Golf Buzz

Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer is reportedly counting the days until he can swing a club again.

For a man who is just a couple weeks removed from surgery to implant a pacemaker, Arnold Palmer sure has continued to make headlines this week. Normally, that could be taken as a sign of trouble for an 84-year-old who just had heart surgery. But not in Palmer's case. 

First, let's touch on the best news. Palmer has stated that he is feeling well and is reportedly counting the days until he can get back out there and play golf. Palmer had the surgery on Aug. 18, at the UMPC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. 

Related: Palmer has surgery to implant pacemaker

Then, there's his grandson Sam Saunders, who fired his second 6-under in a row to take the lead at the Web.com Finals opener. Saunders, 27, finished 45th on Web.com's regular-season money list, and will get a chance to earn his PGA Tour card next year. 

Finally, there's the story that once again shows how much Palmer cares about and respects the game. Last weekend, So Yeon Ryu finished the Canadian Women's Open at 23-under par to set the tournament scoring record. For her exploits, Palmer sent her the following letter.  

It's great to see Palmer is almost back to his pre-surgery form. The game needs one of its best ambassadors -- how many other legends would send this note to a recent high school graduate? 

We can't wait to see Palmer back on the course, but he's probably looking forward to it even more. 

Ty the cocker spaniel
The Austin American-Statesman
Ty the cocker spaniel settled in for a nice long nap after spending 18 hours trapped in a golf course drainage pipe.
A hole-in-one probably wasn't on Bob Williamson's mind as he walked his dog on the Falconhead Golf Course west of Austin, Texas, the other day. But when the pooch – a 7-year-old cocker spaniel named Ty – took off in hot pursuit of a raccoon, Williamson ended up with one dog in a hole.
 
Night was falling and the golfers were off the course as Williamson and Ty took their stroll. And when Ty took off, the raccoon hot-footed it into a 75-yard drainage pipe. The pipe was big enough for Ty to get into – but it narrowed as it went deeper into the ground, and Ty got stuck. Really stuck.
 
Williamson went for help, and local firefighters were able to remove a grate from the opposite side of the drain. The raccoon, of course, climbed out just fine, but the dog was trapped about four feet below the ground.
 
"Standing outside the drain, you could hear him barking," Williamson told The Austin American-Statesman. "The dog's nails were long and couldn't get any traction on the incline, and that's how he got stuck, I think. He was wanting to come out, but he wasn't able to."
 
 
The pup stayed stuck overnight, and the golf course maintenance crew went to work the next morning. They dug for several hours, trying to find the point in the pipe where Ty was trapped. Eventually, they unearthed the section of pipe where the dog was, then used a handsaw to cut into it.
 
With Ty located, the rescuers used pieces of hot dogs to encourage him to move just enough that someone was able to grab him by the collar and pull him out.
 
"There was a little encouragement with a hot dog involved," Falconhead General Manager Laura Gunia said. "He barely fit in [the drain], but he was hungry enough to scoot closer to reach each hot dog piece.
 
"We were determined," she added. "There was no way any of us were walking away regardless of how long it took, and we were always confident of a good ending."
 
So, 18 hours after he entered the pipe, Ty emerged – dirty but unhurt, and ready for a very long nap during which he, no doubt, dreamed of catching that raccoon before they reached the drainage pipe.
 
August 29, 2014 - 11:32am
andrew.prezioso's picture
Kjeragbolten
Below Kjeragbolten is a 984-meter abyss.

We've all played some crazy golf holes in our lives. In fact, not too long ago you told us all about them. But this shot may go down as one of the craziest we've seen in a long time. 

Morten Klovstad, a self-described hobby golfer for 25 years with a 10 handicap, stood atop Kjeragbolten, a boulder lodged between two cliffs in Norway, to hit a tee shot into the fjord below. 

For those of you who aren't up on your Norwegian geography (I'll be the first one to admit that I needed to look this all up), Kjeragbolten is located in Rogaland, Norway. The boulder itself is lodged in a crevice of Kjerag, a mountain above the fjord Lysefjorden. It is a popular hiking spot, and it's definitely worth an image search to see all of the creative poses and pictures people take of it. 

But back to Klovstad's story. 

Related: Our fans tell us about the craziest hole they've ever played

Klovstad, who lives in Norway, had never before been to Kjerag and wanted to "make a great and spectacular photo," as he wrote in an email. As any true golfer would, Klovestad decided to bring his clubs on his maiden trip and turn Kjeragbolten into a tee box. 

Klovestad made the 2.5-hour climb up to Kjeragbolten, a point 1,004 meters above sea level. After taking the photo, he hit what he estimated was a 300-meter drive down into Lysefjorden. But he wasn't satisified with just a drive into the fjord. 

After hitting the shot, Klovestad made the 2.5-hour trek down to the fjord and took a lost ball penalty. He then made a putt to finish up his one-hole round with a 3. 

This type of shot may not be for everyone, but I think it would be a lot of fun. It also produces a great photo and story, and what can beat that?  

August 29, 2014 - 9:23am
Posted by:
PGA.com
tj.auclair's picture
Patriot Golf Day
Jim Mandeville/Nicklaus Companies
PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua joined Major Dan Rooney and 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus on Golf Channel's Morning Drive Friday to talk about this weekend's Patriot Golf Day events.

OWASSO, Okla. -- Golf facilities across the country will host special events and collect donations this Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1) for Patriot Golf Day, the primary fundraiser for Folds of Honor, a charitable organization that provides educational scholarships and assistance to the families of military members disabled or killed in service to our country.

Nearly 5,200 facilities are registered to host Patriot Golf Day nationwide. Golfers can find participating courses and make donations at PatriotGolfDay.com, while non-golfers can participate by learning more and donating at FoldsofHonor.org.

MORE: Visit www.PatriotGolfDay.com | Visit www.FoldsofHonor.org

"For the past seven years, the golf industry has supported Folds of Honor in positively impacting the lives of our American heroes by helping their families realize their educational dreams," said Major Dan Rooney, Folds of Honor founder. "We encourage golfers across the country to hit the links this Labor Day weekend for Patriot Golf Day and pay tribute to our military and the sacrifices they make to preserve our freedoms."

Patriot Golf Day was launched in 2007 and is jointly supported by the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association (USGA). Last year, a record amount of more than $5 million was raised for Folds of Honor through Patriot Golf Day donations and events. Since its inception, Folds of Honor has awarded more than 7,500 educational scholarships to military families. Thanks to donations received through Patriot Golf Day events and partner support, more than 2,050 scholarships totaling over $10 million were awarded in 2014.

Major Rooney, a PGA Professional, USGA Member and former F-16 military pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, founded Folds of Honor in 2007 following his second of three tours of duty in Iraq. Rooney witnessed a profound display of a family’s grief as they welcomed home the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin, inspiring him to create the organization and honor Bucklin’s son, Jacob, with the first Folds of Honor scholarship.

As of January 2014, there are more than 1.4 million dependents of fallen and wounded service men and women from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts alone, and 85 percent do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance.* Folds of Honor’s mission is to ensure that no family is left behind in the field of battle, by honoring their sacrifice and educating their legacy.

*Source: Veterans Administration 

Urban Meyer is better known for leading the Ohio State Buckeyes, but his golf game isn't too bad.

We are officially in college football season, which means it is the end of the golf season -- for college football coaches. 

Between games, meetings, booster appearances, recruiting and practices, coaching a major program is 365-days-a-year job. Yet some of the best find time to sneak away for 18 holes. Heck, some of them even have club membership in their contracts. 

To celebrate the start of the football season, we thought we would bring you the five best coaches, combining how their team performs on the gridiron with their handicap. Part of the requirement for being on our list is they have a registered handicap so, sorry, Steve Spurrier fans, but the Head Ball Coach is out. 

These coaches must also be active so, sorry, Mack Brown, but your national championship for Texas and 9.7 handicap at the University of Texas Golf Club do not crack the list. 

Video: Saban, Spurrier, other SEC coaches show off their swings

Without further ado, here's our ranking. 

No. 5: Al Golden, University of Miami

Yes, Golden's handicap is a pedestrian 21.3 at The Club of Mediterra in Bonita Springs, Florida, but he can sure swing the club when it matters most. He teamed up with Gino Torretta to win the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge, an annual event pairing a college football coach with a former player from that school, and also won the long drive contest in both 2011 and 2012. Golden also gets on our list for bringing the Hurricanes back to relevance.  

No. 4: Gary Patterson, TCU

Patterson has helped shape TCU into a top-flight program. He brought the Horned Frogs to back-to-back BCS bowl games, and won the 2011 Rose Bowl. The Frogs also moved into the Big 12 Conference under his tenure. On the course, Patterson carries a 8.3 handicap at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Club down the road from Fort Worth in Waco, Texas, and a bit unorthodoxically, would prefer some noise on the course. 

No. 3 Jim Mora Jr., UCLA

There's a reason why Mora is a football coach and not a pro golfer. His handicap, 15.7 at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, California, is nothing to write home about. What is, though, is what he's done for the Bruins. Last year, they reached the Pac-12 title game, and are ranked No. 7 in this year's preseason AP poll. 

No. 2 Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

Stoops has a respectable golf resume. His handicap is 11.6 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course in Norman, Oklahoma. At the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Stoops and Hunter Haas finished fourth, nine spots ahead of the duo of Tiger Woods and Tony Romo. What's more than respectable is his football record, with one national championship and a defeat of Alabama in last year's Sugar Bowl. 

No. 1 Urban Meyer, Ohio State

Love him or hate him, Urban Meyer gets results on both the golf course and the football field. Playing at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, Meyer has an 8.8 handicap despite a not-so-perfect swing that caused him to seek help from CBS Sports analyst Peter Kostis. Where he's been (nearly) perfect is with the Buckeyes, leading them to two undefeated regular seasons. Don't forget he won two national championships at Florida with a quarterback by the name of Tim Tebow.

How will these five coaches fare this season? We have no idea. What we do know is that we'll be watching the kickoff, and feeling sorry for them that their time for golf has been cut short for the next few months. 

 

Ben Crane at The Barclays
Ben Crane missed the cut at The Barclays, but left a different type of impact there.

It's not uncommon to walk around a PGA Tour event and see people carrying around a pin flag with a bunch of autographs on it as a momento from their trip. One kid at last weekend's The Barclays in Paramus, New Jersey, got a different type of keepsake. 

As you can see in the video below, Ben Crane gave out his number to a young fan. 

 

Like the other kid asked in the video, how did he get Crane's number? It was actually pretty simple.  

Granted, you probably won't get a Tour player's phone number every time you ask, but you may have a nice conversation with him if he has the time. 

I'm curious if the kid has reached out to Crane yet. If so, was it a call or text? What did he say? 

There are so many questions. Maybe I should give Crane my number.