Happy Holidays from The Sand Trap

If you can golf during the holiday season, yes, we’re envious.

St. Andrews SnowThe Sand Trap wants to take this opportunity to thank you for stopping by. Everyone here at The Sand Trap wishes you nothing but the happiest of holidays and plenty of birdies in 2009.

Though this portion of our site will be “closed” until the new year (January 12, to be precise), we still invite everyone to join our forum (it’s free). Share with us what you want – or what you get – for Christmas!

We’ll be back soon, and when we return, we’ve got three reviews we know you’ve been waiting for: the Titleist 909 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids. Until then, can anyone recommend a large-headed shovel with the latest in graphite shaft technology? I’ve looked everywhere at the online golf retailers and can’t find anything!

“The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan” Book Review

John Coyne writes a story about golf, life, and the choices we make and dispenses some wisdom from none other than Ben Hogan.

Caddie Who Knew Ben HoganThe Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan was written by author John Coyne who has penned over 20 books of fiction and non-fiction. Several months ago, we reviewed his latest book, The Caddie Who Played With Hickory and if you enjoyed that story, you most certainly will want to check out his earlier work as well.

The story weaves between forbidden love, the bond between a golfer and his caddie and wisdom about life as told by none other than Ben Hogan. What happens is a story about golf, life and the choices we make and how “it’s always the next shot that is important.”

Crocs Ace Golf Shoe Review

Crocs jump feet first into the golf shoe market.

CrocsI know what you are thinking: golf Crocs? When I was first introduced to the concept of a Croc golf shoe I had more than a few reservations. I have never been a big fan of Crocs. Sure, I saw more than a few people wearing them around town, and my daughter is a die-hard fan who refuses to wear anything else, but I was not sold. And, I certainly did not see them as a type of shoe that could be used for sports – especially not golf.

As it is with skeptics, I was given a pair and told to try them out. Skeptical as I was I took them out on the course and ran them through the drills to see if they really could hold up to what a regular golf shoe has to endure. The results may surprise you. They certainly surprised me.

All I Want for Christmas

Have a peek at my annual correspondence with Father Christmas.

Thrash TalkDear Santa,

As you know, I’ve been a reasonably good boy this year. We’ve been engaged in this same routine for 23 years now, so I think you are also aware what an avid fan of the game of golf I am. I want you to know, also, that I’m not holding it against you that I didn’t find that $2,300 replica of Tiger’s putter under my tree last year. The same goes for the trip to Sawgrass which has been a fixture on my list for the last several years. Surely these are difficult gifts to obtain, even for you, Mr. Claus.

I’m aware, as Burton Hillis said, “the best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family.” I’m really trying to be content with the simple pleasures and joys of the season (eggnog, cookies, tinsel, throwing wads of wrapping paper at the cat), but there are still a few outstanding items on my list I’m hoping to find beneath my tree in a few weeks.

TaylorMade Rolls Out Rossa TP by Kia Ma Putters

TaylorMade rolls out their premium putter line.

Bag DropJust in time for the holiday season, the folks at TaylorMade Golf are rolling out some fine putters that fall into the premium category (more $$$), the Rossa TP by Kia Ma putters. Prior to this, you had to be on the TaylorMade Tour Staff like Justin Rose, Andres Romero, and Mike Weir who all use Kia Ma putters. No more as now the rest of us can get one of these beauties.

Join me as we take a look at some pretty sweet looking putters.

Volume One Hundred Seventy Two

Pavin’s the man in 2010, Stevie doesn’t think much of Phil, and Annika has her final farewell (we think)

Hittin' the LinksThe snow is falling and that does not lend itself to thoughts of golf, but still Hittin’ the Links stays vigilant scouring the net for golf stories happening in places more weather friendly. The sun is shining somewhere.

In this frigid edition of HTL, we look at Annika’s most recent farewell, check into Corey Pavin’s appointment as Ryder Cup captain, and see what Steve Williams thinks about Phil. Also for your viewing pleasure we investigate the latest Daly faux pas, check out the top 100 players to watch, and do a complete wrap-up of this weeks tournament winners. Read on!

Mizuno MP-52 Irons Review

Mizuno’s “player” line just got a little more inclusive.

Playability in an MPWhen the MP-52 debuted this fall with its sibling the MP-62, there were two surprises. First, the company’s “Cut Muscle” design of the last several years is missing, replaced with a very different “Dual Muscle” technology. Second, with the MP-52, Mizuno set out to make a more forgiving MP iron. The MP line has always been the domain of low and lower-mid handicappers. They have a reputation as being workable while providing a lot of feedback. Keeping up to those standards with a forgiving club is a bit of a tall order.

Consider that mid- and low-handicappers can be pretty finicky about their clubs. Many won’t play muscle backs because they think (probably accurately) that they need more forgiveness. Others won’t consider anything that isn’t basically blade-like, because they refuse to sacrifice feel and workability (nothing wrong with that stance either). Forgiveness and workability are to a large extent at opposite ends of the same spectrum. Creating playable irons that meet the needs and preferences of better golfers is a gutsy undertaking for a company with a solid reputation among lower handicappers.

Golf Talk: 909 Fairway, 909 Hybrid, Spin Milled Wedges Episode

It’s all about versatility as we learn about the 909F and 909H family, and Bob Vokey spins some tales of spin milled wedges.

Golf Talk PodcastThis week, a special edition of the Golf Talk Podcast as we talk with Steve Pelisek, General Manager, Titleist Golf Clubs, Stephanie Bezilla, Titleist Metalwoods Development Manager, and Bob Vokey (who needs no title) about the new 909 Fairway Metals, Hybrids, and the Spin Milled Wedges. Check out this exciting episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download the 909 Fairway/Hybrid and Spin Milled Wedges episode 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.

Volume One Hundred Seventy One

Unlike the weather, Q-School is heating up!

Hittin' the LinksDuring a time when many people’s thoughts are turning to sports like hockey and basketball, Hittin’ the Links is still on the job churning out links for the die hard golf fan.

In this cold weather edition of HTL we take a look at Harrison Frazar’s 59 at Q-school, investigate the rumors of an Azinger repeat in 2010, and find out what’s wrong with The Skins Game. Also, we catch some waves with Adam Scott, see why Mark Brooks doesn’t like new ball technology, and do a full wrap-up of how Q-school is going. Read on!