Golf Talk [Episode 128]

Sean O’Hair needs confidence? You’re the 13th best player in the entire freakin’ world, dude. C’mon…

Golf Talk PodcastTiger goes 5-0, Phil goes 4-0-1, Stricker goes 4-1, and the U.S. team wins with relative ease, 19.5 to 14.5 at the 2009 Presidents Cup. Also this week, Kuchar wins at Turning Stone, Lorena wins again… finally, with Wie T2, golf makes the Olympics, Rory may play stateside in 2010, 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 128 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.

Titleist Fall 2K9 Part One: Vokey C-C Wedges, 710 AP1, 710 AP2

The anticipated “conforming” Vokey wedges and updated AP1 and AP2 irons should be hitting stores soon. Here’s a sneak peek.

Bag DropYou may have seen coverage (here and here) of Titleist’s fall lineup here on The Sand Trap , but until recently, a release date had not been announced.

This November 15th, Titleist ends the year on a high note with the release of the newly revised AP Series irons, as well as some new wedges from master wedge craftsman Bob Vokey. They follow that up in mid-December with the new MB and CB irons, and new putters from renowned flatstick sculptor Scotty Cameron.

Following the recent trend, we’re going to break this release into two parts for your reading pleasure. This week, we’ll have a look at the updated revisions to the AP line, along with the new, conforming, Vokey wedges. Then stay tuned for next week, when we’ll visit the new MB and CB players irons, as well as Scotty Cameron’s latest flatsticks.

Volume Two Hundred Nine

The Americans win the Cup, it’s no cigars for M.J., and please watch out for water hazards!

Hittin' the LinksGood Day folks and welcome back to Hittin’ the Links. It was a good win for the Americans this weekend, and Tiger Woods showed up to play, that’s for sure. But I am afraid now there is officially nothing golf-related to look forward to (unless you’re #130 or so on the money list) until next spring [sigh]. But I have all winter to feel sorry for myself; let’s see what’s going on in the world of golf!

In this volume of HTL we first look at why Michael Jordan probably won’t be moving to California anytime soon, investigate a real water hazard, and check out golf’s Olympic bid. Also, we find out who might be the next John Daly, learn how to get a free round of golf from The Donald, and do a recap of the Presidents Cup. Read on!

Sonic Golf System Pro-1 Review

The Sonic Golf system was famously used by Vijay Singh to help win in 2008… but then again, what training aid hasn’t Vijay Singh used?

Sonic Golf SystemSeveral years ago John Novosel released a book called “Tour Tempo.” The book has been a big help to many golfers, including those in the Reading Room section of our forum. The premise is that most PGA Tour players swing at about a 3:1 ratio, and that you should as well.

The “Tour Tempo” training regimen involves swinging to a series of beeps, spaced at a 3:1 ratio and at whatever total speed best fit your personality. Though the practice undoubtedly helped some golfers, I personally found swinging to beeps to be annoying and ungratifying. Plus, so long as you hit the beeps at the right time, your swing was deemed to have good tempo, regardless of how quickly you snatched the club away at the start of your swing or how smoothly you accelerated from the top.

As a decent golfer, I realize the importance of tempo, but I’ve yet to discover a great way to teach and learn tempo. I was excited the first time I heard about Ph.D. scientist Dr. Bob Grober’s Sonic Golf system, which converts the rotational movement of the club into a sound gradient. Vijay Singh used it to win the 2008 Deutsche Bank tournament and the FedExCup, making the Sonic Golf system a legitimate $10M idea.

Read on to see what we thought of the Sonic Golf system.

Rating the Commentators, 2009 Edition, Part One

Ian Baker-Finch and Jimmy Roberts are bringing up the rear, but how do the rest of the talking heads from NBC, CBS and the Golf Channel (or disembodied voices, as the case may be) fare?

Thrash TalkThe latest Nielsen Ratings came out for golf coverage, and they reveal a few interesting tidbits.

First is that CBS and NBC performed about the same as one another this year. Yawn.

Another yawner: more (often many more) viewers tune into to golf coverage when Tiger Woods is playing. More still watch when he’s in contention on the weekend.

Third: Though I rarely ever hear anyone saying anything positive about Golf Channel or its commentators, and though I rarely read any positive reviews of their coverage, I was surprised to see that their viewership has grown over the past few years.

Perhaps golf fans tune in to see and hear their favorite announcers and not because a significant tournament is being covered, or Tiger Woods is playing. I don’t think this is the case. I am sure the majority of readers don’t either.

Some of the announcers I am rating here are downright awful. Further, the general consensus is that they are aren’t very good. Yet, year after year, they keep their jobs. Can networks succeed with subpar commentary teams and lackluster coverage? Apparently. As such, Ian Baker-Finch and CBS aren’t likely to be too concerned about the “D” the aforementioned announcer is receiving in my 2009 Rating of Golf Commentators.

Mizuno Updates MX Series GI Irons with MX-1000, MX-300

Mizuno complements the new MP-Series irons with their MX line of game improvement irons, giving players of all skill level options for experiencing the “feel”.

Bag DropI wouldn’t want to make a promise that I didn’t keep, so here we are again this week, rounding out the last few details on Mizuno’s new releases. To recap, we took a look at new irons, hybrids and wedges in the MP series, and now we look at the newest in the MX series of game improvement irons . If you missed last week, click here to have a look at the latest in the MP line from Mizuno.

The MX series has historically been Mizuno’s line of game improvement irons for a while, and though the new MX-1000 may fall squarely in that category, the MX-300 is meant to bleed the edge between game-improvement iron and player’s iron. With so many different options to choose from, there’s a Mizuno iron made for every type of player out there. They’ve built an almost cult-like following with their superb feel and performance, and I’d expect the new MX-1000 and MX-300 to add to that. With that said, let’s have a look at these two new irons.

Volume Two Hundred Eight

Tiger makes his first billion, yes folks that’s nine zeros!

Hittin' the LinksHello golf fans, and Welcome again to Hittin’ the Links. What’s happening out there in golf land? I tell you the chill is in the air, the leaves are turning colors, and like it or not the 2009 golf season is drawing to a close. That is unless you live in a southern state like I do – we are just getting started!

In this issue of HTL we say hello to the first billion dollar athlete, then take a look at golf’s first showman, and investigate the Shark’s breakup with Chris Evert. Also in this volume we find out why some golf balls shouldn’t be retrieved, take a peek at the Presidents Cup, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

Frank Razzaia Analysis

Frank has an incredibly solid swing but he is missing one key component: lag.

Swing CheckFrank Razzaia is a 4.0 index golfer hoping to build a more reliable, tournament ready swing. At normal speed, I am a big fan of Frank’s swing. However, watch his swing frame by frame and you will notice he lacks one of the most important attributes in golf: lag.

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

Five Sacred Rules of Golf

Jerry Tarde doesn’t want you to wear blue jeans. Okay, I won’t, but do you think I care what someone else does?

Trap Five LogoAt some point in the past decade or so, Golf Digest became a lifestyle magazine. With reviews of $100,000 cars and style columns featuring $250 belts, Golf Digest morphed from golf magazine and something more like an off-shoot of the Robb Report. At best, it’s become a great way to scoff at the elite members of society who happen to play golf while reading through the same re-trodden tips you read a few years ago. At worst, it’s a coffee table flipbook for top-tier country clubs – completely worthless to the 98% of golfers who don’t need to spend a hundred grand to drive to their local muni or $250 to hold up their pants.

The latest evidence – not counting the belts and cars, of course – comes in the form of Editor in Chief Jerry Tarde’s “Golf’s Five Sacred Rules.” This week in Trap Five we take a quick look at Tarde’s “rules” and come up with a real list of five sacred rules – if, that is, we’re sufficiently pretentious enough to think that golf is religious enough to warrant calling anything “sacred.”