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Nine Holes With the Back Nine at Augusta National

Apr. 4, 2012     By     Comments (0)

We take a walk through one of the best back nines in golf.

ProfilesAugusta National has a solid front nine, but it's the back nine where the course really shines. Every hole can easily lead to a bogey but each one is also birdie-able, as Charl Schwartzel and others showed us last year. Because of this, going into the back nine on Sunday everyone within shouting distance of the lead is still in the tournament.

Last year we saw Tiger destroy the front nine, then shoot a disappointing 36 on the back nine. Conversely, Charl was just two under on the front nine but he laid siege to the last four holes of the back nine, and pulled out the tournament.

A complete about-face from their earlier deadlines, Augusta National has opened up recently. No, they haven't changed their membership policy, but Augusta National now offers the most comprehensive online streaming infrastructure in golf. Augusta has also added more early-round coverage, and the addition of the course to the Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game has given us unprecedented access to one of the most interesting courses in golf.

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The 2012 Masters: Staff Predictions and Questions

Apr. 4, 2012     By     Comments (1)

The lead up to this years event is better than ever, check out who the staff likes and what they will be looking for at this years event.

Thrash TalkThe Masters truly starts the golf season. Sure there are plenty of events on the West Coast and the Florida swing, but that week in April with the beautifully manicured fairways at Augusta truly gets the season underway.

There has not been a Masters in the last few years that has the excitement of all the big players playing so well going into the event. Tiger winning, Rory winning, Luke Donald winning, Phil winning, and Mahan (now the top American in the OWGR) winning twice, all before the event. It is set up to be one of the best ever. With that I have collected the predictions and some additional questions from the staff here at The SandTrap, enjoy.

Five New Features from Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13

Apr. 4, 2012     By     Comments (1)

Tiger Woods PGA Tour is back, and it's packed full of new features.

Trap Five LogoFor the past few months, EA Sports has been slowly rolling out its list of new features for this year's edition of Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Starting with the fan voting that put Ricky Fowler on the cover of the U.S. version and Rory McIlroy on the international version, it has been a busy year for the developers.

After adapting the game to the Nintendo Wii and, more recently, the Playstation Move, this year EA is bringing the game to the Xbox 360 Kinect, which requires no controller at all and relies on cameras to track your body's movement. Also new this year are Tiger Legacy, which lets you play as Tiger Woods as a kid, online country clubs, Total Swing Control, as well as a crop of new players and courses.

With EA Sports' recent release of the newest edition of Tiger Woods PGA Tour, here are five of the most important new features you can expect to see in Tiger Woods PGA Tour Tour 13.

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Callaway Introduces RAZR Fit Driver

Apr. 3, 2012     By     Comments (2)

Callaway jumps into the adjustable club market with the introduction of the new RAZR Fit driver and fairway woods.

Bag DropIn many ways Callaway has always been a pioneer in the golf industry with regards to new technology. They've come up with such "out of the box ideas" as the HEX dimple pattern which is suppose to be more aerodynamic and were among the first to offer the ability to easily change shafts in a driver with the i-Mix line of clubs. Back in 2009, we saw TaylorMade introduce the original R9 driver and the adjustability of that club (mainly the ability to alter the face angle) really took off. Since that time other manufacturers have jumped into this new market but until now Callaway had stayed back. That all changed with the introduction of the RAZR Fit driver.

One of Callaway's slogans with the new driver is "Change your driver, not your swing," and the RAZR Fit gives you a couple of ways to do this. The first way is with the OptiFit Hosel, which allows the face angle to be altered. The second way is with the OptiFit Weights that can be swapped out to promote the desired ball flight of the player.

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Volume Three Hundred Nine

Apr. 2, 2012     By     Comments (0)

Augusta is waiting. Sean Foley's PGA Tour clients seem ready.

Hittin' the LinksHello golf fans and welcome to The Masters edition of Hittin' the Links. Yep, its Masters week again! I think back to where I was this time last year, getting ready to visit Augusta National for the first time. It was a completely unforgettable experience, there is just no other place like it.

In this edition of HtL we begin with a look at some famous golf clubs, then take a stroll down memory lane, and investigate what that everyone's favorite feminist nitwit is complaining about now. Also on tap, we check out who to watch this week at Augusta, take a look at some important shots, and do a wrap-up of this weeks winners. Read on!

Titleist Updates DT SoLo, NXT Tour, Introduces Velocity, NXT Tour S

Mar. 29, 2012     By     Comments (2)

The #1 Ball in Golf gets a new family member and a couple of updates to its "everyman's balls" models.

Bag DropTitleist has updated two of its most popular balls (the NXT Tour and the DT SoLo) as well as adding a new ball to the line-up (the Velocity).

Titleist has been a household name for golfers for a long time and a big reason for that is the quality of balls that they produce (hence the slogan "the number one ball in golf.") Their top-of-the-line offering is the Pro V1 and Pro V1x and to many those are the gold standard in the golf ball industry. However, not all golfers have $40+/dozen to spend on balls and if we are honest with ourselves, most of us don't have the game for the Pro V1 or Pro V1x anyway. For us, Titleist has other offerings that may be just what your game needs.

For 2012, Titleist has made some changes to the NXT line of balls with an updated version of the NXT Tour and the introduction of the NXT Tour S. In addition to that the DT Solo has also been updated and another new ball has made its way onto the scene in the form of the Titleist Velocity.

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Whom Do You Root For: Tiger or Phil?

Mar. 29, 2012     By     Comments (10)

Both players are treasures of our game, but likely you root for only one of them.

Thrash TalkThe question for you is do you root for Tiger or do you root for Phil? Likely you don't root for both. In a strange way us golf fans tend to pick one or the other of these guys, and if you are in a group, a debate will likely ensue about who is the best. Tiger is consistent and dominant in the same way that Phil is go-for-broke and approachable. They truly are almost opposite people who are fantastically great at the same game.

I think the media fluffs up their relationship trying to spark a rivalry between them so there is something to talk about. I think they probably are just fine with each other and in the Ryder Cup locker room probably consider themselves friends. The irony in that statement is that they are terrible Ryder Cup partners (just ask Hal Sutton) because they are total opposites in how they approach the game.

Belly Putters: The Long and Short of It

Mar. 27, 2012     By     Comments (10)

Do long/belly putters really give players an advantage?

The Numbers Game2011 was quite an interesting year for golf; sure we didn't see Tiger return to form (signs are pointing to that occurring this year), but there were a number of things happening that kept golf fans entertained. We were treated to three different number ones in the world in Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, and Luke Donald and saw four first-time major winners (Schwartzel, McIlroy, Clarke, and Bradley), which is something that we haven't seen since 2003.

One of the biggest trends that picked up in 2011 was many players moving towards long or belly putters. It had always seemed like the long putter was for old guys or those that got the yips but the idea has become more popular as of late. Recently we have seen Adam Scott put the broomstick in the bag and the move gained even more steam with Keegan Bradley being the first to win a major with a long putter as he captured the PGA Championship in August. Three straight wins and the steady play of other long putter users such as Webb Simpson (who contended for the money title) only added to the intrigue.

Regardless of your feelings on whether or not long putters should be legal, they are here for now and more and more players, both amateurs and professionals, are putting them in their bags. The question is this: are long putters just a fad and something to be forgotten in a few years or are they the real deal? Do they actually help the players using them sink more putts or is just between the ears? We'll look at some stats from the PGA tour to see if 1) players using the long putter putt better than those with standard length putters and 2) if players who have made the switch improved upon their own putting regardless of where they ranked before.

Volume Three Hundred Eight

Mar. 26, 2012     By     Comments (0)

Tiger wins at last.

Hittin' the LinksGood day golf fans and welcome to yet another informative edition of Hittin' the Links. So Tiger returns to the winners circle; does this mean Rory and Luke better watch out? I believe that type of thinking might be a little premature, but I do believe that a winning Tiger Woods is good for the game of golf.

In this edition of HtL we begin by finding out what has Arnie irritated, investigate a strange missing ball on the European Tour, and take a look at the new Q-School. Also on tap, we look into John Daly's return, peruse a little-know golf rule, and check out the week's winners. Read on!

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