Gangway Desk-Cleaning Time

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Is an idle mind indeed the devils playground? I call the monkey bars!
 
  • Its good to see that major manufacturers have realized that women golfers want performance equipment more than pretty colors. Callaways new HX Pearl golf ball tells a high energy-core, soft-feel story first, then gets around to the distinctive pearlescent finish. And TaylorMade-adidas has the Miscela club sets in its line, with not a hint of pink, periwinkle, or light blue anywhere. Stereotyping is easy, but respect pays. Kudos to those OEMs who have figured it out.
     
  • Speaking of Callaway, its X460 driver has hit stores. The big-head story you know, with all its stability benefits. But what you might not have seen is the specially designed sole that prevents the club from rocking out of alignment at address. Set up, sole it, and its pointed where you want to go.
     
    J.B. Holmes
    J.B. Holmes is averaging over 313 yards off the tee.
  • Got Bubba? About the only thing that could make the new crop of long hitters on the PGA Tour more entertaining is if J.B. Holmes changed his name to Bubba, as in big smackers Watson and Dickerson. (Cue the Monty Python references: Wouldnt it be easier if we just called you Bruce?) But Bubbas aside, J.B. has a lot of players looking into working longer shafts into their drivers. Bigger arc, bigger drive, goes the physics. And its technically true ' but every golf benefit involves some sort of tradeoff, and in this case it can be control at the top of the swing. Still, Vijay Singh and others have tried it, and in some cases, stuck with the longer war clubs. As long as fairway numbers dont dip too much, drivers in the hands of talented tour players will bump up against the legal limit, which is 48 inches overall club length.
     
  • Aldila had a killer year in 2005, largely thanks to the popularity of its NV line of shafts. The companys $77 million in sales for 2005 was a 46 percent leap from the nearly $53 million sold in 2004. Net sales for last year were $13.4 million, 44 percent better than in 2004 and a company record. No laurel-sitting, though: New shafts coming out include the NV ProtoType and the VS Proto. The latter is already hot on the tours; both the NV and VS feature carbon nanotubes and Aldilas proprietary resin system. There will be a VS version for hybrids too, as well as Gamer wood and iron shafts to match the already released Gamer hybrid shaft.
     
  • Did you know theres also a minimum club length? Its 18 inches overall (Rules of Golf, Appendix II(1)(c)). Short putter users, be alert. The legislatively minded of you can check out the appropriate Rules page on the U.S. Golf Associations very informative website, www.usga.org. (For a look at the club length page, go straight to http://www.usga.org/playing/clubs_and_balls/guide/guide_to_the_rules.html#)
     
  • Funny how once the Masters Tournament starts, all the talk about course changes fades away and attention concentrates on the golf being played in this moment. Sooner the better, I say.
     
  • After the past few years, what sport deserves a dry, mild spring more than golf? If the entire industry could join hands and say a fervent prayer, it would.
     
  • Shooting with Fred Funk the other day for Whats In The Bag?, I listened to him explain why he tees the ball the way he does at the TPC at Sawgrass: On the right side of the box at No. 2, to set up for the leftward curve of the hole, and on the left side on No. 15, to cut around a big tree and follow the fairway as it moves to the right. Always thinking a few shots ahead, but staying in the moment. Just an example of what separates Tour pros from us, and its not necessarily the equipment. Well, perhaps it is, but not the equipment in their bags. Its their brains.
     
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