With this week's Deutsche Bank Championship being played in Boston - an hour's drive from Titleist's headquarters - we expected to hear from Ian once again. He did not disappoint, as early this morning the FedEx man delivered not a Cup but a CD to Sand Trap headquarters. There was no return address, but the CD clearly came from the GDAD chairman and contained a single file: the movie you see to the right. Our hunch? Ian plans to release this ad for airplay during Sunday's coverage of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
It's been almost a year since the last installment of Celebrity Deathmatch, but since things are shaping up in the FedExCup for a possible third mano y mano matchup between Rory Sabbatini and Tiger Wood, it seemed like a perfect matchup for Deathmatch.
I know, Steve Stricker (104,950 points) and K.J. Choi (102,900) are leading the FedExCup standings for the moment, but Woods-Sabbatini have a history extending way back to May and the Wachovia Championship. No offense to Stricker and Choi - both of whom are playing great golf - but who better to revive the Deathmatch with than brash and trash-talking Rory against the world's number one golfer? First let's meet the contenders.
As we chug into Labor Day weekend, the promise of "back to school" teases our frazzled nerves, the end of the golf season is just becoming visible on the distant horizon, and a crucial date has come and gone. August 1 marked the final day of the USGA's invitation for commentary on the proposed changes in golf club grooves. This likely rule change, as well as the various USGA studies which allegedly justify the change, have got me thinking: who, exactly, is being served here?
Tiger wasn't there, but Steve Stricker was and made the most of it, besting K.J. Choi. Ochoa wins again, Wie misses another cut, Michael Vick is a punk, and more in this week's episode of Golf Talk.
For this week's Show Notes - links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information - just read on.
It's only been a few months since TaylorMade dusted off its Burner brand, now separated from the once popular Bubble shaft, and rolled out a of drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids under the Burner flag. Now the "number one driver company in golf" is introducing three additions to the Burner line: a fairway wood for better players, a new draw driver, and game improvement irons.
Like Ping's G5 (and now G10) and Rapture line, TaylorMade's club lines are separated more by technology and price rather than being strictly a "tour" line and a "regular Joe" line. TaylorMade's r7 line is characterized by movable weights and playability (the ability to shape shots), while the Burner line tends toward forgiveness and, generally, lower list prices. While the r7 brand is more established and gets the majority of exposure, both lines get play on the PGA Tour.
Let's take a look at the additions to the Burner line.
Regardless of your location in the country or perhaps even around the globe, you may have heard the name Longaberger. The Longaberger company has been turning out world-famous baskets for 70+ years. Their office is even shaped like a basket.
In 1998, Longaberger commissioned a golf course from renowned architect Arthur Hills. The Longaberger Golf Club traverses up and down unusually hilly terrain and offers breathtaking vistas, huge elevation changes, and a challenge to golfers of all skill levels. And from a few locations on the course, you can even see the building shaped like a giant basket!
Longaberger Golf Club is not about the baskets. The owners didn't copy Merion's wicker basket flags nor are the tee markers little baskets. The golf course may have been funded by money earned from making baskets, but the golf course is all about golf.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock the past few weeks, you've probably seen quite a bit of Ian MacCallister expound on the evil virtues of Titleist's new NXT Tour and NXT Extreme golf balls. While the ads are quite humorous, Titleist seemed to be quite serious in giving the NXT line a facelift, which is pretty impressive since the older versions both were rated Gold on Golf Digest's 2007 Hot List.
I've been using the first generation of the NXT Tour for the past several years. The original NXT Tour was a good all-around ball, and I didn't have to worry quite so much about losing them as I would a $5 ball. They were, in short, a great blend of value and performance. They were also quite durable… and durability matters when you scrape your ball around the trees and off the cart paths. My only real complaint with the original NXT Tour was how soft it felt off the putter.
The FedExCup, aka the "Playoffs," began this week. Did you notice? Has your office lost productivity this week because of all the trash talk and speculation surrounding your FedExCup pool? No? My office is the same way. Ask folks about the FedExCup and many will counter "Is that a tennis tournament?"
With all of the money the PGA Tour and FedEx have sunk into this event, you'd think there'd be more buzz. But even the guys who make a living on TV talking about golf seem more excited this week about the U.S. Amateur than the "Playoffs."
Personally, I've always thought that the idea of a season-long competition to track the best players on the Tour would be a cool idea. Now that it's here, the format leaves something to be desired. It's complex, confusing, and not entirely logical. But we're stuck with it (this year anyway). So, here are five more things you may or may not have heard about the FedExCup. The original five are here.