Golf Buzz

November 22, 2016 - 9:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker were among the players during a World Cup of Golf welcoming ceremony that posed for a picture with a massive snake in Melbourne, Australia.

Players representing 28 countries are in Melbourne, Australia, this week for the World Cup of Golf, including USA teammates Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.

As part of the welcoming ceremony, some players posed with wildlife from Down Under. Like Belgian teammates Thomas Pieters and Nicolas Colsaerts here with a baby kangaroo:



Adorable, right?

Well then how do you feel about Walker, Fowler, Joost Luiten and Portuguese team members Ricardo Gouveia and José-Filipe Lima with a MASSIVE snake?







I'd prefer to not be within a long par-5 of that thing.

November 21, 2016 - 1:27pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
@dannygolf0724 on Instagram
Rickie Fowler and buddy Danny Lee have been engaged in a prank war with one another for over a year now. Over the weekend, Lee took it up a notch.

Since the Tour Championship in 2015, PGA Tour players Rickie Fowler and Danny Lee have been locked in a fantastic prank war.

It all started when after winning for the first time at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic, Lee admitted in a post-round interview that he wished he had a girlfriend.

Fowler then put a nice hashtag on Lee's reserved parking space at the Tour Championship a few weeks later:

Lee responded by doing this to Fowler's car:


Can't wait for Rickie Fowler to finish his 2nd round at Tour Championship and see what Danny Lee did to his car

A photo posted by Zach Klein (@zachkleinwsb) on

The shenanigans went back and forth, with Fowler getting Lee good earlier this year at the Players Championship with the 'ol shaving cream in the shoes trick:


good one @RickieFowler put shaving cream inside my shoes... @pgatour #playerschamp #howcanipayback

A video posted by danny lee (@dannygolf0724) on

There were a few other pranks in between, but Lee really, really got Fowler good over the weekend as the two were on their way to Australia for this week's World Cup of Golf.

If you're a frequent traveler, is there anything more annoying while going through airports than waiting in those TSA lines? Yes. There is one thing: When TSA stops you to go through your bag.

Unbeknownst to Fowler, Lee -- standing behind him in the TSA line -- snuck a bottle of water into Fowler's carry-on bag. That set off the detectors in the security line and forced Fowler to step to the side while an agent examined his bag.

A+ troll job by Lee in the video that followed:

Based on the expression on Fowler's face, I get the feeling this won't be the last prank pulled in the war. 

Keep that head on a swivel, Danny.

November 21, 2016 - 12:54pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
black friday
If you need an excuse to not feel guilty about playing golf instead of shopping on Black Friday, we've got seven of them for you.

Black Friday. Some people love it. Others dread it. Whatever your take is, can we just all agree that it results in absolute madness?

Instead of dealing with all that craziness, why not play golf instead?

Here are seven to play golf instead of shopping on Black Friday.

HOLIDAY GIFTS: 250+ gift ideas for golfers | Best golf gifts this holiday season | PGA Shop

1. Pegging it on the first tee is far more appealing than long lines and traffic, isn't it? Plus, in many parts of the country there may not be many opportunities left to sneak out for a round of golf before the courses are covered in snow. You don't have to get up at 4 in the morning and be the victim of a stampede.

2. Piggyback on the family time from at home on Thanksgiving and extend it to the course. Less than 24 hours earlier, you and your loved ones stuffed yourselves silly at the dinner table. Why not take the chance to spend a few more quality hours together on the course while also burning off some of those calories?

3. The opposite of the last entry -- and hopefully it doesn't apply to any of you... Playing golf on Black Friday is a chance to sneak away from everyone you might be sick of from spending all that time with the day before! There's no sweeter escape in the world than the serenity of the golf course.

4. Since most people will be shopping, the course shouldn't be too busy. If you're anything like me, you're as excited as a kid on Christmas morning when you arrive at your favorite local course only to find that it's basically all yours. What's better than that?

5. It'll likely be cold outside. Take the opportunity to see your course from a different perspective -- you know, instead of the perspective of a golf cart. For starters, walking will keep the blood flowing and, in turn, keep you warmer. Plus, it'll afford you the chance to spend more time thinking about and mapping out your next shot, while also perhaps noticing beautiful details of the course you may not have noticed before.

6. Play a game different from what you're used to. With a firmer ground, you're going to get more roll. Take advantage of that and your cold hands to play more of the bump-and-run game at your course that you're used to seeing at the Open Championship every summer. Try to focus on hitting shots that stay low and pierce through the wind. You can't believe how fun it is to hit shots with clubs from yardages you'd never even consider when it's 80 degrees with not a breath of wind in the summer.

7. Ever heard of online shopping? Why waste your time fighting the masses at the malls this Black Friday? Hit the links, folks, and then -- later in the day -- hit your keyboard to take advantage of all those deals without costing yourself a cherished late-season round of golf.

November 21, 2016 - 9:22am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Billy Horschel
@PGATOUR on Twitter
After playing 72 holes of brilliant golf at the RSM Classic, Billy Horschel earned a spot in a five-man playoff... but he was quickly eliminated after missing a 2-foot putt on the first playoff hole.

Golf is a cruel game. What happened to Billy Horschel on Sunday is all the proof you need.

Horschel, who last won on the PGA Tour in the 2014 Tour Championship (the same year he tore through the FedExCup Playoffs on his way to winning the season-long prize), played great golf last week in Sea Island, Georgia. So much so, that after 72 holes, he found himself in a five-man playoff.

For Horschel, however, disaster struck on the very first hole of said playoff and he was quickly eliminated after missing this kick-in putt:

That's just not fair. But, it happens. And kudos to Horschel for taking it in stride.

Darkness put an end to the playoff on Sunday and it was forced to resume Monday morning. Aside from the obvious -- a chance at a fourth career PGA Tour title -- there's another reason Horschel likely wished he was still around for Monday's resumption of overtime in Sea Island:


Can't the guy catch a break? 

November 19, 2016 - 5:55pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Phil Mickelson
USA Today Sports Images
This is the season of giving thanks. Here, we reflect on seven golf moments we're thankful for this year.

During the week ahead, many us will spend time surrounded by loved ones, breaking bread together and being grateful for the opportunity to enjoy each other's company.

Over the course of the next several days, we're all going to have moments of reflection. Maybe it's on the couch after stuffing our faces during Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe it's when we lay down to go to bed at night. But, inevitably, we will have those moments where we look back, reflect and appreciate all those things in life that we're most thankful for.

In the spirit of this season of giving thanks, we decided to list seven golf moments in professional golf that we're most thankful for this year.

7. We're thankful that the delayed penalty Dustin Johnson incurred at Oakmont back in June during the final round of the U.S. Open didn't cost him his first major victory. Man, wouldn't that have been a bummer? Johnson had to spend time in that grueling final round on one of the toughest courses in the world having to wonder whether he was leading, tied for the lead, or trailing all pending on the outcome of a ruling that wasn't finalized until he went in to sign his card. With his superb play to close out the tournament -- along with the help of those who faltered on the closing stretch -- the penalty ended up being a moot, yet much discussed, point.



6. We're thankful for Louis Oosthuizen's ridiculous hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole at Augusta National during the final round of the Masters. There's nothing cooler than seeing an ace, but -- let's be honest -- while they all result "1" not all aces are created equally. That's what made Oosthuizen's so special. His ball flew long and right of the flag. He utilized the backstop on the green to suck the ball back to it's traditional front left Sunday hole location. The ball trickled and trickled and -- OH NO! -- hit the ball of playing partner J.B. Holmes... and then rolled into the bottom of the cup for one of the coolest aces you'll ever see.



5. We're thankful for the interview conducted by 9-year-old Billy with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy. A late entry to be sure since this video didn't drop until this past Friday, but have you seen it? This little kid was just an absolute savage lighting up McIlroy with uncomfortable question after uncomfortable question. To his credit, McIlroy was a champ about the whole thing and took it all in stride with a smile on his face the entire time. If we learned anything from this interview it's that we all need more Billy interviews in our lives.



4. We're thankful for the singles match between Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia at the Ryder Cup. The match may have ended in a "halve" but when two players are playing at the level that this pair did, it's just incredible to watch. Between them, the two tallied an amazing 19 birdies over 18 holes. If they were teammates in a four-ball match, their opponents would not have stood a chance. There were so many great moments in this match-up, but how good was the birdie putt on 18 by Mickelson to secure the 1/2-point?



3. We're thankful for Patrick Reed as a member of Ryder Cup USA. Does anyone -- at least on the U.S. side -- get as fired up for the Ryder Cup as Reed? He's a man possessed when he puts on the red, white and blue. Reed, along with partner Jordan Spieth, was nearly unstoppable at Hazeltine. And the first eight holes of Reed's singles match on the final day with McIlroy was off the charts with the back and forth and the antics. Reed would win the match 1 up to finish the Ryder Cup with a 3-1-1 record. His 3.5 points were the most of any player in the matches.



2. We're thankful for the final day duel at Royal Troon between Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson in the Open Championship. Much like Mickelson's Ryder Cup match with Garcia, he and Stenson raised their respective games so high at the season's final major it was as if they were playing a different course than the rest of the field. Stenson entered the final round with a one-stroke advantage over Mickelson. On the last day, Mickelson fired a 6-under 65 -- a remarkable score on the final day of a major that should have been more than enough to get the job done. But, somehow, Stenson was better. He posted a head-scratching, 8-under 63 to snag his first major title. What a tournament.



1. We're thankful for a U.S. victory in the Ryder Cup. For whatever reason, the Ryder Cup has been a tough nut to crack for the Americans over the last two decades. How bad was it? Up until this year, the U.S. had won just twice since 1995... and one of those was in miracle fashion at Brookline in 1999 when the team overcame a final-day, four-point deficit. Well, 2016 was different. It was a new approach, a new commitment and a blueprint for years to come. Whether you're a fan of the U.S. or Europe, an American victory at Hazeltine was good for the Ryder Cup. And they didn't need a miracle this time, winning by a score of 17-11. It was the first U.S. win since 2008 in the matches. You're not going to win all the time, but when you're losing all the time, it takes a lot of fun out of it. With all the younger players involved on both sides in this most recent Ryder Cup, it's going to be so much fun to watch for years and years to come.



November 19, 2016 - 2:54pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

Shopping for loved ones can be a real drag. They're the people you know better than anyone else, yet they can also be the toughest to shop for.

If the person you're shopping for is a golfer, we can assure you that any of the items you see on this list would make for a perfect gift.

RELATED: 250+ items in the annual Holiday Gift Guide

Covering a wide-range of products at a variety of price points, here is the ultimate golfer gift list for this holiday season.

1. Ryder Cup USA gear

For the first time since 2008, Ryder Cup USA defeated Europe in the biennial matches at Hazeltine in October. If you have a loved one who just loves the Ryder Cup, there's loads of great gear to choose from in the PGA Shop, including but certainly not limited to, hats, jackets, polos, sweaters and more. You can find the gear that Ryder Cup USA team members actually wore at Hazeltine, or you can go with the special "Champions" gear.

2. Smathers & Branson

Along with its beautiful needlepoint belts, which we highly recommend, Smathers & Branson also makes plenty of other great accessories at a variety of prices. The ones we love the most? Golf-themed flasks ($65), leather can coolers ($29.95), bi-fold wallets ($115) and hats ($35). All items feature the gorgeous needlepoint Smathers & Branson is known for.

Do you have a family member or friend who loves Caddyshack? The movie is portrayed on many of the Smathers & Branson accessories, including a "Bushwood Country Club" hat -- the fictional course used in the classic motion picture.

3. Strokes Gained putters

Over the last several years, boutique putters have really made their presence felt. One of those boutique putter makers is Strokes Gained out of Valdosta, Ga. These high-end, custom putters will separate you or your loved one from everyone else in the foursome. They're not just putters -- they're keepsakes.

With a variety of head styles and finishes to choose from -- along with personalized stamping -- your Strokes Gained putter will truly be one of a kind.

As if the putter itself weren't special enough, the staff at Strokes Gained includes a special, custom-made ball marker with each putter purchase. Visit their site for pricing details.

4. Ogio

When it comes to bags -- both for travel and golf -- Ogio produces among the best. Here are three options sure to please those on your holiday shopping list...

For the traveler: Ogio offers the Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack for $149.99. That might seem steep for a laptop bag, but don't let the name fool you -- it's so much more than that. Along with its laptop compartment that features the innovative RSS (reactive suspension system), which cradles your laptop against damage if you happen to drop your bag, this bag also boasts the following: a crush-resistant Tech Vault pocket, padded mouse/camera pocket, zippered side utility pockets, expandable phone pocket, deluxe panel pocket with zippered stash, and dual side water bottle/accessory pockets. You can even stuff clothes in there for a weekend getaway.

For the weekend warrior: Going somewhere (perhaps the golf course?) that will require you to bring along beverages? For $35.99, Ogio offers a Chill 18-24 Can Cooler -- perfect for snacks and drinks. The leak-proof lining makes this bag easy to clean, and it compacts for simple storage when empty.

For the course: Golf clubs are a big investment. You need to take care of them. People routinely spend over $1,000 on a set of clubs only to toss them in a cheap bag where they clank around and get banged up. Ogio has the solution for that with its Silencer bag ($249.99 with stand).

Available in both stand and cart bag options the Silencer technology features 14 individual compartments that allow for a variety of club configurations. Each compartment has a protective membrane at the top that centers and gently holds the club shaft. The compression fit bottom securely holds the club grip and keeps it from moving and spinning. Bottom line -- your clubs won't clank when you walk or ride a cart. There are also plenty of pockets to store whatever it is you want to bring to the course.

5. Sunfish Sales

Custom. We love custom. That's what you get from the gentlemen at Sunfish Sales in the form of beautiful leather or knitted headcovers, cash covers, yardage book/scorecard holders and wallets.

Sunfish specializes in customizing its products to suit, and gives you the opportunity to build your custom piece on the Sunfish site, and see a realistic rendering of what it will look like, right as you build it, before you buy it. It's also a great tool for green grass and tournament customers, to create immediate mock-ups as they plan their next order.

In terms of quality and customization, Sunfish Sales is about the most affordable we've found in this category, with prices starting as low as $29.99. That's almost impossible to beat for a one-of-a-kind golf gift that's sure to turn heads.

6. Bose headphones

If you or someone you know is a frequent traveler, there has been a time or two that they've been envious of another passenger sporting the Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Trust us. We know.

Give a gift that will make them envious no more in the brand new QuietComfort 35 Wireless Noise-cancelling headphones ($349.95). What's better on a long plane ride than being able to block out all the noise except for your favorite music? Doing it without wires, thanks to the Bluetooth technology used in these over-the-ear headphones designed for optimum comfort.

For the golfer who likes to listen to his or her music on the practice green or driving range, the Bose SoundSport wireless headphones ($149.95) fit the bill. No more having to figure out the perfect way to place the wire from your old headphones so that it doesn't interfere with your swing.

These in-ear headphones stay secure and comfortable no matter the activity.

7. Links Candles

Do you wish you could bottle up the smells of the golf course -- like morning dew, the ocean, leather grips, fescue, pine and more? You can do just that with these golf-inspired candles created by 12-year-old Lily Green. Individual candles are priced at $20 and gift packages that include multiple candles are available as well.

8. MitholoG Golf Towels

Want to add some instant flare to your golf bag? Get rid of that boring, old, dirty golf towel and replace it with one of these beauties from MitholoG. Starting at $34.99, these next generation golf towels are equal parts fashionable and functional.

The awesome patterns on the top sides of these towels distinguish them from anything else you've seen on the course, while the underside does everything you want your towel to do: clean your golf ball, rid your grooves of buildup, wipe away the grime that ends up on your grips, clean off your shoes, soak up sweat and more.

The only problem we see with the MitholoG towels? It's a towel that's so pretty you're not going to want to get it dirty.

9. adidas TOUR360 BOOST shoes

With all the advances in technology through the years -- both in equipment and apparel -- it's almost hard to believe that there was once a time where most golfers wore stiff, uncomfortable, wing-tipped dress shoes with spikes on the bottom to the course, isn't it? Don't get us wrong -- they looked sharp, but they sure didn't look comfortable.

Thankfully, things have changed. The latest offering from adidas -- the newest TOUR360 BOOST ($200) -- might just be as comfortable a golf shoe as you'll ever slip your pups into.

Featuring a premium leather upper with climaproof technology for a rich look, soft, comfortable feel and long-lasting protection and durability, the TOUR360 boost helps you perform at your best while maintaining a sharp look on the course.

There's virtually no "break-in" period with these golf shoes. They're like walking on pillows.

10. Maui Jim Tail Slide sunglasses

There are golf-specific sunglasses and then there are glasses you can where to the course, to the beach, to lunch with friends and everything in between. The new Tail Slide sunglasses from Maui Jim ($249) fall into the latter category. The timeless design makes these sunglasses perfect for any occasion.

The lens on these glasses are arguably their greatest selling point. SuperThin glass
provides the absolute crispest optics available. They're 20 percent thinner and lighter than standard glass, and offer the best scratch and solvent resistance.

With PolarizedPlus2 technology, every pair of Maui Jims includes a patented, color-infused lens technology that wipes out 99.9percent of glare, 100 percent harmful UV and boosts color via specially designed lens treatments so your view is clearer, with crisper contrast and amazing brilliance.

Comfort. Style. Performance. The Maui Jim Tail Slide checks off all three.

11. Galvin Green Windstopper Bart Jacket

Warmth. It's what all of us in the northeast are looking for on the golf course this time of year. While we want warmth, we don't want the bulk that typically comes along with it.

The Galvin Green Windstopper Bart Jacket ($155) keeps you warm with its soft-shell fabric, keeps out windchill and sustains a core body temperature, which allows you to focus on what's most important -- the next shot.

It might just be the perfect golf jacket too, one to keep in your bag at all times for use in any season when the wind, or the weather, kicks up.

12. Mizuno JPX-900 Driver

Are you or someone you know looking for/hoping for a new driver this holiday season?

There's no shortage of options out there at the moment, but here's one you may not have considered that you probably should: the JPX-900 from Mizuno.

You should expect a lot from a driver with a price tag of $500. With the JPX-900, you won't be disappointed. This adjustable driver with a beautiful blue crown and a stock Fujikura Speeder EVO II and custom grip (no upcharge for either, by the way) delivers in performance.

By manipulating the two, 8-gram tungsten-steel weights on the sole of the driver, you can fine-tune launch angle and spin rate and create fade or draw bias. The 450cc head has an adjustable hosel for additional launch and spin control.

Forgiveness -- both in length and accuracy -- is what makes the JPX-900 driver a hot item for the holidays.

13. Mizuno JPX-900 Forged Irons

If you're a serious golfer and you've never experienced what it feels like to hit a Mizuno iron, do yourself a favor and run to your nearest Mizuno fitter. It's amazing.

One of the company's latest offerings is the JPX-900 Forged irons ($1,199.99). With the integration of Boron, these Mizuno irons have a thinner, hotter face. The reshaped pocket cavity allows for more ball speed across the clubface -- in other words, you won't be losing much distance at all on your misses.

The JPX-900 forged irons offer the look of a player's iron (smaller head, thinner top line) with the foregiveness of a game-improvement iron.

If you're the type of golfer who is looking for an iron upgrade to a set of the "player" variety, but don't think you're ready for blades, this is the set for you. You'll get all the benefits of a blade -- primarily feel and workability -- without sacrificing on your mishits.