TaylorMade Launches R9, Burner Irons, and Rescue 2009 Hybrids

TaylorMade tosses out enough options to make gear heads drool.

Bag DropTaylorMade Golf has released their 2009 golf lineup and it’s a doozy. Boasting some pretty snazzy technology and giving you enough options to make your head spin, TaylorMade has something to offer to every level of golfer from the high-handicap duffer to the gearhead who tweaks his clubs after every round.

Yes, we quite frequently poke fun at the folks at TaylorMade for releasing a new driver every other week, but once in awhile they release some equipment that causes you to stop what your doing and pay attention. And they have some of that with this new lineup. How good is it? Ask Pat Perez who won the Bob Hope over the weekend with the R9 driver in his bag. So join me as we see the latest and greatest from the folks at TaylorMade.

The Sand Trap Rules Quiz Number Three

Tournament rules, read them, know them , love them

USGA LogoSorry for the TST Rule Quiz hiatus, Sand Trappers, but I am back and ready to test your rules knowledge. I mean you can never know the rules too well, right?

In this third installment of the Rules Quiz, we delve into some useful rulings for tournament play. My hope is that after reading this someone out there who is sitting on the fence trying to decide whether or not to start playing in their club’s tournaments will feel confident enough to go ahead and join up. The rules are there to help you, and for the most part are fairly simple if you get the basics down. For all the lesser known rules, you can carry a USGA Rule Book. The point is there is never anything bad about playing by the rules.

Nike Golf Releases SQ DYMO Drivers

Nike Golf comes out with what they like to call “a Tour Van on a stick.”

Bag DropThe folks at Nike Golf aren’t wasting any time getting a new driver out to the masses in 2009 with their release of their SQ DYMO drivers. While billing itself as the winningest driver brand on the PGA Tour the past three years (it helps to have a guy named Tiger Woods on your team), there is no doubt the impact the SQ line as a whole has made on the golf industry.

The SQ DYMO line is the latest incarnation of drivers to come from the folks in Beaverton, OR and they utilize some fancy geometry in order to provide a better fit for today’s golfer. Tag along as we take a look under the hood at the latest from Nike Golf.

What’s Ahead for 2009

The theme for 2009 will be the equipment-hopping game.

Bag DropWell, we’re back in the saddle for 2009 at the Bag Drop and I hope you got all the golfing equipment you asked for over the holidays. If not, there’s still plenty of time with some good deals floating around!

There’s been quite a bit of news as of late and while we have some new equipment to fill you in about, we’ll ease into 2009 with a few equipment/business stories you might have missed in the past few weeks. You might soon having to start filling out a spreadsheet to follow the equipment company switches.

All I Want for Christmas

Have a peek at my annual correspondence with Father Christmas.

Thrash TalkDear Santa,

As you know, I’ve been a reasonably good boy this year. We’ve been engaged in this same routine for 23 years now, so I think you are also aware what an avid fan of the game of golf I am. I want you to know, also, that I’m not holding it against you that I didn’t find that $2,300 replica of Tiger’s putter under my tree last year. The same goes for the trip to Sawgrass which has been a fixture on my list for the last several years. Surely these are difficult gifts to obtain, even for you, Mr. Claus.

I’m aware, as Burton Hillis said, “the best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family.” I’m really trying to be content with the simple pleasures and joys of the season (eggnog, cookies, tinsel, throwing wads of wrapping paper at the cat), but there are still a few outstanding items on my list I’m hoping to find beneath my tree in a few weeks.

Golf Talk: 909 Fairway, 909 Hybrid, Spin Milled Wedges Episode

It’s all about versatility as we learn about the 909F and 909H family, and Bob Vokey spins some tales of spin milled wedges.

Golf Talk PodcastThis week, a special edition of the Golf Talk Podcast as we talk with Steve Pelisek, General Manager, Titleist Golf Clubs, Stephanie Bezilla, Titleist Metalwoods Development Manager, and Bob Vokey (who needs no title) about the new 909 Fairway Metals, Hybrids, and the Spin Milled Wedges. Check out this exciting episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download the 909 Fairway/Hybrid and Spin Milled Wedges episode as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.

Three Questions for 2009

With Tiger and without him, 2008 was an excellent year in golf. We can only hope that 2009 is better.

Thrash TalkAdmittedly, the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii is still over a month away. Premier players are probably testing equipment for the upcoming year, honing their swings, and generally relaxing. The steady flow of information from the golf media has turned into a veritable trickle in these off months. Following the Thanksgiving fattening, the madness of Black Friday (perhaps somewhat subdued this year), and in the grips of the Christmas spirit, which becomes incarnate at this time each year, I’ll do my best to speculate regarding some possibilities for the 2009 season.

Something’s Missing, For Better or For Worse

There’s a specter haunting both David Feherty and the PGA Tour – it’s Tiger Woods.

Thrash TalkRecently, in his monthly contribution to Golf Magazine, David Feherty made reference to an interesting dynamic which he has seen at work in the world of golf this year.

“In Tiger’s absence,” the iconic (and perhaps iconoclastic) Irishman writes, “I’ve noticed that more and more people have started referring to him as you-know-who, as if he is golf’s equivalent of Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter novels.” For those of you unfamiliar with the Dark Lord, Feherty’s description is more compelling than any I could hope to produce: “Voldemort is the all-powerful dark wizard whose black magic is so terrifying that saying his name out loud can induce involuntary brown magic in ones Fruit-of-the-Brooms.”

Callaway and Titleist’s Legal Battle, Round 38

Short answer: you’ll still be able to buy Pro V1s this year. Don’t believe everything your buddies at the club tell you – there’s a lot of misinformation about this lawsuit. Here are some of the facts.

Recently Callaway celebrated a minor victory in their long-running legal battle with Titleist over patents related to the manufacturing process used to create Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. A few weeks back, Titleist celebrated their own small victory when the U.S. Patent Office ruled the four applicable patents invalid.

Despite the now invalid patents, a Delaware judge recently granted Callaway a permanent injunction against Titleist for the sale and distribution of Pro V1 golf balls manufactured under the patents in dispute in the U.S.

However, Titleist quickly responded to point out that since September, they’d shifted their manufacturing process to a new one clear of these patents, and that production, distribution, and sale of Pro V1 and Pro V1x will not be hindered. This shift in manufacturing has been planned for quite some time and is not the result of the lawsuit. Please see paragraph two of Titleist’s official response (below) for more on that. If you were wondering whether there would be new Pro V1s in 2009, you’ll also want to read the response.

Titleist Boxes

For those deeply interested – or for those who are as confused as I am about how what are now invalid patents can be used to form an injunction – I recommend you check out David Dawsey’s golf-patents.com in the coming weeks.