Jul 30, 2015 | 12:35 pm

Smash Factor

Perhaps Golf Channel should start a show called "Funniest Golf Videos" because this one would surely qualify. It's a high-handicapper's first shot with his new $400 GoPro camera. It's also his last. You have to be really good or really bad to pull off a shot like this. Given that he shot 90 that day, you be the judge. The upshot? GoPro noticed the video (it's already garnered more than 155,000 views on YouTube) and is sending him their newest model. "Hey Corey! Rad shot, bummer about your GoPro though. We're going to hook you up with a new HERO4 Session! You'll love it, it's a much smaller target." Warning: explicit language at the end!

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Jul 29, 2015 | 10:59 am

Time for Nine?

Let's face it, the only reason we play 18 holes is because that's how many holes there are at the Old Course in St. Andrews. But there's no reason we have to be hung up on playing 18 or nothing, so last year the USGA introduced the "Play9" initiative. The second annual Play9 takes place today, so grab your sticks after work and head out to the course. Here are the USGA's nine reasons why:

1. Nine-hole golf has an impeccable pedigree. The First U.S. Open in 1895 was played on a nine-hole course: Newport (R.I.) Golf Club. Arnold Palmer and Pete Dye, among other golf luminaries, learned the game on nine-hole courses. 

2. The majority can’t be wrong. According to the National Golf Foundation (NGF), 90 percent of U.S. golf facilities offer nine-hole rates – and 4,200 nine-hole courses dot the U.S. golf landscape. From coast to coast, playing nine is an easy way to enjoy the game.

3. It’s an excellent way to start the day. Early risers can make the first footprints on a dewy fairway. You can get a round in and still make it to work or school on time.

4. It’s a great way to end the day with others. Grab friends and co-workers for a post-work round to shake off the stress.

5. Because it’s what you have time for. Would you rather play nine frequently or wait until the moon and stars align to play 18? Keep your game fresh by playing nine.

6. It’s a wonderful way to learn the game. An NGF study shows 86 percent of beginners start with nine-hole rounds. You can more comfortably develop your game and learn Rules and etiquette without the stress and time commitment of 18 holes.

7. It’s the best way to support someone who is learning how to play. You already love the game. A study by Sports & Leisure Research Group revealed that 60 percent of golfers believe a nine-hole round is an outstanding way to introduce a non-golfer to the game. Give back to the game and get a friend or family member hooked.

8. You can do it forever. Golf is a game for a lifetime. Playing nine holes is the perfect way to keep players of all ages and abilities engaged in friendly competition.

9. Your nine-hole round is legit! The USGA’s Golf Handicap Information Network® (GHIN) showed a 13 percent year-over-year increase in nine-hole scores posted in the two months following the program’s launch last July. You can post a nine-hole score to maintain your Handicap Index.

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Jul 28, 2015 | 10:00 am

A Lopsided Cup

With his victory in the RBC Canadian Open Jason Day made a nice jump up from ninth to fourth place in the Official World Golf Rankings, but as we head toward the 2015 Presidents Cup, International Team captain Nick Price doesn’t have much to smile about. Adam Scott (11), Louis Oosthuizen (13), and Hideki Matsuyama (15), are the only other internationals within the top 25, and only seven players rank within the world’s top 50. By contrast, second-ranked Jordan Spieth (who seems primed to displace injured Rory McIlroy in the very near future) leads a U.S. contingent that includes five of the world’s top eight players. If you were to fill out a U.S. squad with the 12 highest-ranked players, you'd need to reach only to 21st-place Chris Kirk, while on the International side, it’s all the way down to 62nd and Steven Bowditch. On paper at least, this is not shaping up as much of a contest.

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Jul 27, 2015 | 09:22 am

Bullish On Spieth

The old adage that business is done on the golf course was proven true as the Open Championship came to a close last Monday. According to the BBC, as soon as Jordan Spieth missed his birdie putt on the final hole at the Old Course in St. Andrews, shares in Under Armour—the company that outfits Spieth head to toe—dropped on the New York Stock Exchange. It was a less than 1 percent drop, equal to about $140 million in value, but it occurred immediately after the 22-year-old’s (his birthday is today) last chance at making the Open playoff slipped by the hole. Since last Monday, Under Armour has more than made up for that loss, rising from just under $89 a share to more than $96 a share when the market opened this morning. And in the past year, coinciding with Spieth’s incredible run, the stock is up more than 50 percent.

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