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Staff Predictions: 2010 British Open

Jul. 14, 2010     By     Comments (9)

Thrash TalkSt. Andrew's is as classic a major venue as you'll find, and provides a familiar scene for Tiger Woods. He's won here twice, and the wide open design may be perfect for his wild ways off the tee. On the other hand, he'll also have to stare down the British media, which make American tabloids look as inflammatory as the New York Times.

As for world number two, can Phil Mickelson finally solve his links blues at the birthplace of golf? And just who will emerge with the claret jug?

Filming Your Golf Swing

Jul. 5, 2010     By     Comments (21)

Casio FH25Vijay Singh was once famously quoted for saying that he doesn't look at his swing on video because he'd be tempted to make it look pretty rather than focusing on building a swing that works. This quote is often used by people trying to justify why they won't record their swing or buy a camera.

Unfortunately, Vijay's quote was taken out of context, misunderstood, or was simply untrue. Singh has used high-speed cameras to record his swing for years and maintains a large library of his videos. While practicing, he often has his caddie or others record his swing, and will stop to look at things and make adjustments.

I think that what Vijay Singh was trying to say is that he values function over form. That's fine - and something virtually every good golfer has in common. And while it's true that form follows function in the golf swing, the opposite is also true: function follows form. A high-speed video camera is a useful, valid tool in improving both the form and function of your swing.

Five Burning Questions for the U.S. Open (That Don’t Revolve Around Tiger Woods)

Jun. 18, 2010     By     Comments (1)

Trap Five LogoWith the conclusion of sectional qualifying last Monday (and Tuesday in some places), the field for this week's U.S. Open is set. While 156 of the world's best and/or luckiest players in the world will converge at Pebble Beach, you can be sure that most of the world's media will be focused on just one of them.

Still the world's number one player, plagued this year by turmoil on and off the golf course, and a decade removed from arguably the most dominant tournament performance in golf history (at this very tournament and venue),Tiger Woods will be the big story throughout the championship. There is a very good chance that Tiger's presence will overshadow everything else about the Open. Before things get that bad here at the Sand Trap, here are five of the big questions that should be on any golf fan's mind heading into Pebble Beach.

2010 U.S. Open Staff Predictions

Jun. 16, 2010     By     Comments (5)

Thrash TalkIt's been a long time since Tiger Woods entered anything where he's not the outright favorite to win. But with all his off-course trouble and a lack of recent success, the oddsmakers have installed Woods' chief rival, Phil Mickelson as co-favorite.

How will #1 and #2 fare this week as the U.S. Open returns to scenic Pebble Beach?

Advice to John Daly: Suing Kids Is No Way to Win Fans

Jun. 10, 2010     By     Comments (8)

Thrash TalkNo matter how far his golf game has fallen, one thing about John Daly that's at an all-time high is his inability to recognize a PR nightmare before it happens.

The latest debacle involving Daly comes via reports in the Palm Beach Post that the two-time major champion has filed a lawsuit over a rib injury suffered during the 2007 Honda Classic. He's seeking $100 million, which is enough to get some guffaws, but in and of itself wouldn't create any uproar. Until you find out one of the parties named in the suit is the children's charity that benefits from proceeds brought in by the Honda Classic.

Getting Fit, Part One

May. 25, 2010     By     Comments (10)

Bag DropRecently, Golf Digest released the ball portion of their annual Hot List, and as an added bonus, the guys at Bomb and Gouge go further into the ball fitting systems (or lack thereof) at each manufacturer's website (by the way, if you go there now, you can see a little bit of info about Titleist's newest driver, the 910). Upon visiting each of these myself, everything seemed eerily familiar. Then it hit me - most shaft manufacturers' websites have the same sort of wizard driven types of fitting tools. Kind of like the Island in Lost - each answer leads you to another question. With each answer comes more confusion, and next thing you know, you're at your keyboard, pressing "Execute" every 108 minutes in pure frustration!

While I don't doubt that these online fitting systems may come close to answering the ultimate question for you (what should I be playing?), it just seems like something is missing here. Can we not get some sort of standard rating systems for each individual piece of golf equipment?

Gambling is Golf’s Kissing Cousin

May. 20, 2010     By     Comments (6)

Thrash TalkFor a while, I assumed it was just my delinquent friends who needed to place a bet on just about every aspect of a round of golf. Front nine, back nine, overall, sandies, birdies, bobs, skins. As a purist, I couldn't be bothered, I was there to play my game, post my lowest score. Sometimes it was just easier to agree to the game than argue, and at the 19th hole wait for someone to hand me a few bucks or tell me what I owe.

Over time, I've learned there's so much more to a golf wager than the $2 - or $2000 - on the line.

The Woods-Haney Divorce: Why Hank Had to Walk Away

May. 13, 2010     By     Comments (17)

Thrash TalkSo much has been made of Hank Haney's split from Tiger Woods this week, it brought more attention to the role of golf coach than we've seen in many years.

It comes at a turbulent time, with Woods reeling, with the media calling for Haney's dismissal, and with Tiger suffering through the pain in the neck heard 'round the world.

I'll always believe that Haney finally had enough of the luke-warm support he was getting out of his primetime pupil. However, the fallout raises an interesting point about golf coaches.

Let’s Not Send Tiger Off Into the Sunset Just Yet

May. 6, 2010     By     Comments (5)

Thrash TalkThe winds of change are blowing but one man can restore order to the PGA Tour by himself.

There has been no shortage of "changing of the guard" and "youth movement" talk this week, thanks to two stunning performances on Sunday. Ryo Ishikawa made headlines with his closing round of 58 in Japan, followed by Rory McIlroy holding off a star-studded field with a 62 at Quail Hollow. Separately, they're two impressive showings. Put them together and you've got yourself a "trend!" And we in the media love nothing more than a trend. If you really want to take it to the next level, add the fact Phil Mickelson can take over the top spot in the world rankings and it all adds up to a PGA in flux.

Can we all take a deep breath please?

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