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June, 2006

Cleveland CG11 Wedge Review

Jun. 23, 2006     By     Comments (10)

Cleveland CG11 Wedge HeroIf someone were to play a name association game with me and said "wedges," the first word I could think of would probably be "Cleveland." Even before I actually started to play golf and take it seriously, I'd seen Cleveland wedges at my friends houses and in their bags. When I started to play golf, those same friends gave me their old Cleveland wedges only so they could have a reason to buy new ones.

The trend continues on the PGA Tour, even if it's declined somewhat in recent months. In a super-competitive wedge market (with Titleist's Vokey line, TaylorMade's RAC line, and Callaway's line by Roger Cleveland), Cleveland Golf has always remained at or near the top.

Wedges have followed an almost cookie cutter approach with the exceptionn of some companies that offer custom colors, custom grinds or some new approach to shanks. Cleveland took a somewhat safer approach: the tweaked the solid design of the CG10 wedges to create the CG11. Let's see how they did.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (10)

Carolyn Bivens, Courageously Running LPGA Into the Ground

Jun. 22, 2006     By     Comments (13)

Carolyn BivensCarolyn Vesper Bivens has been at the helm of the LPGA Tour for less than one year, and I am hopeful that she won't last long enough to blow out the candles on a second anniversary cake.

Bivens' task was perhaps one of the easiest facing any sports commissioner to date: sell the LPGA Tour to the sponsors, the media, and the fans. She's failed miserably on all accounts.

Her failure comes at a time when the LPGA Tour might not be easier to sell. Annika Sorenstam still dominates, but youthful, energetic, and attractive gals named Paula Creamer, Lorena Ochoa, Morgan Pressel, Michelle Wie, Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis, and Christina Kim have suddenly come about. Se Ri Pak and Karrie Webb have even returned to form this year, taking the first two majors of the year.

2006 U.S. Open Numbers

Jun. 22, 2006     By     Comments (2)

The Numbers GameThe U.S. Open produces some of the most interesting golf all year long. In a tournament where par is a great score, it is always fun to view the aftermath.

This year, we have some new words because of Winged Foot's 18th hole. "A Phil," or a "Monty"… maybe a "Phonty" can be defined as letting an Aussie win a major championship after throwing up all over oneself. Any way you describe it, the U.S. Open has provided many interesting factoids for this week's The Numbers Game.

Booz Allen Classic Preview

Jun. 21, 2006     By     Comments (1)

Booz Allen Classic LogoWell, this week we can finally see some birdies! It may be hard to top last week's final-hole theatrics, but the Booz Allen Classic has been known to provide some drama in its own right. Last year, the Swashbucklin' Spaniard found a putter that actually worked for him and walked away with this event.

You may not see eight-inch rough, but you can bet on seeing some birdies this week!

Posted in: PGA Comments (1)

A Win for Winged Foot

Jun. 20, 2006     By     Comments (2)

Thrash TalkGeoff Ogilvy is the U.S. Open champion! How many people would have guessed that after the young Aussie trailed Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie by a shot with two holes left? Ogilvy then backed himself into a corner at the 71st hole before boldly chipping in to save par. Still, it looked like he was headed for a third-place finish at best.

That's when the wheels of fate began to turn. A wild collapse from Monty and Lefty mixed with a gutsy up-and-down at the 72nd hole for Ogilvy combined to give the golf world a brand new major champion. The young Aussie is quickly turning into one of the world's best, and this major won't be the only one in his career when it's all said and done.

Callaway and TaylorMade Giving Clubs Away

Jun. 19, 2006     By     Comments (0)

Once upon a time the product life cycle of a persimmon wood model might be as long as four or five years. No more. Now a driver or fairway wood model's life is measured in months.

Callaway FT-3The downside is that it's expensive to keep playing the latest and greatest. The upside is that you can quickly realize some terrific bargains on top-of-the-line equipment even as early in the season as June.

Callaway and TaylorMade both recently announced similar promotions that may be a real bargain if you're in the market for a driver and fairway metal or hybrid. Here's the scoop.

Posted in: Tap-Ins Comments (0)

Shaft Spining, Splining, and PUREing: Black Art or the Ultimate Tweak?

Jun. 19, 2006     By     Comments (41)

Bag DropThere are many variables in a golf shaft. Some are designed and engineered by the manufacturer - stiffness, flex point, and weight. Other factors, however, become the province of aftermarket clubmakers and fitters who can adjust length, trim tips, and match frequency to suit your swing speed, tempo, and ball flight.

Over the last six or seven years, another way to tune shafts has emerged that proponents say best matches feel across a set, tightens shot dispersion patterns, and optimizes performance. Detractors, on the other hand, say it's unnecessary and expensive. Most manufacturers say their shafts don't need it.

Complicating the picture, it's a practice that goes by several names and actually can be performed in a number of ways. In this week's Bag Drop we'll try to shed some light on shaft spining, splining, and PUREing.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (41)

Volume Sixty-Four

Jun. 19, 2006     By     Comments (0)

Let's be honest, you don't want an introduction into Hittin' the Links. You want your links, hard and fast. Well too bad, you're getting an introduction. From ridiculous golf stunts, to kid Tiger, Tadd Fujikawa, and Jim Furyk's shirts are just some of the links you'll be hittin' this week.


Final Round of the 2006 U.S. Open

Jun. 18, 2006     By     Comments (18)

Geoff Ogilvy7:27 - Johnny Miller: "I've never seen such a finish in championship golf."

7:11 - Phil plays the last two holes at the U.S. Open +3 to lose to 29-year-old Geoff Ogilvy.

7:07 - Phil runs his ball into the thick greenside rough from the bunker. I think I've seen a lot of miracles in my day, but holing out here may just top them all. It would top Tiger's 16th-hole chip-in at the 2005 Masters. Barring this miracle, Geoff Ogilvy is the 2006 U.S. Open Champion.

7:05 - Johnny Miller: "Man, he [Phil] got a couple bad breaks on the lies, didn't he?" Uhhmmm, no??? Only the two bunker shots in the last two holes.

7:03 - Phil hits his third shot into the greenside bunker. Par is virtually out of the question now. He has to get up and down to get into a playoff or Geoff Ogilvy will win the 2006 U.S. open. Johnny Miller again: "just crazy shot selection."

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