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“The Stack and Tilt Swing” Book Review

Dec. 11, 2009     By     Comments (36)

Stack and TiltI'll plainly admit it (and have, a few times, in the forum): when Stack and Tilt first came out in Golf Digest in 2007 I said things like "I don't know much about it, but it seems like they're trying to sell it pretty hard and I'll wait a little while to see if it's still around in a few years before I really devote much thought to it." I didn't look into it, I didn't seek understanding, and I kept tinkering away at my own "conventional" swing.

Ooops. My bad.

Earlier this year I hooked up with a Stack and Tilt instructor in my hometown - and given that there are only about 20 truly qualified instructors, I am fortunate to have one nearby - and my opinions about Stack and Tilt changed as I gained insight into the swing pattern built by Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer.

Throughout the summer, my instructor applied a few "pieces" of the Stack and Tilt pattern to my golf swing. The more instruction I got the more the information made sense to me, and the closer I got to "full conversion." Any objections or disinterest I had regarding Stack and Tilt slowly dissolved away in the face of information and consideration.

The Instructor Quiz: Nine Questions You’ve Gotta Ask

Dec. 9, 2009     By     Comments (42)

There are a lot of golf instructors out there. Many of them are qualified, intelligent instructors with the best of intentions. They want to help you, they want to see you improve, and they enjoy doing it.

Unfortunately, intentions don't always translate into ability, and there are a good number of instructors out there who may not be helping their students as much as they'd like.

Over the last few years I have become increasingly frustrated with feedback I have received from students who have taken lessons from seemingly "qualified" instructors. In this era of the Internet and YouTube, I have also had the chance to view a large number of videos and read many instructional articles online and, again, it seems that much of the information is misleading at best. Because of this I took the time to devise a short nine-question "test" for golf instructors.

I would like to point out upfront that I, and all the instructors at my academy, teach based on the 5 Simple Keys®… but all of the questions and answers are the same for any efficient method of swinging the golf club.

Tiger, You’ve Crossed the Line

Nov. 15, 2009     By     Comments (51)

Thrash TalkAustralia wisely invested $3M to lure Tiger Woods to the JBWere Masters, and they were treated to nothing less than Tiger's best effort in a two-shot victory.

Fortunately for Tiger and those same Australians, nobody was treated for an injury caused by a flying Nike driver, which only moments earlier had let the world's best golfer down with a poor tee shot on the thirteenth hole Saturday.

I've excused Tiger's verbal outbursts in the past. Ben wrote an article about them and largely supported Tiger as well. I continue not to care about Tiger's verbal outbursts, and will point out that he seems to have improved both in volume and content in recent years.

But tossing a club into a crowd of people? Well, now, that's well across the line.

TaylorMade Releases R9 and R9 TP Irons, Raylor Returns

Nov. 4, 2009     By     Comments (13)

Bag DropTaylorMade has for years been synonymous with innovation and progressive thinking, and though they may catch a hard time due to the frequency of their releases, no one can say that they do not push the limits of playability. That's why it may come as a surprise that they resurrected a club that was first released back when Michael Jackson first purchased Neverland Ranch and the song that would years later become the subject of the infamous (and played out) internet prank known as the "Rickroll" was a number one worldwide hit.

Of course, I would be referring to the TaylorMade Raylor, which for those of you that may be too young to remember, was a very popular fairway wood back then. The Raylor name has been brought back for their newest hybrid club, and as you can imagine, there is a bit of difference between the old and the new. Along with the Raylor, Taylormade has also brought us their latest irons, which share the name with their very popular line of woods from 2009.

Birdies on the PGA Tour

Oct. 16, 2009     By     Comments (2)

The Numbers GameLet's talk about everyone's favorite topic: birdies, who makes them, and how much it helps your round. I remember the first time I shot under 40 for nine holes: I shot a 38 that included two birdies. Take away those and I don't break 40 that day. Over a year before that, I birdied the 17th on my way to breaking 90 for the first time with an 87. A bogey instead would still have me breaking 90 that day, but the bird makes me sound clear and focused (the truth is that I had no idea where I stood on the 17th tee).

Most professionals aren't concerned with looking cool, and if they're worried about breaking 40 or 90, we probably aren't seeing them in the winner's circle on a regular basis. But they are concerned with birdies.

This week we take a look at birdies on the PGA Tour.

Golf Talk [Episode 128]

Oct. 14, 2009     By     Comments (2)

Golf Talk PodcastTiger goes 5-0, Phil goes 4-0-1, Stricker goes 4-1, and the U.S. team wins with relative ease, 19.5 to 14.5 at the 2009 Presidents Cup. Also this week, Kuchar wins at Turning Stone, Lorena wins again... finally, with Wie T2, golf makes the Olympics, Rory may play stateside in 2010, and a whole lot more in this episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 128 as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week's Show Notes - links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information - just read on.

Titleist Fall 2K9 Part One: Vokey C-C Wedges, 710 AP1, 710 AP2

Oct. 13, 2009     By     Comments (8)

Bag DropYou may have seen coverage (here and here) of Titleist's fall lineup here on The Sand Trap , but until recently, a release date had not been announced.

This November 15th, Titleist ends the year on a high note with the release of the newly revised AP Series irons, as well as some new wedges from master wedge craftsman Bob Vokey. They follow that up in mid-December with the new MB and CB irons, and new putters from renowned flatstick sculptor Scotty Cameron.

Following the recent trend, we're going to break this release into two parts for your reading pleasure. This week, we'll have a look at the updated revisions to the AP line, along with the new, conforming, Vokey wedges. Then stay tuned for next week, when we'll visit the new MB and CB players irons, as well as Scotty Cameron's latest flatsticks.

Rating the Commentators, 2009 Edition, Part One

Oct. 7, 2009     By     Comments (0)

Thrash TalkThe latest Nielsen Ratings came out for golf coverage, and they reveal a few interesting tidbits.

First is that CBS and NBC performed about the same as one another this year. Yawn.

Another yawner: more (often many more) viewers tune into to golf coverage when Tiger Woods is playing. More still watch when he's in contention on the weekend.

Third: Though I rarely ever hear anyone saying anything positive about Golf Channel or its commentators, and though I rarely read any positive reviews of their coverage, I was surprised to see that their viewership has grown over the past few years.

Perhaps golf fans tune in to see and hear their favorite announcers and not because a significant tournament is being covered, or Tiger Woods is playing. I don't think this is the case. I am sure the majority of readers don't either.

Some of the announcers I am rating here are downright awful. Further, the general consensus is that they are aren't very good. Yet, year after year, they keep their jobs. Can networks succeed with subpar commentary teams and lackluster coverage? Apparently. As such, Ian Baker-Finch and CBS aren't likely to be too concerned about the "D" the aforementioned announcer is receiving in my 2009 Rating of Golf Commentators.

Five Sacred Rules of Golf

Oct. 2, 2009     By     Comments (27)

Trap Five LogoAt some point in the past decade or so, Golf Digest became a lifestyle magazine. With reviews of $100,000 cars and style columns featuring $250 belts, Golf Digest morphed from golf magazine and something more like an off-shoot of the Robb Report. At best, it's become a great way to scoff at the elite members of society who happen to play golf while reading through the same re-trodden tips you read a few years ago. At worst, it's a coffee table flipbook for top-tier country clubs - completely worthless to the 98% of golfers who don't need to spend a hundred grand to drive to their local muni or $250 to hold up their pants.

The latest evidence - not counting the belts and cars, of course - comes in the form of Editor in Chief Jerry Tarde's "Golf's Five Sacred Rules." This week in Trap Five we take a quick look at Tarde's "rules" and come up with a real list of five sacred rules - if, that is, we're sufficiently pretentious enough to think that golf is religious enough to warrant calling anything "sacred."

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