Golf Buzz

TaylorMade, R1 Black
TaylorMade's new R1 Black Driver will be available at retail beginning June 10 for $399.
For the first time since 2010, TaylorMade Golf has announced its release of a black-headed driver. TaylorMade took the golf world by storm in 2010 with its forward-thinking white headed driver, which is the No. 1 driver on Tour. 
But, there's still been a big demand for the same great drivers, but in black.
Now, TaylorMade has obliged with the R1 Black, which will be available at retail beginning June 10 for $399.
Here's the release from TaylorMade introducing the new, sharp-looking R1 Black: 
CARLSBAD, Calif. (May 30, 2013) -- TaylorMade Golf Company, makers of the No. 1 driver in golf, today announced R1 Black – the company’s first black driver since 2010.
“For three years we have only made white drivers and have heard from a number of golfers who just prefer the look of black,” said President and CEO, Mark King. “Our commitment has always been to provide golfers with the best performing golf equipment. The R1 Black gives players who prefer that color access to our industry leading technology.”
Similar to the white version – which has been used to win 16 worldwide golf tournaments this year – the R1 Black driver features the greatest range of adjustability of any driver in the brand’s history. R1 gives the golfer 12 loft-sleeve settings and 7 face-angle positions, as well as two movable shot-shape weights. The R1’s three adjustability technologies allow it to be tuned 168 different ways to specifically fit a player’s swing to optimize distance and accuracy.
The R1 Black driver will debut on the PGA Tour next week in Memphis.
“Members of our tour staff now have two color options,” added King. “We will see a number of them opt for R1 Black, while others will stay in the white version to take advantage of the white/black contrast and alignment benefits.”
The R1 Black features an ultra-light Aldila RIP Phenom and is available at retail 6/10 for $399. For more information please visit
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Bag Boy Quad push carts
Courtesy of Bag Boy
The limited editions of the Bag Boy Quad push cart come in pink, orange, and lime green.

The Quad Push Cart from Bag Boy is one of the most popular push carts in golf. So what could Bag Boy do to trick it out any more?

The answer is: offer it in three cool new summer colors – pink, orange, and lime green.

"The Quad is doing very well at retail," said Dynamic Brands President Craig Ramsbottom. "Golfers like the overall performance of the cart and the easy two-step folding process. By adding a few of this year's trendy colors to the line, we feel it gives our customer a broader selection."

The Quad is made with a lightweight frame on a reinforced four-wheel platform that provides more stability than three-wheel carts, especially on hilly terrain and in wet conditions. It sets up via a simple two-step process, folds down to 24 x 17 x 16 inches, and rolls on lightweight, solid foam tires.

The push cart comes fully loaded with an array of golfer-friendly features such as a stand and cart-compatible upper bag bracket, a parking brake mounted on the handle – and the handle can be adjusted to accommodate golfers of all heights. It also features an oversized zippered storage bag, quick-grab beverage holder, deluxe scorecard holder with pencil holder, integrated tee and ball holder, a secure umbrella holder and a padded compartment.

It carries a suggested retail price of $219.95, and is still available in its regulation colors of white, black, silver, red, blue or yellow.

For more information, visit



KZG GF X driver
Courtesy of KZG
The GF X driver from KZG features a traditional profile with a glossy all-black head accented by the matte black screw portals.

KZG is marking its turf in the adjustable driver marketplace in a big way with its new GF X driver, which features two strategically positioned weight portals and a selection of screws in seven different weights. The ''GF'' stands for Gravitational Force technology, through which golfers can select specific screws to adjust the club's swingweight, launch angle and draw/fade bias a whopping 128 different ways.

''The GF X is an ideal model for those players who require unique adjustments with maximum forgiveness,'' said KZG President Jennifer King.  

The weighted screws are available in 1.5-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-gram options, and the weight portals are placed where changes in weight and center of gravity can most effectively affect a fade or draw bias, and even trajectory and spin rates.

The adjustments for all KZG clubs are done solely through KZG's network of professional fitters because, KZG believes, leaving the adjustments up to amateur golfers often ends in disappointment because golfers tend to change their settings too frequently. That, the company says, makes it impossible determine optimal positioning and keeps the golfers from grooving their swings. Using professional fitters, they say, removes the guesswork and provides confidence and consistency.

The GF X features a traditional profile with a glossy all-black head accented by the matte black screw portals. The 460cc head is made of titanium.

All KZG drivers are custom fit and available with numerous shaft options. Retail pricing varies depending on the options selected, with suggested retail prices starting at $399.

For more information, visit


Olmos Park Golf Course in San Antonio
Olmos Basin Golf Course
When it's not underwater, Olmos Basin is a scenic municipal golf course just north of downtown San Antonio.

Rain has played havoc with golf all around the globe this week:

--The Colonial has been rainy for the past couple of days, and the second round only finished up this morning.

--The European Tour's big BMW PGA Championship outside of London has been so cold and wet that the players have expressed amazement and admiration at the hardiness of the fans who have come out to watch.

--The Senior PGA Championship in St. Louis saw intermittent showers on Friday and had a mid-afternoon weather stoppage today.

--And, of course, the poor LPGA Tour is struggling to get in 36 holes by Sunday as its inaugural Pure Silk Bahamas Classic has been wrecked by a once-in-a-lifetime rainstorm earlier this week.

None of these places, however, had it as bad as Olmos Basin Golf Course in San Antonio, Texas, has it today.

South Texas is getting its second straight day of hurricane-like rainfall – without the hurricane-like winds, thankfully – and San Antonio is bearing the brunt of it. In fact, the National Weather Service said that the Alamo City had gotten 9.83 inches of rainfall by midmorning alone, making this the second rainiest day in San Antonio's history.

Needless to say, nobody was playing much golf anywhere in San Antonio today. But somehow, a man found himself stranded on top of a restroom at the Olmos Basin Golf Course when floodwaters rose nearly up to the roof. The San Antonio Fire Department, using a Kodiak boat, motored right up to his rooftop perch, and the man calmly stepped into the boat. 

The rescue – which admittedly isn't very dramatic – was captured on video by WOAI-TV and you can see it here. But the thought of a golf course down there, under eight or nine feet of water, is plenty dramatic.

I've often said I'm glad my job doesn't include having to do live commentary of these kinds of breaking events, but even I could have done better than the broadcasters on the video. As they were puzzling over how the man got on the roof in the first place, one of them said, with seeming seriousness: ''I've gotta believe he wasn't golfing today.''

Yeah, I think that’s a pretty safe bet.

Those of you familiar with San Antonio know Olmos Basin as a popular municipal layout that has hosted many men's and women's city amateur championships. Hopefully, the water will drain off fairly quickly and the damage won't be too severe.

I haven't seen any word on how some of the city's other big courses, like TPC San Antonio or the historic Brackenridge Park, have fared, but I'm hoping for the best.


chart of long putter usage on pga tour
Charlie Kautz via Twitter
Charlie Kautz of TaylorMade put together this chart of long putter use on the PGA Tour this year, before the anchor ban was announced.

The USGA and R&A&'s ban on anchored putting strokes has certainly garnered its share of attention for the past few months. But this whole time, I've been wondering exactly how many players would be affected.

It's pretty impossible to get a real handle on long putter usage among everyday golfers. But when the ban was announced, TaylorMade's Charlie Kautz (who goes by the Twitter handle @CharlieTour) pulled together an interesting chart and some stats regarding long putters and the PGA Tour.  

Through the first 21 PGA Tour events of 2013, Kautz counted 287 putters classified as belly, midsize or long – though, he noted, not all of those putters were necessarily anchored. That, he figured, averaged out to 13.6 long putters per field, with the fields ranging from 93 players in the Masters to 156 at the biggest PGA Tour events.

In the Masters, 14 of those players – including, of course, winner Adam Scott – used long putters. And in the 64-man WGC-Accenture Match Play, which he described as the most "elite" field in pro golf, six players used putters classified as belly, midsize or long.

When Kautz posted his chart, he said: ''I'm curious how a line graph showing week-by-week usage'' of long putters trends in the coming weeks and months. It's pretty safe to say we all share that curiosity.


May 23, 2013 - 3:26pm
john.holmes's picture
Nate Smith autographed golf bag
A total of 68 PGA Tour players at the Wells Fargo Championship signed Nate Smith's golf bag.

Remember earlier this month, when PGA Tour player James Hahn played a prank on his buddy, Nate Smith?

Smith Monday-qualified for the Wells Fargo Championship, and Odyssey Golf flew in a brand-new bag for him. Hahn got hold of the bag first, though, and hung a sign on it in the Quail Hollow locker room asking other players to sign the bag "for charity auction."

More than 60 PGA Tour players dutifully signed it. And Smith, having no other choice, played the Wells Fargo with the uniquely decorated bag -- to the chuckles of his buddy, Hahn.

Well, now the bag is in fact up for charity auction – Smith has it on eBay, with all proceeds going to Boredom Busters, a non-profit organization that seeks to enhance the quality of life of pediatric patients when they're in the hospital.

Smith and Odyssey have teamed up to enhance the deal, too. Along with the bag, the winning bidder will receive a signature outfit from Travis Mathew, two tickets to a regular PGA Tour event, and a set of Callaway clubs with Odyssey putter.

The bag itself is a true collector's item, thanks to the quality of the signatures. Among the autographs are: Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Camilo Villegas, Bud Cauley, Stuart Appleby, Kevin Streelman, Hunter Mahan and Boo Weekley.

Helen Ross over at reported the story of the signature prank back on May 2, and you can read all about it here.

The auction runs through midnight ET on May 27. You can check it out here.

And, of course, if you're looking to do a little more online golf shopping, be sure to check out The Pro Shops, where you can buy the latest gear directly from PGA Professionals.