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“The Caddie who Played with Hickory” Book Review

Jul. 15, 2008     By     Comments (3)

Book CoverThe Caddie who Played with Hickory is the newest novel written by John Coyne, author of over 20 books of fiction and non-fiction.

As a former caddie, Mr. Coyne is able to share his experiences of how the caddie system worked at a country club and how caddies of the mid-1900s interacted with the members.

This knowledge is woven into the story of a boy who is just graduating from high school and is trying to determine what to do with his life. For the time being, he's content to caddie and play golf. What happens in the summer of 1946 changes his life forever.

Mizuno MP-57 Irons Review

Jun. 28, 2008     By     Comments (52)

Mizuno MP-57When I found out about Mizuno releasing a full cavity-back iron for their MP line, I must admit, I was pretty giddy.

I've long admired the MP line but knew I had no business playing any of them as I felt I just wasn't good enough nor did I have the time to dedicate to practice enough to enjoy playing golf with them. No matter how nice a club looks, that beauty is not going to help you when your swing isn't quite there.

Enter the MP-57 irons. Even though they are technically a full cavity-back iron, I was left to wonder when they arrived at my doorstep if they might still be a bit too much iron for my golf swing.

Read on to find out if a cavity-back iron could still produce that "buttery-smooth" Mizuno feeling while also providing a level of forgiveness for those of us who can't dedicate hours at the range honing our golf swings.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (52)

Mizuno MP-T Series Wedge Review

Jun. 21, 2008     By     Comments (25)

The C Grind SoleDespite being known for making great irons and wedges, Mizuno has languished a bit in relative obscurity while irons and wedges from Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, and others have sold several times faster than those from Mizuno. Despite offering a pure, forged wedge, Mizuno doesn't get a lot of play in the U.S. because, among other things, they pay very few PGA Tour pros to play their wedges. Go ahead, name a PGA Tour player (besides Luke Donald) who uses Mizuno? I'll wait.

Partly owing to the lack of advertising via PGA Tour caps, visors, and bags, and partly due to the fact that Mizuno has tended towards producing clubs for the highly skilled golfer, Mizuno irons and wedges have a certain mystique about them.

I've spent a few weeks playing Mizuno wedges, and I'm happy to report that what lies beneath the mystique are some good looking, versatile, playable, and great feeling wedges. Let's take a look at the MP-T series of wedges from Mizuno.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (25)

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Putters Review

Jun. 6, 2008     By     Comments (35)

Studio Select NewportsScotty Cameron has pretty much held the same weight/length characteristics with his various Newport lines over the years with few exceptions. For the most part, the 33" length was matched with a 350-gram head, the 34" with a 340-gram head, and the 35" getting a 330-gram head. Other than swapping shafts with a heavier head (or vise versa), you were pretty much stuck with whatever weight head came with the correct shaft length for your physical makeup and putting stroke.

For those of us who prefer a little more heft in our putter head and don't want to use lead tape, the new Studio Select line fits us perfectly. The Studio Selects feature removable weights that let you fine-tune the weight that works best for you.

I've spent the last two years using a Studio Style Newport 2 and really like the softer feel of the insert, so even though the Studio Select Newport 2 looks similar, I was a little hesitant to give up the feel to which I'd become accustomed. Read on to find out if I ditched the insert and went all milled.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (35)

“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)
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