At the risk of alienating those readers from tropical climates (lousy, spoiled, warm-weather wussies playing golf on 70° January days…), I thought this week's Thrash would be a good place to give you an update on how the long, dark winter is progressing. If you're similarly frozen out of golf, perhaps the following can give you a constructive suggestion or two on how to survive the final few months before the spring thaw.
For a few months now we've been hearing about Titleist's new irons. Early reports were that Titleist was going to re-enter the "aspiring golfer" market as they've tended to call it, as well as to overhaul their low-handicap level irons.
We've managed to track down a bit more information, and it appears that the early rumors were correct. Titleist plans to launch four new iron sets in 2008. And while you may still be able to claim that the forged musclebacks we're about to share with you are evolutionary, the cavity-back irons represent a distinct new beginning in iron design at Titleist.
The new musclebacks are named the ZB and the ZM, while the cavity-back models are named the "AP" for Advanced Performance and come in two models: the AP1 and the AP2. The latter of these represent the "new beginning" and are "multi-material, dual cavity designs."
Let's have a closer look at Titleist's iron lineup for 2008.
2008 is almost here. What will it hold for the world of golf?
I put that question to a few friends and came up with a couple ideas of my own. The farthest fetched prediction: one friend again predicted that this would be the year he scores a hole in one. He was there when I had mine two years ago, so I'm rooting for him. Of course, he's been predicting the same thing for several years now.
Other than maybe Byron Nelson or Gene Sarazen after their 90th birthdays, can you think of a professional golfer with a double-digit handicap index? Well, I know one.
Me. Sort of, anyway.
It may well prove to be the high water mark of my life in golf. It was a cool, rainy Sunday in February, 2005. The location was the Dallas Convention Center. Perhaps the good karma was foreshadowed by how easily I obtained the Kitchen Pass from my wonderful wife to leave the house, the unfinished homework projects, and the bulk of my "honey-do" list to attend the Dallas Golf Expo. I figured it would be a way to kill a few hours, maybe check out some new equipment, and otherwise obtain a much-needed winter golf fix. It turned out to be much more than that.
And now all is right in the world. The R&A reminded golfers on November 11, 2007 that a new rule would go into effect on January 1, 2008 that would align themselves with the USGA to have a limit to the "spring-like" effect of drivers and establish a world-wide coefficient of restitution (COR) limit of 0.83 for all drivers, down from their previous limit of 0.86.
While this ruling doesn't mean much to most golfers (especially those under the rules of the USGA) it will have an effect on the rest of the world as some previously legal drivers will now need to be replaced in order to fall under the new limit.
Before I can settle into hibernation mode, it's necessary to blow off a bit more steam. Join me this week as I rant a little.
Don't get me wrong, I love golf equipment. I love fondling it in the stores, ogling over it in catalogs, and wasting my kids' college money buying it for no reason other than it's obviously better than the crap already in my bag, even if that crap is last year's signature model. I am also a technophile, and believe today's golf equipment is the best in history and contributes significantly to my enjoyment of the game. Rock on, men. There are, however, a few minor things for which I'd like to, oh, maybe gore the equipment manufacturers in the eye. To wit:
Dean graciously gave us a few minutes of his time to share his thoughts on Fore Inventors Only, developing the "perfect putting stroke," and what product he thinks should have won. We hope you enjoy the interview.
Brian Howenstein is an athletic player who struggles with consistency due to some bad habits he's developed at the start of his golf swing. He is a young player who just graduated from college. Brian has been playing golf on and off since his sophomore year in high school.
Brian's misses tend to be to the right in the form of large fades or giant slices. He hits his driver around 275 yards, but admits that number varies considerably depending on how he is playing that day. His 5-iron is his 200-yard club, which tells me he must hit his irons better than his driver. Lately Brian has been working on his swing path, keeping his head still, and shifting his weight to his left side, all of which can be good aspects of the swing to work on. But as we dissect his swing, we will find out some of these are not his main problems.
The speculation can finally end. For months, golf industry observers have been wondering who was going to snap up Cleveland Golf and the Never Compromise brand of putters from surf duds company Quiksilver. The surprise suitor is the parent company of Srixon, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, a leading Japanese tire company.
Quiksilver has agreed to sell Cleveland Golf to the SRI Sports Limited division for $132.5 million. The deal is expected to close during the fiscal quarter ending Jan. 31.