Apr 11, 2016 | 06:44 am

Using Video Games To Help Your Game

Hoping to play better golf but don’t want to bang balls on the range? Stuck indoors on a rainy day? A recent study suggests that a little time with a video game could translate into better scores in your next “real” round. As resported in the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, the study divided 161 participants into three groups: some used a kinesthetic motion sensor to putt in the “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” video game on a Nintendo Wii game system; others putted using a push-button control pad; and the third group didn’t putt at all. After a few minutes of playing (or not), all the participants rolled a series of putts on a small practice green. Those who’d played with the motion-sensor control had the best results, significantly higher than the other two groups. Said Edward Downs, an associate professor of communications at the University of Minnesota-Duluth who helped conduct the study, “What we can infer from this is that the putting motion in the game maps onto a real putting behavior closely enough that people who had 18 holes of practice putting with the motion controllers actually putt better than the group that spent 45 minutes or so using the push-button controller to make putts.” Downs said that future research is needed to see if the same results occur with other golf skills, like full swings, which require different, and bigger, muscles. We’ll wait and see, but in the meantime, you might want to get your kids to show you just how those video-game consoles work.

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Apr 08, 2016 | 09:00 am

Who Will Win the Green Jacket?

Who do you think will win this week at Augusta? Spieth seems on track for the win, but Lowry, Lee, and others aren't far behind. However, anyone who follows the tournament knows just how quickly things can change at Augusta. Even McIlroy and Spieth have lost the tournament when the trophy seemed within their reach. The pundits thought the wind would hold the scores higher on Thursday, but Spieth didn't seem to have a problem. Others like Bubba Watson struggled dearly with the wind at points during the first round.

LINKS wants to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post or send a tweet to the LINKS account saying who you think will win the Masters and what their winning score relative to par will be. Who knows, we may have some extra Masters merchandise lying around the office

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Apr 07, 2016 | 08:42 am

Make your picks!

On the eve of the 80th Masters, a selection of the LINKS staff made their selections for who will win the event. The discussions took place after last night's GWAA Awards dinner, where our own George Peper won the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism. Congratulations to George!

George Peper, Editor, Jason Day

Jack Purcell, Publisher, Henrik Stenson

Nancy Purcell, Editorial Director, Jason Day

Tim Carr, Art Director, Adam Scott

Graylyn Loomis, Assistant Editor, Jordan Spieth

You will notice there were no picks for Rory McIlroy... do you agree? Let us know in the comments below! Also, make sure to follow LINKS on Twitter throughout the day for your "man on the ground" at Augusta.

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Apr 06, 2016 | 08:00 am

'Yes, Sir!'

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the greatest Masters of all, is streaming the three-hour telecast of the 1986 Masters for this week only. It's fascinating to relive (or perhaps watch for the first time) all the drama and see all the changes between then and now. One big difference is that CBS called the tournament “The Masters” instead of just “Masters.” Also, only a couple of players wore hats or visors, like Seve Ballesteros, whose Nike visor had two logos on top of one another, oddly. The persimmon drivers are so small that the announcers have trouble distinguishing them from 3-woods. Jack Nicklaus doesn’t make an appearance until more than 24 minutes into the show with his birdie at 9 and it’s almost an hour before you see him hit a full shot, the tee shot at 12, while the only drives of his the network shows are on 17 and 18. The telecast is also a reminder of just how good Ben Wright was in the 15th tower. Verne Lundquist gets credit for saying “Yes, Sir!” when Nicklaus birdied 17, but he was just copying Wright who said it first when Nicklaus eagled 15. And the beginning of the telecast puts to rest once and for all the notion that Jim Nantz came up with the now copyrighted slogan, “A tradition unlike any other.” Host Brent Musberger says it at the 1 minute, 38 second mark.

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