Golf Buzz

jack nicklaus
USA Today Images
Jack Nicklaus made, for him, a very difficult decision 55 years ago when he elected to leave the amateur ranks and play golf as a professional. As it turns out, that decision was one of the best he's ever made.

Can you imagine a professional golf world without the game's winningest major champion of all-time, Mr. Jack Nicklaus?

Neither can we. But, if it weren't for a decision made with "mixed emotions and considerable thought," we likely would have never known -- at least to this legendary extent -- the man affectionately nicknamed "The Golden Bear."

Monday, Nov. 7, marked the 55th anniversary of the day Nicklaus made the leap from amateur to professional golf.

A copy of the letter that Nicklaus penned to then-USGA Executive Director Joseph Day Jr., dated Nov. 7, 1961, was shared via the Golden Bear's Twitter account on Monday:



In the letter, Nicklaus expresses his regret that his decision to jump to the pro ranks would preclude him from being able to defend his U.S. Amateur title in 1962... it turned out to be no big deal, as Nicklaus would claim the first major title of his illustrious career at the USGA-run U.S. Open in 1962 -- the first of his record 18 major victories and four U.S. Opens.

Looking back over the last half-century plus and a record that includes those 18 majors, 73 PGA Tour victories and countless other records, we'd have to say that as difficult a decision as it was for Nicklaus to turn pro, well, he made the right decision. 

November 6, 2016 - 2:04pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
driver head cover, head cover, golf head cover
Facebook / Martha Hudson
We love crazy driver head covers, so we reached out to you all to see if we could find the coolest head cover in golf.

People like to tell me that the cover you put on your driver doesn't matter. "How many strokes does that take off your scorecard?" they say, "how many putts does it make for you?"

To those fun-suckers, I reply with a couple questions of my own: "How can you quantify that feeling you get when you're reaching for the big dog on a long par 5, and Yoda is looking you in the eye?" and "can you evaluate the mental edge you get over your playing buddies you have when you're packing a pair of American flag boxing gloves over the woods in your bag?"

You can't. So now that we can all agree that head covers are awesome, you can understand why we reached out to you all on social media (follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you aren't already!) trying to find the coolest head cover in golf. You all did not disappoint:

Some solid advice here from Travis Young:


Nate Cleghorn sent us Stewie from "Family Guy":



Bill Murray would not approve of this submission from Barbie Starks:


Shirley Wong brings us Garfield. I bet this golf club tastes like lasagna:




Martha Hudson gives us Grumpy from "Snow White":



What Adam Proto lacks in figurines, he makes up for in color:



We take it that David Greeno is a Notre Dame fan:



Molly Switzer asks, "who says golf and unicorns can't go together?":



After some research, I've determined that this submission from Colin Reston is the mascot for Scottish football club Partick Thistle:

Matt Erwin's crab is always watching him:



I'm not entirely sure if this dog from Jim Szink is a head cover or an actual dog:



Lynette Garverick King says her husband is always sporting Cool Eddie:

Atakan Karakaya has an entire zoo operating in his bag:



November 4, 2016 - 11:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
fall, golf
T.J. Auclair/
For many, fall is the best season of all to enjoy a day out on the golf course. Nothing beats the scenery this time of year.

Fall golf is a double-edged sword, especially for those of us who live in areas that experience all four seasons.

On the one hand, it's bar none the most beautiful, most scenic time of the year to hit the links. On the other hand, it means that golf season will be ending... quickly.

As the temperatures drop and the colors of the leaves change, here are some of the things I love most about golf during the fall season.

RELATED: A golfer's fall checklist | Enjoying golf in colder weather | 12 items to try this fall

The weather. It might be a little crisp at times, but isn't it a nice change of pace from those brutally hot summer days on the course? Isn't it also nice to not have your clothes sticking to you because of sweat while you try to take a swing? Everything about the fall is just a little more comfortable than the rest of the year.

Usually, it's less expensive. Yeah, that might mean having to deal with the necessary evil that is aerated greens, but the fall season typically offers some great deals at courses you may other wise skip over because of the cost of a round. Is there a course on your list that you usually believe to be out of your price range? Do yourself a favor and check out their fall rates.

Lowered expectations. That one might seem silly, but it could also be the key to help you post some great late-season goals. Playing late in the season, sometimes, is a bonus and you can appreciate the fact that you're out there more because the days are so much shorter. With leaves falling and maybe not the best of greens, you're probably not teeing it up with the thought that you're going to shoot lights out. That helps keep your mind off the score and frees you up to focus on the shot at hand.

The post-round drink. This is great any season, no doubt, but after a round in the fall -- instead of a beer or other libation -- it could be a nice, warm Irish coffee or a hot chocolate.

The course is usually firmer. As the temperatures go down (and if you haven't had much rain), the ground typically firms up. Catch a good drive in the right conditions and there's a chance you're going to see a lot more roll out in the fairways than you're used too... keep that in mind too for your approach shots. You might want to club down a touch hitting into the firmer greens.

The courses are less crowded. Pace of play is so much better in the fall since their just aren't as many players out there. If you're usually a cart golfer, this is a great time to walk instead. Aside from the obvious health benefits, it keeps the blood flowing and keeps you warm for that next shot. Also, when you're not having to focus on driving a cart, you can spend more time taking in your surroundings... which brings us to what we love most...

The surroundings. Trees with leaves covering all the hues of greens, yellows, reds and oranges. It's like playing golf in a painting, isn't it? 

November 4, 2016 - 8:29am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Smylie Kaufman
@smyliekaufman10 on Instagram
There's nothing like a good prank. In Las Vegas this week where he's defending his first PGA Tour win, Smylie Kaufman was the victim of the old rubber-snake gag.

There are many people who love snakes.

I, for one, am not one of those people. And, as we recently learned, neither is PGA Tour winner Smylie Kaufman.

The 24-year-old Kaufman is in Las Vegas this week to defend his title in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. During Wednesday's pro-am, his caddie decided to give Kaufman's amateur partners a good chuckle while nearly giving his boss a heart attack.

As you'll see in the video below, Kaufman casually picks his tee out of the teeing ground after a drive and walks over to his bag to put his club away. Just as he's about to do so, he notices a snake:


Fun Pro-am @shrinersopen with @jjd7007 and Mike Meldman until they planted a fake snake on my bag...#casamigoscrew

A video posted by Smylie Kaufman (@smyliekaufman10) on

Overall, pretty brave reaction. I would have fallen down.

In this Instagram video from Ben Crane showing a different angle, you can see the caddie setting up the prank:

Fantastic. And a warning to my future playing partners: NEVER DO THIS TO ME.

As for the most famous rubber-snake golf gag of all time? That still belongs to Lee Trevino, who tossed a rubber snake at Jack Nicklaus on the first tee of an 18-hole playoff in the 1971 U.S. Open to lighten the tension:

November 3, 2016 - 1:00pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
mini golf
If you thought a trip to play mini golf was just for the kids or something to do on date night, think again. It's actually a serious competitive sport for some.

A windmill. A clown's mouth.

Those are just two things that might immediately jump to mind when you think "mini golf."

For a small contigent, mini golf isn't just something to do on date-night, or something to do with the kids on the weekend... instead, it's a legit competitive sport.

Check out this video posted to YouTube by Great Big Story on Oct. 19. It tells the story of what it's like for the players in the cutthroat world of mini-golf, focusing on the Masters National Pro Mini Golf Championship, in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., where the winner gets -- maybe you guessed it -- a coveted green jacket (the Members-Only variety):



Did you hear the guy who said players can be out on a mini-golf course, mapping it out for 10 hours per day for several days leading up the tournament?

And you thought PGA Tour practice rounds were slow!

The video is a fascinating look into a world of mini-golf you probably never knew existed. 

November 3, 2016 - 12:04pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Adam Scott, Rafa Cabrera-Bello
@rcabrerabello on Instagram
Every place you go has a local delicacy. Wherever Adam Scott and Rafa Cabrera-Bello are munching on these fat, white bugs certainly isn't a delicacy I'll ever have interest in trying.

While you were probably sleeping (it's OK. Game 7 went really late), former Masters champion Adam Scott and 2016 European Ryder Cupper Rafa Cabrera-Bello were dining on live, white bugs...

... So here's the video for your nightmares later tonight:



When you need some protein you just need it!!!! @adamscottmigc

A video posted by Rafa Cabrera Bello (@rcabrerabello) on


"It's freaking out," said Adam Scott right before dining on the thing.

That looked more like an episode of "Fear Factor" and "fear was obviously not a factor for Adam and Rafa."