Cheap Course Tricks

Some times good architects and greenskeepers do bad things.

Trap Five LogoHave you ever been enjoying a round on a new course when suddenly the architect throws a twist at you that just seems out of character? When I’m playing a course laid out by a farmer (there are quite a few of these in central Ohio, by the way), I expect some quirks and tricks, but when a “name” architect does it to me, I can’t help but feel a little betrayed.

There are so many challenges designers can build into any course – chutes of trees that threaten drives from both sides, watery graves for errant shots, curled-lip bunkers that throw shots back like Hawaiian waves spit out surfers, murderous contours on firm greens – I don’t understand why architects feel the need to use cheap tricks.

Leupold GX-I Laser Rangefinder Review

Laser rangefinders are getting smaller and less expensive, and Leupold has entered the fray.

Leupold GX-I Laser RangefinderI started a Bushnell PinSeeker 1500 review in 2005 with the sentence “Tiger Woods has long said that the secret to good golf is always being pin high.” A lot has changed since 2005, but Tiger’s advice still rings true.

What has changed is that three years ago rangefinders and GPS units were a rarity. In 2005, these types of devices were illegal. Since 2006, they’ve been legal for tournament play under a local rule, and it seems as though every serious golfer has one (or more!) in their bags. The market has expanded quickly, and the early guys in – Bushnell with laser rangefinders and SkyGolf with GPS – are being challenged at every turn.

One of the challengers in the laser rangefinder category is longtime rifle scope-maker Leupold (& Stevens) with their GX-I and GX-II laser rangefinders. These rangefinders notably improve upon the venerable PinSeeker 1500 in just about the only ways I think a laser rangefinder can really be improved: by adding features, making it smaller, and shaving a hundred bucks off the asking price.

I’ve put the GX-I to a thorough test. Read on for my results.

Mizuno Skintite Golf Glove Review

The Mizuno Skintite golf glove is good enough for Luke Donald, but is it good enough for me?

Mizuno Skin-Tite GloveThe golf glove is often overlooked because of new drivers, irons, wedges, putters, etc. Understandably so. And while I dislike buying new golf gloves each year, it’s a must for me. People have tried to get me to play with no glove in the past, but I’ve never been able to do so. Whether it’s a mental thing or just the Oklahoma humidity, I have to wear a golf glove until I’m chipping or putting.

A few years back, I reviewed the 3M Greptile Premium golf glove. At the time, it was the best glove I had ever worn, but I haven’t had one in more than a year. I switched to FootJoy gloves, but even they left me wanting a bit more. I’ve been playing a lot more golf this year than in the past, and the Footjoy gloves don’t last more than a few rounds in the Oklahoma heat without losing their grip.

When I had the chance to review the Mizuno Skintite glove, I jumped on the opportunity. Is it good enough to replace my beloved 3M Greptile, or will I have to keep looking? Keep reading to get my full impressions.

Nick Faldo is on the Clock

Which European golfers deserve a captain’s pick next week?

Thrash TalkThe FedExCup playoffs kicked off last week, and while this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship is big news, the Ryder Cup takes the cake as usual. A couple weeks ago, I dissected the United States team and predicted the four golfers Paul Azinger will pick next Tuesday. European captain, Nick Faldo, has to make his two captain’s picks the day before on Labor Day.

It was tough finding four worthy golfers for Azinger to pick, but the same can’t be said for the European side. While there are only two picks, there are a handful of worthy choices. It’s going to be tough for Faldo, so I’ll lend him a helping hand this week. I’ll eliminate a few of the more undeserving choices, and then I’ll select the two guys most deserving of making the European team.

Golf Talk [Episode 098]

Odds of Sergio Garcia and Vijay Singh both making 25+ foot putts? Less likely than you getting a hole in one in the next five years, that’s for sure.

Golf Talk PodcastSergio Garcia… loses again. And to none other than Vijay Singh! What’s more, both make long putts to continue the playoff! What’s going on around here? Plus Ryder Cup news, a bit on rules, 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 098 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.

Taking a Look at Towels

Have you spent anytime thinking about your golf towel lately? You should.

Bag DropFresh off a relaxing vacation in Colorado during which my clubs were replaced by a pack-n-play, I had some windshield time to reflect on a piece of equipment that’s often overlooked: the towel.

No, this isn’t a trip to the bath section of Target, JC Penney, Kohls, Wal-Mart, etc. but a trip to the accessories aisle in your favorite golf shop (if you can put down that new driver for a minute).

Golf towels, to a point, can be pretty boring. Oh sure, you can get a towel from that “dream course” you played or from a tournament you attended or perhaps with the logo from the equipment company of the clubs you have (or wish to have) but there have been some pretty nifty towels to hit the market recently that you may want to check out to make cleaning your clubs and ball a bit easier during your round.

Let’s take a look.

Bunker’s Dozen: August 2008

Can Padraig Harrington stay atop the rankings two months in a row?

Thrash TalkThe 2008 majors are in the past, and now it’s time to start talking FedExCup and Ryder Cup. A few weeks ago, Padraig Harrington won his second consecutive major. In case the media was still wondering about his legitimacy, he clearly put that to rest. Sergio Garcia once again felt heartbreak at the PGA Championship and again this past weekend at the Barclays. How will that affect his ranking this month?

This time last month, Vijay Singh was winless in 2008. Fast forward to the present, and Mr. Singh has multiple quality victories this season. Also, Fred Funk tasted major success for the first time, albeit in a Champions Tour event. Both guys are in the rankings this month, but where did they end up? Keep on reading to find out.

And as always, if you have anything to add, please comment below or discuss it in the forum.

Volume One Hundred Fifty Eight

One of Tiger’s records is broken, Vijay is undefeated in the Playoffs, and are you ready for Patriot Golf Day?

Hittin' the LinksWelcome to another edition of Hittin’ the Links. So, it’s playoff time again: can you feel the excitement in the air? Well, can you? Of course you can, who wouldn’t be able to (yawn)? Well at least HTL is here to add to the excitement with a little weekly dose of whats hot on the golfing world wide web.

In this volume, we see who broke Tiger’s record of youngest ever U.S. Amateur champion, check in on current FedExCup points leader Vijay Singh, and investigate what happened between the PGA Tour and Westchester Country Club. Also, we learn about Patriot Golf Day, see which European is making a Ryder Cup run, and find out what Nick Faldo said on the air concerning Ryder Cup hopeful, Paul Casey. Read on!

Clicgear Cart Model 2.0 Review

The Clicgear Cart 2.0 might be the last pushcart you’ll ever need to buy.

Clicgear FoldedSince finding out that the folks at Clicgear had made improvements to their award-winning push cart, I eagerly anticipated getting my hands on one to find what the fuss was all about with this easy-to-store, easy-to-use push cart.

Personally, I would much rather walk when playing golf versus having to use a motorized cart but don’t like having to sling my clubs around anymore (must be a sign of getting old) so a push cart is a vital piece of equipment for me and the enjoyment I get from playing golf.

You may not think of a push cart as being that big of deal but having had some not-so-pleasant experiences with some push/pull carts in the past, I was hoping that the Clicgear would be the final answer to my search for the “perfect pushcart.” Read on to find out whether my search is over.