Golf Buzz

Greg Jennings
USA Today Sports Images
Minnesota Vikings receiver Greg Jennings loves golf in part "because it develops you mentally."
 
Tuesday was the craziest day on the National Football League calendar, with a plethora of high-profile trades and free-agent signings. Amid all the hullabaloo, however, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings was probably thinking about – golf.
 
Jennings is quite the golf nut – he played some during his youth, but really got into the game during his rookie year with the Green Bay Packers and has pursued it ever since. 
 
He's also been inspired to see people from all walks of life, and parts of the world, succeed in the game. To see "different guys [like Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh] come on strong and be able to play at such high levels," he said in a Q&A on ESPN.com, "it gives us a confidence that you know what, we can play this game, too."
 
As he got into golf, "it became one of those pastimes that I was able to network and spend a lot of time with guys, get to know them better, and even work on my own game," explained Jennings, who led the Vikings with 59 receptions for 742 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
 
 
"It is one of those games that is very competitive and it is almost like an inner competition because you don't even have to compete with anyone else," he added. "You are competing against yourself. Like the last time you were out, or the last ball you just hit, or the last putt. Different things like that."
 
Because he can only get the sticks out part of the year, he's never gotten his scores to the level he would like. But he knows what he needs to improve from his level of shooting in the high 80s and low 90s: More consistency.
 
And even if his scores aren't what he'd prefer, Jennings enjoys his time out on the course.
 
"I love it because it develops you mentally. If you allow it to get to you, you will become mentally weak," he said. Golf " allows you to become mentally strong if you allow the frustration to kind of subside, and you can allow the mistake and take the failure, to not get frustrated.
 
"That is what it does for me," he added, "that is why I enjoy it."
 
Golf in Egypt
Courtesy of Golf Travel Egypt
Egypt isn't known for golf, but it has several world-class facilities and beginning a major push to attract golfers.
 
So you're sitting there, looking forlornly out the window at the five feet of snow in your yard that just won't melt, and you decide to make a list of places around the world you'd love to go on a golf vacation. 
 
Scotland, check. Ireland, check. Spain's Costa del Sol, check. Egypt, check.
 
Wait … Egypt?
 
Yes, a group called Golf Travel Egypt, which is backed by the Egyptian Tourism Authority and the Egyptian Golf Federation, has begun a major push to attract golfers to its little corner of the world. Specifically, the country wants to become a world leader in attracting golfers traveling with their instructors.
 
 
Egypt offers "the best possible conditions where teaching pros have everything they need to develop the relationship with their golf club members in the winter months," said Mohammed Attallah, the golf business development director at Golf Travel Egypt, in a release announcing the new endeavor.
 
As an example, Golf Travel Egypt points to the Madinat Makadi Golf Resort on the Red Sea, which has extra par 3, 4 and 5 holes just for practice. Also: the state-of-the-art academy facilities at the Allegria Golf Club (with a Greg Norman-designed layout in Cairo) and Katameya Dunes (with a Nick Faldo-designed course in Cairo), which boast K-Vest Biomechanics software and analysis tools as well as Flightscope launch monitors and Sam Putting Labs on site.
 
"Destinations aiming to attract teaching pro-led groups need to be able to offer an experience that is comfortable in a relaxing environment and where the golfers don't feel under pressure on the course," said Peter Walton, the chief executive of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO). "Egypt has the capacity on its golf courses to provide exactly this with established resort destinations on the Red Sea and the option to mix up golf, tuition and sightseeing by combining the Red Sea with Cairo."
 
Egypt already hosts several events for up-and-coming professional golfers on the Pro Golf Tour and Alps Tour circuits, both of which are regional satellite tours of the European Tour's Challenge Tour. And the country recently created its first home-grown tour, the Mediterranean Tour, which has a series of events exclusively in Egypt open to both professionals and elite amateurs.
 
Plenty of people already travel to Egypt to visit the Pyramids in Giza, soak up the culture in Alexandria, go shopping in Cairo and hang out on the beach in Sharm-el-Sheikh. Soon enough, a significant number of those tourists might add golf to their to-do list.
 
March 10, 2015 - 1:39pm
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Greg Stephens
Gregory Stephens's picture
Playing golf pregnant
Greg Stephens
Randi Stephens is an avid golfer who loves the game. She and her husband, PGA Professional Greg Stephens, are expecting their first child but that hasn’t stopped Randi from enjoying the game she loves.

By Greg Stephens, PGA; Director of Golf at Victory Ranch; Nike Golf Elite Advisory Staff

My wife Randi is an avid golfer who loves the game. We are expecting our first child but that hasn’t stopped Randi from enjoying the game she loves.

Golf is a great way to enjoy being outside and get good exercise while pregnant. Be sure to consult with your physician before participating in any physical activity when pregnant.

My wife’s doctor loved and endorsed the idea of Randi continuing to play golf throughout her pregnancy. It is a good way to keep your core strong since most core exercises should be put on hold during this time.

What you need to know

The biggest keys we have worked on with Randi’s swing are balance and not over swinging. Be sure to spend some time warming up before you play.

Start with pitch shots and gradually increase the length of your swing. This will help get your core loose before making full swings. It is also a great way to find out where the limit of your swing is that day. 

Randi’s swing has gotten a little bit shorter as her range of motion is slightly limited, with this has come a little bit of distance loss with her irons. Taking one extra club with your irons will solve this issue. Do not try to over swing or hit the ball harder as this will have an effect on your balance.

READ: How throwing your club can actually help your swing

Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy may have an effect on how long your swing is. You may go from full swings to three-quarter length swings and possibly even half-swings.

Listen to your body and don’t try to make long swings like you typically would. 

Tempo is extremely important here. Since your swing may be getting shorter you may feel the need to swing faster so be aware of this and swing with a smooth and relaxed tempo. Focusing mainly on balance and tempo will help you make solid contact with your clubs. 

READ: How to use Instagram to market your golf course

Try to hold your finish a little longer than you typically would, this is a great way to ensure good balance and tempo. Again, listen to your body and don’t over-do it. 

Some days you may have the stamina to play all 18 holes, other days maybe 9 holes is enough and some days maybe you skip a hole or two throughout the round.  You don’t have to put golf on hold when you’re pregnant, just being out there continuing to enjoy the game you love is the key.

March 8, 2015 - 1:31pm
mark.aumann's picture
Donald Trump and Rory McIlroy
Donald Trump returned Rory McIlroy's 3-iron on Sunday at Trump Doral.

Like "The Lord of the Rings," "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones" and "Back to the Future," the Saga of Rory McIlroy's Chucked 3-Iron has become a trilogy.

The story so far from the Cadillac Championship at Doral's Blue Monster ...

FRIDAY: Club thrown | SATURDAY: Club retrieved

On Friday, McIlroy tossed the offending club into a lake parallel to the eighth hole after a mishit.

On Saturday, a scuba diver showed up, waded into the water and retrieved the club.

On Sunday, course owner Donald Trump walked out to the practice area where McIlroy was warming up and presented the world's top-ranked player with the missing 3-iron, saying "nobody should play with 13 clubs, that's unlucky."

LOST AND FOUND: The oddest things left on the course

See the video here:

 

 

Based on the snippets of conversation heard during the video, it sounds as if McIlroy will give the club back to Trump at the end of the tournament -- possibly to be placed on display at the course, or to be auctioned off for charity.