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2013 U.S. Open Staff Picks

Jun. 12, 2013     By     Comments (2)

The U.S. Open moves to historic Merion Golf Club, and we try to pick 'em.

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)

Who needs a "W"?

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.

Volume Three Hundred Fifty One

Jun. 10, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Butch gives up Twitter, Inbee Park goes 2 for 2, and Merion is waiting.

Hittin' the LinksIt's U.S. Open time again. Time to watch the best players in the world trudge around the golf course laboriously trying to make par. This year's venue promises to be as punitive as any. Merion awaits the best in the world, so it can abuse them for our amusement. What's not to love about that?

In this newest edition of HtL we begin with a peek at the group to watch, then check out a golf rap video, and find out why some people think it's okay to be selective about which golf rules we follow. Also, we find out what an average amateur would shoot at Merion, look into why Butch Harmon gave up Twitter, and do a wrap-up of the weeks events. Read on!

Why Tiger the Golfer Matters

Jun. 6, 2013     By     Comments (21)

Tiger Woods is the greatest player of his generation, maybe ever, and I discuss why every golfer should root for him.

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.

Who Belongs in the Golf Hall of Fame?

Jun. 6, 2013     By     Comments (2)

Recently Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie were inducted into Golf's Hall of Fame, and this is my take on whether they truly belong.

Thrash TalkRecently the World Golf Hall of Fame inducted two extremely controversial members to the ranks: Freddie Couples and Colin Montgomerie. Both were controversial because neither had an overly impressive body of work for their careers. Both were especially light when it came to major wins. Freddie won a single Masters and Colin could only count a handful of near misses.

Freddie's career was marred by a bad back, so in reality we will never know his true potential. Without a doubt he was an incredibly popular golfer amongst most of the fans because of his easy going nature and the fact that he was one cool dude. He was for a brief period the world's number one golfer, yet he only amassed seventeen career wins including the one aforementioned major. Freddie won a number of "unofficial" events during what was called at the time golf's "silly" season, but they are not truly wins against full fields. I think inducting Freddie was more a ballot of how well liked he was amongst the golf press and his playing competitors, rather than on his merits. I say Freddie does not belong.

Callaway X Hot Pro Driver Review

Jun. 5, 2013     By     Comments (3)

Callaway promises their new X Hot series of woods to be among the hottest available, read on to find out if we agree.

Callaway X Hot Pro DriverOver the last handful of years, Callaway Golf has released numerous drivers trying to appeal to golfers of all abilities. This year, Callaway has trimmed down its offerings to three drivers; there is the RAZR Fit Xtreme (the sequel to last year's RAZR Fit) and the new X Hot and X Hot Pro. The RAZR Fit Xtreme offers the most adjustability of Callaway's three drivers and is aimed at the better player. The X Hot line, on the other hand, is aimed at golfers seeking a little more in the way of forgiveness and a lot more in the way of distance. Callaway claims this to be their hottest driver and with the X Hot line their focus is very much on hitting the ball a long way.

In fact, the company's focus on distance is so high that this year that they have assembled their "X Team" of long hitters. For every 325+ yard drive that is hit by a Callaway staffer, they are receiving a "bomb patch" to put on their bag and a special "4 bills" patch is out there for those who smash one over 400 yards. While most amateurs won't be hitting the ball quite as far as that, Callaway says that this club will have you further down the fairway than ever before. Read on to find out if this club is really a hot as they say it is.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (3)

Mizuno MP-T4 Wedge Review

Jun. 5, 2013     By     Comments (4)

Mizuno's newest wedge, the MP-T4 aims to help golfers go after more pins with multiple lofts in a sleek package.

For many, there is nothing better than getting a new driver in the bag. The thrill of hitting a new big stick is an awesome one, especially when you pipe it down the fairway past all of your buddies. If you ask me though, while hitting the big drive is nice, sticking it in close to the hole or making a crucial up and down to save par and keep the round going is even better. To do this though, you have to have confidence in your short game and having the right wedges in the bag is a big part of that. Mizuno's newest wedge, the MP-T4 looks to fill that spot in the bag. Read on to find out if their attempt was a success.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (4)

iliac Golf by Bert LaMar

Jun. 5, 2013     By     Comments (1)

Bert LaMar's growing company looks to add some flare to yourself and to your golf bag with an array of one-of-a-kind golf accessories and apparel

Bag DropSince 2005 iliac Golf by Bert LaMar has sought to offer the avid golfer something special.  80-90 players on the PGA Tour players use some iliac Golf products and do so as a personal choice; they simply love the unique design and quality of the wool and leather head covers and clothing designs. Most of the golf resorts in the USA now stock iliac Golf products and in the United Kingdom and Ireland, from its launch in 2011, iliac Golf by Bert LaMar can now be found in an ever increasing number of top golf courses across the region.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (1)

18 Questions with PING Senior Design Engineer Marty Jertson

Jun. 3, 2013     By     Comments (5)

PING engineer Marty Jertson answers your questions!

Thanks to all the TST members that submitted these questions and thanks to Marty for the great answers. Marty Jertson is a senior design engineer for PING Golf. Jertson is also a PGA professional and has qualified for the 2011 and 2012 PGA Championships. Jertson went undefeated, 4-0 at the 25th PGA Cup in 2011, as the U.S. team defeated Great Britain & Ireland, 17½-8½.

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