One Ball to Rule them All?

The OGA’s uniform ball experiment was not even a success in the eyes of the anti-ball crowd.

OGA Uniform BallA few months back, the rebel Ohio Golf Association (which once legalized the tamping down of spike marks) bucked the rules once again and played their “Champions” event with a uniform ball. The results? OGA officials came to realize that golf ball technology is a complex science.

What’s more, they came to realize that a uniform ball is decidedly not the way to solve the distance dilemma some believe exists in modern golf.

2006 Newport Cup Club Count

You’ve heard of the Darrell Survey that counts clubs on the pro tours. Well, here’s the Waddell Survey from the recently completed Newport Cup.

Bag DropWhen you gather 16 pretty decent amateur players for three days of intense competition (intensely cold, intensely arduous, intensely fun), it’s cool to peek into the bags and see who’s playing what.

It’s all the more interesting when you consider that many in the field have strong connections within the industry and so can play pretty much anything they want.

Since cost is not a factor (either because the equipment is free or because, when it comes to golf, money is no object), it was obvious that real world performance and personal preference ruled the choices. So here’s what we were playing…

Volume Seventy-Eight

Who’s hot and Who’s not? That might be the best question heading into the final week of the PGA Tour’s regular season.

There isn’t a sadder day on the PGA Tour than the last Thursday of the regular season. Next week marks the final PGA event that counts towards the top 125 on the money list.

Hittin’ the Links checks the newly updated 125 on the money list this week, among other things.

Bag Boy Navigator Electric Cart Review

I desperately wanted to see the Bag Boy Navigator as the next step up from Sun Mountain’s Speed E Cart. Was I disappointed?

Bag Boy Navigator HeroThe folks at Bag Boy make some of the most widely used golf carts in the world. Bag Boy led the move from the older pull-cart style to the more popular push cart nearly two decades ago, and golfers who prefer to walk without carrying have showed their gratitude ever since.

Widespread use of the push cart eventually led to the motorized push cart, and eventually someone thought of adding remote control capabilities to the electric cart. A lot of companies make electronic carts, and Bag Boy has jumped into the market with a cart they’ve named the “Navigator.”

Having previously reviewed the remote-less electric cart from Sun Mountain, I was interested to see how much more I might enjoy golf with a remote-controlled mechanical caddy. At $1,499, I knew the Navigator had a lot to live up to!

Matt Griesser, Actor and Comedian

“Sign Boy” dispenses his wisdom on keeping PGA Tour golfers “on their toes,” golfing in Iceland, and who he thinks is “two scoops of crazy.”

Throwing Darts Title Today’s inteview is with actor and comedian Matt Griesser. Matt has appeared in featured films such as Almost Famous and sitcoms such as Coach, Grace Under Fire, and Murphy Brown. But you probably know him best as the character “Sign Boy” in the now famous Footjoy ads.

Matt Griesser sat down with us recently and shared his thoughts on keeping PGA Tour golfers “on their toes,” golfing in Iceland, and who he thinks is “two scoops of crazy,” among other topics. We hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Nine Holes With Lorena Ochoa

The only player among the next generation of women golfers to distance herself from the pack in 2006, Ochoa is proving that she can dominate on the LPGA Tour. Just like she’s done her whole golfing life.

ProFilesWhile there was little doubt, Lorena Ochoa has proven she belongs on the LPGA Tour this year. She has distanced herself from promising young stars like Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis, and Morgan Pressel and is threatening to knock off the Queen Bee of women’s golf: one Annika Sorenstam.

While a major championship eluded Ochoa this year, it appears that it won’t be long before Mexico’s favorite golfer starts collecting a mantle full of major trophies.

Lace up your golf shoes, grab your clubs, and join me for nine holes with one of the LPGA’s very best.

Newport Cup 2006 in Numbers

We had a great time last week at The Newport Cup. I made some new friends and took away a few numbers for this week’s column.

The Numbers GameThe second annual Newport Cup is over and the numbers are in. Unfortunately for myself and rest of the Blue team, our numbers were not large enough to overcome the Red team’s. They were led by a father-and-son combination that proved too much for the Blue Sand Trap staff member team.

This week in The Numbers Game I’ll talk about all things number related at the 2006 Newport Cup held in my home state of North Carolina.

2006 Newport Cup Wrapup

Or “Sand Trappers versus Sand Baggers,” as this year’s event (jokingly) came to be called.

Newport CupThe 2006 edition of the Newport Cup was played last week, October 13-15, near Greensboro, North Carolina. The Blue team, this year consisting of Sand Trap staff members, took on a red-clad team of former staff members and special guests.

The result? A whole lot of laughs, less than expected amounts of booze, more than a few comments about the cold weather, and, in the end, a defeat for the heavily favored Blue Team, who jokingly took to referring to the event as “Sand Trappers versus Sand Baggers.”

What follows is a quick recap of the scoring. We’d go into more depth, but believe me, recounting the tale of our loss is hard enough without all the gory details!

A First Time for Everything

There are several golfers on the brink of winning their first PGA Tour tournament.

Thrash TalkIt has been a couple weeks since I published a Thrash Talk, but good things have been happening in the golf world. The Sand Trap held its annual Newport Cup in North Carolina, and once again my team was on the short end of the stick. It was great to meet up with all the guys and play some great courses, but losing isn’t my cup of tea. But I must say that, as an American golfer, being a loser in a team event is particularly fitting.

As far as the PGA Tour goes, congratulations to Troy Matteson for picking up his first career PGA Tour victory. Matteson was a star on the Nationwide Tour last season, and he took full advantage of his PGA Tour exemption this season.