Tour Championship Ramblings

The Tour Championship hasn’t lost its luster yet, but it’s getting closer to the edge every year.

Thrash TalkThe Race to The Tour Championship is one that keeps me interested in the PGA Tour long after the season’s final major championship, and this year was no different. I watched nearly every tournament in the past month or two, including yesterday’s final round of the Chrysler Championship. Congratulations are in order for K.J. Choi who won this week’s tournament and moved from 68th to 26th on the PGA Tour money list. Choi gets to tee it up at East Lake for his efforts.

Most of my weekend focus was on Ernie Els. The Big Easy missed out on the top 30 last season due to late-season injuries, but he was bound and determined to make it to the season’s final event this year. In the end, a tie for sixth was good enough to move Els to 27th on the money list. Seeing the South African attempt to crunch the numbers after his round showed me just how much The Tour Championship still means to most of the world’s best.

Tiger and Phil: Making the Wrong Call

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are skipping the Tour Championship this week, but more than that, they are putting the PGA Tour in a tight position.

Deutsche Bank LogoA story broke in the world of tennis this afternoon: tennis great Roger Federer was withdrawing from the Paris Masters Tournament one day before his opening-round match.

Why does this matter to the golf world?

Well groups of fuming tennis officials have promised to start taking the necessary steps to make sure that tennis stars like Federer don’t have the chance to pull out of tournaments they headline because they’re fatigued ever again.

Nike SQ SUMO2 and Callaway FT-i Drivers Nearing Launch

Pictures and details have emerged on new drivers that beg the question “is it hip to be square?” But one maker is hedging its bet with a more conventional looking club as well.

Bag DropIt’s really great fun to sit back and watch today’s club designers labor to come up with something new and different year after year. Given the rules now constraining volume (the 460 cc limit), COR (coefficient of restitution, or spring-like effect), and MOI (moment of inertia), clubhead shape and material composition seems to be the most widely explored options open to them.

Thus, it’s probably not a great surprise that two companies have essentially come up with the same idea: a square-headed driver. And rumors are floating around that Cleveland may join them.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. How else to move a lot of weight out to the perimeter of the clubhead for yet more forgiveness? Of course, it’s a more radical look than even last year’s Nike SasQuatch or Cleveland’s HiBore. But maybe that’s not a bad thing. Read on to see what’s coming with and without corners…

Volume Seventy-Nine

It’s only October 30th and I am already praying for the beginning of January to get here so we can see some real golf again.

Well the final 125 on the PGA Tour money list are in, and sadly, there weren’t any heartbreakers this year to speak of from the final regular-season event. I hate to say it, but after the Tour Championship, the entire golf world will be going into hibernation.

This week we take a final look at the Funai Classic and a very unlucky guy on the Champions Tour nicknamed “Boss the Moss.”

Golf Stretching for a Better Swing DVD Review

Mike Pedersen is an accomplished athlete in peak physical condition. Can the stretching routine he demonstrates help your swing? That will depend on you.

Pedersen Stretch Dvd CaseIt’s no secret that physical conditioning is more important to your game than your equipment. While that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be as cut as Tiger Woods or Camilo Villegas, it’s worth considering that even doughboy Phil Mickelson works out.

Strength and flexibility are obviously the keys to the golf swing and Mike Pedersen, a trainer and author specializing in golf, aims to loosen you up in his newest video as he leads you through an extensive stretching routine.

With an ever-growing number of DVDs and websites like the Titleist Performance Institute devoted to golf fitness, Pedersen’s offering faces considerable competition. Here’s how we think it stacks up…

Making the Cut

With the last tournament starting today, all eyes will be on those wanting to get into or stay in the top 30 and top 125.

The Numbers GameThe chase for the top 125 and 30 is almost over. The PGA Tour’s best have one more tournament to get into the Tour Championship and players on the bubble to secure their card for next year. It’s always fun to pick apart some of the names that are (and are not) in the cut.

This week I’ll pick apart a few of the names and positions in the money list that might surprise you in this week’s edition of The Numbers Game.

Side Note: If you’d be interested in writing The Numbers Game, please read this forum thread on the topic. Thank you.

Golf Talk [Episode 040]

The Champions Tour can bite my “I have a dream… to play professional golf one day” butt.

PodcastAfter three weeks off, we catch up with Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie, Troy Mattesson, Joe Durant, and more of our favorite characters. Also, guess what? Those dreams you had of one day playing on the Champions Tour? Forget it. That dream has been squashed like a vile little bug. Tune into this episode of Golf Talk for more.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 040 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.

2006 Chrysler Championship Preview

Who’s in and who’s out? You’re going to find out soon enough during the tour’s last regular season event of the season, the Chrysler Championship.

Chrysler Championship LogoWith all apologies to the PGA Championship’s overused phrase, this weekend’s Chrysler Classic is truly “glory’s last shot” for a lot of touring pros. Par will be a player’s best friend this weekend in a tournament that usually has more of a Q-School feel than a regular PGA Tour event, as the top 125 money list for the year is finalized with the final putt on Sunday.

You’ll have to excuse most of the guys in this week’s field if they aren’t very friendly; after all, they’re fighting for their livelihood!

Nationwide Tour Watch List

Which Nationwide Tour golfers will be the next to have success on the PGA Tour?

Thrash TalkThe Nationwide Tour has seemingly changed its name more times over the past decade than Vijay Singh has changed putters in recent years. My first memories of the tour was Steve Flesch winning the 1997 Nike Tour Championship to earn his PGA Tour card. Flesch hasn’t ever dominated on the PGA Tour, but he has had a solid career nonetheless.

Troy Matteson was an unknown in the golf world about a month ago. Matteson finished first on last year’s Nationwide Tour money list to earn his PGA Tour card in convincing fashion. However, he found out early in 2006 how much tougher the PGA Tour is.