March 2012

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valero texas open2012 Valero Texas Open Betting Preview, TPC San Antonio · San Antonio, Texas

odds on the exchanges

Jimmy Walker 50/1

It's a case of Walker Texas Ranger for local man Jimmy this week.  Having a very solid season with only missed cut in Phoenix as opposed to big payouts for top-10's at the Farmers, Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Northern Trust.  Tied for third here in 2010 when the event moved to TPC San Antonio and local course knowledge around this track is critical. Don’t worry about the stat that Jimmy missed the cut here last year as he had a back problem all week. Worth an each way look.

Charley Hoffman 26/1

Charley hoffmanWithout a win since that amazing final round of 62 at the Deutsche Bank in 2010 but encouraging signs of a return to form last week in Houston.  A four under par total gave Hoffman his first top 10 of the season and couldn't have come at a better time. The Hoff finished tied second here just one shot behind winner Brendan Steele.  Worth an each way shout now that he’s back making birdies (sixth in the field on shotlink last week).

Kevin Na 22/1

The Valero Texas Open will forever be linked to Kevin Na.  It's the place where he took that famous 16 on the 12th hole and went down in a ball of flames.  This year Na is back a different man, a winner of the Shriners and with three top-5's under his belt already this season.  Tied for eighth last week in Harbour Town and due a win.  Fourth on the PGA Tour stats for strokes gained on the greens.

Fredrik Jacobson 23/1

freddie jacobson funny pic[5][3]It’s one for the course management experts and if you dont mind the fact that he shot an 81 last Sunday including 36 putts, take a look at Freddie Jacobson.  He played great on this course for the two years, tying fifth last year and second in 2010.  If the practice ground work gets Freddie back on track he is the ultimate course manager.  But that’s a big if after last Sunday!

Best Of The Rest

I like Charlie Wi 75/1 on tough tracks, but he always seems to let me down on Sundays.  And his odds reflects that. Wi has only played the new layout once back in 2010 and finished inside the top 20 and this is exactly the type of tournament where he makes his money.  Wont be left trailing on the par 5’s this week either, they rank toughest on the Tour.


Course Stats

2011 Scoring average: 73.67

Designers: Greg Norman and Sergio Garcia

PGA Tour Difficulty Ranking: 1. Toughest par 72 on Tour.

Key Requirements: Driving accuracy –5th toughest in 2011; Greens in regulation-4th toughest in 2011; Putting – 1st toughest in average putts made.

Shotlink Par-5 average score 2011: 4.94 – 1st toughest on Tour. 


With Anne Marie Kennedy from Yoga For Golf Ireland.  Anne Marie works with Ireland’s elite amateurs, training them to maximize their flexibility, and power in their game through yoga.
BENEFIT: This pose increases the ‘’X Factor’’ potential creating an increased separation between the hips and shoulders leading to greater distance in all golf shots. It also prevents the reverse pivot swing flaw by feeling proper weight transfer on the backswing.
INSTRUCTION: Take a big step out to the side about four feet. Turn the left foot in slightly and lift and rotate the right foot out 90 degrees. Tuck the tailbone under slightly to lengthen the spine and activate the core abdominals. Bend into the right knee making sure the knee doesn’t come out over the ankle joint. Bring the right forearm down on to the right thigh. Inhale as you rotate the left shoulder back, opening up the chest area, revolve from the base of the spine and extend the left arm up and over the side of the head, palm facing down towards the floor. Gaze to the palm if the neck will allow, if not keep the gaze forward. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side. Master this pose to give your game the “X Factor”!
For more details check out

It’s sometimes hard to get around the fact that a one foot lip out putt counts the same as the 300 yard drive.  Having a putter that you know suits your game is everything.
Technically we are all striving to get that ball moving end over end as soon as possible after impact with the putter face.  The loft of the putter at impact is different for everyone depending on their stroke, and that certainly affects how the ball reacts when struck but here we will discuss another factor, the face material.
Putters like Scotty Cameron’s famous Newport blade are milled from a single piece of stainless steel.  Modern techniques such as CNC-milling produces superb quality, blemish free faces on every putter.  Players such as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods favour a milled blade putter.
The idea of having face inserts in putters is relatively new.  Serving to soften the putter face, inserts affect feel, have a different sound and most critically increase the time the ball adheres to the face, with company’s like Odyssey claim produces a truer roll.  Phil Mickelson uses a face insert putter.
So which is right for you?  The only way to know is to try both and find your preference!

Check out a huge range of putters, new and preowned on or

It has been six years and it has made some lawyers an awful lot of money but finally the war between Callaway Golf and Acushnet (the parent company of Titleist), seems to be drawing to a close.

prov1Both companies have agreed to settle all their outstanding court cases and disputes.  Chief among those is the bitter battle over the patents involved in the development of the Pro V1 ball.

It is believed neither company will pay the other any money and both will continue to produce their own balls and clubs under the patents each claim to currently own.

By Ron for

Paris, France: Weary diplomats emerged from congress Monday night after ratifying a motion that Hunter Mahan be banned forever from Francharles-de-gaulle hatce.  Prime Minister Nicolas Sarcozy said “Mahan has offended the nation of France and given two fingers to the memory of General Charles de Gaulle by daring to wear a replica of his hat during a golf tournament.

64087233 I am handing the matter over to our Anti-Doping Agency to investigate if any other players need banning. They’re the best damn agency in whole of France and they’re free until the Tour de France starts so it suits.”

Sarcozy was then asked if France still also has a ban on Bubba Watson after last year’s Open de France outburst when he dismissed the iconic Eiffel Tower as "that big tower" and describing the Arc de Triomphe, the nation's salute to its fighting heroes, as "an arch in the middle of the road".

bubba france Sarcozy said, “We may have been a bit hasty with Bubba.  We now believe he may actually have been correct.  Architects have backed up Watson’s assertion that the Eiffel Tower is a bit too big and work will soon begin on taking away the pointy bit.  As for the Arc de Triomphe, he’s right too, it might be better at the side of the road, where it doesn’t get in the way as much. Bubba’s welcome here anytime.”

By late yesterday evening special Anti-Doping operatives had retrieved Hunter Mahan’s hat and placed it the vault containing all eleven stripped Tour de France titles seized since 2000.  “We’re going to have to buy a lock for this vault now” said Anti Doping chief Jean Christophe Nobelli adding “We didn’t need one until now.  Everyone knows Tour de France titles are worthless but now that this hat is here we have to beef up security”.

More as it emerges.

Here’s what Tom Watson said yesterday after getting, or rather stealing, a chipping lesson from Bubba.

tom wtasonI practiced my chipping on Wednesday and he came up and I was practicing.  We were 10 feet from each other, and I notice every chip shot he hit was absolutely dead solid perfect.  I mean dead solid.  In my ear, you can hear it.  You know ‑‑ well, the way I chip it's clunky now.  I look at his form there and I said to myself, my hands aren't quite far enough ahead when I chip, and I started doing that today and practicing the last couple days.  Who would have thunk it, you know?  I'm starting to hit the ball solid again with the chip just by watching Bubba chip, the way he was chipping.  So I got some feedback that helped my game listening to his chip shots. 

This just in from Ping.

PING announced today it will sell 5,000 limited-edition all-pink PING® G20 drivers, inspired by the one used by Masters Champion Bubba Watson, and donate 5% of the proceeds to its fundraising campaign, “Bubba Long in Pink. Driven by PING.” 

The bright-pink G20 drivers will be available in golf shops nationwide approximately June 1. As part of PING’s campaign, the company made a $10,000 upfront donation and gives $300 for every drive Watson hits 300 yards or farther (up to 300 drives). To date, $61,600 has been generated. All funds raised will go to Phoenix-area charities, chosen by PING with Bubba’s support. Its effort is part of the “Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million” initiative launched by Watson in January to raise $1 million for charities this year.

“Bubba is already approaching the target of 300 drives of 300 yards or longer, and we wanted a way to provide on-going support for his generous cause,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “Even prior to his win at The Masters, golfers were requesting pink G20s.Through word of mouth, social media, and phone calls, the interest was extremely high. We want to satisfy that demand while bringing even more visibility to Bubba’s goal of raising $1 million.

“Golfers who own a pink G20 will be excited to have this prized possession. They’ll not only enjoy the improved performance of the G20, they’ll be participating in a wonderful cause.”

The drivers will have a bright pink shaft and clubhead featuring the same technology that has earned the G20 high marks for its performance from golfers of all abilities. The pink G20s are offered in 9.5º, 10.5º, and 12º lofts for right-handed players; 10.5º for left-handed. There is also a version geared for women with 12º loft and a Ladies flex shaft. All come with a matching pink headcover and a power-promoting high-balance-point TFC 169D shaft labelled, “Bubba Long in Pink. Driven by PING. Limited Edition 2012.” It is available in R, S, and L flexes.

by Ron for

Augusta—At a ceremony held in the Butler Cabin late Sunday night,  Augusta Chairman Billy Payne presented South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen with a DVD  box set of The Sopranos to commemorate his spectacular double eagle during the final round. "We considered offering him 16 crystal glasses but some of the members argued it should be 32 based on a logarithmic scale” said Chairman Payne adding “In the end we settled on our Sopranos box the-sopranos-hboset. We’ve finished watching it anyway. There’s 86 episodes of visceral action in there charting New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the conflicting requirements of his home life and the murderous criminal organization he heads.”

Handing the box set to Oosthuizen, Payne said “We offer this gift humbly, in memory of your double eagle, and hope that it brings you and your family many hours of worry, trauma and gut wrenching ron flash action".  Both men then paused for photographs holding aloft the box set which featured a blurry snagged image of James Gandolfini from youtube, some Chinese writing and the mis-spelling “The Supranos” beneath.


Anne Marie Kennedy from Yoga For Golf Ireland is our new teaching bay contributor. Anne Marie works with Ireland’s elite amateurs, training them to maximize their flexibility, and power in their game through yoga. For more details check out

The Warrior exercise builds lower body strength and stability, thus increasing speed and power in the golf swing.

Warrior II small

INSTRUCTION: Take a big step out to the side about four feet. Turn the left foot in slightly and lift and rotate the right foot out 90 degrees. Tuck the tailbone under slightly to lengthen the spine and activate the core abdominals. Keeping the hips facing forward, bend into the right knee making sure the knee doesn’t come out over the ankle joint. Keep the hip open by ensuring that the right thigh stays rotating to the right. You should be able to see your 2nd & 3rd toes. Raise the arms to shoulder height, relax the shoulders rolling the shoulders blades together and down the back. Palms face down towards the floor and take the gaze out over the right fingers. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side. Do this regularly and notice the improvement in your swing.


Last week our competition on the blog and in the Irish Examiner featured a fourball in the iconic Old Head Of Kinsale Golf Club.

and the winner is (drum roll please)……..

2 minute pause for suspense

Garry O’Brien, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland

who correctly told us that four Irish golfers North and South teed up in Augusta.

Your fourball is on its way Garry! Well done!


Maybank Malaysian Open

Kuala Lumpur G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 12 Apr 2012 - 15 Apr 2012

odds on the exchanges

also see my

Martin Kaymer 12/1

Clearly jetlagged here last season but nonetheless finished in a tie for ninth. Kaymer makes the trip again along with Oosthuizen and Schwartzel from Augusta. Top 20’s in his last four starts before The Masters where his fade just does not suit the course. Jointly lead the field in greens in regulation here last year and if Kaymer can get his putter warm has a chance. You decide about the jetlag!

maybank tips Nicolas Colsaerts 19/1

Eighth start of the season for Nico and he has already clocked up four top-10’s and has a lowest finish of 35th. Showed he is on form with a respectable tied third in Sicily. The Belgian won the China Open in this calendar slot last year.

Soren Kjeldsen 36/1

Not a long course by Tour standards this week and certainly one suited to the Dane. Soren has only played twice since February and scored well on both ocassions with a top five in the Dubai Desert Classic and a tied third in Sicily. Finished with a 67 here last season to finish just outside the top-10.

Branden Grace 40/1

Whatever happens this has been a great season for Branden Grace after winning the Joburg Open and the Volvo Golf Champions early doors in South Africa. Very solid since with just a slight blip in Sicily last time out. It’s European Tour start number 55 this week for Branden who’s well worth an each way look.

Matteo Manassero 17/1

The defending champion this week and well worth a punt. Manassero was second recently to Julien Quesne at the Open de Andalucia then added a sixth at the Trophee Hassan. Missed the cut in Sicily but this layout is more suited to the young Italian who saw off Greg Bourdy and Rory McIlroy in spectacular style last season. What a nice birthday present a win would make before his 19th birthday the following Tuesday.

Gregory Bourdy 42/1

A three time winner on Tour and another who seems to have figured out this Kuala Lumpur track which is so susceptible to downpours. Shot 66 67 at the weekend last year and surged through the field after starting six groups behind the leaders on the final day. Just outside the top-10 in Andalucia recently and worth a look.

RBC Heritage Betting Preview and Tips
Thursday Apr 12 – Sunday Apr 15, 2012
Harbour Town Golf Links · Hilton Head, South Carolina
early odds on the exchanges

Jim Furyk 24/1

furk Though we only saw a smattering of his shots at Augusta, Jim Furyk performed admirably in finishing 11th given his limitations off the tee. Jim has been enjoying a welcome return to form of late just missing out in a playoff to Luke Donald at the Transitions three weeks ago. A winner here in 2010, Harbour Town is tailor made for Furyk’s game.

Bo Van Pelt 27/1

bo van Tied 17th at the Masters but turned a forgettable week into a spectacular one with a terrific final round of 64. Bo has top-10’s already this year in Phoenix, Riviera, Doral and Innisbrook and tied for third here in 2010. Second only to Luke Donald on the PGA Tour for strokes gained on the greens.

Brian Davis 40/1

Brian-Davis-006 Here’s a man that is sure to have a few practice rounds at Harbour Town under his belt by the time the rest of the field get here this week. Called a penalty on himself in a playoff with Jim Furyk two years ago in one of the greatest displays of honesty the PGA Tour has ever seen. Bang in form too with top fives in his last two outings at the Arnold Palmer and Houston Open.

Kevin Na 55/1

na Should have won here back in 2007 but shot a final round 73 to drop to fourth. Top tenned again last year with a round of the day 66 in the final round. Winner of the Shriners last season and already three top fives in this campaign. Tied for 12th at the Masters and gave his own masterclass in the final round with 68. Big chances this week.

Aaron Baddeley 42/1

aaron-baddeley-golf_t640 A couple of poor performances in Houston and Augusta have blotted Badd’s 2012 copybook somewhat but I still fancy him for a good performance this week. Traditionally plays well around this time of year and this is his type of course. Shot four rounds in 60’s here in 2008 when only Boo Weekley bettered him. An each way shot. If the driver behaves

Useful Top 10’s

Here are Bubba’s official stats versus the field at the 2012 Masters.

Bubba Versus The Field At The Masters


The Field

Greens Hit

53 of 72



Fairways Hit

37 of 56



Sand Saves

4 of 6



Average putts per green



Average Driving Distance

290.38 yards

278.55 yards

Longest Drive

324 yards


Here’s the article


Here's Bubba Watson's driver swing in slo mo



Here's Bubba in one of his many Christmas Bubbaclaus vids


Here's Bubba with Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler and the Hunter in the Golf Boys video


Bubba skimming a shot at this year's par three contest


Bubba's driver swing broken down and analysed.


Access all ares Bubba Watson PGA Tour video


2012 Travis Matthew Video


Bubba and the Watermelon drill


and last but not least Bubba's PGA Tour video


Congrats to Bubba Watson on winning the 2012 US Masters. Here’s what’s in the bag.

Here’s a close up of Bubba Major championship winning driver.The 8.5-degree G20 has "Made Exclusively for Bubba," written on the crown. It measures 44.5 inches and includes a pink True Temper Grafalloy Bi-Matrix shaft and Ping 703 Gold grips.


and his irons this week.


Everybody is talking about the MD Golf Surfer ad being aired during coverage of the Masters on Sky Sports.  If you haven’t seen and want to get clued in

Based in Ireland MD Golf is rapidly gaining a reputation for its quality golf clubs at affordable prices.  So good was their technology that when the began building the brand in the late 90’s Seve Ballesteros himself quickly noticed and put his name to the brand.

All MD Golf products are assembled in Ireland and are top quality.  Where other companies skimp and save on shafts and grips, MD Golf do the opposite.  For their forged blades to their Seve Speed Pro 2 cavity back irons, you can expect UST Mamiya proforce top quality stepless steel shafts and multicompound grips.

Check out their website for their full range of products and here’s a link to the where you can purchase the full range of MD Golf products.


We are the point in the 2012 Masters when the punters pop up and let you know they had backed the leaders some time last Monday at ridiculous odds!  I maar01_sergio0307personally tore up my  Louis Oosthuizen betting slip as he slipped way down the leaderboard on his front nine yesterday only to have to glue it back together as he staged a late rally.
The most interesting bet I've heard of came from a reader who told me of a Cork based GP who is sitting on a  €350,000 accumulator if Sergio Garcia wins. And if that doesn't impress you, the same man won €250,000 three years ago when Trevor Immelman won! Where are my tablets??


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poulterWhen Kevin Na held his third shot for eagle on the 13th hole it meant he negotiated Amen Corner in a very impressive three under par.  That didn't quite make shot of the day though.  That accolade goes to Ian Poulter, also on the 13th, who having gone for the green in two, just about managed to find his ball embedded in the lush flowerbeds behind the green. After much deliberation, Poults thrashed at the folliage, leaves and petals flying. Amazingly, out popped his ball, trickled onto the green and ended up four foot from the hole. He converted for birdie, one of the greatest up and downs of this or any Masters.

The bad news for Poults was that he also gets our round two worst dressed awars. Poults wears his own IJP brand clothing but yesterday he was dressed "off the rails" uncoordinated!  Add to that a pair of shoes that would look more at home on Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and you get into unforgiveable territory.  Oh how the mighty style icon has fallen. Lucky his golf game is bang on form!


scott Tournament organizers must not have liked all the talk of potential record scoring this year. They used pretty much all the Sunday pin positions from 2011 on Thursday to bite back. Pre race favourite Luke Donald is on the wrong side of par as is "I'm only going to practice in The Bahamas" Adam Scott. He may be needing a flight back out on Saturday morning if he cant produce something special today. Fighting the cut too will be big hitting Alvaro Quiros, Jason Day and former champ Trevor Immelman. Sad also to see another green jacket winner Mark O'Meara having to withdraw with injury minutes before his tee off time.


randal lewis “See you at the Senior Open!” was what Tom Watson said to 54 year old amateur Randal Lewis as he shook his hand following their practice round. Lewis, a financial adviser from Michigan got an invitation to the Masters after winning the U.S. Mid-Amateur tournament in September. He even passed over the chance of sleeping in the famous Crows Nest accommodation because he was afraid the breathing machine that helps his sleep apnea would freak out his roommates. After a first round of nine over the dream of the green jacket looks over for Lewis, but for a man who actually framed his invitation, it will always be a dream come true.


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lawrie After round one we now that scoring on the par fives is going to determine the shape of this tournament. We have a couple of bombers at the top of the leaderboard, but we also have a few pea shooters. European pair Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari are not renowned for long driving but both scored heavily on their round. Tiger on the other hand got nothing from them. The 13th and 15th holes are accessible in two to 80% of the field. Charl Schwartzel was double digits under par for the par fives last year and it looks like more of the same will be needed this time around.

harrington So many to chose from including Bo Van Pelt's near ace on the 12th and the Quiros Creek shot on 13 but Padraig Harrington's second shot to 15 gets the award for bravery from me. After only parring his nemesis hole, the par 5 13th, Podge was determined to do some damage on the next par 5. After he hit his 5-wood second shot caddie Ronan Flood looked away in horror, sure it was wet. Fortune favours the brave betimes though and Harrington got a big slice of it as he watched his ball land inches from disaster and roll onto the green. "What was all the fuss about" Harrington said to Ronan using only an ear to ear smile, hunched up shoulders, and palms facing skyward! He walked away with birdie. It was all so reminiscent of Olazabal's shot during the third round in 1999 and we all remember how that ended up.


seve-ballesteros_1381466c Before the event all the talk was about how wet Augusta National was and how long it would play. Now we know the fairways are sodden while the greens are still super slick thanks to the sub-air drying technology. Padraig Harrington played a masterful lob shot from the right of the 11th only to watch it die on the fringe. Thunderstorms continue to threaten the event. The last Monday finish to a Masters? 1983 when one Seve Ballesteros emerged victorious.

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stenson Henrik Stenson hasn't won on the European Tour since 2007 and his last victory on the PGA Tour was the Players Championship in 2009 but yesterday on his birthday, he played like a champion. Well, for 17 holes at least. Now 37, fannyless Henrik got a present of two pairs of crystal golbets from the Green Jacket brigade for his two eagles. After a terrible run of results in 2011 Stenson had knee surgery and mathematicians are still trying to figure out how he got into the field. The house of cards collapsed with a quadruple bogey on the last but if you had offered Stenson an under par round here (or anywhere) before the start he would have bitten your hand off!


BUTCH HARMON FUNNY PIC[6]Luke Donald has worried fans by hitting his R11 driver a mere 8 feet during a 2012 US Masters practice  round.  The shot was 275 yards and 7 feet shorter than his PGA Tour average for the season and has left experts baffled at the World No.1’s sudden loss of power.

Donald is reported to have hit the drive off the deck from the fringe of the fourth green and was spotted by the keen eye (the left one) of Sky Sports analyst Butch Harmon.

Donald is expected is hit many more greenside drivers over the course of the week, decimating his shotlink stats.  “I’m going to use the driver when the greenside lies are sticky or if I’m in the group behind Sergio” said Donald.

You remember the way your mother used always scrub underneath your fingernails at bath time?  Well it seems digitry hygiene didn’t catch on so much in 80’s Spain and today’s adults are paying the price!

Sergio Garcia has an infected nail in the middle finger of his left hand, which affects how strongly he can throw away the club in disgust.  He is determined to play however.

“It’s going to be uncomfortable,” he said, wearing a small Spongebob plaster over the finger.

“It felt worse today than it did yesterday, but hopefully it will be better tomorrow,” Garcia said. “I can play. I won’t quit. Even if it’s painful, this is a tournament that should be played.”

That’s the spirit Sergio, you can overcome.  It’s not as if it’s something serious like a small stone in your shoe or anything!

Most of the big fashion houses release what the players will be wearing at The Masters and take my word for this, most of it is GAKKK!  One notable exception is set to be Geoff Ogilvy. The maker is called Propr, and the designer is David Bedwell.  Understated and classy.

Pity we cant get hold of what GMac for Kartel’s  cardy will look like. It may be only thing to challenge Geoff!

For once a crazy story on golfcentraldaily that also happens to be 100% true!

ticketx-inset-community Seattle man Russ Berkman’s four tickets to today's practice round at the Masters were eaten by his Swiss mountain dog called Sierra. He rang his girlfriend for advice and she said “You gotta make the dog puke”.

Berkman then mixed hydrogen peroxide (that is bleach to you and me) and water and gave it to the dog.  Needless to say poor Sierra wretched up the entire contents of her newly whitened stomach pretty quickly.

In there were the mangled remnants of the four tickets.

There is to be a happy ending though.  After phoning a local radio station with story and explaining it to the people at Augusta, Russ got his tickets reprinted.

It is unclear whether Sierra’s stomach will ever recover after being horribly bleached, but sure wasn’t it worth it seeing her master toddle to the Masters!

Dustin Johnson is quite the athlete, of that there is no doubt.  He might have been an Olympic standard swimmer or a top quality basketball player, but chose golf.  Yesterday David Winkle, his sports manager revealed how Johnson injured his back so badly that he was forced to withdraw from The Masters.

dustin johnson  “His back bothered him from time to time.  He rested it at Bay Hill, got back to working some last week, and tweaked it last week lifting a jet ski.”

Lifting a jet ski? Are you serious?  First of all we have ‘wounded knee man’, injured playing with the Navy Seals, now it seems we have a part time weightlifter who likes to bench press unusually shaped items.  Like jet skis.

What next? Phil Mickelson pulls out due to whiplash from world record reverse bungee attempt? 

And I thought golf is supposed to be a gentle game. For gentle men.


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