Post Mortem on the Dan Plan

Sadly, the Dan Plan is over. I analyze what happened and what we can learn from one man’s adventure.

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.

Volume Four Hundred Seventy-Eight

Jason Day, ladies and gentlemen. Jason. Day.

Hittin the LinksJason Day outlasted the best field in golf to take home the crystal at the Players Championship, shooting a Sunday 71 to cap off a dominant week. Day opened with 63-66, and didn’t take his foot off the pedal, even as the conditions worsened over the weekend. The win at TPC Sawgrass is Day’s seventh in his last 17 tournaments.

We also take a look at Rory’s continued (relative) struggles, get an update on Olympic golf, and sneak a peek into the continued awkwardness of Tiger’s post-Thanksgiving life.

Let’s hit the links.

Callaway Apex Hybrid Review

Can a hybrid be workable and forgiving? The Callaway Apex aims its sights high.

Callaway Apex HybridCallaway trumpets the Apex Hybrid as the first hybrid for the Apex and Apex Pro player, meaning folks that use the company’s top line of irons (XR Pro players probably would count, too). However, that line ranges from “game improvement” with the Apex CF 16 to the “you-better-be-darn-good” Apex Muscleback, that’s a fairly wide range, and a tall order to fit that span of abilities with a single club.

Such a club would need to be reasonably easy to hit straight, and yet still be workable. It should get the ball airborne easily and let the player to control the trajectory when needed.

Does the Callaway Apex Hybrid deliver? Let’s find out.

Analyzing Jordan’s Epic Collapse

Jordan Spieth lost the 2016 Masters by making a number of really bad swings. I take a deeper look into his collapse.

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

It’s time to start the first major of golf’s 2016 season, let’s see what the staff expects for this years event.

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

For Callaway’s update to the XR line of drivers they have collaborated with one of the world’s foremost aeronautical companies in Boeing to help you hit the ball farther. Do they succeed, read on to find out.

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.

PING G Driver Review

Following the extremely popular G30 driver PING looked to design even more aerodynamics into their latest release, the PING G driver, I took it for a test drive to see how it performs.

PING GIt is often said that nature often inspires the best designs. It is evolution that often provides the simplest and most beautiful solution to many problems. So when PING engineers sat down to improve upon one of the best drivers on the market, the G30, they looked to nature. The engineers who worked on PING G driver looked to nature to inspire and improve their design; in fact, they looked to the wings of a dragonfly.

One of the key features of the extremely popular G30 was the turbulators that were added to the top of the clubhead. The features the PING engineers gleamed from the dragonfly were geared to further improve the airflow of the clubhead. More speed to help you hit it farther. The idea being that larger clubheads particularly ones that are 460cc do not need to trade off aerodynamics. So PING set out to make a driver that has the aerodynamic features of a 3 wood, but the forgiveness and power given from a driver.

For this review I was give a 9° PING G driver with an stiff Alta shaft. Let’s dive in to see if this merger of nature and technology helped me hit it any farther.

Titleist SM6 Wedges Coming in March

A favorite among many, Titleist has updated the Vokey wedge lineup with the new SM6.

Bag Drop Over the last handful of years, one of the biggest trends in the golf industry has been the creation of equipment fit to the needs of the golfer using this. Obviously, where this is most evident is with drivers, where through the use of technologies like moveable weights and adjustable shafts, the golfer can fine tune the club to their swing. Wedges are now starting to follow suit. While there are any wedges with an adjustable shaft or a movable weight (yet) more and more companies are offering a greater variety. Instead of just four or five loft options mixed in with a couple of bounce options, companies are going to more lofts with a greater variety of bounces and grinds.

Callaway Apex CF16 Irons Review

Callaway’s latest flagship irons combine the precision of a player’s set with the forgiveness of a game-improvement set in one package.

Callaway Apex CF16 Irons 7iron HeroIt seems more and more nowadays that the landscape of golf equipment is changing. Where there used to be fairly distinct categories of clubs meant for certain skill levels (blades and cavity-backs, players irons, game-improvement, and super game-improvement, etc.), clubs are designed now to benefit and appeal to a broader range of golfers. Equipment manufacturers have found that even better players appreciate additional forgiveness in their irons while less skilled players can still use workability and good feedback on mis-hits, just as long as they don’t come with significant loss in distance or accuracy.

Callaway’s newest flagship iron, the Apex CF16, is blurring the lines once again. As the first forged irons to feature Callaway’s Cup 360 technology, it blends the characteristics normally found in a game-improvement iron with those of a forged iron. The Apex name has a long history of being top of the line in forged irons and the previous Apex offering, the 2013 Apex irons, lived up to the standard. With the CF16s, Callaway sets the bar even higher by pushing the limits of speed and distance out of an iron while maintaining the same high level of precision that Apex is known for.

Does it live up to the hype? Can Callaway have it’s cake and eat it, too? Read on, to find out.