Bunker’s Dozen, June 2006

Who could possibly be in the top spot this month after a sub-par golf month?

The month of May has come and gone, which means it’s time for the June edition of Bunker’s Dozen! In May’s go-round, Phil made his way to the top of the rankings after winning the season’s first major championship. The female golfers maintained their swagger last month, but the big guns of the PGA Tour fizzled a little. Add to that the fact that a lot of lower-ranked golfers won events last month.

The combination of these things makes this edition of Bunker’s Dozen the most unpredictable one yet. Also, a member of the Champions Tour makes an appearance for the first time ever. I hope you all enjoy!

Golf Talk [Episode 026]

Oh Michelle, the flatstick has let you down once again. When will you put in some time on the putting green?

PodcastMichelle Wie’s historic bid to qualify for the U.S. Open failed due to a faulty flatstick. We have in-depth coverage and opinion on Michelle’s latest media grab (and great play), as well as talk of Tiger and Phil, Carolyn Bivens, the Ryder Cup’s fresher face, Carl Pettersson the Swedish Hick, and a whole lot more in this week’s episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 026 as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.

Calvin Peete

One of the most prolific winners in the 80s was Calvin Peete. The first African-American golfer to claim four victories in a year, he racked up an impressive resumé to complement a rich life.

ProFilesCalvin Peete stalked fairways long before Tiger Woods became the face of the PGA Tour. According to a cursory look at PGA Tour history, Peete was one of the best players during the 80s.

Happily married to Pepper, Calvin overcame significant challenges and a late start to play on Tour. His mother dropped him off at her mother’s house and after one visit never returned. He has come a long way since those days. He helps his wife take care of their two girls Aisha and Aleya these days and only plays golf occasionally.

Callaway HX Pearl Balls Review

The HX Pearl is Callaway Golf’s first ball designed for women, though it may end up being a favorite among distance-minded men as well.

Callaway Hx Pearl Ball“Strong enough for a man. But made for a woman.” The classic slogan for Secret deodorant may also apply to the new HX Pearl golf balls from Callaway Golf. The company has a long history of making clubs for women under the Ladies’ Gems umbrella, and recently marketed the ultra-game improvement GES set toward women.

Now Callaway is turning their design attention toward what women want in a golf ball. I’m certainly no expert on what women want (I still can’t believe my wife didn’t like the table saw I bought her for Mother’s Day), but I’m pretty sure they’re looking for more distance off the tee just like us fellas are. Is the HX Pearl going to be a gem for ladies who dig the longball?

Nickent 3DX Ironwood DC Review

Nickent, a major player in the hybrid market, recently released an upgrade to their popular Ironwood series clubs. The 3DX Ironwood DC is a reliable and high-performance club that you’re sure to enjoy.

Nickent 3DX Ironwood DC SoleLet’s face it: we are the beneficiaries of significant advances in club technology. No longer does one need to fear the 1-iron, the 2-iron, the 3-iron, or even the 4-iron. Sweet-spots the size of neutrons are but a vague and unpleasant memory. Thanks to companies like Nickent, a recent and significant manufacturer of hybrid clubs, our confidence from about 170 to 230 yards has been restored.

Nickent released the 3DX Ironwood DC earlier this year along with the 3DX Utility DC. The 3DX Ironwood DC is an upgrade to the popular 3DX Ironwood. I’ve wanted to put one of these hybrids through its paces for some time and recently picked one up to see what all the buzz was about. I wasn’t disappointed.

Reader Email, Volume One

A couple of readers chimed in on the 40-30-20-10 rule and had some interesting thoughts. In answering them, it helps explain, define and prove why I set it up the way I did.

The Numbers GameA popular sports radio host says “if you take the time to email me, I’ll take the time to read it.” The same goes for me. Of course, he probably gets tens of thousands more emails than me. Still, I do read and think about the emails I receive, and I encourage you to send me more. Our email addresses can be found on the staff page.

Over the past few weeks, two emails in particular have inquired about The 40-30-20-10 Rule. Recently, I applied the rule to the LPGA and to the Champions Tour. Both emails posed questions or suggestions that I thought I’d answer here.

Candywood Golf Club (Vienna, OH) Review

Candywood Golf Club features great course conditions and a tremendous value. I only wish the design was a bit more interesting.

Candywood FlagCandywood Golf Club is a public course just across the Ohio border from Sharon, PA in a town called Vienna. The region boasts a lot of fine, affordable golf courses ranging from Tam O’Shanter to Yankee Run and Oak Tree Country Club (reviewed here).

Director of Golf Barry Good invited The Sand Trap to play a round at his course, and we readily accepted. He described the course as “a good mixture of open and tighter holes of varying length and difficulty.” He also said that the greens were some of the best in the area.

Staff member Dave Koster’s father Ed and I played Candywood in mid-May, just as the trees were beginning to blossom and sprout leaves. What began as a cloudy day ended up turning into a perfect afternoon: blue skies salted with clouds and peppered with a slight breeze that kept things cool and proper club selection an important factor.

2006 Barclays Classic Preview

The week before the U.S. Open is rarely attended by some golfers and always attended by others. Will this year share the drama we saw last year with Padraig’s final-hole eagle?

Memorial LogoThe thoughts on many golfer’s minds this week may not be the Barclays Classic, being that the event comes the week before the U.S. Open, an event known for its drama and history. However, the Barclays Classic has provided plenty of drama in its own right, and should not be overlooked. While the term divine intervention maybe be a little strong, the luck of the Irish was on Padraig Harrington’s side last year as he took his second career PGA Tour victory.

Promise Meets Reality: Michelle Wie Fails in Open Bid

She’s getting closer. But the 16-year-old prodigy still has some growing to do. I can’t wait till she gets there.

In what is sure to go down as one of the most over-reported, over-hyped, and over-analyzed golf events of the year, Michelle Wie faltered over the back nine of her second round at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, NJ to finish five shots out of a playoff for a spot in the upcoming U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

That, of course, is the big story. But I had a chance to witness her attempt, watch some of my friends try to qualify, and came away with a different angle on the day.

Michelle Wie Sectional Wide