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The Events that Matter (and the 2016 Olympics)

Jul. 22, 2016     By     Comments (1)

Thrash TalkOne of the things I like best about Rory McIlroy is his candor during press conferences. He is open, honest, and says what is on his mind. I love it. It is such a contrast to the robotic answers that we got for so many years from Tiger Woods. At the British Open Rory's press conference was not only interesting, he lit the dang thing on fire.

The questioning was about his participation in the Olympics. Male golfers are dropping out at an alarming pace. Rory was not the first and he was not the last. In his initial statement he said he was dropping out because of the Zika virus. Almost everyone has cited the virus, or as Jordan Spieth calls it "health concerns" (we'll get to him later). But during his press conference he seemed to backtrack. He basically said Zika was one of many reasons. I think he had to do this because the Zika virus is a really weak excuse. As a reporter I could have easily asked him why if he was so concerned about the virus did he go to the Bahamas on vacation a location where reported cases of the Zika virus have been found. Or stay at his house in Florida where mosquitos have been found with the virus. The virus was not a legitimate excuse and he probably knew it. Then he went down a path I would have recommended he not go down.

TST Staff Predictions for the 2016 British Open

Jul. 14, 2016     By     Comments (0)

Thrash TalkIn my opinion Royal Troon is the perfect British Open golf course. It is a links course with a certain amount of holes where you can play well, and a some really really hard holes. I love watching the players play the postage stamp, just great viewing. Adding to this years event, many of the world's best golfers are playing really well and we have recipe for an outstanding event.

Royal Troon has a history of winners that is very interesting. For one Americans have won there since Arnold Palmer in 1962. There is not a clear reason for this, but it is an interesting fact. It also has a history of crowning some unsuspecting winners such as Todd Hamilton. So we are likely in for an interesting tournament. Let's see what the staff expects for this year's event.

What the USGA Got Wrong at Oakmont

Jun. 22, 2016     By     Comments (4)

Thrash TalkDustin Johnson is no rookie when it comes to penalties assessed in the final round of a major. Who can forget his famous bunker episode at the PGA Championship a few years ago? At that time, he merely missed out on a playoff, but the rule was clear and even he himself admitted he'd made a mistake. There is no question he grounded his club and no question he was in a bunker. It was really hard to tell it was a bunker - I know I had no idea - but many people did and it is his job to notice such things.

Fast forward to this year's U.S. Open. He was Dustin again in a rules quandary. Did he in some way cause the ball to move during his practice stroke on the fourth green? This is the question that everyone is interested in answering. Now that the dust has settled a little on this issue we are starting to see that some mistakes were made and many - far more than I thought - professional golfers are not clear on the rules.

TST Staff Predictions for the 2016 U.S. Open

Jun. 16, 2016     By     Comments (0)

Thrash TalkIf you love a good test of golf, then without question you love watching the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. The members love to tell anyone who'll listen that they slow the greens down when the pros show up. They love to test themselves and watch the professionals test themselves as well.

This season brings the three big names in golf - Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy - all playing well and primed to contend on the weekend. Expectations could not be higher for a young gun showdown.

With all these exciting expectations lets see what the staff expects for this year's event.

Harry Taylor Design Wedges Review

Jun. 4, 2016     By     Comments (3)

XR16In many ways, picking a wedge can be extremely similar to picking a putter. While the designs don't vary quite as much (there are no mallet wedges), still there is a great deal of personalization and customization that is available to golfers today.

When I look into golfers' bags at their wedges, I very often see one of two scenarios. One is what I would describe as a pot luck of wedges. One wedge won at a tournament, one they bought when they lost one on vacation, really, no rhyme or reason to the selection. The second scenario is an off-the-rack set of two to three wedges made by a brand name club manufacture which may or may not (usually not) have been fit for them.

The reality is wedge fitting is important. Because of the customization, mainly the bounce and flange design differences, one wedge might be better for you based on your swing over the one you'd otherwise be tempted to pick off the rack. A great deal of craftsmanship goes into a wedge. Golfers should pay more attention.

Post Mortem on the Dan Plan

May. 27, 2016     By     Comments (8)

Thrash TalkAs a child I can remember wanting to be a professional baseball player. My mom told me that being a professional athlete was hard. Really hard. She told me to imagine filling a football stadium full of kids my age, and then selecting the one kid who was going to be a professional baseball player. The rest of us… we were going to be doing something else.

Dear mom was merely helping me set proper expectations. I know it is unpopular now to tell your kids that they can't achieve their dreams. I see other parents telling their children that they can do anything they put their mind to. I get it. We are supposed to be supportive. Trophies for everyone!

You can read on the TST forum around once month some young kid will come on saying he wants to be a professional golfer. Most people say "follow your dreams," some will say "good luck," and one or two members will say something similar to what my mom said. A few years ago someone recommended to one of these hopeful people that they read The Talent Code. So I did. The author suggests that greatness isn't born, but rather expertise is earned through hard work. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

So when I first heard about the The Dan Plan, I was immediately attracted to the idea. One of the main tenants of The Talent Code is the ten thousand hour theory. Dan was going to test it. Perfect.

Analyzing Jordan’s Epic Collapse

Apr. 14, 2016     By     Comments (5)

Thrash TalkWinning a major golf tournament is an effort many years in the making. All of the practice fine tuning your swing, studying the course and pin positions. All of it take hard work. In 2015 Jordan Spieth had the golf world by the tail. He had won the season's first two majors and was in the conversation at the British and PGA. It was a masterful year. All the hard work he had put in was paying off.

At the conclusion of the 2015 season, Jordan stated that he wanted to make some changes to his swing along with a workout plan to hit the ball farther. Nick Faldo, the guy who pretty much invented the long-term swing change, immediately came out and said Jordan should be careful to tinker too much.

TST Staff Predictions for the Masters

Apr. 7, 2016     By     Comments (0)

Thrash TalkHello Friends, it is time for a tradition unlike any other, the Masters. I know for me watching golfer walk around such a beautiful setting like Augusta National is really a great way to get the spring season in gear.

This season has all sorts of intrigue with almost all of the young guns peaking at just the right time. Jordan, Rory, Rickie, Jason, all have either won, or been very close to winning and look primed to win the seasons first major. Even though Tiger will miss out, Phil looks ready to hold up the flag for old guard and might be a sleeper pick from the SandTrap staff.

Let's see what the staff expects for this season.

Callaway XR16 Driver Review

Mar. 25, 2016     By     Comments (3)

XR16In the last few years golf equipment manufacturers have had to up their game in order to convince us golfers that we should upgrade from our current model. Each manufacturer is taking a slightly different route, but certainly a big focus nowadays is aerodynamics. The name of the game is reduce airflow in order to help you eek out as much distance as you can.

The engineers at Callaway went to the foremost expert on aerodynamics and partnered with them to make the XR16. They went to Boeing. In the airline industry the focus for the past few years has been remarkably similar to what has gone on in golf club design. They want to make planes lighter and they use materials like Carbon Fiber in order to accomplish this. They always want to reduce drag as much as possible to save on fuel costs as well.

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