Golf Buzz

August 7, 2015 - 7:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy Instagram
Friday morning on Instagram, Rory McIlroy posted a photo of the inside of a jet with emojis suggesting his final destination is the U.S. -- perhaps Whistling Straits?

For the third consecutive day, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy has dropped another big hint that he's going to give it a go next week in the 97th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Two days after posting a video to Instagram of his workout and one day after posting a photo and a video to Instagram of his healing ankle and swing with a driver, respectively, McIlroy posted this on Friday morning:

It's not just a great-looking private jet. It's also a message with emojis left for us to decipher.

RELATED: McIlroy's recovery seems to be progressing well | McIlroy works out on ankle

We're not rocket scientists in these parts, but upon examination it sure looks like McIlroy is telling us he has boarded a flight in Portugal headed to the U.S., he's happy about it (the thumbs up), we can't make out the next two emojis, but that last one of a golf flag has us pretty excited.

As I wrote in this space yesterday -- I can't wait until Rory is back on the course, but I just hope he isn't coming back too soon. For golfers of his caliber, missing a major championship must be like a child having to miss Christmas morning.

If there are any more hints forthcoming, we'll keep you posted.  

Jordan Spieth logo
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
This Jordan Spieth could soon be seen on a wide variety of Under Armour golf apparel and accessories.
Will Jordan Spieth become the next Tiger Woods? In at least one way, he will.
For years, Woods has sported Nike gear with his own TW logo. And now, Under Armour has applied for trademarks of a logo for Spieth, the company's star client.
In a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Under Armour submitted the design you can see above – it is essentially a pair of "J"s that together make an "S." 
The company plans to use the logo on a wide variety of apparel and accessories, it said in the filing, which was first reported by Darren Rovell at 
Spieth signed with Under Armour in 2013, and recently signed a new agreement that keeps him with the up-and-coming sports apparel company through 2025. Spokesmen for Spieth and Under Armour didn't comment on the fiiling, but apparel and accessories featuring the new Spieth logo are expected to hit the market next year.
With the official unveiling of his new logo, Spieth will join the roster of Under Armour athletes with their own line of personalized products that also includes Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.
August 6, 2015 - 7:59am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy Instagram
Rory McIlroy -- sidelined since early June after suffering a "total rupture of an ankle ligament" -- is using Instagram to show us all he might be back sooner than we think.

Rory McIlroy is either going to Whistling Straits to defend his PGA Championship title next week, or he's a master at teasing the world of golf.

Just yesterday, McIlroy posted a video to Instagram of a workout while putting all of his weight on his injured left ankle -- an injury he suffered while playing soccer in early July that resulted in a total rupture of a ligament in his ankle.

RELATED: Rory McIlroy collaborates with Bryan Bros. for epic trick-shot video

And today?

Not long after posting a photo of the progress his ankle has made from 4 1/2 weeks and 3 1/2 weeks (as you'll see below, 4 1/2 weeks looks like someone stuffed a small cantaloupe in his ankle), McIlroy also posted a video of himself ripping a driver.


4 and a half and 3 and a half weeks ago respectively... I've come a long way since.

A photo posted by Rory McIlroy (@rorymcilroy) on


Feels good to hit the driver again!

A video posted by Rory McIlroy (@rorymcilroy) on


So what are we to make of all this? Why would McIlroy be posting it if he's not playing next week?

I, for one, am delighted to see his recovery appears to be going incredibly well. That said, I sure hope he's not rushing himself back from injury. Hopefully he's learned from Tiger Woods that, ultimately, that can only make things worse.

If you're reading this, Rory, we can't wait for you to get back on the course, but please only come back when you're 100 percent! 

August 6, 2015 - 7:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
U.S. Kids Golf
U.S. Kids Golf on Facebook
We all love a good flop shot. Check out this one where a 7-year-old girl flops it right over the head of a brave woman standing just a few feet in front of her.

Is there a cooler shot in the game of golf than a perfectly executed flop shot?

Didn't think so. While Phil Mickelson has proven himself a master of the flop over the years, he's certainly not the only player in the world who can pull it off.

RELATED: Spieth makes kid's day | McIlroy workout video encouraging?

To prove that, we turn to this video posted to Facebook by U.S. Kids Golf:


Her name is Vinny, she's 7 years old...and she hits flop shots like this. #USKidsGolf

Posted by U.S. Kids Golf on Wednesday, August 5, 2015


That was a little girl named Vinny, just 7 years old, flopping it over the head of a woman standing just a few feet in front of her. And kudos to the woman (her mom, perhaps?) for standing still even when Vinny received last-second instructions to, "think about fnishing high, Vinny."

Well done.


Callaway Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond drivers
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The new Great Big Bertha driver (l) has a sliding weight around the sole's perimeter, while the Big Bertha Alpha 816 DBD has two gravity cores.
Callaway made a great big splash last year with the release of a brand-new generation of Great Big Bertha drivers – the Great Big Bertha, the Great Big Bertha Alpha 815 and the Great Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond. This week, the company unveiled the 2016 editions of these clubs.
The new drivers are the result not only of technological advances but also of Callaway's study of thousands of golfers that it custom-fits each year. The company's research shows that many golfers are forfeiting considerable distance off the tee because of three specific factors: Low ball speed, poor direction, and poor launch angles and spin rates.
So, Callaway designed its new drivers to address these shortcomings in golfers' swings. In fact, the company says these 2016 clubs have more distance-enhancing features and technologies than any they've ever created – and that the new Great Big Bertha drivers have a blend of aerodynamics and multi-material construction unlike any other drivers they've ever  built.
The standard Great Big Bertha – which Callaway says is best for the vast majority of golfers – features a 10-gram sliding weight that moves on a track around the perimeter of the sole. Golfers can set the weight wherever they prefer along the track, giving them the most options yet for dialing in their shot shape. The Bertha also features Callaway's Optifit Hosel, which provides eight different configurations to fine-tune loft, lie, and face angle.
In its studies, Callaway discovered that the one area where most golfers have the greatest room for improvement is the "smash factor." To help golfers generate more ball speed, even on mis-hits, Callaway's R•MOTO clubface technology employs a system of internal ribs that run from the center of the interior sole to the clubface, adding strength to the perimeter of the face. The heads also have Callaway's Variable Face Thickness, in which the face is thinner in strategic places to expand the area in the middle of the face that delivers fast ball speed.
The Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond – Callaway's Top-Fuel dragster – doesn't have the sliding perimeter weight because golfers good enough to handle this club don't need that. Instead, it features what the company calls Dual Distance Gravity Core Chambers.
Callaway pioneered the gravity core in the original Big Bertha Alpha. One end of the core – essentially a small stick – has a heavier weight while the other has a lighter weight; golfers can move the club's center of gravity up or down depending on which way they insert the gravity core into the head. 
The new 816 Alpha DBD has two gravity cores, one in each hemisphere of the sole. This, the company says, provides even more options for golfers looking to fine-tune their ball flight to increase their ball speed and distance along with their shot shape. The DBD also features the standard Big Bertha's upgraded R•MOTO Face and Opti-Fit Hosel, buthas a deeper face and a low center of gravity for a blend of forgiveness and workability that elite golfers are seeking. 
Callaway is offering a wide variety of custom shaft options to help golfers find their optimal blend of swing speed and control. These shafts range in weight from 295 grams to 325 grams, and come from such prominent shaftmakers as True Temper, Mitsubishi, Matrix and Aldila.
The new Big Bertha driver will be available for pre-order beginning August 14, and will arrive in stores on August 28 with a suggested retail price of $449.99. The Big Bertha Alpha 816 DBD also will be available for pre-order on August 14, and will hit stores on September 18 with a suggested retail price of $499.99.
Here's a video on the Alpha 816 DBD driver:
August 5, 2015 - 11:58am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
USA Today Sports Images
Is it time for another Rickie Fowler win after a runner-up showing last week at Quicken Loans National?'s T.J. Auclair thinks it could be.

Before we turn our full attention to the final major of the season next week -- the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits -- there's a large event taking place in Akron this week.

The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone C.C. has an incredible roll-call of past champions, including Tiger Woods (an eight-time winner at the course) and defending champion Rory McIlroy.

RELATED: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational tee times | McIlroy posts encouraging workout video

Unfortunately, neither of those two players -- winners of the last two WGC-Bridgestone Invitational's played, respectively -- will be teeing it up this week. For Woods, his current world ranking number is keeping him out, while McIlroy is sidelined to nurse his left ankle injury.

But even without arguably the two biggest names in golf, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational has quite the field.

Let's take a look at the five players you should be keeping an eye on this week.

5. Keegan Bradley
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 at the Northern Trust Open
Reason to watch: To this point, it's been just a so-so season for Bradley with three top-10 finishes in 19 starts, but none since a T8 in the Memorial at the beginning of June. He has missed the cut on three occasions, including his last start at the Open Championship. So, why then should you give him a good look this week? Because his worst finish at Firestone in four previous starts is a T15. He also won the event in 2012, tied for second in 2013 and finished T4 a year ago. You know that saying, "horses for courses?" Well, it most certainly applies here.

4. Adam Scott
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the U.S. Open
Reason to watch: Scott hasn't played a whole lot this year -- just 11 PGA Tour starts total. When he does play, however, Scott has played well. Still, there are no wins to show for the efforts, just a season-best T4 at both Doral and Chambers Bay. Scott's last start resulted in a T10 at the Open Championship, where -- as it so often seems -- he had a chance in the final round. Scott is another player with a solid track record at Firestone, including a victory in 2011.

3. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Valspar Championship, the Masters, the U.S. Open and the John Deere Classic
Reason to watch: Really? Where have you been?

2. Rickie Fowler
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Players Championship
Reason to watch: He's electric. Coming off a second-place showing last week at Quicken Loans National, Fowler is clearly on top of his game as we hit this incredibly grueling stretch on the PGA Tour schedule. Fowler was a runner-up at Firestone in 2011. He was a fantastic golfer then, but has become even more sensational since.

1. Jason Day
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Farmers Insurance Open and the RBC Canadian Open
Reason to watch: A case could be made that Day has been the best player on the PGA Tour not named "Jordan Spieth" this season. Following another heartbreaking finish in a major -- his T4 at the Open Championship -- Day went out and won the very next week in Canada. Nice bounce back. Half of his 14 PGA Tour starts this season have resulted in a top-10 finish, including his last three in a row. Day is firmly establishing himself as a leaderboard "first-pager" almost every time he tees it up. That should continue this week at Firestone.

Here's how my five to watch fared last week at the Quicken Loans National:

5. Bill Haas -- T4
4. Jimmy Walker -- T21
3. Sang-Moon Bae -- Missed cut
2. Rickie Fowler -- 2nd
1. Justin Rose -- T4