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Technology, Tradition, and ‘The Facts’

Mar. 1, 2006     By     Comments (24)

TitleistLast week, Titleist posted an opinion piece on the brand's website on the ever-contentious subject of technology vs. tradition. Geoff Shackelford responded with point-by-point dissent, which touched off a flame war of comments, and another story on sportsfanmagazine.com has covered some of the same ground.

Shackelford's piece and the companion piece on sportsfanmagazine.com both claim to be rooted in "the facts." There are plenty of opinions in both, but actual facts are hard to come by. Let's take a closer look.

On My Mind

Feb. 17, 2006     By     Comments (3)

It's difficult to cope with the fact that the temperature in fahrenheit has less degrees than the loft of my hybrid right now. But cope I must, as "golf season" is a few months away for us in the northern regions of the United States.

A variety of things weigh on my mind these days, or at least flit through from time to time. The Masters will be upon us before we know it, my promise to "play as much golf as possible" will be revised almost daily by other obligations, and my fantasy golf team is in serious need of a kick in the pants. Some other things weigh on my mind, though, and as The Sand Trap is - at least in some small part - a blog, I'm going to take this opportunity to get a few out there.

20 Questions With Grand Slam Fantastic Four

Nov. 17, 2005     By     Comments (2)

PGA of AmericaPlaying 20 questions with today's top golfers has always been a personal dream of mine, aside from playing wiffle ball on the floor of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Well The PGA of America has beat me to it. They were able to ask the 2005 Grand Slam of Golf participants, being the winners of this year's four major tournaments Tiger Woods, Michael Campbell, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh, 20 questions about their interests. With questions from their favorite golf hole inside of the U.S. and outside of the U.S. to their favorite male and female athlete.

Nonsense in the Technology Debate

Oct. 27, 2005     By     Comments (11)

R&AThe Secretary of the R&A, Peter Dawson, has recently opened himself up for Q&A from the golfing public. Recently, a man named Neal Walker Coventry wrote in to ask "Should something be done to prevent technology's influence on the game?" In this day and age, "technology" is being blamed for just about everything that's "wrong" with the game of golf, and the Secretary's answer to the question bothers at least one of the self-appointed guardians of the game. On his blog, Geoff Shackelford, a small-time author and golf course architect, replies with the blather typical of his side of the technology debate.

Woe is Wie!

Oct. 18, 2005     By     Comments (8)

michelle_wie_disqualified.jpgApparently Michelle Wie needs to keep a copy of the Rules of Golf handy in her golf bag. Or perhaps she needs to start calling rules officials over when she feels unsure of her decisions. Either way the newly crowned darling of supergiants Nike and Sony learned an important lesson after her disqualification this past Sunday at the Samsung World Championship: even if you think you're sure of the rules, ask an official!

Wie learned this lesson the hard way but it's one she will never forget. Aside from the fact that it cost the Hawaiian $53,126 and a fourth place finish this week (a mere pittance from the amount she will be receiving from the two industry giants), it also shows her game and mental attitude to be a bit amateurish. But let's give her some slack… she just turned sixteen!

Golf Guys: Who are You?

Sep. 27, 2005     By     Comments (2)

I'm fortunate enough to play a lot of golf and therefore have a lot of golf buddies: teenagers, seniors, blue collar, white collar, pros and hacks. I've noticed no matter what your profession or generation, who you are on the course, is who you are in life.

Now, I'm not talking about how you look, take Snoop Dog or Alice Cooper, if you were to see these guys on the course versus how they are on stage you'd never in a million years imagine them in Sansabelt slacks and plaid sweater vests. Heck you would think you were looking at Payne Stewart, Jesper Parnevik or Fredrik Jacobson.

No, I'm talking about your persona. Let me give you a few examples.

The Golf Channel’s Solheim Snooze

Sep. 12, 2005     By     Comments (5)

The Golf ChannelThe Golf Channel served as the exclusive home for the Solheim Cup this year, providing coverage from 9am until as late as 8pm on each of the three days of play. They covered the press conferences beforehand and had post- and pre-game shows nearly 100% dedicated to Solheim Cup coverage.

The 2005 matches were some of the most exciting ever witnessed. The U.S. team fell behind early 5-3, but pulled back to 6-6 and then 8-8 entering singles play. Needing 14.5 points to win the Solheim Cup back, the first five matches included blistering play by Paula Creamer and Laura Diaz en route to an eventual 15.5-12.5 American victory.

The 2005 Solheim Cup rivals or surpasses even the (blowout that was the) 2004 Ryder Cup in terms of excitement - despite the fact that it's women's golf. Yet The Golf Channel's coverage rivaled only public access programming in its appeal. Could the coverage have been any worse? It's tough to imagine.

The Distance Debate: Just the Facts

Aug. 1, 2005     By     Comments (0)

This article, like its sibling "The Distance Debate: Which Side are They On?" is an evolving document. We'll list the changes at the bottom and add to it or edit it when new information becomes available.

The distance debate is raging in the world of golf. Though 99.5% of golfers may be unaware of the debate, the USGA, the R&A, former players like Jack Nicklaus, touring professionals, and members of Augusta National are all involved, and any precedent they set is going to cause quite a ripple throughout the golf world.

T and A: The Perfect “10”

Jul. 29, 2005     By     Comments (1)

Annika and TigerLet's suppose you're the number-one golfer in the world and you need a playing partner. Who would you call? Why not dial the top female golfer in the world.

Tiger and Annika have become golfing buddies while not on tour and regularly play practice rounds together. They even throw in a friendly wager even though more often than not Tiger wins. "We always have to have something riding on it," Sorenstam said. "I think the bets, that's what keeps him motivated to beat me."

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