Golf Buzz

January 14, 2015 - 1:29pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Golf News Net
A recently-formed 14-foot deep sinkhole at Traigh Golf Course in Scotland came about as the result of a drainpipe issue.

It's not often that a hazard on a golf course can also serve as a hazard to your health (unless you're playing a course where the water hazards are populated by angry alligators).

But Traigh Golf Course in the West Highlands of Scotland has a new feature it'd rather not have -- a 14-foot sinkhole just in front of its seventh green.

According to a report from Golf News Net, the recently-formed sinkhole came about as the result of a drainpipe failure in November 2014.

RELATED: Sinkhole swallows man in middle of fairway | Chances of golf course sinkholes

The report says that the club estimates the repair -- fixing the drainpipe and filling in the sinkhole -- would cost approximately $30,000. That's money the club doesn't have.

Club spokesman Alec Stewart said, "Without repairing this pipe about half of the golf course will revert to bog and this would effectively be the end of our golf course."

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time we've seen a golf/sinkhole story.

Back in March of 2013, an 18-foot deep sinkhole on a course in Illinois swallowed a golfer who was walking down the middle of a fairway. Luckily, he was pulled out of the sinkhole after a frightening 20-minute rescue mission.

h/t Golf News Net

January 14, 2015 - 10:34am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Danielle Kang
LPGA player Danielle Kang got a helping hand (or paw?) from her pug, Booda, during a recent practice session.

LPGA player Danielle Kang -- winner of the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur -- is like most professional golfers in that she's putting in a lot of work preparing for a new season.

All that work on the course typically means sacrificing time with the people (or pets) we love most.

RELATED: McIlroy begins road to Masters | An underwater hole-in-one | Golf course webcams

That's not the case for Kang though. With her pug, Booda, by her side, Kang has been able to get in plenty of practice.

But Booda isn't just a bored bystander. He's actually a four-legged caddie of sorts, evidenced by this video Kang posted on her Instagram account:


Wedges at Saticoy Country Club today!.. I had my personal ball boy with me #Booda @boodakang

A video posted by Danielle Kang (@daniellekang) on

Man, just when you thought dogs couldn't be any more awesome, right?

January 14, 2015 - 9:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Charles Howell III
USA Today Sports Images
Charles Howell III has a remarkable eight top-10 finishes at the Sony Open, but not one of those has resulted in a win.

There's no doubt that starting a new year with back-to-back week's in Hawaii is special for the stars of the PGA Tour, who won in the 2013-14 season.

But for those players who teed it up at Kapalua last week and are playing again this week in Oahu at Waialae in the Sony Open, they'll find a course that could not be more different than the one they played in Maui.

While Kapalua is known for it's incredible views and elevation changes, Waialae might be the flattest course on Tour. The scenes are still spectacular, but the physical demand is nothing like it is at Kapalua.

RELATED: Sony Open tee times | 10 to watch in 2015 | 5 storylines of 2015

Jimmy Walker returns as the defending champion this week, fresh off a playoff loss to Patrick Reed at Kapalua.

At Waialae, birdies are a must. In the 2014 tournament, 18 of the 71 players who made the cut shot all four rounds in the 60s, including Ricky Barnes and Billy Hurley, who both tied for 38th. Imagine that -- four rounds in the 60s and not even a top-25 finish!

With that, here are the five players to watch this week in Honolulu for the first full-field event of the new calendar year.

5. Harris English
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T16 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: Each of the last two seasons have yielded a top-10 finish for English at the Sony Open -- a T9 in 2013 and fourth a year ago. English will come in well rested, too, having not played in a Tour event since mid-November. It's only a matter of time before English picks up his third PGA Tour win, so why not this week at Waialae where he's been knocking on the door the last two seasons?

4. Chris Kirk
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 The McGladrey Classic
Reason to watch: I'm really digging Kirk these days. On Monday in Maui, Kirk was the first off for the final round of the Tournament of Champions and playing by himself when Kevin Stadler's withdrawal reduced the field to an odd number. In a little over two hours, Kirk tied Kapalua's course-record with an incredible, 11-under 62 to tie for 14th. While 14th might not be all that impressive when you consider there were only 33 players in the field, it says a lot about Kirk's pride. Starting the round, he had nothing to play for. After the round, he nearly had himself a top 10. Kirk was the Sony Open runner up a year ago and also tied for fifth in 2013.

3. Russell Henley
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T3 Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: Henley has two top-4 finishes in three starts this season and won the Sony Open in 2013 -- his very first start as a PGA Tour member. With a couple of wins under his belt -- he also won the Honda Classic in a playoff that included Rory McIlroy last year -- it's time for Henley to establish himself as a more consistent contender. It looks like he's trending in that direction after the fast start this season. He enters this week with two kinds of confidence: 1. It's a course he's won on before; 2. He's coming off a T3 at Kapalua.

2. Charles Howell III
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T14 Sanderson Farms Championship
Reason to watch: I ponder this same question every year -- how is it that Charles Howell III has only two PGA Tour wins in his career, his last coming in 2007? It's crazy to me. It's also crazy to me that he's never won the Sony Open. Here's a look at Howell's eight top-10 finishes in the Sony since 2002, the first year he played the event: T4 in 2002; T3 in 2005; T2 in 2007; 4th in 2009; T5 in 2010; T2 in 2012; T3 in 2013; and T8 in 2014. He's got to win this tournament eventually, right?

1. Jimmy Walker
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
2nd (playoff loss) Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: Mainly, I'm interested in seeing how Walker bounces back from a tough playoff-loss to Patrick Reed at Kapalua. The reality is, that tournament never even should have gone to a playoff. Walker was leaking oil down the stretch which opened the door for Reed, who seized the opportunity. Walker has certainly established himself as a world-class player, but part of what comes along with that is dusting yourself off and moving on from a tough defeat. Can he do that this week at a place where he's the defending champ?

Here's how my five to watch fared at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions:

5. Geoff Ogilvy -- T27
4. Bubba Watson -- 10th
3. Jimmy Walker -- 2nd (lost in a playoff)
2. Zach Johnson -- 7th
1. Matt Kuchar -- T17 

Rory McIlroy road to Masters
HSBC Golf via Twitter
Rory McIlroy, along with Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson already have the Masters on their minds.
You've probably heard people in golf say that the Masters begins on the back nine on Sunday. Well, I'm here to tell you that's just not true.
For many of the world's best golfers, the Masters – or at least the road to the Masters – begins well in advance of the first full week in April. In fact, current world No. 1 Rory McIlroy was talking about the Masters – where he has a chance to complete the career Grand Slam – soon after winning the PGA Championship last August.
And now that we've turned the calendar to January and tournament play is back underway in earnest, the season's first major is clearly on a lot of players' minds. Among them are McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, who apparently began their "road" to Augusta National on Tuesday way over in Abu Dhabi.
In the photo above and below, McIlroy (in the gray shirt with pink accents) is clearly wondering which of those signs he ought to follow. Rose, behind McIlroy, is obviously pondering their predicament, while Fowler and Stenson are checking out their options. Which way to go, which way to go?
The photo was taken, and shared, by the folks at HSBC Golf, which is the sponsor of this week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates, and I give them props for their sense of humor.  
And, just in case you're wondering – I certainly was – it is 7,510 miles from Abu Dhabi to Augusta National. So, gents, I suggest you better start walking.
January 13, 2015 - 12:03pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Miss Universe
On Monday, with the help of Miss Universe contestants, Donald Trump unveiled the new Tiger Red Course at Trump Doral.

Organizers say that the Miss Universe contest is more than a beauty pageant. Women aspiring to become Miss Universe, they say, must be intelligent, well-mannered, and cultured.

Luckily for all these beautiful contestants, having a golf game isn't a requirement.

RELATED: A must-see underwater hole-in-one | Patrick Reed's forehead tan line

On Monday, with the help of Miss Universe contestants, Donald Trump unveiled the new Tiger Red Course at Trump Doral.

In the video below by the Miami Herald, you can see Golf Channel's Charlie Rymer teeing up the ball for several Miss Universe contestants.

In defense of these beautiful ladies, it can't be easy to take a swipe at a golf ball in heels.

These ladies have nothing on Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Nina Agdal:


Too far. The ball never listens to me.

A video posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on



Pebble Beach
The only thing better than viewing Pebble Beach's webcam of the famous 18th hole is playing it in person.

Unfortunately, there are things that keep you away from the golf course. Your job, the weather, other obligations -- just to name a few. But even if you can't get out and play, you can keep tabs on what's happening at some of the most famous courses around the world.

Thanks to the Internet and invention of the webcam, many courses have live links available at the click of a mouse, including St. Andrews and Pebble Beach. Here's just a sampling of what's out there -- and what you might see.

Click the headlines or photos to see the webcam for yourself. And don't forget to bookmark your favorites:

St. Andrews Links, Scotland

The ancestral home of golf may be more than 500 years old, but its website is state-of-the-art, boasting nine different views of the grounds, including the Road Hole and Swilcan Bridge.

Trump Turnberry, Scotland

The Alisa course, redesigned by Mackenzie Ross, has hosted four Open Championships. The webcam provides views of the clubhouse and the lighthouse and shoreline in the distance.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Established in 1877, Royal Dornoch has hosted the British Amateur once and Scottish Amateur three times since 1985.

Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course

The host of the 2014 Ryder Cup might be just a little bit unplayable right now, as this image shows.

Royal North Devon Golf Club

Royal North Devon Golf Club was founded in 1864 and is the oldest golf course in England. The course was designed by Old Tom Morris.

Real Club de Golf Campoamor, Orihuela, Valencia, Spain

According to the Spanish translation, the course was opened in 1988. It emerged from the natural beauty of the area between two valleys and surrounded by small hills, which protects it from the wind.

St. George's Club, Bermuda

The adjacent course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and is one of nine courses on the island.

Royal Westmoreland, Barbados

Located on the west side of Barbados, Royal Westmoreland was designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior and claims to be consistently rated as one of the top courses in the Caribbean.

Chester Golf Club, Nova Scotia

Even though it's covered in snow now, you can still see the fabulous view from the clubhouse of the course and the lake.

PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens

Opened in 1981, there are five courses to choose from at the home of the PGA of America. Host of the 1983 Ryder Cup and 1987 PGA Championship.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

In addition to the iconic 18th fairway shot, Pebble Beach offers a number of webcams. Watch foursomes line up to tee off at the first hole, or check out the 17th green, where Tom Watson made U.S. Open magic many years ago.

Bandon Dunes Golf Course

Oregon's golf mecca includes the first course opened there in 1999. Bandon Dunes was designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd.

Bandon Trails Golf Course

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed this course, which opened in 2005. It's different from the others in the resort, in that no holes parallel the ocean.

Pacific Dunes Golf Course

Opened in the summer of 2001, Tom Doak's design is considered the favorite course of the majority of golfers who have played all four tracks.

Kapalua Plantation

Host to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the Planatation course boasts significant elevation changes and spectacular views. 

Poipu Bay Golf Course

Another stunner from Robert Trent Jones Junior, this course hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf between 1994 and 2006.

Ko Olina Golf Club

Built in 1990 by Ted Robinson, Ko Olina has been rated as Oahu's No. 1 course by Hawaii Magazine and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. It also plays host to the LPGA's Lotte Championship.

Big Sky Resort, Montana

Skiing is king this time of year. But the resort southwest of Bozeman, which boasts as being "the basecamp to Yellowstone" has a classic links-style course under all that snow.

Jefferson Landing Golf Club, North Carolina

Located near Boone and Blowing Rock in the western part of the state, Jefferson Landing was designed by Larry Nelson. The views are spectacular, especially in the spring and fall.

Estes Park Golf Course, Colorado

Located in a valley surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, the course is open most of the year. You might even find an occasional elk or coyote.

Blackmoor Golf Club, South Carolina

Gary Player designed this course near Murrell's Inlet, with lots of doglegs and lots of water.

Ute Creek Golf Couse, Longmont, Colorado

One of three municipal courses nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Ute Creek was designed by Robert Trent Jones II.

There are more available, especially in golf and ski resort areas in the western half of the country. And more courses are in the process of adding webcams, so keep searching to find course webcams near you.