Golf Buzz

February 26, 2013 - 3:48pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Arnold Palmer
Getty Images
When it comes to listing, "biggest golf personalities of all time," if Arnold Palmer isn't on the list, it's not a list at all! Luckily, the King is prominently placed on this one.

 

There are a number of larger than life personalities that have roamed the fairways through the annals of golf history.
 
Whether it was the way they dressed, their demeanor on the course, or the way they wowed (or continue to wow) us with their respective games, some people just have, "it."
 
Mike Dudurich, a featured columnist for BleacherReport.com, got his thinking cap on and highlighted 10 of the biggest golf personalities of all time.
 
Here's what Dudurich wrote:
 
The personalities that make up professional golf are not all that dissimilar from those in any other line of work.
 
They range from outgoing to quiet, from very real to very fake and from great for the game to just a bit iffy.
 
But the game has been blessed over the years to have some great personalities, the kind that fall into the category of helping to mold the game as well as the category of continuing the greatness of the game.
 
Here’s a look at the 10 biggest golf personalities of all time.
 
Enjoy the list, which -- believe it or not -- does not include Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods. It's got to be the first golf list ever that includes the words, "biggest and all time," in the same headline but exludes Nicklaus and Woods, right?
 
You'll understand why when you read on.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 25, 2013 - 11:19pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Colin Montgomerie
Getty Images
Colin Montgomerie was "positively aghast" at the idea that the PGA Tour might ignore the proposed anchor ban, according to PA Sport.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem provoked quite a bit of reaction on Sunday when he announced that the tour might not go along with the ban on anchored putting strokes being advocated by the USGA and R&A.

European Tour stalwart Colin Montgomerie was "positively aghast" at the idea that the PGA Tour might ignore the proposed anchor ban, according to the PA Sport newswire in England.

"The R&A and USGA have served the game of golf for a long, long time and long may that continue," Montgomerie said on Sky Sports. "This has opened up a whole new can of worms. It's a very dangerous situation we are getting ourselves into and I do hope they can sort this out very, very quickly.

"I thought, as we all did, that the rules of golf were set by the R&A and the USGA. Tim Finchem has obviously thought otherwise," he added. "Whether the European Tour think that or not has to be debated, too."

The European Tour, by the way, came out in support of the proposed ban last November, with Chief Executive George O'Grady saying that "I would urge the Tour to follow the rules as laid down by the governing bodies. The view of our leading members and our players must be listened to, but I haven't heard one of our members want to break away at the moment. They want to be connected to the game."

That's how Monty feels, too.

"I think we should go with what the R&A and USGA feel. Whether the long putter should have been banned 20 years ago or not, it should be banned now," he said. "We should abide by that. To now go against that and say 'my players aren't going to go by that,' then what happens when you come to USGA events or the British Open?

"Does that mean you have to use a different club? Does that mean other rules can change as well?," he asked. "We want to play as one under the same rules."

February 25, 2013 - 9:36pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Cleveland 588 TT iron
Courtesy of Cleveland Golf
The heads of the Cleveland 588 TT irons include a modest cavity back with an engineered undercut to improve ball speed and accuracy on off-center hits.

Of the three new sets of 588 Cleveland irons, the 588 Tour Trajectory (TT) irons are the most ambitious. Like the MT (Mid Trajectory) models, the TT irons are named after the flight pattern they produce – a lower, more piercing trajectory preferred by better players.

The 588 TT irons feature a constant clubface height throughout the set, but have a progressive face length to promote more forgiveness in the long irons and a more penetrating, controlled trajectory in the short irons. The 588 TTs also have forged clubfaces to enhance feel and ball speed.

The clubheads include a modest cavity back with an engineered undercut to improve ball speed and accuracy on off-center hits, while a multi-material iron plaque of polymer and aluminum behind the face dampens vibration at impact for a more consistent feel.

In addition, the 588 TT irons, 588 MT irons and 588 Altitude irons can be easily interchanged to customize a set with the preferred combination of ball flight, feel and forgiveness.

The standard TT set includes a 4-iron through ''D'' wedge (a D wedge is a 50-degree wedge that works both a pitching wedge and sand wedge), though a 3-iron and standard sand wedge are also available. They retail for $699.99 per set with steel shafts and $799.99 per set with graphite shafts.

February 25, 2013 - 4:53pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Lydia Ko
Getty Images
Lydia Ko might be an amateur player, but she's got a game that's right up there with the world's top players.

 

If you haven't heard the name, "Lydia Ko," by now, well, you need to.
 
A 15-year-old amateur golfer from New Zealand, Ko has wowed the golf world having already won three professional events, including the recent ISPS Handa New Zealand Women's Open. She very nearly went back-to-back, but came up just short in Australia.
 
Anyway, Ko seems ready for the big time. That's not to say a move to the professional ranks is imminent. But, she's proven she has the game to not only compete, but win.
 
Through the years, golf has seen many young phenoms come and go. Few pan out and live up to the expectations (see the likes of Ty Tryon, David Gossett and Michelle Wie [admittedly still a work in progress], among others). 
 
In some cases, though, the hyped players do actually live up to the billing -- players like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Lexi Thompson and more.
 
Ben Alberstadt, a featured columnist for BleacherReport.com, put together an impressive list of golf's top-10 phenoms.
 
Here's what Alberstadt wrote:
 
With 15-year-old Lydia Ko’s brilliant performance at last week’s Women’s Australian Open fresh in the minds of the golfing public, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the best teenage phenoms in the few-hundred-year history of golf.
 
There is an unabashed bias in this list towards players who have gone on to great professional success. The inclusion of any golfers who have fizzled out on the professional level (Michelle Wie, for example) is only a product of the tremendous hype and mythmaking that surrounded their stellar play as teenagers.
 
Without further ado, then, the top 10 teen phenoms in golf history.  
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 24, 2013 - 11:12pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
TaylorMade R1 driver
Courtesy of TaylorMade

Adjustability is the dominant trend in drivers these days, and the new R1 driver continues TaylorMade's mastery of this current generation of custom-tunable drivers.

The R1 model offers the greatest range of adjustability of any driver in TaylorMade's history, as well as in the industry today. It gives the golfer 12 loft settings and seven face-angle positions, and includes two movable shot-shape weights. These three features allow the driver to be tuned 168 different ways to optimize distance and accuracy – and, importantly, allow a golfer to adjust the loft and face angle independently of each other.

''Offering a wide range of loft settings is imperative, because our research indicates that 80 percent of golfers are playing the wrong loft, which costs them distance,'' said TaylorMade Chief Technical Officer Benoit Vincent. ''The R1 offers 12 positions to help golfers find the loft that delivers the launch conditions that deliver maximum distance.''

That stat – that 80 percent of golfers don't play the correct loft – seems incredible, but TaylorMade says that many of us typically choose the wrong loft when we buy a driver off the rack. We usually opt for too little loft because too many of us believe that a lower-lofted driver will provide longer distance, but that typically costs the average player carry and distance by promoting a too-low launch angle.

In addition, recent advances in driver design to create less (such as moving the Center of Gravity lower and more forward in the clubhead) help achieve a blend of higher loft and lower spin, making it logical for many players to switch to a higher loft. And because it is so adjustable, the R1 can be tuned for players of almost every type and skill level.

The R1's 12 loft settings mean it can be set anywhere from 8 degrees to 12 degrees of loft (seven of the settings are at the standard lie angle, and five at an upright lie angle). The seven face-angle settings include: neutral/square, slightly open, more open, maximum open, slightly closed, more closed and maximum closed. And the two shot-shape weights allow the Center of Gravity to be shifted by five millimeters to promote either a draw or a neutral/straight trajectory.

This new driver also includes TaylorMade's Inverted Cone Technology – in which an inverted cone is milled into the inner side of the clubface – which expands the sweet spot for extra distance, even on off-center hits. The head is covered with a white matte finish to reduce glare and contrast with the black face to make alignment easier. The new gray and orange crown graphic is eye-catching, and the triangular white space immediately behind the face acts as an alignment aid.

The R1's standard shaft is the Aldila RIP Phenom 55, which, at 55 grams, helps produce a faster clubhead swing than heavier models yet is strategically weighted to deliver the feel of a heavier shaft. It also features Aldila's Hyberbolic Flex Technology, which incorporates a stiff tip section to aid launch and spin control, a very firm butt section for a stable feel and a softer center section that promotes an added kick through impact for maximum ball speed.  

The R1 carries a suggested retail price of $399, while the hotter R1 TP model retails for $499.

 

February 24, 2013 - 3:40pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Honda LPGA Thailand car accident
Photo courtesy: Suzann Pettersen's blog
Suzann Petersen witnessed a minor car accident involving Ai Mayazato and Paula Creamer as they left for the airport in Thailand.

LPGA star Suzann Pettersen sent out a blog post detailing a chain accident of cars that slightly injured fellow stars Ai Mayazato and Paula Creamer on their way to the airport following the Honda LPGA Thailand. 

According to Suzann Pettersen's blog: Don’t know how it all went down, but in a split second the entourage of our 5 cars was all crushed together! Paula said she felt like a ping ping ball being hit from both ends pretty hard! I was in the last car and manage somehow to just miss the rest! Out of all the cars , the car I was in was the only car suited to take us to the airport!

You can read her entire account at her blog here.

You can follow John Kim on Twitter @johnkim_10