Indoor Practice Facilities

Feeling sad because it’s winter and you won’t be able to hit a bucket of balls for the next few months? Well, cheer up, because there are some new options out there you can take advantage of to keep in golf shape year around.

About Golf Screen ShotMy golf season having been officially “over” for two months and the next one still three months out, I will no doubt find the next few months quite maddening. So what can I do? Do I sit around and read the golf magazines looking for the latest tips and drills? Do I drool over the latest equipment and gear? Play Tiger Woods 2007 endlessly?

I will be doing all the above. However, I’ve also decided to take a different approach and come up with an off-season game plan of getting into better golf shape over the winter so I am ready to go come spring. My best round of the year was my last one at the Newport Cup and needless to say, it was the perfect springboard into working on an off-season plan to be a better golfer in 2007. Think of it as “Extreme Makeover: The Sand Trap Edition.”

Masters of the First Major

Augusta National is America’s most prestigious golf venue and it has revealed some of the greatest players in the game. Here are Masters champs with the most victories.

ProFilesThe 2007 Masters is just a twinkle in the collective eye of golf fans. The highs and lows of 2006 are fading into the past, the leftover turkey is gone, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” plays in the background, and the decorations are up. Not exactly Masters weather.

Never-the-less, looking at the masters of The Masters is worth it because, before you know it, the on-air pontification over potential winners and contenders is going to start. You want to have a little history in your back pocket to impress your friends.

One rule: Those who make “Masters of the First Major” qualified by winning at least three.

The World Golf Rankings Explained

What better place to start my run as the Numbers Game columnist than with the Official World Golf Rankings. In this column I hope to shed some light on a couple of things.

The Numbers GameWelcome to my first The Numbers Game column. I’m David Mosher, a new staff member here at The Sand Trap, though many will know me as “underparnv” in our forum.

This first week I’ll be talking about the Official World Golf Ranking. First, I want to explain how they work. Then I’ll take a look at how they have affected the top ten in the past five years. We all know Tiger has dominated them with Vijay having a stint at the top, but what about the rest of the players? How have the rankings separated the top ten in points?

Golf Talk [Episode 043]

Will Tiger and Elin’s baby be the sexiest and most dominating golfer ever – man or woman? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

PodcastThe PGA Tour season kicks off with a Vijay win in Hawaii and an absent Tiger and Phil. The Golf Channel showcases its new content with four days of coverage, golfers sweep the AP Athlete of the Year awards, and Michelle Wie is heading to Stanford in a year – by her choice or B.J.’s? All that and more in this episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 043 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.

The FedEx Cup is Off and Running

Vijay Singh and The Golf Channel started 2007 off in style.

Thrash TalkFans of the PGA Tour have been waiting for the start of the FedEx Cup since the official announcement nearly a year ago. It has only been two months since the 2006 PGA Tour season ended, but the start of the 2007 season couldn’t have come too soon. I’m glad the new era in golf has finally arrived, and it looks like things will be very interesting all season long.

Stuart Appleby failed in his bid to win four consecutive Mercedes Championships, and Vijay Singh took full advantage of the situation. Singh has been denied his win at Kapalua in recent years, but he finally got his win on the island this past weekend. The Fijiian obviously jumped to the top of the FedEx Cup standings with his impressive win in the season opener, and he will be tough to beat in 2007.

Cleveland Introduces Two New HiBore XL Drivers

No other club category is as competitive as drivers with new head shapes all the rage. Cleveland’s newest entries refine its unusual and original HiBore model.

Bag DropWhen it comes to drivers, it’s a jungle out there. All the major equipment makers are clawing for market share as they pop out a steady stream of innovative new models in an effort to win your annual $400 contribution to the industry.

By most accounts, Cleveland’s introduction of the original HiBore last year was something less than the blockbuster they’d hoped for. In fact, here in the U.S. they’re giving them away free now through the end of January with the purchase of a set of CG4 or CG4 Tour irons.

The concave crown and overall performance characteristics seemed to produce a ball flight higher than many better players wanted to see. Plus, word was that you had to tee the ball lower to really catch the sweet spot. It looks to me like the two new HiBore XL models are meant to fix all that.