May 20, 2016 - 12:33pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Jack Nicklaus
YouTube
Jack Nicklaus has been known to make the game look easy. But this was just ridiculous.

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- The Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid takes place next week at Harbor Shores.

Harbor Shores also hosted the 2012 Senior PGA Championship, which was won by England's Roger Chapman and the 2014 edition, won by Colin Montgomerie.

It usually takes a lot of time for a course to generate notable moments in its history. That isn't the case with Harbor Shores.

RELATED: What's it like to play Harbor Shores? | Senior PGA Champ. coverage

This course was put on the map the day it officially opened, July 10, 2010, thanks to its designer Jack Nicklaus.

As part of the grand opening, Nicklaus was joined by Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller to play 18 holes.

When the group reached the par-5 10th hole, something unfolded that you couldn't make up.

The 10th green at Harbor Shores is one of the most undulating on the course -- which is saying something because a lot of the greens here are of the hit-and-hope variety: hit it and hope it finishes somewhere reasonably close to the hole.

On opening day, Miller found his third shot on the lower level of the green, with the pin placement up a hill in the back, middle portion of the green, 102 feet away with the kinds of twists and turns you only expect to see on a roller coaster.

At first, Miller contemplated using a wedge, arguing it was the only wat to get close to the hole. Nicklaus insisted the ball could be putted up there.

With that, Nicklaus walked down to where Miller was, dropped a golf ball, took a quick look at the hole and proceeded to do this:

 

 

Amazing.

So, this week when you see players struggling for a three-putt on the 10th green at Harbor Shores (which has had some adjustments since but is still a show stopper), just remember it's not as easy as Nicklaus made it look.

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

 

The putt that put Harbor Shores on the map
May 18, 2016 - 10:25am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
@PGATOUR on Twitter
During a clinic at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship on Tuesday, Jordan Spieth pulled off an impressive trick shot that involved catching a marshmallow in his mouth.

Over the last two years, we've seen our share of incredible trick shots here at PGA.com.

But, what Jordan Spieth did on Tuesday during a clinic at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship was pretty darned impressive.

The two-time major champion placed a marshmallow on top of his golf ball. From there, he opened the face on a wedge and proceeded to hit a half-shot. As soon as the club made contact with the ball, the marshmallow shot straight into the air.

That's where this trick-shot developed its "wow!" moment.

Spieth zigged and zagged and eventually fell down -- all the while positioning himself perfectly -- to catch the marshmallow in his mouth.

Check it out:

 

It was reminiscent of this "candy" shot nearly one year ago by Brittany Lincicome (who pulled it off with more grace than Spieth, but without the swarms of fans):

 

Candy on top of ball trick. Take 1. Got it Hahahaha. Funny @dewald_gouws @trevthemachoman

A video posted by Brittany Lincicome (@brittany1golf) on

 

Must see: Jordan Spieth's marshmallow trick shot
May 18, 2016 - 8:52am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Andrew Novak
@WoffordTerriers on Twitter
In the second round of a men's DI NCAA Regional on Tuesday, Wofford College's Andrew Novak holed a 100-foot birdie putt.

A NCAA Division I Men's Golf Regional is taking place in Tuscaloosa, Ala. this week.

In Tuesday's second round, Wofford junior Andrew Novak -- playing in the individual competition -- recorded what was easily the shot of the day and may even prove to be the shot of the tournament.

RELATED: NCAA.com's men's golf coverage

Faced with a 100-foot birdie put on the 18th hole at Ol' Colony Golf Course -- his ninth hole of the day -- Novak was likely trying to figure out ways to get down in two and avoid the dreaded three-putt bogey.

Instead, he did this with a cellphone camera rolling:

 

That's a 100-foot birdie. With that, Novak made the turn in 2 under. He was 2 over on his back nine and carded an even-par 72 that had him sitting T14 through two rounds.  

Wofford's Novak holes 100-foot putt in NCAA DI Regional
PGA Tour/Twitter
Austin Johnson finds the correct ball Friday in the lake surrounding the fourth green at TPC Sawgrass.

It's not often that your brother will tell you to go jump in a lake, and you'll do it.

But that's exactly what happened to Austin Johnson on Friday during the second round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, and with good reason. It saved brother Dustin two penalty strokes.

In one of the odder situations that can crop up on a golf course, Dustin Johnson had marked his ball on the fourth green, near the edge where water comes into play. Somehow while trying to toss the ball to his brother, who caddies for him, the ball slipped out of Dustin's hand, went over the railroad ties and rolled into the lake.

According to Chip Essig, 2011 National PGA Golf Professional of the Year and Vice Chairman of the PGA of America's Rules Committee, a couple of Rules then came into play.

"Rule 16 states that if you lift the ball on the green, you've got to mark it and the ball's got to be replaced," Essig said. "And Rule 15 tells us we can't substitute a ball in that situation. There are instances where you can replace a ball. Unfortunately, picking it up off the green to clean it and putting it back is not one of them.

MORE RULES: Why taking relief may not be your best option

"You've got to put back the same ball you lifted. ... There used to be no way to get a ball back into play if you lost your original ball like that."

If that happened in the past, the player was disqualified, Essig said. Since the Rules were modified, it was changed to a two-stroke penalty for substituting a ball.

"Obviously, Dustin really didn't want the two-stroke penalty so he made his brother go down in the lake and find the ball," Essig said.

So as Dustin Johnson, fellow competitor Bubba Watson and a Rules official looked on, Austin climbed down into the water -- with sneakers on -- and lo and behold, found Dustin's ball on his first try.

The whole episode was caught on camera.

 

 

Disaster averted.

"A lot of times those lakes have enough slope in them that when the ball goes in, it rolls five or six feet further down," Essig said. "And there's a good chance there's a lot of balls in there. The fact that they pulled up a ball and it was his, is pretty lucky, too.

"The other thing that I'd be concerned about -- there's alligators in those lakes."

UNLUCKY BOUNCE: Rory McIlroy's penalty drop winds up wet

Why does Rule 15 exist in the first place? Essig explains.

"You've got to finish the hole with the ball you started with," he said. "They don't want a ball that you can hit off the tee that doesn't spin very much and goes farther, and then a ball you can hit off a fairway that spins a lot so you can stop it. And then you get to the green and get a ball that hasn't been hit at all that should be more round -- truer -- to putt with.

"They want you playing the game with one ball."

However, there are exceptions to the Rule. Essig said because of hazards, it's impractical to require golfers to find every lost ball. So a ball can be substituted in certain situations. If the ball goes in a water hazard, you can drop any ball with a one-stroke penalty. Same with the unplayable ball rule. You can also switch out a ball that's damaged in the course of play.

So the lesson to be learned?

"Never throw your ball to your caddie near water, because you don't want to lose it," Essig said. "It's one of those odd situations. How many times in a tournament does Dustin throw the ball to his brother and he never drops it? And the one time it drops, it's next to water and you've got to go get it."

Golf rules: Why Dustin Johnson's caddie jumped in a lake