Golf Buzz

January 29, 2014 - 7:03pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Mobile Warming outerwear
courtesy of Mobile Warming
The women's softshell vest (l) and men's jacket from Mobile Warming contain heating elements powered by small lithium-ion batteries that are sewn into each garment.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the fifth one:
 
With most of the country in the deep freeze, it seems like a great time to explore clothes that can keep your warm on the golf course. I could name a dozen or more clothiers that produce outerwear that is easy to swing a club in while fighting off the wind and rain. But to me, the one company that stands out in making golfwear for those most challenging days on the course is Mobile Warming.
 
Based in Milwaukee, Mobile Warming creates golf clothes – as well as separate lines for motorcyclists and general outdoors enthusiasts – with a unique feature. They contain portable heating units powered by batteries that are sewn into each piece.
 
Specifically, the company's products – which also include a heated back wrap, heated mitts and even a heated golf cart seat – use what Mobile Warming calls far-infrared heat (FIR) and ultra-fine metal fiber heating technologies that provide active heat through a portable power-supply in the form of a small lithium-ion battery. Each garment contains heating panels on the chest and back lined with steel alloy fibers that insulate the upper body quickly and for up to 10 hours.
 
 
The Mobile Warming line of golfwear includes a rain jacket, softshell jacket, heated shirt and a sleeveless vest that the company says was designed with input from PGA Professionals. Among the benefits of these garments is that the heating system keeps the upper-body muscles warm and loose, and eliminates the need for multiple layers that can restrict the full-swing motion.
 
The battery units have a built-in control so wearers can choose from among four different levels of heat and, the company says, the batteries can be recharged 500 times (a charger is included). Each garment is made from lightweight Windshark fabric, which is waterproof, windproof and stretchable. And in case you were wondering, the garments conform to USGA rules.
 
Some of the pieces, like the heated shirts, can – and should – be worn under regular outwear. The shirts in particular are made of a stretchy antibacterial fabric designed to wick away perspiration, and even have mesh side inserts to help you regulate your temperature.
 
The price range for Mobile Warming gear ranges from $219.99 for rain jackets down to $159.99 for heated shirts and softshell vests, and there are lines for both men and women. They are available at select retailers and at www.MobileWarmingGear.com.
 
 
 
January 29, 2014 - 2:30pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Payne Stewart
Photo: Courtesy Pinehurst Resorts Twitter
Pinehurst Resort tweeted out a photo that showed the iconic statue of Payne Stewart in a new beautiful way.

Give Pinehurst Resort credit. They've taken a situation that certainly doesn't help business - and turned it into a way to celebrate an icon and their venue.

With a snow storm blasting many areas of the Southeast, Pinehurst was covered in a somewhat rare but still significant snowfall. So what'd they do? They shared a great photo of their most celebrated champion, Payne Stewart.

 

 

Pinehurst Resort has been great at sharing their news and images via their blog. You can check it out here.

January 29, 2014 - 1:53pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Callaway's Harry Arnett and Annika Sorenstam
Photo: Courtesy Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf's Harry Arnett poses with Callaway brand ambassador Annika Sorenstam at the 2014 PGA Show.

The question I have been asked the most - by far - in my career in golf has been, "How can someone with no real background, connections or particular talent to play, also get a good job in golf?"

Since I fit that description quite well, you'd think it'd be an easy answer for me. But it seemed to me that it was a combination of timing, luck and persistence. That's a hard formula to replicate, much less advise as a route to follow. And even more, I always leave out what might be the most important quality of all - you have to love golf. I mean, really love it.

READ: How one industry exec turned his love of golf into a successful career

So enter my good friend Harry Arnett, the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Callaway Golf. He and I often joke we're the same person (very similar backgrounds: Atlanta raised, huge Falcons fans, picked up game late, etc.). His latest blog on the Callaway Golf website proves (as does his title, paycheck, golf game, etc...) that's we're actually kind of different and that he's way cooler than I am.

Harry's latest entry on his Callaway Golf blog gives a GREAT account on not only how he, a golf "outsider" became one of the most respected names in the industry, but also how chasing the golf dream means more than just making the winning putt at a major championship. He was not the first to go down this road, but his ability to turn his avocation into his career is one that we can all (golf or not) learn from as we all chase our dream jobs.
 

 

From his endless hours in golf shops to bookstores to visits (announced and unannounced) to famous golf courses, read how his passion for the game (including a part-time job in a bag room) ultimatley led to his position now. And don't just read it, think about how it can apply to your dreams. It's a good read, it's a good lesson. No matter what your dream job might be.
 

January 29, 2014 - 12:26pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Augusta National Golf Club
@kingofcoop on Twitter
It's not often that the entrance to Augusta National Golf Club is covered in snow. But, when it happens, it's beautiful. Check out this photo from Twitter user, @kingofcoop.

Just for fun this morning, I ran a quick Twitter search using the hashtags "#augustanational" and "#masters" hoping to find a cool photo with something -- anything -- at Augusta National covered in snow.

As usual, Twitter didn't disappoint.

Here are a couple of photos I stumbled upon of the entrance to Magnolia Lane covered in a beautiful dusting of snow.

 

Enjoy!

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair

January 29, 2014 - 11:41am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
Getty Images
The crowds at TPC Scottsdale can get a little crazy. As we saw at the 2012 Ryder Cup, Bubba Watson digs that kind of thing.

It's going to be the rowdiest of weeks on the PGA Tour schedule this week, as the PGA Tour heads to Arizona for its annual stop at the frat party that is TPC Scottsdale and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Scenes like the one below, where Tiger Woods "raised the roof" after a hole-in-one on the famous par-3 16th hole:

Tiger won't be in the field this week, but a stellar field that includes defending champ Phil Mickelson (pending the condition of a sore back) will be.

SCORES: Follow the Waste Management Phoenix Open all week with PGA.com's leaderboard

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is about the most fun you can have on a golf course. Whichever players can embrace the enthusiasm of the crowd and harness their emotions (and make tons of birdies) will contend.

Here are five players to keep an eye on:

5. Charley Hoffman
Best finish in 2013:
T3 at Valero Texas Open
Reason to watch: For starters, he's sponsored by Waste Management, so that's got to count for something, right? Well, not really. But this does count for something: Hoffman is 6-for-6 in cuts made for the 2014 season. On three occasions -- including the last two weeks -- he's finished inside the top 10 (T9 at Humana Challenge and T7 at the Farmers Insurance Open). Hoffman's only real solid finish at TPC Scottsdale was in 2009 when he lost in a playoff. But, he's playing great now and I expect that trend to continue this week.

4. Bubba Watson
Best finish in 2013:
4th at Travelers Championship
Reason to watch: Remember that point about players who embrace the crowd's enthusiasm? That fits Bubba to a T. This is the same guy who wound up the crowd on the first tee at Medinah in the 2012 Ryder Cup. As if that wasn't enough of a pressure cooker with dead silence, Watson encouraged the fans to "get loud" while he was hitting his opening tee shot. They'll have no problem getting loud at TPC Scottsdale. Watson has two top 10s at TPC Scottsdale in the past. He finished 15th there a year ago.

3. Ryan Moore
Best finish in 2013:
4th at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Reason to watch: Moore's fourth-place showing at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last year was his best of the season. So far, 2014 has been far better. Moore already has a win in the bank -- the CIMB Classic back in December -- and comes in fresh having not played since the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he finished alone in 10th. The good form and the nice break should serve Moore well this week.

2. Ryan Palmer
Best finish in 2013:
4th at FedEx St. Jude Classic
Reason to watch: It's been a mixed bag for Palmer in Phoenix. He tied for second in 2006, finished fifth in 2013 and had some missed cuts in between. This week, he arrives at Phoenix riding high on confidence. His last two starts -- Sony Open and Humana Challenge -- yielded a tie for eighth and a runner-up finish, respectively. Palmer can be a birdie machine -- see last year's final round at TPC Scottsdale, a 9-under 62.

1. Keegan Bradley
Best finish in 2013:
2nd at HP Byron Nelson Championship
Reason to watch: Hard to believe, but Bradley hasn't won since the 2012 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He's always around the first page of leaderboards. And, like Watson, he gets fired up easily -- a great way to get the crowd behind you at TPC Scottsdale. So far in the 2014 season, Bradley has made four starts. His best finish? Tenth at the CIMB Classic. His worst finish? A T18 at the Humana Challenge. As you can see, Bradley's worst was still pretty darned good. He's a win waiting to happen.

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

 

January 28, 2014 - 8:39pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 driver and irons
Courtesy of Wilson Golf
The distinctive black Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons are designed for feel players.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the fourth one:
 
For much of the 20th century, Wilson Staff one of the dominant brands in both clubs and balls. Players like Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen helped bring golf into the mainstream in the United States with Wilson Staff equipment, and the company's pedigree runs through Sam Snead and Armold Palmer, Payne Stewart and Ben Crenshaw, John Daly and Vijay Singh.
 
And though Padraig Harrington has won three majors sporting the Wilson Staff shield in recent years, the brand has slipped down out of the ranks of the top clubmakers over the past decade or two – at least in the United States (it's maintained a bigger presence in Europe).
 
There have been signs of life lately, though. Sales in the United States were up about 20 percent last year, and the company is poised to make even more gains as it rolls out an impressive club line this spring to mark Wilson's 100 years in golf. Getting back into the ranks of elite clubmakers is an incredibly tall task, but its new FG Tour M3 family of clubs is a solid start. 
 
These new drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons are designed for better players, and all but the irons feature what Wilson calls its Multi Fit System. Golfers can use the six adjustable hosel settings and three interchangeable sole weights to maximize their clubhead and ball speeds, while selecting the proper launch angle and spin rate to enhance their distance.
 
The FG Tour M3 driver is Wilson Staff's first adjustable driver – the head comes set at an initial loft of 9.5 degrees, but can be adjusted in half-degree increments from 8.5 to 11.5 degrees. Along with its adjustability features, the 460cc head contains a variable thickness face that maximizes the sweet spot. A light, chemically-etched crown helps create a favorable sound and allows for weight to be redistributed around the perimeter of the head, while the deep face and pear shape make the head appear more compact at address.
 
 
The fairway woods feature the same adjustability options and similar variable face thickness and perimeter weighting. The three head options come standard at initial lofts of 13.5, 15 and 17 degrees, and can be adjusted from 12.5 to 19 degrees in half-degree increments, depending on the respective head. 
 
The hybrids offer three loft settings in each head and the same three lofts at 2-degree upright lie angles – along with three sole weight options – for optimized trajectory and increased clubhead speeds. The loft changes allow feel players to optimize their distance and trajectory, the company says, while the lie changes improve control and turf interaction. 
 
The four head options come standard at initial lofts of 17, 19, 21 and 23 degrees. The lofts can be adjusted from 16 to 24 degrees in half-degree increments with upright options, depending on the respective head. 
 
The FG Tour M3 irons were built with the goal of providing the feel and workability of a forged players' iron while also delivering a significant level of forgiveness. The topline is thin on all the irons for a better look and to help lower the Center of Gravity to get the ball up in the air more easily.
 
The heads also feature a progressive cavity design to optimize the weight placement from club to club. Much of the weight is moved to the heel and toe in the long irons for more stability and forgiveness, transitioning to a more uniform thickness in the short irons for consistency and repeatability. 
 
All the FG Tour M3 clubs are finished with a distinctive black coating, making them stand out in every bag. The driver retails for $349.99, while the fairway woods go for $219.99 per club, the hybrids for $199.99 per club, and the irons for $899.99 per set with graphite shafts and $799.99 per set with steel shafts. They will be available this spring at select golf shops and online at www.Wilson.com.
 
Previously: