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Golf in the Olympics

Aug. 7, 2009     By     Comments (5)

Trap Five LogoA lot has happened in the game of golf since it last played the role of an official Olympic sport. The last gold medal was won by a Canadian golfer named George Lyon. He won the medal at the 1904 Summer Olympics held in St. Louis, MO.

The fight has been rekindled to once again bring golf into competition for a medal. The official decision will come in October 2009. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will meet on this date and vote on adding no more than two (maybe none) of seven elected sports. The seven sports that are competing for a spot are golf, baseball, softball, karate, roller sports, rugby, and squash. That's right, I said squash!

In this week's Trap Five, we're counting down five of the larger issues in the "Golf in the Olympics"

The five items listed below seem to draw the most attention in Olympic golf discussions.

PING Rolls Out Complete New G15 and i15 Lines

Aug. 4, 2009     By     Comments (44)

Bag DropJust in time for their 50th aniversary, PING is introducing two completely new lines of clubs: the G15 and i15. The largest product launch in PING history includes something for every level of player, from the beginner to the advanced player. In today's Bag Drop, we're taking a look at the Solheim family's latest innovations.

PING is introducing not one but two completely new lines of clubs, with new drivers, fairway metals, hybrids, and irons in each. PING is also introducing a new putter line and adding a few models to existing lines, but given the massive introduction of eight new products, this Bag Drop won't get around to talking about the new flatsticks.

Sneak Peek at Titleist’s Fall 2009 Irons: 710 AP1, AP2, CB, and MB

Jul. 30, 2009     By     Comments (34)

Titleist AP2 710 HeroTitleist emailed us some images from the Buick Open, where they've rolled out their fall 2009 iron lineup to their tour staff. The 2009 lineup is essentially a tweaked 2008 lineup, with four models: AP1, AP2, CB, and MB. Those will be the model names. They've come to be known by their series name - the "710" series - but word is the official names are AP1, AP2, CB, and MB.

Titleist plans to begin selling the irons later this fall, though again this marks the first week that they're rolling them out to their entire PGA Tour staff.

Titleist says that the new AP1 irons offer better feel, more forgiveness, and an improved shape with a thinner topline throughout the set and a shorter blade length in the short irons. The new feel is hotter and more lively.

AP2 improvements are similar, and Titleist feels they've taken a great iron and made it better. Similar to AP1, they've improved the feel, shot control, and ground contact - particularly in the short irons by reducing bounce by one degree. The great performance, shot workability, playability, and looks have been retained, while the feel has been improved by making the new feel a bit more solid.

A big part of that feel in both sets is likely due to the thermoplastic urethane (TPU) "arms" that stick up a bit in the 710 series of the AP irons (both models).

The new CB and MB irons are traditional 1025 carbon steel forgings, available in full cavity back (CB) and muscle back (MB) models. Word on the street is that mixed sets of the CB and MB will be readily available.

Complete details, including specifications, the typical tech callouts, features and benefits, and all that jazz should be available at Titleist.com early this fall. If you'd rather not wait that long, some additional shots are available on two posts at Titleistblog.com: here and here.

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.

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