Study: Caffeine may help your golf game

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Heading to the course? You might want to get a cup of Joe to go.
By Mark Aumann
PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Saturday, August 29, 2015 | 1:54 p.m.

Jon Williams
Aaron Shotzberger
Justin Dees
Richard Kelly
David Wright
Ronald Naus

Weed eaters: Illinois course rents goats

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Goats may not be welcome at Wrigley Field this week, but they're appreciated in Hoffman Estates, where they're chomping on a bit of buckthorn at Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club.

Forty goats from The Green Goats rental company in Monroe, Wis., arrived on Thursday to graze on weeds that have invaded some areas of the course.

Dustin Hugen, the club's golf course superintendent, took a cue from a counterpart in St. Charles when he sought a green, sustainable and cost-effective way to deal with unwanted plants at Hoffman Estates Park District course.

"We were looking for environmentally friendly ways to clear brush without burning, using chemicals or using equipment that has gas and requires labor," he said.

Luckily for him, he said, the goats' favorite food is buckthorn, which he said has begun to crowd out more desirable plants in the course's 30 acres of natural areas. Other invaders include Canadian thistle and Queen Anne's Lace, and though the goats aren't as drawn to those plants, they'll eat them as long as the natural areas are kept green, he said.

Hugen and his crew have set aside about five acres that he hopes the goats will clear in the next two weeks. A goat can munch about 300 square feet of grass in a day, meaning it could be a two- to three-year process to clear out all of the invasive plants on the course.

The animals were set up Thursday inside of a 12-volt electric fence, with jugs of water and salt stick treats, on 1.2 acres along the first hole and the driving range. Once the goats chomp up the grasses there, they'll be moved to the sixth hole behind the parking lot to indulge in another 3.5 acres.

For the last few years, the park district has been mowing to control the invasive plant species, averaging six dumpsters of waste every fall at a cost of $500 a dumpster. Using the goats is about half the price, at $3 per goat per day. The new course maintenance "staff," however, will be supervised around the clock by Hugen and his crew.

He's still not sure yet how they'll handle the waste, hoping it can be spread as fertilizer.

The course will remain open throughout the process, said Brian Bechtold, director of golf operations, adding he's planning some special "goat golf" rates for players. "Customers will see them from the first hole ... but (the goats are) out of harm's way. It's a really bad golf shot if you hit one of them."

Bechtold and Hugen are expecting visitors but hope they'll stop in the pro shop before they head over to check out the goats. As for Hugen, a die-hard Cubs fan and Wrigleyville resident, he's not worried about his new maintenance staff.

"I am not superstitious," Hugen said.

This article was written by Elizabeth Owens-Schiele from Chicago Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Elizabeth Owens-Schiele

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Friday, August 28, 2015 | 7:07 a.m.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Goats may not be welcome at Wrigley Field this week, but they're appreciated in Hoffman Estates, where they're chomping on a bit of buckthorn at Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club.

Forty goats from The Green Goats rental company in Monroe, Wis., arrived on Thursday to graze on weeds that have invaded some areas of the course.

Dustin Hugen, the club's golf course superintendent, took a cue from a counterpart in St. Charles when he sought a green, sustainable and cost-effective way to deal with unwanted plants at Hoffman Estates Park District course.

"We were looking for environmentally friendly ways to clear brush without burning, using chemicals or using equipment that has gas and requires labor," he said.

Luckily for him, he said, the goats' favorite food is buckthorn, which he said has begun to crowd out more desirable plants in the course's 30 acres of natural areas. Other invaders include Canadian thistle and Queen Anne's Lace, and though the goats aren't as drawn to those plants, they'll eat them as long as the natural areas are kept green, he said.

Hugen and his crew have set aside about five acres that he hopes the goats will clear in the next two weeks. A goat can munch about 300 square feet of grass in a day, meaning it could be a two- to three-year process to clear out all of the invasive plants on the course.

The animals were set up Thursday inside of a 12-volt electric fence, with jugs of water and salt stick treats, on 1.2 acres along the first hole and the driving range. Once the goats chomp up the grasses there, they'll be moved to the sixth hole behind the parking lot to indulge in another 3.5 acres.

For the last few years, the park district has been mowing to control the invasive plant species, averaging six dumpsters of waste every fall at a cost of $500 a dumpster. Using the goats is about half the price, at $3 per goat per day. The new course maintenance "staff," however, will be supervised around the clock by Hugen and his crew.

He's still not sure yet how they'll handle the waste, hoping it can be spread as fertilizer.

The course will remain open throughout the process, said Brian Bechtold, director of golf operations, adding he's planning some special "goat golf" rates for players. "Customers will see them from the first hole ... but (the goats are) out of harm's way. It's a really bad golf shot if you hit one of them."

Bechtold and Hugen are expecting visitors but hope they'll stop in the pro shop before they head over to check out the goats. As for Hugen, a die-hard Cubs fan and Wrigleyville resident, he's not worried about his new maintenance staff.

"I am not superstitious," Hugen said.

This article was written by Elizabeth Owens-Schiele from Chicago Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Ohio golfer, 68, aces par-4

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio -- Local golfer Cornel Chapman has hit thousands of shots over the span of nearly fifty years, but one shot last Sunday topped them all.

Playing in a foursome with Mike Copley, Mike Swearinger and Jeff Keaton at the Elks Country Club, Chapman teed off on the par-four ninth hole, sending the ball down a steep slope and over a large tree planted in the fairway. Chapman figured that his drive had reached the green (he says he has done so on the ninth hole before), but had no idea where his ball ended up.

As his group approached the green, they were stunned to see the group ahead of them waving their arms and pointing to the hole.

"It was the biggest shock I've ever had," Chapman said.

Chapman -- a "five or six" handicap golfer -- had not only hit his first-ever hole-in-one, but accomplished one of the rarest feats in golf: a double-eagle, or three-under-par on a single hole.

Chapman said that employees of the Elks often see hole-in-ones, but could only recall two other instances in recent years were a golfer holed out on the ninth hole.

"I can probably hit a thousand more of those shots, and I couldn't do it," he said.

Though he was able to check off an item on his "Bucket List," the 68-year-old golfer isn't planning on stepping away from the game any time soon.

"It's stuff like this that keeps me coming back," Chapman said.

This article was written by Alex Hider from The Portsmouth Daily Times, Ohio and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Alex Hider

Series: Other Tour

Published: Thursday, August 27, 2015 | 7:46 p.m.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio -- Local golfer Cornel Chapman has hit thousands of shots over the span of nearly fifty years, but one shot last Sunday topped them all.

Playing in a foursome with Mike Copley, Mike Swearinger and Jeff Keaton at the Elks Country Club, Chapman teed off on the par-four ninth hole, sending the ball down a steep slope and over a large tree planted in the fairway. Chapman figured that his drive had reached the green (he says he has done so on the ninth hole before), but had no idea where his ball ended up.

As his group approached the green, they were stunned to see the group ahead of them waving their arms and pointing to the hole.

"It was the biggest shock I've ever had," Chapman said.

Chapman -- a "five or six" handicap golfer -- had not only hit his first-ever hole-in-one, but accomplished one of the rarest feats in golf: a double-eagle, or three-under-par on a single hole.

Chapman said that employees of the Elks often see hole-in-ones, but could only recall two other instances in recent years were a golfer holed out on the ninth hole.

"I can probably hit a thousand more of those shots, and I couldn't do it," he said.

Though he was able to check off an item on his "Bucket List," the 68-year-old golfer isn't planning on stepping away from the game any time soon.

"It's stuff like this that keeps me coming back," Chapman said.

This article was written by Alex Hider from The Portsmouth Daily Times, Ohio and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Bernhard Langer ready to defend his Dick's Sporting Goods Open title

Bernhard Langer
USA Today Sports Images
Bernhard Langer of Germany waits to tee off on the 16th hole during the final round of the Champions Tour Dick's Sporting Goods Open at En-Joie Golf Course on Aug. 17, 2014 in Endicott, N.Y.

ENDICOTT, N.Y. (AP) — Since it became a stop on the Champions Tour eight years ago, the Dick's Sporting Goods Open has not had a repeat champion. Bernhard Langer is ready to change that, even without daughter Christina helping call the shots.

"It's possible. Anything is possible," Langer said as he prepared to begin defense of his title on Friday, a day after his 58th birthday. "But it's not that easy of a golf course. You've got to drive it extremely straight and hit some great shots to stay out of trouble."

TEE TIMES: Dick's Sporting Goods Open

Langer rallied to the victory last August at En-Joie Golf Club, playing all 54 holes without a bogey and closing with a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over Woody Austin and Mark O'Meara. Langer finished at 16-under 200.

"It was a phenomenal week," said Langer, third in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. "It was even more special because my daughter was on the bag — her first win with me on the professional circuit and grabbing the flag a little bit prematurely on 18. That was all my fault. I had a little senior moment, told her she could do it, forgot there was another group behind me that was still playing."

Langer's daughter had two back surgeries in February and isn't strong enough yet to be on the bag again. She'll be replaced by her brother Stefan.

Langer's 23rd career victory last August on the 50-and-over tour came a day after Kevin Sutherland stunned the field with a 59, becoming the first player in Champions Tour history to break 60. It could have been even better, if not for a three-putt bogey from about 40 feet just off the 18th green.

"That was a pretty unusual round," said Langer, who is coming off a runner-up finish on Sunday in the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. "To beat the course record by four shots, that's a pretty amazing feat. The players are getting better, stronger and hit the ball further."

The 59 gave Sutherland a one-shot lead over Steve Lowery heading to the final round, but he had a closing 74 to fade to a tie for seventh at 12 under.

Langer, who won the Senior Players Championship in June and finished just one shot behind Billy Andrade at the Boeing Classic last weekend, continues to excel as he inches closer to age 60. His Dick's Sporting Goods Open victory last year was his third triumph in five starts, and this year he leads the Champions Tour in scoring (68.91).

"I'd like to be a little better," Langer said. "I missed a couple of tournaments early in the season, then played a couple of events where I didn't play quite as well as I wanted to.

"It's been a decent year, just not quite as good as the last couple."

By
John Kekis

Series: Champions Tour

Published: Thursday, August 27, 2015 | 5:10 p.m.

ENDICOTT, N.Y. (AP) — Since it became a stop on the Champions Tour eight years ago, the Dick's Sporting Goods Open has not had a repeat champion. Bernhard Langer is ready to change that, even without daughter Christina helping call the shots.

"It's possible. Anything is possible," Langer said as he prepared to begin defense of his title on Friday, a day after his 58th birthday. "But it's not that easy of a golf course. You've got to drive it extremely straight and hit some great shots to stay out of trouble."

TEE TIMES: Dick's Sporting Goods Open

Langer rallied to the victory last August at En-Joie Golf Club, playing all 54 holes without a bogey and closing with a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over Woody Austin and Mark O'Meara. Langer finished at 16-under 200.

"It was a phenomenal week," said Langer, third in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. "It was even more special because my daughter was on the bag — her first win with me on the professional circuit and grabbing the flag a little bit prematurely on 18. That was all my fault. I had a little senior moment, told her she could do it, forgot there was another group behind me that was still playing."

Langer's daughter had two back surgeries in February and isn't strong enough yet to be on the bag again. She'll be replaced by her brother Stefan.

Langer's 23rd career victory last August on the 50-and-over tour came a day after Kevin Sutherland stunned the field with a 59, becoming the first player in Champions Tour history to break 60. It could have been even better, if not for a three-putt bogey from about 40 feet just off the 18th green.

"That was a pretty unusual round," said Langer, who is coming off a runner-up finish on Sunday in the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. "To beat the course record by four shots, that's a pretty amazing feat. The players are getting better, stronger and hit the ball further."

The 59 gave Sutherland a one-shot lead over Steve Lowery heading to the final round, but he had a closing 74 to fade to a tie for seventh at 12 under.

Langer, who won the Senior Players Championship in June and finished just one shot behind Billy Andrade at the Boeing Classic last weekend, continues to excel as he inches closer to age 60. His Dick's Sporting Goods Open victory last year was his third triumph in five starts, and this year he leads the Champions Tour in scoring (68.91).

"I'd like to be a little better," Langer said. "I missed a couple of tournaments early in the season, then played a couple of events where I didn't play quite as well as I wanted to.

"It's been a decent year, just not quite as good as the last couple."


Chad Gunier is a PGA Professional in Las Vegas, NV. The PGA of America comprises 27,000 men and women professionals with one singular goal in mind - to make the game of golf more enjoyable for you.

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