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Sep 27, 2013 | 08:01 AM

Old And Easy?

A few months ago, when the R&A and St. Andrews Links Trust announced they’d be making changes to the Old Course, their hope was to make the course more challenging for the game’s best players. Well, based on the initial returns, not much has happened. In round one of the Dunhill Cup yesterday, three players shot 64 at St. Andrews to share the lead. Collectively, the great triumvirate of Richard McEvoy, Alexandre Kaleka, and Mark Tullo (average World Golf Ranking of 517) posted 24 birdies and an eagle. Kaleka and Tullo each hit all 18 greens, and on the four holes changed most markedly—numbers 2, 9, 11, and 17—the three players were collectively four under par. Yes, the conditions were benign, and yes, time will tell, but at this point it seems time will not be telling the changemakers what they were hoping to hear.

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Sep 26, 2013 | 03:19 PM

Best and Worst Stats

With the conclusion of the FedExCup Playoffs and the Tour Championship on Sunday, the PGA Tour season is now in the books, so who finished first and last? No, not in FedExCup points or on the money list, but in all the statistical categories like scoring, driving, and putting? Here are a few of the more interesting takeaways: Despite winning the Vardon Trophy, Tiger Woods did not have the lowest adjusted scoring average; semi-retired Steve Stricker did at 68.94, but he didn't win the trophy because he didn't have the required 60 rounds. Luke List led the tour in driving distance at 306.3 yards, but he was last in driving accuracy at 45.58 percent (he also hit it in the left rough more than anyone else at 22.66 percent of the time). Phil Mickelson was first in putting average with 1.718 per green in  regulation, while Vijay Singh was last at 1.888 (he was also last in three other putting categories—that’s what he gets for suing the tour!). Click here to see all the stats.

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Sep 25, 2013 | 12:27 PM

European Breakfast

It was good to hear that Golf Channel just signed a new 10-year deal with the European Tour, because the morning telecasts are one of the things The Buzz likes best about the network, for a number of reasons:

1)    Watching golf before we head to the course gets us excited to play ourselves.
2)    There are a lot of great courses on tour, such as Kingsbarns in this week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and next year's Scottish Open host Royal Aberdeen (above), which we wouldn’t get to see otherwise.
3)    European Tour telecasts beat the heck out of the morning news shows.
4)    With all the scenic bumper shots, they’re like a golf and travel channel combined!
5)    We get to see a lot more of the World’s Most Interesting Golfer, Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The broadcasts have come a long way since the first one, the Dubai Desert Classic won by Fred Couples, aired in 1995, and they’re only going to get better, according to Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. “We're working on a couple of ideas where we can cover things a little differently and innovate," he told Golf.com. “The last few years we've taken a much more active role in collaborating with the European Tour on their premier events to make for better viewing in the United States. George [O'Grady, CEO of the European Tour] and I have had good conversations. They're very open.”

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Sep 24, 2013 | 10:25 AM

Kickstarting The Golf Industry

About 20 years ago, the golf industry changed dramatically when Callaway Golf, followed by other companies, went public, allowing golfers to invest in their favorite game. If the stock market isn’t your second favorite game but you still want to support the industry, check out Kickstarter, one of a number of websites that offer real people the chance to help a new company or product get started. There are some golf gadgets currently looking for initial funding, including SmartClaw, an oversized golf tee that looks like a crab leg and is guaranteed for life. The inventor is looking for $2,000 and has three weeks left on the site, which puts restrictions on all its projects. SmartClaw might not be your dream investment, but who knows? Maybe the next Ely Callaway is out there now looking for a few angels. (Note: This is not an endorsement, just something The Buzz found interesting.)

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