Golf Buzz

Steve Stricker
Steve Stricker drains a 41-foot boomerang for birdie Saturday at Greenbrier.

Steve Stricker hasn't decided whether he'll make the trip across the pond for the Open Championship in 10 days. But after dropping a 41-footer for a birdie on the first hole Saturday at Greenbrier, Strick just might have made up his mind.

Watch how much this putt breaks left to right. From this camera angle, the hole is actually just past Stricker's right elbow when he lines up:

Dead center in the heart of the cup for a birdie, and a high-five to boot. That's the way you'd like to start off a round.

Jack Nicklaus at Wimbledon
Getty Images
Jack Nicklaus and Rod Laver enjoy the gentlemen's singles semifinals Friday at Wimbledon.

What did you do for Independence Day? Play a little golf? Watch some fireworks? Go on a picnic? Fire up the grill? 

Jack Nicklaus didn't get a chance to do any of that, but his Fourth of July was definitely memorable. Nicklaus spent Friday afternoon in London, watching the gentlemen's singles tennis semifinals at Wimbledon from the royal box with tennis legend Rod "The Rocket" Laver.

Check it out:

 

 

Hot dogs and apple pie or strawberries and cream. Either way, having a conversation with two of the biggest stars of their respective sports in the 1960s would have been an amazing way to spend July 4th.

Bubba Watson's July 4th golf shoes
Bubba Watson via Twitter
Bubba Watson will wear a special Stars and Stripes-festooned pair of golf shoes on the 4th of July.

A lot of golfers wear special-edition products over the course of a season. One of the coolest things we've seen this year is the pair of shoes that Bubba Watson will wear Friday at the Greenbrier Classic.

These Fourth of July beauties are a Stars and Stripes version of the Oakley Carbon Pro 2 shoes that Watson has been wearing this year – he won the Masters in a pair three months ago.

The Carbon Pro 2 is the top of Oakley's golf shoe line. It features a waterproof full-grain leather upper with a compression-molded EVA chassis with Oakley's Red Code cushioning foam and an Ortholite foam insole. Inside are Oakley's Dynamic Motion Control and Coreflex Technology for comfort and flexibility.

MORE BUBBA: Check out Watson's brand-new pink Ping G30 driver

The shoes feature an antimicrobial treatment to fight odor, and have a full TPU plated outsole with PINS system cleat inserts. They carry a two-year limited waterproof warranty and carry a suggested retail price of $200.

This Stars and Stripes version looks like a special edition not for public sale, but the standard models come in black, white and an ivory treatment with gray and orange accents.

 

 

 

Tom Watson's 2015 Open Championship badge
Ryan Lauder via Twitter
Tom Watson's solid silver player's badge for the 2015 Open Championship has a claret jug for each of his five victories.

On Tuesday, the R&A gave Tom Watson an exemption into the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews. This will allow the five-time champion to finish up his Open career at St. Andrews – as Jack Nicklaus did in 2005 – and also will mark the 40th anniversary of his first Open title in 1975.

Today, we got a look at the solid silver player's badge that the R&A presented Watson to mark the occasion. You can see it below, thanks to Ryan Lauder ‏of TaylorMade (TaylorMade is the parent company of Adams Golf, Watson's equipment sponsor).

CAPTAIN'S BLOG: Watson talks about Open exemption, and latest on Ryder Cup team

As you might expect from the R&A, the badge is elegant in its simplicity. The five claret jugs represent Watson's five Open victories – Carnoustie in 1975, Turnberry in 1977, Muirfield in 1980, Troon in 1982 and Birkdale in 1983 – in a remarkable nine-year span.

Open champions are eligible to play until they're 60. Watson, 64, earned a five-year exemption for almost winning the 2009 Open at Turnberry, which most of us remember very well. That exemption runs out after this year's event at Royal Liverpool in two weeks.

 

 

July 3, 2014 - 9:32am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bag Boy Tri Swivel II
Bag Boy
If you love to walk the golf course, but really don't like to carry your golf bag, the Bag Boy Tri Swivel II push cart is just what the doctor ordered.

A lot of people -- myself included -- prefer to walk the course during a round of golf.

Walking is just so much better than riding in a cart and for so many reasons, the least of which is the exercise.

First, chances are you're playing golf to get out of the office and relax. Walking allows you to take it all in. Walking also allows you to develop a rhythm throughout the round and, between shots, you have the chance to think about the upcoming shot.

RELATED: Check out PGA.com's extensive equipment page

The only thing I loathe about walking? Carrying my bag.

I remember growing up and playing alongside my dad and great, great uncle. We'd all take those old pull carts. They were great at the time, but as I got older, they became "uncool." For some reason, carrying a heavy bag was "cooler."

Now at 34 years old, I just don't feel like carrying anymore, but I still want to walk and I don't have a regular caddie to call on a whim every time I have a few free hours to tee it up. I've seen so many incredible looking push carts (much easier to navigate than the old pull carts) on the market, that I decided to try one for myself recently -- the Bag Boy Tri Swivel II.

Wow.

This is the next best thing to taking a caddie. We're in the middle of a typical steaming hot summer here in New England and it sure was nice to enjoy a round of golf in 90-degree temperatures without carrying around 20 extra pounds of luggage. Instead, I pushed the cart -- with incredible ease -- and was able to save my energy for what mattered most... the shot at hand.

The Bag Boy Tri Swivel II consists of the following features:

-- Lightweight, weather resistant aluminum frame

-- Handle mounted parking brake

-- Durable handlebar grip

-- Easy one-step handle adjustment accommodates golfers of all heights

-- NEW Full feature, extra deep scorecard holder offers golf ball storage

-- 9.5" front and 11.5" rear oversized wheels roll easily through the grass

-- Lightweight, solid foam, maintenance free tires

-- Integrated tee and ball holder

-- Integrated beverage holder

-- Oversized storage bag included

-- Weight: 17 lbs.

-- Folded dimension: 23.5" x 13" x 24"

My push cart was also equipped with an attachment for a small seat. That came in handy on a few occasions as we waited for the group in front of us.

I know many people are minimalists when it comes to what they take on to the course. I'm not one of those people. I like to be prepared for anything, so I always have a rain jacket, umbrella, extra golf balls, a couple of extra gloves, my rangefinder, etc.

All of that stuff -- along with a few snacks and bottles of water -- can really weigh down the golf bag. However, with the Bag Boy Tri Swivel II, you're not weighed down by your extra cargo at all. It was fantastic.

The features that really made this push cart so special were the beverage holder, tee and ball holder and scorecard holder. You don't realize how nice it is to have all this things util you actually have them. The only items I keep in my pocket now with this cart are a ball marker and a divot tool. Other than that, I simply grab a tee or ball off the top console as I need it.

There's also a convenient little net that drops down from the top console which is great for a rangefinder or GPS device. And a small pocket on the back side of the top console was perfect to store a cell phone, car keys and wallet.

You might get a few funny looks from those on the practice green when you stroll up with this sophisticated push cart, but they'll be jealous in no time. It makes the round and the walk far more enjoyable and far less exhausting.

The Tri Swivel II sells for $249.95. You know that saying, "you get what you pay for?"

Well, that's the case with this push cart. It's not cheap, but it's high end and you're not likely to ever need another push cart.

If you don't want to spend that much, Bag Boy's C3 push cart is another worthy option. It has many, but not all, of the same features as the Tri Swivel II. The C3 retails for $199.95.

For more information, visit www.bagboycompany.com

PING G30
PING
PING's new G30 series, consisting of two driver options -- standard and SF Tec (Straight Flight Technology) -- along with fairway woods, hybrids and irons is available for pre-ordering now.

PING has introduced its G30 series, consisting of two driver options -- standard and SF Tec (Straight Flight Technology) -- along with fairway woods, hybrids and irons. The product line can be pre-ordered beginning today at PING-authorized golf shops around the world.

The new G30 series puts an emphasis on significantly increasing ball velocity and accuracy through a combination of advanced aerodynamics, plus new face designs and materials. The company's latest innovations provide golfers measurable distance gains without sacrificing key performance attributes such as control and forgiveness.

"With the G30 series, our engineers once again accomplished something that is unique to PING products -- they elevated performance significantly in key areas without sacrificing other important attributes," said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. "Across the product line, we've proved you can hit the ball higher and farther while increasing forgiveness and control. We've also continued our focus on advancing custom fitting in the driver and fairway woods by offering five loft positions. All of this promotes the consistent, reliable results that will help golfers of any skill level shoot lower scores and enjoy the game more."

RELATED: Check out Bubba Watson's new PING G30 driver

The most visible innovation on the G30 driver is the patented turbulators engineered onto the crown. Inspired by the aeronautics and sporting industries that put a premium on speed, Turbulator Technology reduces aerodynamic drag by significantly delaying airflow separation, maintaining attached airflow around the clubhead as it approaches impact, leading to more speed.

"The turbulators are really exciting," Solheim said. "Wind-tunnel testing verified with clarity the role they play in reducing drag on the driver head, but its real benefit was confirmed through our player testing. When Bubba Watson first tested the turbulators, he picked up two miles per hour in clubhead speed and four miles per hour in ball speed, which meant 10 more yards for him. We can't promise that for everyone, but with the turbulators' powerful, inspiring look we're confident all golfers will be longer off the tee, thanks to Turbulator Technology."

The entire G30 series benefits from new face technologies and materials, including the introduction of T9S titanium in the drivers, which results in thinner faces and weight savings that help position the CG low and back. The fairway woods utilize a high-strength Carpenter 475 steel in the face, and the hybrids are heat treated with an H900 process. Both result in hotter, more forgiving faces. The G30 iron face is thinner for higher ball speeds while being stabilized by a new custom tuning port design for predictable distance control.

The G30 SF Tec driver option is engineered for players whose shots typically end up right of the intended target. In player testing, the G30 SF Tec driver, which features weight closer to the heel and lighter swingweights, improved shot bend by 12 yards when compared to the G30 standard driver.

PING has also increased the range of adjustability to five loft positions in the driver and fairway woods while maintaining the same mass and outer diameter as the company’s fixed hosels, providing the benefits of adjustability with no sacrifice in performance. The lightweight hosel allows golfers to increase or decrease loft 6/10 of a degree or 1 full degree to optimize launch conditions.

New product descriptions and technical specifications:

G30 Adjustable Driver

Turbulators on the crown of the 460cc Ti 8-1-1 head reduce aerodynamic drag, leading to faster clubhead speed and ball velocity for long, accurate drives. Turbulators also assist with aim and alignment. The higher strength/weight ratio of the T9S face material allows for a thinner, hotter face and saves 4 grams of weight. The weight savings are allocated to help position the CG lower and farther back than any PING driver to date, ensuring high launch and optimized spin with a high MOI. SF Tec heads promote a right-to-left ball flight for players whose shots typically end up right of the target. To optimize launch angle and spin, golfers can add or subtract up to 1 degree of loft using Trajectory Tuning+ Technology. A high-balance-point TFC 419D shaft has a CG closer to the grip end, promoting a simultaneous increase in energy, momentum and inertia. The custom tuning port can accommodate a range of fitting weights and allows PING to achieve the desired swing weight across a variety of proprietary and after-market shafts.

- Lofts 9° & 10.5° in standard head, 10° & 12° in SF Tec head (adjustable +- 6/10 or 1 degree)
- Stock graphite shaft: PING TFC 419D (Soft R, R, S, X)
- Std. Length 45.75 inches, D3, 206g (standard); D1, 203g (SF Tec), 460cc
- U.S. MSRP: $385

G30 Adjustable Fairway Woods

Faster ball speeds and greater distance come from a larger face made of a uniform-thickness Carpenter 475 steel, creating a thin but strong hitting surface that maximizes face deflection. (Carpenter 475 steel is 44% stronger than 17-4 stainless steel.) Weight saved by thinning the face was redistributed to optimize the CG and elevate MOI for added forgiveness. Launch angle and spin can be fine-tuned by adding or subtracting up to 1 degree of loft with PING's five-
setting Trajectory Tuning+ Technology, utilizing a lightweight hosel that offers adjustments of +0.6°, +1°, -0.6°, and -1°. Crown turbulators create a captured appearance with the ball, and help with aim and alignment to inspire confidence. The high-balance-point TFC 419F shaft has a CG closer to the grip end, promoting a simultaneous increase in energy, momentum and inertia for longer, straighter results.

- Available 3W (14.5º), 5W (18º), 7W (21º) (adjustable +- 6/10 or 1 degree)
- Stock graphite shaft: PING TFC 419F (Soft R, R, S, X)
- U.S. MSRP: $275

G30 Irons

Progressive lengths and lofts and a thin face that maximizes ball speed help launch the ball farther and higher with control. Situated low in the sole of the undercut cavity design, the CTP structure helps lower the CG to ensure high launch with forgiveness, and it supports the 17-4 stainless steel face to provide distance control and a solid feel. The soft elastomer badge enhances feel and sound in the perimeter-weighted design. A softer lead-edge radius and precisely calculated additions to the bounce profile ensure a smooth transition through the grass with a stable head, which adds to forgiveness. This versatile sole design is engineered to perform well with any angle of attack. Progressive offset generates higher ball flights in the longer irons and penetrating, controlled trajectories with the scoring clubs. Slightly longer blade lengths increase forgiveness, most noticeably in the 4 through 7 iron.

- Available 4-9, PW, UW, SW, LW
- Stock steel shaft: PING CFS Distance (Soft R, R, S, X)
- Stock graphite shaft: PING TFC 419i (Soft R, R, S)
- U.S. MSRP: $110 per club w/steel shaft; $125 per club w/graphite shaft

G30 Hybrids

Greater ball velocity and longer distances with a higher trajectory ensure the stopping power to attack pins. The thin, uniform 17-4 stainless steel face is processed with a H900 heat treatment to maximize face deflection and increase ball speed for added distance with a higher peak trajectory and a steeper landing angle. Heel-toe weighting elevates MOI for extreme forgiveness. Weight in the low sole creates a low-back CG for consistent impact and high launch. Progressive CG locations and offsets ensure efficient gapping and trajectories that maximize distance. To inspire confidence, the top rail is flatter and the heel section is higher, providing a very square face at address that helps with aim and alignment consistency. The high-balance-point TFC 419H shaft has a CG closer to the grip end, promoting a simultaneous increase in energy, momentum and inertia for longer, straighter results.

- Available 17º, 19º, 22º, 26º, 30º
- Stock graphite shaft: PING TFC 419H (Soft R, R, S, X)
- U.S. MSRP: $242.50