Golf Buzz

August 13, 2013 - 2:37pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Jason Dufner at the 2012 Ryder Cup
Getty Images
Jason Dufner had a strong Ryder Cup debut in 2012, and is among the leaders on the 2014 points list.

Needless to say, Jason Dufner's victory in the PGA Championship vaulted him way up the points list for the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup squad. In fact, Jason has 'dufnered' all the way up to second place behind Phil Mickelson in the standings at this point.

The top nine right now are:

1. Phil Mickelson: 2,172.000 
2. Jason Dufner: 1883.199 
3. Jim Furyk: 921.040 
4. Tiger Woods: 676.623 
5. Brandt Snedeker: 551.697 
6. Zach Johnson: 496.827 
7. Hunter Mahan: 483.288 
8. Matt Kuchar: 462.226 
9. Steve Stricker: 432.712 

The top nine points-scorers will earn guaranteed spots, and Captain Tom Watson will round out the team with three captain's picks.

The points to date have been determined by the players' finishes in the 2013 major championships, with one point awarded for every $1,000 earned. Every U.S. player making the cut in a major earned points.

Points will begin accumulating on a weekly basis in October, when the 2014 PGA Tour schedule kicks off at the Frys.com Open. The qualification period will end at the 2014 PGA Championship next August, and Watson will make his picks in September.

A total of 66 players have earned points so far, and you can see the complete list and read more about the qualification process by clicking here.

 

 
August 12, 2013 - 10:18am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Cardiff ADC golf shoes
Ashworth Golf
The new Ashworth Cardiff ADC golf shoes.
Today, Ashworth Golf announced the release of its new Cardiff ADC spikeless golf shoe, available for men and women. 
 
This next-generation model features a revamped look, spikeless versatility and a focus on all-day cushioning.
 
Here's the release our friends at Ashworth Golf sent over:
 
CARLSBAD, Calif. (August 12, 2013) -- Ashworth Golf, an authentic golf brand dedicated to bringing modern style to the golf course, has announced the release of the new Cardiff ADC spikeless golf shoe to its expanding portfolio of versatile golf footwear.
 
Available in men’s and, for the first time in the company’s history -- women’s models, the new Cardiff ADC has been redesigned to deliver enhanced comfort, functionality and the performance of a traditional golf shoe with the revamped styling and versatility of a casual shoe.  To maximize all-day cushioning and comfort, the Cardiff ADC features a premium redesigned leather upper, advanced comfort last and super-soft polyurethane sockliner on a poured PU midsole.
 
“I’ve always loved the style and comfort that the Cardiff offers,” said Justin Rose, 2013 U.S. Open Champion and Ashworth Tour Staff professional. “I first wore the new Cardiff ADC at The Open Championship in July and really like the updated look and feel. This new version takes comfort to another level, plus I can wear them both on and off the course.”
 
To maximize performance, the Cardiff ADC’s new spikeless outsole was recreated to deliver even more stability and traction in both dry and wet conditions with new strategically-placed traction lugs designed to deliver optimal grip both in varying conditions and surfaces. The soft and pliable molded rubber outsole provides a more flexible, low-profile fit without the sensation of traditional spiked models.
 
Backed by a two-year waterproof warranty, the men’s leather Cardiff ADC will be available in six colorways: Collegiate Navy/Airforce Blue/Pebble, White/Neutral Grey/Airforce Blue, Brown/Dark Brown/Fairway and Black/Cardinal/White  available on September 1, 2013 and White/Dark Grey/Fairway and Neutral Grey/Dark Grey/True Red available on March 1, 2014 with an MSRP of $120 USD.
 
The women’s leather Cardiff ADC will be available in four colorways beginning September 1: New Navy/Khaki/Bordeaux, White/Light Aqua/Airforce Blue, Light Khaki/Khaki/Spring Green and Black/Dark Orange/White with an MSRP of $120 USD.
 
To learn more about Ashworth Golf's offerings, visit http://taylormadegolf.com/ashworth/.
 
August 11, 2013 - 5:03pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Srixon Z-STAR golf balls
Courtesy of Srixon
The new editions of the Srixon Z-STAR and Z-STAR XV balls are the most technically advanced tour-performance balls the company has ever produced.

All the marketing in the world can't save a product if it's not very good. Conversely, sometimes a product proves itself so quickly and convincingly that all a company has to do is spread the word.

That's the happy situation Srixon finds itself in as it unveils its new generation of Z-STAR golf balls.

As you might be aware, two players have shot 59 on the Web.com Tour in the last month – Will Wilcox at the Utah Championship on July 14 and Russell Knox at the Albertsons Boise Open on July 26. You might not be aware, however, that both did so using a new Srixon ball. Wilcox used a Z-STAR XV Tour Yellow ball – making him the first player to card a 59 with a colored ball – while Knox used a Z-STAR Pure White model.

And presto – there's your marketing campaign!

OK, so maybe there's a bit more to marketing than that. And, in fact, the new balls already have amassed 40 tournament wins worldwide this year. In any case, Srixon is launching its new spheres on a nice wave of momentum.

These 2013 editions – the regular Z-STAR and a hotter Z-STAR XV – are, Srixon says, the most technically advanced tour-performance balls the company has ever produced. The new balls, the company adds, have been re-designed, re-calculated and re-formulated to produce the best balance of high-level performance across all clubs in the bag. 

Both boast enhanced spin control and softness as well as improved flight characteristics. Their covers feature Srixon's new ''Spin Skin,'' a coating the company says is two times softer than any previous Srixon coating, which helps create a 20 percent increase in friction. That enables players to hit approach shots with plenty of backspin, while experiencing a softer feel as the clubface grips the ball.

The Z-STAR model is built around a new, large-diameter Energy Gradient Growth (EGG) core. Its characteristics help provide more contrast between inner softness and outer hardness, resulting in more lift, less spin and longer flight distances. By contrast, the Z-STAR XV features a two-layer Neo EGG core, which delivers more lift and less spin for a quicker launch and greater overall flight distances.

Both balls carry Srixon's new 344 Speed Dimple design, which helps reduce air resistance for a strong, long-carrying trajectory. The new design increases the ratio of dimples to surface area by more than 4 percent, which Srixon says makes it possible to play more aggressive golf under all conditions. 

Both the Z-STAR and the Z-STAR XV carry a suggested retail price of $44.99, and are both available in Pure White or Tour Yellow.

For more information, click here.

 

August 8, 2013 - 8:35pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Bag by Nick Raffaele of Callaway, coins by Harry Arnett of Callaway
The Callaway staff bags for the PGA Championship feature an oak leaf in honor of Oak Hill, while the each of the four challenge coins for 2013 features a distinctive design element.

I said a few days ago that one of my favorite parts of major championship weeks is the special products that some of the big golf equipment companies create.

Callaway, of course, outfits its staff players with limited-edition bags themed for each major, and you can see Phil Mickelson's oak leaf-adorned PGA Championship bag above.

Also above is something truly unique that Callaway creates – they're called ''challenge coins,'' and there's one for each major of 2013.

This year's designs include a magnolia blossom for the Masters, a star for the U.S. Open, the Union Jack for the Open Championship and, of course, an oak leaf for the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Callaway mostly distributes to the coins to its employees and staff players, though a lucky few civilians have gotten a few as well.

Challenge coins have a long military history, and I've also seen them created for colleges and companies. Few of them, I have to say, look as distinctive as these. 

 

August 6, 2013 - 8:14pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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TaylorMade headcover and bag for 2013 PGA Championship
Headcover by Roberto Castro via Twitter, bag courtesy of TaylorMade
The logo on TaylorMade's 2013 PGA Championship headcover and staff bag includes many references to the history of both Oak Hill and Rochester.

In what has become one of my favorite traditions of each major championship week, some of the big equipment companies are rolling out limited-edition gear to mark the occasion. No one does it better than TaylorMade, which has created a special bag and headcover for the 2013 PGA Championship with an Oak Hill theme. The photo on the left is the headcover on the bag of Roberto Castro, and I included it here because it shows off the logo so well.

The logos on the TaylorMade gear are always intricate, and full of detailed iconography. Here, courtesy of TaylorMade, is the full explanation of every aspect of the 2013 PGA Championship logo:

--Oak Hill Country Club is located in Rochester, N.Y., the home of Frederick Douglass, the American social reformer, orator, writer, statesman and abolitionist who escaped slavery as a young man. Douglass lived in Rochester from 1847 to 1872 and is buried in Rochester's Mount Hope Cemetery, and the logo's shape was inspired by a part of his tombstone. The star at the top of the logo represents The North Star, the famous anti-slavery newspaper Douglass founded in Rochester in 1847.

--The trophy image represents the Wanamaker Trophy, named for Rodman Wanamaker, a department store magnate who in 1916 hosted the exploratory meeting of the Professional Golfers Association, at which the idea for the PGA Championship was conceived. Wanamaker also provided the trophy for the first championship, which is still used today.

--The yellow-colored honeycomb pattern is a nod to the YellowJackets, the name of the University of Rochester's athletic teams. Oak Hill swapped the land it was originally located on with UR, giving the country club a piece of land large enough to eventually build two 18-hole courses, the East Course and West Course, the former of which has hosted U.S. Opens, a Ryder Cup and three PGA Championships (including 2013).

--The six oak leaves refer to the six different prominent tournaments that Oak Hill has hosted during the past 60+ years, including the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup Matches, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Senior Open and Senior PGA Championship.

--The plaque with 2013 on it is a nod to Oak Hill's ''Hill of Fame,'' a series of bronze plaques located on the hill leading up to the 13th green, which are emblazoned with the names and faces of numerous golf luminaries, including past winners at Oak Hill.

--''Gloria Ultimus'' is Latin for ''Glory's Last,'' a reference to the nickname the PGA of America has given to the PGA Championship, ''Glory's Last Shot,'' which alludes to the tournament's position in the schedule as the last Major Championship of the year.

--R stands for the last name of the East Course's highly respected architect, Donald Ross; W stands for the last name of Dr. John R. Williams, the member who, in 1926, planted tens of thousands of oak trees on the grounds.

If you're interested, you can buy the headcover directly from TaylorMade.

 

August 3, 2013 - 7:01pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Rough at Oak Hill
Rob Labritz via Tiwtter
The rough at Oak Hill is best to be avoided, as Rob Labritz shows us.

So, you ask, what's the rough looking like at Oak Hill for the PGA Championship?

Well, you're in luck. PGA Professional Rob Labritz is already on site, and took these photos of the long grass.

The rough at Oak Hill is ''brutal,” Labritz tweeted. ''Need to hit them straight.''

Yeah, Rob, no kidding.

Labritz, by the way, will have a unique honor at Oak Hill. He'll hit the first tee shot of the tournament on Thursday morning. Congrats, Rob, and here's hoping you heed your own advice.

And, of course, we encourage you to hang out with us all week on the official site of the PGA Championship, where we'll have live scoring as well as an unprecedented array of coverage.