Golf Buzz

November 13, 2013 - 3:38pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Lara Baldesarra
Lara Baldesarra will be leaving Golf Channel to join CNN.

CNN announced today that Lara Baldesarra is joining the network's sports unit in Atlanta.

Baldesarra moves to CNN after having spent much of the last two years with Golf Channel, where she anchored Golf Central and hosted the weekly interview show, Grey Goose 19th Hole.

Starting in December, she will anchor World Sport, the flagship sports news program on CNN International, and contribute to sports-related event coverage across all CNN platforms.

READ: Golfers save friend from jaws of 12-foot crocodile in Mexico

"We're thrilled with Lara's addition to CNN's global sports operation," said Bill Galvin, senior vice president of sports programming and development for CNN. "Her expertise as a leading voice in the sports world aligns perfectly with CNN's commitment to providing a thoughtful perspective across a broad range of news and events."

Born and raised in Toronto, Baldesarra previously worked at Canada's national sports network, Sportsnet, covering a number of sports including soccer, tennis, rugby, cricket, American football, Formula 1 and boxing. She also spent time at Fox Soccer Channel, where she anchored the network's flagship nightly news and highlights show, Fox Soccer Report.

"I'm passionate about sports and journalism, so I could not be more excited about joining an organization that values and excels in both of these things," said Baldesarra. "CNN is a world-class operation, and I look forward to hitting the ground running."

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

November 13, 2013 - 12:37pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Briny Baird
Getty Images
After a tie for second at the McGladrey Classic, is Briny Baird poised to win on the PGA Tour for the first time this week?

The final official PGA Tour event of the calendar year -- the OHL Classic at Mayakoba -- takes place in Mexico this week.

The tournament is the sixth event of the Tour's new 2013-14 wraparound schedule, but the last one until the first week in January when the schedule resumes with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.

Here's a look at five players to watch at the 7,039-yard El Camaleon Golf Club at the Mayakoba resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, designed by Greg Norman.

SCORES: Follow the OHL Classic at Mayakoba leaderboard on

5. Fred Funk.
Best finish in 2013:
Played exclusively on Champions Tour with exception of a missed cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Reason to watch: Silly pick, you say? What, because he's 57? Age is just a number and that's especially true for Funk. He's missed the cut at the Open and the McGladrey Classic, but on Thursday he tees it up at a place where he's got good vibes. Funk one the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in 2007 -- his last PGA Tour win, in fact. This season, Funk will be using his one-time exemption for being in the top 50 on the career money list. If he's going to make money out on the young tour, this is the place to start.

4. Harris English.
Best finish in 2013:
Winner of the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Reason to watch: There's just nothing not to like about this guy's game. The 24-year-old snagged his first PGA Tour win this past summer in the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Along with that, English had three other top-10 finishes on the season, but none since the win until a tie for seventh in Malaysia at the CIMB Classic a few weeks ago. Listen to a lot of PGA Tour veterans talk and they'll tell you -- English is a star waiting to shine.

WATCH: Niece of Tiger Woods has golf ball-juggling tricks too

3. John Huh.
Best finish in 2013:
Tie for third at the Wyndham Championship.
Reason to watch: This 23-year-old returns to Mexico this week at the defending champion. That's got to feel good. But, because of the Tour's new wraparound schedule, Huh's title came nearly two years ago in February of 2012. He was PGA Tour Rookie of the Year that season. Huh missed a lot of cuts in 2013 -- 11 in all out of 28 starts -- but still finished in the top 25 on eight occasions, highlighted by a tie for third at the Wyndham Championship. I like Huh's chances this week because it's a place where the highlight of his career took place.

2. Briny Baird.
Best finish in 2013: N/A
Reason to watch: Baird did not make a single start during the PGA Tour's 2013 season, as he continued his recovery from double-shoulder surgery in 2012. Now that he's healed, Baird looks primed to capture that elusive first win. Perhaps making up for lost time, this week's appearance in Mayakoba will mark Baird's fourth start of the 2013-14 season. In his previous three events, Baird made the cut each time, highlighted by a tie for second a week ago in Sea Island. He's hungry.

GALLERY: November golf photos from around the world

1. Tim Clark.
Best finish in 2013:
Second at the Sony Open in Hawaii
Reason to watch: This South African's name always seems to be lurking on leaderboards... Which is why it's so hard to believe that he's only won one time on the PGA Tour. Granted, that one triumph was a big one -- the 2010 Players Championship. But still, he's a guy you might expect more from in the way of the win column. Clark enters this week after a tie for second last week in Sea Island. Playing one of the shorter courses on the Tour's schedule this week, you've got to like Clarke's chances (which isn't to say he's not strong on long courses -- he made out just fine at TPC Sawgrass).

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

November 13, 2013 - 11:45am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

Have you ever found yourself in the rough with a less than desirable lie and wondered what type of shot you should hit to limit the damage on your scorecard?

In today's golf tip, 2003 PGA Teacher of the Year Laird Small shows you how to read the rough by demonstrating that the grass between club face and ball reduces spin and control of ball flight. He goes on to explain that the ball will run further if you have a flatter lie and that you should play the ball back in your stance with your hands firm on the club.

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

November 13, 2013 - 10:33am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Cheyenne Woods
Getty Images
Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, reenacted her uncle's famous golf ball-juggling commercial in an Instagram video this week.

Remember that cool Nike commercial years ago, where Tiger Woods is juggling a golf ball with his wedge? He bounces and stops the ball on the clubface, juggles through his legs, behind his back... you remember, right?

Well, it turns out Tiger isn't the only one in the family with golf ball-juggling skills.

RELATED: A list of your favorite golf commercials through the years

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's 23-year-old niece who is also a professional golfer, reenacted her uncle's famous commercial and posted the video to her Instagram account.

It might not be quite as smooth as Uncle Tiger, but it's still pretty cool. Watch it here:

And, in case you wanted to relive the original, here's that one too:

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

November 13, 2013 - 10:10am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Crocodiles have been a serious problem at one Cancun golf course lately.

OK, remember not long ago when we told you the story about the New York man who -- on vacation in Mexico -- lost two fingers to a crocodile while playing golf at the Iberostar Cancun Golf Club?

Well, there was crocodile-related incident at the same place last Friday, where another golfer was attacked.'s Ryan Lavner caught the story from Scotland's Daily Record of a 58-year-old Scottish man vacationing in Cancun, who survived the attack from a massive, 12-foot crocodile.

RELATED: Golfer loses two fingers to crocodile in Cancun

As the story goes, the man -- Dougie Thomson -- played a shot from a waste bunker when out of nowhere, the crocodile burst out of the bushes and sunk its teeth into Thomson's right leg.

Panicked, Thomson's playing partners acted fast. Friend Brendan O'Hara began battering the crocodile with a 9-iron. Moments later, golf buddies Gordon Victory and Martin Botwright came in to help as well. Botwright also used a golf club to beat the croc, while Victory used a golf cart to run over the beast.

When all was done, Thomson was freed, but not without battle wounds that required 200 stitches.

"My leg is a complete mess," Thomson said in the Daily Record report. "It's only by the grace of God I'm alive -- and I'm an atheist. If my friends hadn't seen what was happening, I would have just disappeared. The doctors said I'll have to think about plastic surgery. There's a huge indent on the back of my leg."

Thomson is reportedly threatening legal action against the Cancun Golf Club. Spokespeople there deny blame.

In the Daily Record report, they said there were warning signs about the crocodiles, and described them as "unique characteristics" of their course.

A spokesman said: "We deeply regret this incident and wish Mr. Thomson a speedy recovery. The safety of our clients, guests and employees has always been, and will continue to be, of paramount importance to Iberostar."

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

November 13, 2013 - 1:27am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Cobra BiO Cell line of clubs
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
Beneath the bright colors for which Cobra clubs are known, the BiO Cell woods and irons utilize Cobra's new BiO Cell technology to reposition weight away from the clubface to improve the clubs' launch characteristics.

Virtually every clubmaker has spent the last couple of years exploring every conceivable way to reduce weight in their clubheads to help increase swing speed and, therefore, ball speed. The latest development at Cobra Golf is the BiO Cell, and the company has built an entire line of clubs around this advance.

In the BiO Cell Driver, Cobra has removed a few grams of weight – essentially by cutting a honeycomb-like pattern – in the crown and repositioning that weight around the head's heel. This next step forward from last year's Advanced Material Placement technology (as found in the AMP Cell clubs) lowers the center of gravity, improves stability through the swing and creates a slight draw bias. 

''Our Research and Development team focused on developing a driver that would deliver distance, provide consistency, keep adjustability simple yet effective and offer a great feel,'' said Cobra Golf Director of Product Marketing Jose Miraflor. ''The BiO Cell Driver delivers on all of the above through Cobra's proprietary technology and goes a step further by offering personalization in five different color options.''

PHOTO GALLERY: See images of the new Cobra BiO Cell family of clubs

The BiO Cell driver features a full-sized 460cc titanium head and MyFly8, an expansion of Cobra's 2013 MyFly technology. The MyFly8 adjustable hosel gives golfers the option to select their trajectory from among eight loft settings (9.0, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 12.0 degrees of loft) along with three draw setting (9.5-degree D, 10.5-degree D and 11.5-degree D). Utilizing SmartPad technology – a small strip on the sole – the face angle will stay square at address regardless of the loft setting.  

True to Cobra's DNA, the BiO Cell driver is offered in five eye-popping colors: Blue Aster, Black, Barbados Red, Vibrant Orange and Silver. They come with a stock Project X PXv shaft and will be available in right- and left-handed models in extra-stiff, stiff, regular and lite flexes. The Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN 360 is the stock grip. It has a suggested retail price of $299.

There is also a BiO Cell+ driver, with a smaller 440cc head and multi-material construction – specifically, a crown made of aluminum, copper, magnesium, zinc and zirconium. Together, these metals comprise what Cobra calls ''venollum,'' which makes the crown even lighter than on the standard BiO Cell driver and gives the BiO Cell+ an even lower center of gravity. That, Cobra says, helps golfers get the ball airborne higher but with lower spin – a key requirement for better players.

The BiO Cell+ driver also comes with MyFly8 adjustability, but the available lofts are slightly lower (8, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 11 degrees of loft along with 8.5D, 9.5D and 10.5D draw). It comes with a stock Matrix Red-Tie 6Q3 shaft in extra-stiff, stiff and regular flexes with a Lamkin ACE 3GEN grip. They also feature a slightly different paint scheme with white accenting the other bright Cobra colors, and carry a suggested retail price of $399.

GOLF BUZZ: Cobra expands Baffler family with Baffler XL driver, woods and irons 

The BiO Cell Fairway Woods and Hybrids also feature MyFly8 adjustability technology, along with E9 Face Technology to improve distance and stability. Their stainless steel heads have a high-strength steel insert, which enables more face flex for faster ball speeds, longer distances and higher trajectory, and come in the same colors as the drivers.

The fairway woods have Project X PXv shafts and will be available in two models. The 3-4 Wood (13 degrees, 13.5,13.5 D, 14.5, 14.5 D, 15.5, 15.5 D and 16 degrees of loft) and 5-7 Wood (17, 17.5, 17.5 D, 18.5, 18.5 D, 19.5, 19.5 D and 20 degrees) are available in x-stiff, stiff, regular and lite flexes in both right-handed and left-handed options. They all come with a stock Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN 360 grip, and will retail for $219.

The hybrids feature a BiO Cell shaft and come in three models. The 2-3H (16 degrees, 16.5,16.5 D, 17.5, 17.5 D, 18.5, 18.5 D and 19 degrees), 3-4H (19, 19.5, 19.5 D, 20.5, 20.5 D, 21.5, 21.5 D and 22 degrees) and the 4-5H (22, 22.5, 22.5 D, 23.5, 23.5 D, 24.5, 24.5 D and 25 degrees) are available in x-stiff, stiff, regular and lite flexes in both right and left-handed options. All the hybrids have a stock Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN 360 grip, and will retail for $189.

GOLF BUZZ: Cobra's Tour Trusty wedge offers precision play, shot versatility

The BiO Cell irons feature heavy tungsten in the heel and toe of the long and mid-irons for added forgiveness, while the short irons have tungsten centered behind the hitting area for extra distance and control. They also include a perimeter undercut, which gives them the largest unsupported face of any Cobra Iron and helps the face flex more at impact for an increase in ball speed and distance. 

As in the drivers, woods and hybrids, the new BiO Cells in the irons combine with E9 Face technology to enable more discretionary weight to be relocated around the perimeter of the heads for a lower center of gravity and higher level of stability through the swing. They are available with Silver, Blue Aster, Barbados Red and Vibrant Orange accents. 

''The BiO Cell irons are designed to give golfers distance and control without sacrificing forgiveness,'' said Miraflor. ''Progressive placement of tungsten throughout the iron set drives the added distance, control and forgiveness.''

GOLF BUZZ: Cobra releases AMP Cell Junior driver for young Rickie Fowler fans

The irons have a True Temper Dynalite 85 shaft available in stiff and regular flex in the 3-iron through lob wedge in right-handed and 3-iron through sand wedge in the left-handed models. Graphite irons are available through custom order, with Cobra BiO Cell shafts in stiff, regular or lite flexes. They all come with Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN grips and carry a suggested retail price of $699 per set.

A BiO Cell iron combo set features a 3-4 hybrid, 4-5 hybrid and 5-iron through pitching wedge. They come with True Temper Dynalite 85 shafts in steel models and Cobra BiO Cell shafts in graphite models. The set made up of steel-shafted irons and graphite-shafted hybrids carries a suggested retail price of $799, while the set containing all graphite shafts retails for $899.

The entire family of BiO Cell clubs will be available at retail in mid-January 2014.