Golf Buzz

January 27, 2013 - 6:58pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Lydia Ko
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Lydia Ko said she was shocked when she realized how much money she could have pocketed last year, but says she still doesn't know when she'll turn pro.

Is Lydia Ko a has-been at age 15?

She won the 2012 edition of Australia's New South Wales Open at this time last year to kick off what became an unprecedented run of success for a 14-year-old female golfer – her victory there made her the youngest player, male or female, to win a professional tour event. She went on to become the leading amateur at the U.S. Women's Open, won the U.S. Women's Amateur and then won the CN Women's Canadian Open to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner.

She returned this week to defend her New South Wales Open title, but finished all the way down in second place, two shots behind winner Caroline Hedwall of Sweden, another fast-rising young star. (Ko also finished second two years ago, at 13).

I'm kidding about the has-been part. The real news of her title defense in Sydney is that, after having several months of an offseason to ponder her future, Ko still insists that she won't turn pro for the foreseeable future.

"There's no point in me going in there when I don't think I'm ready and I'm not that confident," she said at the tournament. "I think there will be a point in time where I think it's the right time.
"That doesn't mean I'm going to wait many many years," she stressed. "A certain time will come suddenly without me noticing."

She admitted that she was shocked when she looked back at what she had accomplished – and the amount of money she could have collected had she been played as a pro last year.

"When I went to prize givings and people say what I have done for that year, it was like, 'Oh my God, I actually did that?'" she said. "I didn't know how much it was until the media said 'you could have got $300,000 at the Canadian Open.' That could have been a nice house."

Money isn't the only thing she's missing out on. As the New South Wales Open's defending champion, she was given the best spot in the players' parking lot. Alas, at age 15, she doesn't yet have her driver's license.

January 26, 2013 - 10:07pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Elin Nordegren's new mansion
Photo by Jeff Lichtenstein
Elin Nordegren's decision to tear down an old house and build a new one on its site was prompted by one fact unknown until now.

When the word leaked out that Tiger Woods' ex-wife Elin Nordegren was tearing down a $12 million oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach County, Fla., to build a new house on the same site, there was plenty of snickering and eye-rolling. Turns out she did the smart thing.

"Somehow unnoticed was the fact that it was infested with termites," prominent Palm Beach County Realtor Jeff Lichtenstein told The Palm Beach Post. "How this happened, no one is saying, but the house had to be torn down."

When the old mansion was destroyed, many of its amenities were donated to Habitat for Humanity. Among the donated items the newspaper listed were chandeliers, five refrigerators, 14 vanities, some controlled-temperature wine coolers and even a concrete fountain.

As you can see in the photo above, which Lichtenstein supplied to the Post, Nordegren's three-story house is coming along nicely.

"Smartly, she bought directly on the ocean, where houses soar in price over the years," he said.

The house is in the Seminole Landing community, which ranks among the top five most exclusive communities in Palm Beach County, the Post said. It is also, of course, home to the prestigious Seminole Golf Club, which ranks among the top courses in the United States.

January 25, 2013 - 5:08pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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ty votaw
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In an proactive attempt to clarify the PGA Tour's position on blogs, Twitter and other social media, Ty Votaw called's Steve Eubanks and gave an in-depth explanation.

 In response to an earlier post on The Golf Buzz, here, PGA Tour Vice President Ty Votaw called me to clarify the tour’s position as well as offer his personal opinion on Twitter and the role social media plays in modern-day golf coverage.

“The last thing I want is for Dan Jenkins to stop tweeting,” Votaw said. “The critical words in the message I was sending – and perhaps I didn’t do a good enough job communicating this – are ‘real time’ and ‘play-by-play.’ 

“We understand the importance and the value of tweeting and blogging. If someone tweets that Ian Poulter just made four birdies in a row, that’s likely to drive people to turn on the telecast. We get that. We want that. But if an intern is sitting in an office watching Shotlink and tweeting every shot Tiger hits or Rory hits, that is proprietary information, and that’s where we have a problem.”

In that respect, the tour is no different than any other sporting league. The NFL, Major League Baseball, even big-time college football conferences like the SEC allow blogging and tweeting, but they don’t allow journalists to tweet play-by-play coverage of an event. 

Kudos to Votaw for setting the record straight.

January 25, 2013 - 2:53pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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ty votaw
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In a memo from PGA Tour Vice President Ty Votaw on Thursday, journalists were informed that their credentials could be revoked for Tweets they had nothing to do with writing.

The PGA Tour took a swipe at new media on Thursday.
Tour Vice President Ty Votaw sent a surprise email to reporters at Torrey Pines during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open. It read: “As you know, our media regulations prohibit the use of real-time, play-by-play transmission in digital outlets. In order to enforce these regulations, beginning this year, we will revoke the on-site credentials of all journalists affiliated with outlets that post play-by-play coverage, whether those posts are originating from tournament site or otherwise.” 
Tweeting has become a major part of golf coverage with many digital outsets as well as traditional newspapers and magazines engaging in the practice. Hall of Fame sportswriter Dan Jenkins has found a new audience and new life in the Twittersphere, and journalists from across the spectrum use the medium as a quick-hit way to drive readers to their more lengthy and substantive pieces. 
While the legal complexities of broadcast rights and data sharing must be considered, from a practical standpoint the policy seems counterproductive. Fans without credentials can tweet all the play-by-play coverage they want either on-site or from the comfort of their sofas, but credentialed media members who are driving interest and eyeballs to the event are prohibited from the same.
Expect clarifications and perhaps modifications to the policy in the coming days. In the meantime, concluded its report on the ban by stating that the site “will continue to report on the Tour's position and will also live blog Friday’s second round.” 
In poker terms, that’s a call and a raise.

January 25, 2013 - 12:57pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy
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There's no denying who the No. 1 player under the age of 25 (or in the world) is. But what other players among the best?

We're always hearing about the "young guns" on the PGA Tour and it's amazing to see the talent level of a lot of these players just out of college.

Who are the best players under the age of 25? Well, there's no question who the far and away No. 1 in that group is... because he also happens to be the No. 1-ranked player in the world. That would be 23-year-old Rory McIlroy. There's no debate there. The rest, however, are a subjective matter.

Mike Dudurich, a featured columnist on, recently constructed his list of the top-10 players on the PGA Tour under the age of 25.

Dudurich wrote:

It's no secret who the best player on the PGA Tour who has yet to reach his 25th birthday.

Rory McIlroy put his name squarely on the spot with his play of the last two years.

The rest of the list of the top 10 players in that category revealed some interesting names. Some of them you'll recognize, some are a little more under the radar.

Some you'll agree with, some you won't.

Either way, check out the list.

With that, go take a look at Dudurich's list of the top-10 players on the PGA Tour under the age of 25.

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

January 24, 2013 - 11:29am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Dave Pelz
The backyard of golf coach Dave Pelz would make any golfer jealous.

If you're a golf fanatic, you need to see this.

Geoff Shackelford, namesake of the popular golf blog, found this item from HGTV's Million Dollar Rooms television show. It's a feature on the backyard of short-game guru Dave Pelz.

In a word, this is unbelievable. Pelz's backyard would make any golfer jealous. He even has a replica of the TPC Sawgrass' 17th hole.

Click here to check out the video for yourself.