Puma Representation at the 2014 Majors

Puma Representation at the Masters

Nike have Tiger and Rory, Oakley have Bubba and Zach, Hugo Boss have Martin Kaymer and even Adidas Ashworth have Justin Rose; leaving Puma Golf as one of the only major brands who do not currently have a major winner on their books. However, that could all change in the very near future as the likes of Jonas Blixt and Graham DeLaet are beginning to bolster their major winning potential which, in turn, also eases the pressure on Rickie Fowler who had been relied upon for so long by this German powerhouse of a golf brand.

Jonas Blixt

Jonas Blixt has been part of Puma Golf for three years now and having signed a long-term contract extension in 2013, he looks set to remain with the brand which he fits in so perfectly with. A bit more elaborate, a bit more eccentric, a bit more fun – the Puma Golf brand know how to set themselves apart from the crowd and Blixt is now an integral part of the  brand’s repertoire. Two professional tour victories and some stellar performances on the big stage (4th at the US PGA Championship 2013, T2 at the US Masters 2014) certainly add weight to the argument that Jonas Blixt has the game, the nerve and the composure for the biggest occasions.

Even at the European Tour’s flagship event last week, Jonas was always somewhere around the top of the BMW PGA Championship leaderboard. It would also appear that he loves coming back to Europe to play with a T26 finish at The Open in 2013 followed by a 2nd place at the Nordea Masters in Sweden, too. Jonas has also been confirmed for the 2014 Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen, which is due to be played just a week before the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, and it would be difficult not to consider Jonas for a top five finish at either of these events in the UK this Summer.

Rickie Fowler

Equally so, not many will be able to discount Rickie Fowler from the running at the 143rd Open Championship, either. Managing T10, T19 and T5 finishes in three of his last four majors – Rickie Fowler is another who loves the big stage and will relish the opportunities provided by the Hoylake links course. The only blemish on Fowler’s Open record was at Muirfield last year; T14, T5 and T31 finishes in his other three appearances confirm that his daring and creative game is perfectly suited to links golf.  It has also been well documented that Rickie has been working closely with Butch Harmon this season and with some slight inconsistency still apparent; it is only a matter of time before it all comes together and culminates in a major victory.

For the latest tournament golf scripts and Puma golf style guides visit Golfposer.

Graham DeLaet

Graham DeLaet is another strong prospect for a major championship title. Having signed with the brand in January of this year, the Canadian has not necessarily shown great form in his only two major starts but several second place finishes on the PGA Tour would seriously suggest he is a player out of the top drawer. Even if he doesn’t quite manage to contend at the four majors, he is incredibly marketable and wears the Puma Golf brand superbly well – both of which will further reduce the pressure and retract some of the attention away from Rickie Fowler on the major stage. The US Open at Pinehurst is the next major on the 2014 calendar with the Open at Royal Liverpool soon after; it will be very interesting to see whether a Puma Golf athlete can finally fulfil their major winning potential.

 

Function18 Launch Online Promotion to Celebrate the 2014 Masters

Online golf clothing store Function 18 has today announced the launch of their anticipated Masters promotion.

With 10% off all orders over £10 and 15% off all orders over £100, now is the perfect time to stock up on your golf clothing & accessories in time for the summer season.

The promotion is available across all major golf brands available online at Function18 including Oscar Jacobson, Nike Golf, Puma Golf, Adidas Golf and Hugo Boss, and will run throughout the Masters tournament until Sunday 13th April.

Take advantage of this great promotion this weekend and visit www.function18.com

Function 18's Masters Promotion

“Beware of Sharks” and Other Highly Hazardous Holes

David Bryce is a freelance writer and long-time golfer who concedes that the most hazardous part of his game are the fat, imported cigars he likes to smoke. When he’s not working on this putt, you can usually find him blogging or yelling at the television.

On occasion, heated debates take place over USGA’s Rule 26: The Water Hazard. The one aspect never contested is the unending belief that water hazards are inherently tricky. And that they’re responsible for millions of dollars lost in sunken white balls across the world (though fishing them out is a pretty hefty underground racket).

At my local course, Thousand Hills, the Ozarks create their own hazards, one of which is avoiding driving you ball into the Branson cabins. Amongst unique worldwide water hazards, two distinctive types stick out: those bearing predators and those featuring impossibly wide gaps.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most interesting of both…

Predators

Bullsharks, Australia

The lake along the 15th fairway of Carbrook Golf Club in Queensland, Australia gets a lot of press. Home to a handful of bull sharks rumored to have washed ashore during a flood several years ago, this is no urban legend. Said to be 8-10 feet long, they’re real, they’re hungry, and they’ve basically become the mascot and flagship for the entire course. Though slightly unnerving, the sharks have yet to attack a player.

Being built in the crater of an extinct volcano isn’t the dangerous feature of the Lost City Golf Course in Sun City, South Africa. The pond along the 13th hole that contains nearly 40 adult Nile crocodiles definitely is, however. Amid some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet, the snapping snouts rarely come into play, but that’s no reason to drop your guard.

Upon entering Skukuza Golf Course in Kruger National Park, South Africa, a sign warns, “Beware: Dangerous Animals. Enter at Your Own Risk.” Naturally, if you’re here, you’ve already signed the safety waiver and are expecting a little danger. This course introduces a new peril: hungry hippopotami, widely thought to be the most dangerous animal in Africa. While warthogs and lions have been known to wander onto the greens, this entire course circles around Lake Panic, where the 8,000 lb. beasts eyeball every move you make.

Wide Gaps

Floating Golf Hole

 

Set along a beautiful, expansive lake, the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho features a par-3 floating 14th hole. Unique for its mobility, this isn’t an actual island and can be moved according to computerized tracks. Assuming you land on the green, the Putter Boat takes you for a little ride and afterward, whether you sunk the ball or not, you’re issued a Certificate of Achievement for just playing. This is also the only course I’ve played out of all listed here.

At the world-class Cypress Point Club, a private course in Pebble Beach, California, an ocean stands between you and the 16th hole. Literally, the Pacific Ocean. Requiring a 231-yard drive amidst crashing waves, coastal wind and dive-bombing seagulls, even professionals often list this as one of the most intimidating tee-offs in the world.

Boasting the only natural island water hazard in the world, the Pacifico Golf Course in Punta Mita, Mexico is also exquisitely picturesque. Known as the Tail of the Whale, hole 3B is on an offshore atoll where the green was designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus. At low tide, you can walk to the island on a sandbar; the rest of the time, an amphibious golf cart shuttles you to finish the hole.

Golf Clothing and Shoes at Function Eighteen

People often ask me if serious golfers start thinking about golf after the new year. They always get the same answer, “Serious golfers never STOP thinking about golf!”  Granted, our favorite sport dictates a few of our resolutions – we’ll resolve to golf certain courses, add to our arsenal, overcome bad habits, adopt better habits, etc. Resolutions are all about improving, and golfers are always looking for improvement.

One way to improve our game (or at the very least improve our image) is to improve our golf clothing and shoes. My favorite place to shop for golf clothing is online. No lines. Great deals. Fast. Easy. Did I mention no lines?

If, like me, you’re a fan of Nike and Puma, you’ll want to check out a popular leading suppliers of golf clothes, Function 18.  On Function 18’s great (and huge!) website,  you can choose from top brands including Nike golf and puma. Nike is the world’s #1 sports brand and their golf division, Nike Golf, is the world’s leading manufacturer of golf clothing and footwear. No matter what you’re looking for, it’s just a click away.

However, you can find more than just Nike Golf and Puma on Function 18. They also have a great range of sale Adidas golf clothing, including the great looking Adidas Golf Fall Weight Golf Pants you see pictured in the graphic above.

If you start adding to your golf clothing collection now, you’ll be set by the time warmer weather (finally) gets here.  Click through either of the links above above and take a look at everything in the Nike Golf, Puma, and Adidas collections.

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Top Five Killer Golf Courses in the Algarve for Excellent Golfing

Penina Hotel and Golf Resort

With the new golf season in the Algarve kicking into gear, seasoned veterans and enthusiastic amateurs alike are all on the hunt for some of the most challenging and beautiful golf on the planet. Right now, the hard fought battle of summer improvements, tweaks and changes is coming to an end and every course in the region is set to come out swinging. Which ones are packing the most punch in 2013? Take a look at our top 5:

1. The Sir Henry Thomas Championship Course

The Sir Henry Thomas is the first 18 hole championship course to grace the Algarve, and is recognised as one of the most challenging and satisfying courses in the world. Designed and constructed by its famous namesake, the course is located at the world famous Penina Hotel & Golf Resort and was recently voted Portugal’s Leading Golf Resort by the World Travel Awards. A par 72 that boasts an eclectic array of stunning scenery, subtle slopes and amazing scenery, the course is renowned for being as picturesque as it is unforgiving. Playing frequent host to the Portuguese Open, the Sir Henry Thomas is a delight for professionals and amateurs of all abilities.

2. San Lorenzo Golf Course

Located in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, the San Lorenzo Golf Course is perhaps the most beautiful course that can be found in the Algarve… and is built within deep pine woods that open out onto a magnificent ocean vista, saltwater marshes and freshwater lagoons. Don’t let all that vibrant nature fool you though, this course was masterminded by two of the finest golf architects in the world, Joseph Lee and Rocky Roquermore… and has been winning awards for its exceptional greens and challenging golf since 1988. You’ll find yourself driving down fairways alongside the Ria Formosa Estuary, chipping over deceptively long lakes and weaving in and out of some of the finest scenery that can be found anywhere in Portugal.

3. Pinheiros Altos

The course has established itself as one of the most prestigious and successful golfing centres in Europe… and features a 27 hole championship course, offering exciting challenges and varying degrees of difficulty. Each of the nine holes; The Pines, The Corks and The Olives is a par 36, all of which have their starting and finishing points close to the impressive clubhouse. The course is located deep in the heart of the Ria Formosa nature reserve… and is just a stone throw away from extensive, unspoilt beaches and the expansive Atlantic ocean.

4. The North Course at Monte Rei

One of the few Jack Nicklaus ‘Signature’ courses to be located in Europe – and the first to make an appearance in Portugal – the North Course at Monte Rei is fast becoming one of the places to play in the Algarve. Located up in the hills northeast of Tavira, and tantalisingly close to the Spanish border, the course is an abundance of luscious greens, challenging water hazards and unbelievable views. From the downhill view at the 1st… to the wide open stadium feel of the 18th, Monte Rei truly is a top 100 course that you won’t want to play just once.

5. The Oceanico Old Course

Designed by Frank Pennink, the Old Course cut its first divot back in 1969 and has been topping the rankings of European golf courses ever since. Located in the coastal town of Vilamoura, this unusual par 73 is near perfect for all year round golf. Great, but dangerous, for long hitters of the ball, the unforgiving greens and fairways are lined with an abundance of umbrella pines that have claimed many a stray ball with aplomb. And whilst this magnificent old gent of a course may transport you back to the great old days of championship golf, with its old-style clubhouse and slow greens… it sure isn’t in need of a makeover and guarantees round after round of superb entertainment.

Subconscious Golf Book Giveaway

Subconscious GolfGrantBrownGolf.com is giving away a copy of Ed Grant’s Subconscious Golf (valued at $49.95). The book has been endorsed by some top golfers, including Dave Stockton. It also includes an hour of HD golf instruction.

Subconscious Golf gives you the knowledge you need to think and play like a Pro.

CLICK HERE to enter and tell ’em Travelling Golfer sent you 😉

Golf Lessons Have Advanced Within the Last Decade

Golf Technology

The way people take golf lessons has advanced massively within the last decade giving today’s amateur golfer a much better chance of both understanding and improving their swing.

Previously golfers would be forced to rely solely on instruction given by their local golf professional. The problem with this is although the pro might get their student to swing well whilst in the lesson the student would have to rely heavily to learn and remember solely from feel, usually ending up in the pro manipulating the students arms, body and club.

Learning from feel is still a big part of teaching golf but today’s technology has made this aspect of learning a lot easier. Nowadays most teaching professions will use slow motion video technology within their lessons allowing the student to actually see and understand what is happening throughout the different stages of their swing.

Another benefit of new lesson technology now allows golfers to take their lessons home with them. With the introduction of high speed video recording a lot of pros now record lessons and use that recording to summarize what was worked on within the lesson and what should be worked on after the lesson. Pros can now include certain drills or swing thoughts which their students can refer back to whenever needed. Many amateurs benefit greatly from this as recapping on swing thoughts before a practise session or round can help focus the mind. That being said I do strongly believe that it’s important not to have too many swing thoughts as this can have a negative effect.

Online golf lessons now play a big part in the learning process as amateur golfers can now receive golf lessons without even having to leave their home. Advancing technology in smartphones and apps has made it easy for the average person to capture their swing with great precision. Golfers can now use that swing recording, sending it to pros who analyze the video and give a detailed analysis of swing faults and instruction on how to correct them. These types of lessons are becoming more and more popular as the cost of an online golf lessons is often far less than a traditional golf lesson.

Written by Dan Parker

Dan loves everything about the game of golf and gets out on the course whenever he gets the chance. Dan is also the Director at www.pros4golfers.com

On Rabbit’s Feet and Water Balls: A Look at Popular Golf Superstitions

Golf ImageBy Scott McCormick, a golfer and blogger with Golf Now Dallas.

Even professionals will admit that a little bit of luck can go a long way in golf. Don’t get me wrong – skill, focus, and intense training are all necessary to be at one’s peak. But at the end of the day, the odds of sinking a tiny ball in a tiny hole hundreds of yards away can leave one thinking that there’s more at play in the air other than wind resistance. Sports are often prone to superstitions, but golf is absolutely rife with them. The game’s most popular golfer, Tiger Woods, admits his iconic red shirt is actually a habit of superstition since his mother apparently warned him that wearing red on Sundays would boost his game – being the Capricorn that he is.

Here are some of the most prevalent myths in the game of golf, along with some analysis about how they might have started.

Hazard Balls Carry Bad Mojo

For a variety of reasons, many golfers have acquired the notion that using a ball that has been involved in a hazard shot might result in further hazards down the road. This holds especially true for balls that have unfortunately landed in a water hazard – many pros refer to these balls begrudgingly as “water balls” and will refrain from using them on any further holes for their round. On the other hand, some refuse to brush the dirt off if they’re in the middle of a lucky streak, since they believe that washing their ball will result in changing their luck.

The reason for the belief that balls can carry bad mojo can hinge on several reasons. For some, blaming the “energy” of a ball rather than other factors in the environment can help them explain the lack of consistency in the results of their swing. Others might consider these failings as due to minute differences between balls, despite the fact that they mostly seem identical. Regardless, most golfers aren’t willing to compromise logic when a gut feeling is saying that a ball has bad luck written all over it.

Don’t “Cheap Out”

When it comes to marking where your ball lies, the traditional decision has always been to use a quarter. But more than a simple tradition, many golfers refuse to use any other coinage (meaning going cheap with a penny or dime could spell disaster for your game.) And many golfers regard other balls found in sand traps or left abandoned out-of-bounds of the course to be similarly jinxed as previously stated, and they typically avoid picking them up. But instead of being based on mojo, many people regard this as unsportsman-like.

Despite clichés about golfers being well-to-do, the real basis of these superstitions doesn’t have anything to do with avoiding being a cheapskate; it’s that these practices further standardize the game and make elements of it feel more “controllable.” In a game in which so much is left to the wind (literally,) sports psychologists have recognized the trend of superstitions such as these arising as a means of assuming control over elements of the game in which they have little influence. Further superstitions along these lines hinge on lucky clubs, which players might bring along even if they remain unused. Others might bring lucky charms to focus on, which could boost their confidence when heading up for the tee-off.

The End Game

Regardless of the reasons that we hold these superstitions, the truth is that most of us are fully aware that they are arbitrary and baseless. The habits of seasoned vets may confound rookies who haven’t been in the game for long, but these routines have an important place in maintaining our emotional health while playing the game. The stresses of competition and performance anxiety can take a huge toll on us, but regaining control through these small quirks can be a great way to alleviate our minds and improve our game.
And as long as these practices aren’t inappropriate or too off-the-wall, who’s to say what’s in bounds?

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/raysawhill/8306067796/

Things to Look For When Shopping for Golf Shoes

Ecco Biom HydroMax™Golf Shoe 131004 When you’re shopping for Golf Shoes (especially if you’re shopping online), there are certain guidelines you need to consider.  I thought a post dedicated to these guidelines was in order. I also wanted to introduce you to the wide range of golf shoes from Ecco, so this will be a chance to do that as well.

When it comes to shopping for golf shoes, the key things to keep in mind are:

  • Design and Comfort – Obviously you want a pair of golf shoes that offer you the support, impact absorption, and exceptional comfort. When you’re playing a round of golf, the LAST thing you want to think about is your feet.  You need a pair of shoes designed so well that they do all of the thinking for you.
  • Fit – This one’s a no-brainer, but how could I leave it out of the list?! When you shop online for golf shoes, make sure the website features a comprehensive Size Chart. For Example, the great looking shoe you see to the right is from Ecco and is available online at Function 18.com. The website provides a comprehensive size chart. right down to foot length. You can click through the shoe, itself, to see what I mean.
  • Price – When shopping for golf shoes, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. This is true for most things in life, isn’t it? If you play golf regularly, your feet, back, and hips will thank you if you look for quality rather than savings. Experts tell us that a great pair of golf shoes can actually even help your game. We’re all looking for a little edge out there – and the shoes you put on your feet can literally give you a sharp edge.
  • Weatherproof Warranty vs Water Resistant – Again, how often you play in in what types of conditions you’re willing to play in will help you determine which of these you’ll want to watch for.  A shoe with a “water resistant” label means there isn’t a “Waterproof Warranty” (usually a 2 year guarantee). A Weatherproof Warranty (which the shoe I’ve spotlighted on the right has).  If you play a lot of golf in the morning, you know what it’s like to play in dew – you’d be a great candidate for a waterproof warranty.

The shoe showcased above (as well as the ones shown below) are all from Function 18. Shop online at function 18 for a wide variety of great looking golf shoes.