Volume Two Hundred Seventy Two

It was a good weekend to be a Scottish Golfer

Hittin' the LinksHello golf fans and welcome to another Hittin’ the Links. A big thank you goes out to Alan Olson for taking care of HtL while I was on vacation, I fabulous job he did indeed.

In this newest edition of HtL we begin with a look at why we love Bubba, find out what is coming out on redneck paperback, and see what Arnie thinks about Tiger’s swing. Also, we check out the Tiger Woods swing app, investigate what’s ailing Bernhard Langer, and do a wrap-up of the weeks events. Read on!

EA Sports Releases Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

For the first time in franchise history, the most popular golf video game includes Augusta National, along with “a tradition unlike any other.”

Bag DropSome people thought it would never happen, but here we stand just a few days away from the launch of EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, and for the first time ever in the 12 year old franchise, golf’s closest thing to Mecca, Augusta National, will be a playable course. With Augusta National comes The Masters, as one would expect, because having the course without the tournament would be sort of like having a cake with no icing.

While we normally don’t cover video games, this is a bit of a special occasion, and this might be that one piece of must-have equipment that gets you through those days you can’t make it out to the real golf course.

Volume Two Hundred Seventy One

Woodland, Webb, and Woods. Oh my!

Hitting the LinksHappy Spring and welcome to another week of Hittin’ the Links where we are tracking down some entertaining stories pertaining to all-things golf.

This week we have a PGA Tour rookie getting his first win, John Smoltz makes his Nationwide debut, a battle of dueling houses, and the end of golf in Europe (okay, a big over-dramatic on my end.) So grab a latte and a scone and huddle around your computer for another week of stories from around the world of golf.

New Season on Links Means Time for Fresh Resolutions

I’ll be focusing on fitness and consistency this year, and hopefully they’ll go hand in hand.

Thrash TalkAs if winter in the Northeast would never end, I’d convinced myself weeks ago to quit thinking about anything but the driving range. But suddenly, March arrived in New Jersey, the temperatures spiked, cleared away the mountains of snow, and there was hope my home course would open as scheduled on March 12.

So what happened on March 10? Some of the heaviest rains we’d seen in years. It was a real shock then, that I called the pro shop to see how bad the course was hit by the storm when they told me it was full steam ahead for a regular opening. Caught off guard, and with no time to fixate on the first round of the year, I headed out for a casual, just-have-fun day on the course.

Now that it’s arrived, I realize that with a new season comes hope of better golf, as well as fears it will all go wrong. With most of the country out of the deep freeze and spring fever cranking up, I offer up my resolutions for the 2011 golf season.

Nike Lunar Control Shoe Review

Nike’s new Lunar Control shoes keep you firmly planted here on earth.

Nike Lunar Control ShoesThough Nike’s line of golf equipment has expanded over the years to include for the most part, anything you’d ever need, they continue to stay true to their footwear roots year after year by offering everything from the radical to sporty to premier/upper echelon. They’ve established a great practice of producing shoes for just about anyone, no matter what their looking for. This year marks the initial release of the Nike Lunar Control, a shoe that, in my opinion, could easily appeal to nearly everyone, young or old, traditional or modern, those seeking comfort over anything else, as well as those concerned with appearance above all. Though this is only the first year they’ve been available, after searching the Internet a bit, it seems that they’ve already gotten quite a fan base.

What makes them so great? Well, you’ll have to follow along to find out.

Mizuno Launches JPX-800 Drivers, Fairway Woods, and Hybrids

Mizuno grows their recently-introduced JPX family to include all new drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids.

Bag DropLast October, we covered the launch of Mizuno’s new JPX brand, which marked the first time they had ever combined all of their R&D teams from around the world. The goal was to produce clubs that contained every possible technology from each of their shops around the world and put it all into one cohesive brand.

Part of that launch was the introduction of their JPX-800 and JPX-800 Pro irons, one of which I had the pleasure of reviewing. Their commitment to this brand continues as they are now adding to that brand all new drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids. So, what all technology and game improvement features can be found in the first woods in the JPX Series? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out!

Volume Two Hundred Seventy

Tiger’s past and present coaches get chippy.

Hitting the LinksDanny is enjoying his vacation so I’ll be your tour guide here at Hittin’ the Links for the next couple of weeks. I’ll try to keep our foursome moving quickly along as we peruse various interesting (hopefully), humorous, and odd stories from around the world of golf.

This week we have multiple PGA events for the fellas, a couple aces, the passing of a legend, and Doral celebrates the big 5-0. So put down your NCAA bracket, grab your favorite beverage and let’s take a look at what’s making Graeme McDowell giggle.

Nine Holes With Bubba Watson

We profile the winner of the 2011 Farmers Insurance Open.

ProfilesBubba Watson just picked up the second win of his career, the second in as many years, and he seems to be one of the fastest improving players on Tour. Watson has always had loads of talent but only in the past few years has he begun to put it all together. Just like in baseball where a fire-balling thrower must eventually become a pitcher, Bubba Watson is a long-hitting bomber that is starting to become a golfer.

His appearance in the playoff that decided last year’s PGA Championship introduced him to the casual golf fans, and his prominent usage of Twitter has made him as popular as any golfer. His free swing, huge distance, and Arnold Palmer-like follow through make him easy to watch, and lately he has been prominently featured on golf coverage. While he probably will never be a top-ranked golfer, Bubba Watson has quickly forged himself a career.

If Quality Counts, Wilson Staff’s Rep Should Be Strong As Any

As a long-time fan of their equipment, it’s reassuring to see just how solid FG Tour offering proves to be.

Thrash TalkAs a whole, we are a nation of consumers, and when it comes to fast food restaurants or golf equipment, so many of our decisions are influenced by name recognition, brand loyalty and the messages delivered through marketing of all sorts.

So when you add up reputation, commercials touting technological advances, and Tour player endorsements, where does actual quality enter the equation?

For Wilson Staff, that’s the million dollar question.