Volume Forty-One

Let’s get this party started with some new links this week. Enjoy.

Hittin' the LinksWell, the PGA Tour season has started, and honestly, I’m not that excited about it. Maybe I should qualify that with a “yet.” It seems like they just finished the 2005 season! And with the silly season, I didn’t even get a break. Maybe I’m one of the few who gets burned out from all the television coverage. But for me, I would rather watch golf when I can get inspired and go play right after. Am I the only one?

Now, on to the links.

Girls Get Lei’d on The Big Break V

It’s time for another season of “The Big Break”. The ladies will stir up trouble in Hawaii making this another terrific season of physical and mental prowess. Who will earn an exemption this season?

How many people agree with me that the Big Break IV was a bit of a snoozer? The old “Europeans versus the Americans” work better in the Presidents Cup or the Ryder Cup but became a bit overdone by the time The Golf Channel got through with it. Well folks, snooze no more! The ladies are back for another season of the Big Break and they’re not only good golfers but they are also hotties!

2006 Big Break V:Hawaii Calendar

They even have their own 2006 swimsuit calendar to muster up a bit more interest! Where is Danielle Amiee when you need her?

Seriously, if the new season of the Big Break is anything like the original “Ladies Only” competition, it should be a hoot to watch.

Tom Lehman

This is a year of transition for Lehman as his British Open exemption runs out and he is old enough to be the captain of the Ryder Cup.

ProFilesWhile Tom Lehman isn’t in the prime of his career anymore, he has kept a reasonable and steady pace for 14 years. His professional career took some turns but he’s been playing professionally since 1983. Just to give you some perspective: Tom Lehman played the first day of the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro on September 15, 1983 and it was the same day that now fellow competitor Kevin Na was brought into the world. This is completely unheard of in any other high level competitive sport and it is a primary reason why I love Golf.

Titleist Performance Institute Introduces MyTPI

MyTPI is for golfers of all ages and abilities to create their own customized golf fitness workout program and calendar. Plus access articles from top golf fitness professionals and instructional videos by the TPI staff.

For those of you who have not yet made your New Years Resolutions, here is a great opportunity to make one to improve your fitness, specifically your golf fitness. Professional golfers use physical conditioning to gain an edge on other players and now using MyTPI you can use the same resources they do to gain an edge on your playing partners.

The Titleist Performance Institute was created to provide players with the ultimate golf learning experience. We have combined industry leading experts, state of the art technology, and world class facilities to enhance your performance. – TPI

1995 to 2005 in Numbers

Looking into the past may gives us a better idea what will happen in the future. 11 years worth of data shows us a few things.

The Numbers GameWe’ve seen a lot of things over the last 11 years in golf. Most notably is the emergence of Tiger Woods. But there have been technological advances, course lengthening and a fitness revolution. All of these have had an effect on golf.

Some of these may negate others. Some may not. Hopefully the past numbers over the years will give us a little bit of insight into how future trends of stats will play out. Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it, they say. We can’t save you from such a fate, but we can look back and learn a little about the (possible) future of golf.

ABC Out in 2007

ABC has balked at Tim Finchem’s asking price and has apparently left the table in negotiations for television coverage in 2007 (and beyond).

ABC LogoGolf Digest and USA Today (via the AP) are reporting that television network ABC has walked out of negotiations with the PGA Tour for carrying tournament coverage beginning in 2007. This leaves only CBS and NBC at the table with Tour Commish Tim Finchem.

The current PGA Tour contract runs through the 2006 season. In 2007, the PGA Tour will feature a revamped schedule, a playoff system, the “FedEx Cup,” and a “Fall Finish”. Apparently, the ol’ Finchy is still asking for too much money, and ABC simply decided they’d heard enough. Despite having found success with Paul Azinger and Nick Faldo in the announcing booth, both players may need to hone their game for the Champions Tour come 2007 if they’d like at least a semi-regular paycheck.

Volume Forty

Here’s the first installment of the 2006 Hittin’ the Links column.

Hittin' the LinksHello everyone, I’m back. I hope everyone had a great holiday and that santa was good to you all. Can you believe the PGA Tour is getting ready to open the 2006 season? Me either.

I don’t have a lot to say, but look for some good links in the upcoming year.

Thanks for the Memories

We wish Cody a fond (and hopefully short!) farewell and call out for someone to take his place at the same time! The nerve! 🙂

Thrash TalkThis is Erik J. Barzeski, Editor in Chief of The Sand Trap. Cody Thrasher, long-time columnist here at The Sand Trap, has had to resign his position due to some increasing demands on the homefront. His parting is peaceful and, should he be able to get some free time once again, temporary.

Cody is still going to participate on our forum, but his (again, possibly temporary) departure does mean one thing: we have space on our staff for someone interested in picking up where Cody left off – with a weekly “Thrash Talk” column.

Interested parties should email erik@ this domain with the subject “Thrash Talk” or they can post in the forum in this thread. Interested? We require at least a little computer skill (not much) and some writing skill (again, not much – that’s what editors are for). We do, however, absolutely require that you have a passion and a love of the game (golf, silly!).

We look forward to hearing from you and wish Cody all the best.

Taking A (Full) Swing Into 2006

The best and most popular golf simulator is made by Full Swing Golf, and the company has a fun new wrinkle ready for 2006.

Bag DropHappy New Year from The Bag Drop, where the arrival of 2006 means the PGA Merchandise Show is only a few weeks away. We’ll hit on some minor news on the Show front, but first let’s look at a cool new development on the golf simulator front.

Full Swing Golf has come a long way in the last decade. 10 years ago the California company debuted its high-end golf simulators at the PGA Merchandise Show. The initial reaction from folks in the industry was that the simulators were a curiosity, but not a significant business opportunity.