Golf Buzz

December 5, 2013 - 9:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Sweden's Joel Sjoholm
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Sweden's Joel Sjoholm played his first hole in the European Tour's Hong Kong Open in sneakers on Thursday after arriving at the course just in time for his scheduled tee off.

The European Tour is in China this week for the Hong Kong Open. For most who play that tour, it sure is a long way to travel. Therefore, jetlag is no surprise.

But, what happened Thursday morning isn't something you see very often in professional golf -- one player was disqualified for showing up late for his tee time, while another got there just in the nick of time and was forced to play the first hole in his sneakers.

Let's start with the unfortunate DQ of Finland's Joonas Granberg. According to a SkySports.com report (found by Golf Channel's Ryan Lavner), Granberg was disqualified when he showed up to the wrong tee box for a scheduled 11:50 a.m. local time tee off. Granberg went to the first tee, but oddly, was meant to tee off on the 11th hole.

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The 26-year-old ran to No. 11 only to see that his caddie wasn't there. The caddie had gone to the 10th tee -- the more usual starting place for a two-tee start. When the caddie couldn't get to the 11th tee in time, Granberg was disqualified.

Then there was Sweden's Joel Sjoholm, who arrived at the course for his tee time with no time to spare.

"I set six alarm clocks this morning and woke up in desperation at 7:58 a.m., tee time was 8:30 a.m. and we live a good 25 minutes from here so I was panicking to the tee box," Sjoholm told European Tour Radio, according to the Sky report.

Sjoholm was lucky to snag a quick taxi. That got him to the course, but not with enough time to go to the locker room to change from sneakers into his golf shoes.

"They went to the locker for me and I played the first hole in sneakers until I came up to the green when they were standing nicely there with two pairs of shoes so I could pick," he said. "It was the royal treatment!

"It felt quite awkward and when I was standing over the first tee shot I realized I hadn't even tied the laces on my sneakers, which are a half size too big as well."

As expected, the day only got better for Sjoholm after nearly missing out on the tournament. He shot a 2-under 68 and was four shots off the pace.

"I am happy I shot minus two -- I should not even be here," he said in the report. "I am really happy at the moment. Maybe I should do it more often because it's a long time since I started that good."

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

December 5, 2013 - 8:20am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Titleist
Titleist
Titleist has introduced the new Scotty Cameron Futura X Dual Balance Putter.

Titleist has announced that its Scotty Cameron Futura X Dual Balance putter is now available worldwide through Titleist authorized golf shops (MSRP, $399).

The new Futura X Dual Balance mallet, a product of comprehensive putting research and golfer testing, provides maximum stability through the stroke and at impact from a high MOI, counterbalanced design, Titleist says.

The Futura X Dual Balance putter features advanced perimeter stability weighting in the head and a standard length of 38 inches with a large diameter 15-inch grip that reduces hand action for a smoother, more stable stroke. A 50-gram counterweight in the butt of the putter shaft helps golfers make a proper stroke with the butt of the shaft pointed at the midsection.

RELATED: Titleist offers free personalization on all golf balls for the holidays

"We've found, through our last 20 years of high speed video research with tour players, that the best putters in the world point the butt of their putter at their midsection throughout the putting stroke," said Master Craftsman Scotty Cameron, whose putters have been the No. 1 choice of players on the PGA Tour since 1997 and counting. "From address, to the backstroke, at impact and through the forward stroke -- the butt of the putter remains pointed to about the same 1- or 2-inch circle in their belly area.

"With Futura X Dual Balance, the goal was to slow down the butt end of the putter and keep it stable. If you have quick hands, drag the butt away, or you struggle to make a consistent stroke with a conventional putter, Futura X Dual Balance is a great option."

The proper length of a Dual Balance putter is three inches longer than a golferʼs conventional putter length. Accordingly, the standard length of Dual Balance is 38 inches, three inches longer than the standard length of a conventional 35 inch Scotty Cameron putter. The large diameter Cameron Flat Front Winn grip has a colored section at the top that indicates the proper hand placement at 35 inches, which keeps the 50-gram counterweight above the hands for maximum effect. The 15-inch grip length also allows for multiple hand placement options and the ability to grip up or down, depending on the player's preference.

"The higher we can get the butt weight, the more counterbalance effect there is," Cameron said. "The additional three inches provides stability but keeps the putter unanchored."

Precision milled from high-grade 6061 aluminum, the Futura X Dual Balance head utilizes a heavy stainless center section and stainless heel and toe to deliver a precise counterbalance with an extra 50 grams in the head and a 50-gram weight in the shaft. The overall headweight is 400 grams, 50 grams heavier than the standard Futura X.

"We developed numerous prototypes using various counterbalance weighting techniques and tested them with golfers at the Putter Studio and on the PGA Tour," Cameron said.
"When we introduced dual balance technology, the player feedback was extraordinary. Itʼs very balanced, itʼs very controlled. It slows everything down and promotes a more flowing, lethargic stroke without the putter feeling too heavy. Some players have said it feels like an SUV versus a sports car."

The Futura X Dual Balance head also features advanced perimeter stability weighting with four stainless heel-toe weights, two 20-gram weights on the rear balance bar and two 10- gram sole weights in the front corners of the putter. The resulting deep CG plus the perimeter weighting under the face creates forgiveness and solid feel for a great roll.

"That rear balance bar allows us to add considerable weight a fairly long distance away from the shaft axis, which is really what drives the high MOI," said Cameron. "Can you get it too far back weighted? Absolutely. We put the balance point so it sets well and maximizes the MOI and the resistance to twist at impact on off center hits."

The putter has a Frozen Titanium finish that helps reduce glare, two black sightlines and red cherry-dot weights in the sole and balance bar. The mid-milled face texture draws a crisp sound from the aluminum face and body.

A double-bend, stepless steel shaft with one shaft of offset provides a square, technical visual at address.

The original Futura X head design was the direct result of Cameron's extensive work with Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott, who used a prototype version of the putter in winning the 2013 Masters Tournament. Scott, who has been using Cameron putters for more than a decade, calls his Futura X "the most stable putter I have ever played."

For more information, visit www.titleist.com.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

December 4, 2013 - 11:04pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods
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Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have huge Twitter followings, but neither seems too interested in getting more active on the micro-blogging platform.

I don't know about you, but I am a huge Twitter fan. Of course, I use it mostly as a ''town crier''-type news service, and I'm most certainly not one of the best golfers in the world.

Apparently, some of those best golfers in the world aren't are enamored as I am.

At the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge on Wednesday, both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were asked about their thoughts on Twitter. Neither exactly embraced it with open arms.

When asked how much he used Twitter to keep up with golf and other sports, as well as gauge his fans' reaction to various happenings, McIlroy said: ''Not as much as I used to, if I'm honest.''

His biggest issue, he explained, is that fans tend to overreact to both the good and the bad.

''In terms of the outside public, what I feel like I've learned this year is they think that your good is better than what it is, and I think they think your bad is worse than what it is,'' McIlroy said. ''hen you do well, you get hyped up so much, and when you do badly they think it's the worst thing ever.  So there is no real balance in it.

''So there is no point in getting carried away with the hype, and no point in getting carried away with the criticism, either,'' he added. ''So I don't look at the comments that much, if I'm honest. I'll look at my timeline and people that I follow. But in terms of what fans and public are saying, I try not to look into it too much.''

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Woods, at the ripe old age of 37, said he was too old school for this new-fangled Twitter thing, and admitted that girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, a mere 29, has encouraged him to be more active.

''She certainly has hinted that (he tweet more), but I grew up in a different era, and it's a little bit different for me,'' he said. ''I'm still a little bit old school. I'm kind of getting towards it, but still not quite grasping the whole concept yet, but I'll get there eventually.''

Somehow I doubt Tiger is truly too ''old school'' to be ''grasping the whole concept'' of Twitter. I can certainaly understand his reluctance to get too engaged, given the huge reaction his every media utterance prompts. But he's a smart, funny guy, and I think we'd all very much like to get more of his thoughts, especially about all aspects of his golf game, even if it's limited to 140-character bursts – that goes for Rory, too.

And perhaps Woods is headed that way. It was pointed out to him that he tweeted five whole times over a two-day period in his give-and-take with Auburn fan Jason Dufner – a new record for him.

Tiger smiled and replied, ''I'm hot, aren't I?''

If you'd like to follow PGA.com on Twitter, you can find us right here. And if you'd like to interact with us on Facebook, you can find us right here.

 
December 4, 2013 - 11:59am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

Whether it's a tournament, or simply playing alongside three of your closest friends, it's not uncommon to experience something known as the first-tee jitters. You know, that feeling that you get? Butterflies in your stomach as you anticipate all eyes on you for that first shot.

In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Suzy Whaley offers up some great advice on how to not only get over the first-tee jitters, but how to use them to your advantage.

December 4, 2013 - 10:57am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Caleb C
YouTube
Six-year-old Caleb C's "Pint-Sized Putter" rap video is a must see.

Remember that time at the 1999 Ryder Cup when U.S. Captain Ben Crenshaw pointed his finger and said, "I've got a good feeling about this?"

Well, I've got a good feeling about this -- you're going to enjoy the video below by 6-year-old golfing rapper Caleb C.

Golf Digest posted this video on Tuesday, dubbing Caleb C as the "World's Cutest Golf Rapper" and we can't disagree with that statement.

Among the best lines in Caleb C's "Pint-Sized Putter" rap are the following:

When Putting there's a lot to be knowin',
Like how to play the slope and which way the wind's blowin'.
Hit it hard enough and if your ball starts slowin',
The only thing that you can do is yell -- KEEP GOIN'!

-----------------

There's a lot of different putters some are white, some are black,
But Anchored Putters are WICKY WICKY WACK!

-----------------

Class is in session for a lesson,
The putter that goes first is the one that's furthest from the pin.
Not sayin' I'm the best at golf,
Just sayin' I'm a pint-sized rapper who putts like a Boss.
Just sayin' NO SLOW PLAYIN'
Set up and putt with NO DELAYIN'.

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My ball lives in the cup... it's a resident,
I play more golf than the president!

-----------------

I think it's safe to say that Caleb see has put the Golf Boys on notice. There's a new golfing rapper in town.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

December 4, 2013 - 10:08am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Verne Lundquist
PGA of America
Verne Lundquist said last Saturday's Auburn/Alabama game is up there with Jack Nicklaus' incredible 1986 Masters victory when it comes to greatest sports moments the 73-year-old play-by-play man has ever seen.

When it comes to great sports moments, few have seen more in person than CBS play-by-play man Verne Lundquist.

In a Newsday article on Monday, the 73-year-old Lundquist said, "For 27 years, having experienced [Jack] Nicklaus winning at Augusta in '86, I have been consistent and I've always said that that was the single greatest sporting event I've ever seen."

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Well now, Lundquist says, there may just be another moment on par with what Nicklaus did at the '86 Masters at age 46.

Lundquist was in the booth at Auburn with color-analyst Gary Danielson calling the college football rivalry game between the Auburn Tigers and the two-time defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide this past Saturday.

The game was tied 28-28 with one second remaining in regulation when Alabama head coach Nick Saban sent out his kicker to attempt a 57-yard, game-winning field goal, likely figuring -- at worst -- a miss would mean overtime.

RELATED: Jason Dufner really wants to see Auburn/Missouri game, pleads with Tiger Woods

The attempt came up woefully short. Auburn's Chris Davis caught the ball in the end zone and ran it back 109 yards for an unthinkable, last-second, game-winning touchdown to knock off the No. 1 team in the country.

In case you missed it, you can watch the video here:

 

 

Among those other notable events for Lundquist? Christian Laettner's shot for Duke over Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA Championship.

Initially, Lundquist told Newsday that the Davis return tied for second-best sports moment he'd ever seen with the Laettner prayer. But, after thinking about it some more, Lundquist changed his mind.

"This one is right up there equal to it," said Lundquist, comparing the Davis return to Nicklaus in '86. "And that takes into consideration a lot of different events that I've been lucky enough to be a part of. From start to finish, especially the finish, this was an extraordinary afternoon and evening."

According to the report, Lundquist said that after Saturday's game, Danielson wrote him a note that read: "So you go from Nicklaus at the Masters to the greatest college basketball game ever played to what ultimately might be regarded as the greatest college football game ever played. What's next?"

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.