Golf Buzz

November 28, 2012 - 11:11pm
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John Holmes
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Nike Golf VR_S Covert irons
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The cavityback in Nike Golf's VR_S Covert irons is hidden "covertly," giving each iron a sleeker look at address while offering the performance advantages of a highly forgiving distance iron.

Hot on the heels of its new VR_S Covert drivers, Nike Golf is rolling out a high-speed cavityback iron designed to maximize distance, control and forgiveness.

"Distance, control and consistency are the keys to successful golf shots," said Nike Golf Director of Club Creation Tom Stites. "We combined a high-speed cavityback, NexCOR technology, and a dual bevel sole to maximize distance for every club in the bag. Golfers will notice positive improvements not only on crisp shots, but on off-center shots as well."

The cavityback is hidden "covertly," Nike Golf said, giving each iron a sleeker look at address while offering the performance advantages of a highly forgiving distance iron. The VR_S Covert irons are the company's most versatile irons to date, and will appeal to a wide range of players.

The hidden cavityback allowed Nike Golf engineers to move much of the club's weight to the corners, raising Moment of Inertia (MOI) to increase forgiveness and add even more distance to off-center shots. And a new variable to maximum distance is the incredibly thin 1.6 millimeter sole, which heats up the face.

NexCOR technology is designed to deliver faster ball speed and longer shots from a wider area of the face. NexCOR creates more speed at impact by employing variable face thickness that focuses on increasing the sweet spot not only in the center of the face, but also to the lower portion and towars the toe, where most golfers are likely to make impact.

For the VR_S Covert irons, engineers have created a dual bevel sole, which allows the club to sit low to the ball and prevent digging. The sole makes a clean cut through the grass, making interaction with the turf less disturbing to the shot.

These new irons are part of the VR_S Covert family that also includes drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. All will be available in golf stores across North America and Europe on Feb. 8, 2013 and in the rest of the world starting Feb. 15.

They will come in right- and left-handed models with either True Temper Dynalite 90 or Nike Kuro Kage Black 70 shafts. The steel-shafted models will carry a street price of $699.99 per set, while the graphite-shafted clubs will carry a street price of $799.99 per set.

 

November 28, 2012 - 12:04pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Michael Jordan
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Michael Jordan loves golf, but one golf club wasn't so happy with Michael Jordan recently.

We've been focused on the announcement of the proposed ban on anchoring this morning, but one other item caught my eye: Apparently Michael Jordan caused a ruckus at the exclusive La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach recently because he wore cargo pants.

"Jordan's multipocketed pants were apparently against the dress code that, sources say, dictates that members and guests must be attired in a collared shirt and Bermuda shorts," said the Page Six column in today's New York Post. Jordan was offered a chance to change outfits, the paper said, but he declined.

"He was given the chance to change but he didn't want to," a source told the newspaper.

Members complained about Jordan breaking the rules, and the Page Six source said, "He won't be invited back."

Jordan has "been there many times before and had worn cargo pants previously, and had never been made aware that he was violating any dress code," a Jordan spokesman told the Post. "This time, he was made aware of the violation on the 12th hole, and at that point … he did refuse to interrupt his game, and return to the clubhouse and change. We were not aware that he is not allowed to return to La Gorce. I guess it's their loss."

La Gorce CC didn't respond to the paper's request for comment.

November 28, 2012 - 2:01am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Bobby Horschel
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Billy Horschel is trying to play his way back onto the PGA Tour at Q-School.

Just a reminder that the final stages of Q-School for both the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour start on Wednesday. PGA Tour Q-School is out at PGA West in LaQuinta, Calif., where the 174-player field will play six rounds. At the end of the final round next Monday, the top 25 players and ties will receive a 2013 PGA Tour card. The next 50 players plus ties will earn Web.com Tour cards, and everyone else will receive conditional status on the 2013 Web.com Tour.

This year, of course, is the last time that players will graduate from Q-School directly to the PGA Tour. Starting next year, the top Q-School performers will only get spots on the Web.com Tour. You can see PGATour.com's complete coverage of Q-School here.

On the LPGA Tour, Q-School lasts five rounds and ends on Sunday. The top 20 players at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., will earn their 2013 cards, while those finishing 21st to 45th will earn conditional status. Unlike the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour doesn't reward ties -- in the event of a tie for 20th place, the players will have a playoff for the final spot. All other ties are broken on the basis of low score in the final round.

You can see LPGA.com's complete coverage here.

Finally, the European Tour will wrap up its six-round Q-School on Thursday in Girona, Spain. There, the 156-man field played four rounds before being cut down to the top 70 and ties for the final two rounds. The top 25 finishers after all six rounds will receive 2013 European Tour cards, and you can follow the coverage of all the Q-Schools on our News and Events page.

November 27, 2012 - 1:09pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy's five years with a bag full of Titleist clubs ended in grand fashion on Sunday.

Three quick equipment notes from last weekend before I forget:

--Rory McIlroy went out with a bang on Sunday at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai -- he won the European Tour's season-ending tournament in his final start playing Titleist clubs. As far as I know, that's never been done before -- a player winning in his final start with his old club company before switching to a new brand. And I'm certain it's never been done at such a high level -- the world No. 1 winning the richest prize on his home tour, then immediately switching to a new brand of clubs.

   If you want to see what Rory had in his bag, I published the details in our weekly What's in the Winner's Bag feature on Monday.

--For all the fuss over long putters, SMS Inc. – the company that tracks the clubs each player has in his bag during European Tour events – reported that only one player in the 56-man field at the DP World Tour Championship used a long putter. It’s probably way too late to impact any decision that golf’s governing bodies might make regarding the legality of long putters, but that stat sure backs up the argument that the vast majority of elite players haven’t switched to the long putters.

--Finally, in Dubai over the weekend, European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady said his primary hope in any ruling on long putters is that everyday amateurs will still be able to play the same equipment as touring pros -- meaning that he doesn't want the tours to create their own equipment rules if they disagree with the R&A and USGA.

"One of our great facets is that we are connected to the game that every amateur can play as well," he said. "We could go separately. I would urge the Tour to follow the rules as laid down by the governing bodies."

November 27, 2012 - 12:24am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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John Daly
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Is John Daly among golf's worst dressed players or is he distinctively different? You make the call.

Our friends over at Bleacher Report have posted an interesting photo gallery in which Mike Dudurich anointed the 10 worst dressers on the PGA Tour. Let’s just say it’s a subjective list – and, really, what can be more subjective than the fashion choices of pro golfers?

Some of his picks are awfully easy to agree with. Some others, however … well, let’s just say I think it’s Dudurich who’s commiting the fashion faux pas. My biggest beef is that some of the golfers he cites as fashion-backward I find to be a fun break from the norm.

Here’s one example: He’s calls Ian Poulter one of the flashiest dressers on Tour, but then wonders whether his look "plays better on that [the European] side of the ocean." 

Here’s another: He says Sergio Garcia "believes every color goes well with every other color" and "many times conjures up images of a walking box of crayons."

Hey Mike, that’s just harsh. Personally, I think players like Poulter and Garcia usually look distinctive yet stylish out on the links, and I get bored looking at pairing after pairing of players outfitted in primary colors. This is golf we’re talking about, not a Fortune 500 board meeting.

But hey, that’s just my opinion. Click on over to the gallery and let us know what you think.

 

November 26, 2012 - 11:41pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Keegan Bradley
Photo: The PGA of America
Many top players, including Keegan Bradley, vow to fight to keep anchored putters legal.

 

Will wednesday be the day that we finally get an answer on the long putter?  Twitter seems to think so.
 
Noted Wall Street Journal columnist John Paul Newport hints at a ruling and provides a nice rationale for banning the putter here.  I still disagree. I'm not convinced it makes that much of a difference for the world's best players and anything that keeps amateurs playing more and longer, is only good for the game.
 
What are your thoughts?