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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.

TaylorMade Unveils New AeroBurner and R15 Lines of Woods

Nov. 14, 2014     By     Comments (0)

TaylorMade mixes old and new with the AeroBurner and R15 lines of metalwoods.

BD TitleTaylorMade got away from their core audience last year, and new CEO Ben Sharpe knows it.

The SLDR was released with less fanfare than they expected, and it took TM too long to realize that the "Loft Up" features of the club were more important than the moving weights. They tried to rescue that later in 2014 with the SLDR-S, but that line's overlap with the underwhelming JetSpeed just gave TaylorMade a muddled lineup.

The familiar "R" and Burner lines were no where to be found, and the RocketBallz line with which TM had so much commercial success was similarly jettisoned. The entire lineup was blue and grey, and they never quite decided whether they wanted the club crowns to be white, black, or somewhere in between.

TaylorMade's new lineup brings back some of the old standbys, while incorporating the technology that got lost last year.

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Callaway Announces Big Bertha Alpha 815 Series

Nov. 13, 2014     By     Comments (0)

This past year, Callaway returned to its glory days with the reintroduction of the Big Bertha line, and with the new 815 series, the company believes that it has something even better.

Bag DropAt the beginning of 2014, Callaway Golf brought back an old favorite with the reintroduction of an old favorite; the Big Bertha. The driver came in two different versions (a standard Big Bertha and the Alpha) and both were received well. Callaway worked hard on these clubs to create a club that was both forgiving and long, and in the eyes of many, they did just that. Recently, they followed up with the release of the Big Bertha V Series; which wasn't an update to the Big Bertha line so much as it was a replacement of last years FT Optiforce line. Those clubs were meant to be lighter and faster than a typical driver and help those that needed it achieve higher club head speed. Now, the company has the true update to Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha, and it is the Big Bertha Alpha 815.

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Mizuno MP-4 Irons Review

Nov. 4, 2014     By     Comments (2)

Mizuno’s MP-4 Irons may look difficult (and beautiful) to hit, but they are one of the best sets of irons out there.

MP-4 IronsI'm an admitted fan of Mizuno irons. Years back I reviewed the MP-58s and enjoyed them immensely. Before that I've gone through other irons from Mizuno such as the T-Zoids. I only strayed from Mizuno once during that time but quickly came back with a lot of success and great iron shots.

The pure muscle-back MP-4 from Mizuno keeps the train going. I've gone from muscle-back to progressive/hybrid a couple times before. Normally there is a bit of an adjustment period and a player can feel the difference and give up some playability and/or feeling. How did the MP-4s feel and perform? Read on to find out.

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Volume Four Hundred Ten

Nov. 3, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Bishop fallout, flyer lies and landings, and what is happening to all the trees?

Hittin' the LinksIt was quite a week in golf. Ted Bishop used his new-found free time to go on an apology tour and got in a few snipes at Phil Mickelson in the process. Ian Poulter, for his part, just got on with the business of selling his autobiography. Meanwhile, Tom Watson offered up a few golf tips via his Twitter account.

One of golf's most famous trees was lost. All of the major tours were active, most of them in Asia. The Fall equipment launches carried on with a surplus of hype. And His Airness pronounced judgment on the President's game and put a youngster in his place.

Let's hit the links.

The Tweet Heard ‘Round the Golfing World

Oct. 28, 2014     By     Comments (5)

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 (3)

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.

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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.

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