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Volume Four Hundred Twenty Three

Mar. 9, 2015     By     Comments (0)

DJ's makeover, Rory's toss, and Harrison's plane... quite a week.

Hittin' the LinksThe Donald likes a tough golf course. That much was clear this week in Miami at Trump National Doral. J.B. Holmes' amazing 62 notwithstanding, the pros were struggling to score and, like last year, taking a few shots at the course setup. In the end, only 11 players broke par for the week.

In addition to all the news from Doral, we also learned a few interesting updates to some of the stories noted in Volume 422 of HTL.

For instance, just hours after losing his lead in last Monday's conclusion to the final round of the Honda Classic, Ian Poulter found some harsh, but cute, criticism at home. In a tweet Monday, he said: "I just got home and my 3-year-old Joshua just said 'bad daddy, you hit it in the trees'; that's funny. No more needed to be said. Sorry son."

And the story about caddies being left in a potentially unsafe tent during a thunderstorm at the Honda Classic got a humorous reprise from Rex Hoggard. After last week's black eye, I suspect the PGA TOUR will make sure that caddies are well taken care of at tournaments for the remainder of this season.

Let's hit the links.

New Putters from Odyssey

Mar. 5, 2015     By     Comments (2)

The new Odyssey Works line of putter combines some of the company's most popular technologies and offers a number of different options.

Bag DropGolf is a game of technology. Players are constantly looking to gain an edge by making sure that the clubs that they put in their bag give them an extra couple of yards, keep them in the fairways (or closer too them), and put them on the green. If there is one company that has tried to bring as much technology as possible to the putter, that company would have to be Odyssey golf. While the PING Anser and its subsequent clones and variations still represent the most popular style of putter, no company has been as innovative with their various designs as Odyssey. Between the different inserts, head shapes, and alignment aids, Callaway's putter division believes that they will have something that works for you.

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Volume Four Hundred Twenty Two

Mar. 2, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Ko just keeps winning and it rained in Florida.

Hittin' the LinksIf you've been thinking that Lydia Ko's career was going to be a flash in the pan, it may be time to reevaluate your position.

The teenage Ko has the potential, and time, to compile one of, if not the best, LPGA record of all time. While Whitworth, Wright, and Sorenstam's totals are still far in the distance, Ko's fast start is definitely something to take note of. She made every cut in 26 events entered in 2014. She won three times in 2014, adding to her two previous LPGA wins as an amateur (she has since won the 2015 Australian Open). Last year, she became the youngest woman in history to pass both $1 and $2 million in earnings.

Who's the next Tiger? It just might be a 17-year-old girl from New Zealand.

Let's hit the links.

The Ryder Cup Disappoints Again

Feb. 26, 2015     By     Comments (5)

The PGA of America has once again chosen Davis Love III to lead the US Ryder Cup team. I explain why this has the makings of a terrible decision.

Thrash TalkThe first news of the Ryder Cup captaincy came as more of a "leak" rather than an announcement. We heard from Tim Rosaforte that Davis Love III was going to be captain again.

My first feeling was disappointment that they did not take my suggestion of a Ryder Cup CEO, but rather choosing the safer route of picking a popular figure in the game. My second feeling? How could this be the result of the Ryder Cup task force? To pick DL3 again?

If the answer to the question is that, yes, this is the result of the task force, then I am extremely disappointed. This is a "more of the same" type of move rather than trying to make the big changes the U.S. Ryder Cup needs. Sure, Davis is a nice guy and he had basically won the 2012 Ryder Cup before his team's lousy Sunday singles play, but he is not change. He is one of the many losing captains the U.S. team has had in its recent past. How as a fan of the U.S. team can you not feel anything but disappointment?

Callaway Big Bertha V Series Driver Review

Feb. 25, 2015     By     Comments (3)

Last year, Callaway golf brought back an old favorite in the form of the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha. Now the company has added to the line up with the new and faster V Series.

V Series HeroAt the beginning of 2014, Callaway made a rather large splash in the driver world with the reintroduction of the Big Bertha driver. The return of perhaps the most iconic name in the company's history was met with great success. The Big Bertha Alpha was a first of its kind driver that allowed golfers to change the vertical center of gravity of the club. The standard version of the club was also popular and allowed golfers a wide array of features that could be fine tuned to fit their games best. I was lucky enough to be the staff member that reviewed the Big Bertha driver, and it was one that found a home in my bag for a long period of time. However, it eventually did lose it's spot to a different Callaway driver, the FT Optiforce 440, which I had reviewed just a little while before the Big Bertha.

Enter the Big Bertha V Series. While some might figure because of the name that it is meant to replace the 2014 Big Bertha; that actually isn't the case. It is really the replacement to the FT Optiforce which I loved so much. The first thing that I noticed about the V Series driver is that many of the bells and whistles of the Big Bertha were missing. For example, there are no sliding weights or Gravity Cores. In fact, the only adjustment that can be made is at the hosel, as the club features the Optifit  hosel which has become standard on Callaway clubs. However, don't let the lack of features fool you, this is still a club that packs a punch. Read on to get the full review.

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Volume Four Hundred Twenty One

Feb. 23, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Another playoff at Riviera, Lydia Ko notches a victory, and an NFL kicker wants a shot at Tiger.

Hittin the LinksThis week we saw James Hahn get his first PGA Tour win at the Northern Trust Open, Lydia Ko win her 17th event this month (still fact-checking that one), and Scott Piercy get lost in an ocean of sand traps.

Tiger Woods was ruled out of the next few events, and Josh Scobee wants in.

All that, plus an antsy Michael Jordan, a second dose of DLIII, and a bit of manufacturing innovation from PING.

Let's get into it.

Titleist 915F Fairway Wood Review

Feb. 22, 2015     By     Comments (2)

Can the Titleist 915F deliver performance equal to its good looks?

The Titleist 915 F and Fd are the latest in a successful lineage.What do you want a fairway wood to do? Do you only play it from the short grass when you need to reach the green from a long way out? Is it your go-club off the tee when your driver becomes untrustworthy?

I have long had a love-hate relationship with fairway woods. Some handle hitting off the tightest of lies with no problem, but provide such a shallow face that hitting off the tee causes undue angst. Others look like mini drivers and handle tee shots like champs, but getting the ball airborne off the fairway is a much less likely proposition.

So when the first spy shots of the 915F came out and I started reading about its features, I was immediately interested in finding out if the F could retain its playability off the turf in its new larger footprint. Maybe, the 915 could fit the bill for the elusive all around fairway wood.

For this review, I had a 15° 915F with the stock Mitsubishi Diamana M+ Red 60 shaft.

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Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Review

Feb. 22, 2015     By     Comments (2)

Callaway brings maximum adjustability in a driver that is both low-spinning and forgiving.

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 SoleIn early 2014, Callaway released the Big Bertha Alpha driver. With it, they introduced the ability to adjust a driver's center of gravity up or down through their patented Gravity Core. While this was an innovation in driver adjustability, the club itself didn't really find its way into the hands of the masses.

The second generation of the Big Bertha Alpha is here, with the introduction of the Big Bertha Alpha 815. Callaway claims that this club establishes a new driver category: a driver that maximizes distance with low spin and is still forgiving. It's a pretty bold claim by Callaway, but they feel that they have created a driver that will be a good fit for most golfers.

Is it the real deal, or just marketing hype? Read on, to find out.

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The Virtues of Winter Golf

Feb. 17, 2015     By     Comments (10)

Winter is the best thing to happen to golf since sliced bread and the best kept secret in the game. I'm letting the cat out of the bag and my subtropical friends will soon be green with envy.

st titleWinter is in full force here in the U.S. Like every golfer in the colder climes, I find myself checking the weather forecast every day looking for a good opportunity to get out and enjoy our favorite pastime. The elusive beast that is the perfect winter golf day can be hard to find, but with some luck and some patience (let's face it, it's winter and I love golf, so I have nothing but time on my hands), the trifecta of perfect conditions can be found: sunny, no snow on the ground, and below 32°F. Yes! Time to go out and enjoy the best conditions the game can offer: Frozen Golf!

By now, my Southern California friends are scratching their heads and wondering "what is frozen golf?" Well my friend, while you were busy posting pictures of yourself on a golf course wearing shorts on a brisk 70° January morning, you're missing out on one of the greatest experiences the game can offer. Golf on frozen ground is truly unique and I would argue, is better than golf in standard conditions.

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