Golf Buzz

August 30, 2012 - 7:48pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Cheyenne Woods
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Cheyenne Woods got much of her early golf knowledge from her uncle Earl Woods, Tiger's father.

Tiger Woods’ niece Cheyenne Woods earned her first victory a professional tournament on Thursday, winning by an easy four shots in this week's 54-hole event on the Suncoast Ladies Series at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"Congrats to my niece Cheyenne on winning her first professional event on SunCoast Ladies Series Tour!," 'Uncle Tiger' tweeted soon after she won. "Won by 4, very proud."

Her victory came a week after she finished second in the Suncoast Series’ previous event.

Cheyenne graduated last spring from Wake Forest, where she led the women’s team with a 73.7 scoring average. She had one top-5 finish and three top-10s in 10 starts in 2011-2012, after capturing the Atlantic Coast Conference title in the spring of 2011.

Cheyenne, 22, is the daughter of Earl Woods Jr., Tiger’s older brother. Her Xavier College Preparatory golf team in Phoenix won the Arizona 5A State Championship in both 2006 and 2007. Earlier this summer, she missed the cut in the Wegmans LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open, then tied for 50th in the Evian Masters.

August 30, 2012 - 5:36pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Callaway X Utility Prototype iron
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
Callaway's new X Utility irons are forged from 1020 carbon steel and contain removable sole weights that allow players to make swingweight adjustments.

In an era when more and more players are taking long irons out of their bags, it was quite refreshing to see Callaway Golf introduce its X Utility Prototype irons to its players on tour this summer. They’re proving so popular among the pros that Callaway has decided to bring them to retail – they’ll be available at select retailers on Dec. 1 and, presumably, more widely next spring.

Famed club designer Roger Cleveland created the X Utility irons – there are three, in lofts of 18, 21 and 24 degrees – and they were seeded to Callaway staff pros ahead of the U.S. Open. Players from Phil Mickelson to Branden Grace put some of them in their bags, and their real breakthrough came when Ernie Els used all three to win the British Open at Royal Lytham.

“I didn’t expect the [PGA Tour] players to gravitate much towards the 24-degree version,” said Cleveland. “I thought that loft would more address the needs of the Champions Tour, LPGA and skilled amateur golfers, but the guys on the PGA Tour put them right into play. Ernie Els immediately adopted all three and asked, ‘Where is the rest of the set?’”
 
The X Utility irons are forged from 1020 carbon steel, and contain a tungsten sole to precisely dial in the Center of Gravity location as well as a high-strength maraging steel face that promotes high ball speeds. Each iron also features removable sole weights that range from two to eight grams in two-gram increments that allow players to make swingweight adjustments to fit their individual length, shaft and grip options. 

“Many players have replaced their long irons with hybrids, which are easier to hit, but the X Utility protoypes offer a level of precision that our tour staff has been very pleased with, plus these clubs offer a tighter dispersion than hybrids on mis-hits,” said Luke Williams, Callaway’s Global Director of Woods and Irons. “The amount of excitement that our X Utility prototype irons have generated on Tour and among the avid followers of golf equipment has been overwhelming.”

The X Utility prototype irons will carry an introductory retail price of $199 per club with steel shafts and $229 with graphite shafts.

August 30, 2012 - 1:18pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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Jack Nicklaus
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Jack Nicklaus hopes to create a pilot program for future veteran services with his redesign of American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Tacoma, Washington.

 

Golf can be a wonderful rejuvenating gift, especially after sickness or injury. That is important point to remember during this Patriot Golf Day weekend.  

 

Whether it’s Harmon Heroes, Butch Harmon’s charity that helps wounded veterans get their lives back, or David Feherty’s work with the Troops First Foundation, the stars of our game do yeoman’s work to support our servicemen and their families. 

 

Jack Nicklaus has long led the way on that front. 

 

An avid supporter of American service personnel, Jack is now involved in making golf more accessible to those wounded in combat by donating design services to the American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Tacoma, Washington.  

 

Home of the 2nd Ranger Battalion / 75th Ranger Regiment, the Tacoma veterans’ hospital at American Lake built a 9-hole golf course shortly after World War II. In 1995, the VA eliminated funding for the course, so volunteers stepped in and kept the thing afloat. In 2004, the Friends of American Lake Golf Course foundation was founded to fund the course and underwrite plans to improve and modify it to accommodate handicapped as well as able-bodied veterans.  

 

Tacoma native Ken Still, winner of three tour events and member of the 1969 Ryder Cup team, introduced Jack to American Lake Veterans Golf Course, and Jack immediately jumped on board. 

 

"Golf has been a wonderful outlet for the men and women of our military who return from combat, many of whom are disabled," Nicklaus said. "(American Lake Veterans Golf Course) is the only course in America designed specifically for the rehabilitation of our wounded and disabled veterans.  You would not believe the stories of how golf has helped these veterans transition back into the mainstream, how the healing powers of golf have given these soldiers purpose, and helped them regain their lives and happiness."

 

Not only is Nicklaus Design donating services, Jack hopes this will become a pilot program for the more than 150 VA hospitals around the country.  

 

 

August 30, 2012 - 10:07am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Ryder Cup

 

Juniors have a great opportunity come Ryder Cup week at Medinah in late September.
 
For the first time in history, juniors age 17 and under, will be admitted free of charge to Ryder Cup practice rounds on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 25-27), as long as they're accompanied by a ticketed adult. 
 
This is all part of The PGA of America's ongoing mission to grow the game and to provide great family entertainment value. 
 
August 30, 2012 - 1:03am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Black Diamond Ranch
Courtesy of Black Diamond Ranch
Sheer limestone cliffs are a unique feature of the Quarry Course at Black Diamond Ranch.

The Tampa Bay area has been getting plenty of attention this week, thanks first to Hurricane Isaac and then to the Republican National Convention. About 75 miles up the coast in Lecanto, Fla., however, is something else that warrants a headline – a multimillion-dollar renovation of the famed Black Diamond Ranch golf community in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of its creation in 1987.

Few golf facilities in the Southeast can match the topographical diversity of Black Diamond Ranch, the three-course complex best known as the home of course architect Tom Fazio’s famed Quarry Course. Unlike any other course in Florida, it was cut out of an abandoned limestone quarry and features a series of dramatic elevation changes prompted by sheer 80-foot cliffs plunging into lakes. It has consistently been ranked one of "America's 100 Greatest Courses" by Golf Digest and among the "Top 100 Courses in the U.S." by GOLF Magazine.

"Our goal is to build on Black Diamond's world-class reputation to ensure the club's long-term sustainability and exclusivity," said David McDonald, president of Escalante Golf, which bought the complex in March of 2011. "The comprehensive masterplan demonstrates a continuing commitment to our existing members, and is a point of pride and emphasis in attracting new members and residents who share our vision and values."

The project, which is just beginning, includes a major clubhouse redesign; numerous golf course enhancements including bunker renovations, course lengthening and amenity upgrades; and new residential products and memberships. The clubhouse’s new interior design features upgrades to the dining facilities, boardrooms, outdoor patios, flooring, furniture and mechanical systems. The second phase of the project will focus on the golf shop, retail environment and locker rooms.

Course architect David Whelchel has been hired to identify opportunities to lengthen and modernize the Quarry Course, as well as the complementary Highlands Course and Ranch Course. His improvements begin with the redesign and reconstruction of all 208 bunkers throughout the three courses and practice facilities.

For more on Black Diamond Ranch, click here.

August 29, 2012 - 3:34pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Odyssey ProType Black putter
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
The new ProType Black putters from Odyssey feature black heads, shafts and grips.

Odyssey has enjoyed great success this year with its ProType line of putters, and is now rolling out the latest additions to the top-of-the-line collection.

The new ProType Black designs incorporate feedback from hundreds of tour professionals worldwide and, says Odyssey, offer "an unprecedented integration of look, sound and feel."

Upon first glance, the most distinctive aspect of the new putters is their color – stealth black. The heads feature a black PVD finish, the steel shafts have a black powder coat, and the grips are black and seamless. 

The heads are milled from 1025 Carbon Steel that, says Odyssey, performs like stainless steel but with a softer feel. The face of each putter features a deep, sharp milling pattern designed to increase interaction between the face and the ball for better feel, a truer roll and increased consistency.

“Our new ProType Black putters may be the coolest, most premium designs we’ve ever developed,” said Odyssey Principal Designer Austie Rollinson. “The ProType Black line is born from feedback given by the world’s best players, which yielded features such as thinner top lines and thicker faces, and the forged-milled 1025 Carbon Steel offers a uniquely soft feel.”

The ProType Black line will arrive at retail on Oct. 12 in three models -- #2 (a blade with a squared-off heel and toe), #9 (a blade with more of a rounded head) and 2-Ball.  The new product introduction retail price for the blade models is $269 and $299 for the 2-Ball.