Is Rawson Right?

Anna for commissioner!

Trap Five LogoIn the last ten years, the LPGA has lost over a quarter of its events, down to 28 from a high point of 38. Prize money is down over $10 million. What can be done to save the LPGA?

Anna Rawson knows the LPGA is in trouble, and she has a plan for fixing it. If you don’t know the name, maybe you should. Rawson is a golfer who models in her spare time (or maybe it’s the other way around). You may know her as the spokeswomen who swings a golf club.

That would be fair since she really hasn’t done much on tour thus far. Aside from being in the top 20 in driving distance, she is outside the top 50 in every meaningful category in her sophomore season on the LPGA. In 11 starts this year, she has made just three cuts. To be fair, she did notch a T13 at the LPGA State Farm Classic. Still, it would be easy to dismiss her as the Anna Kournikova of golf, and that’s not entirely inaccurate at this point. She’s beautiful, and she hasn’t won a thing.

Sneak Peek at Titleist’s Fall 2009 Irons: 710 AP1, AP2, CB, and MB

If you’re a Titleist fan – or think you could be one – then you’ll enjoy getting a sneak peek at these: the 710 Series AP1, AP2, CB, and MB irons.

Titleist AP2 710 HeroTitleist emailed us some images from the Buick Open, where they’ve rolled out their fall 2009 iron lineup to their tour staff. The 2009 lineup is essentially a tweaked 2008 lineup, with four models: AP1, AP2, CB, and MB. Those will be the model names. They’ve come to be known by their series name – the “710” series – but word is the official names are AP1, AP2, CB, and MB.

Titleist plans to begin selling the irons later this fall, though again this marks the first week that they’re rolling them out to their entire PGA Tour staff.

Titleist says that the new AP1 irons offer better feel, more forgiveness, and an improved shape with a thinner topline throughout the set and a shorter blade length in the short irons. The new feel is hotter and more lively.

AP2 improvements are similar, and Titleist feels they’ve taken a great iron and made it better. Similar to AP1, they’ve improved the feel, shot control, and ground contact – particularly in the short irons by reducing bounce by one degree. The great performance, shot workability, playability, and looks have been retained, while the feel has been improved by making the new feel a bit more solid.

A big part of that feel in both sets is likely due to the thermoplastic urethane (TPU) “arms” that stick up a bit in the 710 series of the AP irons (both models).

The new CB and MB irons are traditional 1025 carbon steel forgings, available in full cavity back (CB) and muscle back (MB) models. Word on the street is that mixed sets of the CB and MB will be readily available.

Complete details, including specifications, the typical tech callouts, features and benefits, and all that jazz should be available at early this fall. If you’d rather not wait that long, some additional shots are available on two posts at here and here.

Bad Tiger!

Are Tiger’s tantrums really that bad?

Thrash TalkThis is my first contribution to The Sand Trap and I want it to be perfect. I want to find a great topic and write a column that Joseph Pulitzer would envy. It should be exponentially thought provoking, even ground breaking. The last thing I wanted to do was to be safe and write about Tiger Woods.

Sorry, self. Maybe next week. This week I just can’t help it. I have spent days trolling through the forum reading post upon post about Tiger Woods and his on-course behavior. My eyes glued to the screen, chuckling and nodding in agreement with hundreds of posts. Tiger Woods and his occasional (or frequent, depending on how you feel about him) negative “antics” can’t escape me.

Sun Mountain Micro Cart Review

The Micro Cart takes on the well renowned Clicgear 2.0. Who wins? Find out.

Micro Cart FoldedTalk long enough to anyone who regularly walks when they play golf and they’ll eventually tell you two things. First, walking is the best way to play golf. The fresh air, the feel of the ground beneath your feet, the perfect rhythm it creates. And second, that sometimes 14 clubs, a dozen balls, a rain jacket, an umbrella, a bag, and miscellaneous other goodies can be an awful lot to carry.

Trolleys or carts – be they of the push or pull variety – have long served as a great compromise. Golfers could walk and enjoy all that offers them while shedding the load from shoulders already burdened with making par at the last to relieve their friends of a few bucks.

Earlier this year, Sun Mountain rolled out the Micro Cart. The cart is positioned, both in terms of size and price, as a direct competitor to the Clicgear cart we reviewed about a year ago. What did we find out about the Micro Cart? Read on to find out.

Golf Talk [Episode 120]

We didn’t even get to talk about the Waffle House this week!?!?

Golf Talk PodcastNathan Green beats Tom Wats, errrr, Retief Goosen and his lousy putter in a playoff at the rain-soaked Canadian Open, Tiger returns to the likely last Buick Open, Phil Mickelson returns, Lee Trevino speaks, 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 120 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.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

How much thought do you give to those little extras that you carry in your golf bag? This week it’s all about using those little extras to help improve your game.

Bag DropHave you ever taken all of the clubs out of your bag only to find that it still weighs ten pounds? Many of us have the pockets of our golf bags stuffed full of all sorts of things. Some of them are as the usual items one would expect to find in a golf bag such as balls, tees, towels, and gloves. Other times you can find some pretty strange items such as various good luck charms. This week we’ll take a look at what’s new in the world of accessories.

Mizuno MX-700 Hybrid Review

For a game-improvement club, the Mizuno MX-700 hybrid will make even the low-handicappers think about purchasing this club.

MizunoMizuno has long been a “name” in the golf industry. The irons they produce have been the gold standard for many tour players and can be found in the bags of quite a few good players at clubs around the world. I’ve owned a set and been a fan for a long time.

One area that they have struggled in market share is woods. Whether it’s drivers, fairway, or now hybrids, Mizuno hasn’t quite captured the hearts of golfers in this category quite as much as their irons have. That hasn’t stopped Mizuno though. Over the past few years they have started showing up in bags of players of all skills.

The new MX-700 Hybrid is one of those clubs. I put a hybrid in my bag over three years ago and have loved it. More players than not sport at least one hybrid in their bags and Mizuno wants that market share. Their latest introduction, the MX-700 Hybrid, is aimed at a mid-level player looking for some more forgiveness but not sacrifice the feel and feedback that most Mizuno players have come to love. Will it do the job? Read on to find out.

Getting to Know Chez Reavie

Let’s get to know the 2008 Canadian Open winner.

ProfilesChez (short for his middle name Chesney) was the unlikely 2008 RBC Canadian Open winner, but where did he come from? What are his goals? Aspirations? Hopes? Dreams?

And is he just a huge Arizona Diamondbacks fan? Why does he wear their logo on his shirts?

Let’s take a closer look at William Chesney Reavie in this week’s ProFiles.

On Watson at the Open Championship, Briefly

Commentary on a few of the responses to Mr. Watson’s near victory.

Thrash TalkAmongst the usual clamor and sentimental nonsense affixed to any compelling happening in the world of sports, there surfaced a few interesting responses to Tom Watson’s performance at The Open Championship, which concluded Sunday with (arguably) one of the worst playoff performances in recent memory.