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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.

Volume Four Hundred Twenty

Feb. 16, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Why can't anyone hold a 54-hole lead?

Hittin' the LinksIt seems like the golf news was dominated this week by hand wringing over Tiger's health/golf game and Caroline Wozniaki in a swim suit, but there was quite a bit more going on. And we have a lot of questions…

For one thing, what ever happened to good front runners? It seems like being in the lead after 54-holes is about the last position you want to be in these days.

Which PGA Tour pro is an astrophotographer on the side, and which narrated a children's book?

How good is Kim Jong-un's golf game?

For answers to these questions and more, let's hit the links.

Is Tiger Going to Retire?

Feb. 9, 2015     By     Comments (5)

Tiger's recent withdraw from the Farmer's Insurance Open due to his recurring back problem has me wondering if this is the beginning of the end.

Thrash TalkThere's a question we have to start asking ourselves.

Could this be the end? Retirement? The end of watching Tiger Woods play competitive golf?

It is hard to fathom. Tiger is too young, by golf standards, to retire. Jack Nicklaus won a major at forty six - surely Tiger can win one at forty.

Yet here we are. In the last handful of tournaments he has played he has either finished DFL or hung a WD next to his name. I know he's hurt. In fact, some have said that the injury seemed to be made worse by the fact that he wasn't playing that well, but at Torrey he had just birdied the par-five tenth hole and gotten himself to even par for the day before a final double bogey and all sorts of pain caused him to withdraw. So I call BS on that. He is withdrawing, at least at Torrey, because he is hurt. I sense he wants to play. But all this pain makes you start to wonder could this be the beginning of the end of watching Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour?

Volume Four Hundred Nineteen

Feb. 9, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Golf loses two icons in the same week, and maybe a GOAT candidate.

Hittin' the LinksIf you don't know about Charlie Sifford, you should.

Until 1961, the PGA Tour had a "Caucasian Only" clause. It's hard to believe in 2015, but less than 60 years ago people were excluded from playing at the highest level solely because of the color of their skin. Much like Jackie Robinson in baseball, Charlie Sifford wasn't the first African-American golfer. He may not even have been the best at the time. But he was the one who broke the color barrier on the PGA TOUR.

By the time Sifford was allowed to measure his skill against other pros on the PGA TOUR, he was 38 (Tiger and his back are now 39). Sifford won but twice on the TOUR but his contributions and sacrifices went far beyond that. Charlie Sifford, in 1960, opened up what was then a very exclusionary sport to a new audience. Sifford endured insults, threats, and galleries who would occasionally kick or throw his ball into the rough, woods, and other bad lies.

Though there is still work to do to make golf more inclusive, Sifford's contributions made it unlikely that anyone will endure what he did in the future, and we should all take notice and honor him.

Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Eighteen

Feb. 2, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Brought to you by Chip Yips from Tiger Foods.

Hittin' the LinksUsually a bad round by a PGA TOUR pro is one that I would like to shoot. But 82? I'm not a great golfer, but I don't get very excited about any score that starts with an eight. Yet, Tiger Woods, who still might be the best ever, shot an 82 Friday on his way to missing the cut by a lot.

Chip yips sounds like a tasty snack, but I don't think they agree with Tiger. When the short game of the former undisputed top golfer looks like a 20-capper at the local muni, it's painful to watch.

And I failed to note last week that the Most Interesting Golfer in the World notched another win on the senior circuit at the Champions Tour's season opener in Hawaii. That gives Miguel Angel Jimenez two wins in three starts with the old guys.

Let's hit the links.

New Irons from Wilson Staff

Jan. 31, 2015     By     Comments (2)

Wilson Staff, one of golf's oldest brands, releases the new FG Tour V4 irons and utilities.

Bag DropIn today's golf equipment world, the major manufacturers are companies like TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist and PING. Look in the bag of most players and you're likely to find clubs with one of those names stamped on them. That wasn't always the case though. It wasn't long ago that a different name dominated golf clubs; Wilson Staff. While the company definitely lost a bit of popularity in the 2000s, they have been making a comeback as of late and their clubs are popping up in more and more bags, including both weekend warriors and tour pros alike.

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The Return of Ben Hogan Golf

Jan. 29, 2015     By     Comments (7)

One of the most famous names in golf is making it's way back into the equipment world.

Bag DropAt one time, it was hard to beat a set of Ben Hogan irons. For the better player, they had it all; the company offered a sleek blade that was forged out of soft carbon steel and offered feel that many felt was unmatched by any other manufacturer. Then the company got sold. And then sold again. And again; until finally in the mid 2000s, clubs with the Ben Hogan name all disappeared. Now the company is owned by Eidolon Golf. Readers of this site might recognize the name as the company that owns Scor Golf.

Scor is the maker of the unique 4161 wedges, which offer every loft from 41 degrees to 61 degrees with their V sole. Their thoughts are that short irons are more like wedges and less like irons and should be designed as such. Some of the ideas found on the Scor Wedges are found on the new Ben Hogan irons and wedges, which promise to be the best feeling, most consistent and most responsive clubs you can put in your bag.

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The Trouble with Dustin Johnson

Jan. 28, 2015     By     Comments (3)

Dustin is getting prepared to make a return to the PGA Tour after a self imposed six month break from the game. There were many rumors about why he took this break I give my take on his story.

Thrash TalkI probably shouldn't care about Dustin Johnson's issues, but I do. When you watch a guy at the top of his game "take six months off," it immediately makes you wonder what happened to him. How can you not?

In a very short time after Johnson made his announcement, golf.com put out a very juicy story that Johnson had failed a drug test, testing positive for cocaine. Wow. This story satisfied our need for an explanation of why such a talented golfer would take a break seemingly in the middle of the peak of his career. There was little corroborating evidence to provide support to this story, but because it satisfied a check box for most of us it seemed plausible.

Callaway Announces XR Product Line

Jan. 27, 2015     By     Comments (3)

In February, Callaway will release their new XR Product Family; a line that they say is built for speed.

Bag DropWhile the Big Bertha line is undoubtedly the most popular line of clubs that Callaway Golf has ever created, the X Hot line, which first came out in 2013, has seen it's fair share of love from golf fans. If you remember, it was that line that promised to add a whopping 17 yards of distance to your fairway woods, and for a lot of people, that's exactly what they got. While the awkwardly named sequel to the X Hot Line, the X2 Hot didn't seem to take off quite as well, those were still solid clubs that took a step forward from the original. Soon to be released now from the company is the successor to the X2 Hot, the XR. Like the line it is succeeding, the XR is a complete product line featuring multiple drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and a couple sets of irons. Read on to get all the details.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (3)
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