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Jan 21, 2015 | 07:53 am

Jack Shoots 75

Jack Nicklaus turns 75 today, but there's no big party planned. The Buzz is told that Jack anticipates a relatively normal day with some office work and time spent with Barbara and other family members before dinner at The Bear's Club tonight. (The celebration will also involve one of his ganddaugther's and the wife of the club manager who have the same birthdays.) During a teleconference for the recent USGA documentary on his caree that aired on Fox, he had this to say about reaching he three-quarter-century mark. "I miss my golf game. Golf was my vehicle to competition. I mean, I dearly love the game of golf and I love playing the game of golf, but when you lose your vehicle to competition and the competition is what really excited you more than anything else, then it's really—you lose your enthusiasm. I mean, I go out and actually I'm actually playing golf this afternoon with a couple friends of mine that I play tennis with a lot, and we're all about the same. You know, we have a good competition, but that's certainly not U.S. Open or Masters or PGA Championship. It's going out and I give them eight shots, and we get down to the end of the day and one guy hands the other one 20 bucks, and that's not exactly what is my idea of a U.S. Open."

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Jan 20, 2015 | 08:37 am

It's Show Time

The 61st annual PGA Merchandise Show begins today with Demo Day, the largest outdoor trade demo in the world. All the game’s major manufacturers will be arrayed around the circular driving range of the Orange County National Golf Center, offering PGA professionals, key buyers, and golf media a chance to test the latest in golf equipment. Tomorrow through Friday the circus heads indoors to the Orange County Convention center where over 40,000 attendees are expected to be walking the ten miles—yes, ten miles--of exhibits from more than 1,000 purveyors of equipment, apparel, and golf-related goods and services. The Show usually produces a few surprises—for a full report, check out next month’s Issue of HOTLINKS. 

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Jan 19, 2015 | 06:20 am

Leadbetter’s Latest

If you are frustrated with your swing, David Leadbetter feels your pain. “Golf instruction needs to be shaken up because for the masses, this game can be just too hard,” says one of the world’s best-known instructors, who has taught dozens of pros and thousands of amateurs. He thinks he’s found the cure, what he’s calling “The A Swing”—“A” for “alternative”—which is also the title of his next book. The swing—which Leadbetter describes as simple to teach and simple to learn, while correcting most common faults—is based on scientific principles and has been studied by J.J. Rivet, a French biomechanist who works extensively in golf. The book contains more than 200 illustrations, frequently asked questions, a seven-minute practice plan, and summary sections. There’s also a line of special training aids. “The A Swing, like hickory to steel and persimmon to metal heads, is a revolutionary advance in golf instruction,” says Leadbetter. The revolution begins in May, when the book is released.

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Jan 16, 2015 | 06:56 am

A Couple Of Kiwis

Two players from New Zealand are in the news—and going in opposite directions. Lydia Ko, the 2014 LPGA Rookie of the Year (at age 17), played in 26 events last year and made 26 cuts, won three times, and earned more than $2 million. She’ll kick off her sophomore season in two weeks at the Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Florida, with the eyes of the golf world upon her. They’ll be seeing a new-look Ko, if her official LPGA portrait, above left, is accurate: She seems to have ditched the big eyeglasses and acquired a new hairdo. Also on our radar was Michael Campbell, the 2005 US Open champion, who was competing in this weekend’s European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Championship. Due to injuries, Campbell sat out most of 2014, during which time he fell more than 1,000 places in the world ranking, entering this week somewhere in the 1400s. We were pulling for the personable 45-year-old to regain his old form, but are sorry to report that he withdrew after the first nine holes citing personal problems. He was six-over par.

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