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Metal Age in the Golf World

metal golf clubsSanta Cruz, California has become a haven for golfers having several golf locations in town. You can find two golf courses, a mini golf course and another golf emporium in the county aside from the world renowned Pebbles Beach. These scenic spots and golf locations set the stage for competition over the use of the most advanced golf technology.

Carroll County Times mentioned in its April 2012 article that club manufacturers are focusing in restraining the golf club’s ‘moment of inertia’. The term ‘moment of inertia’ of a golf club is the measurement of its resistance during contact with the golf ball. Modern golf clubs are usually made of metals and help golfers to deliver swing shots of 2 to 4 miles per hour faster ball speed compared to using wooden golf clubs. Golf used wooden clubs since it started evolving in the 19th century. All female members of the UCSC golf team are currently using metal clubs. Metal clubs allow the golfers to hit the ball further and therefore brought forth tricky golf courses and longer fairways.

UCSC’s golf coach for women, Paulette Pera, remembered learning golf and played using wooden clubs. She said, “Because new technology makes play longer, they are building longer courses and tougher greens. Everyone had wood clubs when I started. When I switched from wood to metal clubs, I couldn’t get used to the new sound they made.”

Pera added that none of her team members has ever played using wooden golf clubs. She also said that her team required new equipment to become more competitive compared with other college teams. She admits that playing with metal clubs becomes a big advantage for a golfer.

Pasatiempo Golf Club assistant golf professional Matt Mackey said, “Technology has done a lot for the game in terms of amateur playability. The equipment and physical ability in the game today have both improved exponentially.”

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Gainey Aims for a Back-to-Back Win

Tommy GaineyWith just three weeks after winning his first PGA Tour, Tommy Gainey is working for a back-to-back win in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic to be held at Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Gainey, who is popular with his unconventional swings, scored a 7-under-par 65, closing the first round with a lag of one hit. Two of the final three holes were birdied by the American golfer, finishing the round in tie with Camilo Villegas of Colombia and one-shot away from the leading South Korean golfer, Charlie Wi.

The sensation created by Gainey in the golf world last month is still afresh. Golf enthusiasts can still recall how he closed the McGladrey Classic with a score of 10-under-par 60.

Gainey was happy to start even a windy day in Lake Buena Vista. “It’s playing kind of tough out there. The wind’s blowing 10 to 15 mph steady, gusting up to 20 at different times, and when you catch that gust on the wrong side, you can make some bogeys pretty fast. I’ve got off to a great start, so I gotta focus on maybe trying to win another tournament this week. It’s all about winning again for me, because my goal has not been achieved yet,” he told the reporters after the round.

The 37-year-old golfer has a definite goal. He is working to be in the top 30 of the PGA Tour’s money list and to be able to play at the Augusta National by next year. “When I’m playing at Augusta, that means I’m also playing in the other majors, so that’s my goal,” he said. Gainey is currently at number 56 in the money list. “I’m just trying to play my game and just go from there,” he concluded.

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Ian Poulter is About to Breakthrough

ian poulter
Ian Poulter’s sharpness in match-playing is popular and proven by his incomparable record of winning stroke plays. He has just set a new record of 12 European Tour wins and 2 PGA victories after winning the World Golf Championship recently.

Poulter has been a decent golfer even before playing professionally in the 90s but not considered great. He turned to be a professional player even at 5 handicap. A handicap of 5 may sound good for casual golfers but not for the pros. Golfers at this level may score at an average of 70-up and is not a money-making score for the professionals.

For this reason, Poulter had to work harder to reach where he is now, the world number 15. If the Ryder Cup would be considered in counting the world golf rankings, he could have made it to the top 7. He is one of the best players in the history of Ryder Cup with a 12-3-0 record.

The English golfer’s excellence in match plays wasn’t only confined in the Ryder Cup. Among his many European Tour victories, two of which were also match plays aside from winning the 2011 Volvo World Match Play title competing against Lee Westwood, Nicolas Colsaerts and Luke Donald.

Soon enough, Poulter is anticipated to breakthrough, turning his record of match play excellence into winning a major tournament. He is indeed getting closer in winning his first major.

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Australian Ladies Masters Is Saved By a Golf Ball Company

australian ladies masters
Volvik, a Korean company that manufactures golf balls, salvaged the Australian Ladies Masters by being its major sponsor.

Bob Tuohy, the event’s chairman, said that the tournament is all set and scheduled from February 1-3 at the Royal Pines, in Gold Coast with Volvik as its new naming rights partner together with RACV. The chairman admitted that the 24th tournament was put in danger until Volvik came to the rescue.

Though the prize money of $500,000 was halved, the all-important and minimum categories on the Ladies European Tour are all retained. However, the tournament was trimmed down to 54 holes from the original plan of 72.

Korean golf broadcaster J Golf was given credit by initializing the talk between Volvik’s chairman Kyung Ahn Moon and Tuohy. “We’ve been through some rough waters to make this possible and Volvik has made the difference,” said Tuohy during the tournament’s launch at Royal Pines. “We see 2013 as a regrouping year and we are hoping to build this marriage into a really big event to knock ‘em dead in 2014, 2015 and 2016,” he added.

Tuohy also expressed gratefulness for the tournament’s major supporters and said that to sponsor tournaments is not the job of the government. He also informed the public that Christel Boeljon is coming back to defend her title.
Warren Sevil, the chief executive of the Australian Ladies Professional Golf, said that the support is brought about by the strong bond between the Australian Ladies Masters and Korean tours. “There is a history of partnership with the Korean tour with invites every year to players and hopefully we will get security for the tournament for years to come. The support of the players is the key to success from here and I believe we will get it,” Sevil added.

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McIlroy Keeps His Silence about Equipment Deal

Rory McIlroy's Contract
Heated rumors that world number one golfer Rory McIlroy is up for a new equipment deal keep on flooding the world of golf recently. Hearsay keeps coming out that the world renowned golfer is jumping out of Titleist in favor of Nike Golf.

To these, McIlroy says, “I have my management company deal with endorsements and everything like that. I’m just here to concentrate on golf this week, and I’ve got enough to think about trying to get that ball in the hole. So no further comment on that.” The golfer is playing at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, China. “These rumors have been going around for years, and it seems to always come up at this time of year,” he added.

Several reports also divulge that Nike is pursuing McIlroy for a 10-year exclusive deal which is also speculated to be worth around $250 million. TaylorMade was also reported to be after the two-time major champion. Though it is still not clear as to when the golfer’s contract with Titleist expires.

Both Titleist and Nike also keep their silence regarding the rumors. Titleist spokesperson says they do not talk about contracts with players while a Nike spokesperson said, “We are not going to comment on rumors or speculation.”
All these hearsays peaked up all the more when Nike’s Tiger Woods and McIlroy started having good friendship.

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Olazabal Joins McIlroy in the UBS Hong Kong Open

UBS Hong Kong Open 2012
Captain Jose Maria Olazabal, together with his winning Ryder Cup team, will go and play in the UBS Hong Kong Open at Fanling from November 15 to 18. Vice-captain Miguel Angel Jimenez, World number 1 Rory McIlroy and Paul Laurie will join him in the trip after their group miraculously won the Race to Dubai tournament held in Medinah.

Northern Irishman McIlroy won last year’s UBS Hong Kong Open and is coming back to defend his title. The Europeans were the top scorers in the same event which happened on December, last year. This year’s tournament, which is co-sanctioned by both the European and Asian tours, will give away prize money of $2 million.

American golfer Matt Kuchar is joining the Hong Kong Open for the first time and is anticipated to be a strong competitor in the tournament. He said, “I’m very excited about making my debut at the Hong Kong Open, I’ve heard a lot of good things about the tournament and the city, so I look forward to finding out for myself what all the buzz is about.”

“The strength of the field is impressive and Rory’s record in the tournament is even more impressive, so it’s going to be tough to win my first European Tour title but I’m certainly going to give it my best shot,” Kuchar added.

“It’s a great tournament in a fantastic city, so it’s a fun week on and off the course. My record in the event isn’t quite as good as I would like, but the way I’ve been playing this year I feel very confident of giving a good account of myself,” says Laurie who looks forward going to Hong Kong for the competition.

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Paul Casey Gets Closer to Victory

Paul CaseyFinishing the ISPS HANDA Perth International in the fifth place with a tie, Paul Casey is quite confident that victory is just close. The event was held at the Lake Karrinyup, in Western Australia.

Scoring at 67, this is the first European Tour where Casey landed on the top-five position after placing fourth in the 2011 WGC-HSBC Championship. The best finish Casey had on the previous 2012 European Tour games was a tie at the 25th place. He gained momentum after finishing in the third place at an event hosted by the Asian Tour.

The 35-year-old English golfer, who is also a former world number three, foresees bright games in the succeeding events after sharing the fifth place at Perth. “This is the best I’ve felt in probably a few years, and the form is coming around really nicely. With the form I’m starting to show, it’s a case of wanting to be out there, play as much as I can and I feel it’s not going to be long before I’m back in the winner’s circle,” says Casey. After having suffered from a dislocated shoulder due to a snowboarding accident, he has had a difficult year and dropped to world number 133.

The 11-time European Tour winner is more confident now after having recuperated and believes that he can finish among the top 60 in the Race to Dubai tournament. The event is also the season-ending game of the DP World Tour Championship.

“I’m still not in Dubai but the goal is to win before the end of the year – simple as that. If I win next week, I don’t know if that gets me in HSBC, it might, I don’t know. A win before the end of the year, because the three I’m playing, BMW, Singapore and Hong Kong, they are all great events, and certainly BMW and Singapore are big money, as well. So I think ignore trying to get into Dubai; just try and win. That solves every problem,” says Casey.

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Simpson, Ready Even If Long Putters Will Be Banned

webb simpsonWebb Simpson is an apparent user of long putters. The US Open champion is among the three golfers who have won in the major tournament using the long golf club. Though he is not anxious at all even if this type of putter is banned, he admits that he finds this probable action incorrect.

The American golfer has already started golfing using the conventional putter as a preparation for the probable change in the Rules of Golf. It has been quite a time since the USGA and the R&A was bombarded with different concerns and have been in discussion about banning the long putters in competitions. The two agencies are the governing bodies of golf.

Simpson said during an interview at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf held in Bermuda, “There’s a bunch of arguments going around but I haven’t heard a good one yet. I’m friends with a lot of the R&A guys and the USGA guys. It’s nothing personal and I know they are trying to do it for the betterment of the game, but I don’t think it’s a good decision.”

He has been using belly putters since 2004 but he believes that there is no strong evidence that long putters gave any player an advantage during a game. “It’s going to be tough if they do ban it. It’s going to be tough for a lot of people, not just players. It’s going to be tough for committees to really have a stance on it and explain why,” he added.

The 27-year-old golfer also shared, “What I found was I just became a more consistent putter. I don’t get hot quite as much. I don’t get cold quite as much. With the short putter, I was a real streaky putter, so in my head I figured if I want to play this game for a long time, I don’t want my putting to be such highs and lows.” Simpson further believes that there are other rules that need much more attention than this.

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Jason Dufner Goes for the Win at Perth International

jason dufner at perth internationalThe American Jason Dufner wants to overcome his frustration in the Ryder Cup by going for the win at the Perth International in Lake Karrinyup, Australia.

Dufner cannot let go of what happened in the event at Medinah where he won three out of four points and worked with the American team to go on a 10-4 lead but eventually lost to the Europeans through José Maria Olazabal by just a single point.

“I often catch myself thinking about it. I think about what could I have done better? Where could I maybe have picked up another half a point? How could I have helped my teammates more? We were pretty close to winning that,” he recalls. “It’s been a tough couple of weeks since the Ryder Cup and the toughest thing about it is you’ve got to wait two years again until you can play again. That’s a long time for us.”

Dufner says that the best ways to recuperate is going back to the course and compete for this event which is co-sanctioned by the European and Australasian PGA Tours. It will also help him build his name more as he tries to become a more prominent global golfer.

“I think [that as] you experience different golf courses [and] different styles of play, [it] makes you better, [it] tests your game. This golf course is a lot different than what we see in the States. Same thing when I go to Asia, [it is] a lot different than what we see in the States. I think it makes you a better golfer,” Dufner added.

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Michael Hendry Leads Day One of Perth International

michael hendryThough he admits that this year isn’t his best playing form out in the golf course, Michael Hendry still topped the opening day of the Perth International tournament held at Karrinyup. The professional golfer from New Zealand was proud of his performance on the first day of the $2 million event.

Scoring at sever-under-par 65, Hendry shared the clubhouse honors with Spanish Alejandro Canizares. Among the other good scorers are Emiliano Grillo from Argentina and Andrew Johnston of England. Grillo was standing one shot behind the leaders while Johnston scored at five-under.

Greg Chalmers, the defending Australian Open champion, tied with five other players at four-under. Also a tie at one-under were Charl Schwartzel and Jason Dufner. Schwartzel is the 2011 US Masters winner while Dufner is currently the world number 10.

Hendry, down at world number 574 after missing five straight cuts, is very optimistic that he is regaining his form and finished in the seventh place at the China Masters. “I spent a lot of time on the Gold Coast actually doing a lot of practice over there,” he said.

“My form had been a bit rough but I saw a few glimpses last week in China and it’s just nice to carry on. When you’re playing bad and you’re spending lots of money to get to events and not getting a lot of return on that investment, it does put a lot of pressure on you to play well. But you just keep working hard and hoping it turns the corner at some stage, and it has the last couple of weeks,” Hendry added.

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