Friday, March 15

Golf Swing Friday: 12-Year-Old 'Anthony B Golf'


THIS IS ANTHONY B GOLF. (That's his Twitter handle.) He's 12 and, according to his Twitter profile, has hidden disabilities: autism, dyspraxia and hypermobility.

During this practice session, Anthony was working on hitting up more on the ball with his driver.

By the way, that driver (on which he's choked down) is nearly as long/tall as Anthony!

Thursday, March 14

The Players Championship Odds: Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy Are Favorites

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THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP IS UNDERWAY at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.

At tee off, DJ and Rory were the favorites at 12/1. The pair are currently 1 and 2 strokes off the early lead of 5 under. There's a long way to go.

Odds to Win THE PLAYERS Championship
(Courtesy of Bovada)
Dustin Johnson             12/1
Rory McIlroy                 12/1     
Justin Thomas               16/1
Rickie Fowler                20/1     
Brooks Koepka             20/1
Francesco Molinari        20/1
Justin Rose                   20/1
Tiger Woods                 20/1
Tommy Fleetwood         25/1     
Xander Schauffele        25/1                 
Bryson DeChambeau     28/1     
Jon Rahm                     28/1
Jason Day                    33/1     
Sergio Garcia                33/1     
Adam Scott                  33/1     
Patrick Cantlay              40/1
Paul Casey                   40/1
Hideki Matsuyama         40/1     
Patrick Reed                 40/1     
Webb Simpson             40/1
Tony Finau                    50/1
Lucas Glover                 50/1     
Marc Leishman              50/1
Ian Poulter                    50/1
Jordan Spieth                50/1     
Henrik Stenson             50/1
Gary Woodland             50/1     
Matthew Fitzpatrick       66/1     
Billy Horschel                66/1
Si Woo Kim                   66/1
Luke List                       66/1     
Phil Mickelson               66/1
Louis Oosthuizen           66/1
Matt Wallace                 66/1     
Byeong Hun An             80/1     
Keegan Bradley            80/1     
Tyrrell Hatton                80/1     
Charles Howell III           80/1
Zach Johnson               80/1     
Kevin Kisner                  80/1
Jason Kokrak                80/1
Cameron Smith             80/1     
Bubba Watson              80/1     
Daniel Berger                100/1
Emiliano Grillo               100/1   
Adam Hadwin                100/1
Sungjae Im                   100/1
Charl Schwartzel           100/1

Tuesday, March 12

VIDEO: The Putting Blues of Jeff Maggert and Tiger Woods


NO MATTER HOW FAR THE GOLF BALL flies and rolls, no matter how long golf courses become, and no matter how modern golf equipment enables a jaw-dropping power game, success in golf still, in large part, comes down to putting.

Jeff Maggert (above), a tour professional who has won eight times on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, five-putted from five feet on the final hole of his opening round at the Hoag Classic. He carded an ugly triple bogey at 18 and posted a 5-over 76.

While I was watching Maggert, I wanted to say, "Stop, take a breath, regroup."

But we've all been there, haven't we? Slapping the golf ball back and forth around the cup. The only difference is that someone in our friendly game probably would have said, "Pick it up, that's good," after the second miss.

There's a happy ending to Maggert's viral putting episode. The journeyman came back the next day and shot 63. He only needed 22 putts.

Speaking of putting, here's Tiger Woods working with putting coach Matt Killen at The Players Championship on Monday. Tiger has struggled on the greens, including too many three-putts.

Monday, March 11

VIDEO: Francesco Molinari Fires Closing 64 to Win Arnold Palmer Invitational



THE CLOSER. THAT MIGHT BE an apt nickname for reigning Open champion Francesco Molinari.

Molinari carded an 8-under 64 at Bay Hill on Sunday to finish 12 under in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That was good enough for a two-shot victory over Matthew Fitzpatrick. Rafa Cabrera Bello, Tommy Fleetwood and Sungjae Im tied for third.

Molinari's third PGA Tour title included a lengthy putt on the final green that drew comparisons to Tiger Woods. (See above highlights.)

"The long game can take you only so far," Molinari said. "You can be in contention and have good finishes more often than other people. But when it comes to crunch time, you have to make the putts at the right time."

Next up is The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. And no, it's not the fifth major.

Friday, March 8

RIP Dan Jenkins, Legendary Sportswriter and Member of World Golf Hall of Fame


From the New York Times obituary:
Mr. Jenkins was among a cadre of Sports Illustrated writers — including Roy Blount Jr., Mark Kram and Frank Deford — recruited by André Laguerre, the managing editor who oversaw the magazine's emergence as a leader in literate, and occasionally literary, sports journalism as well as a powerhouse in the Time Inc. stable. Mr. Jenkins joined the magazine in 1962. 
A Texan with a good old boy’s pride in country common sense over urban sophistication, Mr. Jenkins brought a Southern wiseacre erudition to the pages of a magazine not exactly used to the arch or earthy or impolitic remark. Opinionated, more than occasionally snarky, he wrote with an open appreciation of athletes and coaches, bars, pretty women and chicken fried steak, replete with clever put-downs and outlandish metaphors. 
His main beats were golf and college football, sports he grew up with in Fort Worth.
The Times reported that Jenkins had dealt with heart and renal failure and recently broke his hip. He was 90.

Thursday, March 7

Golf Swing Thursday: Coach Lockey


I LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS: The swing. The tempo. The sound. The quick reach for the tee. The "perfect" comment.

May we all hit it a little more like Coach Lockey this spring.

Tuesday, March 5

Eamon Lynch: Whining About New Rules Is Not Good Look for PGA Tour Players

THE USGA HAS BECOME A PUNCHING BAG through the years and for good reasons. But golf's elite players seem to get a pass on their reactions and childish behavior, most recently as it pertains to the new rules.

Why are players (seemingly) excused?

This isn't an aberration. Rather, it's the sports culture in which we live.

Eamon Lynch at Golfweek.com jumped into the topic with both feet:
It is golf’s most threadbare cliché to say that the game reflects life — the need to play it as it lies, handle bad breaks, conduct oneself honorably. This blather about character and grit has kept the sport's more indolent announcers and marketing executives employed for generations. But a more fitting allegory for this golf-as-life theme, at least in the professional ranks, may be our cry baby culture, the ceaseless bellyaching by those who break rules and then petulantly insist the rules are stupid anyway.... 
There’s clearly great fodder for debate in the new rules, from the wording to the rollout. The problem is that the time for debate was two years ago. In March 2017, the USGA announced a six-month feedback period during which anyone could offer input on the proposed revisions. More than 25,000 golfers did so. If Messrs. Scott, Thomas and Fowler had grave reservations, they had ample opportunity to register them. 
The new rules were made public in March 2018 — nine months before they took effect. USGA officials attended player meetings and held one-on-one conversations at tournaments in advance of the rollout. Despite that outreach, plenty of players are peddling a narrative that blames their own ignorance on the USGA. It's unsurprising. The blazers are the softest target in golf, portrayed as humorless scolds legislating all the fun out of the game.
I'm not saying the new rules are perfect, nor the rollout. But I do agree with Lynch's characterization of players as whiners and babies. I'm tired of it.

What if all parties, including golf's governing bodies, actually talked directly behind the scenes rather than airing their grievances and pettiness in the public arena?

Saturday, March 2

Lee Elder Makes USGA History as Bob Jones Award Recipient

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By USGA

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The USGA will honor Lee Elder with its highest honor, the Bob Jones Award, in a ceremony on June 12, 2019, during the week of the 119th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. Elder is the first African American to receive the prestigious award.

Presented annually since 1955, the Bob Jones Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships.

"Lee's perseverance, positive attitude, and generous spirit personifies the ideals that the Bob Jones Award represents," said Mike Davis, USGA CEO. "His grace and humility demonstrate his extraordinary character, and his work at the community level has paved the way for generations of future golfers. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor his incredible sportsmanship in the game."

After bursting onto the PGA Tour in 1968 by tying Jack Nicklaus and extending him to a five-hole playoff at the American Golf Classic, Robert Lee Elder used his new-found fame to introduce disadvantaged youths to the game through various development programs.

Most notably, Elder managed the desegregated Langston Golf Course in Washington, D.C., where he hosted after-school programs aimed at educating youngsters about the game, while also giving them a safe place to spend their afternoons. In 1974, Elder created the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund, which offers financial aid to low-income young men and women to attend college.

A pioneering force in the game, Elder overcame personal tragedy and discrimination to become the first African American to play in the Masters Tournament, as well as the first African American to earn a spot on a Ryder Cup Team, serving as an inspiration to countless players who sought to break the color barrier.

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"It’s a great honor to receive this award and be recognized in the same vein as Mr. Jones, who did so much for golf, and many others that I've admired who have positively impacted the game," said Elder. "I felt that by setting the right example and serving as a mentor, I would have the ability to leave a lasting impression on people. Even if I could only reach a few of them, I wanted to give all youngsters a chance to learn the game and be a part of it."

Born the youngest of 10 children in Dallas in 1934, Robert Lee Elder was orphaned at age 9 after his father was killed in action during World War II and his mother, overcome with grief, died three months later. Their deaths forced Elder to interrupt his schooling, and he found work at a nearby golf course, sparking his interest in and cultivating his love for the game. He began practicing in his off hours with a borrowed club and developed his skills further after he began to caddie. At age 12, Elder was sent to live with an aunt in Los Angeles, where his affinity for the game grew through jobs in pro shops and locker rooms, in addition to continuing his work as a caddie.

Elder's competitive career began in 1950 at an amateur event conducted by the United Golf Association (UGA), which provided competitive opportunities for African American players. After a stint traveling with famous golf hustler Titanic Thompson and two years in the Army, Elder played professionally, quickly establishing himself as the top player on the UGA circuit with wins in 18 of 22 tournaments in 1966. He easily qualified for the PGA Tour in 1967 and went on to finish his career with four PGA Tour wins and eight PGA Tour Champions wins.

Elder stared down discrimination throughout his career, most notably by accepting Gary Player's invitation to play in the South African PGA Championship in 1971, in the hope that a desegregated event would help end apartheid policies in South Africa. Elder also declined an invitation to the Masters that was based on growing legislative pressure rather than his own merit, and instead earned his spot with his first PGA Tour win at the Monsanto Open in 1974.

Tuesday, February 26

FEHERTY VIDEO: Fred Couples Names His Golf Idols



WHO WERE YOUR GOLF HEROES growing up?

It depends on your generation.

Fred Couples, 59, loved players of an earlier era. And not just the obvious ones named Arnold and Jack.

Monday, February 25

RIP Gene Littler, U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur Winner and Member of World Golf Hall of Fame

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SAN DIEGO NATIVE GENE LITTLER DIED on Friday. He was 88.

I had the pleasure of watching Gene play with other golf legends when he was in his late 70s and spoke to him on a couple of occasions. He was a man of few words. He let his sticks do the talking. His golf swing was simple, effective and beautiful. They called him "Gene the Machine" in his heyday.

Littler is prominently featured in both of my golf books, so I had good reasons to attempt conversations with him, once in a locker room in Savannah, Georgia, and a few years later in a hotel lobby in Hickory, North Carolina.

One thing I learned while I was writing THE LONGEST SHOT: In 1955 golf luminaries like Gene Sarazen said Gene Littler would be the next Ben Hogan. Why? He was winning a lot of tournaments and THAT swing.

From the obituary in the New York Times:
In his prime, though self-taught, he had  a "perfect swing," said Gene Sarazen, a winner of seven major championships. "Like Sam Snead’s, only better."
Littler was typically self-effacing in assessing his form. "I just put the ball down and hit," he once said.
Unassuming and devoid of glamour in an era dominated by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, and relatively unimposing at 5 foot 9 and 160 pounds or so, Littler simply went about winning tournaments: 29 on the PGA Tour and another eight on what was then the Senior PGA Tour.
Littler, who lost two other majors in playoffs and another by one stroke, was a seven-time Ryder Cup player and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.
Littler's Hall-of-Fame career included 29 PGA Tour wins, one of which was the 1961 U.S. Open. As mentioned, he also excelled on several U.S. Ryder Cup squads.

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Monday, February 18

VIDEO: J.B. Holmes Wins Genesis Open in a Kentucky Waltz



J.B. HOLMES OUTLASTED FELLOW KENTUCKIAN Justin Thomas to win the Genesis Open at storied Riviera Country Club. But the final round took forever, thanks to an unapologetic Holmes.

Brian Wacker reported at GolfDigest.com:
The final threesome of Holmes, Thomas and Adam Scott played in 5 hours, 29 minutes. Most of the slow-rolling came at the hand of Holmes, long considered one of the biggest culprits in the game of playing at a glacial pace, as he plumb-bobbed and dawdled his way around Riviera.
Not that he seemed to mind.
"Well, you play in 25-mile-an-hour gusty winds and see how fast you play when you’re playing for the kind of money and the points and everything that we’re playing for," Holmes replied when asked about the topic following the victory. "You can't just get up there and whack it when it’s blowing that hard."
Holmes shot a 70 on Sunday to finish 14 under, one ahead of Thomas who skied to a 75 in his final round. It was the first PGA Tour win in three years and fourth career victory for Holmes.

Wednesday, February 13

The Golf Ball Guide: Finding a Fit (Conclusion)

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WITH SO MANY OPTIONS and a lot of information to grasp, finding the perfect golf ball for your game might seem daunting.

But there's also this piece of good news: It's nearly impossible to go wrong in today's market because all the major companies make top-quality golf balls.

A good starting point is to assess your golf abilities and aspirations.

Are you a beginner, high handicapper, or "average" golfer?

You might want to focus on the durability, distance and straightness offered by quality two-piece golf balls. Plus, they're more economical. The right distance and lower-spin golf ball will put you in the fairway more often and shorten those second shots.

If your'e a more skilled golfer, then spin and accuracy from the fairway to the green—and heightened feel on little pitches, chip shots and putts—will probably lead you to a premium multi-piece golf ball. The right one could definitely elevate your game and lower your score.

"Size up your game by understanding your strengths and weaknesses," said expert reviewer Bob Gomavitz, "and by also knowing your club speed before choosing your next ball."

Gomavitz also suggests doing additional homework, whether visiting websites of golf ball manufacturers or attending a ball fitting. It's certainly not mandatory, but you might be the type of person who enjoys the process.

Perhaps the smartest move is to simply try out several golf balls in practice and on the golf course. Hit all the shots: drives, full irons, wedges, short pitches, bunker shots, chips and putts. Note the performance and feel as you try different balls. A favorite ball or two should emerge from your informal testing.

In the end, as Gomavitz said, "Go have some fun!" That's a worthy goal for every golfer.

Related:
The Golf Ball Guide: Introduction
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Construction
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Categories and Brands
The Golf Ball Guide: Two-Piece Golf Balls
The Golf Ball Guide: Multi-Piece Golf Balls
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Balls in Cold Weather

The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Care

Monday, February 11

VIDEO: Phil Mickelson Collects Fifth Win at Pebble Beach in Monday Finish



THAT AGELESS WONDER PHIL MICKELSON won again, besting runner-up Paul Casey by three shots at the AT&T Pebble Pro-Am. He shot a 65 in the final round that had to be completed on Monday. Casey had a 71. Scott Stallings (66) finished third.

Mickelson now has five wins at Pebble Beach and 44 for his career. Not bad for a Hall of Famer nearing 50 and still playing with the youngsters on the PGA Tour.

"It's a lot more work and effort to play at this level," Lefty said at PGATOUR.COM. "I have believed for some time that if I play at my best, it will be good enough to win tournaments here. The challenge is getting myself to play my best.

"It's a lot more work off the course, it's more time in the gym, it's more time eating, it's more time focusingit's all these things that go into it, and so it's very gratifying to see the results and to finish it off the way I did."

The focused work has Mickelson swinging the club faster and driving the ball farther. His putting has also improved.

The victory lifted Phil to No. 17 in the world rankings.

Wednesday, February 6

VIDEO: Bernhard Langer Reveals Off-Season Gym Routine



BERNHARD LANGER IS A GOLF LEGEND, especially when it comes to longevity.

The 61-year-old man just keeps on winning golf tournaments. This Golf Channel video demonstrates a small part of Langer's fitness regimen that contributes to his success.

The five-time Charles Schwab Cup champion takes you through his off-season workout program using 20-pound weights. Take note. I think it's something many people could imitate.

Tuesday, February 5

The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Care

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TODAY'S GOLF BALLS ARE very durable and offer consistent performance thanks to advances in technology and the highest-quality manufacturing standards.

That said, there are simple things golfers can do to get the most from this essential piece of equipment.

During and after play, clean your golf ball to remove any dirt, mud, grass stains, or other material. And clean it often, like when you get to the green (after marking) and/or before you begin playing a new hole. It only takes a few seconds.

Why be so fussy about golf ball cleanliness?

Because flight, direction and roll are adversely affected when a golf ball carries foreign debris. For the same performance reasons, remove a golf ball from play if you see scuffs, cuts and other imperfections.

A pro tip for keeping your golf balls warm: Place a towel in the bottom of a large pot and fill the pot with two quarts of very hot tap water. Soak golf balls for 30 minutes. Then dry the balls and store them in air-tight food bags. On the golf course, rotate your golf balls every few holes to keep them as warm as possible. This will improve performance.

Related:

The Golf Ball Guide: Introduction
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Construction
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Categories and Brands
The Golf Ball Guide: Two-Piece Golf Balls
The Golf Ball Guide: Multi-Piece Golf Balls
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Balls in Cold Weather

Thursday, January 31

Skratch TV's Tribute to Johnny Miller AKA Johnny Being Johnny

Tuesday, January 29

The USGA and The R&A Release 2018 Driving Distance Report

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By USGA

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. and ST ANDREWS, Scotland – The USGA and The R&A have released the 2018 Annual Driving Distance Report, containing driving-distance data from seven men's and women's professional golf tours around the world. This is the fourth annual distance report issued by the game;s governing bodies, completed in an effort to monitor current trends in driving distance.

The 2018 data show that driving distances on these seven tours increased by an average of 1.7 yards, beyond the previous year’s gain of more than 3 yards.

The full report, which can be found via this link, summarizes data provided by the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Champions Tour based on available data at the time of publication. Introduced in 2015, the report includes data starting with the 1968 PGA TOUR season.
The average driving distance is typically measured on two holes at each tournament and usually results in nearly 40,000 shots being measured over the course of a season on some tours.

The USGA and The R&A continue to be diligent in studying the long-term effect of distance on the game of golf, a global focus first expressed in their Joint Statement of Principles delivered in 2002.

In that document, the organizations reinforced their commitment to ensure that skill is the dominant element of success throughout the game, and that all factors contributing to distance would be considered on a regular basis.

The 2018 report represents one set of data among the already substantial collection of information currently being studied within the context of the ongoing Distance Insights project, which was launched last May to provide a comprehensive and definitive study of the past, present and future impacts of distance at all levels of the game globally.

A progress update on work conducted to date on the Distance Insights project will be delivered by the end of the first quarter of 2019. The USGA and The R&A remain on target to distribute the comprehensive Distance Insights report in the latter half of 2019.

Monday, January 28

VIDEO: World No. 1 Justin Rose Wins Farmers Insurance Open



JUSTIN ROSE SURVIVED A LATE CHARGE by Adam Scott to win the Farmers Insurance Open by two strokes. It was the 10th title on the PGA Tour for Rose, the world's top-ranked golfer.

The Englishman birdied two of the final three holes to card a 69 in the final round and post a 21-under total for the tournament. Scott birdied the last four holes for a 68 and finished at 19 under.

There were shaky moments early on for the leader.

"Definitely there were times in my career where I've had decent-sized leads and you start to throw it away a little bit and you panic," Rose said. "I just knew I couldn't do that today. I stayed calm, I stayed with it."

Rose also said: "I love winning on great tests of golf and this one will give some special feelings because of that."

In Dubai Bryson DeChambeau fired a closing 64 to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by seven shots. It was Dechambeau's first victory on the European Tour.

Thursday, January 24

The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Balls in Cold Weather

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IF YOU PLAY GOLF IN COLD WEATHER, you shouldn't expect your golf ball to perform like it does in late May or the middle of August.

Here's why: Cold air is denser and creates more drag on the golf ball. Therefore, as the temperature drops, the golf ball flies shorter distances.

For example, your golf ball loses two yards of carry for each 10-degree drop in temperature. While an ideal temperature range for golf balls is 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, temperatures in the 40s can result in distance losses of 5 to 10 yards.

But all is not lost. You can adjust to cold-weather conditions. For instance, a soft, low-compression golf ball will perform better than other balls in cold temperatures. You can also hit more club. Reach for the 5-iron instead of the 6 or 7. (Leave your pride in the parking lot.)

Based on GolfDiscount.com research and testing, here are six golf balls that perform better than others when the weather turns cold:

Bridgestone E6 
Wilson Staff Zip
Callaway Supersoft
Callaway Hex Solaire
TaylorMade Noodle Long and Soft
Titleist NXT Tour S

Lastly, store your golf balls in a warm place.

Next time: Golf ball care.

Related:
The Golf Ball Guide: Introduction
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Construction
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Categories and Brands
The Golf Ball Guide: Two-Piece Golf Balls
The Golf Ball Guide: Multi-Piece Golf Balls

Wednesday, January 23

MORNING DRIVE: Jim Nantz Explains Why He Thinks Phil Mickelson Will Win the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach



HELLO FRIENDS. JIM NANTZ JOINED Morning Drive's Gary Williams at the PGA Merchandise Show and boldly picked Phil Mickelson to win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Nantz has his reasons, some are solid, some are romantic notions.

Phil has good history at Pebble. And a whole lot of people would love seeing him complete the career grand slam on Father's Day. It's the cherry on top of the sundae.

Tuesday, January 22

VIDEO: European Tour's 'The Content Committee'



ANOTHER HUMOROUS VIDEO FROM the European Tour:
European Tour Originals presents The Content Committee. Tired of being asked to take part in viral videos by media types, five European Tour stars decided to take matters into their own hands and assemble The Content Committee. Ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first Rolex Series event of 2019, Thomas Bjørn, Tommy Fleetwood, Eddie Pepperell, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood got together to thrash out an all-new content strategy for the European Tour in 2019. Convinced they could come up with better concepts on their own, the results speak for themselves.
Is it just me, or do others have the sense that European Tour players don't take themselves too seriously, at least not as compared to the Americans?

They're a fun-loving bunch and obviously have to try harder to market their tour. Maybe another reason they're such a band of brothers in the Ryder Cup.

(H/T Geoff Shackelford)

Friday, January 18

The Golf Ball Guide: Multi-Piece Golf Balls

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GOLF BALLS WITH THREE OR MORE PIECES are a good choice for middle- to low-handicap golfers. Multi-piece balls typically enhance feel and spin to give higher-skilled golfers more shot control. In addition, multi-piece construction that includes mantle layering enables manufacturers to target playability features by adding unique layers to the golf ball.

Following are some representative multi-piece golf balls made by various companies.

Brand/Model
Ball Construction
Performance Characteristics
Price*
Bridgestone E6 Soft
Three-piece ball with ionomer cover and Delta dimple pattern.
Long, straight distance, with soft feel.
$
Callaway Superhot 70
Three-piece ball with ionomer cover and 332 Hex Aerodynamic dimple pattern.
Combination of distance, accuracy and feel. 70 compression.
$$
Srixon Z Star
Three-piece ball with a urethane cover and 338 Speed dimple pattern.
Feel and control for mid- to high-swing speeds. 88 compression.
$$
TaylorMade Project (a)
Three-piece ball with SoftTech™ (urethane) cover and 360 dimple pattern.
Soft feel and tour spin, plus distance. 70 compression.
$$
Titleist NXT Tour
Three-piece ball with Fusablend® (ionomer) cover and 302 octahedral dimple pattern.
Soft feel combined with distance and durability. High compression.
$$
Titleist Pro V1
Three-piece ball with soft Urethane Elastomer™ cover and 352 tetrahedral dimple pattern.
Very soft feel. Short game spin and control. Distance and durability. Upper 80s compression.
$$$
Wilson Staff DUO Spin
Three-piece ball with ionomer cover and 302 dimple pattern.
Very soft and extra greenside spin as compared to the DUO. 35 compression.
$$
Bridgestone Tour B330 B Mark
Four-piece ball with SlipRes (urethane) cover and 330 Dual dimple pattern.
Distance ball for players with swing speeds of 105 mph or faster. High compression.
$$$
Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X
Four-piece ball with Tour Urethane cover and 332 Hex Aerodynamics dimple pattern.
Soft feel, low spin off tee for distance, greenside control. Low compression.
$$
Nike RZN Tour Platinum and Tour Black
Four-piece ball with urethane cover and 344 dimple pattern that includes 13,558 micro dimples.
Tour-level ball built for distance and feel. 74 compression.
$$
Srixon Z-Star XV
Four-piece ball with SpinSkin (urethane) cover and 338 Speed dimple pattern.
Soft feel and enhanced spin for faster swing speeds. 105 compression.
$$
TaylorMade Tour Preferred
Four-piece ball with SoftTech™ (urethane) cover and 322 dimple pattern.
Soft feel with tour-level performance for all swing speeds. 80 compression.
$
Titleist Pro V1x
Four-piece ball with soft Urethane Elastomer™ cover and 328 tetrahedral dimple pattern.
Soft feel, high flight and extra spin for greenside control. High compression.
$$$
TaylorMade TP5
Five-piece ball with Dual-Spin (urethane) cover and 322 seamless dimple pattern.
Soft feel and long distance. High spin for wedge play. 83 compression.
$$$

*Approximate price ranges from golf retailers:
$ = under $25
$$ = $25 to $39.99
$$$ = $40 and more

Next time: Golf balls in cold weather.

Related:
The Golf Ball Guide: Introduction

The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Construction
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Categories and Brands
The Golf Ball Guide: Two-Piece Golf Balls

Wednesday, January 16

AP's Doug Ferguson to Receive PGA's LIfetime Achievement Award in Journalism

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By PGA of America

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Doug Ferguson, whose three decades with the Associated Press have made him the most-read golf journalist and one of the game's most respected chroniclers of professional golfers, has been named the recipient of the 2019 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism. Ferguson will be honored on April 11 at the ISPS HANDA 47th Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) Annual Awards Dinner at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Augusta, Georgia.

Ferguson, 55, is the 30th recipient of the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, which recognizes members of the media for their steadfast promotion of golf, both locally and nationally. His work, spanning more than 500 golf events, reaches more than 4,000 publications worldwide.

"I think it's one of the highest honors a golf writer could aspire to," said Ferguson of his capturing the award. "It's very meaningful. I love what I do. If I didn't love it, I couldn't have done what I have done this long and at that rate of workload. It's the nicest form of recognition I could get."

Monday, January 14

VIDEO: Matt Kuchar Wins Ninth PGA Tour Title at Sony Open in Hawaii



FIFTY-FOUR HOLE LEADER MATT KUCHAR rallied in the final round to win the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Kuchar birdied six of the last 10 holes to fire a closing 66 and finish 22 under. Andrew Putnam was runner-up, four strokes back.

"To have won two out of three starts on the PGA Tour is mind boggling to me," Kuchar said. "It absolutely sets up the year to be in great position for the FedEx Cup. There is a lot of year left and a lot of great things that are out there to be done."

Kuchar, 40, is certainly rejuvenated after a long victory drought. His ninth PGA Tour win also put him back into the top 25 in the world rankings.

Saturday, January 12

Where Did You Play Your First Round of Golf?


TITLEIST ASKED A HANDFUL OF TOUR PROS: "Where did you play your first round of golf?" They include Paul Casey, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

My answer is Desert Aire Golf Course in Palmdale, California.

What about you?

Wednesday, January 9

The Golf Ball Guide: Two-Piece Golf Balls

CONSISTING OF A CORE AND COVER, two-piece golf balls cost less and are a good choice for beginning and high-handicap golfers. Two-piece ball construction typically combines distance and durability, including less spin for straighter shots. In recent years two-piece golf balls have also featured lower compression and softer covers for golfers with slower swing speeds.

Following are some representative two-piece golf balls made by various companies.

Brand/Model
Ball Construction
Performance Characteristics
Price*
Callaway Supersoft
Two-piece ball with soft ionomer cover and 332 Hex Aerodynamics dimple pattern.
Very soft feel, straight and long distance. For slower swing speeds. 38 compression.
$
Srixon Q-Star®
Two-piece ball with ionomer cover and 324 Speed dimple pattern.
Distance and control for swing speeds of 75 mph and faster. 75 compression.
$
Srixon Soft Feel
Two-piece ball with soft ionomer cover and 344 Aero Power dimple pattern.
Soft feel without sacrificing distance and accuracy. 60 compression.
$
TaylorMade Aeroburner Soft
Two-piece ball with a soft IOTHANE® (ionomer) cover and 342 dimple pattern.
Very soft feel, with distance and stopping power. 53 compression.
$
Titleist DT TruSoft™
Two-piece ball with soft ionomer cover and 376 tetrahedral dimple pattern.
Titleist’s softest feel, with distance and very low spin. Mid 50s compression.
$
Titleist NXT Tour S
Two-piece ball with Fusablend® (ionomer) cover and 302 octahedral dimple pattern.
Long distance and soft feel. Very durable. Mid 70s compression.
$$
Titleist Velocity
Two-piece ball with thin NaZ2 (ionomer) cover and 328 tetrahedral dimple pattern.
Long distance, high trajectory and firm feel. High compression.
$$
Wilson Staff DUO
Two-piece ball with ionomer cover and 302 dimple pattern.
Claimed to be world’s softest golf ball. 29 compression.
$

*Approximate price ranges from golf retailers:
$ = under $25
$$ = $25 to $39.99
$$$ = $40 and more

Next time: Multi-piece golf balls.

Related:
The Golf Ball Guide: Introduction

The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Construction
The Golf Ball Guide: Golf Ball Categories and Brands