Buying New Sticks

Five questions to ask before you buy clubs.

Trap Five LogoWe’re just coming into the peak golf club purchasing period in the northern half of the United States. A lot you may be trolling the aisles of new clubs in the next few months looking for a few extra yards or a few less strokes per round.

I know… the economy sucks. The TV keeps reminding me every evening. But I also know that I’ll probably still be trying out some new gear this summer. After all, someone has to kick start the economy (maybe a new driver purchase will get the Dow above 8K again). As long as I’m working, I’ll likely be playing golf. And if I’m playing golf, then all those new toys in the golf shop will be kind of tempting. And I bet I’m not alone.

Now I’ve purchased quite a few new clubs in recent years looking for a few more yards or a tighter shot dispersion (I know, I know… it’s not the arrow). Sometimes I’ve found a little more game. Sometimes I haven’t. Here are a few questions that might help you find the right equipment for you, and maybe save a little money along the way, too.

TaylorMade R9 TP Fairway Wood Review

TaylorMade puts out yet another solid club

R9 FairwayFor years now, TaylorMade has been one of the industry leaders in golf club design and manufacturing. They continually put out some of the best golf equipment available. Though they are probably best known for their drivers, with such past beauties like the r7, they also have made some absolutely fantastic fairway woods over the years as well.

I still think back to when my father first came home with his first Raylor or his Tour Spoon. They were great clubs and well ahead of their time.

I’ve never had a 3-wood I’ve completely trusted. Many of my playing partners have that “go to” fairway wood that they know will find the short grass when the chips are down. Such a club would be a great find as it would take some of the pressure off my driver. So as you can expect when I heard I had one of the new R9 TP 3-woods coming my way I was full of anticipation. I already had a Burner TP 3-wood in my bag and I was ready to put the new one to the test to see if I needed to switch.

Mizuno Golf Releases MX-700 Drivers, Fairway Woods and Hybrids

Mizuno Golf offers up a little “hot metal” for you.

Bag DropOne of the first thoughts that came to mind when I saw the newest offering from Mizuno Golf was; “Where’s the blue?” In its place is a pretty bold black and yellow paint/graphic scheme and some serious technology under the hood with their new “Hot Metal.”

Offering up a new driver, fairway woods, and hybrids, Mizuno has something for everyone. While long enjoying a storied history with their forged irons, woods aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the company. This latest offering looks to change that perception.

Tag along as we check out the latest from Mizuno.

Volume One Hundred Eighty Two

Lefty is tops at Doral, Stenson takes it all off, and the U.S. PGA Tour still reigns supreme

Hittin' the LinksHappy Monday Sand Trappers and welcome to another installment of Hittin’ the Links. How about that Philly Mick – he has a better righty swing than most of us! There is nothing more entertaining to watch on a Sunday afternoon than a good back and forth duel, and Watney and Mickelson delivered the goods for sure.

In this newest edition of HTL we investigate Henrick Stenson and his tendency to streak, see why Phil had to go to the hospital Saturday night, and find out why the PGA Tour is still on top. Also, we look into Prayad Marksaeng’s long road to the PGA Tour, take a peek at golf destination Biloxi Mississippi, and do a full wrap-up of this week’s events. Read on!

Titleist 909D2/909D3 Driver Review

Titleist gets back in the driver’s seat with the 909 series. And yes, that pun was totally intended.

Titleist 909D2It seems to me that Titleist’s 909 drivers are the most eagerly awaited Titleist drivers since perhaps… well… in a long time. The retailers I’ve talked with are reporting good sales numbers, and PGA Tour adoption was awfully quick, with the majority of staff players switching before the first ball was struck in 2009. On a personal level, the number of emails, PMs, and IMs I’ve gotten from people anxious to read this review has been off the charts – and the 909H and 909F3 reviews only seemed to wet their whistles.

Titleist is the first to admit that the 907D1 and 907D2 – two drivers with near identical launch conditions but different looks and different MOI characteristics – were perhaps not the best pair of drivers for fitting a wide range of golfers. They’ve corrected that “one set of launch conditions” error with 909, offering three models: the composite-crowned (a first for Titleist!) 909D Comp, the “tweener” 909D2, and a low-launch, low-spin, 440cc 909D3.

Don’t get me wrong – the 907 was a great driver if you were the type of player that fit its launch conditions. I was able to, and switched to 907D2 after playing an r7 425 and an FT-3, and the 907 worked beautifully for me.

Now that I’ve had a chance to test both the 909D2 and 909D3, I’m ready to share my thoughts. Click through for the rest.

Nine Holes of Hype or Not Hype

Sometimes the golf media gets carried away, but not always.

ProfilesThere’s a lot of hype out there this year, maybe even more than usual. There’s always a lot of pre-major hype this time of year regarding some of the big names in golf, but 2009 also features a number of young faces coming to a major near you.

Here’s the thing about hype. Sometimes there’s truth behind it. Sometimes it’s just hot air. We complain a lot about hype, but I kind of think of it as a USGA index. Events seldom live up to the hype, just like you can’t shoot your index very often (it is based on your best 10 rounds out of your last 20, not an average). But you might shoot your index in your best rounds. Each is about proven or (in the case of hype) perceived potential.

When it comes to sporting events, hype tells us about what is possible. It also boosts ratings and sells advertising, but there has to be a kernel of truth there or we’d never buy it. At its best, it is not about what will happen, but what might. And so, though the hype might drive us nuts from time to time, here’s a look at nine of the most hyped golfers of the 2009 season and an assessment of the truth lying below.

Leupold Contest Winners

Congratulations to all who entered the Leupold giveaway contest.

Leupold GX-IFor the past two weeks, we’ve had a contest to give away a Leupold GX-I and GX-II laser rangefinder from our friends at Leupold. Today it’s our pleasure to announce the winners of the contest.

In total, 5867 people entered the contest. Winners were drawn randomly, one at a time, from the database, and here are the lucky (and smart!) winners.

First Place
Choosing to go with the GX-II as he “doesn’t play in tournaments that often,” Drew Patten! Drew is also known as drewdown in the forum.

Second Place
Steven Jones is pleased as punch to be the proud new owner of a Leupold GX-I. Steven goes by the username srjorion in the forum.

Third Place
Winner of a fine Leupold hat, John Bonner, a.k.a. Jeepthrills in the forum.

Congratulations to all three winners. More details (and the answers to the contest) below.

What’s a GEF, Anyway?

Some fetishes are more time consuming than others.

Thrash TalkWhether it’s expanding, or it is simply a particular culture of obsession which has bubbled to the surface, the community of golf equipment fetishists is a presence across the World Wide Web as well as the non “e” world.

In forums, such as the one on this site or those at our partner and elsewhere, begging for access to equipment trailers at PGA Tour events nationwide (and presumably at Nationwide Tour events, also) scouring eBay and “buying/selling” threads for premium equipment and rare goods, GEFs are here and they are thoroughly obsessed.

Last Day to Enter Leupold Giveaway

The entry deadline is today! If you haven’t entered, do so now!

Leupold GX-IToday is the last day to enter the contest to win a Leupold GX-I or GX-II laser rangefinder (and three super-spiffy hats).

To enter, answer a few trivia and product questions on this page. Every answer can be found at the Leupold golf rangefinder site, our review, or elsewhere on the Web.

So far, we’ve received over 5,000 entries, and the contest ends today. Enter now.