Golfers Delight: February 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Putters and Drivers

Next on the testing agenda we're Putters and Drivers. The following models went through our thorough testing:

Putter
- Ping Craz-e
- Taylor Made Monza Corza
- Odyssey 3Ball
- Geotech TR/5
- Nike Black OZ T130
- Honma Space Voyager 35" red
- Komperdell Soft Touch Y-One Way
- Kramski HPP 325
- Wilson Staff KC IV
- Callaway Odyssey White Steel 2-Ball SRT
- Longridge F1 Mallet

Somehow I have the feeling that putter designers tend to have a size competition going on. The bigger the better? Especially for the Odyssey 3-Ball Putter you'll need another bag. I cannot see how this should help. With the sheer size of this thing you'll have to concentrate more on moving it without hurting anybody than putting the ball into the cup.

The Taylor Made Monza Corsa shows how good desing and functionality can work together. The Kramski putter also stood out with its functional and clean design. But even at a price tag of EUR 599, the ball doesn't find the way itself into the cup.

My personal favourite out of all the model was the Nike Black OZ T130, we called it the batman putter. Go check the Nike Golf website to see for yourself. I love the design, it is well balanced and has a very soft insert. I prefer this when putting, gives me the feeling of a better control over the ball. I guess the price was around EUR 159, which I find pretty resonable.

Driver
- Wilson Staff Dd6 Loft 11.5
- Srixon W506 10.5
- TaylorMade R7 Quad 425 10.5 R80
- Callaway X460 Driver, 11.0
- Cleveland 460cc Launcher II Titanium
- MacGregor NVG2
- Pineapple Geotech HSW II Titan
- Honma 425 RF Titanium ARMRQ 856
- Komperdell 460cc 11.0 55-A R-Flex
- Longridge 420cc Titanium
- Nike SQ Driver 10.5 Regular Graffaloy Blue
- Ping G5 Offset Logt 10.5
- Wilson Staff Pd6 Regular 10.0

To be honest, I am not a Driver person. At my point of the game, my 5- and 7-wood gives me good lenght off the tee (around the 200m mark) without errant drives (most of the time). So the driver testing was probably hte hardest thing for me to get used to.

I clearly preferred two models, that gave me a good feeling and repeatable distances: the TaylorMade R7 Quad 425 10.5 R80 and the Nike SQ Driver 10.5 Regular Graffaloy Blue. I tend to like the less stiff shafts and a little more loft to the driver. The Wilson Staff Dd6 Loft 11.5 should have been my choice then, but it didn't "feel" that good.

Star of the pack surely was the Honma 425 RF Titanium ARMRQ 856 that I hit twice on the thursday round and produced good lenght, but on the narrow course I wasn't able to place the drives on the fairways. So I looked forward to testing it, but the pleasure didn't last long, as after hitting the third ball on the range the clubhead broke!!! Just flew away and landed in the creek crossing the driving range. Can you belive that? A 1.000 EUR-driver and it just breaks? OK, it was a sample driver that had probably been tested by some other persons before, but still.... I may print myself another golf-shirt with "Honma-Killer" written on the back!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Golf TV weekly

Back from Mallorca, I missed the tournament action from last week. In the WGC-Match Play Championship at La Costa, California, Geoff Ogilvy, the 52nd seed, beat Davis Love 3&2. Veteran Kirk Triplett wins the Chryler Classic of Tycson with a final round of 63, Alex Cejka finishes in 66th position.

Some more impressions from Mallorca will follow this week as I didn't manage to get it all written down on the weekend. It was good fun, believe me.

Stay tuned this week for the following on golf TV:

Monday, 27. February
22.30 CNN, Living Golf

Wednesday, 01. March
18.05 Eurosport, Wednesday Selection
19.15 Eurosport, US PGA Tour "Chrysler Classic of Tucson, AZ (USA)"
20.15 Eurosport, European Tour "Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur (MAS)"

Saturday, 04. March
18.30 n-tv, Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Sunday, 05. March
18.30 n-tv, Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Premiere subscribers check the extended list on golferlink.de.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Hybrids and Fairwaywoods

This morning we tested the Hybrids and Fairwaywoods. In the past I tried hybrids on different occasions, but wasn't convinced of them. So I was a little sceptical about me and the hybrids.

We tested the following:
- Cleveland Hybrid Halo Graphite, 25° loft
- Geotech Rv2 Carbon H4, 23° Loft
- Honma U22 Utility Wood ARMRW 2* R
- Callaway Big Bertha Heavenwood 6 Regular, 29° Loft
- Komperdell Hyperglide 22
- Kasco K2K 44R
- MacGregor MT Utility, 23° Loft
- Srixon AD Hybrid '4 Regular
- Taylormade Rescue Dual 22RH R 80
- Wilson Dh6, 22° Loft
- Voit V10 Hybrid, 21° Loft
- Ping G5 Hybrid, 22° Loft


After hitting a couple of shots I soon found my favourites: Cleveland Hybrid Halo Graphite and Callaway Big Bertha Heavenwood 6 Regular. They fitted like a glove, good solid impact and between 150 and 200m in length. Normally, for these distances I would use something between 5 iron and 5 wood. Surprisingly, the Cleveland hybrid had the almost identical design as the Ping G5 hybrid. The Ping produced the same lenght as the Cleveland, but not with the same precision.

I was curious about the Honma, as I had never played the brand before. My two shots with the Honma driver on the course yesterday were impressive, but the hybrid didn't meet my expectations. It produced some good lengths, but it didn't "feel" that good. I didn't think that it had such a good error tolerance. I'd definitely prefer the Callaway, and its more than half the price.

We didn't get through with all the Fairwaywoods today (rain still pouring), but my two favourites at the moment are the Sonartec SS2.5 3wood and the Callaway Big Bertha X 3wood. I'll get back on those tomorrow.

Sunny Mallorca?

After a delayful thursday morning we arrived at Camp de Mar around noon. After quickly putting our stuff into the hotel room we gathered at the driving range for a first warmup. Unfortunately, it rained all afternoon - more or less.


Nevertheless, three of us decided to tee off anyway. We hadn't started testing yet, but we took two drivers (Taylormade and Honma) and a Kramski putter onto the round. We only played eight holes before it was too dark to continue, but it was good for some first impressions of the Andratx golf course. Beautifully layed out in the mallorcan hills, it offers many challenges. First of all, do not even think about errant driving. Straight, accurate and hopefully long drives help you a lot here.

The Honma driver really delivers these long drives, an impressive piece of equipment with a shattering sound when you make a good hit. You can expect something for the EUR 1.000 price tag.

Testing really starts today, but the rain is pouring heavily, so I doubt that we will be able to go on a round. More to come later.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Nu Shooz

I was just over at the driving range and whilst hitting the golf balls I thought about the exprected rain in the upcoming days.

Problem is, I have two pairs of golf shoes, the classis Adidas leather shoe for the more wet and cold conditions and one pair of Nikes more suitable for hot summer days. If you play all day in the rain you have the problem getting your shoes dry overnight for the next day. So I decided to cross the street to the Midway Golf Shop in Berlins Habersaathstrasse to see what they have shoewise, the "35% off all shoes"-sign encouraged me even more.

After trying different pairs on I got stuck with the shoes I then couldn't resist to buy: the Adidas Tech Adventure in navy/black:

It sure looks more like a trekking shoe, but believe me, I never felt more comfortable than in this one. It features adiprene cushioning, Torsion system and Kevlar speed laces. Kevlar, grrrr! And it comes with a one year waterproof warranty. That's exactly what I was looking for.

And instead of a 120 EUR price tag I got it for 78 EUR. Yessir!

Club Testing in Mallorca

February in Berlin isn't exactly the time of year to go out on the course, with the soil still frozen and everything. Luckily, I will have the chance to escape the bad weather and fly to Mallorca for four days. By invite of a large german newspaper, we will hit the Golf de Andratx course and test everything new on the club market for the newspapers golf supplement (aaah, that's what the mysterious hint was all about).

(picture courtesy of Golf de Andratx)

About that I am excited not only because of the weather reasons. I have been playing my Wilson Fat Shaft irons for over two years now and they still serve me good. But my play has developed and I am curious to see what other clubs out there might comfort me or even help me in various situations. As of yet I don't know what equipment we will be testing, but it should be the latest in irons, hybrids, wedges and woods. With me there will be eight other fellow golfers with different handicaps, I presume that I will have the red lantern with my handicap around the 30 mark.

It will also be my mallorquin golf premiere, I have visited the island before, but not to play golf. I had a chance to get a glimpse of the Golf de Andratx course two weeks ago, as the n-tv golf magazine 'Abschlag' reported from there. From what I saw it really looks interesting and promising.

The weather in Mallorca is supposed to be rainy in the next couple of days, temperatures will rise up to 15° Celsius. I don't mind the rain and already got my rain gear out. Part of it I bought two years ago, when - also in February - we traveled to Spain to play AC Nuevo Portil Golf and Castro Marim Golf Course. Rain was pouring every single day back then.

Let's hope it gets a little better this time. As far as my preparations go, I will hit the range after I finish writing this and will see my pro tonight for some lessons. Of course I want to look good! ;-)

And of course I'll try to blog from there. Hopefully they have a WLAN of some kind. So stay tuned for more this week - from Mallorca.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

World Golf Championship Series

Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els lead the field at the first tournament of the World Golf Championship Series in San Diego. They are top-seeded in the four individual playing groups named Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Sam Snead.

Two players out of the 64 top-ranked in the world are missind in the tournament, Sergio Garcia pulled out earlier as well as Thomas Bjorn. So these player will battle it out for a prize money total of 7,5 million dollars (seeded positions in brackets):

(1) Tiger Woods v (64) Stephen Ames
(32) Robert Allenby v (33) KJ Choi
(16) Henrik Stenson v (49) Paul Casey
(17) Chad Campbell v (48) Tim Herron
(8) David Toms v (57) Ian Poulter
(25) Jose Maria Olazabal v (40) Brandt Jobe
(9) Adam Scott v (56) Lucas Glover
(24) Stuart Appleby v (41) Tom Lehman
(4) Ernie Els v (61) Bernhard Langer
(29) Stewart Cink v (36) Mike Weir
(13) Michael Campbell v (52) Geoff Ogilvy
(20) Nick O'Hern v (45) Fred Funk
(5) Phil Mickelson v (60) Charles Howell
(28) Bart Bryant v (37) John Daly
(12) David Howell v (53) Steve Elkington
(21) Scott Verplank v (44) Lee Westwood
(2) Vijay Singh v (63) Graeme McDowell
(31) Rory Sabbatini v (34) Miguel Angel Jimenez
(15) Angel Cabrera v (50) Peter Lonard
(18) Padraig Harrington v (47) Rod Pampling
(7) Chris DiMarco v (58) Mark Calcavecchia
(26) Tim Clark v (39) Arron Oberholser
(10) Kenny Perry v (55) Carl Pettersson
(23) Davis Love v (42) Mark Hensby
(3) Retief Goosen v (62) Paul Broadhurst
(30) Justin Leonard v (35) Ben Crane
(14) Luke Donald v (51) Richard Green
(19) Darren Clarke v (46) Shigeki Maruyama
(6) Jim Furyk v (59) Zach Johnson
(27) Fred Couples v (38) Sean O'Hair
(11) Colin Montgomerie v (54) Niclas Fasth
(22) Paul McGinley v (43) Shingo Katayama

Monday, February 20, 2006

Golf TV weekly

Tiger, you earned 77 million euros last year, for christs sake, buy an umbrella.

Eurosport is filled with broadcasting the winter olympics, so no reports on Rory Sabbatini winning the Nissan Open or Charlie Wi winning his first title on the European Tour at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

As for the german players, Marcel Siem shoots a final round of 66 (his best of the year) in Malaysia to finish tied 26th. Alex Cejka missed the cut at the Nissan Open.

Your golf tv schedule for this week reads as follows:

Monday, 20. February
22.30 CNN, Living Golf

Saturday, 25. February
18.30 n-tv, Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Sunday, 26. February
18.30 n-tv, Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Premiere subscribers check the extended list on golferlink.de.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Rheingolf

Another golf fair is on the way, in Cologne the Rheingolf takes place from february 17th-19th.

In the newbuilt Cologne fairground exhibitors such as Karstadt, Kaufhof, GolfHouse, Golf Partner, Hohmann´s golf shop Berlin, Fairway golf shop und JUMBO Golfwereld will show the latest in equipment and apparel.

Another focal point of the fair will be golf travel, as all important national and international destinations will be present. Furthermore, german golf resorts will present themselves such as Bad Griesbach, Land Fleesensee or Arosa-Scharmützelsee.

If you want to save on the entrance fee, bring your girl or wifey on sunday aka "Ladies Day". She will get entry for free and a present if the gentleman pays the normal full entrance price.

Golf TV weekly

Aron Oberholser wins the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, finishing at 17-under 271, five shots ahead of Rory Sabbatini. This five-shot victory matches also the largest margin in the 77-year history of the tournament.

The tournament footage is only shown on Premiere, but if you point your browser at the video section of the PGA Tour website, you can check out all the highlights from the pro-am tournament. Don't miss out on the Bill Murray specials, they are hilarious. Justin Timberlake also has a decent swing from what I could see on the videos.

If you wanna watch TV, this is the rest of the week:

Monday, 13. February
22.30 CNN, Living Golf

Saturday, 18. February
18.30 n-tv, Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Sunday, 19. February
18.30 n-tv, Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Premiere subscribers check the extended list on golferlink.de.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

DGV Annual

The DGV (german golf association) just published a 2005 annual with a review of tournaments, german championship rankings and other highlights from the pas year. Nice flashanimation of the bookpages!

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Another interesting event is coming our way this week, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Besides the PGA professionals many celebrities like Clint Eastwood and Bill Murray join in the game.

The tournament is being played on three of the most exquisit golf courses California has to offer: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Poppy Hills and Spyglass Hill Golf Club.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson shot 24 birdies in the tournament last year, let's see if he can do it again this year. Be sure to check the tournament coverage here, here or here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hanse Golf

Starting the upcoming friday, golfers from and around Hamburg will have the chance to visit the golf trade fair Hanse Golf (Messehallen Hamburg).

Check out on the newest golf equipment for the upcoming season or have your swing videoanalyzed by the golf teachers of David Leadbetter Golf Academy (appointments can be made via the Hanse Golf website.

The fair is open February 10th-12th from 10:00 until 18:00, get a discount on the entry fee with the online voucher.

Golf on the moon



35 years ago, astronaut Alan Shepard played the only golf shot on the moon.
Before climbing back into the lunar module, Shepard took out of his suit pocket "a little white pellet that's familiar to millions of Americans" − a golf ball − and dropped it on the surface. Then, using the handle for the contingency sample return container, to which was attached "a genuine six−iron," he took a couple of one−handed swings. He missed with the first, but connected with the second. The ball, he reported, sailed for "miles and miles."
(via)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Golf TV weekly

Tiger Woods remains undefeated in 2006, winning the Dubai Desert Classic in yet another playoff, edging out Ernie Els. Ernie found first the sand, then the water, thus bogeying the first playoff hole, whilst Tiger plays a solid par. This earns Tiger some modest 329,760 Euro (plus the 2 million Euro he got just for showing up). The only german player in the field Marcel Siem finished in tied 60th.

Alex Cejkas lead at the Phoenix Open didn't last long, he ends up tied 53rd. Bernhard Langer finishes the tournament at tied 50th.

Watch the tournament summaries on Eurosport on Wednesday, here is this weeks program:

Monday, 06. February
22.30 CNN, Living Golf

Wednesday, 08. February
20.20 Eurosport, Wednesday Selection
21.30 Eurosport, US PGA Tour "FBR Open in Scottsdale, AZ (USA)"
22.30 Eurosport, European Tour "Desert Classic in Dubai (UAE)"

Saturday, 11. February
08:30 Tele5, SI:Lifestyle on Golf
18.30 n-tv, Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Sunday, 12. February
18.30 n-tv, Abschlag - Golf bei n-tv

Premiere subscribers check the extended list on golferlink.de.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Winter Golf

As a passionate golfer not living in a sunblessed place - like Florida, Dubai, California where you can play all year long, most of the time with just a polo shirt - you have to find a way to settle with the outer conditions.

Thanks to the invention of colored golf balls, playing in the snow isn't such big an obstacle any more. Maybe we started a trend a couple of years ago when we hit golf balls down the Sölden glacier. Who knows.

A couple of years later, snow golf tournaments pop up all over the place. In Austria, it is used as an event to market the Salzburger Land, in Switzerland you can play Winter tournaments in Silvaplana or get some introductory golf lessons in Appenzellerland together with your "Glühwein".

After walking over the frozen lake of Templin (outside Potsdam) today, I thought we should do the same thing as the people in Matanuska Valley, Alaska, hitting balls on an icy lake. Let's see who needs the fewest strokes from Potsdam to Caputh!

GolfDash Golf Towels

Look what was in the mail yesterday, these two practical golf towels by golfdash.com. Thanks Doug!

Couple of weeks ago, Doug from golfdash.com bumped into my blog and we had a little conversation via iChat. GolfDash is your golf web directory, still has to build up some momentum over here in Europe, but hey, this can be solved. Check out their website and see if this is something for you!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Cejka in the lead

Wow, this is a headline we haven't seen in a while.

Alex Cejka is in the lead at the Phoenix Open with a six-under 65 in Scottsdale, Arizona. He shares the lead with American Steve Lowery.

Further away in the field are the likes of Phil Mickelson, Jose-Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia. Bernhard Langer is at level par, together with Vijay Singh.

Let's hope that Alex keeps the pace and produces a good result!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dubai Desert Classic

Tiger Woods pays the European Tour a visit as they compete at the Emirates Golf Club for the Dubai Desert Classic.

The tournament is already underway, Retief Goosen and Richard Green and Jamie Donaldson are co-leaders at -7 -8 for the day. Tiger Woods just started his round with a par on hole one as I write this is tied fifth at five under. Marcel Siem is in tied 53rd position at one under, still above the cut line.

Follow the tournament via the live leaderboard on the European Tour website.

Update:
- looks like Ian Woosnam had a shitty day,
- but not as bad as Stuart McMurdo's day,
- can I have Jamie Donaldsons back nine please?

Golf Nut of the Day

David Brown, played 18 holes in 29 minutes 38.5 seconds, a Guinness World Record.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What not to wear in your next tournament

... at least if you don't want to get fined by the European Tour's players' committee (full story here).

In my opinion, there should be a fine for wearing pink chequered trousers instead!!!

Oh, by the way, did I already mention our fabulous collection of golf shirts:

Indoorgolf-Guide

I already introduced the Capitol Yard Golf Lounge to you, last night we played our first After Work Golf Indoor round there.

Another fine venue for indoor golfing is the Driving Lounge Berlin in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. I haven't played there yet, but found a nice report about it on the Hauptstadtblog (german only).

For all you non-Berliners, golf.de offers an extensive list of venues all over germany, where you can practice your game indoors. So no more excuses, go out and play!