Golf Buzz

March 20, 2014 - 9:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Spring
T.J. Auclair
Spring is officially here, fellow golfers. Hopefully that means less of what's on the left and more of what's on the right for you.

Aside from the first day of the Masters (just 20 days away now for those counting), today is a very special day for golfers across the country -- especially golfers like me, who have endured yet another long, cold, icy, snowy, New England winter.

Why? Because today, March 20, is officially the first day of spring. While there's still a little snow on the ground in my neck of the woods, there are all kinds of signs that we're just about out of the woods with this brutal winter.

The temperatures are rising. Just last weekend, I visited the nearest outdoor range for the first time since November. There was a good 30-minute wait for a hitting bay.

RELATED: Looking for some drills to work on your game? Watch our instruction videos

Sure, if you love golf, you can still work on your game during the winter months -- golf-specific exercises, indoor practice with putting, or chipping and hitting full shots into a net. I've done all that, but it's not the same as getting outside, breathing in the fresh air and watching the ball travel more than a few feet.

There's nothing better than golf season. The time spent with friends and loved ones on the course is priceless. There are laughs. There are great shots pulled off that we didn't think were possible to pull off. There are bets won and lost involving crazy circumstances that provide great, lifelong stories for the 19th hole and banter for the friend who came out on the short end of the stick.

For many of us, there have been months of watching golf on TV in locales such as Hawaii, California, Arizona and Florida after coming in from shoveling yet more snow. But with the season changing, we finally get to embark on a new season of golf of our own at home, instead of dreaming about those other destinations.

Many of you will set goals and that's terrific. It doesn't matter the goal either: break 100, break 90, break 80, cut down on your number of putts per round, hit more fairways, heck, play more golf -- they're yours to chase down and it makes the new season all the more exciting.

Get out there and play. Play often. Work toward something. But, most of all, have fun.

Winter, you were pretty while you were here, but we're happy to see you go away for the next several months.

Here's to wishing you all a happy spring and a fantastic new season ahead.

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

 

March 19, 2014 - 11:47pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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George IV Bryan and Wesley Bryan
Brothers George IV and Wesley Bryan team up to create several eye-popping trick golf shots.
Man, the trick shots just keep getting, well, trickier.
 
Just the other day, we were amazed at that two-guys-hit-the-same-ball shot video. In fact, we're still a little amazed by that one.
 
But Wednesday night, Rickie Fowler tweeted out a link to a trick shot video by brothers George Bryan IV and Wesley Bryan that, to me, is in an entirely different league. In fact, there are two videos – the first one is a bit of an appetizer while the second one is a full meal. But watch 'em both – they're definitely worth the minute or two they'll take.
 
I'm not even going to try to describe the shots except to say that they require teamwork at its best, so it's no surprise to learn that the brothers have been immersed in golf since childhood. They were essentially raised at the Chapin, S.C., golf academy run by their father, PGA Professional George Bryan III. They started taking lessons from prominent PGA instructor Mike Bender at about the time they began elementary school, and both went on to star at the University of South Carolina.
 
And just as I was writing this, I noticed that the Bryan brothers' acrobatics have attracted the attention of Lindsay Ann Aho and Lauren Sullivan, who are in the current season of "The Big Break" and appear to be challenging the brothers to a trick-shot contest. Sounds like the competition will get serious next week, so we'll keep an eye out for that.
 
In the meantime, check out these two videos:
 
 
 
March 19, 2014 - 6:52pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods, to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 pro majors, will have to overcome his advancing age and injuries, not to mention the ever-improving group of young players emerging on the scene.
Tiger Woods isn't playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week as he rests his ailing back, but he's still very much the topic of conversation at Bay Hill.
 
On Wednesday, Palmer himself was asked about Tiger's career-long quest to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 professional majors. 
 
The King's take: It's going to be "tough" for Woods to break the record, for several reasons.
 
"I don't think 38 years [Woods' age] is the ultimate stopping point for his quest to do what Jack did," Palmer said. "I think it lessens the possibility of that happening. … It's going to be tough to keep the concentration and the type of the game that is necessary to win majors."
 
The King also believes that the ever-more-impressive collection of fast-rising young players poses a serious threat to Woods.
 
 
"These young guys are tough, and they're strong," he said. "And if they continue to play as well as they've been playing, it's going to be tough for anybody – whether it be Nicklaus or Tiger or whomever it would be – to continue to win major championships." 
 
And as the younger generation improves in both skill and attitude, Palmer sees that Woods' aura of invincibility might not be what it used to be.
 
"The fear of a player being so good that they back off, I don't think that's the case anymore," Palmer said. "I think that the players that are going to win, and win major championships, have to be physically fit, mentally fit and they're going to continue to be tough to beat." 
 
As for the Arnold Palmer Invitational itself, we've got it covered from head to toe. You can check out the tee times and leaderboard, see who TJ Auclair says are the five players to watch, read about how the tournament is carrying on without Woods, catch some inside scoop on the goings-on from Bay Hill's PGA Director of Golf Brian Dorn and even see our pre-tournament photo gallery.
 
The Associated Press contrbuted to this report.
 
 
March 19, 2014 - 5:05pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Phil Mickelson
Getty Images
Phil Mickelson has decided to play the Valero Texas Open next week in addition to the Shell Houston Open in two weeks. That means the three-time Masters champion would play both Texas events before he arrives at Augusta National for the first major of the year.
 
Mickelson hasn't played the Texas Open since 1992. It now is played on the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.
 
This is the second straight year the Valero Texas Open has landed a top player at the last minute. Rory McIlroy played last year and was runner-up to Martin Laird.
 
Mickelson prefers to play before majors. He previously has said he would play the Shell Houston Open, which is the week before the Masters. He had been undecided on the Texas Open.
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 
March 19, 2014 - 4:00pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Happy Gilmore
YouTube
This 1980s video arcade remake of "Happy Gilmore" is fantastic.

If you grew up playing Nintendo and enjoying games like Tecmo Bowl, RBI Baseball, Super Mario Bros. and more, you're going to love this video put together by the folks at CineFix.

In the video below, CineFix presents the Adam Sandler movie "Happy Gilmore" in the form of an 8-bit video game. If you remember the movie at all -- and you probably do if you're on a golf-related website -- this video is hilarious.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy the next 2 minutes and 45 seconds.

CineFix says via its YouTube page, that it uses, "8-bit Cinema and 'gamifies' your favorite Hollywood Blockbusters into 80's arcade and NES inspired action!"

They nailed this one.

h/t Shane Bacon at Yahoo! Devil Ball Golf

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

 

Cale McLellan
Back 9 Network
Cale McLellan defied some amazing odds to card two aces on back-to-back holes.
By Matthew Castonguay, Back 9 Network
 
The hole-in-one is arguably the most difficult thing to attain in all of sport. There is seemingly no rhyme or reason as to who makes one. We’ve seen aces worth millions of dollars and aces by 92-year-old women. We've seen walkoff, tournament-winning holes-in-one and ones that have skipped across a pond. But hold onto your hats, because now we have back-to-back aces by a golfer barely in his teens!
 
That feat was accomplished by Cale McLellan, the son of San Jose Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. Cael was playing in a tournament at Santa Teresa Golf Club Short Course in San Jose, Calif., this past weekend when he aced hole Nos. 8 and 9 with consecutive swings.
 
 
Cale finished third overall in the tournament, which is impressive in its own right, but the story is obviously the aces. Keep in mind, the odds for an amateur making a single hole-in-one are 12,500 to 1. The odds of someone making two in his or her lifetime are significantly higher.
 
Two in a row has actually happened before. In 1971 at the Martini Tournament in Sandwich, England, John Hudson made one on the par-3 11th hole and another one on the par-4 12th hole. The odds of achieving that? According to a story by Golf Digest, only 1 in 50 million.
 
Now it makes sense that amateurs would have longer odds at pulling off the same improbable feat. According to U.S. Hole In One, the odds of that run nearly 156,250,000 to 1, or about the same chances as winning the Powerball lottery.
 
Cale was interviewed after his amazing performance: