Golf Buzz

January 24, 2013 - 11:05am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Part Time Golf Company
Part Time Golf Company
Part Time Golf Company, founded by Troy Hamilton, is producing fun, quality hats, tee-shirts and accessories.

Over the last several years, golf has made a beeline in the direction of "cool."

Whether it's the snazzy clothes, the fun, bold equipment, the unique accessories, or the colorful characters that play the game at the pro level, golf isn't just your grandfather's game anymore -- even if it is still pretty neat to have him in your regular foursome.

To that end, allow us to introduce you to Troy Hamilton, the founder and CEO of the Part Time Golf Company.

Hamilton makes hats, tee shirts and accessories and the brilliant company name is something I'm sure many of you reading can relate to.

Recently, we sat down for a little Q&A with Hamilton to learn more about Part Time Golf.

PGA.com: How did you come up with the idea for Part Time Golf?

Hamilton: It's a brand for the player. Not necessarily the golfer, but the person that loves to play golf.

It's all about the legion of players that play the game part time -- most of them shooting solid scores. There's a whole new demographic of Part Time Golfers that are really good! I really wanted to create a brand that players could connect with and call their own... the name and logo is essentially, them.

PGA.com: Tell me a little about the logo.

Hamilton: The logo quietly says golf in a classy, clean style without saying it at all. It's the "polo horse" of golf if you will.

It's inspired by the most recognizable stance in golf -- the crouch of lining up a putt. It's done with confidence by all that play the game regardless of their playing level. The Golf Channel has referred to it as "the million dollar stance."  It's been very well received for its powerful simplicity -- especially our League version which mimics the logo of the American pro leagues. 

The logos are referred to as the "icon" and "the league." 

PGA.com: Can you talk a little about the style of your hats? It looks like you've got something for everyone.

Hamilton: I wanted hats that appeal to all types that have a passion for the game of golf. From the construction worker to the Wall Street executive as well as celebrities and athletes. They're hats that can be worn as your "every day" on and off the course. Simple style that aren't a "billboard" but are still a conversation piece that says you love to play golf. The same logos run across the same styles from snap-back truckers to performance Ultrafibre as well as plaids and pinstripes and the popular Pro Fitted flat brim. The Flexfit® technology used is a trusted and familiar fit, known by most people.

PGA.com: Over the last several years -- more so than ever before -- golf has become "cool" for lack of a better word. It seems like Part Time Golf epitomizes that cool essence with the hats and tees -- especially the "definition" tee -- simple, but unique. Would you agree?

Hamilton: Yes. There is a whole new bread of golfer playing the game and their golf game is intertwined in their everyday lifestyle. There is a lot of influence from the individual sports world from me as many of those sports are a passion of mine (motocross, BMX and Snowboarding). I look to align the brand with many of athletes in these "X" sports and draw from their fashion and functional styles. 
  
PGA.com: When did the company start up and are you looking to expand your products?

Hamilton: The company started in 2009 and launched "officially" after securing the name and logos in the first part of 2010 with one hat and tee style. The website, as you see it now with the introduction of the Player Map, launched at the end of 2011. The Player Map is a unique way of connecting the customers of the brand. Registration is free and I mail you a sequentially numbered bag tag and a set of league stickers. It's a "head count" of the players around the world if you will. As it grows with members -- currently there are over 250 members in six countries -- I look to expand its social functionality and bring more golf related content and prizes to the members. Stay tuned.

And, yes. I want to expand the brand and offer a full line of functional, stylish gear as well as a women's branded line. I'm also entertaining licensing opportunities for the brand as well.

PGA.com: Any highlights for Part Time Golf so far?

Hamilton: Bill Murray has embraced the brand, wearing it at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and can be seen wearing it on a regular basis in is day-to-day life.

It was worn by a great golfer named Derek Bohlen, a contestant of NBC/The Golf Channel's Big Break - Greenbrier. Several MLB players have requested hats, as they love the league logo to wear for their Part Time Golf games.

I've supported events for The First Tee as well as sending some hats for the kids at the Tiger Woods Learning Center.

PGA.com: Last thing, Troy. Tell me about the future of Part Time Golf.

Hamilton: I look to align the brand with celebrities, pro athletes, musicians and other prominent society figures who have a love for the game and have a passion to play Part Time Golf in their busy full-time lives. It's an "off the radar brand" that can quietly say they love golf.

To visit the Part Time Golf website, click here.

You can also follow Part Time Golf on Twitter, @iparttimegolf.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.

January 24, 2013 - 10:41am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Brandt Snedeker
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Brandt Snedeker is the defending champion of the Farmers Insurance Open.

Richard Langford, a featured columnsist for BleacherReport.com, put together a nice primer to get you prepared for the start of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which starts today in La Jolla, Calif.

Langford offers up some players to watch and highlights some notable tee times.

Check out Langford's round up here.

January 23, 2013 - 6:05pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Luke Donald and caddie John McLaren
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Luke Donald and caddie John McLaren will continue to handle Mizuno irons and wedges for the next several seasons.

Last week, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy made the season’s biggest equipment switch, as he officially moved over from Titleist to Nike. On Wednesday, world No. 3 Luke Donald did exactly the opposite.

Donald has re-upped his endorsement agreement with Mizuno, signing a multi-year agreement with the Japanese clubmaker whose equipment he has played for many years. Donald doesn't play an entire bag of Mizuno clubs, but he does use the company’s irons and wedges, and those clubs are the backbone of his steady short game.

In fact, Donald provided feedback throughout the development of Mizuno's new MP-64 irons and MP-T4 wedges, to the point that Mizuno describes those clubs as being designed hand-in-hand with Donald. Donald even visited the the plant in Hiroshima, Japan, where the clubs are forged, last November, and spent a little time with the man who grinds his clubs.

Donald signed on with Mizuno back in 2003, and has earned 13 professional wins with that gear. He also played those Mizuno clubs during his red-hot 2011 and 2012 seasons, in which he held the world No. 1 position for a total of 56 weeks and topped the money lists on both the PGA Tour and European Tour in 2011.

"I feel as if I am playing as well as ever at this stage in my career. Over the next few years I want to be in a position to win major championships and to continue to improve," Donald said. "We've refined my Mizuno equipment in the last couple of seasons and I'm really happy with what I have in the bag right now, so it gives me great pleasure to extend this relationship. Mizuno is the most precise, incredible clubmaker out there, and I'm honored to represent this quality brand."

While he was in Japan last fall, Donald won the Dunlop Phoenix, one of the biggest tournaments on the Japan Tour. He used those Mizuno MP-64 irons and MP-T4 wedges in that victory, along with a TaylorMade RocketBallz driver and 3-wood, a 17-degree Mizuno CLK FliHi hybrid and an Odyssey White Hot XG #7 putter.

January 23, 2013 - 3:39pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks
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Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks will headline NBC's live coverage of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open this summer.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is always a big event on the European Tour because it's played the week before the British Open and therefore features several top Americans along with the Europe's best. And for the next two seasons, the final two rounds will air live on NBC.

That will mark the first time a regular European Tour event will be televised live on American broadcast television. The broadcast is possible because Comcast NBCUniversal is the parent company of both NBC and the Golf Channel, which will carry the first two rounds as usual, and no doubt Aberdeen Asset Management and the Scottish government played a role as well.

"The U.S. is one of our most important markets and therefore we are very supportive of this new agreement," said Aberdeen Asset Management Chief Executive Martin Gilbert. "It's a very effective way for us to reach a mass audience and showcase not only our commitment to golf and to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, but also raise our profile as a leading global financial institution."

The 2013 edition will be played at Castle Stuart – with NBC’s weekend coverage set for July 13 and 14 – while the 2014 tournament is set for Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.

 

January 22, 2013 - 3:04pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Bubba Watson
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Bubba Watson was among the top-20 earners in golf in 2012.

Have you ever wondered how much money your favorite golfer makes each year? With such a huge emphasis put on the money list -- or Order of Merit -- among the various tours, chances are you know what your favorite player is making on the course.

But, what are they making off it when it comes to endorsement deals, bonuses, appearance fees and more?

Ron Sirak, the executive editor for Golf World Magazine and a senior writer for Golf Digest, has compiled a list of 50 of the game's biggest stars. Interestingly, off-course deals alone accounted for more than $400 million amongst these 50 players.

Here's how Sirak introduces the piece:

How we did it: On-course income for 2012 includes all money earned on the PGA Tour and the five international tours (Japan PGA, PGA European, Australasian, Southern Africa, Asian) and the Champions Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and the Japan LPGA. It also includes unofficial money won in nontour events.

Off-course income includes estimates of all money earned from endorsements, bonuses, appearance fees, corporate outings, speaking engagements, licensing fees (video games, trading cards, etc.), course architecture, books, instructional videos and businesses that capitalize on a person's status as a player, such as product lines including clothing, wine and turfgrass.

Investment income is not included.

To view the slideshow with each player's 2012 rank, on-course and off-course earnings, click here.

For a bit of an idea of the unbelievable amounts of money these players are making, Tom Lehman -- last on Sirak's list -- raked in $4,856,231 in 2012.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.

January 22, 2013 - 9:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Phil Mickelson
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Phil Mickelson apologized for comments involving money and taxes that he made on Sunday in a statement to Fox News late Monday night.

As a follow up to the story we brought you Monday morning about Phil Mickelson being prepared to make "drastic changes" in his life because of the federal and state taxes he is paying, the star golfer -- in a statement to Fox News late Monday -- apologized to anyone he may have, "upset or insulted," with his comments.

Mickelson made his comments to the media on Sunday following the final round of the Humana Challenge. He said his high tax bracket was causing him to consider drastic changes in his life, possibly moving his family out of state and even retiring from golf.

Here's what Mickelson said in the statement:

"Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public," Mickelson said.
 
"I certainly don't have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family."

Sunday certainly wasn't the first time that Mickelson has gone off on an unexpected rant.

Golf Digest Web Editor Sam Weinman took an entertaining look at a number of Mickelson's unexpected rants over the years, including but not limited to Oakmont's "dangerous" rough and, as Weinman writes, "objects to a loophole by exploiting loophole."

It's a fun read and you should check it out here.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.