Golf Buzz

February 27, 2013 - 10:29pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Woodhaven Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas
Woodhaven Country Club is one of several golf clubs in the Dallas-Forth Worth area actively improving and growing.

The recovery of the golf economy, like the recovery of the economy in general, is happening in fits and starts, and accelerating in some places more than others. One area where golf seems to be bouncing back better than most is Dallas-Fort Worth.

A recent story in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram highlighted how several golf facilities are starting to step on the gas for the first time in several seasons.

At Timarron Country Club – on Byron Nelson Parkway in the upscale Fort Worth suburb of Southlake – recent renovations costing seven figures added a media room, outdoor dining and a complete upgrade of food and beverage operations, the story said. And along with clubhouse renovations, the nearby Trophy Club improved its chipping/wedge practice area, expanded its putting area and renovated its driving range with a target fairway and greens.

Both those facilities are owned by the Dallas-based ClubCorp, which last year spent $65 million on renovations to its various properties, according to ClubCorp President and CEO Eric Affeldt. He also said the company would spend just as much this year as well, with some of the cash going to remodel the clubhouse at Arlington's Shady Valley Golf Club.

"The improvements will allow these clubs, already established in their communities, to stay relevant and offer even more value to their members," Affeldt told the Star-Telegram. "What we're trying to do is appeal to a broader customer ... what we can do for the entire family."

Some facilities are being transformed not by huge corporations but by individuals. Among them are Woodhaven Country Club in Fort Worth and Diamond Oaks Country Club in Haltom City, both of which were purchased by members concerned that the clubs might fail. 

"You could see the downward trend," Dallas businessman George Sanders told the newspaper. "I felt the club was just going to go away. I didn't do this to get wealthy."

Within a month of buying Diamond Oaks, Sanders brought on Lee Trevino as a partner. He’s spent about $1.6 million for renovations, including new bunkers and new carts, and spruced up the clubhouse to make it a popular local destination. Now, he says, the club's wedding reception business is thriving, and the club is focused on marketing itself toward younger and value-minded golfers.

Another facility cited in the story is Rolling Hills Country Club in Arlington, that city's first private country club, which is undergoing its first major restoration in its 60 years of operation. The facelift includes rebuilding the golf course, including bunkers and water features, and planting new grass.

"This has been a long time in the making and to see the wheels in motion makes this a very exciting time," PGA Head Professional Vince Pellman of Rolling Hills told the paper. "The golf course upgrade will not only bring our course into the 21st century but create a more fun and player-friendly course for members and their guests."

February 27, 2013 - 3:36pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods remains firmly in favor of a ban on anchored putters.

 

Tiger Woods is in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., this week for the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa.
 
The biggest news in golf so far this year is the proposed ban on anchored putters by the USGA and R&A. Everyone seems to have an opinion. Should the putters be allowed, or outlawed?
 
On Sunday, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said the Tour was opposed to a ban and made that known to golf's governing bodies.
 
Woods, for one, doesn't agree with the Tour's stance.
 
In a report filed by ESPN.com's Bob Harig on Wednesday, Woods once again expressed his feelings on the matter:
 
"My position hasn't changed," Woods said after his pro-am round at the Honda Classic, where he begins the first round at 7:25 a.m. on Thursday. "I still think that it should be swung, it shouldn't be anchored, and that hasn't changed at all. But obviously nothing is set in stone, nothing's firm.
 
"The USGA (United States Golf Association) and R&A (Royal & Ancient) are the governing bodies of our rules, and we'll see what happens. Hopefully we don't have to bifurcate (have separate rules for pros and amateurs) or adapt a local rule like we do sometimes out here on tour (but all are within the Rules of Golf). Hopefully we won't have to do that with the putter."
 
The USGA and R&A announced their proposed change, in which using an anchored stroke would no longer be allowed, to the Rules of Golf on Nov. 28. The rule would not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2016. They allowed for a three-month comment period, which ends Thursday, with a decision expected sometime in the spring.
 
Less than 20 percent of PGA Tour players, Finchem said Sunday, use an anchored putter. However, he's still against a ban, which would effect the likes of major champions Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els to name a few.
 
Harig also had this quote from Woods:
 
"I understand that; I get it," Woods said. "The guys that play our tour, all three of them who have won major championships with an anchored putter … play our tour full time. I understand his position. But I still feel that all 14 clubs should be swung. That hasn't changed at all."
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 26, 2013 - 11:45pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Phosphor Watches
Photo courtesy Phosphor watches
Phosphor watches are ideal time keepers for golfers

I'm not a "watch" guy.  Never worn them and now, with the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones, I see no reason I ever will.  In fact, I can't think of a time or place where I didn't have easy access to the time -- except the golf course.

Sometimes cell phones are prohibited, sometimes they are frowned upon, sometimes they are just hard to keep nearby - but knowing the time while on the course is important. We all have busy lives and at the very least, want to know our pace of play is in line with what it should be. So now - I need a watch.

Enter Phosphor watches who have developed a sports watch - ideal for golfers - that is stylish, functional and durable.

The World Time Sport Watch uses E Ink technology (the same as your favorite E reader such as the Amazon Kindle, which requires no backlight for its digital display and makes telling time in its large display area easy for golfers in even the brightest of glares.  It offers a variety of modes and display options - and is light and thin - barely noticeable for even those who don't often wear watches.  The band is also strong enough to simply clip to your golf bag with no worries of it snapping away.

If you are, or know, a golfer who seemingly has everything - here's a unique and practical gift idea for you. 

February 26, 2013 - 5:04pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Impractical Jokers
YouTube
The Impractical Jokers give out some hilarious golf lessons.

 

If you've never seen the show, "Impractical Jokers," on TruTV, do yourself a favor and watch it. 
 
The show follows four friends and they describe the premise of the show this way on the Impractical Jokers official website:
 
They have to SAY it. They have to DO it. You have to SEE it. Once you start watching, you just can't stop! Q, Sal, Joe and Murr have entertained each other for years with the most hilarious dares they could imagine. Now you get to watch them in a series of outrageous stunts (recorded by hidden cameras) to make each other (and you) howl with laughter. You gotta see this to believe it!
 
Well, in one episode we just came across, the guys give out golf lessons. It's hilarious stuff.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 26, 2013 - 4:10pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Keegan Bradley
Getty Images
Keegan Bradley seems to have become the poster boy for the anchored putter-ban debate.

 

It found its way into a small part of a much bigger story on the proposed anchoring ban by USA Today's Steve Dimeglio on Tuesday afternoon, but it popped off the page.
 
Keegan Bradley, the first player to win a major championship (2011 PGA Championship) with an anchored putter, is still being called a cheater.
 
Dimeglio wrote:
 
What's happening now is Bradley, the first player to win a major title anchoring the putter at the 2011 PGA Championship (followed by anchoring wins last year from Webb Simpson in the U.S. Open and Ernie Els in the British Open), continues to be called a cheater.
 
"Commissioner Finchem and the PGA Tour have always had their players' backs, no matter how big or small the group is," Bradley said. "Two of the biggest golf organizations, the PGA Tour and the PGA of America have said that they don't agree with the USGA (and R&A). If they are really taking this comment period seriously, I think they really need to look at what's been said by both those organizations.
 
" ... When I won the PGA in 2011 with a belly putter, I did my press conference and I didn't get asked one question about it.
 
" ... I'm being called a cheater more than ever by fans, by some writers — none of your guys — and it's really tough. A lot of it's on Twitter, which is ridiculous, anyways, I know. I do read it and I shouldn't. I can't imagine how people can say that to me or to anybody out here. It's been really difficult, and I'm sick of it to be honest. I'm ready to be over it. I realize that this is going to be an issue now for the next couple years, at least. I hope the USGA thought about us players before they did this, because it's been really difficult on me and I know it's been really difficult on some other players, too."
 
" ... It's a mess. It's going to be a mess."
 
Whichever side of the fence you stand on when it comes to the debate regarding anchored putters, there's no place in the game for heckling players... especially when they're doing something perfectly legal (for now).
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 26, 2013 - 3:56pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Holly Sonders
COBRA PUMA GOLF
Morning Drive's Holly Sonders joined the Cobra Puma Golf team on Monday.

 

Holly Sonders, a co-host of Golf Channel's popular show, "Morning Drive," is now a member of the Cobra Puma Golf team.
 
Cobra Puma officially made the announcment on Monday with this press release:
 
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- COBRA PUMA GOLF and Golf Channel On-Air Host (and avid golfer), Holly Sonders, have joined forces. Holly will use COBRA Golf equipment and wear PUMA Golf apparel, accessories and footwear on and off the course.  Holly currently appears on many programs on Golf Channel including “Morning Drive,” “School of Golf” and “Playing Lessons.” 
 
“We are so excited to be working with Holly,” commented Bob Philion, President, COBRA PUMA GOLF. “Her passion for the game and impressive skills on the course, along with her keen sense of style, make her a great addition to the COBRA PUMA GOLF team. Holly will help us reach consumers through another, exciting platform that we believe will set us apart from our competitors.” 
 
Holly played collegiate golf at Michigan State University and continues to share her passion for the game through her work on Golf Channel, participation in PGA Tour Pro-Ams and through online tournament and news updates on golfchannel.com. 
 
Holly’s new COBRA bag consists of: 
- AMP CELLTM Driver, MyFly set to 9.5° 
- AMP CELL Fairway set to 14° and 17° 
- AMP CELL Hybrid, MyFly set to 21° 
- AMP CELL Irons 
- Trusty Rusty Wedges 
 
“COBRA PUMA GOLF is a company that is doing something different in the golf industry – they’re cool, they’re fun and they deliver high-quality products,” commented Holly. “They are a company I am proud to be working with and I look forward to representing them on and off air.” 
 
The AMP CELL Driver, Fairways and Hybrids feature COBRA’s new MyFlyTM and 
SmartPad TM Technology, allowing golfers to easily adjust their clubs between 6 trajectories while keep the face angle square at address, allowing customization for their swing type, course conditions or weather conditions. The AMP CELL products also offer the next level of personalization with three women’s color options: Capri Blue, Cabaret Pink and Green Pearl (men’s options include Silver, Directoire Blue, Barbados Red and Vibrant Orange). 
 
Holly will be wearing products from PUMA Golf’s Spring / Summer 2013 Collection, featuring PUMA CELL, a system of performance benefits that enhances human performance. Inspired by nature, PUMA CELL helps you Look Better. Feel Better. Play Better. in any environment. Holly will be rocking PUMA Golf’s new Colorblock Dresses, fun and functional Golf Tech Skirts in addition to performance polos, sweaters and jackets in fun, trendy colors. Her footwear is styled to fit into her fashionable PUMA Golf wardrobe through accent colors and sleek silhouettes. Technology and fashion work together to provide maximum comfort throughout your round. 
 
The AMP CELL family of products will be available in golf retailers on February 8th, 2013. The PUMA Golf Spring Summer 2013 Collection is available at golf retailers now.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.