Golf Buzz

Alial Fital
Alial Fital
Alial Fital is a clothing line created from scratch by former NFL quarterback Gibran Hamdan.


If you follow the PGA Tour at all, you're familiar with Bo Van Pelt. And rightfully so as Van Pelt is almost always in contention and currently the No. 26-ranked player in the world (though he's spent many weeks inside the top 25).
When you see Van Pelt on TV -- or in person -- chances are you've also noticed his snazzy, stylish polo shirts. They're from a company called Alial Fital (Ah-lee-all Fit-ahl).
The story behind Alial Fital is probably unike any other you've heard before.
The founder/creative director is a gentleman by the name of Gibran Hamdan. Prior to entering the world of clothing design, Hamdan had a six-year career as an NFL quarterback with the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Amsterdam Admirals (NFL Europe). Hamdan played his college football at the University of Indiana.
Hamdan said his time spent in the NFL was as a back up, but his career in football wasn't without some highlights.
"I think highlights in my football career have to include being named Big Ten Player of the Week against Wisconsin where I led a 22-point second half comeback after being intercepted by Jim Leonhard," Hamdan said. "Jim became my good friend in the NFL and was actually the one whom, while watching the Masters in 2011, pieced together that Bo Van Pelt had become a customer of Alial Fital. Getting drafted by the Washington Redskins (2003) and being the NFL Europe MVP with the Amsterdam Admirals are up there too."
When Hamdan stepped away from football in 2010, Alial Fital was born -- interestingly -- out of curiousity.
"After I retired, I began messing around with my wife's sewing machine and checked out YouTube videos," said Hamdan, whose wife Jenny is the granddaughter of former longtime Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant. "After learning the basics, I was determined to learn how to sew a dress shirt from scratch. I read books and in fact taught myself pattern making and grading and eventually successfully sewed my first custom dress shirt from scratch. 
"During the process I realized there was a product that I wanted but couldn't find -- something that combined the style of a dress shirt collar and the comfort of a polo," Hamdan added. "Essentially, a super comfortable piece that was versatile enough to stand on its own but under a blazer would give the impression I was wearing a dress shirt all the while wearing the most comfortable shirt I own."
Hamdan tells us he was always into fashion, which caused him some playful grief from teammates in NFL locker rooms.
"I had always been into fashion and art," Hamdan said. "I actually wrote a fashion blog for Brooks Brothers in my final year with the Buffalo Bills, chronicling my teammates road trip outfits. You can imagine the ribbing I got from teammates and around the locker room. The great thing about it is that football locker rooms are an interesting environment -- while my teammates gave me a hard time initially, especially when I would wear suits to regular work days, eventually they realized through the years that it was something I took seriously and was interested in. So they stopped giving me a hard time and started asking for advice."
Back to Van Pelt for a second. As Hamdan noted, Van Pelt was a fan of the company -- wearing the shirts on the PGA Tour -- before he became an official endorser. 
"Bo was one of our best customers during our first year and, I didn't realize it at the time, he was a top-25 golfer in the world," Hamdan said. "At the end of the year he sent me an email and loved the product so much he asked me to sponsor him. Our golf-specific polos were then launched in 2011 and we can now proudly boast that we are the only American-made brand sponsoring a top-25 American golfer."
If you're like me, you're probably wondering where the unique name "Alial Fital," comes from. Well, there's some big-time significance to that, Hamdan explained.  
"After sewing the first sample I launched AF, named after my parents Laila and Latif -- spelled backwards -- who persevered through a ton of adversity, including losing our Kuwait home in the first Gulf War while we were on vacation in San Diego (Hamdan lived in Kuwait for six years from age 3-9)," he said. "I then set about researching American-made production capabilities and building a website ( from scratch."
Currently, Alial Fital makes all of its products in Los Angeles. And if you get your hands on an Alial Fital shirt it's pretty special -- Hamdan produces only 100 of each style with no reproductions ever.
"Once our styles are gone they are gone, so a customer knows they are truly receiving a one-of-a-kind piece," Hamdan said.
Down the road, Hamdan says, there are plans to expand Alial Fital.
"Alial Fital is named after my parents so it's fair to say I have big plans to grow it into something special," he said. "However, I am very meticulous and focused on the customer experience and how we treat people that come in contact with us. I could certainly go to China and start to mass produce a bunch of styles and throw our logo on it but that's not my vision. My father always stressed patience and that is something I've tried to instill in my brand. We are going to grow organically and focus on innovation and staying ahead of the curve in regards to design and customer service -- that's really the only way we can compete."
To learn more about Alial Fital, visit
You can also check Alial Fital out on Facebook and Twitter, @alialfital.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
PUMA's Zero Limits
PUMA's Zero Limits golf shoe.


PUMA has long been known as one of the younger, flashier apparel and footwear lines in golf. Look no further than PUMA endorser/posterboy Rickie Fowler, who is routinely the easiest player to pick out on any golf course.
Along with its colorful and bold offerings, PUMA also offers some fantastic gear for those seeking a more refinded look without sacrificing the comfort they've come to expect from PUMA.
That's where the Zero Limits shoe comes into the picture, which PUMA calls, "the regular golf shoe's fancy tuxedo equivalent."
Offered in a black-white-cherry tomato or white-black-PUMA silver scheme, these shoes are perfect to wear with both shorts and slacks.
Here is the description of the new PUMA Zero Limits:
The footwear choice that'll impress even the snooty golf club members. All luxe, premium leathers, the Zero Limits -- which keeps things classy in a refined black and white palette -- is the regular golf shoe's fancy tuxedo equivalent. There's some pretty cool tech to it, too: the shoe's TPU forefoot and heel are connected by a carbon fiber shank in the shoe's DUO FLHT Chassis, which provides stability for the golfer yet still allows for torsional movement. Grippiness comes in with 14 replaceable S2Quill spikes along with molded S2QuillTec spikes. And then there's the cushioning, the breathability, the waterproof-iness... we'll stop there. Let's be honest -- we had you at snooty golf club, didn't we.
- Luxe, premium leather upper
- 14 replaceable S2Quill spikes for maximum grip, paired with directionally molded S2QuillTec spikes for added green-friendly traction
- DUO FLHT Chassis, featuring TPU in the forefoot and heel connected by a carbon fiber DUO FLHT XRS Shank for optimum power, leverage, and control
- Decoupled heel construction with flex grooves for shock absorption and a smooth heel-to-toe transition
- Compression molded EVA cushioning in the forefoot and heel, with strategically-placed EverFoam cushioning at the heel for a comfortable fit
- Breathable OrthoLite sockliner for optimum fit and comfort
- stormCELL designation for highly functional, durable materials with waterproofing guaranteed for two years
- PINS (Performance INsert System by Pride) technology for a lower-to-the-ground construction that provides more immediate response for a more consistent swing
- Men's performance last to accommodate a wide variety of golfers
- Lace closure for a snug fit
- PUMA Formstrip at lateral and medial sides
- PUMA Cat Logo at tongue, forefoot, and heel
The PUMA Zero Limits golf shoes retail for right around $200. To learn more about the Zero Limits shoes and all of PUMA's other golf offerings, click here.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Bushnell Tour Z6 Wingman Pack
Courtesy of Bushnell Golf
The Bushnell Tour Z6 allows golfers to instantaneously zero in on flags up to 450 yards away, with up to 18-inch accuracy.

The 2013 Tour Z6 Wingman Pack is Bushnell's newest golf laser rangefinder. It's also the latest Bushnell product whose sales benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation.

"Building off the great success of the original Patriot Pack, we are ecstatic to provide consumers with this Tour Z6 Wingman Pack and are pleased to add another product to the mix that will support Major Rooney's incredible foundation," said Phil Gyori, managing director for North America. "For as long as consumers continue to look for ways to support the Folds of Honor Foundation and gravitate to Bushnell's industry-leading products, we'll be privileged to be a partner and support the foundation."

Extra-small but extra-powerful, the Tour Z6 is Bushnell’s most technically advanced rangefinder, which allows golfers to instantaneously zero in on flags up to 450 yards away, with up to 18-inch accuracy. Featuring 6x magnification (objects appear 6 times closer) through a premium lens coatings for superb optical quality and adjustable diopter setting, the Tour Z6 includes Vivid Display Technology (VDT) for clear sighting in all lighting conditions.

The Tour Z6 comes with a two-year warranty. And long with the rangefinder itself, the Wingman Pack includes a limited-edition Bushnell Golf/FHF embroidered microfiber golf towel, premium carrying case and battery for a suggested retail price of $399.

Earlier this year, Bushnell unveiled two new Patriot Packs featuring the Tour v3 and Tour v3 Slope rangefinders. The all-new Patriot Packs come equipped with a Tour v3 or Tour v3 Slope, Bushnell and FHF bag tag, protective carrying case and exclusive Bushnell Golf and FHF-branded golf tees with a suggested retail price of $299 (Tour v3) and $399 (Tour v3 Slope). 

Founded by Maj. Dan Rooney in 2007, the Folds of Honor Foundation provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of service members disabled or killed during U.S. military service. Rooney, a former F-16 pilot who served three tours in Iraq, founded Folds of Honor Foundation to ensure that families of fallen service men and women are never left behind.

In addition to the contribution, Bushnell has partnered with country music star Craig Morgan on a donation download program benefitting the Folds of Honor. A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Morgan wrote and dedicated a song titled "What Matters Most" to the heroes Folds of Honor Foundation supports. The track, a tribute to the millions of service men and women who defend America's freedom, parallels the stories of so many who have lost loved ones on the field of battle. For each download of "What Matters Most," Bushnell will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to the Folds of Honor.

To learn more about Folds of Honor, visit For more information on Bushnell, visit


May 8, 2013 - 9:39pm
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John Kim's picture
Katherine Roberts
Photo courtesy Michael Zagaris
Katherine Roberts has become a leading yoga teacher to athletes of all types


I hate to admit it but it's true, I'm getting older. I still feel I have the same strength as I did ten years ago, but I'm positive I don't have near the same flexibility. Even with the new technology, I've lost significant distance off the tee. (I'm still just early 40s folks...not like I'm 80!). This year I'm going to do something about that...but what?
It seems like yoga is the "hot" topic these days for fitness folks (no pun intended for the bikram yoga enthuisasts.) I hear many (men and women) sing its praises in all sports - including a growing number of golfers.
I reached out to one of the nation's top yoga instructors, Katherine Roberts, who specializes in yoga for athletes, to ask her if she could provide one tip for golfers (my selfish way of tip for me.)
Here's what she shared.:
"Hi John! 

I had a great few weeks down at Spring Training and now able to think more about golfers. But in truth, regardless of the sport, in order for athletes to excel -  flexibility is paramount. The ability to stretch properly can add strength and improve performance in the ballpark and on the golf course (and other sports too of course).
Most golfers recognize that the golf swing consists of a motion that coils and uncoils the spine over a powerful lower body. There are yoga poses that help efficient torso turn and increase lower body strength.  In addition to torso rotation, proper stabilization of the shoulder supports club control and reduces shoulder injury. 
Remember, the upper arm bone should be drawn into the shoulder socket before the rotation for more stability and strength. The spinal rotation initiates from the deepest part of the lower abdominal muscles and funnels through the shoulder and out through the extended hand.
In your pre-round warm up, you might consider this yoga pose:
Starting Position- Step your left leg back into a long lunge, lift your left heel as high as possible. Right knee is at a 90-degree angle. Place your left hand directly under your left shoulder. Draw the right knee toward the mid-line of your body. Inhale deeply as you open your torso to the right. Exhale as you bring the torso and arm parallel to the ground. Repeat five times and switch sides. 
Throughout this motion concentrate on deep inhalation and exhalation. Focus on the quality of your breath throughout this dynamic flexibility and strengthening movement. Deep breath plus wide stretch is the foundation to athletic success. To learn more on how yoga can enhance your golf game performance visit:"
Nike Golf Swoosh Elite Staff Member Katherine Roberts is founder of Yoga for Golfers. In addition to her extensive work with yoga and golf fitness, she has spent more than a decade working with MLB players.  

Okay guys (and girls) - there you have it. Right from the expert, just apply it to your pre-round routine.  Gonna give it a try? If you do, let me know how it works out for you. Tweet me on twitter at @johnkim_10 and let me know how your golf game is coming along. 
Derek Ernst locker assignment at Players Championship
Derek Ernst via Twitter
Derek Ernst arrived at The Players Championship to find that his locker had been assigned to "David" Ernst.

Derek Ernst doesn't fault people for not knowing who he was before he won the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday. After all, the PGA Tour rookie was ranked No. 1,207 in the world.

He's a lot more famous in the world of golf now. But as he found out on Tuesday, not everyone knows who he is just yet – including the person who made up the locker assignment sheet at The Players Championship.

After arriving at TPC Sawgrass and seeing that ''David'' Ernst had been assigned a locker, he tweeted: ''I guess I have to win another for people to know my name. Haha.''

Oh well, Derek. At least they got your name right on the winner's check in Charlotte.


Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn at the Met Ball
Getty Images
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn attended the Met Ball in New York on Monday.

Tiger Woods spent a good part of Tuesday at TPC Sawgrass, putting the final touches on his game ahead of The Players Championship.

On Monday night, of course, he and girlfriend Lindsey Vonn were in New York City, where they attended the Met Ball – a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art that is widely considered among the Big Apple’s biggest social events of the year.

So why did Tiger, who has demanded so much privacy off the golf course, attend such a high-profile event? 

''Lindsey wanted to try and grow her brand. She's come out with a new perfume and makeup line, so that was a big thing for her and I'm supporting it,'' he told the Associated Press on Tuesday. ''As you know, I'm not really big into fashion stuff. The theme was pretty interesting, because obviously I remember some of that stuff when I was a kid. But I certainly didn't wear that stuff.''

Are more red carpets on the horizon?

''We'll see,'' Woods said. ''Maybe I can just go in jeans and a T-shirt or something.''