It’s Time for a (Rules) Change

The rules of golf are sacred to most, but they shouldn’t be exempt from change.

Thrash TalkI’m happy Jim Furyk won the Canadian Open this past weekend, and I’m even happier he moved up to second in the Official World Golf Ranking. Other than that Tiger fellow, Furyk is the best on the planet right now. He held off a pretty tough field en route to his second win of the season.

While Furyk earned the biggest paycheck of the week, Jonathan Byrd took a pay cut in the final round.

TaylorMade to Introduce New r7 Irons and TP Wedge

TaylorMade continues their aggressive succession of new product rollouts with the launch of a new line of cavity back irons and a new finish on a wedge.

Bag DropAs one of the major players in the equipment market, TaylorMade continues to develop and introduce new products at an astonishing rate.

In the next week or so, TaylorMade will introduce new r7 irons. These irons appear to be aimed at the low- to mid-handicapper who prefers an iron that’s easy to hit, gets the ball up effortlessly, has some forgiveness, and comes with moderate offset so it sets up like a better player’s club.

As has become their custom, the company appears to be introducing two versions of the irons, a regular r7 iron and an r7 TP (for “Tour Preferred”) version that specifically targets the stronger player with time-proven details and specifications. The Sand Trap will have a full review of these irons soon, but here’s an exclusive first look…

Volume Seventy-Five

Who would’ve ever thought that Annika Sorenstam and a two-shot lead with eight holes to play on Sunday would equal a loss? Not me, that’s for sure.

Annika Sorenstam is human, Jim Furyk finally puts that consistency to use by winning a golf tournament, an LPGA pioneer passes away at the age of 88, and Michelle Wie opens her big mouth once again.

The golf world is never short of dramatic stories on a weekly basis!

Little Mountain Country Club (Concord, OH) Review

“Deep Freakin’ Bunkers Country Club” may be a better name for this course, but Little Mountain will suffice for now.

Little Mountain CC LogoI looked high and low, but never really saw any large mountains at Little Mountain Country Club (LMCC), so they must be little. Or perhaps I was simply distracted by the gaping bunkers sprinkled liberally about the course.

LMCC is a five-star layout (as determined by Golf Digest), which places it in some heady company: Bethpage Black, Spyglass Hill, Pinehurst #2, Bandon Dunes, Pebble Beach, Arcadia Bluffs, and Whistling Straits are among the others to receive a perfect rating.

I live less than 90 minutes from Little Mountain, so I’ve stopped by a few times. Is the course worthy of five stars? Read on to find out…

Harry Vardon

Carrying only ten clubs and dominating the sport for many years, Vardon is one of golf’s all-time greats. He was golf’s first celebrity and one of the finest players.

ProFilesIn the minds of many Americans, golf celebrity was realized in Arnold Palmer. He was the people’s champion. He could hit the ball a mile, had a quirky follow through, and putted knock-kneed, which was fun to watch. Then along came Jack. He stole the show and set an almost unattainable standard for success in the golfing world. Tiger showed up a few years back and began to redefine the title “best golfer ever” yet again. He’s probably already done but we’ll still wait until he beats Jack’s record.

Long before any of them there was a quiet man who redefined the word “champion.” He was a lowly greens keeper who became the first international celebrity in golf: Harry Vardon. Here is a snippet of his fascinating life…

Nuggets, Volume Two

Volume two of Nuggets gives us some insight into a couple injured players trying to recover, interesting facts about Tiger and sheds some light on the Euro Ryder Cup selection.

The Numbers GameI always make a few notes as I thumb through the stats pages and other websites as I compile my column. Some things aren’t worth an entire article, but together they make for a good read.

This week in The Numbers Game, it’s the second installment of those little bits of information I find interesting. Read on to see if you do too.

2006-2007 College Golf Preview

The Sand Trap opens its new college golf section in style with a special season preview.

College GolfMost of the professional tours are starting to wrap up their respective seasons. The college golf season, on the other hand, has just begun. Last season’s national champion was crowned just a few months ago, and it’s time to get it started again. Between now and next June, the top programs in the country will fight it out for supremacy.

The Sand Trap will be covering college golf from now on, and rightfully so. Many of the world’s best, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jim Furyk, made their way through the college ranks before striking it rich at the professional level.

There is no better way to get the ball rolling than a season preview. I’ve put together my top-20 rankings, as well as my prediction for national player of the year, freshman of the year, and national champion. Sit tight and enjoy.

2006 Bell Canadian Open Preview

I’d like to welcome a new name to the PGA winner’s circle! It’s about dang time someone besides Tiger Woods got some press in the newspaper.

Bell Canadian LogoNo, Tiger Woods isn’t playing this week… meaning that we get to see another guy hoist a trophy on Tour this year. However, there is still a good chance Tiger shows up on Sunday in the final group and comes back from a 20-shot deficit to win again. Hey, it could happen!

Random Tour Thoughts

Thrash Talk goes inside the ropes of all three major professional tours this week.

Thrash TalkI hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. In Oklahoma, it hasn’t stopped raining since I got off work Friday, so I’ve had the chance to watch a lot of television. I can’t gripe because we needed the rain, and there was plenty to watch on the tube. Golf fans received an added bonus this weekend. We got to see some of Vijay Singh’s 61 at the Deutsche Bank on Sunday, and we got to see a Vijay-Tiger pairing on Monday.