Golf Buzz

November 7, 2012 - 5:23pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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erik compton
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Erik Compton is the only heart transplant recipient ever to compete on the PGA Tour. Now he is the recipient of the Babe Didrickson Zaharias Courage Award presented by the United States Sports Academy.


Erik Compton holds a distinction not of his choosing, but one that has inspired and touched millions. He has had two heart transplants in his life, and is the only heart-transplant recipient ever to play the PGA Tour.

Compton was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy when he was nine years old. He received his first transplant at age 12, and his second following a major heart attack in 2008.

Three years later, he earned his PGA Tour card.

Now, the United States Sports Academy has honored Compton with the 2012 Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award, presented annually to an individual who demonstrates courageous action in overcoming adversity to excel in sport.

Compton has made 16 cuts and has one top-25 finish. He finished 137th in FedExCup points. And he has used his story to help raise awareness and educate Americans about organ donation.

“I hope that by sharing my experience others can see the importance of finding out more about organ donation,” Compton said. “After my second transplant, I knew I wasn’t done with golf and consider when I made the cut in the 2008 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic less than six months later to start my comeback. That makes receiving this award all that much more meaningful to me.”

Awarded annually since 1985, past recipients of this award include Pat Summitt, Rocky Blier, Bethany Hamilton, Joe Torre, Scott Hamilton, Gail Devers and Roy Campanella.

November 7, 2012 - 2:46am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Barack Obama
Courtesy of the White House
Barack Obama is continuing a streak of golfing presidents that stretches back more than two decades.

There are as many facts and fallacies about the presidential election floating around as there are opinions, but here’s a direct connection between the White House and the golf industry: Barack Obama’s re-election means that golfers have won nine straight presidential elections dating back to 1980, and eight of the last nine presidential losers were non-golfers.

The last non-golfer to win the White House was Jimmy Carter in 1980, and to get there he defeated a golfer, Gerald Ford. Since then, golfers have won nine straight presidential elections – and the only golfer to lose in that stretch was George H. W. Bush, who lost to another golfer, Bill Clinton, in 1992.

Here is the full list of the golf winning streak:

--2012: Barack Obama (golfer) def. Mitt Romney (non-golfer)
--2008: Barack Obama (golfer) def. John McCain (non-golfer)
--2004: George W. Bush (golfer) def. John Kerry (non-golfer)
--2000: George W. Bush (golfer) def. Al Gore (non-golfer)
--1996: Bill Clinton (golfer) def. Bob Dole (non-golfer)
--1992: Bill Clinton (golfer) def. George H.W. Bush (golfer)
--1988: George H.W. Bush (golfer) def. Michael Dukakis (non-golfer)
--1984: Ronald Reagan (golfer) def. Walter Mondale (non-golfer)
--1980: Ronald Reagan (golfer) def. Jimmy Carter (non-golfer)

November 6, 2012 - 8:42pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Palmetto Dunes
Courtesy of Palmetto Dunes
Angling for redfish and swinging like Masters champ Bubba Watson are just two of the many activities available this fall and winter at Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Want to learn to play "Bubba Golf?" You can do just that and much more at the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

The new Bubba Golf class at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy teaches golfers to emulate the playful attitude of Masters champion Bubba Watson. The program, held every Monday on the Robert Trent Jones Course, focuses on the mechanics of making specific trouble shots while learning to think less and focus better. It costs only $25 per person.

Bubba Golf is one of 11 programs, which include Ladies Only, Mental Golf Workshop and Power & Distance class, offered at the Golf Academy. Private lessons are also available.

Also new is the Fish & Chips golf and fishing package, which is designed as a guys’ golf getaway for a group of four. The four-day, three-night mini-vacation lets golfers take in a round of golf in Hilton Head’s mild fall temperatures and enjoy many autumn activities, including inshore fishing, kayaking, biking and tennis. During the fall, redfish are abundant in Hilton Head waters, and golfers will have the opportunity to take an inland fishing charter to try and catch a "Big Red" for a great photo and bragging rights.

The Fish & Chips package includes accommodations in a resort view villa; a $100 resort dining card good at Palmetto Dunes’ Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza restaurant, the Dunes House restaurant or the golf grilles; two hours of kayak rentals; bike rentals throughout their stay; one round of golf per person; a $50 gift card per person for the resort’s golf pro shops; a sleeve of golf balls per person and two hours of tennis court time daily.

Kids younger than 10 play free golf rounds with a paying adult. The package provides guests a total savings of nearly $800 off regular rates and starts at $1685 for four players. Rates vary according to the season and availability.

Golfers looking to spend an extended vacation at Palmetto Dunes this fall or winter can partake of the resort’s monthly golf membership, which offers unlimited golf for up to 30 days at all three of the resort’s courses. Members also receive discounts at the pro shop, golf grilles and range. Available for both couples and individuals, the passes start at $630 per person and $1050 per couple for 30 days.

Also new this season is the Palmetto Dunes Golf App, available for free on both iPhone and Android. It lets golfers track their score digitally and share it on Facebook, offers live leader boards, provides GPS yardage markers and allows users to book tee times directly from their phone. The app also provides details about each hole on the resort’s three courses as well as tips for playing the holes.

Palmetto Dunes features three distinctly different courses – the Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course, the George Fazio Course and the Arthur Hills Course. The community itself is a 2,000-acre resort bounded by three miles of Atlantic Ocean beach on one side and a sheltered Intracoastal Waterway marina on the other.

The resort also includes an award-winning tennis center, an 11-mile inland salt-water lagoon system for kayaking and fishing, and Hilton Head Outfitters for bike rentals, canoes, kayaks, fishing and much more. The Mediterranean-style Shelter Cove Harbour deep-water marina, located right across from Palmetto Dunes, features waterfront shopping and dining and a wide variety of charters, including nature cruises, dolphin tours, sport crabbing and fishing.

For more information, visit

November 6, 2012 - 6:52pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Adam Scott
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Adam Scott thinks golf's governing bodies should leave long putters alone and concentrate their energy more on dealing with the ever-expanding distances that modern clubs can hit the ball.

Before long, it seems, every player who uses a long putter will have come out against the proposed rule change to banish them. The latest to speak up is Adam Scott, who said on Tuesday that he spoke with European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady last week to stress his opinion that a ban on the long putter he has used since 2011 would be unfair.

"It is very hard to find a good reason to do that (get rid of long putters) at this stage, so my conversation was to find out where things sit because it is very hard to get information," Scott told Reuters at the Barclays Singapore Open. "My opinion would be I don't think it is in the best interests of the game to ban the long putter. I think there are some more important issues that probably should have time spent on them than putting."

Scott went out of his way to shoot down a suggestion from Tiger Woods that the putter should be the shortest club in a player’s bag.

"His voice carries some weight on the issue -- a lot of players have been quite outspoken about it and certainly when Tiger Woods speaks about it generates a lot of interest," said Scott. "But I'm not necessarily sure his views on what the putter should be are correct at all. I don't think the putter should be the shortest club in the bag -- that has never been a rule in golf so I don't know why it should be now."

Instead of worrying about putters, Scott would prefer to see golf’s governing bodies focus more on reining in the distance that contemporary clubs are capable of hitting the ball.

"I think that it is fairly well acknowledged that length generally is probably the biggest issue in the game and it doesn't just mean how far pros hit it,” Scott told Reuters. "Some of our courses, great courses, are too short these days.

"If we are talking about equipment side of things, the length issue is probably the most important because tees are moved back," he added. "Greens are not changed because people are putting with a long putter."


November 6, 2012 - 2:57pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Nike VRS_Covert driver
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The new Nike VR_S Covert drivers feature a rich red paint job, and give golfers the ability to choose from 15 different options of loft and face angle.

Nike Golf unveiled its latest driver on Monday, and is unabashedly billing it as "the most innovative club" the company has ever produced. 

The new VR_S Covert driver is the first to bring high-speed cavityback technology to a driver that conforms to USGA and R&A rules, company officials said. It features three proprietary technologies (High Speed Cavity Back, FlexLoft adjustability and NexCOR face) that combine to enhance distance, control and forgiveness, they added. 

"With the VR_S Covert, we have created a game-changing piece of technology that has already begun a growing industry buzz," said Rob Arluna, Nike Golf’s Global Golf Club Business Director. "It is visually exciting, it feels and sounds amazing and, most importantly, it creates powerful results with a high degree of control. Golfers and our Nike Golf Tour athletes are going to have a lot of fun with this driver."

The High Speed Cavity Back is a technology used in irons and now brought to drivers, fairways and hybrids for the first time in a conforming driver. This leads to more stability at impact, Nike says, and that delivers more energy to the ball, resulting in more distance and control. The Cavity Back is only visible from the sole view, but is covered and hidden by the crown to make the club more visually pleasing at address – hence the name VR_S Covert.

By incorporating this new hidden geometry into the driver, Nike Golf engineers have been able to move the weight of the club to the heel and toe, increasing Moment of Inertia (MOI) to increase forgiveness and add even more distance to off-center shots.

The FlexLoft system is a simple pull, turn, and push/tighten mechanism that allows for an intuitive adjustment system. The patented Dual Axis adjustment allows golfers to choose their loft (between 8.5 and 12.5 degrees) and face angle independently of each other by decoupling loft from face angle. This creates 15 different options to suit their game and course conditions.

Finally, the NexCOR face technology featured in the VR_S Covert line is designed to deliver faster ball speed and longer shots from a wider area of the face. NexCOR creates more speed at impact by employing a variable face thickness that moves the sweet spot higher from the heel of the club to the center high, where most golfers are likely to make impact.

Featuring a deep red paint job, the VR_S Covert driver will be offered in two models, the VR_S Covert Tour and VR_S Covert. The VR_S Covert Tour features a 430cc head and features a deeper face and a fixed weight screw. The VR_S Covert has a larger 460cc head and has a wider breadth. Both models will come with Mitsubishi Rayon’s new Kuro Kage shafts that are produced with higher carbon fiber density for superior control and power.

The drivers will be available in golf stores throughout North America and Europe on Feb. 8, 2013, and in the rest of world starting Feb. 15, 2013. The VR_S Covert Tour will carry a street price of $399, while the VR_S Covert model will carry a street price of $299.


Categories: VR-S
November 6, 2012 - 2:32pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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Bob Toski
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Bob Toski is still as sharp as ever, on and off the course.

It might be a record. It is certainly the kind of achievement that deserves recognition.  

Noted teacher and timeless professional Bob Toski shot a routine 73 over the weekend at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla.: 35-38 from just under 6,500  yards.  

What makes the feat noteworthy is the fact that Toski is 86 years old. He doesn't know if 13 shots under your age is a record, and he doesn't care. "I don't play for records," Toski said. "Now, I'm playing customer golf and giving golf lessons when I'm out there. But I still love it and can still get it around pretty well."  

 Toski was the leading money winner on tour in 1954 and was the first living professional inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame.