Volume Thirty-Three

Anyone want their linky-poo’s for this week?

Hittin' the LinksI packed my clubs up this past week and have been getting ready to retire for the season. A couple things I like to do is give them one last cleaning, new grips and unload any equipment that has treated me bad that year. I also come up with a few things to work on over the winter (i.e., fitness or mental). This year, I want to improve my posture over the ball and my core strength. Does anyone else have off-season goals?

Leave them in the comments. It’s links time.

A New Leader For The PGA of America

The PGA of America named a new CEO last week. Look for Joe Sterenka to continue moving the Association in a positive direction for golfers in the U.S.

Bag DropThis week we’ll take a little Bag Drop field trip. Instead of talking about the equipment, we’ll look at the equipment business. Specifically, let’s take a look at the change in the leadership of the PGA of America.

Point of clarification: we’re talking about the PGA of America, not the PGA Tour. There’s a lot of confusion about the fact that these are two separate entities. The PGA was founded in 1916 as an association of the country’s club professionals – the pros who work at golf courses teaching lessons and managing the facilities. At the time, this designation also covered golfers who played for a living on what would become the PGA Tour. The Tour was run by the PGA of America until the late 1960s, when star players like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus – and IMG – decided they didn’t want to share the spotlight and the cash with the lowly club pros anymore, and they acrimoniously split. Thus, the PGA Tour was born.

Lee Triumphant at CJ Nine Bridges

First-time winner Jee Young Lee claims a wire-to-wire victory at the CJ Nine Bridges Classic. Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer were no real threat.

Jee Young LeeThe crowd at the CJ Nine Bridges Classic went wild as the fourth straight Korean to win this event kissed the trophy. Jee Young Lee, a member of the Korean LPGA, is only nineteen and now claims exempt status on the LPGA tour.

Although she finished 1-over par for the day, it was enough to hold off her nearest competitors, Mi Hyun Kim and Carin Koch, by three strokes to win in her hometown. Lee was one of only seven golfers to complete the tournament under par with a 5-under par.

Mickelson Opts Out of Tour Championship

Phil Mickelson chooses to stay home for next week’s Tour Championship.

Phil Mickelson at the Bellsouth ClassicPhil Mickelson decided on Friday not to play in the Tour Championship. The Tour Championship will be held next week at the East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta, GA. Entry to the tournament is reserved to only the top 30 on the PGA Tour money list.

His decision comes just one week before PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem’s announcement to shorten the PGA Tour schedule. Mickelson and Tiger Woods have long been in favor of a shorter Tour schedule.

2007 Brings a New PGA Tour

The PGA Tour is competing with the NFL, MLB and others for television viewers and hopes their changes to the 2007 schedule will do the trick.

PGA Tour LogoSports Illustrated is reporting that the PGA Tour will make major changes to its schedule for the 2007 season. The changes, mirroring the rumors the mills have cranked out over the past few months, include a playoff system and four late-season events, according to USA Today. Tim Finchem, the paper said, will present the changes on this Wednesday at the Tour Championship, but must wait until the policy board meets at PGA Tour headquarters on November 7th for final approval.

PGA Tour veteran Davis Love III along with other players on the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council have not publicly discussed the changes that will soon be announced but Davis did have this to say, “We’re looking to create a better product.” Davis also says there will be the same amount of tournaments in ’07 as ’06, if not more.

Episode 001

The first Podcast talks about Jean Van de Velde’s plans to play the Women’s British Open, compares Tiger’s year to Annika’s year, and much, much more. Tune in!

PodcastThe Sand Trap .com is proud to announce today the first Sand Trap .com Podcast. You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download the MP3 file. In the future, we’ll also post notices to the site with “show notes” – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information. This week, for our first episode, that additional information includes a description of our plans for the future.

Sand Trap Pals

The side bar has been reorganized a little and now we have room to link to our Web Friends!

I did a little reorganization today. You may not see much difference, but the right-hand sidebar/navigation area is a little cleaner. It may change even later today.

Cleaning up the sidebar allowed me to put in the long-overdue “random link.” We don’t have the room for a full, permanent “linklist,” so we’ve compromised by linking to one of our Web Friends at a time. The source of our random list is available here. If you’re not on it and you feel you should be, email us. We do want to keep our random list filled with only frequently updated blogs, so if your last post was in August 2005, well, there’s little need to inquire.

Ryan Moore

Following Ryan Moore from his dominant college days to success on sponsor’s exemptions has been fun to watch. Look for him to get even better.

ProFilesWhen Ryan Moore turned pro prior to the Barclays Classic there was plenty of reason to believe that he could qualify to play on the 2006 PGA Tour. But would he? No one since Tiger Woods had played his way onto Tour and no one has done it with as much flair.

In 1996 Tiger played the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open as an amateur and turned pro prior to the Greater Milwaukee Open where he tied for 60th place. 5 events later he was hoisting a trophy at the Las Vegas Invitational. Two weeks beyond his first win he captured the Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic. While Ryan Moore has yet to win an event on Tour, he has five top-25’s under his belt so far and is well on his way to a solid career as a professional. His amateur performance is as good as any.

Alpha C830.2 Driver Review

The Alpha C830.2 is the one of the newest offerings from Alpha Golf Clubs. Don’t be put off by the obscurity in the name. This club should be one of the first clubs you try, not the last.

Alpha Golf LogoAlpha has been a large player in a secondary market. On the Long Drivers of America (LDA) circuit, you can find the C830.2 drivers in quite a few bags. Not all golfers are going to swing out of their shoes like those guys, but Alpha has designed a solid club that goes toe to toe with the best drivers out there.

Golf Digest even singled out the Alpha C830.2 earlier this year in their Hot List as one of “the best drivers you’ve never heard of.” Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway: those we’ve heard of. It is easy to dismiss the so-called “second-tier” clubs, but Alpha is a great example of a small company making quality clubs. After spending a few months with the C830.2, I remain surprised.