Golf Buzz

February 2, 2015 - 2:44pm
Michael.Benzie's picture
par 3
Jeremy Friedman, PGA.com
A north Georgia course features this tough par 3 downhill.

A week ago, we asked our Facebook fans to share their experiences playing on the most dramatic elevation changes and asked how they handled the shot. We got some great answers (see below) and more than 200 responses. You can post yours here.

Meanwhile, we asked for advice on these shots from Billy Ore, teaching professional and technology specialist at The Learning Center at PGA Village. He gave three simple tips.

1. One rule of thumb is for every yard of elevation change, up or down, add to or subtract from the distance. 

2. Remember on uphills, you'll get more skip because the angle of the ball coming down will not be as steep. On downhills, it will of course be very steep.

3. Ore suggests trying lower trajectory shots on steep downhills.

Here are some of the most popular comments from readers on steep elevation holes:

  • Alan Toll -- No. 15. Lake Ridge Golf Course in Reno. Close my eyes and hope! 140-foot drop.
  • Shayne Barnes -- Sugarloaf Golf Club Maine. 11th hole. I hit it in the river to the left of the hole.
  • Danny Pates -- No. 14 at Stonehenge, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. Was about 100 feet ... dropped 3 clubs and swung easy. So nerve rattling waiting and waiting and waiting for it to land.
  • Jamesy Law -- I would approach this the same way I approach most shots ... check yardage, choose appropriate club, allow for wind, then hook it 30 yards into the nearest tree.
  • Erik Watson -- The par-3 12th hole at Gatlinburg Community Golf Club is 194 yards long with a 200-foot drop from tee to green. Called “Sky Hi" I have no idea what club to use on this very deceiving hole.
  • Colin Davis -- Gold Canyon Country Club Dinosaur Mountain course. Hole 5 par 3. 210 yds about a 110-foot drop. Solid 7 Iron and aim for middle of green.
  • Bruce Lambert -- Mountain View in Boring, Ore. Signature hole No. 12 will challenge your ability to accurately place your tee shot to this downhill par 3 with an elevation change of 180 feet – “This is a hole that you will never forget”.
  • Chris Wolford -- Apple Mountain in Camino CA. #2 hole from green looking up to tee box. Full swing 60° and hope it doesn't plug in the green! Lol

See all the responses below.

 

Jason Dufner at the Super Bowl
Jason Dufner via Twitter
Jason Dufner had a bird's eye view of Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday.
After the Waste Management Phoenix Open ended on Sunday, the men and women who play tournament golf for a living had nothing else to do – so they watched a football game.
 
Well, sort of. The pro tour players were as interested in the Super Bowl as everyone else – several of them even made it to the big game. Here's how they reacted to the action between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, starting with that longtime football fan Luke Donald and followed closely by Patriots fanatic Keegan Bradley:
 
 
 
You won't be surprised that Jason Dufner was taking in the game. He and Donald even got into a little discussion:
 
 
 
 
Boys, boys. Let's all behave and enjoy the game.
 
 
 
 
 
 
A late entry into the Donald-Dufner discussion from former Senior PGA Champion Roger Chapman:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The game came down to the final few minutes:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And let's end this little exercise where we started it, with Luke Donald, who obviously agrees with pretty much everyone else who watched the final minute or two unfold in disbelief:
 
 
 
Hideki Matsuyama
Hideki Matsuyama celebrates Sunday after his eagle on the first hole at TPC Scottsdale.

Talk about making the best of a bad situation.

Hideki Matsuyama's tee shot on the first hole Sunday at TPC Scottsdale landed in a sand-filled divot. That's one of the worst breaks possible, because you need to make a perfect strike on the ball or it could go anywhere.

So what did Matsuyama do? Exactly that, as this video proves:

Matsuyama turned a terrible situation into an incredible eagle hole out -- and kicked off his round in the best way possible.

 

 

February 1, 2015 - 12:42pm
mark.aumann's picture
Mountain Lake ice golf
John Best/Lehigh Valley Live
A group of hardy golfers take to the ice at Mountain Lake, New Jersey, for their annual tournament on Super Bowl weekend.

Forget sitting on comfy sofas around the living room, loading up on snacks and watching the action from Glendale, Ariz. These intrepid golfers have their own Super Bowl to play -- on their own "frozen tundra."

According to a story written by John Best on lehighvalleylive.com, a group of Hackettstown, N.J., High School alums get together every year to create a golf course on frozen Mountain Lake, and then host a golf tournament on Super Bowl Sunday. They've been doing it since 2003.

Depending on the conditions, Best writes "... holes can be several hundred yards from the tees and they place small flags in the holes so they can easily locate them. After the initial drive, they use clubs to hit off the ice and finish with putters just as they would in regular golf."

Surprisingly, it's not as easy as you might think, mainly because of temperature, friction and because "long shots land with a thud -- making small impact craters in the ice -- which lessens the distance it rolls."

This year's tournament was moved up one day because of a forecast of snow on Sunday, and was played on a six-hole course that ranges from 50 to 100 yards in length. Just in case putters were ineffective, the event's organizers provided hockey sticks.

Check out the entire story and additional photos here.

We've seen other stories written by ice golf tournaments, but this is the first one we've seen connected to Super Bowl weekend.

January 31, 2015 - 4:05pm
Posted by:
Doug Ferguson
mark.aumann's picture
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods failed to make the cut at this weekend's Waste Management Open in Phoenix.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tiger Woods, coming off an 82 for his worst round as a pro, will be out of the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time in more than three years.

And if he doesn't turn his game around quickly, he will be ineligible for a World Golf Championship for only the second time in his career.

Woods was No. 1 in the world eight months ago. But after missing most of last year recovering from back surgery, and playing poorly in the few times he did play, Woods made his 2015 debut in the Phoenix Open at No. 47 in the world. He missed the cut by 12 shots.

FRUSTRATING FRIDAY: How Tiger Woods wound up shooting 82 at Phoenix

Woods will be no better than No. 53 next week, and could fall even farther depending on what happens at the Phoenix Open and Dubai Desert Classic. Woods has not been lower than 58th in the world since winning the first of his 79 title on the PGA Tour at the Las Vegas Invitational in October 1996.

He last was out of the top 50 on Nov. 27, 2011. Woods won the Chevron World Challenge the next week and moved up to No. 21.

Woods is playing next week at Torrey Pines, where he is an eight-time winner but last year missed the 54-hole cut. After a two-week break, he then plays the Honda Classic. He will have to be in the top 50 after the Honda Classic to be eligible for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

The only other WGC event for which Woods didn't qualify was the HSBC Champions in 2011, another year marked by injuries and no wins.

The question as he left Phoenix was how quickly he could turn it around. Woods is in the early stages of a fifth swing change. He left Sean Foley during his four-month break from golf at the end of last year and has hired Chris Como as a consultant.

GENE FRENETTE: Don't give up on Tiger Woods just yet

More startling was his chipping. Woods says he doesn't have a feel for where the bottom of the club should be when he makes contact on his short-game shots. It was embarrassing at times at TPC Scottsdale. He chose to play safer shots along the ground than to get the ball more in the air. When he no option to pitch the ball in the air, he either flubbed it or bladed it.

Woods tied for last with club pro Michael Hopper. Including the 18-man field at the Hero World Challenge in December, he now has tied for last in two straight events.

He was going to attend the Super Bowl in nearby Glendale but instead flew home to Florida on Friday. His plans until he tees it up next week at the Farmers Insurance Open?

"Practice each and every day," Woods said. "Just work on it."

This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Francesco Molinari
Francesco Molinari watches the flight of his tee shot on No. 16 Saturday.

The overflow crowd lining the grandstands at the famous 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale is there for one thing -- to have a good time. Normally, that includes equal amounts of heckling, alcohol and sunburns.

But they're also there for the golf, hoping to see one of the rarest shots in golf -- a hole-in-one.

AMATEUR HOUR: Golfer in pro-am celebrates making an ace at No. 16 

And on Saturday, Francesco Molinari gave them what they came for. Watch this effort with a pitching wedge from 135 yards out:

 

 

Molinari's ace was greeted by a shower of water bottles, beer and other items tossed from the stands, which necessitated a short delay for cleanup before his playing partners could hit their tee shots.

THURSDAY'S HIGHLIGHT: Bubba Watson nearly aces par-4 17th at TPC Scottsdale

The roar was loud enough to be heard by the final group on the second hole. Even nearby residents knew something had happened:

 

 

 

Molinari's hole-in-ace was the ninth since the Waste Management Open moved to TPC Scottsdale in 1987. The last player to do it at No. 16? Jarrod Lyle in 2011.

After his round, Molinari had this to say on Twitter: