Golf Buzz

March 19, 2015 - 2:21pm
mark.aumann's picture
PGA of America
USA Today Images
Wind can be a help and a hindrance on the golf course.

If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, there's still a lot of ferocity from Mother Nature with one week to go before spring officially rolls in.

Consider Thursday's weather at the European Tour stop on the Madiera Islands. The wind -- clocked steadily at over 35 miles an hour and gusting as high as 47 mph -- forced tournament officials to postpone the round before it began and shorten the tournament to 54 holes.

How windy was it? At one point, tournament officials placed a golf ball on one of the greens and the wind actually pushed the ball some three feet into the hole.

BROKEN CLUBS: What's allowed under the rules?

And that brings up an interesting rule situation: We asked PGA Rules of Golf Vice Chairman, Mr. Chip Essig, to explain how you'd interpret the rules if this actually happened to you or someone in your group on an extremely windy day.

"Decision 18-1/12 in the Decisions on the Rules of Golf book states that wind is not an outside agency and if wind causes your ball to move, you should play the ball from its new position," Essig said. "If the wind blows the ball into the hole, the player would be deem to have holed out with his last stroke."

But what if you've marked the ball, then set it back down and the wind rolls it away from that spot? Are you required to return it to the original spot? Not according to the Rules.

"Decision 20-3d/1 states that even a ball that has been replaced on the green, if at rest on the spot which it was placed before it starts rolling, would be played from the new location if the wind caused it to move," Essig said. "However, the ball might be blown out of bounds instead of into the hole and the player’s ball would be deemed to lie out of bounds."

PLAYING LESSONS: Five tips to conquer the wind

To sum up, if wind moves your ball without outside influences, you must play the next stroke from the point where it eventually stops. If that happens to be in the hole, like in the video, that's tremendously good fortune. If it happens to roll off farther from the hole, or even off the green into a hazard, that's just tough luck.

 

 

Categories: Don Essig IV, PGA
March 19, 2015 - 11:15am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Brandt Snedeker
YouTube
Even when you're on the PGA Tour, it's better to be lucky than good sometimes. Just ask Brandt Snedeker.

In golf, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good -- even on the PGA Tour.

Brandt Snedeker can attest to that after hitting a terrible approach shot at Bay Hill on Thursday and ending up with a par.

You could tell Snedeker was disgusted with his approach at the par-4 18th hole immediately after hit left the clubface. He waited for it to splash in the water that guards the green.

RELATED: Bay Hill leaderboard | Auclair's 5 players to watch

Instead, the ball bounced off the rocks on the water's edge twice and rolled up to within 6 feet of the hole.

As you can see in the video below, all Snedeker and playing partners Billy Horschel and Henrik Stenson could do is laugh:

 

March 19, 2015 - 9:48am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Madeira Islands Open
European Tour Instagram
Wind ruled the day on Thursday at the European Tour's Madeira Islands Open in Portugal, as evidenced by this incredible video.

Play was halted before it even began in the first round of the European Tour's Madeira Islands Open in Portugal on Thursday due to severe weather conditions.

It wasn't because of pouring rain and lightening, however.

RELATED: Playing in the wind | Driving tee shots into the wind

While glorious blue skies splashed Clube de Golf do Santo da Serr, the wind was out of control -- just howling.

It was so strong in fact, that the European Tour posted this video on Instagram that shows a ball sitting still on a green suddenly blow three feet into the hole:

 

The wind just holed this putt at the #MadeiraIslandsOpen to take the outright lead at the weather affected tournament.

A video posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on

 

How crazy is that?

Ecco Fred Couples 1992 Masters golf shoes
Courtesy of Ecco Golf
Ecco has created 1,992 pairs of a special golf shoe in honor of Fred Couples' victory in the 1992 Masters.
 
Fred Couples has worn Ecco golf shoes for a few years now, and even has a model named after him. At the Masters next month, though, he'll be sporting a new shoe – and a few of us will be able to wear them as well.
 
Ecco has created 1,992 pairs – of the "Fred Couples Signature Edition 1992" in honor of Couples' victory in the 1992 Masters – for sale to the public. A version of the company's Casual Hybrid shoes, these Couples commemoratives are green and white and feature Freddie's laser-engraved signature on the heels.
 
 
The shoe, which Couples co-designed, is built on Ecco's E-DTS outsole, which features 100 molded traction bars in the sole to provide plenty of grip. It also has a premium leather upper, is waterproof and, like all Ecco shoes, is constructed with a direct-injection process that bonds the outsole to the upper without needing glue or stitching.
 
They'll carry a suggested retail price of $200 per pair, and will be available in time for the Masters. More info will be available soon on the Ecco USA site.
Trump International Golf Links
Trump Organization
Six holes of the proposed MacLeod Course at the Trump International Golf Links would run through coastal dunes, like many of the holes on the resort's original course.
 
After a pause of about two years, Donald Trump has formally submitted his request to expand his Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen, Scotland. The ambitious plan – does The Donald ever make plans that aren't ambitious? – calls for the creation of a second golf course along with, among other things, a large banquet hall and ballroom.
 
"I consider what we've created at Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire to be one of my greatest achievements," Trump said on Wednesday. "We have incredible plans to further develop the site, and along with my investment at Turnberry, my commitment to Scotland is stronger than ever."
 
The second course at the billion-dollar resort will be known as the MacLeod Course, in honor of Trump's mother, Mary MacLeod, who was born in Scotland. Trump first revealed his plans for the course back in 2013, but held off while he pursued other golf projects and kept his eye on a proposal for an offshore wind farm in nearby Aberdeen Bay. Scottish officials say the wind farm – which could be seen from the resort – is still in the works but, The Scotsman said, Trump no longer believes it will be built.
 
The MacLeod Course was designed by course architect Martin Hawtree, who also designed the resort's Championship Course, which opened in July of 2012.  Six of the 18 holes on the new course will run through the coastal dune system where most of the main course lies, according to The Scotsman newspaper. The rest will ramble through agricultural land that is inland and south of the main course.
 
 
"This will be a golf course for all, ranging in difficulty and challenge depending on which of the four or five tee positions is selected, spanning a range of lengths up to 7,400 yards," Hawtree said when the course was first announced. "Fairways will be generous in width but tighter where the longer player will be challenged with bunkers, dunes and rough. 
 
"The rough will be a particular feature of the course, changing in character through the course from wild meadows in the arable parts of the site, through wetlands in the central areas, to marram roughs in the southern dunes, and heathland vegetation in the areas immediately to the back of the sand dunes."
 
Also in the application Trump announced Wednesday are plans for a 400-plus capacity ballroom and banquet hall, with additional hotel accommodation and leisure facilities at the 19-bedroom MacLeod House and Lodge and a 30-bedroom staff residence. A large clubhouse, previously announced, is scheduled to be finished in May.
 
And where Trump's original proposal met with some resistance – largely because of concern over the environmentally sensitive coastal dunes – the announcement of this second phase is garnering almost unanimous approval.
 
"The significance of a major international investor looking beyond short-term issues and adopting a long-term view should not be underestimated in terms of the fillip it provides to the North East of Scotland and its economy," said Ian Armstrong, Regional Director for the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. "At a time when there are some economic clouds on the horizon, the announcement of the plans by The Trump Organization for further substantial investment in their site at Menie is a great boost to the region."
 
March 18, 2015 - 9:05am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
The Preserve
The Preserve
PGA Professional Troy Pare was looking for a way to get the word out on Rhode Island's Preserve. What he came up with was a tournament -- The Preserve Open, the Greatest Day in Golf -- offering over $20 million in cash and prizes.

In these tough economic times for golf clubs across the country, it's important to explore ideas that might have one time been considered outside the box.

One club in Wyoming, R.I. – The Preserve – is doing just that, thanks largely to the brainstorming of its new Director of Operations, Troy Pare.

Pare, a successful PGA Professional who played in the 2010 PGA Championship by virtue of his fifth-place finish in the PGA Professional National Championship, helped develop the idea for a “first of its kind,” tournament. It’s called The Preserve Open presented by Benrus – The Greatest Day in Golf.

Open to men, women, juniors, professionals and amateurs, no matter the handicap, The Preserve Open is an 18-hole, par-3 event scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015, offering – get this – over $20 million in cash and prizes.

[wide_search_instructor]The Preserve is a 9-hole, par-34 course, that can also be played as an 18-hole par-3 course (which it will play for The Preserve Open), with hole-in-one prizes of $1 million on each.

"It's a ground-breaking golf tournament -- a term that's hard to use in today's game," Pare said. "We have created an 'Open' golf tournament that actually allows every golfer to compete on the same course with absolutely no handicap restrictions.”

Formerly the head professional at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I., Pare helped organize the world-renowned Northeast Amateur, which has crowned champions such as Ben Crenshaw, Scott Hoch, John Cook, Hal Sutton, David Duval, Jonathan Byrd, Luke Donald and Dustin Johnson. It also hosted the 1931 PGA Championship won by Tom Creavy and will host the 2016 Junior PGA Championship.

Pare wanted to do something unique to kick off his first season at The Preserve, a site that also has fly-fishing, bird-hunting, zip-lining, tennis and more.

"Clubs nowadays need to trust their PGA Professionals and what they can accomplish," Pare said. "We bring great value and insight in how to be successful."

The idea for The Preserve Open started small. Bruce Vittner, a local golf writer and long-time member of the Golf Writers Association of America, suggested a Pro-Am event to bring awareness to the facility.

Pare and his team wanted to have the Rhode Island Golf Association (RIGA) involved, as well as including the PGA presence, something he was able to accomplish by reaching out to contacts and friends he’s established through the years at the New England PGA Section.

“Our event quickly went from a simple pro-am to a $20 million cash and prize event in about five weeks,” said Pare, who has been a six-year member of the NEPGA Board of Governors and a seven-year member of the tournament committee.

The Preserve Open is expected to offer the richest purse in New England outside of region's PGA Tour events -- The Travelers Championship and the Deutsche Bank Championship -- with over $100,000 guaranteed.

“It will also be televised on the New England Sports Network (NESN),” he said. “Amateurs have a chance to make money without losing their amateur status, too. In the qualifiers (which we have 5 of them), amateurs who make a hole-in-one on any hole will win $10,000. In the finals, the amateurs who get a hole-in-one on any hole will win $1 million."

What has also made this event appealing to nearby PGA Sections, such as the Met Section, is the timing. "The Greatest Day in Golf" will be played just 10 days before the start of the 2015 PGA Professional National Championship at The Cricket Club in Philadelphia.

"It makes sense for them to play and get ready for the PNC,” Pare said. “And they don't have to take much time out of their schedule to play. So we will attract many, many of those players."

For more information on "The Greatest Day in Golf -- The Preserve Open" visit www.thepreserveopen.com

Categories: Troy S Pare, PGA