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Dec 13, 2016 | 08:33 am

The First 10 Rounds Were Easy...

 

Okay, maybe once or twice in your life you’ve managed to stagger around 54 holes in one day. Now imagine playing 237 holes. That’s 13 rounds plus three holes, and that’s what 35-year-old New Zealander Brad Luiten did yesterday, breaking an 11-year-old Guinness World Record by a whopping 16 holes. Luiten, a marathon runner, walked and ran more than 60 miles over Auckland’s Helensville GC, averaging just over three minutes per hole while breaking the Guinness World Record for most golf in 12 hours by a whopping 16 holes. No word on what he shot. Video available at:

 

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Dec 12, 2016 | 06:37 am

Undoing The “DJ Rule”

It’s been pretty easy of late to dump on the USGA for some easily avoidable mistakes, everything from championship course set-ups to name-mangling by the organization’s leaders. But perhaps nothing has exercised the golf public more than some recent Rules imbroglios, and none more so than the one-stroke penalty charged to U.S. Open winner Dustin Johnson for his ball accidentally moving on the green during the final round of this year’s Open at Oakmont.

Luckily, one stroke didn’t affect the tournament outcome, but both the Rule and the officials’ handling of it—informing DJ and his fellow competitors during the round that things wouldn’t be cleared up until afterward—left a bad taste in golfers’ mouths from Pittsburgh to Prestwick.

Thankfully, we won’t have that Rule to kick around anymore. The USGA and R&A announced late last week a new Local Rule, to go into effect on January 1, 2017, that eliminates precisely that penalty. According to the USGA, all the major Tours—including the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, as well as the Masters—have welcomed the change and will follow it. As well they should. The USGA also offered this wording when any committee in charge of a competition wants to introduce said Rule:

Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:

When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.

The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.

This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.
 Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.

The USGA has more information on the new Local Rule on its website, including a video and a detailed Q&A.

“Eliminating this penalty responds to the concerns we have heard from both golfers and committees about the difficulties in applying the current Rules when a player accidentally causes a ball to move on the putting green,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA Senior Director, Rules of Golf and Amateur Status. “This change is a good example of the type of Rules Modernization changes we hope to implement after completing our fundamental review of all of the Rules. We are looking for ways to improve the Rules by making them easier to understand and apply.”

What do you think of the new Rule? About the Rules in general? And what Rules would you like to see “modernized”? Let us know.

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Dec 09, 2016 | 09:43 am

More News on the Pinehurst No. 4 Renovation

Gil Hanse and Pinhurst President Tom Pashley appeared on Golf Channel earlier this week to discuss the upcoming renovation of Pinehurst No. 4. The course, originally laid out by Donald Ross, has been renovated in the past by Robert Trent Jones, Rees Jones, and Tom Fazio. While the original footprint of the course has been lost, Hanse said, "Looking at the Ross designs, his plans, were there elements of that that we could bring back into it that will make the course truly feel a lot more like Ross? So, some cross-hazards, some more diagonal bunkering, looking at the green complexes and getting them to sit softly into the landscape, maybe some slight elevation changes as he did on No. 2.” The team will reintroduce native areas, widen fairways, and change the greens from bentgrass that struggles in the heat to bermuda that suits that area well. The redesign will begin in fall 2017 and is scheduled for completion in fall 2018.

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Dec 09, 2016 | 08:51 am

Best Cold-Weather Golf Gear

One of the great things about golf is that you can play pretty much year round if there’s no snow on the ground and you’re willing to brave the elements. Actually, with all the great cold-weather garments and products on the market, you really don’t need to be that brave nowadays. Here’s a rundown of the products to pick up to keep playing all winter long.

FJ!

FootJoy
Most golfers know that layers are the best way to keep warm yet unrestricted these days, which FootJoy really has perfected. Start with the Seamless Thermal Base Layer ($80) with an anti-microbial finish, followed by the Mixed Texture Sport Half-Zip Pullover ($95), and the Thermal Fleece Jacket ($160), which allows for excellent warmth and freedom of movement during the swing. Throw in a pair of WinterSof Gloves ($22) and Winter Beanie ($18) to complete the look.

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UA

Under Armour
With Jordan Spieth leading the way, Under Armour has made quite a statement with its clean-looking styles for nice weather, but the company offers a number of attractive and functional outerwear pieces for cold weather, too. Top pieces include the Storm ColdGear Infrared Insulated Jacket ($160), which has a “thermo-conductive” inner coating to absorb and retain body heat, and the windproof Tips Golf Swacket ($150).

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C

Buggies Unlimited Cart Heater and Enclosure Combo
Although it’s probably better to walk in the cold weather, if you have to take a cart, you’ll want to turn it into a heated shelter on wheels with a universal vinyl cover and propane cup-holder warmer. $119

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HHHotHands Hand and Toe Warmers
It’s difficult to play with cold hands, or cold toes for that matter, so be sure to pack some heat when you head to the course. The air-activated warmers from HotHands are made of natural materials that get hot due to a fast oxidation process, reach more than 100 degrees, and last for hours. $3 and up. 

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KentKentwool Socks
Speaking of warm feet, it starts with a good pair of socks like Kentwool’s Game Day Collection Men’s Tour model, which are made of 58 percent Merino wool and can pay tribute to your favorite college team. $25 a pair.

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GGGalvin Green
The products from this Swedish company—GORE-TEX’s No. 1 partner—are very popular across the pond in combatting the elements, and they’re starting to gain a following here. The Swedes know something about playing in cold weather, so you can’t go wrong with the Windstopper Jacket ($275) and Pants ($320), as well as their Insula Hat ($45), to keep those biting winds from going right through you.

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N

Nuun
You might not think you can get dehydrated in cold weather, but you can, especially because you don’t feel as thirsty. Problem is, if you wait till you’re thirsty, it’s too late. Forgo the sugary sports drink for water with a Nuun all-day tablet, which has zero sugar, is under eight calories, and has a balanced blend of 17 vitamins and minerals. Four flavors, $7.50 for 15 tablets.

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SM

Sun Mountain
As a company that’s based in Montana and specializes in golf outerwear, Sun Mountain knows a thing or two about keeping golfers warm. The new Heathered Fleece Jacket ($100) or the Thermalfex Pullover ($90), both of which have a four-way stretch, make for great layers under the new Elite Jacket ($300), which is waterproof and designed to maintain an ideal core temperature. The Cart Mitt comes with zipper pockets for hand-warmer packets and a Velcro strip so they stay attached to your Sun Mountain cart handle.

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What are your tips for surviving on the course in the winter? Let us know in the comments below!

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