Golf Buzz

July 30, 2012 - 2:20pm
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John Kim's picture
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's picture
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's picture
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?

July 30, 2012 - 11:15am
Posted by:
John Kim's picture

Phil Mickelson. Scott Van Pelt. New SportsCenter promo.

July 30, 2012 - 10:16am
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
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:

Tim Burke of Orlando, Fla., won the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship on Wednesday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, hitting his fourth shot in the final round 427 yards. 

England's Joe Miller was second. 

The two advanced from the final field of eight that began the night, battling chilly weather conditions, and hitting the ball toward the bright lights of the famed-Las Vegas Strip in the distance. 

A FEAT WITH NO FEET: Jamie Sadlowski hits a 327-yard drive – on his knees!

Burke and Miller each got six drives, over two rounds of three shots apiece, with the longest shot that stayed within a 50-yard wide grid on the racetrack’s front-straight infield counting toward their final score. Burke, who was second to Ryan Winther in the 2012 event, earned $250,000 for his victory.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.