Golf Buzz

March 11, 2013 - 1:32pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods could soon be back in a familiar position -- the No. 1 ranked player in the world.

 

From August 1999 to September 2004, Tiger Woods spent 264 weeks as the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world. And, from June 2005 to October 2010, he spent 281 weeks at the top spot.
 
With two wins in three PGA Tour starts this season, Woods finds himself close to once again achieving the No. 1 position in the world. 
 
 
As pleased as Woods likely is with number 77 (his 77th PGA Tour win came at Doral on Sunday), he is a forward thinker. He knows that a victory at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational in two weeks would return him to the top spot in the world rankings. And if this week is any indication, he's ready to challenge in Orlando and retake the top spot from Rory McIlroy.
 
For McIlroy, the current No. 1, the start to 2013 has been far from ideal. His PGA Tour season has consisted of just three starts, resulting in a Round 1 exit from the Accenture Match Play Championship, a highly criticized withdrawal from the Honda Classic where he was the defending champion and a tie for eighth at Doral.
 
The tie for eighth at Doral came thanks to a 7-under 65 in the final round on Sunday. It may be a sign that McIlroy has found something in his game, but we won't see it in competitive mode again until his next scheduled start, the Houston Open, one week before the Masters.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 11, 2013 - 12:27pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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G/FORE
G/FORE
As you can see, the G/FORE golf glove is available in just about any color you can think of.

 

Not all golf gloves are created equally. If you've played golf for any amount of time, you probably know that when it comes to gloves you get what you pay for. 
 
One particular glove that has caught my eye the last couple of years are the G/FORE gloves worn by the likes of Ricky Barnes, Alex Cejka and Tommy Armour III, among others.
 
Aside from the premium AA Cabretta leather used to make the gloves, Fashion Designer & G/FORE Creator Mossimo Giannulli has put a twist on the gloves that will certainly make you stand out on the course.
 
The G/FORE website explains how the gloves came to be:
 
Fueled by founder-designer Mossimo Giannulli's love of golf and background in fashion, G/FORE combines function and style in eye-catching, premium golf products. Crafted from the finest materials, tested on the course by pros and weekend warriors alike, and designed to bring a touch of personality, fun and colour back to the game, G/FORE products honor golf's storied past while looking toward the sport's bright future.
 
A fashion industry veteran and avid golfer, Mossimo founded the billion-dollar clothing company Mossimo Inc. in 1987 and brokered a first-ever designer-exclusive distribution deal with Minneapolis-based Target Stores in 2000. G/FORE embodies his expertise in fashion, passion for golf, and dedication to creating products of unmatched performance and unparalleled style.
 
G/FORE gloves come in a variety of colors. You can be conservative and traditional with a basic, white, leather glove, or you can get bold with colors ranging from clover, to azure, to tangerine, to lemon, to lavender and more.
 
As for comfort, the G/FORE is second to none. You can see the G/FORE glove for yourself at the official website, here
 
The gloves retail for $35 each.
 
Visit G/FORE on Twitter, @gfore, or check out the G/FORE Facebook page.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 10, 2013 - 11:12pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Tiger Woods Nike
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Tiger Woods was one of three Nike Golf players to win this past weekend with another former ambassador winning as well.

**UPDATE: Apparently, Kevin Kisner, winner of the Chile Classic on the Web.com Tour, is no longer an official Nike Golf player. We will still try to find out what clubs he was playing for his victory this weekend. 

********************************************

I'm sure this has probably happened before - but I can't recall the last time I heard or read this. Nike Golf completed its own version of the Grand Slam this weekend - 4 for 4 in Tour wins. (Actually, 3 for 3 -- see note above).  How's that for validating your equipment?

With all the talk about the early-season struggles of Rory McIlroy, the one topic that seemed most out of place to me was all the conjecture over his move to new clubs.  As has been established multiple times: 1.) All the equipment made by the major manufacturers right now is REALLY good and 2.) It's not like Nike Golf players have collectively been struggling (see Russell Henley - Sony Open; Tiger Woods - Farmers Insurance Open).
 
So last week Rory has a tough week and then a couple of so-so rounds this week.  Hello? Tiger Woods was going on a birdie binge the likes we haven't seen in a long time. And Scott Brown won the PGA Tour event in Puerto Rico. And Suzann Pettersen won on the Ladies European Tour. And Kevin Kisner won the Chile Classic on the Web.com Tour (UPDATE - still trying to validate his equipment now). And you know what all four players have in common? Wait for it...the Swoosh. (Ok, three players with the fourth being TBD)
 
I'm not here to praise one company over any other (love them all!) but want to put one ridiculous argument I see pontificated on, by many who honestly should know better, to rest. No one on tour, any tour, is going to compete with 'inferior equipment.'  Not in today's world.  Are certain clubs better for certain players? Perhaps. But fittings nowadays are so advanced and precise, this really should not be an issue.  No club brand is causing a player to play poorly. 

Whatever you have in your bag, you should feel confident that it is full of the best material and best technology to help you play your best. That sounds very 'industry-friendly' but it's also very sincere.  To paraphrase a famous golf quote: "It's the Indian, not the arrow."
 
Still, this is a special week for the folks at Nike Golf. Give them due credit for what their players pulled off. You might not see it again for awhile from any one company ... if ever. 
 
To see what all the players had in their bags, check out this week's Winner's Bag.
 
You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim_10
March 10, 2013 - 5:17pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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WGC-Cadillac Championship pin flag
Getty Images
The pin flags could come into play a lot more if golf went to NASCAR-style cautions.

So we're sitting here watching Tiger at Doral and occasionally flipping over to the NASCAR race in Las Vegas. Tiger was ahead by five at the turn at Doral and in Vegas the field was all strung out, so there wasn't much drama at either venue.

NASCAR, as it so often does when things get boring, threw a caution for ''debris on the track.'' This allowed the safety crew to corral that oh-so-dangerous hot dog wrapper or whatever. But more important, it also bunched up the field and got a lot of popular drivers who were way behind back into contention.

And it made us wonder – why doesn't golf have its own version of a debris caution? Take today – Tiger's out of sight with nine holes to go. Surely there's a hot dog wrapper blowing around somewhere at Doral. Tour official Slugger White could call a timeout to fetch it and, oh by the way, bunch the field up. During the brief timeout, the players could check their spikes, clean the dirt out of their grooves, maybe even take a swig of Gatorade.

Then, when they resume play, the field bunches up behind Tiger – instead of cruising by five, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker and Graeme McDowell are just one back. Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott are two behind and Sergio Garcia trails by three. Slugger waves the green pin-flag, and off they go – and, voila, we've got a brand-new horserace.

Heck, if that works out, why not try another of NASCAR's concoctions – the green-white-checker finish? Throw another yellow pin-flag with a few holes to go, give everybody the same score, set them off on the 17th tee with two holes to see who wins.

It's genius, don’t you think?

What, you don't agree. Well, honestly, me neither.

Tiger running away from the field might not be ''dramatic,'' but it is still great to watch, and I suspect the TV ratings will reflect that. Plus, he's justly rewarded for his stellar play throughout the tournament – and, we all know, every stroke counts, no matter whether it occurred Thursday morning or Sunday afternoon. It's just one of the many reasons why we all love golf – even when the final outcome is clear well before the checkered flag flies.

March 9, 2013 - 11:27pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Fanny Sunesson and Henrik Stenson
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Fanny Sunesson, shown here with Henrik Stenson, is by far the most accomplished female caddie in golf history.

After a couple decades as a caddie for such high-profile players as Nick Faldo and Henrik Stenson, Fanny Sunesson retired last fall to focus on coaching and mentoring golfers. This spring, she'll take on a new job – host of her own golf tournament in her native Sweden.

Sunesson will act as host of the inaugural Solvesborg Ladies Open on Scandinavia's Nordea Tour, which also is part of the Ladies European Tour's Access Series (similar to the LPGA Tour's developmental Symetra Tour).

''I was a little surprised when the request came, but this will be exciting,'' Sunesson said. ''The idea is that I will share my experiences from all the years on the tour. In Solvesborg I will take care of the sponsors of the pro-am, give lectures and make sure everyone is happy. If I have the opportunity, I will be on site throughout the competition.''

The Solvesborg Ladies Open is set for May 22-24 at Solvesborg Golf Club in Solvesborg, Sweden.

 

March 9, 2013 - 9:47pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tank putter from Odyssey Golf
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
The Tank putter from Odyssey golf features two wings flanking a large cutout, and a line of red dots to aid with alignment.

One of the things golfers like most about long putters is that they're heavier than standard-length models, and that extra weight tends to make them more stable during the stroke. The future of long putters might be in doubt, but that stability is a trait golfers will seek no matter the length of the shaft.

The new Tank putter from Odyssey is, as its name suggests, heavier than your average flatstick – its head weighs 400 grams, while its shaft weighs 150 grams. This extra weight, plus a counterbalance weight (weighing 30 to 40 grams, depending on the individual model, at the top of the shaft) helps to keep the Tank stable through impact and to quiet the hands during the stroke. In addition, the added weight engages the big muscles to promote a pendulum stroke that helps keep the wrists from breaking down.

''With Tank, we wanted to enhance the stability of the putter by increasing the Moment of Inertia [in essence, its resistance to twisting or rotating] of the entire club,'' said Odyssey Golf Principle Designer Austie Rollinson. ''We feel this achieves most of the benefits of anchoring without actually touching the body.'' 

In redistributing weight to enhance the Tank's stability, Odyssey focused on placing the balance point in each shaft in relatively the same position as in a conventional putter. So at each length, the balance point is in a slightly different place on the shaft. And because of their extra weight (19 percent heavier than a standard putter), the conventional-length Tank putters have a total club MOI that is 34 percent higher than a standard putter, while the longer options (32 percent heavier than standard) have a total club MOI that is 109 percent higher than a standard putter.

"At every golf club in the world, we've heard golfers say, 'I just want something a little heavier,'" said Odyssey Golf Global Director Chris Koske. ''With the proposed anchoring ban in discussions, we thought it was the right time to service golfers with an alternative and stability-focused method to putting and putter design.

''We didn't just do heavy – each component is carefully weighed to ensure a proper balance point and ultimate stability,'' he added. ''We brought two prototypes out to Riviera and one went in play immediately."

The Tank's head, with its two wings flanking a big cutout in the middle, looks a bit like the reverse of Odyssey's famous 2-Ball models. A string of small red dots on the crown provides an alignment aid, and the face contains Odyssey's popular White Hot insert, which claimed more than 30 victories across the worldwide tours in 2012. For 2013, Odyssey developed a new laser milling cutting process that better matches the insert shapes to the various head shapes.

Tank putters will be available at retail starting on April 12. They, along with the Metal-X Arm Lock putters that Odyssey unveiled in November, should attract serious looks from golfers either considering long putters or weaning themselves off of long putters.