Golf Buzz

November 27, 2013 - 8:58pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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John Solheim and Louise Solheim
Courtesy of Ping Golf
John Solheim celebrated his induction into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame with his mother, Louise Solheim, who was inducted in 2004.

We're hoping you all are having a great Thanksgiving Week. Someone we know is having a great week is Ping Chairman and CEO John Solheim, who was inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame on Monday.

Solheim's induction makes the Arizona hall a real family affair. John's father, Ping founder Karsten Solheim, was inducted posthumously in 2000, while his mother, Louise Solheim, who turned 95 in June, was honored in 2004. 

''I am delighted to join my parents in the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame,'' said Solheim, 67. ''In more than a half-century of doing business here, we're proud of the role we've played in helping contribute to the growth of Phoenix and communities around the state. 

''As a family-owned business, we get our greatest satisfaction from creating jobs for the more than 800 employees who make us the success we are today,'' he added. ''And because golf is so important to Arizona's vitality, Ping will always play a key role in sponsoring efforts to promote the game and grow participation at every level.''   

John Solheim was accompanied by his mother at the ceremony, which was held at Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale.

He got his start in the family business when he was 13, working alongside his dad on early putter designs in the family garage. He aspired to be an architect, but as the business expanded, he began designing golf clubs and helping Karsten grow the privately held entity into one of the most influential golf companies in the world.    

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''Thinking back to my years working with Karsten, we still run the business with a hands-on approach,'' Solheim said. ''Even though we've grown beyond what Karsten and I could have imagined, we've always focused on the same principles – performance, innovation, and custom fitting – as the foundations for engineering products that make the game easier for golfers of all abilities.''   

From 1961 to 1966, Ping operated out of the family garage north of Phoenix. Since then, the headquarters have been located in North Phoenix, where the company occupies 27 buildings spread over 52 acres. Karsten Manufacturing Corporation and its subsidiaries employ approximately 1,200 people worldwide and conduct business in more than 70 countries.     

Solheim was among four inductees. The others were:

--PGA Professional Shelby Futch, who has owned and operated several golf course properties in the Phoenix area and across the country, as well as a chain of golf retail stores in addition to a successful clubfitting and manufacturing company. While serving as an instructor for the Golf Digest Schools, he founded the world-famous John Jacobs' Golf Schools, and for years has been ranked among golf's top instructors.

--Bill Huffman, a longtime golf writer for The Arizona Republic and then for The East Valley Tribune. Among his other accomplishments, Huffman served as the national president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association in 1995-96, and was a member of the executive committee of the Golf Writers Association of America from 1996-98.  He is currently the editor-in-chief for the AZ Golf Insider.

--Barbara Simmons, who for many years worked with Arizona courses to incorporate the USGA's Course Rating System after the USGA introduced the Slope rating. She also holds positions on several USGA regional and national committees, and served as president, vice president, treasurer and secretary during a decade on the AWGA Board of Directors.


November 27, 2013 - 11:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Course management -- or, limiting mistakes -- starts from the tee box.

In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Danny Balin gives advice on how to manage your game starting on the tee box. Recognize where the trouble lies and try your best to play away from it.

November 27, 2013 - 10:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Phil Mickelson
Getty Images
Phil Mickelson might be cutting back on his playing schedule in 2014, but he has announced that he will return to Scotland to defend the Scottish Open one week before trying to defend the Open Championship.

Admittedly, Phil Mickelson struggled for years to figure out how best to play the demanding links-style golf that's required to contend in the Open Championship.

This past summer, Mickelson traveled to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean a week early to play in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart -- a true lins test, unlike recent Scottish Open's at the beautiful, but inland and tree-lined, Loch Lomond.

During this particular tournament, something clicked for Mickelson. He won a playoff that week over Branden Grace and then went on to win his fifth major overall -- and first Open -- the following week at Muirfield.

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Mickelson birdied four of the last six holes in an incredible final round of 66 to win the Open by three strokes.

"I played arguably the best round of my career, and shot the round of my life," he said then. "The range of emotions I feel are as far apart as possible after losing the U.S. Open. But you have to be resilient in this game."

Late in 2013, Mickelson announced that he'd be cutting back his competitive schedule in an effort to be ready for the majors. One tournament that won't be cut, however, is the Scottish Open.

The 2014 Scottish Open will be held at Royal Aberdeen one week before the Open at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England.

"Winning the Scottish Open was a huge factor in my success the next week at the Open Championship," Mickelson said in a release. "I was able to acclimate myself to the time change, the weather, the wind, the links conditions and all in the heat of serious competition, which itself was a big added plus."

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

November 26, 2013 - 3:07pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Patrons at Augusta National
Photo: Getty Images
Patrons at Augusta National will get more parking opportunities close to the course soon.

The large crowds that flock to Augusta National each April may be getting some help on their treck to the Masters. 

Bloomberg news is reporting that the club recently purchased some real estate off famed Washington Road with plans to convert was was "The Greens" apartment complex into a parking lot for the patrons.

The club did confirm it had plans to use the space for a parking lot but would not confirm any other speculation about future use of the land.

You can read the entire article about the land purchase here.

As someone who has been fortunate enough to attend a number of days at Augusta National during Masters Week, I can certainly confirm that the only downside of the trip is the traffic & parking.  Anything that can be done to alleviate the time spent in the car looking for a spot means more time on the course enjoying the awesomeness that is the Masters.  

Here's hoping this is a move that only adds greater enjoyment to what is already one of sports' greatest and most enjoyable events.


You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim

November 26, 2013 - 2:38pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

There are few things more daunting for the average golfer than having to hit a bunker shot to a short-sided pin.

The goal to get out of the bunker is to blast it, yet you also want to be delicate with the pin so close. In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Mitch Lowe offers up some great advice on how to execute a flop shot from a bunker to help you get closer to that short-sided hole location.



Categories: Mitch Lowe, PGA
November 26, 2013 - 1:33pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
The Puma Monolite golf shoe.
The Puma Monolite golf shoe.

Puma Golf has introduced a new shoe for its 2014 line up -- the Monolite -- a versatile shoe designed to provide comfort and style for all 19 holes.

According to Puma, the Monolite weighs in at only 9.5oz., which, it says, is 30 percent less than comparable styles on the market.

"The Monolite is the perfect shoe to kick off our new LiteStyle platform we are launching in 2014," said Tom Manthe, Global Marketing Manager for Puma Golf. "The spikeless shoe goes from the tee box to the clubhouse in effortless style and lightweight comfort."

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The Monolite's Carbon Rubber outsole uses SmartQuill to enhance grip and traction throughout the golfer's swing by strategically shaping and positioning traction lugs directionally. The compression EVA midsole is fully integrated with the external heel counter, creating one cohesive unit that allows for ultimate lightweight comfort and cushioning while maintaining high levels of support and traction.

A premium, waterproof upper made with full-grain leather features subtle design and color details in five hard-to-resist color options. Everfoam is strategically positioned within the upper for a comfortable fit that has slow recovery memory foam adjusting to the contours of your foot with every step.

The Monolite is available in two perforated leather options (Monaco Blue/Lime Green/White and White/Tradewinds/Pomegranate) and three smooth leather options (Tradewinds/White/Monaco Blue, Chestnut/Black Coffee/Vibrant Orange and Black/Castlerock/Deep Lavendar). Each shoe comes with two laces to customize your look as often as you want.

The Monolite Wns (for women) is available in four trendsetting color combinations with an upper inspired by an oxford silhouette. Featuring a yoga mat sockliner (that is literally made out of yoga mat material) the Monolite Wns provides all day comfort and cushioning to keep your feet feeling relaxed and looking great.

The Monolite ($100) and Monolite Wns ($70) are available for pre-order now at and will hit shelves at select golf retailers starting Dec. 1, 2013.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.