Golf Buzz

August 7, 2012 - 1:16pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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Phil Mickelson
Mickelson put a new putter in play a week before the season's final major. Good call?

Equipment changes before a major are rare. Putter changes before a major are virtually unheard of.

Guys might experiment with a driver or two the Monday before. And a new wedge could occasionally slip into the bag. Depending on the venue, a driving iron or hybrid might make a temporary appearance. But almost never is the putter, the most important and intimate club in the bag, jilted for a new mistress on the eve of one of the Big Four. 

But Phil Mickelson did just that, putting an Odyssey prototype in the bag the Friday of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The club resembles an old friend, the No.9 model he has used in the past, with a low profile heel and a raised toe.

According to Mickelson, the design gives the putter “a kind of a hook roll.” 

Whether it’s the newness of the romance or the mechanics of the instrument, Mickelson averaged 28 putts per round with the new putter, putting him T13 in the field. He also gained 1.217 strokes per round putting, seventh in the field.

“It just rolls off the face like magic, and it has this great track,” Mickelson said. “I was making a lot more 15- to 30-footers because it was holding such a tight roll.”

Rain precluded practice on Tuesday and Mickelson canceled his press conference, so nobody could confirm if the affair continues. But if it does, Phil will once again generate a lot of a buzz with his decision making. 



August 7, 2012 - 11:37am
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
The PGA of America
Twenty PGA Club Professionals will be competing in the 94th PGA Championship.


One of the great storylines at any PGA Championship are the stories behind the 20 PGA Club Professionals who will be leaving their golf shops and teaching academies to tee it up alongside the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.  
But more than mere representatives of the association that will be conducting the championship, these 20 are world-class players who have already proven their talent and skill through a rigorous qualifying process, culminating in a top 20 finish at the PGA Professional National Championship (held this past June in Seaside, Calif.)
Earlier this week, the 20 PGA Club Professionals came together to pose for a photo.
Pictured ar: From Left to Right: Marty Jertson, Phoenix, Ariz.; Alan Morin, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; Rod Perry, Port Orange, Fla.; Danny Balin, Rockville, Md.; Brian Gaffney, Monmouth Beach, N.J.; Frank Bensel, Greenwich, Conn.; Mike Small, Champaign, Ill.; Darrell Kestner, Glen Cove, N.Y.; Bob Sowards, Dublin, Ohio; Matt Dobyns, Sea Cliff, N.Y.; Jeff Coston, Blaine, Wash.; Mitch Lowe, San Francisco; Brian Cairns, Waterford, Mich.; Paul Scaletta, Jupiter, Fla.; Mark Brown, Oyster Bay, N.Y.; Kelly Mitchum, Southern Pines, N.C.; Michael Frye, Sedona, Ariz.; Doug Wade, Cincinnati, Ohio; Corey Prugh, Spokane, Wash.; and Bill Murchison III, Canton, Ga.   (Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America) 
August 7, 2012 - 1:05am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Phil Mickelson
Getty Images
Phil Mickelson joined a group headed by the O'Malley family in May, but will have no role in the team's say-to-day operations.

Phil Mickelson could be excused if he was a little distracted on Monday at the PGA Championship -- his group's purchase of the San Diego Padres was finalized on Monday night. All that's left now is formal approval by the other Major League Baseball owners, which could come as soon as an owners' meeting on Aug. 16.

Mickelson joined a group headed by the O'Malley family -- the longtime owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers -- and San Diego businessman Ron Fowler in May. Their group was one of five trying to buy the Padres from owner John Moores, and they later were selected as the winning group. Mickelson and his partners will pay about $800 million for the team, but there has been no word on how much Mickelson is kicking in or how large a piece of the ownership he will receive.

Asked about his proposed investment in May, Mickelson said only that it would be "a lot," and that it would be a "significant investment opportunity."
As for his role with the team?
"Day-to-day operations, running a sports organization, that's not my forte," Mickelson said. "I want to have a personal relationship with the players and find ways to get them tied to the community, things of that nature."

August 6, 2012 - 10:14pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Pete Dye
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The daunting Ocean Course at Kiawah Island has been striking fear into the world’s top players since it was announced as the host venue for this week’s PGA Championship. But all the consternation from the tour pros is music to the ears of Pete Dye, the renowned course architect who conjured it up out of the dunes and linksland along the wild South Carolina coast.

“Hell, I can't think of anything better” than the game’s best players complaining about playing from the back tees while the general public turns out in droves to enjoy the course from the white tees, Dye told Tom Mackin of Golf Magazine last week.

The irascible Dye also discussed his plans for retirement, golf’s global future, which of his courses he thinks could host a major, what he would do if he was in charge of the making the rules, and more.

To read the full interview, click here.

August 6, 2012 - 9:14pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Kiawah's Ocean Course
Getty Images
The sand areas around the course will be treated as "natural sandy areas" and not bunkers.


Standing at the airport carousel, I see my old friend Mark Wilson - former Rules Chairman for the PGA of America and still on the rules committee. After an initial greeting, I bring up (and confirm) - "No bunkers at the Ocean Course."
"No bunkers at the Ocean Course," he nodded. And then he continued.
"You know we (the PGA of America) did not have bunkers here in 1991 during the Ryder Cup - nor at the 2005 PGA Professional National Championship nor the 2007 Senior PGA Championship. That rule is a product of architecture, not a reaction to any event that occured previously."
Of course, that was the infamous bunker at Whistling Straits that cost Dustin Johnson a spot in the playoff, ultimately won by Martin Kaymer.
This means players will be able to ground a club, remove a obstruction or take a practice swing in these areas. There will be plenty fescue, ponds, marshes, waste areas and even alligators to avoid - but bunkers will not be a problem. 
August 6, 2012 - 9:40am
Posted by:
John Kim's picture

As long as we're talking PGA Championship week - this is the time of year when I'm swamped with ticket requests. "I'm happy to pay," people say, "I just can't find any tickets." Well, one option is - beat the rush. Here's today's official release regarding tickets for next year's PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y. You can learn more about the 2013 PGA Championship at

Rochester, N.Y., August 6, 2012 - PGA of America officials announced that tickets are now on sale for the 95th PGA Championship, which will be contested Aug. 5-11, 2013, at Oak Hill Country Club. The strongest field in golf will take on the legendary East Course in the "Season's Final Major."
"We had a great response to the ticket pre-sale," said Ryan Cannon, Championship Director, 95th PGA Championship. "More than 75 percent of the Clubhouse tickets that were allocated to the general public through the pre-sale online registration are now sold, and nearly 50 percent of all other inventory has been sold." 
Cannon says demand for ticket sales has risen because of limited inventory.  
There are a variety of ticket options and packages to choose from. Ticket prices range from $25 for a Monday Daily Grounds ticket to $550 for a week-long Clubhouse ticket.  There are two ways to purchase tickets to the 2013 PGA Championship: 
1. Online at
2. By phone at 1-800-PGA-GOLF (742-4653)
Next year will mark the third time the PGA Championship will be contested in the Rochester, N.Y. community.  The 1980 and 2003 PGA Championships were also held at Oak Hill Country Club. 
95th PGA Championship Ticket Options and Pricing 
Daily Grounds Tickets: 
A Daily Grounds ticket provides access to the grounds for the specific day requested and includes free parking and shuttle.
Monday & Tuesday - $25*
Wednesday - $35*
Thursday & Friday - $75*
Saturday & Sunday - $85*
Season Grounds Tickets:
The Seasons Grounds ticket package provides access to the grounds for all seven days of the Championship. Each Season Grounds ticket package comes in the form of seven individual daily tickets (one for Monday, one for Tuesday, etc.) and includes free parking and shuttle.
7-Day Ticket Package - $285*
Wanamaker Club Tickets:
The Wanamaker Club ticket package provides access to the grounds and Wanamaker Club all seven days of the Championship. The Wanamaker Club is a pavilion located in close proximity to the Championship course. Experience a sports bar atmosphere with amenities including air conditioning, HD televisions, an outdoor patio, restrooms, and upscale food and beverage options available for purchase. Each Wanamaker Club ticket comes in the form of seven individual daily tickets (one for Monday, one for Tuesday, etc.) and includes free parking and shuttle.
7-Day Ticket Package - $475*
Clubhouse Tickets: 
The Clubhouse ticket package provides access to the Championship grounds and designated areas inside the historic Oak Hill Country Club clubhouse all seven days of the Championship. Clubhouse ticket holders will have access to amenities such as HD televisions, restrooms, and upscale food and beverage options for purchase. Each clubhouse ticket comes in the form of seven individual daily tickets (one for Monday, one for Tuesday, etc.) includes free parking and shuttle.   
7-Day Ticket Package - $550*
President's Club Tickets: 
Available Thursday - Sunday of Championship week, the President's Club daily ticket provides access to the grounds and President's Club for the day purchased. The President's Club is located inside the historic Oak Hill Country Club clubhouse. Complimentary food, beverage, and open bar are included. For every two Presidents Club tickets purchased, one complimentary Premium Parking pass is provided.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - $900/day*
*plus applicable taxes, shipping, and handling
Complimentary access for future Major Champions
Juniors 17 years of age and younger will be admitted into the Championship Grounds with an accompanying ticketed adult. Each ticketed adult will be permitted four (4) junior admissions daily at no additional charge.
Complimentary access for Active Military
To honor the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces, The PGA of America is pleased to offer active military personnel complimentary Daily Grounds access to the 2013 PGA Championship.
About the PGA Championship
The 95th PGA Championship will be conducted Aug. 5-11, 2013, at Oak Hill Country Club. The PGA Championship features the strongest field in golf and is considered one of the largest sporting events in the world. Since 1916, golf's best professionals have been competing for the PGA Championship's coveted Wanamaker Trophy; including past champions Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, Shaun Micheel, Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and Walter Hagen.
About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.
About Oak Hill Country Club  
Oak Hill Country Club (Rochester, N.Y.), recognized as one of the finest golf courses in America, has been synonymous with championship golf. In the past three decades alone, Oak Hills' renowned East Course has hosted the 1980 and 2003 PGA Championships, the 1984 U.S. Senior Open, the 1989 U.S. Open, the 1995 Ryder Cup, the 1998 U.S. Amateur, and the 2008 Senior PGA Championship. Since the 1956 U.S. Open, Oak Hill is the only golf club in America to host all six of the men's touring Championships. The 2013 PGA Championship will mark Oak Hill's 11th premier golf championship.