Stories by James
Pinehurst quiets as stars gear up for U.S. Women's Open
The Women's U.S. Open starts Thursday on the same No. 2 course played by the men, and practice rounds are underway. Yet only a handful of diehard fans have showed up for this prelude to history.
U.S. Open quiz: How many future U.S. Open venues can you name?
Seven future U.S. Open sites (2015 through 2021) have been selected. How many of the seven courses can you name? As a bonus, match each course with its appropriate year. How much of a golf nut are you?
Tough U.S. Open setup at Pinehurst wipes trademark smile off Matt Kuchar's face
Bang! The nicest guy in golf, Matt Kuchar, opened his mouth and the sharp-edged criticism came tumbling out after a 1-over 71 as he launched a rock-em, sock-em attack on the USGA for its Saturday setup.
Moore: They'll be putting 'em off Pinehurst's greens today at U.S. Open
Ryan Moore will tell you what's different about U.S. Open conditions at Pinehurst for Saturday's third round: "They're starting to firm up. They're getting bouncier. There's going to be at least 10 people putting off the greens today."
Martin Kaymer carrying two 3-irons at Pinehurst No. 2
Martin Kaymer opened the U.S. with back-to-back 65s. He also carried back-to-back 3-irons, with one being bent to more of a 2-iron.
By the numbers: Martin Kaymer strong in several stats at Pinehurst in 2014 U.S. Open
A look at the numbers finds Martin Kaymer performing well at the U.S. Open in several statistics, understandable given his six-shot lead, plus Pinehurst's strengths and (relative) vulnerabilities.
U.S. Open: The equipment counts at Pinehurst
The closest equipment counts at the U.S. Open were in irons, where Titleist edged TaylorMade 35-31, and putters, where Odyssey nosed Titleist 50-47.
Lucas Glover debuts graphite-shafted Bridgestone putter
Lucas Glover used a new graphite-shafted, Bridgestone True Balance TD-03 putter at the U.S. Open.
Even at eight back, Dustin Johnson has plan for U.S. Open at Pinehurst
Dustin Johnson is among those looking for a fight with Martin Kaymer at the 2014 U.S. Open, although Kaymer is threatening to run away from the field. "My approach won't change at all," insisted Johnson.
Achie's Awards: Players' honesty on Pinehurst conditions and their U.S. Open games
Major championship competition brings out the honesty in most participants. Their U.S. Open thoughts Thursday at Pinehurst, amid invariably difficult golf, tended to lack any false confidence.
Firsts prove fun for Daniel Berger in U.S. Open at Pinehurst
Meet Daniel Berger, a former FSU golfer participating in his first U.S. Open. Berger hit 14 greens in regulation and shot 72 at Pinehurst No. 2 in the championship's first round, although such statistics stand in the way of history.
Achie's Awards: Appreciation of opinions at Pinehurst on eve of U.S. Open
Players and officials took the time Wednesday at Pinehurst to talk about the upcoming U.S. Open challenge. Here's a salute and a handful of Major Jim awards to honor their perspectives heading into the year's second major.
Achie's Awards: Words of wisdom run gamut at Pinehurst before U.S. Open
Another major championship is about to start. For those who will not win the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, there is always a Major Jim Award to recognize significant words of wisdom.
Pinehurst has players tweaking wedges, long irons for 2014 U.S. Open
Wedges and long irons are the two areas in which U.S. Open competitors are furiously making equipment changes at Pinehurst before the start of the year's second major championship.
From tertiary tours, Zac Blair and Clayton Rask qualify in Calif. for U.S. Open at Pinehurst
Zac Blair, medalist in the U.S. Open sectional qualifier Monday at Emerald Valley Golf Club, outdistanced Clayton Rask by four shots as the two earned the spots that will take them from Oregon to Pinehurst.
Knowing rule on divot leads to pair of birdies in U.S. Open sectional qualifier
On Emerald Valley's third hole, two players launched drives that ended up in the fairway just two inches apart during U.S. Open sectional qualifying -- when one marked, the other created a divot affecting his position.
Joel Skarbo leads early at U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Oregon
At Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Ore., professional Joel Skarbo of Seattle leads three other pros: Jarred Bossio of Olympia, Wash., Zac Blair of St. George, Utah, and Clayton Rask of Otsego, Minn.
Winner's Bag: Rory McIlroy, BMW PGA Championship
Check out our exclusive interview with Rory McIlroy, who talks about his winning gear at the BMW PGA Championship.
Nippon N.S. Pro Zelos 7
Nippon's new shaft is called N.S. Pro Zelos 7, and it is a lightweight steel shaft that may address the desires of many amateur golfers.
Golf balls in colors no longer just quick splash
Many golfers have a love-hate relationship with colored golf balls. Three ball manufacturers have been particularly aggressive with colored balls in the U.S.: Bridgestone, Srixon and Volvik.
Volvik Vista iV golf ball emerges as player’s ball with optimal distance
The four-piece Volvik Vista iV has emerged as a player’s ball with optimal distance. Used by a handful of male touring pros, including Craig Stadler, the golf ball also is popular with female touring pros on the Volvik staff.
Volvik White Color S3 golf ball targets soft feel
The four-piece Volvik White Color S3 is new for 2014 -- and is Volvik’s first golf ball utilizing soft and durable urethane in the cover.
Volvik Pro Bismuth golf ball aims at high swing speeds
Volvik's Pro Bismuth golf ball is a versatile three-piece ball aimed at golfers with higher swing speeds.
Volvik Vista iS golf ball seeks soft feel
Volvik's Vista iS golf ball is designed to offer more greenside spin while feeling softer than its Vista counterpart.
Volvik Crystal golf ball for slower swing speeds
The Volvik Crystal, a three-piece ball intended for golfers with slow to medium swing speeds (60 to 95 mph with a driver, according to Volvik), is the company's most famous offering.
Volvik Lady 350 golf ball
Because low trajectory is an obstacle faced by many women, the design and placement of the dimples in the Volvik Lady 350 golf ball should help most women hit the ball higher.
Volvik DS77 golf ball targets medium swing speeds
The concept of the Volvik DS77 golf ball is to focus on extra distance for golfers with medium swing speeds.
TaylorMade SLDR irons join already popular lineup of drivers, woods, hybrids
TaylorMade predicts its new SLDR iron will appeal to a wide spectrum of golfers, from touring pros to average amateurs, joining a successful line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids.
TaylorMade SLDR S drivers, fairway woods and hybrids
TaylorMade has a new version of its SLDR woods on the way to market, called the SLDR S and available in drivers, fairway woods and rescue hybrids.
Cobra BiO Cell Pro Driver
With the May 1 release of its new BIO CELL Pro driver, Cobra expands the BIO Cell family to three clubs. Each is intended for a specific level of play.
Achenbach: Mark King leaves big shoes to fill at TaylorMade
Mark King became president of TaylorMade in 1999 and quickly launched a series of decisions and mandates that raised TaylorMade's visibility and profitability.
Achenbach: Watson's growth transcends his rise as a golfer
Our James Achenbach on Bubba Watson: At 35, Watson has reached a point in his life where he can clearly and thoroughly explain his feelings and emotions. He can talk about his principles and beliefs. He has joined hands with a world far beyond golf.
Achie's Awards: Mayor, fan club and more at Masters
The Masters championship edition of Achie's Awards, closing out a dramatic week at Augusta National, include a mayoral honor, a fan-club fete and a newcomer's notation.
Achie's Awards: From Mr. Elastic to Mr. Polite
Our James Achenbach gives a tip of the cap to Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker, Thomas Bjorn and Matt Kuchar – most for reasons you would never know by simply watching this tournament on television.
Winner's bag: Bubba Watson during 2014 Masters at Augusta National
Going into the 2014 season, Bubba Watson made the most extensive changes of his professional career -- switching to Ping S55 irons, leaving behind a model he had used for almost 10 years. This week he won his second Masters.
Achie's Awards: From a magic caddie to the losing spirit
Brian Tam caddied for amateur Tianlang Guan and led him to making the cut in 2013. What does he do for an encore? He leads another amateur, Oliver Goss, to the weekend as well.
Achie's Awards: From a 'moron' to brutal honesty
Our James Achenbach reflects on the day that was on Thursday at Augusta National, handing out awards to the likes of Mike Davis, Fred Couples, Craig Stadler and Jonas Blixt.
Amateur Mike McCoy, 51, shoots 78, but still hopes to make Masters cut
Mike McCoy isn't just satisfied to be at Augusta National. He set a goal of making the cut and knows he'll need to be more aggressive on Friday if he hopes to accomplish that after a first-round 6-over 78.
Big Three offer big thrills to open 2014 Masters
The Masters honors golf's greats, as well as tradition, by having Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus kick off the start of competitive action at Augusta National.
Achie's Awards: Metalwoods to milkshakes at Masters
Jim Achenbach's award winners for Wednesday at Augusta National include Gary Player, Jose Maria Olazabal, Billy Payne and more -- dig in for the best in the eyes of a 44-time Masters-week journalist.
Achie's Awards: Augusta's 16th hole is spectator heaven
In Tuesday's rendition of James Achenbach's daily awards, the 44-year vet of the tournament reveals his love of the spectacle that has become the 16th hole on Masters Tuesday.
Achie's Awards: From Day to Stricker, a look at Monday's best
James Achenbach is in the midst of covering his 44th Masters and took a few moments to offer up his Monday awards, strictly restricted to the handful of press conferences since play was washed out at Augusta National.
TaylorMade SLDR MiniDriver spotted again at Augusta National before Masters
TaylorMade’s SLDR MiniDriver already has gotten a workout on Tour, and it might find its way into several bags this week at Augusta National. The small-headed wood becomes available to consumers May 2.
Adidas Adicross Gripmore golf shoe focuses on traction
Adidas' Adicross Gripmore uses rubber-like cleats that flex and bend to focus on traction.
TaylorMade 14-degree SLDR driver
The introduction of the 14-degree SLDR driver has presented one of TaylorMade's biggest challenges, because most golfers identify 14 degrees with a strong 3-wood, not a driver.
Boccieri Secret Grip Midsize
The Secret Grip's new Midsize version, weighing 92 grams, comes in three new colors, that counterbalances the swing weight of any club.
Golf Pride CP2 Pro, CP2 Wrap Grip
Golf Pride's new Control Core is said to be the softest high-performance grips it has ever made.
The Lamkin Utx is an all-weather golf grip available in three colors, consisting of three functional layers.
Iomic Sticky 2.3
Iomic's new version of the Sticky 2.3 is 30 percent firmer, and is used by the winners of 53 professional events.
Winn DuraTech Midsize
Winn's DuraTech golf grip is a durable all-weather model available in midsize and designed to appeal to skilled players.