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Volume Four Hundred Forty-Two

Jul. 21, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Wow. Just wow.

Hittin' the LinksThat was one wild final day of the Open Championship!

For much of the back nine, the likelihood of a 2015 grand slam seemed like a very long shot, indeed. Then, for a short time, it seemed like it was fated to happen. But the cell phones clicked and the ball spun back (like balls aren't supposed to in links golf) down into the depths of the Valley of Sin. Spieth was left with a difficult putt-chip up the steep ridge to make the playoff. His putt missed one-ball left of the cup.

Just like that, Jordan Spieth came up one shot short of keeping the dream of a modern grand slam alive.

Instead, a player that I never would have guessed to prevail on a links course birdied the first two playoff holes and then hung on through the last two to emerge victorious.

But what a spectacle the Old Course hosted this week... the wind blew, the rain fell, Tiger missed another major cut, Colin Montgomerie's son worked the scoreboard, Graham DeLaet's clubs got dusted, Tim Clark withdrew for an odd reason, DJ looked unbeatable and then he didn't, Watson said goodbye to the Open, no one wanted this birdie, Robson read the names for the playoff and hung up his microphone, the amateurs nearly stole the show, and finally there was a new Champion Golfer of the Year.

What a week! Let's hit the links.

Mizuno MP-H5 Iron Review

Jul. 19, 2015     By     Comments (2)

The new Mizuno MP-H5 irons are aimed at the scratch player, the bogey golfer, and everybody in between. Read on to find out if they deserve a spot in your bag.

Mizuno MPH5Mizuno Golf is a company long known for creating some of the games’ best irons. In particular, the MP series has an almost cult following for their sexy looks and buttery feel. In the past, the MP irons were reserved for only the games absolute best players, or at least they should have been, considering their small size and punishing nature. For those needing a bit more help than the MP series could offer, Mizuno offered the MX and, more recently, the JPX series of irons. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with those lines, they did lose some of the appeal of the sleeker MP irons. Recently, however, the line between MP and JPX has been blurred as the company has created more player friendly MP irons. A few years back now, the company debuted the MP-H4 irons, whose aim was to deliver the look and feel of an MP iron with unmatched forgiveness. I was lucky enough to be the one to review those irons, and I must say that I really liked them, and even made a hole-in-one with them. However, the increased forgiveness came with an increase in size that resulted in a look that wasn’t quite right. The company now has the successor to the MP-H4 in the MP-H5. The new set looks trimmed down from the previous version but still promises to deliver all of the forgiveness.

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2015 British Open Staff Predictions

Jul. 15, 2015     By     Comments (0)

The 2015 British Open is being hosted by the home of golf, lets see what the staff expects for this year's event.

Thrash TalkThe 2015 British Open comes to us from the home of golf, St. Andrews, with all sorts of fantastic story lines. Tiger has shown improvement since is terrible showing at the U.S. Open. Jordan Spieth, on a Grand Slam watch, just finished a successful defense of his title at the John Deere Classic. Lastly, not to be outdone 2015 Players Champion, and don't call him overrated, Rickie Fowler just won the Scottish Open. The only downer is defending champion Rory McIlroy is out with a leg injury after a soccer accident. The field is set and everyone is playing their best and it is setting up to be an epic showdown at St. Andrews. If you aren't excited about this years British Open you just aren't that into golf.

With that lets hear what The Sand Trap staff is expecting at this event.

Volume Four Hundred Forty-One

Jul. 13, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Spieth and Fowler win, Rory is out, and the Old Course awaits.

Hittin' the LinksSo should Jordan Spieth have played the John Deere Classic the week before he tries for the third leg of the Grand Slam at St. Andrews? When you go out and win, it's hard to second guess that decision.

Honestly, I think it was a wise decision on his part, the big winner's check not withstanding. By playing his way into Open Championship week, Spieth avoids having too much free time to think about it. Not to mention he avoids a number of extra pressers where he'd be asked what the Grand Slam would mean to him and does he think he can do it.

Are you stoked for the British Open? Let's hit the links.

Volume Four Hundred Forty

Jul. 6, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Scandals, Protests, and a 57... oh my.

Hittin' the LinksIt was supposed to be a fairly quiet week in golf, but two scandal-sheet stories broke involving two of golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. What effect the stories will have on the players and their reputations remains to be seen. But honestly, Tiger's rep really can't get hurt all that much since he's already seen as a bad guy by many.

Speaking of Tiger, don't look now, but his game is starting to show signs of life. His bogey-free final round at the Greenbrier Classic was his first since 2013 and even the driver finally started finding fairways instead of OB, woods, and water hazards.

All in all, the place to be in the world of golf this week was the 18th hole at the Greenbrier Classic. If you don't know why already, read on. Let's hit the links.

Wilson D200 Driver Review

Jun. 30, 2015     By     Comments (6)

With the price tags of drivers climbing high can the Wilson D200 buck the trend and offer a new driver at an affordable price point? Let's find out.

WilsonWilson has been around the golf industry for more than 50 years. During my introduction to the game all most guys would talk about were Wilson clubs. During the late nineties and early 2000's the brand lost its way a little. Very nearly fell off the map completely. In the last few years Wilson has made a comfortable home for itself just below the brands spending much more than itself on marketing but just above the bargain clubs. Now they are making a play to move up again into the higher end segment and spending more on marketing and club design.

So when I tell people that I am using a Wilson driver the first look is sort of precious. "Why?" is the typical question. I wanted to try the new Wilson D200 driver, to see how Wilson as a club making company was progressing. How would this driver stack up against many of the other drivers that flood the market today. I am particularly intrigued by this driver because it is priced just below the other high end driver on the market and I am always on the lookout for a good deal. I started this review hoping to answer the question can a club company with a great clubmaking history make a driver perform at a similar level to the other entrants to the market. Let's see if I could answer that question.

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Volume Four Hundred Thirty-Nine

Jun. 29, 2015     By     Comments (0)

Another major, that sinking feeling, and NY takes Arkansas.

Hittin' the LinksDid anyone else find it ironic that the U.S. Senior Open, played in a state in the midst of a serious drought was played on a course that was green and relatively lush, while the U.S. Open in the rainy Pacific Northwest was 50 shades of brown? Go figure.

Speaking of the U.S. Open, there's still plenty to talk about. Did the USGA just go for a cash grab at the expense of the championship? Was the course a disgrace or is it a challenging American links?

Let's hit the links.

U.S. Open Drama

Jun. 25, 2015     By     Comments (4)

Wow! What a dramatic finish to the 2015 US Open. I take a look back at a few of the events that caught my eye.

Thrash TalkMissing a short putt to win a major sucks. As a golf fan with whom the outcome is neutral, watching a player miss a short putt is painful. "I am in shock" was the comment from Jordan Spieth who was the beneficiary of the miss. My heart was in my stomach as Dustin walked up to tap in his par. I did not want to see him three putt from less than fifteen feet to lose the U.S. Open.

Spieth has now won the first two majors of 2015 and he is a worthy winner. I am happy for him. I would just have rather him won it in an eighteen-hole playoff on Monday as he should have. Not because Dustin missed that putt. The drama of the U.S. Open was incredible. Even Dustin's storyline of being the clear leader, to then a story of him losing it, to then an incredible birdie on 17, to then the deflation of the three putt. It was an emotional rollercoaster.

Volume Four Hundred Thirty-Eight

Jun. 22, 2015     By     Comments (0)

"Nice par."

Hittin' the LinksFor a championship that had so much hand wringing over the course and relative unknowns turning up on the leaderboard, the 2015 U.S. Open gave us an exciting and, in the end, shocking finish.

Dustin Johnson's three-putt par on the final hole to come up a shot short of a playoff was a gut punch for his fans, and you hate to see it end that way, but it's hard to complain about the final leaderboard. Aside from a few surprises (Branden Grace and Cameron Smith), most of the names in final contention were ones you would expect to see. We saw charges from deep in the field by big names (Scott and McIlroy), and a 13-shot resurrection after an abysmal first round by a past major champion (Oosthuizen T2 -4). Adam Scott, in fact, was just one shot off the all-time low round at a U.S. Open, shooting 64 for a T4 finish (seems that having Stevie back on the bag agrees with him).

At just 21 (how many times did we hear that this weekend?), Jordan Spieth is the youngest U.S. Open winner since Bobby Jones. He has won two straight majors. And he will be going for the third leg of the Grand Slam at St. Andrews next month. It didn't come all that easily, though. Spieth had a three-shot lead standing on the 17th tee before hitting his worse shot of the week and making double-bogey. He rebounded with a birdie on the par-five 18th. When Dustin Johnson, playing in the group behind Spieth, failed to convert a 12-footer for eagle to win, and then a four-footer for birdie to win, Spieth was handed the Championship.

The second biggest winner of the week may have been Jason Day, whose gutsy performance while battling vertigo and looking like he might collapse at any time earned him a lot of new fans. What a week! Let's hit the links.

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