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Bad Tiger!

Jul. 30, 2009     By     Comments (11)

Thrash TalkThis is my first contribution to The Sand Trap and I want it to be perfect. I want to find a great topic and write a column that Joseph Pulitzer would envy. It should be exponentially thought provoking, even ground breaking. The last thing I wanted to do was to be safe and write about Tiger Woods.

Sorry, self. Maybe next week. This week I just can't help it. I have spent days trolling through the forum reading post upon post about Tiger Woods and his on-course behavior. My eyes glued to the screen, chuckling and nodding in agreement with hundreds of posts. Tiger Woods and his occasional (or frequent, depending on how you feel about him) negative "antics" can't escape me.

On Watson at the Open Championship, Briefly

Jul. 23, 2009     By     Comments (3)

Thrash TalkAmongst the usual clamor and sentimental nonsense affixed to any compelling happening in the world of sports, there surfaced a few interesting responses to Tom Watson's performance at The Open Championship, which concluded Sunday with (arguably) one of the worst playoff performances in recent memory.

Patrick Conley Analysis

Jul. 22, 2009     By     Comments (9)

Swing CheckPatrick Conley has has been playing golf since he was 12 years old and has now reached a point where he is asking for help. He typically scores in the mid to high 90s but he is absolutely mortified of his driver. On his best shots, his drives will go 280 yards; on his worst, they will slice off the planet and go only 230 yards. His goal, like many golfers, is to improve.

For a golfer that shoots in the mid-90s your first thought might be that he has a pretty darn good swing. Unfortunately, in slow motion, you notice some enormous flaws that are truly holding Patrick back.

Read on to see Patrick's swing and the fixes I've outlined for him.

2009 British Open Final Round Live Blog

Jul. 19, 2009     By     Comments (15)

Open ChampionshipSaturday, July 18 was both a good and a bad day for the "old" among us. The world's oldest man died (113-year-old Henry Allingham), sure, but Tom Watson provided the good by not only maintaining his lead in the 138th Open Championship, but by increasing it by dropping the tie at the top.

Watson is one of the few guys atop the Open Championship leaderboard with experience. The others, of course, are Retief Goosen and Jim Furyk, T4 and T6 respectively. And Goosen has that weird history thing working for him, too: fellow countryman Ernie Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and the British Open in 2002. Retief has won the U.S. Open seven years after each of Ernie's wins - in 2001 and 2004 - and 2009 is seven years after Ernie's victory at Muirfield.

The leaderboard to start the day:

1    Watson     -4
T2   Goggin     -3
     Fisher     -3
T4   Westwood   -2
     Goosen     -2
T6   Furyk      -1
     Cink       -1
T8   Molder      E
     Jaidee      E

Join us as we live blog the final round of the 2009 Open Championship (starting at 8:00am eastern).

The Cat Fight’s Out of the Bag

Jul. 9, 2009     By     Comments (6)

Thrash TalkThe following news, as reported by a variety of outlets, but quoted here as it appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, has worked its way through the system of the of the golfing media, both formal and informal, over the past few days:

"A group of 15 players, including world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, Suzann Pettersen, and top American stars Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, and Morgan Pressel, signed a letter demanding the resignation of commissioner Carolyn Bivens."

Good for them. Far from looking like rebellious children, the LPGA's stars look, now, like they give a damn about the fact that their Tour is coming apart at the seams.

Here V Go Again: The Truth About the Groove Rule Change

Jul. 7, 2009     By     Comments (17)

Bag DropLast August the USGA, golf's governing body in the United States since 1894, announced that they were enacting new regulations for grooves in golf clubs effective January 1, 2010. This change came after a fairly exhaustive study that was spurred on by the lack of correlation between driving accuracy and success on the professional tours of the world. In other words, the USGA didn't think "bomb and gouge" was the way golf should be played.

The rule applies only to certain clubs in the hands of certain players at and at certain times, so there is a lot of misinformation out there about what is really going on with this rule. This week, we take a look at it and set the record straight.

Is Jim Brown Right about Tiger?

Jul. 2, 2009     By     Comments (18)

Thrash Talk If you missed Jim Brown's appearance on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumble, then you missed the Hall of Fame running back declaring the following about Tiger Woods, "He is a killer, he will run over you, he will kick your ass. But as an individual for social change? Terrible. Terrible. Because he can get away with teaching kids to play golf, and that's his contribution."

Nine Holes with Lucas Glover

Jun. 26, 2009     By     Comments (2)

ProfilesEvery time I hear his name I think about about Sergeant Roger Murtaugh telling Riggs (played by Mel Gibson), "I'm getting too old for this…" But that's Danny Glover.

No, the subject today is the 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover. If you have been in a coma the last few days, his new title might come as a bit of a surprise. Still, it's true. Lucas Glover has won a major. What must Sergio think?

Glover is kind of a study in contrasts. This is his fifth year on the PGA Tour, but to most people it seems like he just dropped off the apple cart. Glover looks like a country boy who might be found fishing with Boo Weekley between rounds or hanging under the awning of the RV with John Daly. His boyish looks and aw-shucks mannerisms seem to reinforce that impression. It seems like every photo of Glover could be captioned "Opie Taylor grown up," and people would believe it.

Softspikes Debuts Black Widow Tour Golf Cleats

Jun. 22, 2009     By     Comments (18)

Bag DropWe hardly think about them when playing golf unless one pops out or needs to be replaced, but the cleats on our golf shoes play an important part in our inventory of golf gear. Gone are the days of the familiar click clack of metal spikes. There is no doubt that the metal spikes of the past provided better traction than the plastic spikes we use now, but the damage they caused on putting greens and clubhouse floors, combined with some clever marketing from the early manufacturers, lead to the virtual extinction of metal spikes.

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