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Gear & Equipment

Adidas' newest additions to its Tour 360 x shoe line have plenty of tech to talk about

The latest entry to the Tour360 shoe line from Adidas Golf -- the Tour360 x -- features a new outsole and additional cushioning in the midsole for comfort. The Tour360 x's nine-cleat design is intended to increase stability and reduce the shoe's weight.

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Also joining the line is the Tour360 x Boa, which uses a dial on the tongue to adjust for comfort and fit.

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The Tour x ($140) will be available in six colors—three of which: white/silver/black, blue/gray/white and silver/white/black—go on sale Nov. 1. The other three colors will be available in February. The Tour360 x Boa ($180) will be offered in two colors and available Dec. 1.

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Video

Eagle takes and then returns golf ball; headline writers everywhere rejoice

The problem with a video about an eagle on a golf course is the bad golf puns are inevitable. Come on, an eagle? It's too easy! Make us work for it!

Anyway, here's Part 1 of a two-part nature drama in which an eagle takes a golfer's ball on the 12th green of North Bellingham (Wash.) Golf Course, presumably for good.


 

But no! The eagle actually returns the ball on the 13th tee, as revealed in Part 2.



What a good eagle! Meanwhile, theories abound on why the eagle took the ball off the green, only to return it.

1. He had the seen the guy putt and was trying to spare him further humiliation.

2. The eagle thought he wanted the ball, but he only plays Titleist, so he gave it back. (It was probably a Pinnacle).

3. The guy had inadvertently hit into the eagle's group, and this was the eagle's passive-aggressive way of telling the guy he should have waited ... or at least yelled "Fore!"

Attempts to reach the eagle through his publicist were unsuccessful.


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Celebrity

Recalling the rarest of breeds: A newspaperman who brought down one president and played golf with another

The Internet has been overflowing with tributes to Ben Bradlee, the charismatic former executive editor of the Washington Post who died Tuesday at 93. Bradlee was arguably the most important newspaper editor in history, presiding over the Post's groundbreaking coverage of Watergate while also publishing the controversial Pentagon Papers that detailed the United States war effort in Vietnam. 

When it came to golf, Bradlee had a lesser known but almost as impressive distinction: he was a frequent playing partner of President John F. Kennedy's.

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President Kennedy teeing off with Ben Bradlee, First Lady Jackie Kennedy and Antoinette "Toni" Bradlee looking on. 
Photo from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Although hardly the only newsman to score a tee time with a Commander-in-Chief -- our Dan Jenkins, for one, has written about his rounds with President George H.W. Bush -- Bradlee's relationship with the former President predated Kennedy's ascent to the White House to when they were neighbors in Washington in 1958. By many accounts, JFK was said to be the most naturally gifted golfer among the presidents, but once in office he played less and less, in part because of the demands of the job but also his troublesome back. Still, as Bradlee told Golf Digest's Dave Kindred for a story in the June 2011 issue, Kennedy was "competitive as hell, and had just a beautiful swing. He could hit it a ton, but, like all of us, often had no idea where it was going." 

As Bradlee told Kindred, the two men played a dozen times, very often near the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod. The last time they played, at Newport (R.I.) Country Club, was just two months prior to Kennedy's assassination.

In a book, Conversations With Kennedy, Bradlee wrote about about the "harrowing experience" of playing with the president.

In the first place, if you play golf with a president you are apt to play at some fancy country club whose code of dress requires clothes that I do not have in my wardrobe . . . like golf shoes, for openers. As a result I hit off the first tee in old sneakers, and I feel like I was three down before I hit a shot. In the second place, if you play golf with a president you are dead sure to be watched by a crowd of people who either play golf better than you do and therefore you know they’re going to laugh when you shank the ball, or who line the roads and shout to be recognized by your partner. In any case, that’s another two down. In the third place, there are Secret Service men all around you, carrying guns in dummy golf bags, and that doesn’t do anything for your game. And finally, if you play golf with this president, his patience is so limited that you can never stop to look for a lost ball, and that doesn’t suit my game at all.



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Travel

Deal of the Week: Escape to perfect weather in Palm Springs

There's a reason fancy folks in L.A. and San Diego go to Palm Springs in the fall and winter. Temperatures sit in the high 60s and low 70s with abundant sun, and nights dip into the great-sleeping-weather 50s. The roads are wide, the steaks are large and the wine lists are lengthy. 

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If you have some flexibility to make a midweek trip, it's hard to beat Troon Golf Vacations' four-night Palm Springs Sensation stay-and-play package. For rates as low as $76 per person per night, you get four rounds at PGA West -- two at the Greg Norman Resort course and one each at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament and TPC Stadium Course -- and four nights at the La Quinta Resort and Club. The Nicklaus and Stadium courses are longtime homes of Q school's final stage, and the Norman Resort course matches plush green target areas with vast expanses of crushed marble sand and nine ponds. Rates move up to about $200 if you pick certain weekend or prime dates.  

La Quinta Resort is a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day, especially at chef Jimmy Schmidt's award-winning restaurant, Morgan's In The Desert. The farm-to-table menu changes daily, but you can almost always get the braised short ribs. And you should. 

Out into Palm Springs, reserve one morning for breakfast at Cheeky's, which features the must-order Bacon Flight -- five custom-seasoned varieties of smoked pig. If you only need one kind, order it in the Blondie's eggs benedict, pair it with your choice of fresh-squeezed juices and sit in the sun with your Wayfarers on, pretending to be Steve McQueen circa-1970. 

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News & Tours

Rickie Fowler takes over our Twitter feed, weighs in on mullets, swing tips and Bubba Watson

We spent some time with Rickie Fowler on Tuesday afternoon, and he used that opportunity to take over the @GolfDigest Twitter account. (All the cool kids are doing it.) The 10th-ranked player in the world answered 24 questions that covered a wide range of topics. We now know, for example, that the biggest difference in his swing under Butch Harmon is his takeaway, he has "definitely" considered growing a mullet, and that he thinks the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass is the hardest hole on the PGA Tour. Enjoy.
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News & Tours

Missing Links: 'McIlroy's court case could put Masters bid in rough'

Stories of interest you might have missed…

The headline to this Kevin Garside column in the Independent is ominous: “Rory McIlroy’s court case could put Masters bid in rough.” McIlroy and his former agency, Horizon, are embroiled in a dispute that will go to court in February, “two months before the tournament he has made it his priority to win,” Garside writes of McIlroy’s bid to complete the career grand slam. “He…has showed that he is vulnerable when matters spiral beyond his control, as this case might with devastating consequences for his reputation, should the judge decide in the opposition’s favour.”

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(Getty Images photo)

Jason Dufner withdrew from the PGA Championship in August with a neck injury and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. Dufner returns to competition at the Perth International in Australia. “I took three weeks off in the middle of the year because I had a gut full of feeling like I wasn’t getting out of it what I was putting into it,” he said in this story by Chris Robinson in Perth Now. “You just you can’t underestimate how valuable taking a week or two off is. Doing this is such a grind that you’ve got to really, really, really want to be there. If you take a few weeks off you get pretty itchy to go play golf. That can be the difference.”

***

“No-one needs to persuade me about the merits of Wales’s finest-ever golfer,” Derek Lawrenson writes in the Daily Mail regarding Ian Woosnam’s omission from the World Golf Hall of Fame. Lawrenson was one of 16 members of the selection commission. “I’ve written about Woosnam my whole working life. At a time when Hall of Famers like Seve, Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson and Sir Nick Faldo were at their peak he was, for a time, quite clearly the best golfer in the world. It’s a horrendous omission.” Woosnam’s response: “After seeing the results of the golf world hall of fame, I think it’s time to say goodbye to golf and retire.”

***

The odds weren’t good for Carlos Ortiz’ bid to join the PGA Tour. Or for any other Mexican player, either. “Only five Mexican-born players had ever made it to the PGA Tour,” Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press writes in this look at the PGA Tour rookie. “Two of them won tournaments a generation before he was born, the most recent title by Victor Delgado in 1978 at the Ed McMahon-Jaycees Quad City Open.”

***

“Fatherless black kid. 8th grade drop out. Broken home. Running with the wrong crowd,” Gerald Ensley of the Tallahassee Democrat writes in this profile of an aspiring professional golfer, Kamaiu Johnson. “I was going down a dark road when I found golf,” Johnson said. “There is no doubt, golf saved my life.” He is turning professional this weekend.

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Health & Fitness

An easy stretch to ease foot pain

Plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot from heel to toes, is a painful condition that many golfers experience. There are a number of reasons it can occur including a lack of ankle mobility, improper footwear, fallen arches, etc. You'll know you have this condition if you feel a sharp, stabbing pain near the heel of your foot and this seems to be at its worst when you take your first few steps after long periods of minimal activity such as sitting or sleeping.

The inflammation will eventually subside, but it could take months and reoccur if precautionary steps aren't taken—especially for golfers who like to walk a lot. One stretch that helps eliminate pain was designed by Dr. Benedict DiGiovanni at the University of Rochester. If you want to try it, follow these steps:the-loop-foot-massage.jpg

1. Sit with the ankle of the afflicted foot resting on the knee of the other foot.

2. Stretch the arch of the foot by pulling the toes toward the shin bone.

3. Hold for a count of 10 and repeat several times (two or three times daily)

4. To make sure you're stretching the tissue, take your thumb and press against the middle of the foot near the heal as shown. Note: This might be slightly painful.


Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.

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Gear & Equipment

This video will make you feel less lazy about wanting your own personal golf-ball teeing system

A personal golf-ball teeing system seems, at first glance, like a bit of an indulgence. Yet the utility of the Neuroswing, particularly for instructors working on a lesson tee, makes this latest accessory to surface on Kickstarter more than just a curiosity. Unless, that is, you're chiropractor, in which case it might be your own worst nightmare.

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The portable device assembles in less than a minute and holds 42 balls, according to company co-founder Pascal Perrin. It requires no power to use because golfers manually control the tube that feeds balls to the tee.

Does it really take that much effort to bend over and tee up a golf ball? No, but when you start to read Neuroswing's promotional material and see the potential for reducing strain on your back from repeatedly bending over, suddenly it doesn't seem so unnecessary after all.

Here's a video that shows how it works:


Perrin hopes to raise $35,000 before the Kickstarter campaign ends Nov. 16. The plan is to begin production in 2015 with the hope of shipping units, which would retail for $100 to $150, in the summer.


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Gear & Equipment

Ian Poulter keeps his word on being quick about picking a new equipment company

loop-ian-poulter-titleist-bag-300.jpgLast week when Ian Poulter took to Twitter to say, "I will let you know my new endorsement partners very soon" after splitting with Cobra-Puma Golf he wasn't kidding. Poulter announced Tuesday via the social-media site, "Seriously pleased to announce I will be a full staff @Titleist @FootJoy staff player for 2015 season. So excited." 

Accompanying the tweet was a photo of Poulter's new staff bag which appeared to house a 915 series driver and 3-wood along with a pair of hybrids. The irons appeared to be a split set with two Titleist CB irons and the rest being the company's MB model. A trio of Vokey wedges also were in the bag. Not visible was the putter, and it will be interesting to see if Poulter -- who tends to be finicky about his flat stick -- switches to a Scotty Cameron model.

As for why Titleist took on Poulter, who at 38 may already have seen the best days of his playing career, one only needs to look at the company's full-line players from Europe. Other than Victor Dubuisson, there aren't many high-profile players under contract. Signing Poulter then may be an effort to bolster the roster abroad as well as secure a recognizable name should Dubuisson bolt for big bucks elsewhere in the future.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Swimming pools, impressive senior citizens, and The Caddy Girls

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we hope Ben Martin made it rain in a Vegas casino on Sunday night. You can do a lot of damage with $1 million in chips. On second thought, you can do a lot of damage with $1 million in chips (Somewhere, John Daly nods his head in agreement). Hmm. Maybe it's best to at least avoid the high-stakes tables until you win your first major . . .

WE'RE BUYING

Ben Martin: Just when it looked like he was going to let his first PGA Tour title slip away, Martin (Clemson product) made a 45-footer for eagle on No. 16 and then birdied No. 18 for a two-shot win over Kevin Streelman (Duke) in a clash of ACC foes. Congrats, Ben. Pretty good for someone who shot 78-79 in the season opener the week before. Golf!

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Mikko Ilonen: Even Europeans who weren't on the Ryder Cup team are unbeatable in match play. The Finnish golfer knocked off Henrik Stenson in the final to pick up the biggest win of his career. After falling to 334th in the world two years ago, Ilonen is up to 37th. Maybe we'll see him in Hazeltine two years from now.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Jay Haas: We don't always highlight Champions Tour winners, but when a guy beats a field of young whippersnappers -- some who are a full 10 years younger -- he deserves recognition. Haas won for the first time in 27 months and became just the 18th player 60 and older to win on the senior circuit. Oh, and his son, Bill, was inducted into the Wake Forest Athletic Hall of Fame. Pretty decent weekend to be a Haas.

The Caddy Girls: This group didn't get the deal it wanted on ABC's "Shark Tank," but its presentation impressed the Sharks and investment offers are now rolling in, according to founder Meghan Tarmey. Good for them and it's a great idea because guys are, well, guys.

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The Caddy Girls' primetime appearance also can't be hurting calendar sales. . .

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WE'RE SELLING

Golf club violence: There seems to be a lot of these stories lately, unfortunately, ranging from the weird -- a guy defending a church with a golf club -- to the horrifying -- a guy stabbing a man to death with a putter at a mini-golf course. Can't we all just get along?

Related: 11 PGA Tour sleepers to watch in 2014-15

Task-force denials: Again, we agree with the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Paul Azinger that having a Ryder Cup Task Force is a bit much. But what's the harm in saying you'd be a part of it and help out? If you don't care about the success of the U.S. team, that's one thing, but if you do, why not say you'd help try to find a solution to the recent problems?

Shriners swimming pools: This past week's PGA Tour stop had several pools for golf fans, but do these look like "golf fans" to you?

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We didn't think so.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Sea Island for the McGladrey Classic, aka that tournament hosted by Davis Love III.

Related: 9 things you need to know about the 2014-15 season

Random tournament fact: Chris Kirk won this event last year, propelling him to a two-win season that landed him a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Wait. Never mind.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- There will be a swimming pool for fans at Augusta National: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Rory McIlroy will win the calendar Grand Slam in 2015: 50-to-1 odds (actual odds)   

-- Rory McIlroy will be the overwhelming favorite in Masters betting pools: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Five members of the European Tour shushing Patrick Reed? This might just be the photo of the year.

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These guys on the European Tour sure know how to have fun, eh?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Sixty is some sort of benchmark, not that many guys have done that. It's just a number, I guess. I still like feel I'm capable, especially after this weekend, and it certainly gives me some confidence for the last couple of events and into next year. Hopefully, I won't completely fall off the map when I turn 61 in December." -- Jay Haas. Of course, you won't, Jay! You're going to be the U.S. Presidents Cup captain next year!

VIRAL VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Rory McIlroy's left-handed shot wasn't all that impressive. However, we appreciated the effort and him asking his lefty playing partner, Bubba Watson, to watch. Oh, and his chip in for par on the same hole wasn't bad, either.

And then there was the much more impressive recovery shot from PGA Tour rookie Justin Thomas. At the U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson said he was a big fan of the former University of Alabama star. Judging by this insane up-and-down from a grandstand, Thomas has been paying attention to Phil as well.

THIS WEEK IN PAULINA GRETZKY-DUSTIN JOHNSON PAULA CREAMER-MACHINE GUN PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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First time shooting the SAW M249

View on Instagram

"I love it!" Creamer exclaimed.

Paula, we admire you taking the time out of your schedule to pay the troops in Korea a visit, but you're scaring us.

THIS AND THAT

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Rory McIlroy will take time off from golf to prepare for his court case against his former management company, Horizon Sports. Wait, did Rory go to law school during the off-season? . . . Tiger Woods is back to hitting full shots and "feeling pretty good." We've heard this one before, so we're not getting too excited yet. . . . Kyu Jung Baek topped Brittany Lincicome and Gee Chun in a playoff to claim the KEB-Hana Bank Championship in her first career start on the LPGA Tour. How's that for a debut? And it came just four days after Baek celebrated her 19th birthday. . . . An 81-year-old man had a hole-in-one on three consecutive days. If he's a real golfer, he's probably still complaining about the first 80 years of his playing career. . . . Apparently, McDonald's popular McRib is only coming to select locations this year. That makes my buddy, Chris, sad. But hopefully, this shirt our friends got him cheers him up.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Which PGA Tour player would make the best lawyer?

Is Ben Martin this year's Jimmy Walker?

What exactly is in a McRib?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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