Golf Buzz

Fifth Third Stadium in Toledo, Ohio
Courtesy of Toledo Mud Hens
Before they host a pair of minor-league ice hockey names, the Toledo Mud Hens are converting their field into a miniature golf complex.
I've played a lot of miniature golf in my day, but never on a course like the one currently under construction in Toledo, Ohio.  
What makes that one so special? Well, for one thing, it's being carved into the turf at the Toledo Mud Hens' stadium.
Yes, with the Mud Hens' minor league baseball season over, the grounds crew is busily creating two full 18-hole miniature golf courses on the diamond at Fifth Third Field. The little links, which the Mud Hens have dubbed "The Links at Fifth Third Field," is flat, but Sports Turf Manager Jake Tyler promises it will be challenging.
"The first nine holes will have a lot of angles, doglegs, and sand traps," he said. "The back nine gets confusing when the fairway of 14 and 15 intersect each other, and hole 17 may be the hardest because it finishes up on top of the pitcher's mound."
This is the first time a minor league ballpark has been converted into a miniature golf course, according to the Mud Hens. "I always thought it would be interesting to see a natural grass Putt-Putt course," Tyler said. "The timing is perfect to create this once-in-a lifetime opportunity for our community."
The Mud Hens came up with the idea after agreeing to wreck their field so a pair of minor league ice hockey games could be played in the stadium this winter. As long as they were going to tear up the grass anyway, they figured, why not do something else fun with it first?
The courses will be open to the public, but for one weekend only – Sept. 25-28. The green fee is $15 per player, with proceeds going to Toledo-area charities, and each player will receive a souvenir golf ball. Want to give it a shot? Call the Mud Hens' box office to make a tee time – they're going fast!
September 5, 2014 - 4:22pm
john.holmes's picture
Ryder Cup logo
Who will host the 2022 Ryder Cup? That question should be answered in 2015.
The 2014 Ryder Cup kicks off three weeks from today in Gleneagles, Scotland, but European Ryder Cup officials are already looking ahead to 2022 – they've announced that seven countries have formally expressed an interest in hosting the Ryder Cup that year.
That so many nations are eager to host is no surprise. To me, the most fascinating part is the identity of those nations. 
There's no England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales, which have hosted every European Ryder Cup except for the 1997 edition in Spain. Instead, the list includes Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark and Turkey. 
Spain, of course, has a long and storied golf history, and that 1997 Ryder Cup – which, incidentally, was my first overseas Ryder Cup – was a success by all accounts. Portugal might be considered Spain's little brother when it comes to golf, but it boasts several impressive golf venues and proved it could host big events with its highly regarded staging of soccer's 2012 UEFA European Championship. 
Germany hosts several big European Tour events every year, recently stepped up its game to land the 2015 Solheim Cup and is seeing its profile rise with the success of two-time major champion Martin Kaymer. Italy also hosts a long-running European Tour stop, and the ascendance of the Molinari brothers and Matteo Manassero is giving golf a boost there as well.
Turkey has been pushing hard to raise its sporting profile, making (so far unsuccessful) bids for several big events. But it recently launched the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open, which has become an integral part of the European Tour's playoff series. 
Austria and Denmark are, to me, the biggest eye-openers on the list. Both host European Tour stops but neither is really known as a golf mecca. Ryder Cup stalwart Thomas Bjorn is by far Denmark's best-known player, while Austria's most prominent practitioners that I can think of are veteran European Tour player Marcus Brier and fast-rising Bernd Wiesberger. 
European Ryder Cup officials plans to visit each nation before the end of this year, and receive formal proposals by Feb. 16, 2015. They hope to make a final decision sometime next fall. 
At this point, there is no way to handicap these nations' chances of landing the 2022 Ryder Cup because there are so many factors involved – everything from prospective host venues to how enthusiastic the national governments might be. But one thing is clear – it is great for golf to have so many "new" nations so eager to get involved in the Ryder Cup.
September 5, 2014 - 11:34am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
KLM Open
European Tour
The first player to ace the 15th hole in next week's KLM Open on the European Tour will win a trip to space.

Next week, the KLM Open takes place in The Netherlands on the European Tour.

The first player to make a hole-in-one on the 15th hole will receive a gift like no other -- a trip to space.

You read that correctly. Not a car, not a vacation, not a million dollars or a new set of clubs, but a trip to space courtesy of XCOR Space Expeditions, according to

RELATED: Twelve-year-old scores ace, wins new car she can't yet drive

Talk about an out-of-this-world prize.

According to the report, a life-sized model of the Lynx Mark 1 that will be travelling into space -- an aircraft that can take off and land horizontally -- will be on display next to the 15th green throughout all four rounds.

"With this prize we wish to create awareness among the public that space is now also accessible for everyone," says Michiel Mol, from XCOR Space Expeditions on "Journeys into space can be made starting from the end of 2015. We already have 300 bookings."

The prize package is worth a cool $100,000.

Kendall Dye
Kendall Dye via Instagram
Symetra Tour player Kendall Dye showed off her play-calling skills at the Emporia State game on Thursday.
Pretty much all of us know that the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers kicked off the NFL season on Thursday night. That wasn't the only football game on tap, though – Emporia State hosted Missouri Southern State in the Hornets' home opener there in Emporia, Kansas.
Coincidentally, the Symetra Tour is playing this weekend in nearby Mayetta, Kansas, and Emporia State took the opportunity to invite one of the circuit's most enthusiastic football fans to the game. Former Oklahoma standout and die-hard Sooner fan Kendall Dye didn't just sit in the stands and watch, though – she conducted the pre-game coin toss, and even called the home team's first play.
Clearly, all her Saturday afternoons at the Palace on the Prairie in Norman, Okla., paid off – the pass play she called went for a cool 25-yard gain as Emporia State rolled to a 53-28 victory. 
Dye, who is seventh on the Symetra Tour money list, didn't waste the opportunity to tout her play-calling skills, either. She posted a photo in full offensive coordinator mode on Instagram, with the notation: "Hire me [Oklahoma coach Bob] Stoops!"
September 4, 2014 - 2:21pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ernie Els
Claude Harmon III
How disappointed would you be if you asked a tattoo artist for some ink of Ernie Els and it looked like this?

There are a lot of ways for fans to show their appreciation toward their favorite star golfers.

You can go to a tournament and cheer them on. You can go to the local golf store and buy the same clothes as said golfer. Or, in the case of this fan who attended Wednesday's Pro-Am at the BMW Championship out at Cherry Hills in Colorado, you can take it one (permanent) step further and have the golfer's likeness tattooed on your body.

Believe it or not, that right there is supposed to be a tattoo of Ernie Els (h/t Brendan Porath at

The Big Easy's swing coach, Claude Harmon III, tweeted out the picture on Wednesday of Els signing the fans leg just above the tattoo.


This fan has got to get the signature tattooed into his leg now too, right?

Believe it or not, this isn't the worst golf fan tattoo we've seen -- it's pretty bad though. That "honor" belongs to a fan who has Davis Love III (at least the man claims that's how it is) inked onto his skin

September 4, 2014 - 9:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bellum Winmore Milled Putters
Bellum Winmore
Bellum Winmore Milled Putters offers classic designs with a variety of custom options.

Childhood buddies Tim Shaughnessy and Zac Nicholls are the proud owners of a small, New York-based company called Bellum Winmore.

Bellum Winmore is in the business of making custom milled putters.

"Zac and I first started throwing ideas around in 2010," Shaughnessy told "We came up with a concept for a highly adjustable putter head in 2011 and started Bellum Winmore shortly thereafter. Looking at the prototype, it's a very cool concept. However, in launching a new brand we decided to pursue more traditional designs first. We intend to revisit the idea of producing the adjustable head, but for now our focus is making precision 100 percent milled putters with unbelievable feel and performance."

Along with a variety of beautiful traditional designs, Bellum Winmore also offers custom back weighting on its putters so that customers can find that perfect balance we all look for in our favorite flat-stick.

We recently sat down with Shaughnessy for a Q&A to learn more about Bellum Winmore. How did you come up with the name?

Shaughnessy: We wanted our name to speak to quality and tradition, without bashing people over the head with something obvious. We started searching foreign language translations of words and concepts related to our vision. We went back and forth for months, pouring over thousands of word combinations before agreeing on the name "Bellum Winmore." The abstract translation is "Win More Wars." The process was arduous, but the result was exactly what we were looking for. Where are the putters made?

Shaughnessy: Originally we milled everything at our custom shop in Northern California. Recently we partnered with a state-of-the-art machine shop with the most high tech, high output machines on the market. At the same time we made a significant investment in testing and measuring equipment, which has enabled us to develop a quality system that is typically only found in extremely advanced manufacturing sectors. The integration of this approach into our business model has enabled us to repurpose our shop to focus solely on custom work, prototyping, and first run production. What separates a Bellum Winmore putter from others?

Shaughnessy: There's an exotic finish section on our website ( where we're showcasing the most amazing one-off finishes you'll ever see on stainless steel. They really are works of art.

From a performance standpoint we offer extensive counter-balance options that enable the golfer to really tune their putter.

Then there's the feel. We've done extensive resonance testing which really shaped our design approach. "Soft" is an incredibly overused word in our industry, and one we don't particularly care for. What I will say is that Bellum Winmore Milled Putters offer the most pleasing feel of any putter on the market. Can you tell us a little about the process of constructing a putter? Does it literally start off as a block?

Shaughnessy: Our putters our 100 percent milled from a single piece of 303 stainless steel. In order to cut down on waste and machine time we use custom stock rather than a rectangular billet that produces copious amounts of wasted metal. There is no welding. The entire putter is precision milled as a single piece, then bead blasted to a matte finish. We then set aside a specific amount of putters that will get custom finishes, such as our torched Whiskey finish or our black PVD. I have to say, our black finish is the absolute best you will find. Can you tell me about your customization options?

Shaughnessy: There is a little bit of variance model-to-model. Every model can be ordered with your choice of playing specs (length, lie, loft). Additional customizations include paint fill, face milling, sightlines, three different finishes, black or chrome shaft, and several grip options. However, the customization that sets us apart is the ability to really tune in your putter feel with grip weights ranging from 10g to 100g. Our site makes the whole process incredibly easy. If there is a desired customization or configuration that isn't listed on the product page we encourage our customers to contact us directly. What is the turnaround time from start to finish on a putter once a customer places an order?

Shaughnessy: Our goal is to ship all orders within two days after the order is placed, though certain customizations require additional lead-time. We pride ourselves on constant communication throughout the process, so our customers are updated with both the progress of the order and any potential delays in production and shipping. Open and honest communication is the key to developing a positive relationship with our customers. What has been the most rewarding aspect of this venture for you to this point?

Shaughnessy: That's a tough one. It reminds me of the 10 minutes after an acceptance speech when you realize you forgot to thank your mom. The positive feedback from our customers has been extremely gratifying. Knowing that people believe in our product and our approach is very rewarding, and drives us to continue looking for ways to improve. At the end of the day the customer is what matters, and we are grateful to each and every one of them. How difficult is it to break into the golf equipment business as a smaller company?

Shaughnessy: I don't want to discourage anyone from throwing their hat into the ring. It's extremely competitive, but competition brings out the best in you. We did our first PGA event at the John Deere Classic and it was extremely eye opening. It definitely cemented the reality that market entry is a marathon rather than a sprint. That said, the experience was encouraging and the feedback was entirely positive. Is most of your business from word of mouth?

Shaughnessy: Our business is almost entirely word of mouth. At this point we do minimal advertising, and focus on a more "boots on the ground" strategy. This approach has helped us connect with golfers and better understand their needs. A mentor of mine used to say, "Start with the customer and work back," and that’s exactly what we do. How much -- if at all -- has social media helped your business?

Shaughnessy: Staying relevant at this point in time is contingent on a social media presence. With our collective backgrounds rooted in manufacturing and operations, Zac and I are still feeling our way through things like Twitter and Facebook. It’s all quite new but we're learning. Where do you envision Bellum Winmore five years from now?

Shaughnessy: We continue to pursue innovations that improve upon our design intent. Our five-year plan includes a tour presence at every level, as well as strategic partnerships with companies whose ideas and products we believe in. However we maintain the position that achieving high water cannot come at the expense of quality or customer service, which we consider immutable attributes. Have you received any help or encouragement from other companies?

Shaughnessy: We've been lucky enough to partner with quality organizations that have been instrumental in our progress. Puregrips ( have continuously exceeded our expectations, treating us with a level of respect and urgency usually reserved for much larger companies. I'd like to give a special acknowledgement to Alvin who is as good a representative as a company could ever hope for.

We also appreciate all of the help and support we have received from Delila Harvey ( Her head covers are second to none, and anyone in the business can tell you how hard it is to get a quality head cover.

To learn more about Bellum Winmore, visit You can also find Bellum Winmore on Twitter, @bellumwinmore

Also, Bellum Winmore is offering free shipping when you order. Simply add the discount code "PGA" at checkout.