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Showing posts from March, 2013

'Dufnering' Wins the Internet

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Who could have guessed that Jason Dufner, of all golfers, would blow up into an Internet meme? But that's exactly what happened on Thursday after Deadspin posted this photo: What's the explanation? Dufner was making some sort of appearance at a kindergarten class in Dallas, in conjunction with his "media day" duties as the defending champion at the Byron Nelson Classic. Dufner's overall silly look - the pooched out belly, the limp arms and legs, that pout - caught the eye of Keegan Bradley, who tweeted the photo. Soon, the Twitter hashtag "#dufnering" was born, and others started tweeting pics of themselves Dufnering. Not surprisingly, the best of the early efforts came from Bubba Watson:   (Yes, for those who don't know, that is the real General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard , which Watson owns.) Before long, "#dufnering" shot to the top of Twitter's trending topics. Jason Dufner himself weighed in on Friday morning,

Child Prodigy: Judy Rankin At Age 16

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Everyone loves Judy Rankin, right? Right! So I was pleased when I recently stumbled across an old Sports Illustrated article about her. In 1961, when Rankin - excuse me, Judy Torluemke - was only 16 years old, she was such a prodigy that Sports Illustrated put her on the cover the week of the U.S. Girls Amateur Championship. After listing some of the top prospects in the field, SI author Gwilym S. Brown wrote: ... the most promising of the lot, win or lose this week, is the charming, freckle-faced, curly-haired brunette on the cover, 16-year-old Judy Torluemke of St. Louis. In Judy, golf has a real child prodigy. She has been winning tournaments since she was 7 years old. Her first was a hole-in-one contest sponsored by the St. Louis Globe-Democrat , and it drew 602 entries. Though she was not quite four feet tall, weighed only 42 pounds and needed her driver on the 102-yard hole (most of the contestants were using short irons), she pounded all three of her shots within 15 fe

Tiger's Text Challenge to Rory

Golf Channel's Jason Sobel tweets the details of a text message that Tiger Woods sent to Rory McIlroy after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy on a text message he got from Tiger Woods this morning: "He told me to get my finger out of my ass and win this week." — Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) March 26, 2013 Actually, I'm guessing that it's Caroline's finger that's up Rory's ass.

Bernhard Langer Hits Out of Tree in 1981

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Sergio Garcia isn't the first professional golfer to climb a tree and hit a ball out of the branches - although he is the latest, doing so on Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We posted that video earlier . But way back in 1981, at the Benson & Hedges International, Bernhard Langer climbed a tree and played his ball out. Others have done it to, before and since, but it's easy to find video of Langer's shot. Look, there it is right below!

Sergio Garcia Climbs Tree, Hits Ball Out of Branches

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It happened during the final round of the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational, for the record. Sergio Garcia climbed into a big ol' tree (very nimbly, as one of the announcers pointed out) and hit his golf ball out of the tree and onto the fairway. It's not the first time something like this has happened on the PGA Tour. But Garcia's tree shot is probably the best combination of tree-climbing skills and recovery shot that we've yet seen.

For $2,250, Kerri Strug Will Play Golf With You

How would you like to play golf with a past or present sports star, or a PGA Tour or Champions Tour pro? If you're willing to pay, you can. For example, Marc Turnesa will play golf with you for $1,500. How? A company called Thuzio ( www.thuzio.com ) represents hundreds of athletes plus a handful of broadcasters, and arranges, for a fee, appearances by its clients. There are many companies like Thuzio out there that represent athletes; but Thuzio, unlike most of them, lists all its athletes on its website, along with their prices. Brett Quigley will play golf with you for $2,500. Bruce Fleisher costs $3,000. Mark Lye, $2,500. There are options for many more things that playing a round of golf. Bob Murphy would probably be a great dinner speaker, and you can hire him for a speaking engagement for $2,000. Or, you can pay him to attend a golf tournament with you, or have lunch with you, for $500. If you want to make an investment in your golf game, rather than just have an &quo

Is It a UFO? Is It a Drone? It's a Golf Channel Remote-Controlled Flying Camera

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So this happened on the Bay Hill driving range during tournament week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational: .@ golfchannel 's new "Hover Fly" camera. Holy cow this thing is awesome. vine.co/v/bpX6pAlz1Yi — Chad Coleman (@HashtagChad) March 19, 2013 Awesome, indeed! But what the heck is it? It's a remote-controlled, flying camera that the Golf Channel is testing at Bay Hill. It's called the "Eritsa," made by a company called HoverFly , and in the video clip above you can even hear that is kinda sounds like a fly buzzing by. So what can this bad boy do? Here's an excerpt from the product description: Hoverfly ERITSA is in a class all by itself. With the largest carrying capacity of any multi-rotor aerial cinema system available, ERISTA captures breathtaking, epic footage from the air with exceptional performance. The retractable landing gear and 360ยบ rotating camera gimbal mount provide unobstructed views to capture the perfect shot every time. Feat

New Car Dealer Perk: Golf Simulator

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Taking your car to the dealership for service is never fun. That's why so many car dealerships these days are adding perks to try to make customers more willing to visit, and to stay on-site during the service. Things like big-screen TVs, free wi-fi stations, even little coffee shops built into the waiting room. But one Lexus dealer in Canada has hit on the right idea: a golf simulator for its customers. A Lexus dealership in Edmonton has installed a High Definition Golf Simulator : "We wanted to give our customers that 'wow' experience," says dealership owner Jim Jiwani. "Now they can look forward to coming in for servicing or even checking out the new models." Installed a couple months ago, Jiwani says car owners are already booking appointments on the simulator. "They bring in their clubs and play 8 or 9 holes while waiting for their car to be serviced," says Jiwani. This summer he is planning on offering client's golf clinics with

Lindsey and Tiger Sitting In A Tree ...

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... g-o-l-f-i-n-g. Or is that s-k-i-i-n-g? Either way, they're definitely k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn came out of the closet today, both announcing through social media that they are, in fact, gettin' it on. They even posted a few photos, including this one that Vonn posted to Instagram: (Photo: instagram.com/lindseyvonn ) Tiger's website includes more pics . Both sports superstars posted notes to fans, too. First up, here is Tiger's message: "This season has been great so far and I'm happy with my wins at Torrey and Doral. Something nice that's happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn. Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating. We thank you for your support and for respecting our privacy. We want to continue our relationship, privately, as an ordinary couple and continue to compete as athletes." And Lindsey added her own on Facebook: &

The Best Tiger Woods Sponsor Video is Still 'Tiger Trap'

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Tiger Woods has (and has had) a lot of sponsors, and he's made a lot of promotional videos (such as TV commercials) for them. My favorite remains the "Tiger Trap" video that he did for Buick. The set-up was this: Regular golfers (real golfers, not actors) step up to a tee and find a wedge laying on the ground. Gasp - it appears to be Tiger Woods' wedge! Then Tiger himself rolls up in cart: "Hey guys, did you find a wedge?" Tiger then challenges them to a closest-to-the-pin contest. Can you imagine the nerves these golfers must have felt? Woods does this with several groups. Sometimes he hits great wedge shots, sometimes he intentionally screws up. The big reveal is this: A golfer who beats Woods in the closest-to-the-pin contest wins a Buick Rainier SUV. The group of middle-aged women is the best. The reactions are great. Check it out: You can tell this was done a long time ago because Tiger still looks a little skinny.

Tiger Works at Dick's Sporting Goods

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At least, he does in this new Nike commercial:

Kramer Takes Out Frustrations on Golf Bag

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We've all been there, right? The round of golf is over, you'd play poorly, you've finished terribly. All you want to do is throw your golf clubs to the ground and give 'em a good kick. Well, Kramer did. Let this scene from Seinfeld serve as a salve for your sullied swing: Check out the list of Seinfeld golf episodes for a few more more Kramer clips.

Scariest Golf Course Hazard: Sinkholes

You might argue that alligators and crocodiles are the scariest golf course hazards. Or baboons in South Africa. Or bears in Canada. Or sharks (really) in Australia . Or lightning. But I suggest that the scariest golf course hazard of them all is this one: sinkholes. You could be standing over a sinkhole at any time, at any place on a golf course, without having any clue of the danger. An unseen, unanticipated danger - until the ground opens up beneath you! And, really, what's the ruling? You might think this is in jest, but a golfer last week in Illinois was, in fact, swallowed by a sinkhole ! It happened on a golf course in Waterloo, Illinois: It sure wasn’t the hole-in-one Mark Mihal had in mind. While golfing with friends at the Annbriar Golf Course near here Friday, Mihal, 43, a mortgage broker from Creve Coeur, abruptly dropped into the ground on the fairway of the 14th hole. It was the first time a person — and not a ball — has disappeared beneath the turf in the

Non-Conformity As a Selling Point for Golf Clubs

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If the anchoring ban stands, will golf manufacturers continue making long  putters and belly putters and market them to golfers for their anchored benefits? And will golfers continue to buy those clubs and use them in an anchored manner? My opinion on that, right now, is no, that anchoring will fade away in the wake of the ban and all the rabble-rousing by golf company CEOs and complaining by golfers who currently anchor will amount to much ado about nothing. But that's right now. My opinion changes a lot on these questions. In fact, a couple months ago, after TaylorMade CEO Mark King went off on the USGA and said his company would simply ignore an anchoring ban, I wrote a post headlined " Get ready for pro shops filled with non-conforming equipment ." Polara Advantage driver Golf balls that don't conform to R&A/USGA rules, and clubs that don't conform, don't typically get stocked in pro shops. They don't normally get a lot of ink from golf p

Tiger Zings Stricker on Twitter

Here's what Tiger Woods had to say to his buddy Steve Stricker via Twitter: Thx stricks for the great putting lesson, and congrats on 2nd :) Great weekend at Doral all around. Thx for the support! See u in Orlando. — Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 11, 2013 Congrats on 2nd! Ouch! The joke, of course, is that Stricker gave Woods a putting lesson prior to the WGC Cadillac Championship, correcting a flaw he had noticed in Tiger's set-up. Then Tiger went out and won the tournament, with Stricker finishing second. And how did Tiger win the tournament? Putting. Woods needed only 100 putts for the week - the fewest putts he's ever used in a 72-hole tournament (see the PGA Tour record in this category). So, yeah: Thanks Strick, and congrats on 2nd!

Mike Brady (No, Not That Mike Brady), the 14-Club Rule, and Walter Hagen Gamesmanship

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Mike Brady played golf. No, not that Mike Brady - the father on The Brady Bunch . Wait! That Mike Brady did play golf on The Brady Bunch , but he's not the Mike Brady we're talking about. We're talking about Mike Brady the professional golfer, who played in two playoffs for the U.S. Open in the early part of the 20th century. Mike Brady the golfer lost U.S. Open playoffs in 1911 and 1919. This post doesn't really go anywhere, I just wanted to share two interesting nuggets picked out of Peter Alliss' The Who's Who of Golf entry about Brady. You know there's a 14-club limit in a golfer's bag, right? It wasn't always that way. The 14-club rule came about because golfers in the early days of professional golf sometimes carried two dozen or more clubs in a bag. Lawson Little, for one, was known for carrying as many as 25 clubs in his bag. The USGA and R&A put a stop to that by introducing the 14-club rule. Well, in the playoff for the 1911

Is Golf About to be Challenged by ... Chess?

There's an interesting article in the March 2013 issue of Wired magazine. The focus is on international chess grandmaster Susan Polgar and her desire to turn chess into a spectator sport. The article is titled " The Queen's New Gambit: Chess as a Great American Spectator Sport ." Did you know that many American colleges and universities field competitive chess teams? Which means, they hire chess coaches, recruit chess players, travel to other schools to play chess matches and tournaments? And that this college "sports" world is rife with intrigue and squabbles and coaches being fired and coaches being hired away by rival schools? That some schools spend lots of money to construct chess "arenas," and that students attend pep rallies with marching bands and cheerleaders yelling about the upcoming chess match against the school's bitter chess rivals? I didn't know any of that, but it's all true. Polgar - a k a, "the Queen" -

USGA History at Merion

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Merion is the site of the U.S. Open this year, and the USGA has put together a brief video clip on the history of USGA championships at the club. Well done, too (via Golf Compendium )

'If Satan Plays Miniature Golf, This Is His Favorite Hole'

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The headline above is the first sentence of a post on the Futility Closet blog describing a miniature golf hole. But there are no windmills, dinosaurs or clown's mouths on this mini-golf hole. Instead, this is a simple schematic of a 24-sided mini-golf green that looks like this: In the drawing above, "B" represents the hole. "A" is the aiming point. Stand anywhere you want on this green and strike the ball as hard as you want at point A. Assume the golf ball will continue bouncing for as along as it takes to eventually find the Hole B. Guess what? The ball will never go into Hole B . The golf ball can bounce around this putting green forever and will never go into Hole B. Well, sure, you could just aim at Hole B rather than striking your putt toward Point A. But this is actually a mathematical puzzle, not an example of real-world putt-putt golf. Futility Closet explains the origin of the configuration in the schematic above: "The

Don't Forget to File Your US Open Entry Form

Entries for the U.S. Open are now open! Golfers, if you have a 1.4 handicap index or lower, you can enter! The USGA tweeted this notice today: US Open entries opened this morning. Among those to already enter: Tiger, Phil, @ kevin_chappell , @ robertgarrigus , @ johnpetersonlsu . — U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) March 4, 2013 Good to see Tiger and Phil got their applications in. Wouldn't it be funny if Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson forgot to enter? NO! No, it would not be funny! Because if you don't submit the entry form, you don't play, even if you're otherwise exempt from qualifying. We know this because, sadly, it's happened before. Back in 2006, Meena Lee was exempt into the field for the U.S. Women's Open. But she forgot to file the entry form. Or maybe she didn't realize it was required. Regardless, even though she was exempt into the field, an automatic qualifier, she didn't get to play. No entry form, no entry. So don't wait, supers

New Golf Boys Video Is Here - 2.Oh, Better Than the First

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The Golf Boys are back with another video. They call this one 2.Oh, and I'm happy to report two things: It's not a Harlem Shake, and it is better than the first Golf Boys video . Lots of shoutouts to other golfers in this one, including Tiger Woods. Most impressively, they manage to work in "Oosthuizen" - and almost make it rhyme! (The Golf Boys are, of course, Bubba Watson, Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan.) The song itself is available on iTunes and proceeds benefit the organization charity: water . That's a non-profit that works to provide clean, safe drinking water in developing countries. The Golf Boys 2.Oh video was directed by Ty Andre, and the song lyrics (and music) were written by Mat Kearney. Related: All Golf Boys videos in one place

Revenge of the Golf Boys

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(Update: The second Golf Boys video, Golf Boys 2.Oh , is out.) Are the Golf Boys about to give us a Harlem Shake video? Well, they're about to give us some kind of video. Bubba Watson says so: Rumor has it that the "Golf Boys" release 2 video today. #Rad — bubba watson (@bubbawatson) March 4, 2013 The Golf Boys are Bubba, Rickie Fowler, Ben Crane and Hunter Mahan. Who, when they are not creating not creating wacky videos, can probably be found at one of the US PGA Tour's many Bible Study groups. Perhaps they can ask their Creator forgiveness for showing far too much skin:

'Bobby Locke Hooked Everything, Even Putts'

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South African great Bobby Locke was a huge influence on the young Gary Player. There were many oddities about Locke, but one that you still read about is how he hooked every shot - including, some say, his putts! Here's a video clip in which Player demonstrates Locke's unusual putting technique: Locke is considered by some the greatest putter of all-time, by the way, and is on every expert's list of the handful of greatest. But question: Does what Player demonstrates look like a hooked putt to you? Looks more like a intentional pull to me.

Gold Putters, Diamond-Embedded Putters, 'Sons of Love and Beauty'

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That's some putter above, isn't it? It's the Cupidon half-mallet made by a French company called ValGrine ( http://www.valgrine.com/ ). And yes, those are diamonds around the body of the putter and serving as the sightline. How does ValGrine describe this putter on its website? Like this: "Curve and harmony, assertion of a delicacy by the detour of sensual and soft curves with a greedy volume. Son of love and beauty. At the address: a point, two lines and an arrow to touch its deepest desire: remove the ball from the green." Damn! Is that a putter in your golf bag or are you just happy to see me? With a putter like that, who needs Viagra? Does the Cupidon come with a vibrating clubhead for the ladies? (I could go on, but I'll stop there.) The French can sex up anything. And they can "luxury up" anything, too, including putters. ValGrine custom makes various luxury putters - putters with diamonds, putters made of silver, putters made o