Golf Buzz

The TaylorMade R15 driver, along with the company's AeroBurner fairway woods and Rescue clubs were built for more distance and more forgiveness.

I have long been a big fan of TaylorMade's wide variety of drivers, fairway woods and rescue clubs. When the opportunity recently arose to try out the R15 driver, as well as the Aeroburner 3-wood and 3-rescue, it's safe to say I was pretty excited.

Just like everyone else, I'm always in search of more distance off the tee. I've always been pretty lucky as an accurate driver of the golf ball, but I'm not always the longest. With just a few more yards off the tee, you're set up with a shorter approach, with a more lofted club, which should lead to a more accurate shot to the greens and more looks at birdies and pars, right?

I took these clubs out for a test spin at my home course in Rhode Island. I wanted the test to be at a place I'm familiar with so I could compare landing area of shots with my game clubs. What was the difference? Was I still as accurate? Did I have shorter approach yardages?

2015 BEST OF SERIES VIDEO: Golf balls | Drivers | Hybrids/Fairway woods | Irons

I wouldn't recommend it, but my first time at the course with these beautiful new sticks was also the first time I had hit them, period. I took the plastic off in the parking lot.

The R15 driver -- I got it in white -- boats a lower and more forward center of gravity to promote higher launch and lower spin. The lower spin, obviously, allows the ball to roll out more once it hits the ground.

The 460cc head was nothing I'm not already used to. Several of my drivers in recent years were the same size, so it wasn't overwhelming. That said, as interested as I am in more distance off the tee, I'm equally as concerned with how a driver performs on mishits.

That's where the R15 really put an ear-to-ear grin on my face. The shots I mishit still felt solid and not as far off line as I would typically anticipate.

Overall, I found the driver to be very comfortable to hit right from the first tee on. Did I hit every fairway? Of course not. I've never done that. But, my misses were playable, which is important to any avid golfer.

Length-wise, I'd say the R15 was about 15 yards longer than anything I've ever hit on the button. When I walked out to some tee shots, I actually had to scratch my head because I was in spots on the course I had never seen before with my tee ball. That was fun.

While I've messed around with several drivers for the last three years, only one has remained in my bag over that period of time. Until now. It was time for an upgrade and the R15 is it. After that first round, it was immediately promoted to "gamer" status.

On to the Aeroburner 3-wood. Truth be told, my course isn't one that requires a lot of 3-wood shots. Maybe a few off the tees -- which I couldn't bring myself to hit seeing as the R15 was going further than anything I've ever unleashed -- but other than that, there's just one par 5 over water where you'd need the 3-wood even after a good poke from the tee.

That's where I used this club for the only time at the course. I would later take it to the range.

As is the case with most golfers -- I'd presume, anyway -- the aesthetics of a fairway wood are paramount to me. What does it look like at address? Anything too bulky and I'm visually intimidated. It needs to look right behind the ball, or I know I'm going to hit a lousy shot before I even pull the trigger.

At address, I immediately loved the look of the Aeroburner. That made me comfortable and I proceeded to smash that second shot from 240 yards out over the water... and over the green. Much like the R15, this club provided some extra yards I wasn't accustomed to.

The most noticeable attribute of the Aeroburner 3-wood, to me, was the sound upon impact. It just made this "pop!" like I haven't heard before with other fairway woods. Since I only hit one shot with it on the course, I was sure to take it out to the range a couple of times too.

At the range, the results were similar -- more distance than I'm used to and just a fantastic sound at impact. Like the R15, the Aeroburner 3-wood also allowed for more forgiveness on mishits. We have the Speed Pocket on the sole of the club to thank for that -- it increases the size of the sweet spot and reduces spin.

And when I really got ahold of this thing, I'd venture to guess it was traveling within 10 yards of my previous driver.

Lastly, there was the Aeroburner 3-Rescue (which I've also spent a lot of time with on the range). For me, this club was installed to replace three clubs -- a 5-wood, 3-iron and 4-iron. For years I've read and heard about how much easier it is to hit a hybrid than a long iron or fairway wood, but it's taken me time to believe in it and convert.

What I loved most about this club, which also boats a Speed Pocket on the sole, is the ease with which I was able to extract the ball from some typically tough lies. Whether it was in rough or on hardpan -- for the most part -- I didn't feel the need to hit a short iron to get the ball back in play. Instead, I could trust that this club would get through the thick grass without costing me loads of yardage. It gave me chances to save par instead of hoping to sneak away with a bogey.

I also tried it a couple of times from just off the green instead of using a putter. It was like adding another dimension to my game.

The R15 and Aeroburner clubs from TaylorMade were everything I expected and more. I can't wait to get out there with them again.

If you're interested in learning more about the clubs, visit

The R15 driver retails for $429.99. The Aeroburner 3-wood sells for $229.99, while the Aeroburner Rescue is priced at $199.99. 

June 25, 2015 - 2:16pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Trash Can
We've all seen a good, juvenile meltdown on the golf course. But this one might top them all. When a golfer from England couldn't fit his clubs in a trash bin, he went and shoved his head in instead... and got it stuck.

I've seen my share of meltdowns on the golf course, but this one takes the cake.

The Telegraph has the story of a 49-year-old man named Dave Sayers from Newcastle-under-Lyme, England. Sayers had a bit too much to drink during a charity golf outing.

RELATED: Travelers Championship leaderboard | Laird holes out for eagle | Kaymer's pond birdie

Running hot after a few bad shots, Sayers told the Telegraph his plan was to dump the clubs in the trash bin. They didn't fit, so he did the next, ahem, logical thing.

"I went to put my head in the bin, but then I couldn't get it out," he said.

Oh, and the best part of this for all of us? There's video of the incident:

The next time things get bad on the golf course, just remember -- there's a good chance it won't be "have my friends rub vaseline on my head so I can get it out of a trash can" bad.

h/t Golf News Net 

June 25, 2015 - 9:46am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Martin Laird
Martin Laird made the par-4 17th hole at TPC River Highlands a whole lot easier on Thursday -- he holed his second shot for an eagle.

The 17th hole at TPC River Highlands, a 420-yard par 4, is one of the trickier holes on the closing stretch at the Travelers Championship. Water guards the entire left side of the hole.

RELATED: Travelers Championship leaderboard | 5 players to watch | Bubba hoping for bounce back

Needless to say, a good drive is a must. And, if you hit a solid drive, you might even get a little lucky and do what Martin Laird did this morning:


How about a nice little, eagle-2 to pencil in on the scorecard?

June 25, 2015 - 7:43am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Martin Kaymer
Faced with a third shot on a par 5 from a pond, chances are most of us aren't thinking "birdie is in play." That's not how Martin Kaymer thinks. He proved it Thursday.

The BMW International Open is taking place on the European Tour this week in Germany.

Martin Kaymer is playing the event in his home country. He had four birdies in Round 1 on Thursday, including the incredible one you'll see below from the par-5 ninth hole (his final hole of the day), on his way to an even-par 72:


That was quite the adventure. What a recovery shot. And a heck of a way to end a round. 

Jordan Spieth and Ben Crenshaw
USA Today Sports Images
Ben Crenshaw, who practiced with Jordan Spieth at the Masters, says Spieth's popularity could go into "hyperspace" if he wins the Open Championship.
As a fellow multiple major winner and former Texas Longhorn, Ben Crenshaw is something of a mentor and inspiration to Jordan Spieth. He also knows Spieth's game as well as anyone.
And, Crenshaw firmly believes that Spieth can capture the third leg of the Grand Slam at St. Andrews next month.
"I think it is entirely possible," Crenshaw told columnist Kirk Bohls of The Austin American-Statesman. "I'm very excited for his chances."
Crenshaw is so bullish on Spieth because he believes Spieth's game is a great fit for the Old Course.
"I think he's plenty long, but he knows positioning is more vital than length," Crenshaw explained. "There are a million ways to play St. Andrews, and that will fascinate him to no end."
Spieth, in case you're wondering, has played one round at St. Andrews. That was back in 2011, when he was part of the U.S. Walker Cup team that played up the road at Royal Aberdeen.
"It's one of my favorite places in the world," he said of St. Andrews in his news conference after winning the U.S. Open. "I remember walking around The R&A clubhouse and seeing paintings of royalty playing golf, and it was dated 14-whatever, 1460-something. I'm thinking, our country was discovered in 1492 and they were playing golf here before anyone even knew that the Americas existed."
Spieth said he plans to rest up a bit, then play the John Deere Classic – which he won in 2013 by holing a 44-yard bunker shot in a playoff for his first PGA Tour victory. At age 19, that victory made him the youngest player to win on the PGA Tour in 82 years.
He'll then hop on the Sunday night charter flight from the John Deere to the Open Championship as he's done in each of the past two seasons, no doubt filled with confidence.
"I've proven to myself that I can win on a British-style golf course now," he said at Chambers Bay. "Now I take it to the truest British-style golf course of any in the world. And I'm just excited for the opportunity coming then."
And if he were able to add the third leg of the Slam? 
"It is already stratospheric," said Crenshaw of Spieth's fame and popularity. "If he wins that, that would put it in hyperspace. We're talking American Pharoah." 
June 24, 2015 - 11:23am
Posted by:
PGA of America
tj.auclair's picture

The 29th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, where six divisions titles were decided, brought together outstanding student athletes and produced many special memories. Tune in to Golf Channel, Wednesday, July 1, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET, and relive some of those moments in the 2015 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship Highlight Show.

Replays will also air on Golf Channel: Tuesday, July 7, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET; and Tuesday, July 21, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET.

The program features the thrilling conclusion of the three-day Championship, held in May at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The show includes segments featuring:
• Earl Cooper, PGA – Wilmington (Del.) Country Club
• Tiana Jones, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
• Loritz “Scooter” Clark, Bethune-Cookman University Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
• The Chua Sisters
• Tribute to golf pioneers Charlie Sifford, Calvin Peete and Pete Brown
• William White, Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, N.C.