Golf Buzz

February 28, 2017 - 4:48pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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PGA of America
USA Today Sports Images
Players -- like their caddies -- will now be allowed to wear shorts during practice rounds in PGA of America events.

Golfers: start working on those leg tans.

PGA President Paul Levy announced on Tuesday that shorts would be permitted for practice rounds in all PGA of America events going forward, most notably the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, PGA Professional Championship and PGA Championship.

 

The PGA Championship will be the first of the four major championships to allow contestants to wear shorts during practice rounds.

Great move.

The European Tour was at the forefront of this trend when it announced in January 2016 that it would permit shorts for practice rounds.

"Maybe. Why not?" Rory McIlroy said last year after the European Tour adopted the rule, when asked if shorts should also be allowed in competition. "It really depends if guys are comfortable or not. I don't think it takes anything away from the tradition of the game or etiquette or how guys look on the course.

"We're not going to go out in shorts at the British Open if it's 10 degrees (50 degrees F) and raining. But at the same time, if we're playing in a hot country and it's more comfortable for guys to wear shorts, then there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to."

When you consider the traditional August date for the PGA Championship -- right in the dead of summer -- this is a rational decision. Temperatures routinely flirt with the triple digits at any given PGA Championship venue.

It took years before caddies were allowed to wear shorts on the PGA Tour, which always seemed silly.

In a profession that chases the sun, really, what's the harm in a pair of tasteful shorts?

Once considered buttoned up and stuffy, golf has hit the mainstream in recent years and fashion is something that isn't taken lightly -- just ask players like Rickie Fowler, Darren Clarke, Jesper Parnevik and Bryson DeChambeau.

Here in 2017, would the majority of folks be offended by professionals wearing shorts in competition?

I don't think so.

Wearing shorts in competition isn't being considered at this point in time, but perhaps this decision by the PGA of America paves the way for that discussion down the road. 

February 28, 2017 - 2:39pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Justin Thomas
justinthomas34 on Instagram
Playing at 7,800 feet above sea level this week in the WGC-Mexico Championship, expect to see some all-time record long drives.

If you dig the long ball -- and, seriously, how doesn't? -- you're going to want to tune in to this week's WGC-Mexico Championship.

At its highest point, Club de Golf Chapultepec reaches 7,835 feet above sea level. That's record altitude on the PGA Tour.

Ben Everill filed an extensive story for PGATOUR.com on the impact altitude will play in this week's tournament, which included this nugget:

The premise is simple. At higher altitudes, the lower air density creates less lift and drag on the golf ball. This means the ball will fly further. Expect to see some incredible numbers off the tee.

We're already seeing those incredible numbers.

Justin Thomas might be one of the smaller players on Tour in stature, but he's one of the longest off the tee.

He shared this photo of his launch monitor numbers from today on Instagram:

 

It's safe to say at 7500 ft elevation this week in Mexico, the ball will be going FAR

A post shared by Justin Thomas (@justinthomas34) on

Uhhh... 355.9 yards carry and 383.3 total?! Are you kidding me?!

This week could prove to be golf's version of the Home Run Derby. 

February 28, 2017 - 12:36pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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jack nicklaus
PGA Media Archive
Forty-six years ago today -- Feb. 28, 1971 -- Jack Nicklaus won the PGA Championship at the original PGA National Golf Club.

Forty-six years ago today -- Feb. 28, 1971 -- Jack Nicklaus won the PGA Championship at the original PGA National Golf Club (now known as BallenIsles Country Club (the East Course hosted the PGA Championship), just east of the current PGA National there in Palm Beach Gardens.

The PGA Championship was played in February that year so that PGA National could host while avoiding the South Florida heat in August. So, the 1970 and 1971 PGA Championships were both contested in between the 1970 Open Championship and 1971 Masters.

In 1972, the PGA Championship went back to its August date on the schedule.

IN a 2014 Instagram post, Nicklaus recalled that 1971 PGA:

"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."

That PGA Championship was the ninth of the Golden Bear's record 18 major championships and the second of his five PGA Championship triumphs.

February 28, 2017 - 9:50am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Phil Mickelson
Golf Channel
Phil Mickelson will join David Feherty for a two-part season-premiere of Golf Channel's "Feherty" next week and if you're a fan of Lefty, you're not going to want to miss a second of this.

Golf Channel's "Feherty" premieres on March 6 at 9 p.m. ET. David Feherty's first guest for the new season is so good, the premiere is actually going to come in two parts.

That's what happens when you get Phil Mickelson -- and from the teasers we've seen, Lefty sure does not disappoint.

Take, for example, this story from the 2002 Ryder Cup at the Belfry.

Mickelson was paired with David Toms in alternate shot.

At the narrow, par-4 16th hole -- with a fairway that was only 14 yards wide -- Mickelson busted a 3-wood right down the pipe.

That left Toms just a 9-iron to a green that feeds everything back toward the hole. No problem for Toms who is lethal with the short irons -- the guy who beat Mickelson a year earlier because of his short irons in the 2001 PGA Championship -- right?

Not so much. Toms hit an awful shot into the lip of a greenside bunker leaving Mickelson with what looked to be an impossible lie.

From there, Mickelson hit a sensational shot that came out of the bunker sideways and then trickled to within 4 feet of the hole. Talk about bailing out your partner.

Before Toms set in to hit the putt, he asked Mickelson, "what do you think?"

Check out this video to hear what Mickelson told Toms. It's priceless:

Also... remember that ridiculous shot Mickelson hit from the pine needles on No. 13 at Augusta National, between trees, on his way to winning the 2010 Masters

Mickelson told Feherty it was, "the percentage play." In other words, "the safe shot."

You have to hear Mickelson's fascinating, if not hilarious, scientific explanation about why it was the safe shot because of "shot dispersion."

There's only one Phil Mickelson.

Never change, Phil. Never change. 

February 27, 2017 - 4:34pm
matthew.newman's picture