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Volume Four Hundred

Aug. 19, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Villegas gets a win, I get the shanks, and Santa gets beaned.

Hittin' the LinksEver have one of those rounds where just moving the ball in the general direction of the hole becomes an almost impossible ask?

Over the weekend, I joined a great group of TST members and staff for a little golf in Erie, PA. I've been playing pretty well of late and even dropped a couple strokes off my handicap in the last six weeks. So there I was warming up and hitting the ball solidly. All seemed right in the world. Then it happened... "El hoselo. The laterals. You know, the S-word."

To make a long painful story short, it got ugly. I shot one of my worst rounds in years and only hit one solid iron all day. Most shots were fat, badly pulled, or both. On the bright side, I only shanked two or three. Why do I share this disturbing story? Because the overall theme of HTL #400 is redemption.

In golf, there’s always some hope for the next time you tee it up. You could find that one little swing key that straightens things out, you could make a hole in one or even an albatross, you might birdie or par your nemesis hole, or you could win that $2 Nassau with your buddies. That's why we keep coming back. Let’s hit the links.

Callaway Announces Big Bertha V Series

Aug. 18, 2014     By     Comments (1)

Building upon the success of the recent re-release of the Big Bertha, Callaway Golf introduces an even faster version; the Big Bertha V Series.

Bag DropThe name Big Bertha is arguably the most well known in the golf equipment industry, and for good reason. When the company recently re-released the Big Bertha line-up, it was a huge success. Many players found more distance with the company's latest and greatest in the bag and now the company looks to add a few more yards with the fastest Big Bertha yet, the V series.

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Volume Three Hundred Ninety-Nine

Aug. 11, 2014     By     Comments (0)

The 2014 PGA Championship might just have proven once and for all that there is compelling golf without Tiger.

Hittin' the LinksWell, that was fun! Great leaderboard, lots of intrigue, a little controversy, and a great finish in the dark, the PGA Championship was a great wrap to the year's majors. Let's hope the playoffs and Ryder Cup can keep the momentum going.

Here's some of the immediate reaction to the PGA Championship from the Twittersphere:

Now, let's hit the links.

2014 PGA Championship Staff Picks

Aug. 6, 2014     By     Comments (2)

The big guns of the PGA Tour are all in high gear making this year's PGA Championship very intriguing. Let's take a look at what The Sand Trap Staff expects for this year's event.

Thrash TalkThe 2014 PGA Championship brings us to back to a familiar spot: Valhalla. In 2000 we were dazzled here with one of the best playoffs in PGA Championship history. Tiger Woods defeated Bob May to cap off a fantastic 2000 season. After delaying until 1:16pm on Wednesday, Tiger finally arrived on site. Phil had a fantastic round to finish his weekend at Firestone. Rickie, Jordan, Justin Rose… there are many guys to choose from. Let's see who The Sand Trap staff likes this week.

A few notes as you read through. You will notice that we have added a few new members to the staff. Also, the third question was asked before Tiger's re-injury; some answered before and some answered after.

Volume Three Hundred Ninety-Eight

Aug. 6, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Sergio falters, again. Rory wins, again. Tiger's back goes out, again. And it's PGA Championship week.

Hittin' the LinksWith the PGA Championship starting on Thursday, the golf world is in a bit of turmoil. Dustin Johnson is on "a leave of absence." Tiger Woods hobbled off the grounds at Firestone after just 62 holes. Rory McIlroy is looking unbeatable.

The U.S. Ryder Team, which for much of the year has looked like the stronger of the two, suddenly seems seriously shaky. Consider everything in the first paragraph, coupled with Sergio's very solid play of late, as well as the fact that the only Americans playing consistently good golf of late are Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley. There's still time for the Americans to come around, but right now it looks like the smart money would be on the Euros come September.

But first, it's off to Valhalla for the PGA Championship. Let's hit the links, Twitter style.

Golf Strategery

Jul. 31, 2014     By     Comments (12)

Golf Instructional books are undergoing a fairly major shift towards common sense on how to get better faster. I take a look at this new trend and what it means to you.

Thrash TalkGolf is hard.

Add to this the fact that most instructional golf books are not worth the paper they are printed on. Most players trying to learn how to play the game from a book have so many swing thoughts they're unable to take the club back. They stink.

Until recently, most golf instructional books were written to either help you improve your swing or trying to help golfer on the mental side of golf. The problem is that it's quite difficult to learn and build a golf swing from a book. Sure, they have pictures and illustrations, but how much can aspiring golfers learn from looking at a static picture of Tiger hitting a 300-yard drive? More importantly, how much can they teach themselves from staring at a picture of Tiger Woods?

Recently, though, the trend in instructional books seems to have shifted a little. Now you are starting to see books that help golfers from more of a statistical point of view. Recent books from Mark Broadie, Every Shot Counts, and Erik J. Barzeski and David Wedzik, Lowest Score Wins, are some examples of books that take a fresh approach using statistics to help you focus in on how to get better faster.

Ping i25 Driver Review

Jul. 30, 2014     By     Comments (3)

Can a low-spinning driver really meet the needs of wide variety of golfers?

PING i25 Driver Hero ShotIn a swing of the marketing winds, a few companies are eschewing the "players' club" designation in favor of an everyman approach. You have most likely seen that Titleist is pitching the Pro V1 for all ability levels and swing speeds this season. The PING i25 driver is carrying a similar message. But can a low-spin driver really be a fit for elite and hacker alike? We'll take a closer look at the i25 to find out.

The i20, PING's previous offering in this line, was a nice lower-hitting, lower spinning driver. For the i25, PING made a few important changes that should reap big benefits for golfers. The biggest differences in the i25 from the i20 are the addition of an adjustable hosel, racing stripes on the crown, and a new family of PING shafts that provide a consistent swingweight regardless of which i25 and PWR shaft you choose.

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Volume Three Hundred Ninety-Seven

Jul. 29, 2014     By     Comments (0)

A German thumps the field, unexpected winners take the cup, and Jarrod Lyle is one tough golfer.

Hittin' the LinksIt was not the best week in golf for many who have devoted their professional careers to the game. But we'll get to that.

It was, however, an awesome week in golf for a guy who's mere presence at the event is story enough.

It was also a very awesome week for a certain German golfer we know. And the LPGA launched perhaps their most innovative event to date. Let's hit the links.

Tiger vs. Jack

Jul. 21, 2014     By     Comments (23)

The age-old debate rages on.

Thrash TalkTrying to parse out the respective greatness of golf’s two winningest major champions is probably the sport’s biggest unsolved mystery.

Jack’s supporters, largely those who lived through his career, tend to look at the one big marker that Nicklaus certainly beats Woods in: major championship wins, as currently defined. 18 remains a larger number than 14, after all. They also point out the Hall of Fame-level competition that Jack had to face throughout his career, including Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, and Tom Watson.

And Tiger’s supporters, generally younger, look to most other stats. Tiger leads Jack in PGA Tour wins, worldwide wins, Vardon Trophies, money titles, and many more. There’s also a very pervasive argument that Tiger’s competition, despite not having the dozen big names of Jack’s day, was far deeper, and presented a more of a weekly challenge where 100 different players were skilled enough to win rather than 20.

It’s an argument that often gets emotional and irrational, but if we want a real answer, we’re going to have to break it down.

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