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The Tweet Heard ‘Round the Golfing World

Oct. 28, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Ted Bishop learned how fast social media can be used to ruin a career. I give my take on why we should all think before hitting send.

Thrash TalkA few years ago I was an avid listener of Colin Cowherd's radio program. Like him or not, he had a pretty wise take on Twitter. He believed that Twitter was a loaded gun, meaning you could hand it to someone and they would be likely to shoot themselves (or someone else). I think he was on to something.

I tried Twitter before it really hit the mainstream. I wasn't an original user, but I was probably in before you were. My company at the time was looking for exposure and all of the marketing people I spoke with told me I had to get on Twitter. I had both a company account and a personal one. I did not last long. At the time I was a user the LPGA was just starting their campaign on Twitter as well. I followed Christina Kim and Michelle Wie, among others, and the nasty comments made to them by random people went beyond the definition of mean. I didn't know if I was supposed to be offended or, as a parent, concerned that someone might be stalking them. I quickly left Twitter.

Colin's main point regarding Twitter was that the filter is removed. People can say things they think in their head that they would never say in person. Just type it into that little bubbly prompt and hit "Send." Ninety plus percent of tweets go without a follow up. But the five or ten percent can be dangerous and damaging.

Just ask Ted Bishop.

Volume Four Hundred Nine

Oct. 27, 2014     By     Comments (0)

The tweet-spat that rocked golf.

Hittin' the LinksIs it just me, or is Ian Poulter becoming the Colin Montgomerie of the twenty-teens? Unlike Monty, Poults plays the PGA TOUR more at this part of his career than he does the European Tour, but his two PGA TOUR wins pale compared with his 13 in Europe. Like Monty, he seems to be a lightning rod for American (at least) ire. While not entirely his fault, he does manage to fan the flames from time to time: "…I know I haven't played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger." Suffice it to say, controversy seems to swirl around his heavily-producted hair. His latest is a spat with the president of the PGA. Be nice to Ian? Nah. What fun would that be?

Poulter's annoying nature aside. Ted Bishop should know better than to try to demean another man by calling him a "little girl." Call him childish, sure, no harm. But as soon as Bishop used the opposite sex as a put down, he dishonored women everywhere. The PGA of America quickly lopped the last two months off his term as president. Now we Americans can just blame Bishop for the Ryder Cup and feel better about ourselves.

And they are actually playing golf this week, too. Three weeks into the PGA TOUR season, Robert Streb leads the FedEx Cup standings just ahead of Ben Martin and Sang-Moon Bae. How did that happen, you ask. Let's hit the links.

Bobby Jones Blackbird By Jesse Ortiz Fairway Woods Review

Oct. 23, 2014     By     Comments (1)

Orlimar's master craftsman is back with a new line of fairway woods.

Bobby Jones Blackbird Fairway Wood HeroI learned the game of golf on a pair of cut down clubs: a Mizuno pitching wedge and an Orlimar 3-wood, so both brands have always had a place in my heart.

Orlimar, a fairway metal giant back in the 1990s, has fallen off the map after head designer, and the driving force behind the company's greatness, Jesse Ortiz left in 2003. Ortiz has long been one of the game's most recognizable club designers, dating back to the days of permission woods. Though maybe not the best businessman, Ortiz had proven himself to be among the most innovative club designers in golf since joining Bobby Jones Golf a little less than a decade ago.

Ortiz and the higher-ups at Bobby Jones Golf have purposely limited the company's scope to avoid stretching it thin, focusing on drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids. Bobby Jones, with input from Dave Pelz, also formerly sold wedges with a firm, wear-resistant face backed by a polymer membrane, but those are no longer being made. A short-lived lineup of irons has met the same fate.

If you're going to review a Jesse Ortiz club though, it's got to be a fairway metal. Let's get into it.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (1)

Volume Four Hundred Eight

Oct. 23, 2014     By     Comments (1)

The continuing Ryder Cup angst, Rory's absence, and how to handle a burglar.

Hittin' the LinksAh, Fall golf. When watching the tour wrap up show will leave you wondering, "Who the heck is Ben Martin?"

Fall is a season for fast starts. With the new wrap around season on the PGA TOUR, new players to the tour and those who have yet to break through have a great opportunity to make some money and jump start their 2015. Just ask Jimmy Walker how that works.

Breaking News as we go to press: Tiger Woods is taking full swings again, and the U.S. is still not quite sure what to do about Ryder Cup performances.

There's plenty to talk about. Let's hit the links.

Titleist Announces 915 Product Line

Oct. 20, 2014     By     Comments (2)

Each year, Titleist alternates between releasing woods and irons. This time around, it is the 915 line; the most advanced woods the company has ever produced.

Bag DropWhile some golf companies go the route of bombarding the customer with release after release, Titleist takes the opposite approach and sticks to a two year product cycle with woods and irons alternating years. While that means that there is often a product from a competitor with more current technology, it gives Titleist the opportunity to do its due diligence and figure out what technologies work, which don't and then bring debut a lineup that will hold its own for a couple years. It wasn't until the 910 line of clubs that Titleist added an adjustable hosel, which was quite a while after competitors such as TaylorMade and Callaway had done so; however, Titleist took the time to do it right and the hosel they created is regarded by many to be the best of the bunch; an opinion which is further supported by the fact that four years later the company is still using the same one and is no essentially being used by Callaway (just a minor tweak to their version).

With the 915 woods, Titleist has its most featured packed set of clubs. While most of the technologies are ones that we've seen in one version or another from the company's competitors, you can be sure that the company has done it the right way.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (2)

How to Start Winning the Ryder Cup Again

Oct. 15, 2014     By     Comments (10)

Once again the U.S. was beat in the Ryder Cup. I outline some changes that we can make to turn the tide and start winning this event.

Thrash TalkSomething has to change. Heck, if nothing changes the Ryder Cup might not even be worth watching anymore because the U.S. is not competitive. The U.S. has now lost eight of the last ten. That is a whooping of biblical proportions.

As you know by now Phil Mickelson has outlined what he thinks we should do to stem the tide. There are arguments that the timing of Phil's message was bad, but to that I say hogwash. The American side needs to face up to the challenge. It must accept that it has change its ways in order to start winning. We can no longer show up with an honorary captain who is there because he was a great golfer in his day. We need to think about changing everything.

I have a plan for the U.S. team. I want to make big changes.

Volume Four Hundred Seven

Oct. 14, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Ryder Cup angst continues, the PGA TOUR resumes, and Brandt Snedeker is one heck of a skeet shooter.

Hittin' the LinksAt long last, the PGA TOUR Season is underway. I don't know about you, but that three-week layoff seemed like an eternity to me, even with the Ryder Cup wedged in there.

Speaking of the Ryder Cup, it remains a hot topic in golf. Paul Azinger was first rumored to be part of the Ryder Cup task force with Phil, Tiger, and Rickie, but now says he will not be on it. He is still the smart money bet to captain the next U.S. Team. Of course, there are just under 720 days to go until the first matches tee off. It's about time for the hype to begin.

For now, let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Six

Oct. 7, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Watson's under fire, Williams retires, and McIlroy putts into the Road Hole Bunker.

Hittin' the LinksThe Ryder Cup blame game continued all week, as well as attempts to quench the fire. Look for changes to the process next time around, whether or not the blame ultimately falls with the captain or the players.

Speaking of which, the qualifying process begins this week for the 2016 Ryder Cup as the 2014/15 PGA TOUR gets underway with the Frys.com Open in Napa, California. It's also the start of the 2015 FedExCup chase. Lots of Web.com Tour graduates will use their newly minted Tour cards to join the field with others looking for a fast start on next year.

Silly Season is no more. Let's hit the links.

A Convincing Argument for 15 Inch Holes

Oct. 3, 2014     By     Comments (43)

The game of golf is struggling to find new players, I explore a way for larger holes to help grow the game of golf.

Thrash TalkThe first time I heard the idea of fifteen-inch holes I rejected it. The idea was brought to the golf world's attention by TaylorMade CEO Mark King as part of the "Hack Golf" initiative. I lean much more toward the traditionalist view of playing the game as it was intended. I reasoned that fifteen-inch holes would make a mockery of the game that I love very much.

Recently however, I had a conversation with a good friend who convinced me that there is a way to implement the larger hole and still keep the tradition of the game.

As golfers we must accept that our game's growth has stalled. In fact, it's not only stalled, but is going backward. The game is headed in reverse. My initial reaction on how to fix this growth problem comes in identifying the problems with the game today. The number one killer is slow play, or time. It just takes too long to finish a round of golf. Golf needs to be faster.

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