Golf Buzz

October 1, 2014 - 3:35pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Paul Azinger
Baltimore Orioles Twitter
Paul Azinger spoke to the Orioles before their first playoff game on Thursday.

The Baltimore Orioles have their first playoff game on Thursday. On Tuesday, they brought in a special guest to help them get ready. 

Paul Azinger, the captain of the victorious 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team, stopped by Camden Yards in Baltimore to bring some inspiration to the American League East champions.

No video has surfaced of Azinger's speech but it's probably safe to bet that it had something to do with the Orioles' playoff mantra: We won't stop.

This is not the first time the Orioles have brought in Azinger to speak to the team. According to a tweet from Eduardo Encina, the Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Sun, Azinger addressed the team in the spring. 

Since whatever Azinger said in the spring helped the Orioles win 96 games this season, it's no surprise that Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who has a USGA 8.9 handicap at Texas National, would invite him back. Plus, we do know how much baseball players love to spend their free time out on the course. That would make the last U.S. captain to win a Ryder Cup a natural fit to speak to the team before the Orioles’ biggest series of the year so far. 

Related: Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux also excel on the golf course

What makes this a little strange is Azinger's baseball allegiances. Take a look at this tweet from earlier in the year.

Let's give Azinger a break though. The Rays, a divisional rival of the Orioles, struggled this year and missed the postseason so it's not like they're still competing against the Orioles.


September 30, 2014 - 5:30pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods' restaurant will be called The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club.

While the golfing world concentrated on the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Tiger Woods was noticably absent. Perhaps now we know why.

On Tuesday, the Palm Beach Post reported that Woods is planning on opening a restaurant near his home called "The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club" sometime next year.

ORDER UP: Loudmouth Grill opens its first restaurant in Orlando

According to the Associated Press, a statement issued by developer Allied Capital and Development of South Florida says the property is still in the works, but is expected to be a 5,900-square-foot restaurant. It's likely to open in the first quarter of 2015.

Woods said in the statement that he envisions "a place where people can meet friends, watch sports on TV and enjoy a great meal."

September 30, 2014 - 12:39pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
DJ Henry
DJ Henry, 7 years old, pulls off a trick shot that you've got to see.

Quick. Someone tell the trick-shot specialist Bryan Brothers to look out. They have some competition in the form of a 7-year-old.

Meet young DJ Henry, apparently an aspiring golf trick-shot artist based on this video:

Pretty impressive stuff from the little guy, don't you think?

And pace of play doesn't seem to be an issue either. The cameraman barely finishes the introduction and DJ lets it rip. 

September 29, 2014 - 7:58pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Making golf more fun for juniors
Photo courtesy of Angela Aulenti
One of the ways parents can make golf more fun for their children is by setting up an obstacle course.

One of the positives that came out of the Ryder Cup for Team USA was the play of two of its young stars. That's a big plus for golf, both in the short term and the long term.

Patrick Reed, 24, and Jordan Spieth, 21, earned 2.5 points in three partner matches and Reed earned another point when he beat Henrik Stenson in singles. Throw into the mix 25-year-old Rickie Fowler, who despite being winless in the Ryder Cup is still one of the most popular golfers with young fans, and the future looks bright for the U.S. 

With so much young American talent, there's a real possibility of enticing more children to play the game. That's the goal of PGA Professional Angela Aulenti of Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, Conn. The recent winner of the LPGA's Nancy Lopez Award, Aulenti is very active with junior golfers, helping run a junior golf camp at Sterling Farms on Wednesdays during the summer and also working with junior golfers with disabilities. 

Q: Just by looking at your background, you do a lot of work with junior golfers, especially charity work. Why do you like working with them?

Aulenti: They are the future and they are so newly molded and they are fun. It’s always a challenge to teach juniors and it always is a challenge to us as Professionals to figure out a different way to say it or figure out a different drill to do or something that’s new or fun and creative. It keeps the creative side of you going.

Related: Junior golfer makes albatross on No. 18 at Pebble Beach

Q: Let’s say a parent has a child who wants to get into golf. What’s the one big piece of advice that you would give to the parent?

Aulenti: First of all, I want to make sure the child wants to do it. Then I want to make sure they get the right equipment and that they learn in the current atmosphere. Children usually learn better in groups. We cite that in our golf schools in the summer, that children usually learn better in groups. They have a little bit more fun with it. Then we just try to lead them down that path and find what’s available for them in their age group. Nowadays, with most children, they play a lot of sports; golf is not their only sport. So you have to be able to fit it in. That’s where we get creative with junior camps and clinics and we create programs that help fit their needs.

Q: Is there something parents can do at home to make golf more fun?

Aulenti: I think chipping and putting in the backyard with mom and dad, that kind of a thing. Making golf fun is always a challenge. You have to be creative, you have to have a lot of games for the kids. We play so many games with the kids and set up obstacle courses for the kids to make it a challenge. Their attention span is a little bit smaller than adults so I think parents can make it fun and set up some obstacle courses in their yard. Have them pitch it into a bucket, pitch it over their bag, that kind of thing or bring them to a range and just expose them to it and let them decide if they like it.

Q: The Junior Ryder Cup was played last week in Scotland. Is there something that amateur golfers of any age can take away from what these Junior Ryder Cup players are doing right now?

Aulenti: I think you can see the commitment they have. That’s your top level, they’re committed. The LPGA just did one at the Evion, the U.S. vs. France and the U.S. won. The LPGA had a team and it was great fun. Those are children who are committed. Also, you can teach your child that it could be a goal of theirs, that if they get committed they could be on these teams. It’s a thrill of a lifetime and I don’t think you realize it at the time.

Related: Complete coverage of Team USA's fourth consecutive win at the Junior Ryder Cup

Q: Unless you’re like Spieth or Rory (McIlroy) who goes from the Junior Ryder Cup on to the Ryder Cup.

Aulenti: Those are the gifted 2 percent of the world and I think that if parents just realize that no matter what their child does in golf, it’s a game of a lifetime. If their son or daughter gets into business, they have the game behind them. It’s become a big part of business. It’s a big part of the world now. So they don’t have to be a Rory or a Tiger or a Annika (Sorenstam), they can be whoever they are and use the game to help them. It teaches the kids so much about life.

Q: You hear a lot of stories about kids getting started using cut-down clubs or clubs from their parents. Is there an age when they should get fit for their own clubs or just get their own clubs?

Aulenti: I would say that if parents want to start their kids at 4 or 5 or 6 years old, they don’t have to be custom-fit but what the U.S. Kids (Golf) offers is a style list. At least they’ll be the right weight for the child. There’s nothing worse for kids, and the same is true for adults, than a club that’s too heavy and causes you to swing improperly. If you’re trying to teach them one style of swing with a club that’s just too heavy, they can’t do it. They don’t have to buy a set but they should start at a young age having the correct weight and flex equipment for them. It just makes the game more fun, and if parents can hear that one word, that with clubs that are the right weight, the right length, the right flex, it makes the game easier and more fun because (the kids) see better results.

Q: And once it’s more fun, the kids are more likely to be hooked, right?

Aulenti: Right. They’ll ask to come into it. They’ll ask to go hit balls. It’s pretty hard to make something fun when they don’t see good results.

September 29, 2014 - 12:00pm
mark.aumann's picture
Hazeltine National Golf Club
PGA of America
The 16th hole at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

What's the weather going to be like at Hazeltine National Golf Club, site of the 2016 Ryder Cup? Bring a windbreaker for pleasant days, a sweater for the evenings and leave the ski jacket at home.

2016 RYDER CUP: Hazeltine National selected as host

Based on National Weather Service averages dating back to 1891, the weather for Chaska, Minn., in late September and early October is particularly pleasant, with minimal rainfall, daily highs averaging in the mid-60s and overnight lows in the 40s.

Had the Ryder Cup been held this weekend at Hazeltine National, fans would have been treated to some spectacular weather: according to the Weather Channel, it was 81 degrees on Friday, and 82 as the high on Saturday and Sunday. That's after an unusual late summer cool spell that engulfed much of the Great Lakes area.


However, with the 2016 Olympics added to the golfing schedule, the Ryder Cup moves back one week to Sept. 27-Oct. 2, 2016, which could make the weather a little more like what fans experienced at Gleneagles, Scotland -- cooler and perhaps a bit windier. That's the forecast for Chaska next weekend.

What about snow? Well, according to NWS data, the earliest one-inch snowfall recorded in the Minneapolis area came on Sept 26, 1942, which apparently melted rather quickly. But the second-earliest didn't occur until mid-October, and the earliest report of a one-inch snow depth is Oct. 13. So based on the weather history of the area, there's a 1 in 125 year chance of snow showers. In other words, it's not very likely.

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In fact, there's a better chance of "Indian summer," or a short period of unseasonably warm, dry weather in early fall. That usually occurs after the first frost, which for Minneapolis is between Oct. 1-10.

September 29, 2014 - 7:50am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson
Thanks to social media, we were able to see top golfers playing dress up at the post Ryder Cup party.

No matter the outcome of the Ryder Cup, it's become tradition for the two teams to get together for a post-match party on Sunday night.

Thanks to social media, we're now able to get a peek at what goes on behind closed doors with the top golfers in the world.

After a stressful, pressure-cooker of a week, the gathering is a chance to loosen up and unwind. And, sometimes, things get weird.

Case in point? This photo tweeted by Hunter Mahan. In case you didn't recognize them, that's a shirtless Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson sporting wigs and kilts:

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy got in on the dress-up session too:

Based on this Instagram post by Lee Westwood Monday morning, it appears a good time was had by all:

Westwood also tweeted this picture with a crazy-faced Ian Poulter from the post-party: