After a long, wet spring it looks like the golf season has finally arrived in my neck of the woods. As April and May’s showers have turned into June flowers I thought that it might be a fun time to write a little blog post. So what have I been up to?

Finding Myself

The last several months have been a trying time for me from not only a health standpoint (physical and mental) but from a golf point of view. The reality is that following my stroke in September I should be happy with the fact that I can walk, talk and pretty much do anything that I want to. Believe me when I say that I’m extremely grateful that it wasn’t more severe than it was.

As I began to show signs of recovery in the hospital and started to work with my physiotherapist I wondered what effect it would have on my golf swing. As I worked my way back to being able to have a functional swing at the PGA Show in January and a decent enough swing at the end of March for a quick trip to Florida the answers began to come to the surface.

I suppose that from a mechanics standpoint the swing feels alright. While I do have the occasional hiccup with an early release the results and consequential ballflight have been quite good. I am seeing my typical right to left ballflight (right-handed golfer) and rarely am I seeing any balls go to the right. This is a great sign because it means that I’m getting through the golf ball, transferring weight to the lead-side and I’m not decelerating as I enter the impact area. Because of this I still have the ability to cut a golf course in half and take out the right side. That always makes golf a little easier. When I have played I am hitting fairways and greens and I should just be happy just to be out there… But I’ve noticed one thing in particular. A significant loss of power. While I’m able to get through the golf ball I have definitely noticed an inability to fire my left-side through.

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Spring has finally sprung. Thank-you June. The 18th at Scenic Woods Golf Course.

It remains to be seen if I will get my power back but one thing seems very likely. The day of me using an extra stiff flex shaft like the one in my Cleveland Golf Classic XL is a thing of the past. I’m only getting 215-220 yards of carry (total distance is all carry) and loading the shaft is likely an issue. I’m still driving the ball straight (baby draw) but the shaft isn’t likely kicking enough to maximize my distance. Perhaps the time has come for me to consider lightweight and light flex shafts. With that thought comes a lesson and something that I’ve always preached.

“Pay no attention to what letter the shaft has printed on it. Whether it’s an X-flex or L-flex use what gives you the best results.” – Alexander Toth (Until The Next Tee)

It’s time to practice what I preach.

 

RBC Canadian Open

This week sees a new era in Canadian golf. When the new schedule came out for the 2019 PGA TOUR season I was excited that our national open was moved to a new date. No longer is the Canadian Open mired in the muck following the Open Championship as it now was moved to June and ahead of the U.S. Open.

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Photo Credit: Golf Canada

In 2019, the RBC Canadian Open is being played at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club which is located just about an hour from where I live. Even though I work about 20 minutes from the venue I won’t be making it down to the course like I have in the past to get pictures and so on.  It’s unfortunate, but from all witness accounts that I’ve received from my members that have been down there the course is in phenomenal shape.

The field is the best that we’ve seen in years. Names like Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka, defending champion Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy highlight the field. However, after the first day of the tournament, it’s some Canadians that has me excited. In fact, at the moment there are no less than 5 Canadians in the top 15. Led by Nick Taylor (T-2nd at -6), guys like Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Mackenzie Hughes, and the lesser known Drew Nesbitt are giving cause for excitement. Canadians are just dying to see one of their native son’s win our national championship. Even though there is a ton of golf to be played still there is a reason for optimism.

Not since Pat Fletcher in 1954 has a Canadian won the Canadian Open.

Product Testing and Future Reviews

There is no shortage of reviews and product testing underway. Because of how wet and unplayable spring was the testing of some products was postponed. I have all kinds of products in the process of testing. Balls like the Wilson Staff DUO Professional, TaylorMade Golf TP5 and TP5x, grips from Lamkin and Golf Pride, ZoomTee, No Sweat cap liners, shoes from Skechers Performance and last but not least clubs from Sub 70 Golf (699 irons and their Pro Fairway Wood).

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The products from the Sycamore, Illinois based company have tested fairly well through a few range sessions and limited on-course use. Initially, I was only expecting to see a 3 wood come in for the review so I was very pleasantly surprised to see a 6 and 9 iron from their 699 iron set packed into the box as well. The irons are a hollow-body construction with a face manufactured from 17 mm of 455 Carpenter Steel. The feel of these irons is one that I would describe as being “light”. The face is responsive and good swings are definitely well-rewarded. But if there is one aspect of these irons that’d impressed me thus far it’s their forgiveness. The Sub 70 Pro Fairway has been a very good performer off of the tee and from the fairway. Shafted with a “Made for Sub 70″ Project X 6.0 launch has been easy and the flight consistent. However, after adjusting the two adjustable sole weights I noticed that the feel and sound seemingly changed. Also, it seems like the face isn’t as lively as it was in the original configuration. To be continued.

Stay tuned for a whole bunch of reviews to be published in the near future including some ‘First Impressions” reviews.

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

 

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Utilizing Industry-Leading 5-Layer Construction of TP5, Speed Meets Enhanced Visibility in the Most Complete Tour Ball

 

CARLSBAD, CALIF. (March 13, 2019) – TaylorMade Golf Company, an industry leader in product innovation and technology, today formally announced TP5 Pix golf balls, optically designed using advanced visual technology to offer more visibility in The Most Complete Tour Ball in TaylorMade’s product lineup.

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The Genesis of TP5 Pix

The fastest growing segment for TaylorMade in the golf ball category is a non-white (traditional) product. Golfers’ growing trend toward playing a golf ball that allows for a different look has also opened the door to improving visual performance and visual technology through the use of machinery that has never before been used in the space.

Pix, derived from ‘pixelated’, was designed following extensive research with partners at Indiana University, the same team the company has used for a multitude of projects including TaylorMade’s most recent putter line, Spider X, which features the all-new True Path™ alignment system that was optically engineered to help golfers visualize the intended target line for improved putting accuracy.

First and foremost, Pix™ is easier to see than a normal white golf ball. The human eye processes lighter colours more efficiently when it’s darker and darker colours when it’s lighter. It’s this phenomenon that led designers to the two-colour design of TP5 Pix. Whereas most competitive products have only one colour within a single image or shape, TP5 Pix’s unique design features 2 colours within one shape, further enhancing visibility and delivering a product that’s easy to see, regardless of the time of play during the day. Producing this shape requires a unique, one-of-a-kind printing machine which has taken more than 18 months to design and develop.

In almost every sport utilizing a ball in play, the ball itself delivers immediate feedback – such as a baseball’s spin out of the pitcher’s hand. The larger contrast graphics of TP5 Pix allow golfers to see how much overall and side spin is generated around the green. Pix’s unique pattern with 12 evenly-spaced images allows the product to show spin when putting and chipping. The feedback the ball provides allows the golfer to immediately see the amount of spin being generated and the direction of that spin on shots on and around the green.

“White, round and sits on the ground is no longer the norm for golf balls. Visual technology has given us the opportunity to not only change the appearance of the golf ball but also allows for players to see immediate feedback where spin matters most – on and around the greens.”

Mike Fox, Category Director, Golf Balls & Accessories

The durability of graphics is a foremost concern on any golf ball with graphic or lettering, and to contest wear and smearing of the graphics on TP5 (and TP5x), engineers have utilized undercoating printing to ensure maximum graphic durability. This is the same process the TaylorMade logo and TP5 side stamp goes through to ensure the performance features of the shapes will last as long as possible.

The Performance of TP5 Pix

Highlighted by its new High-Flex Material (HFM) and Speed-Layer System, TaylorMade has taken the ’19 TP5(x) line to a new level of performance – built on the same platform, TP5 Pix is no exception.

 

The new Speed-Layer System is comprised of four increasingly stiff layers, featuring a new material called HFM. HFM is the fastest material TaylorMade has ever used and is essentially a tightly wound spring and when compressed generates more rebound energy for more ball speed. The tightly wound spring characteristic of HFM also increases the force on the driver face, further increasing the speed of the golf ball when it leaves the driver face.

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Tri-Fast Core 

The Tri-Fast Core consists of an extra-large, low-compression inner core (16 compression in TP5 Pix, the exact same as TP5) and a progressively stiffer outer core and mantle. The combination of these three layers work in conjunction to create lower drag and increased carry—the primary reason TP5 and TP5x have become the hottest Tour balls in golf. The Tri-Fast Core delivers breakthrough iron performance by achieving maximum carry, giving golfers of nearly every swing speed (over 60 MPH) choosing less club into the green.

 

Dual-Spin Cover 

The Dual-Spin Cover boasts an ultra-soft cast urethane cover and a 30% more rigid inner cover. This system creates a condition that is ideal for greenside control, as the rigid inner cover forces the soft urethane cover into wedge grooves for maximum spin generation.

 

Additional enhancements in the 2019 TP5 and TP5x models include a new Soft-Tough cast urethane cover. In order to achieve improved scuff resistance, shear resistance, and overall durability, the new cover features a cast urethane compound and new paint formulation to help each ball feel better and last longer.

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Pricing & Availability 

TP5 Pix will be available this spring across Canada at an MSRP of $59.99 CAD per dozen (Pix will be available in TP5 model). To learn more about TP5 Pix or any of TaylorMade’s golf ball offerings, visit TaylorMadeGolf.ca.

Alright, so the ongoing saga of the golf world versus the new modernized Rule of Golf rages on. This time… Or shall I say that once again the USGA is directly in the crosshairs.

If it isn’t bad enough that the rules struggles have been the thing of near animosity (no fault of the USGA) or the fact that they’ve made an embarrassment of themselves in USGA-sanctioned tournaments. Pick any one of the borderline idiotic rulings. Dustin Johnson’s “BunkerGate I” in 2016 at Oakmont. Then there was Anna Nordqvist’s infamous “BunkerGate 2” (also in 2016) when the U.S. Open was played at CordeValle Golf Club. I was actually gutted for both athletes at the time. Of course, there’s the debate every year and ultimately complaints from the player’s in the field about course set-up. Honestly, I think Mike Davis was setting up the courses fine. It should be difficult for these guys and girls to win the title. But it also shouldn’t be set up like a resort course nor it shouldn’t be a battle of attrition. Perhaps, I’m just getting mellow in my old age.

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This was a bad one. Anna Nordqvist at CordeValle during the 2016 U.S. Open. (Photo Credit: Sky Sports)

Say, the USGA loves to make questionable penalty calls but how about the one that they didn’t make? Phil Mickelson in the 2018 U.S. Open. Another irritating gaffe. It ‘s speculation on my part but if his name was Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Rory (no not that one… the other one) or I dunno… Kevin Na? Penalty? Almost a likelihood.

So in the last 24+ hours we had a brazen response from the USGA Public Relations department in response to criticism of the new rules by PGA TOUR star Justin Thomas. In a move that I’ve never seen before (I wouldn’t be so bold as to label it unprecedented) the USGA lashed back over social media (Twitter).

“Justin, we need to talk. You’ve canceled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.” -USGA PR

I actually went as far to commend them for it. They fought back and stuck up for themselves. Awesome! After all of the bitching and complaining from player’s about the rules from the safety of a keyboard they called out someone. Kudos. That was right up until today… March 5th, 2019.

 

It turns out that the USGA backed up quicker than the “Speed of Light” and backtracked their statement. It turns out that he (Thomas) did not avoid communication or meetings with the USGA. As you’ll read below.

Seriously, to the brain trust of the USGA you folks really need to get your collective heads extricated from your arse. If any or all of the above instances from your National Championships weren’t bad enough this looks really bad. I’m dying to know who the individual was. Your credibility almost seems to be diminishing in a way.

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The golf world will adjust to the new rules. In my article yesterday I suggested “growing pains”. I stand by that assertion but being a man of conviction I also stand by my word that you (the USGA) need to get your @!#$ together.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee