Golf Buzz

Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald/Twitter
Larry Fitzgerald takes aim at the "Extreme 19th" green, which is in the lower left corner of the photo.

What do NFL wide receivers do during their offseason? Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals apparently loves golf and travel, and combined both of those in a day he'll not soon forget.

On Saturday, Fitzgerald tweeted this image of himself hitting a tee shot:

 

 

What makes this particular shot special is that Fitzgerald's playing the "Extreme 19th" hole at The Legend Golf & Safari Resort in the Entabeni Safari Conservatory, Limpopo Province, South Africa. It's billed as the highest and longest par-3 hole in the world.

It's 395 yards from tee to green, although it seems way longer than that -- based on the fact that the tee is 1,300 feet on top of a mountain. The green is in the shape of the continent of Africa -- and it takes the ball more than 20 seconds to traverse the distance.

HALFTIME SHOW: Jim Furyk shows off his chipping skills at Jaguars game

With that in mind, the balls have tracking devices and a spotter with a two-way radio is located near the target. There's a $1 million bonus for anyone who can ace it -- no one has yet -- although several birdies have been recorded. The average score is reported as 15, although we're guessing that may not take into account the sheer number of balls lost in the veldt.

It requires a helicopter ride to and from the tee. But obviously, Fitzgerald is neither afraid of heights or the cost. According to sources, it's about $1,000 per foursome just to play this hole -- although that includes the helicopter ride for you and your equipment, six balls, a souvenir cap and glove, and a DVD to show you were there.

DIFFERENT KIND OF BIRDIE: Rory McIlroy takes in Eagles game in Philly

That's one way to avoid the snowbirds hanging around the Valley of the Sun this time of year.

Troy Merritt's 2-iron
Troy Merritt via Twitter
"Hit it off the tee and it caved in," Troy Merritt said Thursday night on Twitter.
 
Thursday was a day unlike any we've seen in I don't know how long. First, we had the crazy wind at the Valero Texas Open that drove the morning wave's scores through the roof – and blew Dudley Hart's chip right back to him.
 
Then we had Aaron Baddeley's crazy OB/hole-in-one. Then we had Phil Mickelson's 8-iron breaking in half during a seemingly routine bunker shot.
 
And then, after we thought the day was done and things were finally calming down, came this: Troy Merritt broke the face of his 2-iron. And as you can see from the photo above the tweet below, Merritt didn't just crack his iron's face, he flat out blew a hole in it. 
 
In fact, I've never seen an iron disintegrate like this one.
 
 
"Hit it off the tee and it caved in," Merritt said Thursday night on Twitter. 
 
"Just a whisker toward the toe," fellow PGA Tour player Josh Teater tweeted, no doubt with a smile, in response.
 
"Extremely rare and unfortunate, but it does happen," said Wilson Golf, which made the club, on Twitter. "It will be remedied with a new 2-iron … ASAP."
 
According to the PGA Tour's ShotLink tool, Merritt's tee shot still managed to travel 155 yards off the tee on the par-4 hole – it didn't quite reach the fairway, but turned out fairly well given the damage to the face. He went on to bogey the hole en route to a 2-over 74.
 
 
 
 
Aaron Baddeley
USA Today Sports Images
Aaron Baddeley aced the par-4 17th hole at TPC San Antonio on Thursday - on his second try.
 
There has only been one hole-in-one on a par-4 hole in PGA Tour history – by Andrew Magee back in 2001. Aaron Baddeley knocked his tee shot into the hole on the par-4 17th hole in the Valero Texas Open on Thursday, but it only counted for a birdie 3.
 
In surely one of the flukiest holes ever played, Baddeley hit his tee shot on the 336-yard hole way left and out of bounds. So he took a penalty stroke, teed up another ball – and knocked it right into the hole.
 
 
"I just thought I'd just hit it straight and so I hit it and started walking and then heard the crowd going nuts," Baddeley said afterward. "I was like, wait, I just made birdie."
 
The birdie helped to boost Baddeley to a 4-under 68, which left him one shot off the lead after the first round. 
 
There's apparently no video of his shot, but the graphic below from the PGA Tour illustrates what happened:
 
 
Dudley Hart
PGA Tour/YouTube
Dudley Hart chips toward the hole at No. 18, but Mother Nature has other ideas.

Dudley Hart caught the full force of Mother Nature's wrath Thursday in the first round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio. Chipping for birdie on the 18th hole, his ball is stopped by the wind and then rolls almost all the way back to its original location.

GOLF RULES: What if the wind blows your ball into the hole?

Remember, the wind was gusting at or above 30 mph at the time and it didn't help that the green is severely sloped. 

It's really almost too difficult to describe without the video:

 

 

The most amazing thing is how Hart seems unfazed, steps up and drills the putt into the center of the cup for an unlikely par from 38 feet.

LESSONS: Five tips for conquering the wind

 

March 26, 2015 - 2:02pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Cheyenne Woods
LPGA Facebook
Cheyenne Woods, niece of Tiger, is playing the LPGA these days. Her gorgeous swing resembles that of her uncle circa 2000.

Cheyenne Woods -- niece of 14-time major champ Tiger Woods -- is playing in the LPGA's Kia Classic this week.

On Wednesday, the LPGA posted this slow-motion video of Cheyenne's swing. And, well, it's a thing of beauty.

RELATED: Cheyenne Woods recreates Tiger's famous Nike juggling commercial

Check it out:

 

Check out @cheyenne_woods swing in slo-mo @lpgakiaclassic

Posted by LPGA on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

 

As some commenters noted, it looks similiar to her uncle's swing from the early 2000s.

 

Gorgeous.  

March 26, 2015 - 12:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods made a $10,000 donation to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to honor the memory his late friend, Charlie Sifford.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md., announced Thursday that Tiger Woods is the first individual donor to the school's scholarship fund that will honor the memory of the late Dr. Charlie Sifford.

RELATED: Sifford receives Medal of Freedom | Tiger: Sifford a trailblazer

UMES issued a release on the donation, which read in part:

Woods' personal gift of $10,000 will launch the Sifford Fund, which UMES is creating to "provide need-based scholarships to highly talented students who demonstrate a passion for the game of golf... and who are from populations underrepresented in the golf industry."

UMES is the nation's lone historically black university that offers a bachelor's degree in professional golf management accredited by the PGA of America (PGA.com profiled the school in 2011).

"The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is honored to accept this generous gift from Tiger Woods to support our professional golf management program and to partner with us in acknowledging Dr. Sifford's role as a sports pioneer," UMES President Juliette B. Bell said.

Sifford, who broke professional golf's color barrier in 1961, died at the age of 92 on Feb. 3.

MORE SIFFORD: Check out our #ThanksCharlieSifford page | Sifford photo gallery

Sifford and Woods were very close. After his death, Woods wrote to the Associated Press in an email, "It's not an exaggeration to say that without Charlie, and the other pioneers who fought to play, I may not be playing golf. My pop likely wouldn't have picked up the sport, and maybe I wouldn't have either."

Woods has also referred to Sifford as, "The grandpa I never had."

Back in November 2014, Sifford -- a two-time winner on the PGA Tour and the 1975 Senior PGA Champion -- was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.