Golf Buzz

Jeff Flagg
Callaway Golf via Twitter
Jeff Flagg got the big check for hitting the biggest drive in the final round of the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship.
Out in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, some of the  biggest hitters in all of golf gathered at the Paiute Golf Resort for the 2014 edition of the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship.
 
This event is essentially golf's version of the Home Run Derby that is an annual highlight of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. But there's one big difference – at the Long Drive Championship, it is winner take all.
 
On Tuesday night, "all" was $250,000. And Jeff Flagg of Pelham, Alabama, captured it by a mere 13 inches.
 
The final field of eight came down to Flagg and Jeff Crittenden of Grensboro, North Carolina. And, with a brisk wind blowing across the grid, both hit their final drives 365 yards. Flagg's settled 20 inches past the 365-yard marker, while Crittenden's stopped seven inches past the marker – the shortest margin of victory in the event's 20-year history.
 
"I thought I had him," Flagg said after his victory," but if there's anything I learned from baseball is that you can't get to high or too low until it's a done deal." 
 
The baseball reference comes naturally to Flagg – he took up long driving after playing baseball at Mississippi State (where one of his teammates was fellow finalist Connor Powers) and in the New York Mets minor league system.
 
The two finalists advanced from a field of eight that began the night in fair weather conditions, but ended with a brisk wind blowing across the grid. 
 
Flagg, 29, and Crittenden, 43, advanced to the finals after eliminating Joe Miller and Adam Smith in the semifinals. Powers, Daniel Beckman, Jamie Sadlowski and Matt Hanger rounded out the eightsome.
 
The event was televised on the Golf Channel, but no highlights are posted yet. We'll update this post when we can – and, coincidentally, just as we were posting this story, we can across this:
 
 
Adam Scott
World No. 2 Adam Scott headlines the field at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Here's a look at the tournaments on tap this week:
 
World Golf Championships: HSBC Champions
Site: Shanghai 
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday 
Course: Sheshan International Golf Club (7,199 yards, par 72) 
Purse: $8.5 million. Winner's share: $1.4 million 
 
Last year: Dustin Johnson shot 69-63-66-66 for a tournament-record 24-under 264 total. He beat Ian Poulter by three strokes. 
 
Last week: Ryan Moore successfully defended his title in the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sergio Garcia, Gary Woodland and Kevin Na tied for second, three strokes back. ... Germany's Marcel Siem won the BMW Masters in Shanghai. He chipped in for birdie on the first playoff hole to beat Alexander Levy and Ross Fisher. 
 
Notes: Top-ranked Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, the 2007 and 2009 winner at Sheshan International, are skipping the tournament. Johnson also is out after taking a "voluntary leave" to seek professional help for "personal challenges." ... Second-ranked Adam Scott is paired with No. 3 Garcia and No. 10 Rickie Fowler. ... The PGA Tour's OHL Classic is next week in Mexico. ... The tournament is the second in the European Tour's four-event Final Series. The Turkish Airlines Open is next week, followed by the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai 
 
PGA Tour: Sanderson Farms Championship
Site: Jackson, Mississippi 
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday 
Course: Country Club of Jackson (7,354 yards, par 72) 
Purse: $4 million. Winner's share: $720,000 
 
Last year: Woody Austin won in a playoff at Annandale in July, opposite the British Open. At 49, he became the eighth-oldest PGA Tour winner. 
 
Last week: Ryan Moore successfully defended his title in the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sergio Garcia, Gary Woodland and Kevin Na tied for second, three strokes back. 
 
Notes: Robert Streb and Ben Martin, first-time winners this season, are in the field. Martin won three weeks ago in Las Vegas. Streb won two weeks ago at Sea Island in Georgia. ... Austin finished 20th on the Champions Tour money list with $821,435 in eight starts. He also made $292,284 on the PGA Tour, making 12 cuts in 22 starts... The OHL Classic is next week in Mexico. 
 
LPGA Tour: Mizuno Classic
Site: Shima, Japan 
Schedule: Friday-Sunday 
Course: Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club (6,506 yards, par 72) 
Purse: $1.2 million. Winner's share: $180,000 
 
Last year: Taiwan's Teresa Lu won by two strokes. She birdied the last two holes and six of the final eight for a 64. 
 
Last week: South Korea's Inbee Park won the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship for her third victory of the year, beating Stacy Lewis by two strokes at Miramar. Park won six days after regaining the No. 1 spot in the world from Lewis. 
 
Notes: The second-ranked Lewis is in the field. The American won the 2012 tournament, overcoming a seven-stroke deficit in the final round. She birdied the last three holes for a 64 and a one-shot victory. ... Annika Sorenstam swept the 2001-05 titles to become the first LPGA Tour player to win an event five straight times. ... The tournament ends the U.S. tour's six-event Asian Swing. The Lorena Ochoa Invitational is next week in Mexico, followed by the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. 
 
OTHER TOURNAMENTS 
MEN
Japan Golf Tour: Heiwa PGM Championship
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday
Course: Miho Golf Club
Site: Ibaraki, Japan
 
PGA Tour Latinoamerica: Brazil Open
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday
Course: Gavea Golf and Country Club
Site: Rio de Janeiro
 
European Challenge Tour: Challenge Tour Grand Final
Schedule: Wednesday-Saturday
Course: Al Badia Golf Club
Site: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
 
WOMEN 
Legends Tour: Walgreens Charity Championship
Schedule: Saturday-Sunday
Course: Seagate Country Club
Site: Delray Beach, Florida
 
November 4, 2014 - 11:23am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf cart
YouTube
A 120 mph golf cart is downright crazy. It's even crazier from the driver's perspective, as you'll see here.

Yesterday we brought you the story about the Plum Quick Racing team that set a new speed record with a golf cart at 118.76 mph on Halloween at Darlington Dragway in South Carolina.

The video was cool, but we didn't quite get an appreciation for what the experience must have been like for the driver...

... Until today that is.

RELATED: World's fastest golf cart goes nearly 120 mph | World's longest usable golf club

Plum Quick Racing has a video on YouTube with a camera mounted to the golf cart right behind the driver's head.

If you thought the idea of a golf cart traveling just under 120 mph was dicey, wait until you see just how shaky it actually is:

 

Don't try that at home, folks. 

November 4, 2014 - 9:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
longest golf club
YouTube
A Dallas man has set the new Guinness World Record for longest usable golf club with a 20-foot, 6-inch driver.

You know how they say, "Everything is bigger in Texas?"

Well, now that applies to drivers.

Michael Furrh, a Dallas native, set a new Guinness World Record for longest shot accomplished with the longest usable golf club at Rolling Hills Country Club on Monday.

RELATED: Man sets record for fastest golf cart, clocks in just under 120 mph

Here's video of the feat with the driver that measures 20 feet, 6 inches:

 

The ball traveled 63 yards in the air, so... I'll stick with my standard-sized driver.

By the way, we had a story back in September on previous record holder Karsten Maas. His driver was "only" 14 feet, 5 inches and went just over 180 yards.

November 3, 2014 - 11:04pm
john.holmes's picture
Sean Connery
History in Pictures via Twitter
Sean Connery grew up near a golf course in Scotland, but didn't play much until the filming of "Goldfinger" in the early 1960s.
I ran across this photo of Sean Connery today, and really liked it. Connery is one of the few guys who seems cool no matter what he's doing, and that includes heading out for a round of golf with his Sunday bag and jaunty cap.
 
And as it turns out, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 James Bond film, "Goldfinger," which features an epic golf showdown between Bond and the villainous Auric Goldfinger. You can read the history of that momentous match, and even see it, by clicking here, to a post I wrote almost exactly two years ago, when the Bond movie "Skyfall" came out.
 
Connery gew up near a golf course in Scotland, but wasn't a serious golfer in his youth. He had to get serious about his golf game for "Goldfinger," though, and that's when he got hooked.
 
"It wasn't until I was taught enough golf to look as though I could outwit the accomplished golfer Gert Frobe [who played Goldfinger] in 'Goldfinger' that I got the bug. I began to take lessons on a course near Pinewood film studios and was immediately hooked on the game," he wrote in his 2008 autobiography, which was excerpted by the Telegraph newspaper in England. "Soon it would nearly take over my life.
 
"I began to see golf as a metaphor for living, for in golf you are basically on your own, competing against yourself and always trying to do better. If you cheat, you will be the loser, because you are cheating yourself," he added. "When Ian Fleming portrayed Auric Goldfinger as a smooth cheater, James Bond had no regrets when he switched his golf balls, since to be cheated is the just reward of the cheater."
 
I don't know the specific setting of this photo, but the caption below says it was taken in 1962. If any of you knows any particulars about it, please let me know.
 
 
 
 
Caddyshack
Caddyshack/Orion Pictures
Judge Smails had his go-to putter named "Billy Baroo" in Caddyshack, and most of our readers have their favorite flat stick as well.

For a club that does the most amount of work for the least amount of distance, it's not surprising that most golfers have a special affinity for their putter. Or maybe not, as we found out when we asked readers on Facebook to tell us a bit more about their favorite putter and how it came to have that status in their bags.

YOUR PERFECT PUTTER: Add your thoughts to the Facebook discussion

Consider these words of advice on how a golfer's putter is more than just a hunk of metal with a flat face:

Josef Von Sternberg: A putter is like an elegant woman ... You must nurture it .. Converse with it .. Shelter it .. Spend time with .. Fondle it .. Adore it ... Or gentlemen, it will turn on you at a critical moment !!

Yanni Foundaki: Putters are like girlfriends. Some get hot, some cold and you can never have too many.

Because it's the only club you use on nearly every hole (unless you're lucky enough to hole out from off the green), most golfers find a flat stick that they love, and it becomes a long-term relationship, as evidenced by these comments. It doesn't matter how old it may look, or how scarred, as long as it does the job:

Victor Williams: Putters are like magic wands: They choose you and once you find the one for you no amount of technological advance can trump it.

Richard Wonnacott: Purchased a Taylor Made Roho 3 in 1996 and it is still in the bag today.

Trevor Jacklin: Mine is custom made with a little longer handle due to my arthritis. Most importantly, it has a Denver Bronco grip.

Kyle Graves: Odyssey White Hot XG #9. My all-time favorite!

Bart Hatch: Still use my ping anser 2.

Mike Osterbur: I have a putter that looks a lot like the Billy Baroo. It's a Helen Hicks model #9 from Wilson Staff I believe circa 1930's. I used it for 35 years but put it away for a Odyssey White Hot. Won't trade that flat blade for anything in the world.

Jeremy Ashline: I got a scotty cameron Newport 2 teryllium when I was 16....still in the bag today. Now I'm 33.

Butch Matos: Ping my echo. Love it

Bill Galinas: Arnold Palmer Original. First time I used it won eight skins, including one won with a sixty footer for birdie!

Anthony Lee: Scotty Cameron American Classic III, can hit it right or left handed. My favorite club I have!

Jeremy Jon: Jacobs Scotty Cameron Button Back Newport Two. Butter.

Terry Eklund: The "Thing" made by Natural Golf in the early 90's .. best flatstick around.

Kyle Carey: Got the first Scotty Cameron Teryllium with the dots on the back, first one Tiger used on tour for teaching a junior golf camp when I was 17, it has never left my bag it will eventually be my son's but mine 'til I'm in the ground.

Jamie McCann: Been using the same putter, Hogan "Immortal" since 1976 ... not changing now!

Travis Koch: Scotty Cameron studio select square back #2. I've tried to find something better but when there's a tournament or money on the line that's the flat stick that finds its way into my bag

Scott McEntire: Yes! Marilyn model. Immediate forward roll and true to the touch. If I only had a Marilyn Monroe head cover for it.

Will Potts: Odyssey White Ice 9. Just such a good stick.

Tom Riesen: Tom Watson memorial I bought in 1995.

Kevin Montonario: Used a wooden putter for years, loved it then went to a Odyssey belly putter change my game for much better.

Dave Cray: I have the original teardrop putter, it's the only thing in my bag that hasn't changed in 15 years.

Cindy N Randy Knight: Still use the ole "Bullseye" and still love it to death!

FLAT STICK FANS: Readers provide pics of their favorite putters

In many cases, the reason why you love your putter is because it's a treasured heirloom, handed down from generation to generation:

Paul Dybedal: I'm 51and still putt with the putter my godfather gave me when I was 7.

Jordan Taylor: My first job at a course after graduating is where my dad's family used to play years ago. I found an old warped hickory shafted putter in my garage with Morris Park and my grandma's name labeled under the grip.

Gary O'Steen: I putt with my dad's Ping, he passed away 35 years ago. I will pass it on to my grandson, he is a lefty, also.

Josh Journey: Ping Anser 4 that my grandpa gave my dad and my dad gave to me. Played two seasons of high school golf with it, and have drained some of the best putts on friendly bets that I have won. Needless to say, we are meant to be on the course

Jack Estes: I received the Arnold Palmer blade putter when I was about 8 while celebrating my birthday in Florida. I opened it at my grandparents place. I lived in Indiana and I was so happy that I was in Florida and could use it at the local course. I'm 42 now and still use it ... Well since I've had children I really don't play much anymore but it's in my bag ... I've had a few different putters during the years but that one would always find its way back in the bag.

Gordon Richard: My Slotline is about 35 years old. It was a gift from my brother-in-law's father who ran a pro shop at a local course... I will use it forever.

Chuck Posten: I've used the same Ping Pal putter for 20+ years. Can't find one I like better. Like a good woman, I'm keeping her!

Joe Zvanut: In 1972 I bought a left-hand Ping Anser. Been reshafted once and regripped more times tham I can count. But I have won't change it after sinking thousands of 5-footers! My son, a PGA professional, says: "My Dad's a 23 handicap , but he putts like a 2!"

Robert William Amburn: Byron Nelson Tourney green shaft given to me by old friend and still works on my putting strip but not has well as my Odyssey DF 992 on the greens.

Cari Carnahan: Ping Cushin 4 about 30 years old. But I have to say my Gene Sarazen Ladyette Blade was a great putter to learn with, inherited from my nana, and I still have it!

Tim Young: I'm playing a Ping Anser that my father bought the first year of issue. I finally regripped it because the original grip turned to petrified rubber!

Sometimes you find your true putter love in a second-hand kind of way:

Tom Van Pelt: Had a member with a temper break both his ping putter and custom graphite shafted driver in 1976, I reshafted the putter with what was left of the driver shaft and gave it to him. He refused it and I have been putting with since then.

Craig Lyndsie: Went to play a few weeks ago and a couple days before I practiced putting and so I had forgot my putter at home. When I find out I went and found the cheapest used putter they had. It was $15 but the pro said I could just borrow it for the round. I come back to the pro shop after the round and buy it. The pro asked why and I said 5 for 5 inside of 10 feet and 4 outside of 20 feet. I shot 69 and the $15 putter beat out 4 Scott's in my bag

Of course, just like real love, there are the eventual breakups and sob stories, too:

Ray Boomer Janowski: I had a Wilson 8802 I bought when I was 13 and gave it up when I was 28, my marriage with my ex-wife lasted 13 years. So my relationship with my favorite putter lasted longer then my marriage. I wish I had that putter back.

Jon Melling: I had a putter called "Lucky Dog." It was a blade putter with a brass head. I accidentally broke it back in the '80s and have never found another one although have searched on Google and eBay. I was a great putter with it and have struggled ever since!

Christopher Lavizzo: I've changed putters like I've changed lovers. At first, it's a great fit and everything thing works. Then, for some strange reason you cannot make a put and you keep missing the easy ones! Change!

Tristan Booker: 7 putters. When one acts up, I switch it out. 

 
Ray Lacen: When I find one I'll let you know. 
 
Dorris Helton: Nuttin special. Can't hit any of them. But I keep trying! 
 
Mark H. Spud Friedman: My putter and I are in the middle of a "trial separation."
 
And who can forget that great scene from "Caddyshack" when Judge Smails pulls out the old Billy Baroo: