Golf Buzz

Bubba Watson at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf
Getty Images
Bubba Watson didn't pick up a club for five days before arriving in Bermuda Monday morning.
By Josh Ball, Contributor 
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda – Even before he reached a storm-hit Bermuda, Bubba Watson had been in something of a whirlwind.
The Masters champion held his annual Bubba's Bash before arriving on the island Monday morning, taking in stops in Orlando, Louisiana, and Phoenix over the past five days.
Singing, dancing and discussing the faith that is an integral part of his life, Watson's preparation for the event meant he didn't pick up a golf club for five days before landing in Bermuda.
Usually in that instance, some practice time might have been called for. But a delayed flight due to Tropical Storm Fay put a dent in that plan, which initially had him landing on the island Sunday.
"We flew out at 7:00 a.m., landed here [Bermuda] around 10.30 a.m.," Watson explained. "And the traffic, because of the debris [from the storm] came about five minutes before my [Pro-Am] tee time."
That left the Masters champion just enough time to grab a sandwich, change his shoes, and get to the first tee. 
In the end, it didn't seem to hurt his golf, even if he was using a new set of irons and three wedges. 
"I played nice today," he said afterward.
Martin Kaymer at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf
Getty Images
"There are a couple very difficult holes where you can make big numbers," says Martin Kaymer at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
By Josh Ball, Contributor 
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda – It's nice to know that some golf holes are a challenge no matter whether you're a high-handicap golfer or US Open champion Martin Kaymer.
The ninth hole at Port Royal Golf Course, the home of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, is generally acknowledged as one of the toughest on the course. Rising sharply to an exposed, elevated green, it – more than most – is at the mercy of the swirling wind that gives the course its teeth.
Golfers of all abilities traditionally misjudge the distance for their approach, factoring in the hill ( 1½ clubs) but not the wind (one club, sometimes more).
On Monday, Kaymer's approach from 80 yards out of the first cut fell short of the green – and his second attempt didn't make it, either – during the Pro-Am ahead of the Grand Slam.
The wind though, apparently, wasn't the problem on No. 9, according to the major winner. It was he said, just "a poor shot.
"I have to be honest with you," he said. "That wasn't the wind, that was me."
Which isn't to say Kaymer doesn't recognize the effect the wind is likely to have over the next couple of days, especially on a course that hugs the coast on several holes. The signature par-3 16th, a 235-yard drive with a green hanging to the edge of a cliff, being a prime example.
"There are a couple very difficult holes where you can really screw up, where you can make big numbers," Kaymer said. "The wind, we all know, is going to be a factor."
The Bermuda grass also posses something of a challenge, especially in the rough, where it grips the clubhead and can make distance control something of a lottery for all but the best players.
"I think when you play on that grass, that Bermuda grass, it's very important to hit good tee shots," said Kaymer. "It's very difficult to judge distances from the first cut, from the rough."
October 13, 2014 - 10:19am
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tj.auclair's picture
Vapor Fairway Woods
Nike Golf
Nike engineers reimagine fairway woods design to promote speed and forgiveness for the golf athlete.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Nike Golf innovation begins with the golf athlete in mind – always. Nike engineers and designers took the inspiration and insights from Nike athletes to drive the technology of Nike’s new Vapor Speed and Vapor Flex fairway woods, available on January 30, 2015.

“Athlete insights drove significant chassis refinement in the Vapor fairway woods.” said Nate Radcliffe, Director of Engineering for Nike Golf. “Our athletes wanted tighter but forgiving leading edges, fuller profiles and added ball speed. We’ve delivered that with the synergy of our FlyBeam and compression channel technologies.”

The Vapor Speed fairway woods have a 25% larger footprint with a lower and deeper Center of Gravity (CG) than previous Nike models.

“Athletes including Tiger Woods requested larger face profiles in fairway woods, but it was vital that we do that without compromising ball speed or optimal launch conditions,” said Radcliffe. “We successfully modified the chassis by sloping the crown to lower the CG which optimized launch characteristics across the family.”

Like the new Vapor drivers, the Vapor Speed fairway woods feature Nike’s new FlyBeam-reinforced Covert Cavity Back design, a re-engineered Compression Channel and a NexCOR face – all combining to stabilize the chassis, maximize ball speed and promote longer and straighter distance. The low CG provides a high launch with a lower-spin flight.

The Vapor Flex fairway woods highlight the same technologies found in the Vapor Speed on a more compact chassis, except the Vapor Flex has added Nike’s FlexLoft 2 adjustability system, allowing the golf athlete the functionality of five lofts and three face angles within 15 different settings.

The new, improved FlexLoft system is five grams (30%) lighter without compromising function, which leads to a CG that is up to 2mm lower on the Vapor Flex fairways. The redistribution of mass creates more stability, better launch conditions and faster swing speeds. Another benefit of FlexLoft 2 is its forward and backward compatibility. Golfers with previous generations of Covert can use shafts with the original adaptor in the new head or vice versa.

Nike Vapor Speed Fairway Woods:

Availability: January 30, 2015
Specifications: 3W: 15° (RH/LH); 5W: 19° (RH/LH): MRC Fubuki Z 60 shaft: X, S, R, A, W
MSRP: $240.00 Street Price: $199.00

Nike Vapor Flex Fairway Woods:

Availability: January 30, 2015
Specifications: 3W: 13° - 17° (RH/LH); 5W: 17° - 21° (RH/LH): MRC Diamana S+ Blue Board 70 shaft: X, S, R
MSRP: $300.00 Street Price: $249.00

For more information, visit

October 12, 2014 - 6:11pm
mark.aumann's picture
Hunter Mahan
Hunter Mahan celebrates after his chip-in eagle Sunday at No. 13.

How do you deal with a day when your putting is inconsistent? If you're Hunter Mahan, you hit the ball where you can't miss. That way you can keep the flat stick in the bag.

From 91 yards out on the No. 13 hole at Silverado, Mahan stepped up and did this:



Score that as an eagle.

Mahan had an odd round going Sunday, almost from the start. He bogeyed the par-3 second hole, only to get that shot back one hole later. He made birdie on the par-5 fifth hole, only to give that back one hole later. Then he birdied Nos. 8 and 9 to finish the front nine in 2 under 34.

But then he bogeyed No. 11 before coming up big two holes later. When leader Sang-Moon Bae also bogeyed the 11th, that pulled Mahan to within three shots of the Open lead at that point.

October 12, 2014 - 4:35pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Tiger Woods
Oakland Raiders on Twitter
Tiger Woods and his blue jeans spent some quality time with the Oakland Raiders fans on Sunday.

Tiger Woods is sure making good use of his free time. And wearing out those blue jeans.

One day after visiting Stanford, Tiger Woods made a trip to watch the Oakland Raiders play the San Diego Chargers.

Unfortunately, Woods didn't dress up like some of the more intense fans in the 'Black Hole.' Who wouldn't lke to see Woods in black-and-silver face paint with spiked armor? 

Woods also got to spend some time with former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown before the game.

It's still odd to see Woods wearing a color other than red on a Sunday.

Woods' trip comes one day after he visited Stanford to see his fellow golfer Notah Begay inducted into the school's hall of fame.

While there, Woods also spent some time with the current crop of golfers at Stanford. So if they win the national title this year, we can certainly give some credit to Woods. 



October 12, 2014 - 10:51am
mark.aumann's picture
Tropical Storm Fay
Julius Mason/PGA of America
Julius Mason of the PGA of America sent this photo from Bermuda of the wind and rain Sunday morning.

The island of Bermuda is approximately 21 square miles and sits smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. So what the odds that a tropical storm could make a direct hit on it in mid-October after a quiet hurricane season?

Pretty good, apparently. Mother Nature has exceptional aim.

Dear PGA Grand Slam of Golf ... Tropical Storm Fay would like to play through, please.


On Friday, the National Hurricane Center spotted a tropical depression forming in the Atlantic, some 500 miles south of Bermuda. Reconnaissance airplanes on Saturday found that the storm had intensified. Now known as Tropical Storm Fay, the storm made a beeline for Bermuda, striking the island Sunday morning with near-hurricane force winds.

The PGA of America's Julius Mason tweeted a photo from his location on the island:

And Martin Kaymer added a photo to his Facebook album, showing some of the damage near the Fairmont Southampton hotel with the comment: "Not exaaaaaaactly what you expect in Bermudas."

According to Bermuda Electric Light Company, as many as 27,000 customers were without power Sunday morning because of numerous downed trees. Port Royal Golf Club, host course for the two-day tournament featuring winners of this year's major tournament, canceled play for the remainder of Sunday, according to this tweet:

PGA historian Bob Denney found out this tidbit of information:

However, the weather is expected to improve significantly for the rest of the week, once Fay moves farther to the east and begins to dissipate. The forecast for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are for mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s.