Golf Buzz

Chambers Bay
Getty Images
Chambers Bay hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur in part to show that the course could handle a U.S. Open.

Monday was U.S. Open Media Day at the Pinehurst Resort, where both the 2014 men's and women's U.S. Opens will be played on the famed No. 2 Course in back-to-back weeks this summer. 

The No. 2 Course, long regarded as one of America's finest courses and one of the most respected layouts ever designed by the pre-eminent course architect Donald Ross, is the centerpiece of one of the world's great golf resorts. It also offers some extra intrigue in that it recently underwent a yearlong renovation by two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw and his course architecture partner Bill Coore.

The point of the makeover was to bring the venerable course closer to its original shape and condition, and the reviews so far have been overwhelmingly positive. But in doing so, Crenshaw and Coore removed much of the rough – which, as we all know, is traditionally one of the most prominent features of U.S. Open venues. And that is quite alright with the USGA.

So, for the back-to-back Opens, wayward shots that normally would end up in the rough might instead land in sandy hardpan, wiregrass or even on what USGA Executive Director Mike Davis calls "natural vegetation." 

"Will it be easier?" Davis asked on Monday. "Probably a little bit easier, but I suppose there's an element of luck involved." 

GOLF BUZZ: Miguel Angel Jimenez eyes Ryder Cup | Michelle Wie completes unique "triathlon"

Meanwhile, across the country up in Washington state, The Seattle Times ran a long feature on how the USGA awarded next year's men's U.S. Open to Chambers Bay, a new public course built on the site of a sewage-treatment plant and gravel and sand mine that operated hundreds of feet below the surface.

"The golfing world was stunned in 2008," when the USGA named Chambers Bay as the host of the 2015 U.S. Open," Scott Hanson wrote in the newspaper. "No course built in the previous 45 years had hosted an Open, yet Chambers Bay was picked after being open for about eight months."

Allen goes on to tell the story of John Ladenburg, the head of Pierce County, who in 2001 began dreaming of creating a world-class course at the Chambers Bay site, which despite its problems also had stunning views of Puget Sound – and plenty of land for a golf course architect to work his magic. That architect turned out to be Robert Trent Jones Jr., who despite his pedigree had never created a course that had hosted a U.S. Open.

Ladenburg essentially gave Jones a blank check, and every detail of the Chambers Bay layout was designed with attracting a U.S. Open in mind. The project ended up costing a whopping $20 million, Allen explained, and the end result was a course that those involved believe can stand against the grand links courses of Great Britain.

Even so, landing a U.S. Open is an incredibly difficult task, and Allen recounts the many steps that Ladenburg took to make his case – and how one stroke of luck gave him the opportunity he so desperately sought to host a U.S. Open that will be in many ways a polar opposite to the big event at Pinehurst this summer.

 

adidas Golf
adidas Golf
The new adicross gripmore.

adidas Golf has announced the release of two all-new footwear models featuring proprietary gripmore technology, an innovation in golf footwear cleat design that combines the performance benefits of spiked and spikeless footwear into one revolutionary technology.

The first of two models to feature gripmore technology, the adicross gripmore utilizes 43 gripmore cleats and a total of 243 points of contact for the ultimate combination of versatility and performance. Featuring premium sport-styling with modern aesthetics and colors and a premium full-grain leather upper, the adicross gripmore line has outstanding comfort and casual crossover appeal that delivers the performance golfers of all types demand.

RELATED: adidas Golf will outfit U.S. Olympic golf teams in 2016

2013 U.S. Open Champion and adidas Golf Tour staff professional Justin Rose debuted the adicross gripmore at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March, where he praised the shoe's crossover performance characteristics.

"I'm always looking for footwear that provides traction without compromising comfort, style or on-course performance," he said. "With gripmore, I have the versatility of a spikeless shoe combined with the performance of a cleated shoe. It's the best of both styles."

With a more athletically-inspired design, the pure 360 gripmore sport features a waterproof mesh upper with climaproof, 360WRAP technology and a powerband chassis for increased stability. Featuring 23 gripmore cleats and a total of 161 contact points, the shoe provides exceptional traction with the combination of comfort, protection and performance.

The evolution of golf cleats has seen little change in innovation over the course of the last century. From metal spikes to soft spikes and most recently spikeless models, cleat technology has remained stagnant with little advancement. The adidas Golf team set out to change the state of the footwear game, embarking on a mission to reshape the industry to create a groundbreaking category of shoe for all golfers. adicross gripmore and pure 360 gripmore sport were the result.

Unlike traditional spiked golf shoes that require receptacles to house cleats on the sole, gripmore cleats are directly injected onto lightweight mesh matting inclusive of hundreds of microspikes for even more traction and stability. In addition to unbelievable grip, both models are among the most green-friendly the company has ever created.

Available June 1, adicross gripmore will be available in three colorways: aluminum / running white / light scarlet, running white / running white / light scarlet and black/ running white / light scarlet at an MSRP of $150 USD.

Also available June 1, pure 360 gripmore sport will be available in two colorways: black / metallic silver / light scarlet and light onix / running white / light scarlet at an MSRP of $130 USD.

For more information on gripmore technology or to view the entire adicross gripmore and pure 360 gripmore collections, visit adidasgolf.com.

 

April 21, 2014 - 9:59am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Miguel Angel Jimenez
USA Today Sports Images
Miguel Angel Jimenez can envision himself playing on the European Ryder Cup team in September.

When you're the "Most Interesting" anything, it means you do things the rest of us can't relate to.

As we all know, Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez is the Most Interesting Golfer in the World. One week after his tie for fourth in the Masters, the 50-year-old Jimenez was victorious in his Champions Tour debut in the Greater Gwinnett Championship at TPC Sugarloaf.

Puffing a victory cigar afterward on Sunday, Jimenez explained that fans probably won't be seeing him much on the Champions Tour this year, even after becoming just the third player in the Tour's history to record a wire-to-wire win in his debut.

RELATED: Jimenez wins Champions debut | Jimenez and the 'most interesting man' comparison

He has bigger goals.

"To me it's not about money," Jimenez told the press. "It's about some different goals to make me feel proud of myself. To me I would feel nice to play on the Ryder Cup once more."

If Jimenez were to make the European Ryder Cup team, it would be his fifth appearance in the matches. He'd also be the oldest European Ryder Cup team member in history, supplanting Ted Ray who was 50 years, 67 days when he played in the inaugural match in 1927.

Jimenez will be 50 years, 265 days when the first day of the 2014 competition begins on Sept. 26, at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland.

He still wouldn't be the oldest competitor in Ryder Cup history though. That title belongs to Raymond Floyd, who was 51 years, 20 days when he competed in 1993 as a captain's pick of Tom Watson at the Belfry (the last time the U.S. won on foreign soil). Incidentally, Watson will become the oldest Ryder Cup captain in history at 65 years, 22 days. Floyd is also serving as a vice captain to Watson this year.

Bernhard Langer, a 10-time European Ryder Cup team member and the 2004 captain, finished runner up to Jimenez Sunday. Langer admitted he doesn't expect to see much more of his friend on the 50+ circuit this season.

"He said he wasn't going to play anymore this year because he wants to be the oldest European player to ever play on the Ryder Cup," Langer said. "That's his goal. But, you know, goals can sometimes change. Who knows, maybe he makes the Ryder Cup team by July and he'll decide to come out for a couple of weeks."

A 50-year-old locking up a spot on the Ryder Cup team by July?

Now that would be, well... interesting.

Who wouldn't want to see this in September?:

 

 

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

Michelle Wie
Getty Images
Michelle Wie shows her hula skills Saturday after winning the Lotte Championship.

In addition to her regular job playing golf on the LPGA Tour, Michelle Wie had herself an event-full Saturday. Call it the Wie Triathlon.

First, she overcame a four-stroke deficit to win the Lotte Championship on her home course, snapping a four-year victory drought. Wie shot a 5-under 67 at Ko Olina Golf Club to beat third-round leader Angela Stanford by two strokes and capture her first LPGA Tour victory since the 2010 CN Canadian Women's Open.

As part of the post-tournament ceremonies, the winner gets up and does a celebratory hula dance in front of the crowd. As confident as Wie looked on the course, she looked every bit uneasy trying to emulate the moves of the two dancers next to her.

Wie then headed out to her own charity event, playing ping pong to raise money for the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association. The LPGA tweeted some photos from the event.

 

 

It's not Waffle House, where Bubba Watson celebrated last Sunday after winning the Masters, but for Wie, it was definitely a day to cherish.

Jimmy Walker
Jimmy Walker via Twitter
Jimmy Walker has a group of friends there who definitely aren't shy pointing out his on-course failings, rare though they have been this season.

If you worry that winning three PGA Tour events this season, dominating the FedExCup points list and rising into the top 20 in the world ranking might have given Jimmy Walker the big head, then fret no more.

Walker, who plays out of the Cordillera Golf Club near San Antonio, has a group of friends who definitely aren't shy about pointing out his on-course failings, rare though they have been this season.

He found that out just the other day, when he returned home from a stretch of events to find a certain hilarious memento at his locker. Walker was one of the favorites at his hometown Valero Texas Open a few weeks ago, but made a double bogey on the first hole of his second round thanks to a few too many shots on the green. 

And thus, he received this:

 

 

Good guy that he is, Walker accepted his prize in the proper spirit. "My good buds at home keeping me real.....4 putt on 1 at Valero," he tweeted. "I now own the new putter till someone earns it!"

 
Torresdale-Frankford Country Club
Courtesy of Torresdale-Frankford Country Club
Torresdale-Frankford Country Club in Philadelphia, home of a historic Donald Ross golf course, is being purchased by the Union League city club.

The Union League of Philadelphia – one of the nation's most respected city clubs – has agreed to buy the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club in the northeastern part of the city, the club said this week. 

The deal, which was ratified on Wednesday, is significant on a couple of fronts. First, it's encouraging that such a prominent city club sees the value in offering golf to its members. And second, Torresdale-Frankford CC, which has struggled financially in recent years, is the home of a classic Donald Ross-designed course.

In making the case for growth, Union League officials noted that their membership has shifted geographically in recent years. As recently as 2000, two-thirds of its members lived along Philadelphia's famous – and country club-studded – Main Line that stretches west out of the city. Now, however, only about 40 percent of its members live there, while the percentage of its membership living in the City Center and South Jersey has doubled.

FRIGHT IN THE FAIRWAYS?: Which club or clubs scare you the most to hit?

According to a presentation made to members, the Philadelphia Inquirer said, the Union League hopes to offer "unlimited golf" to members along with access to Torresdale-Frankford's swimming, tennis, shooting and dining facilities that occupy 150 acres about 15 miles from City Center. 

Ross, one of the game's most prolific and well-respected golf course architects, created the 6,417-yard, par-70 layout in 1921. San Snead holds the course record of 64, which he set during the 1941 Philadelphia Open.

The course is one of about two dozen that Ross created in Pennsylvania, along with Newtown Square's famed Aronimink. Among Ross's designs are the No. 2 Course at Pinehurst, which will host the U.S. Open this summer, as well as the Nos. 1 and 3 courses at the popular North Carolina Resort. Others include East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, home of the PGA Tour's Tour Championship; Oakland Hills in Birmingham, Mich., a venue for both the U.S. Open and Ryder Cup; and Scioto in Columbus, Ohio, where Jack Nicklaus spent many days in his youth. 

No doubt the Union League will look to upgrade the country club – and the course – in an effort to get its members out there. And that can only mean good news for a course whose future should be as bright as its pedigree is proud.