Golf Buzz

September 29, 2014 - 6:58pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Making golf more fun for juniors
Photo courtesy of Angela Aulenti
One of the ways parents can make golf more fun for their children is by setting up an obstacle course.

One of the positives that came out of the Ryder Cup for Team USA was the play of two of its young stars. That's a big plus for golf, both in the short term and the long term.

Patrick Reed, 24, and Jordan Spieth, 21, earned 2.5 points in three partner matches and Reed earned another point when he beat Henrik Stenson in singles. Throw into the mix 25-year-old Rickie Fowler, who despite being winless in the Ryder Cup is still one of the most popular golfers with young fans, and the future looks bright for the U.S. 

With so much young American talent, there's a real possibility of enticing more children to play the game. That's the goal of PGA Professional Angela Aulenti of Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, Conn. The recent winner of the LPGA's Nancy Lopez Award, Aulenti is very active with junior golfers, helping run a junior golf camp at Sterling Farms on Wednesdays during the summer and also working with junior golfers with disabilities. 

Q: Just by looking at your background, you do a lot of work with junior golfers, especially charity work. Why do you like working with them?

Aulenti: They are the future and they are so newly molded and they are fun. It’s always a challenge to teach juniors and it always is a challenge to us as Professionals to figure out a different way to say it or figure out a different drill to do or something that’s new or fun and creative. It keeps the creative side of you going.

Related: Junior golfer makes albatross on No. 18 at Pebble Beach

Q: Let’s say a parent has a child who wants to get into golf. What’s the one big piece of advice that you would give to the parent?

Aulenti: First of all, I want to make sure the child wants to do it. Then I want to make sure they get the right equipment and that they learn in the current atmosphere. Children usually learn better in groups. We cite that in our golf schools in the summer, that children usually learn better in groups. They have a little bit more fun with it. Then we just try to lead them down that path and find what’s available for them in their age group. Nowadays, with most children, they play a lot of sports; golf is not their only sport. So you have to be able to fit it in. That’s where we get creative with junior camps and clinics and we create programs that help fit their needs.

Q: Is there something parents can do at home to make golf more fun?

Aulenti: I think chipping and putting in the backyard with mom and dad, that kind of a thing. Making golf fun is always a challenge. You have to be creative, you have to have a lot of games for the kids. We play so many games with the kids and set up obstacle courses for the kids to make it a challenge. Their attention span is a little bit smaller than adults so I think parents can make it fun and set up some obstacle courses in their yard. Have them pitch it into a bucket, pitch it over their bag, that kind of thing or bring them to a range and just expose them to it and let them decide if they like it.

Q: The Junior Ryder Cup was played last week in Scotland. Is there something that amateur golfers of any age can take away from what these Junior Ryder Cup players are doing right now?

Aulenti: I think you can see the commitment they have. That’s your top level, they’re committed. The LPGA just did one at the Evion, the U.S. vs. France and the U.S. won. The LPGA had a team and it was great fun. Those are children who are committed. Also, you can teach your child that it could be a goal of theirs, that if they get committed they could be on these teams. It’s a thrill of a lifetime and I don’t think you realize it at the time.

Related: Complete coverage of Team USA's fourth consecutive win at the Junior Ryder Cup

Q: Unless you’re like Spieth or Rory (McIlroy) who goes from the Junior Ryder Cup on to the Ryder Cup.

Aulenti: Those are the gifted 2 percent of the world and I think that if parents just realize that no matter what their child does in golf, it’s a game of a lifetime. If their son or daughter gets into business, they have the game behind them. It’s become a big part of business. It’s a big part of the world now. So they don’t have to be a Rory or a Tiger or a Annika (Sorenstam), they can be whoever they are and use the game to help them. It teaches the kids so much about life.

Q: You hear a lot of stories about kids getting started using cut-down clubs or clubs from their parents. Is there an age when they should get fit for their own clubs or just get their own clubs?

Aulenti: I would say that if parents want to start their kids at 4 or 5 or 6 years old, they don’t have to be custom-fit but what the U.S. Kids (Golf) offers is a style list. At least they’ll be the right weight for the child. There’s nothing worse for kids, and the same is true for adults, than a club that’s too heavy and causes you to swing improperly. If you’re trying to teach them one style of swing with a club that’s just too heavy, they can’t do it. They don’t have to buy a set but they should start at a young age having the correct weight and flex equipment for them. It just makes the game more fun, and if parents can hear that one word, that with clubs that are the right weight, the right length, the right flex, it makes the game easier and more fun because (the kids) see better results.

Q: And once it’s more fun, the kids are more likely to be hooked, right?

Aulenti: Right. They’ll ask to come into it. They’ll ask to go hit balls. It’s pretty hard to make something fun when they don’t see good results.

September 29, 2014 - 11:00am
mark.aumann's picture
Hazeltine National Golf Club
PGA of America
The 16th hole at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

What's the weather going to be like at Hazeltine National Golf Club, site of the 2016 Ryder Cup? Bring a windbreaker for pleasant days, a sweater for the evenings and leave the ski jacket at home.

2016 RYDER CUP: Hazeltine National selected as host

Based on National Weather Service averages dating back to 1891, the weather for Chaska, Minn., in late September and early October is particularly pleasant, with minimal rainfall, daily highs averaging in the mid-60s and overnight lows in the 40s.

Had the Ryder Cup been held this weekend at Hazeltine National, fans would have been treated to some spectacular weather: according to the Weather Channel, it was 81 degrees on Friday, and 82 as the high on Saturday and Sunday. That's after an unusual late summer cool spell that engulfed much of the Great Lakes area.


However, with the 2016 Olympics added to the golfing schedule, the Ryder Cup moves back one week to Sept. 27-Oct. 2, 2016, which could make the weather a little more like what fans experienced at Gleneagles, Scotland -- cooler and perhaps a bit windier. That's the forecast for Chaska next weekend.

What about snow? Well, according to NWS data, the earliest one-inch snowfall recorded in the Minneapolis area came on Sept 26, 1942, which apparently melted rather quickly. But the second-earliest didn't occur until mid-October, and the earliest report of a one-inch snow depth is Oct. 13. So based on the weather history of the area, there's a 1 in 125 year chance of snow showers. In other words, it's not very likely.

2016 RYDER CUP TICKETS: Register now for random draw

In fact, there's a better chance of "Indian summer," or a short period of unseasonably warm, dry weather in early fall. That usually occurs after the first frost, which for Minneapolis is between Oct. 1-10.

September 29, 2014 - 6:50am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson
Thanks to social media, we were able to see top golfers playing dress up at the post Ryder Cup party.

No matter the outcome of the Ryder Cup, it's become tradition for the two teams to get together for a post-match party on Sunday night.

Thanks to social media, we're now able to get a peek at what goes on behind closed doors with the top golfers in the world.

After a stressful, pressure-cooker of a week, the gathering is a chance to loosen up and unwind. And, sometimes, things get weird.

Case in point? This photo tweeted by Hunter Mahan. In case you didn't recognize them, that's a shirtless Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson sporting wigs and kilts:

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy got in on the dress-up session too:

Based on this Instagram post by Lee Westwood Monday morning, it appears a good time was had by all:

Westwood also tweeted this picture with a crazy-faced Ian Poulter from the post-party:

September 29, 2014 - 6:09am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Christopher Meyers
Needing a birdie to tie the lead at Pebble Beach in the Pro-Junior competition of the Nature Valley First Tee Open, a 17-year-old did two better.

With all eyes focused on the Ryder Cup over the weekend, you may have missed another great piece of drama that happened thousands of miles away at Pebble Beach in the Nature Valley First Tee Open on the Champions Tour.

Juniors golfers are selected from across the country to compete in the tournament alongside a Champions Tour player as their mentor.

On the final hole Sunday, trailing by a shot in the pro-junior competition, 17-year-old Christopher Meyers from The First Tee of Tucson did something he'll never forget on Pebble Beach's world famous par-5 18th hole.

Needing a birdie to force a playoff, Meyers -- headed to Stanford next year -- did two better: he made an albatross for the walk-off win.

See the video here:

Meyers' partner, Lee Janzen, certainly looked impressed. 

Meyers sent this out on Instagram after his win:

Mark Brown
Mark Brown said he "lost track" of his score before realizing after 17 holes that he had a chance to post a 59.
Mark Brown of New Zealand added his name to the history books on Friday, shooting an 11-under-par 59 at the Carrus Tauranga Open on New Zealand's Charles Tour.
Brown, a former European Tour player, sank a 14-foot putt on the par-4 10th hole – the last hole of his second round – to card the best score of his career. He opened with a 26, and added seven birdies and an eagle on his second nine – but didn't realize until late in his round at Tauranga Golf Club that he was close to breaking 60. 
"I actually lost track. I did a wee tally up on the second-to-last hole and realized I just needed one more birdie," Brown said. "Luckily the 10th hole is relatively straightforward." 
Brown has had low rounds before, including a 10-under 62 at Melbourne's Kingston Heath to qualify for last year's British Open, but had never threatened 59. 
"Tauranga is one of the more straightforward courses we play and there are a few drivable par 4s, but that being said you still have to make putts and I didn't miss many today." Brown said. "I hit a lot of shots closes but holed a few longer putts when I needed to, 10 or 11 under par doesn't happen that often, and luckily it was a par-70 for the magical 59." 
Six players have shot 59 in official PGA Tour events. Al Geiberger did it in the 1977 Memphis Classic, Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational, David Duval in the final round of his 1999 victory in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, Paul Goydos in the 2010 John Deere Classic, Stuart Appleby in the 2010 Greenbrier Classic and Jim Furyk last year in the BMW Championship outside Chicago. 
Here's a list of the sub-60 scores on the major tours:
Ryo Ishikawa (-12), 2010 Japan Golf Tour, The Crowns in Aichi, Japan
Jason Bohn (-13), 2001 PGA Tour Canada, Bayer Championship in Sarnia, Ontario
Al Geiberger (-13), 1977 PGA Tour, Danny Thomas Memphis Classic in Memphis Tenn.
Chip Beck (-13), 1991 PGA Tour, Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev.
David Duval (-13), 1999 PGA Tour, Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.
Paul Goydos (-12), 2010 PGA Tour, John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
Stuart Appleby (-11), 2010 PGA Tour, Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphus Springs, W.Va.
Annika Sorenstam (-13), 2001 LPGA Tour, Standard Register Ping in Phoenix, Ariz.
Notah Begay III (-13), 1998 Nike Tour, Dominion Open in Richmond, Va.
Doug Dunakey (-11), 1998 Nike Tour, Miami Valley Open in Springboro, Ohio
Jason Gore (-12), 2005 Nike Tour, Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb.
Will Wilcox (-12), 2013 Tour, Utah Championship in Sandy, Utah
Kevin Sutherland (-13), 2014 Champions Tour, Dick's Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.
Masahiro Kuramoto (-12), 2003 Japan Golf Tour, Acom International in Ibaraki, Japan  
Adrien Mork (-12), 2006 European Challenge Tour, Tikita Hotels Agadir Moroccan Classic in Agadir, Morocco
Mark Brown (-11), 2014 Carrus Taurange Open, Tauranga Golf Club in Wellington, New Zealand
September 24, 2014 - 7:27am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Martin Kaymer
Martin Kaymer clinched the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah for Europe.

The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah couldn't have gotten off to a better start for the U.S. team. The Americans, captained by Davis Love III, took a seemingly insurmountable 10-6 lead going into the final-day singles matches.

Only one other time in Ryder Cup history had a deficit that large been made up on the final day. That was in 1999 when the U.S. stormed back to shock Europe at The Country Club.

At Medinah, the Europeans returned the favor. Led by Captain Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe dominated the singles matches, winning the session 8 1/2-3 1/2 to steal a 14 1/2-13 1/2 victory over a stunned U.S. squad.

Relive the Miracle at Medinah with this flashback: