Golf Buzz

October 29, 2014 - 9:41am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bryan Brothers
GolfDigest.com
This glow-in-the-dark special from the Bryan Brothers might give you a new appreciation of how incredible their trick-shot skills truly are.

It's been a big week for the Bryan Brothers.

Our favorite golf trick-shot artists posted their best video to date on Monday.

Today, they followed up with a special Halloween-themed, glow-in-the-dark trick video on GolfDigest.com.

Check it out:

Obviously there are a lot less shots in this video than a typical Bryan Bros. release. However, I did like the explanation on the "hit he deck" shot and how it showed us how far the ball actually traveled.

The glow-in-the-dark golf balls also answered a question I get from skeptics: Yeah, it's cool that they can pull off those shots, but where is the ball really going?

Answer: Right down the pipe, it appears.

October 29, 2014 - 8:17am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Instagram
Miguel Angel Jimenez has a work out routine unlike one we've ever seen before.

It's safe to say that Miguel Angel Jimenez marches to the beat of his own drum.

The latest example? This Instagram post by the European Tour's physio team:

 

Spotted the legend M A Jimenez hanging around in the gym using the equipment in his own unique way!! #bmwmasters

A photo posted by ETPI (@etpi_physiounit) on

Yes, that's Jimenez, upside down, doing whatever it is he's doing.

It's still not our favorite Jimenez fitness routine though...

October 29, 2014 - 7:57am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Sergio Garcia
USA Today Sports Images
Sergio Garcia did everything but win on the PGA Tour in 2014-15. Will that change this season?

The PGA Tour 2014-15 season rolls on this week at Kuala Lumpur Golf & CC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ryan Moore is the defending champ after outlasting Gary Woodland in a playoff a year ago. The field includes a lot of big names, highlighted by the likes of Sergio Garcia, Billy Horschel, Jason Dufner, Charl Schwartzel and Davis Love III.

RELATED: CIMB Classic tee times | Jordan punks Bradley on Twitter | Horschel's attitude

Here are five players to keep in eye on in the fourth tournament of the new season.

5. Hideki Matsuyama
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T3 Frys.com Open
Reason to watch: I really expected Matsuyama to take off after snagging his first PGA Tour win in June at the Memorial. It's not necessarily that he played poorly after the win -- he only missed the cut once in his next nine starts and played through to the Tour Championship -- but he didn't set the Tour on fire either. Well, in just two starts this season, Matsuyama is already halfway (two) to his top-10 total (four) from last season. After a tie for third at the Frys.com Open, he tied for 10th at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He should be refreshed after a week off. A year ago, Matsuyama tied for 25th at the CIMB Classic. He'll improve on that this time around.

4. Ryan Moore
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Missed cut at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: I'm not going to make a big deal out of that missed cut in Vegas for Moore. It was his first start of the new season. Shaking off the rust. He returns to Malaysia this week as the defending champ after edging Gary Woodland in a playoff in 2013. Moore's CIMB win in 2013 was one of seven top 10s he enjoyed in the 2013-14 season. He's looking to make the Tour Championship for the first time since 2012, so why not get the momentum started at a familiar place?

3. Paul Casey
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
First start
Reason to watch: In 2009, Casey was the No. 3-ranked player in the world. Due to injuries, he slipped down in recent years, but showed signs that things are moving in the right direction over the last several months. Though he didn't have a single top 10 on the PGA Tour in 16 starts during the 2013-14 season, Casey did win in the middle of September at the European Tour's KLM Open. His game is on the rise again and he'll be a player to watch throughout the season.

2. Gary Woodland
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
First start
Reason to watch: Woodland's runner-up finish to Moore at this very event in 2013 proved to be his best tournament of the season. It was one of five top 10s overall. The long-hitting Woodland has made big strides in his short game, and is regarded by many as the best athlete on Tour. Injuries have been a problem at times and that seems to be the only thing holding Woodland back. This two-time Tour winner is one of those players you can envision contending every time he tees it up.

1. Sergio Garcia
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
First start
Reason to watch: The only thing Garcia didn't do on the PGA Tour in 2013-14 is win. In 16 starts, he made the cut 15 times and finished among the top 10 on 10 occasions, including three runner-up efforts and two third-place showings. That's impressive stuff. One of Garcia's rare non-top-10 finishes was a T11 at the CIMB Classic. I like his chances this week. 

October 29, 2014 - 7:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rukket
Rukket
Clockwise from top left: The RukkNet Portable Driving Range, Chipping Target, Monster Cage and Range Marker.

I love to work on my golf game. A certified golf junkie, that's me.

The problem these days is finding the time to get to the driving range, let alone the course for a round.

I'm a new parent, which is incredible, and I don't want to take all that time away from home to go to the range or the course. But, I still want to work on my game.

I've tried out a bunch of golf nets from golf stores, but they don't cut the mustard. They're flimsy, a pain to set up and if the wind blows, so too will that net.

Recently, I had the opportunity to try out three products from Rukket Sports: The RukkNet Portable Driving Range, Range Marker & Chipping Target and, the ultimate, Rukket Monster Cage.

Here's a breakdown of my experience with each...

The RukkNet Portable Driving Range

I was really a big fan of how the RukkNet Portable Driving Range is so compact in its packaging. It literally folds up into a perfect circle, into a carry bag that makes it easy to bring anywhere.

And the best part? There's very little set up time. You simply unzip the carry bag, pull out the net, and it pops out like a jack-in-a-box. Hammer down a couple of stakes just to keep it steady and you're ready to let some shots rip.

The net itself is high quality, too. You don't need to worry about hitting driver and sending a golf ball through the net into an unsuspecting neighbor's window.

This could be the most practical net on the market today. It doesn't require a ton of space to set up, you can take it with you to a friend's house and -- perhaps most importantly -- it takes up less storage space than one of grandma's folded quilts. Heck, if you have the room, you can even easily set if up indoors.

Like anything new, it took some getting used to folding the net into the carrying case, but once you practice a couple of times, it's a breeze.

The RukkNet Portable Driving Range sells for $219.99.

Rukket Range Marker & Chipping Target

The ease of use on the Range Marker & Chipping Target -- much like the Portable Driving Range -- is impressive. It just pops open, you hammer a couple of stakes down and you're ready to go.

For any golfer this is a great practice companion, because it really forces you to focus on the target. I spent most of my time working with the chipping target, going as far back as 25 yards. From there, I worked on shots with all my wedges, attempting to envision which of the three holes I wanted to hit and then trying to hit it there.

Of course, I didn't hit the target I intended every time, but over the course of about 15 minutes, my misses were much closer to my intended target.

And, if I'm being honest, the net wasn't used for just practice, but also for fun. My brother has come by for a couple of visits strictly to square off against one another in chipping contests.

I also found the Range Marker to be useful. Instead of pacing off a yardage, I used my rangefinder to lock in the marker at 50 yards. It really helped to develop a feel and consistency. I tried a variety of shots with different clubs, trying to hit the marker on the fly and one-bouncing it to the marker.

I'm not sure I'll use the marker part of this tool as much as the chipping target, but for those with a bigger yard, it could certainly be useful in essentially setting up your own personal backyard, short-iron driving range (the yardage "flaps" go up to 150 yards).

The Rukket Range Marker & Chipping Target costs $43.99.

Rukket Monster Cage

Last, but not least, the mother of all golf nets -- the Rukket Monster Cage.

I'm not going to lie -- this thing was not easy to put together. It took two of us (not very handy guys, mind you) roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes to get the job done. The assembly video on Rukket.com was helpful, but we both laughed at the video when the narrator suggested it would take two people about 20 minutes.

Basically, there are just a lot of pieces. Two things about that, which I realized not long after we got it assembled though: 1. There's a reason for all the pieces; 2.This isn't the type of net you're going to keep putting up and taking down. This is a heavy, heavy duty net. So, yes, it may take longer than the estimated 20 minutes to set up (or, maybe not for you), but once it's up, it's got that "wow" factor. I mean, really.

My advice would be to set it up exactly where you want it to be located. It's certainly moveable with just two people, but it's a little awkward because of the size.

OK, now let's talk about performance after we got it set up.

In a word: unreal.

Just like its name suggests, this net is, in fact, a "monster." Like Rukket's other products I tested, the net was such high quality that there wasn't a single worry about letting a driver rip.

What also separated the Monster Cage from other nets I've tried is that it's an actual cage. There's a "ceiling" net and three "wall" nets (right, left and center). It's pretty much mishit-proof (well, you can still mishit, but it won't cause unwanted damage) to something in your yard, neighbor's yard, or house).

It's also built to last. It's the kind of net you'd expect to see in a simulator, pro shop or trade-show booth. The frame is made from three-part steel tube construction with nickel-plated fasteners and the powder-coated frame ensures long-term outdoor use. The frame tubes and corners have extended ends for greater stability and the corners have PVC base plates that won't scratch floors if you're lucky enough to be able to assemble this indoors.

While I'll get plenty of golf use out of the Monster Cage, I also love the fact that it's so much more than a golf net. The quality and sturdiness, make it perfect for a growing family like mine that will be able to kick soccer balls, hit baseballs and softballs, throw footballs, or whatever else, right in the comfort of the backyard. It's an all-sports cage.

With a price tag of $599.99, it's certainly not cheap. But trust me, you get what you pay for. This is a net for the long haul. When you think of all the money you spend on golf balls at the driving range over the course of a year (if you're a serious golfer), or the money you spend for your kids to go to the batting cages, you quickly realize that having the luxury to do both in your own backyard has the Monster Cage paying for itself in no time.

To learn more about Rukket's offerings, visit www.rukket.com

YouTube
YouTube
Martin Kaymer can outdrive many of us just using his putter.

When I was growing up in West Texas, one of the games we played on the golf course was to choose a hole and play it with just one club from the peg to bottom of the cup. The biggest challenge was to play the longest par 5 using only your putter.

One of us would occasionally make a par. That was quite a feat, but nothing like what Martin Kaymer – who won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf last month – and Bernhard Langer – who on Sunday – recently accomplished with their putters.

GOLF BUZZ: These youngsters are world-class golf ball jugglers 

As part of a Mercedes-Benz promotion, the two German superstars challenged each other to a long-drive contest using only regulation-length putters. The results, recorded on a Trackman ball flight analysis device, were quite impressive.

Each player got three whacks, and each gained more distance with every swing. The 57-year-old Langer said he was most pleased that he didn't break his putter, but his drives were pretty outstanding  – especially considering that Kaymer is considerably larger and almost 30 years younger. The final result: Kaymer went 212.3 meters (that's 232.17 yards), while Langer's best was 190.2 meters (208 yards).

Here's the video of their showdown:

 

 

October 28, 2014 - 1:18pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Michael Jordan, Keegan Bradley
PGA of America
Keegan Bradley and Michael Jordan at the 2014 Ryder Cup.

The 2014-15 NBA season tips off tonight. As part of the build-up to the big hoops night ahead, Michael Jordan -- His Airness -- took over the Charlotte Hornets Twitter account for a while on Tuesday, fielding questions from fans using the hashtag "#MJTakeover."

The Chicago Bulls legend is also the owner of the Hornets.

So, you're asking yourself, what does any of that have to do with golf?

Good question.

Here's the answer: 2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley was one of those "fans" to shoot Jordan a question.

Bradley has become friends with MJ over the last few years and even wears customized "Air Jordan" golf shoes.

So what was Bradley's question to his golf buddy?

 

As of this posting, MJ -- the king of trash-talking -- had yet to reply to Bradley.

We're guessing he'll find a way to squeak a few more strokes out of Bradley during their next round together.

UPDATE: Jordan has responded. As usual, MJ wins.