Golf Buzz

February 11, 2014 - 7:15pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Hubert Green and Tom Watson at the 1977 Ryder Cup
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Tom Watson (right) was surprised at the gallery reaction to a missed putt at the 1977 Ryder Cup, but it certainly didn't slow him and partner Hubert Green down.
It seems like every time I hear Tom Watson talk, he's in complete command of the sitation. But, he revealed Tuesday, he got caught by surprise once on the golf course – and, to this day, he remembers the moment vividly.
 
It was the Friday of the 1977 Ryder Cup – Watson's first Ryder Cup – at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in England. Watson was paired with Hubert Green in four-balls and they got off to a great start, building a 5-up lead after 10 holes against Tommy Horton and Brian Barnes. Then came the par-5 11th.
 
''I knock it on in two. … I leave my putt about five feet short, Tommy Horton makes it and I miss – and when I missed, there was a cheer that went up. 
 
 
''That was the first time I had ever missed a putt and somebody really cheered,'' Watson explained on Tuesday as he announced Ray Floyd as a vice captain for his 2014 team. ''I got the feeling what the Ryder Cup's about right there. … It surprised me.'' 
 
And after the initial shock wore off, Watson was left with one other feeling.
 
''It angered me,'' he said. ''Yeah, I looked at it rationally pretty much, pretty much rationally, but I still had some anger. I didn't like to be cheered against. But I said, wait a minute, it's us versus them here. Figured it out pretty quick. But it surprised me.''
 
The surprise wore off pretty quickly, though. Watson and Green went on to a 5&4 victory and the United States won the match by a convincing 12 ½ to 7 ½ points.
 
February 11, 2014 - 2:49pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Sea Bear Golf Museum
Photo: Courtesy Golfnewsnet.com
The Sea Bear golf museum will house several significant golf trophies and artificacts

Golf's greatest treasures have been set adrift.

Okay, a bit melodramatic - but my pal @RyanBallangee over at GolfNewsNet.com has floated a story that I think is sure to make waves.

A Malaysian developer has set sail to a dream, a golf museum on a boat. Yes, a boat.

The name of the boat is "Sea Bear" and if you think that has any connection to the the Golden Bear; well, you'd be right. Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara, hand-picked 36 items from the Jack Nicklaus museum at Ohio State University to go on board the ship.

For more on the story and some of the items that can be seen on the yacht, visit here.

February 10, 2014 - 9:06pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Adams Golf XTD irons
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The Adams Golf XTD irons have a thinner topline, as well as a cross cavity that runs from the top of the sole to the bottom and is enclosed by an X-shaped piece of metal that helps to redistribute weight to the rear of the head.
We've all seen muscleback irons and cavityback irons. In pursuing improved distance and forgiveness in its new XTD irons, Adams Golf has come up with a cross-cavity design. 
 
This cross cavity – a cavity that runs from the top of the sole to the bottom and is enclosed by an X-shaped piece of metal – helps to redistribute weight to the rear of the head, which was a priority of Adams engineers. This, the company says, helps get the ball in the air faster and stabilizes the club at impact, especially on off-center strikes. 
 
It also helps to generate a ''gear effect'' – essentially a corrective spin to straighten off-center hits. In fact, Adams says, the gear effect that the new XTD irons produce is comparable to that usually found in a hybrid.
 
In addition, these new irons contain the Cut-Thru velocity slots that the company has implemented in several of its other new clubs. These slots give the thin face more ability to flex – and therefore provide more ball speed to generate extra distance. Adams' parent company, TaylorMade, of course, has implemented slots in such irons as its Tour Preferred and JetSpeed models.
 
 
''As opposed to the standard practice of strengthening irons lofts, we're providing distance while retaining optimal ball flight,'' said Senior Director of Research and Development Justin Honea. ''By integrating thinner faces and Cut-Thru Slot technology into irons, we're making it much easier for players to produce higher, longer, straighter and more consistent shots.''
 
Adams also improved the alignment aids on the new irons. The topline is thinner than previous models, and framed scorelines include a polished finish to set the club on its correct line at address. After contact, a pressure piston dramatically decreases vibration, while direct pressure on the back of the face produces a crisp sound.
 
The new XTD irons are designed for players of all skill levels, but Adams stresses that better players can get as much out of them as mid-handicappers. They will be available at retail on March 28, with a seven-club (4-iron through pitching wedge) carrying a suggested retail price of $599.99 with stock KBS Tour 90 steel shafts. Aldila graphite shafts can be included for an extra $100.
 
For more information, visit www.AdamsGolf.com.
 
February 10, 2014 - 2:39pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Kevin Stadler at the Waste Management Open
USA Today Sports Images
Kevin Stadler will defend his Waste Management Phoenix Open crown at a renovated TPC Scottsdale in 2015.
Now that the PGA Tour circus has vacated TPC Scottsdale for another year, the Stadium Course – home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – will get a serious facelift. The course was built 27 years ago by architects Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, and Weiskopf is handling the makeover. 
 
Much of the work will focus on the green complexes – all the greens and tees will be resurfaced, six greens will be recontoured and three will even be repositioned. A total of 70 yards will be added to the course's length, the landscaping will be upgraded and the clubhouse will be renovated. 
 
''TPC Scottsdale was part of former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman's vision for a chain of Tournament Players' Clubs,'' Weiskopf's manager Chris Roderick told Golf Course Architecture Magazine. ''The site was a retention basin for the city, and totally flat. It was very stark, and there was a shortage of cash for landscaping at the time, so it isn't as visually attractive as it might have been.”
 
Among the holes getting the least amount of attention are the 15th, the enclosed par-3 16th and the 17th. The lake and the green on the closing hole will remain the same, but Weiskopf plans to tuck the rough in closer to the left side of the fairway to make the fairway narrower.
 
The work is scheduled to be finished before the PGA Tour circus rolls back into town in early 2015.
 
 
February 8, 2014 - 10:15pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Best Pee Wee Golf Swing
Courtesy of Little Linksters
Sophia DiPaolo of Dublin, Ohio, was crowned champion in the Age 7-8 Division.
The judges have spoken.
 
For the fourth year, the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, in partnership with The Littlest Golfer Inc., has crowned the winners in four age categories as having the best ''pee wee'' golf swings in the world. And we mean world. There were a record number of entries this year, from 14 nations around the globe.
 
In this event, the kids competing were in age groups not very typical in the world of junior golf – the divisions were 7-8 years, 5-6 years, 3-4 years and even an under-3 age group. Parents were encouraged to send in videos of their Little Linksters and have them evaluated by an elite panel of judges including Gary Player, LPGA Tour star Brittany Lincicome, Frank Nobilo and Holly Sonders of the Golf Channel, Top 100 PGA instructor Chuck Evans, 2013 LPGA & PGA Junior Golf Leader Nicole Weller and PGA of America Honorary President Allen Wronowski.
 
''In this, our fourth year, we were extremely happy with the outcome. It was extremely difficult for our judges as there were many, many kids that entered that had amazing swings,'' said Little Linksters founder and multiple award-winning PGA Professional Brendon Elliott. ''It is always so cool to see the entries as they come in. 
 
''The point of this contest, however, is not solely about finding the best swings but rather letting a younger demographic have fun with golf and to prove to those that don't believe in starting golf at such young ages that this is something we as an industry should focus on.''
 
The winners in each age group are (clicking on the links will take you the videos of their swings):
 
Under 3 Division:
 
 
Age 3-4 Division:
 
 
Age 5-6 Division:
Hannah Pearson, who won last year's Age 3-4 division, says thank you to the judges and Little Linksters
 
 
7-8 Division:
 
 
 
The winners in each age group will receive a prize package including the following items:
--The Littlest Golfer gift pack
--U.S. Kids Golf full set of clubs and other accessories
--Exemption into and entry fee paid for 2014 FCG International (Formally San Diego Junior Masters)
--EyeLine Golf training aids package
--The Golfer’s Footprint swing trainer
--MoRodz alignment sticks
--Almost Golf play anywhere pack
--Swingfix online lessons
--Star Putter training aid
--Kwik Golf gift pack
--My Mini Golf gift pack
--Swinggait Swing Trainer
--Stick to Sports ''Let's Play Golf'' Book
--Little Linksters coloring book and prize pack
 
''It was a great deal of fun to judge these swings from the kids,'' said Nobilo, a judge for the first time. Weller added that it was "an incredible honor … to observe such amazing entries from youngsters having fun with golf from around the world [and to help] introduce the concept of golf at a very early age."
 
Since July of 2008, the Little Linksters Golf program has brought the game to a typically non-traditional segment of the golfing population: the "Pee-Wee" golfer (ages 3-8). The program is taught in a fun and interactive way using a combination of both traditional golf instruction methods and very non-traditional ways, and the bottom line is fun. For more about the program, click here.
 
February 7, 2014 - 9:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Brad Faxon
Getty Images
Brad Faxon was a two-time All-America player at Furman in the early 1980s.
Furman University, long a college golf powerhouse, will drop men's golf as a varsity sport after this spring season, school officials announced Friday. 
 
The Greensville, S.C., school's Board of Trustees made the decision after concluding that Furman's money and athletic department resources could be better used elsewhere. They said several factors – including public visibility, attendance, competitiveness and overall costs – figured in the decision. 
 
"Our Board deliberated at great length over this decision, and it was made after considerable discussion and analysis of our university resources and our priorities in Division I athletics," Interim President Carl Kohrt said in a statement posted on the Furman men's golf team page. "It is always difficult to limit opportunities, especially for young men who want to compete in a sport about which they are passionate, but just like every enterprise we have to constantly evaluate where to strategically allocate our resources."
 
No other sports will be discontinued, school officials said, adding that any money saved won't go to other sports. Furman will honor scholarship commitments to current players and those who've signed to play starting next year. 
 
The Furman golf program dates back to 1930, and the Paladins own 13 Southern Conference titles. Brad Faxon was a two-time All-America player for the school in the early 1980s, and has gone on to earn eight PGA Tour victories and two Champions Tour titles.
 
Needless to say, the reaction on Twitter was not positive. Here are some examples:
 
 
Dottie Pepper, of course, is a prominent product of the Furman women's program.
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.