The Local Knowlege


Watch Shaq take three attempts to get off the first tee in the Greenbrier Pro-Am

We weren't expecting much from Shaquille O'Neal at the Greenbrier Classic Pro-Am after watching a couple videos of his swing. Correction, we were expecting an over-the-top golf outfit, but that's about it.

Unfortunately, Shaq stayed pretty tame with his clothes and his swing was as bad as we feared. ESPN's Jason Sobel documented the four-time NBA champ needing three swings just to get off the first tee on Wednesday.

Related: I played in an LPGA Pro-Am and it was awesome

On the first one, he nearly fell over, causing Greenbrier owner and playing partner Jim Justice to come over and announce it was a practice swing:

Only, it wasn't. On Shaq's second attempt, he had better balance, but still whiffed:

And on the third. . . BANG!

One for three, eh? Even Shaq's career free-throw percentage was higher than that. Here's a better angle of his "successful" drive from the PGA Tour:

The Grind: A crazy frisbee golf hole-in-one and a sexy human golf tee

Of course, when he finally made contact, the crowd went wild and Shaq hammed it up by doing the Chi Chi Rodriguez sword celebration. Is it possible Shaq has Chi Chi confused with his group's caddie, Lee Trevino? Either way, Shaq is the best.


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How "Deflategate" could keep Tom Brady and Gisele from being allowed to join The Country Club in Brookline

Forget about a possible suspension keeping Tom Brady from playing in the NFL for a few weeks. "Deflategate" could wind up keeping the New England Patriots quarterback out of one of the country's most exclusive golf clubs forever.

That, according to a report in the Boston Globe. You see, Tom and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, live in a mansion that sits on The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and Brady, being a golfer, would like to join.

The Grind: A New England club uses all No. 12 flags in support of Brady

As you can imagine, though, a place called THE Country Club is pretty exclusive. And it's members might not want all the hoopla that comes with admitting a four-time Super Bowl champion, especially since he has been embroiled in controversy since the Patriots were caught using footballs that weren't inflated to NFL specifications in their AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts in January.

"I don't know what they'll do about Brady," one member told The Boston Globe. "The Country Club believes your name should appear in the newspaper just two times: When you're born and when you die."

"It's really about who you are. Do you have good values? It's that old New England mentality," another member said.

Unfortunately, that mentality hasn't kept the club from being historically prejudiced. According to The Globe, no Jews were admitted until the 1970s, no women as full-time members until 1989 and no blacks until 1994 -- that's four years after Augusta National admitted its first black member.

The Grind: A crazy frisbee golf hole-in-one and a sexy human golf tee

Brady is a white, Christian male, but he and his wife might just draw too much of the spotlight to make it through The Country Club's involved application process. Of course, there are members who'd like them admitted.

"Personally, I hope they get in," a longtime member told The Globe. "I think if Tom and Gisele were at the club playing volleyball, a lot more people would be hanging around."

And if they don't get in, of course, there are always other options. Foxboro Country Club is currently using No. 12 flags for all 18 holes in support of Brady. Just a hunch, Tom, but the application process would go a little more smoothly there.


(h/t For The Win)

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You might not think of West Virginia as a playground of the rich, but it is

When compiling a list of popular neighborhoods for athletes, certain destinations jump to mind: Manhattan Beach, Calif., outside of L.A., Westlake, Texas near Dallas; Jupiter, Fla.

One that may surprise you: White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., host of this week’s Greenbrier Classic.


Since billionaire Jim Justice bought the Greenbrier in 2009, the resort has seen an uptick in its high-living community extension, the Greenbrier Sporting Club. Offering all the amenities that come with the celebrity lifestyle while providing a respite in the form of a tranquil setting, it’s easy to see why athletes are quickly making this a sought-after spot.

Not that the presence of star personalities is a new concept to the Greenbrier. Sam Snead got his start as a club professional at the hotel’s golf course and maintained ties to the area for the rest of his life.

Here are some of the big names that call White Sulphur Springs home:

John Smoltz 

The newly minted Baseball Hall of Famer grew up near Lansing, Mich., and played 20 seasons for the Atlanta Braves, but now calls West Virginia his home. In a related note, Smoltz is quite the accomplished golfer himself, carrying a plus-2 handicap. Tiger Woods has even called Smoltz the best non-tour member he’s played with. (Although Smoltz’s professional golf attempts have not been fortuitous.)

Jerry West 

Known as “The Logo,” as his silhouette dons the NBA’s emblem, West is the Mountain State’s favorite son. After a record-setting career at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West went on to win an Olympic gold medal and, as a player or executive, played a role in eight NBA championships.


Like Smoltz, West has an active voice in the game of golf. A fine player himself, West was also the director of the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open. 

The Greenbrier’s steakhouse, 44 Prime, is named in West’s honor.

Bubba Watson

Also someone who’s not bad at golf, Watson and his family purchased a place in the Greenbrier residence in 2014. Watson’s digs are next to:

Denny Hamlin


The 34-year-old driver has 25 wins on the NASCAR Sprint circuit and once caddied for Watson at the Masters’ Par-3 Tournament. Constantly navigating his way through 200-mph traffic will make dealing with Bubba’s hovercraft a breeze.

New Orleans Saints 

That’s right. Justice grew up a fan of Archie Manning’s Saints, so when the club was looking for a new training camp away from the sweltering Louisiana summer, Justice built a facility for the team.


The $30 million complex came out of Justice’s own pocket and was constructed in a mere 100 days. The practice grounds were beloved by the players and coaching staff, and the Saints are returning for their second season this July.

Additionally, the West Virginia and Marshall college teams use the site on occasion.

Nick Faldo

Sir Nick has become the de facto face of the Greenbrier’s golf operations, appearing in promos for the community. The CBS commentator and six-time major winner teamed with the resort to create the Faldo Golf Center, a state-of-the-art instruction and education complex.

Pete Sampras 

Sampras holds the title of Tennis Pro Emeritus at the Greenbrier. He also sports a .5 handicap index, although judging by his loopy, stooped swing, you'll forgive us if we're skeptical. 

That, or the man gets it up and down like nobody’s business. 

Lee Trevino/Tom Watson 

Following the passing of Snead, who held an honorary “club pro” distinction from 1993 to 2002, Watson had the title for more than a decade. After the resort and Watson parted ways, Trevino is now the figurehead at Greenbrier, and is joining forces with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player to design a new course near the hotel.


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Move over Tiger Woods, Shaq is the biggest star at this week's Greenbrier Classic

Tiger Woods is headlining the field at the Greenbrier Classic this week, but a bigger star -- at least, in size -- will draw most of the attention at Wednesday's pro-am. According to, Shaquille O'Neal is set to play with Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, Justice's son and an undetermined pro.

Related: Notable NBA stars who love playing golf

Will we see The Big Cactus morph into The Big Fairway? And how far can The Diesel hit the driver?

Judging by this video, it might not be pretty.

But that's not to say, Shaq won't put on an entertaining show. Here's a video he made with Bubba Watson (that has to be who he's playing with on Wednesday, right?) a few years back.

Great golf outfit. On second thought, we're going with The Big Argyle as his newest nickname.


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Drew Brees hosting event at Topgolf Austin to raise money for pediatric care

On top of being a Super Bowl champion and an NFL MVP, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees happens to also be an avid -- and really good -- golfer. Brees maintained a 3-handicap as he participated in Golf Digest's U.S. Open Challenge at Pebble Beach in 2010.

On June 28, Brees will put his single-digit-handicap -- and strong charitable efforts -- on display in an event at Topgolf Austin. Billed as “The Topgolf Challenge with Drew Brees”, the event is a partnership between the increasingly popular golf range and the Brees Dream Foundation, with money being raised for the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.


"Austin is my hometown, and Brittany and I have wanted to find a way to get involved and give back,” Brees said. “Through the partnership with Topgolf, The Brees Dream Foundation can host a fun and impactful event to help children who have been victims of violent crime. Dell Children’s provides outstanding care for these kids but sadly their needs are growing. We are proud to partner with Topgolf and Dell Children’s Medical Center to help these children find the path to recovery from abuse.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available -- from $3,000 for a team of five golfers to $100 for a ticket to watch.

Brees is known for his charitable efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and he has raised more than $22 million through his foundation. The Brees Dream Foundation is raising money in the June 28th event to support the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas -- a child and adolescent healthcare services center in Austin -- which sees nearly 150,000 patients per year.

For more information, go to


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This could be the most attractive golf temper tantrum ever

We're not big fans of golf temper tantrums here, but they look a little different when it's a supermodel freaking out and not, oh, say, Bubba Watson. We've also touched on Nina Agdal's love for golf before, but we've never seen her quite like this on the course. (Be warned: she gets so frustrated that she drops an F-bomb along with her driver.)

Bringing my Aries game tomorrow, watch out @irie! @iriefoundation cant wait for @irieweekend #IWXI ⛳ᅬ

A video posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on

Judging by her caption, it appears Agdal was preparing for a celebrity/charity tournament. Again, you've got to admire her intensity while practicing for a hit-and-giggle event.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

"How do I do that?!" she exclaims in disgust at one point. Don't worry, Nina, we've all been there before.


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Tenuous golf connection

Does Dustin Johnson's strong start have anything to do with this picture?

Since having her first baby in January, Paulina Gretzky's Instagram account understandably has become a lot more G-rated with little Tatum getting most of the spotlight. On Wednesday, though, she veered back into at least PG-13 territory with this photo of her "lounging" in the skimpiest string bikini you'll ever see:

Lounging ☀ᅬ @kouroshbabaeian @juiceranch

A photo posted by Paulina Gretzky (@paulinagretzky) on

Vintage Paulina, for sure. And her return to stunning pre-baby form doesn't seem to be hurting her husband on the course.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Dustin Johnson jumped out to a quick start at Chambers Bay on Thursday with birdies on two of his first three holes. Coincidence? We don't think. . . OK, so it probably is totally a coincidence.


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Why are Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry so happy? Because they're going to play Augusta National

The Golden State Warriors trademarked the phrase "Strength in Numbers" during their run to winning the franchise's first NBA title in 40 years. However, we at Golf Digest prefer a different motto for the recently crowned champs.

"The team that plays golf together, wins basketball games together."

Thanks to their coach, Steve Kerr, being an avid golfer, and their star, Stephen Curry, being a scratch player, one could argue the Warriors were the most golf-friendly team in the league. Kerr encouraged his players to hit the links, even when the team trailed two games to one in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Grind: Leonardo DiCaprio dates a golfer and a pretty coed's pretty swing

Curry, the regular season MVP, and Andre Iguodala, the Finals MVP in large part for his defense on LeBron James, took advantage of that throughout the season and now it looks like they're ready to take their coach up on another offer: Playing Augusta National. No wonder the duo looked so excited after Tuesday night's series-clinching victory.


According to ESPN's J.A. Adande, Kerr promised to use a connection to get them the toughest tee time in all of golf if the team won a title. And Iguodala quickly reminded Curry of this fact before he'd even been handed his MVP award.

"When we won, I'm yelling at Steph, 'We're going to Augusta!'" Iguodala said. "You know how everybody goes to Disneyland? We're going to Augusta."

Good choice. To the victor. . .


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Leonardo DiCaprio is dating one of the world's sexiest golfers

Kelly Rohrbach was the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the Year and she's a co-host of Golf Digest's Sexiest Shots video series. Apparently, she's also Leonardo DiCaprio's girlfriend.

Here they were in NYC over the weekend (Side note: We hope that beard is for an upcoming movie):

Is it possible that a golfer has finally won one of the world's most eligible bachelors for good?!

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Sorry, we probably shouldn't get too excited yet. After all, this is the same man who has dated, among others Gisele Bundchen and Bar Refaeli, and who reportedly left a Miami nightclub with 20 (yes, 20) girls last December.

But we wish the (for now) happy couple the best. And Kelly, while things are going well, let's try getting Leo on the links, OK?


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5 things to talk about on the course: LeBron vs. Steph, Taylor vs. Katy, and "Entourage" vs. "Spy"

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 NBA Finals: What a series! Well, forget about Game 4, but for the first time in NBA history Games 1 and 2 went to OT and Game 3 was about as intense of a non-OT game that you'll ever see. LeBron James has been sensational, but Matthew Dellavedova has picked a good time to create a "Linsanity"-like craze. We're going with Dellysanity, but we saw someone call him the Delly Lama. That works too. Unfortunately, it looks like the Warriors are going to be too much for the undermanned Cavs, but hopefully, we're writing about a Game 7 a week from now.

Related: NBA stars who love playing golf

2. The Stanley Cup Final: Another series tied 2-2 and making history. (By the way, why does the NBA call its championship the "Finals" and the NHL goes with "Final"?) Apparently, it's just the first time since 1968 and only the third time ever Games 1-4 of the Stanley Cup Final have been decided by one goal. That surprised me since as a non-hockey fan, I feel like every game ends with a 1-0 score. Speaking of low scoring sports. . .

3. Women's World Cup: It's underway and the U.S. got off to a great start by beating Australia 3-1. Unfortunately, all I've heard about all week is that the U.S. MEN's team defeated powerhouse Germany 2-1 in a "friendly." How is it possible that FIFA lets these important men's games go on while the women are supposed to be in the spotlight? It's very curious, especially for an organization that's as well run as FIFA is. Oh. Right.

4. "Entourage": It was a rough opening weekend at the box office for the much ballyhooed bromance comedy. "Entourage" pulled in a disappointing $17 million to finish in fourth place, getting crushed by "Spy," starring Melissa McCarthy. $17 million? That can't cover the seemingly non-stop ads for the film that have been running for the past month. And the reviews? Let's just say they haven't been kind. Whatever. Ari Gold for life. I'll probably go see it tonight.

Ranking: The 17 best musical acts to perform at "Tiger Jam"

5. Taylor Swift-Katy Perry feud: So it turns out those rumors that Perry filed a trademark for a song called "1984" (a direct shot at Swift's "1989" album named for her birth year) were false. That's a shame, but these two pop stars apparently have a lot of "Bad Blood" (Taylor!) between them. There's the obvious John Mayer connection, but also a story about Swift being bitter for Perry poaching a few of her dancers right before she went on tour. Wow, picking sides here is tough considering these two are responsible for creating two of the best songs of the past decade. "Firework":

And "Style":

OK, I should probably stop talking now. . .

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