Golf Talk [Episode 112]

Lorena wins and we don’t even get to see it on TV. All we get instead is an awkward Tom Lehman chest bump?

Golf Talk PodcastJerry Kelly gets it done in Louisiana while Charles Howell III comes up short. Again. Also Brian Gay’s dominating performance at Hilton Head, the LPGA’s lack of TV coverage, Nick Price, Michelle Wie, 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 112 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.

Srixon Z-Star/Z-Star X Ball Review

The new Srixon Z-Star and Z-Star X come close to other premium balls in distance and spin but lack in feel.

Z-StarWhen the 800-pound gorilla in the market (see: Titleist) releases a new version of their premium balls, what are their competitors to do? Srixon has answered the challenge with the release of their newest balls, the Z-Star and Z-Star X.

With names like that it is pretty easy to see that Srixon wants to directly challenge Titleist and take the gorilla head on. Some PGA Tour pros, including Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, and Tim Clark have been using the Z-Star line of balls since they came out. In a short time, the Z-Star and Z-Star X has grabbed a decent chunk of the premium ball market on the PGA Tour.

The question remains: will it be enough to convince the rest of the golfers out there to not only give the new Srixon’s a try, but to convert? Read on to find out if it could convert this long-time Pro V1x user.

Volume One Hundred Eighty Seven

Welcome back Jerry Kelly!

Hittin' the LinksGreetings Sand Trappers and welcome again to another volume of Hittin’ the Links. How about Jerry Kelly holding it together well enough to break a seven-year victory drought? Well done!

In this edition of HTL we first look forward to a great field at this week’s Tour event, then turn out attention to the budding Woods-Obama friendship, and the waning collegiate golf season. Also on tap, we look at all the ridiculous things people do in golf carts, congratulate Jerry Kelly on his return to the winner’s circle, and do a wrap-up of the other winners of this week’s events. Read on!

Random Musings

This week, a bag of mismatched irons.

Trap Five LogoThis week’s Trap Five is a little like the set of clubs I had as a kid. At first, I only had the odd-numbered irons, and some old persimmons that looked like they might come apart on any swing. Eventually, someone gave me some even-numbered irons made by a different company. To complete the set, my dad brought home a women’s 7-iron. (That club was my favorite for years, but that’s another story.) Suffice to say that I had one motley, mismatched, mutt-faced set of clubs.

Like that first set of mine, this Trap Five features mismatched items. Usually a Trap Five follows a theme, but this week we visit the Island of Misfit Trap Five Topics.

The Shot From Hell

Everything’s going fine, relatively speaking, then IT surfaces…

Thrash TalkPerhaps it’s a platitude to say that it happens to the best of us. Maybe, it’s nothing more than the cruelty of Murphy’s Law in action, but it seems that The Shot From Hell is always poised to show its ugly face whenever a golfer gains any serious momentum. Really, it has many faces, some more gruesome than others, but all disheartening in their own particular ways.

There are degrees of course. The “massacred bunker shot,” when pathetically executed by the touring professional will only marginally resemble the same effort by the 20 handicapper. However the effect is the same. As, amidst a tremendous explosion of sand, the golf ball fails to exit the bunker and rolls comically back to the golfer’s feet, the slumped shoulders and misery (and the desire to bury one’s head in the sand below) are quite universal.

There are bad shots, to be sure, which show up in the middle of an otherwise decent round: the push, the pull, even the slightly fat or thin shot, but none of these have the completely demoralizing character of The Shot From Hell.

Mizuno’s The Sound of Feel

Mizuno puts their “nothing feels like a Mizuno” to the test… an audible test.

MizunoMizuno is well known, well renowned, and well understood to have some of the best feeling irons on the market today. With Brian Gay’s recent dominant performance at the Verizon Heritage Classic at Hilton Head, we thought this might be a good time to share with you a video Mizuno’s put together.

The video displays the difference in sound between Mizuno MP and MX series irons and irons from other manufacturers. It’s Mizuno’s claim that this “sound” is evidence of their feel, largely showing how well their patented Grain Flow Forging process works.

The video is not without its skeptics, of course. Some are quick to point out that using an iron head like you would a musical triangle doesn’t prove much, and we never see which competitor’s clubs are used.

Volume One Hundred Eighty Six

Records are broken in Hilton Head and Nick gets his first old guy win

Hittin' the LinksHello again and welcome to Hittin’ the Links. If you missed it, they gave out the Tartan Jacket this weekend. I have never understood why they give out a jacket to the winner of a tournament a week ofter the the Masters. Congrats to Brian Gay on adding to his attire. A win in Hilton Head means you can definitely hit it straight!

In this latest edition of HTL we investigate Bill Murray’s plunking of an innocent bystander, see what California has done to the LPGA, and check in on Angel Cabrera after his Masters win. Also on tap, we look into Colin Montgomerie’s latest outburst, find out why Rory turned down the PGA Tour, and do a wrap-up of the week’s winners. Read on!

Eddy Butt Analysis

Lots of flaws, but one simple (potential) fix.

Swing CheckEddy Butt has been playing for three years but already has made great strides to become a great player. After working on his short game and putting as well as increasing his driving average to around 280 yards, he has now turned his attention to becoming a more consistent player. Ultimately, he is hoping that all his hard work will be rewarded by winning his club championship.

While I do believe that Eddy’s problems are fixable, I have identified three major swing plane problems that may all be attributable to one root cause.

Read on to see Eddy’s swing and the fixes I’ve outlined for him.

Surprises at the 2009 Masters

A visit to Augusta National brings a few surprises.

Trap Five LogoAfter watching the Masters on TV pretty much every year since grade school, I finally got to see Augusta National in person this year. My wife and I took her parents to see the Tuesday practice round. It was the first time any of us had seen the course. Despite the weather (about 45 degrees with 30+ MPH gusts), we had a great time, saw quite a few of the world’s most famous golfers, and walked the best known golf course in the western hemisphere.

I’d heard to expect the course to be hillier than it appears on TV and that the cost of concessions would be remarkably low compared to most sports venues. Still, I didn’t think there would be that much that would surprise me. I was wrong. TV doesn’t really do the place justice.