Golf Buzz

December 3, 2012 - 9:36am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Keegan Bradley
Getty Images
Keegan Bradley, winner of the 2011 PGA Championship, was called something on Saturday that no golfer ever wants to be called.

Former PGA Champion Keegan Bradley -- who also proved himself a match-play force in the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah -- was the victim of some unwarranted, distasteful heckling at Tiger Woods's World Challenge on Saturday.

Bradley, who famously uses a belly putter, was called a, "cheater," by a spectator as he played the final hole of his third round at Sherwood Country Club.

"It's very disrespectful, but it's fine with me," Bradley told the press. "I've got to try to look at it as motivation to help me try to win this tournament."

Just last week, the USGA and the R&A proposed a new rule to ban anchored putters -- a rule that would take effect in January 2016.

Three of the last five major champions, starting with Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, used a belly putter. The proposed change was likely the reason -- among other things -- for the vitriol Bradley received on Saturday.

Being called, "a cheater," is the worst imaginable thing you can tag a golfer. Especially when he's done nothing wrong, which is the case with Bradley. Long putters have been legal for years. To its credit, the USGA responded to the Bradley incident with the statement below:

Far Hills, N.J. (December 2, 2012) -- The United States Golf Association (USGA) today issued the following statement regarding yesterday's incident at the World Challenge in which a spectator called Keegan Bradley's use of an anchored stroke as "cheating." The incident follows the Nov. 28 announcement by the USGA and The R&A proposing changes to the Rules of Golf that would prohibit anchoring the club in making a stroke. The proposed Rule change would take effect on January 1, 2016, in accordance with the regular four-year cycle for changes to the Rules of Golf.

"This is a deplorable incident, and there is no place in our game for this kind of behavior. As we noted when announcing proposed Rule 14-1b, it has been and remains entirely within the Rules of Golf for players to anchor the club while making a stroke. There should not be a shred of criticism of such players or any qualification or doubt about their achievements, and we think that it is inappropriate even to suggest anything to the contrary. Rule changes address the future and not the past. Up until now and until such time as a Rule change were to be implemented, golfers using an anchored stroke will have been playing by the Rules of Golf."

"We are sorry that Keegan had to experience this unfounded criticism from an obviously uneducated spectator. Instead, Keegan and other PGA Tour professionals should be commended for their maturity and grace in managing through a proposed change to the Rules of Golf."

"While we understand that the proposed Rules change would cause some short-term angst, we believe the new Rule would serve the long-term best interest of the game."

Here's to hoping Bradley -- or anyone else using a long putter while it's still legal, for that matter -- is spared the nonsense from the peanut gallery.

PGA of America President Ted Bishop issued the following statement after the USGA and R&A announced its proposed long putter ban:

"The PGA has long supported the USGA in its role of establishing the Rules of Golf governing play and equipment. We have representation on the Rules of Golf Committee and we have tremendous respect for the USGA in regard to their critical role in writing and interpreting the Rules of Golf. As our mission is to grow the game, on behalf of our 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals, we are asking them to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people's enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game."

December 3, 2012 - 1:10am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup
Getty Images
The next time Graeme McDowell is pouring drinks, it might be at his new tavern in Orlando.

Well, maybe they will be next time.

Every time he wins a tournament, Graeme McDowell has a tradition. "I always call Rathmore, my home golf course" in Northern Ireland, and tell them that the drinks are on him, McDowell said Sunday afternoon after he won Tiger Woods' World Challenge for the second time in three seasons.

"It's a bit late there now. What is it, 11:35? I was going to say it's not too early for those boys, believe me," he noted. "Hopefully my dad will make a phone call and we'll shed the boys a few drinks and shed the boys a few drinks at Lake Nona."

However, we learned this week, McDowell is opening his own tavern at Lake Nona in Orlando.

"Thankfully it's not open yet, so I'll save a few dollars this time around," joked McDowell, who is also in the final stages of building what he calls his dream house at Lake Nona.

The combination bar and restaurant will be called Nona Blue, and McDowell is partnering with a company called Bistro Concepts LLC to bring it to fruition. It will be in the Lake Nona Village shopping center, between the entrances to Lake Nona Golf & Country Club and NorthLake Park, and McDowell said he hopes it'll open sometime in January.

"Traditionally, it may be drinks on the house at Nona Blue when I win a tournament," he said. And we can only hope he doesn't go another two years before his next victory.

December 2, 2012 - 2:08pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa
Courtesy of CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa
The clubhouse overlooking the Greg Norman-designed course at the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla received a major refreshment.

The unique CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa on the Caribbean island of Anguilla is back in business following a three-month, $15 million renovation to the property.

"We're seeing a strong renewed interest in CuisinArt in the U.S. market as a result of the recent renovations," General Manager Stephanie Zaharia told Travel Weekly. "There's steady growth, as well, in the Canadian and South American markets."

The 11,000-square-foot clubhouse at the resort's $50 million Greg Norman-designed 18-hole golf course received part of the upgrade, and the resort's entrance was reconfigured to offer more expansive views of the course and the ocean beyond.

In addition, the 275-acre beachfront property's 93 guest rooms received new furnishings, LCD TVs, Bose Wave music systems, Nespresso makers and other enhancements. The resort also opened Anguilla's first Japanese restaurant, called Tokyo Bay. Another new restaurant, Italia, has opened in the golf clubhouse, while the menus at Cafe Mediterraneo, Beach Grill and the AAA Four Diamond-rated Le Bistro at Santorini all have been updated.

CuisinArt's winter rates start at $875 per night, though a variety of promotional plans and packages are available.

For more information, visit www.CuisinArtResort.com.

December 1, 2012 - 2:10pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Dead Men's Clubs by Charlie Ryan

I don't know about you, but I'm way behind in my reading these days – so much for this being the slow season in golf. If you're looking for something light and golf-related to tackle over the holidays, you might check out 'Dead Men's Clubs,' a new golf novel by Charlie Ryan.

The book tells the story of Munch Malone, a 70-year-old seriously inept golfer who lives on Hilton Head and draws some unlikely attention from beyond the grave. It seems that two formerly scratch golfers – both quite deceased – want nothing more than to keep playing their beloved game. To do so, they need to find a golfer back here on Earth through whom they can tee it up.

Eventually, they locate Malone, and slowly take over his golf game. First, Malone begins to buy some reconditioned clubs that once belonged to the deceased duo. With each club purchase, his game gets better and better – first he wins his club championship, then eventually qualifies to play in the USGA Senior Amateur at the Greenbrier.

There are, a press release says, a number of twists and turns along the way, as Malone faces a number of obstacles in his quest to win the Senior Am, not the least of which is a plot to steal his divinely inspired sticks.

'Dead Men's Clubs' is available in both soft cover and e-edition at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It retails for $20.99 for paperback and $6.95 for Kindle edition on Amazon, while at Barnes & Noble it goes for $20.99 for paperback and $5.97 for Nook edition.

November 30, 2012 - 5:11pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Baboon at Nedbank
From The Golf Channel
The world's best golfers are no challenge for the spotlight (or the sandwich) for this baboon.

Camera shots of the crowd, the water, a cute kid, etc...are standard for golf coverage.  In the business, they are called "cut aways" and they always add some flavor to a pretty standard routine of covering sports.  

But sometimes, that flavor becomes part of the coverage - such as Friday's incident of a baboon running onto the golf course and then "monkey-ing" around with a cameraman's lunch and golf cart.  And to that we say...."Awesome."

Watch the baboon invade the course, steal a sandwich and consider going for a drive.   

November 30, 2012 - 1:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Odyssey Metal-X Arm Lock putter
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
The Odyssey Metal-X Arm Lock putters allow golfers to brace the shaft against their lead forearm, which would be legal under the proposed ban on anchoring putters.

Well, somebody was clearly planning ahead -- a mere 48 hours after the USGA and R&A announced their proposed ban on anchoring putters, Odyssey Golf unveiled its new Metal-X Arm Lock Putters. According to Odyssey, the new long-shafted putters conform to the anticipated ruling and offer an alternative method of stabilizing the putter through a natural-feeling extension of the golfer's arm.

''We have been working toward solutions for the proposed ban on the anchoring technique for some time now, and working with our Tour players, have identified an alternative and Tour-proven putting method,'' said Odyssey Golf Global Director Chris Koske. ''We're now moving quickly to deliver the Arm Lock products that promote a stable and consistent putting stroke for both professionals and amateur golfers.''

The Metal-X Arm Lock Putter will be available initially in two models, the Metal-X #7 and the Metal-X DART. The specs of these two putters have been optimized through research and testing, said Odyssey, which explained that they allow golfers to extend the shaft and grip up their lead forearm for more consistent performance and control through the stroke.

''We have more Tour players around the world playing and winning with Odyssey putters than any other company,'' said Odyssey Principal Designer Austie Rollinson. ''We worked closely with many of them to dial in the new Arm Lock Putters to ensure they perform at the highest level.''

The Arm Lock Putters will be available at retail in January 2013, and will carry an introductory retail price of $189.99.