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“How Great Golfers Think” Book Review

May. 23, 2008     By     Comments (8)

Just about every golfer has their demons. Whether it is a temper or negative attitude or thinking about the score you think you can make, none of these things can positively impact round of golf. Bob Skura's How Great Golfers Think is a book designed to help golfers of any skill level deal with those demons.

Where How Great Golfers Think differs is in its approach. Most "mental" golf books I've read give you stories and whimsical, common-sense advice. While serving a purpose, this often does not stick with you over time. How Great Golfers Think is more of a seven-course meal and leaves you satisfied and full, laying out steps and a plan for golfers to better improve their mental approach and ultimately lower their scores.

Using a lesson-story format through the regular foursome of Kip, Andy, Frank, and Jason, Skura lays out three fundamentals to success:

  • How to think.
  • How to talk.
  • How to play.

The Club Caddy: An Interview and a Short Review

May. 20, 2008     By     Comments (21)

Bag DropDavid Jones' Club Caddy won the first edition of Fore Inventors Only. Unfortunately, it's taken David until this month - nearly a full year later - to put in place his business and manufacturing partners and to begin selling the Club Caddy en masse to resellers and consumers.

Other folks from the show, like Gary Sherrell and Dean Thompson, have been interviewed by this site, and this time around we're going to talk with David about the troubles he's encountered. Following the interview, we'll share our thoughts on the Club Caddy.

Read on to see how the winner - and his product - have fared in the year since Fore Inventors Only concluded.

Titleist AP1 Irons Review

May. 9, 2008     By     Comments (126)

AP1 HeroTo say the buzz about the AP1 and AP2 irons from Titleist is loud is an understatement of quite some size. I cannot recall a product release in the last couple of years that generated the amount of interest, comments, feedback and questions from Sand Trap readers and forum members as these groundbreaking, technology-infused irons from the traditionally traditional Titleist.

Between our announcement of the 2008 lineup, Erik's field test and his AP2 review, we've received well hundreds of comments and questions. Add this to the amount of discussion and buzz in our forum and it's really quite remarkable the excitement these irons have generated.

We're going to focus on the AP1 irons for this review, which Titleist says is for the "skilled and aspiring" golfer. What is an "aspiring golfer"? While I would say all golfers are aspiring to some degree, I think the AP1 are designed for those of us who are in the double-digit handicap range. We show flashes of our golfing potential, but still have an evolving golf swing that could use a little forgiveness while still providing feedback to help us improve. Thus, perhaps we "aspire" a wee bit more than the guy who plays once a month.

Read on to find out this aspiring golfer thinks about these "sure-don't-look-like-Titleists" irons.

Bedford Springs Old Course (Bedford, PA) Review

May. 6, 2008     By     Comments (5)

Bedford SpringsI played my first full round of golf with my (great) Uncle Bud at the Bedford Springs course in Bedford, PA. Bedford Springs was originally designed by Spender Oldham, modified by A.W. Tillinghast, and later revamped and altered by Donald Ross. In the 1890s and 1900s, Pittsburghers wealthy from the thriving steel industry would venture two hours south to Bedford, PA where the natural spring water was said to have rejuvenating, youth-giving qualities. While the women spent their time in the spas, the men entertained themselves with a round on the resort's golf course.

After falling into disrepair, both the hotel, spa, and the golf course have recently seen a massive influx of hundreds of millions of dollars. All three are open once again and receiving guests and golfers.

I played the course in September, 2007. Read on to see what I thought of this revived classic.

Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon Putter Review

May. 2, 2008     By     Comments (15)

Black Carbon HeroFresh off receiving a Silver in the 2008 Golf Digest Hot list, the new Black Carbon putters from Mizuno and putter maestro Bob Bettinardi are showing off new ways to provide an insert-like feel and softness while still using a one-piece construction milled face. By the looks of it, they have pulled that off beautifully.

I repeat, no insert. Oh, they still have the Honeycomb face milling you've come to expect from a Bettinardi putter but some additional face milling make these putters look a bit different from what you may have seen not only from Mr. Bettinardi but from anyone else making putters as well.

Read on to find out what this insert-looking, non-insert putter is all about.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (15)

Titleist Forged AP2 Irons Review

Apr. 25, 2008     By     Comments (186)

Titleist AP2 HeroThere have been few reviews as eagerly anticipated by Sand Trap forum members and readers as this one and our upcoming review of the Titleist AP1s. Our Bag Drop article announcing these clubs has well over 50 comments and my follow-up field test will likely reach 50 before this review is published. In the forum, people are being fitted for, buying, and asking questions about the AP2s and AP1s left and right. Titleist VP of Golf Clubs Chris McGinley feels that this is "the most technically advanced forging ever made" and adds that "demand for this iron is unprecedented in the forged category. Not since the Hogan edge has there been this much buzz and demand for a forged iron."

Titleist, always at or near the top in the "player's irons" category, has in 2008 simultaneously simplified its product lineup and broadened its target market. Though their ZB and ZM models are still available for those who like player's cavity and musclebacks, the AP1 and AP2 are intended to cover pretty much everyone from the PGA Tour golfer to the "aspiring" golfer.

Z Factor Perfect Putting Machine Review

Apr. 19, 2008     By     Comments (21)

Z FactorYou've probably seen Dean Thompson on The Golf Channel's Fore Inventors Only. Or maybe you didn't hear about him until we conducted an interview with him after the show was over. In the eyes of many, Dean's Z Factor Perfect Putting Machine (hereafter called simply the "Z Factor") should have won the competition, or at least finished higher than fifth place! After all, golfers from the PGA Tour to the local muni spend about 40% of their strokes on the putting greens, so a reasonably priced putting aid should be of interest to golfers of all levels.

Dean has spent years traveling the world, sharing the Z Factor with PGA, Nationwide, LPGA, and European Tour stars. Fore Inventors Only served as a coming out party of sorts. Now available for sale at for $299, I've taken an in-depth look at the Z Factor. Has it improved my putting? Is it worth three big ones? Read on to find out…

Mizuno MP-600 Driver Review

Apr. 12, 2008     By     Comments (49)

The MP-600 features Fast Track weighting technology.Mizuno has long been known for their forged irons for better players. However, that reputation has largely failed to carry over into the world of woods. Their previous driver offering for low handicappers (the MP-001) had a small, but loyal following (at the range one day, a guy with an MP-001 couldn't help but come over to check out the MP-600). In fact, only 16 of the nearly 800 Sand Trap forum members who responded to a driver survey, or just over 2%, use a Mizuno driver.

Mizuno makes quality woods, but breaking the mindset of the golfing public can be difficult. To be fair, until this year, Mizuno had not released a new driver since the MX-500, so they'd been out of the limelight. But the fact remains, many golfers don't even consider Mizuno woods when making a purchase. The MP-600 is here to say maybe they should.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (49)

Reid Sheftall’s “Striking it Rich” Book Review

Mar. 28, 2008     By     Comments (14)

Striking it RichOne of the most often-touted explanations for the appeal of golf is that we play the same game, on the same courses, under the same rules, as the greatest players in the world. Is it any surprise, then, that so many of us entertain Walter Mitty-esque fantasies about turning pro? Come on, admit it, if you've piped a drive down the middle, followed it up with a pured iron and one putt, you've probably allowed yourself to wonder and fantasize, "What if…"

Truth is, most of us are about as likely to see tour action as we are to see, well, Gisele Bündchen action, but every once in a while, a real-life Walter Mitty shows up on the radar. Such is the central theme of Reid Sheftall's Striking it Rich: Golf in the Kingdom, with Generals, Patients, and Pros. The book will prove entertaining reading for just about any golf-obsessed Sand Trap reader, and might just teach you a thing or two about the game you love most.

There are so many things both fascinating and puzzling about Striking it Rich it's tough to know where to start. The author, Reid Sheftall, is an American-born, expatriate surgeon who, after completing his medical training in the U.S., emigrated to Cambodia where he has a thriving medical practice at the American Medical Center in Phnom Penh. In the preface, we learn that Sheftall was a talented, promising junior golfer, who left the game due to waning interest and a temper ill-suited for the game.

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