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Volume Four Hundred Twenty Six

Mar. 31, 2015     By     Comments (1)

Clubs shatter, why you should bet on Walker and Ko, and we still don't know if Tiger will play Augusta

Hittin' the LinksLast week was a busy time in golf. Augusta is just around the corner and the LPGA is playing a major this week. A lot of weird stuff and a lot of cool stuff happened.

Here's a guy stealing a set of clubs. If you recognize him, please contact the authorities. A Seattle taxi driver left a customer in the cab while he stopped to hit golf balls. A golf course protest ended when the protester fell out of a tree. Will MacKenzie talked about "carnage" and his days as a safety kayaker on the Gallatin River in Montana. Luke Donald appeared to feel much the same way I do about Disney World. The PGA TOUR took exception to the color of a caddie's shorts. And Ohio is the third best state for golf. It says so right here.

In the extremely small category of stories about Tiger Woods that don't revolve around speculating whether he will or won't play in the Masters, this story about his helping to establish a scholarship honoring Charlie Sifford.

Oh, and Winter is coming. But first Spring and majors season is upon us. So let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Twenty Five

Mar. 24, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Every's repeat, a pair of rare birds, and Jesper's reality show

Hittin' the LinksIt's a tough year for 54-hole leaders. At Bay Hill, Henrik Stenson joined the dubious ranks of those who failed to convert their Saturday lead into a Sunday victory. At points, he looked invincible, but a late three-putt undid a lot of solid ball striking.

This week, we got our last look before the Masters at world #1 Rory McIlroy and the short game looked shaky, but he still managed a T11 finish. The Irishman will also be the new face of EA Sports PGA TOUR 2015 video game, replacing Tiger Woods who held that role for 15 years.

Also this week, Arnold Palmer's course design company announced its first project in Scotland. The King will build a second course at Castle Stuart. And we also saw not one but two albatrosses over the weekend, which was pretty cool.

Let's hit the links.

Is Patrick Reed a Top Five…Cheater?

Mar. 18, 2015     By     Comments (4)

Patrick Reed finds himself in some hot water with the golfing press. I explain why he is doing his best to dig the hole even deeper.

Thrash TalkI am no fan of Patrick Reed. My first impression was so bad that he will likely never overcome my dislike, no matter how many Ryder Cup matches he wins. My first impression was his interview stating that he is a top five golfer when he was just starting out. I like confidence but I like it in moderation.

He has proven himself to be a good golfer. There is no denying that. We can argue about whether or not he is in the top five, but he is certainly good enough to play on the US Ryder Cup team. Recently he has been the talk on tour for a piece done about his past. Shane Ryan has been working on a book titled: "Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour". In it he details the troubled past of one Patrick Reed. The story outlines a troubled young man who cheated, which in golf, is the worst label a guy can get. Patrick has now came back saying in an interview on the Golf Channel that the story is false and he has statements from his former golf coaches saying they are false. Now it has become a good old fashion he said he said scenario. He is now asking for a retraction from the books publishers and also Ryan himself.

Volume Four Hundred Twenty Four

Mar. 16, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Spieth wins at Innisbrook, Tiger remains sidelined, and golf rap video you'll probably want to skip.

Hittin the LinksJordan Spieth, who has managed to kick away a few solid leads over the past few years, finally notched another victory at Innisbrook, toppling the red hot Patrick Reed and a hard-charging Sean O'Hair. It took two insane flop shots on the last two holes of regulation and a bomb of a birdie putt in the playoff, but Spieth did manage to close out the Valspar Championship. Spieth now has a two PGA Tour wins, not too bad for a guy who was in first grade when Sean O'Hair turned professional.

This week we also got a check-in on Tiger Woods by Notah Begay III, we heard Patrick Reed attempt to dig himself out of the weeds, and were all witness to the mashup of rap and golf (R.I.P. to both).

Before I get too excited about the prospect of Rory McIlroy and Tom Brady playing Augusta National together, let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Twenty Three

Mar. 9, 2015     By     Comments (0)

DJ's makeover, Rory's toss, and Harrison's plane... quite a week.

Hittin' the LinksThe Donald likes a tough golf course. That much was clear this week in Miami at Trump National Doral. J.B. Holmes' amazing 62 notwithstanding, the pros were struggling to score and, like last year, taking a few shots at the course setup. In the end, only 11 players broke par for the week.

In addition to all the news from Doral, we also learned a few interesting updates to some of the stories noted in Volume 422 of HTL.

For instance, just hours after losing his lead in last Monday's conclusion to the final round of the Honda Classic, Ian Poulter found some harsh, but cute, criticism at home. In a tweet Monday, he said: "I just got home and my 3-year-old Joshua just said 'bad daddy, you hit it in the trees'; that's funny. No more needed to be said. Sorry son."

And the story about caddies being left in a potentially unsafe tent during a thunderstorm at the Honda Classic got a humorous reprise from Rex Hoggard. After last week's black eye, I suspect the PGA TOUR will make sure that caddies are well taken care of at tournaments for the remainder of this season.

Let's hit the links.

New Putters from Odyssey

Mar. 5, 2015     By     Comments (2)

The new Odyssey Works line of putter combines some of the company's most popular technologies and offers a number of different options.

Bag DropGolf is a game of technology. Players are constantly looking to gain an edge by making sure that the clubs that they put in their bag give them an extra couple of yards, keep them in the fairways (or closer too them), and put them on the green. If there is one company that has tried to bring as much technology as possible to the putter, that company would have to be Odyssey golf. While the PING Anser and its subsequent clones and variations still represent the most popular style of putter, no company has been as innovative with their various designs as Odyssey. Between the different inserts, head shapes, and alignment aids, Callaway's putter division believes that they will have something that works for you.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (2)

Volume Four Hundred Twenty Two

Mar. 2, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Ko just keeps winning and it rained in Florida.

Hittin' the LinksIf you've been thinking that Lydia Ko's career was going to be a flash in the pan, it may be time to reevaluate your position.

The teenage Ko has the potential, and time, to compile one of, if not the best, LPGA record of all time. While Whitworth, Wright, and Sorenstam's totals are still far in the distance, Ko's fast start is definitely something to take note of. She made every cut in 26 events entered in 2014. She won three times in 2014, adding to her two previous LPGA wins as an amateur (she has since won the 2015 Australian Open). Last year, she became the youngest woman in history to pass both $1 and $2 million in earnings.

Who's the next Tiger? It just might be a 17-year-old girl from New Zealand.

Let's hit the links.

The Ryder Cup Disappoints Again

Feb. 26, 2015     By     Comments (5)

The PGA of America has once again chosen Davis Love III to lead the US Ryder Cup team. I explain why this has the makings of a terrible decision.

Thrash TalkThe first news of the Ryder Cup captaincy came as more of a "leak" rather than an announcement. We heard from Tim Rosaforte that Davis Love III was going to be captain again.

My first feeling was disappointment that they did not take my suggestion of a Ryder Cup CEO, but rather choosing the safer route of picking a popular figure in the game. My second feeling? How could this be the result of the Ryder Cup task force? To pick DL3 again?

If the answer to the question is that, yes, this is the result of the task force, then I am extremely disappointed. This is a "more of the same" type of move rather than trying to make the big changes the U.S. Ryder Cup needs. Sure, Davis is a nice guy and he had basically won the 2012 Ryder Cup before his team's lousy Sunday singles play, but he is not change. He is one of the many losing captains the U.S. team has had in its recent past. How as a fan of the U.S. team can you not feel anything but disappointment?

Callaway Big Bertha V Series Driver Review

Feb. 25, 2015     By     Comments (4)

Last year, Callaway golf brought back an old favorite in the form of the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha. Now the company has added to the line up with the new and faster V Series.

V Series HeroAt the beginning of 2014, Callaway made a rather large splash in the driver world with the reintroduction of the Big Bertha driver. The return of perhaps the most iconic name in the company's history was met with great success. The Big Bertha Alpha was a first of its kind driver that allowed golfers to change the vertical center of gravity of the club. The standard version of the club was also popular and allowed golfers a wide array of features that could be fine tuned to fit their games best. I was lucky enough to be the staff member that reviewed the Big Bertha driver, and it was one that found a home in my bag for a long period of time. However, it eventually did lose it's spot to a different Callaway driver, the FT Optiforce 440, which I had reviewed just a little while before the Big Bertha.

Enter the Big Bertha V Series. While some might figure because of the name that it is meant to replace the 2014 Big Bertha; that actually isn't the case. It is really the replacement to the FT Optiforce which I loved so much. The first thing that I noticed about the V Series driver is that many of the bells and whistles of the Big Bertha were missing. For example, there are no sliding weights or Gravity Cores. In fact, the only adjustment that can be made is at the hosel, as the club features the Optifit  hosel which has become standard on Callaway clubs. However, don't let the lack of features fool you, this is still a club that packs a punch. Read on to get the full review.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (4)
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