Golf Buzz

July 17, 2013 - 10:02am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Linda Hartough, golf, book, Green Glory
Linda Hartough
"Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors -- Golf's Renowned Venues"
If you fancy yourself a collector of great golf books, we have one you absolutely must add to your library, or better yet, your coffee table. 
 
"Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors -- Golf's Renowned Venues" is a beautiful compilation of paintings by Linda Hartough and photographs by Stonehouse Publishing Founder and photographer Patrick Dickey.
 
Hartough, a landscape painter, has become recognized as one of golf's leading artists. That's no surprise once you see "Green Glory."
 
The book, which runs 250 breathtaking pages, features paintings and photographic images of the 69 courses that have hosted the game's four major tournaments since 1950. It's broken into four sections: The Masters; The U.S. Open; The Open Championship; and the PGA Championship.
 
This is so much more than a picture book, folks. It's a magnificent piece of art.
 
One of the best features of this book is that it isn't just gorgeous painting after gorgeous painting (though we would have been just as content with that). Along with the paintings and photographs, "Green Glory" provides a history of events that have taken place at the featured courses. 
 
Here's a brief excerpt of the portion featuring the Olympic Club, host of the 1955, 1966, 1987, 1998 and 2012 U.S. Opens:
 
"The prestigious Olympic Club in San Francisco, established in 1860, carries the distinction of being the oldest athletic club in the United States. The club's early bylaws stated its mission was "to strengthen and improve the body by gymnastic exercises," and during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Olympic fielded amateur teams in national and international competitions ranging from boxing to billiards, including many Olympic events.
 
"Golf, however, didn't become a part of the club's sports roster until 1918, when the organization took over operation of the Lakeside Golf Club, designed by Wilfred Reid. By 1922 more land had been acquired, and the Olympic Club decided to replace the Lakeside course with two 18-hole golf courses, the Lake and the Ocean, designed by Scotsman Willie Watson and constructed by superintendent Sam Whiting..."
 
The section on Olympic Club also highlights the winners of each of the course's five U.S. Opens, along with the winner's purse from each (in 1955, Jack Fleck collected $6,000 for his win, while 2012 champion Webb Simpson picked up a hefty $1,440,000 for his efforts).
 
If you're a lover of golf, "Green Glory" is one book you cannot go without.
 
 
The book is priced at $55, or $75 if signed by Hartough. You can purchase "Green Glory" here.
 
To learn more about Hartough and all her brilliant work, click here
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
 
July 16, 2013 - 8:19pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Odyssey White Damascus #1 putter
Ian Poulter via Twitter
Ian Poulter has chosen an Odyssey White Damascus #1 putter, which features an unusual face insert.

The great Ian Poulter putter audition is over – and the winner is an Odyssey White Damascus #1 blade.

''My putter is selected for the week,'' Poulter said on Twitter Tuesday from Scotland, where he is playing the British Open. ''It is an Odyssey White Damascus. Rolling it very nice. Testing over for now.''

Never heard of it? That's because it's not available in the United States, or many other places, at least not yet. 

Odyssey is showing it off in Japan this summer, and it apparently will be available at retail in Japan this fall. It's an Anser-style blade with an unsual face insert containing an inner urethane layer and an outer layer of Damascus steel for soft yet solid feel upon impact. 

Damascus steel is popular in Asia, and is created by melting materials such as iron and charcoal with steel pieces to create a metal that is hard yet also flexible. It has been used for 1,000 years or so from India to the Middle East to Japan to create long-bladed weapons with rare strength and eye-catching design patterns. As you can see, the sole of Poulter's putter has a cool-looking white sword.

The White Damascus blade is listed on www.rakuten.co.jp, a big Japanese online retailer, which says the putter comes in 33-, 34- and 35-inch models with a silver PVD finish. The price before tax is listed at 17,800 yen, which works out to about $180.

Poulter, of course announced last week that he was retiring his Odyssey White Hot XG #7 putter, the one with which he putted so well at the 2012 Ryder Cup. He solicited new putters to try out via social media, and received quite a few. 

Poulter also used Twitter to announce some other changes to his bag this week. He's carrying a Cobra AMP Cell 2-hybrid that he says carries 240 yards, along with a 3-iron and 4-iron instead of higher-lofted hybrids. He's also got new 56- and 62-degree Titleist Vokey wedges ''for extra spin.'' These newbies join his incumbent Cobra ZL Encore driver and Amp Cell 3-wood.

''A lot of you are thinking I've changed too many clubs. Every club in the bag I have used before. Even putter shape I've used before,'' he tweeted, adding the hashtag #Relax.

 

Nike Hyperadapt Storm-FIT jacket
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The new Hyperadapt Storm-FIT Jacket from Nike Golf features an impenetrable outer layer for protection combined with the stretch capabilities of a sweater for increased range of motion.

With the world's best players convening at Muirfield this week, a lot of us have the British Open – and British Open weather – on our minds. 

That also includes Nike Golf, which is rolling out its new Hyperadapt Storm-FIT Jacket. This brand-new jacket features an impenetrable outer layer for protection, the company says, combined with the stretch capabilities of a sweater for increased range of motion.

Nike's designers worked closely with some of the company's staff players, including Paul Casey, who wore the jacket last month at the Irish Open, which he won during a week of sunshine, heavy downpours and winds gusting up to 35 mph. Casey and other Nike players are outfitted with the new jackets at Muirfield this week.

''Inspired by our athletes who demand the best in performance, our team set to work to create a jacket built to change the way golfers feel in unfavorable weather conditions,'' said Vice President of Global Golf Apparel Merritt Richardson. ''We are always working to minimize distractions. From reducing sound to enhancing stretch, the Hyperadapt Storm-FIT jacket is the ultimate in protection and performance.''

With no-sew technology throughout the garment's inner layer, designers minimized the potential for chafing. They also added a four-way stretch system to the shoulders and arms that maximizes mobility and eliminates restrictions during the swing. This woven, stretch knit laminate combination reduces noise during the swing and, the company says, provides a sweater-like feel for comfort and protection. 

''Often, athletes will add a size to their rain jackets because they don't want to feel restricted by the fabric,'' said Richardson. ''This leads to a distracting, oversized jacket that is not optimal for competitive play. The Hyperadapt jacket eliminates this issue by providing athletes the protection they need without sacrificing the performance benefits of a stretch pullover.''

Outiffted with adjustable cuffs, the new Hyperadapt jacket is breathable and, Nike says, seam-sealed for 100 percent waterproof protection.

It is available at retail now. Half Zip versions retail for $240, and come in Black, Cool Grey and Game Royal. The Full Zip models retail for $280 and come in Black, Cool Grey, Game Royal and Armory Slate.

 

 

July 16, 2013 - 9:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods, Muirfield, The Open
Getty Images
Tiger Woods showed up too early for a practice round at Muirfield on Monday and had to wait to tee off.
Tiger Woods has always been known as an early riser, who likes to take in extra early practice rounds.
 
At Muirfield on Monday, that extra early round wasn't an option... even for the world's No. 1 player.
 
Woods showed up to the 10th tee at Muirfield at 6:40 a.m. hoping to set out for a practice round. However, a security guard alerted Woods that he'd have to wait 20 minutes to tee off. There are signs at Muirfield that clearly let players know they can't tee off until 7 a.m. (so that fans can take in as much play as possible and the grounds crew has time to prepare the course).
 
In his press conference later in the day, Woods conceded it wasn't a big deal at all and he "totally understood" the rule.
 
"I like getting up early, especially when the sun comes up at 4 in the morning here," he said. "It's hard to sleep in. And I don't sleep much to begin with. It's light early. I've always liked coming out here. The golf course doesn't change much; from five in the morning to seven at night, nine at night, it's virtually the same."
 
"Peter was explaining that he's having the grounds crew cut it from No. 1 through 18 as a routine, to get them accustomed to that pattern for the championship. That's one of the reasons why he wants us to tee off at 7 on the first tee. I totally understand it."
 
Kudos to the security guard who had the nerve to tell Tiger he had to wait! Imagine being that guy?
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
July 15, 2013 - 11:43pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Hammacher-Schlemmer hovercraft golf cart
Hammacher-Schlemmer
The hovercraft golf cart is perfect for anyone in search of a head-turning way to levitate around the links.

Jammed in my usual stack of junk mail today was a catalog from gadgeteer extraordinaire Hammacher Schlemmer. And on the cover – a golf cart hovercraft.

Yes, a golf cart hovercraft like the one Bubba Watson zooms around in on YouTube, and the ones soon to be available for rent at Windy Knoll Golf Club in Ohio – one that you can buy for your own self.

''This is the golf cart that glides over sand traps and water hazards on a cushion of air as easily as it does over fairways and the rough,'' the Hammacher Schlemmer website says. ''Powered by a 65-hp twin-cylinder Hirth engine, its nine-blade axial-flow ducted fan propels the craft up to 45 mph and 9" off the ground without harming grass, allowing immediate crossing of a pond or stream to follow-up a cross-water shot. 

''The fan's streamlined design minimizes noise, speeds up an 18-hole outing, and conveys four passengers beneath a lift-up roof and two golf bags in an open rear compartment,'' it adds, though I'm not sure why they'd make one that could hold four people but only two bags.

Anyway, the site says the hovercraft's ''low-profile, aerodynamic design minimizes air drag to maximize stability in crosswinds while its innovative skirt system employs individually handmade segments to provide optimal anti-plow and -scoop performance. The craft's fiberglass composite and urethane foam composite hull meets United States Coast Guard standards for reliable hovering over water.''

The hovercraft weighs 600 pounds when sitting unloaded on the ground. And it retails for a mere $58,000 – pretty expensive for a golf cart, but a bargain for anyone in search of a head-turning way to levitate around the links, or anywhere else for that matter.

If you're interested, check it out here. But remember, I call shotgun.

 

July 15, 2013 - 12:34pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
YouTube
This new ESPN commercial featuring Rickie Fowler is worth 30 seconds of your time.
OK, so by now everyone knows Rickie Fowler's favorite color is orange. 
 
Or is it? This great new, "This is Sportscenter," ESPN commercial, suggests that maybe Fowler isn't wearing all that orange in honor of his Oklahoma State University Cowboys after all. 
 
 
h/t Steve Elling, @EllingYelling on Twitter.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.