Golf Buzz

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
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ryder Cup on TV
Getty Images
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.




October 1, 2012 - 1:31am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Martin Kaymer at the Ryder Cup
Getty Images

I cannot begin to understand how it feels to endure the kind of pressure that golfers like Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker faced late Sunday with the Ryder Cup on the line and the whole world watching. But I’m betting that, after that clinching putt goes in and your whole world goes nuts, it feels pretty darn good to sit by yourself for a minute in the locker room and just let it all sink in.

Congrats to the players on both teams, who once again made the Ryder Cup the single most compelling event in all of sports.

September 30, 2012 - 1:02am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ogio Nebula golf bag
Courtesy of Ogio Golf
The Nebula men's carry bag weighs in at mere 3.8 pounds.

Ogio has introduced its Endurance Lightweight Collection, the newest addition to its award-winning arsenal of golf bags. The collection consists of four men's and two women's cart and stand bags ranging in weight from 3.6 to 4.8 pounds. The new bags combine the synergy of high tensile and lightweight materials, like those used for building parachutes, says Ogio.

The Cirrus (men's cart bag) features a 14-way Diamond UltraLite Performance cart top with full-length club dividers and integrated handles, along with 10 zippered pockets and a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve. It weighs in at 4.8 pounds and retails for $199.99.

The Aura (women's cart bag) also weighs 4.8 pounds and contains a 14-way Diamond UltraLite Performance cart top with full-length club dividers and integrated handles. Its deluxe padded shoulder strap is complemented by 10 zippered pockets and a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve. It retails for $199.99.

The Nebula (men's carry bag) comes with a 10-inch mouth and a six-way performance top with full-length club dividers, and weighs in at 3.8 pounds. It also has eight zippered pockets and a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve. A four-point harness shoulder strap is accompanied by an accessible water bottle holster, and the bag retails for $199.99.

The Nimbus (men's carry bag) features a nine-inch mouth and a seven-way performance top with side putter pit, full-length club dividers and integrated handle. The bag also includes six zippered pockets, a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve, a four-point harness shoulder strap and an accessible water bottle holster. It tips the scales at 3.6 pounds, and retails for $179.99.

The Wisp (men's carry bag) offers a nine-inch WoodeLite top with full-length club dividers and a triple triangle shoulder strap system. Five zippered pockets are accompanied by a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket and an accessible water bottle holster. It weighs four pounds, and retails for $149.99.

The Halo (women's carry bag) also comes with a nine-inch mouth and seven-way performance top with side putter pit, full-length club dividers and integrated handle. It has six zippered pockets, a wather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve and a four-point harness shoulder strap. It weighs 3.6 pounds, and retails for $179.99.

For more information, visit