The 93rd PGA Championship concluded nearly one week ago, and Tour-rookie Keegan Bradley walked away the victor. Bradley is the first player since Ben Curtis in 2003 to win a major in his first appearance, and only the second in over 90 years. Bradley is also the first player ever to win a major with a belly putter, and his late-round five-stroke comeback was one of the best finishes of the year. In fact, despite declining ratings mainly due to the demise of Tiger Woods, this year's PGA has continued a streak of exciting PGA finishes, and it's refuting the assertion of the PGA being the least of the four majors.
PING has had quite a bit of success in past years with their G-series of game improvement clubs as well as the Anser irons, which was their first forged iron in quite a long time.
This year, both lines are extended - the G-series now contains the G20 drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons, while the Anser family welcomes new wedges to the fold. We've obviously got a lot to get to this week, so lets check them all out!
For the first three decades of his life, Tiger Woods had a mission, a quest, a number by which golf immortality has always been measured.
Jack Nicklaus's 18 major championships set the bar so high, until Woods came along and declared that his singular focus in life was to reset that number to 19, if not well higher. It's so outlandish, the thought of a young pro with as good an amateur record as golf's seen since Bobby Jones talking about taking down Jack so early in his career, it redefines the word bravado.
But when Woods said it, when he described his bedroom shrine to the Golden Bear, when it became clear his father had trained him for this starting in a playpen, it became intriguing, and quickly it turned believable.
Bridgestone golf might not have the notoriety or the reputation of a big company like Titleist or Nike, but they are quickly making significant inroads into the big business of golf balls.
Bridgestone's dedication to innovation has put them at the forefront of technological advancements, and they are often the first to come out with new ideas in the golf ball industry. Although they aren't always at the top of the "Buzz" column, they consistently put out quality golf balls that are poised to compete with new offerings from the likes of TaylorMade, Nike, and Titleist.
Bridgestone currently offers two main line of golf ball: the Tour B330 line, and the "e" line, in addition to their xFIXx golf ball. The Tour B330 line consists of four different golf balls, with each one fitting a different type of golfer. The Tour B330 line further breaks down into the regular B330 group, and the B330-RX group, which offer golfers of all swing speeds a tour-quality urethane-covered golf ball that promises unmatched performance. Bridgestone is the truly only manufacturer to cater to golfers of all levels.
First released back in 2005, the e-Series balls from Bridgestone set out to help the amateur that was looking for the boost in distance that the softer balls couldn't provide. Throughout the last few years, the e-Series balls have been tweaked and polished
While some golfers remained unquestionably (and almost illogically) loyal to the offerings of competitors, little by little, more and more amateur players have gravitated to the e-Series (as well as other Bridgestone products) and now sing the praises, wishing they had switched sooner. Bridgestone only added fuel to the fire, offering public ball fittings available to anyone and everyone looking to find the ball to fit their game to the greatest degree possible.
Eidolon, whose V-SOLE wedges have been covered here at Bag Drop, just introduced an entirely new brand (named SCOR) along with that brand's initial product offering in the form of the SCOR4161.
SCOR started over, ditching previous designs and models, and taking a pretty radical approach to the design of these scoring irons and wedges. The question they posed made sense, too - "Why is it that the 9-iron and pitching wedge in your set match the long and mid-irons, and not your wedges?" It's certainly an interesting question to raise, so let's take a look at the SCOR4161 set and what they do to give an answer to that very question.
We're halfway through the 2011 major championship golf season, and already it's proving to be a good one. Even though Tiger Woods was at home on the couch, Rory McIlroy gave us one of the most thrilling weeks of golf in history. Bouncing back from what had been a painful pedigree in past majors, Rory steamrolled the field on Thursday and Friday, and kept up a steady pace over the weekend en route to a eight-stroke victory. This time around there were no meltdowns, no final-round charges, and no broomsticks (though Robert Garrigus did finish T3 with a putter half the size of Adam Scott's), but what we did get was four great days of golf on a rain-soaked course that became vulnerable to low scores. In many respects, this year's U.S. Open was about as different from the Masters as possible, but equally as impressive.
Recent history in majors has been all about the meltdowns and it really got its start a year ago this week when Dustin Johnson handed away what seemed like a massive three-shot lead on the first tee that vanished quickly on his way to a brutal 82. It remains to be seen if this year's U.S. Open venue, Congressional, will offer the risk-reward and downright difficult-yet-memorable holes seen at last year's Pebble Beach.
Length is the defining characteristic of Congressional, made longer by reportedly soft fairways this week. Will that swing the advantage to the big hitters? Or does it play into the hands of a guy who hits it down the middle? With greens heading beyond 14 on the Stimpmeter (if you choose to believe the USGA), will an all-time great putter emerge?
There's no Tiger Woods, no dominant number one player in the world, and certainly no clear-cut favorite this year. In fact, Las Vegas oddsmakers have installed "The Field" as an 8-1 "favorite," with a batch of golfers (Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood) hovering around 12-1.
Our staff offer their predictions:
Thanks to John Feinstein, everyone knows Mark Twain's famous quote. You know, the one where he famously called golf a "good walk spoiled." Sometimes golf is beautiful game between you, nature, and your sandbagging buddies who constantly assure you that inside the leather is inside the leather, even if their belly-putter has a grip that puts Adam Scott's broomstick to shame.
But sometimes golf really sucks. Everybody has those kind of days once in a while. You go to the range beforehand and you're hitting frozen ropes straight out to center field, but the minute you step onto the tee it's like the driver is a foreign object, and the fairway become a mythical place that should never be disturbed. More than maybe any other game, golf can bring any even the more experience players to their knees, at any time.
In this edition of Trap Five, we take a look into those moments on the course when it feels like the golf gods smack you right in the face.