Know Your Identity

By Jon LevyOctober 27, 2010, 2:19 am

If the old adage, “Everything is bigger in Texas” holds true with golf fashion, then Identity Belts & Buckles (IBB) is running the state capitol. The Dallas-Fort Worth area company – still in its infancy – is quickly becoming a hit with area tour, college and junior players all looking to stamp their own personal flair on the golf course with the company’s oversized – and boldly designed – belts and buckles.

Tour players John Rollins, Paul Stankowski, Nathan Green and Notah Begay III are already among the fast-growing contingent of players wearing IBB.

Simply explained, the company offers an array of belt colors and, where IBB really stands out, options, upon options of buckles, and variations within those buckles.John Rollins wearing and IBB belt

It’s a far cry from the days when your local department store or golf store were the only sources to find a belt that fit the traditional conservatism of golf’s fashion rules.

“You can match your shoes and outfits,” Stankowski explained of the belts to Avid Golfer magazine in a story last December. “It’s pretty cool for those who are fashion conscious.”

Fitting into the “fashionably aware” category by that admission himself, Stankowski has a personal stamping of “Stanko” on his buckles, which exemplifies the company’s mission to a T.

“Golfers love things that are custom,” says company co-founder, Tyson Lamb. “So, what we want to do is give players as many options as possible to stand out for themselves by wearing something that is truly unique to them.”

At just 22 years old, Lamb and Austin Alaniz – also 22 – are definitely on the younger side for two business owners looking to find success in a tough industry, during a tougher economy. But as Lamb points out, that’s an advantage, considering the product they’re pushing.

“We promote outside thinking,” Lamb says. “Even though we’re both young, we understand what guys want, and that’s everything and anything custom to show their individuality.”

The inspiration for IBB came from the duo’s love for Titleist Scotty Cameron putters.

“Since I remember, I’ve played with a Scotty Cameron and everyone knows the quality of his work,” Lamb, a current member of the men’s golf team at Texas Wesleyan University, explains. “And a big thing with his putters is all of the custom options you can have tailored to you. The only problem there is that if you’re not a tour player, it costs an arm and a leg to get something created for you that’s personalized.

“So, (Alaniz) and I wanted to offer a high quality product with unlimited options that allows an individual to create a belt buckle that truly reflects who they are. Initials, paint-fill, stamping, etc. – we do it all.”

They also get as much feedback as possible from their tour players, and even the younger players around town, to ensure they’re staying with the latest fashion beat.

“That’s the only way we’ll grow,” reasons Lamb.

Nationwide Tour player, Bobby Gates – on his way to graduating to a PGA Tour card next year by finishing within The 25 on the 2010 money list – is among one of the main contributors to the company’s feedback panel.

“I’ve got a ton of (belts and buckles),” Gates told Avid Golfer. “We’ve really put our heads together to make some cool stuff.”

Along with offering fully custom-designed belts, IBB currently offers five main designs from its iB-1 collection – the Stella, Halo, Retro, Icon and Argyle.

The iB-1 is the first fully interchangeable buckle system of its kind, featuring three separate pieces that assemble with different color options to create one unique buckle design.

Golf Channel Design IBB“That’s definitely the one that has put us on the map,” Lamb admits.

But, following standard business principles of always looking onward and upward, IBB has rolled out a new collection of dressier, more business-oriented belts called the Class Six.

Still, it’s the customization factor that really gets Lamb and Alaniz going.

“We can mill belts like Scotty Cameron mills putters,” Lamb explains. “And with our CAD (computer aided design) system, you can see what the buckle will look like before we manufacture it, so that ensures you’ll get the exact design you’re looking for.

“If you can think it up, we can put it on the belt, and that’s pretty cool.” 

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm