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LPGA Tour Questions for 2008

Apr. 3, 2008     By     Comments (3)

Thrash TalkThe 2008 LPGA Tour season is in full swing, and things are off to a great start. There have only been five events so far, and Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam, and Paula Creamer each have at least one win already. That's a great sign for the LPGA Tour because all three are among the most marketable in the women's game.

The season's first major championship, the Kraft Nabisco, starts today. This event was very exciting the past two seasons, and it should be highly competitive again this year. With the first major on the horizon, it's time to ask a few LPGA Tour questions for 2008. Keep reading to find out what I have to say about Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, and more.

The Streak is Over, but the Beat(ing) Goes On

Mar. 27, 2008     By     Comments (31)

Thrash TalkAs I reckon most of you already know, The Streak (the latest one, anyway) is officially over. Someone beat Tiger Woods, finally, by two whole strokes, at last week's CA Championship at Doral, ending his run of official PGA Tour victories at five. Past Tiger streaks have ignited fiery discussions over Sir Eldrick's historical standing in golf, so to extend the Tiger theme of last week's Thrash Talk, I'd like to give you a few additional things to chew on. Read on to get my take on the matter.

Tiger’s Still Streaking

Mar. 20, 2008     By     Comments (5)

Thrash TalkTiger Woods is taking the golf world by storm yet again. To put things in perspective, Woods hasn't lost a tournament he has entered since the Deutsche Bank Championship last September. Phil Mickelson outlasted the world's number one golfer that day, but nobody has been able to stop him since. That's a win streak in excess of six months for crying out loud!

With The Masters on the horizon, the talk of Tiger's win streak is dominating the golf headlines for good reason. It's a pretty safe bet Woods won't win every tournament he enters for the rest of his career, so the win streak has to end at some point. When and where that happens is worth looking into, and that's what I'll attempt to do in this week's article.

Gary Sherrell – Inventor of the ClubGlider

Feb. 26, 2008     By     Comments (6)

Throwing Darts Today's interview is with Gary Sherrell, inventor of the ClubGlider travel bag which was one of the finalists on the Golf Channel's Fore Inventors Only show.

Gary was nice enough to give us a few minutes of his time to share a bit of history behind the development of the ClubGlider, his relationship with Sun Mountain as well as to provide some insight on some of the other products featured on the show. We hope you enjoy the interview.

The Dream Season

Feb. 22, 2008     By     Comments (6)

Trap Five LogoIt's dream season here in Ohio. By that I mean the only golf we're getting to play right now is in our dreams. But it's also close enough to spring (just over a month away) that we can start thinking about playing. One of these days, the snow is going to melt and the mercury's going to rise into the 40s, 50s, and (dare we hope?) 60s.

Unlike many years when it's possible to play at least a few times during the winter, it just hasn't worked out this year (my wife and I even left the clubs at home on a weekend trip to Florida last month… What were we thinking?). Most of the warmer, dry days this winter have fallen during the work week. On the one or two weekend days that have been playable, I've been tied up with other commitments. So, needless to say, now is the winter of my discontent.

ClubGlider Rolls Out for 2008

Feb. 19, 2008     By     Comments (14)

Bag DropIf you watched Golf Channel's Fore Inventors Only show last year, you would have seen some "interesting" ideas that the contestants were hoping would be "the next big thing." While some of the ideas were strange, impractical, or just plain stupid in my opinion, there were a few that were of particular interest to me. The ClubGlider belonged among the latter.

ClubGlider inventor Gary Sherrell signed a licensing agreement with Sun Mountain in 2007 to "perfect, manufacture and distribute the ClubGlider golf travel bag." That's a pretty sweet gig as Sun Mountain has been around for over 20 years and the Missoula, Montana company has been pretty innovative when it comes to bags, carts, and outerwear. The ClubGlider and Sun Mountain seem like a perfect fit.

Modern Marvels

Feb. 14, 2008     By     Comments (14)

Thrash TalkIn his February 8 Globe and Mail Column, virtuoso golf writer Lorne Rubenstein makes an interesting observation about televised golf: there is very little attention paid to architecture.

While I am not sure this characterization is accurate in the literal sense - every telecast of big tournaments I can remember has at least some segment on the course, either with flyovers and commentary, or the omnipresent telestrator commentary - I would certainly agree that compared to, say, swing analysis, golf viewers are indeed starved for good content on architecture. Is there anything to be learned from this sort of thing, other than the difference between tifdwarf bermuda and zoysia? I think there is, although I suspect the expert commentators would reach different conclusions than would I.

Read on to learn what I think you'd be missing.

Field Testing the Titleist AP1, AP2, ZB, and ZM Irons

Feb. 2, 2008     By     Comments (68)

Titleist AP2 IronWhat do Adam Scott's final-round 61 and three-shot victory at the Qatar Masters and 2007 European Tour Rookie of the Year Martin Kaymer's first win a week earlier have in common? Both were fired with new Titleist irons. Adam Scott won with the Titleist Forged AP2 irons while Martin Kaymer played the Forged ZM irons in taking the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by two.

The existence of these irons (and their two siblings) has been official for a few days now, but the details were made known in our Bag Drop "Titleist Introduces New Irons for 2008" of a few weeks ago. Titleist is replacing every iron in their set with the new AP1, AP2, ZB, and ZM irons. Gone are the well-liked 695 (in CB and MB variations). Gone is the 735.CM. Gone are the 755s and the 775s. Five models are being replaced by four, three of which are forged, and one of which aims to bring incredible feel and performance to the "aspiring golfer" crowd.

Though no Acushnet company (Titleist, FootJoy, Cobra, Pinnacle) has displayed at the PGA Merchandise Show in several years, Titleist was nearby prepping sales representatives and their vast club pro network on the changes coming in 2008. For many of the sales reps, that meant familiarizing themselves with the 2008 irons lineup.

The Sand Trap was there, and I've hit all of the irons. What follows are my quick observations. As a quick teaser, I will tell you this: you cannot judge a book by its cover.

Kelly Tilghmangate: A Seventy-Eighth Look

Jan. 31, 2008     By     Comments (22)

Thrash TalkWhile I'm sure most people would be happy to have heard the last of the Kelly Tilghman Affair, after mulling the situation over for several weeks I've decided I would be remiss not to give it the once over in The Sand Trap's op/ed space. Let's face it, January is a slow news month in golf (Tiger romps at Torrey Pines… why am I not surprised?), and this is a political issue in an election year (here in the U.S., anyway). Pass up reading this and just visit the forum if you will, but if you read on I can promise to give you a thing or two to chew on.

To briefly review, Golf Channel's team of Kelly Tilghman and Nick Faldo were engaged in some light-hearted repartee on the subject of Tiger's dominance of professional golf. Faldo asked rhetorically what other players might do to possibly compete with golf's version of a Superhero, said "gang up on him for awhile." In the joking vein of their exchange, Tilghman suggested that other top players "lynch him in a back alley." The racist overtones of this comment were too much for Golf Channel executives, who suspended Tilghman for two weeks, after which the anchor issued a public apology and resumed her duties as lead anchor.

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