Golf Buzz

November 22, 2013 - 7:32pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
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.'' 

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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'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.

November 22, 2013 - 8:32am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jim Machowski
Jim Machowski scored two aces in two holes -- both par 4s -- on Veterans Day at Ridgewood Country Club in Moultonborough, N.H.

It seems every week around this parts, we have story after story of incredible hole-in-one feats. Recently -- and this one is arguably impossible to top -- six players made holes in one on the same day at the same course in a 71-player tournament.

Before that, there was PGA Professional Chris Gilley in June, who made two aces in the same day on the same hole at Indian Wells Golf Resort; a blind golfer in Europe had an ace in a tournament; a man dressed as a dog who knocked it in in one for a brand new car; PGA Tour player Jason Kokrak's one on a 400+ yard par-4 in Sea Island during the McGladrey Classic Pro-Am; and 10-year-old Austin Jet's had an ace as his father watched live on video overseas.

This week? Another feat that will probably never be topped.

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The Conway Daily Sun in New Hampshire reported on Monday that local golfer Jim Machowski scored an unbelievable back-to-back, holes-in-one on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, playing a round at the Ridegwood Country Club in Moultonborough. Making this even more incredible was the fact that both holes were par 4s and the 47-year-old Machowski used driver for both shots.

"We couldn't believe it -- it happened once, and then it happened again!" said Gutowski, who is the owner/manager of Sears of North Conway, according to the Daily Sun.

As the story goes, Machowski and friends Ben Gutowski and Joe Fitzpatrick had already played 18 holes. On this particularly unseasonably warm afternoon, the trio decided to go out for more.

From the report:

Playing from the gold tees, and using his driver on both holes, Machowski scored the first ace on the par 4, 242-yard hole No. 1. They moved on to the par 4, 249-yard, hole No. 2, and much to the trio's amazement, the ball went in the hole, again!

It was the third ace of his golfing career for the 5- or 6-handicapper, as he once got a hole-in-one in 2007 or 2008, playing at the North Conway Country Club with retired club pro John McDonald and lifelong club member Ralph Bianchi. He scored that one with a 7-iron on 167-yard hole 13.

"The game is such a matter of skill -- and luck. Getting these back to back is such a fluke," said Machowski in a followup interview with The Conway Daily Sun.

A quick internet search puts the odds of scoring back-to-back holes in one at a trillion-to-one... that's on par-3 holes. We can't even find odds for pulling it off on two par 4s!

Thanks to Rob Zimmerman and the folks at 3 Up Golf for the tip.

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



November 21, 2013 - 7:30pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell
golf, olympics, graeme mcdowell, rory mcilroy
Graeme McDowell's participation in the World Cup this week all but commits him to Ireland for the 2016 Olympics. Rory McIlroy is likely to play with him.

The world of golf rejoiced when the sport was reinstated into the Olympics for 2016. The news, however, gave Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy a headache.

The source of their pain? Northern Ireland doesn't participate in the Olympics as an independent nation, so the two superstars would have to play for either Great Britain or Ireland – meaning that, regardless of which they chose, they were bound to create a lot of hard feelings.

The two have asked for guidance – at one point McDowell even beseeched Olympics officials to make the call for them, while McIlroy said he might just skip the Olympics altogether. Now, though, their die seem to be cast.

McDowell is playing for Ireland in the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf this week. International sporting regulations call for athletes who compete for one country to sit out at least three years before being eligible to play for another. And the 2016 Olympics are less than two years away.

"Myself and Rory played twice for Ireland [in previous World Cups] and there was never any questions raised as to who we play for in this format. It was really just, like I say, an Irish team," McDowell said. "So I believe that me being here and representing Ireland will, you know, with the Olympic regulations, will mean that … I will have to play for Ireland when it comes to the Olympics in 2016." 

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Getting that out of the way has taken a pretty significant weight off G-Mac's shoulders.

"Part of me feels relieved to not have to make that decision," he said. "It takes care of another very sensitive problem that I, myself, and Rory in particular, have not enjoyed talking about." 

McIlroy is sitting out this World Cup and hasn't said anything about his Olympic situation in a while.

"It has been a pretty touchy subject for us Northern Irish players over the last few years," McDowell explained. "We are in a very unique scenario ... we have sporting teams, teams that are all-Ireland teams, teams that are individual Northern Ireland teams, part of the U.K., part of Great Britain. 

"It is a very touchy political and religious subject, one that myself and Rory have not really enjoyed answering questions about the last few years,” he added. “You are going to end up upsetting someone from either side really."