Golf Buzz

November 26, 2012 - 11:41pm
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Keegan Bradley
Photo: The PGA of America
Many top players, including Keegan Bradley, vow to fight to keep anchored putters legal.


Will wednesday be the day that we finally get an answer on the long putter?  Twitter seems to think so.
Noted Wall Street Journal columnist John Paul Newport hints at a ruling and provides a nice rationale for banning the putter here.  I still disagree. I'm not convinced it makes that much of a difference for the world's best players and anything that keeps amateurs playing more and longer, is only good for the game.
What are your thoughts?
November 26, 2012 - 2:34am
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John Holmes
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Luke Donald at the DP World Tour Championship
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Luke Donald hopes his nose for success will be even sharper next season after undergoing surgery to clear up his sinus problems.

Luke Donald has struggled with sinus issues off and on for some time now, and the problem has gotten so bad that he’s going to have surgery sometime soon to deal with it.

"My sinuses are all completely clogged up, and every time I get a little bit run down they turn into infections," Donald said on Sunday after tying for third place at the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

"Hopefully the surgery will fix it," he added. "It's a pretty quick and easy operation."

Donald shared both the second- and third-round lead with eventual winner Rory McIlroy before his final-round 71 dropped him down a few pegs.

"I don't like to make excuses, but the last couple of days I've had the sinus issue again," said Donald. "I felt a little bit flat and unfortunately I couldn't get things going on Sunday."
He’d been going pretty good before Sunday, though – starting in 2011, Donald went an amazing 102 holes in a row without making a bogey in the Dubai tournament before dropping a shot on the third hole Sunday.

November 25, 2012 - 9:03pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Meadowlands Golf Club
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The modifications at Meadowlands Golf Club in Myrtle Beach were made to make the course even more player-friendly.

Seven Myrtle Beach golf courses installed new greens last summer, but Meadowlands Golf Club took its refurbishment work a step further. Meadowlands closed for three months to install new TifEagle Bermuda grass greens and redesign two holes on the front nine.

The motivation for installing TifEagle was obvious. Its sister course, Farmstead, has the hybrid Bermuda grass and is renowned for the speed and smooth roll of its greens.

"The new strands of Bermuda work great and are more drought tolerant," said Ricky Lyons, Meadowlands' director of golf. "They are faster, and they putt more like bentgrass."

Along with the new grass, the third and sixth holes at Meadowlands underwent design modifications designed to benefit the majority of its players – including many of the female players who have gotten Meadowlands ranked among the "Top 100 Women-Friendly Courses" in America by "Golf for Women."

The Willard Byrd-designed course’s signature hole, No. 3, has a lake that many mid to high handicappers were able to reach off the tee, leaving an approach shot that was a little long for their skill level. With that in mind, part of the lake was filled in, allowing players more room to drive the ball, which in turn sets up a more manageable approach.

The sixth hole went from being one of the most visually intimidating holes on the course, courtesy of a narrow, elevated fairway, to being more scenic and playable. The dirt removed from the fairway was used to fill in the pond on No. 3, and it opened up the fairway and made the hole less daunting.

"The course looks great and people are having a great time playing," Lyons said. "All of our players, including our members, are just ecstatic with the changes we have made. The greens have been perfect."

For more information, visit


November 24, 2012 - 12:49am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Catriona Matthew at the University of Abertay Union
Catriona Matthew via Twitter
Almost two decades after receiving her accounting degree, Catriona Matthew received an honorary doctorate in her native Scotland.

I don’t know about you, but I spent most of my Friday lying around and watching football on TV. My big achievement was making sure I got some leftovers before they were gone.

Catriona Matthew’s day was a bit more productive. She was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Abertay in Dundee, Scotland. The LPGA Tour star received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts as part of Abertay's winter graduation ceremony, in which almost 250 students also received their degrees.

Matthew, one of Scotland's most accomplished female golfers, was born in Edinburgh and graduated from Scotland's University of Stirling with an accounting degree back in 1992. She won the Women’s British Amateur title in 1993, and has gone on to earn 10 professional victories around the globe. She has played in six editions of the Solheim Cup – she sank the winning putt for Europe in 2003 – and is currently 15th in the Rolex Women's World Rankings.

Matthew was chosen by her fellow LPGA Tour players to receive the 2009 Heather Farr Player Award, which honors an LPGA player who has demonstrated determination, perseverance and spirit in fulfilling her goals as a player. She also was named a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in Queen Elizabeth's New Year’s Honours List and was named the 2009 LET Player of the Year.

Not to make light of her degree, but I got a chuckle out of the official announcement on the Abertay website that calls her a “top lady golfer.”

November 23, 2012 - 3:48pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Road Hole 17th on Old Course in St. Andrews
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The world's most famous sand trap will be even more challenging after it is enlarged over the winter.

As if it wasn’t dangerous enough already, the 'Road Hole' – the par-4 17th hole on the Old Course at St. Andrews – is getting a makeover that will make it even tougher.

Specifically, the 'Road Bunker' in front of the left part of the green, will be widened by about 18 inches on its right side – toward the center of the green. The green and the fringe near the bunker also will be recontoured so that more balls will roll into what has to be the most famous sand trap in the world.

The change to the Road Bunker is being done with the 2015 British Open in mind. It is but one of several alterations to the Old Course that architect Martin Hawtree will make at the direction of the R&A, which runs the Open, and the St. Andrews Links Trust, which operates the Old Course and several other prominent courses in the St. Andrews area.

"The Championship Committee felt there was an opportunity to stiffen its defenses in some places to ensure it remains as challenging as ever to the professionals," said R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson. "The proposals from Martin Hawtree should place more of a premium on accuracy and ball control while retaining the spirit and character of the Old Course."

The alterations to the Road Hole are scheduled to take place this winter in the first phase of Hawtree’s renovation, which also will include work on the second, seventh and 11th holes. The second phase will take place in the winter of 2013-14 and will include changes to the third, fourth, sixth, ninth and 15th holes. The second phase will include a new bunker on the right side of the third fairway and a new bunker on the left side of the ninth fairway about 20 yards short of the green.

November 22, 2012 - 9:18pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Sara 'No H' Brown's Thanksgiving spread
Sara 'No H' Brown via Twitter
Sara 'No H' Brown and her pals produced an awe-inspiring spread. Not surprisingly, her final Twitter hashtag was : #CantMove

In our house, we do Thanksgiving a little different than most. And by that, I mean we eat Thanksgiving dinner at dinner time.

This is mainly because we know that if we dined at mid-day, we’d end up eating all day long and would pack on a few thousand more calories than we need to. By eating in the evening, we get the full Thanksigving experience, and then when the inevitable tryptophan coma kicks in, we can just call it a day and fall into bed.

Also, my wife prefers to curse at her beloved Cowboys while she’s cooking instead of while she’s eating. And boy, you shoulda heard her in the first half …

Anyway, while I was shielding my eyes from the horror unfolding at Jerry World, I took a look at social media to see how the world of golf was commemorating Thanksgiving. The short answer is: a lot of heartfelt, 140-character declarations of thanks, and even more pictures of food.

I’ve collected some of the best Turkey Day photos from some of golf’s most prominent players -- from Arron Oberholser to Paula Creamer to Ben Crane to Kevin Streelman -- and put them into a photo gallery. You can see it here.

We’re thankful that you chose to drop by today, and we wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.