Golf Buzz

December 2, 2013 - 1:56pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jack Nicklaus
Getty Images
Jack Nicklaus with grandson Nick O'Leary -- a star tight end for Florida State -- during the 2011 Masters.

The latest BCS standings have Florida State and Ohio State running No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Some in the golf world might think this would present a personal dilemma for the great Jack Nicklaus should those two schools meet college football's BCS Championship game.

Nicklaus, the game's winningest major champ with 18 total, is an Ohio State alum. His grandson, Nick O'Leary, however, is a star tight end for Florida State.

RELATED: Jack Nicklaus' grandson walks away from incredible motorcycle crash

For Nicklaus, though, there's no such dilemma.

Here's what he told the Palm Beach Post (h/t Golf.com's Mike Walker):

"I'm an Ohio State guy, but blood is thicker than anything else," said Nicklaus, who along with wife Barbara attended a kickoff cocktail party Sunday night at The Bear's Club for the two-day Celebrities Fore Kids Golf Classic.

So, there you have it.

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

December 2, 2013 - 11:48am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Maide Golf
Maide Golf
Maide Golf is offering 30 percent off site-wide, with even bigger savings on select products for Cyber Monday.

Maide Golf -- a new golf apparel company started up by the folks at Bonobos -- is offering up some incredible deals today, Cyber Monday. 

This is the best deal Maide offers all year offering 30 percent off site-wide, with up to 65% off select styles. In addition to Maide, you also have access to shop parent brand, Bonobos, as well, and receive the same discount on Italian wool pants, Cashmere Sweaters, Outerwear, and Suits.

Prices below are reflective of the incremental 30 percent off, one-day, Cyber Monday deal on already reduced prices.

- 65 percent off -- Select Maide golf Polo Shirts (Red and Khaki) Were $78, now $26.60
- 43 percent off -- Maide golf's Highland Pant in 7 colors, were $108, now $61.60
- 50 percent off -- All Merino Crewneck Sweaters (slim & standard fits): were $98, now $47.60
- 40 percent off -- Wool Suits and Flannel Suits: were $700, under $500
- 55 percent off -- 5 Pocket Corduroy Pants: select colors: were $125, now $54.60 - $68.60
- 50 percent off -- select Cashmere V-neck Sweaters: were $240, now $117.60
- 45 percent to 70 percent off -- select colors Pants were $88, now $26.60 - $47.60
- 34 percent off -- Select Trench Coats: Were $298, now $198

To see all the deals, which end at 11:59 p.m. PT tonight, visit www.bonobos.com/b/maide.

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

December 2, 2013 - 11:37am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

When it comes to hitting a ball out of the rough, not all lies are created equal. Sometimes the ball sits up like it's on a tee. But, in most cases, it nestles down in the gnarly stuff presenting a difficult situation for the player.

In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Michael Breed offers up some helpful advice on how best to approach a shot out of the rough when you're around the green.

 

December 2, 2013 - 11:05am
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Callaway Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The new Callaway Big Bertha driver (l) features a sliding weight system to adjust shot bias, while the Alpha model has a Gravity Core to adjust center of gravity height.

Callaway Golf has unveiled a steady stream of innovative new clubs in recent years, but none of them was as important to the company as the new edition of the Big Bertha driver and its tuned-up companion, the Big Bertha Alpha.

How do I know this? Because the Big Bertha name matters more to Callaway than anything. The company wouldn't put that name on new products unless it had the highest of confidence – and hopes – in them. 

The original Big Bertha driver, introduced in 1991, changed Callaway Golf's fortunes forever, catapulting it from the ranks of aspirational club companies into one of the world's biggest and most influential. That driver – made of stainless steel instead of persimmon wood and far larger than almost anything else on the market at the time – was one of a handful of metal woods that kicked off a revolution in club design and construction unlike anything that had preceded it.

Callaway followed that original Big Bertha with several brand extensions, including the Great Big Bertha and Biggest Big Bertha woods and even a couple of models of Big Bertha irons. And now, the Big Bertha brand is being resurrected in the form of these two new drivers.

The Big Bertha Alpha is the most ambitious club in company history. It is best suited for elite players with above-average swing speeds who prefer low-spinning drivers to produce flatter drives that typically result in more roll.

It's the first driver to let golfers independently adjust four significant performance characteristics to optimize trajectory, control and distance. These four variables are loft, lie, shot bias and, for the first time ever, center of gravity height.

GOLF BUZZ: Callaway X2 Hot clubs emphasis distance and speed

Callaway calls the latter of these features Gravity Control Adjustability and, essentially, it lets golfers adjust spin independently of launch angle – an option never before offered.

To enable this adjustment, the Big Bertha Alpha comes with a Gravity Core, which fits in a carbon tube in the head that connects the crown and sole. It has a glass fiber-reinforced body that weighs in at 1.5 grams connected to a tungsten end weighing 10.5 grams. 

Either end of the core can be inserted into the clubhead, allowing golfers to raise or lower the center of gravity and thereby alter their spin rate. When the tungsten end is closest to the sole, it lowers the center of gravity and reduces backspin; when the tungsten end is closest to the crown, it raises the center of gravity and increases spin.

Generally speaking, players with above-average head speeds or those trying to prevent excessive spin will benefit from the lower center of gravity, which a creates a flatter, more penetrating trajectory accompanied by more rollout, Callaway explains. Golfers looking for a more controlled and workable ball flight and less roll, they add, might be better served by using the higher center of gravity.

How much difference can the center of gravity placement make? Player testing has shown as much as a 600 rpm spin differential between the two settings without a change in loft, Callaway said.

The Big Bertha Alpha also enables golfers to adjust its center of gravity bias, which helps influence shot shape. The driver has screw ports in the heel and toe, and comes with four interchangeable weights of 1, 3, 5, and 7 grams that provide a lot of flexibility in controlling both shot shape and overall head weight. The 1g and 7g screws are installed as standard and deliver a D3 swingweight, but the swingweight can be adjusted from D0 to D5.

 
In comparison to the Alpha model, Callaway calls the new Big Bertha a ''total performance driver'' that provides a balance of speed and control. It's designed for the broadest segment of the player population – those golfers seeking forgiveness and solid performance on off-center impacts.

The new Big Bertha doesn't have the weight ports or the gravity core. But it is the first Callaway driver to feature Adjustable Perimeter Weighting – a sliding 8-gram weight that golfers can move along a five-inch track around the perimeter of the head to help optimize shot shape and trajectory. The placement of this weighting system also helps give the driver more stability through the swing.

The faces on both the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha are built around Hyper Speed Face technology, which Callaway engineers use to determine how thick or thin to make the various parts of the face. It's based on their understanding of the probability of where players will make contact on the face and, Callaway says, results in an extremely lightweight face that helps deliver more ball speed where players need it most.

And speaking of lightweight, the new Big Berthas also contains the Forged Composite material found in other recent drivers. This high-strength, lightweight composite material enables Callaway to keep the total head weight under 200 grams even while including multiple forms of adjustability.

In addition, the Big Berthas' Advanced Adjustable Hosel helps golfers to independently adjust their loft and lie angle to help translate their added ball speed into more distance. Golfers can chose from four different lofts to optimize launch angle and backspin and two different lies, denoted by 'D' for Draw and 'N' for Neutral, to optimize the directional bias. This new hosel, the company says, is the only adjustable hosel that allows changes in loft and/or lie without having to rotate the shaft on its axis between settings. 

The Big Bertha comes in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees, and its stock shaft is the Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Z graphite shaft. It carries a suggested retail price of $399 and will be available at retail on Feb. 14, 2013.  

The Big Bertha Alpha comes in lofts of and 10.5 degrees, and its stock shaft is the Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki ZT graphite shaft. It carries a suggested retail price of $499 and will be available at retail on Feb. 14, 2013.  

Here is a Callaway video previewing the new Big Bertha driver:

 
And here is a Callaway video previewing the Big Bertha Alpha driver:
 
 
 
 
November 30, 2013 - 7:56pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture

Golfers, as we all know, are huge sports fans, and a whole bunch of them were tweeting while they watched the incredible end of the Auburn-Alabama game Saturday afternoon. Here is a selection of some of the best tweets from tour players, PGA Professionals and even a few golf media folks as Auburn ran back Alabama's last-second field goal try for an improbable victory:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2013 - 1:49pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Lucas Glover in front of Ailsa Craig
With the Ailsa Craig looming in the background, Lucas Glover lined up a putt during the 2009 British Open at Turnberry.

One of the most famous sites in the world of golf is the Ailsa Craig – that big dome-shaped rock that dominates the Firth of Clyde about 10 miles off the southwestern Scottish coast near Turnberry. The uninhabited island, covering 220 acres and the result of an ancient volcano, is a staple of photographs whenever the British Open is played at Turnberry – on the Ailsa Course at Turnberry, to be precise.

And despite having ''no inhabitants, no electricity, no fresh water and no arable land,'' according to The New York Times, the Ailsa Craig is making news for not one but two reasons:

--First, it is the source of the distinctive strain of microgranite used to make most of the stones used in the Olympic sport of curling. In fact, all the stones used in every Olympics since 1924 (and including the 2014 Games in Russia) have been made from granite mined on the Ailsa Craig. The Ailsa granite – prized in curling circles because the melting ice can't penetrate it – is transformed into 44-pound curling stones at a factory in Mauchline, about 25 miles away. 

WHAT TO GIVE? WHAT TO GET? Check out John Kim's 2013 list of 'Ultimate Golf Gifts'

Second, the Ailsa Craig is for sale. And what a bargain – the asking price is a mere $2.4 million.

The rock has been controlled by the same landowning family for more than 500 years, but – in true "Downton Abbey" fashion – its current owner, the eighth Marquess of Ailsa, has been dealing with dwindling financial resources for several decades. The family actually put the craig up for sale in 2010 with an asking price of $4 million. But nobody has bitten, so the price now has been reduced to $2.4 million.

Ailsa Craig is a Scottish icon – it's been featured on Scottish bank notes (just like Jack Nicklaus), was memorialized in a sonnet by Keats and now serves mainly as a seabird sanctuary. And, the newspaper story explained, ''with Scotland approaching a referendum on independence from Britain next September, it remains an icon in the country's national consciousness, redolent of the rugged, stand-alone character many Scots pride as their birthright.''

The Times story has much more on the craig's colorful history and the efforts to sell it. The paper also had one another item somewhat related to golf and the Winter Olympics. Did you know that the U.S. Winter Olympics community not only includes Tiger Woods' girlfriend, skier Lindsey Vonn, but also a ski jumper named Lindsey Van?