PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Eight PGA TOUR rookies have stepped off of the golf course and into the world of high-end fashion for the new issue of ForbesLife magazine .
Tommy Biershenk, Jonas Blixt, Bud Cauley, Gary Christian, Harris English, J.J. Killeen, Danny Lee and Jamie Lovemark had the opportunity to demonstrate their modeling ability in designs by some of the world’s most renowned fashion manufacturers -- including Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Rolex and Audemars Piguet, among others.
The photo shoot took place at the Fairmont Princess Hotel, adjacent to TPC Scottsdale during the week of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, with acclaimed French photographer Antoine Verglas capturing the images that were styled by Joseph DeAcetis, the magazine’s style editor.
The 10-page spread, entitled Clubhouse Confidential ( click here for more ), coincides with the relaunch of ForbesLife , which for the first time will be offered on newsstands across the nation and also be available in replica-form for nooks, kindles and iPads.
Verglas, who is based in New York, is recognized for introducing the “Verglas Signature” to glamour photography in the 1990s, an intimate style of capturing a personality of his subjects. His work has appeared in all the leading fashion magazines.
“I think it's fun,” Verglas said of the rookie photo shoot. “They could be models, you know. They did great. They have good looking personalities and are great looking guys and the pictures were really good.”
DeAcetis noted that ForbesLife was going under a redesign and that the idea behind the photo shoot was to reach a new, younger audience. “These athletes transcend any economic level,” he said. “They're great players, and this is what men are interested in. We have a high standard here at ForbesLife that we have to convey and I think that these guys did an amazing job.”
DeAcetis said they worked extensively on matching colors and sizes, and then matching them to ideal locations at the Fairmont Princess. “The shoot is shorter jackets and tighter pants; it's more modern, the cut,” he said. “And that's what these guys are, 21st century men. So it has a little more life to it than a traditional suit or traditional jacket. And that's what these guys embody … the next expectations, they're the next big players.”
Cauley said he had a lot of fun participating in the shoot. “It definitely was my first experience with something like that,” he said. “They dressed me up in really nice clothes and did my hair a little bit differently. We’ll see how it turns out, but I trust what they were doing and I’m sure it will all look great.”
English agreed. "It was crazy, I've never done the modeling experience before,” he said. “It was cool. These are pretty sweet clothes and it was fun. I could definitely do it again; it wasn't bad at all."
Christian, the oldest among the participants at age 40, added, “I enjoyed the experience and would definitely do it again. It was interesting to me as an arty guy how the photographer set up shots and how much of a perfectionist the stylist was.”
PGA TOUR Entertainment was on hand to film the photo shoot and will feature it on an upcoming edition of Inside the PGA TOUR on Golf Channel in early April.
Jamie Lovemark’s season looks like it’s about to go from bad to worse.
The former Nationwide Tour Player of the Year has what is believed to be a torn disk in his back, according to Golfweek. As a result, he’s not in the field for this week’s PLAYERS Championship and could be out an extended period -- “likely a few months,” IMG Golf’s Vice President Kevin Lynch told the publication.
Lovemark last played at the Shell Houston Open, where he withdrew following an opening-round 80. In nine starts this season, Lovemark has made just two cuts. His best finish was a tie for 28th in Puerto Rico.
DORAL, Fla. -- Francesco Molinari and Anthony Kim took a break from their preparation for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on Monday evening to entertain the media and promote the new Nike 20XI ball.
Nike's braintrust, in collaboration with engineers at DuPont, took four years to develop the technology for the 20XI. Instead of a rubber core, the ball uses a resin material that is designed to produce more distance, straighter ball flight and more controlled shots.
“I have never been more excited about a new golf ball innovation than I am now,” said Rock Ishii, Nike Golf’s Product Development Director for golf balls. “For many years, golf ball development has primarily been focused on the number of layers with a solid rubber core.
"We believe that there wasn’t really anywhere else to go as far as technology advancement in these areas, and felt that the next window of opportunity was in the exploration of various materials for the core.”
In addition to Kim – who put the ball in play the same week he tested it -- and Molinari, Stephen Ames, Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover, Justin Leonard, Jamie Lovemark, Pablo Martin and Carl Pettersson are among other Nike athletes who have switched to the 20X1.
The new balls will be available to the general public on April 29. There are two in the series. The 20XI-X is optimized for distance while the 20XI-S has a softer cover and offers better control around the greens.
D.A. Points turned in the wedge shot of the year so far on TOUR at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, using a 52-degree Ping Tour-W wedge for his Sunday holeout eagle on the 14th at Pebble.
Suffice to say, his gap wedge delivered better last week than he remembered on a similar shot a few years prior.
“It was a couple years ago, I was playing pretty well here and I was in the Top-10 and I was making a lot of
birdies,” Points said. “I came down there and I had a gap wedge, similar kind of shot and I spun it left off the green and rolled down the hill under the tree and I made double bogey.
“Most of the time we are worried about putting too much spin on it. This year we are trying to get as much spin on it so we can hold it up there.”
-- Speaking of ball spin, Nike introduced a new TOUR-level golf ball Tuesday, the 20XI. The conventional rubber core is replaced with a resin core, engineered to produce more distance and control. Nike says the ball has perimeter weighting between the lighter core and heavier outer layers.
The ball, which comes in distance and spin models, is being used by Stephen Ames, Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard, Jamie Lovemark, Francesco Molinari and Carl Pettersson, among others.
Whether Tiger Woods switches to the 20XI remains to be seen, though he is said to be considering it. He still plays the Nike Tour One.
-- Golfweek’s Gene Yasuda writes that Wilson Golf spent $4 million on research and development last year – five times what it spent five years ago – in order to help implement to a two-year product cycle. The company’s marketing message has been simplified, touting 61 major championships won with Wilson irons, and Kevin Streelman has been added to a stable of TOUR pros that includes Ricky Barnes and Padraig Harrington.
Wilson posted an entertaining YouTube video of commercial outtakes including Barnes. Look for the wedge-bouncing ball trick, similar to the old Woods Nike commercial, here.
-- What was in amateurs’ bags at the AT&T? TaylorMade said its R11 was the No. 1 driver, with 24 in play.
Bill Murray won the Pro-Am with new Titleist Vokey wedges. Check out the BM stamps on his custom clubs here .
--Odyssey just released their D.A.R.T. putters and E. Michael Johnson of Golf World writes that the company is making a handful of “TOUR-only” options including a mid-length version with a 400-gram head, a long version with a 450-gram head, a black PVD version and one with a red D.A.R.T. alignment device. Some of those putters may be put in play at Riviera.
-- In a Masters conference call this week, Phil Mickelson lent some insight into his bag.
On putting two drivers into play at Augusta:
“That particular year, I believe, was one of the first years, if not the first year, that the golf course was lengthened extraordinarily. I think that was the first year that a lot of length was added; tee boxes were moved back quite a few yards. And to combat that, I tried to get a driver that I could hit an initial 20 yards.
“Although I called one a draw driver and one a fade driver, the long driver was the driver that I drew. But I also hit it 20 to 25 yards longer than I did my regular, was a longer shaft and so forth. And I believe that it played a big factor in me winning the golf tournament.
“Now the driver that I have, is very similar to that distance. It might only be five or seven yards shorter than that driver, and so there's really not a benefit to putting another longer driver in play. And so that frees me up to add another club.”
On his wedges:
“I've set my wedges now -- I used to have as much as five wedges, as you know. And what I did was took the gap and sand wedge and kind of created a club in between.
“So every week now, I am set with four wedges. I have a 64 and a 60. I have a strong sand wedge. Which is about 54, 53 1/2, 54 degrees, and then I have a pitching wedge that's a 47 1/2, 48. So that allows me to add some other clubs longer in the bag.
“And usually at Augusta, I don't have a hybrid. I usually carry a 3-iron. And the reason for that is, if I'm not able to reach the par 5s, like 13 and 15, with a 3-iron or less, I usually don't want to go for it, anyways.
“And second, the additional length on No. 4 puts me a lot of times right between clubs, between a 4-iron and sometimes a 3-iron. And so having a 3-iron in the bag at Augusta is what has helped me the last couple of years in some of those in-between shots from 220 to 245.
“So that is usually how my setup, club setup, is. And I no longer play with five wedges. I've had four wedges now and the same wedges for the last couple of years.”
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Jamie Lovemark has withdrawn from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am due to a back injury.
According to his Twitter feed, Lovemark will not play in next week’s Northern Trust Open, either. Here is what he wrote:
“Hate to WD from AT&T and Northern Trust next week but my back is not in a good place..disc issues since October. Needs to get reevaluated.”
Lovemark, who was the leading money winner and player of the year on the Nationwide Tour last year, shot an 81 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Thursday’s opening round.
HONOLULU -- Fresh off a season in which he became the youngest player to win the Nationwide Tour's money title, 22-year-old Jamie Lovemark enters his rookie season on the PGA TOUR this week perhaps with higher expectations than most first-year players.
He's expected to make a big splash this year. Winning a tournament this year, in fact, is a goal he's willing to embrace.
"One of my goals is to win an event," Lovemark said Wednesday on the eve of his rookie debut at the Sony Open in Hawaii. "If I don't win and I have a really bad season, not a lot of top 5s or top 10s, I'll be disappointed.
"Obviously, if I have a good year, a lot of good finishes but if I don't win, I'll be upset with myself -- but not disappointed, I guess you would say.
"My main goal is to finish top 30 in the FedExCup points, play in Atlanta for THE TOUR Championship. I figure if I play well, I'll get there. And if I win, I might get there. So I have those two goals in mind."
Lovemark actually has a previous brush with nearly winning a TOUR event. In 2009, after turning pro that summer, he made five starts on TOUR. At one of those events, the Frys.com Open, he shot 65-64 on the weekend to get into a three-man playoff with Rickie Fowler and Troy Matteson.
Matteson eventually won, but it was invaluable experience for Lovemark.
"I'm confident with the way I'm playing, the things I'm working on with my swing coach, (Sean) Foley," Lovemark said. "I'm progressing to a place I want to go.
"I'm not there yet with my swing. Hopefully by the end of the year I can get to a point where I can be a better ball-striker. But I know the things we are working on. It's given me a lot of confidence that I can play week-in and week-out."
Despite his youth -- of the 35 rookies this year, he's the third youngest -- Lovemark doesn't anticipate a long learning curve. He's made nine TOUR starts as a pro and eight more as an amateur.
"Playing an entire year on the Nationwide Tour was great for my confidence," he said. "Taught me how to compete, how to live life on the TOUR week to week and all of the ins and outs of traveling and building a routine throughout the week....
"I'm prepared as I can be." – Mike McAllister
The other player who came up short in last year’s playoff with Rickie Fowler and Troy Matteson at the Frys.com Open? That was Jamie Lovemark, who had he won, of course, would have had a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR. Instead, Lovemark was relegated to the Nationwide Tour most of the season with just three starts on TOUR (he missed the cut in two of them).
“I remember getting on a plane and heading to the first day of Q-School, so...” Lovemark said earlier this week. “You know, one shot, one putt changes everything.”
Of course Lovemark was fortunate to even have a chance in the playoff after his approach shot bounced out the water on 18 and he saved par from the rough to keep his hopes alive. Matteson, of course, went on to make birdie on the next hole and end the playoff.
Lovemark obviously would have preferred to be on the TOUR this year, but he was hardly disappointed with this season.
”I'm happy where I am this year,” said Lovemark, who is 1 under through four holes. “The Nationwide Tour has been great for me. It's great for a lot of people for different reasons. It's taught me how to be in contention, how to score and make a lot of birdies, how to travel by myself and live that kind of life.”
Lovemark has taken advantage of that opportunity, too, recording eight top-10s, including a win, in 20 starts. -- Brian Wacker