Golf Buzz

November 22, 2013 - 11:31pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Stuart Manley at the ISPS Handa World Cup
Getty Images
Stuart Manley celebrated his hole-in-one Saturday at Royal Manley. Things went downhill fast from there.

Talk about your swing of emotions. On Saturday – that's Friday night in the United States – Stuart Manley of Wales experienced one of the most dramatic swings of fortune I've ever heard of in golf.

During the third round of the ISPS Handa World Cup at Royal Melbourne, Manley strolled up to the 176-yard third hole, teed his ball, took a cut with his 8-iron – and made a hole-in-one. Elated, he patted the hood of a brand-new Mercedes-Benz perched nearby, thinking he had won it.

Sorry, Stuart. The car is only for a hole-in-one during Sunday's final round. Even so, the ace vaulted him up into a share of second place.

For a few minutes, anyway.

Manley then walked over to the par-4 fourth hole – and promptly made an 11. 

WORLD CUP LEADERBOARD: Follow all the action from Royal Melbourne

As described by Dennis Passa of the Australian Associated Press, here's how it happened:

Manley's second shot found a greenside bunker, and his third went off the back of the green. His chip rolled off the front of the green and into a gully. 

From there, it took him four attempts to get the ball back on the green – it kept rolling back down to his feet. Once he finally got on to stay, he needed three putts to finish the hole.

That dropped him from second down into a tie for 15th. 

It's all good for Manley, though. Ranked 364th in the world, he regained his European Tour card for 2014 at last week's Q-School in Spain, then dashed over to Australia. He had planned to play for Wales in the team portion of the World Cup, but his scheduled partner, Jamie Donaldson, withdrew with a back injury, forcing Manley to play as one of eight individuals in the 60-player field. 

UPDATE: Manley slowly recovered with an eagle and birdie on the back nine to finish with a 72, and was tied for eighth. It was, he said, "the highest high to the lowest low."

November 22, 2013 - 7:32pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ping Rapture driving iron
Courtesy of Ping Golf
The Ping Rapture driving iron features significant tungsten weighting in the stainless heel and toe to create a high MOI for a head its size. That, Ping says, makes the club easier to hit than a standard long iron.

After testing the club over the past several months among its professional tour staff, Ping is rolling out its Ping Rapture driving iron to the general public.

Available with 18 degrees of loft, the Rapture features significant tungsten weighting in the stainless heel and toe to create a high MOI for a head its size. That, Ping says, makes the club easier to hit than a standard long iron. At the same time, its wider sole gives the Rapture the playability of a hybrid but with much less spin. As a result, Ping says, the Rapture delivers a low, penetrating ball flight that maximizes distance and control.  

''The Rapture driving iron has been well-received by tour pros because it provides longer shots and a controlled trajectory,'' said Ping Chairman and CEO John A. Solheim. ''It's more forgiving and generates much faster ball speed than the 2-iron equivalent, yet it launches lower and spins far less than a comparable hybrid. The low, penetrating trajectory offers control and command, which is essential for keeping the ball under the wind, for example, or when you’re playing a hard, fast course and you want to maximize roll out.'' 

GAME CHANGERS: Ping Scottsdale TR putter line has models for every type of stroke

A key attribute of the Rapture driving iron is its flat 455 stainless steel face, which improves ball velocity and promotes workability because it has no bulge and roll. The sole in the 17-4 stainless steel head locates the Center of Gravity low for optimizing launch conditions and turf interaction. 

''This club is a great option off the tee, but it's also effective in making solid contact from the ground,'' Solheim said. ''It's a versatile design.''

The Rapture's stock shaft is Ping's proprietary graphite TFC 949 with chrome PVD finish (R, S, X flexes). It is 39.75 inches in length, making it a half-inch longer than a standard 2-iron shaft. This shaft configuration, Solheim says, improves energy transfer for faster ball speeds and more distance. 

The club comes in a foggy-chrome finish, and carries a suggested retail price of $220.

 

November 22, 2013 - 1:41pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

There's a difference between a lob shot and a flop shot.

In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Brian Manzella demonstrates how to position your body and strike the ball to play lob and flop shots and the main differences between the two shots.

If you can have these two types of shots in your arsenal, you can save a lot of strokes.
 

November 22, 2013 - 11:54am
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Deer on golf course
The PGA of America
It's very common for golfers to see deer - just not in their house.

Callaway Golf has enjoyed a great resurgence in the past year, producing clubs that swing faster, hit the ball higher, improve accuracy, fight off wild animals. Wait, what?

A homeowner in Sugar Grove, Ill. recently confronted a home invader with the one weapon he had available. That weapon was his prized Callaway driver, the invader was a deer.

The homeowner, 71-year-old Keith Mohr, was in the shower when he heard his wife screaming. Buck naked (get it?), he came out to confront the six-point deer causing havoc in his townhouse. After shouting at the animal failed to get him to leave (go figure), he grabbed his trusty Callaway RAZR X club and took some swings at the animal.

Since both Callaway and the deer have expertise in woods (OK, that was weak), the battle was pretty much an expected draw. Mohr was able to knock an antler off the deer (Callaway drivers have a larger sweet spot), but the club was broken in the exchange (Go see your local PGA Professional for club repairs!).

Ultimately, Mohr opened another window and the deer escaped outside. Mohr's home also took a beating, but his insurance company is expected to cover the damage, saving him lots of doe. (C'mon, this is a hard story to write!)

Mohr is unsure how many swings he took at the deer, but probably wrote down a 5. Incidentally, Callaway Golf is going to send Mr. Mohr a new driver. It was, Chad Coleman of Callaway said, "the least we could doe." 

You can read more about the battle here:

You can follow John Kim on Twitter (but only if he promises to be more clever than this article shows) at @johnkim

November 22, 2013 - 9:07am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

A Chattanooga, Tenn., news reporter is calling the video you can see below, "the best worst commercial in the history of television."

We can't think of a better way to describe it. Either way, it's a must watch!

 

 

Bottom line: Mike's Golf Shop buys golf clubs. Don't forget it.

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