Thanks a lot, Jack! Nicklaus paints Watson into corner, says Tiger should "absolutely" be on Ryder Cup team
There's more that separates a high-handicap player from a low-handicapper than just score. New research from Golf Datatech suggests the way they shop for equipment is different, too.
The study of "serious golfers" (respondents played an average of 62 rounds in the past year) found 70 percent of low-handicap players (10 and under) said they tried new clubs on the range or course before buying, compared with less than half of high-handicappers (16 and up). Also, two-thirds of better players said they consider different models, but less than half of 90-plus shooters did.
The report shows a difference as well in where they buy their clubs. Only 3 percent of low-handicappers said they would purchase their next driver at a sporting-goods store, compared with 17 percent of high-handicappers.
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By Ron Sirak
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The history of women's golf changed forever in one dramatic hour at Killeen Castle in the 2011 Solheim Cup, when Europe stormed from behind to victory over the United States.
That rally had as much to do with the creation of the International Crown as anything, and in one fun Thursday at Caves Valley GC it became abundantly obvious this competition is one cool idea.
Before the comeback at Killeen, the Americans had won three Solheim Cups in a row and eight of 11. The pressure to add the rest of the world and create an International Team was significant.
And when Team Europe saved the Solheim Cup with its comeback win, the LPGA was smart enough to think outside the box when creating an event that could include non-Solheim eligible nations.
Instead of putting together an artificial International Team, the idea was to have eight nations qualify off the Rolex Rankings and put together four-woman squads also based on the rankings.
The spirited beginning to the competition showed that the idea worked. Each nation had team bags and each team was introduced on the No. 1 tee to their national anthems. There were some tears of pride.
Part of the problem with the Presidents Cup -- other than the fact the United States has won eight of the 10 competitions -- is that the International team is a completely contrived entity.
The sizzle factor is conspicuously absent. The nations that comprise the International Team have nothing in common other than the fact they are not eligible for the Ryder Cup.
The Ryder Cup team and the Solheim Cup team representing Europe have an identity. The European Union has a flag, an anthem and its colors are blue and gold. The International Team is a pick-up squad off leftover players -- albeit great ones.
The players representing the eight nations competing here this week -- the United States, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Thailand -- have a sense of national pride that adds an intensity to the tournament.
Among the many really cool moments during the opening ceremony were the times you saw a player singing along with her country's national anthem. There was a real, emotional connection to why they were here.
Another big difference that distinguishes the International Crown from not only the Presidents Cup but also the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup is that nations qualify for the event.
You get the feeling that the players fortunate enough to be here this week will share with their colleagues what a great experience this was. And that will motivate countries not here -- like Scotland, England and China -- to work harder to get to get to the next edition of this tournament at Rich Harvest Farms in 2016.
The very good year the LPGA is having got a lot better this week with the inaugural International Crown. Simply put, it's a great idea. Now let's see if the golf lives up to the event.
🎉🎉🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉🎉🎉— Sasha Gale (@sashajangale) July 20, 2014
And in case you want to get more familiar with Rory's prospective new girlfriend, here are some pictures from her Twitter feed:
By Alex Myers
It's a technicality, but Yevgeny Kafelnikov, once the world's top-ranked tennis player, is now Russia's highest-ranked golfer. How did he accomplish this? Simply by having an official ranking.
With zero ranking points to his credit, Kafelnikov, 40, is currently tied with a bunch of his countrymen at No. 1,556 -- the lowest the ranking goes at the moment. Here's a look at Russia's ranking page from the OWGR's website:
Kafelnikov has played the most events (15) that count toward the ranking of any Russian male pro in the past two years. That includes four starts on the European Tour and 11 starts on the Challenge Tour. He's missed the cut in all 15 of those starts and has never played the weekend in 19 career starts on both tours.
Maria Balikoeva is the highest-ranked Russian female pro at No. 246, but only one other Russian, Galina Rotsmistrova (No. 622), has an official ranking. Not that we should be too surprised for a country that opened its first 18-hole golf course in 1994.
Despite his lack of success, Kafelnikov might be Russia's best golfer. He and Balikoeva both won their country's national championship in 2011.
We bring all this up because Kafelnikov and several other Russian pros are in the field at this week's Russian Open on the European Tour. However, we don't expect his ranking to get any better after an opening 83 on Thursday.
ESPN anchor faced with one of life's most difficult questions: do you take the car or the cash after a hole-in-one?
By Alex Holmes
No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.
Deep into the heart of summer and a few weeks removed from Wimbledon, I figured it was high time to address summer's most suitable shade -- white. Weather you're on the beach, the boat or the back nine, there are a ton of great white options to take you through the summer in style.
The rules? They're aren't many -- depending on what your wearing white will go with pretty much anything. (Just watch out for red wine and red lips and you should be in the clear.)
Check out some of our summer staples and re-charge your whites for the last leg of the season.
Uniqlo Extended Placket Polo, $29.90
If you've been following the style content on the Loop you know we love ourselves some Uniqlo, and this polo's yet another reason why. You can never go wrong with well-priced, well-fitting basics with just the right amount of detail. This white polo is the only one you'll need to wear this summer.
Levis White 501, $68
Wearing white is one of the easiest ways to dress up your denim. Wear these with a simple stripe shirt and a navy blazer and you've got casual Friday nailed through September. **The whole "no white after Labor Day" thing was made up by somebody's mom. Wear it right and white can last you through winter.
Patrik Ervell White Club Collar Oxford, $110
A white oxford shirt is one of most integral pieces in a man's wardrobe. If your current one is starting to muffin top a bit out of your trousers, it's time for an update. The club collar and button pocket offers just the right amount of interest in this menswear mainstay.
RLX Cypress Tech Bermuda, $79.50
The only issue with white is that it will show off even the smallest dirt and divot stains. The polyester tech shorts from RLX look sharp but more importantly will continue to look that way wash after wash after wash.
Me Undies, $20
Save the fundies for valentines day and keep the undergarments light and white for summer. Me Undies is a new start up that sends you fresh basics made from organic fibers on subscription every other month.
Take a peak in your closet and figure out which of your whites are in need of an upgrade and start working your new gear into your game on and off the course this season.
By Bob Carney
By Alex Myers
Meet Stephen Martinez, the bravest -- or dumbest -- man in the golf industry depending on your perspective.
Martinez makes a living diving for golf balls and has done so for more than 20 years. On Wednesday, CBS Miami reported he was bitten by an alligator while collecting golf balls in a pond at Bonaventure Country Club in Weston, Fla.
Fortunately for Martinez, he was able to leave the scene with what he called "minimal" bite injuries to his left hand and arm. Martinez described the gator as "aggressive," saying it "chased him down" in the murky water. Later that day, alligator trappers caught an eight-foot gator they believe is the same one that attacked Martinez. Here's video of the news report:
While Martinez won't have to worry about that gator anymore, obviously, there's always a chance he'll come across others. In fact, he knows from personal experience. In 2006 he was interviewed by CBS after suffering a similar attack at a golf course in Boynton, Fla.
But despite his repeated reptile run-ins, Martinez says he plans to continue with this line of work. For his sake, we hope this is the last time Martinez winds up on the news.