Golf Buzz

April 25, 2015 - 9:56am
mark.aumann's picture
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy points at Brad Dalke's muscles before their arm wrestling match begins.

Rory McIlroy's workout routine is legendary. But the No. 1 golfer in the world met his match Friday at the hands of a 17-year-old Oklahoma high schooler -- in arm wrestling.

Brad Dalke posted this short video on his Twitter page Friday after defeating McIlroy at a Nike-sponsored event for juniors at Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, S.C.



McIlroy got the last laugh, however, on the range. According to story in the Augusta Chronicle, none of the juniors in attendance came close to match his 300-yard plus drives during a 45-minute clinic.

Bubba Watson
USA Today Sports Images
Bubba Watson broke his wife's driver during a trick shot, but his trademark pink driver is apparently still alive and well.
Bubba Watson has become quite the trick-shot artist lately. And as everyone who's ever tried to hit more than a few trick shots, he's learned that they don't always go as planned.
In a little video he posted on Twitter this afternoon, he showed us one trick shot that went perfectly, followed immediately by one that went fatally – at least for the club – wrong.
As you might expect from the part-owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos minor league baseball team,  Watson takes a baseball cut and successfully smacks a golf ball tossed at him. He then turns around to take his next cut right-handed.
Once again, he makes solid contact. But this time, much to his surprise, the driver head goes flying, too.
After a quick freakout – and who could blame him – he took to Twitter to ask "#PingCanYouSendMyWifeANewDriver." 
No doubt the good folks at Ping will get Angie fixed up. They might also think about doing what my dad did many years ago and find Bubba a few extra clubs that he can take out and maybe never bring back.
Here is the video, and below it is the first trick shot video Bubba shared from his recent trip to China:
Joe Durant
USA Today Sports Images
Joe Durant's on-course superstition includes using different sized coins as ball markers depending on the length of the putt he's facing.
The Champions Tour is in the Ozarks this weekend for the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf, and the Springfield, Mo., News-Leader surveyed some of the senior stars about their golf rituals and superstitions. Several players revealed some interesting pre-round and during-round – if that's a word – "musts."
Here's a sample:
--Lanny Wadkins said he always keeps coins in his left front pocket and tees in his right front pocket. 
--Joe Durant goes one step further – he has to have five tees in his pocket and must carry a quarter, a dime and a nickel to use as ballmarkers. He uses the quarter for long putts, the nickel for medium-length putts and the dime for shorter putts.
--And Fred Funk goes yet another step further. Funk marks his ball with a heads-up coin. And he always points the face on the coin toward the hole so the coin can read the putt with him.
The article goes on to list several more fun and fluky ones from players like Olin Browne and Corey Pavin, and it makes us want to ask – do you have any on-course rituals or superstitions? Tell us about 'em – we'd love to hear.
Tiger Woods and Yao Ming
Tiger Woods via Twitter
Tiger Woods is a big deal in the world of golf, but Yao Ming is a really big deal.
Tiger Woods is making his second visit to Asia with Nike this weekend, and is meeting with golfers large and small. The small golfers are the 40 youngsters he met at a special clinic at the Nike China facility in Shangai, while the large golfer is really large – 7-foot-6 Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets star who now owns the Shanghai Knights basketball team.
For the clinic, Nike converted its campus soccer field into a small golf course. Woods hit some shots, talked to the kids about different aspects of the game and judged the Vapor City Challenge Final, a regional skills challenge, where he presented one individual and three team awards for driving distance, chipping and putting accuracy.
"The enthusiasm I've seen here is infectious and it was great to speak to so many Chinese golf fans," Woods said. "There are a lot of young and talented athletes here with huge potential to bring golf in China to the next level."
Woods also spent time with Yao – an eight-time NBA all-star who is also a passionate golfer – and the two athletes met with Nike's Shanghai employees.
"It is a great honor to meet Tiger in person and to share our experiences in sport to encourage young athletes to pursue their dreams," said Yao. "Hopefully we inspired and motivated kids to challenge themselves and push the limits to accomplish their ultimate goals."
Our favorite part of the trip so far, however, is the photo of Woods and Yao at the top of this post. Woods is just over 6 feet tall, and Yao towers over him at a cool 7-foot-6. It also reminds us of the time last fall when 5-foot-11 John Daly met Yao at a tournament in China, and you can see their photo at the bottom of this post.
From Shanghai, Woods is off to Tokyo. And as we've learned, he's planning to play The Players Championship starting May 7 and The Memorial starting June 4.
April 24, 2015 - 8:39am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods confirmed via Twitter on Friday morning that he will play in the Players Championship May 7-10 -- his first start since the Masters.

Tiger Woods announced on Twitter Friday morning that he will be teeing it up in the Players Championship, May 7-10 at TPC Sawgrass:

This will be the second start for Woods since returning from a leave of absence because of poor play in February. He tied for 17th at the Masters in his first start back.

RELATED: Day says 'Walk the line' on putts | Amazing video of Turnberry changes

Woods is a two-time winner in the Players Championship, having won most recently in 2013. He also won the 1994 U.S. Amateur at TPC Sawgrass.

One of the most memorable shots of Woods's illustrious career came via a putt on the par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass on his way to winning the 2001 Players -- the "better than most" putt:

Due to recovery from back surgery, Woods was unable to defend his Players Championship title in 2014.


The Ailsa Course at Turnberry
Trump Organization via YouTube
The Trump Organization's new video clearly shows how the "lighthouse" ninth hole at Turnberry will converted from a par 4 to a par 3 and edged closer to the Firth of Clyde.
On Tuesday, the Trump Organization confirmed what it had hinted at for some time – The Donald is planning a major renovation of the famed Ailsa Course at the Trump Turnberry Resort in Scotland, which he bought about a year ago. 
The most impressive part of the presentation, however, was a 7-minute animated video that shows the before-and-after. I've never seen anything quite as cool, at least involving golf courses, and it really shows what course architect Martin Ebert and his team were thinking as they came up with their changes. You can see it at the bottom of this page, and I encourage you to take a look if you love these classic Scottish courses as much as I do.
Here's the short version of the renovation plan: The Ailsa Course will close in September – after it hosts the Women's British Open this summer – and then undergo a $300 million makeover that will include building or rebuilding five holes and nine greens, and resurfacing the other nine greens.
Without doubt, the most controversial change will be to the oceanfront par-4 ninth hole, which will be converted to a long par 3 that eliminates its hog's-back fairway and relocates the entire hole closer to the beloved lighthouse that stars in so many photos and videos. The new par 3 will measure 235 yards – and call for a 200-yard carry from the championship tees, while the lighthouse will be renovated and turned into a halfway house. 
Several other seaside holes will be pushed more into the dunes and closer to the water, and the course's maximum length will be stretched to 7,450 yards. Par will remain 70, with the renovated layout including three par 3s and three par 5s.
All the changes are being made in consultation with the R&A, Eric Trump said at the unveiling, with the hopes of landing the British Open again. The Ailsa Course – most famous for the "Duel in the Sun" between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson in 1977 – last hosted the Open in 2009, when Stewart Cink famously edged Tom Watson in a playoff.
The soonest slot likely to be available for Turnberry, which also hosted the Open in 1986 (Greg Norman won) and 1994 (Nick Price triumphed) is 2021.
Take a look at the video and tell us what you think: