Golf Buzz

Cleveland RTX 2.0 wedges
Courtesy of Cleveland Golf
The blade version of the Cleveland RTX 2.0 wedges is for better players, while the cavityback version is better for players needing a bit more forgiveness.
Golf season might be starting to wind down in some parts of the country, but it's still high season in terms of golf equipment innovation. The latest example: The 2.0 editions of Cleveland's 588 RTX wedges, which hit the stores today.
The original version of the 588 RTX wedge was Cleveland's best-spinning wedge yet, so the designers and engineers consulted PGA Tour stars like Graeme McDowell and Keegan Bradley to pinpoint the specific challenge that players face from 125 yards and in. Their solution: two new wedges – one a traditional blade, the other with a subtle cavityback, both promising 15 percent more spin than the previous edition.
The cavityback head is slightly larger – and more forgiving – than the blade version, but both offer the same specs and options, including the choice between True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts and Cleveland's Rotex graphite shafts.
Both of the new 2.0 wedges have been upgraded from top to bottom and front to back. The upgrade begins with the fourth generation of Cleveland's "Tour Zip Grooves," which are 8 percent deeper than the third generation and have steeper sidewalls and sharper edges to channel more moisture, dirt and grass away from the face to facilitate cleaner contact.
The 588 RTX 2.0 wedges also boast Cleveland’s new Rotex 2.0 face technology, which generates more friction – and therefore spin – than ever before. Rotex milling creates a strategically designed roughness on the fact to improve contact from deep grass and inconsistent lies, while a separate laser milling process fine-tunes the rough texture on the face to increase spin on pitch and chip shots. 
The new wedges also come with three different grind options – low, standard and full sole – that Cleveland says will help golfers build a set of wedges perfect for their skill level and playing conditions. 
The Low Bounce Grind (1 Dot) – a combination of a trailing edge grind and maximum relief on the heel and toe – allows players to be aggressive from anywhere around the green. It is best, the company says, for tight lies, firm conditions and for players with a more shallow attack angle.
The Standard Bounce Grind (2 Dot) – a blend of a trailing edge grind and moderate relief from the heel and toe – gives players a wedge that provides forgiveness and versatility in most conditions. It is ideal, according to Cleveland, for use in a wide variety of conditions and by players with a neutral attack angle.
The Full Sole Grind (3 Dot) – with a consistent width across the sole – provides a slightly higher bounce, allowing players to smoothly glide through any surface with ease. It is best for softer conditions and for players with a steep attack angle.
The blade model comes in a satin or black satin finish, while the cavityback comes in black satin. They range from 46 to 64 degrees of loft, with most available in right- and left-handed versions. There is also a women's version of the cavityback model. They carry a suggested retail price of $129.99 per club.
Here's a video from Cleveland introducing the new wedges:
September 12, 2014 - 2:48pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Guess the course
Who knows which course this is?

Welcome to our new format for our 'Guess the Course' game. 

Instead of just posting a picture to our Facebook page and using the comments field for your guesses, we've decided to post it all here. Plus, down below, you can find the answer -- no more waiting around to hear what it is. 

So with that said, here's today's photo. It comes to us from a course in an area of the United States that's about to get very popular as soon as all the leaves change color in the fall. 

Can you guess which course it is? 




Here's the answer. Thanks to @sblockard on Instagram for sharing it with us. 


September 12, 2014 - 2:48pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have become friends and rivals.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy recently joined Rachel Nichols from CNN's 'Unguarded,' to talk about their rivalry and friendship.

Which is it?

"Both," Woods said. "First rivals, I think, initially. But we've gotten to know each other over the last few years and we've become pretty good friends."

Later in the interview, Nichols asked Woods which of the two was the face of golf these days with McIlroy having won four majors in the last three years.

"Whether I am, or he is is irrelevant," Woods said. "As competitors and players we just want to win tournaments. He's doing a lot better job at it than I am."

You can watch the clip here:

Rory McIlroy
The spectator didn't get to keep the ball, but he did get a handshake for McIlroy and a fantastic story.

Talk about a hole-in-one. 

Rory McIlroy's drive on the 14th tee during the second round of the Tour Championship at East Lake didn't end up in the cup, but instead the ball found its way into a spectator's pocket. And no, the spectator did not bend down and snatch the ball. Turns out that the ball found him. 

As you can see in the video, McIlroy's drive hit some trees to the right of the fairway and ricocheted the ball straight into the right pocket of the spectator. 

Clearly, McIlroy was a good sport about this wacky shot and had a good chuckle about it. McIlroy got his ball back and then took a drop en route to a par 4 on the hole. 

It doesn't matter what else happens this weekend, it seems pretty safe to say that this is the shot of the week. 


Kevin Sabbagh
Kevin Sabbagh didn't hit the ball from the Freedom Tower, opting to just pose instead.

For Kevin Sabbagh, the opportunity was just too good to pass up. 

A fifth-generation iron worker in New York, Sabbagh was working on the construction of the Freedom Tower when he decided to recreate the famous black-and-white photo of an iron worker hitting a shot from a beam during the construction of Rockefeller Center. 

In a way, getting the opportunity to do that while building the Freedom Tower was beyond appropriate. Sabbagh was one of the countless Americans affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 

Sabbagh was in his freshman year of high school in Goshen, New York, a town about an hour outside of the city, on 9/11. The events that day "hit closer to home than anyone would like," he said. 

After hearing rumors of the terrorist attack early in the day, Sabbagh received first confirmation in his fifth-period class from his teacher. When he got to ninth period, there was a substitute teacher because the permanent one was in the National Guard and had been called down to Ground Zero. 

Related: Golf shot from above the abyss in Norway

That was nothing compared to the news he found out when he got home.

While most of Sabbagh's father's side of the family was involved in the iron industry, his mother's side of the family were firefighters in New York City. Sabbagh's uncle, Jim Riches, was a New York City fire deputy. His cousin Jimmy Riches was a firefighter for Engine 4 in the city and had gone missing after the World Trade Centers had collapsed. 

"When I got home, it really sank in when my mother told me they couldn't find Jimmy," Sabbagh said by phone on Thursday. 

Riches' body wouldn't be found until March 25, 2002. When it was located in the North Tower, it was right next to a woman's body on a stretcher. An article in The New York Post said that Riches had probably been carrying the woman out of the building when it collapsed. 

In the years since Riches' death, there have been a number of different ways that his family has kept his legacy alive. One of them is a golf outing, a game that is practically ingrained in being a Riches or Sabbagh. 

When Sabbagh was young, his father gave him and his older brother cut-down golf clubs and let them hit balls against the garage. Soon, the boys were hitting balls over the garage and into the neighbor's houses. 

As Sabbagh got older, his love of the game grew. That all led to Sept. 22, 2012, when Sabbagh decided he was going to hit a ball off of the Freedom Tower and into the Hudson River about a quarter of a mile away. 

Related: Our fans tell us about the craziest holes they've ever played

For days, Sabbagh checked the weather report for a wind to come from the east. Known among his friends for his 300-yard drives, Sabbagh figured his distance plus the wind plus the 1,400-feet elevation would give him enough carry to reach the water. 

"It looked fake, the city. That's how high up you are," Sabbagh said. 

The forecast gave Sabbagh favorable conditions on Sept. 22, but he never got the opportunity to hit the ball.

"During the day of the photo, the winds started coming in from the north," Sabbagh said. "There was a park below us with kids playing baseball and soccer, so I thought it was probably best just to pose."

So no, Sabbagh never did get the chance to hit a shot from the tower, which officially opened earlier this year. But much like the black-and-white photo that originally inspired Sabbagh, his photo did find its way onto a poster. 

"I gave one to my uncle recently and my cousin was there and she gasped and was speechless," Sabbagh said. "It's at just the right angle to see how high you are. It's unbelievable."

September 11, 2014 - 9:50am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Dane Karsten Maas
Guinness World Records
Dane Karsten Maas, a 49-year-old golf professional and 'Trick Golf Artist', created the longest usable golf club -- a driver that measures 14 feet, 5 inches and has been hit just over 180 yards.

There are some strange Guinness World Records out there. Stuff like "longest mohawk," "largest omelette," "biggest rubber band ball," and "tallest lego tower," just to name a few.

For 2015, there's an odd golf distinction to add to the Guinness World Records -- "world's longest usable golf club."

Dane Karsten Maas, a 49-year-old golf professional and 'Trick Golf Artist', created the longest usable golf club -- a driver that measures 14 feet, 5 inches and has been hit just over 180 yards.

"The weight and length of the club make striking the ball really exhausting," Maas tells Guinness. "Plus I don’t have a caddy!"

Here's video of Maas swinging the club: