Choosing the 2012 Ryder Cup Team

The Ryder Cup is on the horizon, so I give my thoughts on who Love III should select.

Thrash TalkAfter the Masters, Bubba Watson was holding the trophy the American team was the strong favorite to win the Ryder Cup. The last couple of majors had been won by Americans and the Europeans had not really been making many waves. Since the U.S. Open, however, the tide has changed a bit and with resurgences from Euros such as Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, I think the Europeans are now the favorite.

I think the home-field advantage of Medinah will certainly help the Americans, but the Europeans will have only one rookie that plays on the team, contrasting the Americans have three inside the top eight and may pick up another if U.S. Captain Davis Love III selects another with one of his four captain’s picks. I do think Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, and Webb Simpson will play well, but they are rookies nonetheless and could easily get caught up in trying to play too well.

It seems almost a certainty that two of the four available captains picks for Davis Love III has have already been decided. By most accounts he will select Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker to the team. The remaining two picks are much more of a true unknown and adds some intrigue to the process.

Volume Three Hundred Twenty Six

I guess they do make green jackets in a lady’s size.

Hittin' the LinksIts one down and three to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and twenty five guys can now take a few weeks off in the coming month. Nick Watney looked very good down the stretch even birdying the final hole to put an exclamation point on his three shot win. Now we will have to see what is in store this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Dufner will make his 2012 debut as red hot Sergio Garcia takes the week off due to fatigue.

In this newest edition of Hittin’ the links we start out with a look at the first female members at Augusta, then investigate why Padraig Harrington probably needs to buy a spectator’s badge for the upcoming Ryder Cup, and do a rundown of the new FedEx Cup standings. Also, we find out what Bubba does in his free time, check out the youngest winner ever on the LPGA tour, and do a recap of the rest of the week’s events. Read on!

Callaway RAZR Fit Fairway Wood Review

Callaway Golf has found a winner in its RAZR Fit line of fairway woods.

callaway_razr_fit_fairway_hero1.jpgCallaway golf has fallen on some hard times lately. With the announcement of its intention to cut 12% of its workforce, it is obvious that things are not really going according to plan. I have to say some of Callaway’s offerings in the past few years have left a little something to be desired in my opinion. The Callaway FT-iQ looked more like a spaceship than a golf club, the FT- i wasn’t much better and the FT-9 looked like it was made from used parts the developers found lying around.

I long for the days of the Big Bertha. I remember when I first started playing golf, Callaway’s Big Bertha line of drivers and fairway woods were by far the industry leaders. No other manufacturer was close in those days, Callaway reigned supreme. But a lot has changed since then, Callaway got a little weird, someone at TaylorMade thought painting a driver head white would be cool; and the rest they say…is history.

Mizuno MP-59 Irons Review

One of the most talked about additions to the Mizuno MP lineup, the MP-59 continues Miznuo’s legacy of awesome looking, superior feeling forged irons with the addition of multi-materials. Let’s see if the MP-59 lives up to it’s hype.

Mizuno Mp-59 Irons Hero 2As many golfers know, Mizuno Golf is best know for designing some of the best forged irons in the world. First building their reputation by manufacturing muscle back blades, Mizuno grew to expand their line into forged cavity backs and forged game improvement clubs. All the while leading in quality, feel and sound. Some golfers fear the idea of playing a forged iron, thinking that it is only be for low single digit handicappers or tour level players. Mizuno Golf is looking to take some of the fear out of forged with their new MP-59 irons. The MP-59 is Mizuno’s latest multi material forged cavity back. The MP-59 integrates a classic look with updated technology for a wider range of golfers.

Even Charles Howell III who grew up playing PING irons, and has always used a somewhat larger club head compared to most pros has made the switch to the MP-59 irons. Last year Howell used a moderate sized club with less offset from Mizuno’s JPX series, the JPX-800 Pro. After testing the new MP-59 irons he quickly put them in the bag based on the initial results. On the other side of the iron spectrum, former muscle back blade users Luke Donald and Jonathan Byrd have also switched to the MP-59’s for a little added forgiveness without sacrificing the club’s esthetics. One great iron for all players? Let’s take a closer look.

PING i20 Hybrid Review

Continuing on the success of the i15 line PING introduces the i20 hybrid line.

PING i20 hybridBuilding on the extremely popular i15 line of hybrids PING introduces the innovative i20 hybrid line. I was very lucky to get the opportunity to test the i20 hybrid and there are definitely some key changes that PING has made that improve both the performance and look of these new hybrids. PING has a very loyal following amongst serious golfers because of the custom fitting options they offer, as well as the consistent performance their clubs produce. Through the years I have used numerous PING club offerings and after using this hybrid I am left feeling they continue to churn out very reliable and high performing clubs.

Along with the i20 PING also released G20 hybrids targeted to higher handicap players looking for more forgiveness and they also released an Anser line of hybrids. PING states that these multiple hybrid models are for golfers of all abilities with loft options that give you the opportunity to add the combination of hybrids that helps you to play your best.

Five FedExCup Golfers to Watch

Five guys who could sneak away with the FedExCup.

Trap Five LogoNow in the sixth year of it’s FedFexCup playoff system, the PGA Tour has finally finished its tweaking, and they may have struck gold. Though it’s still a little odd that Bill Haas won last year (and is fourth in total FedExCup points accumulations since its inception), the system has generally done a good job at not only awarding the player who played the best when it mattered, but showcasing great golfing talent and awesome golf courses.

The Barclays journeys to Bethpage Black in 2012, and joins TPC Boston, Cog Hill, and East Lake to form a pretty solid four-week stretch of championship golf. Several of golf’s biggest stars have rounded into shape, including two-time FedExCup champ Tiger Woods and 2012 PGA champ Rory McIlroy.

But though most of the sport’s biggest stars have spent time in the winner’s circle this year, no one has dominated in the way we were accustomed to seeing in the mid-2000s, and the list of players still with a chance is large. Aside from the more obvious big names, here are five I in particular that I think could contend.

Volume Three Hundred Twenty Five

It’s Playoff time!

Hittin' the LinksThe field is set, the courses are ready, the FedEx Cup Playoffs are here! Hello again Sand Trappers and welcome the an even dozen Hittin’ the Links. Congratulations to Sergio Garcia for climbing back into the winners circle on Monday. It might have taken an extra day, but I am sure Sergio thought it was worth the wait. And with Fellow countryman and Ryder Cup Captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, getting ready to make his captain’s picks this win couldn’t have come at a better time!

In this edition of HtL we begin with a look at an upcoming match play event, then find out what are the worst Major Championship venues, and check in on some Ryder Cup news. Also, We investigate a double hole-in-one effort, find out why Rory needs a better alarm clock, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

Thoughts on the 2012 Majors

This seasons majors produced some fantastic drama, each one with its unique story, I put down some random thoughts from each one.

Thrash TalkThe 2012 major season is now over. I am always a little sad when it is done because it means that summer only has a few more weeks before fall and then it seems that winter comes sooner than I feel it should. I live in California, so we don’t really have a winter per se, but golf in the summer months is way better than in the winter months. I digress; I do look forward to the Ryder Cup, so there is still some excitement left for me.

This year’s majors really delivered some first-rate drama. Bubba in a playoff, Webb Simpson from behind, Ernie returning to the winner’s circle in the majors, and concluded by a runaway victory for Rory. The season had some great story lines.

Nike VR_S Forged Irons Review

Are the new VR_S forged irons the fastest irons yet?

Nike VR_S Forged Irons HeroIf one pays enough attention to the golf world, and more specifically the equipment industry of the golf world, it is easy to see that there are numerous trends. For example, one such trend is an increase in the use of belly and long putters. Keegan Bradley was the first player to ever win a major using one and now three of the last five had one in the bag for their major victory (Bradley, Simpson, Els). Another trend is the increased focus on speed that companies now have. We have seen companies creating lighter drivers for a good while now and the idea behind it is that the faster the club can be swung the further the ball will go.

Until now, this concept has not really been applied to irons. This is exactly what Nike has done with the new VR_S Forged irons.