Golf Buzz

May 11, 2013 - 8:21pm
john.holmes's picture
Tony Romo
Getty Images
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been missing from several of his usual offseason golf outings this year.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo appears to be cutting down on his links time this offseason.

Romo, long known as one of the best celebrity golfers out there, played with Tiger Woods in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February, but apparently is sitting out a lot of his other usual offseason outings. The reason seems to be related to the six-year, $108 million contract he signed at the end of March, making him the highest-paid player in Cowboys history.

Soon after giving Romo that contract, Cowboys Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones said he expected his quarterback to focus even more on football all year round.

"Tony is going to have more time, more presence, not only in the offseason but when the season starts, beginning Monday, assuming we played Sundays," Jones told The Dallas Morning News. "He's going to have more time on the job. A part of what we agreed with was extra time on the job, beyond the norm. That doesn’t mean that he didn't have a lot of time on the job, but extra time on the job, Peyton Manning-type time on the job."

No word out of Big D on how much golf, if any, Romo is getting in these days. But according to ESPN Dallas, he's been skipping such high-profile events as PGA Tour pro-ams and the qualifiers for the U.S. Open and HP Byron Nelson Championship, where he's been a regular presence in recent years.

As a long-suffering Cowboys fan, I'm not sure what I think about this development. The truth is, Romo has always been quite active with his team and teammates during the offseason, even as he enjoyed his fair share of time on the golf course, despite the widespread perception that he paid more attention to golf than to football between seasons. 

Of course, I’m hoping for as many wins as possible – especially late in the season when the Cowboys traditionally struggle. But it seems to me that there's plenty of time for both football and golf during the offseason, and that the best quarterback is a healthy and well-rounded one.

 

 
Sun Mountain Micro-Cart push cart
Courtesy of Sun Mountain
The Sun Mountain Micro-Cart push cart weighs in at only 13 pounds, and contains four wheels for extra stability.

Since its introduction in 2009, the Micro-Cart from Sun Mountain has proven one of golf’s most popular push carts. Its secret, of course, is the light weight that makes it so easy to maneuver around the course, and the new edition weighs in at only 13 pounds.

In trying to make 2013 version even lighter than previous models, Sun Mountain decided to add a fourth wheel to the original three-wheel design. The benefit of this extra wheel, along with the cart’s low center of gravity, is better stability on side hills without the need for tracking adjustments. The wheels come with low-maintenance solid foam tires and an adjustable front axle to accommodate the largest of golf bags.

The Micro-Cart's lightweight anodized aluminum frame folds and unfolds in two easy motions, and offers variable handle-height positions. It also contains a strapless bag bracket; the standard Sun Mountain Micro-Paq for additional storage; and a console with padded valuables tray, ball and tee holders, magnetic scorecard holder and a drink holder.

The standard Micro-Cart is available in four colors (red, black, blue and silver), while the Micro-Cart Sport is available in three bold color combinations (black/yellow, charcoal/red, black/lime and charcoal/pink). Both versions carry a suggested retail price of $189. 

For more information, visit www.sunmountain.com.

 
 
Alial Fital
Alial Fital
Alial Fital is a clothing line created from scratch by former NFL quarterback Gibran Hamdan.

 

If you follow the PGA Tour at all, you're familiar with Bo Van Pelt. And rightfully so as Van Pelt is almost always in contention and currently the No. 26-ranked player in the world (though he's spent many weeks inside the top 25).
 
When you see Van Pelt on TV -- or in person -- chances are you've also noticed his snazzy, stylish polo shirts. They're from a company called Alial Fital (Ah-lee-all Fit-ahl).
 
The story behind Alial Fital is probably unike any other you've heard before.
 
The founder/creative director is a gentleman by the name of Gibran Hamdan. Prior to entering the world of clothing design, Hamdan had a six-year career as an NFL quarterback with the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Amsterdam Admirals (NFL Europe). Hamdan played his college football at the University of Indiana.
 
Hamdan said his time spent in the NFL was as a back up, but his career in football wasn't without some highlights.
 
"I think highlights in my football career have to include being named Big Ten Player of the Week against Wisconsin where I led a 22-point second half comeback after being intercepted by Jim Leonhard," Hamdan said. "Jim became my good friend in the NFL and was actually the one whom, while watching the Masters in 2011, pieced together that Bo Van Pelt had become a customer of Alial Fital. Getting drafted by the Washington Redskins (2003) and being the NFL Europe MVP with the Amsterdam Admirals are up there too."
 
When Hamdan stepped away from football in 2010, Alial Fital was born -- interestingly -- out of curiousity.
 
"After I retired, I began messing around with my wife's sewing machine and checked out YouTube videos," said Hamdan, whose wife Jenny is the granddaughter of former longtime Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant. "After learning the basics, I was determined to learn how to sew a dress shirt from scratch. I read books and in fact taught myself pattern making and grading and eventually successfully sewed my first custom dress shirt from scratch. 
 
"During the process I realized there was a product that I wanted but couldn't find -- something that combined the style of a dress shirt collar and the comfort of a polo," Hamdan added. "Essentially, a super comfortable piece that was versatile enough to stand on its own but under a blazer would give the impression I was wearing a dress shirt all the while wearing the most comfortable shirt I own."
 
Hamdan tells us he was always into fashion, which caused him some playful grief from teammates in NFL locker rooms.
 
"I had always been into fashion and art," Hamdan said. "I actually wrote a fashion blog for Brooks Brothers in my final year with the Buffalo Bills, chronicling my teammates road trip outfits. You can imagine the ribbing I got from teammates and around the locker room. The great thing about it is that football locker rooms are an interesting environment -- while my teammates gave me a hard time initially, especially when I would wear suits to regular work days, eventually they realized through the years that it was something I took seriously and was interested in. So they stopped giving me a hard time and started asking for advice."
 
Back to Van Pelt for a second. As Hamdan noted, Van Pelt was a fan of the company -- wearing the shirts on the PGA Tour -- before he became an official endorser. 
 
"Bo was one of our best customers during our first year and, I didn't realize it at the time, he was a top-25 golfer in the world," Hamdan said. "At the end of the year he sent me an email and loved the product so much he asked me to sponsor him. Our golf-specific polos were then launched in 2011 and we can now proudly boast that we are the only American-made brand sponsoring a top-25 American golfer."
 
If you're like me, you're probably wondering where the unique name "Alial Fital," comes from. Well, there's some big-time significance to that, Hamdan explained.  
 
"After sewing the first sample I launched AF, named after my parents Laila and Latif -- spelled backwards -- who persevered through a ton of adversity, including losing our Kuwait home in the first Gulf War while we were on vacation in San Diego (Hamdan lived in Kuwait for six years from age 3-9)," he said. "I then set about researching American-made production capabilities and building a website (www.afpolos.com) from scratch."
 
Currently, Alial Fital makes all of its products in Los Angeles. And if you get your hands on an Alial Fital shirt it's pretty special -- Hamdan produces only 100 of each style with no reproductions ever.
 
"Once our styles are gone they are gone, so a customer knows they are truly receiving a one-of-a-kind piece," Hamdan said.
 
Down the road, Hamdan says, there are plans to expand Alial Fital.
 
"Alial Fital is named after my parents so it's fair to say I have big plans to grow it into something special," he said. "However, I am very meticulous and focused on the customer experience and how we treat people that come in contact with us. I could certainly go to China and start to mass produce a bunch of styles and throw our logo on it but that's not my vision. My father always stressed patience and that is something I've tried to instill in my brand. We are going to grow organically and focus on innovation and staying ahead of the curve in regards to design and customer service -- that's really the only way we can compete."
 
To learn more about Alial Fital, visit www.alialfital.com.
 
You can also check Alial Fital out on Facebook and Twitter, @alialfital.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
PUMA's Zero Limits
PUMA
PUMA's Zero Limits golf shoe.

 

PUMA has long been known as one of the younger, flashier apparel and footwear lines in golf. Look no further than PUMA endorser/posterboy Rickie Fowler, who is routinely the easiest player to pick out on any golf course.
 
Along with its colorful and bold offerings, PUMA also offers some fantastic gear for those seeking a more refinded look without sacrificing the comfort they've come to expect from PUMA.
 
That's where the Zero Limits shoe comes into the picture, which PUMA calls, "the regular golf shoe's fancy tuxedo equivalent."
 
Offered in a black-white-cherry tomato or white-black-PUMA silver scheme, these shoes are perfect to wear with both shorts and slacks.
 
Here is the description of the new PUMA Zero Limits:
 
The footwear choice that'll impress even the snooty golf club members. All luxe, premium leathers, the Zero Limits -- which keeps things classy in a refined black and white palette -- is the regular golf shoe's fancy tuxedo equivalent. There's some pretty cool tech to it, too: the shoe's TPU forefoot and heel are connected by a carbon fiber shank in the shoe's DUO FLHT Chassis, which provides stability for the golfer yet still allows for torsional movement. Grippiness comes in with 14 replaceable S2Quill spikes along with molded S2QuillTec spikes. And then there's the cushioning, the breathability, the waterproof-iness... we'll stop there. Let's be honest -- we had you at snooty golf club, didn't we.
 
Features:
- Luxe, premium leather upper
- 14 replaceable S2Quill spikes for maximum grip, paired with directionally molded S2QuillTec spikes for added green-friendly traction
- DUO FLHT Chassis, featuring TPU in the forefoot and heel connected by a carbon fiber DUO FLHT XRS Shank for optimum power, leverage, and control
- Decoupled heel construction with flex grooves for shock absorption and a smooth heel-to-toe transition
- Compression molded EVA cushioning in the forefoot and heel, with strategically-placed EverFoam cushioning at the heel for a comfortable fit
- Breathable OrthoLite sockliner for optimum fit and comfort
- stormCELL designation for highly functional, durable materials with waterproofing guaranteed for two years
- PINS (Performance INsert System by Pride) technology for a lower-to-the-ground construction that provides more immediate response for a more consistent swing
- Men's performance last to accommodate a wide variety of golfers
- Lace closure for a snug fit
- PUMA Formstrip at lateral and medial sides
- PUMA Cat Logo at tongue, forefoot, and heel
 
The PUMA Zero Limits golf shoes retail for right around $200. To learn more about the Zero Limits shoes and all of PUMA's other golf offerings, click here.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Bushnell Tour Z6 Wingman Pack
Courtesy of Bushnell Golf
The Bushnell Tour Z6 allows golfers to instantaneously zero in on flags up to 450 yards away, with up to 18-inch accuracy.

The 2013 Tour Z6 Wingman Pack is Bushnell's newest golf laser rangefinder. It's also the latest Bushnell product whose sales benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation.

"Building off the great success of the original Patriot Pack, we are ecstatic to provide consumers with this Tour Z6 Wingman Pack and are pleased to add another product to the mix that will support Major Rooney's incredible foundation," said Phil Gyori, managing director for North America. "For as long as consumers continue to look for ways to support the Folds of Honor Foundation and gravitate to Bushnell's industry-leading products, we'll be privileged to be a partner and support the foundation."

Extra-small but extra-powerful, the Tour Z6 is Bushnell’s most technically advanced rangefinder, which allows golfers to instantaneously zero in on flags up to 450 yards away, with up to 18-inch accuracy. Featuring 6x magnification (objects appear 6 times closer) through a premium lens coatings for superb optical quality and adjustable diopter setting, the Tour Z6 includes Vivid Display Technology (VDT) for clear sighting in all lighting conditions.

The Tour Z6 comes with a two-year warranty. And long with the rangefinder itself, the Wingman Pack includes a limited-edition Bushnell Golf/FHF embroidered microfiber golf towel, premium carrying case and battery for a suggested retail price of $399.

Earlier this year, Bushnell unveiled two new Patriot Packs featuring the Tour v3 and Tour v3 Slope rangefinders. The all-new Patriot Packs come equipped with a Tour v3 or Tour v3 Slope, Bushnell and FHF bag tag, protective carrying case and exclusive Bushnell Golf and FHF-branded golf tees with a suggested retail price of $299 (Tour v3) and $399 (Tour v3 Slope). 

Founded by Maj. Dan Rooney in 2007, the Folds of Honor Foundation provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of service members disabled or killed during U.S. military service. Rooney, a former F-16 pilot who served three tours in Iraq, founded Folds of Honor Foundation to ensure that families of fallen service men and women are never left behind.

In addition to the contribution, Bushnell has partnered with country music star Craig Morgan on a donation download program benefitting the Folds of Honor. A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Morgan wrote and dedicated a song titled "What Matters Most" to the heroes Folds of Honor Foundation supports. The track, a tribute to the millions of service men and women who defend America's freedom, parallels the stories of so many who have lost loved ones on the field of battle. For each download of "What Matters Most," Bushnell will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to the Folds of Honor.

To learn more about Folds of Honor, visit www.foldsofhonor.org. For more information on Bushnell, visit www.bushnellgolf.com.

 

May 8, 2013 - 10:39pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Katherine Roberts
Photo courtesy Michael Zagaris
Katherine Roberts has become a leading yoga teacher to athletes of all types

 

I hate to admit it but it's true, I'm getting older. I still feel I have the same strength as I did ten years ago, but I'm positive I don't have near the same flexibility. Even with the new technology, I've lost significant distance off the tee. (I'm still just early 40s folks...not like I'm 80!). This year I'm going to do something about that...but what?
 
It seems like yoga is the "hot" topic these days for fitness folks (no pun intended for the bikram yoga enthuisasts.) I hear many (men and women) sing its praises in all sports - including a growing number of golfers.
 
I reached out to one of the nation's top yoga instructors, Katherine Roberts, who specializes in yoga for athletes, to ask her if she could provide one tip for golfers (my selfish way of saying...one tip for me.)
 
Here's what she shared.:
 
"Hi John! 

I had a great few weeks down at Spring Training and now able to think more about golfers. But in truth, regardless of the sport, in order for athletes to excel -  flexibility is paramount. The ability to stretch properly can add strength and improve performance in the ballpark and on the golf course (and other sports too of course).
 
Most golfers recognize that the golf swing consists of a motion that coils and uncoils the spine over a powerful lower body. There are yoga poses that help efficient torso turn and increase lower body strength.  In addition to torso rotation, proper stabilization of the shoulder supports club control and reduces shoulder injury. 
Remember, the upper arm bone should be drawn into the shoulder socket before the rotation for more stability and strength. The spinal rotation initiates from the deepest part of the lower abdominal muscles and funnels through the shoulder and out through the extended hand.
 
In your pre-round warm up, you might consider this yoga pose:
 
Starting Position- Step your left leg back into a long lunge, lift your left heel as high as possible. Right knee is at a 90-degree angle. Place your left hand directly under your left shoulder. Draw the right knee toward the mid-line of your body. Inhale deeply as you open your torso to the right. Exhale as you bring the torso and arm parallel to the ground. Repeat five times and switch sides. 
 
Throughout this motion concentrate on deep inhalation and exhalation. Focus on the quality of your breath throughout this dynamic flexibility and strengthening movement. Deep breath plus wide stretch is the foundation to athletic success. To learn more on how yoga can enhance your golf game performance visit: http://yogaforgolfers.com/."
 
Nike Golf Swoosh Elite Staff Member Katherine Roberts is founder of Yoga for Golfers. In addition to her extensive work with yoga and golf fitness, she has spent more than a decade working with MLB players.  

Okay guys (and girls) - there you have it. Right from the expert, just apply it to your pre-round routine.  Gonna give it a try? If you do, let me know how it works out for you. Tweet me on twitter at @johnkim_10 and let me know how your golf game is coming along.