Golf Buzz

February 14, 2013 - 9:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Northern Trust Open
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The Northern Trust Open takes place this week at Riviera Country Club, where Bill Haas won in a playoff a year ago.


Richard Langford, a featured columnsist for, put together a nice primer to get you prepared for the start of the Northern Trust Open, which begins today at Riviera Country Club.
Langford offers up some things to watch and highlights the tee times and TV broadcast times.
Have a look for yourself at Langford's piece here.
February 14, 2013 - 2:37am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Jesper Parnevik, Mario Lopez, Maria Menounos and James Hahn
Kristy Owens of Cobra Golf via Twitter
James Hahn (right) and fellow player Jesper Parnevik (left) put in some "Extra" work with co-hosts Mario Lopez and Maria Menounos on Wednesday at Riviera.

I don't often see the TV show ''Extra.'' In fact, I can't honestly say I remember what time or even what channel it's on. But I might have to find it next Monday.

Why? Because the ''Extra'' crew spent part of Wednesday out at the Northern Trust Open, where they hung out with James Hahn. The PGA Tour rookie, of course, made every newscast in America a couple weeks ago, when he broke out the ''Gangnam Style'' moves on the notorious par-3 16th hole during the Phoenix Open.

And that – not Tiger Woods' runaway victory at Torrey Pines or Phil Mickelson's near-59 in Phoenix or Brandt Snedeker's big win at Pebble Beach – caught the ''Extra'' crew's attention.

But hey, ''Extra'' is an entertainment program, not a golf show, so catching up with Hahn makes perfect sense. And hey, seeing golfers on ''Extra'' is a darn sight better than seeing them on ''TMZ.'' Am I right?

Cobra Golf PR rep Kristy Owens ‏tweeted out the photo above late Wednesday, showing Hahn (far right), with Cobra's Jesper Parnevik (left) and ''Extra’s'' Mario Lopez and Maria Menounos (I triple-checked how to spell ''Menounos.'') Hahn also tweeted about his day, saying it was is first experience filming for ''Extra'' and telling us to tune in to see who wins the putting competition they had.

His hashtags cracked me up, too. He closed his twitter post with #ganghahnstyle and #asianbradpitt. Too bad he only had 140 characters, or he could've added "breakoutstar."



February 13, 2013 - 8:00pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Here's some very welcome news: The number of rounds played nationwide in 2012 was up 6.4 percent over 2011, according to PGA PerformanceTrak. That represents the largest single-year percentage increase in rounds played since 2000.

And along with growth in rounds played, golf fee revenue increased by 6.6 percent last year, based on reports from the facilities participating in the monthly surveys. Some details:

--48 states showed an increase in golf fee revenue for 2012
--17 states showed golf fee revenue increases over 10 percent
--24 states had golf fee revenue increases ranging from 5.0 to 9.9 percent
--Seven states had golf fee revenue increases from 1 to 4.9 percent

Additionally, the PGA PerformanceTrak report indicated that merchandise revenue was up 8.9 percent, food and beverage revenue was up 5.9 percent and total facility revenue was up 4.3 percent last year as compared to 2011.

These increases were enabled in part by the weather, the report said. According to the National Climatic Data Center, 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the United States, and that led to a 6.5 percent increase in the number of days the average facility was open throughout the year.

"While the increase in rounds played in 2012 was supported by favorable weather conditions, consumers made the choice to play golf, rather than participate in other recreational activities," said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. "It's not an aberration that golf facilities that are offering player development programs to support Golf 2.0, are driving more consumers to the course, while positively impacting the bottom lines at their facilities. We continue to build momentum, and I’m confident that these programs, complemented by the favorable weather conditions, are leading to the increase in rounds played."
PGA PerformanceTrak, a joint venture between the PGA of America and the National Golf Course Owners Association of America, is the golf industry's leading rounds and revenue data collection and benchmarking service. More than 3,000 golf facilities contribute to the PerformanceTrak reports on a monthly basis.

February 13, 2013 - 3:23pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Cy Cyr's Sam Weinman put together a hysterical slideshow of most annoying golf partners, including, "The Volcano," pictured above.


Cool piece I stumbled upon today on by Sam Weinman.
Weinman put together a funny slideshow of the most annoying golf partners you can have -- he highlighted 36 in all!
Among the beauties -- and I know I've played with all of them -- Weinman points out:
Unsolicited Swing Advice Guy
Defining characteristics: Knows exactly how to fix your swing even though you didn't ask. Employs a vast array of swing jargon that only confuses you further.
Favorite expression: "Wait, try this!"
The Cart Girl Schmoozer
Defining characteristics: Convinced he's got a shot with the cart girl. Would be crushed to learn she offered the same flirty laugh and bag of nuts to foursome of geeks up ahead. 
Favorite expression: "We'll take four beers and one more smile, darlin'."
The Air Counter
Defining characteristics: Can't remember his score without reliving every shot in detail. 
Favorite expression: "One in the pond, two drop, three back in the pond. Four I had that funky lie in the bunker and left it in the bunker ... "
Oblivious Guy
Defining characteristics: So preoccupied with his own game never looks for anyone else's ball. When driving a cart, always blows past your ball and heads directly to his. 
Favorite expression: "But enough about me. What do YOU think of my swing?"
The Volcano
Defining characteristics: Has unique ability to allow even the most pleasant days to be soured by any bad swing, bounce, or lie. Relies on Ball Retriever Guy to occasionally fetch clubs out of lake. 
Favorite expression: "[Not printable]"
If you're looking for a good laugh, check out the rest of Weinman's list here.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 13, 2013 - 3:01pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Riviera may be one of the shorter courses on the PGA Tour, but it's also one of the most special.


What should you be looking out for this week as the PGA Tour heads to legendary Riviera Country Club for the Northern Trust Open? featured columnist Mike Dudurich has you covered.
Dudurich wrote:
Going back to 1929, when the Los Angeles Open was first played at Riviera Country Club, the early-season stop on the PGA Tour quickly grew into a must-play for the best players in the world.
In the middle of the century, Riviera became known as Hogan's Alley after Ben Hogan won two Los Angeles Opens and the 1948 U.S. Open on the course.
The PGA Tour comes calling this week to Riviera and the course will provide one of the compelling storylines throughout the week.
Among the storylines Dudurich highlights is the fact that stars Luke Donald, Adam Scott and Ernie Els are all making their PGA Tour season debuts this week.
To check out all of Dudurich's storylines, click here.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 13, 2013 - 8:33am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Daniela Holmqvist
Daniela Holmqvist Twitter
Daniela Holmqvist of Sweden (center) finished an LPGA qualifier after being bitten on the fourth hole by a back widow spider on Tuesday.


Have you ever gutted out a round of golf while fighting blisters on your feet? Maybe you've fallen ill on the course, but sucked it up and plugged along to finish?
If you have, LET (Ladies European Tour) rookie Daniela Holmqvist of Sweden probably never wants to hear your lame, pathetic story.
Holmqvuist was playing in a pre-qualifier on Tuesday for the LPGA's ISPS Handa Australian Open in Yarralumla. After hitting her second shot from the rough on the fourth hole, Holmqvuist was bitten by a black widow spider on her ankle.
She felt a sharp stab in her ankle. When she looked down, she saw a large, furry, black creature with a red spot on its back just above her sock line. After quickly swatting it away, she doubled over in pain.
"When I told the local caddies in my group what had happened, they got very upset and said it was a Black Widow, and immediately started looking for their phones to call the medics," Holmqvist told Karin Klarstrom of Svensk Golf.
As Holmqvist's leg started to swell and the pain became intense, she made the quick decision to take matters into her own hands (she'd just been informed that a Black Widow bite can kill a child in as little as 30 minutes). She pulled a tee out of her pocket ("it was the only thing I had handy," she told Svensk Golf) and used it to cut open the wound so she could squeeze out the venom and keep it from spreading inside her body.
"A clear fluid came out," she said. "It wasn't the prettiest thing I've ever done, but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible."
As it turns out, the quick-thinking Holmqvist helped her cause in a big way with the self-surgery. 
Playing through severe pain and anxiety, Holmqvist miraculously finished her round and shot a 74 -- which left her out of the tournament. 
Holmqvist gave post-round updates via her Twitter page, @DHolmqvist:
"So I went to see a doctor... On a double dose of antibiotics and some other stuff 4 times per day. Also the wound needed some attention."
"I asked the doctor if I could do a workout today... Her response "the death-stare"."
The moral of the story: next time you want to whine about some ailment on the course, think of Daniela Holmqvist who played 14 more holes after a black widow bite and ensuing do-it-yourself surgery with a golf tee!
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.