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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.

Bobby Jones Hybrid Review

Dec. 2, 2007     By     Comments (36)

Bobby JonesAnybody who watches the Golf Channel has seen the infomercial. I've seen it and I'm betting, since you're reading this review, a good portion of you have seen it as well. It's for the Bobby Jones hybrid by Jesse Ortiz.

Now I'm not the kind of guy who sits around watching infomercials. I'm also not the kind of guy who will believe the five minutes or so that I catch of one. That being said, if the Bobby Jones Golf Company hadn't promoted their hybrid as much as they did, I wouldn't have jumped at the chance to review a couple of them. I've been on the hybrid bandwagon since 2005 and haven't gotten off.

The Bobby Jones hybrid hasn't had a breakthrough in a tournament like the Sonartec in the 2004 British Open. What it has had is some of the highest rankings in the Golf Digest Hot List in the past couple years though. Are those high rankings deserved? Can we actually believe an infomercial? Is this club worthy of having Bobby Jones' name on it? Read on to find out.

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TaylorMade Burner XD Irons Review

Dec. 1, 2007     By     Comments (60)

TaylorMade Burner XD IronsIf you're the kind of golfer who tends to hit the ball all over the face and would still like to hit a club less than everyone else in your group, then this review may interest you.

TaylorMade may just be the hottest brand in golf. Over the past few years, a ton of r7 drivers (followed by r7 fairway woods and, to a lesser extent, r7 irons) have found their ways into a host of pro bags, and subsequently into the bags of amateurs of all abilities with varying results. The new kid in the TaylorMade family is the Burner line. Released (or re-released) only a year ago, the Burner driver and fairway woods have been played on the Tour by players like Kenny Perry, Sergio Garcia, and Sean O'Hair, and has been well received by the masses, as well. Where the r7 line is most associated with movable weights, the Burner line hangs its hat on hot clubfaces and technology that increases clubhead speed. Now, the Burner line has brought that same technology to the irons arena.

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Cleveland CG Red Irons Review

Oct. 26, 2007     By     Comments (38)

Cleveland CG RedCleveland Golf builds some of the finest iron sets in the world, yet rarely seems to receive the recognition rightfully heaped on other manufacturers. Despite having a small PGA Tour staff - Cleveland famously dropped David Toms at the beginning of 2007 - Cleveland players such as Jerry Kelly, Vaughn Taylor, Brett Wetterich, and Vijay Singh continue to have success on the PGA Tour.

Cleveland marches to a slightly different drum than the other manufacturers. They don't offer a square or triangular driver, instead choosing to stay with the swooped-back HiBore model, which met with lukewarm reviews in its first incarnation before delivering an incredible club with the HiBore XL.

In 2007, Cleveland added to its venerable irons lineup with the CG Red and the CG Gold - a pair of cavity-back irons aimed squarely at separate niches in the golf community.

We've given the CG Reds a thorough testing, and the results are in. Read on to see what we think: are they duds like the first-generation HiBore drivers or has Cleveland skipped that phase and gone on to greatness?

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (38)

Colbert Putter Plating

Oct. 13, 2007     By     Comments (11)

Colbert Putter Plating LogoI love putters. All shapes, sizes, lengths, and colors. Mostly I love putters that are different or unique.

My Scotty Cameron Newport putter is not a very unique putter since the Anser-style is the most copied putter design ever. My putter is - or I should say was - a very ugly one in need of a drastic restoration. I had to change it.

I could have sent my putter off to Scotty's Custom Shop, but they only don't offer very many finishes Enter Colbert Putter Plating, owned and operated by Kevin Colbert out of Blaine, Minnesota. Colbert Putter Plating came highly recommended from some acquaintances and other putter aficionados who, like me, were looking to give their putters a little TLC. Great thing about Colbert Putter Plating is that he can refurbish nearly every make and model out there, so it's a great one-stop-shop for putters.

After visiting the Colbert Putter Plating website, my imagination quickly began to race with ideas of how to transform my ugly duckling into a sexy swan.

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Golf Mind Software Review

Oct. 12, 2007     By     Comments (8)

Golf Mind CDWhen I heard about the Subconscious Training Corporation and their mental training series for golfers, I knew I had to try it. As a physician and skeptic of the millions of herbal remedies, supplements, and outright snake oil that gets pushed on a gullible public, I was determined to assure that no such quackery made its way into the homes or dented the bank accounts of golf enthusiasts.

So, after a thorough review, what is the verdict? To my surprise, I'm here to say that one out of one physician agrees that, while unlikely to turn an uncoordinated chopper into Gene Littler, Golf Mind Software can definitely help your game. That is, if you let it.

GEL Ruby Putter Review

Sep. 28, 2007     By     Comments (12)

Gel Ruby Putter AngleGrooved putter faces have emerged in the last few years to open up yet another option when choosing a putter.

Yes! Golf was perhaps the first to use grooves on a putter face and were quickly followed by the likes of Guerin Rife and the TaylorMade Rossa line. Proponents say the grooves get the ball rolling much more quickly off the putter face thus reducing skidding and hopping that can cause the ball to wobble off line.

GEL (Groove Equipment Ltd.) entered the U.S. market at the 2007 PGA Merchandise Show with a line of six putters all featuring a grooved aluminum insert and named for precious stones. For our review, we chose the Ruby model. It's an Anser-like head with a plumber's neck. Here's what we think after using it awhile…

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Kaenon Sunglasses Review

Sep. 21, 2007     By     Comments (9)

Kaenon SunglassesAs a contact wearer and avid golfer, I've been in need of a good pair of sunglasses for a while now. It isn't much fun squinting and fighting dry eyes during a round of golf in the sun.

Kaenon Polarized is a company that manufactures sunglasses for a variety of sports, ranging from kite boarding to climbing to golf. Competing against giants like Oakley and smaller but somewhat entrenched companies like Tifosi, Kaenon has their work cut out for them. Can their products compare or even surpass the others? Read on to find out.

Titleist 906F4 Fairway Wood Review

Sep. 8, 2007     By     Comments (42)

titleist_906f_fairway_woods_hero.jpgThe fairway metal may be the most under-rated and least publicized club in the bag. It doesn't command the $400 price tag of some drivers, nor does it supply as much drama as "letting the big dog eat." It's not the newest rage in golf - that honor belongs to hybrids. It can't make a ball spin like crazy or hit a glamorous flop shot like the modern wedge. It doesn't make 50-foot putts (or miss three-footers) and it isn't used on virtually every hole like irons.

Still, as a player's handicap drops, he typically relies on his fairway woods more and more. Whether it's playing safe on shorter, tighter par fours or hitting to long par threes or trying to reach long par fives, many better players will use their fairway metals more times during a round of golf than their driver.

Titleist has long held its own in fairway metals. Tiger Woods held onto his Titleist PT 3-wood for years after signing with Nike for a reason: he couldn't find anything better. Last year, Titleist replaced the 904F with the 906F2 and, this year, supplements the lineup with the 906F4. I've had a chance to play both, and I believe Titleist has another winner on its hands.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (42)
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