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Volume Three Hundred Sixty-Six

Nov. 20, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Stenson gets selfish about season-ending titles, Chi Chi gets a surprise on "The Big Break," golf gets (some) credit for determining an election, and, the typhoon in the Philippines takes the lives of several family members of a PGA TOUR pro.

Hittin' the LinksAnother season ends as the European Tour wrapped up last weekend in the same way that the PGA Tour wound up more than a month ago, with Henrik Stenson winning it all.

That leaves the LPGA as the only tour still in its 2013 season, and their season-ending event is this week's CME Group Titleholders at Tiburon in Naples, Florida. This will be your last chance to see the women play until mid-February.

Even with the seasons over or ending, there will still be golf to watch. The ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf is already under way down under in Melbourne, Australia, with a field that includes Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Jason Day, and a number of other names you would recognize. You would be doing well to recognize more than a half dozen of the names on the leaderboard when the European Tour tees off it's 2014 season in South Africa this week. But that's the way it goes in the Silly Season.

As always, HtL is here to point you toward some of the more interesting goings-on in the world of golf. Here's what made the cut this week.

2013 – The Unpredictable PGA Tour Season

Nov. 18, 2013     By     Comments (0)

The only thing that was constant about 2013 was that it was wildly unpredictable. I muse about the year that was 2013.

Thrash TalkPrior to hydrant-gate, golf had a certain predictability to it. Tiger would dominate, a few other side players would jump in to win the occasional major, and we would likely have a young player have a big flash and a few feel-good stories to talk about. The story was almost always the same.

Yet the 2013 season had very little predictability. The FedExCup winner is not an unfamiliar face. My best memory of Henrik Stenson is at the 2009 Players Championship. He ran away with the tournament and looked destined to win a major in the very near future. From that point on we didn't hear much from Henrik. There were times when it would be easy to think that he might not recover from one of the deepest slumps. But here he is, ten million dollars richer, and will be a favorite of many going into the Masters next year, a full recovery back to where he was in 2009, maybe this time just a bit wiser.

Golfing Plateau

Nov. 16, 2013     By     Comments (4)

Golf, like any game, is full of peaks and valleys, but occasionally we get stuck on a plateau. This is the one on which I'm currently stuck.

Thrash TalkOther than the fact that Tiger Woods and I were both born in California, we share very little regarding our golf. That is until recently… Currently we both are suffering from a golfing plateau. They are different by a margin that is hard to explain in words, but we are both stuck in a rut.

Tiger's plateau is simply identified by the number fourteen - the number of majors at which Tiger has been stuck for the past five years. Majors have been hard to come by for Tiger and for a time we could argue that he was changing his swing, but he has won other big tournaments which should tell us that he is ready to launch again from this plateau. But he hasn't, and has only come up short in the biggest events.

Mizuno Adds to Their Iron Line-up with Four New Sets

Nov. 15, 2013     By     Comments (8)

This year, Mizuno is adding two new sets to its MP line of clubs with the sleek MP-4 and the more friendly MP-54 while also expanding the JPX line to include the EZ and EZ Forged.

Bag DropWhile they may not be as big as some of the names out there (Tilteist, PING, Taylormade, etc.) Mizuno Golf has garnered quite a following especially with their ever growing line of players clubs. Every year, the company updates their line of MP clubs and this year they have introduced the MP-4 and the MP-54 irons. The MP-4 is a full-on, traditional muscle back and the replacement for the MP-69, while the MP-54 replaces the two year old MP-53 and features a cavity back design. In addition to the MP line, Mizuno also has the JPX line of game improvement clubs, and they are adding to that line with the new JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (8)

Volume Three Hundred Sixty-Five

Nov. 12, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Dyson to face a tribunal, Tiger fails to hit Europe, and the U.S. thanks veterans everywhere for their service.

Hittin' the LinksWelcome to another episode of Hitting the Links, our weekly look at, well, the week in golf.

We are really getting down to the last few weeks of any "serious" golf now on the major tours. Even though the PGA TOUR is technically a few events into it's 2013-2014 season and the European Tour will hold it's season-ending event this week, make no mistake - there's still a lot of "silly" in the season, as our seventh "hole" below illustrates.

Volume Three Hundred Sixty-Four

Nov. 4, 2013     By     Comments (1)

Chamblee's son inspires an apology, a new "cheater" is discovered, and the Race for Dubai is getting close to a finale.

Hittin' the LinksWhen last we met, the CIMB Classic was unresolved and headed to a Monday playoff. In case you missed it, Ryan Moore beat Gary Woodland on the first playoff hole to take the title.

If you did miss it, that's understandable. Depending on how you count them, there are between three and five "major" tours (PGA TOUR, European Tour, LPGA, Champions Tour, and Web.com Tour) and a number of slightly lesser tours. On any given week, several of them, if not all of them, hold events, vying for our attention.

Next week, for example, the LPGA Tour heads to Japan for the Mizuno Classic at the Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club in Shima-Shi, Mie. The PGA Tour will make a stop at Sea Island, GA, for the McGladrey Classic. Having just concluded their season, the Champions Tour is on hiatus until Q-School opens Nov. 19 (yes, the Champions Tour still has a qualifying school). The big event of the weekend, however, will be the penultimate tournament of the 2013 European Tour season, the Turkish Airlines Open, where those in the running for the Race to Dubai hope to improve their positions in the standings while Tiger Woods and others just hope to make away with a whole bunch of euros.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that there is a lot going on, even in the last couple months of 2013. The Woods-Chamblee fiasco is into its third week, another "cheater" has been identified, and one more tour has wrapped up its season. Here are those stories and more in HtL.

An Open Letter to Tiger Woods

Nov. 2, 2013     By     Comments (16)

I write a open letter to Tiger Woods asking him to forgive Brandel Chamblee for the good of the game.

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.

Odyssesy Versa Two Ball Putter Review

Nov. 1, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Callaway has, once again, made a good putter even better. The design of the Versa Two Ball makes it stand out from any other Two Ball on the market.

Versa Two BallLast year I reviewed the Two Ball Metal-X putter. When I had the chance to get my hands on the new Two-Ball Versa I jumped at the opportunity.

This is now the third different version of the Odyssey Two Ball that I’ve had a chance to put in my bag. I kept the Metal-X for the better part of last year and didn’t replace it until the Versa came. While the changes last year were more in the materials of the putter, this year the changes are a lot more in the design.

Did they improve on what they had done last year? What are the big changes other than the color? Read on to find out.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (0)

Volume Three Hundred Sixty-Three

Oct. 28, 2013     By     Comments (2)

Brandel Chamblee... Spineless.

Hittin' the LinksWhen you are a major outlet reporter, with a major outlet following, and a major outlet paycheck, perhaps when you call the biggest-figure-in-the-game a cheater you should be prepared to stand by your words… for at least a week or two.

Just days after calling golf's brightest star a cheater, Brandel Chamblee has retracted his statement. Essentially saying, "That's not what I meant." BS. Chamblee is supposedly a professional. Maybe it's just me but for Brandel to equate Tiger's 2013 rules infractions/controversies to his own admitted cheating in grade school, and then pretend that he didn't mean to compare the two, is laughable. Anyone in his position, even a former golf pro, should know enough, or have people in place, to correct such a gaff before it gets to publication. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that didn't happen.

I think Chamblee's accusations would have made an interesting discussion through the winter. I really don't think Tiger was purposely cheating, but I do think that his lack of attention this year to the rules that he's known his entire career does make you wonder what's up. Is his swing distracting him? Is it Lindsey? What exactly is going on in one of the most celebrated, and inscrutable, brains in golf?

Decide what you will about Tiger. Here is that story and several other interesting tidbits from the week that was.

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