August 29, 2015 - 2:44pm
mark.aumann's picture
Matteo Manassero
Matteo Manassero
Matteo Manassero tees it up on the Monza starting grid.

Matteo Manassero posted an intriguing photo on his Twitter account Saturday.

He's shown driving a golf ball on the front straightaway at the famed Monza race course, where a different kind of "driving" takes place.

Here's the tweet:



In case you're wondering what it says in English, according to the accompanying translation: "A very special experience after a day of practice to the @Autodromo_Monza grid @ItalianOpen!"

Just like auto racing, keeping it straight and between the fences is pretty much the object in golf. However, golfers would rather wind up in the short grass for their next shot, while Formula 1 racers would rather keep all four wheels on the pavement, if possible.


Manassero 'drives' famed Monza course
August 29, 2015 - 1:54pm
mark.aumann's picture
Research study
USA Today Sports Images
Heading to the course? You might want to get a cup of Joe to go.

Before heading out to the course for your next round, you might want to go ahead and grab a cup of coffee or a caffeinated drink.

That’s the findings of a recent study done by a group of Auburn University researchers into the possible influence of caffeine on golf-specific performance and fatigue.

It was posted on the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal page of the American College of Sports Medicine website.

The researchers studied 12 male golfers with single-digit handicaps in a two-day, 36-hole tournament. Half received a caffeine supplement — roughly equal to the caffeine in an average cup of coffee — before their round and then again at the turn. The others received a placebo.

Then they checked a number of normal golf variables, including score, driving distance, fairways and greens in regulation, and putting. In addition, they recorded heart and breathing rates. The golfers were also asked to assess their own feelings of energy and fatigue, alertness and concentration.

When the results were tabulated, the numbers were surprising. The group taking the caffeine supplements averaged a score of 76.9, while those with the placebo averaged 79.4. The caffeinated group averaged two more greens in regulation and more than six yards better in driving distance, on average.

They also claimed to feel more energy and less fatigue, even though the heart and breathing rates showed no substantial measurable difference.

The conclusion? According to the research paper, “a moderate dose of caffeine consumed before and during a round of golf improves golf-specific measures of performance and reduces fatigue in skilled golfers.”

Two things to take from the study: One, they studied “skilled golfers,” so it’s hard to know if the average mid-handicapper can expect any benefit at all, other than a pressing need to find a bathroom. Two, other studies have shown too much caffeine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, accentuating the yips.

Even worse, other side effects from over-caffeination can include headaches, insomnia, anxiety and stomach distress. So as always, check with your doctor. Or your local Starbucks.

The abstract of the study is available here.

Study: Caffeine may help your golf game
August 28, 2015 - 9:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
USA Today Sports Images
World No. 1 Jordan Spieth had a little fun ahead of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup-opening Barclays, impersonating former NFL head coach Jim Mora's famous "Playoffs" rant.

In 2001, Jim Mora Sr. -- then the head coach of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts -- delivered one of the most unintentionally funny lines in the history of post-game interviews.

Shortly after a loss to the San Francisco 49ers that dropped the Colts to 4-6, Mora was asked about the playoffs and famously, disgustedly, replied: "Playoffs? Don't talk about—playoffs?! You kidding me? Playoffs?! I just hope we can win a game! Another game!"

RELATED: Tour player hits from water, shot doesn't go as planned

Well, before the start of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup on Thursday at the Barclays, world No. 1 Jordan Spieth had a little fun with the Mora synopsis with help from the "Dubsmash" app:


@jordanspieth knows what time of the year it is. #FedExCup

A video posted by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on


And, in case you wanted to see the original one more time -- and who doesn't? -- here it is: 


Spieth channels inner Jim Mora with 'Playoffs' rant
August 28, 2015 - 8:57am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Peter Malnati
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Peter Malnati from the Tour was willing to get dirty -- and wet -- to hit a shot out of the water in the first round of the Portland Open. He got dirty and wet, but what about that shot out of the water?

The Tour is Oregon this week for the Portland Open.

With the Tour Championship right around the corner, players are doing anything they can to save shots and make it to the season finale.

And I mean anything.

Take, for instance, what happened on the par-3 12th hole in Thursday's opening round. Peter Malnati is currently No. 4 on the Tour's money list and a lock to make the season finale. Even still, when he sees a chance to save a stroke or two, he's going to take it.

RELATED: Check out Peterson's back-door eagle | FlingGolf blends golf and lacrosse

In this situation, it backfired.

After a poor chip sent Malnati's ball to the water's edge, he removed his socks and shoes, rolled up his khakis and walked into the hazard to attempt what would have been a miracle shot.

Instead, this happened and Malnati went on to make a quadruple bogey 7:


While the shot attempt was cool, my favorite part of the video -- hands down -- was the commentary from Malnati.

"Are you kidding me? All of that for that?"

Who hasn't been there? Malnati opened with a 4-over 75 that has him T135 through 18 holes.

Hilarity ensues after Tour player's shot from water
August 28, 2015 - 7:07am
mark.aumann's picture
John Peterson
PGA Tour via YouTube
John Peterson and his caddie shared a high-five after his 74-yard wedge shot took the long road to the bottom of the cup on Thursday at the Barclays.
After two shots on the par-5 16th hole at The Barclays on Thursday, former LSU standout John Peterson stood 74 yards from the flag. So he hit a wedge a good 94 yards.
Sounds like a disaster in the making, doesn't it? But Peterson knew exactly what he was doing. The green slopes from back to front, and Peterson was hoping to use the backboard to bring his ball back toward the pin in the front-left portion of the putting surface.
He hit the backboard, all right, and his ball did more than just funnel down toward the flag – it zoomed back down the hill, banged off the flagstick and dropped into the cup for a welcome eagle.
That eagle came after two straight birdies, and that 4-under stretch propelled Peterson to an even-par 70 in his opening round. He's tied for 47th after the first round of the PGA Tour's FedExCup playoff opener in New Jersey.
Here's the shot:
John Peterson makes 74-yard eagle through back door at Barclays