Golf Buzz

July 3, 2014 - 9:32am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bag Boy Tri Swivel II
Bag Boy
If you love to walk the golf course, but really don't like to carry your golf bag, the Bag Boy Tri Swivel II push cart is just what the doctor ordered.

A lot of people -- myself included -- prefer to walk the course during a round of golf.

Walking is just so much better than riding in a cart and for so many reasons, the least of which is the exercise.

First, chances are you're playing golf to get out of the office and relax. Walking allows you to take it all in. Walking also allows you to develop a rhythm throughout the round and, between shots, you have the chance to think about the upcoming shot.

RELATED: Check out PGA.com's extensive equipment page

The only thing I loathe about walking? Carrying my bag.

I remember growing up and playing alongside my dad and great, great uncle. We'd all take those old pull carts. They were great at the time, but as I got older, they became "uncool." For some reason, carrying a heavy bag was "cooler."

Now at 34 years old, I just don't feel like carrying anymore, but I still want to walk and I don't have a regular caddie to call on a whim every time I have a few free hours to tee it up. I've seen so many incredible looking push carts (much easier to navigate than the old pull carts) on the market, that I decided to try one for myself recently -- the Bag Boy Tri Swivel II.

Wow.

This is the next best thing to taking a caddie. We're in the middle of a typical steaming hot summer here in New England and it sure was nice to enjoy a round of golf in 90-degree temperatures without carrying around 20 extra pounds of luggage. Instead, I pushed the cart -- with incredible ease -- and was able to save my energy for what mattered most... the shot at hand.

The Bag Boy Tri Swivel II consists of the following features:

-- Lightweight, weather resistant aluminum frame

-- Handle mounted parking brake

-- Durable handlebar grip

-- Easy one-step handle adjustment accommodates golfers of all heights

-- NEW Full feature, extra deep scorecard holder offers golf ball storage

-- 9.5" front and 11.5" rear oversized wheels roll easily through the grass

-- Lightweight, solid foam, maintenance free tires

-- Integrated tee and ball holder

-- Integrated beverage holder

-- Oversized storage bag included

-- Weight: 17 lbs.

-- Folded dimension: 23.5" x 13" x 24"

My push cart was also equipped with an attachment for a small seat. That came in handy on a few occasions as we waited for the group in front of us.

I know many people are minimalists when it comes to what they take on to the course. I'm not one of those people. I like to be prepared for anything, so I always have a rain jacket, umbrella, extra golf balls, a couple of extra gloves, my rangefinder, etc.

All of that stuff -- along with a few snacks and bottles of water -- can really weigh down the golf bag. However, with the Bag Boy Tri Swivel II, you're not weighed down by your extra cargo at all. It was fantastic.

The features that really made this push cart so special were the beverage holder, tee and ball holder and scorecard holder. You don't realize how nice it is to have all this things util you actually have them. The only items I keep in my pocket now with this cart are a ball marker and a divot tool. Other than that, I simply grab a tee or ball off the top console as I need it.

There's also a convenient little net that drops down from the top console which is great for a rangefinder or GPS device. And a small pocket on the back side of the top console was perfect to store a cell phone, car keys and wallet.

You might get a few funny looks from those on the practice green when you stroll up with this sophisticated push cart, but they'll be jealous in no time. It makes the round and the walk far more enjoyable and far less exhausting.

The Tri Swivel II sells for $249.95. You know that saying, "you get what you pay for?"

Well, that's the case with this push cart. It's not cheap, but it's high end and you're not likely to ever need another push cart.

If you don't want to spend that much, Bag Boy's C3 push cart is another worthy option. It has many, but not all, of the same features as the Tri Swivel II. The C3 retails for $199.95.

For more information, visit www.bagboycompany.com

PING G30
PING
PING's new G30 series, consisting of two driver options -- standard and SF Tec (Straight Flight Technology) -- along with fairway woods, hybrids and irons is available for pre-ordering now.

PING has introduced its G30 series, consisting of two driver options -- standard and SF Tec (Straight Flight Technology) -- along with fairway woods, hybrids and irons. The product line can be pre-ordered beginning today at PING-authorized golf shops around the world.

The new G30 series puts an emphasis on significantly increasing ball velocity and accuracy through a combination of advanced aerodynamics, plus new face designs and materials. The company's latest innovations provide golfers measurable distance gains without sacrificing key performance attributes such as control and forgiveness.

"With the G30 series, our engineers once again accomplished something that is unique to PING products -- they elevated performance significantly in key areas without sacrificing other important attributes," said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. "Across the product line, we've proved you can hit the ball higher and farther while increasing forgiveness and control. We've also continued our focus on advancing custom fitting in the driver and fairway woods by offering five loft positions. All of this promotes the consistent, reliable results that will help golfers of any skill level shoot lower scores and enjoy the game more."

RELATED: Check out Bubba Watson's new PING G30 driver

The most visible innovation on the G30 driver is the patented turbulators engineered onto the crown. Inspired by the aeronautics and sporting industries that put a premium on speed, Turbulator Technology reduces aerodynamic drag by significantly delaying airflow separation, maintaining attached airflow around the clubhead as it approaches impact, leading to more speed.

"The turbulators are really exciting," Solheim said. "Wind-tunnel testing verified with clarity the role they play in reducing drag on the driver head, but its real benefit was confirmed through our player testing. When Bubba Watson first tested the turbulators, he picked up two miles per hour in clubhead speed and four miles per hour in ball speed, which meant 10 more yards for him. We can't promise that for everyone, but with the turbulators' powerful, inspiring look we're confident all golfers will be longer off the tee, thanks to Turbulator Technology."

The entire G30 series benefits from new face technologies and materials, including the introduction of T9S titanium in the drivers, which results in thinner faces and weight savings that help position the CG low and back. The fairway woods utilize a high-strength Carpenter 475 steel in the face, and the hybrids are heat treated with an H900 process. Both result in hotter, more forgiving faces. The G30 iron face is thinner for higher ball speeds while being stabilized by a new custom tuning port design for predictable distance control.

The G30 SF Tec driver option is engineered for players whose shots typically end up right of the intended target. In player testing, the G30 SF Tec driver, which features weight closer to the heel and lighter swingweights, improved shot bend by 12 yards when compared to the G30 standard driver.

PING has also increased the range of adjustability to five loft positions in the driver and fairway woods while maintaining the same mass and outer diameter as the company’s fixed hosels, providing the benefits of adjustability with no sacrifice in performance. The lightweight hosel allows golfers to increase or decrease loft 6/10 of a degree or 1 full degree to optimize launch conditions.

New product descriptions and technical specifications:

G30 Adjustable Driver

Turbulators on the crown of the 460cc Ti 8-1-1 head reduce aerodynamic drag, leading to faster clubhead speed and ball velocity for long, accurate drives. Turbulators also assist with aim and alignment. The higher strength/weight ratio of the T9S face material allows for a thinner, hotter face and saves 4 grams of weight. The weight savings are allocated to help position the CG lower and farther back than any PING driver to date, ensuring high launch and optimized spin with a high MOI. SF Tec heads promote a right-to-left ball flight for players whose shots typically end up right of the target. To optimize launch angle and spin, golfers can add or subtract up to 1 degree of loft using Trajectory Tuning+ Technology. A high-balance-point TFC 419D shaft has a CG closer to the grip end, promoting a simultaneous increase in energy, momentum and inertia. The custom tuning port can accommodate a range of fitting weights and allows PING to achieve the desired swing weight across a variety of proprietary and after-market shafts.

- Lofts 9° & 10.5° in standard head, 10° & 12° in SF Tec head (adjustable +- 6/10 or 1 degree)
- Stock graphite shaft: PING TFC 419D (Soft R, R, S, X)
- Std. Length 45.75 inches, D3, 206g (standard); D1, 203g (SF Tec), 460cc
- U.S. MSRP: $385

G30 Adjustable Fairway Woods

Faster ball speeds and greater distance come from a larger face made of a uniform-thickness Carpenter 475 steel, creating a thin but strong hitting surface that maximizes face deflection. (Carpenter 475 steel is 44% stronger than 17-4 stainless steel.) Weight saved by thinning the face was redistributed to optimize the CG and elevate MOI for added forgiveness. Launch angle and spin can be fine-tuned by adding or subtracting up to 1 degree of loft with PING's five-
setting Trajectory Tuning+ Technology, utilizing a lightweight hosel that offers adjustments of +0.6°, +1°, -0.6°, and -1°. Crown turbulators create a captured appearance with the ball, and help with aim and alignment to inspire confidence. The high-balance-point TFC 419F shaft has a CG closer to the grip end, promoting a simultaneous increase in energy, momentum and inertia for longer, straighter results.

- Available 3W (14.5º), 5W (18º), 7W (21º) (adjustable +- 6/10 or 1 degree)
- Stock graphite shaft: PING TFC 419F (Soft R, R, S, X)
- U.S. MSRP: $275

G30 Irons

Progressive lengths and lofts and a thin face that maximizes ball speed help launch the ball farther and higher with control. Situated low in the sole of the undercut cavity design, the CTP structure helps lower the CG to ensure high launch with forgiveness, and it supports the 17-4 stainless steel face to provide distance control and a solid feel. The soft elastomer badge enhances feel and sound in the perimeter-weighted design. A softer lead-edge radius and precisely calculated additions to the bounce profile ensure a smooth transition through the grass with a stable head, which adds to forgiveness. This versatile sole design is engineered to perform well with any angle of attack. Progressive offset generates higher ball flights in the longer irons and penetrating, controlled trajectories with the scoring clubs. Slightly longer blade lengths increase forgiveness, most noticeably in the 4 through 7 iron.

- Available 4-9, PW, UW, SW, LW
- Stock steel shaft: PING CFS Distance (Soft R, R, S, X)
- Stock graphite shaft: PING TFC 419i (Soft R, R, S)
- U.S. MSRP: $110 per club w/steel shaft; $125 per club w/graphite shaft

G30 Hybrids

Greater ball velocity and longer distances with a higher trajectory ensure the stopping power to attack pins. The thin, uniform 17-4 stainless steel face is processed with a H900 heat treatment to maximize face deflection and increase ball speed for added distance with a higher peak trajectory and a steeper landing angle. Heel-toe weighting elevates MOI for extreme forgiveness. Weight in the low sole creates a low-back CG for consistent impact and high launch. Progressive CG locations and offsets ensure efficient gapping and trajectories that maximize distance. To inspire confidence, the top rail is flatter and the heel section is higher, providing a very square face at address that helps with aim and alignment consistency. The high-balance-point TFC 419H shaft has a CG closer to the grip end, promoting a simultaneous increase in energy, momentum and inertia for longer, straighter results.

- Available 17º, 19º, 22º, 26º, 30º
- Stock graphite shaft: PING TFC 419H (Soft R, R, S, X)
- U.S. MSRP: $242.50 

Lee Westwood
Getty Images
The logo of Lee Westwood's golf school will festoon the front of Worksop Town FC's soccer jerseys this season.
A lot of us Americans are into the World Cup this summer. Or at least we were …
 
Most of us, however, are amateurs compared to true soccer aficionados like Lee Westwood. The former world No. 1 was so distressed to hear that Worksop Town FC, his hometown club back in England, was having money troubles this summer that he came to the rescue.
 
So, when the new season begins on July 15, the team will sport the Lee Westwood Golf School logo on the front of its jerseys.
 
"Worksop will always be my home, people will always associate me with my home town and I'm proud of my roots," Westwood told The Worksop Guardian. "Worksop Town are the world's fourth oldest club, and their history and position in the heart of the community should be safeguarded."
 
The future of the semi-pro team – which will play in the Premier Division of the Northern Counties East Football League this year – was uncertain after owner Jason Clark said that he was walking away earlier this summer. A group of fans, called the Team 500 Club, began a fundraising drive, and the newspaper contacted Westwood – who is by far Worksop's most famous son – about the possibility of sponsoring the jerseys.
 
"It's fantastic news for the fans, and Worksop in general, to see such a high-profile sportsman" backing the team, said Kev Keep, chairman of the Worksop Town Supporters Trust. 
 
The Lee Westwood Golf School, by the way, operates educational centers in Cheshire and Essex, and Westwood's desire was that his budding teenaged golfers also received a well-rounded education.
 
"Lee plays an active role in the schools. The students got to meet him at Wentworth this year and he speaks to them on Skype," said Dainty. "The students get a good education and that’s important to Lee."
 
And, by the way, Worksop Town's nickname is the Tigers. Maybe Westwood can hit Tiger Woods up for a little contribution to the cause!
 
July 2, 2014 - 3:21pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson reiterated Wednesday that Tiger Woods' chances of having a spot on the team will be dependent upon his health and if he's playing well.

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson said in a press conference at Greenbrier on Wednesday that he's hoping to connect with Tiger Woods in two weeks at the Open Championship.

After a three-month absence from the PGA Tour to recover from back surgery, Woods returned to competition last week at the Quicken Loans National where he missed the cut.

Woods is currently No. 69 in the U.S. standings. The top nine players at the conclusion of the PGA Championship earn an automatic berth on the team. The team will be filled out in early September when Watson makes his three captain's picks.

RELATED: Here's how Tiger Woods could make the U.S. Ryder Cup team | More Ryder Cup coverage

"As I've said in front of the press, if he's playing well and he's healthy, he's on the team," Watson said. "Right now he's way down the list as far as points, but who wouldn't pick Tiger Woods to be on your Ryder Cup team? That is the question to everybody. Who wouldn't pick him?"

While there's an outside chance that Woods would add tournaments to his schedule in a push to earn more Ryder Cup points, chances are he'll only make three starts between now and the PGA Championship -- the Open, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship. All of those tournaments are on courses where Woods has won before -- Royal Liverpool, Firestone and Valhalla. Keep in mind the majors are worth double points.

The other concern in terms of Tiger's Ryder Cup hopes becomes his FedExCup standing. Right now, Woods is No. 208 in points. Only the top 125 players qualify for the first leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup -- the Barclays.

The only tournament between the PGA Championship and the Barclays in which Woods could earn points is the Wyndham Championship.

Watson has routinely stated that Woods needs to be "playing well and healthy," to be deserving of a Captain's pick.

There's a chance, however, that Woods -- while healthy -- may not be eligible to play in the two playoff events leading up to Watson's decision on his Captain's picks.

"He'll be considered less of a pick then if he didn't have a track record going into the Ryder Cup, of course," Watson said. "He'd be the first to tell you, 'I haven't been playing.' Like I said, how he's been playing and if he's healthy, those are the two factors that I'll weigh in choosing. That's just common sense in my opinion." 

Here is Watson's news conference:

 

 

July 2, 2014 - 1:05pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
TPC Harding Park
TPC Harding Park
The PGA of America announced on Wednesday that TPC Harding Park in San Francisco will host the 2020 PGA Championship. It will mark the first time the PGA Championship is played in California since 1995 at Riviera Country Club.

For the first time since 1995, the PGA Championship will soon be making a return to the west coast.

The PGA of America announced on Wednesday that the 2020 PGA Championship will be contested at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

It was also announced that TPC Harding Park will host the the 2025 Presidents Cup and the 2015 World Golf Championships-Match Play Championship.

"The PGA of America is proud to be taking its major championship in 2020 to the City of San Francisco, home to one of the premier venues that embraces public golf along with the skill to stage some of the game’s greatest events," said PGA President Ted Bishop. "It is exciting to be sharing today's announcement with the PGA Tour and the City of San Francisco. Together, we look to grow the game among new audiences and present the finest championships for the greatest players in the world."

ENTIRE PRESS RELEASE: TPC Harding Park to host PGA Championship, Presidents Cup and Match Play

The 2020 PGA Championship will mark the first major played at a TPC property. Overall, it will be the fifth PGA Championship played in the state of California and the first since 1995 when Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades hosted the season's final major. Steve Elkington won that year.

The other three PGA Championships played in California consist of Hillcrest Country Club (1929), Pebble Beach Golf Links (1977) and Riviera Country Club (1983). TPC Harding Park will be the second municipally owned golf course to host the PGA Championship. The only other PGA Championship to be conducted at a municipal golf facility was the 1974 Championship at Tanglewood Golf Club in Clemmons, N.C.

TPC Harding Park -- formerly Harding Park Golf Club -- opened for play in 1935 after a design by noted architects Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, who also oversaw the construction of nearby Olympic Club.

The course was named after President Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, an avid golfer who died at the Palace Hotel in 1923 during a visit to San Francisco.

Over the years, Harding Park, which hosted the San Francisco City Championship, lost its prestige, but was revitalized after a massive renovation before hosting the 2005 World Golf Championships-American Express Championship.

In advance of the event, Harding Park underwent a 15-month renovation project that expanded the course from 6,743 yards to around 7,200 yards. The course reopened on August 22, 2003, and the World Golf Championships event was held in October 2005.

TPC Harding Park is also the site of The First Tee of San Francisco, which now reaches more than 80,000 young people annually through chapter programs and elementary schools. 

July 2, 2014 - 12:10pm
Posted by:
PGA.com
dpurdum's picture
Greenbrier Classic
Greenbrier.com
Old White TPC will be the site of this week's PGA Tour stop, the Greenbrier Classic.

Greenbrier Head Professional Hill Herrick shared his local knowledge of the Old White TPC, site of this week's Greenbrier Classic, with PGA.com. 

PGA.com: A score of 13-under won last year. Do you see a similar score winning again this week?

Herrick: I would predict 12-15 under par will win the tournament; The Old White TPC is a challenging 7,300-yard, par-70 layout.

PGA.com: In order to have success on The Old White, a golfer must do what?

Herrick: Avoid the fairway and greenside bunkers, most are deep with steep fescue faces, which will challenge even the best short games.

GREENBRIER CLASSIC: Tee times and leaderboard | 5 players to watch

PGA.com: Where is the most popular spot on the course for spectators to catch the action?

Herrick: No. 18, a short par 3 with one of the more unique green contours on the PGA TOUR. The hole is almost completely surrounded by grandstands and sky boxes.

PGA.com: What is the most popular concessions item?

Herrick: Fried Green Tomato Sandwich.

PGA.com: Are there any local storylines surrounding the tournament that standout?

Herrick: The winner of the West Virginia State Amateur Championship (which is also played annually at The Greenbrier) is given a sponsor’s exemption into The Greenbrier Classic.  This year’s winner, Brian Anania, a recent Marshall University graduate, should have many fans in attendance.