Golf Buzz

December 8, 2016 - 10:10am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rob Labritz
Pritchard/PGA of America
Just because it may be too cold to play golf where you live this time of year doesn't mean there aren't a number of steps you can take to keep your game sharp. PGA Professional Rob Labritz explains.

There's a common misconception that when the cold weather comes, golfers place their bag of clubs in a closet and don't take them out again until March.

If you take your game seriously, you know it doesn't have to be that way -- and we're talking about having to take an expensive vacation to a tropical destination.

You can get serious work done on your game in your house, at an indoor range (think dome), or maybe your golf course even offers heated bays where you can stay warm while hitting shots outdoors.

Whatever the case may be, there's one point of emphasis you should be focusing on, so says PGA Professional Rob Labritz.

RELATED: How to break 100 | 90 | 80 | 70 | Cold weather golf tips

Since you're not hitting on grass, Labritz said, you're likely to be hitting off a perfect, flat lie on turf all winter, which makes striking the ball solidly mush easier than hitting out of rough, or from an uphill, downhill or sidehill lie in the fairway.

"It's all about focusing on solid contact," he said. "In most cases, you're not going to be able to see ball flight -- you're hitting into a net, or hitting in an indoor range. Even if your at an outdoor range, the ball isn't going to travel as far as you're used to because of the cold air. So zone in on making solid contact. You can work on all of your game -- half swings, 1/4 swings, 3/4 swings and full swings, chips and putts. Make these types of swings with all clubs to see how far each one carries starting with a 1/4 swing. So effectively, my 8-iron will carry with a full swing 160 yards. So my half swing will carry about 80 yards, quarter swing 40 yards and so on. Get those dialed in."

If your club or local PGA Professional has access to technology such as Trackman or Flight Scope, Labritz says that can be an enormous help as well.

"You can really dial in your numbers with that kind of technology," he said. "You just have to make sure you're not neglecting your chipping, pitching and putting in the winter. That's the most important thing. That's where you're going to save all your shots in a round. You have to keep that sharp"

Find yourself stuck at home? Get in front of a mirror and become familiar with the positions of your swing and your address.

"Look into a mirror and start to own your set-up position," Labritz said. "Use the mirror for a golf swing checklist. The mirror can really help you trim down the fat. Are you a little in front of it? Trim down on that."

And, finally, here's one thing you can do that will work wonders for your game and -- since we're in the holiday season -- you may not want to hear... fitness.

"Stay long and limber," Labritz said. "We're not talking about lifting a lot of weight and bulking up. You don't want to do that. You want to be long and lean. I double up my Yoga time in the winter months. Since you can't play your usual 3-4 hour round of golf during this colder months, dedicate some of that time to your fitness. You won't believe how good you will feel out on the course once it warms up."

Rob Labritz, who has played in four PGA Championships (he was low-Club Professional in 2010 at Whistling Straits), is currently the Director of Golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in BedFord Hills, N.Y. He was also the PGA Met Section Player of the Year in 2008, 2013 and 2016, as well as the Westchester Golf Association's Player of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015. You can learn more about Labritz at www.RobLabritz.com and you can follow him on Twitter, @Rlabritz.  

December 8, 2016 - 9:48am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rafa Cabrera Bello
@europeantour on Twitter
Rafa Cabrera Bello finished his first round of the UBS Hong Kong Open in style on Thursday with a hole-out for eagle on his final hole of the day.

Rafa Cabrera Bello, who made his Ryder Cup debut for Europe earlier this year at Hazeltine, fired a 6-under 64 in the first round of the UBS Hong Kong Open on Thursday.

The round was highlight by what happened at the 10th hole -- Cabrera Bello's final hole of the day -- where he holed out from the fairway for an eagle.

Check it out:

Nothing like being able to leave the putter in the bag as the rest of your group finishes the final hole.

December 7, 2016 - 11:37am
Daniel.McDonald's picture
December 7, 2016 - 10:47am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
TaylorMade
TaylorMade
TaylorMade has released its new line up of equipment for 2017 -- additions to its popular M Family of clubs.

We've hit that time of year where golf manufacturers begin introducing the new toys they'll be releasing for the new year.

Tuesday was that day for TaylorMade.

At an event in West Palm Beach, Fla., the company unveiled the new M1 & M2 drivers, fairways and hybrids, as well as re-engineered M2 irons and the introduction of the all-new M1 irons.

Let's take a look at each of the new products as well as their availability.

M1 Driver: Available on January 27, 2017 at $499.99 USD, the M1 460 driver will be offered in 8.5*, 9.5*, 10.5* & 12* loft options, while LH models will be offered in 9.5* and 10.5* lofts. The M1 440 driver (RH only) will be offered in 8.5*, 9.5* & 10.5* loft options.

M1 Fairway Metals: Available on January 27, 2017 at $299 USD, the M1 fairway will be offered in 15* (3), 17* (3HL) and 19* (5) loft options while LH models will be offered in 15° and 19° options. Premium componentry comes standard in the M1 fairway, with an MRC Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 70g fairway shaft in R, S & X flexes as well as 60g A flex. All models come equipped with a Lamkin UTx cord grip.

M1 Rescue: TaylorMade's most adjustable hybrid to date, the M1 Rescue, will be offered in 17* (2), 19* (3), 21* (4) and 24* (5) options while LH models will be offered in 19* and 21* options at $249 USD.

M1 Irons: Available at retail on March 1, 2017, M1 irons ($999 steel; $1,199 graphite) will be offered in 3-iron through SW. Players will have a choice of True Temper's popular XP95 steel shafts or MRC Kuro Kage Silver graphite shafts in addition to numerous additional custom shaft options.

M2 Driver: Available on January 27, 2017 at $399.99 USD, the M2 driver will be offered in 9.5*, 10.5* & 12* loft options, while LH models will be offered in 9.5* and 10.5* lofts.

M2 Fairway Metals: Available on January 27, 2017 at $249.99 USD, the M2 Fairway will be offered in 15* (3), 16.5* (3HL) & 18* (5), 21* (5HL) and 24* (7HL) loft options, while LH models will be offered in 15*, 16.5* & 18* lofts.

M2 Rescue: Available on January 27, 2017 at $199.99 USD, the M2 Rescue will be offered in 19* (3), 22* (4), 25* (5) and 28* (6) lofts while LH models will be offered in 19*, 22* and 25* lofts.

M2 Irons: Available at retail on January 27, 2017, M2 irons ($799 steel; $899 graphite) will be offered in 4-iron through LW. Players will have a choice of the REAX HL 88 by FST steel shafts (S,R)or the M2 REAX graphite shafts (75-45g / S,R,A,L) in addition to numerous additional custom shaft options. 

December 7, 2016 - 8:18am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bryson DeChambeau
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Bryson DeChambeau might just be the most interesting player in golf today. This week at the Shark Shootout, he might be breaking out a side-saddle putting stroke.

If there's anything we've learned about Bryson DeChambeau over the last few years it's this: He is is own man -- one interesting dude.

He wears the Ben Hogan-style cap. He plays a single-length set of irons. And, now, he's doing this on the greens:

 

 

 

 

That, folks, is the side-saddle putting stroke that DeChambeau is expected to put in play when he teams up with Lexi Thompson this week in the Shark Shootout.

RELATED: Are you looking for tips on putting? Check out out putting instruction page

"It feels foreign to me. I'm totally conventional -- no cross-handed grip or anything like that," PGA Professional Rob Labritz said. "Anything out of the norm is weird to me. That said, I'm intrigued with Bryson DeChambeau. I spent a lot of time looking at the video of what he's doing right now and noticed a few things. His head, shoulders and lower legs were almost fixed. He was as solid as could be swinging that putter in a direction we're not used to looking at. If you can get it in the hole and it's fundamentally sound, then go for it."

And if things aren't working out right-handed for DeChambeau, it also looks as though he could flip to the other side of the ball without issue. Check out his sweet left-handed swing:

 

That's just not fair.

Sam Snead -- the PGA Tour's leader in career wins with 82 -- also used the side-saddle putting style later in his career.

 

 

December 6, 2016 - 11:26am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
John Daly
@PGA_JohnDaly on Twitter
While waiting to play his tee shot during a pro-am tournament for the Folds of Honor this week, John Daly sang his song, "Hit it Hard" with one of his playing partners strumming a guitar.

John Daly played in the Ken Duke Celebrity Pro-Am, which benefited Folds of Honor and Volunteers in Medicine, via The Ken Duke and Friends Charity Mission earlier this week.

Since you never know what's going to happen during a round with Daly, this was pretty cool...

One of the players in the group had a guitar in his cart (totally normal). On one tee box, the player starts strumming the chords to Daly's "Hit it Hard" when Daly pipes in to sing.

Check it out:

 

 

Daly also took the stage the night before at a fundraiser for the Folds of Honor:

 

 

"Hit it Hard" took to the airwaves in 2014 and recently got more traction when ESPN used it heavily in its "30 for 30" mini-documentary on Daly.

Prior to "Hit it Hard," Daly's tune of choice to cover whenever he had the chance was "Knockin' on Heaven's Door":