Grey Hawk Golf Club (LaGrange, OH) Review

Grey Hawk will drop the jaws of the higher handicapper, but it fails to appeal to better players and fans of architecture.

Grey Hawk LogoGrey Hawk Golf Club in LaGrange, OH is a residential golf course built in 2004. 45 minutes from Cleveland, the course is a bit out of the way, but worth the trip if only to see what warranted its inclusion in Golf Digest’s “Best New Affordable Public Courses” list. A friend and I visited the course in late June, 2006 to give the course a look. Measuring anywhere between 7079 and 5091 yards, Grey Hawk offers a linksy Florida blend at reasonable prices.

Before we begin, we’d like to thank forum member Mark (aka “ezmoney5150“) for the invitation. If I’ve ever played with a more gregarious fellow, I can’t remember it. Mark’s company made what could have been a very dull round much more interesting.

Drop In Distance

There has been a drop in distance off the tee this year and now we only have eleven golfers averaging more than 300 yards per drive.

The Numbers GameLast year, one of The Sand Trap‘s favorite golf course architects had a regular update his site about the number of players averaging over 300 yards on the PGA Tour. This year, he’s spared us from such updates. I didn’t really understood why until I took a closer look.

There were 26 players last year averaging over 300 yards per drive. This year, it has dropped to eleven. This week in The Numbers Game I’ll look not only at the longer players, but the rest of the tour to see if the drop in distance is spread out and how it affects another stat.

2006 John Deere Classic Preview

Once again, Michelle Wie will attempt to qualify to make the cut in a PGA event. This will hopefully provide some excitement throughout the week(end?).

John Deere Classic LogoWhat a birthday present. This week, Sean O’Hair will turn 24, but it may be his 23rd birthday he will be thinking about this week. The young man earned the respect of the field and gallery last year by putting together what he called the best round of his life on Sunday to win the 2005 John Deere Classic.

Robert Damron, who finished in a tie for second place just one shot behind O’Hair, quashed any murmurs about O’Hair’s longevity on tour by saying “this guy is going to be around for a while.” Although O’Hair currently ranks 100th on the money in 2006, the brilliance he displayed last year is likely to surface again soon.

However, much of the spotlight this week will be shining on Michelle Wie, as the youngster will once again try to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Old School Bomb and Gouge

A quote on hitting driver and wedge… but who is it from?

Guess where this quote comes from?

I’d rather play a wedge second shot out of rough than a 5-iron from the fairway if I gain 40 or 50 yards by doing it… There’s ninety ways to get out of the rough after a long drive, but no way at all to pick up those yards you’ve lost by hitting them soft.

Tiger after his T2 at the Western Open? Phil discussing his strategy at Hoylake or Winged Foot?

How about Sam Snead in his 1962 book Education of a Golfer? You wouldn’t have guessed it, but the same problems that “plague” the PGA Tour these days “plagued” the game in the 1950s, too. Or was golf “in ruins” back then, too? If so, how did it survive?

Guess what? The game back then was still won by the guys that put the ball on the green in regulation and putted well, just as Dave has shown it does now.

Thanks to Golf Blogger for the lead.

British Open Storylines

Here are a few things to get your mind in British Open mode.

Thrash TalkThe John Deere Classic is this week, but who in their right mind is thinking about the event? Michelle Wie will be trying to make her first cut in a men’s event, but that’s old news. The Open Championship is next week, and that’s where my focus is. This year’s British Open has flown under the radar somewhat here in the United States, but that shouldn’t be the case.

There are plenty of great storylines brewing for next week’s major championship at Royal Liverpool. Will Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson get themselves in contention on Sunday? Is Hoylake good enough to host a British Open Championship? These are just a couple of the storylines I’m going to talk about, so sit tight and continue reading.

Golf Clubs that Changed the Game

Given ever emerging new rules governing golf club design, it’s become rarer to see a true innovation that creates a sea change in the way golf is played. Here’s a look back at some clubs that did leave a lasting impression.

Bag DropGiant club heads, exotic shafts, and weird-looking putters have become staples in the bags of players today. In fact, it seems every year brings a new twist on technology that prods players to keep pace.

Yet it remains to be seen whether recent novelties like the moveable weights in the TaylorMade R7, the curious shapes of the Cleveland Hi-Bore and Nike SasQuatch drivers, and ever-stranger putters like the Hammy leave a lasting mark on the game.

Looking back, however, there have been clubs through the years that have had a seminal impact. Here’s a look at some of them whose influence is still seen today.

Volume Sixty-Six

If Allen Doyle can win the Senior Open with that swing, why can’t I break par?!

Fresh from a nice little Fourth of July break, Hittin’ the Links is back and ready to go. This week features the intoxicating smile of Brittany Linicome, Pink Paula Creamer, a severe Tiger Woods hater, Trevor Immelman, and much, much more.


Callaway X460 Driver Review

Will a new sole and an extra six cubic centimeters make the X460 that much better than the Big Bertha 454?

Callaway X460 HeroStarting with the original Big Bertha, Callaway has always been associated with quality, high-performance drivers. Nearly every company has rushed to the 460cc limit, although Titleist took their time getting the 905R out. Callaway quickly released the Big Bertha Titanium 454 and came close to the limit but the Fusion
was actually the first Callaway driver to reach 460cc. So what could Callaway possibly do to improve on the already popular 454 and, more importantly, does the X460 pass the grade?

Golfers all seemed to like and praise the 454, including David Mobley who used a 454 to blast a 377-yard drive to win the 2004 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. Callaway wanted a driver to not only replace the 454 but to also improve performance and provide an alternative to the FT-3. The FT-3 remains Callaway’s flagship driver, but not everyone can get used to the corked sound of the titanium-composite driver. So the engineers sought out to make not just a replacement to the 454 but a quality, tour-performing driver.

Callaway HX Tour Golf Balls

Callaway’s HX Tour ball has been slightly redesigned for 2006, with changes to the cover and the production process.

Callaway HX Tour BallCallaway Golf’s HX Tour golf balls are among the best-selling balls at retail and also enjoy strong usage numbers on tour. While the HX Tour and HX Tour 56 still look longingly up at Titleist’s Pro V1x and Pro V1, Callaway’s flagship balls have actually outpaced Titleist in major championship wins on the PGA and LPGA tours over the last two years (thanks to Annika Sorenstam, Phil Mickelson, Michael Campbell, and even Nike-using Tiger Woods).

This year sees the introduction of a revamped HX Tour ball, known as the “Improved” HX Tour. Callaway claims the balls are more durable and more consistent than the original model. We put them to the test to see how they compare to last year’s model.