Golf Buzz

Bubba Watson's pink Ping G30 driver
USA Today Sports Images/Ping Golf
Ping will donate $60 for each of the 5,000 pink G30 drivers it sells to aid the cause of children's health.
 
Over the past six months or so, the G30 driver from Ping has emerged as a true success story, as it has become golf's best-selling driver over that time period. Its popularity has been powered to some degree by two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, whose pink G30 is easily one of the most easily identifiable clubs in all of golf.
 
And now, just in time for Watson's title defense at Augusta National, Ping has announced that it will make a limited edition of 5,000 all-pink G30s and donate $60 for each one of the $550 drivers to the Bubba Watson Foundation.
 
The bright pink G30 drivers are available for pre-order now through authorized Ping retailers around the world.
 
 
"Bubba has a huge heart and continues to use his success on the golf course to help people in need, especially children," said Ping Chairman and CEO John A. Solheim. "As we've seen on the golf course with his shot-making skills, he's a creative thinker and his decision to distinguish himself by using a pink driver and shaft helped make this program possible."
 
The limited-edition G30 drivers will have a bright pink shaft and clubhead featuring the same technology, including turbulators on the crown, that has earned the standard G30 high marks for its performance. The pink G30s will be available in 9- and 10.5-degree lofts (adjustable +- 1 degree) for right-handed players and 10.5 degrees (adjustable +- 1 degree) for left-handers. It is available in R and S flexes, and comes with a matching pink-accented head cover. 
 
 
Watson has used a pink driver since 2012, and Ping conducted a similar charitable effort with its pink G20 driver. Those funds were donated to the Phoenix Children's Hospital and used to help build the new Bubba Watson-Ping Golf Motion Analysis Lab – the first and only dedicated facility of its kind in Arizona. The MAL uses advanced assessment tools to evaluate and treat children and adolescents who have movement disorders or walking difficulties caused by conditions like cerebral palsy.
 
"Besides making great equipment that helps me have success on the golf course, Ping and the Solheim family are incredibly generous in giving back to the game through ideas like the limited-edition pink G30 driver program," Watson said. "I'm excited golfers have the opportunity to participate in this great cause knowing they are also contributing to help improve the lives of the less fortunate."
 
 
April 6, 2015 - 10:21am
mark.aumann's picture
Ripple
Nike
Nike's new golf film 'Ripple' captures the relationship between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

Rory McIlroy recently admitted that he not only idolized Tiger Woods growing up, but he wrote a letter to his hero telling him he'd be his rival one day.

That day is now. And Nike's newest golf ad, "Ripple," explores that relationship in an emotionally satisfying way. Watch the whole thing and I promise you won't be disappointed:

 

 

 

The Rory-Tiger relationship continues this week at Augusta National Golf Club. Woods is returning from a long layoff after missing last year's Masters. McIlroy, now the No. 1 player in the world, only needs a green jacket to complete his career Grand Slam.

 

 

April 6, 2015 - 9:25am
Michael.Benzie's picture
Golf for juniors
Chance Rinkol from Leawood, KS, reacts after chip his ball into the hole during the 7-9 Boys Division at the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Golf is unique treat that can be enjoyed at any age. Teach a child to play and they’ll have a foundation in place for decades of enjoyment on the course alongside friends and family. This is something we saw last weekend with the second Drive, Chip and Putt Championship held at Augusta National. It was a great reminder of the enjoyment both adults and the youth themselves receive from the game.

PGA Professional Justin Blazer, the director of instruction at Duran Golf Club in Viera, Fla., wants his students to have fun learning and cultivates their interest by drawing inspiration from other athletic pursuits.

MORE: Winners of the 2015 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship | Photos | Register for 2016

“Golf has the perception that it’s hard,” Blazer said. “But it’s no different than any other sport. Sometimes we put golf on a pedestal. Hard work, proper practice and good coaching, all elements necessary to being a good athlete in any sport, are the same elements necessary in golf.”

Here are nine tips to keep golf fun and exciting for junior golfers.

1. Find a PGA Professional, give your child room to grow. Research your area and locate an instructor who specializes in junior golf programs, is certified, or at the least has significant experience teaching kids. Then, offer support and encouragement but allow the pro to give the golf advice. Too much information from too many sources can strip the joy from the process of learning how to play golf.

2. Group instruction works best. Blazer played college basketball, so he comes from a team sport background. He reflects on growing up playing little league baseball, when he looked forward to practicing for a couple of hours because it meant a chance to hang out with his buddies. With the time available between shots, golf is the most social game. Instruction should follow this lead. Kids who learn, laugh, improve and struggle together are more likely to return for more.

3. Younger kids need variety. You’re never too young to learn, but the smallest swingers need a mixture of activities to keep clinics and lessons fresh and exciting. For Paul Johnson, head pro at the Links at Lost Plantation in Rincon, Ga., this might include an impromptu game of freeze tag in the midst of a driving range session, an obstacle course session or whacking tennis balls instead of golf balls to build confidence and break monotony. Any activity that emphasizes hand-eye coordination, balance or athletic movement benefits a golfer’s early development. Even if it doesn’t include touching a golf club or ball.

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4. Don’t sweat the details. Solid fundamentals are important, but it’s fine for a beginner to have flaws in their grip or stance as long as they are hitting the ball, having fun and wanting to return to the course. Blazer believes his students’ pleasure is more important than applying undue stress in pursuit of perfection. If the time comes, he likes to turn his pupil into the teacher, have them ask questions about why such a change might be necessary. That keeps the students invested in the decision.

5. Get on course - as soon as possible. Juniors who spend too much time banging balls on the driving range can easily lose interest. Besides, the golf course is where the game really comes alive, remains fun and fresh, poses a unique set of circumstances each day. A golfer understands the reason to spend quality time practicing chipping or bunker play once they’re faced with those challenges on the golf course.

6. Let your child decide, it’s their journey. Not all junior golfers will want to play in tournaments. Some might like to compete, but only in a group setting. And others may enjoy the game just because they can be outside and spend hours sharing good shots and laughter with friends. Parents who push their child down the wrong path may drive their child away from the game. The decision to pursue a tournament title, college scholarship or professional career should always come from the golfer and no one else.

7. Slumps are part of sports. Every golfer reaches a point where scores aren’t improving because putts don’t drop or drives miss their target. Understand that all athletes have stretches where they simply don’t perform their best, sometimes for reasons that defy explanation - if they can be identified at all. Baseball hitters, field goal kickers, 3-point shooters all deal with low periods during a season, Blazer points out. Dwelling on what’s gone wrong can bring any golfer down. To maintain perspective, set reachable intermediate goals and keep the focus on the process of having fun.

8. Parents, don’t rush to spend. It’s tempting to rush out and buy expensive golf clubs and flashy clothes as soon as your son or daughter mentions they’d like to spend an afternoon on the golf course. Hold on to your debit card for a minute, however. Expose your child to the game first. Many instructors have clubs available for kids to use during lessons or clinics. If your child decides they like the game and want to continue playing, then find equipment that fits them. Proper club length and weight are imperative for young beginners. Clubs that are too long or heavy can introduce bad swing habits.

9. Enjoy this game together. Father and son, mother and daughter. Walk nine holes on a warm summer evening. Start a holiday tradition of sharing a round, and observe it whether there’s rain, sleet or wind. Watch the major championships, learn the rich history of the game and discuss your favorite players. Attend a PGA or LPGA Tour event and observe those who play the game best. Find time to play a round on a family vacation. Celebrate the good shots, forget the bad ones, laugh a lot and let each memory soak in.

 

 

 

April 5, 2015 - 2:16pm
mark.aumann's picture
Golf ball fire
CBC/YouTube
A manufacturing plant containing some 4 million golf balls went up in flames Saturday.

Some four million golf balls went up in flames when the manufacturing plant of a Canadian company burned to the ground Saturday morning northeast of Montreal.

According to a report from the CBC, the fire started around 7:30 a.m. Saturday in the golf ball recycling facility. All 20 or so employees inside the plant at the time were able to escape without serious injuries, but the thick, black smoke created by the burning plastic forced authorities to close a major highway in and out of the city for much of the day. 

Here's a video recap:

 

 

According to the CBC report, Mulligan International in Beloeil, Quebec, recycles 27 million balls a year. Damage to the plant was estimated at $2 million.