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One chart that proves Bubba Watson is a total beast

Bubba Watson hit the longest drive of the 2013-14 season -- 424 yards -- 27 yards further than the next-longest drive.

That stat in itself is pretty amazing, especially when you consider that Webb Simpson's 397-yard drive came on the seventh hole at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions -- a  downhill, 520-yard par 4 that often records the longest measured drives of the season. But seeing it as a graph truly puts in perspective just how far Bubba Watson hits the ball. Thanks to LowRound.co for designing it:

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Here's a video of that drive, which happened on the 16th hole of the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone.


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Video

This golf trick shot video with a young cancer survivor is the most heart-warming thing you'll watch all day

The Bryan Bros released their latest trick shot video on Wednesday and this time, they had a special helper. Clarkie Carroll is only 12, but he's already been through a lot. And fortunately he's healthy now after undergoing 10 months of chemotherapy to treat a rare form of bone cancer from 2013-2014.

Related: How the Bryan Bros became golf's greatest trick shot team

In the video, Clarkie, who has been known to pull off his own trick shots, plays the role of assistant as the Bryan Bros exhibit heir usual dazzling display of hand-eye coordination at Pinehurst. He also re-enacts the famous Payne Stewart putt at the 1999 U.S. Open and shows off his own sweet swing toward the end of the clip. Check it out:

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News & Tours

A bunch of models are trying to out-golf each other on Instagram, which is fine with us

On Monday, it was Sports Illustrated's swimsuit supermodel Nina Agdal:

My golfshoes are cooler than yours.

A photo posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on

Too far. The ball never listens to me.

A video posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on


On Wednesday, Brooklyn Decker stepped into the fray.

Killer swing dude. (Notice the ball still. on. the. ground.)

A photo posted by Brooklyn Decker (@brooklynddecker) on


Who will be next? Stay tuned as this important story continues to develop.

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Celebrity

Larry David talks about being moody on the golf course, the controversial Seinfeld finale and the awful New York Jets

Larry David's love of golf hasn't gone unnoticed. The 67-year-old has teed it up with President Obama and has chatted with David Feherty on the Golf Channel. The show he helped create, Seinfeld, referenced golf quite often throughout its nine seasons. ("Was it a Titleist?")

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Bill Simmons interviewed David for a recent BS Report podcast, and David offered some quintessential Larry David-esque golf wisdom:

-- “Playing well makes you play poorly.”

-- "Last weekend I was playing great, then I tried to match what I was doing and I REALLY fell apart. It was awful."

-- "I'm not good company on the golf course. I'm intense, I'm focused and I'm not all that charming...I'm so moody."

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David seems quite charming to us!

David also talks about that widely disliked Seinfeld finale: "I got so much grief from the Seinfeld finale, which a lot of people intensely disliked, that I no longer feel the need to wrap things up."

And, of course, Simmons and David wrap up their chat by talking about the awful New York Jets: "Good luck with your Jets," says Simmons, "I hope you lose this weekend." "Ugh, I hope so, too," says David.

A tormented soul, on the golf course, in the workplace, and as a sports fan.

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News & Tours

Missing Links: Speed up the game to make it more appealing, McIlroy says

Stories of interest you might have missed…

Play faster. That was the message from Rory McIlroy on how to grow the game, according to this BBC story. “Sport England figures show that the number of 16-25-year-olds playing the game regularly almost halved between 2009-10 and 2012-13. ‘Everything's so instant now and everyone doesn't have as much time as they used to,’ world number one McIlroy told BBC Radio 4. ‘So you maybe try some way of speeding the game up.’”

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(Getty Images)

Ernie Els is 45 now, and time is not an ally in his quest to achieve what he once thought was imminent. “When I was young, I was very cocky and thought I was going to win all the majors by nomination,” Els said in this story by Chris Cutmore for the Daily Mail. “I thought the Masters was going to be the first one I’d win and then the Open, and then the US Open and US PGA Championship. Well, I haven’t won the Masters so far and I haven’t won the US PGA, so I’m going to try to win the Masters before I retire. This would possibly be my biggest career achievement.”

***

“In a change from her usual routine, Charley Hull plans to give herself a break on Christmas Day and allow herself the chance to toast another season of stunning success. In recent years, while the rest of us have been tucking into our turkey and trimmings, the 18-year-old has been pounding golf balls on the range,” Iain Carter of the BBC writes in this look at her breakout season. “In 2014 she has come of age in every respect and that's why she won't be practising on the big day. ‘I don't think I'm going to this year because I'm 18 and I can drink.’”

***

En route to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico, to christen his first course design, Tiger Woods stopped by Blue Jack National, scheduled to be his first U.S. design, outside Houston. “I've been to Houston many times and I never, ever thought that Houston had hills,” Woods said in this story by Jenny Dial Creech in the Houston Chronicle. “I always thought it was a very flat city. To come out here, it was totally different to see this type of topography. It just blew my mind.”

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“Winston Churchill would have been impressed. The late British prime minister delivered one of the most famous quotations in golf when he described it as ‘a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.’” Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press looks at the year gone by from the perspective of the ill-designed weapons, putting forth the best shots struck by them, including Mo Martin’s remarkable 3-wood shot to the 18th hole at Royal Birkdale that enabled her to win the Women’s British Open.

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News & Tours

NASA's Curiosity rover just drilled a golf hole into the surface of Mars

Next time you're heading to Mars, bring your clubs. Am I right?!

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. Researchers used Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory a dozen times in a 20-month period to sniff methane in the atmosphere. During two of those months, in late 2013 and early 2014, four measurements averaged seven parts per billion. Before and after that, readings averaged only one-tenth that level. Curiosity also detected different Martian organic chemicals in powder drilled from a rock dubbed Cumberland, the first definitive detection of organics in surface materials of Mars. These Martian organics could either have formed on Mars or been delivered to Mars by meteorites. Organic molecules, which contain carbon and usually hydrogen, are chemical building blocks of life, although they can exist without the presence of life. Curiosity's findings from analyzing samples of atmosphere and rock powder do not reveal whether Mars has ever harbored living microbes, but the findings do shed light on a chemically active modern Mars and on favorable conditions for life on ancient Mars. Pictured here is the drilling into Curiosity's rock target, "Cumberland," during the 279th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (May 19, 2013). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on


Technically, the hole wasn't supposed to be a golf hole. As that beast of caption explains, it was actually the result of a test Curiosity conducted on Mars' soil which has produced some interesting early results.

The rover found a large amount of methane in the soil. Methane is very commonly produced by living organisms, so unless it was brought to Mars by astroids (as scientists accept may be the case), it was almost certainly left there by living microbes, or by organisms that once lived on Mars but have since gone extinct.

Exciting stuff. No word yet on whether the martians are golfers. 

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Health & Fitness

A quick pre-round warm-up for your shoulders

The shoulders play a key role in the golf swing—not just propelling it, but also STOPPING it. It's that second part that people take for granted. One of the keys to avoiding injuries to the shoulders is to complete the swing. Let some of that energy generated through impact dissipate naturally. Think of how sprinters pass through the finish line of a race. They don't just stop. They keep going. If you cut off your swing, your shoulders have to apply the brakes stressfully. That can result in pulls and tears to the soft tissue around the socket.

It's important to warm up the shoulder muscles before you play. PGA Tour trainer Dave Herman (@athletestrainin) recommends you keep a looped stretch band in your golf bag and use it before to prepare the shoulders before you play.

Click on the video below to see him demonstrate how.


Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.

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News & Tours

Last-minute shoppers, how about a house at Pebble Beach? Here's one for $37.5 million

Still shopping for the golfer who has everything? How about a house at Pebble Beach? Here’s one that borders Pebble Beach Golf Links and Carmel Beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., the only home to do so. Its listing price: $37.5 million.

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Canning Properties in Pebble Beach has the beach-front listing and notes that the home is 10,670 square feet on a 2.37-acre lot. It has four bedrooms and five baths, as well as a guest house.

The house is just behind the 10th green and 11th tee box at Pebble Beach, though Pescadero Canyon separates the two properties.


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Tenuous golf connection

Bubba Watson released his first solo music video -- and we're not quite sure what to make of it

Bubba Watson means well. For the past few years, he's dubbed himself "Bubbaclaus" and run a contest on Twitter in which he gives out Christmas presents. And in 2014, Bubbaclaus is back, only this time -- in addition to the gifts -- he came bearing a wacky music video.

The Grind: Paula Creamer gets married and Rickie and Alexis go to the Bahamas

We're not quite sure what to make of The Golf Boys star's first solo musical effort, but if you are a fan of hovercrafts, a dancing Gumby, and Bubba rapping to a hip-hop-flavored version of the "Hallelujah Chorus," then you're in for a treat.

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News & Tours

The Grind: Paula Creamer gets married, Tiger teams up with Trump, and Rickie and Alexis go to the Bahamas

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we have never complained about cameras on the golf course. Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel grabbed headlines for doing just that on Saturday, which came shortly after David Owen's Thursday post about a recent Golf Digest assignment we were on together. Not only did our group deal with the extra attention, we thrived on it. Here's David stopping mid-round to pose for more photos. What a ham.

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And before you say, "Oh, but Poulter and Horschel were playing for much higher stakes," keep in mind that the Franklin Templeton Shootout is a glorified member-guest. Lighten up, guys. It's called the Silly Season for a reason.

WE'RE BUYING

Greg Chalmers: David beat Goliath Down Under as Chalmers topped Adam Scott on the seventh hole of a playoff to win the Australian PGA. Good for Chalmers. And despite an disappointing string of tournaments in his native country, it's not all bad for Scott. He announced confirmed he and his wife, Marie Kojzar, are expecting their first child in February.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Jason Day-Cameron Tringale: This duo overcame the cameras and a furious final-round charge by defending champions Matt Kuchar and Harris English to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout. Day and Tringale shot 65 in best ball, 64 in alternate shot, and 55(!) in scramble.

Bernhard Langer's genes: Having already won the PNC Father-Son Challenge with his eldest son, Stefan, Langer tried to win the event with daughter Christina. But when she hurt her back, younger brother Jason had to step in. No problem. The 14-year-old held his own and the Langer family picked up another trophy for the mantel. Impressive.

Tiger Woods Design: What a week for Woods as a golf course architect. First, the announcement that he's going to give designing a course in Dubai another go and then his first course anywhere opened on Tuesday in Cabo. Woods' first project in Dubai was never finished when developers ran out of money. This new course will be called Trump World Golf Club Dubai. Obviously.

WE'RE SELLING

Jeff Overton: It's OK to be passionate about rooting for your favorite team, but Mr. "Boom, baby!" once again crossed the line. Three years after being arrested for acting like a jackass after an Indiana basketball game, Overton was ejected from a Hoosiers game at Madison Square Garden. In the first half. Mid-way through the first half, in fact. Chill, dude.

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

Fox Sports: We got our first taste of what watching golf on Fox will be like and the reviews were less than stellar. As Geoff Shackelford pointed out, Joe Buck needs to stop trying to be cool and the entire announcing crew needs to realize that less is more. But at least, the network will get a lot more practice in before the U.S. Open. Oh, right. They won't.

Rory's court case: McIlroy's lawsuit against his former agents is a mess and could be a major distraction as he's trying to prepare for the 2015 Masters. "And for what? For a little bit of money?" as Margie Gunderson says in Fargo. "There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that?" OK, so it's a lot easier for us to talk about walking away from $20 million. And from Rory's perspective, that's a lot of ugly winter coats.

ON TAP

That's it on the PGA Tour for about a month until the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. With the extra time, go ahead and finish your Christmas shopping. Courtesy of ESPN's Darren Rovell via Twitter, we even have a last-minute gift idea:

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Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Donald Trump will run out of money funding the Tiger-designed course in Dubai: 4 BILLION-to-1 odds

-- Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods will win the Grand Slam in 2015: 100-to-1 and 500-to-1 odds, respectively (Actual odds)

-- No one will win the Grand Slam in 2015: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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Apparently, Nina Agdal, who was one of three woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue this year, plays golf. Welcome to The Grind, Nina.

Related: My heartbreaking year on the golf course in 5 painful photos

PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING AN SI SWIMSUIT MODEL)

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What a fantastic photo of Jason and Amanda Dufner dressing up for a holiday party, but we're confused about that jacket. We thought Jason lost to Adam Scott in a playoff at Colonial this year. . .

THIS WEEK IN NATALIE GULBIS MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HER TRAINING

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"There are only 125 guys a year making good money. The rest of us are grinding away." -- Kyle Scott, a mini-tour veteran, competing at Q School. Yep.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Camilo Villegas and longtime girlfriend Maria Ochoa got married in Colombia and it looked like a heck of a party. Fortunately, Jillian Stacey, Keegan Bradley's girlfriend, posted this Flipagram of the festivities:

THIS WEEK IN PAULA CREAMER-DEREK HEATH PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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Congrats to Paula and Derek on tying the knot! Unfortunately, we don't own the rights to any wedding photos, but here are a couple older pictures of the happy couple.

THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER LIVING THE LIFE

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Nice catch, Rickie! Oh, and that's a decent-looking fish as well. . .

THIS AND THAT

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Brazil has commissioned a special coin commemorating golf's return at the 2016 Olympics. All the country needs is a finished golf course and we'll be set! . . . Lee Westwood won the Thailand Golf Championship again. Watch out for this guy if there's ever a major championship in Asia. . . . Branden Grace won the Alfred Dunhill Championship by seven shots to pick up his fifth European Tour title. For a quiet week, there were a lot of golf tournaments. . . . Rory McIlroy was a surprise runner-up for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, losing in a public vote to racecar driver Lewis Hamilton. On the bright side, McIlroy did hold on to win the European Tour Player of the Year. . . . I made a triumphant return to the ping-pong table over the weekend -- just look at that intensity! To whomever the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain is, I should be ready for Hazeltine in 2016.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Are Jay and Bill Haas allowed to play in the father-son challenge?

What flavor was Paula's wedding cake?

How many points could I get off Matt Kuchar in ping-pong?

-- 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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