Golf Buzz

Mizuno Play Famously golfers
Mizuno Golf
A few lucky golfers will (again) rub elbows with the likes of Mizuno staff players Luke Donald, Charles Howell and Jonathan Byrd as part of the second edition of the "Play Famously" campaign.
 
Last year, Mizuno Golf offered fans of its incredible golf clubs the chance to experience the life of a PGA Tour star by participating in its "Play Famously" campaign. This year, the contest returns with the hope of giving one lucky amateur golfer the experience of a lifetime.
 
Twelve weekend hackers from across the country will (again) be rubbing elbows with the likes of Mizuno staff players Luke Donald, Charles Howell and Jonathan Byrd.
 
Sound like an amateur golfer's dream?  If last year was any indication, it absolutely is.
 
Mizuno Golf’s Play Famously campaign was incredibly well received. It struck a nerve with its ability to unearth incredible stories of golf as a remedy; a solace that has helped individuals overcome significant life challenges, whether they be health-related, relationship-related or psychological.
 
 
What is the message this campaign seeks to convey? No one expects to throw a football like Peyton Manning or dunk a basketball like LeBron James. Likewise, average golfers know they’ll never hand in a scorecard as good as Luke Donald or Stacey Lewis. But even borderline duffers know that every so often they can hit a shot, or even play a hole, as well as Luke and Stacey. Golf is unique among sports because inside every golfer lurks a pro.
 
Mizuno decided to capitalize on this unique quality of golf. Last year the company gave average golfers the chance to “Play Famously” through a competition that rewarded 12 passionate high handicappers with a contract to become a member of Team JPX and receive the ultimate in pro-level treatment. To qualify, golfers had to submit a 500-word essay describing their passion for the game to the contest website, Playfamously.com. Mizuno saw nearly 6,000 golfers join the competition with a lucky 12 ultimately selected.
 
So this year, Mizuno is inviting average golfers to “Play Famously” once again. But instead of focusing only on their passion for game improvement, Mizuno is also focusing on "life improvement." Mizuno wants to celebrate "transformative" stories of how golf has helped, or is helping, individuals overcome significant life challenges. It's part and parcel to Mizuno's overall brand mission of "inspiring the true love of sports."
 
The sequel to Mizuno’s “Play Famously” launched in support of its new JPX EZ, the ultimate game-improvement iron, billed as the largest sweet spot in golf. It will also serve as an invitation for golfers to demo the irons and submit their stories about the transformative power of golf at work in their lives. Mizuno Golf announced the first members of Team JPX in February with two more added every month up to July 21.
 
All team members will receive their own custom set of Mizuno JPX– EZ irons, a custom Mizuno staff bag, Team JPX apparel, golf lessons from a professional instructor and the chance to compete in the JPX Invitational in September at the Country Club of the South in Atlanta.
 
 
 
 
March 14, 2014 - 9:36am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
State Traditions
State Traditions
The classy, clean look of State Traditions apparel and accessories is the perfect way to show off your state pride on the golf course.

Who doesn't take pride in their state? I come from Rhode Island -- the smallest state in the Union, in case you hadn't heard -- and I sure do.

Thanks to a company called, "State Traditions," you can show off that pride like never before.

State Traditions, based out of Birmingham, Ala., has released its 2014 collection of state-inspired apparel and accessories, available now at finer green grass shops and resorts nationwide and on the brand’s website www.statetraditions.com.

READ: Rose & Fire raises the bar for high-end headcovers

The extensive State Traditions collection is made up of caps, visors, polos, belts, neckwear, and button-front shirts. Those items use the outlines of all 50 states to offer golfers a clean-looking alternative to the loud logos prevalent today.

"Our brand connects emotionally with consumers, everyone has a home state, alma mater or favorite team," says Keith Brown, President of State Traditions. "Whether it's on a golf trip with buddies or at a gameday tailgate, our pieces communicate those feelings in a timeless way."

Each piece of apparel and each accessory from State Traditions offers a choice of state silhouette in its respective flag pattern or colors reflective of its popular sports teams.

Retailing from $3 to $80, the State Traditions 2014 lineup is anchored by its robust headwear range, according to the company. The 100-percent cotton caps and visors, State Traditions says, marry classic style with modern design elements suitable for both sporting and everyday activities.

Along with a healthy offering of apparel for golfers -- the polos, caps, visors and belts -- State Traditions also offers premium ball markers and divot repair tools.

To learn more about State Traditions, visit www.statetraditions.com.
 

Rory McIlroy's old mansion in Northern Ireland
Rory McIlroy's five-bedroom house and 14-acre estate will be used in the hospitality business.
Rory McIlroy proposed to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki on New Year's Day, but the couple has yet to publicly announce a date or venue for the much-anticipated wedding. One thing you can bank on: The wedding will not take place at McIlroy's former mansion in Northern Ireland.
 
Other people may soon be getting married there, however, reports The Irish Mirror. The property, once worth $2.79 million, sold nearly a year ago to property developer and former TV personality Gary McCausland. His company, Robinhall House Ltd., now plans to use the five-bedroom house and 14-acre estate in the hospitality business.
 
 
The property sits in Carryduff, which is just outside Belfast, the capital and largest city in Northern Ireland. It boasts a gym and may soon have a swimming pool, but the most attractive feature has to be the golf course, which even comes with a putting green and driving range. This is basically the place where McIlroy honed his game en route to becoming the No. 1 player in the world.
 
McIlroy used to think he'd always be based in Northern Ireland, but with the PGA Tour and most of the biggest events primarily in the U.S., he purchased a $9.5 million, 15,000-square-foot mansion in Jupiter, Fla., in 2012.
 
McIlroy shared the Northern Ireland house with his ex-girlfriend, Holly Sweeney.
 
 
 
March 13, 2014 - 5:56pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tom Watson
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson says he hopes Tiger Woods is healthy enough to play at Gleneagles.
U.S. Ryder Cup Tom Watson met the media on Thursday at the Champions Tour's Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., and made it very clear he's paying close attention to the players who are making moves up the points list – and to one who isn't.
 
"…Tiger has not played well and is injured. There's a story in itself," Watson said. "I want Tiger to be on the team in the worst way; I just hope he's healthy enough to be able to play."
 
Woods, of course, has been dealing with back pain much of the season so far, but Watson noted that, with six months still to go until the Ryder Cup is played, "it's really early yet, way too early to tell."
 
 
And while Woods has struggled, younger players like Patrick Reed have been soaring – and Watson definitely has noticed.
 
"What Patrick said [about being a top-5 player], I can understand him saying that, but after 14 events and winning three of them, I guess maybe he has a little bit of street cred," Watson said. "After my first event winning, I said I hope my goal was to be the best golfer in the world. After winning three out of the first 14, you've got to give the guy a little bit of credit."
 
Elsewhere in his news conference, Watson hit on topics ranging from the age of his vice captains to his impression of young French player Victor Dubuisson, who almost won the Accenture Match Play Championship and is likely to be on the European squad at Gleneagles. To read the entire transcript, click here.
 
Fran Thomas
Fran Thomas got two aces in 1987, then carded her third 27 years later.
Still looking for the first hole-in-one of your lifetime? Are you of retirement age and still shooting for that first ace? Fret not, it could still come.
 
Fran Thomas of Tucson, Ariz., was in her mid-60s when she sank her first hole-in-one. And she even carded a second one that same year in 1987.
 
Thomas is now 92 – and the owner of three lifetime aces. This past January she watched her tee shot drop in the cup at the 108-yard 13th hole at Rolling Hills Golf Course in Tucson. That's nearly 27 years after her other holes-in-one from the course's second hole.
 
 
Granted, you're not going to see the PGA Tour visit Rolling Hills anytime soon, with its petite 4,100-yard course comprised of nine par 3s and nine par 4s. But a hole-in-one is a hole-in-one.
 
And clubbing one at the age of 92 is quite impressive. Maybe it was possible because Thomas recently started letting her body recover? Instead of playing golf every single day, she's now down to only three or four rounds per week. And instead of walking the Rolling Hills course, she now agrees to ride in a cart.
 
Shouldn't we all aspire to play three or four rounds of golf a week when we're 92? Absolutely.
 
March 12, 2014 - 3:05pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Coach Joey Diovisalvi
Joey D Golf
Coach Joey Diovisalvi -- "Joey D" -- is a golf fitness expert who works with many of the game's top players. Here he demonstrates one of the many exercises you can do to keep a bad back at bay.

As we've seen the last two weeks on the PGA Tour, world No. 1 Tiger Woods has suffered mightily with back spasms.

Two weeks ago at the Honda Classic, back spasms forced Woods to withdraw from the tournament 13 holes into the final round.

And just last week at Trump National Doral, Woods entered the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship just three shots out of the lead, but his back flared up yet again. He finished the tournament this time, but a closing 6-over-par 78 -- his worst score ever at Doral -- resulted in a tie for 25th, nine shots behind the winner.

RELATED: Tiger 'intends to be at Bay Hill' | Should Tiger play Masters with bad back? | Tiger WDs

Though the large majority of us are in nowhere close to the physical condition of Woods, surely there are many of us that can relate to back pain on the golf course.

Believe it or not, there are measures you can take to stop the back pain before it even starts.

We reached out to Coach Joey Diovisalvi -- aka "Joey D" -- for some help.

Joey D runs Joey D Golf in Jupiter, Fla. If anyone knows the body of a golfer, it's Joey D. His resume includes work with Vijay Singh, Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Pat Perez, Jesper Parnevik, Corey Pavin, Jason Dufner, Tom Pernice, Jr. and Brad Faxon, just to name a few.

Joey D's clients account for over 30 professional victories and countless top-10 finishes.

Here are six exercises Joey D recommended:

1. Pike Walk/Hamstring Stretch

  1. Begin by standing with your feet together in an upright position with your arms extended over your head.
  2. Slowly, engage your core and feel your core tighten as you reach down towards your feet. Focus on maintaining good posture through this movement to create tension in the back of your legs.
  3. If you cannot reach your feet, begin to lean forward until your hands make contact with the floor and, keeping your core engaged, walk your hands away from your feet until you are near a push up position. Continue to tighten your core through this movement.
  4. Hold that position for a second and, continuing to engage your core, begin to walk the feet back towards your hands until you are near your previous position, you should again feel a pull in your hamstrings as you stretch them again. Slowly engage your low back muscles extending your hip back to the set up position.

Note: It is essential that you keep your legs as straight as you can throughout this movement. Having the knees bent relieves tension in your hamstrings voiding the stretch. If you cannot walk your feet back to your hands, separate the legs so they are wider then your shoulders during stage 4 until you can stand up.

Golf Thought: This movement also loosens the muscles of your lower back and hamstrings while engaging the core. The strong muscles of the legs and back allow the body to maintain proper spine angle and knee flexion during the entire golf swing.

  • Muscle Use: Hamstrings, Erector Spinae, Abdominals, Pectorals
  • Perform 1 set of 12 repetitions, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

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2. Hip Opener

  1. Maintaining awareness of your balance, flex the knee and hip until you can rest your foot on the opposite knee. Extend your arms at chest level and bring your fingers together.
  2. Simultaneously, engage your shoulders to separate the arms bringing them back even with your body parallel to the ground, and turn the knee to face beside you. You should really feel the hip opening up as the leg begins to separate from the midline creating a light stretch on the inside of the hip. After each rep, lower the engaged leg, take another step, and continue the movement to the other side.

Golf Thought: Stretching the hip is vital to the golf swing to really allow the body to feel separation during the back and follow through of the swing. Tight hips provide negative impacts to the Golf Body.

  • Muscle Use: Hip Adductors, Hip Abductors, Tibialis Anterior, Deltoids
  • Perform 1 set of 12 repetitions, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

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3. 10-2 Roll

  1. Lie on your back on a comfortable surface and place your legs on a 65-cm exercise ball. Dig your heels firmly into the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, position pulling the ball against the thigh. Extend your arms our to your sides with palms facing the ground.
  2. Slowly, rotate the ball to one side bringing your outside leg into contact with the ground. You should feel your core engage as you rotate and create separation between your hips and your shoulders. Return your legs to the beginning position and continue to the opposite side.

Golf Thought: This drill really allows the body to feel how the hips and shoulders create separation in the golf swing.

  • Muscle Use: Abdominals, Lats, Pectorals
  • Perform 1-2 sets of 12 repetitions

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4. One leg over

  1. Lie on your back on a comfortable surface and place your right leg on a 65-centimeter exercise ball with your left leg extended on the ground. Dig your heel firmly into the 1 o’clock, position pulling the ball against the thigh. With the ball in position extend your arms to your side with palms on the ground.
  2. Slowly begin to rotate the leg across your body allowing the ball to roll over your left leg. You should feel your core engage as you rotate and create separation between your hips and your shoulders. Continue as far as your body allows before your hands come off of the ground. Return the legs back to the neutral upright position, and continue reps before switching legs.

Golf Thought: This drill really allows the body to feel how the hips and shoulders create separation in the Golf Swing while actively stretching the muscles of the core.

  • Muscle Use: Abdominals, Lats, Pelvic Stabilizers
  • Perform 1-2 sets of 12 repetitions

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5. Dead Bug

  • Lie on your back on a comfortable surface with your palms on the ground beside your hips and your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Engage the core and tighten the glutes as you press your lower back into the ground. Hold for 3 seconds, and release.

Golf Thought: Dead Bug is a dynamic movement that strengthens the core and increase pelvic mobility simultaneously. Both of these moves are essential to power in rotation and maintaining proper spine angle during the Golf Swing.

  • Muscle Use: Rectus Abdominals, Transverse Abdominals, Gluteals, Erector Spinae
  • Perform 1-2 sets of 12 repetitions

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6. Bridge

  • Lie on your back on a comfortable surface. Feet are flat on the floor. Make sure ankle and knee are in a straight line. If possible try to touch finger tips to the back of your heel. Shoulders should feel in a secure position on the floor. Head and neck remain down and supported throughout the movement.
  • Slowly drive gluteus muscles (buttocks) and low back upward to a neutral pelvis and spine position, forming straight line from shoulders to knees. All your weight should be in your upper back and shoulder. Hold for a count of 3. Drop body back down to start position and repeat.

Golf Thought: Activating quadriceps, gluteus and mid-back to create a more powerful upper body connection.

  • Muscle Use: Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Glutes, Erector Spine, Abdominals, Spinalis Thoracis, Quadratus Lumborum
  • Perform 1-2 sets of 12 repetitions

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If you're interested in learning more about Coach Joey D's Tour-proven, game-changing golf fitness programs, visit www.joeydgolf.com. Follow Coach Joey D on Twitter, @CoachJoeyD.

You can also purchase follow-along-at-home DVDs by clicking here.

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