Archive for 24 June, 2015

A wild end to a terrific U.S. Open

Well, there you have it folks! One of the most highly anticipated U.S. Opens in years has concluded and if anything, concluded in stunning fashion.

The day began with Jason Day and Dustin Johnson leading the tournament. Jason, who had suffered vertigo the day before, showed nothing butbpure toughness throughout despite falling out of the lead.

DJ was en fuego with the driver hitting all of the fairways while in famous Dustin Johnson fashion, booming it a long way. However, his putter was fresh out of the bag ice as he three putter couple of time during the round but despite that, was still in pretty good shape.

Meanwhile, Rory Mcilroy was off to a flaming hot start going -6 which included an incredible 72ft putt. Many thought perhaps Rory would make push for his 2nd U.S. Open title but ultimately finished his day at Even par thanks to a couple of bogies.

Jordan Spieth made a push and would lead the tournament by two shots. I thought it was over then because the “Texas Microwave” is hard to stop when he’s up by a couple of shots.

With a couple of holes left however, Jordan double bogeyed and ended up being tied with 2010 British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen at -4.

Louis had just finished his round when Jordan dropped. Then DJ made a push and he was -4.

It looked like it could’ve been a thre man playoff. Four man playoff if Branden Grace hung on.

But then, Jordan Spieth birdied the 18th at Chambers Bay to take the lead. DJ had other plans and had an excellent chance to win it or send it into an 18 hole playoff on Monday after two glorious shots to reach the green.

He had a chance to win it with an eagle putt but missed that. Then had a great chance to extend the tournament with a four footer but missed that leaving him with a three putt and lose in heartbreaking fashion to Jordan who would capture his second straight major title.

With Jordan’s win, it just shows just how strong the talent in golf is today. Rory Mcilroy and Jordan Spieth have now won all four majors in 2014 and 2015 combined (Rory won the Open and PGA last year while Jordan won the Masters and U.S. Open this year).

As Peter Allis’ parody Twitter account (Also known as Tweeter Allis) said, “splendid”. Splendid indeed.

Everyone wants someone to carry to torch for golf which is why so many fans are desparate about Tiger coming back and playing at his best. Well, I think Tiger can rest easy knowing the young kids like Rory and Jordan are carrying this torch.

Both players are gentleman as well which is very important. Jordan went on to say how DJ should have been hoisting the U.S. Open trophy instead of him.

PGA Tour golfers just don’t say things like that. It’s always “I played great today and was dialed in” without giving any credit to the opponent.

That’s just pure class on Jordan’s part.

The U.S. Open ratings weren’t high this year but it could have simply been the new broadcast team and fans weren’t used to it, causing them not to watch. Besides, if guys like Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcilroy, Dustin Johnson (Currently the top 3 players in the world in no particular order) continue to play at the level they’re playing, golf’s ratings will rise. Just go back to last year’s PGA Championsip.

Remarkable ratings and thia was the PGA which is usually “number 4” and sometimes number five in some fans’ mind behind the Players Championship at the iconic TPC Sawgrass.

Yet, the PGA last year had one of the best ratings in years. That’s a great sign of things to come.

I think the people who only wanna watch Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are missing out on the greatness we’re witnessing here.

Would I love to see Tiger, Phil, Jordan, Rory, Rickie Fowler and DJ all tied going into the back nine of a major? ABSOLUTLEY and who wouldn’t?

But guys like Tiger and Phil aren’t the only reasons I’m watching. I’m looking for greatness and if guys like Rory and Jordan win again, that to me would be as great as Tiger getting his 15th major or Phil getting his 6th.

Because you’re witnessing the new generation of greatness. I think golf is in awesome shape with the strong roster of talent.

Sure, I think another major for Phil and Tiger would be more important in terms of legacy but seeing the young bucks win is terrific.

It’s a little unfair to guys like Jordan that we continue to talk about Tiger’s struggle or Phil’s runner-ups at the U.S. Open rather than a player who’s on his way to a potential grand slam.

As for Chambers Bay, I think it could be terrific PGA Championship host course as the PGA always has some great tournaments when played on links courses like Kiawah Island and Whistling Straits (Both are Pete Dye designs) which will host this year’s PGA.

Here’s looking forward to what could be an outstanding Open Championship. Don’t be surprised if Dustin Johnson turns St. Andrews into his power playground, especially after that tough loss in the U.S. Open.

The question that’s being asked is, “Will DJ come back with evengance or will the loss haunt him?”. It’s anybody’s guess at this point but if he could put the loss behind him, he could shred the Old Course, especially because he’s proven that he’s good at links courses.

After two great majors this year, it’s to look forward to the oldest major of them all at golf’s oldest course. Should be an exciting one!

St. Andrews is ALWAYS a treat!

Leave your thoughts below on who you think will win at the Open Championship at St. Andrews this year!

You can follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m talking anything and everything golf as well as golf video games and of course the Open Championship!

ICYMI: Rickie nearly aces par-4 at U.S. Open

So, there was this. Rickie Fowler came close to a hole in one on a par 4 at Chambers Bay. REAL close.

Had Slick Rick made the shot, it would have been the first par 4 ace in U.S. Open. Ballin’ deadeye!

Here’s a video of the amazing shot on the Darth Vador like green!

Rickie ended up missing the cut so it just shows, that even when you’re not playing well, you can have that one great shot and on the Chambers Bay greens, that’s am achievement!

The way the balls are bouncing on the greens like a Charlie Haeger knuckleball, who knows if or when we see another shot like that this weekend!

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio if you like golf and weird at the same time!

Gary Player on Chambers Bay: “Might be the worst golf course I’ve ever seen”

During an interview with Jason Goff and Matt Spiegal on WSCR 670 The Score in Chicago, Gary Player had some words for the Robert Trent Jones Jr links design.

The Black Knight mentioned that Chambers Bay is “the worst golf course I’ve ever seen”. He’s not the only one, as Chambers Bay has quickly become arguably the most controversial course in U.S. Open history.

Some other things that Gary mention were about Tiger Woods’ struggles and how golf needs him. Due to the great young talent in today’s game, I disagree with Mr. Player. If Tiger’s doing well, and in the hunt the that’s just a bonus although I like seeing different winners.

He also mentioned that golf courses need to be shorter and quicker to play which I agree 150,000% with. The USGA has been doing a terrific job promoting the enjoyment of playing nine holes instead of 18 which is a huge plus.

Take a listen to the interview below by clicking the link:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2015/06/19/gary-player-blasts-chambers-bay-might-be-the-worst-golf-course-ive-ever-seen/

Gotta love Gary Player man and yes Jason Goff, who wouldn’t want to have Gary on every week to talk about life and how to bring the extra swag out to the course?

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m talkin’ U.S. Open, golf video games and some urban golf as well!

WATCH: Jason Day collapses, finishes 18th hole like a boss

A scary moment for Jason Day at Chambers Bay at the U.S. Open. On the 18th hole, Jason collapsed to the ground, rolling in pain.

Turns out that the 3-time PGA Tour champion Aussie suffers from vertigo. Thankfully and incredibly, Jason got up and finished the 18th hole like a true warrior.

I’m writing from my phone so I couldn’t embed the video unfortunately but here’s a link to the video courtesy of our (Yardbarker writers) mother network Fox Sports:

Jason’s hanging around towards the top of the leaderboard along with Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Brendan Grace and rookie bomber Tony Finau among others.

Here’s hoping J-Day stays healthy going into the weekend!

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio because I’m weird and like to retweet others’ retweets!

WATCH: European Urban Golf Championship Looks Amazing

Now THIS is how you get more people into golf! In May, Europe had their annual European Urban Golf Cup which was held at Queen Elizabeth Park in beautiful London.

France came out on top in the 10-team tournament. Other countries represented were Germany and Ireland among others.

What’s Urban Golf you ask? Some call it Cross-Golf and some simply call it Street Golf. Same rules as traditional golf except the world is your golf course and that’s what makes it so awesome.

It’s steadily starting to grow just like other golf related sports such as Disc Golf and Footgolf. Usually, players aim for targets such as fire hydrants, bike tires (As long as it’s your own bike), walls, or any friggin’ thing else that seems like a good spot to aim a golf ball at.

You use your imagination and create your own course. Think like a golf course designer and ask questions.

How am I going to draw around that little cabin? Should I punch a shot through those trees at the park?

These are the same principles as playing on the real course. Except with Urban Golf/Cross-Golf, you have much more open freedom.

Now if you want a more realistic golfing experience, you can get some golf targets and place them all around the park, town, village, etc and design your own track for your Urban Golfing pleasure.

The balls most Urban Golfers use and what the players in the EUGC use are Almost Golf balls which play like real golf balls but are much softer. They were created by Rob Peterson who now owns Glow Gear which sells glow in the dark golf gear.

On a personal note, I’ve been playing with Almost Golf balls for 5 to 6 years. They are amazing for Urban Golf.

Urban Golf is actually how I got into golf. I got lessons at Randall Oaks Golf Club in the Chicago area but would practice on my own time hitting balls around the elementary school so I always enjoy seeing cool things like this.

What’s makes Urban Golf so wonderful is that it’s so accessible. We all love traditional golf but can be quite expensive making it difficult to introduce it to younger audiences.

I’m not trying to scare anyone off from playing regular golf. Go for it!

But, I think Urban Golf is a wonderful way to get more kids to play golf. It’s so cheap to play.

All you need is one club (preferably a pitching wedge. Sometimes you might need a putter as well if you want to include putting in your rounds/matches), a few soft golf balls and some targets to aim for. That’s it!

It also brings a whole new perspective to the world around you and can be quite adventurous. It’s pretty fun when you start to imagine the possibilities of what can be a golf course in your world.

Sports like basketball and soccer are extremely popular because they are both very easy to pick up and play.

Basketball: Grab basketball, find court.

Soccer: Grab soccer ball (Or football if you’re in another country), find soccer field. If not, use other things as goals such as cones.

Urban Golf/Cross-Golf: Grab golf club, grab golf balls, find spot to play (Which is practically anywhere you freakin’ want within reason. As long as there’s enough space and is not super crowded).

To all traditionalists out there, I know most of you hate things like Urban Golf because it’s not real golf but I have some news for you. Golf was created in the STREETS! That’s right!

Dutch sailors came off a boat and started hitting a stone around the town of St. Andrews and they started counting their strokes. THAT’s how golf came to be.

Eventually, Musselburgh Links was born an then the first 18 hole course, St. Andrews Golf Links.

But it all started with some dudes hitting rocks with sticks around town.

The only issue is Urban Golf is that, like Brian Giuffra wrote for Skratch TV, the U.S. needs an Urban Golf organization and championship PRONTO! If anything, have a National team so we can have a squad to root for on their way to the EUGC title. All you need is some shirts, hats, etc for the fans.

C’MON U.S.! Let’s get this ball rolling and get an Urban Golf organization started! Would be an excellent opportunity for high schools and colleges to start Urban Golf clubs as well!

Check out info on the European Urban Golf Cup at eugc.org!

USGA? Golf 20/20? PGA? We Are Golf? Video game companies? Y’all listening?

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m tweeting about the U.S. Open, golf video games and Urban Golf as well!

Source: Skratch TV

ICYMI: Ewart-Shadoff, Watson sink incredible sideways putts

OK there some things in professional golf that just show how incredible some of these players are. Jodi Ewart-Shadoff nails an unbelievable sideways putt and gets nothing but cup at the Women’s PGA Championship.

She wasn’t going to win the tournament but with a putt like that, she needs the “Deadeye” award!

Here’s the video of her amazing putt:

You thought I was done there huh? Ha! Well, you were wrong as Bubba Watson also hit an incredible sideways putt during a practice round at Chambers Bay. This just really shows you what the players will face out there!

It’s just crazy how these could read these greens like that! I can’t even read the slope of my bedroom floor like that (OK, that would be a problem)!

It’s just simply amazing what these players can do with the flatstick and it just shows how important putting is!

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio because I’m your dawg, dawg! I’ll be tweeting about the U.S. Open and anything else going on in the golf world!

Sources: Golf News Net, Skratch TV

Fan creates Facebook page to help Fred Couples’ U.S. Open bid

As we know, the U.S. Open is a few days away and it will be at the unknown, yet beautiful Chambers Bay in Washington. The Robert Trent Jones Jr. track is not too far from Seattle and who’s the most famous and popular golfers, maybe athletes period to come out of Seattle? Fred Couples!

Freddy has a low chance of getting into the U.S. Open this year but a fan named Craig Strand says “Not so fast my friend!” as he created a fan page to help Freddy get an exemption into Chambers Bay. Problem is, according to Golf Digest, there hasn’t been a special exemption for a U.S. Open in five years.

The U.S. Open trophy will be displayed at Freddy’s home course, Jefferson Park Golf Course, a municipal track right outside of Seattle. Like any smart young kid, Freddy and his boyhood friend would hop the fence of the course to avoid greens fees. I actually laugh because I used to make my way into my local par-3 course without getting caught.

The Facebook page has 500 likes at the moment but don’t be surprised if it gets another 500 soon because everyone loves Freddy Couples. It’s fair to say that Fred Couples is one of the most recognizable players in golf history. There are quite a few casual fans who know who he is.

If you want to check out Craig’s Facebook page, then here it is: https://www.facebook.com/boomboom2015?fref=ts

I’d be thrilled to see Freddy get in, a lot of us would but it’s a heck of a mountain to climb. I give Craig a lot of credit for his effort though!

The beautiful story of Ryan McGuire will make you a huge fan

Ryan will play 100 holes for his friend Danny Nickerson (Right)

I think in many ways, golf is truly one of the only sports that can really touch lives. Ryan McGuire, a 6-year old in Kindergarten who lost a classmate and friend Danny Nickerson who died of a pediatric cancer called Diffuse Insintric Pointine Giloma , had decided to take a great stance for a great cause.

Ryan will play 100 holes of golf in one day to help raise money on June 17th for Cancer research in Danny’s name. He will be playing at MGM Links in Norton, Mass for this incredible cause.

The money raised would be for Dr. Mark Kieran’s research at Dana Farber.

Ryan’s goal is $15,000 and the really cool thing is that with 18 days left in his Golf Fights Cancer campaign, he’s already at $10,000! I’d say that this caring young man will reach his goal and then some.

So, if you want to donate to this great cause, you can visit Ryan’s Golf Fights Cancer page here: http://golffightscancer.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1134411&supid=422835851

If you are unable to pledge then spread the word and share the page! Share it with friends and family across social media. I’m sure Ryan would really appreciate the help and support.

Ryan’s grandfather, Vin “Bear” McGuire who is a cancer survivor will be his caddie for this beautiful occasion. Ryan’s classmates will be there as well, cheering him on.

Here’s a video of Ryan’s story from CBS WBZ in Boston:

And here’s a more in-depth story of these outstanding young men courtesy of Golf News Net.

I’m on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio

Source: Golf Digest

REVIEW: The Golf Club Collector’s Edition

The Golf Club is a video game created by Canadian based developer HB Studios and has been out for almost a year now. You might have heard me talk about The Golf Club before and the story of this game is pretty darn amazing.

HB Studious has worked with gaming juggernaut EA Sports on numerous games in the past such as the legendary Madden NFL and Tiger Woods PGA Tour series’. HB was supposed to be helping EA to create the latest Tiger Woods game but after the release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 which included the original 1934 design of Augusta National in its “Historic Edition”, EA Sports decided to take a year off to start fresh from scratch.

With this hiatus, this gave HB Studios (At the time, only a team of around 10 developers. Not sure if this increased or not) a chance to shine by putting out their own golf game. And they did.

I remember always emailing them long before the game released asking how the progress was going because as a video game geek, I was freakin’ jubilant on this refreshing new golf experience. Finally, they announced a beta in the February of 2014 and I was lucky enough to be part of it.

What was so cool about the game was the course creator which was simply just….the “Course Creator” (Now, the Greg Norman Course Designer) which allowed you create any course you like. It was like literally being an “armchair architect” unless of course you’re playing on a couch or bed then you’d be a couch architect or bed architect.

Instead of sitting and dreaming of a layout you want to create, The Golf Club gives you the chance to really design it.

Ever since that beta, The Golf Club has really blossomed and exploded onto the sports gaming scene. At first there weren’t even 100 created courses and now there are well over 40,000 (Including a couple of them that I made that sucked).

What’s cool is that not all of the courses are typical 18 hole courses. Some are mini golf courses, some are 9-holers, some are par 3 courses and some are just flat-out out of control insane, nuts and fun at the same time.

I had a chance to play the Collector’s Edition on the PS4 which includes the Tropical theme in the Greg Norman Course Designer, dynamic weather and a season mode for your competitive juices. I actually pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition which gave you a golf towel with the logo on it if you reserved it at GameStop.

The game plays very smooth and looks beautiful on the PS4 thanks to the console’s strong technology. The swing is the smoothest I’ve ever seen in a golf game to date and specifically, the flop shot is the most dead on swing in the game in my opinion.

Thanks to the nine different themes in the Greg “GET OFF MY LAWN!” Norman Course Designer, you can build beautiful courses in a short amount of time. The themes include, the Autumn, Links, Alpine, Delta, Tropical, Harvest, Countryside, Boreal and rural themes and HB Studios will continue to add more down the road.

You can create any course you can possibly imagine. I just finished designing a par-3 course on an isolated island called “New Genesis Golf Links” (When you play the game, just search “New Genesis”. The island is based on Ellidaey Island in Iceland)

There are some spectacular replicas of real world courses in the game, created by the community. Some of those replicas include Augusta (Magnolia National in the game), Pine Valley, Whistling Straits, Royal Troon, and HB Studios themselves re-created the Pebble Beach design (Titled Stone Reach Golf Links in the game).

Some replicas even have different versions of it like Magnolia National (Thursday) and Magnolia National (Sunday) so you get to play a unique challenge each time. There are also many great fantasy courses that could well be real courses because how good they are.

The Collector’s Edition also features a “Season Mode” to keep your competitive juices flowing. You start off playing in the “Beginner Season” and eventually work your way up to the “Pro Season”.

You play on HB’s designed courses and earn trophies for your wins. You can view the trophy case to view your hardware.

From the season mode screen, you can also do things like check stats, edit your golfer, etc.

The devs have been outstanding with answering people’s questions and have deserve a medal for their efforts. And no, I’m not being a “Kiss A$$”. I’m just telling you what I’ve seen from these guys and it’s been simply remarkable so if you have questions about the game, I recommend contacting those guys or going on the forum and asking where they reply most of the time.

The Collector’s Edition also features a terrific eBook that comes with the game (You get a code to download the eBook in the box). The short book is titled “Insights from Links to St. Andrews” which gives some cool insights into the history of St. Andrews Golf Links and features some great hole-by-hole analysis of the ancient course.

A fantastic book for armchair architects, aspiring course designers, golfers and golf fans alike.

Overall, with the continuous updates of the game and the deep Greg Norman Course Designer and the rich list of created courses, The Golf Club Collector’s Edition has some solid replay value and the courses keep coming. Just saw an unbelievable course that was shared on the forum for the game. Might have to tee it up on that track yo!

I usually don’t do scores but I will this time since it’s a video game.

Due to replay value thanks to the thousands upon thousands of courses created via the Greg Norman Course Designer, I’m giving this game a 9 out of 10.

You can find out more info about The Golf Club at TheGolfClubGame.com.

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio as I’ll be tweeting and retweeting about the U.S. Open, golf video games and about how the BMW Championship needs to stay in “Sweet Home Chicago”!

PHOTOS: Jordan finally releases golf shoes, look ice cold

So this is a total drool moment for people like me who always wanted to rock Jordan gear on the course. After the big release of Jordan brand’s Space Jam based sneakers, the guys in Oregon are at it again, this time, FINALLY releasing a Jordan golf shoe that is long overdue.

There’s no release date yet but rumor has it that we can expect these ice cold kicks later this month.

Jordan golf shoes are usually really tough to come by and if you do, they might be a high price. I remember seeing a pair of sick Jordan golf shoes that were going for well over $1,000.

Some say that His Airness likes to keep his golf kicks secretive and only hands them out to close friends. Sometimes, you get lucky and find them online on places like eBay but again, for a high price.

Now, we don’t have to wonder anymore about how to get Jordan golf shoes because this dream looks to be a reality. All you need is an entire Jordan golf line of clothing such as shirts, jackets, hats, etc.

Here’s a tweet below showcasing the ferocious kicks:

The PGA Tour’s golf gear guru J-Wall (Johnathon Wall of PGATour.com) thinks their hot too:

“Oh my” indeed Mr. Wall.

Now, Michael had made a decision to design his own golf course for his own use because of the “slow play” that was going on at the legendary PGA National. So, what would be flamin’ hot is some Jordan golf shoes with the design of PGA National’s famed “Bear Trap” (Holes 16, 17, and 18) or with the design of one of the holes of his proposed course.

I’d rock those for sure, as long as it’s not overdone!

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio so you can read tweets that are of no use to you! Unless of course it’s golf related, which in most cases it is!

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