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Wie Earns Goose Egg

Oct. 17, 2005     By     Comments (3)

Michelle WieSports Illustrated journalist Michael Bamberger had a twinge of conscience the day after Michelle Wie took a drop after declaring an unplayable lie. Bamberger felt that Wie had dropped the ball closer to the hole than her original position. Further inspection and discussion with rules officials seemed to confirm that she had taken a drop approximately one foot past the original lie. Had Bamberger brought up the infraction immediately Wie would have brought home a paycheck instead of a goose-egg.

There are two relevant issues here. The first thing to consider is that Bamberger clearly should have brought up the discrepancy immediately. If he felt that she had taken an illegal drop he should have gone to a rules official on the spot and cleared his aching conscience then. Withholding this information for a day cost Wie a paycheck and caused her unnecessary embarrassment. Correcting her mistake was impossible as she had already signed her card. Had the issue been brought to light at the moment, she could have corrected her mistake.

Presidents Cup Gets Two Thumbs Up

Sep. 27, 2005     By     Comments (5)

Thrash TalkThe only things I heard last week about the Presidents Cup was the constant talk of the event being the "Ryder Cup wannabe." I could care less about all the talk because the Presidents Cup is one of my favorite events in all of golf. The last time the event was played, it ended in a 17-17 tie, and that gave the critics a bigger excuse to moan and groan. Well, the 2005 version has come and gone, and the winner wasn't decided until the birdie putt was holed by Chris DiMarco on the 18th hole in the final pairing at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.

The Golf Channel’s Solheim Snooze

Sep. 12, 2005     By     Comments (5)

The Golf ChannelThe Golf Channel served as the exclusive home for the Solheim Cup this year, providing coverage from 9am until as late as 8pm on each of the three days of play. They covered the press conferences beforehand and had post- and pre-game shows nearly 100% dedicated to Solheim Cup coverage.

The 2005 matches were some of the most exciting ever witnessed. The U.S. team fell behind early 5-3, but pulled back to 6-6 and then 8-8 entering singles play. Needing 14.5 points to win the Solheim Cup back, the first five matches included blistering play by Paula Creamer and Laura Diaz en route to an eventual 15.5-12.5 American victory.

The 2005 Solheim Cup rivals or surpasses even the (blowout that was the) 2004 Ryder Cup in terms of excitement - despite the fact that it's women's golf. Yet The Golf Channel's coverage rivaled only public access programming in its appeal. Could the coverage have been any worse? It's tough to imagine.

The Newport Cup

Sep. 8, 2005     By     Comments (17)

Newport CupOn October 15 and 16, The Sand Trap .com is holding the initial Newport Cup matches in the sandhills of North Carolina. The competition will be similar to the Ryder Cup (albeit with smaller teams) and should be great fun.

The Name
The Newport Cup is named after the location of the first U.S. Open, the Newport Golf and Country Club in Rhode Island. Held in 1895, professional golfer Horace Rawlins of England was the first champion.

We've yet to choose team names for the two competing teams, so this year they'll simply be the Red and Blue teams. The ball supplies the "white" in a patriotic theme. We'll choose team names at the event. Perhaps we'll be in an irreverent mood and play Team McAvoy versus Team Spackler, or perhaps we'll keep things historic. We shall see…

USGA Proposes MOI Limit on Drivers

Sep. 1, 2005     By     Comments (5)

USGA LogoE. Michael Johnson of Golf World has published an article which says that the USGA sent a memo yesterday to manufacturers announcing a proposal to limit the moment of inertia (MOI) in drivers. If adopted, the proposal will go into effect March 1, 2006.

Moment of Inertia has been a hot selling item lately… on putters, but its use in drivers has taken a back-seat to two other existing limitations - head size (460cc) and Coefficient of Restitution (or CoR, capped at 0.830). MOI is a measure of a clubhead's ability to resist twisting on off-center hits. High MOI = more forgiving clubs. In March of this year, the USGA said that MOI had tripled in drivers since 1990 (yes, since the persimmon days). The March notice also mentioned three other areas would be looked at: spin generation, MOI, and the adjustability of woods and irons (see: TaylorMade r7 Quad).

Interview Columnist Needed!

Aug. 30, 2005     By     Comments (1)

The Sand Trap .com is looking to add a columnist to our staff. Specifically, we're looking to add an interviewer to complete a weekly interview with someone in the golf world (we've got a good number of contacts). The column would be published on Saturdays and would be read by hundreds of thousands of readers from all over the globe.

If you're interested, contact me at my AIM screen name ("iacas") or via email. My email address is listed on the Staff Page. Please, yes, you must know English fairly well. If you IM, please introduce yourself with more than "hello." :-)

USGA Revises Rules of Amateur Status

Aug. 27, 2005     By     Comments (5)

USGA LogoThe USGA recently revised their rules of amateur status. Starting January 1, 2006, amateur golfers of all ages will be able to accept reimbursement for tournament expenses from sources outside of their family. Tournament expenses include transportation (airfare, rental car, extremely over-priced gasoline), hotel, meals, the entry fee, and caddie fees. This is a major change from the current section of the USGA's Rules of Amateur Status that only allows junior golfers to accept help from outside sources for tournament expenditures.

Titleist Introduces 735.CM Irons

Aug. 5, 2005     By     Comments (4)

As predicted in February and expanded upon in March (and discussed in our forum), Titleist is going to be introducing a new line of irons on August 15. The 735.CM blends the forgiveness of a cavity-back in the longer irons with the control of a muscle-back in the short irons. Aimed at skilled players who are looking for a little more help in the long irons than a full muscle-back set provides, this is Titleist's first off-the-shelf "combo" set.

As with all Titleist equipment, the 735.CM has been extensively used on tour this year by an impressive list of Titleist staff members, including: Davis Love III, Brad Faxon, Frank Lickliter II, Bill Haas, Tom Kite, Tom Byrum, Lucas Glover, Steve Stricker, Rob Rashell, Hunter Haas, Dudley Hart, Jason Hartwick, Chez Reavie, Craig Perks, Kip Henley, and others.

Titleist 735 Irons Small
Click for a larger image. See the March story for more images.

The Titleist 735.CM ("CM" stands for "cavity to muscle") irons are going to be available in two different alloys - forged stainless steel and chrome plated forged 1025 mild carbon steel. The first will resemble the existing 704 irons, while the latter will look like the image above. Titleist says that the Forged 410 stainless steel will provide a soft, solid feel with a rich, non-glare satin finish. The Forged 1025 mild carbon steel, the primary choice of tour players, provides an even softer feel with traditional chroming for a stunning appearance. The stainless steel forging will offer a few more custom options than the carbon steel irons.

USGA Sued by Glove Maker

Aug. 3, 2005     By     Comments (4)

The Bionic Golf GloveIf the glove doesn't fit the guidelines, then you must deem it non-conforming. Sure, that may not be as catchy as Johnny Cochran's famous slogan, but that's what the USGA has been preaching to Louisville Slugger. Hillerich and Bradsby Co., manufacturer of the Bionic Glove line and Louisville Slugger baseball equipment, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against the United States Golf Association involving the Association's approval of the Bionic Golf Glove.

The Bionic Golf Glove was designed by Louisville hand surgeon Jim Kleinert and advertised as an aid to golfers with arthritis due to it's ergonomical design. The glove has neoprene between the fingers and on the flexpoints of the hand as well as padding placed throughout the palm and fingers. The glove's padding is the culprit when it comes to seeking the USGA's approval. Rules state that the glove be "plain" and meet 12 of the USGA Equipment Standards Committee's guidelines such as "[the glove] shall not have features such as any other contrivance or device that might assist the golfer in making a stroke."

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