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Titleist Introduces the New 712U Forged Utility Iron

Apr. 9, 2013     By     Comments (4)

Titleist introduces the new 712U for players looking for a long iron replacement but don't want hybrids.

Bag DropIf there is one thing you can say about the golf equipment industry, it is that it is one of trends. Over the last handful of years we have seen larger club heads, better balls, adjustable clubs, etc. One of the biggest equipment advances over recent years was the hybrid iron. Originally designed with the weekend golfer in mind, the hybrid was designed to replace the long irons but play more like a fairway wood. They helped players launch the ball higher and further than they ever could with their long irons.

However, even though the demand for hybrids are high and they have a place in many bags, some still don't like them. For players in this category there have been a few options. For years now, Mizuno has offered the Fli-Hi irons which have become very popular, and last year we saw Callaway jump in the mix with the X Utility iron which was in Ernie Els' bag when he won the British Open Championship. Starting in mid-May, golfers will be able finally be able to get their hands on Titleist's offering in this category, the 712U, which was introduced on the Tour late last year.

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Volume Three Hundred Forty Five

Apr. 8, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Its Masters Week again!

Hittin' the LinksThe Azaleas are blooming, the pimento sandwiches are made, and the green jackets are pressed...it must be Masters time. Hello, golf fans and welcome to the Master's edition of HtL. Its my favorite time of the year when everyone turns their attention to the city of Augusta, Georgia and the Masters. It was only two years ago when I myself finally had the chance to walk those hollowed fairways and see what all the fuss was about. Augusta National is beautiful on television, but one cannot completely understand its grandeur without seeing it firsthand. Its like no other place on earth.

In this edition of Hittin' the Links we begin with the Masters Website, then see who's giving Rory money now, and find out who Phil played a practice round with. Also, we check out Furyk's two drivers, investigate lefty's "special club", and do a wrap-up of the week's events. Read on!

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 Review

Apr. 3, 2013     By     Comments (1)

We take an in-depth look at EA's newest Tiger Woods video game.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 Box ArtAround this time one year ago, I wrote a review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, using a copy of the game I bought myself. I've been a loyal consumer of the Tiger Woods series of video games since about 2002, when the games were much, much simpler.

After a few off years, Tiger 13 was a step in the right direction, and Tiger 14 continues that. There are some bad things, and a few things that had me ready to snap my controller in half, but I can say with certitude that Tiger Woods 14 is the best game to date.

It keeps Augusta National, which was introduced in the 2012 version, and has expanded to include all four major championships (the real names, not just "Summer Major Championship"). The LPGA joins the PGA Tour, and more courses are included standard that in recent year.

More importantly, for the first time since the mid-2000s, former PGA Tour pros are in the game. Tiger 14 includes an assortment of major champions, including Arnold Palmer, who joins Tiger on the cover. The game retails for $60 on Xbox 360 and PS3, or $70 for the Collector's Edition (if you buy the regular edition, you can always upgrade to the collector's via DLC, for about $20). Kinect and Move support remain, though I have neither, so I won't be reviewing them.

Let's dive in.

Lost My Heart in San Francisco

Apr. 2, 2013     By     Comments (6)

Michelle Wie has won a few times on the LPGA Tour, but by and large her career has been marred by an inability to get out of second gear, what should she do now?

Thrash TalkFor Michelle Wie, the title of this Thrash Talk does not perfectly apply. She went to Stanford, which is in Palo Alto, but it is in the Bay Area, so close enough. Sadly, Wie is likely to go down as one of the biggest busts in women's golf. Her parents have gotten and deserved most of the blame for the tragedy that has been her career, but at some point Michelle has to take some responsibility.

For starters, she should have never played in all the men's events she played in. I think the first Sony Open was great, my advice would have been you missed the cut by one, so we'll give it one more year. After the second year which wasn't as good it would have been the last time she played in a men's event. Instead she entered the John Deere Classic got heat exhaustion and the whole thing was a mess. This mistake was on her parents. They should have realized that her entering men's events was a circus and publicity event, and should have done a better job protecting her. They should have told her to play with the men is an admirable goal but let's win some events on the women's tour and establish ourselves as Annika did before entering the circus.

Callaway Makes Updates Across the Board with New Woods, Putters and Balls

Apr. 1, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Callaway has added to its popular line of X Hot fairway woods with a new deep face model while updating the HEX line of balls. Meanwhile, the new Tank putter from Odyssey promises to be the most stable flat stick yet.

Bag DropThis year, Callaway golf has come on strong with their new line of RAZR Fit and X Hot products. So far in the X Hot family they have introduced both standard and Pro versions of the driver, fairway woods, hybrids and irons. Taking things a step further, they are now introducing a deep face version of the X Hot Fairway that they are calling the X Hot 3Deep. In addition to the new wood, Callaway has updated it's tour level ball with the new HEX Chrome+. Odyssey Golf (Callaway's putter line) has also introduced a new product line with the Tank putters which aim to give ultimate stability.

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Volume Three Hundred Forty Four

Mar. 25, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Number one in the world and dating Lindsey Vonn, it's good being Tiger.

Hittin' the LinksNice weather they were having in Florida. It took Tiger a whole extra day to regain his number one status. Better late than never, I guess. Let's see won three times already, number one in the world again, and dating Lindsey Vonn; it's good being Tiger.

In this edition of HtL we start out with a look at Tiger and Lindsey, then investigate Sergio's tree trouble, and find out what Tom Watson is giving back. Also, we look into Arnold's famous drink, find out what he and Kate Upton have in common, and do a wrap-up of the week's events. Read on!

Analyzing Golf’s Analysts

Mar. 24, 2013     By     Comments (12)

Love them or hate them golf's analysts are always a part of the telecast, I take a look at the current crop of analysts and give my thoughts.

Thrash TalkAsk most non-golfers and they'll tell you watching golf on TV is boring. That's likely because without knowing how difficult it is to hit a four iron to fifteen feet under the pressure of tournament golf, it's hard to appreciate the achievement. Add to this the announcers doing most of the talking spits out so much golf jargon during the telecast that most non-golfers would either be interested to learn more or totally turned off. Most fall into the latter group.

Still, somebody has to talk during the telecast, and currently golf has some decent personalities doing the talking. Later I will do a story on the lead announcers like Jim Nantz, but for now I want to focus on the analysts. To qualify for a golf analyst you need to have had a moderately successful golf career and it doesn't hurt if you are slightly controversial and willing to speak your mind.

Recapping Tiger’s Last Five Wins

Mar. 23, 2013     By     Comments (0)

As he nears the top spot in the world rankings, we take a look at Tiger's journey back.

Trap Five LogoSince the infamous Thanksgiving Night 2009 car crash, Tiger Woods, once a sure thing to pass Jack's record of 19 major championships, has won just five times on the PGA Tour. All of those wins have come in a 13-month stretch, starting with the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational, and culminating in his won at Doral just recently. (And I'm not counting the Chevron because, c'mon, only host Tiger himself thinks that's a real tournament.)

Woods now has 76 wins on the PGA Tour, behind only Sam Snead's mark of 82 wins. His 14 majors trail just Nicklaus, and, if you're inclined to go there, he's also third all-time in European Tour wins (behind Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer) because they sanction the majors and WCG tournaments, which Tiger has dominated.

As Tiger marches back towards the world number one ranking, and readies for the first major of the season, let's take a look at his journey back from 58th in the world rankings.

Nine Holes With Brandt Snedeker

Mar. 22, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Exploring the backstory of the world's hottest player.

ProfilesAfter about three years on the Nationwide Tour and six more of middling PGA Tour play, Brandt Snedeker broke through during last year’s FedExCup Playoffs, and won the $10 million top prize. Snedeker, who won earlier in the year at Torrey Pines, beat Justin Rose by three strokes down the stretch at the Tour Championships, vaulting him ahead of Jason Dufner, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy to win the Cup.

Snedeker has a few major championship close calls, and though he had yet to pull it, Sneds is a pretty solid bet to win one over the next few years. Let's jump in.

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