Augusta National Denies… a White Man?

Augusta National denies rumors that a membership was part of a deal to lure Steve Spurrier to the University of South Carolina.

logo_masters.gifWell, it’s not so much that Augusta National has denied entrance to anyone, though I’m sure there’s been plenty of that. This time, they’ve denied rumors that a membership for former University of Florida and Washington Redskins football coach Steve Spurrier was any part of a deal to get Spurrier to coach the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

Rumors have been flying around the Internet that since Hootie Johnson, Chairman at Augusta National, is a USC graduate and former football player there, that a possible membership would be part of a deal to lure Spurrier to Charleston. Johnson says otherwise.

Burton Golf Club-Lok Bag

The Club-Lok golf bag from Burton Golf will keep your clubs safe.

burton_clublok.jpgI’ve heard plenty of horror stories of people dropping their golf bag in the rack outside the pro shop, running into the bathroom or some such activity, coming out and finding clubs or even their whole bag missing. To try to curb this kind of theft, a new and interesting twist on golf bag design is here from Burton Golf called the Club-Lok golf bag, incorporating the Club-Lok Golf Club Theft Prevention System.

Utilizing a normal club organizer top with fourteen graphite shaft-friendly openings, the Club-Lok incorporates a hidden security system comprised of fourteen pairs of clamps which, when locked, prevent club removal. It appears from the animation on the product’s web site, that the locking feature basically prevents the club grip from sliding through the opening of the clamp. I suppose this is fundamentally secure since grips are kind of hard to get off by yanking on the club head.

Titleist to Casey: You’re Stupid

Englishman Paul Casey, following his “Americans are stupid. I hate them.” comment has lost his Titleist sponsorship.

Titleist LogoEnglish Golfer Paul Casey may have attended Arizona State, may be coached by an American, and may be dating an American, but he’s no longer a favorite of Americans. Casey’s recent comments about Americans (specifically “Americans are stupid. I hate them.”) has cost him more than a warm welcome when he plays the PGA Tour next season; it’s cost him a sponsorship with Titleist.

Chip Hip to Hip

A little flippy with the wrists when you chip? Try chipping from “hip to hip.”

Distance control is critical on chips. A sharp, descending blow that repeats itself chip after chip is preferable to a wristly “flippy chip” every time.

For crisp contact and good distance control, think of moving your arms from hip to hip. When you flip your wrists, your arms tend to remain near the center of your body. Keep your wrists quiet and move your entire arm – and the clubhead – through impact.

Annika Leads ADT

Annika Sorenstam posted a 6-under 66 Thursday for a one-shot lead after the first round of the season-ending ADT Championship.

AnnikaHo hum. “Annika Sorenstam leads the tournament.” It’s become almost cliché, hasn’t it? After firing a 6-under par 66, which included four birdies in the last five holes, Sorenstam holds a one shot lead after one round of play in the season-ending ADT Championship. Close behind her are Cristie Kerr (67) and Karrie Webb (68).

The ADT Championship has been played at the difficult Trump International the past four years, but Annika is confident, saying “Now I know where the ball is going, I can be more aggressive with these pins if they’re tucked in the corner or just behind the bunker. I’m not afraid of being a little more aggressive because I have a better feel.” She spent several days with her coach Henrie Reis before coming to West Palm Beach.

Other notables include Laura Diaz at -3, Grace Park at -1, and Meg Mallon, who triple-bogied 18, at +2. Lorena Ochoa shot 75, giving Grace Park a leg up on the race for the Vare Trophy. All told, only 11 players managed to break par.

Showtimes for the ADT Championship‘s second, third, and fourth rounds include coverage Friday and Saturday, from 4:30 to 7pm on The Golf Channel, and Sunday coverage on CBS from 1 to 3pm.

Top Ten Stories of 2004

These are the top ten golf stories of 2004. Would you have ranked them differently?

The Sand Trap wasn’t around for much of 2004, but we were still golf fans and viewers!’s golf section lists the Top Ten Stories of 2004, and here they are:

10. U.S. Curtis Cup team heralds the future of women's golf
 9. John Daly gets first win in nine years
 8. Major championship venues inspire awe, anger
 7. David Duval returns to the PGA Tour
 6. Arnold Palmer plays his 50th and final Masters
 5. The slump of Tiger Woods
 4. Europe dominates the Ryder Cup
 3. 14-year-old Michelle Wie challenges the cut line at PGA Tour Sony Open
 2. Vijay Singh wins nine times on the PGA Tour
 1. Phil Mickelson wins The Masters

I sure as heck would not have ranked them that way. Tiger, the Ryder Cup, and Vijay’s dominance (and Annika’s dominance) beat the pants off Mickelson winning the Masters.

How would you have ranked them?

Diaz Bounces Back

Laura Diaz was headed for her worst season in four years until a good finish last week qualified her for the ADT Championship.

Laura Diaz SmilingLaura Diaz was just about to have her worst season in four years until she finished birdie/birdie at the Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions last week to move into second place, earning her spots in the top 30 and the ADT Championship at Trump International.

“I really, really wanted to play this week,” said Diaz.

Once thought to be a rising star on the LPGA Tour, Diaz has suffered a few setbacks of late. After winning twice in 2002 and finishing seventh on the money list, Diaz injured her left ankle. She played through the pain and qualified for her first Solheim Cup, but had surgery in December to repair four tears in a tendon and one in a ligament.

Jack Nicklaus as You’ve Never Seen Him Before

Jack Nicklaus took a fishing trip to Russia, and Golf Digest .com has the story (and a photo gallery).

Jack Nicklaus and his sons took a fishing trip to Russia and came back with… a bloody nose. Don’t have to worry about sharp metal objects flying at you too frequently in golf (well, not frequently). Fishing is another story.

Bloody Jack Nicklaus

Read the story or just check out the slideshow, both at

Bunker Rakes: In or Out?

There may not be a rule regarding bunker rakes, but there is some common sense.

Bunker RakeWhen you’re done raking a bunker, should you place the rake inside or outside the bunker?

That simple question has long perplexed individuals. We hear it’s even been the cause of at least one divorce! What do the rules say about bunker rakes – they sure are a mystery. Let’s get an answer.

In either position – in or out – the bunker can affect a player’s ball. Outside it could knock a ball into a bunker (or prevent it from falling into one), and inside it could keep a ball in a bunker or bury under the rake.