Volume Two Hundred Sixty Eight

A new number one, a girl whoops the boys, and the LPGA loses another sponsor

Hittin' the LinksHello again golf fans and thank you for joining me for another Hittin’ the Links. It was another full weekend of golf action on TV. I don’t know how you feel about it but to me there is nothing like watching match play. I wish there were more match play events on Tour.

In this week’s edition of HTL we begin with a look at Alexis Thompson’s minitour win, see who has dropped the their LPGA sponsorship now, and check out the unfortunate death of Erica Blasberg. Also, we investigate the funniest professional golfers, find out who talks too much, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

Titleist 910D3 Driver Review

Titleist leaps to the front of the line, combining tradition and technology in its first adjustable driver.

910D3 HeroIn the past several years, my “gamer” drivers have ranged from the TaylorMade r7 425 TP to the Callaway FT-3, various Titleist drivers, and last year, the Mizuno MP-630 Fast Track. Though I was always happy with the 909D3 I owned, the MP-630 gave me just a little more pop and fit a swing I’d worked to improve a little.

But I’ve always appreciated Titleist’s clubs, and found their drivers largely under-appreciated, so I was excited to give the 910D3 a try. The club shipped in November, making for a great Christmas present for many, and after extensive testing I’m happy to share my thoughts on Titleist’s first customer-adjustable driver.

Read on to see what I thought of this all-black driver.

Nike Victory Red (VR) Pro Combo Irons Review

We take a look at Nike’s newest irons, designed to be played by a wide range of handicaps.

The story of Nike Golf’s ascension has been well documented. When they originally signed Tiger Woods way back when, they offered next to nothing as far as golf was concerned. Nike slowly introduced footwear, apparel, accessories, and finally they weaned Tiger off of Titleist clubs. After decent success with the Ignite line, Nike had a huge hit with the Sasquatch. They built upon the SQ line with the SUMO, and then the DYMO, and finally the Machspeed series. In the driver and fairway woods categories Nike has been successful and innovative, though sometimes criticized. They were among the first adoptees of square drivers as well as 460cc clubheads and adjustable shaft offerings, but they have been ripped for the sound of some of their drivers, which can best be described as “tinny.”

In the iron category, Nike has been solid, but their huge successes have been few and far between. The original Pro Combo irons (and its several variations) did pretty well, and several pros even kept the long irons in their bags until just recently. They were also successful with the Slingshot irons, which, despite being as far from traditional as possible, packed loads of technology into a high-performing package. The last few years Nike has been heavily marketing their Victory Red line of irons, which were co-designed by none other than Tiger Woods. The Forged TW Blades were good looking, yes, but even Tiger took them out of his bag after half a season (though they have since been granted reentry). Many liked the Forged Split Cavity, which were supposed to offer forgiveness and great feel. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they lacked both of those, and the waffle pattern in the cavity wasn’t particularly easy on the eyes either.

This year, Nike has gone back to basics. They have taken one of their most successful lines of irons, the Forged Pro Combo, and they have simplified them, similar to the original Nike Forged Blades that Tiger and other pros played for years. This has all come together to create a set of irons that not only looks great, but aims to offer great feel, forgiveness, and workability for golfers of a wide range of handicaps.

I’ve spent some time with the new Victory Red Pro Combo irons, so let’s see how they stack up.

Titleist Launches New 910F, 910Fd, 910H, and Updated Pro V1/Pro V1x Balls

The guys at Titleist have obviously been pretty busy, as not only have they recently released new fairway woods and hybrids, they have also given us updated Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls.

Bag DropAs usual this time of year, we’ve got a ton of stuff to cover, as this week we’re checking out the latest fairway woods, hybrids, and balls from Titleist. Normally,we stay away from forming opinions here at the Bag Drop, as that’s what reviews are for, but based on the product pictures I think you’ll agree with me that as far as appearances go, these clubs are gorgeous.

Beauty is only skin deep however, so we’re going to dig deeper into the story and see what makes these new sticks tick. So lets not waste anymore time and jump head first into these new products from Titleist.

Volume Two Hundred Sixty Seven

Jim Gray gets removed, Vijay gets a grip, and Tiger gets fined

Hittin' the LinksHappy Presidents Day golf fans and welcome to another edition of Hittin’ the Links. It was another interesting week of professional golf. I personally was rooting for Freddy Couples to finally pull off his bid to win at 50+. Congratulations to Aaron Baddeley though for breaking his four-year drought.

In this edition of HTL we begin by investigating Jim Gray’s removal from Riviera, then turn our attention to the Accenture Match Play Championship, and check out Vijay Singh’s new putter grip. Also on tap, we take a look at college golf, peruse Tiger’s latest gaffe, and do a wrap-up of the weeks events. Read on!

Nine Holes With Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer could be your next number one golfer in the world, so we look into how he got there.

ProfilesMartin Kaymer, your 2010 PGA Champion, is on the fast track to the number one ranking. With five wins in the last 12 months, Kaymer has ascended to the top of the golfing world. While other high ranked players such as Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood have yet to win any top tournaments, Kaymer has won a major and is as capable as anyone at catching fire. Kaymer had more wins on the PGA and European Tours than anyone in the world last year.

When you look at Kaymer’s game, nothing really stands out. He doesn’t have Phil’s short game, Stricker’s putting, or Dustin’s distance. He’s a solid ballstriker, has pretty good distance, get up and down well, and he knows how to putt. While he is a bit above average in all of those categories, Kaymer just seems to put it all together, and he is perennially among the best scorers on the PGA and European Tours. Although Kaymer has a slightly funky backswing, his downswing is a thing of beauty. On that note, here are nine holes with Martin Kaymer.

Maybe Tiger Really is Just a Terrible Human Being

Spitting saga shows Woods has opened door to critics as his character flaws are no longer overshadowed by his trophies.

Thrash TalkCall it the loogie heard ’round the world if you’d like, but Tiger Woods’ spitting incident offers more than the fact he’s missing some proper manners and common decency. It points out his fall from grace has taken him off the pedestal that once shielded him from all manner of criticism. From fellow players to television commentators, having a go at His Tigerness is now fair game.

For those who aren’t European Tour junkies, and those who spend more time rooting on Bill Murray while thinking of funny Caddyshack clichés, the news may be passed you by at first. But in true Tiger fashion, a ripple in the sea can turn into a tsunami without much effort.

Volume Two Hundred Sixty Six

Tiger fades, Points gets win number one, and Finchem says keep the calls coming!

Hittin' the LinksHello golf fans and welcome to another installment of Hittin’ the Links. I have to say I was very happy to read our #1 story this week. The fact that Tim Finchem came out in support of fans reporting rules infractions does my heart good. Maybe we can now put our long running forum debate to rest.

In this newest HTL we begin with a look at Finchem’s opinion on fans calling in rules violations, check out John Daly’s wardrobe, and look into the World Golf Rankings. Also on tap, we find out who will be at the Match Play Championship, see who’s getting into the World Golf Hall of Fame, and do a wrap-up of the events around the world. Read on!

It’s Winter. Pardon My Golf Madness.

The things we do – OK, the things I do – to get that fix can range from the inane to the insane.

Thrash TalkSometimes I’ll think of the things I do for golf, and all I can do is laugh. It’s during the winter doldrums that the pull of this crazy sport seem to render me even less sane than normal. The past two weeks are a prime case study whenever my wife decides to have me committed.

Sleep deprivation, long drives at odd hours to check out new golf gear, practice sessions in the snow. They all add up to a weird mix of dedication, passion, desperation and without a doubt, obsession.