The Local Knowlege


5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

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. Adrian Peterson: Another week, another controversy/crime involving an NFL star. This time, Adrian Peterson -- one of football's all-time great running backs -- was indicted on child abuse charges. And just like that, his prolific career with the Minnesota Vikings is probably over. Good.

2. The Ryder Cup: It's almost here! Next week, 12 of the best American golfers will take on 12 of the best European golfers at Gleneagles Golf Club in Scotland. Although, by the way the event has been built up, you'd think America was sending over a bunch of 12-handicappers. Yes, the U.S. will be a decided underdog, but let's not forget what happened in 2008. The U.S. actually won one of these things. And it did it with guys like Boo Weekley, J.B. Holmes, Chad Campbell and Ben Curtis.

Related: NFL stars who love to play golf

3. Anthony Kim: Speaking of U.S. Ryder Cup glory, this guy was a big star at Valhalla in 2008. Now we don't know when he'll return to competitive golf, although we're told he might be better off -- at least, financially -- if he doesn't. Alan Shipnuck's Sports Illustrated story highlighted a hefty insurance policy Kim could cash in on if the injuries he's sustained are determined to be career ending. Most people retire to play more golf. Kim might do the opposite. What a conundrum!


4. America's Got Talent: I've never watched this popular show (maybe Tom Watson could have found another captain's pick on it), but I managed to hear two pieces of news from it. 1.) co-host Nick Cannon wore diamond-covered shoes in the finale that reportedly cost $2 million. Sensible! And 2.), Mat Franco, a magician, was named the winner for his array of tricks. I bring this up because it reminds me of Will Arnett's character in "Arrested Development," GOB Bluth, who was constantly looking for respect for his tricks, sorry, "ILLUSIONS."

Related: Rory and Jagermeister: An unauthorized history

5. Billy Horschel: Perhaps, Horschel will play in $2 million pants the next time we see him after collecting his FedEx Cup windfall of $13.5 million in the span of three weeks. And two days after his win at the Tour Championship, his wife gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Skylar. Has anyone ever had a better week in golf history? Billy, hold onto the money and save it to hire GOB Bluth as a magician for Skylar's third birthday party.

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Not even Peyton Manning is allowed to play from the tips at St. Andrews

NFL superstar Peyton Manning's umpteenth interview with NFL reporter Peter King actually produced a brand new nugget of information -- even if it had nothing to do with football. King asked Manning "What's the best round of golf in your life?" and got this response:

Related: NFL stars who love playing football

"I shot even par, 72, at St. Andrews. Me, Cooper and Eli, and my dad went three summers ago. But, we were playing from the 'up' tees -- because they made you. They get so much play. Everybody wants to go and play where the pros play. They'd be six-hour rounds. So they say, 'Hey, this is where you're playing.' It's probably 6,400 yards. Not a long course at all. I like to say that even if I was all the way back there, I had it dialed in that day. So it was fun. Obviously, that's my favorite golf foursome of all time."

Perhaps the greatest quarterback in history playing golf's most historic course? Pretty cool. And pretty crazy that even Manning, whose golf resume also includes a 77 at Augusta National and two holes-in-one, wasn't allowed to play from the set of tees he wanted. Although, we're not sure if the leader of the Denver Broncos put up much of a fight at a place that's known for running a pretty tight ship.


Among the "10 things you need to know if you are playing the Old Course" listed on the course's website are the requirement that golfers bring their official handicap certificate and that fairway mats -- mats that you bring with you to hit balls off of in the fairway and rough -- are to be used from November to March. Even the use of pull carts is limited to help maintain the course's condition.

Related: How Peyton Manning and Tom Brady stack up on the golf course

So, sorry, Peyton. Apparently, not even football's first family is above the law at the "Home of Golf."

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How does a Heisman candidate unwind after a game? This one played some (bad) golf

So, how does a leading Heisman Trophy candidate and potential No. 1 pick in the NFL draft unwind after a game? Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota does his homework, if playing golf can be considered as such.

Marcus Mariota.jpg
(Getty Images photo)

Mariota, who we already know is taking only two classes, golf and yoga, played nine holes on Sunday the day after the Ducks’ 48-14 victory over Wyoming, with their Pacific 12 opener at Washington State on deck.

“I just wanted to unwind a little,” he told reporters regarding the nine holes he played at Oakway Golf Course in Eugene.

Mariota said he shot 49. Now Oakway is only 3,576 yards and plays to a par of 61. Assuming he went out on the front nine (par 31), he played it in 18-over par, confirming that he is not nearly as adept at hitting a ball as he is throwing one.

“Marcus is new,” teammate and backup quarterback Jeff Lockie told the Oregonian last month. Lockie and star center Hroniss Grasu are his frequent playing partners. “I took him out playing about a year ago. No good. He was slapping it around. He hated it. Said he never wanted to play again. Takes the golf class. Now he’s in my phone every day wanting to play. He’s graduated. ‘Let’s play, let’s play.’ I’m in the middle of my business school. He’s playing way more.”

Related: Here are 5 private golf clubs Johnny Football should consider joining

Mariota indeed has his degree, in general sciences, hence his light workload away from football.

“He’s gotten a lot better,” Grasu said. “Last summer it was hard for him to get the ball up off the ground. But now, in this past off-season, he’s getting the ball consistently up in the air. He finally got some new clubs as a graduation present from his parents. He’s hooked.”

Grasu isn’t sure that that’s a good thing. “Hroniss always gives me a bad time about swinging a golf club, because he’s like, ‘I don’t want you twist your back. I don’t want you to do anything like that,’” Mariota said.

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NFL bust Ryan Leaf's legal woes continue. Here's what golf had to do with it

While Peyton Manning is the NFL's reigning MVP and in the midst of a five-year, $96-million contract, the man who was almost picked ahead of him in the 1998 draft just got sentenced to five more years in jail. Perhaps, you're familiar with the struggles of Ryan Leaf, but you might not have realized what his legal problems have to do with golf.

Related: More weird golf news

Leaf's latest sentence stemmed from him violating his Texas probation when he pleaded guilty to felony burglary and criminal possession of a dangerous drug in Montana in 2012. At the time, Leaf was already on probation for burglarizing a West Texas A&M football player's home to obtain pain pills in 2008. Leaf, who played just four seasons as a pro and is arguably the biggest draft bust in NFL history, was an assistant football and golf coach for the school at the time.

But the golf connection doesn't end there. When cops searched Leaf's truck in 2012, they discovered two pill containers -- one of which had another person's name on the prescription label -- in his golf bag.

Related: Peyton Manning hangs out with Rory McIlroy after season opener

Leaf originally denied knowledge of the containers. He later used golf as an alibi, saying the other person -- an acquaintance -- had left the pills in his bag after the two had played a round of golf together. The acquaintance said they hadn't played golf together and Leaf was charged with breaking into the man's home to steal the pills.

The good news for Leaf is that he probably won't serve any more jail time -- for now. The Texas judge who handed down his latest sentence gave him credit for the time (approximately 27 months) he served for his crimes in Montana.

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Of course Michelle Wie is on the cover of Golf Digest. Why wouldn't she be?

Wait a minute, Golf Digest has a woman on the cover who makes her living . . . playing golf?

Yes, we're well aware of the frenzy that accompanied Golf Digest putting Paulina Gretzky, a beginning golfer who is engaged to PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson, on our May cover. Embraced by some, rejected by plenty of others, we like to think that cover was one way to showcase the broadening scope of golf. So was Jimmy Fallon on the cover the next month, or even Jason Dufner two months after that. And no question it's a thinking that applies to our latest cover subject, Michelle Wie.

Related: Exclusive photos from our October 2014 cover shoot with Michelle Wie

michelle-wie-cover-350.jpgWhen Wie, 24, won the U.S. Women's Open in June for her first career major title, the reverberations were felt well beyond the usual golf circles. Final-round ratings were up 92 percent over the year before. Wie did a whirlwind media tour two days later that featured appearances on national talk shows and a photo shoot at the top of the Empire State Building. All spoke to the profound interest in the player's journey from prodigy to flameout to champion.

Now comes her appearance on the cover of Golf Digest. It’s been a rarity for LPGA pros to appear on the covers of national sports magazines: the last to appear as the main image on Golf Digest was Lorena Ochoa in 2008; the last to appear on Golf Magazine was Annika Sorenstam in 2003 and the last to appear on Sports Illustrated was Nancy Lopez in 1978.

"Believe it or not, our interest in women's golf extends well beyond celebrities in sports bras," Golf Digest Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde said. "Golf Digest has always been about celebrating the best in the game, and right now, there are few golfers -- men or women -- who shine brighter than Michelle Wie."

In the October cover story, Wie, who returns to action this week in the Evian Championsip, points to five reasons she's enjoyed a career renaissance in 2014. The October issue of Golf Digest is available on tablet today and will be on newsstands Sept. 16.

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Have we got a golf-course house for new Los Angeles CC member, Clippers owner

One of the newest members of the Los Angeles Country Club is former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who recently bought the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. Paid $2 billion for it, too.

(Getty Images photo)

Presumably he will now be in the market for a house. Anyone willing to pay $2 billion for a team with an all-time winning percentage of .383 that never in its 44-year history has made it beyond the conference playoff semifinals, well, have we got a deal for him. At Los Angeles CC, too. Would give him a front-row seat to the U.S. Open in 2023.

The Manor, as the 56,500-square foot home is known, is adjacent to the 14th fairway of the North Course at LACC and is privately being shopped for $150 million, Forbes reported. The Manor is the monstrosity that television mogul Aaron Spelling built in 1988 on property on which Bing Crosby and his family once lived, though Crosby was never permitted to join because of the club’s aversion to entertainment-industry types (not an issue for Ballmer; few over the years have ever considered the Clippers entertaining).

The house is owned by Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone. It is larger than the White House and features 14 bedrooms and 27 bathrooms. Incidentally, it is just down the street from the Playboy Mansion, which is adjacent to the 13th green of the North Course.

Related: Why does Phil Mickelson want to buy a country club?

Ballmer reportedly is worth upwards of $20 billion and is an avid golfer, who has memberships at two Seattle-area clubs — Seattle Golf Club and Overlake Golf and Country Club.

How avid? He played 18 rounds in April alone, though apparently he has curtailed his golf since buying the Clippers at the end of May. He posted seven scores in June, eight in July and only four in August, according to the, the USGA's handicap site.

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Is "Baba Booey" good for golf? One of our own says yes

If you haven't heard cries of "Baba Booey" during a golf telecast recently, then you probably haven't been watching a lot of golf.

This seemingly non-sensical phrase, which is actually a reference to radio star Howard Stern's executive producer, Gary Dell'Abate, has been unavoidable during PGA Tour events since last year. That's been apparent to players, spectators, and of course, to The Howard Stern Show, which is relishing its small intrusion into professional golf.


Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate, right, with actress Taylor Schilling. Photo by Getty Images

Stern's Howard 100 News recently reached out to Golf Digest's Editorial Development Director Craig Bestrom to get his take on the prevalence of "Baba Booey" on tour. Click below to hear why Bestrom thinks it's not such a bad thing.

Golf Digest has been paying close enough attention to the "Baba Booey" phenomenon that Dell'Abate was recently photographed for a feature in our November issue. More on that photo shoot below.
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5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

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. The NFL: It's back! And it doesn't look like much has changed. After drubbing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks crushed the Green Bay Packers in the NFL season's opener Thursday. But don't give up hope for your own team just yet. Plus, there's fantasy football and, most importantly, the NFL Network's RedZone channel hosted by the great Scott Hanson. Ahh, the sweet, sweet RedZone channel. Definitely talk about that. Then get it if for some reason you don't have it already. It will change your life.

2. Leaked celeb nudes: In case you missed it, someone hacked a bunch of nude photos of various celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton and released them on the Internet. In case you missed it. Riiiiiight. Like you didn't Google this within five seconds of hearing about it. Anyway, as long as they're out there, they may as well be discussed. Let's just be thankful there weren't any illicit Champions Tour pictures posted.


Related: Photos of golf-crazed celebrities

3. The U.S. Open: Well, we almost had an upset. With Rafael Nadal sidelined with an injured wrist, a men's final of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer was pretty much a lock. Enter Gael Monfils. The 28-year-old Frenchman/showman electrified the New York fans and had two match points against Federer in a quarterfinal before blowing a two-set lead. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Federer and Djokovic are scheduled, sorry, will likely play each other for the title Monday at 5 p.m.

4. Rory McIlroy: We probably shouldn't be knocking tennis for its predictability when one man has been dominating golf the past two months. And in addition to watching McIlroy go low and hit it really far, this week, fans get to see him go low and hit it really, really far. With the mile-high altitude of Denver, tales of McIlroy's prodigious power have been rumbling through the Rockies all week. A range that can't hold him. 400-yard drives. A 370-yard 3-wood. These are things that shouldn't happen. Enjoy.

Related: Rory and Jagermeister: An unauthorized history

5. Joan Rivers: For the past year, my fiancee has made me watch the E! show "Fashion Police." Sounds awful, right? Wrong. The show was my first real experience watching Rivers in action and wow, was she funny. I'm not sure how she got away with some of the things she said, but she did, and I became -- dare I say -- a "Joan Ranger." After Rivers passed away Thursday, Louis C.K., arguably the best comedian today, said he "never saw someone attack a stage with so much energy. She was a controlled lightning bolt." Rivers had a remarkable career, and she will be missed. But again, I'll add that her greatest accomplishment has to be making a show called "Fashion Police" entertaining. RESPECT.

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5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

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. "Brangelina": They got married! Last weekend! In France! And the best part? Almost no one seemed to know about it. OK, so it's a little weird that even Angelina Jolie's father, Jon Voight, was kept out of the loop, but at least they spared everyone all the breathless coverage and follow-up TV specials brought on by the recent nuptials of "Kimye." Thanks for keeping it chill, guys.


Related: Photos of golf-crazed celebrities

2. The Emmys: Here's a brief rundown of TV's big awards night: "Breaking Bad" won EVERYTHING. This was made a lot more tolerable since, coincidentally, I started binge watching the series just two days before (I was well into Season 2 by the time of the ceremony). Still, as good as Bryan Cranston is, it's crazy to think that Matthew McConaughey didn't win for best actor -- something I declared was a LOCK after just the second episode of "True Detective." Oh well, he'll have to settle for just an Academy Award and a Golden Globe this year.

3. David Chase: Speaking of TV, the creator of "The Sopranos" chimed in (again) on the much-talked-about abrupt ending to the series finale after a report that Chase had finally divulged the fate of mob boss Tony Soprano. (SPOILER ALERT: There was an abrupt ending to the final episode of "The Sopranos" in which the screen went black and people watching completely freaked out.) Anyway, Mr. Chase said Tony Soprano didn't die -- but he also didn't necessarily live. In other words, his life went on and the audience is supposed to draw its own conclusions. Hmm. So now the debate goes on as well. Seven years later. Well played, David. What do I think happened in that scene? I think Tony ordered more onion rings.

Related: Rory and Jagermeister: An unauthorized history

4. Sean Foley: Golf Digest's No. 2-ranked instructor only charges $250 per lesson. If you're struggling with your game, maybe now is the time to give him a call. He's got a lot more openings in his schedule.

Related: Who will be Tiger Woods' next coach?

5. College football: The season officially got underway on Thursday night so there's plenty to discuss and be excited about. My level of caring, however, completely correlates with how good my alma mater's team is. (*Checks scores.* *Sees Wake Forest lost to Northern Illinois, 17-10.* *Let's out a big sigh.*) So the NFL starts next week, right?

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Learn (and laugh) a lot from this parody bio video of Babe Didrikson Zaharias

When you just examine the golf accomplishments (82 wins, including 14 in a row at one point and 10 majors) of multi-sport female star Babe Didrikson Zaharias, you get the feeling there's not enough coverage of her remarkable career. But on Tuesday night, her amazing story was told to the masses on. . . Comedy Central?

Related: Check out this photo of Babe Didrikson and Babe Ruth kissing

Yep, the cable network tackled Babe's story of being a pioneer in women's golf during an episode of the parody show "Drunk History." Here's the hilarious clip that actually teaches viewers a fair amount of Zaharias history, from her prolific winning, to her relationship with fellow golfer Betty Dodd, to helping found the LPGA. "L stands for Ladies. It's pretty genius."

Great job by Emily Deschanel (co-star of "Bones") in the video, although we're pretty sure the real Babe had a better golf swing. . .

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