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Grading Tiger’s Return

Dec. 13, 2014     By     Comments (2)

Tiger made his triumphant return to competitive golf, I give my thoughts on his performance.

Thrash TalkThere is good news, and bad news.

The good news is there are a number of positives to take away from Tiger's recent return at his Hero World Challenge. The bad news was his score. Our, or at least my, expectations for Tiger are very high. When he comes back from injury I expect low scores and a return to dominance. The only thing he dominated in this return was the bottom of the leaderboard.

Volume Four Hundred Fourteen

Dec. 8, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Tiger displayed his new swing and his lunch at Isleworth

Hittin' the LinksIn golf last week, there seemed to only be one story. In case you missed it, Tiger Woods made his first start in four months at his own Hero World Challenge. From his new (old) swing to his chipping woes and gastrointestinal distress, coverage of Woods was everywhere.

Tiger's play was less than stellar, shooting a dismal +5 at his old home course on Thursday. He spent a good part of Saturday throwing up on the course. Despite running a triple-digit temperature, he managed a 69 on Saturday, which turned out to be his best round of the week. (Apparently, a wounded Tiger really is more dangerous.) For the week, Woods shot 77-70-69-72 and finished at even par. Ever the gracious host, Tiger was T-17 in the 18-player field.

There's no fighting the Tiger mania. So this week, let's hit the all-Tiger, all-the-time links.

How Does Today’s Finish Predict Tomorrow’s?

Dec. 4, 2014     By     Comments (3)

Trying to sort out if the "hot hand theory" applies to golf.

The Numbers Game"He's on a hot streak."

"Rory just can't miss right now."

"You want Webb Simpson on your fantasy team this week, he's been playing great the last few months."

The hot streak. Long defended by athletes, denounced by statisticians. It pops up in discussions about three-point shooting, batting titles, and blackjack, but I want to talk about golf.

I don't really care about putting hot streaks, and it would have taken me a decade to comb though the data to chart individual rounds, but there was one thing I could check out: tournament finishes.

I wanted to see how a player's finish in one tournament ("event A") could be used to predict their finish in the next tournament ("event B").

My hypothesis going in was, with some reservations, that there must be something to the hot-hand theory. We've all seen the kind of streaks Tiger and Rory have gone on where they seemingly can't miss a putt, and we've all had our own streaks where nothing seems to go straight. I figured most pros would go through the same thing.

But the results told a largely different story.

TaylorMade SLDR S Review

Dec. 1, 2014     By     Comments (1)

The newest version of the SLDR S lacks some of the adjustability from the previous version, but promises all the distance.

SLDR S SoleOne of the best ways to get golfers to spend more money on a new club is to convince them that they will gain considerable distance. While there are many who scoff at the seemingly wild claims so many of the companies make; many are more than willing to plunk down three or four hundred dollars in an attempt to see if the claims are true.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (1)

Volume Four Hundred Thirteen

Dec. 1, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Jordan Spieth bests the best down under, the Euros plot continued Ryder Cup dominance, and Tiger is set to return.

Hittin' the LinksThere's just one month left of 2014, and means that while those in the southern climes are entering the prime of their golf season, those of us in the North are facing a harsh reality. In the northern latitudes, there's no denying that golf season is just about at its end (despite the fact that many of us in Central Ohio played in shorts on the last day of November). As the Starks would say on Game of Thrones, "Winter is coming."

But we're not quite done with competitive golf, yet. Tiger returns next week at the Hero World Challenge at Isleworth. It will be interesting to see if he can play pain free, and if he can play more like the Tiger of old than we've seen thus far in 2014.

So while we still can this year, let's hit the links.

TaylorMade Releases RSi Irons

Nov. 30, 2014     By     Comments (0)

TaylorMade is once again pushing the limits by taking slot technology from the club's sole to its face.

Bag DropAlways at the forefront of cutting edge golf technology is TaylorMade. They seem to be the one company that puts themselves out there time after time and seem to be first with the latest and greatest equipment. Sometimes strategies like this backfire, and your products are seen as a joke or as gimmicky; other times you hit home runs. One technology that the company has been pushing over the last several years is its speed slot technology which has been found on both woods and irons. On the irons, it is a polymer filled slot found on the clubs sole. The idea behind the slot is that it allows the face to flex more, producing higher ball speeds across a larger portion of the face. In other words, more forgiveness and more distance. With the release of the RSi Irons, the company is pushing the bounds even more with the addition of slots on the clubs face.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (0)

Why Tiger Needs to Fire Mark Steinberg

Nov. 25, 2014     By     Comments (9)

Tiger is once again wrapped up in a war of words with a golf writer. I explore how Tiger can better handle this feud by making some changes to his support team.

Thrash TalkTiger Woods is really mad at Dan Jenkins. He is angry because Jenkins wrote an fake interview with Tiger saying all sorts of unfriendly things about Tiger in Golf Digest. Tiger responded posting a retort to the article on Derek Jeter's website requesting that Jenkins apologize.

I do not understand why Tiger felt the need to reply to Jenkins. Or why he felt the need to do it on Jeter's website. It was last year at this time that Tiger was angry with another golf journalist in Brandel Chamblee. Chamblee wrongly called Tiger a cheater and the heat from the article forced Chamblee out his role as a writer. Chamblee managed to keep his job at Golf Channel but only by the hair on his chinny chin chin. Tiger did not respond to Chamblee's article by writing his own article. He took to the airways lofting threatening verbiage suggesting Golf Channel might want to fire Chamblee for his poorly written article.

Volume Four Hundred Twelve

Nov. 24, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Rory's back, Tiger gets a new coach, and the Dufners have a pretty good life.

Hittin' the LinksThe last of the tour championships took place this week as the LPGA and European PGA Tours wrapped things up for 2014. That means all of the major tours are back on the same year again. Despite what the calendar reads, it's 2015 in golf.

2014 in the golf world is definitely winding down. The snow birds are flying south to warmer climes and greener fairways. On the PGA TOUR, there are no more FedEx Cup points up for grab until January, though we still have Tiger's event and the Franklin Templeton Shootout to look forward to. The Champions Tour has the father-son event in December, while the LPGA is off until late January. But never fear, the Euro Tour just keeps plugging along with its South Africa swing in December.

Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Eleven

Nov. 18, 2014     By     Comments (0)

The Race to Dubai ends in Turkey, why you shouldn't buy a golf course with Justin Timberlake, and more.

Hittin' the LinksAnother tour is about to wrap up its season, and everyone else seems to be in Mexico suddenly. That's probably not a bad idea with the cold wave that hit the U.S. this week. There's more strange news involving the PGA TOUR's self-imposed exile Dustin Johnson. Ian Poulter's putter failed him big time. And there's a golf cart that will let you break 100 mph, if you need to do that.

But the big news this week is that the man who was instrumental in desegregating professional golf in the U.S. got some well deserved recognition for his courage and contributions to the game. Let's hit the links.

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