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On My Mind

Feb. 17, 2006     By     Comments (3)

It's difficult to cope with the fact that the temperature in fahrenheit has less degrees than the loft of my hybrid right now. But cope I must, as "golf season" is a few months away for us in the northern regions of the United States.

A variety of things weigh on my mind these days, or at least flit through from time to time. The Masters will be upon us before we know it, my promise to "play as much golf as possible" will be revised almost daily by other obligations, and my fantasy golf team is in serious need of a kick in the pants. Some other things weigh on my mind, though, and as The Sand Trap is - at least in some small part - a blog, I'm going to take this opportunity to get a few out there.

Callaway Sues Titleist Over Pro V1 Patents

Feb. 12, 2006     By     Comments (8)

CallawayIt's been a little while since a major heavyweight legal battle has taken place in the golf biz. Well, time to lace up the gloves and ring the bell. Callaway Golf has sued Acushnet, parent company of Titleist. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Callaway filed suit on Thursday alleging that the Titleist Pro V1 ball uses technology covered by four patents that Callaway acquired when it purchased Top-Flite Golf out of bankruptcy in 2003.

Luke Donald

Feb. 10, 2006     By     Comments (2)

ProFilesSince joining the PGA Tour in 2002 Luke Donald has steadily improved. Entering his fifth year as a PGA Tour pro, his scoring average has gone from 70.64 to 69.33, a notable drop and he continues to be a consistent force week in and week out. Woods, Singh, and Furyk were the only ones ahead of him in that statistical category.

Intense focus, attention to detail, calm nerves, and lofty goals all describe what Donald brings to everything he does. The guy who makes a list of everything he needs to do on his off weeks and gets them all done is perfect for the kind of work he's in. Course management and a cool head are very important for a guy who doesn't play driver wedge into long par-fours.

Tour Edge Media Outing Roundup

Jan. 25, 2006     By     Comments (4)

Bag DropThe Bag Drop is live on the scene in Orlando, gearing up for the 2006 PGA Merchandise Show & Convention. The Show gets started on Thursday, but there are already happenings to report upon.

Tuesday brought a big media outing for Tour Edge, a company trying to make the leap from value brand to premium player. I had a chance to try their new Exotics driver and a cool new putter, and lots more. Also, I heard some interesting scuttlebutt from my fellow media types.

The PGA Show Goes On

Jan. 23, 2006     By     Comments (0)

Bag DropThe Bag Drop is on the way to the Super Bowl of the golf industry. The PGA Merchandise Show opens this week, running from Jan. 26-29 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. In addition to the thousands of equipment, apparel, accessory and gee-gaw manufacturers showing their wares to club professionals and golf shop buyers, us media types will also be kicking the tires of the gear you'll be buying this year.

Wie Washes Out in Hawaii

Jan. 14, 2006     By     Comments (8)

More people were following Michelle Wie on Thursday and Friday than any other golfer at the Sony Open. They were more intrigued with the 16-year-old girl who can drive a golf ball upwards of 275 yards than tried-but-true PGA Tour player Jim Furyk, the guy with the funky swing. Both battled the same windy conditions and both golfers live and play in Hawaii but today Furyk headed into the clubhouse in the lead while Michelle headed home.

Michelle Wie Sony OpenMichelle took issue with the weather and Jim played through it. The struggle took its toll on Wie at the beginning of the first round causing amateurish mistakes which, when Michelle replays the tape, should reveal that she has much more work to do on both the physical and psychological aspects of her game. It looked as if two different Michelle Wies came to play between the first and second days of action. I'm still wondering if the shaky, unsteady youngster who scored horrendously on the first nine holes of play is the same one who scored seven birdies in second-round action.

Will the real Michelle Wie please stand up?!

ABC Out in 2007

Jan. 3, 2006     By     Comments (4)

ABC LogoGolf Digest and USA Today (via the AP) are reporting that television network ABC has walked out of negotiations with the PGA Tour for carrying tournament coverage beginning in 2007. This leaves only CBS and NBC at the table with Tour Commish Tim Finchem.

The current PGA Tour contract runs through the 2006 season. In 2007, the PGA Tour will feature a revamped schedule, a playoff system, the "FedEx Cup," and a "Fall Finish". Apparently, the ol' Finchy is still asking for too much money, and ABC simply decided they'd heard enough. Despite having found success with Paul Azinger and Nick Faldo in the announcing booth, both players may need to hone their game for the Champions Tour come 2007 if they'd like at least a semi-regular paycheck.

Titleist Forged 735.CM Irons Review

Dec. 16, 2005     By     Comments (29)

TitleistRarely are a set of irons so lusted after as Titleist's Forged 735.CM irons. The 735s - Titleist's first foray into "combo" or cavity-to-muscle "progressive" irons - were a rumor in March, reality in August, and had already earned a place in my bag by the time the Newport Cup rolled around in October.

Titleist 735.CM Spread OutIf you don't read past the first two paragraphs, take one thing away from this review: these clubs were worth the wait. It takes a lot to knock a set of irons out of my bag, but these irons effectively replaced the irons I was playing (Titleist's Forged 680) by the turn the first time I played with them. The 680s are a forged, muscleback club with a great amount of feel and feedback, which I had always deemed important to improving my golf game. I never thought a cavity-back club could replicate the feel of a finely crafted muscleback. Until I tried the 735s. They felt so good, I came up with a phrase that I'd rather not repeat here… (but you could find it in the forum quite easily).

They're that good.

The Negatives of Golf

Dec. 13, 2005     By     Comments (16)

Thrash TalkThe Target World Challenge has come and gone, and the 2006 PGA Tour season doesn't start for a few more weeks. That being said, I'm taking a break from the usual PGA Tour discussion this week. Instead, I'm going to talk about some of the things that bother me when I go out and play. I've selected eight things that really get under my skin when I go play by myself or with friends.

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