Golf Buzz

Graeme McDowell and Pete Bevacqua at PGA of America headquarters
Bob Denney/The PGA of America
Graeme McDowell received a PGA of America membership card from Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua during his visit to PGA Headquarters.
Graeme McDowell drove a dagger through the hearts of all U.S. golf fans by clinching the 2010 Ryder Cup for Europe. But on Friday, he was welcomed to PGA of America headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for a "fireside chat" in which he covered a variety of topics both on and off the golf course.
 
One thing that immediately jumped out at me was his enthusiasm for the idea of the PGA Championship being played overseas at some point. 
 
"Going global is a necessity in the modern game," he told the audience of PGA employees. "You [the PGA] have the opportunity to give the rest of the world something special. [There are] three majors already in the U.S. This is an opportunity to do something unique for the game. I support it."
 
The idea of taking the PGA Championship abroad first surfaced last fall, when PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua told Golf World magazine that the Association's leadership was exploring the possibility internally. The PGA hasn't issued any kind of public comment since then.
 
McDowell also said he'd be interested in serving as a Ryder Cup captain at some point.
 
 
"I like to think that I have a few more rounds under the belt to play [in the Ryder Cup]," he said, "but I certainly would not overlook having a crack at serving someday as captain."
 
The appeal of the Ryder Cup to McDowell, a member of three European squads and a favorite to make it four this fall, is simple.
 
"The intensity, the focus and the will to win is unlike any other," he explained. "It brings out the best in a player. You see someone miss a green, you expect them to chip it in.
 
"I have been in three Ryder Cups and if I could put them in a box, they would easily qualify for the three greatest times in my life."
 
G-Mac also broke some gastronomic news during his visit. He told his audience that Nona Blue, the restaurant he recently opened near his Lake Nona home in Orlando, will open a second location in Jupiter, Fla. – just down the road from PGA HQ.
 
March 3, 2014 - 2:08pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
COBRA BiO CELL
COBRA Golf
COBRA has released this limited-edition, green BiO CELL driver to celebrate the year's first major.

The first major championship of 2014 -- the Masters -- is just a little over one month away.

Today, COBRA announced its release of a limited-edition Green BiO CELL Driver to celebrate the year's first major. COBRA Golf's BiO CELL Driver, designed to help golfers Go Long, is equipped with MyFly8, SmartPad and BiO CELL E9 Face Technologies to help manage trajectory and provide unmatched distance.

COBRA will make 2,014 of these limited-edition drivers, which will be available at select retailers around the world beginning on March 15. Each driver is laser-marked sequentially 0001 of 2014 on the sole for authenticity.

RELATED: COBRA's BiO CELL line improves distance, trajectory | BiO CELL family photos

"There is so much buzz in the golf community surrounding the first Major of the year, and the Limited Edition Driver helps bring some of that excitement to the COBRA Brand," said Tom Olsavsky, vice president of R&D. "This driver showcases our game-changing technologies, including MyFly8, SmartPad and E9 Face, that delivers increased distance, while the Limited Edition Green allows us to celebrate one of golf's premier events."

The MyFly8 technology allows golfers to adjust their trajectory to eight different loft settings, including 9.0 degrees, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5, 12.0, and three draw settings in 9.5 D, 10.5 D and 11.5 D. Utilizing SmartPad technology, the face angle will stay square at address regardless of the loft setting.

COBRA explains that the internal BiO CELL structure with E9 Face Technology removes weight from the crown, face and hosel and repositions it low and back to deliver a low CG and higher MOI for maximum distance. The repositioned weight provides a larger effective Sweet Zone to deliver longer and straighter drives, even on mis-hits.

The Limited Edition Green BiO CELL Driver (MAP $399) features an Aldila ATX Tour Green shaft, a COBRA Lamkin Ace 3GEN 360 grip and is available in right-handed (x-stiff, stiff and regular flexes) and left-handed (stiff and regular flex only) models. The Limited Edition grip, BiO CELL Headcover and wrench come in matching green and white.

To find an authorized COBRA dealer near you, visit http://cobragolf.com/dealer-locator.

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

Paula Creamer
Getty Images
Paula Creamer is all smiles after holding a 75-foot eagle putt to win Sunday.

Paula Creamer certainly has a flair for the dramatic.

On the second playoff hole Sunday against Azahara Munoz at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore, Creamer was faced with a 75-foot putt -- up and over a ridge in the center of a severely sloping green -- that if she could make, would have given her an eagle and an end to a four-year victory drought. 

HSBC WOMEN'S CLASSIC: Paula Creamer's amazing eagle putt wins playoff

It's the kind of putt anyone would just hope to get close, but Creamer did much more than that. You'll just have to see it for yourself:

 

"It's one of those putts where if you just get it in the right spot, it's going to fall down," she said. "But I could stand there all day long and putt that and I don't think get it within six, seven feet."

HONDA CLASSIC: Watch Russell Henley hole a pitching wedge from 150 yards

Thank goodness she didn't need to stand there all day long. She just needed one attempt.

Oh, by the way, it's not the first time Creamer's shown the ability to make a long putt under pressure. Just check out what she did one day at the offices of Sports Illustrated:

 

 

Nothing but the bottom of the ... glass. And you've got to love the guy who peers out of his cubicle just as the ball rolls by.

Of the two shots, the one in the office might have been the more impressive -- mainly because it's so difficult to determine which direction berber grows. Usually it's towards the break room, so Creamer correctly read that big right-to-left turn at the end.

Russell Henley
USA Today Images
Russell Henley holed in from 150 yards on the par-4 14th Saturday at the Honda Classic.

Some golfers are long. Some are accurate. In Russell Henley's case on Saturday, he was both.

His drive on the 465-yard, par-4 14th hole at PGA National went 314 yards, leaving him with a 150-yard pitching wedge from the right fringe. A pitching wedge!

SATURDAY'S RECAP: Henley trails Rory McIlroy by two strokes at Honda Classic

You can imagine what happens next:

 

 

One little hop. Spin back, kiss the flagstick and go right down into the cup.

Funny thing? Henley might have been the last person to realize the ball went in the hole. His caddy reaches out for a palm slap, and Henley's still not sure for a few seconds.

MAKING A MOVE: Tiger Woods shoots 65, leaps up leaderboard

And how do you like Russell's little sly grin once he realizes what he just did? Amazing stuff. His DIVOT may have traveled farther than most average golfers can hit a full wedge.

 

 

February 28, 2014 - 7:33pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Jack Nicklaus at the 1971 PGA Championship
The PGA of America
Jack Nicklaus won the 1971 PGA Championship on a rare occasion when it was played in February.
Today, Feb, 28, holds an unusual place in major championship history – on this day in 1971, Jack Nicklaus won the PGA Championship in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the Honda Classic is being played right now.
 
That's not a typo – the event now known as "the season's final major" was actually the season's first major in 1971. It was played in February so that the original PGA National Golf Club could host it while also avoiding Florida's oppressive August heat. 
 
In a quirk of scheduling, the 1970 PGA Championship was played in August as usual, meaning that both of these two PGA Championships were played between the 1970 British Open and the 1971 Masters. In 1972, the PGA Championship returned to its usual late-summer spot.
 
The 1971 PGA was played Feb. 25-28 at the original PGA National, which is now known as BallenIsles Country Club (the East Course hosted the PGA Championship), and is just east of the current PGA National there in Palm Beach Gardens.
 
 
The Golden Bear's triumph – by two shots over reigning Masters champ Billy Casper – was his second PGA Championship victory, and made him the first player ever to complete two modern-day career Grand Slams. He went on to complete a third career Grand Slam in 1978.
 
Nicklaus posted a picture of his Wanamaker Trophy-winning self on Instagram earlier today, and shared a couple of memories from that victory.
 
"The 1971 PGA Championship was uniquely special," he said. "I got to compete in a major on a course virtually in my backyard; it was the last time the PGA Championship was held in February, rather than in August, and most important, the victory came on Feb. 28, my wife Barbara’s birthday. Without her, I would have never been the golfer I was fortunate to become."
 
"Also, Gary Player stayed with us that week and we had a lot of fun," he added. "That was when Gary claimed to have switched plates with me at the table, in case Barbara put something in his food. Then he was convinced Barbara's prune cake got to him by week's end. It was just a week of good-natured jokes and a lot of fun."
 
I hadn't realized that today was Barbara's birthday, so that victory must stand out among the most special of her husband's record-setting major haul. So happy birthday, Barbara, and hat-tip to the Golden Bear for this most unusual major championship victory.
 
Here's Jack's tweet:
 
 
February 28, 2014 - 4:34pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Getty Images
Graeme McDowell said Friday that his wife, Kristin, is pregnant with their first child, and they learned this week that it will be a girl.
G-Mac is expecting his own little Wee-Mac.
 
Graeme McDowell said Friday that his wife, Kristin, is pregnant with their first child, and they learned this week that it will be a girl. 
 
McDowell revealed that he found out his wife was pregnant on New Year's Day, soon after they had returned to Florida from a holiday visit to this family in Northern Ireland. The couple was married in October.
 
"We found on Tuesday it's a girl," he said Friday at the Honda Classic. "Obviously, we're real excited." 
 
For a former U.S. Open champion who plays a worldwide schedule, no timing is good timing. McDowell said the baby was due at the end of August. That's right in the middle of the FedExCup playoffs on the PGA Tour, and a month before the Ryder Cup in Scotland. 
 
 
McDowell has played on the last three European Ryder Cup teams, won the decisive match for Europe in 2010 at Celtic Manor and is a favorite to be on the team again. As for the playoffs? He has never fared well the last three years, so his wife having a baby can't hurt. 
 
"I think we're planning to have her, if all goes well, the Monday of Boston if she decides to stay in there that long," McDowell. "It's a great problem to have. I really don't care when she comes, as long as she's healthy. The playoffs into the Ryder Cup ... not much you can do there. But if it affects the playoffs, then it affects the playoffs. There will be other playoffs. You only have your first kid once." 
 
McDowell, 34, has 14 wins worldwide, including the 2010 U.S. Open title at Pebble Beach. He is No. 15 in the world. 
 
His wife, an interior decorator from Orlando, has a 5-year-old daughter from a previous marriage so, he says, "I already know all about Disney princesses." 
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.