Golf Buzz

April 5, 2013 - 8:44am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
YouTube
Bubba Watson playing golf on a day off -- left-handed with a right-handed set of clubs.

 

Earlier this week, we showed you the unbelievable hovercraft golf cart created by Bubba Watson and Oakley.
 
To no one's surprise, that video went viral in no time.
 
Today we bring you another great video starring the 2012 Masters champion.
 
Joined by ESPN.com's Michael Collins -- a former PGA Tour caddie -- Bubba shows up unnannounced to Dubsdread Golf Course just outside Orlando. 
 
The video, entitled, "Bubba's Day Off," features Watson playing golf with a set of right-handed rentals. Of course, being that he's a lefty, Watson basically plays golf with the clubs backwards. It's amazing.
 
He's also got a push cart, which is a far cry from that awesome hovercraft.
 
Bubba also answers calls in the proshop as a trainee.
 
He asks a customer on the phone, "How many people do you need for 2:30 (tee time)?"
 
The man explains he's a single and Bubba says to the rest of the proshop, "Oh, he's just one. He don't got no friends."
 
It might not be as mindblowing as the hovercraft video, but this one is a cool video to watch nonetheless.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Who's Your Caddie?
Photo: Getty Images
Aaron Baddeley gets some help from his caddie(s) during the 2012 Masters Par 3 Tourney.

 

Golf, unlike most sports, provides players the opportunity to do things exactly like the best professionals in the world. We play the same clubs, wear the same clothes and best of all, can play the same courses (in many cases).  And even more, from time to time, we can play the same shots.  If you sink a 20 foot birdie putt, you can rest assured you just performed at a level that can only be matched by the best. (Yes I've heard of eagles from the fairway but just providing some context here.)
 
Anyways, I've never had a desire to tee it up against the Tour pros in an official event. Not sure my 8 (and rising) handicap would do anything but embarass myself and the Tour as I hoped to break 90 on the long and probably difficult test. 
 
But you know where I could "compete"? -the par 3 course at Augusta. Not necessarily compete to win, but compete as in...not shoot +12.  I'm pretty certain on a nine-hole course where the longest hole is listed at 140 yards and the shortest is 70, I could come in within a shot or two either way of level par.
 
But this leads to one of my all time favorite golf discussions. If I were invited to play the Par 3 Tourney during Masters Week, my concern wouldn't be my score - it'd be...who'd be my caddie?  (Yes, it's a ridiculous hypothetical - but that's what I do)
 
Thought 1) My wife. She'd kill me if she wasn't selected. She'd love it because it's Augusta and very pretty and all that - but maybe she says "no."  It's hot, it's a long walk with a (limited) bag of clubs, maybe it's raining or she's got work stuff going on...then we go to 
 
Thought 2) A great golf friend.  There are no better golf experiences than the ones you enjoy with your best golf pal.  But I wonder if this causes a natural shift in the friend dynamic.  I'm the player, you're the caddie - even you usually wax me by 5 shots every round.  Maybe...
 
Thought 3) Some celebrity.  Pretty much anyone will jump at the chance to be inside the ropes at the Masters.  I've seen NBA stars and hollywood actors wearing the famous white jumpsuits while caddying for way lesser known golfers.  I'm going to go with Kate Upton as my first call 
 
Thought 4) Cute kids.  I don't have kids but that's a sure way to get the patrons on your side...to see the youngsters, barely as tall as the clubs they are carrying, in those tiny caddie outfits helping a golfer select their club.  Again, I don't have kids so I'd have to borrow one.  
 
Obviously, I've given this too much thought.  But what about you?  Think about it a moment and get back to me.
 
You can respond or follow John on Twitter at @johnkim_10
April 4, 2013 - 2:03pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Getty Images
Pebble Beach Golf Links is a staple of top 100 golf course rankings.

There are plenty of golf course rankings out there – probably the best known to most of us are the Golf Digest 100 Greatest Courses and the Golf Magazine Top 100

Pretty soon, though, there'll be a new kid on the block. Golf Course Architecture magazine is working now to create its own ranking of golf courses, to be called Architects' Choice Top 100. The voting for this ranking is being done exclusively by professional golf course architects.

''With most professional golf course architects having visited a large number of golf courses throughout the world, and having a very specific eye for quality that comes from their full time work on golf design, we believe these rankings will be the most insightful evaluation into golf course design quality there has ever been,'' says Golf Course Architecture.

The course designers get to decide their own criteria for their ranking – factoring in merits such as strategic value, beauty, fun and history – and then they'll weight those attributes as they see fit to create their individual top-10 lists. These lists then will be combined to produce the full GCA Top 100 ranking.

And in addition to creating this full top 100 list, the magazine plans to analyze data to deliver more insight on the architects' selections, looking at regions, types of golf course, prevalence of particular architects' work and the balance of modern and historic designs.

Voting is taking place now, and GCA plans to release its inaugural Top 100 list in its July issue. It'll be very interesting to see how much difference there is between this list and the existing ones.

 

April 3, 2013 - 1:54pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
TaylorMade Lethal golf ball
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The success of such TaylorMade balls as the new Lethal has prompted the company to construct a new golf ball plant.

TaylorMade will build a new golf ball manufacturing plant, company officials announced Wednesday. The 120,000-square-foot facility will occupy 25 acres in Liberty, S.C., about 28 miles east of TaylorMade's current facility in Westminster, S.C.

The company expects to break ground on the new plant in May and open up next January. The transition from Westminster to Liberty will be complete by July 2014, they said.
 
''The innovation by our R&D team, the passion of our work force in South Carolina and the rapid adoption by the best players in the world have dramatically improved our position in the golf ball category,'' said TaylorMade Executive Vice President John Kawaja. ''The byproduct of this success was the need for a new ball plant that will improve our unit production, quality and margin position.''

The new Liberty plant is expected to be more energy efficient and require less maintenance than the current Westminster plant, TaylorMade said, while also allowing the production process to be revamped to be more efficient.

The current plant turns out about 72,000 balls per day (6,000 dozen) and 24 million balls per year (2 million dozen).

TaylorMade currently markets close to a dozen models of golf ball across the price spectrum, including the RocketBallz, SuperDeep (white and yellow), Burner (white and yellow) and Noodle (white and yellow). Its newest ball, which debuted earllier this year, is the Lethal, a premium five-piece sphere that TaylorMade says is the second-most popular ball on the PGA Tour as well as its best-selling high-end ball ever.

April 3, 2013 - 10:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Masters
Getty Images
A ticket to the Masters is going to cost you.

 

In a recent story filed by Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Dan Groob, something you probably already knew was confirmed: short of the Ryder Cup, a ticket to the Masters is the most cherished in golf.
 
As if a ticket to the Masters weren't already appealing enough, consider the start that Tiger Woods has had to the 2013 season. In four PGA Tour starts, the 14-time major champion has collected three victories.
 
Woods, a winner of four Masters Tournaments, last slipped into a green jacket in 2005 and is a big-time favorite to grab his fifth green jacket next week.
 
Groob writes:
 
Compounding the effect of Woods’ resurgence on Masters ticket prices is the fact that Augusta National is golf’s most storied course, and The Masters golf’s most storied event. This year, a single-day pass for any of the four days of tournament play will run no less than $1,215, and that would be for a pass to Friday’s round. Comparatively, the average single-day passes for this year’s U.S. Open range from $182 to $295, depending on the day. The PGA Championship checks in between $203 and $234. All other days of Masters play run over $1,000...
 
For the tournament itself, a four-day badge will run a whopping $4,486 dollars, but is certainly less expensive than purchasing tickets for each day of the tournament. 
 
Tournament ticket prices check in as follows:
 
Practice Rounds:
Monday $403/$362
Tuesday $529/464
Wednesday $1,118/$833
 
Tournament Rounds:
Four-Day Badge: $4,486
Thursday $1,786/$1,282
Friday $1,215/$955
Saturday $1,397/$1,063
Sunday $1,226/$1,068
 
Believe it or not, as high as those prices may seem, a trip to the Masters is worth every penny.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
April 3, 2013 - 10:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Mizuno JPX
Mizuno Golf
The new Mizuno JPX game-improvement irons were built to help the Average Joe play like a pro.

 

Mizuno has long been a brand name associated with only the most elite golfers. 
 
Though that may be the perception, it's not actually true. With its new campaign dubbed, "Play Famously," Mizuno sets out to prove just that. 
 
Here is the email that was sent to me describing the campaign:
 
Mizuno Golf -- world renowned iron manufacturer and global leader in golf technology and innovation -- announced the Play Famously campaign which will add “average Joe” golfers to its stable of PGA pros, including world No. 4 Luke Donald, Charles Howell III, Jonathan Byrd and 2012 Rolex LPGA Player of the year, Stacy Lewis. The campaign aims to build the company’s momentum in the game-improvement category by championing the legions of “amateur” golfers who are supporting the golf industry through their passion for the game and meticulous quest to improve.
 
An absolutely average player sporting a 16 index, Lee Baughman from Pittsburgh, Pa. was announced the first member of “Team JPX.”  The 12-man “game-improvement” roster will be filled with everyday golfers who will be treated as famously as Mizuno pros. 
 
If the name Baughman doesn’t ring a bell, it shouldn’t; you didn’t miss him during last Sunday’s final round of the PGA Tournament or even on the Web.com Tour. He possesses arguably no legitimate strengths, but Mizuno will supply him and 11 other “Team JPX” members with the JPX-825 game-improvement irons and the other necessary tools to elevate his game and “play famously” with the help of Mizuno’s superior design and performance.
 
In addition to being swaged out like the pros with Mizuno irons, drivers, woods and apparel, “Team JPX” will receive tips and instruction from PGA Master Instructor Dr. Gary Wiren.  Additionally, each member of the team will receive the chance to compete in September’s inaugural “JPX Invitational” at Country Club of the South in Atlanta.
 
To kick-off the “Play Famously” campaign, Mizuno, Luke Donald and the Mizuno Golf team welcomed Lee Baughman as the latest member of their crew during a press conference.   
 
I love the idea of this campaign -- it's a lot of fun.
 
 
To get all the details for this campaign, click here to visit the Mizuno Golf Play Famously page.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.