Stuart Appleby

The King of Kapalua has overcome grand obstacles on the golf course, but he’s walked an even tougher road in life and emerged a champion.

ProFilesThe early season standout the last few years, Stuart Appleby has become a fixture on the PGA Tour finishing fairly high on the money list with regularity. It doesn’t hurt that he’s won the Mercedes Championship the last three years.

Both Appleby’s game and his life have been forged in a fire that no one would choose for themselves. He’s emerged from his loss as a family man again and as a regular PGA Tour champion.

Pound for Pound and Other Light Facts

You expect big guys to hit it a long way, but sometimes there are some little guys that show a bit of pop. This week we find out who is the longest hitter pound-for-pound on the PGA Tour this year.

The Numbers GameThere are long drivers and there are short drivers of the ball. We had a recent forum discussion about this topic. Fellow staff member Jeff Gladchun was helpful in doing a bit of research and we both thought it might be interesting to share the results.

So who is the longest player pound for pound? What other interesting information did I see when doing this research? Read on to find out…

Introducing “Swing Check” Video Analysis

A new column debuts, and you can be the star. Or, well, the subject at least…

Swing CheckWelcome to the most helpful column here at The Sand Trap: Swing Check. This column will look at video of someone’s swing, critique it (largely by comparing it to the swings of professionals), and share the results for all the world to see. It’s free analysis that you can use to improve your game, and the best part is this: you get to submit the videos!

To submit your video, please read on and fill out the required information.

Honda Classic Preview

A another first time winner would be grest at the final Honda Classic at Mirasol but it would be even better to get some Love.

Honda Classic PreviewThis week there will be plenty of players to give Tiger Woods a run for the money, especially since Tiger won’t be there. I know, I know, that’s mean to say but it seems the case lately that if Tiger isn’t there to win an event then someone is there to lose and win it for him. However, this week isn’t about him, it’s about the several first time winners at Mirasol the past few years including the defending champion Padraig Harrington. Last year, Padraig blazed the field and tied the course record and his career best with a 63 and should get the credit for the win but still needed Vijay to miss a three-footer to secure the win on the second playoff hole.

Padraig isn’t the only news this week, let’s take a look at what else is in store for us this week.

Bunker’s Dozen, March 2006

The debut edition of The Bunker’s Dozen has a familiar face at the top and some unfamiliar faces spread throughout.

Welcome to the Sand Trap’s version of the power rankings. At the beginning of every month, we will rank the golfers of the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, and European Tour as well as a few other members of the worldwide golf landscape. Not only does strong play land you on this list, but headlines and news can get you here too, good or bad. This combination makes “The Bunker’s Dozen” more unique than any other ranking out there.

For our first Bunker’s Dozen we’ve limited ourselves to golfers, though I’m pretty sure someone named “Hootie” will appear next month.

Without further ado, here is the first edition of the The Bunker’s Dozen.

The Other World Golf Ranking

The debut of the newly-released women’s world rankings was controversial at best. I’m here to tell you the good, bad, and ugly.

Thrash TalkGolf fans have had the men’s world rankings to look at and discuss for awhile now, but there wasn’t a women’s power rankings system in place to have the same discussions and debates. That all changed about two weeks ago with the debut of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Annika Sorenstam’s name was atop the rankings, so everything was dead-on, right? Not exactly.

It didn’t take me long to find Michelle Wie’s name because it was the third on the list, right behind Sorenstam and Paula Creamer. I had to take a second and third look to make sure I saw things correctly. Sure enough, Wie was still ranked third no matter how many times I looked. To make things even worse, Wie finished third last weekend and moved up to number two in the world rankings.

Highly Anticipated Products from Titleist, Callaway Hitting Shops

Titleist and Callaway officially unveiled their new drivers the past week, so we’re happy to talk about them.

Bag DropTwo of the season’s most anticipated new drivers are finally on their way to golf shops. Callaway’s new X460 driver has shipped and is available across the country, while Titleist has finally officially removed the “prototype” designation from the Pro Titanium 905R driver.

Let’s take a look at these new drivers, and other goodies that are hitting the shops just as the northern part of the U.S. starts getting ready for the start of the golf (and shopping) season.

Volume Forty-Nine

This week, in my first stab at Hittin’ the Links, I share with you some links to some of the guys that have literally built our game: course architects.

Hittin' the LinksI have given my first Hittin’ the Links entry much thought and consideration and have decided to dedicate it to those who are responsible for the courses we see on television and read about it books of golfing lore. These men have set the standards, raised the bar, and exceeded people’s expectations with every course they’ve designed.

Tiger Trumps Toms and Villegas at the Blue Monster

The Blue Monster produces another exciting week of tournament play with the same result in the end.

Woods at DoralThis tournament was shaping up to be an excellent one from the get-go. Tiger Woods led the way after Thursday’s opening round in which he fired a 64 the 65s of Camilo Villegas, Phil Mickelson, David Toms, Rich Beem, Zach Johnson, Scott Verplank, and Mark Wilson. Friday, Woods and Mickelson drew into a tie at -13, and both played together Saturday, with Tiger Woods once again eclipsing Phil by three as he did last year.

For perhaps the first time this year Tiger Woods seemed to be playing with at least his B+ game. He led the field in greens in regulation at 80.6% and missed only two putts within ten feet the whole week. Obviously, this one-two combo made Tiger the man to beat. And that’s exactly what the rest of the field tried to do.