Golf Buzz

March 12, 2015 - 10:46am
mark.aumann's picture
Morton Madsen
European Tour/YouTube
Morton Orum Madsen celebrates after his ace.

Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen had a two-hole closing stretch Thursday at the Tshwane Open that he won't soon forget. He recorded back-to-back eagles -- one a hole-in-one -- at Pretoria Country Club to finish with a 63.

ACES APLENTY: Virginia Tech golf coach makes two in three-hole stretch

On the par-3 eighth hole -- playing about 135 yards -- Madsen hit this perfect wedge shot that landed behind the hole and then made a beeline for the cup:

 

 

Some golfers might have a letdown on the next hole. Not Madsen. The 26-year-old native of Denmark promptly eagled the 549-yard par-5 ninth to close out a great day at the office.

SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS: Share your hole-in-one story on social media with #PGAace

If a bogey on the last hole of your round may make for a sleepless night, imagine how restful you'll feel after going eagle-eagle.

March 12, 2015 - 9:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf celebration
YouTube
We all love a good celebration after holing an important putt, but this might be a bit over the top.

On of the great things about golf is that there's always a shot or putt to get excited about no matter your level of ability.

But this? This celebration for what looks like nothing more than a 10-foot putt might be a bit much (h/t Golf.com).

The video was posted to YouTube on March 8 and is said to have happened at The Dragon's Tooth golf course in Fort William, Scotland.

 

RELATED: Va. Tech golf coach snags two aces in three holes | Monster alligator

My best guess is that the course was closed that day due to rain -- note the overflow of water in the bunker. And that guy? I'm just going to assume he's Dragon Tooth's version of Carl Spackler in Caddyshack (he certainly has the look down) and was sneaking in a few holes because he didn't think "the really heavy stuff's comin' down for quite a while."

We're used to seeing winners of the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco Championship take a plunge in Poppie's Pond... but at least that's a pond -- and that's after they win the tournament.

So, all around, strange but funny celebration from Scotland's Spackler.

Here's a look at some of the otherwise stunning views that sweep across Dragon's Tooth, which -- according to its website -- was named No. 1 in Scotland's Best 9-hole Golf Courses by Bunkered Magazine in 2013. 

 

Carol Robertson
Carol Robertson had five career holes-in-one until Monday – when she made two more in quick order.
We've featured several memorable hole-in-one stories here on PGA.com lately, and we're always looking for more. Here's another feat that belongs in the pantheon of the unforgettable.
 
On Monday, Carol Robertson, the women's golf coach at Virginia Tech, was playing at Celebration Golf Club near Disney World in Orlando, Florida, when she made not one but two holes-in-one. And, according to Dan Steinberg at The Washington Post, she did so in the span of a mere three holes.
 
The first one came on the par-3 third hole, but no one – she was playing with Assistant Coach Russell Abbott and two of her Hokies players – saw the ball actually go into the hole because the cup was obscured from their view. 
 
The group got to stage a true celebration at Celebration two holes later, on the 162-par, par-3 fifth hole. Making the occasion even more memorable was that Robertson joked about making another one before she hit her shot.
 
 
"I play par 3s pretty fast," she told her playing partners. "I'll just go ahead and make a 1 on this one, too."
 
Even she didn't think it would actually happen, though. And when it did, the entire foursome erupted. 
 
"I just kind of dropped my club and hit the ground," Robertson said. "Everybody's just high-fiving, getting their cameras out, taking pictures."
 
And while her two-aces-in-a-three-hole stretch is obviously a once-in-a-lifetime feat, Robertson is no stranger to stellar golf.
 
 
She came to Virginia Tech from Old Dominion in the summer of 2013 to start the women's golf program after an outstanding playing career that included winning the 2006 Virginia State Amateur Championship and reaching the finals of the 2010 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur. She was a two-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year at James Madison, and won the conference championship in 2003.
 
In addition, her father, Charles Green, is a past president of the Virginia State Golf Association. Her older brother Chuck played collegiately at Washington and Lee, while her younger brother, Garland was a four-year letter winner on the Hokie men's golf team.
 
Even so, she still hasn't gotten over her amazing accomplishment
 
"You just know they're so rare to begin with, but for it to happen two times in one round?," she told Steinberg. "You just never give up, because you never know when they're coming."
 
TaylorMade Aeroburner iron and mini driver
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The small-headed TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver is for players who'd rather tee off with a 3-wood, while the AeroBurner irons are designed to create more distance.
 
TaylorMade unveiled its new AeroBurner driver and fairway woods back last fall – and the driver won three PGA Tour events in the last two weeks (Dustin Johnson at Doral, Alex Cejka in Puerto Rico and Padraig Harrington at the Honda Classic).
 
So the timing is perfect for the company to roll out the rest of the AeroBurner family – a Mini Driver, irons and two versions of an AeroBurner ball. 
 
The AeroBurner Mini Driver follows the successful launch of the SLDR Mini Driver, and is designed for players who prefer to hit tee shots with a 3-wood instead of a traditional driver. It also can serve as a replacement for the 3-wood.
 
"The SLDR Mini Driver captivated golfers on all skill levels by delivering better 3-wood performance from the tee," said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's Senior Director of Metalwood Creation. "With AeroBurner, we've now designed a metalwood that delivers even more speed and forgiveness to this new, popular club type."
 
 
The AeroBurner Mini Driver has a 253cc head (as opposed to the full-size 460cc heads on most drivers) and a 43.5-inch shaft, and TaylorMade's engineers say the club builds on everything they learned in creating the SLDR Mini. 
 
It's got a new aerodynamic shape with a shallow face designed to help get the ball up in the air, as well as a low-forward center of gravity to launch the ball on a boring trajectory. The head has a raised center crown and a hosel has a new fin to help maximize clubhead speed during the downswing. 
 
And like the rest of the AeroBurner metalwoods, the Mini Driver features the biggest open channel Speed Pocket of any TaylorMade metalwood in company history, which helps increase the size of the sweetspot while reducing spin. The club also has a new matte white finish, a black PVD face and linear crown graphic.
 
The Mini Driver will be available in both standard and TP models; the TP edition, for better players, is designed with a longer hosel, flatter lie angle and more open face angle. The standard version comes in three loft options (12, 14 and 16 degrees), while the TP comes in 12- and 4-degree options.  
 
The standard Mini will have a suggested retail price of $279 with a lightweight Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 shaft, while the TP will have a suggested retail price of $349 with a Matrix Ozik White Tie 70X4 shaft. Both will be available at retail on March 27.
 
AeroBurner Irons
 
TaylorMade calls its AeroBurner irons "the ultimate distance iron," and explains that its engineers have optimized loft and center of gravity placement for consistent, powerful shotmaking from any lie. And by incorporating Speed Pockets, the long-bladed heads can promote higher launch angles and more ball speed on well-struck shots while also protecting ball speed on shots hit low on the face for more consistency on mis-hits.
 
 
Aesthetically, the AeroBurner irons feature a dark, matte head finish like that on TaylorMade's recent SpeedBlade irons. The darker finish reduces glare off the clubface while delivering a sleek look. 
 
The new irons will be available at retail on March 18. A standard eight-piece set (3-iron through pitching wedge) equipped with stock REAX 88 High Launch steel shafts will have a suggested retail price of $699, while a set with REAX 60 graphite shafts will have a suggested retail price of $799 in stiff, regular, senior or ladies flex. 
 
AeroBurner Soft and Pro Golf Balls
 
Created for the majority of golfers with mid to high handicaps, the AeroBurner Soft golf ball is TaylorMade's softest two-piece ball and was engineered to deliver distance with stopping power. The company calls the AeroBurner Soft "a distance balls that actually stops," and says it delivers high greenside spin to help amateur players where they need it most.
 
The keys to its performance are its new, softer REACT Core for greater ball speed on all shots and Low-Drag Performance Aerodynamics 342 high-lift, low drag dimple pattern, which was designed to launch high and sustain flight. 
 
 
By contrast, the Aeroburner Pro is a three-piece ball engineered for high ball speeds off the clubface – like the speeds generated by elite players. Its spin control and soft feel come from the interface of TaylorMade’s Sin Mantle and proprietary Iothane cover. 
 
Both balls are available at retail now. The Aeroburner Soft carries a suggested retail price of $19.99 per dozen, while the Pro model carries a suggested retail price of $26.99 per dozen.
 
 
 
March 11, 2015 - 12:31pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
alligator
Bill Susie/Myakka Pines Golf Club
OK, what would you do if you were playing a casual round of golf and suddenly encountered this beast? Skip the hole? Take a picture? How about run?

If you're not a fan of reptiles, you may want to stay clear of Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood, Fla.

Last week, the golf club posted pictures via its Facebook page of a massive -- and I mean massive -- alligator taking a casual stroll on the green.

RELATED: Golfer loses two fingers to croc in Cancun | Black Widow bites LPGA player

Check out these posts from the Myakka Pines Golf Club Facebook page:

 

 

Umm... No thank you. Let's pick it up and move on...

Unless it's match play. Then you have to make your opponent putt, right?

March 11, 2015 - 10:18am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Adam Scott
USA Today Sports Images
If last week's T4 at Doral is any indication, Adam Scott's switch to a short putter should be no issue at all.

The PGA Tour visits the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., for the Valspar Championship.

This is one of the most difficult courses on the PGA Tour, primarily because of its brutal final three holes, known as the Snake Pit.

The Snake Pit begins with a narrow, dogleg right, long par-4 that hugs water. The difficult 215-yard par-3 17th is next before the round ends with the uphill 445-yard par-4 18th.

RELATED: Valspar Championship tee times | Potential 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team

Australia's John Senden returns as the defending champion, but the field is loaded with formidable challengers.

Here are the five you'll want to keep an eye on.

5. Jim Furyk
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T7 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Reason to watch: A winner at Innisbrook in 2010 -- his first of three "Ws" that season on his way to winning the FedExCup -- Furyk has been fantastic in three starts this season. In three starts, Furyk has yet to finish worse than a tie for 14th. Since winning the Valspar Championship in 2010, Furyk has finished no worse than T20 in the event. He also lost in a playoff in 2012. He may not win, but expect Furyk to have a strong showing this week.

4. Luke Donald
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T7 Honda Classic
Reason to watch: By his standards, it's been a rough couple of years for Donald, the former world No. 1. Regardless of that, Innisbrook always seems to bring out the best in Donald. Along with winning in 2012 -- his last win on the PGA Tour -- Donald tied for sixth in 2010, and tied for fourth in both 2013 and 2014. His trend of solid play at Innisbrook will continue this week.

3. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 Northern Trust Open
Reason to watch: Simply put, Spieth is my favorite young gun in the game today. He's incredibly consistent and just always hovering around the first page of leaderboards. I just want to see him close the deal more frequently -- no doubt he wants to do the same thing, but man, it's not easy out there! In two prior Valspar Championship starts, Spieth has finished T20 and T7. The course clearly fits his eye -- and there aren't many out there that don't. Spieth has been piling up the top 10s for a while now. Soon he'll be piling up wins.

2. Gary Woodland
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T2 CIMB Classic
Reason to watch: Woodland showed some promise early in the season with a T2 at the CIMB Classic and a T3 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, but has cooled off a bit since. He could get back on track this week at the Valspar Championship, a tournament in which he won back in 2011 -- his first PGA Tour win. A year ago, Woodland tied for eighth at Innisbrook. He's one of the longest hitters in the game, which comes in handy at this course, and has put in a lot of work on his short game. With injuries hopefully behind him, Woodland could be on the cusp of a break out season.

1. Adam Scott
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: Until last week, we hadn't seen Scott on the PGA Tour since early November when he tied for 12th in the WGC-HSBC Champions. And things looked different at Doral... Rather than a long, broomstick putter, Scott was back to the conventional putter with an unconventional grip. If last week was any indication, it doesn't look as though Scott has anything to worry about once the anchoring ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. He tied for fourth at Doral, three-putting just once, making 87 percent of his putts from inside 10 feet, including an incredible 52-of-52 from five feet and in. If Scott is strutting with that kind of putting confidence come Masters week, look out.

Here's how my five to watch fared at the WGC-Cadillac Championship:

5. Paul Casey -- T38
4. Justin Rose -- 55
3. Bubba Watson -- 3
2. Dustin Johnson -- Winner
1. Patrick Reed -- T23