Volume One Hundred Thirty Seven

Would someone please help Mr. Daly to his room!

Hittin' the Links What a week in the golf world, and Hittin’ the Links is here to try and keep you informed. In addition, I have included a couple of links to some of the new equipment out this year so all you equipment people out there can start your spring shopping lists.

In this volume we take a hard look at what is left of John Daly after his week from Hell, see why Ernie Els is tired, and what the heck is Ian Poulter talking about? Also, we investigate my pick for the coolest new golf gadget, peruse a buyers guide for junior golf clubs, look at some golf vacation spots, and see if Tiger can win again. Read on!

Sure Signs of Spring

Take heart all you golfers in the northern parts of the world. Spring is just about here.

Trap Five LogoWe got 20 inches of snow last weekend. No worries. I can feel golf season just about ready to bust out all over the northern hemisphere.

March Madness is about to tip off, the stores are filled with pastel Peeps and Paas in antipation of Easter, and one of these days (soon I hope) the snow is going to be gone. Winter is getting its last gasps in around here, and it’s about time. We’ve been dreaming about golf for far too long. It’s time to get out in the mud and hit some balls!

So with only slight apologies to those of you who live in warmer areas of the world and have been golfing all year, and more heartfelt apologies to those in the southern hemisphere (who are about to enter into autumn), signs of spring are popping up all over around here.

Scoring vs. Skill on the PGA Tour

Do Scoring and Skill statistics align on the PGA Tour, or are they just one of many factors?

The Numbers GameWell, we’re barely into the 2008 season on the PGA Tour, but the statistics collected already tell many different stories. For those of you who are at least mildly interested in statistics, if you’ve never visited the stats section of PGATour.com, you should. The dropdown menus of ad hoc reports available to anyone with a laptop and WiFi connection is fantastic! And I’m sure with some mid to high level ‘tech’ skills it would be easy to use a report writer software tool to push, pull, and twist data from existing reports to create your own.

TaylorMade Launches Tour Burner Driver, Irons, and More

TaylorMade has a new driver with 1,071 sets of different launch conditions to choose from. Ouch, my head is starting to hurt.

Bag DropThere have been a ton of new clubs released in the past few months, and the folks at TaylorMade are jumping into the fray as they have a couple of new drivers, new irons, and a new wedge coming out just in time for spring.

I was able to take a closer look at several of the new offerings while attending the Minnesota Golf Show last month and I think TaylorMade has some pretty nice clubs coming out. I’m looking forward to see if any of their new offerings will knock out my golf bag’s current occupants.

So come along as we check out what TaylorMade has to offer.

Volume One Hundred Thirty Six

Are you ready for spring?

Hittin' the Links Hello and good day to you from Hittin’ the Links. I fear I spoke of Spring too soon in last week’s column as Mother Nature dealt us a healthy dose of winter weather soon after. Either way those warmer temperatures get closer every day.

With the season just around the corner I have compiled a few links in this edition with a preseason feel to them. It’s not too late to start a spring ritual that will ultimately pay off by season’s end. Plus, many of us have that winter spare tire we could stand to lose.

In this edition of Hittin’ the Links we look at everything healthy, including The Titleist Performance Institute, see what you can do to get those clubs in proper order, and investigate a few other things that can be done to get ready for Spring. In addition, we check out grips on the PGA Tour, try and figure out what’s wrong with Arron Oberholser, spy on where Tiger will be practicing next season, see who is in trouble with the law, and check in on the tournament winners.

Mike Strantz

Golf’s maverick designer passed in 2005, but his courses live on.

ProfilesIn the past six months, I’ve had the opportunity to play one third of architect Mike Strantz’s golf courses. That may sound like an impressive total, but because he died much too early, at age 50, his portfolio is limited to nine courses. But if the three I’ve played are representative of his work, Mike Strantz was indeed an artist of golf course design.

Mike Strantz was raised in Toledo, OH, and attended Michigan State University. After graduating in 1978, he returned to Toledo to work for Tom Fazio, who was then preparing the Inverness Club to host the 1979 U.S. Open. Strantz continued to work for Fazio for the next eight years, honing his skills on courses like Moss Creek Plantation in Hilton Head, the Links and Harbor courses at Wild Dunes near Charleston, Lake Nona in Orlando, Osprey Point on Kiawah Island, and Black Diamond Ranch in Florida.

Golf Talk [Episode 080]

Lorena wins, Ernie wins, and the PGA Tour caves to crybabies.

Golf Talk PodcastLorena Ochoa wins in her season debut, but she’s still no Tiger. Ernie Els hasn’t beaten Tiger, but at least he’s won again. Also, waiting on LPGA drug testing, the Saturday cut, and more in this week’s Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 080 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.

TaylorMade Rolls Out the Rossa Monza Spider

TaylorMade comes out with a spider for a putter. Don’t be scared, its a cool spider.

Bag DropAh, it’s finally March, which means for us in the non-golfing areas of the United States, we can see the light at the end of our long, dark winter and finally play golf again.

What does that have to do with TaylorMade’s new Rossa Monza Spider putter? Not much except that you’ll be able to roll one of the bad boy’s out on the putting green when they become available to the golfing masses later in March.

The Rossa Monza Spider has already appeared in the winner’s circle as J.B. Holmes used one to win at the FBR Open about a month ago. Let’s take a look at one of the more interesting looking putters for 2008.

Volume One Hundred Thirty Five

The Mark Wilson Rule

Hittin' the Links Hello and happy March to you from Hittin’ the Links. Can you smell that? That is spring coming! Golf season is rapidly approaching. Have you gotten those clubs out of the closet and given them a preseason pep talk? Well you best get to it.

It is the time of the year where everyone starts to make those preseason goals and begin dreaming of a season free of double bogeys and full of low scores. Don’t forget to join the forum and post your 2008 goals. At the end of the season it’s always nice to look back and see how you progressed.

In this volume of Hittin’ the Links say “Good day mate” to the captain of the International Presidents cup team, look at the amended PGA Tour cut policy, find out what the Mark Wilson rule is, and see how the PGA Tour is trying to entice Tiger into the playoffs. Also, we check in on the Honda Classic, investigate extreme golf, and introduce golf’s newest comedy team. Read on!