Golf Buzz

ACSL Mini-Surveyor drone
Courtesy of ACSL
The Mini Surveyor drone that'll test on-course deliveries can carry loads of 10 to 12 pounds per trip, according to drone maker Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory.
 
Over in Japan, Rakuten is sort of the equivalent of ecommerce giants like Amazon or China's Alibaba. And like those companies, Rakuten is interested in the prospects of delivering packages via autonomous drones.
 
As part of its research, the company has bought into Japanese drone maker Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory – and one if its first tests will be to see how an ACSL drone can handle delivering goodies to golfers during their rounds. 
 
 
Starting in May, the Tech Crunch technology blog reports, Rakuten and ACSL will conduct field tests at a golf course in Chiba. Using a smartphone app, golfers will be able to order food, beverages and perhaps even other small items like golf balls, and a drone will be dispatched from the clubhouse to deliver the order.
 
The companies have given no indication of what specifically they're looking to prove in the test, but the potential for snack-and-supply-delivering drones seems great. Here's a quick video of the ACSL Mini Surveyor drone that'll be the subject of the test – it doesn’t do much in the video, but you can see what it looks like:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jordan Spieth/Twitter
Who wouldn't want a selfie with Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler on a boat?

So you've been eliminated from the Dell Match Play? What do you do with the rest of your weekend?

If you're Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, you climb on board a boat in the middle of Austin's Colorado River and watch the rest of the tournament from there with a few friends, courtesy of Ben Crenshaw and his wife.

Spieth posted a picture Saturday on social media of himself, Fowler and a group of folks having what appears to be a great time.

 

 

The hashtag #thanksmrandmrscrenshaw -- which we can only assume is a hat tip to Austin native and two-time Masters winner Ben Crenshaw -- was trending in Austin for much of the day.

If you can't win, a day on the river is a pretty nice consolation prize.

Golf Channel/Twitter
Patrick Reed channel his 2014 Ryder Cup "shush" moment this week at the Dell Match Play.

It's hard to forget Patrick Reed's brash response to the pro-European crowd at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, when he shushed the crowd after sinking a putt at the seventh hole during his singles match with Henrik Stenson.

In case you have, this will jog your memory.

 

 

Certainly, Reed hasn't forgotten. This week, Reed was spotted sporting a unique belt buckle at the Dell Match Play in Austin. Yes, it's a silhouette of him giving the "shush" sign.

If it was a good luck charm, it worked perfectly through the round-robin portion, as Reed went a perfect 3-0, defeating Daniel Berger, Matthew Fitzpatrick and fellow Ryder Cup teammate Phil Mickelson.

However, Dustin Johnson -- who missed the 2014 Ryder Cup after taking a leave of absence from the sport one month before the U.S. team left for Scotland -- appeared unaffected by Reed's talisman. He knocked Reed out in the round of 16 by a score of 3&2.

 

Niall Horan
Niall Horan via Instagram
Even some recent cool weather couldn't keep Niall Horan of One Direction off the golf course.
 
Last fall, we brought you the news that Niall Horan of One Direction was planning to spend the band's one-year hiatus honing his golf game. Now, we can confirm to you that Horan is in fact playing some golf and, as you can see in the Instagram post below, his golf swing is looking pretty good.
 
The 22-year-old Irish heartthrob famously caddied for Rory McIlroy during the Par 3 Contest at the Masters last year, but he is also good buddies with Justin Rose. In fact, Horan and Rose have teamed up to create a special charity tournament – known as the Horan & Rose Gala Dinner and Golf Day – preceding the European Tour's prestigious BMW PGA Championship in London in late May (the event doesn't seem to have a web presence as of yet). Horan will play in the BMW PGA's celebrity pro-am as well.
 
 
"By the end of next year … I'd like to be a low single figure in golf and in better shape, working out," Horan told RTE Ten in Ireland last fall. From the looks of things, he's certainly putting in the time it takes to improve.
 
Here's what his swing looks like now. Not bad!:
 
 

Haven't been in cold like this in a while but good to be back Hitting balls

A video posted by Niall horan (@niallhoran) on

 
 
Claret Jug for sale
Green Jacket Auctions
According to the listing on Green Jacket Auctions site, the sterling silver Claret Jug is "produced by the Royal & Ancient's official trophy maker" and measures 12 1/4" tall."
 
The Claret Jug, presented to the winner of the Open Championship each summer, is one of the coolest trophies in all of sport. You and I very likely will never win one, but we could still get one for our mantel.
 
One John Daly's Claret Jugs is up for sale on the Green Jacket Auctions site, with the auction set to close on April 9 – right before the final round of the Masters.
 
Open Championship winners are allowed to keep the official Claret Jug for the year after their victory, and are allowed to buy what are casually called "player's" jugs – slightly smaller versions of the real thing that are theirs for life. Daly apparently had two of these, and recently let go of one that, he said on Twitter Thursday night, he thought was going to be donated to a museum in St. Andrews. It isn't clear who is actually selling the jug.
 
 
Daly also clarified on Twitter that he still has a jug as well as a version of the Wanamaker Trophy he got for winning the 1991 PGA Championship.
 
According to the listing on Green Jacket Auctions, the sterling silver jug is "produced by the Royal & Ancient's official trophy maker" and measures 12 1/4" tall." It also comes in its own case, whose interior is lined in silk.
 
The bidding started at $5,000, and is already up over $8,000. Maybe we should all go in on it together.
 
Ryan Moore
PGA Tour via YouTube
Ryan Moore's chip shot out of the thick greenside rough on the par-3 17th hole went right into the cup for a birdie.
 
Do you know why short irons and wedges are called "scoring clubs?" It's because, if you master them, your scores will greatly improve. 
 
And if you needed any validation of that, you're getting it in the second day of the Dell Match Play, where players have been chipping in for eagles, birdies and pars consistently throughout the day.
 
 
Here's just a few of them:
 
--Ryan Moore holed a 26-foot chip shot from the thick greenside rough for birdie on the par-3 17th hole.
 
--Jamie Donaldson canned a 27-foot chip from the first cut for par on the par-4 15th hole. 
 
--Anirban Lahiri knocked in a 35-foot sand shot from a deep greenside bunker for birdie on the par-3 fourth hole.
 
--And the best we've seen all day, Chris Wood lofted a beautiful blast for birdie from another deep greenside bunker from 85 feet on the par-4 eighth hole.
 
Part of this is because the greens at Austin Country Club are in great shape. But mostly, it's because these guys have mastered all the various chip shots they need around the green. That's something we all should take note of.
 
Here are these four excellent chip-ins: