Golf Buzz

March 16, 2013 - 6:31pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Barber Pole Golf putters
Courtesy of Barber Pole Golf
The Portrush blade (left) has a classic plumbers neck design, while the Waterville mallet has a thicker crown between the face and the rounded-off back cavity.

When you hear the name Barber Pole Golf, it'd be natural to think it's a red-blooded American clubmaker. Truth is, Barber Pole is based in Dublin, Ireland.

The boutique putter company makes its flatsticks in the United States, though, and is bringing them to the American market this spring.

Barber Pole specializes in solid brass putters with Radius Face Technology, which the company says helps each putter produce topspin immediately upon impact to get the ball quickly rolling on line. In essence, Radius Face Technology removes the loft found on many modern putters and, the company says, makes Barber Pole putters a good choice for putting out of the fringe as well.

"Radius Face Technology is designed to stroke the golf ball above the equator," says Barber Pole Putting Technologist (yes, that’s his title!) A.J. Crinion. "The connection produces immediate topspin and a true, forward roll for improved control and accuracy."

Each putter face is carved from a block of solid brass, which the company says eliminates dead spots or air pockets, which can happen with cast putters. By using CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling technology, Barber Pole guarantees the quality and integrity of each putters.

Barber Pole is bringing the four models in its Irish Links series, all of which conform to USGA and R&A standards, to the United States:

--The Ballybunion mallet features a double-bend shaft to help align the shaft with the center of the face, making the putter face-balanced. The crown contains a single alignment dot, and the putter retails for $369.

--The Portrush blade has a classic plumbers neck design. It features a single alignment dot on the crown and an alignment line on the flange to help square the face up. It retails for $349. 

--The Waterville mallet has a thicker crown between the face and the rounded-off back cavity for a solid feel. It also contains both an alignment dot and line, and retails for $369.

--And the Lahinch blade has a flow-neck design for a clean view of the ball at address. The overall design has a touch of the old ''Bullseye'' in it and the crown also contains a single alignment dot. It retails for $349.

All four putters come in 33-, 34-, 35- and 36-inch lengths, and can be bought with either a standard tour grip or a red and white striped Barber Pole grip.

For more information, visit BarberPoleGolf.com.

 

March 15, 2013 - 11:27am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ogio golf bag
Ogio
The Ogio Straight Jacket, Recoil Stand Bag and Shoester (all in the Madrid color style above) make up the perfect combination for the traveling golfer.

 

Ogio, known for its collection of innovative bags and apparel, is making a splash in 2013 with its Recoil Stand Bag, Straight Jacket golf travel bag and Shoester shoe bag.
 
Have you ever owned any kind of Ogio bag? I've had several Ogio backpacks, which are fantastic for a number of reasons -- for me, it was travel. There were so many pockets for so many different things. Rather than have all your stuff scattered over one or two compartments in a backpack, Ogio made finding things easy. There was a place for sunglasses; a dedicated pocket for valuables; a pocket for your iPod; a pocket for your laptop; etc. Easy access is what it's all about when you're traveling.
 
Well, we've come to learn, that's pretty much the mantra for all things Ogio. 
 
Here are the particulars on the Recoil Stand Bag bag:
 
- 14-way Diamond Performance stand top with full length club dividers
- ZBP™ (Zipperless Ball Pocket)
- TORQ™ Strap
- Load equalizing SHOXX™ X4 full suspension system for extreme comfort
- Advanced molded XX shoulder pads
- Low-profile OGIO Ball Silo™
- Cart strap channel
- 6 pockets (5 zippered)
- Weather-resistant fleece lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve
- Walking accessible insulated water bottle holster
- Weight: 7.8 Lbs.
 
For those of you who love to walk, this is a fantastic golf bag. The straps are incredibly comfortable and you have easy access to everything you could possibly need. The Recoil retails for $259.99 and comes in three colors: Madrid, Charcoal and Acid.
 
 
The Straight Jacket is Ogio's smaller, sleeker, more compact golf travel bag. It features the following:
 
- Large main compartment
- Smooth rolling urethane wheels
- Easy entry opening with internal cinch-down straps
- Twin outer pockets for accessories
- Fully padded top
- Fits tour bags and stand bags
- Tip-resistant
- Dimensions: 50" H x 15" W x 15" D
- Weight: 5.8 Lbs.
 
The Straight Jacket retails for $159.99 -- a steal for a quality golf, travel bag -- and comes in three colors: Madrid, Chrome/Acid and Black.
 
 
The best thing about the Straight Jacket is this -- if you're like me and able to travel to some great golf destinations with your clubs in tow, you've probably nocticed once you get to baggage claim, a lot of the golf travel bags look the same. That's not the case with the Straight Jacket. It's easily recognizable, easy to maneuver and it's not bulky like other golf travel bags.
 
Finally, there's the Shoester shoe bag, which retails for $39.99 and comes in the colors Madrid, Acid and Black. 
 
The Shoester features a carbon-based, anti-microbial interior and can easily be cleaned with a quick wipe down, or thanks to the material inside, a hose even.
 
Much like the Recoil and Straight Jacket, the Shoester has a sleek look. 
 
 
All three items are highly recommended for any traveling golfer. 
 
You can follow Ogio on Facebook and on Twitter, @ogio.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 15, 2013 - 10:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy, Nike VRS Covert
YouTube
Nike's new commercial featuring Rory McIlroy is all about the VRS Covert Driver.

 

 
Today, we bring you the latest Nike VRS Covert driver featuring Rory McIlroy.
 
Unfortunately, there's no humor in this one -- it's all about the driver. Still a decent commercial, but we've come to expect the LOL-variety from Nike these days.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
March 15, 2013 - 9:26am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy
Getty Images
Rory McIlroy was expected to partner up with Michael Jordan in this week's member-guest tournament at Medalist. Instead, the world's No. 1 player has decided to withdraw.

 

We're not sure if it's ever before been reported that a PGA Tour player has withdrawn from a member-guest tournament... until now.
 
But, we suppose, that's life when you're the No. 1-ranked player in the world and always under the microscope. Rory McIlroy, who was scheduled to team up with Michael Jordan in the Medalist Golf Club member-guest tournament this week, has decided instead to withdraw.
 
Keegan Bradley will replace McIlroy as Jordan's partner. Tiger Woods is playing in the event with good friend Ahmad Rashad.
 
 
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy won’t be going at it this week in the Medalist GC member-guest tourney after all. Seems the world No. 1 has withdrawn from the foursome that will include Michael Jordan and Ahmad Rashad in favor of Keegan Bradley.
 
McIlroy’s decision to play a friendly round with the guys created a Twitter tumult, according to GolfChannel.com’s Rex Hoggard, who said critics were displeased that the top-ranked golfer would tee it up with His Airness and not at next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.
 
When you're No. 1, you can't please everyone. These days, McIlroy is learning that the hard way.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair
March 14, 2013 - 4:34pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Masters bags
Callaway staffers will carry the bag on the left at the Masters, while TaylorMade players will use the one on the right.

The Masters begins four weeks from today! One of the many cool things about the season's first major is the relatively new trend in which some of the big clubmakers provide their players with special Masters-themed bags. In the last few days, we've gotten our first looks at a couple of them.

The one on the left in the photo above is Callaway's creation, obviously, while the one on the right is from TaylorMade.

We'll explore them in more detail when we get to Masters week, but for now we can see a magnolia blossom adorning Callaway's bag. And the TaylorMade bag has a ''golden bear,'' which we can safely assume is a reference to the 50th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus' first Masters victory in 1963.

March 14, 2013 - 12:32pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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PGA Tour Latinoamerica

The second season of the PGA Tour Latinoamerica got under way today at the first round of the Mexico Open.

The South of the Border circuit played 11 events in 2012, but has 15 on the docket this season. The campaign is broken into two halves, with eight tournaments between March and June in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, followed by the seven final events between October and December in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

The events feature $150,000 purses, but there is more at stake for those who perform well. Several players excelling in the first half will gain access to this summer’s PGA Tour Canada, and the top five players on the season-ending Latinoamerica money list will earn spots on the 2014 Web.com Tour.

Having a chance to climb the ladder is why many of the players are participating.

"For the Latin American golfer, (the difference) with this tour is day and night," Alan Wagner of Argentina told PGATour.com. "Up until last year, we would play the Tour de las Americas and those players that would win or play well wouldn’t receive a reward for their play – you would gain access to the second stage of Q-School.

"But now you know that if you play well, you’ll be competing on the Web.com Tour the following year," he explained. "As this tour grows and consolidates, in a few years we will see many more Latinos playing on the Web.com and eventually on the PGA Tour, so it is very good for Latin American golf."

For more on the 2013 PGA Tour Latinoamerica, click here.