Golf Buzz

October 23, 2013 - 11:43am
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Golf and Twitter
Photo: PGA.com
Twitter has changed the way the world communicates - including the golf world.
The world of communication is changing fast and Twitter seems to be leading the way. This holds true in golf as it does in every other facet of life. But are you using Twitter to best enhance your golf life? Sure, you're probably following all the "big" names - but great Twitter streams are not limited to those with six figure followings.  Some of the best, most informative and most entertaining are putting out a lot of great information to a relatively smaller audience. 
 
Thus, I present to you 20 great golf accounts - hidden gems of Twitter - that all golf fans should be following. My requirements for this list were 1.) a professional connection to golf 2.) have less than 10,000 followers and 3.) is not a verified account (Twitter's designation for 'official' accounts that have been authenticated).  Other than that, if they are informative, insightful, unique and entertaining, they were fair game.  This list is by no means comprehensive. It's more illustrative of the many great under-followed accounts out there. 
 

Life on Tour:  The best insight about life inside the ropes aren't just from the guys/gals swinging the clubs.

  • Erin Walker - Wife of PGA Tour player (and recent Frys.com Open winner) Jimmy Walker, Erin brings her love of family, golf and horses (both show and the Broncos) in a fun and 'inside the ropes' way. She may be the only Tour player wife that has more Twitter followers than her husband. Even if that's not the case much longer, I'm sure she'll continue to add some unique and interesting perspective to a side of life most of all only think we know. (@TourWifeTravels)
  • Josh Dickinson - Josh Dickinson is a long-time Tour caddie who shares some great thoughts about life on the bag and on the road. Several caddies share great tweets about what life on Tour is like through their eyes, but Josh adds enough funny anecdotes and a dash of personal thoughts that make this a good account to connect with. (@TourCaddieJD)
  •  Nick Flanagan - The 29-year-old from Australia is a four-time winner on the Web.com Tour and was that Tour's 2007 Player of the Year. What makes him a great follow? He's honest and open about everything. Meatheads at the gym? Flanagan doesn't like 'em. Time back home with family? Flanagan posts pictures showing he can't wait to see 'em. (@4flanagan)

  • James Nitties - The 31-year-old Aussie won the 2011 Midwest Classic on the Web.com Tour. He often gives movie reviews, flirts with the ladies via Twitter, posts funny videos, photos and more. All in all, Nitties is just a funny guy's guy. (@Nitties23)
  • Jane Park - LPGA Tour pro, foodie, class clown. Sometimes not in that order. Jane's one of the most entertaining and engaging pros out there. Well worth a click of the follow button. (@TheJanePark)

 

Media: These people work in covering golf - and they do it really really well.

  • Dave Shedloski - (Golf World) 'Shed' has seen it all working for a variety of golf outlets and is a supremely talented scribe. He knows the game and the audience as well as anyone. If it's a big event, Shed is probably there. And he can surmise a complex thought into one tweet. Huge help as you watch an event. (@DaveShedloski)
  •  Ryan Ballengee - (Golf News Net) Ryan's ability to look at any golf event/moment and find a unique angle to it makes him a must follow. Was the first to secure an interview with the Presidents Cup streaker. Pretty sure he coined the hashtag #59Watch. Has worked at a variety of golf outlets. Pretty good player too I'm told but he keeps ducking me. (@RyanBallengee)

  • T.J. Auclair - (PGA.com) A bit self-serving here as he is PGA.com, but as one of the main producer/writers of "The Golf Buzz"; T.J. consistently finds more interesting and unique golf stories than anyone on the web. There's the occasional tweet rooting for his beloved Patriots and Red Sox, but no one's account is perfect, right? (@TJAuclair
  • Beth Ann Baldry - (GolfWeek) So I'm breaking my own rule here a little bit, but Beth Ann is worth it.  She has slightly over 10,000 followers, but she should have over 100,000. I follow a number of people who promote and cover women's golf - at every level. But in truth, if you had to pick only one to get all the info you could want...she would be that one. She's fun, she's engaging and she's seemingly everywhere. (@Golfweek_Baldry)
  • Matt Adams - (Fairways of Life, Back 9 Network) One of the real 'stars' of radio row, Matt (host of the "Fairways of Life" on Sirius/XM radio) can talk about any Tour player, any piece of equipment, any venue and pretty much any topic you can come up with. And do it better than pretty much anyone you know. A scholar and a gentleman. Hard to beat. (@MattAdamsFoL)

 

Industry: Whether you want to know about equipment, the business side or the history of golf; this group will have you covered.

  •  HackersParadise - One of my favorite sites for talking golf equipment, they consistently tweet out links to the discussions their forum members have about new equipment. Invaluable info there. (@hackersparadise)
  • Dottie Pepper - She's pretty much a golf icon. Two-time major winner, current ESPN broadcaster, PGA of America board member, passionate about growing the game, etc. How she qualifies for this "hidden gems" list (Number of followers, twitter verification) is beyond me. But no real explanation needed - she's obviously a great follow for golf fans. (@DottieandBogey)
  • Bob Denney - Bob's handle (@pgahistorybug) tells the tale pretty well. Senior writer at The PGA of America, he knows and shares more great nuggets of golf history than any other source I know of on Twitter. 

  • We Are Golf - I love the business side of golf. We Are Golf offers some great figures, stats and interesting stories about why golf is more than a game. If you want to learn about the industry and why it's so impactful to our economy, they are a must follow. (@WeAreGolf)
  •  Harry Arnett - The Senior VP of Marketing at Callaway Golf. He and his crew (affectionately known as The Zoo Crew) made a conscientious effort to use social media (and in particular Twitter) to redefine the way a golf brand engaged with an audience. It's worked. He's smart, engaging, funny and sincere. On the flip side, the long-suffering native Atlantan will share his love for the Bulldogs, Falcons and Braves on occasion. So those tweets are depressing. (@HarryArnettCG)

PGA Professionals: The experts in the game and business of golf also have Twitter covered pretty well. These names are among the many that can teach, promote and grow the game - 140 characters at a time.

  •  John Graham - (Rochester, NY) - First used Twitter to promote his involvement in the AimPoint theory of putting instruction but has evolved it into great analysis on all kinds of golf science as well as a tremendous networking platform. (@JohnGrahamGolf)
  • Sara Dickson - (The Stanwich Club (Conn.)/Stonebridge Club (Naples, Fla)) - One of my favorite Twitter stories. Young pro who graduated with no full-time job, no computer, no tv. Used her smartphone and Twitter to network and learn the business side of golf. Now sharing great inspirations, great golf photos and fun 'growing the game' stories with the world. (@Sara_PGA)
  • Mike Fay - (Monument Course, Boyne Falls, MI) Incredibly passionate about teaching and growing the game but most well-known for hosting the weekly (every Sunday night) "Ask the Pro" feature on Twitter. In that, he moderates a fun following of golf pros; asking a variety of golf questions and getting an interesting diversity of answers for the public to consume via the #AskThePro hashtag. Part teacher, part facilitator, total golf nut. (@MikeFayGolf)
  • Brad Redding - (Grand Dunes Golf Club, Myrtle Beach, SC) Highly lauded teaching professoinal that has embraced Twitter as a great tool to connect, teach and engage. He doesn't need Twitter to establish himself by any means, he just enjoys using it. And it shows. Great golf advice and good stories to boot. (@BradReddingGolf)
  • Ted Eleftheriou (MetroWest Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.) - A constant stream of golftips, Ted is all about offering short nuggets of advice that will inspire non-golfers to take up the game and help beginning golfers enjoy the game a little more. (@CreateGolfers)

 

John Kim was named 2012 CableFax "Social Media Facilitator" of the Year for all digital media and was designated a 2013 "15 to Watch" by CableFax as a 'rising star of digital, technological and social innovation.' He is not as interesting or entertaining as the names listed above but you can still follow him on Twitter at @JohnKim.  Oh, and you should follow PGA.com (@PGA_com) too.  Because it's the best.  And we all tweet there like it's our job. 
 

October 23, 2013 - 10:47am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Paul McGinley
Getty Images
On Wednesday, Paul McGinley announced that he will make his wildcard selections for the 2014 Ryder Cup a day later than usual.

To avoid a situation that happened in 2010, European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley said Wednesday that he will delay the announcement of his 2014 wildcard selections by 24 hours.

The point, McGinley said, is not to clash with the Deutsche Bank Championship -- the second leg of the PGA Tour FedExCup Playoffs.

In 2010, Paul Casey and Justin Rose were notified during the final round of the Deutsche Bank that then-captain Colin Montgomerie decided not to use any of his picks on them.

RELATED: Tom Watson's exclusive Captain's Blog

"With no actual qualification points counting in the Deutsche Bank Championship, I was initially prepared to make my wild card announcement on the Monday (Sept. 2) -- the day after the final counting event, the 2014 Italian Open," McGinley said in an Irish Independent report.

"But I have had a rethink and I now want to delay 24 hours as I realize that some potential members of the team might well be playing in Boston that week. Realistically, I think it will have minimal effect, but out of respect for any players involved, I want to allow them to finish that tournament before I call them with news, one way or another."

The delay in McGinley's decision means that both the European wildcards and U.S. Captain Tom Watson's wildcards will now be announced on the same day -- Tuesday, Sept. 3.

The 2014 Ryder Cup will take place Sept. 23-28 at Gleneagles Hotel's Centenary Course in Perthshire, Scotland. The U.S. is looking for its first victory in a Ryder Cup since 2008 at Valhalla and its first on foreign soil since the Belfry in 1993 -- the last time Watson was the U.S. captain.

You can follow all Ryder Cup news on the official site of the matches, www.rydercup.com.

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

October 23, 2013 - 9:16am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Lydia Ko
YouTube
New Zealand teen golf star Lydia Ko officially announced her jump to the professional ranks in a fantastic YouTube video on Tuesday.

We recently brought you the story of 16-year-old New Zealand golf star Lydia Ko, whose jump to the professional ranks was imminent.

On Tuesday, Ko made the leap official in a fantastic, fun video posted to YouTube. You can watch it here:

It's seriously worth a few minutes of your time. In the video, Ko is playing a round of golf with her good friend Israel "Izzy" Dagg, a player for New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team.

Izzy nags Ko, asking if she's ready to turn pro yet and insists he wants to be the first to know.

Throughout the video, Ko hits a number of trick shots -- one from a fried egg lie in a bunker, a flop shot over a golf cart and more. After each of these shots, Izzy asks, "Are you ready now?"

Near the end of the video, Izzy says, "If you can handle the pressure of beating me, you must be ready to turn pro."

Ko innocently responds, "OK. I'll do it."

"Do what?" Izzy asks.

"I'll turn pro," Ko says.

"Like right now?" Izzy asks.

"Yeah," Ko replies. "Like right now, this second. I'll turn pro."

The video was almost as creative as Ko's incredible shot-making ability.

It looks like Ko's first start as a professional will be in Florida next month in the LPGA's season-ending CME Group Titleholders.

Remember -- Ko is already a two-time winner as an amateur on the LPGA. She won the CN Canadian Women's Open in 2012 at age 15 to became the LPGA's youngest winner, then successfully defended that title this past August.

Here's to wishing Ko a great career. If it's as good as this "I'm going to turn pro" video, something tells us she'll do just fine.

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

October 23, 2013 - 8:49am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

Have you ever wondered how great golfers are able to control the flight of their ball? For instance, if you're a high-ball hitter, wouldn't it be nice to command a lower trajectory when windy conditions call for it?

Believe it or not, you have that shot in your bag. You just need to spend a little time working on it.

In today's golf tip video, PGA Professional Joe Plecker shows you how to hit both a low and a high shot off the ground with your irons.

For more help with your game, click here to find a PGA instructor near you.

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

 

October 22, 2013 - 11:50pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Brandel Chamblee
Getty Images
Brandel Chamblee apologized to Tiger Woods on Tuesday, several days after writing a highly controversial column in which he criticized Woods for rules infractions and equated those infractions with an incident in which Chamblee cheated on a test in school.

Brandel Chamblee has been, to put it lightly, the talk of the golf world for the last week or so, since he wrote a highly controversial column about Tiger Woods posted on Golf.com. On Tuesday, he apologized.

In a series of Twitter posts, Chamblee said, ''I want to apologize to Tiger for this incited discourse,'' and that ''I was not asked to apologize.'' He also said his ''intention was to note Tiger's rules infractions this year, but comparing that to cheating in grade school went too far.''

 

 

 
 
 

In the original column, Chamblee gave Woods an ''F'' grade for his 2013 season, in part for what he called being ''a little cavalier with the rules.'' He never explicitly called Woods a cheater, but seemingly equated Woods' brushes with the rules with the time Chamblee was busted for cheating on a test in school.

 
Chamblee, a prominent analyst on the Golf Channel, had steadfastly defended the column in the days since it sparked a wildfire in the golf community, and on Tuesday, Associated Press Golf Writer Doug Ferguson filed a story in which Chamblee stood by his work.
 
And then a few hours later, he apologized.
 
There was no immediate comment from Woods or his agent, Mark Steinberg, or from the Golf Channel or Golf.com.
 
After the column was originally posted, Steinberg told ESPN.com that he would ''have to give some thought to legal action,'' though there is no indication that any moves toward legal action were actually undertaken.
 
 
 
 
October 22, 2013 - 7:49pm
Posted by:
The PGA of America staff reports
john.holmes's picture
Paul Levy, Darrell Crall, Ted Bishop, Derek Sprague, Pete Bevaqua
The PGA of America
PGA President Ted Bishop (center) is joined by the PGA leadership after being inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
Ted Bishop, the 38th president of The PGA of America and Tour Professional Chris Smith were inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame Tuesday night (Oct. 22) at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis.
 
In 2012, Bishop became the third native of Indiana to be elected president of The PGA of America, the world's largest sports organization. He joined Indiana's Don Padgett II (1977-78) and Mickey Powell (1985-86). Both Padgett and Powell are also enshrined in the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame.
 
"There was never a point in my career I could imagine being inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame," Bishop said. "I can't tell you how much this means to me to be in the Hall of Fame family. This really means so much to me."
 
A native of Logansport, Ind., Bishop graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's Degree in Agronomy in 1976, and began his career as a professional and superintendent at the Phil Harris Golf Course in Linton, Ind.
 
He was elected to PGA membership in 1985, and has served in a leadership capacity at either the Section or National levels since 1989. Bishop was the 1991 recipient of the Section Horton Smith Award and a two-time (1996-97) Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient. From 1997-98, Bishop served as president of the Indiana PGA Section, and was the 1998 Indiana PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
 
 
He has twice been awarded the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash by the Governor of Indiana, for service to the communities in which he has resided.
Bishop, 59, is the PGA general manager at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin, Ind., where he oversaw construction and development of the facility in 1991. He was instrumental in the process that saw the Indiana Golf Office move to its current location, which provided tangible space for the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame.
 
"Based on the fact that the Hall of Fame is here at the Legends makes it all that much more special to be inducted," Bishop said. "For me to know that in some small way I had something to do with it, being here makes it even cooler."
 
Well-versed in virtually every aspect of Association governance, Bishop has served since 2006 on the PGA Board of Directors. Prior to joining the PGA Board, he served on the PGA Board of Control from 2002-05, where he evaluated hundreds of membership cases. He later served as chair of the Board of Control while secretary of The PGA.
 
During his first year as PGA president, Bishop oversaw the hiring of The PGA of America's new CEO, continued to champion growth of the game endeavors and has been the voice of The PGA concerning vital issues affecting the golf industry.
 
Smith, 44, is a native of Peru, Ind., and the 1991 Big Ten Conference champion while completing an All-American career at Ohio State University. Smith turned professional in 1991, was the 1997 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year and won the 2002 Buick Classic.
 
Bishop and Smith are the 101st and 102nd members of the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame, respectively.