Golf Buzz

September 7, 2014 - 2:39pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Young fan reaction
This young fan did a terrific happy dance after getting a ball from Rory McIlroy.

It doesn't matter who wins the BMW Championship, I don't think anyone is going home happier than this young fan. 

As Rory McIlroy walked past the seventh hole, he quickly handed his golf ball to a boy in a green shirt. That simple gesture produced one of the happiest reactions I've ever seen. 

It seems safe to say that McIlroy made a lifelong fan today. It doesn't matter if he was trying to get a ball from every golfer who walked by -- there's no way you celebrate like that and then don't become a fan. 

I just wish we could see how he would celebrate getting a golfer's cell phone number

Gunsan Country Club
Brian Riley/Facebook
Brian Riley poses next to the hole sign for Gunsan's par-7, 1,100-yard third hole.

We get some amazing and incredible golf photos from fans -- everything from panoramic seaside holes to picturesque mountainside courses. But every once in a while, we'll get something so unusual that it makes us do a double-take.

For example, Brian Riley sent a photo of himself standing next to a hole marker, with this caption:

I don't always golf the longest hole on planet Earth, but when I do, I make double bogey. Gunsan Country Club ROK.

Well, thanks to Google, here's a description of Gunsan Country Club from the VisitKorea website:

"Gunsan Country Club is a golf course featuring 81 holes (18 holes for the members and 63 holes for the public) on the site of an abandoned salt field that spans over 1,060 acres. It is the only course in Korea where all the holes are surrounded by lakes; around 380 acres or 36% of the course is comprised of lakes, and the holes are connected by 26 bridges. It has some of the longest golf holes in the world, including a Par 7 hole (1,004m) and a Par 6 hole (661m). The 18-hole private golf course features classic American style, while the public golf course offers more variety."

Think about that for a moment: You're talking about one hole that's six-tenths of a mile in length. And it's the No. 1 handicap hole on the course, for good reason. 

I'm not certain what "classic American style" refers to, but it sounds interesting. And the idea of having to hit a driver and four fairway woods in a row to reach the green in regulation is fascinating (and probably very frustrating). Still, Brian appears to have a smile on his face after carding a 9, so it must be something to try at least once.


Ryder Cup in watercolor
Yves Perron
France's Yves Perron has captured the two 2014 Ryder Cup team captains in a beautiful watercolor painting.

Scotland's Gleneagles promises to be a spectacular site for the 2014 Ryder Cup matches for both players and fans alike. And who better to capture the feeling of the spectacle than a talented French painter?

Yves Perron -- a newspaper cartoonist at one point in his career, according to his biography -- has three passions: watercolor painting, World War I and golf. And it's no surprise that he's combined those passions into some amazing works of art.

He's done several pieces on golf, combining overhead views of the course, portraits and a sense of history, to give the artwork added value. As you can see, he's already geared up for the Ryder Cup in three weeks, having painted a scene with both U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson and Team Europe's Paul McGinley.

Some of Perron's other golf-related artwork can be found at his website here.

According to his bio, colorwater painting "is both a demanding and a flexible medium that requires a permanent thinking of color design and perfect drawing. You need to be ready when you paint a water color."

Perron, born in 1964, has now settled his easel in Montlouis-sur-Loire, close to Tours, in the Loire valley. Right in the middle of vineyards and castles, it is a special atmosphere and a wonderful light which undoubtedly makes it a fertile ground for artists. 

Merci beaucoup, Yves!

September 6, 2014 - 4:33pm
mark.aumann's picture
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy watches in amazement as putt No. 3 spins left out of the cup. He went on to triple-bogey the hole.

Ever have one of those holes where the ball just refuses to go in the cup? Rory McIlroy shares your pain.

Showing that bad holes can happen even to the top-ranked player in the world, McIlroy four-putted from five feet for a triple bogey on the Par-3 12th hole during Saturday's third round of the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills.

BMW CHAMPIONSHIP: Billy Horschel fires third-round 63 for lead

After hitting his tee shot in the right rough, McIlroy chipped out to within five feet of the hole. And then the trouble started.

Just watch the video and see if it brings up nightmares of holes you wish had never happened:

And yes, just like most of us, McIlroy was perturbed -- and talented enough -- to drop-kick the offending ball into the greenside water hazard with his putter.

Plus, the bad luck lasted just one hole. McIlroy one-putted for birdie at No. 13 to get one of those shots back.

LEFTY OPTS OUT: Phil Mickelson withdraws before third round

At least Rory has some well-known company. Rickie Fowler pretty much did the same thing during a 2010 family barbecue at Walt Disney World's Fantasia Putt Putt course. Watch:




In Fowler's defense, those are some crazy undulations in that green.


Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson failed to win a PGA Tour event this season for only the third time since his first full year in 1993.

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the BMW Championship, just three days after saying it was the one FedEx Cup playoff event he wanted to play.

In a release early Saturday from his management company, Mickelson says his goal is to rest and prepare for the Ryder Cup on Sept. 26-28 in Scotland.

Fellow Ryder Cup teammate Keegan Bradley also withdrew on Saturday morning. 

Mickelson shot 76 on Friday at Cherry Hills and was 14 shots out of the lead. He needed to finish fourth to have a chance to advance to the Tour Championship next week. Mickelson says without a chance to contend at East Lake, it was more important to be ready for the Ryder Cup.

Mickelson won the 1990 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills. He has said he did not like the PGA Tour going four consecutive weeks of FedEx Cup events. Typically, there is a one-week break.

Mickelson failed to win a PGA Tour event this season for only the third time since his first full year in 1993.

Fifth Third Stadium in Toledo, Ohio
Courtesy of Toledo Mud Hens
Before they host a pair of minor-league ice hockey names, the Toledo Mud Hens are converting their field into a miniature golf complex.
I've played a lot of miniature golf in my day, but never on a course like the one currently under construction in Toledo, Ohio.  
What makes that one so special? Well, for one thing, it's being carved into the turf at the Toledo Mud Hens' stadium.
Yes, with the Mud Hens' minor league baseball season over, the grounds crew is busily creating two full 18-hole miniature golf courses on the diamond at Fifth Third Field. The little links, which the Mud Hens have dubbed "The Links at Fifth Third Field," is flat, but Sports Turf Manager Jake Tyler promises it will be challenging.
"The first nine holes will have a lot of angles, doglegs, and sand traps," he said. "The back nine gets confusing when the fairway of 14 and 15 intersect each other, and hole 17 may be the hardest because it finishes up on top of the pitcher's mound."
This is the first time a minor league ballpark has been converted into a miniature golf course, according to the Mud Hens. "I always thought it would be interesting to see a natural grass Putt-Putt course," Tyler said. "The timing is perfect to create this once-in-a lifetime opportunity for our community."
The Mud Hens came up with the idea after agreeing to wreck their field so a pair of minor league ice hockey games could be played in the stadium this winter. As long as they were going to tear up the grass anyway, they figured, why not do something else fun with it first?
The courses will be open to the public, but for one weekend only – Sept. 25-28. The green fee is $15 per player, with proceeds going to Toledo-area charities, and each player will receive a souvenir golf ball. Want to give it a shot? Call the Mud Hens' box office to make a tee time – they're going fast!