Archive for 30 July, 2016

WATCH: This may be the most adorable moment at Baltusrol

The PGA Championship is arguably the most unpredictable major for a number of reasons. One of those cases happened on Friday when Jason Day hit his recovery shot at Baltusrol.

After hititng the shot, a kid raced in front of him to get a high-five. Day looked a little puzzled but then proceeded to give the kid his five.

One of those cute moments that you’ll only see during a PGA Tour tournament. There’s no doubt that the young man won’t forget that moment anytime soon.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! At least you and I don’t have to play the tough Baltusrol right now!

WATCH: Putt takes a million years to drop at PGA

Putting is what make or breaks your round no matter what people may tell you. It also leaves for some fascinating moments as well.

During the PGA Championship at Baltursol, John Senden hit a beautiful putt that looked like it was going straight for the cup. The ball then stopped at the edge of the hole for the longest.

As Senden kept walking around and waiting to see if the ball would go in, it didn’t. He then decided it was time to tap it in, but the ball magically drops in, just as he was getting ready to finish the hole out.

It had to be one of the longest times waiting for a ball to drop in. Bubba Watson also had the same situation, only his ball dropped significantly faster than Senden’s.

Oh, putting. How you never cease to amaze us.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I am the master retweeter (I think)!

The UL International Crown, a new way to view team golf

What’s one of the big reasons why we love sports? To witness greatness, to witness competitive play from some of the most talented human beings (horses if you’re talking horse racing) in the world.

But what fuels the passion? In most cases it’s the teams and the rooting interest in those teams.

That’s what the UL International Crown brought last week as it brought fans from all over the world to watch theor countries duke it out. The event took place at the Merit Club in the Chicago area and the ladies not only had to battle the course and each other, but they also had to battle the heat, as Chicagoland had one of its hottest weeks in history.

The heat was so bad, that team England star Charley Hull had to miss the Friday round due to illness. She came back firing off all cylinders and ended up finishing strong.

I had the chance to cover the Saturday round and taking in the atmosphere, it certainly had a Ryder Cup feel to it. Only difference is that there are eight teams compare to two teams in Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup.

This is what makes the UL International Crown such a great tournament. It’s not limited to two squads to root for, there are eight teams so there is rooting interest for everyone no matter who you are or where you’re from.

Certainly, a fan from China can root for team Europe or team USA in the Solheim Cup as it doesn’t matter who you root for. However, the fact that team China is a squad in the UL International Crown adds to that home team feeling and is closer to your heart as a fan.

The Merit Club, located in the Chicago area was a great host. Chicago is known as one of the best sports towns on the planet with teams like the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks and Fire representing the city’s deep sports culture.

In the interview room, team USA addressed the media center and I had the chance to ask them what it meant to play in such a big team event in a town that is crazy about their sports. Here’s what Stacy Lewis had to say.

“I think that it’s great that we’re in this city. We’re going to be here in the next couple here the next couple of years with the KPMG tournament, as well.” Lewis said. “So it’s a market that we did well in with the Solheim Cup. I think it’s a great place for us to be playing, and hopefully we can get playing here more consistently, not just big events and majors.”

Lewis continued:

“Maybe get something a little more consistent.” Lewis said. “We were talking about it in the car ride on the way home, just the number of cities that have multiple sports teams in the same sports, and Chicago is one of not very many in that aspect. It’s a cool city, and we got to take part in it last night”.

Chicago is one of those towns that does make you discuss sports. It’s a city that can compare to other cities with multiple teams as Lewis mentioned.

This is why it would be great for the UL International Crown to continue having tournaments in major sports towns around the world. Teams help fuel a sports fan’s interest and it’s very marketable as well.

Although the individual sport is great and brings out the mental toughness of the best golfers, the team game brings a fire. As we’ve seen, college golf has increasingly gotten popular due to the drama of alternate shot among other formats as well as being live on Golf Channel.

The UL International Crown was also a great test before the Olympics in Rio next month. All eight teams were able to get a taste before the big games as the tournament was dramatic and ended with a team USA victory.

So although the UL International Crown is still a relatively new event, with so many teams reeling in fans from all over, it can blossom into something bigger.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! Send me tweet! Don’t worry, I don’t bite….unless it’s a tasty sandwich or something!

Rory McIlroy was upset when he lost PGA Long Drive Contest

The Long Drive contest that takes place before the start of the PGA Championship is one of the cool traditions in the game. At Baltursol, Rory McIlroy looked like he would win the event after bashing a tee shot 345 yards.

Ben An had other plans however. An smashed his shot 347 yards, a measly two yards longer than McIlroy’s shot.

After talking to reporters in the media center, McIlroy received the (sorta) devastating news that he had lost the long drive contest. Apparently, McIlroy was not happy with the result, especially since it was only by two yards.

An meanwhile, not only beat McIlroy, but defeated other heavy hitters such as Brendan Steele and Nicolas Colsaerts. Certainly an upset in a PGA tradition and maybe we’ll see more bombs from An in the near future.

Take a look at this clip of McIlroy’s tee shot and you’ll get a great idea at how hard An hit his. Boom. Bang. Pow.

Now we need a closest to the pin and putting contest in one of the other majors. Make it happen.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! PGA Championship is here and so is Baltursol!

Source: Golf Digest 

Andrew “Beef” Johnston’s house is as big as his character

Ignore the lame headline, you must see Andrew Johnston’s crazy house. Johnston became an instant sensation after getting his first win on the European Tour and saying how “hammered” he was going to get afterwards.

He then played very well at the Open Championship at Royal Troon, although he and many others were miles apart from Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson. This made him even more popular and now, he shows off his amazing crib.

He’s got a place that most people dream of. It’s certainly a beefy crib if I say so myself.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m lonely, my clubs and video game controller are my only friends. So come say hi!

REVIEW: Dangerous Golf is an explosive way to experience the sport

The sport of golf is many things. It can be played for relaxation, for excitement, and can be played many different ways, more so than any other sport.

But how about playing a version of the game where the goal is to destroy everything in sight? Well, that’s what the folks at Three Fields Entertainment decided to create with Dangerous Golf, a video game made for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.

I had the chance to jump in and play this explosive new golf game. The version I played was on my PS4.

Right off the bat, I will say that the game is very satisfying. What I mean is that, destroying almost everything in your path with a flaming golf ball is one of the best feelings in a game.

The goal is to break as many things as possible and raise the money in damage caused. Then, you drop your ball, and putt and if you can get it in the hole, then there’s bonus cash, if you miss, money will be deducted.

Like in real golf, there is a lot of strategy involved. Such things include, deciding where to aim your shot and start your destruction and dropping the ball close to the hole.

Where you drop the ball is crucial. Because, if you drop, and the ball lands behind an immovable object, then you’ll likely miss the putt barring a miraculous ricochet shot.

The gameplay overall is smooth and the loading times are fast. One big flaw for the game at launch was how long restarts took.

According to Three Fields and players, the restart load times were around 30 seconds. Now, it’s two seconds, maybe even less than that as they are lightning fast.

Another thing that pops out at your is the stunning graphics. The game utilizes a powerful graphics engine and fits beautifully with the new generation consoles.

As you can tell in the screenshot above (photo is of my gameplay), the walls, floors, cups and flaming golf ball all look gorgeous.

The game has four game modes for the player to enjoy. These modes being Solo World Tour, Co-Op World Tour, Party Golf and Online Clubhouse.

The Solo World Tour is the game’s career mode where you play over 100 unique holes in four different countries. You can tee off in a kitchen in the United States, a gas station in Australia, a mansion in France (pictured) and a castle in England among other locations within these countries.

Different holes even have unique weather conditions. For example, on a hole in the French mansion, it was storming outside and added to the atmosphere.

Another fun part of the World Tour are the putting challenges. The goal of these is to putt the ball into as money holes as possible within a time limit, each hole giving you a certain amount of money.

You can earn rewards on the World Tour including smash headlines, signature smashes and World Tour cups. The World Tour mode is very deep, as you can also earn new abilities such as pistol putt and the ability to glue your ball to wall (Oh! Bustin’ Rhymes!).

Co-Op World Tour is the same thing as World Tour except you can team up with a friend throughout the experience.

Party Golf is a classic couch mode where you simply grab your closest friends and tee it up. This definitely makes it easier for some trash talk as sometimes, nothing brings more fire than gamers playing in the same room.

In Online Clubhouse, players can take on other dangerous golfers from around the world to compete for the highest score. Up to eight players can play against each other on three randomly picked holes and with over 100 unique holes, adds to the depth of the experience.

Overall, Dangerous Golf is a lot of fun, and has some very solid replay value. Whether you’re a golf fan or not, you can appreciate the mass destruction that little golf ball can cause.

My only hope is that we see a new location or two with new holes to play. But, with the combination of good gameplay, beautiful graphics, a solid career mode and a fun online experience, Dangerous Golf is a winner in my book of sports gaming goodness.

My score: 8/10

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m talking golf dangerously!

WATCH: You won’t believe what Bubba Watson’s new toy is

Bubba Watson continues to show why he’s one of golf’s all-time personalities. He’s an emotional roller coaster and does some unbelievable stuff off the course.

Here, we see him and the crew over at Oakley, creating and flying jetpacks. Yes, JETPACKS.

They decided to put these beauties together and fly around the golf course. It certainly makes for some awesome birdseye views.

Now, when will Oakley start selling these to the public? You and I need to beat traffic!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio because screw it, why not?!

Why this Open Championship will go down as one of the all-time greats

 

 

Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson put on a duel for the ages in the shadow of historic Royal Troon where Stenson eventually came out victorious.
Like a title fight in boxing, two golf heavyweights went toe to toe, drilling putt after putt. Mickelson, a hall-of-famer wasn’t able to handle to deadeye ball striking of Stenson, who is one of the game’s most dangerous iron players.
Eventually, Stenson would hit the biggest putt of his life on the 15th hole. A massive, 51-foot putt that shook the golf world and did all but win him the Claret Jug.

To top that off, he hit another beautiful putt to finish the tournament and give him his first major championship. It was also Sweden’s first male major victory.
So, where does this Open Championship rank as one of the all-time greats? When you have two very popular players playing the best golf of their life on arguably the game’s biggest stage, it’s certainly a valid debate.
Mickelson is one of the greatest short game players that golf has ever seen. Meanwhile, as mentioned, Stenson is a streaky ball striker who will nail greens at will.

Ultimately, that’s what Stenson did, and his putter lid up at the most critical time. Stenson’s play is a huge reason why we love sports.
We love to see athletes do the most incredible things before our eyes. Stenson’s incredible play with his irons and his putter certainly dropped some jaws.

Even if Mickelson and Stenson weren’t the top two guys running away with it and if it were two less popular golfers, it would have still been an incredible performance. I say this as a simple reminder that you don’t need the juggernaut names to enjoy a historic performance.
Stenson for years has been in the group of “best golfer never to win a major” and amazingly, he and Dustin Johnson both broke that shackle this year. Johnson won the U.S. Open at Oakmont last month, despite a controversial call by the USGA.

Danny Willett, although not as popular with Americans, was 12th ranked in the world when he won the Masters back in April. This helped prove to many that he deserved to be a top 15 player in the world.

After those two performances by Willett and Johnson in golf’s first two majors, Stenson laid the hammer down at The Open. This tournament also has show us once again why The Open very well may be golf’s best major, even better than the Masters.
Zach Johnson had hit some huge shots to go into the playoff at St. Andrews last year, where he’d eventually win it in unfavorable weather conditions. Now, this year, we see one of the greatest ball striking and putting shows we may ever see in major golf.
With Mickelson’s and Stenson’s play, The Open continues to win more hearts with fans everywhere. It’s already a great tournament If you love history and links style golf courses.
And to witness the play of Stenson and Mickelson has made golf’s oldest major that much more enjoyable. The most impressive thing about the tourney this year was that these guys were so dominant, that J.B. Holmes who was in third place, finished 11 shots behind Mickelson, 14 behind Stenson.
This type of dominance is one those moments that you will look back on many years down the road. It will be played during highlight reels of many Open Championships in later years.
Another thing that made the Open great is the presence of Harold Varner III, the first African American golfer to get his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour. Varner III ended up finishing in a tie for 66th place but despite this, the PGA Tour rookie made the cut in tough Royal Troon conditions.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Varner III has stated that he’s “not a role model” but one can’t help but appreciate the young golfer’s play this year. As a rookie, he has four top 10 finishes and now has made a cut in his second major appearance, first as a Tour pro.
If Varner III can continue to play well, even if quietly, he can have a lasting impact on the game. It’s not to put pressure on him as his attitude is phenomenal but leading by example could help bring a new interest in the game.
Varner III slowly keeps showing that he truly belongs on the PGA Tour. He’s currently one of the longest drivers on Tour.
Andrew “Beef” Johnston also continues to grow in popularity. After hitting his second shot on 18, and after approaching the green, he received a reception as if he won the tournament, even though he was 17 shots back of Stenson.
Johnston became an instant fan favorite for his quote after winning the Open de Espana on the European Tour for his first professional victory. Johnston said he was going to get “hammered” and stood by his words as he indeed partied hard.
He’s also popular for his fun and friendly nature as well as his large beard. So his solid play at The Open has made him catch even more hearts of golf fans everywhere.
But, with a historic performance, one we may not see for quite some time, was the star moment of this particular Open. Stenson is already a beloved figure in golf for his humorous nature and dashing ball striking abilities and his first major win has truly proven that he’s one of the best golfers on the planet.
NBC’s first Open Championship coverage was also highly anticipated. Little did the broadcasters know that they’d be covering one of the best duels in golf history.
No doubt that NBC will look forward to covering their second Open which will be held at Royal Birkdale in 2017 in hopes at more historic moments. They look to build off the success they with the U.S. Open coverage that they had for many years and so far, it’s been a great start.
Stenson has 17 combined PGA and European Tour victories including a major.
Overall, the 2016 Open Championship was incredible, and Royal Troon proved to be a tough test of golf as expected.

Stenson took the stage, put on a show, and took his bow in the most dramatic way possible.
Bring on the PGA Championship.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio!

WATCH: Royal Troon pounds multiple golfers during The Open

On this episode of “when golfers get destroyed by golf courses”, we take a look at some of the best beatings Royal Troon has given to the best golfers in the world.

Normally, the U.S. Open is famous for its tough course but one thing The Open Championship and its courses have is something man can’t control; Mother Nature. And the ol’ girl was up to her tricks again as she and Troon decided to team up together and give the golfers a rough time.

Here are some more epic failures, as Troon put on quite a show. Justin Rose, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker among other victims.

Oh, Royal Troon you savage beast you.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! Following all of the fun happening at The Open!

Source: Swing By Swing

Why people shouldn’t trip over Rory’s “not here to grow the game” comment

Many of the world’s best golfers have dropped out of the Olympics due to the fear of the Zika virus and is totally understandable. But when asked further about not competing, Rory McIlroy stated that he’s not in golf to “help grow the game” but is there to win major championships. 

This comment specifically caused a stir within the golf community whether it’s from fans or golf media, it caused quite a controversy. Many people believe that it is McIlroy’s duty to help grow the game but it’s far from true. 

The best way for guys like McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day to help grow the game, is to play the best golf they can. The cool thing about is that it’s not just one dominant player, it’s multiple guys who are winning week after week. 

This shows how deep the talent is in golf today, and if all of these young talented players continue to play well, that will automatically get a boost. Like with other sports, surely, we have watched a team or a player that was so great that it fueled our passion for that game. 

Michael Jordan certainly helped with the popularization of basketball thanks to his jaw dropping dunks, clutch baskets and shutdown defense. Same with golf as when Tiger Woods was in his prime, many kids wanted to be like him, fist pump and all.

But with the competitive balance that the current PGA Tour has, it makes things that much more interesting. And, in fact, this generation of pros is so deep, that despite the many dropouts from the Olympics, the field is still fairly strong.

Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson alone will get some eyes glued to the TV and ears leaning towards the radio due to their immense popularity. This bring me to my next point and that is, guys like Fowler, like Watson (Hate him or love him), like Spieth and like Henrik Stenson, they all have colorful personalities. 

Fowler has built quite a following on Twitter, reaching well over one million followers because he’s funny and people wonder what he’ll post next. This alone can help “grow the game” because personalities can cause intrigue and the fact that a guy like Fowler is as good a player that he is, it adds to this. 

There are numerous other ways to help grow the game and one of those ways is to televise unique tournaments. For example, the R&A will doing an annual nine-hole amateur tournament each year the week prior to the Open Championship and will be on TV.

It’s a good way to bring people into the game who think 18 holes takes too much time and money (which I agree). The Major Series of Putting is a new tournament that hopes to be televised next year.

The MJOP shows off the simplest and arguably the funnest part of the game which is putting. This is a great way to promote the game as it shows how much skill and fun can be put into just using one club. 

Because let’s face it, we watch in disbelief when someone drills a 30-foot putt on a crazy slope. Especially if it’s on one of the last few holes of a tournament. 

And golf is arguably the most versatile sport in the world which is why it’s so easy to create tournaments like these. Sports like basketball and soccer are so popular because they are extremely accessible.

All you need is a basketball and then find a court. In soccer, all you need is a soccer ball and find a pitch or you can use your imagination.

In golf, really all you need is a sand wedge a few soft golf balls and you can hit the streets and play. Use the world around you to become a golf course designer and build your own track. 

But many of us have this strange mindset that we have to play 18 holes, no questions asked. This mindset needs to change if people want to “grow the game”.

 After all, golf wasn’t always an 18 hole game anyway. The Old Course at St. Andrews wasn’t always an 18-holer and Oakhurst Links in West Virginia is the oldest course in America and it’s a nine hole track. 

So promoting the nine-hole game is also a great way to grow the game and is fitting for those who don’t want to try the unique offerings as mentioned earlier. The last thing I’ll mention is that video games are also good for golf for a couple of reasons.

One of these reasons is that the gaming industry has exploded more than ever before. If a kid or someone in their early to mid 20’s plays a golf game, it may help fuel their interest. 

On a personal note, playing one of the old Tiger Woods games was immensely important in getting me interested in the sport. I’ve never looked back since. 

Especially if it involves motion control where people can take a real golf swing in their house without damaging anything. The good thing about all of this is that there are numerous golf games that are out or will come out soon. 

So many people, golfers and non-golfers alike can enjoy the experience without the high costs of the 18-hole game. Plus, as mentioned, golf can score a ton of new fans this way.

So, for people tripping over Rory McIlroy’s comments, I just gave you many ways that the game is continuing to grow. I can go on and on with more reasons but I’ll just leave it there. 

McIlroy was honest and I think we all can appreciate that. 

So, want the game to grow? Golf is arguably the most versatile sport on the planet, so why not take advantage?

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