Golf Buzz

October 16, 2013 - 10:41pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Yasiel Puig
Getty Images
Yasiel Puig's triple provoked a Twitter-to-TV discussion about unwritten rules in baseball and golf.

The Detroit Tigers were comfortably ahead of the Boston Red Sox late in Game 4 of the American League Division Series Wednesday night – no doubt to the consternation of my New England-based colleague T.J. Auclair – when Fox analyst Tim McCarver brought golf into the conversation.

McCarver referenced a tweet that Hunter Mahan sent out during the National League playoff game on Tuesday that said: ''If players are so upset at Puig celebrating a triple or clutch hits then get him out. I'm tired of hearing about baseball's unwritten rules.''

 

 

Mahan was referring to an incident in the Los Angeles Dodgers-St. Louis Cardinals game in which Dodger rookie Yasiel Puig reacted with his usual exuberance to a triple, prompting some fans to wonder whether the Cardinals ought to plunk him in retaliation.

RELATED: THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF GOLF

But Mahan's tweet got McCarver – or at least McCarver's producers – thinking about a retort. What they came up with were their own suggestions for poking holes in some of golf's unwritten rules. I'm paraphrasing them, but here they are:

--Let the pros wear shorts in 110-degree weather.

--Talk anytime your opponent is hitting, and talk loudly.

--Step on your opponent’s putting line.

--Drive into the foursome in front of you.

RELATED: READERS GIVE US MORE UNWRITTEN RULES OF GOLF

As McCarver's announcing partner Joe Buck noted, it's actually a written rule that PGA Tour players must wear long pants, though of course caddies have the right to wear shorts on hot days. As for the others, well, to me they're more recommendations to be rude than anything else.

As the baseball game moved along, McCarver noted that, though he didn't know Mahan, ''he would get a kick out of something like that if he has a sense of humor, and I assume he does.''

Mahan, of course, seemed please that  his tweet was noticed.

 

 

 

 

Anyone who's seen a Golf Boys video – or even Mahan's Ping commercials with Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood – knows that Mahan indeed has a sense of humor. I'm not sure, however, that this little baseball interlude would give him much of a chuckle. 

 

October 16, 2013 - 3:26pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Graham DeLaet
Getty Images
Canada's Graham DeLaet is developing into quite the player.

Viva, Las Vegas! The PGA Tour is in Sin City this week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open -- the second event of this new 2013-2014 wraparound schedule.

One year ago, Ryan Moore picked up the second PGA Tour victory of his career at TPC Summerlin and his first since winning the Wyndham Championship in 2009. It was an extra special win for Moore, who graduated from nearby UNLV in 2005.

SCORES: Follow the Shriners Hospital for Children leaderboard on PGA.com

If there's one thing we've learned after years of watching tournaments at TPC Summerlin it's this: you'd better go low. The winning score is routinely 20 under or better. Like seeing boatloads of birdies and eagles? Then this is the tournament for you.

With that, here are five players to watch this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open:

5. Ryan Moore
Best finish in 2013: Fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Reason to watch: For starters, Moore is the defending champion. After a so-so 2013 season that included three top-10 finishes, you've got to think Moore is excited about the good vibes that come with playing on a course where he's comfortable and has had success. That's exactly what he gets at TPC Summerlin. Also expect Moore to be extra fresh this week. His last start was in the middle of September -- a tie for 11th at The Barclays.

4. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2013: Winner of the BMW Championship
Reason to watch: In his eight starts since a playoff loss at the John Deere Classic, Johnson has finished outside of the top 8 just once. That's insane. Eight top-10 finishes in all of 2013, including the win at BMW Championship, that runner-up showing at John Deere and a third-place finish at Colonial. Johnson was also on the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team. When he's putting well, few in the world are better than Johnson. On a course that demands birdies, it means you're going to have to make a lot of puts. Johnson fits the bill.

READ: Players earn Tour cards, need tournaments to play

3. Hideki Matsuyama
Best finish in 2013: T6 at the Open Championship
Reason to watch: I was expecting a Presidents Cup hangover to impact Matsuyama last week at the Frys.com Open. Instead, he played the final three rounds like this: 66-68-66 to finish in a tie for third -- his best career finish on the PGA Tour. That final round 66 was extra special, as Matsuyama birdied each of the final three holes. Many are expecting big things from Matsuyama in the 2013-2014 season -- most of all, Matsuyama himself.
UPDATE: Matsuyama withdrew from the tournament Thursday morning before his Round 1 tee time due to illness.

2. Brendon de Jonge
Best finish in 2013: T6 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Reason to watch: OK, on paper, de Jonge's 2013 stats don't exactly jump out and make you say, "Wow!" He had four top-10 finishes in 30 starts, but did play well enough at the end of the season to make it through to the Tour Championship. There's something to be said for that. The reason I think you need to watch out for de Jonge is this -- 2013 International team Presidents Cup captain and fellow Zimbabwean Nick Price thought enough of de Jonge's game to use a captain's pick on him. Do you know what something like that can do for a person's career? Greg Norman did the same thing to Adam Scott in the 2011 Presidents Cup. Two years later, Scott won the Masters. Are we saying there's a major in de Jonge's near future? Not necessarily. All we're saying is that these guys have big-time belief in themselves. But, when someone of Price's ilk thinks so highly of your game too, well, that's got to be a shot in the arm.

1. Graham DeLaet
Best finish in 2013: T2 at The Barclays
Reason to watch: DeLaet could be the biggest golf star to come out of Canada since former Master champ Mike Weir. DeLaet is intense and has a big game. In an otherwise forgettable Presidents Cup showing for the International team a few weeks ago, DeLaet was one of the few shining stars. He went 3-1-1 in his rookie appearance. That included a spectacular singles win over another young star -- Jordan Spieth -- where DeLaet holed out from a bunker on No. 18 at Muirfield Village for the win. In 2013, DeLaet racked up seven top 10s in 26 starts, making the cut 21 times. Like we said last week with Jimmy Walker, it seems as though it's only a matter of time before DeLaet collects that maiden Tour win. Could this be the week?

Here's video of that final-hole bunker shot from DeLaet at the Presidents Cup:

 

 

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

Categories: TPC Summerlin
October 15, 2013 - 10:45pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Cobra Baffler XL driver
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
The Cobra Baffler XL driver's high-MOI sole combines with the offset design to helping to correct slices, increase stability and maintain distance on off-center hits.

It's a little hard to believe that Cobra Golf's Baffler line of clubs is 40 years old. To mark the occasion, Cobra is extending its Baffler brand with the new Baffler XL driver, along with Baffler XL fairway clubs, hybrids, irons and even a combo set. 

The new clubs all fall into the game-improvement category, and an offset design runs throughout the set to help correct slices. In addition, pronounced sole rails – a longtime staple of Cobra's Baffler offerings – on the XL fairways, hybrids and irons makes it easier to get the ball up in the air.

Where does the XL in the name come from? For starters, the XL driver features Cobra's largest face design ever.

''We increased the effective face area, lowered the CG [Center of Gravity] and designed our largest driver face ever to deliver an easy-to-hit driver,'' said Vice President of Research & Development Tom Preece. ''The Baffler XL driver is an easy to hit driver packed with technology to hit it far and straight.”

The Baffler XL driver has a 5,000-square millimeter face (17 percent larger than the AMP Cell Offset driver) in addition to a 21 percent increase in effective face area. More of the face is located above the Center of Gravity to help optimize spin and provide a more distance and a more consistent launch. 

The larger face also creates an enhanced trampoline effect, giving the golfer more consistency with hits across the face. And a new high-MOI sole combines with the offset design to helping to correct slices, increase stability and maintain distance on off-center hits. 

The Baffler XL driver features a Legion Blue cosmetic that is found throughout the new Baffler XL product line. The driver, fairways, hybrids and combo set also are available in women's models in Purple Pearl with Dahlia Purple accents.

The new driver is available in 9.5-, 10.5- and 11.5-degree lofts, in Stiff (65 gram low torque/mid kick), Regular (55 gram mid torque/mid kick) or Lite (55 gram mid torque/mid kick) flexes in right-handed models. Left-handed models are available in a 10.5-degree loft in Stiff, Regular or Lite flex. All models come stock with a Cobra Lamkin REL EPDM Reminder Grip.

The Baffler XL product line will be available at retail on Nov. 15. The driver carries a suggested retail price of $249, while the fairway clubs carry a suggested retail price of $179 and the hybrids carry a $159 suggested retail price. The combo set carries a suggested retail price of $599 for steel shafts and $699 for graphite shafts, and the iron set carries a suggested retail price of $499 with steel shafts and $599 with graphite shafts.

 

October 15, 2013 - 6:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
3 Up Golf
3 Up Golf
For every dozen golf balls sold, 3 Up Golf donates $3 to a charitable cause.

In April of 2012, a man by the name of Rob Zimmerman suffered a mild heart attack from a severe arterial blockage.

The Nashua, N.H., resident survived. And, what Zimmerman did next might surprise you. With a new lease life, the certified golf-aholic, who plays to a 2-handicap and enjoys competing in amateur events, launched a company called 3 Up Golf with his wife, Danielle.

While it offers some accessories, 3 UP Golf's primary product is a golf ball -- the 3F12. Can you think of a golf ball on the market today that's not made by a huge corporation?

We didn't think so.

But Zimmerman's vision wasn't simply to create a golf product. He wanted to merge his love of the game and desire to grow the game with helping others after his big health scare. That's why 3 Up Golf is actually a vehicle that drives charitable contributions to golf-related charities.

To that end, every dozen balls sold equates to $3 going directly to a charity, which 3 Up Golf has built into its cost structure. Every time the company reaches a 333rd dozen sold, the Zimmermans write out a check for $1,000 to the current charity that's on their radar -- causes like cancer research, junior golf programs, golf environmental charities, military support and children's hospitals.

Here's how the witty Zimmerman describes his plan, which he calls, "Rob's simple guide to making golf balls for fun and profit":

1. Create a product that he'd be proud to put his name on
2. Charge a reasonable price
3. Pay 3 Up's bills from step 2
4. Give the rest back to charity
5. Create an even better product and repeat!

We are all so fortunate to be able to play golf. I'm sure a lot of you out there feel the same way that I do and personally give back to charities that are near and dear to your heart. I want 3 Up to be a brand you can be proud to purchase from not only for our high quality products but for what we do above and beyond our product offerings.

With that kind of plan, Zimmerman has created a golf ball that not only can you feel good about purchasing, but one you ultimately won't feel bad about inevitably losing on the golf course. It's a win-win!

Or, as Zimmerman eloquently puts it, "So the next time you hit a 3F12 into a pond, just remember you donated 25 cents to charity! Losing balls isn't so bad now, is it?"

And about the golf ball -- the 3F12 is a premium 3-piece golf ball built for the amateur golfer who doesn't want to compromise distance or feel. Zimmerman started from the putting green and worked his way backwards to the tee to create a great sense of feel to help your performance.

In this video, Zimmerman describes the 3F12 ball:

 

 

Here are the details on the ball:

- Cast Urethane cover provides maximum spin and feel
- Ionomer mantle layer
- Polybutadiene core for maximum distance off the tee, regardless of your swing speed
- 318 dimple count
- Player preferred alignment aid
- Conforms with USGA rules

As if all that weren't enough, the Zimmermans also include a special and useful packaging. Instead of the standard box, each dozen of 3 Up Golf balls comes in a pouch -- one you can use as a valuables pouch for your watch, wallet and phone. Also in the pouch are a few branded accessories, which Zimmerman calls, "our thank you for joining the 3 Up family."

A dozen of the 3F12 golf balls retail for $39.99.

To learn more, visit www.3upgolf.com. You can also find 3 Up on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, @3upgolf.

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

 

October 15, 2013 - 5:22am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Garmin S4
Garmin
The S4 is the latest golf watch GPS offering as part of the Garmin Approach Series.

Garmin, a global leader in satellite navigation, announced today a new addition to its Approach Series golf watch with the S4.

The Approach S4 has a high-res touchscreen display that is sunlight readable and offers a dedicated Green View button. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery can last for up to 10 hours in golf mode. The S4 comes preloaded with more than 30,000 international courses (Currently, there are no golf courses available in Asia for Approach S-series devices sold outside of Asia) with free lifetime course updates. That means no additional fees or subscriptions.

The Approach S4 also has Smart Notification technology when paired with a compatible Apple smartphone, allowing the watch to wirelessly receive information from the phone’s notification center such as emails and text messages, so golfers can leave their phones in their bags while on the course.

Here's a video with an in-depth look at the S4:

 

 

Like other Garmin Golf GPS devices, the S4 gives precise distances to the front, middle and back of the green, and incorporates layup, dogleg and shot distances all while keeping score and tracking statistics on the digital scorecard. While the Approach S4 is useful on the golf course, it's also stylish enough to serve as your everyday wristwatch.

"The Approach S4 is the natural evolution of wearable golf technology," said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. "The hi-res touchscreen display makes it easier than ever for golfers to stay on top of their game, and the Smart Notification functionality allows them to stay connected while on the course. Plus, the extended battery life allows for a full weekend of golf on one charge. The Approach S4 will give golfers a competitive edge on the course, but the sleek form factor and smart watch technology makes it appropriate for everyday wear."

The Approach S4 will be available in Fall 2013, and will retail for $349.99. It will be available at specialty golf retailers and golf course pro shops. The Approach S4 is the latest addition to Garmin’s outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users' outdoor experiences.

For more information about Garmin’s other outdoor products and services, go to www.garmin.com/sports and www.facebook.com/garmin.

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

October 14, 2013 - 10:45pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Zach Johnson in math problem
Austin Adams via Twitter
Does Zach Johnson's 2007 Masters victory compute? Use the Law of Syllogism to figure it out.

How do you know when you've made it – finally become a big-time celebrity?

For Zach Johnson, he figures he's made it because he's become the subject of a problem in a high-school math textbook.

Zach got a tweet from a student named Austin Adams on Monday telling him that ''my math textbook showing you some love!''

In case you can't read the print in the photo above, the challenge is this:

''Zach Johnson won the Masters Tournament in 2007. Use the Law of Syllogism to draw a valid conclusion from each set of statements, if possible, If no valid conclusion can be drawn, write 'no valid conclusion' and explain your reasoning.''

1. If Zach Johnson's score is lower than the other golfers at the end of the tournament, then he wins the tournament.

2. If a golfer wins the Masters Tournament, then he gets a green jacket.

So, does Zach's Masters victory add up? It's been a real long time since I took algebra and geometry, but in simple terms the Law of Syllogism involves deductive reasoning – or as we used to call them, ''if/then'' exercises. Specifically, if you know that the first part of a statement is true, then the second part also is true.

In this case, we know that Zach's score at the 2007 Masters was lower than his competitors, so he won the tournament. And because he won the tournament, he got a green jacket. So, the correct answer is: Zach Johnson won the Masters, so he got a green jacket.

So there you go, Adam. Thanks for sharing – and now that this assignment is done, get on that history.