Titleist Pro V1

Twelve of the top fifteen finishers at the WGC-Amex play Titleist. Do you?

Titleist has long been the number one ball on tour. At one point, a Titleist had one over 40 consecutive US Opens. Tiger Woods ended that streak, and with the likes of Woods, Duval, Mickelson, and a few others playing balls from Nike or Callaway, Titleist finds itself in an unusual position.


Vijay Singh and Ernie Els both play Titleist, and this week at the WGC-Amex, 12 of the top 15 finishers played the Titleist Pro V1 (x or no-x). Titleist equipment has always been for serious ballplayers, and the Pro V1 is no different.

At $56 MSRP (and about $40-45 retail), this ain’t no “32-pack for $19.99” kinda ball. I just found two-dozen Titleist DT-Spin (90 compression, three-piece, liquid center) in my closet. I wonder how they’ll play these days.

Easy as 1-2-3

Ernie Els carded a final round 69 to complete a one stroke victory over Thomas Bjorn in the WGC American Express Championship, and in doing so has replaced Tiger Woods as World No. 2.

els_wgc.jpgErnie Els carded a final round 69 to complete a one stroke victory over Thomas Bjorn in the WGC American Express Championship in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. The win sees him replace Tiger Woods as World No. 2, and consolidates his position at the top of the European Order of Merit.

In an interview earlier in the week, Els said he had put the disappointments of this year’s Majors behind him, and was looking forward confidently to the year’s remaining tournaments. His confidence clearly showed, completing four rounds in the 60s for an 18-under par total.

Despite playing with a shoulder injury, Woods finished ninth at ten under par after a third consecutive 70. However, he has now seen his World Ranking position slip from first, to second, and now third in the space of a month, and remains without a strokeplay victory in 2004. A week or two in Barbados should cheer him up though, especially if the rumours of his impending marriage to to Elin Nordegren are to be believed.

Just Putt

Get up and putt. Don’t line it up, don’t take a practice swing. Just putt!

Play a round of golf without lining up your putts. In fact, don’t do much at all: just get up and hit your putt.

“Just Putting” teaches you to observe the break and green conditions while you’re walking up to the green. It teaches you to feel the ground beneath your feet. Putting can’t become instinctual, but “just putting” will help it to become more natural.

Watch a bunch of decent 12-year olds putting. They don’t worry about line and speed. They get up and give the ball a whap. Avoid paralysis by analysis – just putt!

Eight Seconds

You’ve got eight seconds to repeat your swing or all of your feel is lost.

Short term muscle memory lasts about eight seconds. It can be said that “feel” lasts for eight seconds. Use this knowledge to improve your golf game.

When faced with a chip or a pitch, take your practice strokes nearby in similar conditions. Make some swings that feel good, then step up to the ball and repeat the swing within eight seconds. You’ll end up closer to the hole.

Shorten your preshot routine. Pick your target, stay relaxed, and then pull the trigger. Hanging over the ball for a thirty second preshot routine allows clutter – bad visualization, fear, etc. – to creep in. Pick a target, visualize the shot, take a practice stroke (or more, particularly on “feel” shots), take your stance, and hit it.

Eight seconds is probably longer than you think. You can still afford a simple preshot routine – a waggle, a regrip, a deep breath. Just don’t make like Sergio and regrip 37 times.

Segway as Caddy?

The Segway looks to make some green on the greens of your club with the “GT” model.

SegwayThe rumors are true: a golf-specific Segway is in the works. The “Segway GT” comes equipped to carry an ice chest, a scorecard, GPS equipment, and your clubs.

Segway officials showed off the GT at the PGA Fall Expo in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Several rounds of beta testing followed, and the company said that the product should be on the market by the end of the year (just in time for winter!). The suggested retail price is expected to be around or above $5,000, a number slightly higher than the Segway’s top speed of 12.5 MPH.

Segway HT America, the Houston-based distributor of Segway LLC, said the GT allows a foursome to play faster by transporting each golfer individually to his or her ball, and along cart paths, inclines and fairways. The company said the unit’s lightweight size and differential wheel is gentle on turf — allowing access to areas where standard golf cars generally are not allowed.

Funny, but we here at The Sand Trap .com thought that walking allowed you to do that too. And save $5,000+!


There are two kinds of mentalities: shotmaking and scoring. Which type should you employ?

Scoring is important – it’s how we measure our success and progress. But score isn’t everything, and knowing when to apply a “scoring” mentality and when to apply a “shotmaking” mentality can bring tremendous improvement to your game. A stroke play mentality encourages risk-taking (i.e. “I need a birdie, so I’ll go at that flag tucked over the bunker”) while a shotmaking mentality encourages hitting solid shots (“I’ll start the ball at the middle of the green, and hit it solid. If I miss a bit right I’ll be tight.”)

Both mentalities allow you to score well, depending on the type of player you are. Play a few rounds in each style and try to determine where your balance lies.

Woods on Ryder Cup Selection

Tiger speaks out on Ryder Cup selection and a vice captain role.

Tiger Woods is now on record: he wants to be like Europe. At least when it comes to choosing the Ryder Cup team. Specifically, Woods wants a one year selection period instead of the current two. Woods said that “to get the true team that’s playing the best we’re going to have to go to a one-year period, like the Europeans do.”

Woods also expressed interest in a vice-captain’s role, saying:

I’d like to work with the captain on the pairings and team strategy and working on the whole concept of bringing the team together and doing what I can to make our team successful at the end of the week. I basically kind of do that now, but if I were a vice-captain it would have an official role.

It remains to be seen (and debated, of course) what exactly a title would offer if Woods is already fulfilling the role presently.

Tiger Getting Hitched?

Woods may be getting married this week.

According to various news reports, Tiger will marry his girlfriend Elin Nordegren next week at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados.

“All I can say is that I’m getting married in the future. I’ve narrowed it down to that,” Woods said.