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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."

Mizuno Launches New MP-Series Iron Hybrids, Wedges, and Irons

Sep. 29, 2009     By     Comments (13)

Bag DropFor you Mizuno fans, get ready for your favorite itch to be well scratched this week, as we look at Mizuno's MP line of clubs for 2010. If that's not enough, stay tuned for part two, where we'll give you the latest on what's new in the MX-series.

For now, we'll be taking a look at Mizuno's latest offerings in the MP line of products, including the MP FLI-HI, the MP T-10 wedges, and we'll finish up with the MP-58 and MP-68 irons. If you're not a Mizuno fan, you might just become one after seeing their latest offerings. Follow along to see what all the fuss is about!

Fall ’09 Releases: Sun Mountain MCB, Aldila En Fuego Shafts, and Nike Outerwear

Sep. 22, 2009     By     Comments (5)

Bag DropThis week at The Bag Drop we shift gears and take a look at some newsworthy releases you may have missed in the past few weeks. We here at The Sand Trap know you all lead busy lives, and we've taken time to condense some info on some of the latest equipment from various manufacturers for your reading pleasure.

Consider this The Bag Drop's equivalent to a buffet, but with zero calories and some added spice. Follow along as we look at a new full-featured cart bag from Sun Mountain, some hot new shafts from Aldila, and new all-weather apparel from Nike Golf that might make you want to play in the rain!

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