Golf Buzz

February 28, 2013 - 3:17pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Tiger Woods
Getty Images
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

February 28, 2013 - 10:46am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Clicgear
Clicgear push carts allow you to take everything you need on the golf course without the burden of a heavy load.

 

If you made a New Year's resolution to get fit, hopefully you're still sticking to it.
 
And, if you're looking for a great way to keep that going as the winter turns to spring and golf season begins, surely you know it's better to walk than ride a cart, right?
 
But who wants to carry a golf bag 18 holes? Especially when it gets hot. You're going to add weight -- no matter how light the bag -- when you throw some bottles of water in there, an umbrella, etc.
 
Well, don't worry about that stuff anymore. Just worry about walking. Thanks to Clicgear -- a high-end push-cart -- and an outstanding line of accessories for your cart, you can walk without carrying any of the extra weight and still enjoy all the features of a riding cart.
 
We caught up recently with Todd Hansen, the National Sales Manager of the ProActive Sports Group, which produces the Clicgear cart. The latest version, the Clicgear Model 3.5+, has been a hit.
 
"The Model 3.5+ is our 4th generation of cart dating back to the Fall of 2006," Hansen said. "The cool thing about Clicgear is that we truly listen to feedback that we get from both our retail partners and the consumers who use Clicgear products. The changes that we make with each new cart model reflect our response to this feedback."
 
As a result, Hansen said, the Model 3.5+ includes the following upgrades:
 
- 80% larger storage net
- New bag straps that are easier to handle
- Improved brake system
- Mat finish paint
- Improved adjustable cup holder
 
All of that doesn't even include many of the great additional accessories you can purchase to add to the cart. You can add a cooler tube to store beverages; a seat -- yes, a seat -- that attaches to the frame; a shoe brush to keep the bottom of your shoes clean; a steering knob; wheel covers to keep the trunk of your car clean; a GPS/smartphone holder and more.
 
"The accessory collection is really fun, and one of the things that sets Clicgear apart from our competition," Hansen said. "The idea is to really find products that will enhance the round of golf -- convenience accessories that are functional."
 
The idea for Clicgear came from Kevin Kimberley, an industrial engineer from Canada.
 
"He got the idea after picking up all his friends for a round of golf and realized by the time he picked up the fourth person there was no room in the car," Hansen said.
 
So while the Clicgear is pretty much the Rolls-Royce of push carts with all its features, it truly separates itself from the competition thanks to the compact design, overall engineering, quality of the components used, the accessories and the colors that are offered.
 
"We have been amazed at how passioniate Clicgear users are," Hansen said. "We get posts on our Facebook page daily from our users. They send us pictures of their carts and tell us how much they love our product. Of course they tell us things we can improve, but that is how we keep improving. It truly is very satisfying."
 
So does Hansen ever run into perfect strangers on the course and see them using a Clicgear cart?
 
"It happens all the time," he said. "I will often times head to the golf course without a tee time on a last-minute decision. I'm based in Oregon, so we watch the weather report often! I get paired with other singles or a maybe a threesome. More times than not one of the players will be using a Clicgear. I usually play things pretty cool and start with, 'cool cart, how do you like it?'  Typically the reponse is positive, and then I will tell the player I work for the company. Then they typcially tell how much they LOVE the cart. I get a kick out of this."
 
There are many ways for you to check out Clicgear on your own. 
 
Visit the website, www.clicgearusa.com.
 
Click here to check Clicgear out on Facebook.
 
Follow Clicgear on Twitter, @clicgearusa.
 
If you'd like to buy the cart (which retails for around $219) and accessories, there are many ways to do so.
 
"We always encourage golfers to support their local pro or golf retailer," Hansen said. "Clicgear can be found just about everywhere. From all the major golf retail stores, to your local pro shop. If you go to a shop and don't find Clicgear, demand that the retail special order a cart for you! OK, maybe demand is a strong word, but we want our potential retail customers to feel the demand for our cart. Since we have been in business for six years, most every store or shop will know Clicgear. We do offer carts for sale on our website as well."
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 27, 2013 - 10:29pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Woodhaven Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas
Woodhaven Country Club is one of several golf clubs in the Dallas-Forth Worth area actively improving and growing.

The recovery of the golf economy, like the recovery of the economy in general, is happening in fits and starts, and accelerating in some places more than others. One area where golf seems to be bouncing back better than most is Dallas-Fort Worth.

A recent story in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram highlighted how several golf facilities are starting to step on the gas for the first time in several seasons.

At Timarron Country Club – on Byron Nelson Parkway in the upscale Fort Worth suburb of Southlake – recent renovations costing seven figures added a media room, outdoor dining and a complete upgrade of food and beverage operations, the story said. And along with clubhouse renovations, the nearby Trophy Club improved its chipping/wedge practice area, expanded its putting area and renovated its driving range with a target fairway and greens.

Both those facilities are owned by the Dallas-based ClubCorp, which last year spent $65 million on renovations to its various properties, according to ClubCorp President and CEO Eric Affeldt. He also said the company would spend just as much this year as well, with some of the cash going to remodel the clubhouse at Arlington's Shady Valley Golf Club.

"The improvements will allow these clubs, already established in their communities, to stay relevant and offer even more value to their members," Affeldt told the Star-Telegram. "What we're trying to do is appeal to a broader customer ... what we can do for the entire family."

Some facilities are being transformed not by huge corporations but by individuals. Among them are Woodhaven Country Club in Fort Worth and Diamond Oaks Country Club in Haltom City, both of which were purchased by members concerned that the clubs might fail. 

"You could see the downward trend," Dallas businessman George Sanders told the newspaper. "I felt the club was just going to go away. I didn't do this to get wealthy."

Within a month of buying Diamond Oaks, Sanders brought on Lee Trevino as a partner. He’s spent about $1.6 million for renovations, including new bunkers and new carts, and spruced up the clubhouse to make it a popular local destination. Now, he says, the club's wedding reception business is thriving, and the club is focused on marketing itself toward younger and value-minded golfers.

Another facility cited in the story is Rolling Hills Country Club in Arlington, that city's first private country club, which is undergoing its first major restoration in its 60 years of operation. The facelift includes rebuilding the golf course, including bunkers and water features, and planting new grass.

"This has been a long time in the making and to see the wheels in motion makes this a very exciting time," PGA Head Professional Vince Pellman of Rolling Hills told the paper. "The golf course upgrade will not only bring our course into the 21st century but create a more fun and player-friendly course for members and their guests."

February 27, 2013 - 3:36pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods remains firmly in favor of a ban on anchored putters.

 

Tiger Woods is in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., this week for the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa.
 
The biggest news in golf so far this year is the proposed ban on anchored putters by the USGA and R&A. Everyone seems to have an opinion. Should the putters be allowed, or outlawed?
 
On Sunday, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said the Tour was opposed to a ban and made that known to golf's governing bodies.
 
Woods, for one, doesn't agree with the Tour's stance.
 
In a report filed by ESPN.com's Bob Harig on Wednesday, Woods once again expressed his feelings on the matter:
 
"My position hasn't changed," Woods said after his pro-am round at the Honda Classic, where he begins the first round at 7:25 a.m. on Thursday. "I still think that it should be swung, it shouldn't be anchored, and that hasn't changed at all. But obviously nothing is set in stone, nothing's firm.
 
"The USGA (United States Golf Association) and R&A (Royal & Ancient) are the governing bodies of our rules, and we'll see what happens. Hopefully we don't have to bifurcate (have separate rules for pros and amateurs) or adapt a local rule like we do sometimes out here on tour (but all are within the Rules of Golf). Hopefully we won't have to do that with the putter."
 
The USGA and R&A announced their proposed change, in which using an anchored stroke would no longer be allowed, to the Rules of Golf on Nov. 28. The rule would not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2016. They allowed for a three-month comment period, which ends Thursday, with a decision expected sometime in the spring.
 
Less than 20 percent of PGA Tour players, Finchem said Sunday, use an anchored putter. However, he's still against a ban, which would effect the likes of major champions Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els to name a few.
 
Harig also had this quote from Woods:
 
"I understand that; I get it," Woods said. "The guys that play our tour, all three of them who have won major championships with an anchored putter … play our tour full time. I understand his position. But I still feel that all 14 clubs should be swung. That hasn't changed at all."
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 26, 2013 - 11:45pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Phosphor Watches
Photo courtesy Phosphor watches
Phosphor watches are ideal time keepers for golfers

I'm not a "watch" guy.  Never worn them and now, with the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones, I see no reason I ever will.  In fact, I can't think of a time or place where I didn't have easy access to the time -- except the golf course.

Sometimes cell phones are prohibited, sometimes they are frowned upon, sometimes they are just hard to keep nearby - but knowing the time while on the course is important. We all have busy lives and at the very least, want to know our pace of play is in line with what it should be. So now - I need a watch.

Enter Phosphor watches who have developed a sports watch - ideal for golfers - that is stylish, functional and durable.

The World Time Sport Watch uses E Ink technology (the same as your favorite E reader such as the Amazon Kindle, which requires no backlight for its digital display and makes telling time in its large display area easy for golfers in even the brightest of glares.  It offers a variety of modes and display options - and is light and thin - barely noticeable for even those who don't often wear watches.  The band is also strong enough to simply clip to your golf bag with no worries of it snapping away.

If you are, or know, a golfer who seemingly has everything - here's a unique and practical gift idea for you.