Golf Buzz

December 3, 2012 - 12:10am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup
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The next time Graeme McDowell is pouring drinks, it might be at his new tavern in Orlando.

Well, maybe they will be next time.

Every time he wins a tournament, Graeme McDowell has a tradition. "I always call Rathmore, my home golf course" in Northern Ireland, and tell them that the drinks are on him, McDowell said Sunday afternoon after he won Tiger Woods' World Challenge for the second time in three seasons.

"It's a bit late there now. What is it, 11:35? I was going to say it's not too early for those boys, believe me," he noted. "Hopefully my dad will make a phone call and we'll shed the boys a few drinks and shed the boys a few drinks at Lake Nona."

However, we learned this week, McDowell is opening his own tavern at Lake Nona in Orlando.

"Thankfully it's not open yet, so I'll save a few dollars this time around," joked McDowell, who is also in the final stages of building what he calls his dream house at Lake Nona.

The combination bar and restaurant will be called Nona Blue, and McDowell is partnering with a company called Bistro Concepts LLC to bring it to fruition. It will be in the Lake Nona Village shopping center, between the entrances to Lake Nona Golf & Country Club and NorthLake Park, and McDowell said he hopes it'll open sometime in January.

"Traditionally, it may be drinks on the house at Nona Blue when I win a tournament," he said. And we can only hope he doesn't go another two years before his next victory.

December 2, 2012 - 1:08pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa
Courtesy of CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa
The clubhouse overlooking the Greg Norman-designed course at the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla received a major refreshment.

The unique CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa on the Caribbean island of Anguilla is back in business following a three-month, $15 million renovation to the property.

"We're seeing a strong renewed interest in CuisinArt in the U.S. market as a result of the recent renovations," General Manager Stephanie Zaharia told Travel Weekly. "There's steady growth, as well, in the Canadian and South American markets."

The 11,000-square-foot clubhouse at the resort's $50 million Greg Norman-designed 18-hole golf course received part of the upgrade, and the resort's entrance was reconfigured to offer more expansive views of the course and the ocean beyond.

In addition, the 275-acre beachfront property's 93 guest rooms received new furnishings, LCD TVs, Bose Wave music systems, Nespresso makers and other enhancements. The resort also opened Anguilla's first Japanese restaurant, called Tokyo Bay. Another new restaurant, Italia, has opened in the golf clubhouse, while the menus at Cafe Mediterraneo, Beach Grill and the AAA Four Diamond-rated Le Bistro at Santorini all have been updated.

CuisinArt's winter rates start at $875 per night, though a variety of promotional plans and packages are available.

For more information, visit

December 1, 2012 - 1:10pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Dead Men's Clubs by Charlie Ryan

I don't know about you, but I'm way behind in my reading these days – so much for this being the slow season in golf. If you're looking for something light and golf-related to tackle over the holidays, you might check out 'Dead Men's Clubs,' a new golf novel by Charlie Ryan.

The book tells the story of Munch Malone, a 70-year-old seriously inept golfer who lives on Hilton Head and draws some unlikely attention from beyond the grave. It seems that two formerly scratch golfers – both quite deceased – want nothing more than to keep playing their beloved game. To do so, they need to find a golfer back here on Earth through whom they can tee it up.

Eventually, they locate Malone, and slowly take over his golf game. First, Malone begins to buy some reconditioned clubs that once belonged to the deceased duo. With each club purchase, his game gets better and better – first he wins his club championship, then eventually qualifies to play in the USGA Senior Amateur at the Greenbrier.

There are, a press release says, a number of twists and turns along the way, as Malone faces a number of obstacles in his quest to win the Senior Am, not the least of which is a plot to steal his divinely inspired sticks.

'Dead Men's Clubs' is available in both soft cover and e-edition at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It retails for $20.99 for paperback and $6.95 for Kindle edition on Amazon, while at Barnes & Noble it goes for $20.99 for paperback and $5.97 for Nook edition.

November 30, 2012 - 4:11pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Baboon at Nedbank
From The Golf Channel
The world's best golfers are no challenge for the spotlight (or the sandwich) for this baboon.

Camera shots of the crowd, the water, a cute kid, etc...are standard for golf coverage.  In the business, they are called "cut aways" and they always add some flavor to a pretty standard routine of covering sports.  

But sometimes, that flavor becomes part of the coverage - such as Friday's incident of a baboon running onto the golf course and then "monkey-ing" around with a cameraman's lunch and golf cart.  And to that we say...."Awesome."

Watch the baboon invade the course, steal a sandwich and consider going for a drive.   

November 30, 2012 - 12:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Odyssey Metal-X Arm Lock putter
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
The Odyssey Metal-X Arm Lock putters allow golfers to brace the shaft against their lead forearm, which would be legal under the proposed ban on anchoring putters.

Well, somebody was clearly planning ahead -- a mere 48 hours after the USGA and R&A announced their proposed ban on anchoring putters, Odyssey Golf unveiled its new Metal-X Arm Lock Putters. According to Odyssey, the new long-shafted putters conform to the anticipated ruling and offer an alternative method of stabilizing the putter through a natural-feeling extension of the golfer's arm.

''We have been working toward solutions for the proposed ban on the anchoring technique for some time now, and working with our Tour players, have identified an alternative and Tour-proven putting method,'' said Odyssey Golf Global Director Chris Koske. ''We're now moving quickly to deliver the Arm Lock products that promote a stable and consistent putting stroke for both professionals and amateur golfers.''

The Metal-X Arm Lock Putter will be available initially in two models, the Metal-X #7 and the Metal-X DART. The specs of these two putters have been optimized through research and testing, said Odyssey, which explained that they allow golfers to extend the shaft and grip up their lead forearm for more consistent performance and control through the stroke.

''We have more Tour players around the world playing and winning with Odyssey putters than any other company,'' said Odyssey Principal Designer Austie Rollinson. ''We worked closely with many of them to dial in the new Arm Lock Putters to ensure they perform at the highest level.''

The Arm Lock Putters will be available at retail in January 2013, and will carry an introductory retail price of $189.99.

November 30, 2012 - 12:00pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods might be third in the world ranking, but he remains No. 1 when it comes to sponsorship value, according to a new study.

Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship, captured the money titles on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, and stretched out his lead as the world's top-ranked golfer.

About the only thing he didn't do was knock Tiger Woods off the top of the golf sponsorship heap.

Woods generated $18.9 million in media value for his sponsors, Nike Golf and Fuse Science, during U.S. golf telecasts this year, the most of any golfer, according to Forbes. The bulk of that value -- $18.1 million -- belonged to Nike, based on a Repucom formula that quantifies the time a logo spends on-screen as well as its clarity and the cost to reach that audience.

The reason for that, of course, is that Nike essentially has a clean sponsorship deal with Woods – meaning that Nike commands virtually all of Woods' advertising space. The Fuse Science logo appears only on his golf bag.

"Tiger's generally strong, consistent play, combined with him simply getting coverage because he is Tiger Woods, generated tremendous value for his sponsors," Repucom executive Peter Laatz told Forbes.

McIlroy finished a distant second in the sponsorship derby, generating $12.9 million worth of value for his backers, which include Jumeirah Golf Estates, Oakley, Titleist, FootJoy and Audemars Piguet. He seems very likely to move closer to Woods in value generation next year, Forbes believes, if – as is widely speculated – McIlroy signs an equipment deal worth more than $200 million over 10 years.

Rounding out the top five in the Repucom survey are Phil Mickelson ($11.8 million), Jim Furyk ($8.5 million) and Louis Oosthuizen ($8.2 million).

One other interesting note in Forbes' report: Repucom found that Woods remains the game's most popular player, with 45 percent of people in a survey putting him at the top of their list. Mickelson is a close second at 42 percent, with Bubba Watson third at 23 percent, Fred Couples fourth at 19 percent and McIlroy fifth at 16 percent.

"McIlroy is an interesting case because he has not caught on as much as one might think with the American public. But he is certainly trending upward," Laatz told Forbes.