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Candywood Golf Club (Vienna, OH) Review

Jun. 7, 2006     By     Comments (1)

Candywood FlagCandywood Golf Club is a public course just across the Ohio border from Sharon, PA in a town called Vienna. The region boasts a lot of fine, affordable golf courses ranging from Tam O'Shanter to Yankee Run and Oak Tree Country Club (reviewed here).

Director of Golf Barry Good invited The Sand Trap to play a round at his course, and we readily accepted. He described the course as "a good mixture of open and tighter holes of varying length and difficulty." He also said that the greens were some of the best in the area.

Staff member Dave Koster's father Ed and I played Candywood in mid-May, just as the trees were beginning to blossom and sprout leaves. What began as a cloudy day ended up turning into a perfect afternoon: blue skies salted with clouds and peppered with a slight breeze that kept things cool and proper club selection an important factor.

Scotty Cameron by Titleist Circa 62 Putter Review

Jun. 2, 2006     By     Comments (37)

Scotty Cameron Circa 62 Number ThreeScotty Cameron's line of Titleist putters occupies a unique niche in the flatstick universe. After joining forces with Titleist in the mid-1990s, Cameron's milled product line essentially created the $250-plus premium putter market. Titleist regularly leads the PGA Tour in putters in play, and Cameron's putters have such a strong reputation - and resale value - that entire businesses are built around buying and selling them.

If you're one of Cameron's crazies, you probably know all about his new Circa 62 line. If you aren't, read on and find out what this new line of milled putters is all about, and what a $299 putter can do for your game.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (37)

RadarGolf System Review

May. 26, 2006     By     Comments (12)

RadarGolf LogoPlay golf and you will quickly learn that a golf ball can and will find a place to hide from you. Play enough golf and you will spend a lot of time hunting down golf balls for yourself, your friends, and groups on neighboring holes.

Creating an easily findable golf ball is not the newest idea on the market. In fact, patents for similar "innovations" date back to 1925. However, we live in the 21st century, and the RadarGolf System is currently the leader.

I was able to spend some time with a RadarGolf system which promises to lower your scores and raise you enjoyment but the real question is, will you ever lose another golf ball again? Read on to find out…

TaylorMade TP Red/TP Black Ball Review

May. 19, 2006     By     Comments (35)

Taylormade TP Ball SleevesTitleist has ruled the "premium ball" roost since, well, since there was a roost to be ruled. In the pre-Tiger era, I remember seeing advertisements that said "The last 47 U.S. Opens have been won with a Titleist ball" (or something like that). Eventually, Tiger and his Nike R&D chums managed to put a stop to that streak, but Titleist still owns darn near 85% of the premium ball market, leaving Callaway, Nike, Bridgestone, and others to pick up the scraps.

Today, a new player officially enters the market: TaylorMade. We covered the launch of TaylorMade's "Tour Preferred" line of golf balls in several articles (here, here, here, and here), and since then we've been playing with both the TP Red and the TP Black.

Here, finally, are our exhaustive thoughts on the newest challenger to the throne the Pro V1 built.

Posted in: Balls, Review Comments (35)

Cleveland HiBore Driver Review

May. 19, 2006     By     Comments (37)

Clveland HiBore SoleCleveland's HALO Hybrid is one of the more unique hybrids to hit the market. Featuring a "scooped back" design, the HALO succeeded at getting the ball in the air with a good amount of spin. Consumers voted with their wallets, and the HALO is the third-best selling hybrid at retail.

Cleveland, spurred on by the success of the HALO, has forged forward with the scoop-back design with the HiBore driver. The HiBore driver not only features the same dome-less crown as the HALO, but also the wider stance and lower center of gravity (CG). These changes, Cleveland says, marries the location of the CG with the center of the clubface, resulting in a super-long, super-forgiving clubhead.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (37)

Sun Mountain RainFlex Pullover Review

May. 19, 2006     By     Comments (0)

Sun Mountain LogoKeeping dry on the golf course is important in many parts of the country all the time and in all parts of the country some of the time. Sure, you may have been blessed to live somewhere with very little precipitation, but the Pacific Northwest in not such a place.

They say that if you're not prepared for the rain in Washington, well, you'll be wet more often than dry. We've grown accustomed to playing golf in the rain, though not without the aid of technology. More than even Starbucks, Gore-Tex™ and other waterproof materials get us through the days.

Never Compromise GM2-HM Putter Review

May. 12, 2006     By     Comments (0)

Never Compromise GM2 HM FaceThe distinctive black and grey color scheme of Never Compromise's putters make them a stand-out on the PGA Tour. It doesn't hurt that Cleveland Golf - Never Compromise's parent company - has two of the world's top eight golfers stroking putts with the black and grey putters. David Toms and Vijay Singh guarantee Never Compromise abundant airtime.

There's a story behind the color scheme (though it's not nearly as exciting as the tale about lightning striking a black putter and burning off the finish, leaving only a silver/grey strip in the middle) but at this point it's become more a marketing gimmick. After all, TV viewers may not be able to tell a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 from a Ping Anser, but they can pick a black-and-grey Never Compromise putter from anything else.

Unfortunately, marketing doesn't make putts. I had the opportunity to try the Gray Matter 2 - Half Mallet (or "GM2-HM" for short) the past few weeks, and I made my share of putts. Read on for more.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (0)

Tour Edge Exotics Driver Review

May. 7, 2006     By     Comments (25)

TourEdge Exotics DriverTour Edge Golf is celebrating 20 years in the golf biz this year - and the company is also celebrating its recent move from the value segment of the industry to the thick of the performance segment. After several successful years of selling solid products at a price below the big names, Tour Edge introduced its Exotics line of high-performance, premium-priced equipment last year. The first product was a line of fairway woods that garnered good reviews and a vocal group of fans.

New for this year is the Exotics driver. Does it live up to the promise of the Exotics fairway woods? Read on to find out.

Tour Edge has long had a well-deserved reputation as a hidden gem in the golf club market. The company has always made good equipment at reasonable prices, and in recent years Tour Edge has been tinkering with some cutting edge technology.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (25)

TaylorMade RAC MB TP Irons Review

May. 5, 2006     By     Comments (56)

Taylormade RAC MB TP PromoWe've all seen the commercials. And they're true: TaylorMade, for all intents and purposes, "owns the tee box." Having established a dominant position in drivers with the r5 and then the r7, TaylorMade is making believers out of even the staunchest of opponents. Dave Koster, who has used Titleist drivers much of his life, recently put the r7 460 in his bag after reviewing it.

Leveraging the success TaylorMade has had with drivers, the Carlsbad, CA company is seeking to "own" other product categories as well. They make great hybrids (their "Rescue" clubs) and are widely regarded as the leader in that category. They recently introduced "TP" golf balls to compete with Titleist, Callaway, and Nike. Even their putters and apparel (via Adidas) have gotten a fair amount of acclaim.

Lost in the shuffle a bit have been TaylorMade's irons. Despite tremendous retail success with the higher-handicapper irons (see our RAC LT review), the company's better irons have fought an uphill battle against the likes of Titleist and Mizuno for the attention of lower handicappers. With the 2006 revision to their high-end model, TaylorMade's RAC MB TP irons what may be the best irons they've ever produced for better players.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (56)
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