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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 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.
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.
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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.
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
Infographic from www.function18.com
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…
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.
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.
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.
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 Portugals 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. Dont 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. Youll 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 wont 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 isnt in need of a makeover and guarantees round after round of superb entertainment.
GrantBrownGolf.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.
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The way people take golf lessons has advanced massively within the last decade giving todays 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 todays 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 its 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