Last week, for the first time in a decade, I dipped my toe into a round of golf where every swing mattered, every three-foot putt had to fall, and I needed to sign my scorecard (and attest someone else's) at the clubhouse. A week later, my head is still spinning. Yet I can't wait to dive into more stroke-play tournaments, to feed that thirst for golf that really matters.
In case you haven't heard the news, it's friggin' hot outside! With a few exceptions, this summer has been really brutal for everyone, no matter where you live. The heat index has been so high here in south Louisiana, I'm ready to catch the next plane back to California, just to enjoy the same weather I did during the U.S. Open. Unless that's a feasible option for you, you're probably suffering through the oppressive beatings the sun/high temperatures/high humidity every time you step foot on the golf course. Though I can't help you to outfit your golf cart with full blown air conditioning comparable to that of an refrigerated trailer, I may be able to give you a few tips on some equipment and apparel that might make it a little more manageable.
Does anyone want to be number one in the world? It certainly doesn't seem that way. Not the way Tiger Woods has been downing mediocre pills this season, leaving the door wide open. Not the way Phil Mickelson has been squandering one opportunity after another to take over the top spot. Lee Westwood is playing the best golf in the world, but his wins come when the rest of the field collapses.
The title of "Number One in the World" has been so elusive for so long that it would be like England declaring they're holding a contest to replace the Queen. Would anyone be prepared to step in? The same is happening right now, as Tiger has obviously abdicated his throne. Sadly, no one wants to take over.
St. Andrew's is as classic a major venue as you'll find, and provides a familiar scene for Tiger Woods. He's won here twice, and the wide open design may be perfect for his wild ways off the tee. On the other hand, he'll also have to stare down the British media, which make American tabloids look as inflammatory as the New York Times.
As for world number two, can Phil Mickelson finally solve his links blues at the birthplace of golf? And just who will emerge with the claret jug?
This week, we bring you some good news from the world of wedge craftsman extraordinaire Bob Vokey. Have you ever seen the pros' bag pictures from various tournaments, and noticed various stampings and other little unique markings on their wedges? If so, you probably thought to yourself. "That would be pretty cool to have!" Well, you're in luck! Titleist's launch of the new WedgeWorks service gives you the ability to do that and more.
If that weren't enough, further down we have some news on a new fairway wood release from Cobra. You didn't think a little thing like a change of ownership would slow them down, did you? Of course not! From the looks of the new Baffler Rail fairway woods, we're still talking about the same dedication and quality engineering we've grown to expect from Cobra. Of course, don't take my word for it, follow along and see for yourself!
The wife and I just wrapped up the six-month process known as buying our first home. It was an eye-opening experience, and one that paralleled the game of golf in so many ways.
From the frustration to the obsession to the joy of finally finding what you've invested so much time and energy into, the similarities are eerie, for someone as mad about golf as I am. Two weeks into the new house, the most pressing question is just how much all the lawn mowing, pool vacuuming, and bathtub caulking will cut into my time at the course.
Take a moment to consider the grips on your golf club. Odds are they're the most unappreciated piece of equipment in your bag. I know guys who care more about their ball markers, their divot repair tools, and their towels than they care about their grips.
What sense does that make? The only way you can control the golf club is through your hands, and your hands touch the golf club via the grip only. In some ways, the grip is more important than whether you've got a game-improvement cavity back iron on the end of the shaft or a 1970s style muscleback blade - if you can't grip the club properly you've got little chance of success with either.