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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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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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Instruction

How Babe Ruth helped popularize one of golf's most common practice drills

In addition to being a celebrity golf pioneer -- oh, and probably the greatest baseball player ever -- Babe Ruth is indirectly responsible for a lot of good golf swings.

Related: Babe Ruth's history as a celebrity golfer

Have you ever seen a golfer tuck a glove or something under their arm during practice and hit balls? Probably. In fact, there's a good chance you've tried it yourself on the range. Here's the King of Practice, Vijay Singh, doing it:

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We're not sure if Ruth invented the drill, but he certainly played a large role in it spreading through the golf community. You see, Ruth played on the Yankees alongside a player named Sam Byrd. During that time Ruth taught Byrd the trick, using a handkerchief, in order to keep his left or front arm (for Ruth, it would have been his right arm since he played golf lefty) connected to his body throughout the swing.

Byrd retired after a mediocre seven years in baseball, often serving as Ruth's pinch-runner, and then had a solid career on what would become the PGA Tour. He won six events and finished third at the 1941 Masters and runner-up to Byron Nelson at the 1945 PGA Championship.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

In 1960, Byrd hired a 17-year-old Jimmy Ballard to work at his par-3 course and driving range in Birmingham, Ala. Byrd passed on the Babe's philosophy about achieving connectivity through the drill (players like Tiger Woods also practice with a glove tucked under their right or back arm) and Ballard, in turn, passed it on to many of his students as he became an acclaimed instructor to major champions like Curtis Strange, Hal Sutton and Sandy Lyle. For more on this and on Jimmy Ballard's often overlooked career, check out James Dodson's 2010 feature.

And the next time you're at the range, give the drill a try. Hey, if it was good enough for the Sultan of Swat. . .

(h/t Brandel Chamblee)

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Celebrity

Jordan Spieth's green jacket tour makes an appearance at the ACM Awards

Jordan Spieth's exhausting post-Masters schedule seemed to be over with a T-11 at the RBC Heritage on Sunday. Only it wasn't.

Related: 19 things you should know about Jordan Spieth

Before getting home to that new Dallas mansion he has barely seen, Spieth made a stop in Arlington, Texas, to present the award for female vocalist of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Spieth announced the winner, Miranda Lambert, while flanked by artists -- and golf fanatics -- Jake Owen and Darius Rucker. And of course, Spieth was wearing his new favorite piece of clothing:

And here is Spieth backstage with his girlfriend, Annie Verret, alongside Jake Owen and his wife, Lacey.

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo was also there as a presenter, so perhaps this was also a bit of a business trip for Spieth. Actually, Getty Images lists Verret as an event coordinator. Her boss must have been pretty impressed she could snag the new Masters champ.

OK, now go get some rest, Jordan. You deserve it.

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Celebrity

5 things to talk about on the course: NBA Playoffs, "Get Hard," and Britt McHenry

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. Jordan Spieth: It's been nearly a week since his historic win, but golf -- and more importantly, sports -- fans are still buzzing. In case you didn't know, Spieth is only 21. And he's already won a green jacket and generated a LOT of hype. Can he catch Rory McIlroy in the world rankings? Is he the next Tiger?! How many majors will he win in his career? Will he win every major this year?! There's a lot to discuss, but pace yourselves. This guy should be around for awhile.

Related: 19 things you need to know about Jordan Spieth

2. NBA Playoffs: After another long regular season, a long postseason is here. In the East, we have about a month to wait before the Cavaliers will take on the Atlanta Hawks in the conference finals. But in the West, oh boy, do things get real right away. The last day of the regular season wasn't good if you're a Spurs or Clippers fan. Despite being the hottest two teams in the league down the stretch, these two title contenders (and there probably are only four legit title contenders with the Cavs and the Warriors being the other two) will have to play each other in the first round. Rough. I'm thinking the Spurs get by and go all the way. It's tough to imagine anyone beating them in a seven-game series after the clinic they put on in last year's NBA Finals.

Related: NBA stars who love to play golf

3. NHL Playoffs: Hockey's postseason has already started? (*Remembers boss is a big Rangers fan*) Oh, I mean, hockey's postseason has already started! Hooray! Last year, I picked the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup and they nearly did so I'm rolling with them again. This year, "the Blueshirts" -- as they're known to us big fans -- won the Presidents Trophy for having the NHL's best regular season record. They last achieved that in 1994, the last time they won the Stanley Cup. Boom! I just dropped some serious hockey knowledge on you.

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4. Britt McHenry: A video of the ESPN reporter going off on a towing company worker went viral on Thursday ("Lose some weight, baby girl"). It also prompted a fair discussion of whether McHenry (pictured above) deserved the week suspension she got from her employer for something that happened in her private life. No matter what your take is, I think we can all agree: Not acting like a horrible human being is usually a better strategy than acting like a horrible human being.

5. "Get Hard": My fiancee and I saw this Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart movie and it was as stupid as the previews made it seem. In other words, it was fantastic. OK, so fantastic is a bit strong, but it certainly topped my expectations. Hart was funny, and Ferrell? Well, he could read the telephone book out loud and I'd laugh hysterically. Hmm. "Telephone Book," starring Will Ferrell. You're welcome, Hollywood.

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Celebrity

Bubba Watson is back rapping, this time as a featured artist on a Christian rap track

Apparently, Christian rap is a budding musical genre. And now Bubba Watson is officially a part of its scene.

Christian rapper KB's new single, "Ima Just Do It," features the two-time Masters champion spittin' lyrics at about the three-minute mark. Have a listen:

Thanks to Shane Ryan for pointing this out and for Ryan Ballengee for transcribing Watson's hot verse:

Let me talk about how I'm supposed to be at a Christmas party right now, but y'all keep keepin' me in here. My wife's not gonna let me be on fleek if y'all don't hurry up.

"On fleek"? Huh? Sorry, keep going Bubba:

Bubba Wats on the mic now.
Can a golfer spit a rhyme?
Not a gangsta rapper, but my caddie got a knife.
KB need a verse,
Told him ain't nothin' to it.
Everybody ask me why, I just look 'em in the eye and say
I'm a just do it
Country boy from the panhandle
No golf lessons, just God's blessin's
Ain't nothin' He can't handle,
Left-handed, funny swing,
Driver's pink, ain't nothin' to me.
Got two Masters, a double major
But just one Master, our Savior.

All in all, not a bad effort by Bubba. "No golf lessons, just God's blessin's"? That's pretty catchy.

Related: The top 25 viral golf videos of 2014

So what have we learned? 1.) Christian rap exists; 2.) Bubba has come a long way from "Bubba Claus"; 3.) Don't mess with Bubba's caddie.

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Celebrity

Spieth has taken more money from Tony Romo than he can count

If you're from Texas, you're probably a Cowboys fan and Jordan Spieth is no exception. However, he's not so big a Cowboys fan that he won't take money on the golf course from the team's star quarterback Tony Romo. 

They've played together in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2013, where they got on the podium with a third place finish. But that's not the only time they've played. 


The two obviously play for a bit of money whenever they tee it up. When asked if he knew how much he has made off Romo in their matches, CBS Sports reports Spieth laughed, saying "I don't know. I can't even count that high." 

Here Spieth is, winning the Masters, setting records, smooching his pretty girlfriend, stealing the hearts of everyone in the world, flying around in a private plane, and on the side he's taking Romo for all he's worth. The kid's on a hot streak. That much is for sure.  

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Celebrity

Niall Horan says Rory McIlroy will sing at an upcoming One Direction concert

Remember last week when Niall Horan of One Direction caddied for Rory McIlroy in the Par 3 contest? Of course you do. In an exhibition where caddies are normally babies, girlfriends or wives, the * dreamy * 21-year-old pop star was tough to miss.

 

The pairing was a minor phenomenon: Twitter went nuts, teenage girls who have never watched golf before tuned in, and Niall was a good sport about all of it. But why, exactly, was Niall on the bag for Rory?

Related: Celebrity sightings at the Masters 

It seems the two buddies have set up a little barter system. Niall caddied for Rory in the Par 3 contest, and now Rory is going to get up and sing a song with One Direction when it appears at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., the weekend after the Deutsche Bank Championship this September.

 

Golf Channel reports that Niall hasn't heard Rory sing, "but apparently he's terrible."

 

It's OK, Rory. You can't be good at everything, and we support you regardless. Getting in front of upwards of 68,000 fans, most of which probably don't play golf, can't be a bad thing for the game. 

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Celebrity

Remember when Rory made 55 practice putts in a row? Stephen Curry's recent feat is way more impressive

Last September, video surfaced of Rory McIlroy making 55 medium-length putts in a row on the practice green at the BMW Championship. Last night, video surfaced of NBA superstar and scratch golfer Stephen Curry crushing that mark -- in his own way, of course.

Related: Golf's all-time greatest streaks

The MVP front-runner made a mind-blowing 77 consecutive three-pointers at Golden State's practice on Tuesday. Apparently, he really cooled off in his other 23 attempts because he only made 94 of his 100 shots. Again, these weren't free throws, but THREE-POINTERS. Silly stuff.

We don't know the exact length of McIlroy's putts, but from the video, they looked about six feet. The NBA three-point line varies in length with a minimum distance of 22 feet from the corner and a maximum distance of 23 feet, nine inches.

Obviously, the feats aren't comparable, but we're pretty sure of one thing. Curry would have a better chance equalling McIlroy's mark than vice versa.

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Celebrity

Jordan Spieth, transcendent star: 'Masters Winner...Looking Very Cute in Hats'

The shallow end of the cultural pool has gotten crowded with Jordan Spieth adulation in the wake of his winning the Masters last week. Or the Master’s Cup, as one website called it.

Spieth, it seems, has become a transcendent star, featured in websites and magazines as diverse as NPR, the Washington Post and its On Leadership column, and the American Spectator (“Of Jordan Spieth and Hillary Clinton: Here among wornout acts like Hillary and Tiger Woods, suddenly a Jordan Spieth”).

But it's those publications that focus on the celebrity culture where Spieth’s transcendent star really shines,

InStyle, a Time, Inc. publication, under its WHAT’S Right NOW! banner, has a story headlined, “Guy to Watch: Masters Winner Jordan Spieth Looking Very Cute in Hats.”

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ENSTARS, a global news entertainment publication, got right to the heart of the matter: “Jordan Spieth Girlfriend: Golfing Champ Kisses Annie Verret On ‘The Greatest Day’ Of His Life.”

The Hollywood Gossip, no explanation necessary, has a story on Spieth next to links to the Jodi Arias sentencing and to Teen Wolf Season 5. To its credit, the story is on Spieth and his relationship with his sister with special needs.

ClashDaily’s contribution to Spieth’s newfound celebrity might be the best. The headline: “RANDY CHICKS ON TWITTER: Are Crazy Jealous Of Master’s Winner Jordan Spieth’s Girlfriend.” The first sentence: “Jordan Spieth is 21 years old and just won the Master’s Cup.”

Good stuff, but we have a question: Who is this Master who lost his cup to Spieth?

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