sport he plays now.

And his reasoning makes perfect sense:

Golf’s the perfect game ... Golf’s the one game where you’re absolutely responsible for everything that happens. The ball’s sitting there, you have a club in your hand, you have to move that ball a specific distance and a specific direction. If you do it great, you get all the credit. If you do it bad, you get all the credit. Nobody’s playing defense — none of that. It’s just you and the ball.

That was the case during a 2010 pro-am in Ireland. Nice escape, Samuel:

billy hurley III
Twitter / BillyHurley3
Billy Hurley III's neighbors welcomed him home after his first PGA Tour victory by decorating his house.

Billy Hurley III's victory at Congressional Country Club on Sunday was one of the best stories in golf this year.

The 34-year-old Naval Academy graduate won his first PGA Tour event at the Quicken Loans National, a tournament located near Washington D.C. and rooted deeply in honoring military personnel.

The victory also came 10 months after the death of his father.

"It's been a hard year," Hurley said. "It's been a really hard year, so it's nice to have something go well."

In addition to the sentimental value, the win earns Hurley $1,242,000, a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and berths into the Open Championship, the PGA Championship, and next year's Masters.

To celebrate the victory, Hurley's neighbors welcomed him home by decorating his house with balloons and congratulatory signs.

 

 

Hurley also shared a screenshot of his phone, showing off 233 text messages. It's certainly a day he'll never forget.

 

 

June 26, 2016 - 3:35pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
PGA Junior League Golf, growing the game
USA Today Sports Images
PGA Professionals and junior golfers at the PGA Merchandise Show.

The question always gets raised, "how do we get kids interested in golf?"

But lost in all the gimmicks is the most effective method: actually putting kids out on the golf course and letting them play.

That's what the PGA REACH program is trying to do with PGA Junior League Golf. And the numbers back up the simple fact that it's working.

(h/t to Griffin Adams of USA Today Sports)

“The program was created to introduce kids to the sport in a fun, recreational environment, playing on teams that would help us in the PGA’s mission to grow the game of golf and really allow golf to be thought of like every other youth team sport,” PGA Reach senior director Scott Kmiec said.

PGA Junior League Golf started in 2011 with 170 kids from 16 teams nationwide, but has exploded in growth to about 30,000 participants from 2,500 teams in 2015. Some of its leagues, which now span 48 states, are for participants age 13-and-under and others are 16-and-under.

All of the young golfers are playing for a chance to tee it up at the PGA Junior League Golf Championships in November at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

However, the program isn't so much about the competition as it is introducing a love for the game.

“It’s not really like, ‘We’re (going to) beat you, we’re (going to) win,’” said 10-year-old Marty Russo, a participant in the program. “It’s more like, ‘Let’s have fun, and let’s see how it’s (going to) turn out.’ It’s more like just having fun, you can definitely tell.”

Participants are part of a team, and wear jerseys with numbers on the back similar to what you'd expect from other youth sports. And the PGA JLG provides subsidized costs and financial assistance for kids who couldn't normally afford to play.

With support from players like Rory McIlory, Rickie Fowler, and Michelle Wie, and great venues like Congressional Country Club, it's not hard to imagine continued growth for PGA Junior League Golf.