Volume Three Hundred Fifty

Sang-Moon Bae breaks through on Tour and we say goodbye to Ken Venturi.

Hittin' the LinksIt was a sad week in the world of golf with the passing of Ken Venturi. Mr. Venturi was always one of my favorite guys in the booth. It is too bad he was even too ill to attend his well deserved induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He will certainly be missed.

In this edition of HtL we begin by paying respects to Ken Venturi, then find out why golf is still bigger than Tiger Woods, and check out some of the week’s best quotes. Also, we take a look at a road less traveled, peruse the new Blair O’Neal swimsuit calendar, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

Nike VR_S Covert and Covert Tour Drivers Review

It’s good enough for Rory McIlroy, is the Nike VR_S Covert good enough to make your bag?

Nike Covert Driver Tour SoleMoment of inertia.

It was the name of the game about five years ago, thanks to square drivers, perimeter weighting, and a USGA restriction on the industry’s previous CoR and clubhead inroads. MOI was capped eventually, but even before hitting the max the OEMs turned away en masse. We haven’t seen anything quite so boxy in a while, and objectives seem to have turned. Companies got sidetracked towards adjustable hosels, colorful crowns, and innovative aerodynamics.

But it’s back. Ever since Karsten Solheim designed the original Anser putter way back when, the golf industry has been trying to find new and creative ways to distribute weight to the edges of the clubhead. Not just with putters, but with cavityback irons and woods as well. Until now they had to resort to odd shapes (namely, squares or triangles) or heavier tungsten inserts.

Nike says the Covert, and its rear cavity, has changed the game. Let’s take a look.

TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2 Driver Review

TaylorMade updates their Rocketballz line with the addition of the Stage 2 Driver. I take it for a spin to see how it performs and check out if it is really better-ier.

RBX Stage 2 DriverRecently, TaylorMade has released two different driver and woods product lines. Last year it was the R11s line and the extremely popular Rocketballz line. For the 2013 season TaylorMade switched it up and released the R1 line and continued with the Rocketballz line, dubbing them Stage 2. It is my belief that the success of the Rocketballz driver surprised TaylorMade. At my club among golfers who used TaylorMade drivers the Rocketballz ruled over the R11s by a two to one margin. The Rocketballz price point is a bit below that of the R11s but still provided a great experience.

Hoping to continue with the fantastic success of the Rocketballz driver TaylorMade has released the Rocketballz Stage 2 driver. TaylorMade has taken some of the adjustable technology and crown graphics that they offered in the groundbreaking R1 driver and they added speed providing a driver with more control and distance. It is always a challenge to follow up such a successful club but leave it to TaylorMade to give it a try.

Why Tiger was Wrong, Sergio was Right

Tiger wins but in the process exchanges some verbal blows with Sergio over an etiquette dispute, see why I think Tiger was wrong and Sergio was right, but not innocent.

Thrash TalkAs with most stories there are two sides to be told. This case is no different, especially since the two sides were separated by fifty yards. The scene of this controversy was The Players Championship in the delayed third round in the final pairing of Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.

On the second hole, Garcia, away and hitting his second shot in the fairway was distracted by the gallery that was gathered around Tiger’s drive in the left pine straw. Several seconds prior to Sergio’s swing, Tiger pulled his fairway wood out of this bag and the crowd reacted favorably to his choice to go for it. This favorable cheering distracted Sergio and caused him (his own words) to miss the ball way right into the trees on the right. Sergio bogeyed the hole.

Tour Angle 144 Review

An exciting new training aid designed to help the golfer during set up, the backswing, the downswing, and even chipping. Join me as I take the new Tour Angle 144 for a spin.

Tour Angle 144 They say that there is a sucker born every minute, for me, that directly applies to golf training aids. I am drawn to them like a bee to honey, I just cannot help myself. With a garage full of them now you would think that I would have learned my lesson, but with the glimmer of hope that that next aid will be the key to longer drives and pin seeking irons, probably not.

When I was given the opportunity to review the Tour Angle 144 I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to try out a new and exciting training aid. I first saw the Tour Angle 144 at the place that I see most of the training aids that I am drawn to: Golf Channel. The commercial itself was not very clear on how it helped the golfer other than in getting them in the proper set up. Therefore I didn’t give it much of a second glance.

Once I was selected to do the review I did some more research and I was pleasantly surprised that it did more than just help the golfer in their set up position. Join me as I take a look at the very surprising device.

Volume Three Hundred Forty Nine

Tiger wins The Players, and Sergio needs to replenish his golf ball supply.

Hittin' the Links This is like it was in in 2008, I thought to myself as I watched the final round of The Players. The drama and excitement which have been lessened considerably in the past few years were back. I had my whole family sitting in front of the television all watching Tiger Woods and his pursuers battle it out over the final holes at the TPC Sawgrass. A roar even went up as we watched in disbelief as Sergio Garcia dumped not one, but two balls in the drink on 17. Like him or not, Tiger Woods adds something to the game we all love. When he is in control of a tournament its just more fun to watch, at least it is for me… and my family.

In this post Players edition of HtL we begin with a look at why The Players is STILL not a major, then investigate betting in the college ranks, and check out the advice John Daly is handing out. Also, we turn our attention to the NCAA Championships happening this week, find out how the inductions into the World Golf Hall of Fame went, and do a wrap-up of The Players. Read on!

TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Fairway Wood Review

With a number of tweaks and improvements to the original Rocketballz woods, TaylorMade releases the RBZ Stage 2 and calls them Rocketballz-IER.

RBX Stage 2 FWLast year TaylorMade made a huge splash with the announcement of their Rocketballz fairway wood. They advertised that golfers would get seventeen more yards by making the switch to this oddly named club. It debuted to a huge success with numerous professionals and amateur golfers alike making the switch to this new technology.

In 2013 TaylorMade has now released an update to the Rocketballz line with Stage 2 fairway wood. The marketing campaign has termed the new line Rocketballz-IER. With the advent of social media they have added #IER and added the -IER to all of the TaylorMade professional staff bags. Much of the underlying technology that made the initial Rocketballz a success is packed into the Stage 2 clubs and they have also added some new features which TaylorMade claims added an additional ten yards to the club. Although to be fair in terms of advertising this claim is made with a ball speed of 150 MPH which is much greater than any of the weekend warriors I play with, myself included.

For this review I was given a 15 degree fairway wood, with a graphite Matrix RocketFuel stiff shaft. Join me as I go through the details of this RBZ Stage 2 fairway wood.

Adam Scott wins the 2013 Masters… Now What?

Adam Scott won a very exciting playoff for the 2013 Masters, the real question is where does Adam go from here?

Thrash TalkI have to admit that I did not get to watch the final round of the 2013 Masters Toonamint live. I was flying on a plane to Asia, but my DVR caught the whole thing and I was able to watch every minute. Ever since the 2007 Masters where Zach Johnson won with an over-par score, the Masters tournament has done a wonderful job making exciting back nine drama.

This year’s event was no different with the event in complete doubt leading up to the playoff. Although I knew the outcome, watching it unfold was still quite compelling. I am very happy to see Adam Scott take his first major especially after his falter down the stretch as the Open Championship last year. It would have been easy to let that event damage him and cause him to falter again coming into the final holes at Augusta.

Volume Three Hundred Forty Eight

Derek Ernst needs a hotel reservation in Ponte Vedra Beach!

Hittin' the LinksIt was a soggy Sunday in Charlotte. The players did not look like they were having a very good time as they made it around Quail Hollow. And how about those beautiful greens? The big boys got a taste of what its like to hit a putt at the local muni this week. Several players even withdrew citing personal reasons, I guess putting on less than immaculate greens was too much to bear.

In this edition of HtL we start with a look at the newest ruling, check out the newest special edition driver from Cobra, and peruse some fan favorites still looking for their first major. Also, we take a peek at a Presidential putter, find out who the cool kids are on tour, and do a wrap up of the week’s events. Read on!