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Volume Four Hundred Forty-Nine

Sep. 8, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Two down, two to go... the playoffs continue

Hittin' the LinksBig three or big four? The best young guns in the game? Rickie Fowler made a strong argument this week in his case for belonging in the heart of the conversation. Forget the Golf Boyz, Rickie. I think we have the makings of a great boy band, and I'd trade swings with any member of R2J2.

Next week, the LPGA will hold golf's final major of the year, the Evian Masters. And the FedExCup Playoffs continue outside of Chicago at the BMW Championship. Speaking of which, in case you need them, here are the current playoff standings.

Let's hit the links.

Callaway XR Pro Driver Review

Sep. 7, 2015     By     Comments (1)

Callaway released their follow up to the extremely popular X2 Hot Pro driver with the XR Pro model. How does it match up? I take it for a spin and find out.

XRPhysics tells us velocity multiplied by time equals distance. Distance is something that all golfers are looking for. We all want it; frankly we can't get enough of it. But just telling golfers that you are going to give them more distance just doesn't work anymore. We are tired of hearing it. Heck, if it were true I would be hitting 320 yard drives last season. We just won't believe you anymore.

So Callaway has come up with a creative strategy for telling us their XR line of drivers are going to help us hit it father. They don't simply tell us we are going to get more yardage, they tell us we are going to get more speed. Speed is really a simplified version of the velocity ingredient in our physics lesson above. The XR line of drivers is designed and built for outrageous speed. I for one appreciate the creativity from their marketing department and after getting to try their XR Pro driver I also appreciate their engineering department as well.

XR

For this review I was given a 10.5 degree Callaway XR Pro driver with a stiff Project X shaft. Let's see how it performed.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (1)

Bridgestone J15 Driving Forged Irons Review

Sep. 6, 2015     By     Comments (2)

Can a hidden-cavity iron (from a company better known for golf balls) perform like the best players cavity backs?

The Bridgestone J15DF IronIt's been some four years since Bridgestone released the J40 line of irons. I had always admired the good looks of the J40 Cavity Backs. So when I heard that Bridgestone had a new line out, I had to take a look.

With Bridgestone and Tourstage, the company has owned two of the most popular brands in Japan for some time. In the U.S. Bridgestone sells a lot of golf balls, but you can hang out at a bag drop for the better part of a morning before a set of Bridgestones comes through. Maybe that should change.

Bridgestone's 2015 product line is their most extensive for the U.S. market in some time. (The entire J40 line featured just a Cavity Back set, a Dual Cavity Back set, and a Combo set that mixed the two. The J15 lineup includes, from most workable to most forgiving, the J15 Muscle Back, J15 Cavity Back, J15 Driving Forged (J15DF), J15 Dual Pocket Forged, and J15 Cast.

I typically play cavity-back irons on the more workable end of the spectrum (though I suffer from that choice at times). So initially it was the J15CBs that caught my eye with their sleek lines and no frills good looks. Not to mention that when I heard the words "dual forged" I pictured those older hollow-bodied, thick-soled driving irons that came out about a decade ago. But as I learned more about the Driving Forged irons, I became quite interested in finding out how they perform.

And then I saw them.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (2)

TaylorMade RSi 2 Irons Review

Sep. 6, 2015     By     Comments (3)

TaylorMade's newest innovation is Face Slot Technology and promises that you'll love your mis-hits. Do they deliver?

TM RSi 2 Irons HeroMis-hits happen. TaylorMade's marketing strategy for their RSi lineup is to focus on the forgiveness of their irons as opposed to how long they claim the clubs will hit the ball. If you're like me, you're probably a little skeptical of TaylorMade's marketing claims. Year after year they have claimed to have created the longest clubs ever. I can only absorb so much hyperbolic marketing before I basically become immune to it and tune it out.

So now they have shifted the direction to forgiveness. Their studies have shown that 76% of shots hit by golfers are mis-hits, so they say that their engineers have set out to design the ultimate irons to help golfers have better mis-hits. They claim that you're going to shoot lower scores and hit more greens because of these clubs. While I'd love for that to be true, I just don't believe that I'll score better simply by switching a set of irons.

I know that sounds a bit negative, but I just don't buy into marketing hype. The more aggressive the campaign, the less I tend to pay attention to it, which is a shame because TaylorMade does make excellent irons. I've played with a set of TaylorMade irons for years: a set I never even wanted to try at first because I was turned off by the marketing. I didn't want to make the same mistake with the RSi 2 irons.

Yes, there's a lot of hype, but there's also a lot of technology and engineering that went into making them. Do they really make mis-hits better? Let's find out.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (3)

Volume Four Hundred Forty-Eight

Aug. 31, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Playoffs? We're talking playoffs?

Hittin' the LinksWhat a year we are witnessing on the PGA TOUR. We came into the year with Rory McIlroy being the undisputed world number one. Then Jordan Spieth seemed virtually unbeatable for a few months. Those two, along with Rickie Fowler, were even being dubbed "the new big three."

Now Jason Day has joined the party in a big way. With his fourth win of the year coming Sunday at the Barclays, Day has replaced Fowler in the conversation or made it a big four. His 63-62 over the weekend was an incredible display.

Things are shaping up nicely for some epic duels in the future. And just imagine what it will be like if Tiger and/or Phil can get their games together when it matters. It's going to be fun. Let's hit the links.

Should I Buy or Sell My Jordan Spieth Stock?

Aug. 30, 2015     By     Comments (8)

Jordan is at the top of his game, but does he win more, or has he peaked?

Thrash TalkIn today's economy it seems that one of the key indices of a healthy market is how the stock market is performing. Currently as China stock market underwent a crash it got me thinking about prospecting. I mainly wonder "If Jordan Spieth were a stock, would I buy or short him?"

There is no question his price in this Golf Street market would be extremely high. Two major wins and two extremely close calls; there is no other way to describe it than to measure it against Tiger's 2000 season. It was not as good as that season, in fact, not really even that close but it is the closest comparison one can make in recent history. You need to go back to Ben Hogan's 1953 season to find another to compare it to. Add to this the fact that the 2015 season isn't over, a win at the season-ending Tour Championship would only add more fuel to a season already full of big fireworks.

Volume Four Hundred Forty-Seven

Aug. 24, 2015     By     Comments (1)

The old Tiger shows up as does the Davis Love, and math is hard.

Hittin' the LinksIt seemed like it was going to be a fairy tale ending to the regular season for Tiger Woods. In second place after the third round, it just felt like Woods would finally break out of his slump and get his first win since 2013. Instead, a triple-bogey seven on number 11 was a fitting coda to Tiger's 2015 campaign. But the old Tiger just might maybe be back.

Another old guy, Freddy Couples shot 59… on Wednesday. And yet another won the Wyndham Championship. Let's hit the links.

PGA Tour Live App Review

Aug. 23, 2015     By     Comments (2)

PGA TOUR LIVE carries every event of the PGA TOUR live and on demand as well as the Web.com and Champions Tours and the Presidents Cup.

PGA Tour Live App 4
Last month the PGA TOUR released a new app called PGA TOUR LIVE. The app allows you to watch live coverage of two concurrent featured group pairings during morning competition prior to the start of the regularly scheduled television coverage. It is available for iOS and Android.

The app also offers live-streaming coverage from select holes after early-round group coverage has concluded, as well as on select weekends. In addition, the app includes video-on-demand content such as subscription-only highlights as well as feature and historical videos in an easy-to-access environment.

The Basics
PGA TOUR LIVE, a subscription-based digital platform service, debuted in the first round of the Quicken Loans National. It's available on desktop, iOS, and Android devices. Other devices like Smart TV will follow soon.

The coverage is be available first as a seven-day free subscription when you register. After that, the subscription costs $4.99 per month.

The only live golf streaming I've previously done has been during the Masters. The Sand Trap.com has partnered with the PGA TOUR LIVE team for the review and after a few days with PGA TOUR LIVE I experienced plenty of pros and a few cons. I reviewed this app based on my experiences with the iOS version on an iPhone 6 and a fourth-geneeration iPad.

Volume Four Hundred Forty-Six

Aug. 17, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Day triumphs, Spieth rises and Daly shows off his arm.

Hittin' the LinksWith nine top 10s in majors over six years, Jason Day has been on a lot of short lists to finally win one. On Sunday, on the shores of Lake Michigan, it happened.

His final round showdown with Jordan Spieth was great theater, but Day's six-under 66 proved too much on this day for even the young Spieth who shot 68. The 2015 PGA Championship provided great story lines on a Dye course where birdies seemed about as likely as double bogeys (and where Dustin Johnson made a double-par eight on his opening hole Sunday).

Elsewhere, Brooke Henderson won the LPGA's Cambia Portland Classic in an eight-stroke romp. And Tiger Woods, who missed the cut at Whistling Straits, announced that he will play the Wyndham Championship in a bid to extend his season.

Let's hit the links.

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