Fall 2008 Sneak Peek: Titleist 909 Metals Series

Titleist is set to replace every driver, fairway wood, hybrid, and wedge and is also adding four putters this fall. Get in and buckle up.

Bag DropChez Reavie won the Canadian Open two weeks ago and Parker McLachlin won the following week using a prototype driver that’s been getting a lot of buzz on the PGA Tour, in our forum, and around the golf rumor mills, websites, and 19th holes.

The drivers, which debuted shortly before the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, have even been talked about at Titleist’s Tour Blog – a small but important step for the usually secretive Acushnet company.

A few weeks after the U.S. Open I was invited to Titleist’s Oceanside facility to try out some of the new equipment – it’s far more than just drivers – and I’ve come away with some information. Here, now, is what I learned.

Volume One Hundred Fifty Six

Padraig makes it two in a row, Annika falls short in her Scandinavian farewell, and John Daly has yet another teacher

Hittin' the LinksHello and welcome to Hittin’ the Links. The Final Major of the year is complete, thank goodness we still have the Ryder Cup to look forward to before silly season arrives again. And how about that Padraig Harrington? I guess he was just waiting for Tiger to get hurt so he could win all the majors in his absence. Don’t get me wrong though; what he did is impressive.

In this edition, we take inventory at the 90th PGA Championship, see how it has effected the Ryder Cup team, and see why Kenny Perry had to miss out. Also, we see who won Annika’s farewell Swedish tournament, find out who Big John is working with now, take note of the toughest Major season yet, and send our condolences to the family of “The Sarge” Orville Moody. Read on!

2008 PGA Championship Final Round Live Blog

Read along, join us, and comment at the bottom as we follow the final round of 2008 PGA Championship.

Oakland Hills13:00:00: Welcome to the 2008 Live Blog of the PGA Championship. With Saturday’s rain, Sunday will be an endurance test for those atop the leaderboard.

Can Ben Curtis add the Wanamaker Trophy to his mantle along with his Claret Jug? Can Padraig Harrington make it back-to-back in the majors? Will Sergio Garcia or J.B. Holmes win their first major? How many victims will The Monster claim?

13:14:42: Sergio (Mr. Black) birdies the first hole. Can he shake off the putting woes to win his first major?

13:18:14: J.B. Holmes finds himself in the pine trees and Nick Faldo questions his use of driver off the tee. Henrik Stenson’s drive isn’t much better.

A Different Look at Golf

Sometimes simplicity reveals something new about the complex.

Trap Five LogoI’ve always been into visual communication, though I’m not much of an artist. So I was pleased to find Jessica Hagy’s site where she “makes fun of some things and sense of others” through simple charts that you might normally come across in a marketing meeting. She uses simple Venn diagrams, faux line graphs, and other illustrations to reveal the humor or provide some insight on day-to-day topics.

What does this have to do with golf? Nothing, of course. But I liked the idea of using such basic illustrations to explicate difficult subjects so much that I had to apply it to my favorite sport. Thus, what follows are my attempts to do what Hagy does very well… take something complex and break it down into something simple. And maybe to make someone chuckle a little bit, too.

Cleveland HiBORE XLS Fairway Wood Review

Is Cleveland’s latest HiBORE fairway wood solid enough to warrant a purchase?

Cleveland HiBORE XLS Fairway Wood ReviewI’ve been playing golf more than a decade now, and I’ve always been a huge fan of the fairway wood. Unfortunately, that’s because I’ve never been real consistent with my driver, so the fairway wood has been my go-to club off the tee on many occasions. Even though I recently started to hit my driver better, I’ll still pull my fairway wood multiple times per round.

A few years ago, I started hitting the Titleist 904F fairway wood. My game off the tee changed for the better because of it, and I’ve had a love affair with the club ever since. I knew it would take a solid fairway wood to replace my Titleist, and that’s where Cleveland comes into play.

I’ve had the original Cleveland HiBORE Driver in my bag for a year or so, and unlike most critics, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve hit it very well, and that has given me confidence in the Cleveland brand. With that in mind, I figured I’d give the new HiBORE XLS fairway wood a shot. Has it been solid enough to replace my Titleist 904F? Keep reading to find out.

For the record, the model I am reviewing is the 15° fairway wood.

2008 PGA Championship Predictions

The staff gives their predictions on the season’s final major championship.

Thrash TalkThe season’s final major begins today, and it’s time for more predictions from The Sand Trap staff. After an exciting WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last weekend, names like Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, and Lee Westwood have popped up as favorites this week. Mickelson and Singh have three major victories apiece, while Westwood is still looking for his first.

The golfers are only half the equation, however. The venue for this year’s PGA Championship is Oakland Hills, and it will be a tough test to say the least. It will play nearly 7,400 yards, and with par being 70, it will be a beast.

Who is going to win this year’s final major, and who else might be a serious threat? Also, who are some possible dark horses and disappointments? As always, we will give it our best shot. If you have any predictions to add, please comment below or discuss them in the forum.

Golf Talk [Episode 096]

Vijay Singh putted like a Tourette’s patient with the yips, but still won!

Golf Talk PodcastThe PGA is coming, and Vijay Singh is warming up… kind of. Michelle Wie misses another cut, the USGA moves forward with groove regulations, the PGA is exciting, Colin Montgomerie is whining, a whole lot more in this episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 096 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.

Traveling With Your Clubs

Flying with your golf clubs doesn’t have to be a big pain if you have the right equipment.

Bag DropFlying commercial today can be about as much fun as a root canal. Between all the security measures, smaller flying capacity from the airlines left that aren’t bankrupt, and the lack of service as well as being nickel-and-dimed to death from all the “fees,” it truly has lost its luster from just a few years ago (remember hot meals, anyone?).

Bringing your golf clubs can be a pain. Don’t get me wrong, the excitement of going on a golf trip can help temper the hassle of getting your clubs loaded up in your travel bag and then dragging it through the airport and then hoping that some baggage handler doesn’t either test your bag’s limits of abuse or you experience the dreaded lost or delayed luggage scenarios that will completely ruin your golfing experience.

I just got back from flying the friendly skies, so follow along as I share some musings that hopefully make traveling with one’s clubs a bit more enjoyable.

Volume One Hundred Fifty Five

Vijay is victorious, Wie misses yet another cut, and there were bears on the fairway in Colorado.

Hittin' the LinksHello and good day to you, Hittin the Links is here again to bring you the week’s best in golf. Wow, there were quite a few stories from the golf world this week. I can’t remember the last time there were four different tournaments of any consequence going at the same time. This week we had the LPGA playing the British Open, the PGA Tour in both Ohio and Nevada, and the Champions Tour in Colorado at the U.S. Senior Open. It made for a good weekend of watching golf.

In HTL this week, we have links explaining Monty’s attitude towards drug testing, looking at the toughest courses in the United States, and seeing how Michelle Wie missed another cut. Also, we see why Hunter Mahan doesn’t like the Ryder Cup, find out where Greg Norman will be next April, and we do a full wrap-up of the week’s tournaments. Read on!