The Local Knowlege

Tenuous golf connection

So what if this Price Is Right contestant's putting stroke is blatantly illegal? It still won her a new car

Something tells us that when 84-year-old Margaret is riding in the new $16,000 car she won on The Price Is Right, she won't be lamenting her violation of the Rules of Golf. Nor should she -- last we checked, a TV soundstage is not a regulation golf course, and it was good enough to new her a new set of wheels.

Here's the video:



We're happy for Margaret, but as the designated wet blankets in charge, we'd be remiss in not pointing out that the clinching putt is in violation of Rule 16-1e: Standing Astride or on Line of Putt. The rule was adopted after Sam Snead reverted to this stroke in the mid-1960s when his normal stroke abandoned him. 

Here's Sam:

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As Snead told Sports Illustrated in 1967, the stroke was ideal for players of advanced age. “Not too many people can bend over quite as well as I can, but I think it is good for old golfers," he said. "They don't have to coordinate two hands, only one."

The stroke was deemed objectionable by a number of golf people, including Bobby Jones, and it was made illegal by the USGA in 1968, with the rule stating: 

The player must not make a stroke on the putting green from a stance astride, or with either foot touching, the line of putt or an extension of that line behind the ball. 

For the record, the penalty here is two strokes or a loss of hole, but for now, we'll let Margaret off with a warning.

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European Tour

Thomas Levet and alleviating slow play on tour: For my next trick...

Slow play is the scourge of professional golf, but maybe France’s Thomas Levet has found a way to help alleviate the problem: Not by playing faster, but by providing entertainment while we wait.

Finland’s Mikko Korhonen, his playing partner in the first two rounds of the European Tour’s Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, took this photo of Levet performing a balancing act during a wait on Friday and posted it to his Twitter account:

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Trending

Giant Florida gator named "Goliath" returns, satisfies his appetite by chomping on a turtle

A couple weeks ago, a giant gator at Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood, Fla., became a viral sensation. Well, that scary-looking reptile -- appropriately named "Goliath" by the club -- surfaced again on Thursday and this time it had company.

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Oh, you can't see what other creature is there? Here's a closer look:

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Yep, that's a helpless turtle in Goliath's mouth. When we said Goliath had company, we meant Goliath had a snack. Hey, Goliath's gotta eat.

Related: 5 things to talk about on the golf course this weekend

The club posted those two photos of Goliath (what a great name!) to its Facebook page along with the following message: "Lots of people are asking what alligators eat...here is Goliath having a turtle for breakfast. (Sorta nasty to see but it's the reality of wild animals)"

Very true. Just stay away from the golfers, Goliath, and we're cool.

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Celebrity

5 things to talk about on the course: Kentucky's dominance, "The Last Man on Earth," and a Brad-Jen stinker

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. March Madness: By the end of this weekend, the Final Four will be set. In other words, we'll know the other three teams that will have a chance to get blown out by Kentucky. The Wildcats destroyed West Virginia 78-39 on Thursday night after a freshman Mountaineer guaranteed a win. Stupid freshman. Actually, Notre Dame, after its own thrashing of Wichita State, could give Kentucky a good game in the Elite 8 on Saturday night. Don't laugh. Saturday's other game, Wisconsin vs. Arizona should be great too. The only bad part about Arizona getting there is the fact they eliminated Xavier and everyman/Uber driver Matt Stainbrook in the process:

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Fear the rec specs!

We'll miss watching you play, Matt, but we're confident you and your old-school game will be dominating YMCA pick-up games for decades to come.

Related: Vote in our ultimate golf excuse bracket

2. Fantasy baseball: MLB Opening Day is fast approaching, meaning fantasy baseball drafts are happening all across the country. My league's auction draft is on Saturday and I'm actually in decent shape entering the season for once with Clayton Kershaw and Troy Tulowitzki coming back as keepers. Anyone have any good sleeper suggestions? I've done less preparation than John Calipari does before a typical Kentucky game. Please help.

3. Aaron Baddeley: In case you missed it (sadly, all the cameras did), the 34-year-old Aussie made the craziest birdie ever on the 17th hole in Thursday's first round of the Valero Texas Open. How can we say that with such certainty? Well, have you ever heard about a player taking an unplayable after a wild drive, trudging back to the tee on a par 4 and then holing his third shot from 332 yards? Didn't think so. Baddeley said all he did differently for the second time was choke down on his driver and hit a straight ball. Yep, it's that easy!

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"It doesn't matter what the critics are saying, we're still getting paid!"

4. "Serena": Jennifer Lawrence stars in this Serena Williams biopic that comes out in theaters this weekend. Kidding. J-Law is a great actress, but she's not that great. No, the movie also stars Bradley Cooper and it's set in North Carolina during the Great Depression. But despite the star power, apparently, there's not the same magic that we saw with these two in "Silver Linings Playbook." In fact, these reviews (New York Times, Time Magazine, Daily Beast, etc.) are some of the worst I can remember reading. Sounds like something I'd only watch if it were the last movie on Earth. That reminds me. . .

5. "The Last Man on Earth": After not being thrilled by the premise of this new Fox sitcom, I finally gave it a chance and I'm all in. First of all, Will Forte is fantastic. I've also always really liked him because I'm 95 percent sure I played a dawn-patrol round with him by chance years ago after he'd come straight from a Saturday Nigh Live post-show party. And if it wasn't him, I don't want to know because I don't want to ruin the story. Speaking of potentially ruining the story. . . SPOILER ALERT: If you notice, the title doesn't say anything about women. 2ND SPOILER ALERT: The title might also not be 100 percent true. Sorry, but I tell you these things to get you to watch because the title might scare you off. Now go support my golf buddy!

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Equipment

Watch a guy snap the head off his driver in slow motion

The materials on the heads of golf clubs are, generally, pretty durable. Cracking the face of a driver usually takes either a really long time or an intense fit of anger.

Related: What happened to Troy Merritt's 2-iron is NOT normal

Well, this guy found a third way. Apparently, if you hit a golf ball so far onto the heel of the club, it snaps the head clean off. Check it out:

Rough day on the range.

A video posted by Stephen Gundrum (@gunsndrums9) on

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Trending

This "Game of Thrones"-inspired throne is made out of 320 golf clubs

In just over two weeks, season 5 of "Game of Thrones" will premiere on HBO. The show has a serious -- bordering on insane -- following, but I think I found the best fans of them all: The crew at Direct Golf that built this show-inspired throne out of 320 golf clubs. 

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The golf retailer has a pretty big collection of clubs in storage, so naturally they started chopping them up to use to replicate the Iron Throne in the show. The throne is six feet tall, and although it hasn't been weighed yet, we're guessing it's not super light. 

The people at Direct Golf were also kind enough to give step-by-step instructions so you can build your own. I'm going to go see what we have kicking around our equipment closet, because that throne would be the perfect seat for my cubicle. 


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Gear & Equipment

What happened to Troy Merritt's 2-iron (and Phil Mickelson's 8-iron) isn't normal

OK, what the heck is going on at the Valero Texas Open? The first day featured the craziest birdie ever by Aaron Baddeley as well as 31 players failing to break 80 at TPC San Antonio in windy conditions. It also provided two of the strangest equipment malfunctions you'll ever see.

Related: 9 costly equipment rules blunders

First, Troy Merritt, whose 2-iron's face caved in somehow on the 11th hole:

Merritt, remembering where a lot of his bread is buttered, was quick to offer a follow-up tweet promoting his equipment sponsor. Smart.

But TPC San Antonio didn't discriminate when it came to embarrassing players or breaking certain brands of equipment. Phil Mickelson had the head of his Callaway 8-iron snap off at impact while hitting out of a fairway bunker on the 12th hole:

Hey, you know what they say about messing with Texas.

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Trending

Michelle Wie looks sharp in Self Magazine despite playing a yellow ball

Michelle Wie appeared in the April issue of Self Magazine to bestow her "4 Tips to Perform Better Under Pressure." There's some good stuff from the LPGA Tour star in there, as well as some good photos.

So honored to be featured in the April Edition of Self Magazine!! #thementalist @nikegolf @selfmagazine ,

A photo posted by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Related: The Oscars shows its anti-golf bias once again

@SelfMagazine  #AprilEdition #TheMentalist

A photo posted by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

The four areas Wie touches on are resilience, confidence, grit and focus. Coincidentally, those are all things you need if you're going to pull off playing with a yellow ball.

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Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: Know before you roll

Manual soft-tissue therapy, otherwise known as foam rolling, has been gaining in popularity as a way to increase flexibility and speed recovery from muscle soreness. But does it work and is it worth your while? The short answer is ... maybe.

Here's a longer answer:
Studies show it can increase flexibility for up to 10 minutes after the foam rolling is completed. And if performed regularly, it might be able to increase flexibility long term. As far as aiding in recovery from muscle soreness, testing has shown it has had some success in reducing "perceived" discomfort, as well as increasing pain thresholds so athletes can work out harder and get back to the gym, field, golf course, etc., faster.

These conclusions come from Chris Beardsley of Strength & Conditioning Research after compiling data from a number of studies from 2002 to 2014 on the technique known as myofascial release. Simply put, muscles are surrounded and adjoined by a soft tissue called fascia. When you feel tight or sore, fascia might be the culprit and localized massaging is believed to help loosen things up, as well as increase blood flow and its healing agents to the area. Some athletes do it before their activity in hopes they will move freer and perform better (although no study has definitively proven it acutely affects athletic performance). Other athletes do it at the conclusion of their activity as a way of reducing pain and soreness.

The reason I say "maybe" as to whether you should foam roll is because you should consult with a professional first. Getting evaluated on your physical limitations is key. With that caveat out of the way, if you're looking to increase your range of motion when you swing a golf club, or not feel as sore after you tee it up or work out, then you might want to incorporate a short foam-rolling program into your fitness routines and see if it helps.

To that end, we asked PGA Tour rookie Tony Finau (@tonyfinaugolf) to demonstrate a great foam-rolling program for golfers. Finau is a "Team Captain" for the sports-training-equipment company SKLZ (@sklz) and is launching a campaign to help golfers prepare better for their rounds.

To see him walk you through a foam-rolling routine, click on the video below.



Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.

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News & Tours

Aaron Baddeley just made the craziest birdie in golf history. Seriously.

A lot of crazy things happened during the opening round of the Valero Texas Open. PGA Tour pros making huge numbers, struggling to break 90, and even breaking clubs in bunkers.

Related: TPC San Antonio is winning on Day 1 at the Valero Texas Open

But it wasn't all bad.

Aaron Baddeley turned another potential Day 1 disaster into the craziest birdie he or anyone has probably ever made in golf history. On the drivable par-4 17th (playing 336 yards to the pin today), Baddeley yanked his tee shot into the woods. But after taking an unplayable lie, he re-teed and miraculously holed his next shot. Again, from 336 yards. In other words, this is NOT a misprint:

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Baddeley hit driver on both shots, but choked down on his second attempt with the hole playing downwind. The improbable result put him just one shot behind Charley Hoffman after the first round.

"I just thought I'd just hit it straight and so I hit it and started walking and then heard the crowd going nuts," Baddeley said. "I was like, wait, I just made birdie."

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