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Volume Four Hundred Sixteen

Jan. 19, 2015     By     Comments (0)

A collapse, a kidnapping, and a congressman threatened.

Hittin' the LinksThis has been one strange week in golf.

Next week promises the PGA Merchandise Show, the annual drool fest for golf gear heads everywhere and a working week for those looking to stock the shelves of the pro shop for another year. The PGA TOUR returns to the mainland for the Humana Challenge at PGA West, while the European Tour continues it's run in the deserts of the Middle East (Qatar this time). But back to this past week...

Just two weeks into the 2015 golf year and we have probably already witnessed the collapse of the year. A PGA TOUR pro was kidnapped, robbed, and beaten over the weekend. A golf course employee has been arrested for threatening to kill a congressman. And disturbingly, bodies seem to be turning up on courses with some regularity this year. Is this golf or NCIS?

Let's hit the links.

Titleist 915H Review

Jan. 17, 2015     By     Comments (4)

Titleist's 915H packs technology and performance in a classic looking package.

Titleist 915H 915HdIt seems like the trend nowadays for equipment manufacturers to find the latest technological innovation and rush production on a line of clubs. This often results in multiple lines released in the same calendar year, all touting to be the longest and most accurate club in the market. It can be hard for the consumer to keep up with all of these product lines and determine which one is aimed towards their skill group. In the end, many golfers simply dismiss the manufacturers' claims as marketing fluff.

Titleist is not one of those companies. They have a modest equipment lineup compared to other manufacturers, and typically release product lines about every two years. This gives them time to really develop their clubs and the technology that goes into them. The result is usually a club that is more refined, but also one that consumers can buy with confidence, knowing that it won't be replaced by the next big thing several months down the road.

The latest hybrid release for Titleist is the 915H and 915Hd. The company claims that they are the longer and more forgiving than any of its predecessors. Titleist's slogan for their 915 line of clubs is "Distance without compromise." Is it just marketing jargon, or do they deliver? Read on, to find out.

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New Irons from Bridgestone

Jan. 14, 2015     By     Comments (3)

Bridgestone's newest lineup of irons, the J15, features four models. Whether you're one of the game's best or struggle to hit the center of the face, the company says that it has something that fits your game.

Bag DropBridgestone Golf, which has made a name for itself as of late for their B330 and e-Series balls, is set to unveil their newest set of irons at the upcoming PGA Merchandise show. While producing irons (and clubs in general for that matter) is nothing new for Bridgestone, the company is not as well known for it, at least not here in the states. They aren't the kind of company that rolls out a new set of irons every six months, and in fact, it was nearly a decade ago that their J33 came out. In Orlando, the company will show off its new J15 family of forged irons which contain four different options, each aimed a different type of player.

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Volume Four Hundred Fifteen

Jan. 12, 2015     By     Comments (0)

And we're off in 2015... but you are unlikely to ever catch Gus.

Hittin' the LinksThe 2014-15 PGA TOUR season has rejoined battle for the 2015 portion of the campaign. As usual, the first January stop is Hawaii. Good choice.

Ah, Kapalua. There are few courses in the world that can rival the views at Kapalua. They could probably televise amateurs playing the course, and I'd watch at least a few holes of the coverage just for the scenery. While many of us are locked in winter's embrace, at Kapalua it's endless summer. There are surfers, paddleboarders, sailboats, and whales a-plenty to help us forget about the snow and ice outside at least for a little while.

While Kapalua signals the return of the PGA TOUR to the airwaves, the important tournaments are still weeks away. But isn't it good to have some great golf to watch again? And if the competition wanes, there are always the whales. It's a Monday finale, but Jimmy Walker and Hideki Matsuyama are tied for the lead after 54 holes.

Here is some of what you may have missed over the last several weeks. Let's hit the links.

Titleist 915 D2 and D3 Driver Review

Dec. 23, 2014     By     Comments (9)

Titleist updates their 913 drivers with higher launch and lower spin 915 Series. Do these drivers meet this claim?

Titleist_915D2_DriverTitleist has unveiled their new series of drivers and woods with the 915 featuring a new technology for Titleist, the Active Recoil Channel™ and the Radial Speed Face, a refinement on the face to improve distance on off center hits. The face changes also allow more weight to be shifted back on the head improving the head's MOI with a lower and deeper center of gravity (CG). This driver has already seen success on tour with Jordan Spieth (915D2) winning the recent Australian Open and Hero World Challenge and their other top players having the D2 (Jimmy Walker, Bill Haas) or D3 (Adam Scott) in the bag.

This review will take a closer look at the "higher launch, lower spin" claims of the 915 versus the previous models, 913 and 910.

Grading Tiger’s Return

Dec. 13, 2014     By     Comments (11)

Tiger made his triumphant return to competitive golf, I give my thoughts on his performance.

Thrash TalkThere is good news, and bad news.

The good news is there are a number of positives to take away from Tiger's recent return at his Hero World Challenge. The bad news was his score. Our, or at least my, expectations for Tiger are very high. When he comes back from injury I expect low scores and a return to dominance. The only thing he dominated in this return was the bottom of the leaderboard.

Volume Four Hundred Fourteen

Dec. 8, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Tiger displayed his new swing and his lunch at Isleworth

Hittin' the LinksIn golf last week, there seemed to only be one story. In case you missed it, Tiger Woods made his first start in four months at his own Hero World Challenge. From his new (old) swing to his chipping woes and gastrointestinal distress, coverage of Woods was everywhere.

Tiger's play was less than stellar, shooting a dismal +5 at his old home course on Thursday. He spent a good part of Saturday throwing up on the course. Despite running a triple-digit temperature, he managed a 69 on Saturday, which turned out to be his best round of the week. (Apparently, a wounded Tiger really is more dangerous.) For the week, Woods shot 77-70-69-72 and finished at even par. Ever the gracious host, Tiger was T-17 in the 18-player field.

There's no fighting the Tiger mania. So this week, let's hit the all-Tiger, all-the-time links.

How Does Today’s Finish Predict Tomorrow’s?

Dec. 4, 2014     By     Comments (3)

Trying to sort out if the "hot hand theory" applies to golf.

The Numbers Game"He's on a hot streak."

"Rory just can't miss right now."

"You want Webb Simpson on your fantasy team this week, he's been playing great the last few months."

The hot streak. Long defended by athletes, denounced by statisticians. It pops up in discussions about three-point shooting, batting titles, and blackjack, but I want to talk about golf.

I don't really care about putting hot streaks, and it would have taken me a decade to comb though the data to chart individual rounds, but there was one thing I could check out: tournament finishes.

I wanted to see how a player's finish in one tournament ("event A") could be used to predict their finish in the next tournament ("event B").

My hypothesis going in was, with some reservations, that there must be something to the hot-hand theory. We've all seen the kind of streaks Tiger and Rory have gone on where they seemingly can't miss a putt, and we've all had our own streaks where nothing seems to go straight. I figured most pros would go through the same thing.

But the results told a largely different story.

TaylorMade SLDR S Review

Dec. 1, 2014     By     Comments (2)

The newest version of the SLDR S lacks some of the adjustability from the previous version, but promises all the distance.

SLDR S SoleOne of the best ways to get golfers to spend more money on a new club is to convince them that they will gain considerable distance. While there are many who scoff at the seemingly wild claims so many of the companies make; many are more than willing to plunk down three or four hundred dollars in an attempt to see if the claims are true.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (2)
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