Non-Conforming Clubs

They hit the ball farther, but they’re not ‘legal’. Would you use them anyway?

Hi, I’m Braz, and I’m an eBay addict. When I bought my irons, I got them on eBay. When I looked for shoes, I looked on eBay. Maternity clothes? eBay. (No, I don’t wear maternity clothes, thankyouverymuch. My wife, however…)

When I started looking for a driver – I currently don’t carry a driver, and use either my 3W, 3I, or 4I off the tee – guess where I went? eBay. My searches for a driver on eBay brought me to a realization: there are a ton of manufacturers out there selling non-conforming clubs.

I’ve been looking hard at the TaylorMade R580 XD. It’s a gorgeous club, and knocks the mortal living heck out of those little white devils we call balls. In my searches, I discovered that TaylorMade has several non-US club models Out There, among which is the Burner 860.

Wilson Deep Red Irons

Braz, a 27 handicap golfer, reviews the Wilson Deep Red irons: in his opinion, an excellent set of irons for the mid- to high-handicapper.

deep-red-irons-set.jpgExecutive Summary: the Wilson Deep Red Irons are an excellet set of irons for a mid to high handicapper.

About the Purchase
Unlike Erik, I’m happy to report exactly where I purchased my set of Deep Red irons. I purchased the 2003 Deep Red Irons from, over eBay. They have a direct sales site, and if you feel like gambling, you can try their auctions. I opted for the latter choice, and ended up saving almost $100 in the process. If you’re in the market for a club or set and don’t mind older clubs, give them a shot.

Look and Feel
These clubs are aggressive, and a great deal of that bold aggressiveness comes from Wilson’s Fat Shafts. Instead of the standard hosel width, the Deep Reds have a nearly half-inch hosel which slams right into the head of the club. Most people don’t know Wilson for their golf clubs, but standing next to a guy with “normal” irons, you definitely get some glances.

Omega European Masters

The Omega European Masters featuring an aging Spaniard’s redesign and… Cindy Crawford?

The Omega European Masters got underway yesterday at that-course-in-the-Swiss-Alps-which-is-actually-a-ski-slope-seven-months-of-the-year, otherwise known as Crans-sur-Sierre.

Some notes about the event:

  • The course is 1,500 metres above sea level, so the ball carries about 10% further than normal. The caddies will be working extra hard on their math this week.
  • Seve Ballesteros altered/remodelled/butchered the course in 1997, supposedly to make it “tougher” for the professionals and limit low scoring, like Colin Montgomerie’s -24 mark in 1996. What did he do? Well, first of all, he turned a short par 4 into a long par 3. Genius! There’s one shot per round saved already! He also remodelled all the putting surfaces, to make them not so much upturned saucers as upturned teacups. Now, if my career was flagging, and all I had left was a stellar short game and a #1 ranked touch on the greens, what would I do to improve my chances of winning? (It didn’t work.)
  • The winner not only gets a nice pay cheque and a shiny trophy, but also a rather fetching red blazer… sorry, jacket. Almost makes you want to be a pro, don’t it? Well, if it’s presented by Cindy Crawford, then frankly, yes, it does.

Day 1 leaderboard: Miguel Angel Jimenez leads at -6 (65), with Sergio Garcia, Peter Baker, Peter Hedblom and Marc Farry a shot back.

Deutsche Bank Championship Tees Off on Friday

The Deutsche Bank Championship runs Friday to Monday, different from any other event on the PGA tour this year.

For those not familiar with the schedule, the Deutsche Bank Championship will begin the first round on Friday, September 3rd, 2004. This means a final round on Monday, September 6th, the only tournament this year with a final scheduled round on a Monday.

If you’re like me, you realized that today was Thursday and went to the Web to see what the latest scores were only to find that nobody had teed off yet. On the bright side, I won’t have this problem again this year.

Paula Creamer: Amateur For Now

Paula Creamer is going to remain an amateur… for now. She’s hedging her bets.

Paula Creamer, 18, is going to remain an amateur for now, says ESPN. Paula will compete as an amateur in the LPGA Q-School in order to compete in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in Puerto Rico in October. By remaining an amateur, Paula also preserves the option to compete in college if she fails to get her card.

Paula Creamer finished T13 (with Wie) in the US Women’s Open and 2nd at the Shoprite LPGA Classic in June. LPGA Q-School begins September 21.

The Simple Physics of Your Slice

The physics of ball flight are simple: your slice may not be a matter of swing path, but an open clubface.

A lot of people worry and wonder about their slices (or hooks). It’s very easy to get caught up into thinking that your slice is caused by one particular thing, such as an over the top move.

Guess what? You can buy the Inside Approach swing aid, come down the line or even slightly from the inside, and still hit a big honkin’ slice. How? Your clubface is open, stupid.

The physics of hitting a golf ball are relatively simple. If the angle of approach is not perpendicular to the angle of the clubface throughout impact, your ball will curve in the direction of the clubface. Slicers who come over the top and square the clubface hit a slice. If their clubface is square to their swingpath, they pull the ball. If their clubface is somewhere in between, the ball starts to the left and fades back to center.

Changing the angle of the clubface at impact is often a far easier solution than changing your swing to accommodate a new path of attack. Have an observer stand behind you and tell you exactly where the ball starts out off the clubface. If it’s dramatically right of your swing path, your clubface is open.

It’s simple physics.

“What Does That Get You?”

What does a USGA membership really give you?

I finally bit the bullet and joined the USGA. They sent a flyer to me at the office (go figure) offering a discount on the membership costs, and a free 2005 US Open hat.

Mmmmm. Free hat. I couldn’t resist.

So, I got my membership kit in the mail, tried on my hat and filed my new copy of the Rules of Golf with my old copy. I dutifully and only slightly reverently attached my USGA bag tag to my bag, and shuffled through the list of benefits I’d never take advantage of – free US Open tickets if you give at the moderately obscene level!

When my wife got home and saw the little envelope carcas on the kitchen counter, she picked it up like a caveman picking up a tool for the first time. She turned it over in her hands, curious, and looked at me.

“What’s this?”

I recommend that you DO NOT buy equipment from BHMGolf.hiddencom. Ever.

A few months ago, I purchased a Titleist 983K from bhmgolf.hiddencom (I’m not linking to them for a reason). They were $50 cheaper than my neighborhood shop. I forgave the abrupt fashion in which the owner (Brian) handled my transaction as “he’s probably busy, getting lots of orders for his stuff.”

I was more than accurate. I called again a day or two later to check on the order status and was treated rather rudely. I received the club a week later… with the wrong shaft. I’d wanted the YS-6, not the Graffaloy. I called – during his business hours – and left a message. I called again the next day. I sent emails. I called some more. I never received a return call or a return email. One time, I did get ahold of Brian and was sworn at and hung up on.

I exchanged the club at a local shop for one with the correct shaft. The $50 extra I would have paid to simply buy it from them in the first place is $50 I’d have gladly paid to avoid the hassle of dealing with BHMGolf.hiddencom.

Clearly, Brian H. Meyer of BHMGolf.hiddencom does not want my repeat business.

Golf-Tech-Porn and the r7 Quad

The new TaylorMade r7 Quad looks really nice, but will it help your game?

r7quad.jpgI finally got a chance to go out and play a round this weekend; between work and a pregnant wife, my golf time has become scarce. So, when my father-in-law called to ask if I could find some time to make an 8:20, I jumped all over it… after checking with my wife.

Standing in line to check in at the pro shop, I overheard the following snippet of conversation between the guy who was paired with us and one of the guys in the pro shop:

“So, have you had a chance to try out the new r7?”
“Yeah, I got one.”
The weekend duffer gets excitedly interested. “Really?!? What did you think?”
“Awesome. I was hitting the ball around 310, 315 yards off the tee.”
Wistfully, “Wow.”
“I mean, that was average. I hit it, what did I say Lisa? 325?”
Lisa, the lady behind the counter, perks up for a moment and responds with a wry grin. “Yeah, 325. Must have had a lot of roll…”
Undaunted, the pro shop employee continues. “Sure. 325 yards. The ball just exploded off the tee …”