Volume One Hundred Fifty Three

Old guys leading the Open Championship, Jack thinks the younger guys are too soft, and would somebody please remind Michelle to sign her scorecard.

Hittin' the LinksGood Day, and welcome to another edition of your beloved weekly Sand Trap column, Hittin the Links. I have again assembled only the best articles from around the web for you viewing pleasure. No boring news here, get ready to get caught up on everything thats golf from around the world, both serious and silly.

In this edition we take a long look at the British Open Championship, find out why Jack thinks the younger crowd is too soft, listen to Sandy Lyle’s apology, and investigate why British golf fans are better than the Americans. Also, we like totally see like what happened to like Michelle Wie, examine why Fred Funk is still on the regular tour, take a peek at the U.S. Bank Championship, and gain some appreciation for golf superintendants. Read On!

2008 British Open Final Round Live Blog

Read along, join us, and comment at the bottom as we follow the final round of the British Open.

Open Championship08:00:00: Welcome to the 2008 Live Blog of the final round of the 2008 British Open. In a world currently without the #1 player, Tiger Woods, a former #1 player has a two-shot lead. Can Greg Norman, revitalized by his new bride (and lightened by his $103M divorce settlement) shave the decades and hold off last year’s winner, Padraig Harrington, and others like K.J. Choi, Simon Wakefield, Anthony Kim, Ben Curtis, and others?

08:18:30: In case it’s not obvious, I would like to see Greg Norman win. The last thing I want to see is another collapse. I’d rather someone slowly overtake him than that, but as I said, I’d rather nobody overtake him at all. Go Greg.

08:26:00: Greg makes his way to the practice range wearing the opposite colors of yesterday: cream below with black on top. Tom Watson talks about how Greg is practicing on the far right side, giving himself a right-to-left breeze, and points out that he’ll face a left-to-right breeze on the first hole.

Cleveland HiBORE XLS Driver Review

Is Cleveland Golf’s latest HiBore incarnation the best of the series?

HiBore XLS DriverWhen the original HiBORE driver hit store shelves, I was among the first in line to pick one up. Frankly, it didn’t work out well. The driver was supposed to hit the ball high, straight, and long. My typical swing with the original HiBORE produced drives that flew wedge-shot high, very straight… and about as far as a 3-wood.

As it turns out, two out of three can be bad. That original HiBORE lasted two weeks in the bag. High and straight are good, but what fun is there in hitting a driver if you don’t get reasonable distance out of it?

I must not have been alone. Cleveland soon replaced the HiBORE with the HiBORE XL. Unlike most movies, in this case the sequel was far superior to the original. Now Cleveland has introduced the third rendition in the HiBORE trilogy. The HiBORE XLS is billed as the hottest, largest faced, and most forgiving yet. Great claims, but do they hold up?

A Midway Progress Report on My Golf Goals for ’08

Ever had one of those years when the putts don’t fall, the irons hook, the woods slice? Me, too.

Trap Five LogoIn January, I put forth a set of goals for my golf game for 2008. At the time, the year was new and anything seemed possible.

It’s been a year of struggles for me… from a Myrtle Beach trip during which I broke 90 only once, to a weird rib injury caused by (most likely) a sneeze, to my annoying recent habit of stringing pars together on both sides of a quintuple bogey. But I think things are starting to turn in the right direction. The rest of the year will tell.

Let’s see how I’m doing so far…

2008 British Open Predictions

The season’s third major championship has arrived, and the staff gives their predictions.

Thrash TalkThe 2008 British Open starts today, and that means it’s prediction time for The Sand Trap staff. Tiger Woods will be missing his first major championship as a professional, so the rest of the field will need to step it up and take advantage. The list of favorites include Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, and Ernie Els.

The course for this year’s British Open Championship is Royal Birkdale, and it seems to be in great shape. Mark O’Meara won a playoff the last time the Open Championship was played at Birkdale, and things should be exciting this time around as well.

Who is going to win this year’s British Open, and who is going to be a disappointment? Also, who are some possible dark-horse winners? We will do our best to predict the outcome, and if you have some predictions of your own, please list them below or discuss it in the forum.

Golf Talk [Episode 094]

Bet you never thought you’d hear the name Jeff Gillooly in our podcast. Okay, actually, you still won’t.

Golf Talk PodcastKenny Perry wins again, but still isn’t going to play in a major. Paula Creamer wins after collapsing at a major. Also this week, Tiger’s self-inflicted injury, Luke Donald, the psychology of golf hole size, and a whole lot more in this episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 094 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 Caddie who Played with Hickory” Book Review

John Coyne weaves a tale about golf, love and the pursuit of your dreams that might just make your “must read” list.

Book CoverThe Caddie who Played with Hickory is the newest novel written by John Coyne, author of over 20 books of fiction and non-fiction.

As a former caddie, Mr. Coyne is able to share his experiences of how the caddie system worked at a country club and how caddies of the mid-1900s interacted with the members.

This knowledge is woven into the story of a boy who is just graduating from high school and is trying to determine what to do with his life. For the time being, he’s content to caddie and play golf. What happens in the summer of 1946 changes his life forever.

Volume One Hundred Fifty Two

The Nationwide Tour is feeling like a million bucks, literally!

Hittin' the LinksHello again and welcome to this week’s, Hittin’ the Links. Another week has started and with it another Major Championship. The best players in the world, minus one, have gathered in Britain this week to vie for the Claret Jug and HTL is here to give you links to the important sites.

Also in the volume, we look at the Nationwide Tour and its richest tournament ever, see who took home the biggest chunk of that purse, and investigate why Colin Montgomerie is so darn grumpy. In addition, we see who besides Tiger is taking this week off, check in on the new World Golf Hall of Fame inductees, take a peek at Mickelson’s house for sale, and find out who won this week at the John Deere Classic. Read On!

Making the Game Easier

Golf is a hard game, but there are ways to make it easier. Some are even legal.

Trap Five LogoThe other day, I had used 38 strokes to get into a greenside bunker on the ninth hole. I was feeling pretty good about my chances of picking up some points for the guy I was subbing for in the nine-hole league. Seven strokes later, I was thinking that there must be a better way to play golf… a kinder, gentler way… one that doesn’t make me want to snap my sand wedge over my bag.

My bladed sand wedge into the deep weeds had some fairly serious repercussions. My enjoyment of the game this year has been a bit strained. I can’t seem to keep the big numbers off the card. It seems like in every round, I’m parring about half the holes, making a birdie a two, scoring a reasonable amount of bogeys, and tossing in the odd, dreaded other.