Golf Buzz

October 17, 2013 - 12:21pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jack Nicklaus
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For the first time in three years, Jack Nicklaus will tee it up in the PNC Father-Son tournament.

Some exciting news broke today for those of us who have been longing to see the Golden Bear on the fairways again instead of in the TV booth.

For the first time in three years, Jack Nicklaus plans on playing -- with son Jack II -- in the PNC Father-Son Challenge, Dec. 12-15 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.

READ: Nicklaus celebrates golden anniversary of PGA Championship win

The lone win in the Father-Son Challenge for the Nicklaus family came in 1999, when Jack teamed up with son Gary, a former PGA Tour player.

Davis Love III and his son, Dru, return to defend their title from a year ago, along with 19 other teams that include the likes of Vijay and Qass Singh; Lee and Daniel Trevino; Steve and Sam Elkington; and more.

The event is for players who have either won a major championship, or a Players Championship.

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

October 17, 2013 - 10:28am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jordan Spieth
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Two weeks ago, Jordan Spieth was on the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team. This week, he took an unbelievable golf trip.

With our focus on the PGA Grand Slam of Golf this week, this bit of news regarding rising American golf star Jordan Spieth slipped through our fingers.

Pardon us if you already know this, but we couldn't let it pass without weighing in.

Annually, the two highest ranked golf courses in the U.S. are New Jersey's Pine Valley Golf Club and Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. Obviously both places are extremely exclusive. So, it's nice to know someone, or be someone -- or, better yet, to know someone AND be someone.

RELATED: If you could play golf anywhere in the world, where would it be?

That brings us to Spieth, the 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.

On Tuesday, the 20-year-old who just participated in his first Presidents Cup, played Pine Valley and Augusta National... in the same day!

Spieth, along with golf coach Cameron McCormick played Pine Valley first (where McCormick says Spieth shot 67), before heading south to Georgia for a tee time at Augusta National.

The two also played Augusta National again Wednesday morning.

RELATED: World's most picturesque golf spots

In case you weren't jealous enough, check out this Instagram photo Spieth snapped Tuesday evening at Augusta National:

Spieth wrote this in the message on that Instagram: "The back nine at Augusta this evening. Only group on the course. Heaven on earth."

The only group on the course? You're killing us, man!

When the trip ended and Spieth got home to Dallas, he tweeted this:

Golf trip of a lifetime? No kidding, kid!

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

October 17, 2013 - 10:02am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Vessel Bags
Vessel Bags
If you want a one-of-a-kind golf bag, Vessel Bags can create it.

The holidays are sneaking up on us -- as the always do. Are you looking to find a great gift for the special golfer in your life?

We have a suggestion for you that's sure to be a hit: a 100 percent customized golf bag.

Until now, you may not have heard of a company called Vessel Bags, but you've surely seen their work. Watch any kind of Tour event and their bags are impossible to miss. Many of the customized bags used by tournament professionals -- the ones adorned with sponsor logos and more -- are Vessel Bags.

RELATED: MannKrafted Milled Putters -- the ultimate in putter customization

Now, you can have your very own.

We know what you're thinking: Why would I want a bag with a company logo on it?

Good question. And the answer is, you don't have to have a bag with a company logo on it. With Vessel Bags, you can literally have anything you want on the bag -- your name, a symbol, a flag, an image, a saying -- the possibilities are endless.

And if you want a personalized bag, but have no idea what to put on it, Vessel's customer service can come to the rescue:

"Our goal and dream is to design and create the most unique bag with you and for you. At Vessel, we believe that we are all uniquely made. Let us help you express your uniqueness through the accessories you carry on the golf course. Make a bag unlike any other bag out there. If our customizer is not unique enough for you, please send us brief information on what you would like to achieve and we will contact you and design a bag for you that's on a whole 'nother level."

Watch the video below to see what goes in to creating a one-of-a-kind Vessel bag:

Before contacting customer service though, you'll want to try out Vessel's cool, easy-to-use bag customizer application on www.vesselbags.com. First, you choose between four bag-type options -- three full-sized "staff" bags that start from $650; or the company's "Player," lightweight, stand bag that starts at $350.

Once your bag is selected, that's when the fun starts. With all kinds of different color swatches, you simply click the color and where you'd like it to appear on the bag. You can even choose the zipper color you desire.

With the color scheme locked in, you can move on to more customization. You can add text and images anywhere on the bag. If there's something you'd like on the bag, but can't find, that's when Vessel can step in and help.

The high-quality materials used to make a Vessel bag insure that it will be usable for years to come. So, while the price is certainly higher than a standard bag, keep in mind that Vessel's are completely personalized just for you.

And as if the bag customization wasn't enough, Vessel can also customize headcovers to match your bag.

After placing your order, Vessel bags ship in as little as two weeks.

To learn more about Vessel, visit www.vesselbags.com. You can also find Vessel on Facebook or on Twitter, @vesselbags.

UPDATE: Vessel has been kind enough to offer a 15 percent discount to PGA.com readers good through the end of 2013. Just enter "PGA15" at checkout to get the discount.

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

October 17, 2013 - 12:37am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Adams Golf XTD driver
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The Adams XTD driver is the only driver one to feature Cut-Thru Slot technology – slots cut in the crown and sole that help the face flex more to provide faster ball speeds and longer distance.

Adams Golf is topping off a big year in a big way – by introducing a new collection of top-of-the-line XTD clubs.

''Quite frankly, these XTD products are the best we make thanks to a spare-no-expense mindset to create game-changing technology,'' said Justin Honea, Adams Golf's senior director of research and development. ''We ignored convention, built products with premium materials and pushed the limits to deliver jaw-dropping ball speed increases off the face for every club in the bag.''

The XTD driver is the only one to feature Cut-Thru Slot technology – slots cut in the crown and sole that help the face flex more to provide faster ball speeds and longer distance. And to help the club move more aerodynamically through the air during the swing, there are no engravings or sharp edges to slow it down.

Much attention was paid to the inside of the XTD driver heads as well – in fact, Adams says, every head is tested four times during the manufacturing process to ensure maximum spring-like effect within USGA limits. That, the company says, is a unique attention to detail not known to be practiced by any other manufacturer.

''We're touting that it's the hottest face in golf by using the strictest manufacturing tolerances,'' Honea said of the XTD driver. ''Every feature we've built into the XTD family is distinctive, and we've merged them all together into the ultimate driver.''

The XTD family also includes fairway woods, hybrids and forged irons. 

In the fairway woods and hybrids, Adams engineers combined titanium brazing with Cut-Thru Slot technology and progressive face thickness. This, they explained, helped them re-distribute mass to the perimeter and provide 29 percent more face speed on off-center hits. In addition, the XTD fairway clubs and hybrids have a low Center of Gravity, making it easier to get the ball consistently airborne.

Unlike traditional forged irons, the XTDs also boast Cut-Thru Slot technology. Tungsten weights in the sole optimize the Center of Gravity for longer, straighter shots, while a floating face and hollow design delivers consistently faster ball speeds and adding forgiveness throughout the set.

The full eight-piece set includes a 3- and 4- DHy, which Adams says is currently the top hybrid model on the PGA Tour. This club provides the extra distance and forgiveness of a hybrid with the shot-shaping control of a long iron, Adams says, while its unique bulge-and-roll face improves shot dispersion.

The XTD drivers will be available at retail in mid-December with a suggested retail price of $399.99, while the Ti fairway woods and hybrids will be available for purchase in mid-November with a suggested retail price of $299.99 per club (all include a Matrix Red Tie shaft and Iomic Black Armor Sticky Evolution grip. The irons will be available in early December with KBS C-Taper steel shafts for a suggested retail price of $1,099.99 or Aldila RIP Tour 115-gram graphite shafts with a suggested retail of $1,199.99.

 

October 16, 2013 - 11:41pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Yasiel Puig
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Yasiel Puig's triple provoked a Twitter-to-TV discussion about unwritten rules in baseball and golf.

The Detroit Tigers were comfortably ahead of the Boston Red Sox late in Game 4 of the American League Division Series Wednesday night – no doubt to the consternation of my New England-based colleague T.J. Auclair – when Fox analyst Tim McCarver brought golf into the conversation.

McCarver referenced a tweet that Hunter Mahan sent out during the National League playoff game on Tuesday that said: ''If players are so upset at Puig celebrating a triple or clutch hits then get him out. I'm tired of hearing about baseball's unwritten rules.''

 

 

Mahan was referring to an incident in the Los Angeles Dodgers-St. Louis Cardinals game in which Dodger rookie Yasiel Puig reacted with his usual exuberance to a triple, prompting some fans to wonder whether the Cardinals ought to plunk him in retaliation.

RELATED: THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF GOLF

But Mahan's tweet got McCarver – or at least McCarver's producers – thinking about a retort. What they came up with were their own suggestions for poking holes in some of golf's unwritten rules. I'm paraphrasing them, but here they are:

--Let the pros wear shorts in 110-degree weather.

--Talk anytime your opponent is hitting, and talk loudly.

--Step on your opponent’s putting line.

--Drive into the foursome in front of you.

RELATED: READERS GIVE US MORE UNWRITTEN RULES OF GOLF

As McCarver's announcing partner Joe Buck noted, it's actually a written rule that PGA Tour players must wear long pants, though of course caddies have the right to wear shorts on hot days. As for the others, well, to me they're more recommendations to be rude than anything else.

As the baseball game moved along, McCarver noted that, though he didn't know Mahan, ''he would get a kick out of something like that if he has a sense of humor, and I assume he does.''

Mahan, of course, seemed please that  his tweet was noticed.

 

 

 

 

Anyone who's seen a Golf Boys video – or even Mahan's Ping commercials with Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood – knows that Mahan indeed has a sense of humor. I'm not sure, however, that this little baseball interlude would give him much of a chuckle. 

 

October 16, 2013 - 4:26pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Graham DeLaet
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Canada's Graham DeLaet is developing into quite the player.

Viva, Las Vegas! The PGA Tour is in Sin City this week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open -- the second event of this new 2013-2014 wraparound schedule.

One year ago, Ryan Moore picked up the second PGA Tour victory of his career at TPC Summerlin and his first since winning the Wyndham Championship in 2009. It was an extra special win for Moore, who graduated from nearby UNLV in 2005.

SCORES: Follow the Shriners Hospital for Children leaderboard on PGA.com

If there's one thing we've learned after years of watching tournaments at TPC Summerlin it's this: you'd better go low. The winning score is routinely 20 under or better. Like seeing boatloads of birdies and eagles? Then this is the tournament for you.

With that, here are five players to watch this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open:

5. Ryan Moore
Best finish in 2013: Fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Reason to watch: For starters, Moore is the defending champion. After a so-so 2013 season that included three top-10 finishes, you've got to think Moore is excited about the good vibes that come with playing on a course where he's comfortable and has had success. That's exactly what he gets at TPC Summerlin. Also expect Moore to be extra fresh this week. His last start was in the middle of September -- a tie for 11th at The Barclays.

4. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2013: Winner of the BMW Championship
Reason to watch: In his eight starts since a playoff loss at the John Deere Classic, Johnson has finished outside of the top 8 just once. That's insane. Eight top-10 finishes in all of 2013, including the win at BMW Championship, that runner-up showing at John Deere and a third-place finish at Colonial. Johnson was also on the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team. When he's putting well, few in the world are better than Johnson. On a course that demands birdies, it means you're going to have to make a lot of puts. Johnson fits the bill.

READ: Players earn Tour cards, need tournaments to play

3. Hideki Matsuyama
Best finish in 2013: T6 at the Open Championship
Reason to watch: I was expecting a Presidents Cup hangover to impact Matsuyama last week at the Frys.com Open. Instead, he played the final three rounds like this: 66-68-66 to finish in a tie for third -- his best career finish on the PGA Tour. That final round 66 was extra special, as Matsuyama birdied each of the final three holes. Many are expecting big things from Matsuyama in the 2013-2014 season -- most of all, Matsuyama himself.
UPDATE: Matsuyama withdrew from the tournament Thursday morning before his Round 1 tee time due to illness.

2. Brendon de Jonge
Best finish in 2013: T6 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Reason to watch: OK, on paper, de Jonge's 2013 stats don't exactly jump out and make you say, "Wow!" He had four top-10 finishes in 30 starts, but did play well enough at the end of the season to make it through to the Tour Championship. There's something to be said for that. The reason I think you need to watch out for de Jonge is this -- 2013 International team Presidents Cup captain and fellow Zimbabwean Nick Price thought enough of de Jonge's game to use a captain's pick on him. Do you know what something like that can do for a person's career? Greg Norman did the same thing to Adam Scott in the 2011 Presidents Cup. Two years later, Scott won the Masters. Are we saying there's a major in de Jonge's near future? Not necessarily. All we're saying is that these guys have big-time belief in themselves. But, when someone of Price's ilk thinks so highly of your game too, well, that's got to be a shot in the arm.

1. Graham DeLaet
Best finish in 2013: T2 at The Barclays
Reason to watch: DeLaet could be the biggest golf star to come out of Canada since former Master champ Mike Weir. DeLaet is intense and has a big game. In an otherwise forgettable Presidents Cup showing for the International team a few weeks ago, DeLaet was one of the few shining stars. He went 3-1-1 in his rookie appearance. That included a spectacular singles win over another young star -- Jordan Spieth -- where DeLaet holed out from a bunker on No. 18 at Muirfield Village for the win. In 2013, DeLaet racked up seven top 10s in 26 starts, making the cut 21 times. Like we said last week with Jimmy Walker, it seems as though it's only a matter of time before DeLaet collects that maiden Tour win. Could this be the week?

Here's video of that final-hole bunker shot from DeLaet at the Presidents Cup:

 

 

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

Categories: TPC Summerlin