2007 Stories from the Tours

The 2007 tours have ended. One 2008 tour has begun. I guess it’s time to reflect.

Trap Five LogoThe 2007 golf year is all but over, but what a year it was! With the debut of the FedExCup and the emergence of a new number one on the the LPGA, the world’s top men’s and women’s tours had major stories. They weren’t alone.

Let’s review some of the best, if not necessarily the biggest, stories on each of the top tours.

Pros and Cons of Amateurism

Think the USGA isn’t interested in what you’re doing in your spare time? Think again.

Thrash TalkOther than maybe Byron Nelson or Gene Sarazen after their 90th birthdays, can you think of a professional golfer with a double-digit handicap index? Well, I know one.

Me. Sort of, anyway.

It may well prove to be the high water mark of my life in golf. It was a cool, rainy Sunday in February, 2005. The location was the Dallas Convention Center. Perhaps the good karma was foreshadowed by how easily I obtained the Kitchen Pass from my wonderful wife to leave the house, the unfinished homework projects, and the bulk of my “honey-do” list to attend the Dallas Golf Expo. I figured it would be a way to kill a few hours, maybe check out some new equipment, and otherwise obtain a much-needed winter golf fix. It turned out to be much more than that.

All the Same CoR to Me

Just how hot is that driver in your bag?

Bag DropAnd now all is right in the world. The R&A reminded golfers on November 11, 2007 that a new rule would go into effect on January 1, 2008 that would align themselves with the USGA to have a limit to the “spring-like” effect of drivers and establish a world-wide coefficient of restitution (COR) limit of 0.83 for all drivers, down from their previous limit of 0.86.

While this ruling doesn’t mean much to most golfers (especially those under the rules of the USGA) it will have an effect on the rest of the world as some previously legal drivers will now need to be replaced in order to fall under the new limit.

Volume One Hundred Twenty Three

The Race to Dubai!

Hitting the LinksNow that we all have our stomachs full, we look forward to the Christmas holiday and all those fun free money events. Will Tiger come out of hibernation? Will Phil put down the drumstick long enough to to pick up a sand wedge? Read on.

In this edition of Hittin’ the Links we contemplate the European tour’s attempt at equaling their American counterpart, Q-School, tournament hosts, and the Skins Game. On the lighter side we investigate duck damage, sassy South Koreans, and Ian Poulter’s clothing line.

Volume One Hundred Twenty Two

And the million dollar check goes to…

Hitting the LinksGood Monday to you! Hittin’ the Links is here to help you fill the void before Turkey Day.

In this week’s edition we will ponder the PGA Tour/Justin Timberlake connection, talk about the LPGA handing out its largest payday of the season, The Ryder Cup, and the official 2008 Tour schedule. Also, we look at the logic behind the PGA Tour’s new drug testing policy. See below!

Nine Thankful Holes with the Skins Game

The Skins Game is just about fun, and that can’t be all bad.

ProfilesIt’s almost Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and that means one thing… OK, it means a bunch of things: turkey dinners, football games featuring the Jets/Cowboys and Packers/Lions (and Colts/Falcons if you happen to have the NFL Network), pumpkin pies, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, turkey sandwiches, Black Friday, cranberry sauce, college football, gravy, and, of course, the 25th iteration of that yearly golf tradition without equal… the Skins Game (or, officially, the LG Skins Game).

The Skins Game, Nov. 24-25, provides a last gasp of golf season, and signals the start of the Silly Season proper (though the whole Fall Series has felt a little more silly this year with its near total lack of big names).

Golf Rant: Assorted Mythology and Nonsense

Another sampling of stuff that gets my UnderArmour in a wad.

Thrash TalkBefore I can settle into hibernation mode, it’s necessary to blow off a bit more steam. Join me this week as I rant a little.

Equipment Companies
Don’t get me wrong, I love golf equipment. I love fondling it in the stores, ogling over it in catalogs, and wasting my kids’ college money buying it for no reason other than it’s obviously better than the crap already in my bag, even if that crap is last year’s signature model. I am also a technophile, and believe today’s golf equipment is the best in history and contributes significantly to my enjoyment of the game. Rock on, men. There are, however, a few minor things for which I’d like to, oh, maybe gore the equipment manufacturers in the eye. To wit:

Dean Thompson, Inventor of Z Factor Perfect Putting Machine

Dean Thompson, inventor of the Z Factor Perfect Putting Machine and Fore Inventors Only alumni gives us the lowdown on how he came up his idea for the perfect putting stroke, being on a reality show, and being close to Stina Sternberg.

Throwing DartsToday’s interview is with Dean Thompson, inventor of the Z Factor Perfect Putting Machine, which made it to the final five on The Golf Channel: For Inventors Only show.

Dean graciously gave us a few minutes of his time to share his thoughts on Fore Inventors Only, developing the “perfect putting stroke,” and what product he thinks should have won. We hope you enjoy the interview.

Nike Introduces IC Putters

Nike is using some fancy engineering to help you drain more putts.

Bag DropThere is no doubt about the amount of innovation, technology, and thinking outside the box the folks at Nike Golf utilize to try to make golf easier for you. From their use of Sumo Technology for drivers, hybrids, and irons as well as various technological advances used in their golf balls, Nike is not afraid to chuck conventional thinking out the window when coming up with new ideas for golf equipment.

Taking innovation to the next level, Nike is introducing the IC Putters, which utilize some pretty funky technology called “optical engineering,” which they hope will help you sink more putts. After getting a look at them, all I can say is, I hope you love the color green.