Golf Buzz

December 14, 2012 - 1:57am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Bode Miller and Morgan Beck Miller
Getty Images
The sunglasses that Morgan Beck Miller was wearing when her husband hit her in the face with a golf ball might have saved her eye.

I have witnessed a fair amount of accidental golfer-on-golfer violence over the years. One time, I was paired with a newly retired couple, neither of whom was very good nor hit the ball very hard. On the ninth tee, however, the husband took his mightiest cut of the day and swung so far over the ball that he somehow sent it streaking between his legs, where it hit his wife square on the ankle. She went down like she'd been shot, and I had to get an ambulance out to the tee box to take her to the hospital.

That, however, pales in comparison to what skiing champion Bode Miller did to his wife on Wednesday. Here's what she tweeted:

"I'm not feeling so hot. Line drive to the face today with a golf ball from my darling husband. I still love him but #ouch."

Mrs. Miller is also known as beach volleyball star Morgan Beck Miller, and by all accounts she is pretty tough. But she almost lost an eye from her husband's wayward shot – she ended up with 50 stitches in and around her eye, and the injury could have been much worse except that she was wearing sunglasses.

Miller called the accident his "first major golf catastrophe." According to NBCSports.com, his wife was standing behind a tree and he was trying not to hit it. But of course we all know what happens when a hacker tries not to hit something.

The photo above is of Miller and his pre-clobbered wife on Nov. 30 at the FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Downhill on Nov. 30 in Beaver Creek, Colo. The images of her post-clobbered eye are pretty gruesome, so I've chosen not to post them here. If you want to see them, click here.

And on a final note, she later tweeted a thank you to Kaenon, the company who made her sunglasses, for the fact that the lens didn't break when the ball hit it. That, I would say, is a pretty good endorsement.

December 13, 2012 - 4:39pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Gerald Ford
Getty Images
The money raised from the sale of Gerald Ford's golf clubs will be used to build a new student learning center at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich.

President Gerald Ford might not have been the best golfer, but he certainly was an enthusiastic one. And while spectators lining the ropes needed to keep an eye out whenever he had a driver in his hands, his clubs are now helping to keep young people in life's fairway.

Ford's golf clubs were auctioned off this week in Dallas, and brought in $26,000 – money that will be used to build a new student learning center at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The clubs came in a bag emblazoned with the late president’s name, a pair of American flags and the presidential seal. And the auction, which included about 50 items that belonged to Ford and former first lady Betty Ford, raised about $132,000. The golf clubs, however, brought in the most cash.

"He was identified so much as a golfer in people's minds," said Tom Slater, director of Americana auctions at Heritage Auctions.

The $5 million student learning center is part of a $15 million update planned for the museum, which will also include remodeled permanent exhibits. Joe Calvaruso, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, said he expects to break ground on the student learning center next year, the 100th anniversary of Ford's birth.

Ford died in 2006, and his wife passed away last year.

December 12, 2012 - 11:25pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Golf season might be taking a bit of a breather for the holidays, but the smallest swingers better have their A-Games ready. Why? Because it's time for the Best Pee-Wee Golf Swing contest.

For the third straight year, Little Linksters, LLC, the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development and The Littlest Golfer, Inc. are looking for the best swings from kids 3-8 years old. And this year, the contest is open to children from all around the world.

"In our first two years, we were very excited to have such a successful launch of what we want to continue to grow into an annual showcase of what very young golfers are capable of doing," said PGA Professional Brendon Elliott, the founder of Little Linksters, LLC, and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development. "We were very honored to have such a recognized and esteemed celebrity panel of judges in our 2010-2011 contest including Annika Sorenstam, Hank Haney and Kelly Sheehan and again last year including Lexi Thompson, Jim McLean, Win McMurry and Kelly Sheehan."

Elliott, a 2010 and 2011 US Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher and the 2011 and 2012 North Florida PGA Junior Golf Leader award winner, will lead the judging. He will be assisted by this year's celebrity panel of judges, which includes:

--Paula Creamer, LPGA Tour star and major champion
--Win McMurry, Golf Channel personality
--Nicole Weller, PGA & LPGA Professional and multiple award-winning instructor
--Chuck Evans, Top 100 instructor and the face of Medicus Golf.

Elliott is encouraging parents to post a video of their kids' swing on YouTube and submit the link between now and Jan. 15, 2013. Registration details and complete instructions can be found at: http://littlelinksters.com/best-pee-wee-golf-swing-in-the-world/

Prize packages will be awarded in three age categories: 3-4 year-olds, 5-6 year-olds, and 7-8 year-olds. Each prize package is valued at more than $800 and includes items from some of the industry’s top children’s golf apparel, equipment and training aid companies:

The Littlest Golfer gift packs include:

--U.S. Kids Golf Set of UL Clubs and other accessories
--EyeLine Golf training aids package
--Golfer’s Footprint
--MoRodz alignment rods
--Almost Golf play anywhere pack
--Swingfix online lessons
--Little Linksters coloring book and prize pack
--Kwik Golf gift pack
--My Mini Golf gift pack
--Swinggait swing trainer
--Star Putter training aid
--Exemption and paid entry to the San Diego Junior Masters

The winners will be announced at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Jan. 26-28.

The Little Linksters golf program in central Florida is designed specifically for children from 3 to 8 years old. The program is taught in a fun and interactive way using both traditional and non-traditional instructional methods to ensure that children’s introduction to golf is fun. Little Linksters mascots Floppy, Birdie & Bogey are featured in the program's instructional coloring book and training aids.

To help the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, send an email to nonprofit@littlelinksters.com

To donate to Little Linksters, go to: http://littlelinksters.org/home/little-linksters/

And for more information about the Best Pee-Wee Golf Swing in the World video contest or the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, please visit www.littlelinksters.com, or contact Elliott at Brendon@LittleLinksters.com or (321) 278-1612.

December 12, 2012 - 12:12am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Courtesy of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
The Links Golf Club is one of three courses included in Sandestin's pre-Christmas bargains.

The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla., is making a unique offer for the week leading up to Christmas – that's next week! Guests who book a round on one of Sandestin’s three participating courses will receive a free night stay in either the resort's Luau or LeCiel communities.

Green fees for that week at the Links Golf Club, Raven Golf Club and Baytowne Golf Club are $89, with replay rounds going for $79. Carts and unlimited range balls and use of the practice facility are also included.

"This promotion is our way to give people the gift of travel and the opportunity to experience all Sandestin has to offer, including the enjoyable game of golf," said Sandestin Vice President of Operations Robert Schamber.

There’s more than golf going on at Sandestin over the holiday saeson, though. The more than a dozen events and activities include the Santa Tuck-in and Santa Skype programs, Village outdoor skating rink, holiday movies under the stars and the festive "12 Nights of Lights" light show.

Spread through 30 neighborhoods and over 2,400 acres with 1,300 vacation rentals, condominiums, villas, town homes and hotel accommodations, Sandestin features seven miles of beaches and bayfront, four championship and resort golf courses, 15 tournament-caliber tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 113-slip marina, fitness center and spa.

The pedestrian-friendly Village of Baytowne Wharf is the heart and soul of the resort, where guests enjoy a mix of boutique shops and restaurants, bars and nightlife. Family-friendly entertainment options include the Adventure Landing Playground, Adventure Zone with the Florida Gulf Coast's only zipline, Carousel and the Blast Arcade and Laser Maze.

For more information, visit www.sandestin.com

December 11, 2012 - 2:37pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Batu Bay Golf Club site
Courtesy of Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design
The windswept site of the forthcoming Batu Bay Golf Club is covered in low-lying natural scrub and contains almost no trees.

In a true case of east meets west, golf course architects Dana Fry and Jason Straka have signed on to design a rare course in the Inner Mongolia region of China that will have hints of iconic American courses like Bandon Dunes and Sand Hills.

The course at Batu Bay Golf Club will be perched on a bluff populated by sand dunes and overlooking the immense Batu Bay reservoir. Owned by the Inner Mongolia-based Oriental Holding Group, Batu Bay will have a Banyan Tree Hotel on site, and the course will be open to the hotel's guests.

"Batu Bay has the chance to become one of the world's great courses due to the excellent soil conditions, natural sand scrub vegetation and awesome views of the reservoir," said Fry. "It has a Sand Hills (Nebraska) or Bandon Dunes (Oregon) feel to it."

Though isolated – like Bandon Dunes and Sand Hills in that respect – the site contains hundreds of acres of sand dunes on a hill above the large reservoir. Native scrub covers the entire site, but there are virtually no trees anywhere on the property.

"We will move very little earth," Fry told Golf Course Architecture. "Because of the wind, we will make the turf areas around 50 percent wider than normal. Tees will be treated as if they are desert tee boxes with native scrub around them, and the scrub will border both sides of the holes, except in areas where we connect the turf between holes. Bunkers will have a wild and woolly look. We will plant fescue everywhere except the greens. It will be special."

Course construction is scheduled to begin next May, with the layout slated to open in late summer 2014.

The venue is three hours from the regional capital of Ordos, and the closest airport is in Yulin City, about a one-hour drive away. The region, however, is a growing tourist destination known for its natural beauty.

The Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design firm takes the word 'global' in its name seriously. The company – which was formed earlier this year – is based in Dublin, Ohio (where Straka is), but also has offices in Brazil and Hong Kong (where Fry lives).

December 11, 2012 - 12:56am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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the Original John Daly Cocktail
Courtesy of the Original John Daly Cocktail
The Original John Daly Cocktail will debut in bottles and cans at BevMo stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.

Almost everyone who's ever swung a golf club knows that an 'Arnold Palmer' is a (delicious) blend of iced tea and lemonade. But did you know that a 'John Daly' is an Arnold Palmer with a shot of vodka?

A lot of people do know that, and a lot of bars and restaurants have been serving them for several years -- and Daly didn't like that. He even accused some of these establishments with trademark infringement, and asked his Twitter followers to let him know when they ran across places were serving the drinks without his permission.

Now, though, Daly -- who doesn't drink anymore -- is doing something about it.  

Daly is coming out with the Original John Daly Cocktail, which features a shot of vodka in either sweet tea lemonade, peach tea lemonade or raspberry tea lemonade. The best part about this 30-proof refreshment might be its tagline: Grip It & Sip It.

John Daly cocktails will debut in BevMo stores throughout California, Arizona and Nevada, Daly said on Twitter. And, according to the Original John Daly Cocktail page on Facebook, they are also "coming soon to a beverage cart, restaurant, bar and 19th hole near you!"

Golf buddies who partake more than me say that some people who drink John Dalys like to add a splash of orange juice to give it a little tang. And if you make a John Daly but use Everclear instead of vodka, that's called a 'Happy Gilmore.'