Golf Buzz

September 20, 2013 - 8:03am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Piedmont Leather Company
Piedmont Leather Company
Exotic belts, cash covers and valuables pouches are just a few of the items the Piedmont Leather Company offers its customers.
We've said it here before, but it's worth repeating -- over the last several years, golf has become cool. Can we all agree that we have Fred Couples to thank for that?
Along with the coolness come the apparel and accessories. Golf isn't just about your old, beat up bag and your clubs. For some, it's about making a statement on the course.
If you're one of those people looking to make a statement, then we've found just the thing for you.
Meet Jay Green, founder of the Piedmont Leather Company. Founded in January of 2009, Green's Piedmont Leather Company based out of Gastonia, N.C., produces a number of items using exotic materials -- everything from alligator belts to ostrich valuables pouches to custom elephant cash covers and more.
Since 2006, Green has worked with putter-maker T.P. Mills Company.  
"Sometimes the putter business gets really slow," Green said. "In January of 2009, it had gotten really slow, as the weather had been rough for a few days with really cool temperatures and lots of rain. I found myself needing some new belts and decided to try to find some online. I spoke to a few people and they said I should start my own leather business, so in a nutshell, I did."
Talk about an idea taking off. 
"We offer the highest quality exotics at the best prices," Green said. "For decades, exotic products have been priced so that only the top 5 percent of the population could afford them. I don't agree with that philosophy, so I've tried my hand at changing that. So far, it's working."
Indeed it is. Products on the Piedmont Leather Company website range in price from as little as $15.99 for a genuine alligator key fob (think keychain), to $69 for a bison cash cover (or a lot more, depending on how fancy you choose to get), to $499 for a set of three full quill custom ostrich head covers.
Green's belts, made from materials like crocodile, shark, elephant, bison, alligator, stingray and more, are also a big hit with a varying price range. Truly, there's something for everyone.
"The belts are beautiful and certainly unique," Green said. "We only use genuine skins and all of our products are made right here in the USA. That's very important, because we only want the best for our customers and the best exotic products are made in the USA. Each skin is unique and no two are alike. We can do custom stitch and edge colors on our belts to show team colors. All of our belts have snaps, so you can exchange your buckle any time you like." 
Green can customize whatever it is you're looking for too and that's his favorite part of the job. 
"That's the beauty of being a small shop," Green said. "We can do everything custom or a person can order 1,000 black alligator belts all the same size. We're very flexible."
And, with a smaller operation, Green is able to get to know his customers -- a part of the job he relishes. 
"It's always the relationships that are created," he said. "It's just like going on vacation and getting paired up with strangers -- by the third or fourth hole they aren't strangers any longer. We are golfers and no matter what we do for a living or regardless of where we live, we love the game and want to play it as often as possible. The exotic leather business mirrors that, as well. I mainly sell to golfers and there is nothing better than having a customer that you can invite to meet at a course and play 18 holes with or having them invite you to their course to play a round."
To learn more about Piedmont Leather Company, visit them at, check them out on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, @jaygree08563162.
"There are thousands of combinations of belts, cash covers, yardage book covers, etc.," Green said. "We want to help you create what your mind's eye envisions. You can even call me directly, 704-879-9380, and I will be glad to talk you through the entire process."
How's that for customer service?
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
September 20, 2013 - 1:24am
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet and Ted Ray at the 1913 U.S. Open
Harry Vardon (l) and Ted Ray (r) congratulated Francis Ouimet (c) after Ouimet won the 1913 U.S. Open in 90 holes.

Most of you perusing golf sites on a weekday in September know the story of Francis Ouimet, the young amateur whose victory in the 1913 U.S. Open is widely considered the single event most responsible for igniting the golf boom in the United States.

Today, Sept. 20, is the 100th anniversary of Ouimet's triumph – and if you just did a double-take, that's perfectly understandable. But it's true – the 1913 U.S. Open was originally scheduled for June, but the U.S. Golf Association pushed it back to late September to make it possible for prominent British champions Harry Vardon and Ted Ray – widely considered the world's best two golfers at the time – to come over and play. 

Ouimet, age 20, wasn't even planning to play the U.S. Open. He had just played the U.S. Amateur – which was bigger than the U.S. Open at that time – losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Jerome Travers. Ouimet had missed a lot of work to play the Amateur, but USGA President Robert Watson beseeched him to participate in the Open, and he eventually relented.

The 1913 U.S. Open, as we all know, was played at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., the course Ouimet knew better than any other. So, despite this being Ouimet's first U.S. Open start, he finished 72 holes tied with Ray (the 1912 British Open winner) and Vardon (a five-time British Open winner who also had won the 1900 U.S. Open). Ouimet, of course, won the playoff – beating Vardon by five and Ray by six – in front of a throng of 10,000 supporters, an upset that made headlines in both Great Britain and the United States and helped catapult golf into the sports mainstream in the United States.

Ouimet went on to win the 1914 U.S. Amateur, and played for or captained the U.S. Walker Cup team 12 times. He ran a sporting goods store, was a vice president of the Boston Braves and president of the Boston Bruins, and was elected the first American captain of the R&A in 1951. More important, however, some of his friends established the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund in 1949, and it has distributed more than $26.5 million in college tuition aid to more than 5,100 students who have worked as caddies or in pro shops or course superintendent operations in Massachusetts. 

To celebrate the big occasion this afternoon, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the life-size statue of Ouimet and Eddie Lowery at the Robert T. Lynch Golf Course at Putterham Meadows in Brookline. Lowery, we remember, was the 10-year-old caddie who carried Ouimet's bag for all 90 holes and became Ouimet's lifelong friend. The ceremony will feature Ouimet's great grand-daughter Caitlin Wallerce and Lowery's daughter Cynthia Wilcox, along with Ouimet Scholarship recipients and students from the City of Boston’s Franklin Park & George Wright Caddie Scholars Program. ran a great story on Ouimet's victory and its repercussions during the U.S. Open this summer, and you can read it here


September 19, 2013 - 2:55pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones
The Bobby Jones apparel company will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2014. Its 2014 spring collection will be available in January.
Winter is right around the corner, but -- let's face it -- it's never too early to start thinking about the 2014 spring golf season.
As it turns out, the folks at Bobby Jones already have the 2014 spring season on their minds. The apparel brand, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, has unveiled its Spring 2014 Collection of luxury knit polo tops.
“2014 marks a milestone year in the history of the Bobby Jones brand,” said Andy Bell, President/CEO of Jones Global Sports. “We look forward to celebrating our 25th Anniversary with what may be our finest collection of luxury knits ever. For many golfers, the Bobby Jones name calls to mind a certain style and grace, and we’re proud to say that those attributes are reflected perfectly throughout this line.”  
Here's detailed information on the new collection from a press release:
Highlighting the new collection are Bobby Jones exclusive Supreme Cotton garments. This assortment offers pieces featuring 120/2 100% Pima gassed cotton interlock construction for the ultimate in comfort. Bobby Jones offers two different styles in its Supreme Cotton assortment in Spring 2014 -- Solid Supreme Cotton polo and Supreme Cotton Watson Stripe polo, each providing the wearer with exceptional softness and a brilliant luster.  
The Solid Supreme Cotton features a flat knit collar with 3% Lycra for added shape-support wash after wash. The Solid Supreme Cotton dazzles in a rainbow of 14 vivid colors (Aquamarine, Aqua Sky, Black, Canary, Carnation, Cerulean, Fuchsia, Jade, Lapis, Navy, Plum, Tangerine, Turquoise and White).    
The Watson Stripe utilizes a yarn dye interlock stripe pattern and a self-tailored collar for a sophisticated, yet modern look. The Watson Stripe stuns in 11 beautiful hues (Aquamarine, Classic Blue, Cerulean, Fuchsia, Jade, Lapis, Plum, Salmon, Tangerine, Turquoise and White).
Reflecting startling attention to detail, both styles of polo feature Mobilon stretch tape in the shoulders providing incredible flexibility during the golf swing.  Each of the styles also utilizes a 3-button placket featuring the trademark Bobby Jones Player embroidery.  Bobby Jones Supreme Cotton polos will be available at green-grass shops by January 25, 2014.   
The remainder of Bobby Jones Spring 2014 collection of fine cotton knits are constructed from 60/2 Double Mercerized 100% Egyptian Cotton, providing the wearer with a glossy luster and soft silk-like hand feel that is breathable and luxurious. While the Spring 2014 collection offers golfers a wide selection of 20 different styles of Double Mercerized Egyptian Cotton tops, the focus this season is on two, in particular (Hagen Jac and Palmer Stripe).  
The Hagen Jac features a striking Jacquard pattern in 13 different eye-catching colors (Aquamarine, Aqua Sky, Black, Carnation, Cerulean, Fuchsia, Jade, Lapis, Navy, Plum, Tangerine, Turquoise and White) and utilizes a 3-button placket showcasing the Bobby Jones Player embroidery.
The Palmer Stripe offers a flat knit collar style with a contrasting fine-line stripe under collar and exquisite striping throughout the body of the shirt, which is available in 13 spectacular colors (Aquamarine, Aqua Sky, Black, Canary, Carnation, Cerulean, Fuchsia, Jade, Navy, Plum, Tangerine, Turquoise and White). The Palmer Stripe also utilizes a 3-button placket with the embroidered Bobby Jones Player logo.
Like all of the Bobby Jones Spring 2014 luxurious knits, the Hagen Jac and Palmer Stripe feature Mobilon stretch tape in the shoulders providing unrestricted range of motion during the golf swing. Both the Hagen Jac and Palmer Stripe will be available at green-grass retailers by January 25, 2014.  
The Spring 2014 Bobby Jones line will also include XH20 Performance Knits. These garments provide ultimate moisture wicking function, UV protection and breathability.
Bobby Jones XH2O polos will be available at green-grass shops by January 25, 2014.
“Some people claim that you can’t make a clothing brand relevant today if the brand’s namesake was at the height of his popularity 80 years ago,” said Bell. “The truth is that they don’t get it. Bobby Jones dressed the way he did in the 20’s and 30’s because he embodied the cutting-edge styles that men of distinction wore during that period. Today, Bobby Jones would much more likely be seen in performance polo’s that showcase class and style while ceding no competitive edge to his opponents in terms of comfort and performance. That combination of style and performance is at the heart of this XH2O line. Everyone who gives these garments a try will agree; in a real sense, it’s classic Bobby Jones.”  
Here's how the company described its new XH2O line:
The range of the new XH2O poly line -- 12 distinctive styles of polo shirt -- all deliver remarkable moisture-wicking performance and are perfectly tailored for off-course daily use as well as high performance on-course sportswear. Each of the shirts features Polyester/Lycra blend construction for quick drying, UV protection (UPF 15) and an anti-microbial shield. With attention to both function and form, the garments’ shoulder-to-shoulder stretch taping complements athletic movement during a golfer’s swing while fortifying the polos' seams for maximum durability.  
Highlighting the XH2O 2014 Spring offering are three specific styles of polo -- Performance Pique Solid, Hook Stripe and the Bi-Ply Stripe.  
The XH2O Performance Pique Solid polo features a flat knit collar with 3% Lycra for added shape-support wash after wash. 
The XH2O Performance Pique Solid impresses with 11 vivid color options (Black, Cerulean, Classic Blue, Kelly, Lapis, Mandarin, Pineapple, Poppy, Salmon, Turquoise and White), sure to please the most discerning of golfers.  
The XH2O Hook Stripe sports a Jacquard textured striping pattern, solid collar and a contrast under collar with tipping for a stunningly modern, yet refined look. The Hook Stripe presents in 10 beautiful hues (Black, Cerulean, Grey, Lapis, Pineapple, Poppy, Salmon, Tangerine, Turquoise and White).
Reflecting impressive attention to detail, both styles of polo feature buttons produced under a proprietary 5-step process that includes electroplating to create an appearance that mimics a golf ball’s dimples. Each of the styles also utilizes a 3-button placket featuring an updated color version of the trademark Bobby Jones Player embroidery and XH2O rubber logo on the back collar.  
For the golfer who prefers a zipper closure to the traditional 3-button placket, Bobby Jones has introduced the Bi-Ply Stripe polo. This garment features a flat knit solid collar with 3% Lycra for added shape-support and Jersey striping throughout the body. The Bi-Ply is distinct from the rest of the XH2O line with a Bobby Jones script logo Jacquard under collar. The Bi-Ply Stripe polo is available in 3 striking shades (Lapis, Salmon and Turquoise). 
For information on all Bobby Jones apparel offerings, visit
September 19, 2013 - 10:45am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Collared Greens
Collared Greens
Collared Green's polos are certified by EDPA USA, Inc., and fully comply with American Organic Standards and Global Organic Textile Standards.
Over the last several years, conservation has been a hot topic for golf courses in an effort to become more environmentally friendly.
Thanks to a new clothing company based out of High Point, N.C., cleverly named, "Collared Greens," you can extend that environmentally friendliness to the clothes you wear on the course.
Collared Greens makes a number of items for men and boys, including neckties, bow ties, t-shirts, hats, belts, polos and more.
If you're wondering: why "Collared Greens?" The company has the answer:
It's a word play on the delicious Southern dish collard greens. Secondly, most of our products either include or are worn with a collar. As you may have guessed, our polar bear brand symbol was suggested by this magnificent animal's status as an iconic endangered species.
Founded in 2008, the CG/24 conservation project is a company-wide commitment to help raise awareness and support for the environment. Each year, Collared Greens supports the mission of three to four non-profit organizations whose work focuses solely on conservation. In 2012, Collared Greens partnered with Polar Bears International, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Trout Unlimited. These organizations were chosen by the very people who make this possible, our valued customers.
Through the efforts of the CG/24 conservation project, Collared Greens donates 1 percent of sales on behalf of the worldwide organization, “1 percent For The Planet,” and 1 percent of profits on behalf of the CG/24 initiative. The company also offsets its carbon footprint with Native Energy. 
Here is how Collared Greens describes its polos and belts:
Our pique polo shirts are produced in South Carolina from 97 percent Texas grown organic cotton, and 3 percent lycra. Our soft, cozy cotton is certified by EDPA USA, Inc., and fully complies with American Organic Standards and Global Organic Textile Standards. The addition of a small amount of lycra adds stretch and flexibility to the shirt, making it as comfortable as possible. 
CG's belts are made using the very same silk we produce our ties and bows with. Made in Connecticut, our belts feature the silk ribbon attached to a cotton backing to enhance feel and durability. The buckle is 100 percent brass.
Other products include: 100 percent organic cotton tees, hats and visors, sunglass straps, and dog collars.
Collared Greens polos retail for $75, while belts retail for $78.
To learn more about Collared Greens, visit
You can also check Collared Greens out on Facebook, or follow on Twitter, @Collared_Greens.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
September 18, 2013 - 9:56pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson
Getty Images
Jordan Spieth got a lesson in how to handle pressure in his practice-round game with Phil Mickelson on Wednesday.

There was a fascinating item hidden in the middle of the Associated Press notebook from the Tour Championship on Wednesday.

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson reported that Phil Mickelson brought young Jordan Spieth into his practice-round ''money game'' on Wednesday at East Lake. Mickelson, as most golf fans know, loves to play for some significant scratch in these pre-tournament rounds, partly because he enjoys the high stakes and also because he likes to help some of the younger players get ready for, as Ferguson writes, ''matches that really matter.''

A couple of years ago, he famously brought Keegan Bradley into his games. And not only did Bradley go on to win a PGA Championship, he also teamed with Mickelson for a 3-0 record in team play in the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah.

Mickelson had planned to include Spieth in his game at the BMW Championship, but, because he arrived so late at Conway Farms, they put it off until East Lake, where Mickelson and Bradley took on Spieth and Steve Stricker.

Spieth and Stricker not only won the match but also captured every press – with Stricker doing most of the damage, Ferguson reported. Butch Harmon, who followed the group around, said he saw Stricker make seven birdies and an eagle.

Even if the 46-year-old Stricker carried the load, he obviously thrived with the 20-year-old Spieth on his team. Everyone assumes that Stricker would be teamed with Tiger Woods at the upcoming Presidents Cup, but Wednesday seems to raise the possibility that Stricker also might spend some time paired up with Spieth at Muirfield Village.

And if Spieth plays well under the Presidents Cup spotlight, regardless of his partner, Mickelson likely deserves a little bit of credit for his latest bit of high-stakes mentoring.




September 18, 2013 - 6:43pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Welcome to the 2013 PGA Cup
The 2013 PGA Cup promises to be an intense and exciting battle between two great squads.
Perhaps the question I've been asked the most in my years working in the golf industry is, "What's your favorite golf event to attend?"
The answer never fails to surprise - but it's totally sincere.  My favorite event in golf is the PGA Cup.
I can hear you all the way from De Vere Slaley Hall, Hexham, Northumberland, England. "The what?!"
In short, the PGA Cup is the same competition as the more heralded Ryder Cup - but the players are the top playing club professionals from each side of the pond (Team USA vs. a team from Great Britain & Ireland). Like the Ryder Cup, the competition is jointly managed by The PGA of America and a European partner (in this case, The PGA). It has the same five-session format (two foursomes, two four-balls and a singles match) and, though certainly less fanfare, it has every bit of the passion, enthusiasm, intensity and camaraderie of its more celebrated sibling event.
So now you're thinking, "You're just saying this because you work for the PGA."
Well, keep in mind The PGA of America puts on many great championships. I'm not sure they'd love me ranking one above any other (and hey, these include one of golf's four majors - the PGA Championship, the most prestigious major in senior golf (Senior PGA Championship), the PGA Professional National Championship and yes, the Ryder Cup). But if I had to choose one event to attend, to witness and enjoy and be a part of? Well, I'm here in the UK this week for a reason.
So this brings us to "Why? What's makes this event so great and why should I (the golf fan) care?"
In addition to what I mentioned earlier (the very real intensity, drama, passion, etc.), there are other reasons the PGA Cup has always resonated within me.
These players have so much talent (every member of the U.S. team has played in at least one major championship and the GB&I team is stacked full of players that have European Tour experience) and the desire to win the Llandudno International Golf Trophy is as fierce as any trophy in golf. Yes, I said any trophy in golf. (You can read more about the storied history of the event here.)  
Even more, none of these guys are in this for a paycheck (no money here) or an endorsement deal. The concept of team here really means something. These players eat together, practice together, travel together. The desire to perform for each other reaches a level I don't think I've ever seen in golf. Real tears and real emotions flow freely at the PGA Cup. Earlier this year, one of the American players - Chip Sullivan - stated after he had qualified to play in the PGA Championship that, as happy as he was, he was even more concerned about making the PGA Cup team. And the folks that know about this event never batted an eye. That's how special it is. 
And there's another significant reason. It's a bit cliched, but it's really true: Patriotism.
When the Ryder Cup is played, there are many American fans that will root for a Rory McIlroy, a Graeme McDowell or an Ian Poulter over many American players.  It's just fact - they have huge fan followings. But outside of the real hardcore golf fans that know of the exploits of a Mike Small or Rod Perry, for example, the golf public knows little about the individual players in the PGA Cup.  
And that's OK. That's almost the beauty of it. Because none of these guys are here for individual glory. They all wear the same shirt with the same flag on it. And this is what matters to them. They want to win for themselves, each other, their captain (the ever-popular PGA Honorary President Allen Wronowski), their association and, just as importantly, the United States of America. 
You can see lips quiver when the National Anthem is played. The red, white and blue will be on display here in the English countryside this week - and of course, a very proud contingent of Great Britain & Ireland fans will answer right back. I liken it to college football.  You don't have to care that you don't know every player. You love the logo on the helmet more than anything (SEC fans, talking to you.)  Or like the Olympics, you can watch any event and you already know what team you're going to scream your guts out for.  It doesn't matter if you know the names or even the sport itself. 
Finally, I've been given an unbelievable opportunity this week to do something that I'm not sure has ever been done in golf before.  I've been afforded access to areas, conversations and meetings that no one outside the team (any team) has seen. I've already sat in on a rules meeting with both teams and officials and a team huddle in the USA team room. It's fascinating. Any golf fan would feel like hearing and seeing some of these things is a peek at what makes great events...great. Really great. 
So my job this week is to share some of that passion - the passion of the event and my passion for the event - with you.  I'll write about it on, where we will have comprehensive coverage of course.  You can also follow along for updates and special scenes via our Facebook page and Twitter account.    
You may or may not feel like it's your favorite event in golf at the end of the week.  But I promise you, if you give it a good chance, you'll develop an appreciation for it that you did not have - and it will take its rightful place as one of the premier international team events in the golf world. 
Let's have a great week. 

You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim