Golf Buzz

November 5, 2013 - 7:22pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Callaway Apex Pro irons
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The Apex Pro clubs are more compact than the standard Apex clubs, and have less offset, a thinner topline, a narrower sole and a shorter blade length from heel to toe.

Back in September, Callaway unveiled its new Apex irons, which it bills as ''forged performance'' clubs. Now comes the Apex Pro edition, a tuned-up version for better players.

The Apex Pro clubs have a one-piece, 1020 carbon steel, forged construction designed specifically to deliver a soft and responsive feel – that is also a primary goal of the standard Apex clubs. The Apex Pro heads are more compact than the standard Apex clubs, and have less offset, a thinner topline, a narrower sole, and a shorter blade length from heel to toe.

One of the standout features on the Apex Pro irons is what Callaway calls its High Performance Wide Groove profile. Callaway engineers discovered that tour players and better amateurs were often generating too much spin out of the rough, largely because of high clubhead speed, reducing both distance and consistency. To remedy this, they came up with a new wide-spaced groove.

GOLF BUZZ: Callaway unveils Apex 'forged performance' irons

In addition, the Apex Pro clubface is about 17 percent thinner than the 2013 edition of the X Forged irons, which improves ball speed. Increasing ball speed was secondary to improving sound and feel on the Apex Pros, and to that end Callaway added a high-damping polymer insert in the back of the head that helps eliminate unwanted vibrations at impact.

The soles of the long irons (2-5) have tungsten inserts to lower the Center of Gravity, which produces a higher launch angle and makes easier to hit. The Center of Gravity gets progressively higher down the set from longer to shorter irons. In the 9-iron and pitching wedge, this higher CG helps flight the ball down a bit and deliver a flatter trajectory.

The stock shaft on the Apex Pro irons is the new KBS Tour V, which Callaway describes as a premium, mid-launch, low-torque steel shaft that maximizes energy transfer for a smooth feel and faster ball speeds. A graphite UST Recoil shaft will be available through custom order.

The Apex Pro irons will be available at retail in early January. Callaway hasn't yet announced a suggested retail price.

Here is a video from Callaway talking about the new Apex Pro irons:



November 5, 2013 - 12:32pm
Posted by:
PGA of America
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The PGA of America announced today a joint press conference with the PGA Tour set for Wednesday at 1 p.m.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and President of The PGA of America Ted Bishop will announce new cooperative initiatives.

The conference will be streamed live here on Return to for full coverage starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday.



November 5, 2013 - 9:03am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Do you struggle with lag putting? Let's face it, it's rarely an automatic two-putt when you find your way on to the green.

In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Craig Renshaw explains why people have difficulty getting their long putts close to the hole and offers ways to remedy this problem.

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

November 5, 2013 - 8:56am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods at the Turkish Airlines Open
"To be the first golfer to do this was very cool," said Tiger Woods after driving golf balls down the Bosphorus Bridge ahead of this week's Turkish Airlines Open.

Tiger Woods, in Turkey this week for the Turkish Airlines Open, hit a tee shot on Tuesday from one continent to another... seriously.

The country of Turkey is located mostly on Anatolia in Western Asia and on East Thrace in Southeastern Europe.

As a promotion for the event, Woods hit several shots down Istanbul's famous Bosphorus Bridge, which connects Asia to Europe.

Andrew "Chubby" Chandler -- agent to players such as Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke -- tweeted the occasion:



Chandler wrote in previous tweets that Woods, coming directly from the airport after a long flight, was running a bit late for the event. Chandler said, "Tiger late.... Lots panicking ... Bridge can only be closed so long!"

Turns out Woods made it just in time. Here's a video of of the occasion, though the commentary is in Turkish:


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

November 5, 2013 - 8:40am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Brandt Snedeker
Getty Images
Brandt Snedeker has withdrawn from the Australian PGA Championship after suffering an apparent knee injury in China.

Brandt Snedeker, the No. 9-ranked player in the world, has withdrawn from this week's Australian PGA Championship citing an injured knee.

Snedeker, who was in Shanghai last week where he tied for 55th in the WGC-HSBC Champions, would have been the second highest ranked player in the Australian PGA behind Masters champion and world No. 2 Adam Scott.

Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of Australia, announced Snedeker's withdrawal to reporters on Monday.

"The most important thing is of course Brandt's health," said Thorburn in a report that appeared on the Australian PGA's website.

"Brandt is a player who is held in very high regard wherever he goes and while we're obviously disappointed he won't be playing this week, our thoughts are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery."

There's no word yet on what may have caused Snedeker's knee injury.

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


November 4, 2013 - 4:33pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Edwin Watts Golf
Edwin Watts Golf Shops expects that many of its stores will remain open after the bankruptcy reorganization.

Edwin Watts Golf Shops LLC, long one of the most prominent golf retailers in the United States, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  

The Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-based chain, which is owned by the Sun Capital Partners private equity firm, is seeking a court-supervised auction of its assets by Dec. 6, according to papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The company estimated its liabilities and assets of $100 million to $500 million, according to the court filing.

IN THE MARKET FOR CLUBS?: Buy direct from PGA Professionals in the Pro Shops

PNC Bank, which Edwin Watts Golf Shops owes $50 million under a secured financing agreement, will lend the company $38 million to keep it operating until the sale is completed, according to a Reuters report. "A significant number" of its stores – there are about 90 currently operating, most in the Southeast – are expected to stay open, though no specific number has yet been finalized, the company said in a statement.

Edwin Watts, a 22-year-old golf professional at the time, opened his first store in Fort Walton Beach back in the 1960s, and built a chain of stores that thrived for many years. Watts sold the business to private equity firm Wellspring Capital Management in 2003, and Wellspring Capital sold it to Sun Capital in 2007. The company also operates a prominent website.