Golf Buzz

April 3, 2013 - 10:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Getty Images
A ticket to the Masters is going to cost you.


In a recent story filed by Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Dan Groob, something you probably already knew was confirmed: short of the Ryder Cup, a ticket to the Masters is the most cherished in golf.
As if a ticket to the Masters weren't already appealing enough, consider the start that Tiger Woods has had to the 2013 season. In four PGA Tour starts, the 14-time major champion has collected three victories.
Woods, a winner of four Masters Tournaments, last slipped into a green jacket in 2005 and is a big-time favorite to grab his fifth green jacket next week.
Groob writes:
Compounding the effect of Woods’ resurgence on Masters ticket prices is the fact that Augusta National is golf’s most storied course, and The Masters golf’s most storied event. This year, a single-day pass for any of the four days of tournament play will run no less than $1,215, and that would be for a pass to Friday’s round. Comparatively, the average single-day passes for this year’s U.S. Open range from $182 to $295, depending on the day. The PGA Championship checks in between $203 and $234. All other days of Masters play run over $1,000...
For the tournament itself, a four-day badge will run a whopping $4,486 dollars, but is certainly less expensive than purchasing tickets for each day of the tournament. 
Tournament ticket prices check in as follows:
Practice Rounds:
Monday $403/$362
Tuesday $529/464
Wednesday $1,118/$833
Tournament Rounds:
Four-Day Badge: $4,486
Thursday $1,786/$1,282
Friday $1,215/$955
Saturday $1,397/$1,063
Sunday $1,226/$1,068
Believe it or not, as high as those prices may seem, a trip to the Masters is worth every penny.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
April 3, 2013 - 10:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Mizuno JPX
Mizuno Golf
The new Mizuno JPX game-improvement irons were built to help the Average Joe play like a pro.


Mizuno has long been a brand name associated with only the most elite golfers. 
Though that may be the perception, it's not actually true. With its new campaign dubbed, "Play Famously," Mizuno sets out to prove just that. 
Here is the email that was sent to me describing the campaign:
Mizuno Golf -- world renowned iron manufacturer and global leader in golf technology and innovation -- announced the Play Famously campaign which will add “average Joe” golfers to its stable of PGA pros, including world No. 4 Luke Donald, Charles Howell III, Jonathan Byrd and 2012 Rolex LPGA Player of the year, Stacy Lewis. The campaign aims to build the company’s momentum in the game-improvement category by championing the legions of “amateur” golfers who are supporting the golf industry through their passion for the game and meticulous quest to improve.
An absolutely average player sporting a 16 index, Lee Baughman from Pittsburgh, Pa. was announced the first member of “Team JPX.”  The 12-man “game-improvement” roster will be filled with everyday golfers who will be treated as famously as Mizuno pros. 
If the name Baughman doesn’t ring a bell, it shouldn’t; you didn’t miss him during last Sunday’s final round of the PGA Tournament or even on the Tour. He possesses arguably no legitimate strengths, but Mizuno will supply him and 11 other “Team JPX” members with the JPX-825 game-improvement irons and the other necessary tools to elevate his game and “play famously” with the help of Mizuno’s superior design and performance.
In addition to being swaged out like the pros with Mizuno irons, drivers, woods and apparel, “Team JPX” will receive tips and instruction from PGA Master Instructor Dr. Gary Wiren.  Additionally, each member of the team will receive the chance to compete in September’s inaugural “JPX Invitational” at Country Club of the South in Atlanta.
To kick-off the “Play Famously” campaign, Mizuno, Luke Donald and the Mizuno Golf team welcomed Lee Baughman as the latest member of their crew during a press conference.   
I love the idea of this campaign -- it's a lot of fun.
To get all the details for this campaign, click here to visit the Mizuno Golf Play Famously page.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
April 3, 2013 - 9:38am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
The police car that got Rory McIlroy to Medinah just in time for his final-day tee time at the 2012 Ryder Cup is now up for auction on eBay.


Remember that time when Rory McIlroy nearly missed his tee time for the Sunday's singles match at Medinah in the 2012 Ryder Cup against Keegan Bradley because he somehow forgot that he was in the Central Time Zone?
Luckily for McIlroy and his European teammates who made a record-tying comeback that afternoon, a police escort got McIlroy to the course just in time.
Well now, the Lombard Crown Vic Police Car that got McIlroy to Medinah could be yours!
Believe it or not, the car is available on eBay. The description reads as follows:
You are bidding on the unmarked Village of Lombard police car that was used to rush pro golfer Rory McIlroy to the Ryder Cup. Rory was staying at the Westin hotel in Lombard, IL and had thought his tee off time was an hour later than it actually was on the final day of the Ryder Cup being held at Medinah Country Club. Lombard’s Deputy Police Chief Pat Rollins used this car to rush McIlroy to the tournament with only minutes to spare. The Europeans went on to win the tournament largely due to McIlroy’s play. Don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of sports history not to mention a darn fine automobile. Vehicle is in good running condition with only 88,900 miles on it!
The eBay listing includes a link to the video footage of McIlroy arriving to the course in the car (which you can watch here), as well as a link to the Daily Herald story about the incident and the eBay listing (which you can read here).
The auction closes on April 8. At the time of this posting, the leading bid was $3,050.00.
I'm all for unique sports items, but I'm not sure where you would put this thing.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
April 2, 2013 - 3:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Steve Kroft and Pete Dye
Courtesy of 60 Minutes Sports
'60 Minutes' correspondent Steve Kroft caught up with course architect extraordinaire Pete Dye at Harbour Town.

I suspect we're all familiar with the ''Real Sports'' program that's a long-running staple on HBO.

Recently, HBO rival Showtime has gotten into the act with a program called ''60 Minutes Sports'' that is, as its name suggests, a sports magazine show based on ''60 Minutes'' and produced by the ''60 Minutes'' production group.

The fourth episode of this program debuts on Wednesday, and will feature a segment on golf course designer Pete Dye.

''In golf circles, the name Pete Dye is synonymous with difficult,'' says a promo. ''Steve Kroft tells his story and shoots a round with the legendary Dye, who still plays so well, he can score below his age.''

I don't know what kind of golfer Kroft is, but he's one of ''60 Minutes''' better news correspondents, so I have high hopes that this segment might really give us an insight into Dye and his outlook on golf and the golf course industry at this stage of his career.

The program with Dye also includes segments on soccer star Lionel Messi, the under-new-ownership Los Angeles Dodgers and ESPN’s Chris Berman – why am I not surprised to see that he has a George Costanza-like overstuffed wallet. The show debuts at 9:00 p.m. ET on April 3 and repeats frequently.

To see a brief preview, click here.

And to read an excellent column by our own Steve Eubanks on his recent chat with Dye down at Casa de Campo, click here.

April 2, 2013 - 12:30pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
Did you ever think you'd see a hovercraft golf cart? Now you have.


Well, there's nothing I can write here in this space that would do justice to the video.
I want one.
While we do have some "day after April Fools" skepticism, it seems like this could actually be real.. we think.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
April 1, 2013 - 10:39pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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D.A. Points at the Shell Houston Open
Getty Images
D.A. Points' victory in Houston came with what can only be described as a mixed bag of equipment.

If you're a major golf equipment company, the Shell Houston Open surely left you with mixed feelings.

D.A. Points waited out a long rain delay Sunday afternoon, then grinded out a one-shot victory that also earned him a spot in the Masters. In his bag was a mix of clubs from TaylorMade and Ping – but most of those clubs were several years old.

Anyone who watched the tournament on TV heard the story of how Points borrowed an old Ping Anser putter from his mother. That putter, Points said, has been in his garage since about 2005. And that's just the beginning of the story of his equipment mix.

--His driver is a TaylorMade R11S. TaylorMade still lists it as a current model, though the R1 and RBZ models are newer. And if you go to the TaylorMade site, you can buy the R11S for $100 off and the R11S TP model for $200 off.

--His 3-wood is a TaylorMade Burner, which was popular four or five years ago but is now out of production. The current model is the Burner SuperFast 2.0.

--One hybrid is a TaylorMade Rescue 11, which is a 2011 model.

--Another hybrid is a Ping G10, which has been discontinued.

--His iron set consists of Ping i5 clubs, which are also out of production.

--His wedges are Ping Tour models with Gorge grooves, which are brand new.

A couple of observations:

--First, good for Points for sticking with clubs he likes and trusts.

--Second, TaylorMade and Ping might not get a lot of marketing mileage out of Points' victory with all those older clubs. On the flip side, Points proved that these clubs, though most are several years old, are still darn good.

We all get bombarded each year with marketing claims that the newest clubs are the greatest ever made – and they probably are. But that doesn't mean their predecessors are obsolete. In fact, all the big club companies have been making excellent product for years – unlike, for instance, all the major car companies.

So while there's no denying the appeal of golf's new products, everyday golfers like you and me should feel good that our couple-of-years-old sticks are still plenty good and that we shouldn't feel pressured to upgrade until we're good and ready. So if you're truly in the market for the latest and greatest, go right ahead and buy whatever your heart desires (and make sure you get a proper clubfitting from a PGA Professional to get the most out of your new gear).

But if what you have is working for you, then why mess with success?

Besides, playing his tried-and-true equipment was just one of Points' keys to success. He also worked diligently with PGA instructor Gary Gilchrist on restoring his balance and power last week, and got a special putting lesson from Lamar University golf coach Brian White.

So remember, the key to improving your game is part equipment and part instruction – and part timing.

To see a photo gallery of Points' winning clubs, click here. And to see this week’s edition of What’s in the Winners’ Bags, click here.