Golf Buzz

March 1, 2013 - 9:18pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ferraris at Palm Beach International Speedway
Stuart Appleby via Twitter
Stuart Appleby took this photo of some of the Ferraris that he and other PGA Tour players tested.

How do you get your motor running for a big golf tournament? Well, this week some PGA Tour players did it by, literally, getting their motors running.

On Tuesday, Ian Poulter – well known as one of golf's greatest motorheads – hosted several of his colleagues at the Palm Beach International Raceway. At the small track near West Palm Beach, Poulter arranged for Ferrari USA to provide a stable of ''prancing horses'' for the players to test out.

Among the players who joined Poulter were Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Nicolas Colsaerts and Stuart Appleby.

Track officials didn't keep lap times for fear of stirring up the players' competitive juices – after all, the point was to have fun, not crumple a $400,000 machine up into a steaming wad of leather and carbon fiber. But word from the pit lane was that Poulter and Fowler were at the head of the pack.

That's no surprise, considering that Poulter is well known as an owner of multiple Ferraris (which he stores in his lavish new home in Orlando), and Fowler loves to put the pedal to the metal in his own collection of fast cars, some of which he runs at the Palm Beach speedway when he's not playing golf. Poulter even got one of his own cars, a spectacular Enzo Ferrari, out on the track for a few laps.

On Twitter, Poulter called the day ''Ferrari heaven'' and, judging by the photo posted above, taken by Stuart Appleby, shows how accurate that description is.

March 1, 2013 - 7:40pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tiger Woods at the Honda Classic
Serena Williams via Twitter
Serena Williams took this photo of Tiger Woods on her cell phone Friday even as a marshal attempted to stop her.

Serena Williams spent part of her Friday at the Honda Classic, where she followed Tiger Woods for a little bit. The tennis superstar – who lives near PGA National, where the tournament is being played – wanted to take a photo of Woods with her cell phone, but an ever-vigilant marshal caught her in the act.

Amazingly, someone caught the incident on video, and you can see it here.

Williams admitted her infraction later on Twitter:

@serenawilliams: "Ok at this Golf tournament. Just saw @tigerwoods I understand NO golf Apparently u can't take pics. This security for mad and yelled at me''

She did, however, get her photo, and she shared it – it's the one posted above. You can see her original here.

And she added:

‏@serenawilliams: ''I need to learn golf dident know I knew so little. Apparently u can't take pictures of golfers. In my Defense peeps always take pics of tennis players.''

March 1, 2013 - 11:19am
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Webb Simpson
Getty Images
2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson would be one of the prominent golfers affected by a change in the rules

 

The 90 day comment period that the USGA provided for feedback on the proposal to ban anchoring the putter has now closed - and the comments, they came a plenty.  Both the USGA and the R&A released statements Friday morning. A final decision from both organizations is expected in the Spring. 
 
The PGA of America and the PGA Tour have both expressed opposition to any proposed ban. 
 
USGA Statement
 
"The 90-day comment period on proposed Rule 14-1b has been very constructive and we appreciate the thoughtfulness of everyone who offered feedback. We received comments, questions and suggestions from recreational golfers, golf professionals and organizations representing many segments of the golf community. The discussion has been informative and serves as a strong reminder of just how passionate golfers are about the game - no matter their position on this specific issue."
 
"For well over a year, the golf community has engaged in a healthy and spirited discussion about anchoring, as well as other important issues confronting the game. Throughout this period, we have worked to explain the intent of Rule 14-1b, which aims to clarify and preserve the traditional and essential nature of the golf stroke that has helped to make golf a unique and enjoyable game of skill and challenge for centuries." 
 
"As the comment period comes to a close, we will continue to review and evaluate the feedback that we have received. As we have throughout this process, we will continue to confer with the R&A in our work to reach a final resolution on this matter."
 
R&A statement:
 
“Anchoring has been a polarising issue in our sport and despite having weighed the matter thoroughly before making the proposal, we believed it was important to give stakeholders in the game the opportunity to air their views. Our consultation period has generated a number of considered responses which have continued to arrive right up to the deadline. We appreciate those responses and will take time to review and evaluate them.
 
"We note that this has proved particularly sensitive in the United States, while the proposed rule change has been received more favourably across the international golfing community. As we have throughout this process, we will work closely with the USGA in moving towards a final resolution."
February 28, 2013 - 3:57pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Arnaud Massy
Arnaud Massy, by winning the 1906 British Open, became the first player from continental Europe to win a major – and was the only one until Seve Ballesteros won the 1979 British Open.

A new discovery of an old grave could become the latest tourist attraction at the home of golf.

That's what several golfing groups in Scotland hope, anyway.

Arnaud Massy – who made history as the first non-Briton to win the British Open back in 1906 – was buried in the Newington Cemetery in Edinburgh, Scotland, after his death in 1950. But no one seemed to remember that fact for 63 years, until his unkempt grave was recently rediscovered.

The discovery provoked a huge response from the British golf community, which installed a new headstone during a reconsecration service last Saturday to honor Massy. According to The Scotsman newspaper, the ceremony was attended by representatives of the R&A; the British Golf Collectors Society; the European Association of Golf Historians and Collectors; Douglas Seaton, a golf historian from nearby North Berwick who actually located the grave; Hugh Henderson, a great nephew of Massy; Pierre-Alain Coffinier, the French Consul in Edinburgh; and a representative of the French Golf Federation.

''Hopefully many golfers will come here as a pilgrimage,'' said Coffinier. ''Arnaud Massy was one of golf's biggest champions and we are very proud that he has been honored with such a service in Scotland, where golf is at the core of its identity.''

One of golf's great early champions, Massy was born in the French resort community of Biarritz in 1877, and became a caddie to supplement the money he was making as a sardine fisherman. He met several top British golfers who spent the winter in southern France, and moved to North Berwick, Scotland, to pursue his love of golf.

By winning the 1906 British Open at Royal Liverpool, he became the first player from continental Europe to win a major – and was the only one until Seve Ballesteros won the 1979 British Open. He also won the first French Open in 1906 as well as the second French Open in 1907, as well as the first Belgian Open in 1910 and the first Spanish Open in 1912.

He put golf aside for four years to serve in the French military during World War I, and returned to the game in his 40s. He won his fourth French Open in 1925 at age 48, then defeated Bobby Jones in a 1926 exhibition match in France and went on to win the Spanish Open again in both 1927 and 1928. 

''We are very pleased to be associated with this event,'' R&A representative Philip Truett told The Scotsman. ''If there are other champion golfers not recognized in the correct way, we should pursue this.''

February 28, 2013 - 3:17pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods "Teed It Forward" during his historic round with President Barack Obama.

 

Though there are few witnesses to the much-heralded round between Tiger Woods and President Obama, there was still some news that came out of the historic pairing.
 
One such scoop was that Woods, as part of the friendly $5 wager made among the group, had to employ the "Tee It Forward" initiative  during the round - playing The Floridian course at just over 6200 yards (or over 1000 yards shorter than the course he's playing this week at The Honda Classic.) The catch was, he was still required to hit driver.
 
You can read more about round and Tiger's thoughts on it here. 
February 28, 2013 - 10:52am
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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LPGA Tour player guide
Photo courtesy LPGA.com
The LPGA Tour unveils its innovative online player guide

I'm a big fan of the LPGA.  I got my start in golf due to caddying in an LPGA event and some of the most fun times I've had on the course have been with LPGA professionals.  They are smart, creative, engaging and often, wickedly funny.

The LPGA knows that their players are the best asset they have and are taking steps in the right direction to grow the brand and the Tour by showing them off.  Their new online player guide is a great step in the right direction. Check it out and share your thoughts.

The LPGA Player Guide