Volume One Hundred Twenty One

Silly Season is upon us again!

Hitting the LinksHello, we’ve returned again with a new author but the same look. So sit back, wanderers of the Web, for Hittin’ the Links is back again.

This week’s installment covers The Super Sunday in Phoenix, a crowd favorite in poor health, Silly Season, dapper dressers, and daddy’s little boy who just wants to make a name for himself.

Are You an OCG?

12 steps aren’t enough to treat this addiction. This one takes 18 holes, at least.

Trap Five LogoI’ve always had a little touch of Monk to me. But when it comes to golf, I have to admit I’m more than a little touched.

Here’s what I mean. After returning home from a recent golf trip during which I played seven rounds in four days, I went to the range. I currently subscribe to not one but four print golf publications (in my defense, one is a free regional publication). I read several golf sites, listen to podcasts, and, oh yes, write about golf.

Are We Headed for Extinction?

Big challenges face golf today, and the solutions may not be what everyone wants to hear.

Thrash TalkPeople like to make fun of weathermen, but when you think about it, it’s pretty difficult to predict the future of just about anything. Financial and real estate markets, baseball playoffs, college football games, elections, inflation, you name it – some expert is always astounding us with his or her stupidity when they try to predict the future. I suppose it’s for this very reason that I’m not too worried about the future of golf. Or maybe I am.

Nike Expands Sumo Line with Irons and Hybrids

Sumo technology has left the tee box. And I’m not sure yet if this is a good thing or not.

Bag DropAnyone that has ever started playing with an “intro” set of irons, or even Grandpa’s hand-me-downs, has explored game improvement to some extent. This area of golf technology has increased in popularity over the last several years, with some major leaps forward. With the advantages of increased forgiveness on mis-hits, greater control, distance, and consistency, it is hard not to be sucked in. While game improvement is a major area of focus for mid- to high-handicappers (like me), we are still not a pushover for these promises. To quote Luke Donald, “No matter how rich or powerful you are, you can’t buy yourself a good golf game.” While Luke Donald does not typify the golfing public, this notion still holds true for us regular folks as well.

Volume One Hundred Twenty

Get ready, the 2008 European Tour season starts on November 8th!

Hitting the LinksAfter a one-week break, Hittin’ the Links is back for your work-avoiding pleasure. So grab a cup of coffee and a donut and enjoy this week’s installment.

This time around, we have several links from the Children’s Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart, Justin Rose winning the European Order of Merit, and Natalie Gulbis ditching the bikini.

Brian Howenstein Swing Analysis

With a little work, this 20 handicapper could improve drastically.

Swing CheckBrian Howenstein is an athletic player who struggles with consistency due to some bad habits he’s developed at the start of his golf swing. He is a young player who just graduated from college. Brian has been playing golf on and off since his sophomore year in high school.

Brian’s misses tend to be to the right in the form of large fades or giant slices. He hits his driver around 275 yards, but admits that number varies considerably depending on how he is playing that day. His 5-iron is his 200-yard club, which tells me he must hit his irons better than his driver. Lately Brian has been working on his swing path, keeping his head still, and shifting his weight to his left side, all of which can be good aspects of the swing to work on. But as we dissect his swing, we will find out some of these are not his main problems.

Srixon Buys Cleveland Golf

Dude! Where’s my golf company?

Bag DropThe speculation can finally end. For months, golf industry observers have been wondering who was going to snap up Cleveland Golf and the Never Compromise brand of putters from surf duds company Quiksilver. The surprise suitor is the parent company of Srixon, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, a leading Japanese tire company.

Quiksilver has agreed to sell Cleveland Golf to the SRI Sports Limited division for $132.5 million. The deal is expected to close during the fiscal quarter ending Jan. 31.

A Ball Buster’s View from the Desert

Insights from a golf side show.

Thrash TalkIf you didn’t already know, an easy way to get me to rear up on my hind legs is to suggest that the golf ball goes too far and should be rolled back. I walk around in a perpetual state of hypo-mania when it comes to this issue, and am constantly on the lookout to denounce and discredit those preaching heresy on the matter. This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to happen upon an unexpected source of support for what often appears to be my minority opinion. Well, at least I can say I learned some things that make me even more certain that the Pro V1 does not have us on the brink of self-annihilation.