Golf Buzz

February 12, 2013 - 3:10am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Craig Ferguson
Courtesy of CBS
Craig Ferguson took up golf three or four months ago, and now says he loves it.

Craig Ferguson, the host of the ''The Late Late Show'' on CBS, is Scottish – as he never lets anyone forget, ever. And Scotland, as we all know, is the home of golf. Somehow, though, Ferguson never got the golf bug – until now.

Ferguson revealed that he's recently taken up the game during an interview with guest Julie Andrews on Monday night. Out of the blue, he asked ''The Sound of Music'' star if she played golf.

No, she said, explaining that her stepfather was a left-handed scratch player. But, she noted, her mother was a golf widow, so golf never appealed to her that much.

To that, Ferguson replied that he was hooked. ''It's like crack,'' he said.

The appeal of golf, Ferguson joked, is that ''it's all walking around in odd outfits.''

“Do you wear knickerbockers and things like that?,'' Andrews asked him. ''The big socks?''

''Yes, sometimes -- and even when I play golf sometimes,'' Ferguson joked. ''And a nice hat. I have to distract you from how I'm playing the game.''

Andrews asked if she'd ever see Ferguson playing ''in some of the big golf tournaments.''

''Yes,'' Ferguson said, ''I'm gonna try to get good enough so that I can be in those pro-am things, with all these show business hacks.''

''I can’t wait to see it,'' Andrew said.

''Oh,'' Ferguson replied, ''it'll be dreadful.''

I'm not sure anyone at USGA or PGA of America headquarters would appreciate Ferguson's comparison of golf to crack. And I suspect not many of the celebrities who played in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am last week would appreciate him referring to them as ''show business hacks.''

But his enthusiasm seemed quite genuine. And in fact, he brought golf up again with his next guest, ''Hawaii Five-0'' star Grace Park. Park joked that she didn't play because there already was a golfer named Grace Park, so she couldn't.

Hey Grace – TV Grace, that is – we have some good news for you. Your LPGA Tour doppelganger retired from competition last summer, so you're free to take up the game after all. So call your local PGA Professional, get a few lessons, and soon you and Ferguson both can play in those pro-am things like all those other showbiz hacks.

February 11, 2013 - 8:56pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Niki Noto
Photo courtesy Niki Noto's Twitter (@NikiNoto)
Niki Noto has hosted shows on ESPNU, Georgia Public Broadcasting and now PGA.com

 

It's honestly not our style here at PGA.com to brag on ourselves or list out our accomplishments. Sure, we've won Emmys, Webbies, CableFax awards, etc...but we prefer to let others hype those accomplishments while we work everyday to make this site a better destination for all golfers.
 
But sometimes, an award or accolade comes out that deserves a little promotion. Not because it is any more important - but simply because either due to timing or placement, it serves the purpose of letting you know we're working hard to bring you the best information we can - in the best way that we can.
 
In that spirit, I present a list of "40 Most Popular Female Sports Reporters" currently making the rounds among sports fans via our friends at Bleacher Report.  Pay particular attention to No. 12.  You'll recognize her from our very own PGA.com's "Weekly Golf Buzz" - Ms. Niki Noto.
 
 
Normally, I'm not a fan of such lists. Then again, normally these lists are dotted with salacious and exploitive terms such as "hottest" or "sexiest", etc.  And though Ms. Noto has been cited by many of those lists as well; we are proud her talent, work ethic and sports/golf knowledge are recognized as a true asset to PGA.com. We hope you enjoy her spirit and fun personality as each week she brings you the latest in what has the golf world buzzing. 
 
You can watch Niki and the latest edition of the Weekly Golf Buzz here.
 
You can follow Niki on Twitter @NikiNoto or join her Facebook fan page here
 
February 11, 2013 - 2:14pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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LPGA
paigemackenziegolf.com
Paige Mackenzie (right) interviews Jessica Korda in the first webisode of, "Locker Room Confessions."

 

The LPGA Tour features some of the most charasmatic and best personalities in golf. Paige Mackenzie has taken that one step further with the debut of her new web series called, "Locker Room Confessions."
 
In the first webisode, posted today, Mackenzie comes to you from Australia, where she interviewed Jessica Korda, the defending champion of this week's ISPS Australian Open.
 
It's a simple set up -- Mackenzie sitting in the locker room with Korda having a chat among friends. But, what's really cool is that it gives fans an inside look that they wouldn't otherwise get.
 
Mackenzie says, "We talk winning, expectations and life on tour," in the description to the video.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 11, 2013 - 12:38pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Seamus Golf
Seamus Golf
Seamus Golf, based in Oregon, is producing some beautiful headcovers that pay tribute to the game's history.

 

You need not look further than apparel and accessories these days to see that golf is no longer just your grandfather’s game. 
 
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the fun, cool, new-look stuff without tipping your cap to the game’s rich history.
 
That’s precisely what the husband and wife duo of Akbar & Megan Chisti are doing with their line of headcovers.
 
In 2011, the couple co-founded Seamus Golf, which produces beautiful, woolen headcovers. It’s a throwback to the past with a modern twist.
 
The Chisti’s describe Seamus Golf with this – literal – definition:
 
Séa·mus Golf (“SHAY-mus” gôlf) n. 1 Oregon based Artisans handcrafting fine woolen accessories, specializing in uniquely original accouterments that adorn a golfer’s lifestyle 2 true golf enthusiasts creating the finest tartan wool golf headcovers that beautifully blend traditional European inspirations with modern lines and simplicity 3 meticulous designers of golf headcovers and accessories that are crafted to represent each individual golfer, their passion for the game and their distinct style.
 
So what separates Seamus Golf headcovers from the rest?
 
“Traditional plaids have always been synonymous with the great game of golf,” Akbar Chisti told us. “Our little woolen golf club cover company brings fantastic throw back tartans with a fashionable twist and all while meeting the needs of the demanding enthusiast golfer that either plays on fescue, or wishes they were playing on fescue.”
 
There’s an interesting story behind how Seamus Golf – named after a family dog – came to be. It all started with a gift that Akbar Chisti received from his father after a trip to Royal Troon in Scotland.
 
“My dad brought me back the cover from Royal Troon about 12 years ago,” Akbar explained. “At the time, I was working in the shop at Pacific Dunes and caddying on the side, so it came to me at one of those times where I was soaking up everything I could about purist links golf. Ever since I started using the head cover, I received positive comments from my playing partners and it was continuously hearing these affirmations that helped us learn that people might want these types of covers. The need to market and get real sewers occurred when we could no longer meet the demand for our headcovers within just our circle of friends.”
 
Seamus Golf has only been in business for just over a year and a half, but it's certainly finding its niche.
 
“It's really just the funny items that stick out in my head,” Akbar said. “There was a golfer at Bandon Dunes that purchased about 14 headcovers from the shop and demanded that we help design the pillow covers for her house, working collaboratively with her interior decorators. Getting to match up David McLay Kidd's (the Scotsman who designed the first course at Bandon Dunes) kilt to his headcovers was also a pretty awesome experience, since when starting Seamus we'd always been thinking of doing something like that for him.  
 
“Our first shipment to Scotland for a prominent hotel owner in Aberdeen was awesome, since he ordered several of our covers to give as gifts during opening day ceremonies of Mr. Trump's new course,” Akbar added. “Getting to outfit a local high school team and hearing stories about the kids and their love of the wool. There are really a number of highlights that we are very proud of and lucky to be able to reflect on.”
 
Right now, Seamus Golf’s focus is squarely on headcovers. However, Akbar explained, that doesn’t mean the company won’t expand in the future.
 
“It would be really sweet to do other accessories,” he said. “We still have a lot to do within the headcover arena, but we would love to help broaden the ecosystem of finely crafted wool products that enthusiast golfers can adorn their lifestyle with. “
 
Akbar fell in love with the game the way most of us do – as a 12-yaer-old tagging along with dad, which led to enjoying a long walk and chats with friends while playing a competitive game.
 
The biggest highlight for Akbar in his company’s brief existence?
 
“We have had the chance to meet so many incredible people in just a short period of time, and our friendships have really grown stronger with all of the support we have had while starting our little business,” he said. “I had thought that getting to play all these incredible golf courses would be a primary benefit, but as it turns out really it is just our wool that gets to do that!”
 
There’s no doubt that if Seamus Golf maintains its quality there will be many more highlights to come.
 
To learn more about Seamus Golf’s spectacular headcovers, or to purchase them for yourself, visit them online at www.SeamusGolf.com.
 
You can also follow Seamus Golf on Twitter, @seamusgolf, or like them on Facebook here.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 11, 2013 - 9:53am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Pebble Beach
Getty Images
Is there any question that when compiling a list of the PGA Tour's most scenic courses in history that Pebble Beach has got to be on it?

 

The PGA Tour's schedule is virtually a loaded bucket list of golf courses for the every man. Think about it: Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach, PGA National, Riviera, Augusta National, Muirfield Village... the list goes on.
 
But which courses in Tour history are the most scenic?
 
BleacherReport.com featured columnist Mike Dudurich tackled that very question recently.
 
Dudurich writes:
 
Very often, the words scenic and golf courses are mentioned in the same sentence.
 
And because the PGA Tour plays on only the best layouts, those who play at the game's highest level have a chance to play on all of the sport's most aesthetically pleasing courses.
 
Obviously, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But there are some courses that get unanimous accolades and the following list is a collection of what seems to be the most scenic.
 
So which courses that most of us would forever grateful to play just once made Dudurich's list?
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 11, 2013 - 1:36am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Lydia Ko, Richard Sterne, Rocco Mediate, Brandt Snedeker
Getty Images
Lydia Ko, Richard Sterne, Rocco Mediate and Brandt Snedeker all registered memorable victories on Sunday.

What an interesting 24 hours of golf Sunday was. Here's a quick spin through it:

--In the wee hours of Sunday morning here in the United States, golf's latest teen phenom, Lydia Ko won the ISPS Handa Women's New Zealand Open by a shot. The precocious 15-year-old kicked off 2013 by becoming the youngest player ever to win on the Ladies European Tour, and by winning her third pro event – even though she's still an amateur (and a middle-school student, for that matter).

Ko, who was born in South Korea but lives in New Zealand, burst onto the scene in a big way last year when she won the New South Wales Open in Australia at age 14 to become the youngest player, male or female, ever to win a pro tour event. And in the span of a few weeks last summer, she won the U.S. Amateur and the CN Canadian Women's Open to become the youngest player ever to win on the LPGA Tour. Her future seems unlimited.

--About the time we were having breakfast, South Africa's Richard Sterne wrapped up a seven-shot victory in Joburg Open a week after he finished second in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Admittedly the field in Johannesburg wasn't the strongest as the event followed the European Tour's popular Middle East Swing, but his victory was noteworthy nonetheless.

Sterne rose to No. 29 in the world when he won the 2008 Alfred Dunhill Championship and South African Open in back-to-back weeks, but he fell out of the top 1,000 after arthritis in his back forced him to miss most of 2010 and 2011. At one point, he wondered whether he'd even play golf again, but he's now climbed so high in the rankings again that he's qualified for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

--At snack time, Rocco Mediate birdied the final hole of the Allianz Championship to win his Champions Tour debut. The personable Mediate, perhaps best known for losing that Monday playoff to Tiger Woods in the 2008 U.S. Open, became the 16th player in Champions Tour history to win his first start. En route to his victory, Mediate shot a course-record 61 at the Broken Sound Club on Saturday.

--Then, the main event – a spectacularly gorgeous final round on the Monterey Peninsula, where Brandt Snedeker one-upped Sterne. After finishing second to Tiger Woods two weeks ago at Torrey Pines and second to Phil Mickelson last week in Phoenix, Snedeker wasn't to be denied at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. With Woods sitting this one out and Mickelson struggling, Snedeker took charge over the weekend and won by two over youngster Chris Kirk.

For all the recent talk of Woods and Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, no one has been hotter than Snedeker in events that matter over the past six months. Snedeker won the Tour Championship and the FedExCup last fall after coming in second, sixth and tied for 37th in the first three playoff events. His FedExCup windfall obviously hasn't diminished his drive to excel, as he opened 2013 by finishing third at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and tied for 23rd at the Humana Challenge. He's now up to a career-high fourth in the world rankings.

To me, the most interesting thing about Snedeker's success is his equipment – specifically, that he's still playing the same gear he used last year. With all the high-profile equipment changes that always happen at the beginning of a season, he decided that if it wasn't broke, he wasn't going to fix it – even though he plays one of the most unique collections of clubs in all of golf.

How's this for a mixed bag? Snedeker plays a TaylorMade Burner Superfast 2.0 driver, a Tour Edge Exotics CB4 3-wood and a Ping Anser hybrid. His irons and wedges are Bridgestone J40 Cavity Backs, except for his 60-degree wedge, which is a wide-soled Titleist Vokey Design. And his putter is an Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie. If you're counting, that's six different brands among his 14 clubs.