Golf Buzz

January 3, 2013 - 3:26pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jaime Ortiz-Patino
Getty Images
Jaime Ortiz-Patino (center, holding the Ryder Cup), played a significant role in getting the Ryder Cup to Spain in 1997.

Jaime Ortiz-Patino, the man who created Valderrama in Spain which hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup, passed away this morning at the age of 82.

According to the Reuters report:

Born to Bolivian parents in Paris in June 1930, Ortiz-Patino created the Valderrama course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, in the mid 1980s and was able to lure the Ryder Cup there in 1997, the first time the competition had been held outside the British Isles.

The course was the home of the Volvo Masters between 1988 and 1996 and from 2002 to 2008 and has also hosted the Amex World Championships and the Andalucia Masters.

Known as "Jimmy" to his friends, Ortiz-Patino, whose grandfather was a fabulously wealthy Bolivian tin magnate, amassed a collection of golfing memorabilia that captured the history of the game over 500 years.

The 1997 Ryder Cup was won by Europe under captain Seve Ballesteros.

To read the full report, click here.

January 3, 2013 - 1:05pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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TRUE Linkswear
Courtesy True Linkswear
TRUE Linkswear's 2013 line include updated outsole, women’s and children’s offerings

My friends at TRUE Linkswear shoes have been leaders in bringing the minimalist movement to golf. Their philosophy of efficient design to utilize the anatomical features of the foot as opposed to highly structured and engineered footwear has proven to be a big commercial success. So that's a fancy of way of saying - they design shoes that make you feel as if you're barefoot, but give you the support you need for your golf swing. Tour player Ryan Moore is a part owner of the company - but also wears them while competing. So now they've come out with their 2013 line. Very cool. Here's the release.



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - In just over two years, TRUE linkswear has established itself as the leader in the minimalist footwear movement in golf.  With the launch of its 2013 line - including a new women's shoe and its first children's shoe - TRUE further solidifies its position as one of the game's premier footwear companies.
 
"As the only brand one hundred percent dedicated to spikeless and minimalist golf footwear, we are very excited about launching TRUE's 2013 line, which is our broadest and most innovative yet," said Rob Rigg, co-founder and president of the company.  "The addition of several new styles and platforms makes us confident that there is now an extremely comfortable and versatile TRUE linkswear product for every consumer."
 
Updates from the Ground Up
The heart of the TRUE brand still resides in the minimalist movement emerging in the athletic footwear world. TRUE was the first company to build a golf shoe on a barefoot platform and has become the trend-setter in the minimalist movement in golf. 
 
TRUE is introducing two barefoot platforms in its shoes - the ninja outsole and sensei outsole. The ninja outsole is similar to TRUE's previous Ergo-Traction 2.0 platform, but with added feel and flexibility along with a more technical spike pattern. The sensei outsole, first used in the sensei shoe, features a profile and spike configuration that provide enhanced traction and stability, while maintaining the thinnest sole in golf.
 
New for 2013
TRUE's 2013 line features four new shoe models as well as additional updates and color offerings to its five current styles. 
 
Available this month, the TRUE chukka ($209) features the ninja outsole and comes with a mid-top waterproof leather upper that provides additional protection from the elements along with a leather liner and. It is available in two colors.
 
The TRUE tour ($149) and TRUE stealth ($199) both receive the new ninja outsole for 2013 and they both have a supple premium waterproof leather upper to ensure maximum comfort in all conditions. The stealth comes with leather lining while the tour has a 3-D anti-microbial mesh lining.
 
The TRUE jade ($99) is modeled after the men's TRUE sensei and joins the TRUE isis ($99) in the women's line. Both the jade and isis have women's specific lasts to provide the benefits of barefoot comfort with a slightly narrower toe box and heel. The jade will be available in three color combinations while the isis will be available in seven.
 
TRUE will release the proto, which Ryan Moore wore to victory at the 2012 Justin Timberlake Shriners Open, in February. The TRUE proto ($169) features waterproof leather upper, a 3-D anti-microbial mesh liner, memory foam heel and the sensei outsole. The proto will be available in five color combinations. 
 
In March, TRUE will release the TRUE padwan ($59), the first shoe built on its TRUE barefoot kid's platform. The padwan will have all of the features of the sensei and jade, but will come in children's sizes and two color combinations.
 
The TRUE phx ($99) and TRUE sensei ($99) are back for 2013 in several new color combinations.
 
Ryan Moore will start 2013 wearing the TRUE proto and TRUE sensei at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, HI. 
 
About TRUE linkswear
TRUE linkswear, a Scottsdale-based footwear and apparel company, created the first golf shoe built on a barefoot platform, allowing the golfer to truly "Feel the Course," while enabling them to walk 36 holes right out of the box in total comfort.  TRUE was inspired by the emerging minimalist trend in running, where many shoes have shifted away from highly-engineered structures, such as arch supports and heavily-cushioned heels, to a shoe that better utilizes the anatomical features of the foot. TRUE brings this nature-engineered approach to golf by creating a shoe built on a barefoot platform feature a wide-toe box so toes can function naturally through the swing, which encourages proper weight transfer, balance and natural stability. Only TRUE offers the thinnest sole in golf (2.5mm), while still providing the durability to stand up to the most avid player.  TRUE products are now available at many national retailers, including Golfsmith, PGA TOUR Superstores, Golf Galaxy and GolfTown in Canada.  For more information, visit www.truelinkswear.com. 
January 3, 2013 - 11:34am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Rory McIlroy
Getty Images
Rory McIlroy knows that hard feelings are likely to result no matter which flag he chose to play under in the Olympics.

It's still several years before golf makes its return to the Olympic Games in 2016, but already world No. 1 Rory McIlroy is giving serious thought to staying home.

Why? McIlroy might skip the Olympics to avoid the controversy already being generated by the decision over which country he would play for. As a native of Northern Ireland, he – and compatriot Graeme McDowell – are eligible to play for either Ireland or Great Britain, and hard feelings are likely to result no matter what.

"I just think being from where we're from, we're placed in a very difficult position. I feel Northern Irish and obviously being from Northern Ireland you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK," McIlroy told the BBC for an upcoming documentary about his 2012 season.

"If I could and there was a Northern Irish team, I'd play for Northern Ireland," he said. "Play for one side or the other, or not play at all because I may upset too many people… Those are my three options I'm considering very carefully."

Back in 2009, McIlroy said he would "probably play for Great Britain," but he and McDowell both have been treading carefully around the issue since the day golf was voted back into the Olympics.

"People tune in to watch me play on TV and feel like they are connected to me in some way," McIlroy told the BBC. "I don't want to repay them for their support with something they don't want me to do."

Also in the documentary, he discusses what happened on the Sunday morning of the Ryder Cup, when he almost missed his tee time and had to hitch a ride with a police officer to make it on time.

"I have never been as worried, as nervous or as panicked going to the golf course," he said.

January 2, 2013 - 2:50pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Karen Stupples
Karen Stupples via Twitter
LPGA Tour player Karen Stupples kicked off her 2013 by revealing the results of her recent weight-loss program.

I'd venture a guess that many of us woke up this morning thinking about the pounds we ought to shed after our holiday season (or year or lifetime) of indulging. Not LPGA Tour player Karen Stupples.

Stupples tweeted a photo of herself today showing us in dramatic fashion how much weight she's lost.

"I look a bit tired in this picture but these trousers I wore in the Solheim Cup...bit of a size difference!," she said in a major understatement. That Solheim Cup, by the way, was in September of 2011, meaning she's lost all that weight in the span of a year and a half or so.

"I want it to give hope to everyone who made a resolution to get in shape," tweeted Stupples, a native of England who will turn 40 in June. "For 4 and a half years I struggled to lose a pound but finally got my head together and started to make the right choices wasn't easy but it's very possible :-) good luck everyone."

Stupples didn't specify how much weight she's lost or how she went about it, other than her comment about making the right choices. Whatever she did, she is to be commended for her effort and diligence, especially considering she's the mother of a five-year-old son.

Fitness experts often say that keeping weight off after a dramatic loss can be as difficult as taking it off in the first place. But it can be done – LPGA Tour fans see it regularly in Cristie Kerr, who was overweight in her younger days but dropped something like 60 pounds and has successfully kept it off for more than a decade, all the while becoming one of the world's top female players.

And now I feel like absolute crap for all the goodies I scarfed down over the holidays. I'll start exercising again, I promise – as soon as I finish off that box of peppermint bark that keeps calling my name. Meanwhile, Karen, can I borrow your fat pants?

January 1, 2013 - 8:13pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson via Twitter
This photo that Bubba Watson tweeted out a few days ago was the first indication that Watson was changing apparel companies.

Earlier Tuesday, I posted an item on Nike's signing of Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley, but they are just two big-league players whose changes for 2013 are becoming public.

Perhaps the biggest news outside of Watney's move from Titleist to Nike is that Bubba Watson has left Travis Mathew and signed with Oakley. Watson's success over the past three years – in particular his victory at the Masters – helped boost Travis Mathew into the upper echelons of the golf apparel world, at least in terms of visibility.

And Oakley, we all know, was ripe to sign a new superstar, having just lost Rory McIlroy. Already this offseason, Oakley had signed Zach Johnson, and there is speculation that the company could unveil another apparel ambassador over the next few weeks. Oakley, however, has yet to issue any kind of official statement regarding Watson.

Travis Mathew, for its part, will roll out its new lineup of endorsements between Jan. 4 and Jan. 11, according to a release it issued on Monday.

The first hint that Watson was making a move came in the photo posted above, which he tweeted from Hawaii on Dec. 29. In it, eagle-eyed apparel watchers note, Watson is wearing an Oakley shirt and has Oakley sunglasses propped up on his visor as he warms up for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. There was some initial speculation that the photo itself drove a wedge between Watson and Travis Mathew, but the company says the split was in the works long before the photo was taken.

Also, we have learned that:

--Chris Kirk has gone from Titleist to Callaway
--Gary Woodland has gone from Titleist to Callaway
--2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink has gone from Nike over to TaylorMade
--2010 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover also has gone from Nike over to TaylorMade
--2012 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year John Huh has gone from Ping to TaylorMade
--Ryan Moore has gone from Adams Golf over to TaylorMade (TaylorMade owns Adams Golf, so this is an in-house move)

 

 

January 1, 2013 - 3:06pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Kyle Stanley and Nick Watney
Courtesy of Nike Golf
Nike revealed its two new signings in a special announcement on New Year's Day.

The folks at Nike Golf aren't taking it easy on New Year's Day. Instead of sleeping in, the Swoosh has announced that it has signed Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley away from Titleist.

Stanley's story -- crushing defeat at Torrey Pines followed the very next week by a redemptive victory in Phoenix -- is a great one, but Watney is the big story here. He's a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, with the most recent of those coming at the Barclays, the first event of the 2012 FedExCup playoffs. And, of course, he won the FedExCup in 2011.

Watney, ranked No. 20 in the world, is making the first equipment switch of his 10-year pro career, Nike said. He will play a full bag of Nike clubs, use Nike accessories and wear Nike gloves, headwear, footwear and apparel as part of his multi-year agreement with the company.

In Watney's bag will be:

--VR_S Covert driver with 11.5 degrees of loft and in a neutral position
--VR_S Covert 3-wood with 14 degrees of loft
--VR_S Covert 5-wood with 18 degrees of loft
--VR Pro Combo irons (3-PW)
--VR Pro 55-degree and 59-degree wedges
--Method Prototype putter
--20XI ball
--Tour Performance Collection apparel
--Lunar Control II footwear

Stanley also has signed a multiyear deal to use Nike gear and wear Nike apparel. His bag will include:

--VR_S Covert driver with 9.5 degrees of loft and in a neutral position
--VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood with 15 degrees of loft
--VR Pro Combo 2-iron
--VR Pro Blades (3- to 9-irons)
--Nike VR Pro 52-degree, 56-degree and 60-degree wedges
--20XI X putter
--Tour Performance Collection apparel
--Lunar Control II footwear

A few quick notes:

--Watney's 11.5 degrees of loft in his driver is the most loft of any top-level PGA Tour player that I'm aware of. Watney, who is switching to Nike from Titleist, had been using a 10.5-degree loft in his Titleist 913D3 driver.

--The list of Stanley's gear that Nike released doesn't include a putter. It's possible that he hasn't definitely decided on a new Nike model yet, but it's also possible that he's planning to stick with an old reliable putter of a different brand. I'm not sure what he's been using lately, but when he won the Phoenix Open last February, he used a Scotty Cameron Timeless GSS prototype.

--Both Watney and Stanley are scheduled to debut their new stuff in the PGA Tour's season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, which starts this Friday in Hawaii.

--And finally, one more intriguing tidbit to start the new year. Nike is planning another announcement next Monday, Jan. 7, and the speculation is, of course, that it will be the official word on Rory McIlroy's much-reported switch to the Swoosh.

Update: Also, we have learned that:

--Chris Kirk has gone from Titleist to Callaway
--Gary Woodland has gone from Titleist to Callaway
--2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink has gone from Nike over to TaylorMade
--2010 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover also has gone from Nike over to TaylorMade
--2012 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year John Huh has gone from Ping to TaylorMade
--Ryan Moore has gone from Adams Golf over to TaylorMade (TaylorMade owns Adams Golf, so this is an in-house move)