Golf Buzz

June 12, 2014 - 12:34pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Phil Mickelson
USA Today Sports Images
Phil Mickelson has a thing for wowing us with flop shots. On Thursday in the first round of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, he did it again.

As we all know, Phil Mickelson has a thing for hitting flop shots -- he hit a crazy one just last week in Memphis.

Today, Lefty did it again.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage

Playing the par-4 third hole at Pinehurst No. 2 in the first round of the U.S. Open, Mickelson was just right of the green with a tight lie after his approach shot.

After surveying his options, Mickelson -- who, with a win this week would complete the career grand slam -- proceeded to do this:



Then he made the putt for a routine par.

Mickelson is the fan-favorite this week at Pinehurst, where he finished second to Payne Stewart in 1999.

Remember when he did this to Callaway Golf's Roger Cleveland? A flop-shot over the head.




The flop shot isn't exactly easy to hit. Like Mickelson, you've got to have supreme confidence in your abilities. If you'd like to work on it, check out this instructional video by PGA Professional Brian Manzella, who demonstrates how to position your body -- and club -- to play the shot:

June 12, 2014 - 11:56am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods
USA Today Images
Tiger Woods isn't playing in the U.S. Open this week, but one rumor suggests it doesn't mean he won't be at Pinehurst No. 2 spectating with NBA legend Michael Jordan.

If rumors are true, Pinehurst No. 2 might have some pretty famous spectators on hand for the 114th U.S. Open this week.

George Willis, a columnist for the New York Post, tweeted this on Wednesday:



Can you imagine Tiger Woods at a U.S. Open that he's not playing in? I can't. Michael Jordan shouldn't be too much of a surprise. He's a well-documented golf fan and has attended many big-time tournaments. He's a regular at the Ryder Cup.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage

If this does come to fruition... they're going to have to be allowed inside the ropes, right?

We'll keep you posted on any developments. 

June 12, 2014 - 10:08am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf, instruction, U.S. Open, Pinehurst No. 2
Hybrids and fairway woods around the greens -- instead of wedges -- will be a common theme this week at the U.S. Open.

We're only a few hours into the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 and there have already been a number of players electing to use a hybrid or fairway wood near the greens instead of a wedge.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage

Do you know how to play the shot? The goal is to keep the ball low to the ground and rolling for better control. That's essential on tightly-mown areas and lightening-fast greens.

In this instructional video, PGA Teaching Professional Mark Sheftic from Merion Golf Club -- site of the 2013 U.S. Open -- demonstrates how to utilize a hybrid in your short game:



June 12, 2014 - 7:17am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
Dave Shedloski
Rickie Fowler -- like the late 1999 U.S. Open champ Payne Stewart -- is known for his wild outfits. On Thursday at Pinehurst No. 2, Fowler did his best to resemble and pay tribute to his favorite player.

Golf World Magazine contributor Dave Shedloski (@DaveShedloski) tweeted a cool picture of Rickie Fowler on the practice green this morning ahead of his first round at Pinehurst No. 2 in the U.S. Open.

Fowler -- a fashion icon to the younger generation of golf fans -- paid homage to another fashion icon in the late Payne Stewart, the 1999 U.S. Open champ.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage

Stewart was known for his clothes, which always included the Plus-4 knickers. With that, Fowler decided to emulate the same look Thursday, complete with the argyle socks.

"This week you can't help but think about Payne Stewart and his win at the '99 U.S. Open," said Fowler in a release sent out by COBRA PUMA Golf. "I thought wearing the knickers, a look he was so famous for, would be a nice way to honor and remember such a huge golf icon, and someone I've always admired and looked up to. He had such an impact on the game both on and off the course; always gracious, win or lose. We will all be thinking about him this week." 

Very cool gesture by Fowler.

Fowler sent out this tweet early Thursday:


Jason Day and Sergio Garcia US Open golf bags
TaylorMade via Twitter
Jason Day and Sergio Garcia are just two of the TaylorMade players whose U.S. Open bags are celebrating Father's Day.

As has become a tradition, the U.S. Open ends on Father's Day again this year. And a few players have decorated their bags to mark the occasion.

Jason Day is a relatively new father, and he's got his almost-2-year-old son Dash's name embroidered onto the belly of his U.S. Open bag, as you can see in the photo above. 

Sergio Garcia has gone a step farther. He's got his dad Victor's name emblazoned on his bag – and he's festooned his bag in the colors of his native Spain to celebrate the World Cup.

U.S. OPEN: Follow the proceedings at Pinehurst with our leaderboard and complete coverage

If you're looking for a common link between the two bags, it's that both are from TaylorMade. Day and Garcia are just two of the TaylorMade contingent at Pinehurst whose bags will honor fathers and sons this week. It'll be fun to keep an eye out and try to spot the others.

And no, if you're asking, that's not Jason in the photo of his bag above – he was actually standing off to the right when the shot was taken.


Who has the best swing, Getty,, USA Today and USA Today
From left to right, Wayne Gretzky, Charles Barkley, Ken Griffey Jr., Bo Jackson and Peyton Manning.

Let's have a little fun.

We've had the opportunity here at to be able to get some golf swings of some major stars in other sports, and we wanted to put them on display for you to take a look at.

Not to judge - everyone's swing is different and even humongous sports stars have feelings - but to simply vote on which swing you think is smoothest. 

WATCH: More than 200 golf instructional videos | How to add power and distance

And it's a pretty impressive lineup of athletes here.

We have who many consider the best hockey player in the history of the game, Wayne Gretzky, also tied to PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson through his daughter Paulina (who was also on the cover of Golf Digest). There is Charles Barkley, a Hall of Fame NBA player and also one of the biggest names the sport has ever produced.

Ken Griffey Jr., currently No. 6 on the all-time home run list. Bo Jackson, one of the most talented athletes of our time. And Peyton Manning, the QB's QB and certain NFL Hall of Famer when and if he decides to retire.

Again, this isn't science. This is fun. We don't have a huge sampling of swings, so we used short clips you'll see below. Take a look below and vote. We'll let everyone vote for a week and then publish the results. Thanks for playing.