Golf Buzz

October 5, 2012 - 1:11am
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John Holmes
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Phil Mickelson
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Phil Mickelson will try to generate cash for children's literacy at an upcoming San Diego chargers game.

Phil Mickelson is one of the new owners of the San Diego Padres, but his next sporting appearance will be with his hometown Chargers. And, in typical Mickelson fashion, there’ll be big money on the line.

At halftime of the Monday Night Football game between the Chargers and the Denver Broncos on Oct. 15, Mickelson will take to the field and try to win as much as $1 million for charity with his vaunted short game. In the "KPMG Chip 4 Charity," Mickelson will tee it up in one end zone of Qualcomm Stadium and take aim at the other end zone to win money for First Book, a non-profit organization that provides new books for needy children.

In that far end zone will be a green and three rings. If Mickelson hits the green, he’ll win $50,000 – enough to buy 20,000 books. A shot that ends up inside the rings would net him anywhere from $100,000 (40,000 books) to $1 million (400,000 books). The money will be donated by KPMG, which also sponsors Mickelson on the PGA Tour.

KPMG’s Family for Literacy program teamed with Mickelson and First Book to create the "Blue for Books" program in March 2012. That program encourages golf fans to purchase Mickelson’s authentic blue KPMG Tour hat at KPMG donates all the net proceeds to First Book, which provides deserving children three books for each hat sold.

"My wife, Amy, and I, feel strongly that literacy and education are critical to the future success of today’s youth," said Mickelson. "I am extremely proud to be part of the Blue for Books campaign and it’s just great to know that for every blue hat I see out in the gallery each week, three new books are in the hands of kids who need them most." 

October 4, 2012 - 12:15am
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John Holmes
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Cleveland Golf forged RTG wedge
Courtesy of Cleveland Golf
Cleveland's new Forged RTG wedges come in an Oil Quench finish and will rust over time.

Building on the success of its popular 588 Wedge line, Cleveland Golf is rolling out its new 588 Forged RTG wedge.

The 588 Forged RTG (Raw Tour Grind) model maintains the popular shape of Cleveland's 588 Forged predecessors, but this one features a dynamic grind on the back of the sole to reduce volume there. This dynamic grind allows golfers to open the face with a lower leading edge for better contact.

Made from 1025 carbon steel, the new wedge provides a soft feel and less vibration. The precision of Cleveland’s Laser Milled technology preserves the edges of the grooves, enhances the grooves' consistency and maximizes the grooves' allowable dimensions while conforming to USGA requirements. The RTG also features a True Temper Dynamic Gold shaft, a high-flex, tour-weight shaft designed for skilled players seeking a low, penetrating ball flight for enhanced control and accuracy.

The 588 Forged RTG wedge is available in lofts of 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, and 64 degrees of loft. All lofts except 62 and 64 degrees are also available in left-handed models. They are available in an Oil Quench finish and will rust over time, and carry a listed minimum advertised price $139.99 per club.

For more information, visit:

October 3, 2012 - 6:49pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Troon North Golf Club
Courtesy of Troon Golf
Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., will host its Get Golf Ready Clinic on Oct. 27.

Are you ready to Get Golf Ready? You still can, even though autumn is here.

In conjunction with the PGA of America's Get Golf Ready program, more than 70 Troon Golf facilities across the United States are hosting introductory golf clinics specifically designed to introduce juniors and beginners to the game in a fun, affordable and educational way.

The clinics are being held throughout the month of October. And to make them accessible to as many people as possible, participation costs only $20 for adults, while juniors 17 years of age and younger are free. Each golfer also will be automatically entered into a drawing to win one of five Callaway Golf starter sets. At the conclusion of each clinic, participants will be able to continue their pursuit of the game by registering for a Get Golf Ready program, which includes five additional instructional classes starting at just $99.

"Growing participation in our game is critical to the success of our industry," said John Easterbrook, Troon’s executive vice president of operations. "We take our responsibility very seriously to be a leader in growing the game and by partnering with the PGA of America, we are confident that our combined efforts will make a strong impact on encouraging more people to experience the joy and entertainment that golf provides. We strongly believe that making beginners' introduction to golf more fun and affordable will result in more dedicated players adopting the sport."

Entering its fourth year, Get Golf Ready has introduced golf to thousands of people who had never played golf or had minimal experience in the game. Participants learn the basics of chipping, putting, full swing, half swing and bunker play, as well as how to use and maintain golf equipment, keep score and navigate the course. Significant on-course learning opportunities are part of each lesson, as well as background on the game's rules, etiquette, history and values.

To sign up for a clinic and to view a complete list of facilities participating in Troon's Player Development Month, visit

For more information on the Get Golf Ready program, visit:

October 3, 2012 - 2:05am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Camouflaged TaylorMade irons
TaylorMade Golf via Twitter
TaylorMade offered these sneak peeks at their new prototype irons with "secret badging."

If you’re a car guy like me, you love to see spy shots of new models while they’re out being tested. Oftentimes, the car companies try to disguise specific features of their future vehicles by covering them with camouflage to keep the competition guessing – and, of course, to get the fans of their brands curious about what’s coming next.

You don’t often see camouflaged golf clubs, though, but it’s not unheard of. In fact, TaylorMade had Sean O’Hair testing some prototype irons on the range at the Justin Timberlake Shriner’s Hospitals Open in Las Vegas on Tuesday, but they covered the backs of the heads with a crazy pattern a la the car companies to keep people from getting too good a look.

TaylorMade didn’t want to keep things too hush-hush, though – they took their own spy shots and posted them on Twitter. The photos give a pretty nice peek at the clubs, which have a clean, classic look and, to me, somewhat resemble TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MB irons from a few seasons ago.

What exactly is hidden under that psychedelic pattern? We’ll likely find out sometime before the PGA Merchandise Show next January.


October 1, 2012 - 4:46pm
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John Holmes
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Ryder Cup on TV
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The ratings for this Ryder Cup are up about 20 percent over the last Ryder Cup held in the United States.

The Ryder Cup's final day drew its highest preliminary TV rating since the last big comeback 13 years ago, NBC Sports said on Monday.

Sunday's coverage earned a 4.1 overnight rating and 9 share, NBC told the Associated Press. That was the best since a 6.3/15 for the U.S. comeback in 1999 in Brookline, Mass.

The preliminary rating was up 21 percent from the last Ryder Cup in the United States, a 3.4 for the U.S. victory at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky., in 2008.

Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned to a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time. Overnight ratings measure the country's largest markets.



October 1, 2012 - 1:26pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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European Ryder Cup team
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The players don't get paid for the Ryder Cup, but some bettors who kept the faith on the Europeans sure did.

There’s no shame in admitting that you didn’t see Europe’s history-making rally to win the Ryder Cup coming. Neither did some of Britain's biggest bookmakers.

Betting on sports is legal in Britain, and betting can even take place while the action is going on, with the odds shifting depending on what’s happening at the time. The Europeans, down 10-6 to the Americans heading into the singles, teed off Sunday morning facing 8-to-1 odds against them coming back to win the Ryder Cup – and that, I have to say, seemed like pretty short odds at the time, given the enormity of the challenge they faced.

Yet even as players like Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy piled up some early points for the blue and gold, the odds on a European win rose to as high as 14 to 1. So the folks who were brave enough to bet on Europe at that time were nicely compensated for keeping the faith.

The bets that cost the bookmakers the most, according to Britain’s PA Sport wire service, came right at the very end of the day. One was that Martin Kaymer or Francesco Molinari would secure the winning point or half point. The odds on either of those players were 33 to 1, seeing as how the oddsmakers figured the Ryder Cup would be decided before their matches were complete.

The other, which developed as the singles progressed, was that the Ryder Cup would end in a 14-14 tie. It looked to be headed that way until Tiger Woods missed a relatively short putt on the 18th hole and then conceded Molinari’s putt. That meant their individual match ended all square, but made the final score 14 ½ to 13 ½.

"While it was impossible not to get caught up in such a fantastic victory, Woods' miss resulted in us taking a really heavy beating," SkyBet's Ned Brooker told PA Sport.

No worries, though. The bookmakers have already laid down the preliminary odds for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Scotland. The Europeans are a 10/11 favorite to win yet again, and Paul McGinley of Ireland is the favorite to be named Europe's skipper.

You can even bet on who you think will make the team. Right now, the 12 favorites to be on that 2014 European squad are, in order: Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Nicolas Colsaerts, Matteo Manassero, Peter Hanson and Francesco Molinari.