Friday, November 16

Brrr: How Cold Weather Affects Golf Ball Performance

IT'S COLD IN THE MID ATLANTIC. In fact, freezing rain was falling outside my window as I began to write this. I won't be playing golf anytime soon.

(Jeff Cushner/Flickr)
But if you're a cold-weather golfer, this information from Golf Digest might be helpful:
[C]old air can affect the performance of a golf ball. Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on a ball. According to Trackman, the difference is approximately one yard of carry for every 10-degree change in temperature. So theoretically, you’re looking at a loss of four yards if you’re playing in 40 degrees as opposed to 80 degrees. Other factors—such as how the body reacts to the cold, and how wearing extra layers likely limits your backswing—can further impact distance. The takeaway: When playing fall golf plan for at least an extra half club, and if your swing is restricted by being fully bundled up, it might even be a full club.
Also this ...
As for trying to keep golf balls warm, don't bother. For starters, Rule 14-3/13.5 prohibits warming a golf ball during the round. Warming up golf balls is not prohibited, but there is a reason for that—it doesn't work. Several years ago, Golf Laboratories performed a test that showed you could not get a ball warm enough to have any impact because the ball almost instantly adopts to the outside temperatures.
If you play golf in the snow, use an orange, green or pink golf ball. And go ahead and improve your lie. Winter rules apply.

Thursday, November 8

GOLF CENTRAL: LPGA Player and Her Caddie Disagree on Circumstances That Led to DQ



WHAT A MESS. The player, Doris Chen, explained what happened to her golf ball that resulted in a disqualification. But the caddie, Alex Valer, had a very different take.

In the vicinity of the incident was Chen's mother. Did the mother play a role?

GolfChannel.com's Randall Mell reported on the controversy at the LPGA's Q-Series.

Monday, November 5

VIDEO: Bryson DeChambeau Wins Shriners Hospitals for Children Open; Said 'Everybody Does It in a Different Way'



BRYSON DECHAMBEAU IS RED HOT. He fired a closing 66 to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open by a shot over Patrick Cantlay. It was win number five for DeChambeau on the PGA Tour, all of them bunched in the last 16 months.

DeChambeau is anything but orthodox in his approach to the game. It's working for him.

"More power to everyone that does it their own way," he said.

"Everybody is unique. Everybody does it in a different way. I believe I found a way that works really, really well for me and it allows me to be super consistent week in and week out."

DeChambeau climbed another spot in the world rankings, to No. 5. Meanwhile, Justin Rose reclaimed the top spot, displacing Brooks Koepka.

Thursday, November 1

Morning Drive: PGA's Mike Pickett and His Golf-Themed Pumpkins



I HOPE YOU HAD A GOOD HALLOWEEN. This is Mike Pickett, a PGA member whose favorite holiday is Halloween.

Is Mike better at golf or pumpkins? I wonder.

Wednesday, October 31

Pinehurst Caddie Willie McRae Dies at 85; Said 'Everybody's a Celebrity'



WILLIE MCRAE BEGAN AS A CADDIE at Pinehurst in 1943. He was 10. McRae retired from his trade a year ago and died this past Sunday at the age of 85.

Like those TV spots for the insurance company say, McRae had seen a thing or two. He caddied for five presidents and famous athletes like Mickey Mantle and Michael Jordan.

It made no difference to McRae. According to a 2013 interview, the Pinehurst caddie treated everyone the same way.

"[E]verybody's a celebrity," he said. "We can't say well this guy's a celebrity because he played basketball or baseball or golf pro or whatever. But everybody's somebody and that's what you gotta take."

McRae collected $1.75 a round plus a 50-cent tip when he started looping 65 years ago. In the early days, those loops included Pinehurst No. 2 architect Donald Ross and golf legends Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan.

Sunday, October 28

VIDEO: Xander Schauffele Wins WGC-HSBC Champions



XANDER SCHAUFFELE PREVAILED IN A ONE-HOLE playoff with Tony Finau to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Schauffele birdied the final two holes in regulation to force extra holes. He shot a final-round 68, the day's lowest score.

"I was definitely in sort of an attack mode," Schauffele said, "and I was hitting good shots all day, making good putts. I was doing everything that I needed to do."

Schauffele, 25, has three tour wins and is inside the top 20 in the world rankings.

Thursday, October 25

VIDEO: ESPN's Michael Collins on Dropped Lawsuit and Happier Caddies



ESPN'S MICHAEL COLLINS REPORTS THAT CADDIES have dropped their lawsuit against the PGA Tour. Furthermore, the caddies are apparently happier with Jay Monahan at the helm of the PGA Tour. Many were not fans of the previous regime. (Tim Finchem.)

I realize the caddies are independent contractors, but I'm glad to hear an increased stipend is probably coming their way. That will help with health care.

And how about Collins' beard?

It's longer than the rough at Le Golf National where Europe bagged another Ryder Cup victory.

Tuesday, October 23

Paul Azinger on Replacing Johnny Miller: 'I'm Just Going to Be Me. It's Got Me This Far, Right?'



IT'S OFFICIAL. PAUL AZINGER WAS NAMED as the lead golf analyst who will follow Johnny Miller at NBC.

Azinger is going to be busy in 2019. He will work the Masters for the BBC, the U.S. Opens for FOX, and the NBC golf telecasts beginning with the WGC-Mexico Championship in late February.

Azinger recently talked to golf writer Jeff Babineau at Gator Creek Golf Club. Here are a couple of Azinger snippets from Babineau's story for MORNING READ:
I'm not trying to fill Johnny's shoes. You can't fill those shoes. I'm different than him. I'm just going to go for being me. It's got me this far, right? I'll stir it up. I'll say stuff. It'll just pop up, like it does when I'm giving a lesson. But I'm not looking to carve my own path. I'm just looking to fit in. They've already established what they've got there. These guys are all experts.
On Johnny Miller:
I talked to him for about 15-20 minutes. I asked him a lot of questions. I asked him about Tommy Roy. I wanted to know about Tommy Randolph [also in NBC production] … What is Dan Hicks like? All that. You've got to high-praise Johnny, because he's done it for a long time, and Johnny would tell it like it is. Johnny had this ability to inflect his voice; he'd be saying stuff you disagreed with, but because of the way he inflected it, you weren't so sure. He was an influencer. We phone-tagged, and we talked. We have a lot in common, really, but I'm not Johnny. I'm different than Johnny. He told me, 'You keep calling it like it is.' And that’s what I plan on doing.
Azinger won a dozen times on the PGA Tour, including one major, the 1993 PGA Championship.