The Sandtrap Articles and News
Golf News, Reviews, and Commentary
Updated: 54 min 20 sec ago
As with most stories there are two sides to be told. This case is no different, especially since the two sides were separated by fifty yards. The scene of this controversy was The Players Championship in the delayed third round in the final pairing of Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.
On the second hole, Garcia, away and hitting his second shot in the fairway was distracted by the gallery that was gathered around Tiger's drive in the left pine straw. Several seconds prior to Sergio's swing, Tiger pulled his fairway wood out of this bag and the crowd reacted favorably to his choice to go for it. This favorable cheering distracted Sergio and caused him (his own words) to miss the ball way right into the trees on the right. Sergio bogeyed the hole.
Read the rest of Why Tiger was Wrong, Sergio was Right (657 words)
They say that there is a sucker born every minute, for me, that directly applies to golf training aids. I am drawn to them like a bee to honey, I just cannot help myself. With a garage full of them now you would think that I would have learned my lesson, but with the glimmer of hope that that next aid will be the key to longer drives and pin seeking irons, probably not.
When I was given the opportunity to review the Tour Angle 144 I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to try out a new and exciting training aid. I first saw the Tour Angle 144 at the place that I see most of the training aids that I am drawn to: Golf Channel. The commercial itself was not very clear on how it helped the golfer other than in getting them in the proper set up. Therefore I didn't give it much of a second glance.
Once I was selected to do the review I did some more research and I was pleasantly surprised that it did more than just help the golfer in their set up position. Join me as I take a look at the very surprising device.
Read the rest of Tour Angle 144 Review (1,886 words)
This is like it was in in 2008, I thought to myself as I watched the final round of The Players. The drama and excitement which have been lessened considerably in the past few years were back. I had my whole family sitting in front of the television all watching Tiger Woods and his pursuers battle it out over the final holes at the TPC Sawgrass. A roar even went up as we watched in disbelief as Sergio Garcia dumped not one, but two balls in the drink on 17. Like him or not, Tiger Woods adds something to the game we all love. When he is in control of a tournament its just more fun to watch, at least it is for me... and my family.
In this post Players edition of HtL we begin with a look at why The Players is STILL not a major, then investigate betting in the college ranks, and check out the advice John Daly is handing out. Also, we turn our attention to the NCAA Championships happening this week, find out how the inductions into the World Golf Hall of Fame went, and do a wrap-up of The Players. Read on!
Read the rest of Volume Three Hundred Forty Nine (158 words)
Last year TaylorMade made a huge splash with the announcement of their Rocketballz fairway wood. They advertised that golfers would get seventeen more yards by making the switch to this oddly named club. It debuted to a huge success with numerous professionals and amateur golfers alike making the switch to this new technology.
In 2013 TaylorMade has now released an update to the Rocketballz line with Stage 2 fairway wood. The marketing campaign has termed the new line Rocketballz-IER. With the advent of social media they have added #IER and added the -IER to all of the TaylorMade professional staff bags. Much of the underlying technology that made the initial Rocketballz a success is packed into the Stage 2 clubs and they have also added some new features which TaylorMade claims added an additional ten yards to the club. Although to be fair in terms of advertising this claim is made with a ball speed of 150 MPH which is much greater than any of the weekend warriors I play with, myself included.
For this review I was given a 15 degree fairway wood, with a graphite Matrix RocketFuel stiff shaft. Join me as I go through the details of this RBZ Stage 2 fairway wood.
Read the rest of TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Fairway Wood Review (1,811 words)
I have to admit that I did not get to watch the final round of the 2013 Masters Toonamint live. I was flying on a plane to Asia, but my DVR caught the whole thing and I was able to watch every minute. Ever since the 2007 Masters where Zach Johnson won with an over-par score, the Masters tournament has done a wonderful job making exciting back nine drama.
This year's event was no different with the event in complete doubt leading up to the playoff. Although I knew the outcome, watching it unfold was still quite compelling. I am very happy to see Adam Scott take his first major especially after his falter down the stretch as the Open Championship last year. It would have been easy to let that event damage him and cause him to falter again coming into the final holes at Augusta.
Read the rest of Adam Scott wins the 2013 Masters… Now What? (685 words)
It was a soggy Sunday in Charlotte. The players did not look like they were having a very good time as they made it around Quail Hollow. And how about those beautiful greens? The big boys got a taste of what its like to hit a putt at the local muni this week. Several players even withdrew citing personal reasons, I guess putting on less than immaculate greens was too much to bear.
In this edition of HtL we start with a look at the newest ruling, check out the newest special edition driver from Cobra, and peruse some fan favorites still looking for their first major. Also, we take a peek at a Presidential putter, find out who the cool kids are on tour, and do a wrap up of the week's events. Read on!
Read the rest of Volume Three Hundred Forty Eight (207 words)
Hello again golf fans and welcome to another edition of Hittin' the Links. So what do you think Tiger had to do to get Lindsey Vonn's parents to come out publicly and give him the thumbs up? Expensive dinner perhaps, extravagant gifts, maybe he just wrote them a blank check? Anywho, you just can't seem to look anywhere at the supermarket checkout line and not see a picture of the two of them smiling ear to ear. Personally, I hope them the best, all we can hope for in this life is to be happy and they seem to be enjoying each others company, a lot!
In this edition of HtL, we check out Tigers newest approval, then look into Greg Norman's thoughts on drug testing, and take a peek at the three-legged beast of the Zurich Classic. Also, we peruse a recent golf memorabilia auction, find out what Jack thinks about balance, and do a wrap-up of the week's events. Read on!
Read the rest of Volume Three Hundred Forty Seven (163 words)
Tiger Woods should have withdrawn from the 2013 Masters.
Yes, it was more than he had to do, because the rules state that he was able to finish out the tournament, but withdrawing would have been the right thing to do.
On Saturday morning I got to my club as I do for most Saturday mornings for breakfast with my regular group. By that time ESPN and Golf Channel had already been talking about the drop. One of my good friends came in and I told him of the ruling and he immediately said that when he was watching the event he had told his wife after Tiger made the drop that it was not a correct drop. Sadly I did not get to see it live that day because I was working but I certainly saw the replay on all of the sports channels.
Read the rest of Why Tiger Should Have Withdrawn From the 2013 Masters (692 words)
Hello again golf fans and welcome to yet another Hittin' the Links. Australia is celebrating! After years of runner-up finishes the Aussies finally have their green jacket. I personally celebrated that yet another long putter captured a major championship, long live anchoring!
In this edition of HtL we begin with a look at how Greg Norman spent Masters Sunday, then look again at the Tiger debate, and check out the big number Bubba made. Also, we peruse the Holly Sonders photo shoot, find out what David Duval had to say, and do a wrap-up of the week's events. Read on!
Read the rest of Volume Three Hundred Forty Six (171 words)
Hello friends. For me the official start of spring is the sound of the opening tee shot at Augusta National. This year the man on form and who is likely everyone's favorite is Tiger Woods. He has started the season with three wins and hasn't looked this good going into the Masters for at least the past five years. To add to the drama Phil has already won in Phoenix this season and is also looking good. Then last week Rory McIlroy - who has been pretty awful this season - has seemingly pulled his game together and finished second at the Texas Open. There are no shortage of storylines going into the event.
This year here at Thrash Talk we have decided to change it up by allowing a different forum member to answer each our five questions along with the staff. We had some great responses. Without further ado here are everyones thoughts.
Read the rest of 2013 Masters Tournament Staff Picks and Questions (2,463 words)
If there is one thing you can say about the golf equipment industry, it is that it is one of trends. Over the last handful of years we have seen larger club heads, better balls, adjustable clubs, etc. One of the biggest equipment advances over recent years was the hybrid iron. Originally designed with the weekend golfer in mind, the hybrid was designed to replace the long irons but play more like a fairway wood. They helped players launch the ball higher and further than they ever could with their long irons.
However, even though the demand for hybrids are high and they have a place in many bags, some still don't like them. For players in this category there have been a few options. For years now, Mizuno has offered the Fli-Hi irons which have become very popular, and last year we saw Callaway jump in the mix with the X Utility iron which was in Ernie Els' bag when he won the British Open Championship. Starting in mid-May, golfers will be able finally be able to get their hands on Titleist's offering in this category, the 712U, which was introduced on the Tour late last year.
Read the rest of Titleist Introduces the New 712U Forged Utility Iron (468 words)
The Azaleas are blooming, the pimento sandwiches are made, and the green jackets are pressed...it must be Masters time. Hello, golf fans and welcome to the Master's edition of HtL. Its my favorite time of the year when everyone turns their attention to the city of Augusta, Georgia and the Masters. It was only two years ago when I myself finally had the chance to walk those hollowed fairways and see what all the fuss was about. Augusta National is beautiful on television, but one cannot completely understand its grandeur without seeing it firsthand. Its like no other place on earth.
In this edition of Hittin' the Links we begin with the Masters Website, then see who's giving Rory money now, and find out who Phil played a practice round with. Also, we check out Furyk's two drivers, investigate lefty's "special club", and do a wrap-up of the week's events. Read on!
Read the rest of Volume Three Hundred Forty Five (172 words)
Around this time one year ago, I wrote a review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, using a copy of the game I bought myself. I've been a loyal consumer of the Tiger Woods series of video games since about 2002, when the games were much, much simpler.
After a few off years, Tiger 13 was a step in the right direction, and Tiger 14 continues that. There are some bad things, and a few things that had me ready to snap my controller in half, but I can say with certitude that Tiger Woods 14 is the best game to date.
It keeps Augusta National, which was introduced in the 2012 version, and has expanded to include all four major championships (the real names, not just "Summer Major Championship"). The LPGA joins the PGA Tour, and more courses are included standard that in recent year.
More importantly, for the first time since the mid-2000s, former PGA Tour pros are in the game. Tiger 14 includes an assortment of major champions, including Arnold Palmer, who joins Tiger on the cover. The game retails for $60 on Xbox 360 and PS3, or $70 for the Collector's Edition (if you buy the regular edition, you can always upgrade to the collector's via DLC, for about $20). Kinect and Move support remain, though I have neither, so I won't be reviewing them.
Let's dive in.
Read the rest of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 Review (3,341 words)
For Michelle Wie, the title of this Thrash Talk does not perfectly apply. She went to Stanford, which is in Palo Alto, but it is in the Bay Area, so close enough. Sadly, Wie is likely to go down as one of the biggest busts in women's golf. Her parents have gotten and deserved most of the blame for the tragedy that has been her career, but at some point Michelle has to take some responsibility.
For starters, she should have never played in all the men's events she played in. I think the first Sony Open was great, my advice would have been you missed the cut by one, so we'll give it one more year. After the second year which wasn't as good it would have been the last time she played in a men's event. Instead she entered the John Deere Classic got heat exhaustion and the whole thing was a mess. This mistake was on her parents. They should have realized that her entering men's events was a circus and publicity event, and should have done a better job protecting her. They should have told her to play with the men is an admirable goal but let's win some events on the women's tour and establish ourselves as Annika did before entering the circus.
Read the rest of Lost My Heart in San Francisco (772 words)
This year, Callaway golf has come on strong with their new line of RAZR Fit and X Hot products. So far in the X Hot family they have introduced both standard and Pro versions of the driver, fairway woods, hybrids and irons. Taking things a step further, they are now introducing a deep face version of the X Hot Fairway that they are calling the X Hot 3Deep. In addition to the new wood, Callaway has updated it's tour level ball with the new HEX Chrome+. Odyssey Golf (Callaway's putter line) has also introduced a new product line with the Tank putters which aim to give ultimate stability.
Read the rest of Callaway Makes Updates Across the Board with New Woods, Putters and Balls (661 words)
Nice weather they were having in Florida. It took Tiger a whole extra day to regain his number one status. Better late than never, I guess. Let's see won three times already, number one in the world again, and dating Lindsey Vonn; it's good being Tiger.
In this edition of HtL we start out with a look at Tiger and Lindsey, then investigate Sergio's tree trouble, and find out what Tom Watson is giving back. Also, we look into Arnold's famous drink, find out what he and Kate Upton have in common, and do a wrap-up of the week's events. Read on!
Read the rest of Volume Three Hundred Forty Four (156 words)
Ask most non-golfers and they'll tell you watching golf on TV is boring. That's likely because without knowing how difficult it is to hit a four iron to fifteen feet under the pressure of tournament golf, it's hard to appreciate the achievement. Add to this the announcers doing most of the talking spits out so much golf jargon during the telecast that most non-golfers would either be interested to learn more or totally turned off. Most fall into the latter group.
Still, somebody has to talk during the telecast, and currently golf has some decent personalities doing the talking. Later I will do a story on the lead announcers like Jim Nantz, but for now I want to focus on the analysts. To qualify for a golf analyst you need to have had a moderately successful golf career and it doesn't hurt if you are slightly controversial and willing to speak your mind.
Read the rest of Analyzing Golf’s Analysts (748 words)
Since the infamous Thanksgiving Night 2009 car crash, Tiger Woods, once a sure thing to pass Jack's record of 19 major championships, has won just five times on the PGA Tour. All of those wins have come in a 13-month stretch, starting with the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational, and culminating in his won at Doral just recently. (And I'm not counting the Chevron because, c'mon, only host Tiger himself thinks that's a real tournament.)
Woods now has 76 wins on the PGA Tour, behind only Sam Snead's mark of 82 wins. His 14 majors trail just Nicklaus, and, if you're inclined to go there, he's also third all-time in European Tour wins (behind Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer) because they sanction the majors and WCG tournaments, which Tiger has dominated.
As Tiger marches back towards the world number one ranking, and readies for the first major of the season, let's take a look at his journey back from 58th in the world rankings.
Read the rest of Recapping Tiger’s Last Five Wins (1,438 words)
After about three years on the Nationwide Tour and six more of middling PGA Tour play, Brandt Snedeker broke through during last year’s FedExCup Playoffs, and won the $10 million top prize. Snedeker, who won earlier in the year at Torrey Pines, beat Justin Rose by three strokes down the stretch at the Tour Championships, vaulting him ahead of Jason Dufner, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy to win the Cup.
Snedeker has a few major championship close calls, and though he had yet to pull it, Sneds is a pretty solid bet to win one over the next few years. Let's jump in.
Read the rest of Nine Holes With Brandt Snedeker (1,502 words)