Golf Buzz

June 28, 2013 - 6:38pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Titleist 714 Series of irons
Courtesy of Titleist
The four models that will make up the 714 Series of irons are now undergoing what Titleist calls the "performance validation process" before being released to the retail market for the 2014 golf season.

Two years ago at the AT&T National, Titleist gave its staff players their first real look at some of its 712 Series of irons. Last year at the AT&T National, Titleist gave its staff players their first real look at the 913 drivers and fairway clubs. 

And earlier this week at the AT&T National, Titleist showed its staff players the forthcoming 714 collection of irons, as a couple dozen sets were shipped to Congressional for some early testing.

Bringing the prototypes for the Titleist CB, MB, AP1 and AP2 irons that will make up the 714 Series is a big part of the development process. “All Titleist golf clubs go through this critical step to validate their performance before being launched to market,” the company says.

Of the four models, the CB and MB underwent the least change. In fact, Vice President of Golf Club Marketing Chris McGinley told that "the one thing we kept hearing from tour players was, 'Don't screw them up. '" 

So Titleist didn't – instead, the club designers chose to keep the makeover minor, focusing mostly on touch-ups to the sole and overall shape of these classic forged blades.

By contrast, the AP1 and AP2 irons received more of a renovation to enhance their forgiveness, starting with making their heads more progressive down through the set to keep the feel more consistent from club to club. Also, Titleist added more camber to the soles and cleaned up the way the hosel blends into the clubhead.

"We made some significant changes to [the AP] irons," McGinley told "How significant? I'd say this was the largest amount of change we've made since the franchise began."

The new clubs won't be formally introduced until the fall at the earliest, and the final versions will make up Titleist's 2014 iron offerings.



June 27, 2013 - 9:22pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges feature a rough face and aggressive grooves, and come in either a shiny or smoky finish.

Callaway Golf has been teasing us with hints about its new Mack Daddy 2 wedges for a couple of months or so, and now we have the big reveal.

The new wedges are forged from a soft carbon steel for enhanced feel and feature expanded grooves for more spin. They also offer a variety of custom sole grind options. 

''Golfers ask their lob wedges to perform a lot of different shots, so it's important to design these wedges to be extremely forgiving and versatile,'' said Chief Club Designer Roger Cleveland, who created these wedges. ''And that's what we've done with these new grooves and the added custom grind options. The MD2s will be a must for the golfer who wants to perform to his or her best in the toughest of conditions.''

Unique to the wedges with 56 degrees of loft or higher is a new 5V groove pattern, which features wider, more aggressive grooves that increase spin and promote more control around the green. In fact, Callaway says, this new groove pattern is 39 percent larger than on previous models and produces 25 percent more spin on full shots hit out of the rough compared to its 2011 predecessor.

The lower-lofted Mack Daddy wedges also feature the wider grooves, but with a different sidewall in the grooves to tone down the spin just a hair. The new grooves are right up against the USGA limit – in fact, Callaway says, they're actually bigger than the grooves in its models before the implementation of the USGA's 2010 rule – and the clubfaces feature Callaway's Lasered Micro Groove for added roughness across the face.

There are three custom sole grinds available for the 58- and 60-degree clubs:

The U-Grind, which Phil Mickelson inspired and which he has been using for more than a year, has a wide, concave sole and a rounded leading edge to make it easier to stay low and under the ball when opening the face. This grind is versatile in both firm and soft conditions, Callaway says.

The C-Grind is also relieved in the heel and toe to keep golfers from creating too much bounce when they open the face. The depth of the sole is narrow to help facilitate proper contact and to allow the wedge to perform in all situations.   

The S-Grind is relieved in the heel only, and is best suited for firmer playing conditions. This grind, also called the standard grind, is fitting for the golfer who doesn’t want to add loft for a shot and instead play it with a square face.

The Mack Daddy 2 Wedges will be available at retail nationwide on July 12, and will carry a suggested retail price of $119 per club. They will debut with 52-, 56-, 58- and 60-degree options, while 47-, 50-, 54- and 64-degree wedges will come out in November. All will be available in either a shiny Slate finish or a smoky, glare-reducing Chrome finish.



June 25, 2013 - 8:23pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Ashton Eaton talks golf
The PGA of America
Olympic gold medalist visits with the Golf Channel to talk of his new love of golf.
What makes golf so attractive to so many? It's the simplicity and the challenge - it's a sport that anyone can enjoy but even the finest athletes in the world can never conquer.  
So how about THE world's finest athlete?
Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder in both the decathlon and the heptathlon, Ashton Eaton, paid a visit to the 46th PGA Professional National Championship to watch some of the country's top players compete and to discuss his new found love of golf.  
Eaton, who grew up in nearby Bend, Ore., discovered golf recently through a local Get Golf Ready program.  From his first swings, he was hooked - and though having very limited time to devote to anything other than the vast array of track & field events he competes in - Eaton is making time to work on his new found passion.
"I was never interested in golf until someone brought up the Get Golf Ready program to me," Eaton said. "They suggested that I just try it - and so I did. And now, yes, I'm very interested."
Eaton took up the game at the beginning of June and in three months, has become an ambassador for golf in many ways. During his visit to Sunriver and the PGA PNC, Eaton spent time live with many media outlets, including a live interview on the Golf Channel, to discuss his affinity for the game.
"Track and field is tougher physically," Eaton says, "but golf is tougher mentally." 
Traditionally, the winner of the Olympic decathlon is referred to as the "World's Greatest Athlete" but Eaton understands that golf is a game that can never be fully mastered.
"The thing that attracted me to it was the challenge - and it's still a great distraction from me from the very serious business of my training. I haven't played a full round of golf yet, but I did make two pars my first time out on a golf course. So now that bar has been set and next time, I want to make four pars."
There is perhaps no better arbiter of a great challenge and fun time than a world-class athlete like Ashton Eaton. Get Golf Ready inspired him to take up golf - and he has. What can it do for you? Find out at  or
June 25, 2013 - 5:48pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Folds of Honor
The Play with a Patriot Sweepstakes will benefit the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country.

The Folds of Honor Foundation is doing a great job of raising awareness and funds for scholarships and other assistance for the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country. In its latest effort, the foundation has teamed up with Titleist to create the Play with a Patriot Sweepstakes.

The winner and two guests will get a one-of-a-kind golf prize – an all-expense-paid trip this Labor Day weekend to play a round of golf with Major Dan Rooney at The Patriot Golf Club in Owasso, Okla. Rooney, of course, is the founder of the Folds of Honor as well as a veteran of the Iraq War and a PGA Professional.

But wait, as they say on TV, there's more. The winner also will receive an insider's tour of a fighter jet, a custom A2 leather flight jacket and a supply of limited-edition Titleist Velocity golf balls.

Ten additional winners will each receive a Titleist Vokey Design/Folds of Honor Limited Edition wedge and a dozen Titleist Velocity golf balls. And 25 other winners will each receive six dozen Titleist Velocity golf balls.

Entries close on July 7, so don't wait. To read all the rules and sign up, click here. And to find out more about the Folds of Honor Foundation, click here.


June 24, 2013 - 6:44pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ted Bishop
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
PGA of America President Ted Bishop said Monday that The PGA will continue to confer with the PGA Tour on the status of the anchor ban.

PGA of America President Ted Bishop released the following statement on Monday:

"The PGA of America Board of Directors met on June 24 at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort, where we discussed Rule 14-1b, which the USGA and R&A recently announced would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, as well as the entire rules-making process in detail.

"As we have seen over the past few months, the Rules of Golf can affect recreational golf in addition to play at the elite level. The PGA of America will continue to confer with the PGA Tour on the subject of Rule 14-1b, and The PGA of America will reserve any public comments on this matter until after the PGA Tour Policy Board meets on July 1."






June 24, 2013 - 2:38am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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1973 Great Britain Ryder Cup team
Getty Images
Bernard Hunt, far right, captained the 1973 Great Britain Ryder Cup, which played the United States tight before finally succumbing.

Bernard Hunt, who made history as both a player and a captain for Great Britain and Ireland in the Ryder Cup, died over the weekend at age 83.

Hunt served as either a player or captain in every Ryder Cup but one between 1953 and 1969, including the 1957 match in which Britain famously upset the United States at Lindrick. He managed only a 6-16-6 overall record as a player, but was an impressive 4-3-3 in singles. 

Hunt didn't play a foursomes match in the 1957 Ryder Cup, but his 6&5 thumping of Doug Ford in singles helped propel Britain to a 7 1/2 - 4 1/2 victory – giving Britain the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1933. In 1963 Hunt and his brother Geoff became the first brothers to play on the same Ryder Cup team.

Hunt went on to serve as captain in the 1973 and 1975 Ryder Cups. The United States won in 1973, but for the first time the British squad was officially referred to as Great Britain-Ireland (even though Northern Irish players had played as far back as 1947 and Irish players had participated since 1953). Hunt's 1975 team was the last before the inclusion of players from continental Europe.

Hunt turned professional in 1946, and assembled a prominent career on the European circuit in the 1950s and 1960s. He won the Order of Merit in 1958, 1960 and 1965, compiling 30 victories. He was a founding member of the European Senior Tour in the early 1990s, even though he was in his early 60s at the time.

Hunt played out of Hartsbourne Country Club in southeast England, eventually following in his father John's footsteps as head professional there, and its 9-hole course is known as "the Hunt Course." He later became the first head professional at Foxhills Golf Club near London, where he served for 25 years. One of the courses there is named "the Bernard Hunt Course."

"Bernard Hunt was one of Britain's truly great champions and has been a steadfast ally to all of us involved in the growth of the European Tour," said European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady. "He was enormously respected by all of his fellow players, as was evidenced when he was appointed Ryder Cup captain in 1973 and 1975 and captain of the PGA in 1966 and again from 1995 to 1997."

Hunt was born in Atherstone, Warwickshire, England, on Feb. 2, 1930. He is survived by his wife, Meg Hunt, and three children.