Golf Buzz

August 11, 2012 - 2:06am
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John Holmes
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Adam Scott at the PGA Championship
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Sending flowers to a woman he hit with a stray shot likely will earn Adam Scott even more female fans.

Adam Scott clocked a woman on the noggin with a drive on Friday at the PGA Championship, but the bruise is probably worth the benefits – Scott got her address and promised to send her a bouquet for her bump.

"Unfortunately, I hit a lady on the seventh hole. She was getting some medical attention and I hope she is going to be okay," Scott said afterward. "She will be getting a big bunch of flowers from me."

Scott’s gentlemanly gesture came a few weeks after Rory McIlroy hit a teenaged spectator in the first round of the British Open. McIlroy's wayward tee shot left the young man dazed and lying on the ground. After the youth's head was bandaged, McIlroy signed a glove for him. And after McIlroy’s manager found out that the teen and his friend were camping out so they could attend the Open, he arranged for them to be moved to an upscale hotel for the rest of the week.

These incidents caught the attention of former PGA Champion Steve Elkington, who couldn’t help but notice how much things have changed when it comes to errant-shot etiquette.

“Old School..Hit spectator with ball .."you ok pal?",” tweeted Elkington. “New School .. Hit Spectator ...send flowers .. Hotel room .. $200 ... Dinner”


August 10, 2012 - 1:13am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Phil Mickelson
Soon-to-be San Diego Padres' part-owner Phil Mickelson will leave the baseball details to the experts.

Don't worry, baseball fans, Phil Mickelson promises not to pull a George Steinbrenner – he’ll leave the San Diego Padres' baseball decisions to the baseball people.

Mickelson is a member of an ownership group that finalized a deal to buy the Padres earlier this week, and the transaction is expected to be formally approved by Major League Baseball in the near future. Leading the group is former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.

Mickelson stresses that he won't meddle in lineups, pitching changes, trades or managerial moves, like the notorious Yankees owner and some other owners have done with their teams down through the years. Instead, Mickelson said on Thursday, he plans to concentrate on community relations, an area that he, as a San Diego native and longtime Padres fan, saw as a shortcoming in recent years.

"There's been a bit of a disconnect the last few years and understandably so, where the community of San Diego has really been faithful and loyal to the team and put a lot of money in to give us one of the best ballparks in the baseball," Mickelson said. "The last few years I think the fan base has lost a little faith in the team and we'll see if we can turn that around."

And the first time he gets to sit in the owner's box as an owner? It will be, he says, "awkward, but exciting nonetheless."

August 9, 2012 - 12:53pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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Michelle McGann
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Michelle McGann is helping grow the game through a new initiative called Fairway Friends.

Major championships always bring out a who’s who of golf – like Butch Harmon standing impatiently in line at the local grocery store behind the crew last night. But there are also people within the game who are at Kiawah to help spread important messages. 

LPGA veteran Michelle McGann is one of those.

Michelle is the spokesperson for Fairway Friends, a new initiative by the Executive Women’s Golf Association designed to bring women into the game through their friendships with other women.

"Our main mission is to get more working women involved in golf," Michelle told me over coffee before she headed out to watch the first round. "To do that we established this program where you can be a mentor; you can, as someone who plays golf, grab someone who doesn’t know much about golf and introduce them to the game."

Fairway Friends is exactly the kind of growth-of-the-game program the PGA of America supports through Golf 2.0. 

"Those of us who have played golf all our lives take for granted the little things like, what do you wear? What do you say? What is an iron or a wood? What is the etiquette? That is where a mentor can help a friend become more comfortable and feel more welcome when they start.

"Those of us in the game can look back now and see that so many of the long-term friendships we have were established in golf. So, we should really try to bring other women into it to experience that same long-term bond."

It is these kinds of efforts from good people like Michelle McGann and others that will keep golf growing for decades to come. 


August 9, 2012 - 8:05am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
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Who could ever forget Tiger's strut as he stared a putt into the hole at Valhalla in 2000?

We asked our friends in Facebook Nation to vote on the top-9 moments in PGA Championship history.Take a look at the list to see which moments received the most of your votes 

August 9, 2012 - 1:47am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones escaped from the bunker in this photo, but didn't fare so well in the sand at the 1921 British Open.

To wind down from the last of my pre-PGA Championship duties on Wednesday night, I caught up on this week’s episode of the SYFY show “Warehouse 13.” As usual, the story dealt with Secret Service agents in hot pursuit of missing “artifacts” – famous items that somehow possess superpowers. One of the missing artifacts in this episode was the bag of golf clubs that Bobby Jones used in the 1921 British Open.

As golf historians know, the 1921 British Open at St. Andrews was perhaps the low point of Jones’ competitive career. During the third round, he got so frustrated that, after struggling to get out of a bunker on the 11th hole, he simply picked up his ball and walked back to the clubhouse. Jones was well-known for his temper in those early years of his career, and he later said that quitting in the middle of his round was “the most inglorious failure of my golfing life.”

On “Warehouse 13,” however, one of the agents said that Jones “threw his clubs all over the green.” That, by all accounts, never happened.

If the show played fast and loose with golf history, it had some good fun with Jones’ clubs later in the episode. After they were tracked down, agent Artie Nelson, played by Saul Rubinek, wound up swinging Jones’ 9-iron around like a “Star Wars” light saber because whoever held the 9-iron was inexplicably filled with rage. And at the end of the episode, the bag was returned to the warehouse, where it was stored next to the drum set of the equally hot-tempered Buddy Rich because, one of the agents said, “their energy ought to cancel each other out.”

August 8, 2012 - 9:52pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Bubba Watson
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Do you know this man? More than 40 percent of people in a recent survey had no clue.

Bubba Watson became a megastar in the world of golf after his amazing victory in the Masters four months ago, but he’s apparently got a long way to go before he conquers the world at large.

In a survey conducted by CBS News that was reported in the August issue of Vanity Fair magazine, a sampling of 976 adults nationwide was asked: Who is Bubba Watson?

The choices were:
A. Pro golfer
B. Famous blues guitarist
C. Governor of Virginia
D. Celebrity Chef
E. Don’t know

Only 31 percent of the respondents correctly identified Watson as a pro golfer – 44 percent said they didn’t know who he was, while 17 percent thought he was a blues guitarist, six percent thought he was the governor of Virginia and three percent thought he was a celebrity chef.

“The 33-year-old Georgian golfer and winner of this year’s Masters—over an especially surly Tiger Woods—is still an unknown,” said CBS News.

“Amazingly, 44 percent did not know that he recently won the world's most prestigious golf title -- the Masters -- with an unforgettable recovery shot out of the woods,” CBS added, with the presumption that the Masters is in fact the world’s most prestigious tournament and an unnecessary swipe at Tiger. “If he keeps playing like that, they won't be forgetting his name very much longer.”

Not to nitpick, but I don’t think the poll respondents forgot who Bubba was; they likely hadn’t heard of him yet. But I do agree – if Bubba continues to play well and win more majors, more people will get to know him for the genuine, easygoing, fun-loving and quick-witted guy he is, and he’ll be on the way to becoming a star who transcends golf. Unless, that is, he decides to become a celebrity chef, the governor of Virginia or -- my personal Plan B for Bubba -- a blues guitarist.