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Nike Vapor Flex Driver Review

Jul. 29, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Nike gives us a taste of what's cooking at The Oven.

Nike Vapor Flex Driver HeroWhat do you want from a driver?

Distance? Check.

Adjustability? Check.

Great looks? Check.

The best sound and feel I've ever experienced? Check.

The Nike Vapor Flex driver reflects not what a driver should be, but what a driver can be. It's an insane concoction of technology that builds on the innovations Nike has brought to market over the past half-decade, all packaged into one sleek clubhead.

Amazingly, when you actually take it for a spin, it all seems to make sense. It's a better-player's club that, despite the lime green and wild esthetics, produces a muted sound and a boring trajectory.

Let's dive in.

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Volume Four Hundred Forty-Three

Jul. 27, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Always look before you reach in the hole for your ball. Just saying...

Hittin' the LinksTwo players rode the momentum of their good play in the British Open to wins this week. Jason Day did not leave the big putt short this week, and beat a nation's hope. Danny Willett put together four solid rounds, including a 62, en route to his victory in Switzerland.

Jordan Spieth may have fell short in his Grand Slam campaign, but he did get a drink from the Claret Jug, anyway. Speaking of the jug, the "The Tiger Woods of Iowa," took his on the usual post-major media blitz.

Not a bad week in golf, unless your Robert Allenby. Let's hit the links.

A Rivalry is Born

Jul. 26, 2015     By     Comments (2)

With Tiger in decline, golf needs a new superstar, if things continue as they are now we might get more than just one.

Thrash TalkThe one thing that makes sport great is rivalries. Baseball has series like the subway series. Football has divisional games which inferior teams can rise up and beat some of the best teams just because of the familiarity. I have been to an English Football derby and the electricity in the stadium is fantastic! Everyone - even the players - can understand the necessity of having someone against whom you compete. Someone who drives you to play better.

Golf has had its share of great rivalries. Consider Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. These two guys grew up in the same caddie yard and then went on to compete on the PGA Tour. Hollywood couldn't have scripted a better story. There was the big three for a while with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. They were the foundation for the modern golf rivalry. Each golfer to a man says they were constantly watching what the other guys were doing. As Arnold began to fade with age, Tom Watson became a worthy competitor to Jack and provided one of the best mano e mano fights that golf has ever seen in The Duel in the Sun. Jack Nicklaus has always stated that Tom made him a better competitor. Jack won more but Tom would rise up and challenge Jack, and very often beat him.

Volume Four Hundred Forty-Two

Jul. 21, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Wow. Just wow.

Hittin' the LinksThat was one wild final day of the Open Championship!

For much of the back nine, the likelihood of a 2015 grand slam seemed like a very long shot, indeed. Then, for a short time, it seemed like it was fated to happen. But the cell phones clicked and the ball spun back (like balls aren't supposed to in links golf) down into the depths of the Valley of Sin. Spieth was left with a difficult putt-chip up the steep ridge to make the playoff. His putt missed one-ball left of the cup.

Just like that, Jordan Spieth came up one shot short of keeping the dream of a modern grand slam alive.

Instead, a player that I never would have guessed to prevail on a links course birdied the first two playoff holes and then hung on through the last two to emerge victorious.

But what a spectacle the Old Course hosted this week... the wind blew, the rain fell, Tiger missed another major cut, Colin Montgomerie's son worked the scoreboard, Graham DeLaet's clubs got dusted, Tim Clark withdrew for an odd reason, DJ looked unbeatable and then he didn't, Watson said goodbye to the Open, no one wanted this birdie, Robson read the names for the playoff and hung up his microphone, the amateurs nearly stole the show, and finally there was a new Champion Golfer of the Year.

What a week! Let's hit the links.

Mizuno MP-H5 Iron Review

Jul. 19, 2015     By     Comments (1)

The new Mizuno MP-H5 irons are aimed at the scratch player, the bogey golfer, and everybody in between. Read on to find out if they deserve a spot in your bag.

Mizuno MPH5Mizuno Golf is a company long known for creating some of the games’ best irons. In particular, the MP series has an almost cult following for their sexy looks and buttery feel. In the past, the MP irons were reserved for only the games absolute best players, or at least they should have been, considering their small size and punishing nature. For those needing a bit more help than the MP series could offer, Mizuno offered the MX and, more recently, the JPX series of irons. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with those lines, they did lose some of the appeal of the sleeker MP irons. Recently, however, the line between MP and JPX has been blurred as the company has created more player friendly MP irons. A few years back now, the company debuted the MP-H4 irons, whose aim was to deliver the look and feel of an MP iron with unmatched forgiveness. I was lucky enough to be the one to review those irons, and I must say that I really liked them, and even made a hole-in-one with them. However, the increased forgiveness came with an increase in size that resulted in a look that wasn’t quite right. The company now has the successor to the MP-H4 in the MP-H5. The new set looks trimmed down from the previous version but still promises to deliver all of the forgiveness.

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2015 British Open Staff Predictions

Jul. 15, 2015     By     Comments (0)

The 2015 British Open is being hosted by the home of golf, lets see what the staff expects for this year's event.

Thrash TalkThe 2015 British Open comes to us from the home of golf, St. Andrews, with all sorts of fantastic story lines. Tiger has shown improvement since is terrible showing at the U.S. Open. Jordan Spieth, on a Grand Slam watch, just finished a successful defense of his title at the John Deere Classic. Lastly, not to be outdone 2015 Players Champion, and don't call him overrated, Rickie Fowler just won the Scottish Open. The only downer is defending champion Rory McIlroy is out with a leg injury after a soccer accident. The field is set and everyone is playing their best and it is setting up to be an epic showdown at St. Andrews. If you aren't excited about this years British Open you just aren't that into golf.

With that lets hear what The Sand Trap staff is expecting at this event.

Volume Four Hundred Forty-One

Jul. 13, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Spieth and Fowler win, Rory is out, and the Old Course awaits.

Hittin' the LinksSo should Jordan Spieth have played the John Deere Classic the week before he tries for the third leg of the Grand Slam at St. Andrews? When you go out and win, it's hard to second guess that decision.

Honestly, I think it was a wise decision on his part, the big winner's check not withstanding. By playing his way into Open Championship week, Spieth avoids having too much free time to think about it. Not to mention he avoids a number of extra pressers where he'd be asked what the Grand Slam would mean to him and does he think he can do it.

Are you stoked for the British Open? Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Forty

Jul. 6, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Scandals, Protests, and a 57... oh my.

Hittin' the LinksIt was supposed to be a fairly quiet week in golf, but two scandal-sheet stories broke involving two of golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. What effect the stories will have on the players and their reputations remains to be seen. But honestly, Tiger's rep really can't get hurt all that much since he's already seen as a bad guy by many.

Speaking of Tiger, don't look now, but his game is starting to show signs of life. His bogey-free final round at the Greenbrier Classic was his first since 2013 and even the driver finally started finding fairways instead of OB, woods, and water hazards.

All in all, the place to be in the world of golf this week was the 18th hole at the Greenbrier Classic. If you don't know why already, read on. Let's hit the links.

Wilson D200 Driver Review

Jun. 30, 2015     By     Comments (6)

With the price tags of drivers climbing high can the Wilson D200 buck the trend and offer a new driver at an affordable price point? Let's find out.

WilsonWilson has been around the golf industry for more than 50 years. During my introduction to the game all most guys would talk about were Wilson clubs. During the late nineties and early 2000's the brand lost its way a little. Very nearly fell off the map completely. In the last few years Wilson has made a comfortable home for itself just below the brands spending much more than itself on marketing but just above the bargain clubs. Now they are making a play to move up again into the higher end segment and spending more on marketing and club design.

So when I tell people that I am using a Wilson driver the first look is sort of precious. "Why?" is the typical question. I wanted to try the new Wilson D200 driver, to see how Wilson as a club making company was progressing. How would this driver stack up against many of the other drivers that flood the market today. I am particularly intrigued by this driver because it is priced just below the other high end driver on the market and I am always on the lookout for a good deal. I started this review hoping to answer the question can a club company with a great clubmaking history make a driver perform at a similar level to the other entrants to the market. Let's see if I could answer that question.

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