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2015 PGA Championship Staff Preview

Aug. 12, 2015     By     Comments (1)

The PGA Championship is headed to Wisconsin! The TST staff looks into their crystal balls to preview the 2015 event.

Thrash TalkWhistling Straits has hosted two previous PGA Championships. 2004's edition was won by Vijay Singh in a very exciting three-man playoff, and in 2010 Martin Kaymer nipped then-majorless Bubba Watson in a playoff after Dustin Johnson failed to recognize a bunch of sand as a bunker. Knowing the course offers very exciting finishes we should probably expect to have just as many fireworks as in past events. Rory is claiming he is healthy and has raised expectations he is ready to defend his title. Tiger is coming off his best finish in 2015 and also his swing is looking better as well. Jason Day has recently won, and don't forget about the guy who won the season's first two majors and then missed the playoff for the third by a single shot - Jordan Spieth.

It seems that anybody who is anybody in golf is playing well and ready to tackle the event. So lets see who the TST staff thinks has the hot hand, and what other expectations they have for the event.

TaylorMade AeroBurner Driver and 3 Wood Review

Aug. 10, 2015     By     Comments (5)

TaylorMade introduces their new Aeroburner Driver and Fairway woods with a more aerodynamic design and larger sweet spot for a more forgiving, higher launching performance.

taylormade_aeroburner_driverTaylorMade's new Aeroburner Driver and AeroBurner Fairway Woods feature new advanced aerodynamic shapes with hosel fins creating a reduction in drag for faster swing speeds. The new Speed Pocket increases the size of the sweet spot and reduces spin for longer, more forgiving shots on off-center hits. A new raised crown with matte-white finish and alignment aid give a great overall look.

Volume Four Hundred Forty-Five

Aug. 10, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Will Rory play, will Spieth take three of four, will Tiger be maitre d'?

Hittin' the LinksWill he or won't he? All signs point to a return to play for Rory McIlroy next week just in time for the PGA Championship. He has a tee time with Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson. He's been posting photos and video of himself working out and hitting shots. Indications certainly favor Rory teeing it up Thursday, though he doesn't have to commit until his official tee time.

Even if the World No. 1's ankle won't let him play, the field will be plenty loaded with Speith, the two Johnson's, Mickelson, Furyk, Watson, Day, Garcia, and, yes, that Woods guy. Plus, oh, about 10 or 20 who could win without totally shocking us, and the rest of the field who we might be surprised to see win, but are fully capable of doing so including, if the stars align just right, the club pros.

Let's hit the links.

New Irons and Wedges from PING

Aug. 6, 2015     By     Comments (2)

PING updates the G and the i series of irons while adding to the Glide wedge line up.

Bag DropOver the last handful of years, PING has followed a fairly predictable pattern of releasing the new "i" series iron one year followed by the "G" series the next. This has pretty much been their pattern since the i10/G10. This time around, the company is shaking things up with the new i and GMax irons. Both sets feature new technologies and should help add distance and accuracy to your bag. On top of the two new sets of irons, the company also announced the Glide ES wedges.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (2)

Volume Four Hundred Forty-Four

Aug. 3, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Inbee gets her slam, Tiger shows signs of life, and Holly's going to prom.

Hittin' the LinksTroy Merritt was the class of the Quicken Loans National this week. His 10-under 61 on Saturday followed by a 67 Sunday were three shots better than the nearest competitor. But his story wasn't the one that many fans were most interested in.

Tiger Woods was in contention after a 68-66 start. In fact, if you only considered Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Tiger Woods (T18, -8) looked an awful lot like his old self this week. Unfortunately, Saturday's round was a sloppy 74. But even in his struggles, there were flashes of the greatness that led us to first watch in awe when he played. The WGC field might be happy that he won't be at Firestone next week where he's won eight times.

Elsewhere, Inbee Park hit a major milestone at the Women's British Open and self-promotion master Donald Trump managed to not upstage the competition (at least not much). And the EuroTour was practicing for the Ryder and President's cups at the Paul Lawrie Match Play in Aberdeen. Kiradech Aphibarnrat beat Robert Karlsson to claim the event and his third European Tour victory, becoming the youngest Asian player to reach that mark.

Let's hit the links.

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Review

Aug. 2, 2015     By     Comments (4)

Callaway brings versatility and a new level of adjustability to a fairway wood in a classic-looking package.

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Alt HeroFairway woods are some of my favorite clubs. I use my 3W off the tee for those times when I'm struggling off with the driver or just need a little more accuracy on a tighter hole. I used to have a 5W that I was able to hit a very reliable draw with, whether off the tee or on the ground. I had to stop playing the 5-wood when I discovered a hairline fracture in the shaft, but I still use my 3W at least four or five times in a round.

Because I depend on my 3W so much, picking the right replacement is very important to me. It needs to be easy to hit off the tee as well as off the deck, and it needs to be just as long as it should be. I don't need my 3W to go as far as my driver and I certainly don't need it if it's only good off the tee.

This is why I'm a big fan of Callaway's Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway. Its versatile design allows it to do everything I need out of a fairway wood, without being a one-trick pony. As one of the most adjustable fairway woods on the market, there are a large number of things you can do to optimize the flight characteristics of your ball and customize the club to your swing.

Earlier this year, I reviewed the Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver and thought it was an excellent club. Its little brother is just as good. Read on to find out more.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (4)

What Should Golf Do About Donald Trump?

Aug. 2, 2015     By     Comments (9)

During Donald Trump's campaign for president he is going to say some dumb things. How should golf manage this?

Thrash TalkDonald Trump is only slightly more talented than the most talentless celebrity out there - Kim Kardashian. Trump has made himself a celebrity by being a savvy businessman and then capitalizing on the current run of reality television shows. Prior to The Apprentice he was famous and people knew who he was, but after the run it had on NBC he has moved himself into full-fledged superstardom. He also happens to have a large sum of money and he likes to spend it on things that interest him. For better or for worse he is really interested in golf.

When he entered golf in earnest a few years ago, I was excited. If he is able to bring his money, his celebrity, and his management style to golf, then golf will benefit. And for the most part he has done that. He has taken to investing in struggling clubs, pumping big amounts of money into them, redesigning them, and making them better. Famous locations such as Doral and Turnberry had to change their names to Trump Doral and Trump Turnberry, but I am willing to put up with that if he makes the courses better. And by all accounts he has done just that.

Nike Vapor Flex Driver Review

Jul. 29, 2015     By     Comments (2)

Nike gives us a taste of what's cooking at The Oven.

Nike Vapor Flex Driver HeroWhat do you want from a driver?

Distance? Check.

Adjustability? Check.

Great looks? Check.

The best sound and feel I've ever experienced? Check.

The Nike Vapor Flex driver reflects not what a driver should be, but what a driver can be. It's an insane concoction of technology that builds on the innovations Nike has brought to market over the past half-decade, all packaged into one sleek clubhead.

Amazingly, when you actually take it for a spin, it all seems to make sense. It's a better-player's club that, despite the lime green and wild esthetics, produces a muted sound and a boring trajectory.

Let's dive in.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (2)

Volume Four Hundred Forty-Three

Jul. 27, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Always look before you reach in the hole for your ball. Just saying...

Hittin' the LinksTwo players rode the momentum of their good play in the British Open to wins this week. Jason Day did not leave the big putt short this week, and beat a nation's hope. Danny Willett put together four solid rounds, including a 62, en route to his victory in Switzerland.

Jordan Spieth may have fell short in his Grand Slam campaign, but he did get a drink from the Claret Jug, anyway. Speaking of the jug, the "The Tiger Woods of Iowa," took his on the usual post-major media blitz.

Not a bad week in golf, unless your Robert Allenby. Let's hit the links.

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