(We tried finding an angry picture of Lefty for this article, but the guy is permanently smiling. So we had to make do.)
Maybe you've seen or heard about some of the latest groove controversy. It all started with a small rule change that seemed to be just another "nit picky" implementation by the USGA. Now it's developed into a major feud between players and USGA officials, led by Phil Mickelson on the players side.
When we first started hearing about the groove rule controversy, we assumed that it was just another pro athlete "prima donna" case. We thought that maybe the top 150 golfers in the world shouldn't be complaining about a simple equipment change, but we were wrong. It's really quite a cluster.
We run a spy golf news and reviews site, and we still don't fully understand what's going on. But we do know that when pros are going on Ebay to buy wedges from the 1980's that are exceptions to the rule, things are screwed up. What you have is basically a ridiculous specification change that is really effecting how golfers play the game, and it's completely unfair. Mickelson being one of the best players in the world, arguably has the most reason to be pissed. He essentially built his career around the 64 degree lob wedge, and is now being told that he cannot physically use it. According to Nick Faldo, it is now "impossible" to use a 64 degree wedge. The new groove rules have made such a drastic change that the ball literally slides up the face of the club, and can cause a variance in distances up to 20 feet when chipping. On top of that, the bafoons at the USGA have decided that a specific Ping Eye 2 Wedge from the 1980's, which has the old square grooves, is acceptable becuase it's grandfathered in yada yada yada.
"I agree that the rule, it's a terrible rule," Mickelson said. "To change to something that has this kind of loophole is nuts. But it's not up to me or any other player to interpret what the interpretation of the rule is or the spirit of the rule. I understand black and white. And I think that myself or any other player is allowed to play those clubs because they're approved. End of story."
So Mickelson adheres to the nonsense and puts a Ping Eye 2 wedge in his bag, only then to be called a "cheater" by Scott McCarron.
According to the golf channel: "After testing an array of scenarios (U groves, V-like grooves, and no grooves) with players of all levels, the USGA, jointly with the R&A, determined that the V-like grooves are the best way to add the question back into the game."
Well they certainly have added question to the game. We are questioning if they have any common sense. Probably very little, if any. Anyway, we wish Phil luck in his battles with the USGA.
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If your into golf and electronics, then you may need to check this out. SkyGolf released the new SkyCaddie SGX at the 2010 PGA Show and it makes some great strides at being more than just a simple GPS. The SGX is now part caddie.
This rangefinder uses a new technology called SmartClub that you put on the top of your grips. It allows the machine to identify the clubs without the need to enter them in manually. After a few practice sessions it will automatically learn your game and make club recommendations according to the specific situation and distance. So when you want to pull out what you think should be a 6 iron, the SGX will quietly remind you that your either crazy or simply mistaken about your abilities. Reaching that back of the green pin placement will take at least a 5 iron you goof, and the SGX isn't afraid to tell you.
Another cool added feature to the new SkyCaddie SGX is the social networking golf data. You will be able to share your game stats, including scores, shot distance, and even what's in your bag with friends, an instructorm or anyone else you wish to share with.
And if you don't have an instructor, or opinionated friends that think they can help, the SGX has you covered. The ClubSG that stores your information online can suggest a pro that will help you fix that ugly mess of swing.
One last perk... You don't have to tip the SkyCaddie a Grant(50 dollar bill) at the end of your round.
Check out the video above. It's quite possibly the most beautiful golf product video ever made.
Ok, normally we try to find products that are interesting or exciting, but this just blows everything completely out of the water! This year at the 2010 PGA Show, Pure Grips is attracting some major attention! If your anywhere within about 50 yards of their booth, you will hear a loud noise that will instantly intruige your curiosity. Then you will walk over only to find one of the coolest golf products of the year! They are called Pure Grips, and like the title of our article says, they are purely incredible. The loud noise that we heard was the sound of an air gun that comes free with any grips you purchase from pure grips. This gun is used for easily removing and replacing the grips, without any glue, dry time or tape. Of course, you can add or decrease tape to change the thickness if you'd like; however, if you don't waste too much time, changing an entire set of grips can be done in about 15 minutes! Yeah, you heard right. An entire set of clubs can be re-gripped and ready to play in under 15 minutes. And this process is all you. No need to pay some golf club black smith. Pretty sick huh?
So the 2010 PGA Show is here, and as usual we've been milling around, checking out new products, and even demoing some clubs. But one of our most important jobs is to locate the most interesting and unusual products to show our readers. We feel that golf, golf shows, and golf products can get boring if your not on the lookout for things like the Hockey Stick putter. And to answer your question, yes we tried it, and yes we held it like Happy Gilmore. How could we pass up such an opportunity?
Keep checking back with us the next few days for more 2010 PGA Show updates.
Phil Mickelson entered a packed room of about 60 reporters Wednesday at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. He then read the following pre-prepared statement:
"The first is obviously the Tiger, uh, topic," Mickelson said. "The game of golf needs him to come back. I mean it's important for him to come back and be a part of the sport, but right now he's got a lot more important things going on in his life. And Amy and I are good friends with both Tiger and Elin and we care deeply about how this turns out, but I'm going to choose not to talk about it publicly anymore, and I appreciate you guys' understanding on that."
Asked why he, like others, has been reluctant to talk about Woods, Mickelson responded:
"Well, again, I don't want to talk about it publicly for the reason that we're friends and we have a personal relationship, and I just don't feel--I feel like it's a violation of our trust and our relationship."
Mickelson did allow that he and his wife, Amy, have had "limited communication" with the Woods family, although "not necessary saying with who in the family."
Asked to comment on the coverage of the Woods scandal, Mickelson threw it back to his questioners.
"As far as the media exposure or coverage, I think it's more of a question for you," he said. "That's your industry. That's what you guys do for a living. How do you feel it was covered? I don't know. That's more of a question for you guys."
Titleist Rory McIlroy, who finished third last week in Abu Dhabi, has switched from playing Titleist ZB muscle back blades to the company's new MB irons. McIlroy is carrying a 3- through 9-iron, 1 upright, with True Temper Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts. Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Karlsson have also recently switched to the new clubs.
David Duval and Jamie Lovemark both experimented with an 18° Nike Victory Red Hybrid before the start of the rain-soaked Bob Hope Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.
Nike also reports that Sweden's Carl Pettersson had tour reps make him a Victory Red Split Cavity 4- and 5-iron last week. Pettersson, who plays Victory Red Forged Blades (5-PW), joins a group of several other Nike staff players who have created combo sets using various Nike clubs.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Champions Tour player Jim Thorpe has been sentenced to a year in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in income taxes.
Thorpe's attorney, Mark Horwitz, said Friday that Thorpe must turn himself in to authorities by April 1. The 60-year-old player also was sentenced to two years of supervised release and 200 hours of community service. He must try to repay the taxes while he's on supervised release.
In September, Thorpe pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay income taxes and faced up to two years in prison.
Horwitz said Thorpe "has accepted his punishment and will be getting on with his life."
Thorpe has 13 Champions Tour victories after winning three times on the PGA Tour.
"While it is unfortunate and regrettable that this is the final resolution, Jim has taken responsibility for his actions and has expressed his remorse," the PGA Tour said in a statement.
Golf watches was a recent topic of discussion in our Forum, so we decided to do a quick write up on this one (even though it's been out a while). The Tag Heuer professional golf watch looks great, and is ideal for golfing. Price is $1,600.
The first watch for golf professionals, developed and worn by the world's best player. It has been specially designed to meet golfers’ special requirements. Its high-tech materials and carefully studied ergonomic design means that the TAG Heuer professional golf watch will never bother a golfer during the swing. With black dial and a brushed steel bezel. Features a date window.
The new Swami 1500 Golf GPS from IZZO Golf is a new and improved version of an already great product. Simple to read, easy to use, and low priced are three areas that this little GPS nails. Like we've said before, if your in the market for a Golf GPS that just works, pick up a Swami 1500. It will not disappoint. (Check it out at booth 1119 at the PGA Show this year)
Izzo Golf is pleased to announce the launch of the next generation SWAMI 1500 Golf GPS. The new SWAMI employs a number of firmware updates designed to improve performance and make it easier to use. According to David Witkoski, Marketing Manager for Izzo Golf, “ This new version of the SWAMI offers an auto-shut off feature to preserve battery life and provide more rounds with a single charge. The SWAMI will no longer need to be manually shut down and golfers will get more play out of the 16-hour battery charge. We have also added a low charge alert feature that lets the golfer know when to recharge the SWAMI.”
The SWAMI is a fast, and accurate, and affordable golf GPS unit that retails for $99.99. There is a $9.99 membership fee for access to all USA and Canadian courses. Renewal of the fee is optional and the last 10 courses loaded will remain on the unit in perpetuity.