Golf Buzz

November 2, 2013 - 5:31pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Gus Wortham Park Golf Course
Gus Wortham Park Golf Course in Houston is the oldest 18-hole golf course in Texas.

Like too many historic city golf courses, Gus Wortham Park Golf Course in Houston needs a little help. Fortunately, some significant assistance might be on the way.

Built back in 1908 as the Houston Country Club, Gus Wortham is the oldest 18-hole golf course in Texas. It became the Houston Executive Club in 1957, and the city bought it and renamed it in 1972. The course winds through a wooded green space along Brays Bayou only a few miles south of downtown.

Like many government-owned courses, Gus Wortham has struggled to stay in good shape in recent years, and there has been talk of repurposing the course for other non-golf activities, including relocating a botanic garden there.

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But a group called the Friends of Gus Wortham is petitioning the city to prevent that from happening. More important, the group has formed a non-proft corporation, and now can accept donations to help save the course and improve it.

The group is raising money for short-term improvements, according to The Houston Chronicle, and is talking with architect Baxter Spann about revamping the driving range and installing lights and automated ball machines to allow golfers to practice after sunset. In addition, Houston philanthropist Preston Moore Jr. has donated an undisclosed amount of money to the project, the paper said, and might kick in some more as the process continues. 

Eventually, the Friends of Gus Wortham would like to renovate the entire facility. According to the group's website, an estimated $9.2 million makeover would include fixing up the course; creating a new entrance to the facility and renovating and adding to the parking area; and building a new clubhouse, along with a new restroom and maintenance facility.

Joe Turner, the city parks director, is on board with at least part of the renovation effort, according to the Chronicle. But the group is still actively seeking golfers to sign a petition to prevent non-golf development on the site.


November 1, 2013 - 12:24pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
From now through Dec. 31, 2013, Titleist is offering free personalization on each dozen golf balls sold.

Titleist has announced that from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013, the company will offer free personalization on every Titleist golf ball dozen sold.

During this two-month period, personalization charges will be waived on all orders of Titleist Pro V1, Pro V1x, NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity and DT SoLo golf balls. Free personalization is also available on custom orders of Pro V1 and Pro V1x with double-digit play numbers (00 and 10-99).

Personalization includes up to three lines of block text (17 characters per line) imprinted on each golf ball in black, blue, green, red or pink ink. Titleist says that popular choices include names, nicknames, initials, holiday greetings, congratulations and inspirational messages. Twitter usernames (i.e., @Titleist) and hashtags (i.e., #TeamTitleist) are also growing in popularity.

READ: A golf club fitting at the Titleist Test Facility

On Pro V1 and Pro V1x models, the combination of a single- or double-digit play number (1-9, 00 and 10-99) with personalization is often used to commemorate a holiday, birthday, anniversary or other significant date or event. Lucky or favorite numbers and athlete jersey numbers are also popular options.

Individual numbers are also available on NXT Tour and NXT Tour S (1-4); Velocity (1-4 or 00, 11, 22, 33); and DT SoLo (1-4) models.

The minimum order for free personalization is just one dozen. Orders can be placed by visiting any authorized Titleist golf shop. To locate a local Titleist golf shop, click here.

For custom individual and double-digit play numbers, an additional charge may apply.

Here are all the details on the holiday promotion:

- U.S. customers only.

- Offer: Free personalization (single pole personalization only).
- Products: All Titleist golf ball models.

- Imprint: Black, Blue, Red, Green or Pink ink.
- 1 color per personalization.
- Maximum 17 characters per line, up to 3 lines of personalization.

- Minimum: 1 dozen (packaged in standard dozens).
- Dates: An order must be placed between Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2013.
- Orders received by Dec. 10, 2013 are guaranteed to arrive by Dec. 24, 2013 via normal ground freight. Orders requesting Fast Forward Service must be received by Dec. 18, 2013.
- December 3, 2013 is the last day that orders will be accepted for Double Digit Play Numbers, with guaranteed delivery prior to December 24, 2013.
- Orders for individual and double-digit play numbers may incur an additional charge.
- Individual play numbers: Pro V1 and Pro V1x (1-9); NXT Tour and NXT Tour S (1-4); Velocity (1-4 or 00, 11, 22, 33); DT SoLo (1-4).
- Double-digit play numbers (Pro V1 and Pro V1x only): 00 and 11-99.

To learn more, visit

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

November 1, 2013 - 9:07am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

There's no denying that hitting the ball in play makes the difficult game of golf a little easier for all of us.

But how do you hit your tee shot in the fairway on a more consistent basis? In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Ron Philo Jr. tells you exactly what you need to do to hit more fairways.

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

November 1, 2013 - 9:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Hopkins Golf
Hopkins Golf
Hopkins Golf offers Tour-level, personalized, custom wedges to suit your style at a reasonable price.

You've probably noticed a fun trend in golf these days with manufacturers going out of there way to make your clubs more personal.

It's not just about custom-fit clubs anymore. Now, you can have your clubs personalized. Many golf companies are taking personalization to a new level and Hopkins Golf is a leader in the clubhouse to that end.

First off, you might be asking: What is Hopkins Golf?

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Started by Greg Hopkins, who previously spent 16 years as the CEO of Cleveland/Srixon Golf before resigning in 2012, Hopkins Golf opened its doors in June of 2013.

Hopkins -- who knows a thing or two about great wedges -- had one goal in mind: bring the Tour-level wedge personalization to the masses.

Now, with Hopkins Golf, not only can you purchase a Tour-level wedge with Tour-level personalization -- you also don't have to break the bank in the process.

In the words of Hopkins, "It's like having your own Tour van."

The Hopkins Golf website features an easy-to-use tool that gives you a number of options to personalize your wedge or set of wedges. Everything from stamped icons to engraved initials to selecting the color paint fill you want used on the stamping and engraving.

The base price of a single Hopkins Golf wedge is $99.99 without personalization. Prices vary depending on the level of personalization you desire. For instance, if you'd like custom colors in paint fill, add an additional $15 per club. For engraving or stamping, add an additional $30 per club. All of that sets a price point right around the average cost of other Tour-level wedges on the market.

RELATED: MannKrafted Milled Putters -- the ultimate in putter customization

You can also choose from a variety of grips, shafts and even ferrule colors (that little piece near the bottom of your club where the shaft meets the top of the hosel).

All Hopkins wedges are made the same way for you as they are for the company's Tour players (it's currently the No. 3 wedge used on the Champions Tour). Features include the following:

- 8620 Carbon Steel, unchromed, for great feel and rusting purposes.
- Grooves that have maximum USGA dimensions for increased spin.
- Face milled pattern with maximum surface roughness for maximum spin.
- Stock wedges include Lamkin Crossline grips.
- Stock wedges include Hopkins Golf OTM (On The Money) steel shafts.
- Six different custom grinds.
- Custom personalization including engraving, stamping and custom colors.

The turnaround time for customized Hopkins Golf wedges is almost as impressive as the wedges themselves. From the time you place your order to the time the wedges arrive at your doorstep is typically less than seven days.

To learn more about Hopkins Golf, visit You can also find Hopkins on Facebook, or on Twitter, @hopkinsgolfco.

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


November 1, 2013 - 8:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Gary Player
Getty Images
Nine-time major champion Gary Player turned 78 years old on Nov. 1.

The Black Knight, Gary Player, celebrates his 78th birthday today.

One of the game's biggest legends, Player is a 9-time major champion and -- even at his advanced age -- could probably still beat many of the PGA Tour's younger stars in a sit-up contest. Player does 1,000 crunches per day (how does that donut taste?):Here's a brief look at some of Player's amazing accomplishments through the years:



- 24 wins on the PGA Tour
- three-time Masters champion (1961, 1974, 1978)
- 1965 U.S. Open winner
- three-time Open Champion (1959, 1968, 1974)
- Two-time PGA Champion (1962, 1972)
- 73 wins between 1955 and 1981 on South Africa's Sunshine Tour
- World Golf Hall of Fame member
- Voted "Sportsman of the Century" in South Africa in the year 2000
- Part of the "Big Three" which also includes legends Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, with whom Player is an honorary starter at the Masters

Player is also the self-proclaimed "most traveled" athlete in the world. You'd be crazy to argue against him there, as he estimates he's flown over 15 million miles.

There's nothing that isn't cool about Player. And there's also this -- he's embraced Twitter. Give him a follow, @garyplayer. Each Monday, Player makes it a point to send out a congratulatory tweet to the winners of golf events all over the world. How cool is that?

Happy birthday, Mr. Player!

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair

October 31, 2013 - 10:15pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Toby Keith golf
Photo courtesy ShockInk
Country music star Toby Keith says he plays golf every day
Toby Keith sings about his love of country, horses, trucks, and the occasional drink or two.  Could a song about his driver be far behind?
It was recently reported by Country Weekly that the country music icon is a serious golf nut - even owning his own course, the Belmar Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma.  
Keith has no problems espousing his love of the game. 
"Golf every day. Get up, eat breakfast and play golf every single day. I live, two miles from the gate of my ranch is my golf course, and every day we play golf.”
And if it rains?
Well, it's not bad to be one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world. Keith simply fires up the jet.
“If the weather’s bad, we fly somewhere we can play golf,” he says.
Everyone say it together...."Must be nice."
Excuse me while I go get some guitar lessons.
You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim