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An Open Letter to Tiger Woods

Nov. 2, 2013     By     Comments (16)

Thrash TalkDear Tiger,

First off, let me start by saying congratulations on a fantastic 2013 PGA Tour season. Five wins including the Players Championship and two World Golf Championships is one heck of a season. Yes, you may have missed out on adding a major which I am sure was a little disappointing, but you put yourself in position. That means a win at a major is certainly on the horizon.

I know that the season ended on a bit of sour note with that blowhard Brandel Chamblee essentially calling you a cheater for a few rules issues. His article was terrible, and didn't make much sense. He compares your season to himself cheating on a test. His teacher caught him and gave him a F. The only way that analogy makes any sense is if you had won a tournament because of these rules issues. Yes, you won the Players, but not because of any drop. At the other places you didn't win anyway, so I am having trouble making the connection. Suffice to say, the article was bad.

Titleist Introduces the New 714 AP1 and AP2 Irons

Sep. 25, 2013     By     Comments (4)

Bag DropWhile it seems that certain companies (and one in particular) continue to pump out new clubs promising the latest and greatest in golf technology, Titleist golf has taken a somewhat different approach. Every other year, the company reveals a new set of irons and in the years in between we get the new drivers and woods. This year is an iron year for Titleist and with it brings the introduction of the new 714 series of irons. As with the past handful of iron releases from Titleist, this group is comprised of updates to the four existing sets; the MB, CB, AP1, and AP2.

2013 Majors Recap

Aug. 23, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Thrash TalkIn 1997, Tiger Woods first hit the scene he declared that he was planning to eclipse the eighteen majors won by Jack Nicklaus. This sent a message to everyone that the majors were now the most important tournaments and would get extra focus.

Of course, the concept of majors was decided long before Tiger hit the scene but it was Tiger to put the focus of every golfer on winning them and how important they would become. In 2013, we got three first-time winners of majors in Adam Scott, Justin Rose, and Jason Dufner. Each of them had to endure quite a road to reaching this tall mountain. The fourth winner, Phil Mickelson, won a major, certainly not his first, but one that most of us thought he would never win - the British Open.

Dear Phil, Sorry I Wrote You Off Too Soon

Jul. 30, 2013     By     Comments (2)

Thrash TalkIt is never easy to admit when you were wrong. When making predictions, especially about sports, one is bound to be wrong from time to time. A few months ago I declared that Phil Mickelson's career in the majors was over.

Boy was I wrong. If Phil hits better wedges on the 13th and 15th hole at Merion, he may have won two majors and I would have looked really stupid. The 66 Phil fired at Muirfield was not vintage Phil Mickelson. It was what we have come to expect from Tiger. Exacting, skillful, and beyond all, clutch.

2013 British Open Staff Picks

Jul. 17, 2013     By     Comments (3)

Thrash TalkThe 2013 edition of the British Open moves to Muirfield Golf Club. The story lines for this year's event look great. Phil Mickelson is peaking with a win last week at the Scottish Open, Graeme McDowell is also riding high with a win at the French Open and of course there is always Tiger. There are certainly some questions around if Tiger is going to be his best this week after sustaining the injury at the U.S. Open. Let's see what the staff expects for this year's event.

Why Hank Shouldn’t Talk About Tiger

Jul. 15, 2013     By     Comments (10)

Thrash TalkHank Haney should really learn to keep his mouth shut. In a recent tweet, Hank Haney shared the idea that Tiger's reason for struggling at the 2013 United States Open at Merion Golf Club was because Tiger did not prepare well enough before the tournament. Hank went on to say that he has seen Tiger prepare in the past when he was Tiger's coach and in his opinion it was not enough preparation for Tiger to win the event.

Beyond the fact that Hank really has no direct knowledge of what it takes to win a major tournament, Hank should have refrained from making any comments about his former pupil. For starters, he has no first-hand knowledge of what Tiger did to prepare for Merion. Yes, he's watched Tiger prepare for majors in the past, but he has no idea what Tiger did at Merion. None.

2013 U.S. Open Staff Picks

Jun. 12, 2013     By     Comments (2)

Thrash TalkThis year's version of the U.S. Open moves to a very historic site - Merion Golf Club, site of the now famous Hogan two-iron into the eighteenth green. The U.S. Open has not returned to Merion because of the concern that the golf course was going to be overpowered by today's equipment, but now the wait is over, and we get to see how the USGA sets up the course for the players.

Despite his recent hiccup at the Memorial, Tiger is the clear favorite at this year's event. Matt Kuchar, the winner of the Memorial also comes in very hot and will sure to be a factor on Sunday as well. Rory McIlroy has been very quiet this season, but that might just be the quiet entry he needs to make a big impact on the tournament.

The big unknown this week seems to be the weather. There has been quite a bit of rain and the last time we had that at a U.S. Open Rory ran wild in the nations capital breaking all sorts of scoring records along the way. Lets see what the staff of The Sand Trap thinks will happen at this years event.

Five People Who Need to Win the U.S. Open

Jun. 11, 2013     By     Comments (2)

Trap Five LogoThe U.S. Open heads to Merion Golf Club this year for the first time since 1981. The second major of the year comes around the halfway point during what has been one of my favorite seasons in a while.

We've seen Tiger Woods return to near top form, winning four of his first eight events, though he's still yet to win a major since the broken-knee victory at Torrey Pines in 2008. Three of the wins have come at courses where he's traditionally dominated (Torrey, Doral, Bay Hill), though he threw in a win at Sawgrass and a missed cut at Murfield for good measure.

There's also Phil Mickelson, who won in Phoenix early on but was virtually non-existent at The Masters, Rory Mcilroy, who is winless in Nike clothing, and of course Adam Scott, the winner of the season's first major.

We'll also take a look at the future of short courses in major championships, and the USGA needing a good week.

Why Tiger the Golfer Matters

Jun. 6, 2013     By     Comments (21)

Thrash TalkIn Billy Casper's book titled "The Big Three and Me," Casper talks about his time on Tour and how when a new golfer came onto the scene it was extremely rare that they had a great swing combined with ability to handle pressure. He mentions that sometimes on the range they would see someone with the most beautiful of swings and how he would think to himself "surrender now." Usually, though, it would come to pass that under pressure that golfer would struggle and that beautiful swing paired with a shaky putting stroke.

Certainly you must admit that the PGA Tour is full of great swings whose trophy case does not match up with their beautiful swings. The players who have both are extremely rare - maybe once-a-generation type players we are talking about here. For my generation I have been lucky enough to get to watch one of these greats, and his name is Tiger Woods.

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