Golf Buzz

June 19, 2013 - 3:25pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Mantis, golf
Mantis Golf
The Mantis Golf putter isn't just unique in style; it's also unique in function.
Have you ever heard anyone say, "You know, I just make too many putts?”
 
Yeah, we didn't think so. Thanks to a new company called, "Mantis Golf," you might find yourself making a lot more putts.
 
Michael Dill and Chris Maher, longtime business associates, friends and golf partners, got tired of their putting woes and decided to devise a plan with the hopes of correcting the problem.
 
Dill wondered if there was a way to draw a golfer's eye away from the putter and instead focus it on the golf ball during the putting stroke. As subliminal as it is, your eyes actually do follow the putter during a stroke instead of focusing in on the golf ball. If you think about, it makes sense -- isn't it natural for your eyes to instinctively follow a moving object instead of a stationary one?
 
Dill and Maher's goal was to try and subtly, but significantly shift attention from the putter to the ball. With that, Mantis Golf was formed in 2012.
 
The current Mantis offering -- and there are more models to come -- is a green mallet putter. However, unlike the white putter heads that have been all the rage in recent years and brilliant from a marketing standpoint, the green Mantis putter actually has a functional benefit.
 
"We did some testing and developed a product that could reduce visual distraction, or random eye movement during a putting stroke," said Maher, who serves as the CEO of Mantis Golf. "With a matte green finish, the putter is less distinct. It blends in with the green almost like camouflage. My background is in advertising and marketing. Taylormade's strategy was brilliant to go to white clubs from both a branding and marketing standpoint. Whenever Dustin Johnson is on TV, you know he's hitting a Taylormade club because it's white. Like Taylormade or the Cobra AMP line, we have a distinctive golf club. But, it's distinctive beyond branding. It provides a functional measure, which is why we have a patent. We have a utility patent because our product is tied to a functional benefit. We have quantification around that."
 
The design of the Mantis putter -- a color to match the putting surface; a matte finish to reduce reflection; and minimal alignment markings -- serve the purpose of minimalizing the visual impact of the putter during a putting stroke.
 
"It's improved my putting," Maher said. "I can't give it credit for anything else. Of course I have a Mantis in my bag and the more I putt with it, the more I like it. The Polyurethane insert gets the ball rolling more quickly. If I put it in your hands, your eyes won't move. You won't notice the putter over time. People tell us at demos, 'I lose the putter on the backstroke.' That's because their eyes didn't move. When you don't have to think about your eyes moving, you're able to create a more consistent stroke."
 
At the end of the day, Mantis Golf isn't just creating a unique, cool-looking putter. It's creating a putter that will improve your game. 
 
In fact, Maher is so convinced the putter will benefit your game that he and Dill offer a 30-day, 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you're not satisfied with your putter within that 30-day period, you can send it back for a no-questions-asked, full refund.
 
"We realize it takes a little while to get used to a new putter and that's why we have our 30-day, 100 percent satisfaction guarantee," Maher said. 
 
Based on looks alone, Maher said, people are drawn to the Mantis putter. 
 
"When people see it, it causes them to want to try it," he said. "They say, 'let me roll a couple of putts.' It's a great feeling putter, so we get a positive response to that. A number of people that I play golf with now have a Mantis putter in their bag, which is fantastic. Anyone who plays golf knows that they're not going to buy a putter unless they truly think it's going to benefit their game."
 
The Mantis putter -- which conforms to USGA Rules -- is available for $159.99 at www.mantisgolfco.com
 
You can also visit Mantis Golf on Facebook, or follow Mantis Golf on Twitter, @Mantis_Golf.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
June 19, 2013 - 12:07pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ryder Cup, golf, U.S. Open
PGA of America
Phil Mickelson has the top spot on the 2014 U.S. Team Points list after his tie for second in last week's U.S. Open.
 
 
Here's a look at the current top 12 (the top nine following the 2014 PGA Championship qualify for the team automatically, while Captain Tom Watson will round out the 12-man team with three wildcard selections):
 
1. Phil MICKELSON 714.424
2. Tiger WOODS 399.246
3. Brandt SNEDEKER 393.591
4. Jason DUFNER 381.326
5. John HUH 307.591
6. Steve STRICKER 299.926
7. Matt KUCHAR 292.183
T8. Billy HORSCHEL 291.406
T8. Hunter MAHAN 291.406
10. Rickie FOWLER 200.530
11. Bo VAN PELT 176.499
12. Dustin JOHNSON 168.161
 
As a refresher, here's the U.S. qualifying process:
 
The United States points system will determine the top nine players for the 2014 Ryder Cup Team, and will begin April 14 at the conclusion of the 2013 Masters.
 
At closer glance, the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup points system:
 
-- Prize money earned in the 2013 major championships (Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship): One point is awarded for every $1,000 earned; all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.
 
-- Prize money earned in 2014 PGA Tour events, beginning Oct. 7, 2013, at the Frys.com Open through the 2014 PGA Championship, ending Aug. 10, 2014. One point is awarded for every $1,000 earned, excluding the major championships, events played opposite major championships and events played opposite World Golf Championships; all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.
 
-- Prize money earned for the 2014 major championships: (Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and the PGA Championship). Two points are awarded for every $1,000 earned; all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.
 
-- Prize money earned in 2014 events played opposite the major championships and opposite World Golf Championships between Jan. 1 and the 2014 PGA Championship - one-half point will be awarded for every $1,000 earned; all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.
 
-- Team USA captain Tom Watson will complete the team with three Captain’s selections in September 2014.
 
You can follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
 
 
 
June 19, 2013 - 11:06am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
PGA, golf, Allen Wronowski, Justin Rose, David Letterman
CBS
PGA Honorary President Allen Wronowski was mentioned in Justin Rose's top 10 on the Late Show with David Letterman Tuesday night.
When you're the U.S. Open champion, you make the media rounds. Justin Rose is learning -- and seems to be enjoying -- that with his media blitz in New York City (some of which was highlighted in this space yesterday).
 
Part of that New York City tour on Monday and Tuesday included a trip to the Late Show with David Letterman, where Justin Rose read the top-10 list.
 
The list was entitled: "Top Ten Questions People Ask Me About Golf"
 
 
One item that popped out to us here at PGA.com was No. 3:
 
"Can you get me an autograph from PGA Honorary President Allen Wronowski?"
 
Simply awesome. Wronowski is one of the kindest, funniest and most approachable people in golf and it was great to see him get a shout-out from Rose on Letterman.
 
While I don't have a Wronowski autograph, I have been honored to spend time with him over the last several years and we've developed a friendship that I cherish. He's a great jokester.
 
In fact, just a few weeks back at the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, Wronowski left the most random of notes on my laptop in the media center -- and that's what made it so funny.
 
It read something like:
 
"Remember -- a glass is never half empty. It's always full. You just have to figure out what percentage of that is air."
 
Where can you beat that kind of wisdom?
 
Anyway, here's a taste of some of the top-10 list presented by Rose on Tuesday night:
 
10. "There is regular golf, there is miniature golf - how come no giant golf?"
 
9. "Why don't all balls have dimples?"
 
8. "Does Obamacare cover the yips?"
 
 
You can follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
June 18, 2013 - 10:49pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Tattoo of Bubba Watson
Ping Golf Europe via Twitter
Bubba Watson made an appearance at the BMW International Open in Germany on Tuesday, thanks to this guy's tattoo.

Earlier this month, my PGA.com colleague TJ Auclair hopped on the Golf Buzz and posted a photo of a guy with a Davis Love III tattoo.

OK, TJ. I see your Davis Love and raise you a Bubba Watson.

Check out the photo above. It's of a guy with a huge Bubba tattoo on his calf. And while the Love tat is kinda fuzzy, this Bubba ink features a pretty clear Ping visor and a big, pink driver. 

Even more impressive, I contend, is that this guy appears to be German – check out the German flag on his other calf. Also, the photo was taken by Ping Golf Europe on Tuesday at the European Tour's BMW International Open in Munich, Germany.

The Ping folks didn't provide any other details of this big-time Bubba fan, other than to confirm that the tattoo is real – and it's spectacular.

 

June 18, 2013 - 4:23pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Phil Mickelson at the U.S. Open
Getty Images
Phil Mickelson was spared the angst of paying an even higher tax bill, says CPA K. Sean Packard.

As we all saw, Phil Mickelson was mightily disappointed at his sixth runner-up finish in the U.S. Open on Sunday. K. Sean Packard has found a bit of silver lining: Mickelson saved a ton in federal and California state taxes.

The topic is pertinent, of course, because Mickelson went public with his concerns about his tax rate earlier this year. His comments prompted strong reactions both critical and supportive, and he ultimately apologized to ''anyone I might have upset or insulted.''

''By tying for second place, he earned $696,104. Had he held on and won the tournament he would have made $1.44 million,'' Packard, a CPA who specializes in tax planning and the preparation of tax returns for professional athletes, wrote on Forbes.com. ''He cost himself $743,896 in prize money by failing to close the deal on Sunday. Maybe Mickelson can take solace that he saved $76,100 in California income taxes?

''In November, the voters in Mickelson's home state chose to increase the nation's highest tax rate from 10.3% to 13.3%,'' Packard explained. ''California's tax on the difference between first and second place prize money would have amounted to about $98,900. Pennsylvania's 3.07% tax on the difference (roughly $22,800) would have been taken as a credit on his California return to avoid double-taxation. Thus the net California tax difference between Mickelson's first U.S. Open victory and yet another second would have been $76,100.'' 

But that's not all, Packard notes. Mickelson's bonuses from his sponsors – including Callaway, Barclay's, KPMG, Exxon Mobil, Rolex and Amgen – would have added up to about $2.5 million, according to a Forbes estimate. And that would have triggered an additional California tax bill of more than $300,000.

Adding in his tax savings from the prize money, and Mickelson likely saved $400,000 in California taxes alone (federal taxes would have eaten up another $1.3 million or so), he said. 

Mickelson was spared the angst of paying an even higher tax bill, Packard said. But, he notes – and no doubt we all agree – ''something tells me he would have happily written the check to take home the trophy he covets.''

 

June 18, 2013 - 10:25am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Justin Rose, U.S. Open, New York City
Twitter
Justin Rose is truly enjoying his U.S. Open victory. He's bumping around New York City with the trophy making the media rounds. Here he is getting ready to go on the Today Show this morning.
On Sunday, Justin Rose became just the second player from England since Tony Jacklin in 1970 to win the U.S. Open. 
 
Clearly, Rose is enjoying life as golf's latest major champion and rightfully so. Before heading to Cromwell, Conn., to honor his commitment to play in the Travelers Championship (is there anything this gentleman Rose doesn't do the right way?), Rose is making the media rounds in New York City, glowing as he carries his hard-earned U.S. Open trophy around the Big Apple.
 
You can keep track of Rose's journey by following him on Twitter, @JustinRose99, where he's posting pictures of his trip. 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.