If you follow nearly anyone in the golfing community on social media, you have probably at least heard of The Buck Club. For those not in the know, The Buck Club represents PGA Tour player Zac Blair’s mission to craft what he sees as the gold standard for what a golf course should be. He unveiled his plan over the weekend during a kickoff event called “The Ringer” at Sweetens Cove Golf Course in South Pittsburg, Tenn.
Blair has identified and is in the process of securing a 347-acre site in Morgan, Utah, (about an hour north of Salt Lake City) for the course. He has also selected King Collins Golf (crafters of the aforementioned Sweetens Cove) to co-design the golf course with him and oversee its construction. The team of Blair and King Collins Golf have recently completed a design layout that adds up to a 7,400-yard par 71 from the championship tees. In the words of Blair and Collins
“The architecture will be rooted in the fundamental lessons of The Old Course at St Andrews and the great courses of the classic era of architecture in the United States. Strategic decision making, variety, alternate playing routes, and a bold, quirky flair will be the hallmarks of the playing experience. The legacy of Zac’s favorite course, National Golf Links of America, the brainchild of C.B. MacDonald, weighs heavily on the concept of The Buck Club. Using the teachings of history’s greatest architects and C.B. MacDonald as inspiration, every hole at The Buck Club will provoke thought and force players to make decisions on each shot. Alternate routes of attack will be available for golfers of all skill levels, thereby providing ‘pleasurable excitement’ and ‘the greatest pleasure to the greatest number’ in the words of Alister Mackenzie.”
Apart from the golf itself, the club’s atmosphere is equally important to Blair and Collins. The intent is to provide a laid back vibe with an emphasis on camaraderie among people who share a love of the game and the shared experiences it provides. To encourage that, the course will include features such as one complex that encompasses the 18th green, practice green, and first tee as well as multiple bonus holes (Numbers 6.5, 9B, 18B, and 19 are included in the current routing).
If the experience at The Buck Club is anything like what transpired at The Ringer, golf enthusiasts should be in for a real treat. Some highlights include a 50-man free-for-all down the first fairway during the three-man derby, multiple alternate holes such as No. 4 tee to No. 6 green and No. 8 tee to No. 9 green, and a stripe show of a closest to the pin challenge. 100 percent of the attendees were encouraging to each other and engaged in every nuance of the experience. It was a refreshing change from the innocuous rounds of golf found at many courses across America today.
The timeline for The Buck Club’s completion depends heavily on securing funding for the project, but it’s conceivable they could start moving dirt in 2019 if the fundraising process continues gaining momentum.
Most interesting photos from Tuesday at the Valspar Championship
This week, the PGA Tour is at Innisbrook Resort on the Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, Florida, for the Valspar Championship, where 2019 champion Paul Casey is looking to defend his title. The field of 156 is getting ready to battle starting Thursday for the $6.9 million purse with $1.24 million going to the winner. GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to spy a glimpse into the bags of some of the world’s top golfers.
Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.
Never stop working on the short ones
A putting mat like this is one of the most compact and useful tools you can use when it comes to practicing putts on a green—or even a hotel carpet. In the case of tour players, I suggest a putting green whenever possible.
Yonex blades looking sharp
Although most golfers thinking about the brand Yonex will still usually default to early-career Phil Mickelson, the brand is still alive and well and producing some great-looking irons, including these blades.
Sam Horsfield is a wizard on the greens
This week at the Valspar, Sam is using a custom weld-neck Bettinardi with a sight dot. The reason for the welded neck is to move the hosel closer to the middle of the head to reduce toe hang.
The “other” Koepka is in the field
Although Brooks is out, Chase Koepka is teeing it up this week, and just like his brother, he has a mixed bag of gear featuring multiple brands that includes Vokey wedges and some custom-stamped Mizuno JPX-921 Tours.
Battle of the mullets
Its looks like we could have a battle brewing for the most glorious mullet on the PGA Tour. In one corner, the current champion Cameron Smith, and in the other corner, the challenger: Keith Mitchell’s caddy “Crunchy” Pete Persolja!
I mean, just look at that glorious flow!
Jimmy Walker likes nice things
Now this is a Scotty Cameron putter!
The PGA Tour needs to get reciprocals
Seeing the MLB logo on Adam Long’s bag hopefully comes with tickets to whatever games he wants to see. My next question would be “How do we get a PGA Tour logo on an MLB’s player’s sleeve?”
You can take the Canadian out of hockey…
…but you can’t take the hockey out of the Canadian. We spotted Adam Hadwin working on his release “feels” with what looked to be a very slapshot-like drill.
Go to see him prepping. Stanley Cup playoffs are starting soon.
Putter shopping with Luke Donald
I should clarify that although he’s was seen looking at a number of putters on the practice green at Valspar, calling it shopping is a bit of a stretch.
More Odyssey 2-Balls in action
One of the newest 2-ball converts on tour is no other than the personification of a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man, Chesson Hadley. The 6’4″ Hadley is currently ranked third in strokes gained putting on tour—so, whatever he is doing is clearly working.
Vegas has upgraded
Equipment free agent Jhonattan Vegas certainly has a type when it comes to his irons and wedges. At this time last year, he was using Mizuno’s MP-4 irons and Vokey wedges, and this week the Venezuelan is using the new JPX-921 Tours, Vokey wedges, and what looks to be a Titleist TSi3 driver.
Jimmy Walker spotted testing L.A.B. Blade, graphite putter shaft at Valspar Championship
The putting green at a PGA Tour event is always full of interesting things as players get ready for the week ahead, and this week at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, is no different.
One of the biggest trends in golf is technology-packed graphite shafts for putters, and we continue to see them in more players’ bags week after week. Louis Oosthuizen had a BGT Stability Tour in play last week at the Zurich Classic, and this week, we spotted 2016 PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker working with a L.A.B. Blade putter fitted with an LA Golf Shafts Prototype graphite putter shaft.
Although we don’t have the specs of the exact shaft Jimmy is using, LA Golf shafts are well recognized as being one of the leaders in creating ultra-stable graphite shafts for the tour’s biggest hitter Bryson DeChambeau, who not only uses their Texas Rebar shafts in his irons but also a specially designed shaft for hit putter too.
As for Jimmy, this is an interesting move since one of the bright spots of his 2021 stats is his putter where he currently ranks 40th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: putting.
Tour Rundown: ‘Team Mullet’ triumphs in playoff | Henderson’s 10th
The last full week of April saw events played from the Big Easy to Hollywood, from a Spanish island in the Atlantic to central Texas. The PGA Tour fellows teamed up in Louisiana, while the LPGA tackled a classic course built by Macbeth. The Korn Ferry Tour made a swing through the Lone Star state, where it encountered a bit of a weather delay. The European Tour moved from the mountains of Austria to the southern tip of Gran Canaria, off the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Twisting the words of Sugar Ray, All around the world putts tumble for me. Five winners stood tall in these four events (don’t forget the partner one) so let’s race around and find out what we can.
PGA Tour: Zurich Classic Decided in Playoff
The beauty of two formats in an event is simply that one competitor (or team) can excel on one given day then founder then next—and vice-versa, my friends! Look no further than the team of Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, Australia’s finest. They played the final six holes of the Zurich Classic in two over par, with three bogeys, and still won the tournament. Their last bogey, at the par-three 17th, dropped them to 20 under par on the week. Fortunately for them, the South African besties (Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel) also made four at that hole, which dropped them to the same figure. When neither team made birdie at the par-5 closing hole, it was off to a playoff.
On that solitary playoff hole, the unbelievably reliable Louis Louis bailed on his swing and flared a tee ball into the water. His baby draw betrayed him, and the hole was wide open for Cameron Smith, who ensured a dry landing with a drive tugged left, into a fairway bunker. From that point on, it was up to the Smith-Leishman duo to make par, and Smith did so with a seven-foot putt. Third place went to Richy Werenski and Peter Uihlein, whose 67 surge was tied only by one team on day four.
LPGA Tour: Los Angeles Open is Henderson’s 10th Title
Not many were better than Brooke Henderson on Saturday. Just five golfers bested her final-round 67, and they did it by just one stroke. Victory number 10 on tour seemed out of reach for the Ontario native, as four strokes separated her from leader Jessica Korda. Korda had owned the front nine at Wilshire Country Club all week, playing it 2 under, 3 under, and 4 under with zero bogeys on the card. When her fourth-round card saw plus 2 at the end of nine, however, the game was on and Brooke was in it.
Who knows what vexes golfers, and equally so, what vindicates them? Why did Korda lose her grip on the LA Open after holding firm for 54 holes? What did Henderson find on Saturday, that so eluded her on Friday? Lots of questions, aye? The facts show that Henderson made six birdies against two bogeys over the final 18 holes, while Korda was able to summon just two birdies on the day, with one coming at the 18th, where she needed an ace to tie.
Henderson’s first title in two seasons certainly returned a fair amount of confidence to a game that shouldn’t need it and to a psyche that did. Korda was hoping to add a second win in 2021 to her résumé but came up short on birdies when she thought she’d never run out.
Korn Ferry Tour: Veritex Bank Championship to Coach’s Son
Two types of stories tend to stoke the adrenaline fires for the Korn Ferry Tour aficionados: young triumphs and veteran victories. The recent successes of Will Zalatoris fit in the former category. Allow Mr. Tyson Alexander to occupy the latter on this delightful Sunday evening. Alexander was a stalwart member of the UFlorida Gators team a dozen or so years back. Since then, he has honed the tools of the professional trade, learning how to win. Having a golf-successful father (his former college coach and U.S. Amateur champion, Buddy Alexander) had to be equal parts benefit and burden.
This week in Arlington, Alexander opened with 67, then improved to 65, then another 65, and finally, a 64 on Sunday. They say that if you continue to improve, good things come your way. Well, Alexander improved all the way to 23-under par, a pretty impressive tally. Over the course of the first three days, Theo Humphrey was the man in command. Much like Korda above, he appeared to have the tournament under control. Like Korda, Humphrey’s troubles began on the outward nine. Twice he followed birdie (1 and 5) with bogey; at 8 and 9, he reversed that trend, and turned in even par. In Arlington, that amounted to a two of three-shot deficit.
Birdies at 10 and 11 gave the third-round leader hope, but bogey at the 12th ended that run. Desperately needing one more birdie to join Alexander, Humphrey was all pars over the final six holes, and came second by one shot. It was two more shots to the third-place pair, Taylor Moore and Brett Drewitt.
European Tour: Gran Canaria Open Sees Fireworks and an Unlikely Winner
Three golfers posted 61s in round two at the Gran Canaria Open, yet none figured in the top three at week’s end. Last week’s runner-up was this week’s runner-up, despite opening with 63 and closing with 62. If you weren’t five under par on Friday evening, you weren’t playing on the weekend. Golf on Gran Canaria was serious business, as the Meloneras Golf layout let players know early on that birdies were the week’s currency.
Garrick Higgo was never far from the lead all week, but he somehow flew under the radar, even after opening 65-64. Attention was on Connor Syme, who improved ten shots from his opening 71, or on Thorbjorn Olesen, who stood at 126 through two rounds, or on Sam Horsfield, who also signed for 61 on day two. On day three, Syme nearly matched his 61 with 62, and he moved quite high into contention. The problem was, Higgo kept getting better. He dropped another shot with 63, and overtook Olesen on the top rung.
On Sunday, Higgo made eagle at the fourth hole for the second consecutive day, framed it with five more birdies against zero bogies, and reached a massive 25-under par. Charging hard was last week’s hard-luck, playoff-losing Max Kieffer. The German amassed seven birdies and a hole-out eagle at the 10th, but simply ran out of holes against the young South African, who gained a second European Tour title in the Canary Islands.
A new feature of Tour Rundown: We take a no-holds-barred look at something that happened this week in the world of golf.
Today, we target that photo of King Tiger and his faithful hound, Bugs. Are we so golf-starved or hero-starved that we immediately begin tweeting and gramming and tiking about #TigerWoods2022MastersChampion? Have we so quickly forgotten that he might have had a little responsibility in this? Dude was on the shelf from back surgery for 2021’s playing as it was, so the shattering of the lower right leg certainly added to the list of boxes to check. Lots of other stories in golf to tout, so let’s leave Eldrick the Only to his rehab and focus our enthusiasm on other elements.
Best driver 2021: By club fitters for you!
Rickie Fowler makes dramatic iron change
Best fairway woods of 2021: By club fitters for you!
Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2021 Players Championship
‘Shut it!’ – Paul Casey puts disrespectful spectator in his place
Lee Westwood won’t have ‘secret weapon’ caddie on the bag for 2021 Masters
Billy Horschel’s winning WITB: 2021 WGC-Dell Match Play
WGC Match Play Tour Truck Report: New putters for Kuchar, McIlroy, Poulter
Best hybrids of 2021: By club fitters for you!
Joel Dahmen’s winning WITB: 2021 Corales Puntacana
Billy Horschel WITB 2021 (April)
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees) Shaft: Project X EvenFlow Riptide 65 6.5 TX 3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees) Shaft: Project X HZURDUS...
Louis Oosthuizen WITB 2021 (April)
Driver: Ping G400 (9 degrees @8.75) (D4) Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 S (45 inches, tipped 1.5 inch) 3-wood: Ping G425 Max (14.5...
Garrick Higgo’s winning WITB: 2021 Gran Canaria Open
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees) Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 3-wood: Titleist TS2 (15 degrees) Shaft: Fujikura Pro 2.0 Tour Spec Hybrid:...
Marc Leishman, Cam Smith winning WITBs: 2021 Zurich Classic
Marc Leishman WITB Driver: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond DS (10.5 degrees loft) Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X 4-wood: Callaway Epic...
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