Golf Buzz

September 29, 2015 - 10:09am
mark.aumann's picture
Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth puts a special identification mark on his Titleist golf balls, for two reasons.

Here's something I'll bet you didn't know.

Jordan Spieth has a very specific way of marking his golf balls, as you'll see in this awesome video posted on YouTube by Titleist.

AWARD WINNER: Spieth named PGA of America's Player of the Year

It's not only something he can easily spot when identifying the ball on the course, but it helps his mental game as well.




WINNER'S BAG: The equipment Jordan Spieth used to win the Tour Championship

That's a great tip from the PGA of America's Player of the Year: Use everything at your disposal to maintain your focus on every shot. 

September 28, 2015 - 7:19am
mark.aumann's picture
Jordan Spieth
PGA Tour/Twitter
Jordan Spieth amused himself Sunday by skipping golf balls across a pond.

Because a $10 million payday for winning the 2015 FedExCup title at East Lake Golf Club didn't seem all that challenging, Jordan Spieth used some of his warmup time before Sunday's final round doing a few trick shots for the camera.

WHAT'S IN THE BAG?: Jordan Spieth's winning equipment

Check out this video of him skipping golf balls across a pond:



Spieth may not be able to walk on water, but he can skip golf balls across it.

FEDEXCUP REACTION: PGA Tour players send social messages to Spieth

Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
Jordan Spieth captured two trophies and capped off a $22 million season, on Sunday, which prompted many of his PGA Tour peers to take to social media to remark on his achievement.
At the mere age of 22, Jordan Spieth has gone where no golfer had gone before. On Sunday, he capped off his season for the record books by winning both the Tour Championship and the $10 million FedExCup bonus while amassing an unprecedented $22 million in earnings – $22,030,456, if you want to get specific.
Even after a relatively short time on the PGA Tour circuit, Spieth is one of the game's most popular players. And needless to say, many of his fellow professional golfers took to social media to react to his accomplishment. Here are some of their responses, from the silly to the sincere:
Rickie Fowler and fan
PGA Tour via Twitter
Rickie Fowler played it cool while his shot approached the flag, but his little fan clearly couldn't control his emotions.
Rickie Fowler isn't going to win the Tour Championship or the FedExCup today, but this video clip very likely is the best fan reaction shot of the year.
Check out how the "little Rickie" on the left reacts to a shot from Fowler, who is impassively watching the shot play out literally inches away from his rabid supporter:
September 26, 2015 - 8:07am
mark.aumann's picture
Vardon Trophy
USA Today Sports Images
Jason Day and Jordan Spieth are in a close battle for this year's Vardon Trophy.

There's another on-course battle going on at East Lake Golf Club this weekend between Jordan Spieth and Jason Day that involves one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in golf.

Since 1937, the PGA of America has awarded the Vardon Trophy -- named after legendary British professional Harry Vardon -- to the touring professional with the lowest adjusted scoring average.

VARDON TROPHY: Rory McIlroy wins award in 2014

Heading into the Tour Championship, Spieth had averaged 68.984 strokes per round in 87 total rounds. That's slightly better than Day's 69.163 average over 71 rounds. That's incredibly close -- a difference of .18 strokes over the entire season -- with just four rounds to be tabulated. And in either case, it'll be the first Vardon Trophy for the winner.

The final results will be released on Monday.

The award is based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA Tour. The adjusted score is computed from the average score of the field at each event.

Rory McIlroy won the Vardon Trophy last season by averaging 68.82 strokes through 66 complete rounds. He edged Sergio Garcia (68.95), who completed 61 rounds. It was his second Vardon Trophy in three seasons. In 2013, Tiger Woods picked up his record ninth Vardon Trophy.

Fourteen players have won multiple Vardon trophies, but surprisingly, Jack Nicklaus is not among that group. Billy Casper and Lee Trevino have five each, while Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead won the Vardon Trophy four times.

The first winner was Harry Cooper in 1937, when the award was based on a point system. It was not awarded during World War II, then switched to adjusted scoring average when it resumed in 1947.

Whistling Straits
The PGA of America
Whistling Straits, which hosted an amazing PGA Championship last month, comes in at No. 27 on the new Top 100 Courses list from Golf Magazine.
Most of us will never play all the best courses in the world, but many of us will play some of them. And that's what makes the release of the various Top 100 Courses lists so much fun to pore over.
Golf Magazine released its latest biennial list of the Top 100 Courses today, and it's packed with many of the great layouts with which we're all familiar. Interestingly, its list of the top 10 contains many of the same courses as you'll find on the Golf Digest list that came out in January, but in a slightly different order.
Here's the brand-new Golf Magazine top 10:
1. Pine Valley
2. Cypress Point
3. Augusta National
4. Shinnecock Hills
5. Pebble Beach
6. Oakmont
7. National Golf Links
8. Merion (East Course)
9. Sand Hills
10. Pinehurst No. 2
And here's the Golf Digest top 10:
1. Augusta National
2. Pine Valley
3. Cypress Point
4. Shinnecock Hills
5. Merion (East Course)
6. Oakmont
7. Pebble Beach
8. National Golf Links
9. Winged Foot (West Course)
10. Fisher Island
At the elite level of these world-class layouts, there is no real difference in quality – it's just a matter of personal preference. Golf Magazine explains that its list is determined by a panel of 100 raters that includes major winners, course architects, journalists and a cadre of connoisseurs who have played all of the world's top 100 courses. There are no set-in-stone criteria they must follow, the magazine says, adding that "we have confidence in their sense of what constitutes 'greatness' in a course."
For me, one of the most fun parts of perusing the lists is seeing what the raters think of the best new courses and those courses that have undergone significant renovations. A great example is the No. 92-ranked Blue Monster at Trump Doral, which Golf Magazine sums up this way:
"An extraordinary makeover from Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner took what had become a tired resort course and turned it into one of the toughest tests on the PGA Tour, a fire-breather that once again lived up to its name. Newly installed teeth in the form of added yardage, altered angles, contoured greens and steeper slopes around the greens have dramatically altered the layout, strengthening it in every way."
Another fun thing to do is check out where the various major championship venues rank. For example, 2015 PGA Championship host venue Whistling Straits comes in at No. 27, while 2016 PGA Championship venues Baltusrol (Lower Course) comes in at No. 32. These two courses couldn't be more different in look and attitude, yet they're only five spots apart in the ranking.
Okay, no more spoilers from me. Check the list out for yourself. And if you want to compare it to the current Golf Digest list, you can find it here.