Golf Buzz

Jason Dufner
PGA Tour via YouTube
Jason Dufner's chip looked like a sure birdie – until its path was diverted.
I know I'm kidding myself, but I like to think I'd score better if I always played in conditions as pristine as those we so often see on the PGA Tour. Lush fairways, smooth bunkers, perfectly manicured greens – I mean, who couldn't go low on that?
The conditions on the tour are usually as good as it gets, that's true. But they're not perfect, through no fault of anyone's – as Jason Dufner found out on Thursday at the Shriners Hospitals Open.
Dufner had knocked his ball up onto the apron in front of the green on the par-4 10th shot, and was decided to chip from about 68 feet away. He pulled out a wedge and hit what looked like a perfect shot.
The ball landed softly, and was tracking right toward the flag – when it hit a spike mark, then hopped up and to the left. It eventually settled back down, but hit the front-left part of the cup and stayed out. He tapped in for his par, but no doubt felt like the course robbed him of a birdie right there.
I show you this not to denigrate the course conditions – spike marks are gonna happen on even the most perfect of greens, especially late in the day – but just as a reminder that we all have to deal with the unexpected sometimes, and that handling adversity is a crucial part of posting your best possible score.
Justin Thomas
USA Today Sports Images
At 5-foot-10 and 145 pounds, Justin Thomas gets more out of his drives than anyone else on the PGA Tour.
Maybe this is grounds for revoking my man card, but I wasn't familiar with until today – when the site posted a story that answered a question I had pondered. And that is: Who is, pound for pound, the PGA Tour's longest driver?
I mean, we all know the circuit's biggest bombers are big, athletic dudes like Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland. And yet, 160-pound Rory McIlroy, who's certainly as fit as anyone on tour but is far from large, also ranks right up there among the big dogs.
But the PGA Tour is full of guys who are normal sized, or even smaller, and still pop it out there pretty darn far. Do any of them get more out of their drives than, say, DJ or Woodland? 
The answer, it turns out, is yes – and we know this thanks to BroBible, which calculated driving distance divided by weight.
The winner, according to their math, is second-year player Justin Thomas, who averages 303.2 yards per drive despite weighing in at only 145 pounds. That gives him an average drive of 2.09 yards per pound.
The rest of the top five are:
2. Carlos Ortiz at 1.99 yards per pound (289.40 yards and 150 pounds)
3. Rickie Fowler at 1.98 yards per pound (296.80 yards and 150 pounds)
4. Will Wilcox at 1.98 yards per pound (296.60 yards and 150 pounds)
5. Derek Ernst  at 1.97 yards per pound (295.10 yards and 150 pounds)
Now, none of these guys can threaten DJ, who averaged 317.7 yards per drive in the 2014-15 season. But – as BroBible points out – Thomas' average is only 14 yards less than DJ's despite DJ having six inches and 45 pounds on him. 
That is darned impressive – even if Thomas says so himself:
Coldwell Banker
C.B. Macdonald's mansion at Chicago Golf Club includes 6,020 square feet of living space, and a unique place in the history of American golf.
Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill., owns the distinction of being the site of the United States' oldest 18-hole golf course. Charles Blair Macdonald, often regarded as "the father of American golf," founded the club and built the course in the early 1890s, and built a mansion there in 1897.
And now, that mansion is up for sale.
The five-bedroom house – known as Ballyshear – offers 6,020 square feet of living space and sits on a 1.77-acre plot. Designed by architect Jarvis Hunt, it "anchored a colony of homes occupied by members of Chicago society, who congregated around the golf club between the 1890s and the 1910s," according to The Chicago Tribune.
Its listing on describes the house as "the epitome of a refined country lifestyle in the heart of Wheaton." It goes on to say "this magnificent home combines the timeless elegance of beautifully preserved architecture with the modern amenities of an active family home" and notes that "the rich story of Ballyshear reveals much about the history of Chicago, the city's privileged, and the history of golf in America."
The house includes four full baths, three half baths, two fireplaces, a library, hardwood floors and a theater room on the top floor. Outside are a tennis court and in-ground pool.
"Four huge pillars, with Corinthian capitals, edge a semi-circular platform to form the porch, the whole making the front entrance," House Beautiful magazine said about the house in May 1899, according to The Tribune. "This imposing porch is the most conspicuous feature of the exterior of the house, and gives it its character."
Macdonald and his family only lived in the house for a few years before moving to New York in 1900. He rented it out for a while, and sold it in 1905, said The Tribune, which adds that Ballyshear has had seven owners since then.
Macdonald is one of the key figures in the history of golf in the United States, and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. His original nine holes at the Chicago Golf Club, which he built in 1892, made it the first golf course west of the Allegheny Mountains, and when he added a second nine the next year, it became the country's first full-length course. 
Macdonald also played a key role in creating the U.S. Golf Association, and served as vice president after it was founded in 1894. He also won the inaugural U.S. Amateur Championship in 1895, making him the first official national champion. His 12 & 11 defeat of Charles Sands in the final remains the largest winning score in the event's history.
Macdonald went on to design some of the United States' most prominent early courses. Among them are National Golf Links in Southampton, N.Y.; Yale Golf Club in New Haven, Conn.; St. Louis Country Club in St. Louis, Mo.; and the Old White course at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. He also created the course at the Mid-Ocean Club in Bermuda.
October 22, 2015 - 11:53am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jonathan Byrd
With darkness setting in, Jonathan Byrd abruptly ended a playoff in Las Vegas in 2010 with a walk-off hole-in-one for his fifth PGA Tour victory.

Five years ago this week, Jonathan Byrd provided arguably the coolest ending to a tournament you'll ever see.

On the fourth hole of a playoff at the 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with Cameron Percy and Martin Laird, Byrd was the last to tee off on the par-3 17th at TPC Summerlin, a 203-yard hole.

RELATED: New long-drive champ nearly covers four football fields with winner

That's when he did the unimaginable: he made a hole-in-one to close out the tournament and pick up his fifth PGA Tour win (he's had one more since).

Check it out here:


October 22, 2015 - 9:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tim Burke
What does it take to win the World Long Drive Championships? Just a few pokes that register in the FOUR FOOTBALL FIELD range. That's what Tim Burke did on Wednesday night.

The World Long Drive Championships is a sight to behold.

Last night in the final from Oklahoma, Tim Burke -- the 2013 champ -- walloped a winning drive of 394 yards to take the title for the second time. As you'll see in the video at the bottom of this post, that drive was hit with a wind blowing into Burke, which makes it even more impressive.

RELATED: Low blow -- man's bank shot turns into bad news for golf buddy

And that wasn't even his longest drive of the competition. The 6'6", 230-pound Burke had drives over 400 yards -- FOUR FOOTBALL FIELDS, FOLKS! -- in the quarter and semi finals.

For perspective, Anirban Lahiri won the PGA Championship Long Drive Competition at Whistling Straits in August with a 327-yard smash...

... Which brings me to one of my favorite old golf jokes that Burke could use on Lahiri:

Burke: "Did you hear about the new Wal-Mart they're building?"

Lahiri: "No. Where?"

Burke: "Between my ball and your ball."

For the win, Burke took home $150,000.

Here's the entire final Long Drive match between Burke and runner-up Jeremy Easterly:


Oh, and here's video from Lahiri's win at Whistling Straits:


Maria Rodriguez
Maria Rodriguez via Instagram
We don't know where Maria Rodriguez's shot ended up, but we do know it started out in a very unusual location.
OK, I'm not sure where this shot fits in the pantheon of golf trick shots. I'm not even sure it counts as a trick shot. 
But I am sure I've ever seen anyone do this before.
The golfer swinging the club is University of South Florida junior Maria Rodriguez. The young lady serving as the human teebox is her freshman teammate, Maria Merchan.
Does this count as freshman hazing? Or are these two just extremely confident in Rodriguez's swing? I don't know, but I do know this – I would never volunteer to play either role in this particular shot.

Things you can do with a big butt and a good golf swing @nanimerchi

A video posted by @marirodriguez on