Golf Buzz

February 27, 2014 - 4:58pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer's picture
Phil Mickelson offers a thumbs up
Courtesy USA Today
Phil Mickelson's "thumbs up" gesture quickly became one of the most iconic images of 2013.

Hey, are you guys excited about this weekend's Academy Awards? Nope, me neither.

I get that the Oscars is kind of important in the entertainment world, but when there seems to be some awards show celebrating the exact same thing seemingly every week - well, the shine is off the gold statuette.

Unless....what if someone came up with an awards show celebrating the things people actually are interested in. You know, like GOLF. It wouldn't be the best players (hey, we have majors for that!) or even the best coverage, but the things that you remember and enjoy that happen on a week to week basis. The things that aren't celebrated like they should be. We could call them the "Kimmys" and they would be the industry standard (or at least, in my mind.) No, there'd be no prize for the winners....but on their deathbed, they'd receive total consciousness. So they'd have that going for them...which is nice.

READ: Story behind the famous "Tin Cup" hole and golf course

Anyways ... let's do it. With a super secret committee of one judging, here are this year's Kimmy winners.

Best putt by a non-golfer: Patrick Burch, the Auburn fan who made a 90 footer to win a car. Burch, attending his first basketball game, is randomly selected from the crowd. He's not a golfer, didn't even think he could hit the large board on the other end of the floor, and well....

Best golf shot by an animal: The anonymous man, who was dressed as a dog, when he hit the shot to win a new Toyota. Yeah, you read that right. There was a little controversy as to whether he'd get the car, but ultimately, it was resolved in his favor. You know, every dog has his day type stuff. 

Best "going for a run" on a golf course: Kimberly Webster, you may know her as the Presidents Cup streaker. I'm not linking to the story or any image. But you can use Google if you want. (By the way, streaking is bad. Don't do this. But congrats on the "Kimmy")

Best disappearing act on a golf course: Mark Mihal, who didn't duck behind a tree, or go into the clubhouse at the turn to never come back. Nope, Mihal fell into a sinkhole while playing. "And like that, poof, he's gone."

Best flash of a finger on the golf course: Phil Mickelson. I probably get a few different fingers flashed at me from time to time, but Phil's "Thumbs Up" sign became iconic symbol of his very popular win at the sport's oldest major.




Best Dufnering pose: PGA Officers at the PGA Championship. I'm not saying seeing the PGA leadership having some fun with the Dufnering phenomena had anything to do with him winning the PGA Championship....I'm just not saying it didn't.



Best Caddie Read: Steve Williams. In the first playoff hole of the 2013 Masters, Williams was asked by his boss - Adam Scott - to take a look at the critical birdie putt. Williams saw it, disagreed with Scott's assessment and won the pace and line debate. Scott then makes the putt and claims Australia's first green jacket.

Worst Caddie Read: 18-way tie from a certain caddie of mine at a certain course that I'm not going to name. He knows who he is. #StillBitter

Best way to turn pro: Lydia Ko's round of golf with famous New Zealand rugby player "Izzy" Dagg culminates in her official (and fun) announcement that she's ready to turn professional.  

Best ad and worst tv golf ad: Mike's golf shop. Really. Best and worst. 30 seconds of awesomeness - and awfulness.

Best tweet announcing we're not open: Pinehurst Resort shares the famous Payne Stewart statue to create some Tweet magic on a day when there'd be no golf taking place on No. 2.



Best day for double eagles: Jan 10th, 2014. That's the day - literally a world apart - Joost Luiten, playing in South Africa, and James Hahn, playing in Hawaii, both recorded the ultra-rare albatross. Better yet, both were caught on film.

Best two-hole stretch of golf: Jim Machowski. This New Englander had two aces in the same round. That's incredible. Actually, he had them back-to-back. That's unreal. Oh wait, he had them both on par 4s!  That's...ridiculous.  What a day at Ridgewood Country Club in Moultonborough, N.H.

Best tan line: Stewart Cink. No really.



Best bunker save: Friends of Dougie Thompson, who rescued him from the jaws of a 12-foot crocodile.

Best way to honor a friend:  Friends of Tom Churchill gathered to play some golf at the annual "Closing Day" at the Cassique River Club, when they leanred their pal Churchie had passed away the night before. They decided to dedicate the day to his memory.  71 golfers took part. Six made aces. Amazing. 

Obviously, this only highlights some, a few, of the great and fun acheivements in golf in the past year. The awards are highly subjective and not that important. But they're still better than watching the Oscars (says me). What are your golf awards? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

John Kim doesn't think awards are important but he has won three CableFAX awards in the last three years and thinks you should know that. You can follow him on Twitter at @johnkim 

February 27, 2014 - 3:51pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Sydney Leroux
As you'll see in the Vine below, Sydney Leroux's attempt at the "Happy Gilmore" golf swing didn't end as planned.

Sydney Leroux -- a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. Women's Soccer team at the 2012 London Games -- took a crack at the "Happy Gilmore" swing made famous by Adam Sandler in the goofy golf flick.

RELATED: Story behind "Tin Cup" hole, course | "Caddyshack" director dead at 69 | Golf movie quotes

As you can see in the Vine below, things didn't turn out so well for Leroux, a forward for the Seattle Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League:




In case you need a refresher, here's how the "Happy Gilmore" swing is supposed to look:

You can also click here to see three-time major champion Padraig Harrington expertly executing the "Happy Gilmore" swing on the driving range at Port Royal during the 2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

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

February 27, 2014 - 11:46am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Galvin Green
Galvin Green
The "Aron" jacket by Galvin Green is a full-zip made with GORE-TEX Paclite and Stretch Fabric. It's 100 percent waterproof and guaranteed to keep you dry.

Galvin Green, a high-end outerwear brand based in Sweden that has been wildly popular throughout Europe, is making its U.S. debut with the latest Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

Galvin Green touts itself as makers of, "high-performance golf wear," and when you see the gear up close, you quickly realize the company isn't kidding.

The list of offerings for 2014 -- almost 300 different jackets, trousers, pullovers, sweaters, body warmers, shirts, slacks, shorts, hats, caps, gloves and socks, plus more than six times that number of size options -- Galvin Green says, meets demand for head-to-toe protection from the elements with garments that look and feel ideal for golf.

RELATED:'s extensive equipment page | Birdie Box golf gift boxes

The popular "Aron" jacket (MSRP: $460), is a full-zip, GORE-TEX Paclite with Stretch Fabric. The jacket is 100 percent waterproof and Galvin Green guarantees it will keep you dry. The Aron combines lightweight weather protection and extreme high-end, permformance. The Aron is also styled to avoid unnecessary fabric at the front of jacket that could impede the swing motion.

Both the cuffs for the wrists, as well as the chest width can be easily adjusted with velcro tabs for a perfect, custom fit.

While Galvin Green offers a wide variety of waterproof outerwear -- shell layers and warm layers -- the company also produces golf polos, pants, sweaters, hats, belts and even skintight compression and thermal base layers to wear underneath your golf attire to keep you warm and free-swinging in even the coldest of temperatures you'll face on the golf course.

Galvin Green makes golf gear for men, women and juniors with the promise, "All our garments are specifically developed for the game of golf. Designed by golfers, for golfers."

While Galvin Green items come at a price, this is one of those instances where you get what you pay for -- high-end golf gear that looks great, fits comfortably and is easy to maintain with just a machine wash and tumble dry.

To learn more about all the items Galvin Green has to offer, visit You can click here to view the Spring/Summer 2014 catalogue

Galvin Green is sold golf pro shops across the U.S. Click here to find a Galvin Green dealer near you.

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


February 27, 2014 - 9:41am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tin Cup
Kevin Costner and Cheech Marin in the famous final scene from the hit golf movie, "Tin Cup."

In the spirit of the Oscars on Sunday, we decided to take a closer look at “Tin Cup”, one of the greatest golf movies ever made, and specifically, the memorable final scene where Kevin Costner’s character makes a 12 on the final hole of the U.S. Open.

It’s served as a rallying cry for a stubborn, go-for-broke, never-lay-up attitude that a lot of golfers (and movie goers) found refreshing.

The course, at least in the movie, is set in North Carolina.

RELATED: President Obama makes "Caddyshack" reference | "Caddyshack" writer/director dead at 69

In reality, Kingwood Country Club (just northeast of Houston, Texas) was used for much of the movie. Kingwood Country Club is comprised of five courses (Island, Lake, Marsh, Forest and Deerwood). Scenes for "Tin Cup" were shot on the Forest Course and Deerwood, as well as at the Kingwood clubhouse for the bar scene, where Costner won a bet by knocking a pelican off its roost.

The famous final scene of the movie -- the par-5 18th hole in the U.S. Open -- is actually Deerwood’s par-4 fourth hole.

"It's just an incredibly demanding par 4," said Darrell Fuston, Director of Golf for Kingwood Country Club. "The prevailing wind is normally into you off the tee so hitting the fairway is very difficult. If you miss the fairway it's an automatic lay up. It's one of the best golf holes in Texas.”

“If you didn't know the fourth hole was the hole used in the movie, you wouldn't recognize it,” said Dave Altemus, President of the Southern Texas PGA Section and the General Manager of Royal Oaks Country Club in Houston. “The movie was so iconic. It’s one of best golf movies ever made. Everybody who’s a golfer has seen ‘Tin Cup.’ ”

The famous hole is the No. 1 handicap at the course and plays 453 yards and “takes two great shots to get there in two,” said Heath Martin, Manager and PGA Head Professional at Deerwood. “The second shot is the more difficult of the two. A player must hit it through a narrow area in between trees and over water. There’s no room for error with the water, bunker right, hazard left, and hazard long. It’s a great test of golf even for the pros.”

Deerwood is a private facility. So it’s not every day that people ask Martin about the movie. But, it does happen on occasion, mostly with out of town guests, he said.

“Everyone is shocked when you tell them it's a par 4,” he added.

Jim Phenicie, the PGA Director of Instruction at Royal Oaks, said he gets asked about the movie 4-5 times per year. And, when people talk about “Tin Cup” otherwise, Phenicie sometimes speaks up about his own special experience.

Phenicie had a role in the movie.

At the time the movie was being filmed, Phenicie -- the 2003 Southern Texas PGA Teacher of the Year -- was director of instruction at the Golf Advantage School at Kingwood, which was used as the driving range where Costner had the shanks before the start of the U.S. Open.

GOLF IN THE MOVIES: Your favorite golf movie characters | Best golf movie quotes

The crew for “Tin Cup” arrived in October of 1995 to shoot the scenes you see in the movie.

“I was side by side in several scenes with Costner,” said Phenicie, also a four-time Chapter Teacher of the Year. “Costner was very serious; he had his game face on. Don Johnson was very funny. He didn't have to remember who I was, but he did. I didn't have any scenes with Renee Russo, but I did get to see Cheech Marin a little bit.”

Phenicie and his former boss David Preisler (the PGA Director of Golf over Kingwood at the time) were Costner’s playing partners for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open in the movie.

“When Costner shoots the course record (a 62 in the second round after shooting 82 in the first round), my old boss and I were his playing partners in the movie and shook his hand on the green,” Phenicie said. “If you remember, Costner actually hit his approach into the water during the course-record round and then got up and down after taking a drop.

“That was the most memorable part of the whole deal for me, because from the drop area – with a wedge – it actually took Costner 30-to-35 takes to get the ball close enough to the hole to have a reasonable chance to make the putt. It took about an hour. Then, like a pro, he made the putt on the first take – and it was a good thing too, because they were running out of light.”

Phenicie said all the scenes shot on the fourth hole – including the climactic final scene where Costner takes a 12 after finding the water with shot after shot before holing out with the only ball he had left – took the better part of three days to shoot.

Click here to watch the final scene, but keep in mind the movie was rated "R"

“It was right before Thanksgiving,” Phenicie said. “The first shot Kevin hit of the day was a toe shank 5-wood and he hit a lady. He felt so bad that he sent her flowers. I mean he felt really bad.”

Even in a state as big as Texas that’s so rich in great golf courses, the fourth hole at Deerwood is regarded by many as one of the most difficult in the Lone Star State.

“It’s a hole that has stood the test of time,” Phenicie said. “It’s a hard hole.

And a famous one, too.

“We have a marble plaque that marks the spot where Roy McAvoy hit the miraculous shot in the movie,” Martin said. “Guys like to take bets and drop a ball from the spot to take their shot at glory. There are a lot of war stories about hole No. 4, especially after golf tournaments. The round/score has been lost on No. 4 many times for players.”

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

February 26, 2014 - 8:14pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Bill Murray as Carl Spackler in Caddyshack
President Obama referred to wacky assistant greenskeeper Carl Spackler's tale of caddying for the Dalai Lama in his statement of condolence for "Caddyshack" writer and director Harold Ramis.
Harold Ramis, who wrote and directed the classic golf comedy "Caddyshack" among a number of other hit films, passed away on Monday at the age of 69. President Obama – well known as an avid golfer – has issued a statement of condolence to the Ramis family, and he (or his speechwriters) ended it with a "Caddyshack" reference.
"Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of America's greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago's Second City," Obama wrote in the statement. He concluded it by saying that he and his wife's thoughts and prayers are with "all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness."
The "total consciousness" reference comes from Carl Spackler, the wacky assistant greenskeeper played by Bill Murray who claimed that he once caddied for the Dalai Lama but that he didn't tip him.
"So we finish 18 and he's going to stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama! How about a little something, you know, for the effort?," Spackler explains. "And he says, "There won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."
Spackler follows that up with one of the movie's most-quoted lines: "So I got that going for me, which is nice."
February 26, 2014 - 1:28pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today
Tiger Woods is making just his second start of the 2013-14 season this week.

Buckle up, folks. This week's Honda Classic at PGA National's Champion Course could very well be the most anticipated tournament played so far on the 2013-14 schedule.

Why you ask? Well, not every big name will be in Palm Beach Gardens, but here are a few who will be: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald... the list goes on.

RELATED: Honda Classic leaderboard | Insider's take on PGA National | Tiger's season starting up

Couple this star-studded field with a demanding course like the Champion and we're pretty sure the cream will rise to the top.

With that, here are the five players I think you'll want to keep a close eye on this week:

5. Adam Scott
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T6 at Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: Scott's mantra this year is to play less in order to contend more. With that, this week's start at the Honda Classic marks Scott's first on Tour since the Sony Open in Hawaii where he tied for eighth. It's also only the second time since the Honda Classic moved to PGA National in 2007 that Scott, who missed the cut there in 2011, is teeing it up. What makes this week different? PGA National has a major-championship feel. Scott got over the hump to win his first major in the 2013 Masters. He's a different player. Just about all the big names are accounted for this week and Scott is one of them.

4. Rickie Fowler
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Third in WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
Reason to watch: Until finishing third last week at the Match Play Championship, this new season had been a rather forgetful one for Fowler, whose previous best finish was T19 at the CIMB Classic. He entered last week coming off three consecutive missed cuts, but gained tremendous confidence in Tucson. Here are the names of the players he took down: Ian Poulter, Jimmy Walker, Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk and Ernie Els (he lost to Jason Day in the semifinals). That's pretty stout. I'm interested in seeing how -- if at all -- that carries over to this week in stroke play.

3. Graeme McDowell
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Third WGC-HSBC Champions
Reason to watch: Four PGA Tour starts this year and McDowell's worst finish is a tie for seventh. Oh, and he finished no worse than tied for ninth in his last three Honda Classic starts. I always like McDowell on a difficult set up and that's precisely what he gets this week at PGA National.

2. Tiger Woods
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Tie for 80th at the Farmers Insurance Open
Reason to watch: Hard to fathom, but we're already one-third of the way through the new PGA Tour season (maybe we shouldn't be calling it "new" anymore) and Tiger Woods has made just one start. It resulted in that tie for 80th in the Farmers Insurance Open, where he didn't even record four rounds as a victim of the MDF -- Made Cut, Did Not Finish -- provision. Is Tiger slumping? It's far too early to tell, isn't it? He tied for second at the Honda Classic in 2012 and tied for 37th a year ago. So why should we watch for him this week? The only reason I can come up with is because he's Tiger Woods. That seems reason enough to watch.

1. Rory McIlroy
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Tie for sixth at WGC-HSBC Champions
Reason to watch: This is simple. As the defending Honda champ a year ago, McIlroy stunned the golf world with his very un-Rory-like actions. Struggling mightily, McIlroy withdrew from the tournament halfway through his second round, citing wisdom tooth discomfort. Few people believed McIlroy, who previously had a sterling reputation. Instead, many chalked it up to his frustration with his game. His antics were looked down upon by the likes of his playing partner that day, Ernie Els. The word, basically, was you need to carry on and be a professional. Later, McIlroy admitted he should have played through whatever was bothering him -- overall game, or wisdom teeth. It was a learning experience, no doubt, and McIlroy was accountable for his actions. I want to see if he's up for bouncing back this week and I really think he could be. His game looks back on track and there's surely nothing more he'd rather do than give the fans in the Palm Beach Gardens area a reason to talk about his game instead of last year's antics.

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