Golf Buzz

Tom Brady
USA Today Sports Images
When talking about long passing versus short passing this week, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used a golf analogy.
With "DeflateGate" firmly pushed into the background, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are putting together another excellent season in the National Football League. The Pats are 7-0 heading into this Sunday's game with the Washington Redskins.
If there's a shortcoming in Brady's repertoire, most observers agree, it's that he's a little weak throwing long balls. Brady, a master of the short passing game, acknowledged that fact earlier this week, according to a story on WBZ-TV in Boston, and then compared throwing passes to hitting golf balls.
"Like hitting a wedge or a driver – it's the same swing," said Brady, an avid golfer in his spare time. "One is just there's a little nuance to it that's maybe a little different. I haven't hit the driver as well as I've probably hit the wedges, but if I can hit the driver a little better, it'll make things easier on our team."
That makes perfect sense. And it's worth noting that, according to the story, Brady has improved his success on passes from 21-30 yards significantly this season over last year. But now that he's comparing golf and football, what I really want to see is him showing off his swing on the football field like New York Giants punter Brad Wing did last week.
And if you want to take a look at  Brady's golf swing, here it is, complete with a breakdown from PGA instructor Scott Schroeder:
James Bond and Auric Goldfinger
United Artists
James Bond questions Goldfinger's golf ball in the crucial moment of their golf match.
The new James Bond movie, "Spectre," opens today at a theater near you. As far as I know, this one doesn't have any golf scenes, but the release of every new Bond film automatically reminds me of "Goldfinger," the 1964 film in which our hero Bond plays the villainous Auric Goldfinger in one of the great golf matches ever filmed.
You can see the match in this clip on YouTube, and I've also embedded it at the bottom of this post, though the quality isn’t much. The video's grainy, and it sounds like the ocean is roaring in the background the entire time. But watching it again still made me smile – I cannot believe it came out 51 years ago.
Bond and Goldfinger meet up at what is supposed to be the famous Royal St. George’s, but the scene was actually filmed at Stoke Park Club, which is also where Goldfinger's manservant/caddie Oddjob decapitated a statue with his lethal hat.
Goldfinger shows up in a sweater, tie and pair of natty plus-fours, and wields a classic Bullseye putter. Bond is wearing a tall fedora-looking hat that I still can't believe actually stayed on his head when he swings.
The shenanigans begin right away, as Goldfinger hits a drive way left into the rough. As everyone searches for the ball, Bond reminds Goldfinger that his five minutes are almost up – and at that moment, Oddjob drops a ball down his pants leg and announces triumphantly that he’s found the ball.
"If that's his original ball, I'm Arnold Palmer," Bond's caddie says. Then Bond confirms that he knows Goldfinger is cheating – because, Bond reveals, he's standing on Goldfinger's ball, and lifts up his shoe to show it to the caddie.
Interestingly, in the "Goldfinger" novel, author Ian Fleming had the caddie stand on the ball. For the film, producer Harry Saltzman had Bond stand on it because he thought it gave the Bond character a bit more of an edge.
Anyway, Bond pockets Goldfinger's ball and acts like nothing's wrong.
The match proceeds until the 17th green, where Goldfinger putts out and Bond picks his ball out of the cup – and switches the ball Goldfinger had been playing with the original one. He tosses the original ball to Goldfinger, who doesn't notice the switch and again displays his evilness by teeing off first on the 18th tee despite not having the honor.
After they putt out and Goldfinger thinks he's won, Bond looks at Goldfinger’s ball.
Bond: "You play a Slazinger 1, don't you?"
Goldfinger replies: "Yes, why?"
Bond: "This is a Slazinger 7."
And then, pointing at his own ball, Bond adds: "Here's my Penfold Hearts. You must have played the wrong ball somewhere on the 18th fairway. We are playing strict rules, so I'm afraid you lose the hole and the match."
Goldfinger, of course, disgustedly slams his ball on the green and storms off.
Fleming played as a 9-handicap, and that is also the handicap to which Bond played. Interestingly, though, Sean Connery, who played Bond in "Goldfinger" and several other early Bond films, didn't play much golf, despite growing up near a golf course in Scotland.
"It wasn't until I was taught enough golf to look as though I could outwit the accomplished golfer Gert Frobe in 'Goldfinger' that I got the bug. I began to take lessons on a course near Pinewood film studios and was immediately hooked on the game," Connery wrote in his 2008 autobiography, which was excerpted by the Telegraph newspaper in England. "Soon it would nearly take over my life.
"I began to see golf as a metaphor for living, for in golf you are basically on your own, competing against yourself and always trying to do better. If you cheat, you will be the loser, because you are cheating yourself," he added. "When Ian Fleming portrayed Auric Goldfinger as a smooth cheater, James Bond had no regrets when he switched his golf balls, since to be cheated is the just reward of the cheater."
One final note: The movie's release sparked a huge demand for Penfold golf balls, and not just in England. Penfold, which dates back to the 1920s, still exists primarily as a maker of high-end golf apparel, but it still offers its Hearts golf balls.
November 6, 2015 - 8:01am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Taking a penalty drop from a water hazard on Friday in the WGC-HSBC Champions, Rory McIlroy proceeded to lose a second golf ball while taking said penalty drop. What?

During the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions on Friday, Rory McIlroy dropped a ball in the water on the par-5 18th hole.

Check it out:


Fortunately for McIlroy, there’s no penalty for when your “drop” rolls into a hazard.

Good thing he doesn’t have to pay for golf balls.

Rory McIlroy
PGA Tour via YouTube
Rory McIlroy's tee shot on the par-3 12th hole on Friday peeked in the cup before deciding not to fall in.
What is going on at the HSBC Champions over in Shanghai?
On Thursday, we saw Dustin Johnson miss a hole-in-one by a mere few inches. Then tonight, Rory McIlroy missed an ace of his own by a whisker.
McIlroy's extremely close call came on the 224-yard, par-3 12th hole at Sheshan International. His 5-iron hit below and left of the flagstick on the putting surface, then tracked directly toward the flag. It had just the right speed to fall into the hole, but skimmed just past the left edge.
McIlroy made the shortie for birdie, and that hole stood out as the highlight of his second round as he carded four birdies and four bogeys for an even-par 72 that had to be a letdown after the 68 he gutted out in the first round while recovering from food poisoning.
Here's his shot:
Brian Davis
PGA Tour via YouTube
Brian Davis shared a fist bump with his caddie after his one-bounce eagle found the bottom of the cup on Friday.
Remember last week, when we showed you Scott Brown's hole-in-one at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia? We called it an ace with authority because that ball would not be denied on its one-way journey to the bottom of the cup.
Well, today, we saw that shot's little brother.
At the PGA Tour's Sanderson Farms Championship, Brian Davis was 48 yards away from the flag on the 317-yard, par-4 15th hole in Mississippi. His wedge bounced once in the middle of the green – then jumped forward directly into the cup on the fly. 
That ball headed so single-mindedly into the cup that it looked like a dog chasing a cat.
Davis paired that eagle with five birdies, and got into the clubhouse with a 7-under 65. He's tied for fourth as of the end of Thursday's play.
Here's his shot:
Dustin Johnson's almost-ace
PGA Tour via YouTube
Dustin Johnson came within inches of a hole-in-on on Thursday at the HSBC Champions.
We all know Dustin Johnson can smack a golf ball about as far as anyone. He can also knock it close – real close – as he proved in the first round of the WGC-HSBC Champions on Thursday in Shanghai.
DJ was already having a good day when he reached the tee box on the 197-yard, par-3 fourth hole at Sheshan International at 4 under par (he started on the back nine). He walked off the green at 5 under, thanks to a tee shot that landed mere inches from the cup.
The ball hopped agonizingly close to the flagstick, then stopped a just few inches past it.
That wasn't Johnson's only memorable moment of the day, either. A little earlier, he reached the green on the 550-yard, par-5 second hole in two and rolled in a 17-footer for an eagle, and finished with a 7-under 65. Here are those two shots: