Golf Buzz

November 19, 2012 - 2:57pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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Miss Venezuela
getty images
Adam Scott's golf swing was likened this week to Miss Venezuela. You be the judge.

Adam Scott was thrilled to finally win the Australian Masters, a tournament he has watched since he was small boy. 

Announcers on Australian television were equally thrilled to have one of their own charging to victory in the final round. 

Always prone to witty metaphors, one of the announcers during Saturday's third round said, "Adam Scott has the Miss Venezuela of golf swings."  

With no further explanation or follow up, it was left up to the viewer to decide what that meant. The picture above should help.  

November 18, 2012 - 8:38pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Steve Elkington's new Titleist golf balls
Steve Elkington via Twitter
‏"Titleist has 2 new balls out for next year.... I'm going to test them tomorrow," said Steve Elkington on Twitter, showing us the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x models.

This past week was a huge one around the world of golf, with star players like Luke Donald, Adam Scott, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Henrik Stenson earning victories in all corners of the globe. It was an even bigger week for Titleist, which earned the very first victories for both its 2013-14 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls with a matter of hours of each other.

Scott chalked up the first triumph for the new Pro V1 model at the Australian Masters, while Donald rolled the Pro V1x to its first title at the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan PGA Tour. The photos I’ve seen from those events didn’t show any distinctive shots of the new balls but, coincidentally, former PGA Champion Steve Elkington tweeted a photo of the test models he received on Friday, and I have posted his photo above.

Since the original Pro V1 balls were introduced a dozen years ago, Titleist has released new models every two years. The company unofficially debuted the 2013-14 editions at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals Open in Las Vegas in October, when Titleist staff players began receiving plain white boxes containing the precious spheres to begin testing and evaluating.

Officially, Titleist has said very little about the new balls, though maybe we’ll hear more about them this week now that they’ve found their way into the winner’s circle.

To refresh your memory, the current Pro V1 is designed for increased spin control and a more consistent flight, thanks to a large, solid polybutadiene core and an ionomeric casing layer inside a urethane elastomer cover outfitted with a 352 tetrahedral dimple design.

The current Pro V1x ball is designed for longer distance and what Titleist calls its Drop-and-Stop greenside control. It features a large, high-velocity dual core with a soft center inside an ionomeric casing layer and a urethane elastomer cover with a 328 tetrahedral dimple design.

November 17, 2012 - 7:41pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ian Poulter and Adam Scott at the Australian Masters
Getty Images
Ian Poulter and Adam Scott were speaking a unique kind of sign language at the Australian Masters on Saturday.

I’m not exactly sure where in the guidelines of golf etiquette this falls, but Ian Poulter and Adam Scott appeared to be engaging in a bit of good-natured ribbing during Saturday’s third round of the Australian Masters. Instead of trash-talking, though, they exchanged the kind of hand gestures we used to make as kids.

Poulter made several big putts on the front nine, and a Getty Images photographer caught him making his "nane-nane-boo-boo" gesture to Scott after one of those putts. Scott drained a 15-footer for birdie on the 18th hole to pull back within a shot of Poulter and, as you can see in the right-hand photo, flashed his five-finger salute back at Poulter with a big grin on his face.

Poulter and Scott are the two biggest names in the field, and are running 1-2 after 54 holes in Melbourne – that we know. What remains unclear, though, is exactly what was going on between them.

My theory is this: During their pre-tournament press conferences, several prominent players were asked about their thoughts on the possible ban of long putters. Scott, one of the long putters’ biggest advocates, of course defended them. Poulter, who uses a regulation-length flat stick, said unequivocably that they should be banned.

So my guess is that, since both players flashed their signs after making big putts, the duel of the digits was their way of supporting their position on putters.


November 17, 2012 - 1:26am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Much more golf was played in the northeastern quadrant of the United States this year.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, the entire golf industry should be giving thanks for some of the best news of the year – rounds play in 2012 are way up over last year.

"In fact, if fourth quarter rounds are flat with the same period in 2011, we would end the year with the largest single-year jump since the turn of the century -- a national gain of more than 30 million rounds," says the National Golf Foundation in its State of the Industry Update.

Nationwide, rounds are up 7.4 percent through September, and nearly every state experienced a gain over 2011. The fourth quarter accounts for only 16 percent of the annual rounds, the NGF says, so the 2012 gain should come in just above 6 percent.  Rounds played have declined about 11 percent over the past decade, the NGF adds, so 2012 will recover about half of that dip.

What’s behind the big improvement? It’s a dramatic increase in rounds played across the northeastern quarter of the United States from the Dakotas down to Kansas and over to Maryland and Vermont. Year-over-year growth in that quadrant averaged 12 percent, according to the Golf Datatech National Rounds Played Report. That region is so important because 44 percent of all U.S. golf courses and 47 percent of America’s public golf courses are located there.

Why was there so much improvement up north? One big reason is that the weather was much better this year compared to last. In fact, the PGA’s PerformanceTrak reports a strong 8 percent increase in playable days nationwide. Another big reason: Consumer confidence and spending also have been consistently edging upward.

November 16, 2012 - 10:59pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Belen Mozo
Getty Images
No doubt, Belen Mozo will be more careful in her choice of transportation on Saturday.

Put this one down as a moving violation. After the second round of the LPGA Tour’s season-ending CME Group Titleholders on Friday, Belen Mozo tweeted that she’d received a two-stroke penalty for riding on the wrong shuttle.

The Titleholders is being played for the first time at the Club at TwinEagles in Naples, Fla., which like so many Florida tracks is laid out amidst a residential community. There are long distances between several of the holes, and players are riding shuttles between nine different greens and tees. And, as she found out, riding on a shuttle not specifically designated for the players is a big no-no.

Here are Mozo’s Twitter entries describing the situation:

‏@BelenMozo: Not a good day for me;(. I was hanging in there despite my poor game until I got 2stroke penalty for riding on a wrong shuttle.

‏@BelenMozo: This week we have 9 shuttles from green-tee. I took a ride from shuttle that was driving my 'inside the ropes' group, who were tired.

@Belen Mozo: After that I finished w/ 2 bogeys. A lot to learn. But never giving up on keep working hard! I'll bounce back from this.

Mozo’s penalty turned her par on the 16th hole into a double bogey, and that, followed by those two closing bogeys she mentioned, gave her a 77. If there is a consolation, it’s that she wasn’t close to the lead -- she’s tied for 49th place, 14 shots behind leader Ai Miyazato.

And if Mozo was miserable, she’s got company – her penalty might not even have been the most unusual one of the day. Sun Young Yoo – who was near the top of the leaderboard – received a one-shot penalty after her round because her arm wasn’t high enough when she made a penalty drop after her ball had gotten lodged in a bush on the 14th hole.

Yoo, one of three first-round co-leaders, thought she was only two shots back when she walked off the course. She was quickly approached by rules officials, who pointed out that her arm was not shoulder-high when she took her drop.

"I didn't try to cheat. I didn't think about my arm's height," said Yoo, who will enter the third round three shots off the lead. "It's my mistake. … I'll learn from this mistake, and next time I won't make it."

She'll tee off Saturday tied for third, three shots behind Miyazato.

UPDATE: Now the Belen Mozo situation is much clearer. She returned to Twitter on Saturday to clarify that she hopped a ride on a shuttle with her 'inside the ropes' group on a hole where the players were supposed to walk to the next tee box.

"We have 9 holes w/ shuttles & I took a ride on a hole W/O a shuttle," she tweeted. So it was my fault however; the shuttle was an official shuttle but not for players. They told me to ride w/ them & I didn't think twice."





November 16, 2012 - 12:46pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jamie Sadlowski, Gary Williams
From The Golf Channel's Morning Drive
Jamie Sadlowski will not be invited to test out too many other simulators.

Jamie Sadlowski, former two-time RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion (2008, 2009), stopped by the set of Golf Channel's, "Morning Drive," on Friday with the show's host, Gary Williams.

During the segment, Sadlowski and Williams were supposed to have a long-drive contest on the golf simulator in the studio. Unfortunately -- or, actually, "incredibly" -- the contest was pretty much over before it even got started.

Williams let Sadlowski play first since he was the visitor. Salowski took a mighty swipe and smashed the golf ball right through the net that protects the simulator's projection screen and then the ball traveled right through the projection screen as well.

Sadlowski and Williams both laughed in disbelief, then Williams informed the audience, "Ladies and gentlemen, this contest is over! He just broke our simulator!"

For the record, Sadlowski's personal best drive traveled a monstrous 445 yards.