Golf Buzz

October 29, 2014 - 8:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rukket
Rukket
Clockwise from top left: The RukkNet Portable Driving Range, Chipping Target, Monster Cage and Range Marker.

I love to work on my golf game. A certified golf junkie, that's me.

The problem these days is finding the time to get to the driving range, let alone the course for a round.

I'm a new parent, which is incredible, and I don't want to take all that time away from home to go to the range or the course. But, I still want to work on my game.

I've tried out a bunch of golf nets from golf stores, but they don't cut the mustard. They're flimsy, a pain to set up and if the wind blows, so too will that net.

Recently, I had the opportunity to try out three products from Rukket Sports: The RukkNet Portable Driving Range, Range Marker & Chipping Target and, the ultimate, Rukket Monster Cage.

Here's a breakdown of my experience with each...

The RukkNet Portable Driving Range

I was really a big fan of how the RukkNet Portable Driving Range is so compact in its packaging. It literally folds up into a perfect circle, into a carry bag that makes it easy to bring anywhere.

And the best part? There's very little set up time. You simply unzip the carry bag, pull out the net, and it pops out like a jack-in-a-box. Hammer down a couple of stakes just to keep it steady and you're ready to let some shots rip.

The net itself is high quality, too. You don't need to worry about hitting driver and sending a golf ball through the net into an unsuspecting neighbor's window.

This could be the most practical net on the market today. It doesn't require a ton of space to set up, you can take it with you to a friend's house and -- perhaps most importantly -- it takes up less storage space than one of grandma's folded quilts. Heck, if you have the room, you can even easily set if up indoors.

Like anything new, it took some getting used to folding the net into the carrying case, but once you practice a couple of times, it's a breeze.

The RukkNet Portable Driving Range sells for $219.99.

Rukket Range Marker & Chipping Target

The ease of use on the Range Marker & Chipping Target -- much like the Portable Driving Range -- is impressive. It just pops open, you hammer a couple of stakes down and you're ready to go.

For any golfer this is a great practice companion, because it really forces you to focus on the target. I spent most of my time working with the chipping target, going as far back as 25 yards. From there, I worked on shots with all my wedges, attempting to envision which of the three holes I wanted to hit and then trying to hit it there.

Of course, I didn't hit the target I intended every time, but over the course of about 15 minutes, my misses were much closer to my intended target.

And, if I'm being honest, the net wasn't used for just practice, but also for fun. My brother has come by for a couple of visits strictly to square off against one another in chipping contests.

I also found the Range Marker to be useful. Instead of pacing off a yardage, I used my rangefinder to lock in the marker at 50 yards. It really helped to develop a feel and consistency. I tried a variety of shots with different clubs, trying to hit the marker on the fly and one-bouncing it to the marker.

I'm not sure I'll use the marker part of this tool as much as the chipping target, but for those with a bigger yard, it could certainly be useful in essentially setting up your own personal backyard, short-iron driving range (the yardage "flaps" go up to 150 yards).

The Rukket Range Marker & Chipping Target costs $43.99.

Rukket Monster Cage

Last, but not least, the mother of all golf nets -- the Rukket Monster Cage.

I'm not going to lie -- this thing was not easy to put together. It took two of us (not very handy guys, mind you) roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes to get the job done. The assembly video on Rukket.com was helpful, but we both laughed at the video when the narrator suggested it would take two people about 20 minutes.

Basically, there are just a lot of pieces. Two things about that, which I realized not long after we got it assembled though: 1. There's a reason for all the pieces; 2.This isn't the type of net you're going to keep putting up and taking down. This is a heavy, heavy duty net. So, yes, it may take longer than the estimated 20 minutes to set up (or, maybe not for you), but once it's up, it's got that "wow" factor. I mean, really.

My advice would be to set it up exactly where you want it to be located. It's certainly moveable with just two people, but it's a little awkward because of the size.

OK, now let's talk about performance after we got it set up.

In a word: unreal.

Just like its name suggests, this net is, in fact, a "monster." Like Rukket's other products I tested, the net was such high quality that there wasn't a single worry about letting a driver rip.

What also separated the Monster Cage from other nets I've tried is that it's an actual cage. There's a "ceiling" net and three "wall" nets (right, left and center). It's pretty much mishit-proof (well, you can still mishit, but it won't cause unwanted damage) to something in your yard, neighbor's yard, or house).

It's also built to last. It's the kind of net you'd expect to see in a simulator, pro shop or trade-show booth. The frame is made from three-part steel tube construction with nickel-plated fasteners and the powder-coated frame ensures long-term outdoor use. The frame tubes and corners have extended ends for greater stability and the corners have PVC base plates that won't scratch floors if you're lucky enough to be able to assemble this indoors.

While I'll get plenty of golf use out of the Monster Cage, I also love the fact that it's so much more than a golf net. The quality and sturdiness, make it perfect for a growing family like mine that will be able to kick soccer balls, hit baseballs and softballs, throw footballs, or whatever else, right in the comfort of the backyard. It's an all-sports cage.

With a price tag of $599.99, it's certainly not cheap. But trust me, you get what you pay for. This is a net for the long haul. When you think of all the money you spend on golf balls at the driving range over the course of a year (if you're a serious golfer), or the money you spend for your kids to go to the batting cages, you quickly realize that having the luxury to do both in your own backyard has the Monster Cage paying for itself in no time.

To learn more about Rukket's offerings, visit www.rukket.com

YouTube
YouTube
Martin Kaymer can outdrive many of us just using his putter.

When I was growing up in West Texas, one of the games we played on the golf course was to choose a hole and play it with just one club from the peg to bottom of the cup. The biggest challenge was to play the longest par 5 using only your putter.

One of us would occasionally make a par. That was quite a feat, but nothing like what Martin Kaymer – who won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf last month – and Bernhard Langer – who on Sunday – recently accomplished with their putters.

GOLF BUZZ: These youngsters are world-class golf ball jugglers 

As part of a Mercedes-Benz promotion, the two German superstars challenged each other to a long-drive contest using only regulation-length putters. The results, recorded on a Trackman ball flight analysis device, were quite impressive.

Each player got three whacks, and each gained more distance with every swing. The 57-year-old Langer said he was most pleased that he didn't break his putter, but his drives were pretty outstanding  – especially considering that Kaymer is considerably larger and almost 30 years younger. The final result: Kaymer went 212.3 meters (that's 232.17 yards), while Langer's best was 190.2 meters (208 yards).

Here's the video of their showdown:

 

 

October 28, 2014 - 2:18pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Michael Jordan, Keegan Bradley
PGA of America
Keegan Bradley and Michael Jordan at the 2014 Ryder Cup.

The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight. As part of the build-up to the big hoops night ahead, Michael Jordan -- His Airness -- took over the Charlotte Hornets Twitter account for a while on Tuesday, fielding questions from fans using the hashtag "#MJTakeover."

The Chicago Bulls legend is also the owner of the Hornets.

So, you're asking yourself, what does any of that have to do with golf?

Good question.

Here's the answer: 2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley was one of those "fans" to shoot Jordan a question.

Bradley has become friends with MJ over the last few years and even wears customized "Air Jordan" golf shoes.

So what was Bradley's question to his golf buddy?

 

As of this posting, MJ -- the king of trash-talking -- had yet to reply to Bradley.

We're guessing he'll find a way to squeak a few more strokes out of Bradley during their next round together.

UPDATE: Jordan has responded. As usual, MJ wins.

October 28, 2014 - 12:09pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
plane crash
myfoxdfw.com
A single-engine plane crashed into a pond on a golf course after attempting a fairway landing on Monday.

This is something you don't see everyday: An airplane in distress attempts to land in a fairway on a golf course, but misses and winds up in a water hazard.

It might sound crazy, but that's precisely what happened on Monday at a golf course near Dallas.

A single-engine plane landed in a pond at Prestonwood Country Club after its engine failed.

Reporter Claire Cardona from the Dallas News wrote:

Shortly after 5:30 p.m., the plane went down in the golf course at the country club near Plano Parkway and Midway Road. The pilot, who was the only person on board, tried to land on the fairway, but the plane flipped and ended upside down in the pond, said Plano Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Capt. Peggy Harrell.

Miraculously, the pilot was not injured and got himself out of the plane.

h/t Golf News Net 

October 28, 2014 - 8:04am
Posted by:
PGA of America
tj.auclair's picture
GolfTEC
GolfTEC
GolfTEC is celebrating its five millionth lesson milestone with a charity promotion benefitting The First Tee.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- GolfTEC -- the world leader in golf lessons -- has announced that it will commemorate the occasion of teaching its five millionth lesson by providing complimentary 30-minute golf lessons on November 8 or 9 to customers who make a donation to The First Tee.

Offered at all GolfTEC locations in the United States, this unique opportunity allows golfers to sign up online at golftec.com or by calling 877.446.5383. To complete the process, customers follow instructions on making a donation to The First Tee and show that receipt upon arrival at GolfTEC. Each lesson is valued at more than $50, far greater than the $20 suggested minimum contribution to The First Tee.

The First Tee is an international youth development organization focused on introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people. Through afterschool and educational programs, it helps shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf.

"We gave our first lesson nearly 20 years ago and since that time GolfTEC has grown to become an industry leader, employing more PGA professionals than any other organization," says Joe Assell, Co-Founder and CEO of GolfTEC. "Our goal is to grow the game by helping players improve and enjoy golf more, which creates a devoted consumer base excited to play and share this amazing sport."

Highly efficient and boasting a 95 percent success rate, GolfTEC lessons are taught one-on-one by Certified Personal Coaches mostly in indoor bays that utilize proprietary teaching technology. Developing a comprehensive improvement plan for each student is the foundation of GolfTEC's philosophy. This is embodied by the company's popular game plans and lesson packs, which are available in a variety of options to suit all budgets.

"The First Tee and GolfTEC have a shared vision of introducing more young people to the game of golf and ensuring they have the necessary tools to succeed on and off the golf course," says Jennifer Weiler, vice president of strategic alignment and development, of The First Tee. "We are grateful to be part of this unique promotion, which will undoubtedly raise awareness for our mission."

GolfTEC's first-class instructors have gone through rigorous certification to master the analysis of golf mechanics, the technology of the GolfTEC system and the most productive teaching techniques. Each of the company's locations boasts an array of state-of-the-art equipment and services specially designed to provide customers a totally unique experience. Among the technologies currently employed:

* g-SWING teaching technology -- Patented software program displays real-time video with motion measurement, capturing body positions throughout the swing; coaches use the info to diagnose, communicate and measure the changes that will lead to improvement.

* TECfit -- using Foresight launch monitors to capture critical performance data -- ball flight, ball speed, clubhead speed, launch angle, sidespin and backspin -- coaches cross-reference this information with GolfTEC's proprietary SwingLabs database to help select ideal clubs for each student’s swing; they can then accurately illustrate changes in ball performance resulting from club adjustments.

To learn more about GolfTEC, visit www.golftec.com.

October 27, 2014 - 10:46pm
john.holmes's picture
John Daly and Yao Ming
John Daly via Twitter
John Daly might have to change his "Big John" nickname after meeting up with Yao Ming in China.
John Daly spent the last week over in China playing in the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am and – perhaps more importantly – minging with the celebrities. If you follow him on social media, you saw him post photos with stars like Jessica Alba and Kenny G.
 
Daly posted his most memorable image of the week Monday night, though. As you can see, it shows him standing next to a building on the driving range at Mission Hills. Oh wait, that's no building – it's former NBA standout Yao Ming.
 
"I look like a Mini Me?" Big John asked on Twitter, and the answer to that question is a big fat yes.
 
 
Yao, as NBA fans might remember, stands a cool 7-foot-6. Daly, according to the PGA Tour, checks in at 5-foot 11. That makes Yao 19 inches taller than Daly and, in this photo, he looks every bit of it.
 
"thisguyisbig," Daly added to his tweet, and "andi'mnosmallguy." 
 
No kidding, John. No kidding.
 
Yao, by the way, took up golf a few years ago. Being 7-foot-6 makes getting down to the ball a little tougher, as we can see in this video of Yao from 2012. But he's stuck with the game and, considering how popular he remains, his enthusiasm no doubt is a big boost for golf in China.