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Five Observations From the 2012 Ryder Cup

Oct. 10, 2012     By     Comments (1)

Trap Five LogoUnless you've been living under a rock that doesn't get WiFi for the last few days, you've likely heard the story of how the United States lost the Ryder Cup. Leading the European team 10-6 going into the Sunday singles matches, the U.S. got off to a slow start, and although they did manage to knock over a few dominoes in the middle of the day, a par putt on the 18th green gave the victory in the penultimate match to former world number one Martin Kaymer.

The normal Ryder Cup formula was reversed, in that the Euros got down in team play and made it up in the singles. The U.S. team, which looked poised to clinch the Cup well before the so-called anchors of Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods came down the stretch, was set up well, with it's high-energy youngsters starting off play.

But in the end, the Stateside team was no match for, as I put it last week, Ian Poulter's fist-pumps and patriotism.

Breaking Down the 2012 Ryder Cup

Sep. 26, 2012     By     Comments (3)

Trap Five LogoGoing into the 2012 Ryder Cup, there isn’t a noticeable chasm between the two teams. The Euros have the hottest player in the world over the last two months in Rory McIlroy, but the American team has Tiger Woods and 2012 FedExCup champ Brandt Snedeker. The U.S. team has one more player in the OWGR top 10, as well as the highest average ranking, but the European team has three of the top four players. The American team has slightly more overall experience, but the Euros have a better overall record. And so on it goes.

The Americans are looking to bring the Cup back Stateside, while the Europeans hope to keep it. Let’s break it down.

Titleist Unveils the New 913 Drivers

Sep. 22, 2012     By     Comments (3)

Bag DropTitleist, as it has done every other year for the last few years now, is updating their driver offering with the release of the 913 series of drivers. Like the 910 series, there will be two different models - the larger, more forgiving D2 and the smaller, more workable D3. Also coming back is the SureFit system which allows the golfer alter the loft and face angle of the club. While there are a lot of similarities between the 913s and the 910s, there are a lot of new features as well.

Staff Predictions for 2012 PGA Championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

Aug. 8, 2012     By     Comments (4)

Thrash TalkThe 2012 seasons last major the PGA Championship heads to Kiawah Island with lots of intriguing story lines. Last years winner Keegan Bradley wins last week at the Bridgestone, and of course who can forget Tiger who is always a favorite in any major. The weather at Kiawah Island will likely be a big factor, and it will be interesting to see how the players handle it. Let's see what the staff expects for this years event.

A Vacation on Kiawah Island

Aug. 7, 2012     By     Comments (4)

2012 PGA Championship LogoMany people aren't aware of the fact that Kiawah Island's Ocean Course hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup mere months after it opened. Check out Google Earth and go back to aerial photos from 1989 and you won't even see the beginnings of a golf course. Yet less than two years later the site hosted the "War by the Shore" that really set the modern-day Ryder Cup as the most hotly contested, emotional, nationalistic event in golf.

Since 1991, the Ocean Course has played host to several local PGA events, a senior PGA Championship or two, and this week, will host the strongest field in golf in "Glory's Last Shot" - the 2012 PGA Championship will play over the 18 seaside holes off the south-eastern coast of South Carolina, 45 minutes from Charleston.

I was able to spend a few days with my family vacationing on this exclusive, semi-private island. We played some golf, we lounged in the pools, and we boogie-boarded in the ocean.

Tiger Struggling at the Weekend

Aug. 5, 2012     By     Comments (3)

Thrash TalkThe last two majors we have watched Tiger go from playing very solid golf Thursday and Friday, then switching personalities and struggling through the weekend. This is so out of character to the person we watched play from 2000 to 2008 that it leaves golf talking heads blaming everything from his shoes to his swing coach. I actually think Brandel Chamblee looks forward to Tiger playing poorly so that he can tell the world what a lousy swing coach Sean Foley is, and how great anyone named Harmon is. I have almost started to root for Tiger just to have Brandel move on to different topics.

What catches my eye about Tiger's struggles is his play on Saturdays. I think Sunday at both the U.S. Open and the Open Championship the weather was significantly different and Tiger was forced to press and play outside of his comfortable conservative strategy that he had planned for himself.

The Plight of the Runners-Up From Royal Lytham and St. Annes

Jul. 31, 2012     By     Comments (1)

Trap Five LogoErnie won his second British Open and fourth career major last Sunday, but for much of the week Els was absent from the top of the leaderboard. Though I enjoyed ESPN's coverage the first three days (day four's coverage was downright horrible), the fact the we saw very few Els shots was something I pointed out in the forum and on the Sunday chat.

Els remains one of the world's great ballstrikers, and though his 72nd-hole birdie putt put the pressure on Scott, if you were to go by ESPN's coverage you would think all Ernie ever did was miss 15-footers.

Coverage gripes aside, the 2012 British Open was several times more enjoyable than last year's, mostly thanks to the guys that didn't win. First off was Adam Scott, the 18-hole, 54-hole, and 71-hole leader. Brandt Snedeker led after the second round, and matched the Lytham and St. Annes British Open course record that Scott set on Thursday.

For Tiger Woods the theme of the round was "gameplan." Tiger routinely laid back off the tee, leading to 220-yard approach after 220-yard approach and a lot of long birdie opportunities. Closing out the top five and ties are Graeme McDowell, who spent most of the final round in second place, seemingly Scott's only competition, and world number one Luke Donald, who picked up the Lee Westwood gauntlet of backdoor top tens.

The 2012 British Open will likely be remembered in large part for the players who didn't win, so here are their stories.

Tiger and the Media – Time to Cut Their Losses?

Jul. 18, 2012     By     Comments (18)

Thrash TalkA frosty relationship between Tiger Woods and the media is nothing new. Several times a week Tiger Woods walks up the microphone, does his best Bill Belichick impersonation, and spends 30 minutes speaking words devoid of meaning. He's not a Michael Jordan (despite what Michael Lusetich of Fox would like you to believe), and if he wasn't the undisputed best golfer of his generation, he would be much more comfortable being a Jonathan Byrd, the guy who only had to give an interview when he jumps out to a first-round lead before fizzling on the weekend.

I bring this up because recently, at his pre-Greenbrier press conference, Tiger called the golf media's incessant "are you back, now?" line of questioning "a little annoying." That sparked a small firestorm among media members because, well, they have been annoying. This is just the latest in a recent string of cold-shoulders given to the media by Tiger.

My Thoughts on The Dan Plan

Jul. 18, 2012     By     Comments (15)

Thrash TalkI was first turned on to the The Dan Plan by a friend of mine who is a member at the same club Dan has been using for his practice sessions. He did not provide me much detail so I looked him up on the web. He has a blog and a video diary which for the most part I have been keeping up to date on.

For those of you who don't know Dan has given up his regular day job to test the theory that after 10,000 hours of deliberate practice one can achieve an elite level within that given activity. The 10,000 hour number came from Anders Ericsson and was then popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. Dan had never picked up a club prior to this endeavor and has aspirations of becoming a touring pro after 10,000 hours of dedicated practice.

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