Golf Buzz

July 16, 2015 - 5:27pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
USA TODAY Sports Images
The key when playing in bad conditions is to keep your hands, head and core warm.

One of the biggest challenges of the Open Championship is always the weather. Playing in cold, rainy and windy conditions can really mess with a golfer's game -- and mind. 

While there's no way to control Mother Nature, there are ways that you can adapt your golf game to playing in these less-than-ideal conditions. We talked to Dan Hill, head professional at Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle to get some pointers for when you decide to play in the type of elements you'll see this weekend at St. Andrews.

Open Championship: Leaderboard | More coverage

1. Dress right. The three areas of your body that you want to be warm but not too hot are your hands, head and core. To keep your hands warm, bring along some hand warmers that you can keep with your pushcart. It's just as simple to keep your head warm by wearing a beanie cap or a rain hat.

Your core needs a little more work to regulate, but the key is to dress in layers. The base layer can be an apolypropylene T-shirt (think of Under Armour's compression shirts) that stays close to your skin and help with evaporation of sweat. On top of that, Hill says, you can have your normal golf polo or anything else that will keep you warm without being too bulky. You can then have lightweight outerwear that takes some of the bite out of the wind. This can be your rain jacket, whether it's long-sleeved or short-sleeved. 

2. Keep your equipment dry. If you don't have a caddie to keep your clubs under an umbrella, your next best bet is to get a pushcart with an umbrella stand. You can take the extra precaution of putting a water-proof bag over your clubs to keep them dry. It's also a good idea to bring along some extra dry towels, which you can keep in a Ziploc bag in your golf bag. Those towels can also be used to dry your hands or club grips. 

3. Pick the right glove. Your normal leather glove might not be right for you in cold or rainy conditions. Look into your other options, whether it's one that does a better job of keeping your hand warm or one that has better grip in wet conditions. "The only contact and feel you have for the game is with your hands," Hill said. 

4. Know the conditions. It can be hard to understand what you're up against when it's windy on the course. Hill recommends to play up a club and a half. "When the wind's in your ears, golfers have the tendency to swing harder," Hill said. "But go with the saying, 'When it's breezy, swing easy.' Just club up and avoid the tendency to rush and over-swing." 

You'll also need to take into account the effect the wind will have on your ball's flight. "If there's a 10-mph wind, you have to give it the respect it deserves," Hill said. "Any spin on your ball is going to be 1.5 times worse. Any slice you have is going to be 1.5 times worse."


July 16, 2015 - 10:43am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Luke Donald
@TheOpen on Twitter
Luke Donald's impeccable short game was on display from the Road Hole Bunker at St. Andrews on Thursday, where he managed to salvage an impressive par.

One of the most famous "places you never want to be" in golf is the Road Hole Bunker on No. 17 at St. Andrews.

However, that's precisely where Luke Donald found himself on Thursday in the first round of the Open Championship.

RELATED: Open Championship leaderboard | Thursday's photos | Complete coverage

When you possess the short-game Donald does, however, the Road Hole Bunker isn't much of an issue:


What a terrific shot that was. Donald saved par on the hole and went on to shoot a 4-under 68.

Donald joked on Twitter about the shot after the round:




That was in reference to the view Donald has this week from the place he's staying:




How about that?

July 16, 2015 - 9:03am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Miguel Angel Jimenez
@ETPI_Physiounit on Twitter
There's nobody in golf like Miguel Angel Jimenez -- and that includes his pre-round stretching routine.

Like most of the top players in the world of golf, Miguel Angel Jimenez likes to get in a good stretch before hitting the links.

RELATED: Open Championship leaderboard | Thursday's photos | Complete coverage

Here's a picture of Jimenez getting his stretch on before Round 1 of the Open Championship at St. Andrews on Thursday:


The guy even makes stretching look fun.

And, when he hits the range, of course there's this:


July 15, 2015 - 11:57am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods has won the Open Championship twice at St. Andrews. Can he make it three times this week?

One of the most exciting week's of the year is upon us -- Open Championship week.

Making it even more special this year? It'll be contested for the 29th time on the Old Course at St. Andrews. There's nothing better than that.

If recent history is any indication -- regardless of the weather -- scores will be really low on the Old Course. The last five winners at St. Andrews are a combined 73-under par. That includes the record-low 19-under mark Tiger Woods posted in his magical 2000 season -- the first of his two consecutive Open wins at St. Andrews.

RELATED: Open Championship tee times | Spieth talks Open Championship | Wednesday photos

Here are the five players you'll want to keep an eye on beginning Thursday.

5. Louis Oosthuizen
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T2 at the U.S. Open
Reason to watch: Were it not for a lousy opening round at Chambers Bay, Oosthuizen could have been the U.S. Open Champion running away. After shooting a 77 in Round 1, the 2010 Open Champion fired rounds of 66-66-67 to finish one shot out of a playoff. He has arguably the prettiest swing in the game and was the last player to win at St. Andrews. In that 2010 Open, Oosthuizen put on a weeklong clinic, lapping the field be a remarkable seven strokes. I'm not sure we'll see a repeat of that this time around, but he's certainly a man to watch.

4. Dustin Johnson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: I'm interested in seeing how Johnson bounces back from the heart break at Chambers Bay, where he missed a short putt that would have earned him a playoff with Jordan Spieth. It was tough to watch as a fan. You never want to see a player give away a chance at winning a major in that fashion. Johnson has shown resiliency after major disappointment before and is a regular contender in the four biggest tournaments each year. But this latest episode in the U.S. Open looked to sting more than the others. Four times in the last five years, Johnson has recorded a top-15 finish at the Open Championship. The only thing this guy hasn't done in his career is win a major.

3. Rickie Fowler
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Players Championship
Reason to watch: One year after he was the only player to finish in the top five at all four majors (he was T2 in the Open Championship), Fowler is having another monster year. Just last week, he rallied late to win the Scottish Open. There's no better Open Championship primer than that. Fowler is riding high n confidence. He has the game to win anywhere and a major seems just around the corner.

2. Tiger Woods
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T17 at the Masters
Reason to watch: Here's the pick that's either going to have me looking like an idiot or a genius come Sunday afternoon. St. Andrews is Tiger's favorite course in the world and he's won there twice. He seems confident. Here's a bold statement: I'd be shocked if he doesn't contend. Win it? That might be a bit too much to ask of the 241st-ranked player in the world, but it could happen. And if it did, that would be major No. 15 and the race to catch Jack Nicklaus would officially be back on.

1. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Valspar Championship, the Masters, the U.S. Open and the John Deere Classic
Reason to watch: I have to chuckle. Less than a year ago, many were wondering why Jordan Spieth couldn't close out tournaments. Now, not only is he the only player on the PGA Tour with four wins this season, but he's also chasing his third consecutive major championship. So much for not being a closer. Fresh of his victory in a playoff at the John Deere Classic on Sunday, Spieth has a chance to become just the second player in history to win the first three majors in a calendar year (Ben Hogan did it in 1953). Since missing the cut at the Players Championship, Spieth has teed it up five times. The results look like this: T2-T30-T3-Win-Win. And that's why he's the favorite. 

July 15, 2015 - 8:10am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Kelly Mitchum
PGA Professional Kelly Mitchum, one of the lead instructors at the Pinehurst Golf Academy, will blow your mind with this three-putt trick.

OK, I know that the Open Championship tees off this Thursday at St. Andrews, but -- if you don't mind -- I'd like to take you over to Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C., just for a minute, the place that has hosted many major championships, including the 2014 U.S. Open.

That's where we find PGA Professional Kelly Mitchum, one of the lead instructors at the Pinehurst Golf Academy and a four-time PGA Championship participant.

RELATED: Open Championship tee times | Spieth & Fowler's equipment | Open photos

The beauty of any type of trick is when the magician performing it makes it look so easy.

Well, that's what Mitchum did here. Check out this video where Mitchum putts three golf balls one after the other. He takes a different line with each and effortlessly holes each one in the order opposite of which they were struck:


Color me impressed.