Tigerless Torrey Tidbits

Boring? The PGA Tour season has been anything but. Well, except for the actual tournaments…

And they said that the golf season would be boring without Tiger Woods. Why, just this week, at Tiger’s first tournament, we have controversy and quitting with two of the bigger names on Tour.

First Up, John Daly
John Daly retires in the parking lot after shooting 79-71 to miss the cut by a mile.

Ping i15 Driver Review

Are you an i-Guy?

The i15 driver: back in blackThere’s just something about an all black driver that evokes fast cars and sunglasses. You know, it’s just a cool thing that makes you feel good. There’s a reason rock stars are so partial to black.

PING has presumably given the i15 driver its rock star livery for a reason (read: “performance”). The i15 is “tour-style,” which is marketingese for “you better have game.” While that is really overstating the level of skill required (it’s much more about shot shape and solid contact than handicap), the i15 is clearly the more demanding and higher performing of PING’s two new drivers. Finding the one that’s the best for you is the real secret. So (as PING’s website asks) “are you a G-Man or an i-Guy?” According to the site, the G-Man desires “maximum power and forgiveness,” while an i-Guy seeks “traditional look and feel.” Frankly, I’m probably more of an “H” guy myself… I need some forgiveness (a little “G”) while also being able, on my better days, at least, to take advantage of some “i” qualities.

The early buzz about this driver was that “hackers need not apply.” Guys talked about this driver the way they talk about muscleback clubs… “We’re not worthy!”

After all that talk, I had a certain level of concern that this driver would be too much for me, particularly on those days when my swing is not at its best. But after several rounds and couple small buckets of range balls, I can say that you shouldn’t be afraid to try this driver provided you make reasonably good contact on most swings and don’t fight a fade. Forget that “traditional look and feel” bit, it’s more accurate to say that the i15 is for players looking to work the ball off the tee.

Five Reasons to Get Excited About Golf!

Spring is close and it’s time to get geared up for the season!

Trap Five LogoYou’ve been stuck inside for the majority of the past three months, except for the occasional trip to the indoor or heated range (if you are lucky enough to have one nearby). You’ve been bored all winter.

I don’t get to play seeing as I live in Massachusetts, which can sometimes be mildly depressing. Those of you who live through a snowy winter every year can empathize with this dilemma. So, as the spring comes closer I always try to remember why I spend so much time practicing in the winter. Here are my five reasons to be exited about golf all year. What are yours?

Mickelson Gets Into the Groove

Digging 20-year-old wedges out of the garage isn’t cheating. It’s just Phil being Phil.

Thrash TalkRegardless of the sport, there are always going to be rules. And there are always going to be people who find a way to bend them, or use them to their advantage. Golf is no different.

But as Phil Mickelson prepares to put a “grandfathered” Ping wedge into his bag, he’s neither bending nor breaking the rules. In fact, he’s not even violating the spirit of the rule. There are plenty of reasons why.

Ball Flight Laws

For decades golfers have employed an incorrect understanding of why the ball flies the way it does. Science has set things straight, but many golfers remain unaware.

For decades, golf instructors have been teaching the ball flight laws incorrectly. Many blame the PGA Teaching Manual, and have said that it has contained some incorrect or incomplete information pertaining to a golf ball’s flight. These pros – from Butch Harmon to Nick Faldo – often state the ball flight laws as follows: “The golf ball starts on the direction of the swing path and curves back to where the clubface was aimed at impact.”

Put another way, many instructors and famous golfers have stated that the swing path is the primary determinant of the golf ball’s starting direction. This information is wrong, and it’s slowly coming to be understood as such in recent years. Unfortunately, many golfers – famous or otherwise – and instructors – famous or otherwise – still believe these outdated and incorrect ball flight laws.

TaylorMade R9 SuperTri and Burner SuperFast Drivers and Fairways

TaylorMade concentrates on making the new Burner SuperFast and R9 SuperTri super light-weight. If that weren’t enough, they were nice enough to combine FCT and MWT in a 460cc head! Betcha couldn’t have guessed that was coming, could you?

Bag DropI could take the easy route here, and make a joke about TaylorMade’s frequent driver releases; to be quite honest, it was the first thing that came to mind. The problem is that too often, we overlook the qualities of great clubs and improvements in technology at the expense of getting in a quick jab.

Nevertheless, TaylorMade’s constant technology and innovation push has it’s share of supporters. And why shouldn’t it? The r7 line was one of the most successful in history. Even last year, a number of people spotted Retief Goosen playing the r7 SuperQuad, even in the midst of TaylorMade’s massive R9 marketing push. The Burner line has also historically been extremely successful, thanks in part to incorporating a healthy amount of forgiveness at an affordable price. So how does TaylorMade continue to build on such a solid pair of drivers? Read on to find out!

Volume Two Hundred Twenty

A Monday finish at the Hope, Jim Thorpe’s going to jail, and is Elin in Mississippi?

Hittin' the LinksHello again golf fans and welcome to Hittin’ the Links. It’s a Monday finish for the boys on the PGA Tour. We will see how Mr. Bubba Watson holds up under the pressure.

In this volume of HTL we start off by examining the lack of star power at the Bob Hope Classic, check out yet another reason why golf is great, and find out why Jim Thorpe is headed to the big house. Also, we see how the Tiger-less Tour is struggling, investigate the latest Tiger-Elin gossip, and do a wrap-up of events from around the world. Check it out!

TaylorMade Penta TP Ball Review

The Penta TP the world’s first five-piece golf ball. And you thought Gillette would never have anything in common with Taylormade…

Penta TP OutsideTaylorMade can’t be accused of shying away from technology. If anything, the company behind “MWT” and “FCT” and countless other technology acronyms is one of the most technologically adventurous around.

With the Penta TP, TaylorMade has moved the golf ball into new territory: the Gillette razor blade land of “more is better.” In shaving equipment, it’s the number of blades. In golf equipment, it’s the number of layers.

Joking aside, the buzz around the Penta TP has been tremendous since the ball was given to pros late in 2009. Can one ball – albeit one with five layers – really fit everyone? From the guy who is happy to reach the occasional par four in two to the guys who routinely reach par fives in two on our televisions each weekend?

Let’s find out.

Five Greatest Swings

With golfers today, everything seems so mechanical. These guys have found a way to blend power and fluidity.

Trap Five LogoWith golfers today, everything seems so mechanical. Although a certain amount of repetition is necessary for one to develop the correct fundamentals and be able to repeat them, the golf swing is like a fingerprint: everyone has one and they are all different.

I took a look at a ton of different swings for this week’s Trap Five and tried to find one’s that were not only fundamentally sound, but had an originality about them that can’t be replicated. Here are my picks.