Golf Buzz

September 14, 2012 - 7:34pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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FootJoy's GTxtreme golf glove
Courtesy of FootJoy
FootJoy calls its new GTxtreme golf glove "the ultimate in grip and durability performance."

FootJoy created its new GTxtreme golf glove to help golfers maximize grip and durability in all conditions of play.

Bubba Watson debuted the new GTxtreme at the British Open and has worn it every round since then.

"Once I put the GTxtreme glove in play, everything about it was great," said Watson. "It gives me more control to perform at my best."

The GTxtreme uses proprietary digital Advance Performance Digital (APL) leather technology combined with a digital FiberSof material that results in a glove that FootJoy calls "the ultimate in grip and durability performance." The soft FiberSof material along the back of the glove along with the PowerNet mesh and Power-Locking closure promotes a consistent fit, enhances comfort and creates an optimal fit.

"GTxtreme provides the best of all worlds; exceptional grip performance in all-conditions, maximum durability, comfort, superb flexibility and breathability with a precision fit," said Maria Bonzagni, Senior Director of Worldwide Marketing for FootJoy Golf Gloves and Accessories. "Together with a new high-impact package, prominent in-store display, creative interactive campaign and heavy print support featuring Bubba Watson, the new GTxtreme glove is sure to be a major hit."

The gloves are available in men’s regular left- and right-hand models as well as a left-hand cadet model, and come with a QMark magnetic ball marker. They carry a suggested retail price of $15 per glove.

For more information, visit www.footjoy.com/gtxtreme

September 14, 2012 - 1:23am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Far more people play games like Tiger Woods PGA 13 than play actual golf, and the golf industry hopes to convert some of those gamers into real golfers.

Every year since 1986, the National Golf Foundation has surveyed the American public to figure out how many golfers there are. This year, for the first time, it also began trying to measure the number of people who play computer or video golf games, and the results are quite eye-opening.

In 2011, the NGF estimates, 25.7 million people (aged 6 and over) played at least one round of golf, while 56 million people played video or computer golf – that’s more than twice as many as the number of actual golfers.

But here’s the interesting part – of those 56 million golf gamers, only about 10 million also played golf on a real course. Seven million of the gamers were “lapsed golfers,” while 39 million have never played actual golf.

So the question is, the NGF says, are these non-golfing gamers more interested in playing golf than other non-golfers? The answer, they say, is yes.

According to the survey, 22 percent of non-golfing gamers are interested in playing golf now, compared with only 7 percent of their non-gaming counterparts. The NGF estimates that about 10 million people from the non-golfing gamer crowd have an un-activated demand for playing the real thing. 

Who are these people? More than half are under the age of 30, and 29 percent of them are juniors (age 6-17). And 44 percent of the gamers are female – that’s a huge increase over the current population of golfers, which is only 19 percent female.

Golf gaming represents a promising gateway to growing participation among younger and female Americans, the NGF summarizes. The NGF and the PGA of America’s Golf 2.0 team will be looking at ways to convert these folks from consoles to courses, and it’ll be very interesting to see how that goes.

For more on the National Golf Foundation, visit www.ngf.org/

September 13, 2012 - 3:11pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Miura Golf KM-007 mallet putter
Courtesy of Miura Golf
Miura Golf's new KM-007 mallet was designed to provide a soft, authoritative feel in a non-glare, milled finish.

Miura Golf, one of Japan’s leading clubmakers, has added a fourth design to its KM collection of quality forged putters.

The KM-007, (KM stands for company founder and chief designer Katsuhiro Miura) begins as all Miura putters do, with a billet of fine low-carbon steel. Once forged into the proper raw shape, the KM-007 mallet is CNC (computer-numeric controlled) milled into an elegant form.

"Mr. Miura was looking at our putters, and felt we needed to take care of mallet players too," said Miura Golf President Adam Barr. "He came up with this design as a way to fit their eye while offering a soft, authoritative feel in a non-glare, milled finish. Miura-san understands that putting is very personal, and that a handsome look is as important as a solid feel. He didn't release this design until he was sure he had met both high standards."

The KM-007 offers a more face-balanced option within the Miura KM putter line. The KM-350, a heel-shafted model that is relatively short heel-to-toe, appeals to players with more of a fan-shaped putting stroke. The KM-005 (350g head weight) and KM-006 (370g), whose shaft intersection point is closer to the center of the putter face, are "quarter-hang" models balanced mostly for back-and-through swingers.

The suggested retail price of the KM-007 is $450.

For more information, visit www.miuragolf.com

September 12, 2012 - 8:50pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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The Links Course at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Courtesy of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
The Links Course was designed by Tom Jackson as a tip of the cap to the origins of the ancient game.

Starting to get a little cool where you are? It’s still nice and warm in Florida, and the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in the Panhandle city of Destin is offering its “Fore Fall Golf Getaway” through the end of October. The package includes accommodations at LeCiel, the Florida Gulf Coast’s newest boutique hotel, and two rounds on The Links Course starting at only $89 per person per night.

As part of the deal, a golf cart, unlimited use of Sandestin's practice facility and range balls are included. Complimentary replay rounds booked at the course the day of play are offered based on availability. And as an added bonus, the package also features a $10 beverage cart credit per person.

“The Fore Fall Golf Getaway is perfect for golf enthusiasts of all levels in search of an escape from work and school as the temperature starts to cool off,” said Rick Hileman, PGA Director of Golf Operations at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. “It combines the Destin area’s only contemporary boutique accommodations with a golf course that’s long been a favorite of locals and resort guests.”

Opened in May, LeCiel is on the banks of the Choctawhatchee Bay, providing guests a tranquil setting with stunning views. All guest rooms have wireless Internet, terry robes, gourmet coffee, iPhone docking stations, flat screen televisions, spa-quality toiletries and other comforts. LeCiel is just steps away from the Sandestin Spa and the Sandestin Fitness Center, which is complimentary to resort guests.

In between rounds, golfers can visit The Village of Baytowne Wharf, an assortment of casual and fine-dining restaurants, bars and nightlife, and boutique shopping. Beach access, a marina, fitness facilities and numerous organized activities are also available on-site.

The package is valid for stays between Sept. 8 and Oct. 31. Rates are based on double occupancy and a two-night stay. Fees and taxes are not included. Guests must mention the promo code FORE12 when booking.

For more information, visit www.sandestin.com.

September 12, 2012 - 1:39pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Arnold Palmer at Congressional Gold Medal ceremony
Courtesy C-SPAN
Arnold Palmer expressed his humility and gratitude for receiving the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday.

Two days after his 83rd birthday, Arnold Palmer received the Congressional Gold Medal today in Washington, D.C.

In a special ceremony in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building at 11:00 a.m., Congressional dignitaries from both parties gathered to present Palmer with the award. Jack Nicklaus and singer Vince Gill also took part and, afterward, the PGA Tour hosted a celebratory luncheon in the nearby Cannon House Office Building.

As Mike McAllister at PGATOUR.COM reports, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom – which Palmer received in 2004 – are the highest civilian awards in the United States. The Congressional Gold Medal dates back to the American Revolution. Each medal is created by the U.S. Mint individually to honor the individual and achievements for which the medal is awarded. The other golfer to receive one is Byron Nelson.
 
Palmer is receiving the Gold Medal in recognition of his service to the nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf -- and, no doubt, for inventing his delicious iced tea/lemonade drink. I think I’ll have one this afternoon to show my appreciation.

If you'd like to watch the ceremony, you can see it here in the C-SPAN archives.

 

 

September 12, 2012 - 12:00am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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2012 European Ryder Cup team
Getty Images
The Europeans won the Ryder Cup in 2012, but SkyBet thinks Team USA will prevail in Chicago.

The Ryder Cup is still a couple weeks away, but your chance to bet on them is here already – well, if you’re in Great Britain, anyway. SkyBet is just one of multiple UK bookmakers offering a smorgasbord of wagers on the Ryder Cup, and here is a rundown of some of their most fun ones:

-- Who will win? Team USA is currently a 4 to 5 favorite, and SkyBet’s John Rhodes told England’s PA Sport news service that “all the money so far has been for the USA, with little or no interest in the European side as yet.”

-- Will Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods meet in singles? If they do, SkyBet’s odds that Tiger will win are 12 to 1, while the odds on McIlroy to win are actually a little worse, at 14 to 1. The odds of a halve are 40 to 1.

-- Who will be the leading points scorer? Tiger is the choice as Team USA’s leading points-getter at 5 to 1, with Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker next best at 8 to 1. On the European side, McIlroy is also a 5 to 1 favorite to be leading points-scorer. Luke Donald is next at 13 to 2, while Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are both 7 to 1.

-- What will the final score be? The most popular choices so far are for a very tight match that ends 14 1/2 to 13 1/2. The odds for an American win by that score are 10 to 1, while the odds for a European win by that score are 11 to 1. The odds are exactly the same (10-1 USA, 11-1 Europe) if you believe one side or the other will win by 15 to 13.

-- Will there be a hole-in-one? Three of the last nine Ryder Cups have had an ace (there were two each in 1995 and 2006). The odds of an ace are 7 to 2. But the odds of any individual player making one range from 100 to 1 to 125 to 1.

-- Who will score the winning point or half-point? This is one of the most impossible bets to get right, considering that players who have clinched recent Ryder Cups range from Graeme McDowell to Paul McGinley. The leading choice is Tiger at 14 to 1, with Rory right behind at 16 to 1. The longest odds are on Paul Lawrie at 50 to 1.

I don’t know about all these bets, but I do know this – because so many of the competitors are in such fine form these days, it’s a slam dunk that this Ryder Cup will be one of the best ever. I can’t wait for it to start.