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D.A. gets points for his manners and his mother

By John Strege

da-points.jpgD.A. Points is not a household name outside of mother Mary Jo Points' house, but that likely suffices for a man who is unabashedly a mama's boy and one who seems destined to have a good career, but not a great one.

It is our loss, perhaps, for the more one sees of Points, the more likely they would be to root for him.

"Thank you for staying," he said to the crowd only seconds after holing a 13-foot par-saving putt to win the Shell Houston Open Sunday evening, following a two-hour weather delay. "Thank you for staying," he said again. "Happy Easter."

This was not unprecedented. At the Greenbrier Classic in the summer of 2010, Points missed a short par putt on the last hole that did not cost him a victory, but cost him $72,000. Rather than lament his miscue, he turned to the crowd and said, "Thank you for coming."

Related: 13 Sleepers To Watch In 2013

This is evidence of the influence his mother, Mary Jo Points, has had on him. He remembers his manners. More evidence: When he played in the Masters for the first time in 2011, Points asked his mother to caddie for him in the Par 3 Contest. "I cried," Mary Jo told Greg Stewart of the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star, once the hometown newspaper of the Points family. "I went over to him, hugging him and crying, and thought, 'Oh, my land, I can't believe I really get to do this.' This is something that was on my bucket list."

Mary Jo again became a focal point last week in Houston, when Points resurrected an old Ping Anser putter that had belonged to her. "I pulled it out of my mom's bag when I was probably 11, 12 years old," he said earlier in the week. "It's a great putter. I won a couple of state amateurs with it in Illinois."

He used it off and on as a professional, too, though as often happens when a putter begins to misbehave, it was consigned to the garage, joining a host of other shelved putters.

"I brought it with me this week because I just had been putting so bad," he said. "I thought maybe I'll pull this old putter out of the garage and maybe it will have some magic in it."

Related: D.A. Points wins Houston Open, into Masters

Points, 36, had missed the cut in seven of nine starts this year and in the other two finished no better than 63rd. But Mom's old Ping putter indeed proved the Anser. He opened the tournament with a 64 and closed it with a 66 that included that 13-foot par putt to win.

The victory was the second for Points, who two years ago won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, with Bill Murray as his amateur partner. The highlight that viewers likely took away from that was the comically inadequate attempt at a chest bump with Murray after holing a wedge shot for eagle at the par-5 14th hole.

Points provides reasons to smile, maybe none better than his obvious affection for a mother whose bucket list became shorter when she donned the familiar white overalls and looped for her son at Augusta.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Gear & Equipment

Tiger's Back: Nike's new TW Collection

By Marty Hackel

Two views: TW Graphic (left) and TW Stripe.

Nike's new Tiger Woods collection shirts ($80 to $100) are technically complex, but the goal is simple: allow for movement. Sometimes with a traditionally cut shirt, you feel parts of the material when you swing. These have a continuous shoulder seam with a bonding that makes it nearly imperceptible.

The result is comfort and functionality. The shirts use Nike's Dri-FIT technology, meaning they're lightweight and allow moisture to evaporate, so they feel good in warm conditions. This is a good shirt if you're looking to go down a size for a better fit. More info.

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News & Tours

The Syllabus: Is it April yet?

By Ryan Herrington

Maybe it's because I've been watching the NCAA basketball tournaments, but I'm getting antsy for college golf's postseason to finally get here. I feel like we've gotten good glimpses at all the main contenders on the men's and women's sides. Not to diminish any of the remaining regular season events left on the schedule, but lets start playing conference championship and get things rolling. Who's with me?

That said, there is still some housekeeping to do in the next few weeks, specifically on the men's side where the .500 rule may become a factor for some programs moving forward. As of March 26, here are some notable schools that are hovering around the bubble.

SCHOOL, WINS ABOVE/BELOW .500 (Golfstat Rank)
Arizona, +9 (69)*
Texas A&M, +7 (22)**
San Diego State, +4 (55)**
North Carolina, +1 (47)*** 
Virginia +1 (65)****
San Diego, -2 (82)**
Augusta State, -16 (56)

*Arizona has previously been a victim of the .500 rule.
**A&M, San Diego State and San Diego have all made match play at NCAA (or better) since 2009.
***Been to NCAA Regionals only once in last four years.
****Played at NCAA Nationals four of last five years; 

All these schools have multiple events left to improve their records, save Augusta State, which just has the Insperity Augusta State Invitational currently left on its schedule.

If this feels a little like deja vu for ASU, that's because they were faced with a similar predicament a year ago.

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Gear & Equipment

A golf motion sensor to analyze putting strokes

3BaysGSA Putt.jpg

By John Strege

The growing motion sensor segment in golf heretofore has focused virtually entirely on the full swing, but 3Bays, which itself began with a full-swing motion sensor, has now applied its technology to analysis of the putting stroke.

The 3BaysGSA Putt device weighs a third of an ounce and plugs into the grip end of your putter. Via a Bluetooth connection to an app on a smartphone or iPad, it relays information about your putting stroke. It tracks face angle, consistency, attack angle, tempo, backswing time, downswing time, impact speed and swingpath distance.

It will instantly show an animation playback of your path in both side view and top view, to see how the putter is moving throughout your stroke.

The 3BayGSA Putt sells for $200 and can be purchased through the company website.

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Gear & Equipment

Five questions with Chris Rosaasen

As CEO of California apparel firm Travis Mathew, Chris Rosaasen oversees one of the cooler brands in golf. He takes five questions from Marty Hackel.

chris.rosaasen.jpgQ: What is your design process?
My goal when I start designing is having the Travis Mathew consumer be the guy that gets noticed for how he is dressed, not the guy who "stands out" for how he is dressed.

Q: How come you have so little color?
We very rarely use bright base colors. We use these colors for pops and details. I want a Travis Mathew consumer to be noticed upon second glance and have the person noticing realize the details and quality of the garment.

Q: Where do you start when you're selecting what to wear?
The top. It's what sets the tone for the look, and there are naturally many more options: colors, solids, stripes, patterns, etc. Next I look for a complementing bottom. It should be the easiest. If you have black, white, gray, and navy bottoms, you're good to go with just about any top. That said, it's possible to pair a nice basic top with a plaid or patterned bottom and make a nice statement.

Q: What about belts?
This is a place I feel people, especially golfers, go wrong. Drawing attention to your midsection when it's on the large side is not a good look. A loud belt when the rest of your outfit is already yelling isn't a good look, either.

Q: Any style "rules"?
The rule is to choose one item to set the tone and then let the other items complement it, not compete with it.

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Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: Sync Your Swing

By Ron Kaspriske

To swing a club effectively, you need sufficient strength to stabilize your body, decent flexibility to improve your range of motion, and good coordination to wind and unwind in the correct sequence. This dynamic medicine-ball workout will help give you all three traits, says Trevor Anderson, director of golf performance for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy. Anderson says that throwing a four- to 10-pound medicine ball against a reinforced wall or to a partner, while performing these exercises helps train the proper order of body movement during the golf swing--known as kinematic sequence. So start with the 1. Wind and Toss. Then move on to 2. Load and Toss, and the 3. Synchronize and Toss. Do 10 throws of each exercise in both directions.


1. Wind and Toss

Simulate your address posture while holding a medicine ball in front of your waist. Wind up to throw the ball by squatting slightly as you shift the weighted object past your right hip (above). Then thrust your hips, straighten your legs and powerfully throw the ball toward the target, making sure not to lose your balance.


2. Load and Toss

Stand perpendicular to your target while holding the medicine ball in front of your waist. Wind your upper body to the right as you move the ball past your right hip. Now load your body weight into your left leg, fire your right hip toward the target and throw the ball powerfully, but not so you're out of control.


3. Synchronize and Toss

Set up in an athletic posture with your back to the target. Wind up by squatting slightly as you move the medicine ball past your right hip. Once you're completely wound, load all your weight onto your left side, powerfully tossing the four- to 10-pound ball over your left shoulder, without neglecting your footing.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor for Golf Digest

(Photos by Stephen Szurlej) ... Read
News & Tours

The not-so-many faces of Jason Dufner

By Alex Myers

Editor's note: As it turned out, this photo of Jason Dufner in a classroom on March 28, 2013, started the #Dufnering craze. Here's how we reacted that day to the image which led to golf's biggest viral sensation of 2013.

A somewhat unfortunate picture of a sad-looking Jason Dufner visting a youth center in Dallas surfaced today on Deadspin. The article reports that Dufner was in town as part of media day for the Byron Nelson Championship, an event in which Dufner is the defending champion.


But while Dufner couldn't have looked more miserable doing a bit of charity, what the story doesn't mention is that this is basically how he always looks. Here, we analyze the "different" looks Dufner exhibits during a variety of situations.

Related: 19 things you should know about Jason Dufner

Dufner hitting a great shot:


Dufner hitting a terrible shot:


Dufner cracking a really funny joke:


Dufner answering questions at a press conference:


Dufner winning his first ever PGA Tour event last year in New Orleans. Go crazy, Jason!


Dufner loosening up:


Dufner getting the most pumped up he's ever been. Forgive him, it was Ryder Cup week:


Dufner holding a koala bear. Wait, where the heck did this one come from?!


And finally, Dufner cracking a semi-smile while standing with his gorgeous wife, Amanda:


So kids, don't take it personally. Unless he's in the company of his beautiful wife or a furry marsupial, don't expect Jason Dufner to even think about looking happy.

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Gear & Equipment

Game Golf will track statistical data for you

Game Golf.jpg

By John Strege

Statistical data conceivably could help anyone improve their golf, but taking the time and trouble to gather it is problematic. Until now.

A software engineer from Ireland, John McGuire, CEO of Active Mind Technology, has developed a system by which the data is collected for you.

Game Golf comes with 18 club tags (see photo above), one for each of your 14 clubs and four extras for additional clubs, that pop into the grip end of the clubs. A sensor that features GPS, a compass, accelerometer and a gyrometer clips to your belt and records all manner of data, which after a round is sent via a Bluetooth connection to Game Golf servers and can be viewed on computers, iPhones or iPads.

"A good analogy would be ShotLink," McGuire said, referring to the PGA Tour data collection system. "It's easy to use, very intuitive. The data is very clean, simple. You see each club you use, the distances you hit them. I don't want people putting in information, I want information to come from the game.

"We can generate all the stats for you -- fairways hit, greens in regulation, number of putts, scrambling, without you having to put in that information. You go play your round of golf and we do the rest. We're showing you your round of golf, the course you played, where you took your shots from. Then based on your last five games, based on your distances, your course management, we recommend ways to improve."

Game Golf's team is impressive. The device was designed by Yves Behar, better known as the chief creative officer for Jawbone and its popular Jambox compact wireless Bluetooth speakers. Golfers Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood also have a stake in the company and have been testing the product and providing feedback to Game Golf's research and development team.

"For it to be useful, it has to be simple to use and it has to be very visual," McGuire said. "The way you present the data has to be simple."

The device will retail for $249, though early adopters can buy in now for $189, McGuire said.

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News & Tours

Inside Golf World Podcast: Our "Words from the Wise" package

By Ryan Herrington

With age comes wisdom--or at least an appreciation that maybe we actually didn't know everything when we were in our 20s.

The perspective that golf's elder statesmen (and women) provide is what has made our "Words from the Wise" package a popular one among readers since we first ran it in 2011.

Our April 1 issue offers the thoughts of eight golf sages--Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper, Marilynn Smith, Frank Hannigan, Frank Beard, Charlie Owens, Kel Nagle and Raymond Floyd.

In this week's Inside Golf World Podcast contributing writer John Strege, who spoke with Casper and Beard, discusses how he got his interview subjects to let it fly and speak to their hearts' content.

Listen to the Inside Golf World podcast
Subscribe to the Inside Golf World series in iTunes

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Gear & Equipment

Bye Bye Blades: Game improvement irons

By E. Mike Stachura

Then and now: Callaway's 2003 Big Bertha irons and TaylorMade's 2013 RocketBladez.

Golfers' shift away from the muscle-back blade irons -- once the only kind of irons you could buy -- is almost complete, according to the most recent numbers from Golf Datatech.

A Golf Digest review of sales data shows that nearly 96 percent of the irons purchased in January could be labeled as "game improvement." That's a 10-percent increase from 2003. What epitomized game improvement back in 2003 was the wide-soled, oversize Callaway Big Bertha iron. Now it seems game improvement is taking on a more compact look (evidence: TaylorMade's RocketBladez).

Why the shift? Designers today are able to build more forgiveness into smaller packages with thinner face designs and select use of denser materials. Also: Everyday players tend to follow tour trends, and three-fourths of PGA Tour players are using game-improvement irons.

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