Monday, August 3, 2015

Kangaroo Boxes Flags on Putting Green

Another wonderful video of animals invading golf courses. (Wait - it's actually the other way around! Golf courses invade animals' spaces, so, of course, animals show up on courses.)

The video was captured at Heritage Park Golf and Country Club in Wonga Park, Victoria, Australia.

This one needs no further introduction - a kangaroo boxes the flags on a putting green:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Let's Watch Lydia Ko Dance

No, these short video clips that Lydia Ko Instagrammed aren't from a club, they are from the gym. And Lydia busts a move or two while warming up or cooling down with her fitness coach:

Never a dull moment with @ta2claps �� #BetterEveryDay

A video posted by Lydia Ko (@lydsko) on

Another crazy session with @ta2claps ��! #BetterEveryDay

A video posted by Lydia Ko (@lydsko) on

Hahahah we are so serious @ta2claps ����

A video posted by Lydia Ko (@lydsko) on

Lydia Ko is adorable!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Can You Build a Better Driver? Wilson Will Pay You $500,000 If You Can

Do you have an idea for how to build a better driver, an idea for the next breakthrough driver technology in golf?

Wilson Golf wants to hear from you. And if your idea is worth testing, you might get on a new Golf Channel television series - you might even win $500,000 and have your driver produced and marketed by Wilson.

The television series is called Driver vs. Driver and is slated to air on Golf Channel in Fall 2016. The television series ...

"... will follow the trials and tribulations faced by contestants as their ideas and concepts are evaluated and critiqued by an elite team while going through the grueling process to become a viable driver within the Wilson Golf line of products. A set number of contestant concepts will go through prototyping and vigorous testing within Wilson Labs and the individuals and/or teams will work alongside the Company’s engineers and designers to refine the concept until a winner is determined."

And if your concept is the best? You'll win $500,000 and Wilson Golf will sell your driver at retail as part of the company's 2017 line of golf clubs.

Sounds like fun. Sounds like an idea that will generate some crazy submissions.

If you want to submit something (we're sure that your idea isn't crazy), you must create a video describing your design idea and submit it by Aug. 15, 2015. All the submission details plus more info about Driver vs. Driver is available on the Wilson website here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sang-Moon Bae Ordered to Leave PGA Tour, Join Military ... and I'm OK With That

Sang-Moon Bae is a 2-time winner on the PGA Tour, including this year's season-opener. From Korea, he is - make that was - a lock to make Team International for the 2015 Presidents Cup, played in ... Korea.

But not anymore. Now, Bae will be doing duty in the South Korean military: He's leaving the PGA Tour for a 2-year hitch in the army.

Reluctantly, and not without a fight. South Korea and North Korea are technically still in a state of war - the Korean War ended with an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty. Therefore, all South Korean males are required to serve two years of military service.

There are some instances when that service can be delayed or even denied, if a Korean citizen becomes a permanent resident of another country or in a few other circumstances. Bae, 29, had received extensions in the past, allowing him to remain in the U.S. to play golf.

But he missed a deadline to extend his last deferral, at which point Korea's military administration ordered him to report. Bae went to court, seeking to have his deferral reinstated. But a Korean court today ruled against him.

As reported by Reuters, Bae said he would join the army soon. "I completely respect the court's decision, and I humbly accept the judgment by the law," Bae told the Yonhap news agency.

I've seen lots of golf fans on Twitter lamenting this, calling it unfair, unfortunate. For example:

But I have to disagree. Don't get me wrong, I feel for Bae. When you have compulsory military service, there are many, many people in the military who shouldn't be - who just aren't cut out for it, who are overmatched by the circumstance, who could have been doing big things in other fields.

But, as all golfers should know: Rules is rules. Or, to put it another way: Them's the breaks. Being great at golf - being rich, being a celebrity - shouldn't allow you to skate by while Korean butchers, bakers and candlestick makers are all following the law.

Bae just happened to be so good at golf at a young age that he was able to put off military service. And he kept putting it off as his career kept growing. Now he's a PGA Tour winner, but he can't put it off any longer.

It sucks. But it's the law. And better that he serve than yet more examples of rich people buying their way out of military service (a common thread through world history) be written.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Watch 2 Incredible, See-'Em-to-Believe-'Em Putts by Bubba Watson, Jodi Ewart

It's been a great day for great putts. The kind of putts you have to see to believe.

Like, this one, for example, by Bubba Watson:

That was Bubba playing and practicing on the Chambers Bay greens that await U.S. Open participants next week.

But you know what? That was only the second-best putt of the day. This putt by Jodi Ewart is even better:

Ewart's putt beats Watson's because Ewart's happened in competition. And in a major, no less: the Women's PGA Championship.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Beat the Field Streaks: Back When Tiger Dominated

Once upon a time, Tiger Woods dominated golf like no golfer before. Crazy to think there are actually golf fans alive today who don't remember Woods' incredible streak from 1999 through 2000. They've heard about the "Tiger Slam," but didn't witness it.

And today, Woods is struggling and probably will never be "Tiger" again. He's coming off an 85 at The Memorial as I write this.

But once upon a time ... Here's a brand new example of just how dominating Woods was in those days: Golf Magazine columnist and stats guru Mark Broadie has examined PGA Tour rounds since 1983 and discovered that Woods holds a hitherto unrecognized record - most consecutive rounds beating the field.

"Beating the field" means scoring better than the average of the field in a golf tournament for each given round of that tournament. From August 1999 to November of 2000, Tiger beat the field in 89 consecutive rounds.

How astounding is that? Tiger's streak is nearly three times longer than anyone else's "beat the field" streak since 1983. Here are the Top 5:

1. Tiger Woods -- 89
2. Mark O'Meara — 33
3. Stewart Cink — 32
4. Peter Jacobsen — 30
5. Luke Donald — 29

Monday, May 25, 2015

US Women's Open Qualifier Maria Balikoeva Posed for Russian Edition of 'Maxim'

Maria Balikoeva is a Russian golfer (perhaps better known under former name, Maria Verchenova) who has played in Europe, including on the LET, for at least a half-dozen years. Maybe longer. And today, at the 2015 U.S. Women's Open qualifier in England, she made it through. She's coming to America for the USWO.

Which male fans (and probably some female fans, too) will be excited about, because she's ... well ... you can see. She's posed for the Russian edition of Maxim magazine.

As in above, and now below:

The theme of the shoot appears to be getting Maria to pose with the implements of various sports. Plus boobs. Yes, "boobs" is definitely a theme.

Maxim Russia also posted a video of the photo shoot to YouTube. It's probably not safe for work; there's no nudity, but lota of almost-nudity - side boob, underboob, etc. Well, you get the picture(s):

This pictorial was published in an early 2013 edition of Russian Maxim. Balikoeva has posed for glamour shots before, including some that used plunging necklines or "cheeky" shots of her derriere. This is easily her most revealing, though.

Friday, April 24, 2015

These Trick-Shot Pros Must Really Hate Brussels Sprouts

Yes, those are Brussels sprouts you see flying in the screengrab above - poor, innocent Brussels sprouts. Oh, sure, they are among the most-hated vegetables by people who, well, hate vegetables. But is that any reason to destroy a bag of them with a golf ball and a driver?

It is if you are PGA professionals Peter Finch and Rick Shiels. These two are YouTube pros in addition to being golf teaching pros, and a compilation of their trick shots is in the video below. It also includes the destruction of a bottle of champagne. Proving just how dangerous drinking and driving really is.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Erica Stoll is Rory McIlroy's New Girlfriend

Who is Rory McIlroy dating these days? A PGA of America employee named Erica Stoll.

Rumors of a McIlroy-Stoll romance first cropped up in early 2015, but something that just happened is pretty much the confirmation that they are dating. And what was that? McIlroy ventured to Rochester, New York, for a date with Stoll, who is from the area.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper reported:

The top-ranked golfer in the world was seen Saturday night having dinner at 2Vine in downtown Rochester and then stopped in at Magpie Pub in the trendy Park Avenue neighborhood. ...

"As they were leaving, everybody in the restaurant was shouting, 'Oh my God, that's Rory McIlroy! That's Rory McIlroy!' " 2Vine hostess Jordan Cannan said.

The dinner reservation for four was in Stoll's name, said another hostess, Dakotah Schickling.

Stoll is 29 years old, three years older than McIlroy, and is the manager of championship volunteer operations for the PGA of America. In addition to graduating high school in Rochester, she also graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She first worked for the PGA when the Senior PGA Championship was played at Oak Hill Country Club in 2008. Stoll was hired as an office manager for the tournament office.

McIlroy and Stoll were first spotted together publicly when she was seen with McIlroy in his native Ireland over the New Year's time period in early 2015. They have kept a very low profile - no photos of them together have yet emerged - and Stoll has tightened up the privacy settings on her social media accounts (when she still uses them at all, which is rarely).

If Stoll and McIlroy have a future together, then they also have something that a lot of couples wish they had: a great story about how they met. That was at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah in Chicago, where, misunderstanding which time zone he was in, Rory was a no-show for the longest time on the day of the singles matches. Stoll is the PGA of America employee who finally noticed that nobody had seen McIlroy and alerted officials higher up the chain of command. A sleepy McIlroy was finally roused and given a police escort to the course, arriving just in the nick of time.

McIlroy wound up winning that match, helping lead the amazing Team Europe comeback to win. (Thanks Erica!) Rory was with Caroline Wozniacki at the time, but when that relationship split up McIlroy and Stoll became reacquainted.

Just a couple crazy kids in love. Or at least lust. Best wishes to them.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

LPGA Rookie Chips In to Force Playoff, Holes Out to Win

Now this is how you git-r-done in golf:

LPGA rookie Sei Young Kim - already a winner once in 2015 - trailed Inbee Park by one shot on the last green at the 2015 LOTTE Championship. Kim was off the green chipping, and had to hole it to force a playoff.

So she holed it.

And, on the first playoff hole, she holed it again - only the second time from over 150 yards for a tournament winning eagle. If this had happened at a major, it would live forever in golf history and legend. As it is, Kim deserves a standing ovation for that incredible finish.