Golf Buzz

March 8, 2013 - 8:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Nick Price
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Nick Price will be the captain of the 2013 International Presidents Cup team.

 

The Presidents Cup -- the biennial team competition that pits the U.S. against the Internationals (players from everywhere but Europe are eligible) -- has been incredibly lopsided since its inception in 1994.
 
In nine matches, the U.S. has won seven times, lost just once and famously tied at the 2003 matches in South Africa.
 
Let's face it, with the U.S. dominance in the event -- pretty much the opposite of its Ryder Cup results lately -- you'd think it'd be time to make a change.
 
At least that's what 2013 International Team Presidents Cup Captain Nick Price and International star Ernie Els thought.
 
Price and Els proposed a plan to PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem to try and making the playing field a bit more even.
 
Golfweek.com's Alex Miceli explains:
 
DORAL, Fla. -- It seems the Presidents Cup will retain the format some say is skewed toward a U.S. victory when the International and U.S. teams make the September trip to Muirfield Village in Ohio for the 10th Presidents Cup.
 
While captain of the International team, Greg Norman said that the format needs to be changed to make the International 12 more competitive. Since then, he and current captain Nick Price, as well as Ernie Els and others, have pitched an amended format to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and U.S. captain Fred Couples. Price finds the rejection to be clear.
 
"The issue to all of us is dead and buried," Price said.
 
Because of the International team's lack of depth, Price has advocated more of a Ryder Cup format with four matches in the alternate shot, rather than six on day one and five on day two.
 
“Our team doesn't quite have the depth that the American team has,” seven–time participant Els said Wednesday, a day after a meeting on the subject. “Their last player in is about where my (world) ranking is, 25, 26 in the world. Right now I'm like No. 4 on the team.
 
"The more points we play for, the worse off we are. The Ryder Cup, they play for 28 points; we play for 34.”
 
 
Follow T.J Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 8, 2013 - 8:07am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Greg Norman
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Greg Norman didn't win the bid to design the 2016 Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro, but he'll still play a role in the Games.

 

Bradley Klein, a senior writer for GolfWeek, reports that Greg Norman will work to help develop China'a Olympic golf team ahead of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
 
Klein wrote:
 
Greg Norman didn’t get to design the golf course for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. But now, through an arrangement with the China Golf Association, he will help shape that country’s golf program in preparation for those games.
 
Norman, 58, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, will work closely with the CGA in developing a training regimen for junior golf generally in China and for identifying candidates to play on Chinese teams in Rio. With golf now slated to return to the Olympic Games in 2016 for the first time since 1904 in St. Louis, many countries are expected to use the occasion to spawn development of their junior golf programs. The terms of any competition in the Rio Games have yet to be announced – other than it will involve separate men’s and women’s events on a course, as yet unbuilt, to be designed by Gil Hanse.
 
To read Klein's entire report, click here.
 
Follow T.J Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 7, 2013 - 7:36pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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TaylorMade-adidas Golf caps
Dustin Johnson via Twitter
TaylorMade staffer tweeted this photo of the #IER caps he's wearing at the Cadillac Championship.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf has been the biggest success story in golf – and I would argue one of the most notable success stories in all of business – in recent years.

The latest proof of that came Thursday, when TaylorMade announced that it achieved record sales in 2012, bringing in more than $1.7 billion. With sales of golf clubs, balls, footwear, apparel and accessories up 20 percent on a currency-neutral basis, the company said, last year was its best ever.

In 2012, the company said, TMaG further strengthened its position as the world's best-selling metalwood brand with a 21 percent increase in that category, which consists of drivers, fairway woods and rescue clubs. The company also grew its iron category by 32 percent. In the United States, which accounts for about half its global sales. TMaG's metalwood market share in dollars was 4 percent and its iron share was 25 percent.

Rounding out its portfolio of growth categories, TMaG saw significant sales gains in footwear (+19 percent), golf bags (+47 percent) and other golf hardware (+48 percent).

The company attributes its 2012 success to the popularity of its adjustable R11S driver and its distance-generating RocketBallz line of clubs. In fact, TaylorMade called the demand for its RocketBallz clubs ''extraordinary.''

Anecdotal evidence so far this year indicates that 2013 will be another strong year, with the second-generation Stage 2 RocketBallz fairway clubs, the RocketBladez irons and the new R1 driver taking the baton from their predecessors. The company also is continuing its relentless marketing pace – this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, for example, TaylorMade staffers are sporting bags and apparel with the #IER hashtag to promote the official tour launch of the RocketBallz Stage 2 clubs (they're ''RocketBallz-ier'').

March 7, 2013 - 7:28pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Phil Mickelson
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Phil Mickelson hit a spectacular pitch shot from a cart path on the 17th hole at Doral on Thursday to set up a birdie on his way to a 5-under 67.

Hitting a shot off the cart path is a lot easier than it looks... at least that's what Phil Mickelson thinks.

Playing the 17th hole in the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral on Thursday, Mickelson elected to play a 50-yard shot from the cart path, deciding it was the cleanest lie he'd get.
 
In typical, magical Phil fashion, Lefty clipped the ball off the concrete and nestled it to within six feet of the hole. He then knocked down the putt for what many of us probably thought was an amazing birdie.
 
Mickelson, however, wasn't as impressed.
 
In an interview with Golf Channel's Steve Sands following his 5-under 67, Mickelson broke down the shot for those of us at home. The explanation was every bit as funny as it was informative and instructional.
 
"This is actually a very easy shot here," Mickelson told Sands as the video highlight played. "Here's the deal on the cart path -- there's two things: 1. You'd have to be an idiot to open the club face because you're adding bounce. There's no way you're going to get the club underneath the ball, right? So, I square up the face, that's one; and No. 2 is, the ball is going to come out five yards longer than normal."
 
 
 
Follow T.J Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 7, 2013 - 1:45pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Michael Phelps
CBSSports.com
We don't condone club tosses, but if you must, how about a better toss than Michael Phelps here?

 

Just because you're an elite athlete doesn't mean taking up golf will be easier for you than it is for the rest of us hacks.
 
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time (22 medals overall, including 18 golds), is learning that.
 
Phelps, the latest subject of Golf Channel's Haney Project, had an entertaining moment we can all relate to on Monday's episode of the show.
 
Playing at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Phelps became so disgusted with his struggles off the tee that he finally took the frustration out on his driver, tossing it.
 
It was a weak hurl to say the least. It actually reminded me of the Volkswagen Passat commercial where the father and son are playing catch -- you know, the one where the father is "teaching" the son how to throw the ball with that pathetic jump toss (click here if you don't remember it).
 
Haney, who was back home watching Phelps' round, had this to say about the club-toss: "That wasn't even a good attempt at being mad."
 
Our friends at BleacherReport.com tweeted out a funny .gif that captured the moment (via CBSSports.com).
 
 
Follow T.J Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 7, 2013 - 3:04am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Rickie Fowler at the Cadillac Driving Experience
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Rickie Fowler gave a thumbs-up before riding along with pro racer Andy Pilgrim at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Last week at the Honda Classic, several PGA Tour players test-drove some Ferraris around Palm Beach International Speedway. On Wednesday, those golfers with the need for speed took a quick trip from Doral down to Homestead-Miami Speedway to check out some high-velocity Cadillacs.

Among the players who took part were Rickie Fowler – of course – as well as Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel. The players got to test-drive a number of Cadillac vehicles, and some took hot laps as a passenger in a Cadillac CTS-V race car with professional race driver Andy Pilgrim.

Ferraris in Palm Beach one week, Cadillacs on a NASCAR track the next. At this rate, the players will be demanding Formula 1 rides at Augusta National.