Showing posts from April, 2013

Did Sheep Dung Lead to the Invention of Golf?

The answer to the question in the headline is "no." But there is a legend, apparently, that golf's origins go something like this: "Golf may have first been played by shepherds somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland. While walking their flocks through the Highlands, the shepherds carried with them herding staffs called shillelaghs. These shillelaghs were fashioned from tree limbs and typically had a large knob on the top end. Used also as walking aids, these sticks helped the shepherds traverse the rocky, rain-soaked and often muddy hillsides. They also used them to move their flocks from pasture to meadow, and as weapons when protecting their herd from common predators such as wolves. "There were certain mountain pathways in the Highlands that were more important than others. These were the paths that would lead to water, be it either a simple running stream or a deep well somewhere in the wilderness. These common pathways would often become littered with i

Why Hale Irwin Once Refused to Speak to Roger Maltbie for More Than 6 Months

Roger Maltbie was a player on the PGA Tour from 1975 through 1996. Hale Irwin's career overlapped with Maltbie's for much of that time. The two of them engaged in a playoff for the title at the very first Memorial Tournament in 1976, which Maltbie won on the fourth hole. I stumbled across a Golf Digest interview with Maltbie from 2003 in which Maltbie tells the story of the terrific bounce he got that helped him in that playoff - and why Irwin refused to speak to him for six months after. Read the full Q&A here . Here's the story from Maltbie: So we both birdied 15 and we both parred 16, so now, playing the third hole, we're in sudden death. It's set up to finish on 17. We both drove into the fairway. I was away and the hole was cut on the left side of the green, and I pulled the ball left. It hit in the gallery, and all of a sudden it bounced out on the green. My first reaction was, "I've hit somebody's head! Something awful's happe

Golf Trick Shots of the 1930s

Here's some old newsreel footage of professional golfer Joe Kirkwood Sr. (one of the first Australian golfers to make a mark internationally) hitting some golf trick shots (no sound): This clip is from 1930. Trick shots haven't changed much.

5 Books for the Golf Lover in Your Life

By Jeffrey Wright, guest author Most golfers tend to have their equipment, bag, shoes and clothing generally figured out. So buying a gift for a regular golfer can be a bit of a challenge. However, he or she can’t play golf all the time, so a great gift is a book about golf. That said, manuals on how to play golf can be a bit dry to read. So instead, appeal to your golfer’s zest for the game with the following 5 books for the golf lover in your life. Book 1 – The Story of American Golf by Herbert Warren Wind If your golfer ever wanted to know how the Scottish game of golf migrated to the U.S. and became established here, this is the book to find out. Starting at the end of the 19th century, Wind discusses the history of golf to the mid-1970s. Wind himself is a well-known name in golf literature, so The Story of American Golf won’t disappoint. A reader comes away with both facts and insights on how the sport was shaped over the centuries to the game it is today. Book #2 – Harvey

Adam Scott's High School Yearbook Photo

You weren't expecting him to look like a troglodyte, were you? The photo was posted on Twitter by Claude Harmon III, Butch's kid and Adam's friend (even though Scott no longer works with Butch as an instructor). What makes this Adam Scott high school yearbook photo so great isn't the photo itself, but how Scott answered the questions: Ambition? "To be the best professional golfer in the world." Favorite expression? "If all else fails, birdie the last." Final comment? "I am Adam Scott." Yes he is. Yes he is.

Paula Creamer Bikini Pics Archive (or Treasure Trove)

Our first Paula Creamer in a Bikini post remains one of the most-popular on GSB, probably because it was the first photo of Paula in a swimsuit on the web. At least, one that wasn't stolen or obtained from some creeper. We now use this post to archive new pics of Paula in swimsuits as she shares them on social media. Newer updates are added to the bottom. Think of this as a treasure trove of Paula Creamer bikini pics! 4-15-13 : Like the original, these bikini pics of Paula were posted on her public Instagram page, where Paula chose to share them. She's with some of her LPGA buddies in Hawaii, where the LPGA LOTTE Championship takes place this week. Here is Paula on the left, next to Brittany Lang and Nicole Hage: Here, Paula is surrounded by (from left) Jessica Korda, Lang and Hage: And here's another of Creamer with Lang:   Let's hope Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition editor MJ Day is paying attention. 12-18-14 : Here are two pics that Paul

Have You Seen the New York Post Headline on Tiger's Improper Drop?

If not, here you go: Follow GSB on Twitter | Like GSB on Facebook

PGA Tour Players React to the Tiger Woods Ruling

Talking about the Tiger Woods ruling at The Masters, of course: 2-stroke penalty, but no DQ. I like that ruling, I think it's fair and in keeping with the spirit of the new decision regarding DQ'ing players at-a-later-date for wrong scorecards. Remember, almost every time in the past when a golfer has been DQ'd next-day or later-on over an incorrect scorecard, most of the golf world has gotten up in arms about the unfairness of it. So the governing bodies added a decision giving discretion to committees to waive such a DQ. Tiger is one of the first test cases, he had his possible DQ waived under the new rule ... and now lots of folks are up in arms about that ! Just goes to show: When it comes to a high-profile penalty or DQ in golf, there is never going to be consensus. Anyway: Lots of PGA Tour players are reacting on Twitter, and here are some of those reactions: @ tigerwoods @ the_masters took his penalty and should play! He's my pick to win. — Ted Purdy (@

The Tree-Climbing Kid Who Tried to Help Tommy Nakajima

You remember Tommy Nakajima , right? Great player on the Japan Tour, but remembered best (if that's the word) for making a 13 on one hole at The Masters in 1978, and then a couple months later getting stuck in the Road Hole bunker at St. Andrews during the British Open. Which is why that bunker is sometimes called "The Sands of Nakajima." Tommy didn't have a lot of luck. According to Wikipedia, his 13 on No. 13 at Augusta National went like this: "After hitting his fourth shot into Rae's Creek, Nakajima elected to play the ball rather than take a drop. He popped the ball straight up and it landed on his foot, causing a two-stroke penalty. When he handed the club to his caddie, it slipped out of his hand and fell into the creek, incurring another two-stroke penalty. He chipped over the green, chipped back on and two-putted." Ouch! But Nakajima was involved in another odd incident, this one at the 1987 U.S. Open at Olympic Club. His approach to the gre

Golf So "EZee" You Don't Even Have to Swing

Golf is hard. We can all agree on that, right? Lots of people think that golf is too hard, and if only we changed golf so that it was no longer, you know, golf more people would play whatever it is that "golf" turned into. Here's one: EZeeGolf. EZeeGolf's motto is, "Now everyone can play!" Kudos to them for not claiming that is it real golf that is being played using the EZeeGolf club; they call EZeeGolf "an exciting new sport that is fun and easy to play." The explanatory video speaks for itself, so let's watch: It's basically a golf ball gun! Place it on the ground behind the golf ball, aim it towards the target, and watch that little white pellet be propelled up to 225 yards through the air. Imagine, if you will, that something like this actually catches on and becomes popular. Does that bring more people into real golf, or does it steer people away from playing real golf?

Can Tabletopping Become a Thing? For Wie's Sake, Let's Hope Not

You've seen the way Michelle Way is putting these days, right? Bent over 90-degrees at the hips, back parallel to the ground, hunched down over the ball. What an awful way to putt. Even if it was working for Wie - and it's not - it would be a terrible way to putt. Can you imagine practicing in that putting stance? But, for now, Wie is doing is. And her peers on the LPGA Tour have taken to calling it "tabletopping." Some of them are even trying to make it a thing on Twitter, like Dufnering was, using the #tabletopping hashtag. It hasn't really caught on yet, but a few players have taken part. Here is Hall of Famer Beth Daniel: Here is Christina Kim: Here is the best one, Paige Mackenzie and her dog: And here are a couple media types getting in the spirit in the Kraft Nabisco Championship media room: Meanwhile, here's what Ian Poulter had to say after catching a glimpse of Wie's "tabletop" putting method: I can'

Curtis Strange Speaks the Truth about Rory McIlroy's Club Change

Did Rory McIlroy screw up his game when he ditched Titleist clubs for the lure of Nike Golf's money, and started playing Nike clubs? That's what some golf experts (real and imagined) would have you believe, including Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller, both of whom have criticized McIlroy for switching clubs. But Curtis Strange is having none of it. Now, Strange happens to be paid by Nike, too, just like Rory (which Strange rightfully points out himself). But when he's right, he's right. And everything Strange says here (comments he made to a Reuters reporter during the Valero Texas Open) is right: "I don't think clubs have anything to do with it at all," the American told Reuters in an interview. "I'll qualify that by saying I'm also a paid endorser of Nike like Rory but beyond that... switching clubs is no big thing. "I switched three or four times in my career and it took me a day to get used to them, it's all overblown. I thin

Problems with Reduced-Distance Golf Balls

If the USGA and R&A someday decide that golf ball distances should be rolled back (and Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, among many, believe it should happen), what will the golf ball manufacturers be up against? The Wall Street Journal 's John Paul Newport tackled that issue in a recent article : "It would be relatively simple to turn down the distance on a driver by 25 yards," said John Rae, vice president for research and development at Srixon. "The two obvious approaches would be to change the dimple pattern and to change the restitution [the elasticity, or speed] of the core. But once we did that, we wouldn't know, out of the gate, what to expect from the rest of the set." Deepening the dimples, for example, promotes added backspin, lift and drag, all of which reduce distance. "Let's say you make a drive go 25 yards shorter by aerodynamics," said Dean Snell, TaylorMade's vice president for golf-ball research and dev

Why Does Chinese Plutocrat Want to Build Golf Resort In Remote Part of Iceland?

A Chinese billionaire wants to build a luxury resort hotel and golf course in a remote part of Iceland, a part of Iceland that is often "a barren expanse of snow" and that is "even for Icelanders ... a particularly desolate spot." Why? The simplest explanation is this: Because. Because Huang Nubo, the billionaire in question, likes solitude, likes golf, and has oodles of money sitting around burning holes in his pockets. That's the explanation offered by Huang and spokespersons for his company, who say that Huang envisions an "eco golf course for wealthy Chinese seeking clean air and solitude. ... 'there is market demand in China' for peace and quiet. 'Most Chinese now don’t like to travel to dirty, noisy places.' " But others - officials in Iceland, government officials in the United States - are wary of Huang's motives, and suspicions exist that the Chinese government is involved and up to no good. Those are fueled by the

Ian Poulter Now Designing Clothes for Dogs

Not content with just tartan-ing up humans, Ian Poulter has now turned his design fashion to dogs. IJP Design has launched its "Poulter Pooch" collection. This video is cute, but it doesn't really give a sense of what's in the collection: A blog post on the IJP Design website says the Poulter Pooch collection will include "doggie jackets, doggie neckerchiefs with doggie golf shoes" when it launches in 2014. Doggie golf shoes? Says Ian: "After my family, I have three loves: golf, clothing and dogs. So it makes perfect sense to add a pet collection to the IJP Design range. Now the whole family can look good and play great. ... My dogs love to join me on the course; however, I was always slightly concerned that they did not match the rest of my perfectly coordinated outfit. Now they can look as sharp as I do." If Ian was a cat person instead of a dog person, we'd all be worried that he was turning into one of those "crazy cat people.&