Golf Buzz

May 22, 2015 - 3:19pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Here's a better look at the sinkhole that formed at Top of the Rock in Branson, Missouri on Friday.

It's amazing the incredible, and crazy, stuff you can stumble upon if you spend enough time on Twitter.

Check out this amazing shot of a sinkhole at Top of the Rock/Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri, that formed this morning:



The Champions Tour was there last month for a team event won by Billy Andrade and Joe Durant.

RELATED: Senior PGA Championship leaderboard | Course tour | Photos | Video

I showed the picture to a Champions Tour media official here at the Senior PGA Championship in French Lick, Ind.

He indicated the sinkhole looks to be on the driving range at the golf resort.

Either way, powerful stuff. This isn't the first time we've seen/heard of a golf course sinkhole.

Back in March of 2013, a sinkhole swallowed a golfer standing in the middle of the fairway on an Illinois course. That golfer escaped with minor injuries.

In January of this year, a sinkhole formed because of a drainpipe issue at Traigh Golf Course in Scotland. 

UPDATE: The Associated Press dug into this story and found that the sinkhole is currently 80 feet wide and 35 feet deep in some places. Evidently, the big sinkhole was created by two separate sinkholes that formed near the entrance to Top of the Rock golf course near the resort town of Branson, Martin MacDonald, conservation director for Bass Pro Shops, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

The sinkhole formed on the driving range and will not affect play, MacDonald told the AP.

The AP reports:

Geologists say such sinkholes are fairly common in the Ozarks because of its karst topography, a feature in which water is constantly circulating through bedrock below the ground. That's why the region has so many sinkholes and caves, including Lost Canyon Cave, an attraction at the Big Cedar complex, MacDonald said.

The initial focus Friday was ensuring the safety of the public and facilities, none of which were in danger, geological engineer Gary Pendergrass said. Next week, engineers will conduct a more in-depth investigation to determine the best way to replace the 7,000 cubic feet of material displaced by the hole, he said.

But before the hole is filled, it will be explored if there's anything to learn about karst topography.

"From the Top of the Rock perspective, it's not what you want to have," MacDonald said. "But we'll see if we've got anything unique down there."

This article used content from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. 

May 22, 2015 - 1:27pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Steve Stricker
Shanks. They're not fun to have, but sometimes they are fun to watch. Like in this video compilation.

In the first round of the 76th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid on Thursday, we showed you that unfortunate, and incredibly untimely shank by Brian Henninger.

He's far from the first person to ever hit a shank and he surely will not be the last.

RELATED: Senior PGA Championship leaderboard | Course tour | Photos | Video

And for proof that he wasn't the first at the professional level, someone on YouTube took the time to post a compilation video of shanks back in January.

Check it out here:


Having had my fair share of run-ins with the shanks (I once had a case so bad in high school that my father actually took me to an eye doctor), I can honestly say those were some serious, serious hosel rockets.

I especially loved the one from Steve Stricker. Putting the Shot-Tracer on that one made me laugh. 

May 21, 2015 - 1:48pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Boston College Athletics
Brian Butler, a senior-to-be at Boston College, turned down a $10,000 hole-in-one prize in order to keep his NCAA eligibility.

Boston College golfer Brian Butler played in a qualifier on Monday in Wyoming, R.I., for a unique tournament coming June 18, known as the Benrus Open.

The Benrus Open, a par-3 event that will be contested at The Preserve at Boulder Hills, boasts a potential $20 million in cash and prizes. The tournament is open to amateurs, juniors, men, women, professionals and seniors as long as they make the cut in their qualifying round.

One million dollars will be handed out for a hole-in-one during the finals. During qualifying rounds, a hole-in-one is worth $10,000.

Butler aced the 158-yard 18th hole early this week for a 3-over 57 -- good enough for a spot in the finals.

RELATED: PGA Professional driving force behind concept for "Greatest Day in Golf"

However, Butler passed up on the $10,000 prize so not to forfeit his senior season with the Boston College golf team.

"I'm not going to give up my last year of college golf for $10,000," Butler told

I reached out to PGA Professional Troy Pare, Director of Operations at The Preserve.

"We were thrilled to see Brian Butler make a hole in one," Pare said. "But due to NCAA regulations, Brian declined the $10,000 so he could still compete his senior year at Boston College. Brian did earn one of the two final spots for our finals on June 18th. If Brian gets an ace in the finals for $1,000,000, he'll have another decision to make."

Butler declining the prize, as Pare explained, was only due to NCAA rules. The USGA put a new rule in place in recent years that allows golfers to accept hole-in-one prizes without having to relinquish their amateur status.

"The Prize Limit Rule (Rule 3-2) allows a player to accept prize vouchers or merchandise with a value of $750 or less in a golf competition," Bernie Loehr, Director of Amateur Status and the Rules of Golf for the USGA, told me in an email. "However, there is an Exception to the Prize Limit Rule that allows a player who makes a hole-in-one during a round of golf to accept any prize, regardless of its value and retain his amateur status. As this hole-in-one was made during a round of golf, the player could have accepted the $10,000 and not forfeited his amateur status under the USGA Rules of Amateur Status."

Something tells me Butler would take the cool $1 million should he land an ace on June 18.

As a former college senior many years ago, I'd have to say that as great as that year was, it would have been a whole lot more fun with a $1 million bank account. 

May 21, 2015 - 12:25pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
James Morrison
European Tour/Twitter
It's so unfair when a player hits a flagstick and the ball ricochets off the green. Unless you can do what James Morrison did in the BMW PGA Championship today.

Sometimes -- OK, most of the time -- golf just isn't fair.

The latest example came today during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the European Tour's flagship event, when England's James Morrison hit a perfect approach shot, only to watch it nail the flagstick and ricochet off the green.

RELATED: Fantastic hole-in-one celebration | Funny instruction video | Scores: Colonial

What should have been a short putt for birdie at the par-4 15th hole quickly began to look like a challenge for a par.

Thankfully for Morrison, winner of last week's Spanish Open, the Golf Gods have a twisted sense of humor. Moments later, he chipped in for the birdie he deserved.


Well played, Golf Gods. Well played. 

May 21, 2015 - 9:22am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
andrew johnston
European Tour/Twitter
Hole-in-one celebrations are the best -- especially when the pros bring in the fans from outside the ropes like Andrew Johnston did on Thursday in the BMW PGA Championship.

There's nothing more exciting in golf than a hole-in-one.

On Thursday, in the opening round of the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour, England's Andrew Johnston aced the par-3 10th hole at Wentworth. As if the ace wasn't exciting enough for fans, Johnston's celebration was icing on the cake.

RELATED: Colonial leaderboard | Senior PGA Championship leaderboard | Parnevik healthy again

As an elated Johnston walked off the tee, arms in the air, having just scored himself a sweet, new BMW for the "1," he waved a fan inside the ropes and went airborne for a celebratory chest-bump.

Check it out here:


Great celebration, but still not as good as Miguel Angel Jimenez's moonwalk a week ago:

We also loved Zach Johnson's celebration after an ace at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, when he high-fived the galleries lining the ropes.


The best hole-in-one celebration in professional golf caught on camera? I think you'd be hard-pressed to top this one by Rich Beem at the 2007 Nissan Open: 


Miguel Angel Jimenez
European Tour/Twitter
Miguel Angel Jimenez hits his tee shot at No. 14 Thursday at the BMW Championship.

The Mechanic nearly won a new car Thursday.

SHARE YOUR ACE: Add your hole-in-one to #PGAHoleinOne

Miguel Angel Jimenez, also known as the Most Interesting Man in Golf, made things more than interesting in Thursday's first round of the BMW Championship with this tee shot at the 14th hole:





That car has a sticker price of $135,700, so Jimenez would have been on the hook for quite a tax hit. But I think he'd have had no problem coming up with the cash.

DANCING MIGUEL: Jimenez does the cha-cha after eagle hole-out

Thursday's shot was just the latest in a series of Jimenez aces and near-aces this season. One week ago, Jimenez made an ace at the Spanish Open, then did an awesome dance. He also took home 288 bottles of beer, which might not fit in the trunk of that BMW i8.

Apparently Jimenez wasn't the only pin-seeker Thursday. There were two holes-in-once recorded in the tournament. First, Craig Lee made one on the Par-3 second hole. Then Andrew Johnston followed with this beauty -- and a belly bump with a fan: