Matt Male, 2015 Mini-Golf Masters champion, works extremely hard to be the best in the world at his craft. He does it well, and his yardage book looks almost like a PGA Tour one, as you can see in the video.
Male used to play the traditional sport regularly, but when he found out that his putting was so much better than his other skills, he made a little switch. He went all out with his putter, and is now one of the best mini-golf players in the world.
Mini-golf has always been a highly popular activity for more over 100 years. But lately, it seems as if the professional side of the sport has since grew and continues to rise.
Over the last two years at least, we’ve been hearing about these amazing putters and their stories as they try to chase the coveted Mini-Golf Masters green jacket. Male spends up to 10 hours a day (!!) studying the design of a course before the tournament begins.
He also uses a long putter which is very interesting. It’s the first time we’ve probably ever seen anybody use a long putter playing mini-golf but it definitely works for Male who earned his major title.
For the record, I like long putters. I don’t use one anymore, but on my free time I might putt around with it a bit.
Anyway, hopefully players like Male can continue to make the competitive side of the game exciting. Professional mini-golf is getting more popular each day, and we can only imagine what can come down the road for it.
Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres is once again doing their “The Links at Petco Park” event which features a nine-hole course right on the field. They did this last year as well, but now, the deisgn looks even better this year.
Amanda Balionis and Geoff Shackelford discuss the course in this video below.
Among others, Paige Spiranic got a chance to tackle the track and she did well.
A video posted by Paige Spiranac (@_paige.renee) on
And finally, here’s the scorecard so you can get a better look at the design features. The seventh hole, “Moonlight” looks tricky, with a tough pin location and a sneaky bunker. Plus, it’s just cool to say “Moonlight”.
The second hole, “Sunset Cliffs” (also cool to say), is another one that may leave a lump in your throat.
The Links at Petco Park will be over on Tuesday, but there’s no doubt that they will likely have it again next year. It sells out like hot cakes, so you can bet that it will be bigger and better next time.
Now, if only they can bring that to Comiskey Park (Guaranteed Rate Field I mean…ugh) here in Chicago. Cubbies, you won your World Series so let us White Sox fans enjoy ourselves by bringing golf to our ballpark!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m working on setting up a golf Home Run Derby and everyone swings a 9-iron from home plate (or not)!
A video posted by Taylor Laybourne (@jt_laybourne) on
A golf instructor at Davis Park in Utah, Taylor Laybourne, may have pulled off one of the most mind blowing swings we may ever see. It’s what I call a “head tilter”, as you may be confused as to how it’s even remotely possible to swing like this.
You will be left speechless. Now, some of you may say that it’s not that hard, but good luck trying this.
You can easily over toss the club over your head. Laybourne had just enough strength to softly flip the club over to make the swing happen.
However, it almost looks as if the club flipped over by itself, which is why it looks so mesmerizing. Without a doubt though, if Laybourne is hitting shot slike that, he must be one heck of an instructor.
Pack your clubs, we’re heading to Utah!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’ll give you Halloween candy (through emojis)!
A video posted by Paige Spiranac (@_paige.renee) on
Paige Spiranic is a social media star, known for her looks, fitness and love of golf. However, sometimes people may forget how good Spiranic really is at golf, and she proved it once again with this crazy trick shot.
Spiranic was a star player on a ranked San Diego women’s golf squad and she racked up her first professional win this year. Basically what I’m trying to say is; just because she’s a social media star who happens to be a girl, don’t sleep on her as a talented golfer.
If she keeps playing on the course like she nails these trick shots, then she could definitely become a star in professional golf. In the meantime, she could just keep attempting awesome trick shots like a boss.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! Just because I don’t hit trick shots, doesn’t mean I’m not cool! hmph.
100ft Robot Golf was a game that was announced sometime last year. It gained some popularity due to it being one of the first games to ever hit the PlayStation VR headsets.
It also received its fair share of promotion from PlayStation themselves. But now, after watching the game develop over time, it has finally released and it is quite a unique experience with a different view at golf.
Obviously, you know the game is going to be wacky, because the game literally is what the title implies. It’s giant robots battling it out for world golf dominance.
For starters, I played a couple of holes (you can see my video above) with the amazing robot that was piloted by five dogs (nope, not joking, and I’m glad I’m not). It was fun, but took a little time to get a feel for how to play the game, but it wasn’t too tedious of a task to pick up how things work.
But, certainly, having a little tutorial would be good in the future for newcomers. Being able to destroy buildings in your path, and pulling out a “dog sword” to cause even more damage was quite an absolute joy however.
The golf experience is also cool, and smooth. Swings look good, and ball movement looks solid as well. So despite all of the craziness surrounding the game, there’s a sprinkle of traditional feel to it which is a nice combination.
Golf + crazy = fun.
There are four courses you can play on, making it a total of 36 holes. You can play in a city, in a mountainous village, and even in space and an underwater city (BioShock Golf anyone?).
Ball flight even is effected to reflect the location you’re in. Example, if you play in space, the ball seems to fly a little slower. A nice way to utilize these environments.
The game also features a numerous amount of characters to choose from, and as mentioned, I love the dogs (and so does almost everyone else). One of the more interesting aspects of the game, is the fact that each character has their own swing style.
What I mean is, one pilot may use a meter that goes straight up for power. Another pilot may use the classic curved meter (one tap power, one tap for accuracy). I found this to be a pretty neat feature, and may give players a reason to select a certain character.
However, this is also a good reason to have a maybe a free-roam tutorial, so virtual robot golfers can get comfortable with different in-game characters. Could be a good way just to wreak some havoc for no apparent reason as well.
The game’s broadcasting was pretty funny, but also a little repetitive at times. The broadcasts are done by the McElroy Brothers, who are popular comedy podcasters. I honestly never heard of these gentlemen until I played this game, and they definitely did a good job of keeping you giggling as you played.
The game also features a campaign mode which has a classic anime feel to it. So, if you were born in the mid-80’s or early 90’s, (like yours truly), then you will definitely appreciate this. Having growing up watching shows like Dragon Ball Z, I couldn’t help but kind of laugh at the nostalgic nature of the anime campaign.
I also laughed because it was filled with a ton of funny moments and cut scenes. Some parts in the ending in particular were pretty funny as well as an intro into one of the tournaments done by one of the broadcasters which was sort of a mic drop moment. During that same tournament, the antics of one of the characters, a young, skateboard loving girl was also a little bit of a knee slapper.
Although the campaign had a lot of silly, fun cut scenes, and brought all of the characters to life, it was also a fairly repetitive experience. Each character has their own rival, and you’re playing as each pilot to win each tournament. You do get medals for winning, which you can use in stores to purchase new customized items for each character’s robot.
The cool thing about the campaign was that, not only was it full of funny moments, it allowed you to play as almost every character in the game. The only problem was that, trying to learn a new character’s swing on the fly was tough at times, and can cost you to lose a hole if you’re aren’t quick witted enough.
Nonehtless, the campaign was a fun, simple story about the world of Robot Golfing. The characters made the experience, a silly, awkward, and fun story that fit the game perfectly.
Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to experience online play, as it was tough to get a game in. However, I can only imagine that this could most definitely be a hot mode to play.
The gameplay is fun, so imagine four robot golfers dueling it out on the course? Everyone beating their brains in and destroying buildings with golf clubs just to save par? It’s online golfing gold.
The game could certainly have some more courses and deeper commentary. Sure, you could say the campaign could’ve been more robust but it was fairly well done considering the incredibly tiny squad that put it together.
But, overall, 100ft Robot Golf was a solid effort by a very tiny development team (try two people as well as some others who helped with artwork, voice overs, etc). The devs even played roles in the campaign during cut scenes. But, in the battle to make golf more hip and fit into a new generation of sports fans and gamers, you can’t help but applaud No Goblin’s efforts and I can only imagine what the PS VR experience is like.
One final note: “Good dog”.
Final Score: 8/10
Be sure to follow me on Twitter@ChiGolfRadio (may change it soon)! I’m working on a 100ft Robot golfer myself! I shall call him “The Wondrous Panda” and he will look like a ninja!
The Safeway Open is a wrap, and the PGA Tour’s first title belonged to Brendan Steele. However, maybe the biggest highlight from the tournament was from rookie Cody Gribble, who had a remarkable turn of events on the par-3 15th hole.
On that hole, he hit a putt off the fringe of the green and the ball just continued to roll….and roll…and roll (!!). Miraculously though, the young tour pro recovered and nailed the massive putt which was almost on the other side of the green.
So, let this be a lesson that, even when you hit a crappy shot, you can always make a sweet recovery. And oh, how sweet it is.
I should know. I remember over shooting the green on my beloved Acorn Course on the second hole of the par-3 track. I hit a blind pitch shot that rolled right into the cup for a birdie.
Oh, it was glorious. Just believe in your clubs, my friends.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! If I’m not playing on my PS4 or searching for my lost golf balls, then I’m probably on Twitter!
Although this was a week ago, I just found the European Tour’s Hero Challenge to be such a fresh idea. To aim of the tournament is to get as close to the pin as possible on a 156-yard par-3.
It takes places under the lights, with flames shooting up after every swing. It’s about as awesome and unique of a way you can ever play golf.
Plus, it’ll be appealing to the younger audiences. Besides, aren’t we tired of the ol’ “golf is boring” narrative? This event makes golf stand out more, while still featuring the pureness of the game. Let’s hope all of the tours can come up with cool ideas like this more often.
You can read a full piece I did on the Hero Challenge at Pro Golf Now.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I wish flames can shoot up after shanks at the driving range!
Harold Varner III quietly had a nice rookie season in 2015-16 on the PGA Tour. He’s personally become a favorite of mine due to his style of play, the way he torched the 16th at TPC Scottsdale, and his swagger.
Well, in this video by the fun folks over at The Kicker, they produced a funny clip of a overly excited man as Varner III’s caddy. He also serves as his hype man. Take a look.
After looking at this clip, you can’t help but root for HVIII even more. After showing glimpses of great play in his rookie year, don’t be surprised if he cranks it up a notch in the 2016-17 season.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio and read my work at Pro Golf Now! I have four swords: My pen, microphone, video game controller and 9-iron!
Max Homa has quietly become one of the funnest twitter follows in golf. He proved this once again, with his tweet regarding Tiger Woods’ withdrawal from the Safeway Open.
It was such a big deal for Homa because, since Woods dropped, it gave the young PGA Tour pro an open spot. Certainly, Homa can pay for dinner and then-some if he can pull out a win at the Safeway Open and earn a nice shiny check.
Homa ranks in the top 30 in the world in driving distance. We shall see how he performs at the PGA Tour’s first event of the season.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I need some fellow Twitter birds to chirp with in the nest yo!