PGA Merchandise Show: A little of this a little of that

By Jon LevyJanuary 29, 2011, 6:00 am

2011 PGA Merchandise ShowSaw just about everything on Friday inside the endless miles of merchandise aisles at the Orange County Convention Center. Here are a few odds and ends from day two of golf industry mega-week, circa 2011:

Sexiest Women in Golf Magazine

Sexiest Women in Golf Magazine: What better way to tout a soon-to-be-released magazine than employing a pair of Bond-girl meets Lara Croft: Tomb Raider young ladies posing graciously, while holding a pair of existing publications – Colorado Golf and Desert Golf – that precede publisher Timothy Pade’s newest venture: Sexiest Women in Golf.

Yes, sex sells. And set to debut sometime in 2011, Pade is hoping this is still the case for his latest venture. Even though the magazine isn’t up and running quite yet, his website, – where you can log on and vote from a list of female golfers all facets of women’s game – is already in full swing. On this site you can peruse virtually every female golfer in the game and vote for your favorites, as well as sign up for monthly drawings to win various golf-related prizes.

But who are we kidding – prizes aside, you know you’re just curious to look.

Boccieri GolfBoccieri Golf: Stephen Boccieri, president and CEO of Boccieri Golf – the makers of The Heavy Putter – talked about his radical, and not-so trend-setting views on the technology of golf equipment. Boccieri was a former nuclear engineer for 25 years with a background in seismic analysis.

As a long-time golfer, Boccieri's curiosity of the how and why golf equipment was made the way it was for so many years, was primarily the brainchild for Boccieri Golf. In essence, Boccieri surmises the industry had gone about it all wrong, considering advances in other realms of science and innovation golf manufacturers could pull from. So, in 2004 Boccieri introduced the Heavy Putter, with the Heavy Wedge soon following and, just this week, has introduced the full matching set of woods and irons to complement. His “backweighting” technology, Boccieri said, helps a player hold the “angle of retention” longer before impact, as well as creating a more consistent square club face at impact, which should ultimately help you hit better and more consistent golf shots.

The technology in the Heavy Driver (pictured) features a unique dimple pattern, called “dimple face technology” that, along with the counter-balanced weighting, explained Boccieri, provides a higher velocity of ball speed at impact than many of his bigger and more well-known competitors.

OptishotDancin’ Dogg Golf’s Optishot: You’ve seen it advertised all over Golf Channel and right smack in the middle of the OCCC floor, we got the lowdown on this $399 home version of a golf simulator normally costing in the thousands.

The verdict? It’s Golden Tee meets your real golf swing, which of course is great, unless your golf swing would be better served on Golden Tee. The graphics on the Optishot are amazing and, while president and CEO Brandon Theophilus knows more advanced simulators may provide slightly more accurate feedback when it comes down to the most technical aspects, his mission with the Optishot was to “make something realistic, accurate and bottom line, make something that was fun. And we wanted all of those things, but wanted to make it affordable to the average golfer. And I think we have done that,” Theophilus said.

The Optishot currently offers nine different courses and Theophilus says they will continually add more to the arsenal, as well as software improvements as more become available in the future.


ECCOECCO: If they’re cool enough for Fred Couples then they’re cool enough for anyone. The ECCO shoe Couples debuted on Tour last year – the Golf Street Premiere – created quite the buzz in the golfing community because of their unique, street-meets-golf-course appearance.

“Our idea was to create a shoe that could perform well on the golf course, as well as something that you’d want to wear casually,” explained Todd Davidson, product and sales manager of ECCO’s golf division. “Part of our vision is to continue with this hybrid type of shoe and to create a shoe that has the feeling like you’re not really even wearing anything.”

Davidson said their new style for 2011, the “biom,” has a design that better follows with the natural motion of the foot. That technology, says Davidson, along with the cool, casual design, is how he sees ECCO continuing to move forward in the future.

Of course with “Boom Boom” Couples, the king of cool on your staff, the 2011 Presidents Cup captain could play in ski boots, for that matter, and people would probably follow suit.

Getty Images

Masters champ Reed: 'I definitely had a chance'

By Will GrayJune 17, 2018, 11:55 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Patrick Reed’s Grand Slam bid made it all the way to the closing stretch of the final round at the U.S. Open.

Reed had never cracked the top 10 in a major championship before a runner-up finish at last year’s PGA Championship, and he followed that with a convincing victory at the Masters in April. In the U.S. Open, despite starting the final round three shots behind a quartet of co-leaders, he made a concerted effort to add a second major title.

With Shinnecock Hills declawed in response to third-round conditions that bordered on unplayable, Reed birdied each of his first three holes and five of his first seven to move to 1 over and within a shot of Brooks Koepka’s lead. He could get no closer, though, as three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on Nos. 9-12 effectively ended his title bid.

Reed finished alone in fourth place at 4 over, three shots behind Koepka after closing with a 2-under 68.

U.S. Open: Tee times | Full coverage

“Of course, Grand Slam would have been nice. But you know, I mean honestly, to me, that was really the last thing on my mind,” Reed said. “It was go out, play some solid golf, try to post a number and see if you can get the job done. I had a chance. I definitely had a chance.”

It’s the third top-15 finish at the U.S. Open in the last four years for Reed, who tied for 13th at Chambers Bay and finished T-14 last year at Erin Hills.

Reed was bidding to erase a nine-shot deficit after 36 holes, which would have been the second-largest comeback in tournament history. He was also looking to join Craig Wood, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth on the short list of players to capture the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.

“Of course it’s disappointing,” Reed said. “But at the same time … To finish in the top 10 my last three majors, and to have a chance to really win all three of them and to close one off, it means a lot.”

Getty Images

Watching Koepka, Fleetwood knew he was one shot short

By Will GrayJune 17, 2018, 11:33 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – In the end, even a record-tying performance wasn’t enough for Tommy Fleetwood at the U.S. Open.

Fleetwood started the final round at Shinnecock Hills six shots off the pace, but he quickly moved up the board with a run of four birdies over his first seven holes. He added four more in a row on Nos. 12-15, and he had a 9-footer for birdie on No. 18 to become the first player to ever shoot a 62 in the U.S. Open.

He missed, and that proved to be the difference – for both the record and the tournament.

Fleetwood waited around in player hospitality for the next three hours while the leaders finished, alternating between watching the golf (with sandwich in hand) and playing with his newborn son, Frankie. He was on the chipping green when Brooks Koepka completed play at 1-over 281, successfully defending his title and finishing one shot ahead of Fleetwood.

“Brooks kept giving me like a little bit of hope, and then he’d hole a putt just to stab you in the stomach a little bit,” Fleetwood said. “I always just had that feeling that I was one shy, so I never really got massively, massively excited.”

U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage

This was the first year the U.S. Open would have gone to a two-hole, aggregate playoff, so Fleetwood needed to stay loose for a possible overtime that in previous years would have instead been an 18-hole playoff on Monday. He emerged from the locker room and headed to the range to warm up after Koepka birdied No. 16 to take a two-shot lead with two holes to play.

“I just thought, 'I should really go up, because you never know,'” Fleetwood said. “I mean, the worst thing that could happen is if something did happen and I wasn’t really ready, so it’s better warming up with that intention.”

The solo runner-up is a career-best major finish for Fleetwood, who also finished fourth last year at Erin Hills. He now shares a piece of tournament history, becoming just the sixth player to shoot a 63, joining a list that includes Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller, Vijay Singh and Justin Thomas.

And after torching a demanding layout to the tune of eight birdies, he insisted he won’t dwell much on the final putt that got away – even though Koepka’s closing bogey meant that it ultimately made the difference.

“The putt on 18, I actually wanted more for the 62 at the time, and then it became a thing for the tournament,” Fleetwood said. “Obviously, that’s the putt that will play on your mind because that was the last shot you hit and that was your chance. But I missed some putts in the week, and I made some putts. I think everybody did. And your score is your score. And for me, just getting that close to winning a major again, I think that is the ultimate thing I’ll take from it.”

Getty Images

DJ and more congratulate Koepka on social media

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 17, 2018, 11:31 pm

Brooks Koepka won his second consecutive U.S. Open title at Shinnecock Hills. Dustin Johnson, his friend and playing competitor on Sunday, was quick to congratulate Koepka. And he wasn't alone.

Getty Images

Firefighter Parziale ties for low am with dad on bag

By Associated PressJune 17, 2018, 11:07 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Leaning on his club, Matt Parziale crossed one leg over the other and placed the free hand on his hip. His caddie mirrored his position and used Parziale's bag as his source of support. The two looked almost identical, just one older than the other.

Being related will do that.

Parziale's dad, Vic Parziale, has been with his son throughout his entire U.S. Open journey, starting Monday and ending Father's Day. Matt finished 5 over par Sunday to tie for low amateur at 16 over for the tournament.

''We do stand alike out there,'' Vic said. ''It's funny.''

Said Matt: ''I don't like it, but that's how life goes.''

He's kidding. The idea of turning into his dad doesn't scare him.

''He's the best guy I know,'' Matt said. ''If I can be half that good, I'll be doing all right.''

U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage

It's a classic like father, like son relationship.

Matt, 31, is a full-time firefighter back home in Brockton, Massachusetts. Vic retired from the same station last year after 32 years.

The two, obviously, also share a love for golf.

''He stinks now,'' Matt said. ''I'd have to play pretty bad to let him win. He used to be much better than he is now.''

Matt says he was 14 the first time he beat his dad. Vic says his son was 15. Either way, once Matt beat Vic's 73 by a stroke as a teenager, it was game over.

Vic never beat his son again.

''Golf skipped a generation for sure,'' Vic said. ''Because I don't play like him.''

As the first mid-amateur to make a cut at the U.S. Open in 15 years, Matt's second round was his best, carding a 73 with a birdie on No. 18 that guaranteed him a spot in the final rounds.

On the last day, Matt shot a 75 to end up at 296, the same mark fellow amateur Luis Gagne scored. Will Grimmer was the only other amateur to make the cut, and he finished 23 over at 303. The tournament started with 20 amateurs.

This was Matt's first U.S. Open. He played at the Masters earlier this year, but did not advance after two rounds. Vic was his caddie there, too.

''Mostly, I just carry the bag and keep my mouth shut,'' Vic said.

His specialty is wind: Matt does go to his dad for advice there. It helped this week.

''I don't get paid,'' Vic said. ''I don't want to be, of course. I just love doing it.''

The two have worked alongside each other for as long as either can remember. After college at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, Matt turned pro but called it quits after a couple years when it didn't pay off financially. That's when he became a firefighter.

But Matt never fully gave up golf, regaining his amateur status and going on to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship back in October. Vic caddied, of course.

''It's not something that happened over night,'' Vic said. ''He just wasn't lucky getting here. He really worked hard on his game.''

Being a firefighter actually allows him to practice and compete often. Matt works two 24-hour shifts a week.

He's not returning straight to his full-time job immediately, though. His upcoming golf schedule is packed. Starting Wednesday, Matt will compete in the Northeast Amateur tournament. Then he'll have the U.S. Amateur - after he gets married on Aug. 3 - and more.

Wherever and whatever, Vic will be standing nearby.

''He's always given me the opportunity to succeed,'' Matt said. ''None of this is possible without his support and his help.''