Archive for June, 2010 & AMEX Team Up on Course Finder

Here’s a news story that caught up with me on a non-golf website.  Mike Shields of Mediaweek did a a write-up about a new section added to its website, dubbed Courses, which helps golfers find the best, the closest and most or least expensive golf courses in their area.

There are a several search criteria options, such as: price, location, and whether or not they employ a PGA instructor on staff.   Other features include the ability to scout weather conditions, green fees and find out what others have said about the potential courses you’d like to play.  You can let your Facebook buddies know if you “Like” the course.  Plus, if you log in, you can post your thoughts.

Comment: In general, I think this is a great idea and has tremendous potential for fostering community.  What I don’t understand is why they haven’t set it up to work on the mobile PGA site.  I just checked ( and the course selector isn’t an option.  In know from experience that when I get to a course that is crowded, what I want to do, on-the-spot, is identify other options nearby.  Being able to do that with my DROID would rock.

You will notice that American Express is playing a prominent role, sort of like a title sponsor.  The current “Championship Tees” program offers AMEX cardmembers access to renown championship courses… for a price.

Better have a platinum card for that!


Kerr’s Runaway Win Garners Her No. 1 Ranking…

An impressive, runaway win at the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans this past weekend has garnered  Cristie Kerr of the U.S. the position of No. 1 in the world, based on the Rolex Rankings released Monday. She claimed the No. 1 spot for the first time in her career after winning her second major championship this season.

Kerr is the third player in as many weeks to hold the top position, following Jiyai Shin of South Korea and Ai Miyazato of Japan.

According to a write-up at, Kerr was an amateur prodigy who bypassed college to turn professional at the age of 18. She started her professional career on the Duramed FUTURES Tour in 1996 and was an LPGA rookie in 1997. A tough inaugural season sent Kerr back to the LPGA qualifying school in the fall of 1998 where she earned co-medalist honors with Se Ri Pak and exempt status for the 1998 season. It took Kerr nearly five more years to become a Rolex First-Time winner at the 2002 Longs Drugs Challenge. She next won the Takefuji Classic in 2004 and proceeded to win two more tournaments that year. Kerr has not had a season without a win since. She captured her first major championship title with a two-shot victory at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C.

The Golf Channel’s Randall Mell wrote a story that talked about how,  Charlie De Lucca, the “Godfather of South Florida Golf,” watched Kerr annihilate the competition when she was growing up in Miami.  As executive director of the Dade Amateur Golf Association, he marveled at the cold, ruthless little competitor who never seemed satisfied or content as she rose to No. 1 in the national junior rankings.

By the way, Kerr had rounds of 68-66-69-66 for a total of 269.  She finished 19 under par and was 12 strokes ahead of her nearest competitor, Song-Hee Kim (281).  Ai Miyazato, who Kerr replaced at the top of the rankings, finished tied for third with a 283.

Also, Kerr broke the record for the largest winning margin in LPGA Championship history and pulled in $337,500 for her effort.

Other notables include:

T19    Michelle Wie     (72-74-73-70) 289 +1
T34    Katherine Hull (74-73-76-68) 291 +3
T42    Paula Creamer (71-72-74-75) 292 +4
T62    Juli Inkster (71-74-77-74)    296 +8

An interview with Kerr can be found here.


Inkster @ 50: Keeps Going and Going…

There were a couple of nice write-ups about Juli Inkster in honor of her 50th birthday.
Randall Mell of the Golf Channel wrote how Inkster reminded all her peers on her 50th birthday why she’s still playing. She shot a 1-under-par 71 in the opening round of the LPGA Championship to move into contention to become the oldest winner of an LPGA event and oldest man or woman to win a major championship.  Noting that it is her 28th season on tour, and her 591st career LPGA start, Inkster still loves to compete.

A story by Golf Week beat reporter, Beth Ann Baldry included a list of the 50 reasons why Inkster is widely regarded as “the most fun and respected” players on the LPGA tour.  Some notables include:

  • It was the ’08 Ginn Open and I was talking to her about how baggage costs were going up. She asked “What do you fly?” I told her economy. “That’s your problem,” she said. “Fly first class, play first class.” – Katherine Hull
  • Won back-to-back LPGA Championships in 1999 and ’00.
  • On Monday, she took her daughter and a friend to the Finger Lakes to go tubing and jet-skiing. She has no problem taking time away – Morgan Pressel
  • She doesn’t act like she is 50 years old. She acts like she is one of us – Stacy Lewis
  • She probably was one of those people – besides Nancy Lopez – who was one of my idols – Cristie Kerr

LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans is taking place at the Locust Hill Country Club, in Pittsford, New York (near Rochester) this weekend. There is a $2.25 million purse and a first-place check of $337,500.  If Inkster can win at 50, she would surpass Beth Daniel (46) as the oldest winner of an LPGA event, Fay Crocker (45) as the oldest winner of an LPGA major and Julius Boros (48) as the oldest man or woman to win a major.


Win at ShopRite LPGA Classic Gains Miyazato No. 1 Ranking…

Japan’s Ai Miyazato shot a 7-under 64 Sunday to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic.  She was 16-under for the 3-day tournament and finished ahead of M.J. Hur (-14), Inbee Park (-12) and three tied for fourth place (-11): Suzann Pettersen, Hee-Won Han and Katherine Hull.  Paula Creamer did a stellar job in her return, finishing in seventh place (-10).

This was Miyazato’s fifth win on the LPGA Tour in 2010.  The winner’s prize was $225,000, pushing Miyazato’s earnings this year to $830,238.  She has just taken over the No. 1 spot in the Rolex World Golf Rankings.

Also notable: Ai Miyazato sported the knee high socks that are a staple of Japanese fashion.


Mobile Fan Engagement Surges During 2010 U.S. Open

According to the United States Golf Association  (USGA), the 2010 U.S. Open Championship set new organization records for website and mobile device engagement by golf fans.

The website, developed in conjunction with technology partner IBM, featured new apps, including an interactive play tracker and an enhanced course section that allowed fans to recreate historical shots in HD on their computers.

  • Overall fan visits to during the week of the championship totaled 4.2 million, up 8 percent over the 2009 championship week.
  • The play tracker engagement received 2.9 million downloads with more than 11 million interactions. It was the third successive year of strong traffic growth for the site.

A story at TechCrunch made special note of the mobile activity:

  • The USGA’s Digital Media team recorded 1,711,156 visits to during the championship, an increase of 518% over last year’s mobile site.
  • Nearly 30 percent of traffic to the U.S. Open site was from mobile devices.

Alex Withers, the USGA’s managing director of digital media, noted, “We continued to see great engagement on the iPhone application that we launched last year, and adding live video streaming across all video-enabled mobile browsers created a huge volume of fans following the championship via mobile devices.”  He also noted how the “HD live streaming of marquee groups and feature holes (Nos. 7 and 17) across multiple interactive platforms brought fans closer than ever to the on-site excitement of a U.S. Open.”


Creamer Trying Comeback in Jersey…

On the other coast, the ShopRite LPGA Classic will be taking place .Friday-Sunday on the Bay Course at Seaview – A Dolce Resort, in Galloway Township, New Jersey.  In this tournament, Paula Creamer will be giving her surgically repaired thumb a try-out.  She had her surgery on March 31.

In an Atlantic City Press story, Creamer remarked, “It won’t be completely healed for quite a long time.  It’s a progression. I have to work through it. It’s been a roller-coaster ride, but right now we’re heading in the right direction.”

You may recall that the thumb issue arose during the Honda PTT LPGA tournament in Thailand back in February.  After her tee shot on the 16th hole of the first round, she felt it “pop or tear.”

She said “the only thing that was going through my head was, ‘Oh, my gosh. Am I ever going to be able to play golf (again)?’ ”

Playing this weekend is a big step.



USGA Plans Engaging U.S. Open Experience

The USGA (as in United States Golf Association) put out an announcement on Monday that spelled out some of the ways fans can follow the action using “a variety of exciting technologies, digital applications and devices to access scoring, live streaming and the latest news from their home, office or virtually any location.”

New to the U.S. Open website ( this year is an interactive play tracker that expands and modernizes the traditional leaderboard and gives control to the user. This new feature includes an overview map that allows users to follow all groups on the course and a dynamic heat-mapping feature with red, gray and green color indicators to show how hard different parts of the course are playing during each round, using scoring averages on each hole.

Other new features include:

  • An Enhanced Course Section that interactively presents the U.S. Open course setup at Pebble Beach through high-resolution images of each hole, flyover and course walkthrough videos
  • A new “Experience History” feature developed in association with World Golf Tour that allows fans to watch a video clip of a historical shot from a previous U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and then attempt to replicate it through an HD golf experience. For example, fans can watch and then play out Tom Watson’s famous chip-in shot at the par-3 17th that propelled him to a two-stroke victory over Jack Nicklaus in the 1982 U.S. Open.
  • HD Live Streaming across devices, extending coverage to the iPhone and a wide range of other mobile browsers.
  • The “Rules Corner” where USGA Rules officials provide expert commentary on rulings pertaining to each day’s action.

As for social networking, there is a Facebook page ( and there will be Twitter feeds from fans on the course via the American Express Experience Tent.

Clearly, this will be he most connected U.S. Open yet.


U.S. Open Championship will be taking place Thursday June 17 – Sunday June 20) at the Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Cobra ZL Driver Photo Gallery

Cobra Zero Limits Driver and Headcover

Cobra Zero Limits Driver and Headcover

The Cobra ZL Driver (Zero Limits) is a solid piece of equipment. I can say that with certainty now, after having tested it numerous times on the range, and on the course. The feel off the face is solid, and making adjustments to the club face is fast (and easy). One other thing I’d like to note today is the trajectory of the tee. It’s piercing, and the ball looks like it never wants to come down. It goes without saying, I’m loving it.

While I’d love to blab on and on about the Cobra ZL Driver, I’m going to save that for a later date. What I’d like to do now is share some photos with you. Go ahead and take a look-see below. I hope you enjoy!

The ZL Driver, bag with AFT face adjustment tool, and headcover

The ZL Driver, bag with AFT flight adjustment tool, and headcover

The ZL and black suede bag containing the face adjustment tool

The ZL and black suede bag containing the face adjustment tool

A look at the face of the Cobra ZL

A look at the face of the Cobra ZL. '9 hotter points'? You betcha!

ZL profile view

3/4 Profile view of the Cobra ZL

The sole of the Cobra ZL Driver

The sole

Another look at the sole!

Another look at the sole!

A closeup of Cobra's AFT Technology (Adjustable Face Technology)

A closeup of Cobra's AFT Technology (Adjustable Flight Technology)

Adjusting the face of the ZL

Adjusting the face of the ZL

Changing the face to the closed setting

Changing the face to the closed setting

The head and shaft

The head and shaft

The driver head, shaft and adjustment tool

The Aldila Voodo stiff flex shaft

The Aldila Voodo stiff flex shaft

A view from behind

A view from behind

The stylish headcover that comes with the ZL

The stylish headcover that comes with the ZL

So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed this photo gallery of the Cobra ‘Zero Limits’ driver. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost Putter – An Overview

The TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost Putter

The TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost Putter

Earlier this month (June 2010), TaylorMade introduced the Rossa Corza Ghost putter. You may have spotted it in play on the PGA tour over the past few weeks… remember that strangely white putter you noticed on TV? That’s the Rossa Corza Ghost putter!

I can already hear you saying, ‘so what’s the deal with the white?’. TaylorMade breaks it down for us nicely on their site. Here are the key points as to why the Rossa Ghost putter should help you on the greens:

  • the contrast of the white head against the green makes it easier to see the topline and target line
  • the contrast of the 3 black alignment lines against the white crown makes it easier to aim
  • a circular hole through the head works with the alignment lines and ball to make it easier to aim
  • 2 outer alignment lines are one ball-width apart, making it simple to align your ball with the center of the face to promote solid contact
  • an AGSI+ insert negates backspin and promotes forward spin for better roll

The TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost Putter

Easier to lineup and aim you say? The ball will come of the face with a true roll too? Sign me up! While I haven’t rolled the rock with the Rossa Corza Ghost putter as of yet, I am somewhat dying to get my hands on one.

Key specs on the Rossa Corza Ghost putter:

  • Loft: 4 degrees
  • Lie: 70 degrees
  • Offset (mm): 3/4 shaft
  • Length: Available in 33, 34 and 35″

Top View of the TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost Putter

I have to admit, when I first noticed Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose with one of the new Rossa Corza Ghost Putters in-hand, I was heard to remark ‘what the heck is that!?’ They really do have a unique look to them, with the white clubhead and all. But hey, if the contrast in color helps you with alignment, then all the more power to this new bit of gear. Heck, I suppose it worked for Justin Rose last week at the Memorial, right?

In the end, I break it down like this: If the Odyssey 2-Ball had a baby with traditional Rossa styling, the Rossa Ghost is what we’d get. At least, something like that 🙂

I’m looking forward to what TaylorMade has in-store for the ‘Ghost’ line of Rossa putters. With the success the putter has had already on tour, they’re no doubt prepping other models with a fresh coat of white paint and AGSI+ inserts!

Face View of the TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost Putter

For more information, visit TaylorMade.

U.S. Open Tee Times Announced

On Friday, the tee times for the first two rounds of the 2010 U.S. Open were announced.  Tiger Woods will play with Lee Westwood and Ernie Els in one group (1:36 p.m. PT in the first round) while reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson is paired with Padraig Harrington and Y.E. Yang (8:06 a.m. PT) in another group.

On Day Two,  things flip with the “Tiger” group teeing off on No. 10 at 8:06 a.m., and the “Phil” group starting at the No. 1 at 1:36 p.m.

The golf writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, Ron Kroichick, noted how some of the groupings announced Friday, included the USGA’s traditional touch of whimsy:

— Tom Watson, 60, will play alongside 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa of Japan and 21-year-old Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.

— Three U.S. Open champs will play together: Retief Goosen, Jim Furyk and Angel Cabrera. So will three British Open champs: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Ben Curtis.

— The short-man group (with PGA Tour wins) features 5-foot-9 Mike Weir, 5-8 K.J Choi and 5-7 Tim Clark. The tall-man group (with AT&T wins at Pebble Beach): 6-4 Dustin Johnson, 6-3 Davis Love III and 6-2 Vijay Singh.

— The no-worries group consists of three accomplished Australians in Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby.