Gangway Desk-Cleaning Time

By Adam BarrMarch 3, 2006, 5:00 pm
Is an idle mind indeed the devils playground? I call the monkey bars!
 
  • Its good to see that major manufacturers have realized that women golfers want performance equipment more than pretty colors. Callaways new HX Pearl golf ball tells a high energy-core, soft-feel story first, then gets around to the distinctive pearlescent finish. And TaylorMade-adidas has the Miscela club sets in its line, with not a hint of pink, periwinkle, or light blue anywhere. Stereotyping is easy, but respect pays. Kudos to those OEMs who have figured it out.
     
  • Speaking of Callaway, its X460 driver has hit stores. The big-head story you know, with all its stability benefits. But what you might not have seen is the specially designed sole that prevents the club from rocking out of alignment at address. Set up, sole it, and its pointed where you want to go.
     
    J.B. Holmes
    J.B. Holmes is averaging over 313 yards off the tee.
  • Got Bubba? About the only thing that could make the new crop of long hitters on the PGA Tour more entertaining is if J.B. Holmes changed his name to Bubba, as in big smackers Watson and Dickerson. (Cue the Monty Python references: Wouldnt it be easier if we just called you Bruce?) But Bubbas aside, J.B. has a lot of players looking into working longer shafts into their drivers. Bigger arc, bigger drive, goes the physics. And its technically true ' but every golf benefit involves some sort of tradeoff, and in this case it can be control at the top of the swing. Still, Vijay Singh and others have tried it, and in some cases, stuck with the longer war clubs. As long as fairway numbers dont dip too much, drivers in the hands of talented tour players will bump up against the legal limit, which is 48 inches overall club length.
     
  • Aldila had a killer year in 2005, largely thanks to the popularity of its NV line of shafts. The companys $77 million in sales for 2005 was a 46 percent leap from the nearly $53 million sold in 2004. Net sales for last year were $13.4 million, 44 percent better than in 2004 and a company record. No laurel-sitting, though: New shafts coming out include the NV ProtoType and the VS Proto. The latter is already hot on the tours; both the NV and VS feature carbon nanotubes and Aldilas proprietary resin system. There will be a VS version for hybrids too, as well as Gamer wood and iron shafts to match the already released Gamer hybrid shaft.
     
  • Did you know theres also a minimum club length? Its 18 inches overall (Rules of Golf, Appendix II(1)(c)). Short putter users, be alert. The legislatively minded of you can check out the appropriate Rules page on the U.S. Golf Associations very informative website, www.usga.org. (For a look at the club length page, go straight to http://www.usga.org/playing/clubs_and_balls/guide/guide_to_the_rules.html#)
     
  • Funny how once the Masters Tournament starts, all the talk about course changes fades away and attention concentrates on the golf being played in this moment. Sooner the better, I say.
     
  • After the past few years, what sport deserves a dry, mild spring more than golf? If the entire industry could join hands and say a fervent prayer, it would.
     
  • Shooting with Fred Funk the other day for Whats In The Bag?, I listened to him explain why he tees the ball the way he does at the TPC at Sawgrass: On the right side of the box at No. 2, to set up for the leftward curve of the hole, and on the left side on No. 15, to cut around a big tree and follow the fairway as it moves to the right. Always thinking a few shots ahead, but staying in the moment. Just an example of what separates Tour pros from us, and its not necessarily the equipment. Well, perhaps it is, but not the equipment in their bags. Its their brains.
     
    Email your thoughts to Adam Barr
  • Getty Images

    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

    Getty Images

    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

    Getty Images

    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.