Golf Buzz

March 20, 2014 - 10:42pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Zachary Christman and Eric Angeles
Remember a couple days ago when we showed you the two guys who teamed up to hit one golf ball? Well, they're at it again.
After their first video went viral – thanks in part to our including it here on the Golf Buzz – California high school golfers Zachary Christman and Eric Angeles got out their sticks, turned on their video gear and figured out a way to top it.
Looks like they did – they duplicated their first trick, but this time upped the difficulty factor with a friend and a bench.
After that first video, the good folks at the Pinehurst Resort said they wanted the dynamic duo to come on out to North Carolina and try some trick shots on the iconic No. 2 course. That hasn't happened yet, but the guys shared this second video with the Pinehurst staff, who posted it on YouTube.
"We'll find a way to get you guys to Pinehurst one day to try the shot at The Cradle of American Golf," Pinehurst wrote on its website. We can only hope it happens.
In the meantime, here is the new video, with the original right below it:
March 20, 2014 - 7:30pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Poppy Hills Golf Course
Photo by Joann Dost
Poppy Hills is open again after a signficant makeover by course architect Robert Trent Jones II, who created the layout back in 1986.
Poppy Hills Golf Course – well known as one of the popular and prestigious courses in northern California's Pebble Beach area – held its grand reopening ceremony Thursday after a top-to-bottom redesign that took just more than a year. The course will reopen for public play on April 4.
The renovation was overseen by course architect Robert Trent Jones II, who created the layout back in 1986. For the renovation, his quest was to restore each hole to its natural elevation along the floor of the Del Monte Forest, soften the doglegs and contours and remake all 18 greens with bent grass.
In addition, he built a new 11th hole, which is now the shortest par 3 at Poppy Hills; created a new version of the 12th hole, which now tees off toward a spectacular ocean view and rolls downhill; and revitalized a seasonal creek that cuts in front of the new ninth green. 
The catalyst for the renovation was to find a way to improve drainage while conserving water. Jones' introduction of native waste areas reduces the amount of irrigated turf by nearly 25 acres, and he installed an irrigation system that is 20 percent more efficient. The entire course was sand-capped to enhance drainage as well, and a significant amount of rough was eliminated to make the course firmer and play faster.
"It's a renaissance more than a renovation," Jones said. "It's really a brand-new golf course. The new conceptions have reinvigorated the golf course. They will bring the course back to all its glory."
Par at Poppy Hills has dropped from 72 to 71, but the yardage has increased from 6,863 to 7,002 from the new Jones Trail (the back set of tees). The Jones Trail plays to a rating of 73.5 and a slope of 135, but now there is more flexibility in course set-up, with five sets of tees instead of four.
As the redesign was being formally unveiled, course officials also announced that the Champions Tour's Nature Valley First Tee Open will be played at Poppy Hills and Pebble Beach in September. Poppy co-hosted the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am from 1991-2009, as well as the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational for four years; it is owned by the Northern California Golf Association, which has its headquarters on site.
March 20, 2014 - 3:34pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
Getty Images
A source revealed to GolfWeek's Jeff Rude that Tiger Woods has been diagnosed with a bulging disk in his back.

According to a report from GolfWeek's Jeff Rude, world No. 1 Tiger Woods has been diagnosed with a bulging disk in his back and will not need surgery.

Rude obtained the information from "someone with knowledge" of Tiger's condition.

Wrote Rude:

It could have been much worse, the person said, because Woods doesn’t have the kind of herniated disk that likely would require an operation.

In his last two starts on the PGA Tour, Woods has suffered from back spasms. At the Honda Classic three weeks ago, the spasms were so bad, Woods withdrew 13 holes into the final round.

RELATED: Bubba Watson withdraws at Bay Hill citing allergies after first-round 83

Woods played through the pain in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral two weeks ago, but was forced to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational this past Tuesday at Bay Hill, where he was the defending champion (and an eight-time champion overall).

Woods has stated that his goal is to continue treatment with the hope that he'll be ready in time for the Masters, which begins on April 10.

“It's too early to know about the Masters, and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors,” Woods said on his website Tuesday.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


March 20, 2014 - 1:37pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Bubba Watson
USA Today Sports Images
Bubba Watson, citing allergies, withdrew after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday.

Thursday proved to be a tough day for Bubba Watson.

The 2012 Masters champion withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational following an opening round of 11-over 83 at Bay Hill. Watson cited allergies as the reason for his early exit.

READ: Get excited, fellow golfers, spring is officially here

Watson's 83 in the first round, included an 11 at the par-5 sixth hole, a triple-bogey 7 on the par-4 18th hole, three bogeys and one birdie.

Up until this week, it had been a fruitful year for Watson. He made the cut in all seven of his previous starts with five top-10 finishes, including a win in the Northern Trust Open.

Watson sent out the following tweets after his withdrawal:

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


March 20, 2014 - 9:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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T.J. Auclair
Spring is officially here, fellow golfers. Hopefully that means less of what's on the left and more of what's on the right for you.

Aside from the first day of the Masters (just 20 days away now for those counting), today is a very special day for golfers across the country -- especially golfers like me, who have endured yet another long, cold, icy, snowy, New England winter.

Why? Because today, March 20, is officially the first day of spring. While there's still a little snow on the ground in my neck of the woods, there are all kinds of signs that we're just about out of the woods with this brutal winter.

The temperatures are rising. Just last weekend, I visited the nearest outdoor range for the first time since November. There was a good 30-minute wait for a hitting bay.

RELATED: Looking for some drills to work on your game? Watch our instruction videos

Sure, if you love golf, you can still work on your game during the winter months -- golf-specific exercises, indoor practice with putting, or chipping and hitting full shots into a net. I've done all that, but it's not the same as getting outside, breathing in the fresh air and watching the ball travel more than a few feet.

There's nothing better than golf season. The time spent with friends and loved ones on the course is priceless. There are laughs. There are great shots pulled off that we didn't think were possible to pull off. There are bets won and lost involving crazy circumstances that provide great, lifelong stories for the 19th hole and banter for the friend who came out on the short end of the stick.

For many of us, there have been months of watching golf on TV in locales such as Hawaii, California, Arizona and Florida after coming in from shoveling yet more snow. But with the season changing, we finally get to embark on a new season of golf of our own at home, instead of dreaming about those other destinations.

Many of you will set goals and that's terrific. It doesn't matter the goal either: break 100, break 90, break 80, cut down on your number of putts per round, hit more fairways, heck, play more golf -- they're yours to chase down and it makes the new season all the more exciting.

Get out there and play. Play often. Work toward something. But, most of all, have fun.

Winter, you were pretty while you were here, but we're happy to see you go away for the next several months.

Here's to wishing you all a happy spring and a fantastic new season ahead.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


March 19, 2014 - 11:47pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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George IV Bryan and Wesley Bryan
Brothers George IV and Wesley Bryan team up to create several eye-popping trick golf shots.
Man, the trick shots just keep getting, well, trickier.
Just the other day, we were amazed at that two-guys-hit-the-same-ball shot video. In fact, we're still a little amazed by that one.
But Wednesday night, Rickie Fowler tweeted out a link to a trick shot video by brothers George Bryan IV and Wesley Bryan that, to me, is in an entirely different league. In fact, there are two videos – the first one is a bit of an appetizer while the second one is a full meal. But watch 'em both – they're definitely worth the minute or two they'll take.
I'm not even going to try to describe the shots except to say that they require teamwork at its best, so it's no surprise to learn that the brothers have been immersed in golf since childhood. They were essentially raised at the Chapin, S.C., golf academy run by their father, PGA Professional George Bryan III. They started taking lessons from prominent PGA instructor Mike Bender at about the time they began elementary school, and both went on to star at the University of South Carolina.
And just as I was writing this, I noticed that the Bryan brothers' acrobatics have attracted the attention of Lindsay Ann Aho and Lauren Sullivan, who are in the current season of "The Big Break" and appear to be challenging the brothers to a trick-shot contest. Sounds like the competition will get serious next week, so we'll keep an eye out for that.
In the meantime, check out these two videos: