Golf Buzz

July 30, 2012 - 2:23pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Ping Golf
The Anser driver resembles the i20, but is like no driver Ping has ever produced.

A few months ago, Callaway Golf joined the adjustable driver party with the RAZR Fit. Now -- and some might say finally -- Ping has come out with an adjustable driver of its own. The Anser driver made its competition debut at the John Deere Classic and Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, and is expected to hit the retail market in a month or so.

The Anser driver will be available in four standard lofts (8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees), and golfers can adjust each loft by one-half a degree up or down. The titanium head is 460cc, and comes with a black matte finish that looks similar to the finish on Ping’s i20 driver.

Though Ping is the last among the large clubmakers to offer an off-the-shelf adjustable driver, the Anser is a big step forward for the company, which for several years has focused on its custom-fitting system with interchangeable heads and shafts.

July 30, 2012 - 2:20pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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TaylorMade Golf
TaylorMade's 2012 Open Championship logo

One of the most fun aspects of major championships these days is that TaylorMade creates one-of-a-kind logos for the hats, shirts and golf bags that its staff players use during the week. The logo for this week’s Open Championship is one of their best – and most detailed.

What does it all mean? Here, courtesy of TaylorMade, is the explanation.

The logo’s foundation is the Lytham Windmill, arguably the most famous landmark in Lytham St. Annes. On it is a life preserver that represents the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which was founded in 1824 and whose lifeboats have saved more than 137,000 lives.

The crown, of course, represents the British crown. It is topped by a violet and the logo also is colored violet as an homage to Violet Talbot, a close friend of Queen Mary, helped Royal Lytham secure its designation as “royal” in 1926. The 10 beads on each side of the crown are a nod to the 10 previous Open Championships played there. And the TL at the bottom is for Tom Lehman, who won the 1996 Open at Royal Lytham.

The three stars on the crown represent the coat of arms of the Clifton family, which has a long history with Royal Lytham. In 1889, Lady Eleanor Cecily Clifton donated a gold medal for the club to present to its champion each year. And the three windows in the windmill stand for the first hole at Royal Lytham, which is the only par-3 opening hole on any of the Open host venues.

And finally, the red banner that contains the word “Open” symbolizes the Challenge Belt, which is what Open winners received in the tournament’s early years. The belt became the permanent possession of Young Tom Morris in 1870 on the occasion of his third Open victory.

July 30, 2012 - 11:22am
Posted by:
John Kim
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The 7th hole at Pebble Beach

I recently talked to a friend who played at Pebble Beach. Yes, he plunked down north of $500 to play there, but his response, when I asked him if it was "worth it" was telling.

"Worth every penny," he offered.

I absolutely agree, and this is coming from a guy who drinks the generic sodas at home because he doesn't want to pay an additional 70 cents for a case of brand names. Seriously.

Golf is a very much a social game, one that offers a common experience among complete strangers and immediately forges a friendship. Wear a Masters logo'd shirt to a party or a Pebble Beach hat to a barbecue and you immediately are identified as a golfer with a conversation starter to boot. I've probably had over 100 discussions about Pebble Beach in the last few years, often sharing how I did on 7 (easy par), 8 (greatest chip-in birdie EVER) and 18 (lucky to make bogey) while hearing countless stories of how others did on the course and those iconic holes. It can be a five minute conversation or a three hour talk. Golf can be almost as much fun recounting your round as it is actually playing it. And playing on one of the iconic courses of the world means you have completed a bucket list item that will make you relevant to any golf conversation.

I'm not saying that you play at Pebble Beach because it sets you up for your next dinner party. Nor am I saying that money is no object when it comes to golf. I am very much saying that some golf experiences have lasting value long after the final putt drops. Would a trip to Pebble Beach be worth the cost if it were a four or five hour experience that you'd soon forget? Absolutely not. But if you consider the lifetime enjoyment you'll get from that round, and pro rate the cost over the next few decades, you'll find incredible value there.

So consider certain rounds as more than 18 holes or a full day of golf - it's a lifetime of memories. And to borrow from our friends at Mastercard: That's priceless.

July 30, 2012 - 11:18am
Posted by:
John Kim
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Ryder Cup's Honorary Ambassador, Justin Timberlake

With Justin Timberlake being named Honorary Ambassador for the United States Ryder Cup squad, I can see him teaming with Bubba, Rickie, Hunter and (can Ben Crane make the team?) for a sequal to the Golf Boys. Can't you? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM2NocuEihw

July 30, 2012 - 11:15am
Posted by:
John Kim
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Phil Mickelson. Scott Van Pelt. New SportsCenter promo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-RVLpI48K8&feature=player_embedded

July 30, 2012 - 10:16am
Posted by:
John Kim
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1913 sterling silver trophy from Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

 

 
Speaking of money, if you have a spare $25,000 lying around....and want an old golf trophy, you could buy this: