Golf Buzz

August 3, 2012 - 6:52pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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2012 PGA Championship logo

The tee times and pairings for the first two rounds of the PGA Championship were released Friday afternoon. You can see them here in a .pdf file.

Here are some of the most prominent pairings, and some off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts:

Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer (8:30 a.m./1:40 p.m.)
Two players who broke through in the PGA Championship earlier than anyone ever thought will play with the greatest major championship performer of the modern era, and perhaps of all time.

Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els (1:20 p.m./8:10 a.m.)
Traditionally, the PGA Championship assembles the winners of the year’s first three majors into one marquee group. Els is on a roll, but Watson and Simpson are both trying to deal with the demands of parenthood.

Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III and Phil Mickelson (1:40 p.m./8:30 a.m. Thursday)
Harrington is pushing hard to reclaim a spot on the European Ryder Cup team, but Love will be focused on Mickelson, who’s hanging near the bottom of the list for guaranteed spots on the American team thanks to an inconsistent season.  

Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jim Furyk (8:10 a.m./1:20 p.m.)
Furyk is on the comeback after a somewhat disappointing season so far, while Johnson is on the comeback from a season-wrecking injury and McIlroy is on the comeback from a year of inconsistent play. Johnson averages 305 yards off the tee, while McIlroy averages 304. Furyk, meanwhile, averages 279, so he’ll likely be hitting first into almost every green. 

Lee Westwood, Angel Cabrera and Bill Haas (8:50 a.m./2:00 p.m.)
Westwood’s long quest for a first major title finds him paired with the efficient Haas and the all-or-nothing Cabrera.

Hunter Mahan, Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia (1:10 p.m./8:00 a.m.)
Scott and Garcia can compare their major war wounds, while Mahan can see if he can step up to the next level with a breakthrough major victory. 

August 2, 2012 - 7:56pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Luke Donald
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World No. 1 Luke Donald leads the year's strongest field into Kiawah.

As each golf season progresses, various tournaments take turns claiming to have the year's strongest field. The merits of the various gatherings of players can be debated, but it's tough to argue with the field for next week's PGA Championship. As of now, the top 108 players in the Official World Ranking – all 108 of them – are scheduled to tee it up on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.

The roster includes 32 major champions, 71 international players representing 21 countries, 13 past PGA champions and all three of this year's major winners.

Could this be, from top to bottom, the best field ever assembled for a major championship? If it's not, it's certainly in the ballpark.

To read more about the field, click here.

August 2, 2012 - 1:48pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Chambers Bay
Chambers Bay is one of my favorites - but isn't even on some top 100 lists. What gives?

Everybody should keep lists. They just make life easier, don't they? From grocery lists to to-do to bucket lists, they just keep our eye on the ball.  And in golf, what's more important than keeping your eye on the ball?

So back to lists. There are numerous golf lists out there on "best places to play." Seriously, google it.  We even have them on PGA.com (lists created by YOU - "A Quick Nine" that has detailed places from Northern California to South Florida, Phoenix to New Englad.) And dozens and dozens of other media sources have their lists too.

So which is the best?  In reality - all of them. Or...none of the them. The most important thing is to have one, and use it accordingly to keep focused on a goal. I promise you it makes your golf plans more interesting and rewarding. But don't try to jump from list to list to come up with a hybrid "best of".  Just as beauty is defined by the eye of the beholder, such is a golf course and a golf experience. Seems like we forget about that too often. Any course that makes a legit list is legit. I have never stepped on a course, billed as a "top course" that I didn't find to be worthy. Remember these lists are subjective.  Some courses work very hard to try and improve their standing on some of these listings. Others do not care at all. I have a nice pegboard list of "Top 100" courses on my office at home.  I have 19 of them checked off. I now plan my golf trips around them, hoping to get a few more coveted pegs in place. But what makes the list I use better than yours? Not a thing. 

So here's some of the latest and greatest lists of course rankings. Choose at your own discretion. 

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-courses/2011-05/100-greatest-golf-courses

http://www.golf.com/courses-and-travel/general-top-courses

http://golfweek.com/news/2012/mar/12/golfweeks-best-courses-state-state/

http://pga.com/topic/golf-courses/quick-nine

 

 

August 2, 2012 - 1:42pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island
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Forbes praises the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island for its efforts to protect its seaside dunes from erosion and capture water for use in irrigation.

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is hosting next week's PGA Championship, and it's also being singled out for its environmental stewardship. As much of the the United States suffers through a summer of record-breaking heat and drought, Forbes has named the Ocean Course as America’s most eco-friendly course.

"Along the shores of Kiawah Island, S.C. (30 minutes from Charleston), you'll find the Five-Star Sanctuary resort and five championship golf courses -- all classified as Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries for their conservation efforts. What you won't see is the 14 miles of drains and pipes under the Ocean Course that collect all of the water that falls onto the green and the cart paths -- picking up 300,000 gallons of fresh water a day (half of the water used to irrigate the course)," Forbes wrote. "Course designer Pete Dye created more than 22 acres of freshwater wetlands within the golf course, restored close to 80 acres of saltwater marshlands and planted native grasses to help preserve the dunes against erosion."

To read more, and see what other courses made the list, click here. And, of course, to check out the official coverage of the 2012 PGA Championship, click here.

August 2, 2012 - 11:36am
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Are you on Instagram? Look for us "pgacom" and get all the latest images from some of the great golf venues we visit! Visit Instagram on your mobile device and under the "Find Friends" menu - type in pgacom.

And be sure to share some of your great photos with us! Tag your shots #pgachamp on Twitter and Instagram for us to find - we'll share some of the best ones next week! 

August 1, 2012 - 1:29pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Steve Flesch
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Steve Flesch believes that long putters don't eliminate mistakes.

One of my favorite parts about covering big tournaments is the chance to talk golf with the people who are playing the game at the highest level. The next best thing to being there might be to "listen in" to some of these conversations on social media, and recently there was a fascinating exchange on Twitter between PGA Tour veterans Steve Flesch and Bob Estes regarding one of the big equipment issues of the day.

Here’s a recap of their discussion:

Flesch to Estes: Don't waste time with this long putter nonsense, by which Ernie [Els] and Adam [Scott] were nearly last in putting [at the British Open], look at the ball. The real issue

Estes to Flesch: True, but would Ernie & Adam have finished 1 & 2 without the long or belly putter? They obviously thought it helped them. But you're right! The ball got away from the ruling bodies, as did the size of driver heads.

Flesch to Estes: From a guy who has used every type, length, and method of putting, I believe that belly and long don't eliminate mistakes.

Estes to Flesch: No method is foolproof. What matters is, does anchoring the putter make you a better putter than you would be otherwise?

Flesch to Estes: agree entirely, but anchoring doesn't appear to help so much that it needs to be banned.

Estes to Flesch: How can you say that when 3 of last 4 majors have been won with belly putters. They don't putt that way 2 putt worse!

If you’d like to follow these guys on Twitter, Flesch is at @Steve_Flesch and Estes is at @BobEstesPGA.

And, of course, you can follow PGA.com at @PGA_com