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One chart that proves Bubba Watson is a total beast

Bubba Watson hit the longest drive of the 2013-14 season -- 424 yards -- 27 yards further than the next-longest drive.

That stat in itself is pretty amazing, especially when you consider that Webb Simpson's 397-yard drive came on the seventh hole at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions -- a  downhill, 520-yard par 4 that often records the longest measured drives of the season. But seeing it as a graph truly puts in perspective just how far Bubba Watson hits the ball. Thanks to LowRound.co for designing it:

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Here's a video of that drive, which happened on the 16th hole of the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone.


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News & Tours

A bunch of models are trying to out-golf each other on Instagram, which is fine with us

On Monday, it was Sports Illustrated's swimsuit supermodel Nina Agdal:

My golfshoes are cooler than yours.

A photo posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on

Too far. The ball never listens to me.

A video posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on


On Wednesday, Brooklyn Decker stepped into the fray.

Killer swing dude. (Notice the ball still. on. the. ground.)

A photo posted by Brooklyn Decker (@brooklynddecker) on


Who will be next? Stay tuned as this important story continues to develop.

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News & Tours

Missing Links: Speed up the game to make it more appealing, McIlroy says

Stories of interest you might have missed…

Play faster. That was the message from Rory McIlroy on how to grow the game, according to this BBC story. “Sport England figures show that the number of 16-25-year-olds playing the game regularly almost halved between 2009-10 and 2012-13. ‘Everything's so instant now and everyone doesn't have as much time as they used to,’ world number one McIlroy told BBC Radio 4. ‘So you maybe try some way of speeding the game up.’”

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(Getty Images)

Ernie Els is 45 now, and time is not an ally in his quest to achieve what he once thought was imminent. “When I was young, I was very cocky and thought I was going to win all the majors by nomination,” Els said in this story by Chris Cutmore for the Daily Mail. “I thought the Masters was going to be the first one I’d win and then the Open, and then the US Open and US PGA Championship. Well, I haven’t won the Masters so far and I haven’t won the US PGA, so I’m going to try to win the Masters before I retire. This would possibly be my biggest career achievement.”

***

“In a change from her usual routine, Charley Hull plans to give herself a break on Christmas Day and allow herself the chance to toast another season of stunning success. In recent years, while the rest of us have been tucking into our turkey and trimmings, the 18-year-old has been pounding golf balls on the range,” Iain Carter of the BBC writes in this look at her breakout season. “In 2014 she has come of age in every respect and that's why she won't be practising on the big day. ‘I don't think I'm going to this year because I'm 18 and I can drink.’”

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En route to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico, to christen his first course design, Tiger Woods stopped by Blue Jack National, scheduled to be his first U.S. design, outside Houston. “I've been to Houston many times and I never, ever thought that Houston had hills,” Woods said in this story by Jenny Dial Creech in the Houston Chronicle. “I always thought it was a very flat city. To come out here, it was totally different to see this type of topography. It just blew my mind.”

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“Winston Churchill would have been impressed. The late British prime minister delivered one of the most famous quotations in golf when he described it as ‘a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.’” Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press looks at the year gone by from the perspective of the ill-designed weapons, putting forth the best shots struck by them, including Mo Martin’s remarkable 3-wood shot to the 18th hole at Royal Birkdale that enabled her to win the Women’s British Open.

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News & Tours

NASA's Curiosity rover just drilled a golf hole into the surface of Mars

Next time you're heading to Mars, bring your clubs. Am I right?!

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. Researchers used Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory a dozen times in a 20-month period to sniff methane in the atmosphere. During two of those months, in late 2013 and early 2014, four measurements averaged seven parts per billion. Before and after that, readings averaged only one-tenth that level. Curiosity also detected different Martian organic chemicals in powder drilled from a rock dubbed Cumberland, the first definitive detection of organics in surface materials of Mars. These Martian organics could either have formed on Mars or been delivered to Mars by meteorites. Organic molecules, which contain carbon and usually hydrogen, are chemical building blocks of life, although they can exist without the presence of life. Curiosity's findings from analyzing samples of atmosphere and rock powder do not reveal whether Mars has ever harbored living microbes, but the findings do shed light on a chemically active modern Mars and on favorable conditions for life on ancient Mars. Pictured here is the drilling into Curiosity's rock target, "Cumberland," during the 279th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (May 19, 2013). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on


Technically, the hole wasn't supposed to be a golf hole. As that beast of caption explains, it was actually the result of a test Curiosity conducted on Mars' soil which has produced some interesting early results.

The rover found a large amount of methane in the soil. Methane is very commonly produced by living organisms, so unless it was brought to Mars by astroids (as scientists accept may be the case), it was almost certainly left there by living microbes, or by organisms that once lived on Mars but have since gone extinct.

Exciting stuff. No word yet on whether the martians are golfers. 

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News & Tours

Last-minute shoppers, how about a house at Pebble Beach? Here's one for $37.5 million

Still shopping for the golfer who has everything? How about a house at Pebble Beach? Here’s one that borders Pebble Beach Golf Links and Carmel Beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., the only home to do so. Its listing price: $37.5 million.

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Canning Properties in Pebble Beach has the beach-front listing and notes that the home is 10,670 square feet on a 2.37-acre lot. It has four bedrooms and five baths, as well as a guest house.

The house is just behind the 10th green and 11th tee box at Pebble Beach, though Pescadero Canyon separates the two properties.


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News & Tours

The Grind: Paula Creamer gets married, Tiger teams up with Trump, and Rickie and Alexis go to the Bahamas

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we have never complained about cameras on the golf course. Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel grabbed headlines for doing just that on Saturday, which came shortly after David Owen's Thursday post about a recent Golf Digest assignment we were on together. Not only did our group deal with the extra attention, we thrived on it. Here's David stopping mid-round to pose for more photos. What a ham.

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And before you say, "Oh, but Poulter and Horschel were playing for much higher stakes," keep in mind that the Franklin Templeton Shootout is a glorified member-guest. Lighten up, guys. It's called the Silly Season for a reason.

WE'RE BUYING

Greg Chalmers: David beat Goliath Down Under as Chalmers topped Adam Scott on the seventh hole of a playoff to win the Australian PGA. Good for Chalmers. And despite an disappointing string of tournaments in his native country, it's not all bad for Scott. He announced confirmed he and his wife, Marie Kojzar, are expecting their first child in February.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Jason Day-Cameron Tringale: This duo overcame the cameras and a furious final-round charge by defending champions Matt Kuchar and Harris English to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout. Day and Tringale shot 65 in best ball, 64 in alternate shot, and 55(!) in scramble.

Bernhard Langer's genes: Having already won the PNC Father-Son Challenge with his eldest son, Stefan, Langer tried to win the event with daughter Christina. But when she hurt her back, younger brother Jason had to step in. No problem. The 14-year-old held his own and the Langer family picked up another trophy for the mantel. Impressive.

Tiger Woods Design: What a week for Woods as a golf course architect. First, the announcement that he's going to give designing a course in Dubai another go and then his first course anywhere opened on Tuesday in Cabo. Woods' first project in Dubai was never finished when developers ran out of money. This new course will be called Trump World Golf Club Dubai. Obviously.

WE'RE SELLING

Jeff Overton: It's OK to be passionate about rooting for your favorite team, but Mr. "Boom, baby!" once again crossed the line. Three years after being arrested for acting like a jackass after an Indiana basketball game, Overton was ejected from a Hoosiers game at Madison Square Garden. In the first half. Mid-way through the first half, in fact. Chill, dude.

Related: 11 PGA Tour sleepers to watch in 2014-15

Fox Sports: We got our first taste of what watching golf on Fox will be like and the reviews were less than stellar. As Geoff Shackelford pointed out, Joe Buck needs to stop trying to be cool and the entire announcing crew needs to realize that less is more. But at least, the network will get a lot more practice in before the U.S. Open. Oh, right. They won't.

Rory's court case: McIlroy's lawsuit against his former agents is a mess and could be a major distraction as he's trying to prepare for the 2015 Masters. "And for what? For a little bit of money?" as Margie Gunderson says in Fargo. "There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that?" OK, so it's a lot easier for us to talk about walking away from $20 million. And from Rory's perspective, that's a lot of ugly winter coats.

ON TAP

That's it on the PGA Tour for about a month until the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. With the extra time, go ahead and finish your Christmas shopping. Courtesy of ESPN's Darren Rovell via Twitter, we even have a last-minute gift idea:

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Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Donald Trump will run out of money funding the Tiger-designed course in Dubai: 4 BILLION-to-1 odds

-- Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods will win the Grand Slam in 2015: 100-to-1 and 500-to-1 odds, respectively (Actual odds)

-- No one will win the Grand Slam in 2015: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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Apparently, Nina Agdal, who was one of three woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue this year, plays golf. Welcome to The Grind, Nina.

Related: My heartbreaking year on the golf course in 5 painful photos

PHOTO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING AN SI SWIMSUIT MODEL)

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What a fantastic photo of Jason and Amanda Dufner dressing up for a holiday party, but we're confused about that jacket. We thought Jason lost to Adam Scott in a playoff at Colonial this year. . .

THIS WEEK IN NATALIE GULBIS MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HER TRAINING

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"There are only 125 guys a year making good money. The rest of us are grinding away." -- Kyle Scott, a mini-tour veteran, competing at Q School. Yep.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Camilo Villegas and longtime girlfriend Maria Ochoa got married in Colombia and it looked like a heck of a party. Fortunately, Jillian Stacey, Keegan Bradley's girlfriend, posted this Flipagram of the festivities:

THIS WEEK IN PAULA CREAMER-DEREK HEATH PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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Congrats to Paula and Derek on tying the knot! Unfortunately, we don't own the rights to any wedding photos, but here are a couple older pictures of the happy couple.

THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER LIVING THE LIFE

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Nice catch, Rickie! Oh, and that's a decent-looking fish as well. . .

THIS AND THAT

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Brazil has commissioned a special coin commemorating golf's return at the 2016 Olympics. All the country needs is a finished golf course and we'll be set! . . . Lee Westwood won the Thailand Golf Championship again. Watch out for this guy if there's ever a major championship in Asia. . . . Branden Grace won the Alfred Dunhill Championship by seven shots to pick up his fifth European Tour title. For a quiet week, there were a lot of golf tournaments. . . . Rory McIlroy was a surprise runner-up for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, losing in a public vote to racecar driver Lewis Hamilton. On the bright side, McIlroy did hold on to win the European Tour Player of the Year. . . . I made a triumphant return to the ping-pong table over the weekend -- just look at that intensity! To whomever the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain is, I should be ready for Hazeltine in 2016.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Are Jay and Bill Haas allowed to play in the father-son challenge?

What flavor was Paula's wedding cake?

How many points could I get off Matt Kuchar in ping-pong?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

Turns out, Jim Furyk is quite the romantic! The classic story of how he met his wife, Tabitha

When you think of Jim Furyk, the most common descriptions that come to mind are likely a hard-nosed, workman-like attitude. He's carved out a tremendously successful career on the PGA Tour -- one of the best of his generation -- with an unorthodox swing.

You might not have thought about Furyk as a ladies man. But after he described how he met his wife, Tabitha, at Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament as a young tour pro, you might give Furyk some credit for having game off the course.

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In addition, Tabitha described how Jim proposed to her -- after months of failed attempts -- along the beach during the week of the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. How cool! She described how the couple went out to dinner in Carmel, and were taking a stroll on the beach when Jim decided to get down on one knee and propose. "Going back to Pebble Beach every year is really a special occasion for us," Tabitha told SiriusXM's PGA Tour radio on Tuesday morning.

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The Furyk family posing with the Western Open trophy in 2005 after Jim's win at Cog Hill G.C. in Lemont, Ill, one of his 16 PGA Tour wins.

Also in the interview, Furyk described how he courted Tabitha during a post-round radio interview on the grounds of Muirfield Village in Ohio.

Here's Jim describing it:

"I was a second year player on the PGA Tour, Tabitha worked at Muirfield Realty, right next to where we played the Memorial at Muirfield. Her boss at the time was a gentleman by the name of Ray Hustek, who took the week off of work to do a radio show called 'Mr. Golf.' And he would cut into the show with an update of something going on at the tournament every 20 minutes.

"I walked off the green [after my round] and was goofing around with some kids and Tabitha caught my eye, so I said hello to her. I was a little shy about going up and talking to her. Then Ray came up to interview me. So the whole while he was interview me I kind of positioned myself so that I could keep checking her out. And [Ray] noticed, and he's the one that ended up kind of introducing us and getting us started."

So next time you watch Furyk plodding along during a PGA Tour event, we now know the guy has a cunning side to him as well.


Photos: Courtesy of Getty Images

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News & Tours

20 years ago today, Golf World named Tiger Woods its "Man Of The Year"

It's easy to take for granted how long Tiger Woods has been in the limelight. Since he trotted out onto the stage of the Mike Douglas Show as a 2-year-old, Tiger has captivated the public's interest.

It seems fitting, then, with Tiger trying to rework his swing to incorporate elements of his old move, to look back to 1994, when Golf World anointed the then 18-year-old high school senior its "Man Of The Year." 

So at the time what did Tiger have to say?

On enrolling in Stanford:

"It's something I'm not used to, and being at such a high academic institution, it's going to be a little weird for me. But as soon as I find my groove, I'll be all right."

On his behavior:

"I've done things that you shouldn't do and should do. Just average teenager stuff."

On his ethnicity:

"The funny thing is I'm mostly Asian. I'm not mostly black, but I have a little black, therefore I am black in this country. I go to Asia, I'm Asian."

On what others think of him:

"The more you think about it, the worse it becomes. Then you start trying to live up to that instead of what you have to do. In a sense, you almost have to be selfish to accomplish the things you need to accomplish. If I can do my part, I feel like everything else will be taken care of."

On his announcement that his goal is to win more major championships than Jack Nicklaus:

"That was an immature statement made by a little kid. That was like dreams and stuff. My goals are private, personal."

On quitting:

"Hell no. I never quit. Never, ever quit."

The cover:

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How it looked on the inside:

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You can subscribe to the new, digital Golf World right here.

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News & Tours

Sam Torrance just called Nick Faldo an "a*******"

The 2014 Ryder Cup was, by almost every measure, a fantastic success for the Europeans. Its 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 victory was so humiliating for the Americans that it divided the team and forced the creation of a special Ryder Cup "Task Force." 

The only blip for the Europeans happened on Friday, when Nick Faldo called Sergio Garcia "useless" for his poor play during the 2008 Ryder Cup -- the event that Faldo captained and lost. But even that turned into a rallying point for the European Team, with players leaping to Garcia's defense and Faldo himself apologizing.

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But Sam Torrance, captain of the victorious 2002 European Team, isn't forgetting so easily. In an interview with Bunkered magazine, Torrance ripped into Faldo for his remarks, calling the six-time major champion an "a***hole."

A selection from the story:

"To say that right in the middle of the Ryder Cup, what was the a***hole thinking about? The reaction in the team room was magnificent. The guys rallied round Garcia. [But] really, it was pathetic from Faldo. I’ve no idea where he was coming from with that stuff. You can even quote me on that, I don’t care. He’s an a***hole. It was beyond belief that one of our greatest-ever players would come out with a comment like that. Garcia’s not a team player? Have a look in the mirror, pal."

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News & Tours

Your days of watching "Happy Gilmore" on Netflix are about to come to an end

Bad news, people. Very bad news indeed.

Netflix recently released its list of movies they plan to cut at the end of the year (they do this to make more room for new titles), and among the names is a true classic. "Happy Gilmore," the inspirational and uplifting comedy of hockey player-turned-golfer, will be unavailable to stream on Netflix starting at 12:01 a.m. on January 1st.

It's a bitter blow to the collective reputation of golf movies currently residing on Netflix, which will soon consist solely of terrible golf-horror movies and terrible golf-reenactment movies.

So enjoy it while you can, and in the meantime, enjoy this article by Ryan Ballengee on how the movie came to be, and after that, these five GIFs of Bob Barker beating up Happy Gilmore.

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