A Gentlemen’s Game

There are different levels of cheating, some pose problems others are just an annoyance.

Thrash TalkWhen it comes to the rules, golf is really unlike any other sport. What other sport can you name in which you call penalties on yourself? Most sports have a referee and it is almost an art to cheat until you are caught. Just watch any NFL game and watch the linemen battle it out and likely you will see holding or some other mischievous activity on every play. The NBA is the same way with all the pushing and elbowing. As long as the ref doesn’t call it, you are free to do it, even encouraged. In golf, if you are in the trees and your ball moves while you are addressing it, it’s on you to call the penalty on yourself.

This brings me to what I really want to discuss, which is cheating. In golf, cheating is typically done as subtly as possible. There is a decent amount of blatant cheating which I will discuss, as well as numerous cases of just not knowing the rules. I am forced to admit that the rules of golf can at times be confusing for the average player and this can lead to some heated discussions.

Adams Idea Black CB3 Irons Review

We review Adams’ new flagship irons.

Adams CB3 Irons 8 ToeAdams Golf doesn’t really have much of identity right now. They’ve stopped airing the “number one hybrid on the Champions Tour” commercials (or maybe I’ve stopped watching Golf Channel at 2 AM?), and they don’t really have a repetitive nomenclature. They’re not revered for their huge revenues like Nike or TaylorMade, and they don’t have the rich history of Titleist or Mizuno.

I could complain about the naming of Adams’ clubs from now until Tiger Woods passes Jack’s record, but to dwell on that would be doing to complete disservice to the irons that Adams has been putting out recently. Clubs like the Idea Pro Black MB, the Idea Black CB2, and the Idea MB2 have been laying the groundwork for Adams’ venture into the crossover realm of player’s clubs and GI clubs. They’ve entered the world in between, where clubs can be forged from 8620 carbon steel yet still have the offset needed to get the ball into the air.

The name of the game in the category that these clubs reside is simple: you can hit these clubs. Your swing looks worse than that of President Obama? You can hit these. (And if the President is reading this, a lefty set is available.) Hovering around a 10 handicap? You can hit these. Nearing scratch golf? You can hit these golf clubs. Read on to let me convince you.

Adams Speedline Fast 12 Fairway Wood Review

We take a look at one of the hottest fairway woods on the market.

Adams Fast 12 Wood Hero Sole (2)Short of only the TaylorMade Rocketballz, this year’s Adams Fast 12 fairway woods are some of the most hyped in the business. They have feature after feature designed specifically to give golfers the most distance, not only on-center strikes but on off-center hits as well. It remains to be seen if their sale to TaylorMade-Adidas helps or hurts the company, but in recent years Adams has been putting out some of the best woods in golf, and this year seems to be no different.

With features such as second-generation Velocity Slot Technology (which includes a slot within a slot), Speed Coat design of the shaft, and Speedline aerodynamic design, Adams is not short on innovation. Adams is calling the Fast 12 fairways woods their “longest and most forgiving” yet, and are even claiming that Kenny Perry gained 35 yards. They say that the improved slot enhances launch conditions for more carry and greater distance.

This is a lot of hype for a company that has made it’s marketing staple over the last decade “number one hybrid of the Champions Tour.” Read on to see if they can back it up.

Volume Three Hundred Fifteen

Dufner is human, Ernie is irritated, and we have yet another world number one.

Hittin' the LinksAlert the media golf fans, Jason Dufner had a bad round. I kid, but it did seem for the last month that Mr. Dufner could do no wrong. Heck, even Zach Johnson tried to give the tournament back to him on 18 by not returning his ball mark back to its original position. Good thing Peter Kostis caught it before Zach signed his scorecard. Either way, congratulations to Zach Johnson and welcome to another Hittin’ the Links.

In this edition of HtL we begin with a birthday celebration, then investigate what has Ernie bent out of shape, and find out who took home the trophy at the Women’s NCAA Championships. Also on tap, we check out a couple of penalty shots, take a look at an interesting drive, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

Is Slow Play Killing Golf?

Penalties for slow play should start at the top with the pros, but it should be done properly and to really improve the pace to play.

Thrash TalkSlow play is slowly killing golf. Recently LPGA golfer Morgan Pressel was penalized in a match play event for slow play. Just the headline by itself is very refreshing. The LPGA has a clear rule for slow play and enforced it. Well played. Sadly there is a bit more to this story and I am not sure the rule was properly enforced.

To the rest of us, slow play is just a part of golf. The five-plus hour round golf has been played by everyone, some of you have probably even played longer rounds. It is a problem because everyone has responsibility and spending so much time on the golf course makes you wonder if golf is worth it. If you have a family, spending five and a half hours on the course plus driving to and fro and a meal is a lot of time away from your family. Add to that all the waiting, standing around, and it really isn’t all that fun.

Cobra Updates AMP Lineup

Cobra release the AMP line of clubs with something for players of all abilities.

Bag Drop2012 is going to be a big, big year for Cobra. For a company that looked like it may be falling by the wayside, some major changes have taken places. Earlier we saw the company partner up with Puma and along with that came the signing of two of the game’s brightest stars, Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson, to endorsement deals. Along with the new star golfers are the new AMP series of clubs, and while the bright orange color may be a little unique, there is something for players at every level.

Volume Three Hundred Fourteen

Dufner gets #2, slow play is a problem, and 55 is now the number to beat!

Hittin' the LinksFrom “Best Player without a win” to two time winner in three weeks; throw in the fact that Jason Dufner also got married, and I’d say the last month has not been too shabby. Hello Golf fans and welcome to Hittin’ the Links.

In this edition of HtL we begin with a look at the lowest round ever, investigate a little issue with the 2016 Olympic Golf Course, and see what is holding up play on the PGA Tour. Also, we check in the upcoming NCAA Golf Championships, find out who Lexi Thompson took to the prom, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

Butch Harmon About Golf DVD Review

Golf Digest’s top ranked instructor is back with a highly-anticipated DVD.

Butch Harmon About Golf CoverButch Harmon is one of the biggest names in golf. He has been Golf Digest’s top-ranked golf coach every year since 2003, and he is the mastermind behind Tiger’s early career swing. He has coached some of the biggest names in golf, including Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Adam Scott, and Natalie Gulbis.

You may know Butch from his many media appearances, his 2006 book, The Pro, his PGA Tour win (the Broome County Open in 1971), or his monthly column for Golf Digest. The son of 1948 Masters winner Claude Harmon, Butch teaches amateurs and professionals primarily out of Las Vegas, Nevada, and has been in golf for over 40 years.

Butch is back, and this time with an all-inclusive DVD, Butch Harmon About Golf. The two-disc set of instruction contain about four hours of golf, with 57 chapters including the full swing, the mental game, and fitness. It even includes interviews and conversations with some of Butch’s most famous pupils. Is it worth the $80 USD plus $10 shipping and handling? Read on to find out.

PING i20 Irons Review

The new PING i20 irons promise optimized performance through a progressive set design but can they live up to the long line of success of previous i-series irons?

PING i20 BeautyPING’s successful line of G-series irons has focused on maximum forgiveness for all players, but it’s i-series has been geared specifically to players who are looking for a middle ground between the G-series and the blade-like S-series. The i20 irons attempts to satisfy that audience by utilizing a series of designs that make the long irons forgiving and high-launching while blending in more-penetrating mid and short irons offering control for precise shot making. PGA Tour player Mark Wilson won the 2012 Bob Hope Humana Classic the first week he had the new PING i20 irons in the bag. Not a bad introduction for PING’s latest i-series offering. The i20 is for players as good as Mark Wilson all the way to your average mid-handicapper. Following in the tradition of previous models the i20 is a cast golf club with a progressive set design that delivers for a lot of forgiveness with a ton of playability.

It was great for The Sand Trap to meet up with PING Senior Design Engineer Marty Jertson to learn more about these irons at the PGA Show in Orlando this year. Marty not only knows how to design great performing clubs but he can also play himself, qualifying for the Justin Timberlake PGA Tour event twice and qualifying for last year’s PGA Championship. The Sand Trap was able to get some of the finer technology details from that most golfers don’t know about.