Golf Buzz

February 20, 2014 - 3:09pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
USA Today
Not all halves are created equally. Check out how Jordan Spieth halved a hole in a match with Thomas Bjorn on Thursday.

At the time of this post, it was still early in the Round 2 match between Jordan Spieth and Thomas Bjorn at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Not early enough, however, for what's sure to be one of the best shots we'll see this week.

RELATED: WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship scores | Improve your bunker play

Spieth, 1-up through three holes, looked sure to be giving a hole away to Bjorn at Dove Mountain's par-4 fourth hole. Bjorn was already in with a par, while Spieth was playing his fourth shot from a greenside bunker.

Needing to hole the shot for a halve and to maintain a 1-up lead, Spieth elected to have his caddie pull the flag out. Veteran announcer Peter Oosterhuis wondered aloud why Spieth would pull the flag for the shot with the green running away from him.

Well, here's why:

 

 

Oosterhuis could only chuckle at Spieth's remarkable shot, which dropped in for a par.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

February 20, 2014 - 10:49am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jumping cholla
USA Today
Jumping cholla -- a form of cactus -- is an obstacle you need to worry about at Dove Mountain as this fan learned on Wednesday.

If you've spent any time at all watching the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz., since the first time the event was played there in 2009, you've no doubt heard stories about something called, "jumping cholla."

Basically, it's a jumping cactus. Get too close, and this thing literally jumps on you. It's painful.

RELATED: Day 1 results from the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship

In the first round of the Match Play Championship Wednesday, an unlucky spectator got what appeared to be a 1-2 punch of pain.

Rory McIlroy attempted to hit a shot with his ball touching a rock. Upon contacted, the ball ricocheted off the rock and -- though we never see video evidence -- the announcers say the ball hit a spectator. Based on McIlroy's reaction -- an immediate cringe -- we suspect that's what happened.

But, what happened next only added insult to injury... or injury to injury for the fan.

After the ball hit the fan, he fell into a jumping cholla bush. Luckily for him, there were plenty of folks prepared with tweezers to remove the cholla from the man's body.

Check it out here:

 

 

McIlroy defeated Boo Weekley in the match, 3 and 2.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

February 19, 2014 - 10:34pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Jason Day John Brenkus
Photo courtesy adidas Golf YouTube
Jason Day undergoes some extreme testing to show the value of adidas climawarm+.

Color me impressed with the adidas Golf Innovations series. Or at least, the first one (the only one that's been released thus far.)

Rather than a simple press release, or even an interview, adidas brought in brand ambassador Jason Day and science guy John Brenkus (six-time Emmy Winner and creator of one of my favorite shows, "Sport Science") to scientifically show the value and difference made by adidas apparel.

First they show (again, scientifically show) the effects of cold weather on the golf swing. The impact is significant. Then they show how wearing the new adidas apparel line climawarm+ mitigates the effect of the cold (and the technology behind that line is featured as well.)

It's worth a look:

 

 

As my nerdy friends like to say, you can't argue science (I still debate that point...but I digress). But the numbers are the numbers. I'm sure that adidas isn't the only company offering outerwear that will help you in the cold. But they are the only one using a popular media/science guy and format to emphasize the point. That deserves some kudos in and of itself. 

The video is the first of six videos that adidas Golf will roll out that showcases different technologies they are focusing in on in 2014.  

February 19, 2014 - 6:00pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Photo courtesy PING YouTube channel
Miguel Angel Jimenez makes stretching fun and awesome.

Some people know him as Miguel Angel Jimenez, one of the most accomplished golfers around.

Others refer to him as "The Most Interesting Man in the World" - pretty much an ode to his coolness and resemblence to the the Dos Equis guy in the commercial.

And then there are those who know him as the guy with the best stretching routine in golf.

The routine is so great in fact that PING has released a video (apparently filmed at their headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona) of Jimenez in front of a large group of PING enthusiasts (employees perhaps?) going through his now famous stretching routine and teaching them to do the same.
 

 

There's not a lot of set up or explanation or recap needed here. Just enjoying - what the video calls - "The Most Interesting Stretching Routine in the World." And that it is.  Stay stretchy my friends.

You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim

February 19, 2014 - 5:44pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Speed Police
Photo courtesy TaylorMade Golf YouTube channel
Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day appear as Speed Police - sort of.

Imagine stepping up to the tee box, getting ready to hit, when suddenly you're tackled by Justin Rose. Or Sergio Garcia. Or Jason Day. Or Dustin Johnson. Or more accurately, a puppet of one of them.

Yes, I said puppet.

TaylorMade's new "Speed Police" characters, using the likeness of some of their most high profile ambassadors (complete with four different accents!), are out in force (according to their new ad) looking for golfers who are using "outdated" clubs. Of course, the golfers - er, the police - I mean, the puppets - will claim that any club that's not using TaylorMade's Jet Speed clubs are "outdated." You can watch it here.
 

 

The ad is clever and fun. Even more, it's part of a growing trend in golf marketing using fun imagery and dialogue to stand out in the always hyper-competitive sphere of golf equipment. From Nike's "No Cup is Safe" and "Sorry Mr. Tiger" ads to Callaway's "Phil's outtakes for Big Bertha" and all up and down the spectrum, the need to entertain as much inform seems to be the way to get golfers talking.

Of course, the club companies all readily acknowledge that the bottom line is still the clubs and their performance. They all believe in their products and well, they should. I haven't seen a "bad" product in a long, long time. But via social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.), the ability to spread the message is easier and more vital than ever before. It's a big win for all of golf that the industry has embraced this with the enthusiasm and creativity that they have.  

February 19, 2014 - 4:20pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Ben Crane
Courtesy Ben Crane's Instagram
Ben Crane shows there's more than one way to sink a putt.

Ben Crane has made a great name for himself on (......) and off the course.

Crane recently sent out on his Instagram a short video of his latest putting technique. It's a bit unorthodox, hard to copy and probably illegal - but it's fun to watch!

 

 

Crane has recently established a reputation for one of the more fun, irreverent and light-hearted personalities on Tour, combining with friends Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan on the Golf Boys hit "Oh, oh, oh " and the follow-up "Golf Boys 2.Oh"
 

 

Crane has also, like Justin Timberlake, struck out on his own for a solo act.  Crane's YouTube channel has generated millions of visits for his series of videos where he has fun talking about all kinds of golf topics including make light of his reputation for being - well, not fast. 
 

 


Crane is having a pretty good season, having made 6 of 7 cuts and one top ten to his credit thus far. I think it's fair to say Crane's new putting technique will not be making a debut in tournament play anytime soon - but you never know.  Regardless, thanks to the powers of social media, one time is enough to get a lot of fun attention. 

You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim