Golf Buzz

Atlantis Resort in Dubai
Getty Images
Lee Westwood hit a shot from the Royal Bridge Suite balcony 300 feet up in the air out to a green 235 yards away on a barge moored out in the ocean, and it wound up four feet from the flag.

Last week, Tiger Woods hit golf balls from Asia to Europe across the famed Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul ahead of the Turkish Airlines Open. On Monday, five of the European Tour's best players accepted a different bridge-related challenge – a closest-to-the-pin contest in which they hit balls from the Royal Bridge Suite at the Atlantis Resort in Dubai to a green on a barge anchored down below.

Make that way down below – the Royal Bridge Suite's ''tee box'' was up on the 22nd floor, 300 feet high off the ground. The green was a mere 10 yards by 6 yards in size, floating 235 yards out beyond the hotel's swimming pool and beach in the Arabian Gulf.

The contestants were Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, David Howell, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, each of whom got to hit 10 shots. And the winner was: Westwood, whose best shot wound up just four feet away from the flag. His victory was confirmed by an impromptu guest referee – Ian Poulter, decked out in pink swim trunks, who gave up his spot on the beach to join the official referee in delivering the verdict.

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''It was great fun. I like challenges like this at the start of a week and today's one certainly focused the mind with such a small target in the lagoon,'' said Westwood. ''I was fortunate to get the right club – a 7-iron – and I manage to catch it perfectly.''

Westwood received a trophy for his victory, along with a special luxury package that includes a five-night stay in one of the ocean-themed Atlantis Underwater Suites, featuring floor-to-ceiling views of the Ambassador Lagoon and its 65,000 marine inhabitants.

Next up for Westwood and the 59 other players in Dubai this week: playing in the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour's version of the Tour Championship. The tournament has an $8 million purse along with a $3.75 million bonus poll to be divided among the top finishers as the seasonlong Race to Dubai comes to an end.

Here is a video featuring the highlights of the big closest-to-the-pin contest. It's a lot of fun, and especially worth watchiing if you've never seen the Atlantis in Dubai:

 
 
 
 
 
November 11, 2013 - 1:56pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
World's Largest Golf Outing
Michael Clements/Billy Casper Golf
The crew from Billy Casper Golf posed with the Color Guard at the World's Largest Golf Outing event at Dauphin Highlands in Harrisburg, Pa.

Today is Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day up in Canada, and it seems like the perfect time to pass along a story about one of the many tremendous ways that the golf community embraces our veterans.

Back in August, Billy Casper Golf staged the third edition of what it calls the ''World's Largest Golf Outing'' – the golf course management firm hosted more than 10,000 golfers at 110 of its golf courses in 24 states, all on the same day, as a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. A few days ago, Casper announced that it raised more than $735,000 for the WWP from this one day alone.

Since the World's Largest Golf outing was created, it has donated more than $1.1 million to WWP, and this year's total shows how incredibly much the event has grown in just three short years. The funds raised came from a portion of entry fees plus donations made online.

''The sacrifice of wounded warriors in the name of our country is humbling,'' said BCG Chairman and CEO Peter Hill. ''Our loyal golfers are commended for turning out in droves this year and raising a fantastic sum for this worthy cause.''

And as fantastic as the money is, it's equally cool to note that the simultaneous golf outing included participation of more than 70 wounded warriors at 27 different courses.

A number of other top golf organizations were involved as well. All the golfers were entered into a drawing to win a grand-prize trip for four to the Nike Campus in Oregon to get fitted for irons. In addition, tournament winners at each course were eligible to win tickets to the 2014 PGA Championship, as well as products from Ahead, Bridgestone, Callaway, Cleveland, FootJoy, Nike, TaylorMade and Titleist. And the teams with the highest contribution levels received complimentary tees times at BCG courses and WWP merchandise.

Billy Casper Golf also provided some highlights from the various venues:

--Lyman Orchards Golf Club (Middlefield, Conn.) topped all courses with $51,449 in total donations
--Team Calkin – led by a retired Marine – at Alta Vista Country Club (Placentia, Calif.) raised $14,960, outpacing all foursomes
--Four teams raised more than $8,000 each, 10 teams more than $5,000 each
--Jordan Fairchild – born on September 11, 2001 – sang the Star-Spangled Banner at Palmbrook Country Club (Sun City, Ariz.)
--The Claw at USF (Tampa, Fla.) hosted the most wounded warrior golfers (nine)
--10 courses hosted more than 200 golfers
--There was a 21-gun salute to kick off the outing at Orchard Valley Golf Course (Ill.)
--Lincoln Hills Golf Club (Lincoln, Calif.) hosted 307 golfers (120 active or retired military), including personnel from Air Force Base Travis facing off against Air Force Base Beale in a friendly ''Base Battle'' match-play competition (Beale won)
--There were holes-in-one at Lyman Orchards, Bear Creek (Texas) and Eastpointe (Fla.)
--Many courses honored the military with moments of silence; ceremonial first tee shots; standing ovations; national anthems; color guards; patriotic pin flags, tee markers and apparel; and golf carts decorated in red, white and blue

For more information about this year's event or to find out about the 2014 edition, please visit: www.worldslargestgolfouting.com. For more on the Wounded Warrior Project, please visit: www.woundedwarriorproject.org

And to see more from the World's Largest Golf Outing event at Lyman Orchards, check out this video:

 
 
November 11, 2013 - 12:40pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

Sight and sound should be two major factors for you to pay attention to while working on your chipping.

In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Thomas Troncoso offers up some innovative advice -- using those senses -- that will improve your chipping.

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

November 11, 2013 - 11:58am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Kiawah Island Club
Mike Touhill
All six of these golfers made a hole-in-one in the same outing on Nov. 6 at Cassique on Kiawah Island. Top (left to right) Larry Patrick, Garrett Hill, Alan Gillespie; Bottom (left to right) Matt Cleveland, Ken Knechtel, Dale Mercer.

News crossed the inbox this morning from Mike Touhill, Director of Public Relations for Kiawah Partners, that not one, not two, not three... but six holes-in-one were recorded in the same day at Kiawah Island Club's Cassique course at Kiawah Island, S.C.

Say what?!

The record occurred on the Tom Watson-designed links course Wednesday, November 6, during the annual Men's Closing Day golf outing. A total of 71 golfers participated in the event which pairs three members of the private club with one staff member to mark the end of the fall tournament season.

RELATED: Man wins $1 million for ace in golf outing

Five aces were recorded on the fifth hole, a par 3 measuring 118 yards with the other hole-in-one coming on the 148-yard par 3, 16th hole. The shots were made by a combination of members and staff with Garrett Hill, Alan Gillespie, Matt Cleveland, Ken Knechtel and Dale Mercer making an ace on hole No. 5 and Larry Patrick on hole No. 16.

Touhill noted that the remarkable feat came just hours after longtime Cassique golf shop employee, Tom Churchill, passed away following his 12 year battle with cancer leaving many of his friends and colleagues to suggest the omnipresent "Golf Gods" were at work that day. Churchill worked as a member of the golf shop staff where the event took place, and likely would have participated in the outing as he had for the previous 14 years.

"Churchie was definitely kicking them in for the guys that day," said Kiawah Island Club Director of Golf, Steve Kelleher. "Tom was a member of the Kiawah family for more than 20 years, beloved by our membership as well as a mentor and colleague to our younger staff. This is always a special event but having dedicated the day to Tom and then recording six holes-in-one, I’m not sure you can really explain it."

The odds of making a hole-in-one are 12,500 to 1. At Cassique on Nov. 6, they were a little less than 1 in 12.

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

  

November 11, 2013 - 8:50am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tour Impact Golf
Tour Impact Golf
The Tour Impact Golf trainer uses sound to help you dial in the rhythm and tempo required for a consistent swing.

The father-son team of Craig and Scott DeVarney, think they've invented just the device to help improve your swing.

The duo are owners of Tour Impact Golf LLC and today they started a Kickstarter campaign to bring their Tour Impact training aid to manufacturing.

For those unfamiliar with it, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing fundraising campaign. Creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money. But, if the goal isn't met by the deadline, the creators receive none of the funds and the money is returned to those who pledged.

Tour Impact Golf's goal is to raise $20,000 by Wednesday, December 11 at 8 a.m. EST. At the time of this post, the Kickstarter had been up for just over 30 minutes and $1,240 had already been raised.

So, what is the Tour Impact Golf training aid (TI)?

It's a hittable golf club with a sensor and speaker designed to teach professional rhythm and tempo through sound. Players will learn to identify exactly where they are too fast or slow in their swings while developing overall consistency.

You can watch a video of the training aid here:

Backers of the Kickstarter campaign can get a club of their own by contributing $120 or more towards its first run. If successfully funded, clubs are expected to be delivered by March of 2014.

"I had been toying with the idea of swinging along to a sound recording of my own swing," Craig DeVarney said. "One night, literally in my sleep, I thought, 'what if I standardized a professional's rhythm and timing and used that as a guide instead of my own?' It seemed so simple and obvious that there needed to be a way to standardize and learn rhythm and tempo, so that's what I set out to do."

The $20,000 the DeVarney's are hoping to raise will pay for parts, tooling and manufacturing.

"We have a working prototype," Craig DeVarney said. "We've already got manufacturers lined up and ready to go. We just need the funds to take it to market. The TI will help players learn the actual rhythm and tempo of a professional golf swing and improve their consistency. They will develop a powerful lag and a heightened awareness of the club head's position throughout their swing. Because the feedback from the TI is in real time, players can identify exactly where they are too fast or slow and what it feels like. The TI makes teaching and learning rhythm easy through standardization of proper swing proportions in a range of tempos."

Click here to check out the Kickstarter page for Tour Impact Golf.

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

November 11, 2013 - 8:26am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods found some tree trouble in the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday, but still managed to shoot a 4-under 68.

In case you missed it over the weekend, Tiger Woods had an injury scare while playing in the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open.

The world's No. 1 player hit a wayward tee shot on the par-5 11th hole. Rather than try to play it safe from a wooded area, Woods unleashed a vicious strike with a fairway wood. Immediately after making contact with the ball, Woods let go of his club and winced in pain, reaching for his right hand.

You can watch the video here:

Incredibly Woods still made birdie. He would finish the round with a 4-under 68, looking no worse for wear.

"It's a little tender," Woods said following the round. "I smoked it on something. I don’t know what it was, but I hit something hard."

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