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Video

Rory McIlroy just got beat in arm wrestling by a 17-year-old golfer and it wasn't even close

Before Friday, Brad Dalke was known as one of the best junior golfers in the country. Now? He's the guy who took down Rory McIlroy in arm wrestling. And it wasn't even close.

The world's top-ranked golfer gave a talk and hosted a clinic when he made a surprise appearance at a Nike-sponsored junior golf event at Sage Valley. But when it came to displaying strength, it was Dalke who put on the clinic. Here's the video he posted to Twitter with the caption, "Sorry Rory."

Related: The top 25 viral videos of 2014

Dalke first made news when he verbally committed to Oklahoma University as a 12-year-old in 2010. His latest conquest certainly won't hurt his big-man-on-campus status when he arrives in Norman in the fall.

As for Rory, there's no reason for him to be embarrassed. It's not like he works out a lot or anything. Oh, right.

(h/t Golf News Net)

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Ben Crane decides playing your own fairway is lame

Ben Crane teed it up on the sixth hole and aimed for the fifth fairway. Because playing down your own fairway is boring, apparently.


Crane said, "shortcut," almost immediately after impact. He knew he crushed it. Nick Faldo, however, was entirely perplexed: "How did he see that? Is that allowed?"

Crane went on to hit the sixth green in regulation and two-putt for par. Like a badass. 

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Celebrity

5 things to talk about on the course: Ariana Grande, Stephen Curry, and YouTube's big birthday

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. Ariana Grande: News of a breakup between the pop star and rapper "Big Sean" broke earlier in the week, giving hope to millions of men out there who are smitten by the 21-year-old songstress. But should they be? Apparently, Big Sean didn't think Grande was putting as much effort into the relationship as he was and he was upset about her bringing Justin Bieber up on stage during a recent concert. Ugh, anyone but the Biebs (sorry, we've been watching too much E! News). We feel you, Big Sean.

2. Stephen Curry's latest ridiculous shot: This guy makes a play or two every game that makes you shake your head in disbelief. On Thursday night, it was hitting a three-pointer from the corner in the closing seconds while being tackled by two players to tie Game 3 of Golden State's first round series with New Orleans. The crazy shot capped an even crazier fourth-quarter comeback by the Warriors, who trailed by 20 at one point before winning in OT to take a 3-0 series lead. As if we didn't already know it, Curry -- and this team -- are going to be tough to beat.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

3. Mets-Yankees: The latest version of the "Subway Series" will take place at Yankee Stadium this weekend between two baseball teams on surprisingly good runs. Of course, no one has been better than the Mets, who will enter Friday night's game in the Bronx with an 11-game winning streak and ace Matt Harvey on the mound. The Mets have an MLB-best record of 13-3. Imagine if their owner, Jeff Wilpon, wasn't so cheap?

4. Bernie Williams: My all-time favorite Yankee officially retired on Wednesday. You know, nine years after he played his last game in pinstripes. This prompted a slew of "how will the Yankees replace him in the lineup?" jokes, but it also caused people to remember how great of a player he was (but yeah, they could probably still use him against the Mets this weekend). And how many former MLB All-Stars are also classically trained guitar players and acclaimed recording artists? As Yankees radio announcer John Sterling used to say, "Bern baby, Bern!"

Related: MLB stars who love to play golf

5. YouTube Turns 10: Speaking of taking a trip down Memory Lane, can you believe this integral part of millennial living has been around for a decade? This is one of those simple, yet brilliant ideas that you wish you could turn back the clock and come up with. The three guys who did made a few bucks. Anyway, I don't think there's a way to see what video you've viewed the most, but I'm pretty sure it's this clip of grainy Baron Davis highlights from his brief days at UCLA:

That's the best highlight compilation (watch the last 30 seconds) in my opinion, but there's no debating what the funniest -- albeit unintentional -- highlight compilation is:

Poor guy. Thank you, YouTube.

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Media

Just like real life, the new Rory McIlroy EA Sports game forces you to play bump-and-runs in Scotland

It's getting quite eery how closely video games resemble real life. We're not just talking about swings, or facial expressions, or how tightly Sergio Garcia wears his shirts, although that's all factored in as well.

Instead consider that the new EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour coming out in July also forces you to adjust how you play depending on the firmness of the turf. No joke. With a greater focus on "Course Personalities," the game features different conditions depending on the region. For instance, courses in Florida will be soft, forcing you to play the ball more in the air, while Scottish links courses like Royal Troon will encourage a ground game. 

Hey, can I be Todd Hamilton in this game?

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In the video below, there's also a mention of making "interaction with vegetation more realistic," which might sound perverse, but is actually referring to how the ball reacts when you hit it out of the rough versus the fairway.

Anyway, check out the video trailer for yourself. If you're like us, it will make you want to get the game and waste valuable hours of productivity as a result.


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News & Tours

TPC Sawgrass' 17th hole: 'Congratulations. You're first ever to put it in the water in competition'

The 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass revealed its diabolical intentions to the first group ever to play the hole in what now is known as the Players Championship.

David Thore, now 61, was in the group and calculated he had 140 yards to the back pin position, “a good 8-iron for me,” he said. His tee shot splashed down short of the front bunker, setting the tone for one of the most infamous holes in tournament golf.

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(Getty Images)

Garry Smits of the Florida Times-Union caught up with Thore and recounts the shot here.

“I don’t mind being known by that little bit of trivia,” Thore told Smits. “Every year when the Players comes on TV, I remind the guys at the club that I’ve got something from that tournament no one else will ever have.”‿

The club is Oreander Golf Center in in Wilmington, N.C., where he is a teaching pro.

Thore also told Smits that other a brief interview with a New York Times reporter immediately after his round, he’s not been asked about it since.

The New York Times reporter was Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dave Anderson, a Golf Digest contributor. He was there that day and wrote a column on the 17th hole, with the headline, “Splash! Splash! Splash!” Anderson wrote:

Although only 132 yards, the 17th is suddenly golf's most notorious new hole. And yesterday it opened for business with a splash as the Tournament Players Championship began. One splash after another, in fact, in the lake where an alligator was floating in the sun…

“Congratulations,” somebody said to David Thore after he shot 77, you’re the first ever to put it in the water on 17 in competition.”

“Thank you,” David Thore said with a smile. “And after I put my next shot on, I was the first ever to three-putt it in competition, too.”

And so it began.

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Trending

Tiger Woods continues great day on Twitter by posting funny photo with Yao Ming

Tiger Woods is having his most productive day on Twitter. Ever.

On Friday morning, Woods broke news by announcing he would tee it up at the Players in two weeks. And two hours later, he posted this humorous photo with Yao Ming:

Woods is in China "to energize young athletes' love for golf," according to a Nike press release on Wednesday. And after watching this video of Yao Ming playing golf, we assume the former NBA star is hanging out with Woods to get some lessons:

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News & Tours

Tiger Woods lets us know his schedule in advance, announces he'll play at TPC Sawgrass

On Wednesday, Jack Nicklaus divulged Tiger Woods would play in the Memorial Tournament. And on Friday, Woods announced -- a full week before he had to! -- he'll compete at the Players.

Wow, "looking forward"! And all caps on THE PLAYERS! The PGA TOUR will appreciate that level of enthusiasm for its flagship event.

It was expected that the Players would be the next event on Tiger's schedule after his Masters appearance (he did not qualify for next week's WGC-Cadillac Match Play). Woods has a mixed history at TPC Sawgrass, but he won for a second time in 2013. He missed last year's event when he was recovering from back surgery.

Related: Our favorite Tigerisms

Woods returned from a two-month absence at the Masters earlier this month (he left everyone wondering if he'd play until the Friday before) and finished T-17. He hurt his wrist during the final round, but this announcement confirms his agent's claims that the injury wasn't serious. The tour will appreciate his presence in Ponte Vedra Beach, and the golf media will appreciate knowing his schedule in advance again.

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Television

These guys built a floating golf course and it's awesome

Andrew and Kevin Buckles are brothers who live in Nova Scotia and who are admittedly hack golfers. They're on a TV show called Brojects that's in its second season and airs on networks in Canada and Germany. On the show, they do monster do-it-yourself projects at their lake house -- like making outdoor gyms and pizza ovens.  A few episodes ago, they built a floating golf course on the lake, which is pure genius.  

Obviously, I had to chat with these guys. Andrew says the idea came from a few beers, some floating golf balls, and pondering the age-old first world problem associated with lake houses: Being on the lake is so much fun, it's tough to leave it to go to the golf course. The solution? Build a floating golf course on the lake. You get to play golf, and you don't have to leave your sanctuary.  

First, they built a floating cart. "It contains a putting green, a tee-box, a rooftop 'rough' as well as a scoreboard, bag holder, BBQ, and beer on tap hidden inside an old golf bag . . . . essentially everything you need for a round of golf.  The cart seats 4 comfortably. It is powered by an electric trolling motor," Andrew says.

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Next, they floated 9 "pins" out in the water, and surrounded each with a floating circle. You hit off the tee box on the floating cart and try to get it in the circle. You're not going to get it in the circle on the first try every time. So, if you miss, you scoop up the ball and hit again from the floating cart, either from the tee box or from the rooftop rough. Once you get the ball in the circle, you putt on the green that's on the floating cart. 

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Since you have total control over how long the holes are, you can set up a different course each time you play. All in all, this seems like a very solid way to play golf without ever setting foot on a course. 

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Andrew says the game is admittedly new: "We are still refining the rules of play. However I can tell you we both love the idea.  It really is just like golf.  You can take full strength drives, enjoy natural scenery, escape from the house, have a few beers, and engage in some friendly competition." 

Feast your eyes on all the glory that is Lake Golf below:

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Notice the giant water jug and wooden pole as a make-shift flag. The water jug is anchored to the bottom of the lake so the course doesn't float around. 

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Missing the green means you have to challenge your short game... and your balance. 

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The roof is also really good for pondering the meaning of life. 

floatinggolftwilight.jpgTwilight golf: flat visibility, but low winds and low waves. Also it's just really pretty. 


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Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: Everything you need to know to protect your knees

Knee injuries aren't terribly common in golf, but knee pain is. Whether it's an overuse issue from walking several miles or excess stress and strain from performing athletic movements on unstable terrain, golfers put their knees to the test on a weekly basis.

Here is a refresher on the most common knee injuries and also what you can do at home to prevent them.

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INJURIES:

1. CHONDROSIS
A type of arthritis that occurs when articular cartilage, usually behind the knee, deteriorates. The golfer will typically feel a dull, achy pain and might experience swelling.

2. MENISCUS TEARS
This disc-shape cartilage between the thigh and shin bones often tears as a result of being compressed as the knee joint rotates. The golfer will feel a sharp, biting pain.

3. OSTEOARTHRITIS
Decades of joint stress can result in a significant loss of cartilage, often on the inner and outer edges of the knee, causing bone-on-bone contact and deep-aching or sharp pain.

4. TORN ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT
This connective tissue in the middle of the joint can rip if the knee goes beyond its normal range of motion. A popping sound usually accompanies a tear, and swelling will occur within a few hours.

5. TORN MEDIAL COLLATERAL LIGAMENT
This ligament is located on the inner portion of the joint. Stress placed on the lead knee through impact can rip the tissue, but this is rare and the injury can heal without surgery. Swelling, soreness and bruising on the inside portion of the knee are common symptoms.



fitness-knee-exercises.jpgDO THESE FOR HEALTHY KNEES
Illustrations: Kagan McLeod

< HIP-AND-CALF STRETCH
Increased hip and calf flexibility reduces the stress and shearing force on the knee. On a sturdy chair, hold this demonstrated position, pushing the hips forward and straightening the grounded leg.



< THIGH-TONING SQUATS
Weak quadriceps and hamstring (or thigh) muscles can lead to instability in the knee joint. Keeping your spine straight, slowly drop the posted knee to the ground. Rise and repeat until fatigued.



< HAMSTRING STRETCH
Golfers usually have weak, tight hamstrings, but these posterior thigh muscles are responsible for bending the leg. Hold the position above. Try to keep the extended foot on its heel and the extended leg straight.



< HIP-FLEXOR STRETCH
These muscles allow golfers to get into and maintain a proper address posture, which helps alleviate some compression issues with the knee. Hold the position shown, thrusting your pelvis toward the chair.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.
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Note to Twitter: golf business can't be summarized in 140 characters

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It gets very easy to miss the point and overreact, and the golf industry seems more a victim of this in the media than maybe even Hillary Clinton.
Once again, it seems too easy for some to rush to judgment. 

Reports surfaced via Darren Rovell’s Twitter feed that the golf business had suffered another bruise at the hands of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. “Sales of golf clubs down a whopping 21% in 2014 vs a year before, says @TheSFIA,” tweeted ESPN’s sports business reporter this afternoon. (The SFIA is the trade association of sports and fitness brands, suppliers, and retailers.) 

Now while it may be true that the sporting goods business, particularly sporting goods stores, saw a decline in golf sales last year, it isn’t a complete picture of the golf business. A more accurate portrayal of the health of the golf business, which never will be confused with running shoe sales or basketball purchases, might be to focus on golf-specific retailers, which in most surveys are preferred three to one over sporting goods stores as the place where golfers are buying products.

In fact, a check of golf industry research firm Golf Datatech’s sales figures for 2014 paint a slightly different interpretation. Sales in 2014 of just the core hard goods in golf (woods, irons, wedges and putters) were down, but only by 3 percent (2.97, actually). In fact, the $1.413 billion in sales of those four categories marked the seventh highest annual sales figure since Golf Datatech began tracking the golf business in 1995.

So sometimes, perhaps all the time, the true picture is larger than 140 characters.
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