Golf Buzz

April 30, 2013 - 10:19pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Putter Wheel
The simplicity and the effectiveness of Putter Wheel makes it a great fit for all golfers.


Several times per week, I am contacted by someone who has the "next great ______" in golf. From high-tech swing analyzers to the latest, greatest app - there is no shortage in my inbox (or closet) of the ultimate game-changer for the everyday golfer. In truth, though I don't think I've come across too many 'bad' products, I haven't really found too many that I'd adopt for my practice sessions. Until now. 
I was recently introduced to the Putter Wheel by a friend - it's a new putting aid that could become one of the best and most innovative products to come along in a long while. The idea actually is very simple and basic; maybe too simple and basic I thought. I mean, a pseudo ball that wobbled if not struck with the proper face angle and path; who couldn't think of that?  No one apparently. Well, someone finally did - and I'm really glad for it. 
This putting aid is designed to train your stroke, instill better confidence via enhanced visualization and even includes a special alignment marking tool for your ball for when you are out playing on the course. The weight and feel are very much like a golf ball - but the roll is fully a tool for instruction feedback. It is small enough to fit into your pocket, much less your golf bag, and it's so elementary, you do not need instructions (though they are included) to start utilizing right away.
But in truth, I don't REALLY care how it looks, how it acts, or even the feedback it provides. There's only one question that matters at all. Does it work for my game?
I'm a pretty good putter - streaky like most - but certainly a better short game player than ball striker. That said, I'll know pretty quick if a putting aid actually improves my stroke. And that's why we buy these anyways, right?
I stopped by a local course recently with a Putter Wheel and headed directly to the practice green. First, I spent about 20 minutes just practicing as I always do. Felt pretty good I thought. Took 10 putts from about ten feet. Made six of them. That's solid, right? Then I pulled out the Putter Wheel and practiced with it. My stroke was apparently not as good as I thought. The Putter Wheel wobbled immediatley off my stroke. Something was amiss. I focused on a stroke that would get a better roll.  I found it after about ten minutes.  I tried my 10 putt drill again.  I made 8. But even more, my stroke was more pure. The 'hit' felt right. I could definitely take that stroke on the course and shoot lower scores. Most people agree that confidence is a huge part of putting. This item will increase that tenfold for me.
So yes, it's small and easily portable. It's a good price point. And I really think it's going to make me a better putter. Also, I really think it's going to make me a better putter. (I know I said that, but it's worth repeating because it's the main point of any instructional aid, right?)
It's a new product, and I get the feeling in time you're going to hear a great deal about it from many teaching, and even playing, professionals. But in the meantime, it'd be worth your while to check it out and be one of the first to employ it to help your game. When you're staring down that next crucial eight-footer on 18, you'll be glad you did. 
Adams Golf Idea Super DHy driving hybrid
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The Adams Idea Super DHy driving hybrid is shaped like an iron and contains Adams' Velocity Slot Technology on the sole to help provide higher ball speeds.

Given the vast array of drivers, fairway clubs, hybrids and irons in the Adams Golf arsenal, it might seem like there's no room for anything else. Ah, but there is.

Adams has unveiled the Idea Super DHy – a driving hybrid for low- to mid-handicap players.

Merging the unique attributes of a hybrid and a traditional long iron, Adams says the Idea Super DHy is designed to provide the extra distance and forgiveness of a hybrid along with the shot-shaping control and workability of a long iron.

''We set out to design this club as an easier-to-hit alternative to most of the utility clubs on the market,'' said Director of Global Product Management Michael Fox. ''Tour players consistently rave about its versatility and how ideally it launches the ball, with several asking if we can make them a full set of DHy irons.''

The heads of the DHy hybrids are shaped somewhat similarly to muscleback irons, and contain Adams' Velocity Slot Technology (VST) – a slot cut into the sole to give the face more flex and provide higher ball speed. This effect is enhanced by an ultra-thin, maraging steel face.

In addition, the DHy hybrids feature bulge and roll face technology, which isn't found in any other utility clubs or driving irons, to improve forgiveness and shot dispersion. 

The Idea Super DHy comes in lofts of 18, 21, 24 and 27 degrees in right-handed models, and 18, 21 and 24 degrees in left-handed models. The standard shaft is the Matrix OZIK hX3 White Tie shaft in R, S and X flex. The club will be available at retail on May 15, and carry a suggested retail price of $199.99 per club.

Also launching the same day is the Idea Super 9031 hybrid, which boasts a Cut-Thru sole slot with a refined crown slot for faster ball speeds compared to non-slotted hybrids and traditional long irons. Its ultra-thin 455 stainless steel clubface produces a trampoline effect approaching the USGA limit.

The Idea Super 9031 hybrid comes with a Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 82-gram shaft (R, S and X flex) and offers lofts of 16, 18, 20 and 23 degrees in right-handed models. Lefties have the option of 18- and 20-degree models, and these clubs carry a suggested retail price of $199.99 per club.

For more information on Adams clubs, visit or see the Adams brand pages on


April 29, 2013 - 8:43pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Ping Nome TR putter
Courtesy of Ping Golf
The Ping Nome TR putter features True Roll variable-depth grooves, which are deepest in the center of the face and get gradually shallower toward the edges.

In the spring of 2012, Ping Golf rolled out its Nome putter – a mallet-style high-MOI flatstick designed to be easy to aim and stable throughout the stroke.

A year later, the company has issued a TR version of the Nome, which features Ping's True Roll variable-depth grooves. The grooves are deepest in the center of the face and get gradually shallower toward the edges – this, Ping says, helps to makes the ball roll the same distance regardless of where on the face the putt is struck.

"Variable-depth grooves have caught on exceptionally well with the average golfer and with many Ping tour pros," said Ping Chairman and CEO John A. Solheim. "In addition to precision-milled grooves, the Nome TR's distinctive alignment bar with a contrasting sightline gives golfers added confidence to sink more putts. The combination of distance control, accuracy and extreme forgiveness will be exciting to golfers. Plus, they're able to optimize the fit by choosing a standard or adjustable-length shaft."

The semicircular head shape of the Nome TR is similar to that on the original Nome, but there are some significant differences. For one, the TR version features a non-glare black matte finish, while the original Nome model comes with a "nano-nickel" satin finish.

And for another, the alignment aid on the crown of the new Nome TR has a large white alignment bar with a contrasting black sightline down the middle. The original model has a black alignment bar with a white sightline, but Ping says the black head combined with the white aligment bar makes the sightline stand out for easier alignment.

The head on the Nome is made of lightweight aircraft aluminum with tungsten-composite sole weighting. This combination, Ping says, helps to optimize the Center of Gravity and keep the putter steady during the swing.

The Nome TR comes in three different shaft bends to fit every type of stroke: Straight, Slight Arc or Strong Arc. Additionally, the Nome offers the option to include a USGA-approved adjustable-length shaft that telescopes from 31 to 38 inches by using a Ping wrench.    

The Nome TR is the second putter to include True Roll technology, following a dozen models in the Scottsdale TR line. The Nome TR will be available at retail in mid-May for $305 with a fixed-length shaft, and $340 with an adjustable-length shaft.

For more information on Ping clubs, visit or see the Ping brand pages on


April 29, 2013 - 7:31pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture

A high school golfer from Michigan and his coach died Monday when the minivan they were riding in collided with another van on a rural road near Traverse City, Mich.

The identities of the 30-year-old coach, the 17-year-old golfer and the 27-year-old woman weren’t immediately disclosed, but law enforcement officials said the van was carrying the Grayling, Mich., High School golf team near Excelsior Township, about 25 miles east of Traverse City. Grayling is about 15 miles east of Excelsior.

Here are some other details from the Associated Press report on the accident:

''It was pretty horrific,'' Michigan State Police Sgt. Don Bailey said of the crash.

Bailey told The Associated Press he came upon the crash shortly after it occurred about 11:30 a.m. Monday in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula. He had to use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire in one of the vehicles.

''There were three ejections and those bodies were laying around,'' he said.

The golf team was in a silver minivan and left Grayling for an invitational tournament in Traverse City. The minivan was northbound on Crawford Lake Road when it smashed into the side of a white minivan traveling east on County Road 612.

''Our initial investigation shows the white van may have been speeding,'' Bailey said. ''There's also a question if the silver van stopped at a stop sign.''

A woman driving the white minivan was in serious condition, while a 3-year-old girl in that vehicle appeared to be unhurt. Bailey said the girl was in a child restraint seat.

Students at Grayling High School were notified of the crash Monday afternoon, and events and practices were canceled, according to Joe Powers, superintendent of the Crawford AuSable Schools.

Crisis team counselors will be at the school Tuesday.

''We do have classes because we believe the students need each other,'' said Powers.

''We will delay the formal start of school to have an opportunity for students to talk to each other. We will have counselors throughout the building, including the hallway, so students can lean on adults they know and who they are comfortable with.''

Powers said this was the golf coach's first year with the team.

Mike Fortino, general manager of the Grayling County Club, said one of the injured golfers was his nephew, an 18-year-old senior at the high school.

''He has a broken jaw and some teeth are knocked out,'' Fortino said.

The team has about 30 members and sometimes plays at the club, he added.

''They were going to a match (Monday) and only take six to eight players,'' said Fortino. ''Some of the kids work here, have girlfriends here. Some of their mothers work here. 'The coach was new at his job. He was a personal friend. It's a bad day, a bad day.''


April 29, 2013 - 3:45pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Getty Images
Merion Golf Club uses wicker baskets atop its pins rather than the traditional flag.


Legendary Merion Golf Club's East Course in Philadelphia will host its fifth U.S. Open this June.
On Monday, it was revealed that a special part of Merion will be kept in place for the season's second major. Rather than using pin flags, Merion instead uses a pin with a small, red wicker basket on top of it. 
Shane Bacon had the details on Yahoo's Devil Ball Blog:
For the first time since 1981, the world will descend on Merion Golf Club's East Course on June 13 for the second major championship of the year and the fifth time the U.S. Open has been hosted there.
One thing you should expect to see? Wicker baskets adorning the tops of the flagsticks all across Merion's famed links.
Devil Ball put a call into the USGA on Monday morning asking if the traditional wicker baskets would be in play and it was confirmed they would.
Why wicker baskets instead of traditional flags? Let the Merion Golf Club website explain it...
"The wicker baskets' origin is a mystery to this day. There was a great deal written in 1912, and for three years thereafter, locally and nationally about this new course in Philadelphia. However, there was no mention of the soon-to-be famous wicker baskets. It could be assumed they were not there. By the summer of 1915, William Flynn, Merion's Superintendent, received patent approval for his wicker basket design. Merion had baskets that fall and from then-to-today. It could be assumed, due to lack of written proof, that Flynn convinced Wilson to use the baskets, and Merion received its "basket notoriety" the next year during the 1916 U.S. Amateur."
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
April 27, 2013 - 9:21pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Samuel L. Jackson om TMZ
Samuel L. Jackson talked golf with TMZ.

I swear to you that my wife found this item on TMZ, not me. I swear!

While she was perusing the celebrity gossip show on TV this afternoon, she saw an item in which the TMZ guys asked Samuel L. Jackson who the best celebrity golfer is. (Why on earth TMZ had celebrity golf on the brain, I have no idea.)

Jackson laughed, and then said: Kenny G!

The TMZ guys were incredulous, but Jackson promised that Kenny G is indeed the man when it comes to celebrity golf – and then drove away.

Is Jackson correct? Very likely. A few years ago, Golf Digest published a ranking of the top golfing musicians, and Kenny G came in first on their list, with a listed handicap of 0.6. Vince Gill, who we mentioned in our item on George Jones yesterday, was second on that list.

Things could have changed since then, but Kenny G is a regular in all those celebrity pro-ams and he’s probably kept his game in shape. And hey, would Samuel L. Jackson steer us wrong? I think not.

To see the TMZ video clip, click here. But beware, they’re quite irreverent about Kenny G and golf.