Golf Buzz

July 11, 2016 - 8:07am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
John Daly
@ChampionsTour on Twitter
In Sunday's final round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open on the PGA Tour Champions, John Daly began putting with just his left hand... It didn't go to well.

In Sunday's final round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open on the PGA Tour Champions, John Daly began putting with just his left hand... It didn't go to well.

John Daly putts one-handed in final round of Champions Tour event

In case you missed it over the weekend, John Daly was in contention for his first PGA Tour Champions victory in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.

After stellar twin 68s in Rounds 1 and 2, Daly entered Sunday's final round just three shots off the lead at 8 under.

Daly couldn't seem to get anything going in the final round so he decided to do something drastic: putt with one hand:

 

 

Based on what Golf Channel's Dave Marr had to say, it doesn't sound as though the switch went too well for Daly ("It's not that he hasn't made any of these," Marr said, "He hasn't even come close to making any of these.").

Daly would finish with a 1-over 73 to tie for 11th, his best finish on that Tour this season.

It seemed like an odd time to go with the one-handed stroke -- even if it is one style that many putting gurus swear by for practice drills.

Daly is proficient with the one-handed style in chipping and bunker drills, as you can see here:

 

 

 

 

Wonder if this is a style Daly might try out at Royal Troon this week in the Open Championship.

Now that would be something to watch. 

July 10, 2016 - 1:20pm
Posted by:
Austin Vaughn | PGA.com
Austin.Vaughn's picture
Bobby Jones
Rob Schumacher | USA Today Sports Images
The Georgia Amateur Golf Championship is celebrating its centennial on the same course where Bobby Jones took the first title in 1916.

You can’t mention major championship golf without thinking of the annual Masters Tournament held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., and its co-founder, Atlanta golf legend Bobby Jones.

As reported in the Brookhaven Post, the Georgia Amateur Golf Championship is celebrating its centennial this week on the same course in Atlanta where Jones took the first Georgia Golf Amateur title in 1916, at the young age of 14.

The 100th Georgia Amateur will begin on the Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple Course where a field of 144 Georgia amateurs will compete in individual stroke play. After 36 holes, the top 32 golfers will compete on the Brookhaven Course, where Jones played a century ago, in match play format to decide the championship.

The 100th Georgia Amateur Golf Championship will be held July 11-17. 

kasey petty, proposal, us women's open
Twitter / ShaneODonoghue
Kasey Petty may have missed the cut at the U.S. Women's Open, but there was a surprise waiting for her when she finished her round Friday.

It was already an incredible week for Kasey Petty. The 22-year-old American is a recent graduate of the University of Findlay (Ohio), and turned professional just before the U.S. Women's Open. She got to play practice rounds with Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson.

And although she was disappointed with her play, which resulted in a missed cut after scores of 81 and 83, it's a week she'll never forget.

After finishing her second round and signing her scorecard, she had a line of friends and family waiting for her. The last person in line was her boyfriend Jacob Miller, who dropped to one knee and pulled out a ring.

“I didn’t play very well,” said Petty, “but this makes up for all of that.”

(h/t to golfweek)

 

 

 

July 8, 2016 - 12:25pm
matthew.craig's picture
par 6, european challenge tour, 783 yard hole
Twitter / Challenge_Tour
The European Challenge Tour's stop in Slovakia includes the longest hole in Europe, a Jack Nicklaus-designed 783-yard par 6.

There was a videogame that was out when I was a little kid, I forget its name now, but it allowed you to create your own golf courses. I would always make them to be impossible, with insanely long holes and a ridiculous number of obstacles.

I always thought that those type of holes existed only in my childhood fantasies, until I heard about the 15th hole on the Legends Course at Penati Golf Resort in Slovakia.

Jack Nicklaus must have been having a bad day when he designed the 783-yard par 6. It's hard to even fathom how far 783 yards is, so here's some comparisons.

 
The course hosts this week's D+D REAL Slovakia Challenge on the European Challenge tour. Surprisingly, the hole didn't play very difficult in last year's tournament, yielding 26 eagles and 227 birdies.
 
Though it didn't happen at last year's event, it's not inconceivable that someone could score a three on the par 6, which would be an albatross. And while it would be essentially impossible, a two on the hole would be called a condor. A condor has never been recorded in professional golf, which isn't that surprising considering most weeks it would require a hole-in-one on a par 5.
 
And now what you've all been waiting for, a fly-over of the hole:
 
 
Without the benefit of professional-level length, the hole would play much more difficult for amateurs. Still, with four shots to get to the green, do you think you could birdie the longest hole in Europe?
July 7, 2016 - 7:32pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
Do you struggle with staying calm when you get a little nervous on the golf course? PGA Professional Rob Labritz has some great advice for keeping those feelings at bay and excelling.

How many of you out there have let a great round slip away because the pressure gets to you at the worst possible moment?

We've all been there. It doesn't matter who you are.

For some of us, the meltdown might be this: You know you're playing great. You're on the verge of breaking 90 for the first time and it's weighing on you. "Wow! I'm finally going to do it."

What happens next? With three holes left, you start to tally up your score and tell yourself, "Man, all I need to do to break 90 is..."

Next thing you know you're hitting it sideways. You left "the moment" and thought too far ahead about your desired outcome.

RELATED: Tips for getting out of deep rough | Breaking 70 | 80 |90 | 100

We caught up with PGA Professional Rob Labritz to find out how the heck we can control those nerves instead of letting those nerves control us.

And Labritz would know a thing or two about that going both ways.

About 10 years ago, Labritz had a five-shot lead in the New York State Open at Bethpage Black with 3-4 holes to go. At around that time, he began thinking about how cool it was going to be to win such a big tournament at such a heralded course.

About an hour later, Labritz putted out on the last hole, signed his card and finished fourth.

"It was a crumble and I didn't know how to handle it," admitted Labritz. "I wasn't prepared for it. I told myself I had I won the tournament before I won the tournament. You can't do that in the moment."

On the other end of the spectrum are the times in recent history when Labritz has embraced the situation and used the nerves -- he prefers to call it "adrenaline" -- to his advantage. And by recent history, we're actually talking about the last week and a half.

In the PGA Professional Championship at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y., last week, Labritz knocked down an incredible 35-foot putt for birdie on the 72nd hole to secure his fifth appearance in the PGA Championship at Baltusrol in just a few weeks.

Earlier this week, Labritz joined the likes of Paul Runyon, Claude Harmon, Doug Ford and Ben Hogan as a winner in the Westchester Open. You want to talk about staying calm under pressure? The tournament was played at Labritz's home course -- GlenArbor. It's not easy to win when you've played a course more than anyone in the field, and because of that, are probably expected to do so.

So how did he do it?

"It all starts with your preparation," Labritz said. "I'm not just talking about hitting balls. You have to tell yourself -- and put yourself -- in that situation when practicing. It's 'situational practice.' Grab a club out of the bag, put the ball down, go through your full routine and say, 'I'm on the 18th hole at the club championship and I need to get this in the fairway, on the green and hit two putts for par to move on.'"

If that's the way you practice, Labritz said, it won't be foreign to you when you find yourself in the real situation.

"You need to have logged in a lot of hours," he stressed. "In that moment you've got to almost feel like you have been there in that moment before because of the practice you put in. You have to believe you're in that moment to feel that situational practice. The butterflies, the excitement, the adrenaline -- whatever you want to call that feeling -- and develop it."

For Labritz, that feeling is adrenaline. And that adrenaline rush is the reason he plays the game.

"It's definitely adrenaline for me," he said. "People confuse that with nerves. Whatever that feeling is, you're going to have to embrace it to get your desired outcome. You shake. It happens. When you're scared, the negative thoughts come out. If you embrace it, you heighten your focus. You have to embrace that state and get power from it. The more you go through it, the more you learn how to handle it. It comes with experience. There are times I have gone in and failed -- many times. But that's golf. You learn from it. "

And again, this isn't just for the competitive player. If anything, it's exactly the thing that keeps high handicappers from shooting lower scores.

"High handicappers get all messed up when they're playing well and chasing a score because they worry about crafting shots they haven't hit yet," Labritz said. "They hit a bad shot and it snowballs. Yes, you want to see yourself in the future doing great stuff, shooting lower scores, but you also have to remember you can only hit one shot at a time. Once you're in the moment, you know you're in a heightened state. Embrace it. Stay in the present and focus on the shot at hand."

You know when you hit that bad shot and let it snowball like Labritz mentioned? It's because you've talked yourself into bad things.

Don't do that.

"Talk yourself into what you want to do," Labritz said. "'I want to rip it down the middle.' Do that. And if you don't, do it on the next shot. You can't control the past, but a positive mindset and extreme focus can help you impact your future."

Rob Labritz, who has played in four PGA Championships (he was low-Club Professional in 2010 at Whistling Straits), is currently the Director of Golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in BedFord Hills, N.Y. He was also the PGA Met Section Player of the Year in 2008 and 2013, as well as the Westchester Golf Association's Player of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015. You can learn more about Labritz at www.RobLabritz.com and you can follow him on Twitter, @Rlabritz

golf marathon
Twitter / WSJSports
Danie Steyn and Bill Boonn played 153 holes in a single day without a cart, walking over 45 miles.

There's a commonly held sentiment amongst sports fans who don't watch golf, especially those that have never seen Dustin Johnson hit a tee shot. "Golfers aren't athletes." You've heard it, you've argued with your friends about it, and as untrue as it is it's tough to shake.

That accusation will never be made about Danie Steyn and Bill Boonn.

The Wall Street Journal had the story of Steyn, 29-year-old a golf instructor, and Boonn, a 41-year-old radiologist, spending a sunny day playing golf, something we can all relate to. But that's where the similarities stop.

They teed off at 5:26 a.m., and didn't stop playing golf until 6:46 p.m. In between? How about 153 holes without a cart, logging 83,592 steps. The eight and a half rounds required 45 miles of walking, the equivalent of almost two marathons.

And the pair played some decent golf, playing an alternate shot format that tallied 705 total shots, which comes to an average of about 83 per round.

They started off sharing a bag, jogging between every shot in their morning rounds. In the afternoon, they decided to carry just two clubs each, splitting a 4-hybrid, 8-iron, sand wedge and putter.

The concept is one of the more unique ways to raise money for charity. Here's an exerpt from the full story:

The outing was part of a network of golf marathons called Hundred Hole Hike, in which people walk and play 100 or more holes in a day to raise money for a charity of their choice. For Steyn, that was the Junior League of Philadelphia. Boonn played for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

The concept took root in 2011, when a Chicago banker named Jim Colton raised more than $110,000 by walking 155 holes in a day for a caddie who had been paralyzed in a ski accident. The following year, he started the charity that oversees the hikes. Now, they attract nearly 100 golfers per year. There have been hikes across the U.S. and a few in Canada, Scotland and Australia.

Do you think you could walk 100+ holes in one day? And if had to pick four clubs to do it with, would they be the same ones as Steyn and Boonn?