Golf Buzz

November 27, 2012 - 1:09pm
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John Holmes
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Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy's five years with a bag full of Titleist clubs ended in grand fashion on Sunday.

Three quick equipment notes from last weekend before I forget:

--Rory McIlroy went out with a bang on Sunday at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai -- he won the European Tour's season-ending tournament in his final start playing Titleist clubs. As far as I know, that's never been done before -- a player winning in his final start with his old club company before switching to a new brand. And I'm certain it's never been done at such a high level -- the world No. 1 winning the richest prize on his home tour, then immediately switching to a new brand of clubs.

   If you want to see what Rory had in his bag, I published the details in our weekly What's in the Winner's Bag feature on Monday.

--For all the fuss over long putters, SMS Inc. – the company that tracks the clubs each player has in his bag during European Tour events – reported that only one player in the 56-man field at the DP World Tour Championship used a long putter. It’s probably way too late to impact any decision that golf’s governing bodies might make regarding the legality of long putters, but that stat sure backs up the argument that the vast majority of elite players haven’t switched to the long putters.

--Finally, in Dubai over the weekend, European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady said his primary hope in any ruling on long putters is that everyday amateurs will still be able to play the same equipment as touring pros -- meaning that he doesn't want the tours to create their own equipment rules if they disagree with the R&A and USGA.

"One of our great facets is that we are connected to the game that every amateur can play as well," he said. "We could go separately. I would urge the Tour to follow the rules as laid down by the governing bodies."

November 27, 2012 - 12:24am
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John Holmes
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John Daly
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Is John Daly among golf's worst dressed players or is he distinctively different? You make the call.

Our friends over at Bleacher Report have posted an interesting photo gallery in which Mike Dudurich anointed the 10 worst dressers on the PGA Tour. Let’s just say it’s a subjective list – and, really, what can be more subjective than the fashion choices of pro golfers?

Some of his picks are awfully easy to agree with. Some others, however … well, let’s just say I think it’s Dudurich who’s commiting the fashion faux pas. My biggest beef is that some of the golfers he cites as fashion-backward I find to be a fun break from the norm.

Here’s one example: He’s calls Ian Poulter one of the flashiest dressers on Tour, but then wonders whether his look "plays better on that [the European] side of the ocean." 

Here’s another: He says Sergio Garcia "believes every color goes well with every other color" and "many times conjures up images of a walking box of crayons."

Hey Mike, that’s just harsh. Personally, I think players like Poulter and Garcia usually look distinctive yet stylish out on the links, and I get bored looking at pairing after pairing of players outfitted in primary colors. This is golf we’re talking about, not a Fortune 500 board meeting.

But hey, that’s just my opinion. Click on over to the gallery and let us know what you think.


November 26, 2012 - 11:41pm
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Keegan Bradley
Photo: The PGA of America
Many top players, including Keegan Bradley, vow to fight to keep anchored putters legal.


Will wednesday be the day that we finally get an answer on the long putter?  Twitter seems to think so.
Noted Wall Street Journal columnist John Paul Newport hints at a ruling and provides a nice rationale for banning the putter here.  I still disagree. I'm not convinced it makes that much of a difference for the world's best players and anything that keeps amateurs playing more and longer, is only good for the game.
What are your thoughts?
November 26, 2012 - 2:34am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Luke Donald at the DP World Tour Championship
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Luke Donald hopes his nose for success will be even sharper next season after undergoing surgery to clear up his sinus problems.

Luke Donald has struggled with sinus issues off and on for some time now, and the problem has gotten so bad that he’s going to have surgery sometime soon to deal with it.

"My sinuses are all completely clogged up, and every time I get a little bit run down they turn into infections," Donald said on Sunday after tying for third place at the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

"Hopefully the surgery will fix it," he added. "It's a pretty quick and easy operation."

Donald shared both the second- and third-round lead with eventual winner Rory McIlroy before his final-round 71 dropped him down a few pegs.

"I don't like to make excuses, but the last couple of days I've had the sinus issue again," said Donald. "I felt a little bit flat and unfortunately I couldn't get things going on Sunday."
He’d been going pretty good before Sunday, though – starting in 2011, Donald went an amazing 102 holes in a row without making a bogey in the Dubai tournament before dropping a shot on the third hole Sunday.

November 25, 2012 - 9:03pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Meadowlands Golf Club
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The modifications at Meadowlands Golf Club in Myrtle Beach were made to make the course even more player-friendly.

Seven Myrtle Beach golf courses installed new greens last summer, but Meadowlands Golf Club took its refurbishment work a step further. Meadowlands closed for three months to install new TifEagle Bermuda grass greens and redesign two holes on the front nine.

The motivation for installing TifEagle was obvious. Its sister course, Farmstead, has the hybrid Bermuda grass and is renowned for the speed and smooth roll of its greens.

"The new strands of Bermuda work great and are more drought tolerant," said Ricky Lyons, Meadowlands' director of golf. "They are faster, and they putt more like bentgrass."

Along with the new grass, the third and sixth holes at Meadowlands underwent design modifications designed to benefit the majority of its players – including many of the female players who have gotten Meadowlands ranked among the "Top 100 Women-Friendly Courses" in America by "Golf for Women."

The Willard Byrd-designed course’s signature hole, No. 3, has a lake that many mid to high handicappers were able to reach off the tee, leaving an approach shot that was a little long for their skill level. With that in mind, part of the lake was filled in, allowing players more room to drive the ball, which in turn sets up a more manageable approach.

The sixth hole went from being one of the most visually intimidating holes on the course, courtesy of a narrow, elevated fairway, to being more scenic and playable. The dirt removed from the fairway was used to fill in the pond on No. 3, and it opened up the fairway and made the hole less daunting.

"The course looks great and people are having a great time playing," Lyons said. "All of our players, including our members, are just ecstatic with the changes we have made. The greens have been perfect."

For more information, visit


November 24, 2012 - 12:49am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Catriona Matthew at the University of Abertay Union
Catriona Matthew via Twitter
Almost two decades after receiving her accounting degree, Catriona Matthew received an honorary doctorate in her native Scotland.

I don’t know about you, but I spent most of my Friday lying around and watching football on TV. My big achievement was making sure I got some leftovers before they were gone.

Catriona Matthew’s day was a bit more productive. She was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Abertay in Dundee, Scotland. The LPGA Tour star received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts as part of Abertay's winter graduation ceremony, in which almost 250 students also received their degrees.

Matthew, one of Scotland's most accomplished female golfers, was born in Edinburgh and graduated from Scotland's University of Stirling with an accounting degree back in 1992. She won the Women’s British Amateur title in 1993, and has gone on to earn 10 professional victories around the globe. She has played in six editions of the Solheim Cup – she sank the winning putt for Europe in 2003 – and is currently 15th in the Rolex Women's World Rankings.

Matthew was chosen by her fellow LPGA Tour players to receive the 2009 Heather Farr Player Award, which honors an LPGA player who has demonstrated determination, perseverance and spirit in fulfilling her goals as a player. She also was named a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in Queen Elizabeth's New Year’s Honours List and was named the 2009 LET Player of the Year.

Not to make light of her degree, but I got a chuckle out of the official announcement on the Abertay website that calls her a “top lady golfer.”