Golf Buzz

Allan Kournikova
Allan Kournikova showed off his 2012 US Kids Golf European Championship trophy before he added the 2013 edition to his collection.

Tennis champion Petr Korda's daughter Jessica is quickly making a name for herself on the LPGA Tour. Ivan Lendl has three daughters who are or were prominent collegiate golfers. And soon, they might have some company in the realm of championship golf-tennis families.

Tennis star Anna Kournikova has an 8-year-old brother named Allan, who just won his age group in the US Kids Golf European Championship. That victory is just the latest of many titles Allan has amassed in his young life – in fact, he won the 7-and-under category in that same event last year.

This year's tournament ran May 28-30 at Longniddry Golf Club in Gullane, Scotland – not far from Muirfield, where the British Open will be played next month. Kournikova and the rest of the 8-and-unders played three nine-hole rounds, and he won by four shots with scores of 35-37-33 on the par-36 course that stretched about 1,700 yards.

According to a 2011 story on the youngster in The Palm Beach Daily News in Florida (Allan lives with his mother, Alla, in Palm Beach), Allan began playing competitively at age 5 and quickly started collecting trophies.

He often practices at The Breakers in Palm Beach, and has worked with PGA Professionals Valerie LaPapa and Kevin Compare.

''He's an amazing athlete,'' LaPapa told the newspaper. ''He has a natural ability. ... He will ask you questions and wants to learn more, which definitely sets him apart. He pushes us to push him. He truly loves to play the game. For such a young little boy, he asks a lot of questions, which shows he loves what he is doing. That's what sets him out from others. We also make it a lot of fun so he doesn’t get burnt out.''

Allan is also featured in a new documentary called ''The Short Game,'' which profiles some of the world's best child golfers. (It won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival in March, and you can see Allan in a preview of it here).

As part of the promotion of that film, Playmaker Magazine interviewed Allan and some of the film's other subjects.

In that interview, he said he began swinging a club at 18 months, and that his favorite players are a couple of other child golfers who went on to success: Lexi Thompson and Tiger Woods.

 

When the PGA Championship returns to beautiful Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., in August, golf fans will be able to get a taste of more than great golf.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday unveiled new details about a strategic partnership with The PGA of America designed to showcase and sell made-in-New York products to a worldwide audience during the PGA Championship. The "Taste NY" Experience, at Oak Hill from Aug. 5-11, will include a product showcase tent, free for all patrons, and a concession tent selling New York State products and beverages, and promoting New York travel destinations. 

The Taste NY Experience is the first of its kind, delivering on a key promise Cuomo made to better market and promote New York State products.

"The PGA Championship draws more than 200,000 golf enthusiasts from around the world, and what better chance to introduce them to all the goods and products New York State has to offer," Cuomo said. "Once these visitors have a sip or sample, I know they'll be coming back for more – and our New York products will be flying off the shelves." 

There will be two Taste NY tents located at the main entrance to Oak Hill Country Club. A product showcase tent, open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET for all seven tournament days, will feature New York-made wine, beer, cheese, yogurt, fruit, and a variety of other products and information from nearly 100 different vendors and producers participating from around the state. A concession tent will feature products for sale and a menu of New York State products created by The New York Wine & Culinary Center, whose mission is to educate, engage and excite visitors by celebrating and showcasing New York's finest in wine, food and agriculture. 

In addition to the two tents, the iconic I LOVE NY logo will also be visible at the PGA Championship venue, including on the uniforms of all 3,800 tournament volunteers-a first for The PGA. I LOVE NY professionals will also be on site to highlight New York's economic and tourism assets throughout the 95th PGA Championship, and help visitors plan their trips and itineraries. 

"There is an amazing chapter of history shared by The PGA of America and New York State that traces nearly 100 years. We are extremely proud that The PGA was founded in New York in 1916, and now, this summer will mark a record 12th time that the PGA Championship will be conducted in the Empire State," said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. "The innovative 'Taste NY' partnership celebrates the 2013 PGA Championship and represents what is possible when you combine the game of golf with the tremendous assets of the host communities of our premier Championship. We are excited about this historic and innovative partnership with the great state of New York." 

For more information on The Taste NY Experience at the PGA Championship, click here

 

Robert Griffin III's house
Zillow
Robert Griffin's new house in the Creighton Farms golf course community has five bedrooms, four baths, two half-baths, a wet bar, an elevator and a mudroom.

Robert Griffin III has been known to get out on the links every now and then, but he might be playing a lot more golf in the near future.

The Washington Redskins quarterback has interrupted his injury rehab long enough to plunk down $2.5 million for a new house in the Creighton Farms golf course community in Aldie, Va., about 30 miles west of Washington, D.C. 

Griffin's new digs measure 9,000 square feet, and contain five bedrooms, four baths, two half-baths, a wet bar, an elevator and a mudroom, according to The Washington Business Journal, which added that the property was recently appraised at about $1.8 million.

The 900-acre Creighton Farms development is described as a high-end residential community featuring a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. Later this year, it will host the Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship for the third straight season.

To see a slide show of RGIII's new house, click here. Looking at the pictures, you can see there's room for a practice green in the back.

And to read an item about RGIII appearing at teammate Brian Orakpo's charity golf tournament earlier this month, click here.

 

K.J. Choi
Getty Images
K.J. Choi bought a set of Mizuno MP-64 irons off the rack at a Golf Galaxy this week in Ohio to use in the Memorial.
In case you didn't know this, PGA Tour players can get pretty much any club they want for nothing by making a simple phone call.
 
K.J. Choi knows this as well as anyone... and that's not to say he's greedy by any means, because he's not. The fact is, Choi is a tinkerer. 
 
In Ohio for this week's Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village, Choi paid a visit to a local Golf Galaxy where he tested several clubs in store before eventually purchasing a set of Mizuno MP-64 irons.
 
Craziness!
 
Just to give you an idea of how dialed in Choi and his fellow pros are, listen to this: As the story goes, while testing several types of irons from several manufacturers from the hitting bay, Choi explained to an employee at Golf Galaxy that the swing weight was off on every set of irons with the exception of the Mizuno's be bought.
 
The employee went and checked the weights and sure enough, Choi was right. The other sets ranged in weight from D2 through D4, while all the MP-64s came in at a consistent D2.
 
While we always recommend getting properly fit by your local PGA Professional, we suppose there are exceptions -- like when a person can simply grip a set of clubs and tell you the weights are inconsistent.
 
So how did Choi fare with the new irons? He shot a respectable even-par 72 in the first round.
TaylorMade, R1 Black
TaylorMade
TaylorMade's new R1 Black Driver will be available at retail beginning June 10 for $399.
For the first time since 2010, TaylorMade Golf has announced its release of a black-headed driver. TaylorMade took the golf world by storm in 2010 with its forward-thinking white headed driver, which is the No. 1 driver on Tour. 
 
But, there's still been a big demand for the same great drivers, but in black.
 
 
Now, TaylorMade has obliged with the R1 Black, which will be available at retail beginning June 10 for $399.
 
Here's the release from TaylorMade introducing the new, sharp-looking R1 Black: 
 
CARLSBAD, Calif. (May 30, 2013) -- TaylorMade Golf Company, makers of the No. 1 driver in golf, today announced R1 Black – the company’s first black driver since 2010.
 
“For three years we have only made white drivers and have heard from a number of golfers who just prefer the look of black,” said President and CEO, Mark King. “Our commitment has always been to provide golfers with the best performing golf equipment. The R1 Black gives players who prefer that color access to our industry leading technology.”
 
Similar to the white version – which has been used to win 16 worldwide golf tournaments this year – the R1 Black driver features the greatest range of adjustability of any driver in the brand’s history. R1 gives the golfer 12 loft-sleeve settings and 7 face-angle positions, as well as two movable shot-shape weights. The R1’s three adjustability technologies allow it to be tuned 168 different ways to specifically fit a player’s swing to optimize distance and accuracy.
 
The R1 Black driver will debut on the PGA Tour next week in Memphis.
 
“Members of our tour staff now have two color options,” added King. “We will see a number of them opt for R1 Black, while others will stay in the white version to take advantage of the white/black contrast and alignment benefits.”
 
The R1 Black features an ultra-light Aldila RIP Phenom and is available at retail 6/10 for $399. For more information please visit taylormadegolf.com.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Bag Boy Quad push carts
Courtesy of Bag Boy
The limited editions of the Bag Boy Quad push cart come in pink, orange, and lime green.

The Quad Push Cart from Bag Boy is one of the most popular push carts in golf. So what could Bag Boy do to trick it out any more?

The answer is: offer it in three cool new summer colors – pink, orange, and lime green.

"The Quad is doing very well at retail," said Dynamic Brands President Craig Ramsbottom. "Golfers like the overall performance of the cart and the easy two-step folding process. By adding a few of this year's trendy colors to the line, we feel it gives our customer a broader selection."

The Quad is made with a lightweight frame on a reinforced four-wheel platform that provides more stability than three-wheel carts, especially on hilly terrain and in wet conditions. It sets up via a simple two-step process, folds down to 24 x 17 x 16 inches, and rolls on lightweight, solid foam tires.

The push cart comes fully loaded with an array of golfer-friendly features such as a stand and cart-compatible upper bag bracket, a parking brake mounted on the handle – and the handle can be adjusted to accommodate golfers of all heights. It also features an oversized zippered storage bag, quick-grab beverage holder, deluxe scorecard holder with pencil holder, integrated tee and ball holder, a secure umbrella holder and a padded compartment.

It carries a suggested retail price of $219.95, and is still available in its regulation colors of white, black, silver, red, blue or yellow.

For more information, visit www.bagboy.com.