Sunday, January 29, 2006

Phil Mickelson: The Man We Love to Hate

Pink iPodGolf for beginners 01-29-06 episode twelve continues with our hole-in-one series as we discuss's recent 140 yard, par-3 drop-in. No one was there to see it, he was not keeping score and it happened in the off-season.

Does it count?

We also like to watch the Golf Channel's latest series of shows. The Daly Show is one of our favorites due to Big John's lovable and zany attitude about the world and his position in it. Big Break V: Hawaii has some pretty big shoes to fill. Big Break III was loaded with catfights and memorable moments thanks to Danielle Amiee and Pam Crikelair.

This week's "Blogger Weekly" section focuses on PGA fashion mavens Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik. It seems that the two have done a bit of a "flip-flop". I almost didn't recognize Parnevik today. He looked as if he was attending a funeral. Sergio's style is now more colorful. He's also losing that "little boy look" but I like the new Sergio.

Phil Mickelson and I have something in common. We're both lefties! The lefty movement is growing. No longer are we forced to switch sides. Now there are lots of options lefties like myself. And the prices are no different.

Not to pick on Phil but he really didn't have one of his greatest moments today at the Buick Invitational. Learn what Phil Mickelson's nickname really stands for…FIGJAM. Some type of jelly? gives us a list of the Ten Most Hated Athletes as asked of by their peers. Mickelson is #8 but who made the top five?

Congratulations to Tiger Woods on his 47th win at the Buick Invitational!

Congrats also to Olazabal and Green.

Did you know that once at the Australian Masters, Nathan Green had both a hole-in-one and won $500,000 dollars in the same day?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Review: TaylorMade R5 Driver

TaylorMade R5 DriverHello golfers. My husband Barry went through a big selection process in order to find the driver of his dreams so I asked him how he finally selected the TaylorMade R5 Driver and if he would share it with our audience. It was harrowing, what with the huge selection of drivers, offsets, shafts and all the salespeople that are intent upon selling you golf clubs TODAY!

We hope this might help those of you who are a little intimidated by going shopping a few times and picking the brains of the sales staff at your local store but I promise, when you have done both your homework and tried out a few clubs (making sure you have tried the same golf club more than once), you will appreciate the time and information you spent just to get the right golf club or set of clubs.

And a tip for the ladies out there.

On one hand I wanted to go with Barry to make sure he would get just the driver that he wanted but it was a LONG process and a bit boring. I mean, how many hours can you play with the new putters on tour? At some point even watching golf at the store seems a bit cumbersome. But remember, it's all for your man. Barry really appreciated the fact that I helped him by questioning him and making sure that he wasn't lulling himself into a false sense of security at the store. They have these simulators which can really make you think you're hitting the golf club like a professional. The trouble starts when you get the golf club home and realize it isn't the stick but the golfer behind the stick. The good news is that some of these stores offer return policies. Make sure that you ask about your store's policies before you finalize your purchase.

At this point I'm turning our blog over to Barry. If any of our readers have any questions about how to properly select a golf club that will last you a few years, please feel free to contact us at

Editorial by: Barry Solomon

Stacy misplaced my original blog on how I purchased my new TaylorMade R5 driver. When I first wrote the article I was very excited about my purchase. It was magic. I drove further and straighter than ever before. That was four months ago. So I guess I should start at the beginning.

I visited my local Golfsmith store because they have two great computerized hitting booths. You see I don't buy new clubs very often and I wanted to be as certain as I could that the club I chose would be best suited for me.

The booth is a great tool. It measures spin rate, ball speed, ball launch angle and much more. I would recommend anyone buying new clubs use a booth to make their purchase.

I spent three hours hitting many different drivers, I narrowed it down to three. The Cleveland Launcher, the TaylorMade R5 Type "N" and the Adams Redline RPM.

I compared all three with similar shafts and tip kick. It became a close race between the Cleveland Launcher and the TaylorMade R5. My final decision was based on the lower spin rate. I purchased the magical R5 with a standard shaft, stiff tip, no offset [neutral] and 9.5 degree of loft (and it's got a 450cc clubhead for that "substantial look that promotes confidence") but the specifications allow for any number of "tweakings" for a proper fit. You can even compare the new R7's to the R5's at TaylorMade's website.

TaylorMade offers a Type "D" (meaning draw) but I can make the ball draw on my own and am not trying to "cure" a slice.

I love my driver. I wow the people in my foursome with 275-300 yard playable drives. Even my bad hits are playable and 250 yards long. But the magic in the club is gone. It's all up me now, and I think I like it that way.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Network Television Dumps Golf!

Baby with IpodGolf for Beginners Episode Eleven discusses everything from Barry's win against his playing partners to exercises that you can do during the week to be prepared for a Saturday round of golf.

Golf Blogger's Weekly discusses ABC Television's decision to pull out of hosting weekend golf. We also talk about the antics of Nick Faldo and Donald Trump's new golf course at Rancho Palo Verdes. This public course has it all from 25-foot waterfalls that have become a signature on his courses to hefty greens fees ranging from $145 to $300! Barry has a hard time swallowing that one!

Email has been pouring in from around the world thanks to our listeners!

Contact us at and let us know what's on your mind! We're always interested in hearing your stories. If we pick your email we'll feature it on our podcast and give you about twenty seconds of fame to boot!

It's our longest and funniest GFB ever and we're proud of it. We update weekly so please subscribe to our podcasts through iTunes, through or visit here for the latest show!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Review: Titleist 905T Driver

Titleist 905T DriverMy new Titleist 905T Driver plays a starring role in my Burton golf bag. Okay, I love all of my Titleist golf clubs!

In addition to my new set of Titleist 904F Fairway woods (you know, the woods I vowed never to part with) I also received a brand new Pro Titanium Titleist 905T driver. Ernie Els used to own it but he is now trying the Pro Titanium 905R 460cc prototype driver but with the same loft (9.5) as mine. At least his shaft is the same design as mine…the Titleist Speeder by Fujikura. But just look at that picture from Titleist. Please! I'm a leftie!!!

Since I never owned one of the newest and best drivers on the PGA Tour I decided to check out the Titleist website first and read the specs.

Then it was on to the range to see the difference between my no-name 330cc driver (which was put together for me by a local golf club maker) and the driver which Ben Crane uses on tour.

A brief rundown on my particular golf club. There are two Titleist drivers featured on the site, the Pro Titanium Titleist 905T driver and the new Titleist Pro Titanium 905S driver. I selected the 905T for the following reasons.

1. Both drivers are tour proven (see below for the PGA Tour players who use Titleist equipment) but the 905T is a "larger profile driver that provides an optimal combination of high launch, reduced spin and maximum ball speed for longer tee shots with a penetrating downrange trajectory". The 905S has a "flatter launch angle" which I didn't think was right for my game. I wanted a driver that was easy to hit and the 905T seemed like it was more for the average golfer than for Ernie Els.

2. The Titleist website also stated that "the aspiring player will benefit from the increased size and playability". I knew right away that this better suited my game. I had tried several drivers at the local golf store that were 460 cc but liked this club beacuse it was somewhere in between what I had and what I was trying at the golf store.

3. I liked the way the golf club was constructed. There is a "separate face, body and hosel construction" and a "CNC milled 6061 T-6 aluminum hosel tube with lightweight, structural aluminum". It's light and easy-to-hold. Swinging it seemed easy.

4. My 330cc driver had a launch angle of 12 degrees but I hit it really well so I decided to move to a 9.5 degree driver for some extra distance. The Titleist 905T driver has a 400cc head with a 45" shaft. I knew it was going to be totally different than what I was used to but decided to take it to my swing coach and let him analyze my swing and make suggestions. Always take a lesson. You will improve your ball-striking ability ten-fold! And remember that the month of May is Free Lesson Month…one of my favorite months!

Ernie Els Plays Titleist
Okay, enough of the specifics. You get the drift. It's a quality golf club and the latest equipment on tour. I just had to have it, but could it perform?

I headed out to the driving range and met with my swing coach Bob Moro, formerly head pro at Whipporwhill CC in Westchester County. He uses a swing camera to videotape the swing so you can see your faults and make corrections.

I couldn't understand how I wasn't hitting my new driver like the old one. After looking at the video I was relieved to see that the faults didn't lie in the new Titleist 905T driver but in my swing. WHEW! What a relief! I found my swing plane heading on an out-to-in path, a certain loss of power and a typical slice. The next step was to ask my coach how to fix the flaw. As I was practicing I noticed that I had chosen well because Bob also has a Titleist 983 driver in his bag as well as several woods, ahem, all Titleist.

At the end of our session Bob helped me to gain distance and power and this winter I will be trying to hit golf balls with my beautiful new Titleist 905T driver over the fence at the driving range (about 250 yards to the middle of the fence). I can try, can't I? Seriously, my average drives are about 225. ;-)

Conclusion: Thanks to Titleist for creating such a nicely weighted driver with a nice sized sweet spot for the slightly above average golfer.

Some Notable Tour Players Who Play

Titleist Logo

Ernie Els, Adam Scott, Davis Love III, Mark O'Meara, Ben Crane, Steve Elkington, Brad Faxon, Lucas Glover (nice ace, Lucas!), Jay Haas, Ryan Palmer and Bill Haas.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Michelle Wie Sent Packing!

In Pink iPodGolf for beginners 01-15-06 episode ten we blog about Shigeki Maruyama's expensive habits and love of clothes, Greg Norman's empire which tops $160 million and relate one of our listener's hole-in-one stories.

Have you ever gotten a hole-in-one? If so, please either post it here and tell us the details or send it to our email address We will put your name and great story on the internet for all of our listeners to hear!

Our new segment is entitled "Blogger Weekly". With every new podcast we will scour the internet to search the blogs for the latest talk on the web. This week's discussion is all about Michelle Wie's failed attempt to make the cut at the 2006 Sony Open. Although she tried valiantly for two days, her mistakes on the first day cost her a chance at a weekend layover. The question is not only about her ability to make the cut in a PGA Tournament but whether or not "The Big Wiesy" should try winning in the LPGA Tour first and then try her hand in another PGA tournament. The quotes and websites we turned to this week are listed below. Barry and I have inserted our own commentary on our Golf for Beginners podcast as well. states:
"Michelle Wie should now focus her golf career on the LPGA Tour. My guess is that this is going to be the sentiment of 99% of all golf bloggers and sports writers and it is true. She has done basically nothing on the LPGA. She needs to get into the grind of the tour and win some tournaments. She doesn’t even need to win majors right away. She just needs to start making her mark on the LPGA, period."

Suzanne at writes,
"After cheering for Annika and Michelle to make the cut, I have to wonder why they are attempting to compete against their male counterparts. For Annika to do so, I understand better. She's the number one ladies golfer in the world and she wants to see how her game compares against the men.

I question why Michelle, who hasn't won yet an LPGA event, has set such unreasonably high expectations for herself." states:
"She will make a cut on the men’s tour and she will win many LPGA tournaments in her career. When she does, these tournaments will be a distant memory. She is just getting warmed up. Despite what critics say, we have not heard the last or even the beginning of Michelle Wie." quotes Wie's playing partner on day two, Chris Couch:
“Some guys don’t like it. But if she can make it out here, I’d love to see it,” Couch said. “Look at what it’s done for this tournament. If you’re going to give anyone an exemption, it might as well be her.”

Michelle Wie actually answered this question herself when Mark Rolfing from The Golf Channel posed it to her: “Which would give you more satisfaction, making the cut in a PGA tournament, or winning on the LGPA?”

Michelle replied: "I would choose both. Winning an LPGA tournament would be awesome because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And making the cut on the PGA would be a whole different feeling, to be able to do something no one else has ever done.” You tell him Michelle!

I'll be searching the blogs on the 'net this week to see what the hottest weekly stories are and will post commentary on next week's segment of "Blogger Weekly".

Until then, play good golf!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Golf Tips: The Low Shot

Feeling a bit rusty after the off-season? I hope these tips will help you through the early part of the season.

How many times have you watched a golf tournament to find a pro under the trees after a wayward tee shot?

The trouble golfers have with this particular low trajectory shot is that they try too much to hit the golf ball into the air when they should focus their attention on getting the shot safely out of danger.

Remember these few suggestions when attempting this shot and you will get back into the fairway and save strokes too!

1. Choose the right golf club: With a clean lie, use a 5 or 6 iron. If the ball sinks down into the rough, use a 7 or 8 iron as the higher loft will help get the ball out of the rough. It is important, however, to use a club that will keep your shot from hitting the obstruction.

2. Set Up: Ball back in your stance,, hands ahead of the ball and weight on your left side (for righties - opposite for a lefty)

3. Slow Down: The low shot is hit most effectively with a slower swing speed. This provides less backspin and a lower trajectory.

4. Finish: Keep your hands low at finish to keep the flight of the ball low.

Mental Note: You might not be able to reach the green. If you don't think you can, DON'T TRY! Instead, attempt to get the ball out of trouble first, aiming for the fairway. Once in the fairway, it will be easier to get the ball up and down to possibly save the hole.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Golf For Beginners Podcast 01-08-06

In Pink iPodGolf for beginners 01-08-06 episode nine we blog about the best way to practice at the driving range, talk a little about Lucas Glovers' hole-in-one at the 2006 Mercedes Championships and ask a couple of poll questions from our listeners.

For example, please respond to the following for our next GFB podcast:

Have you ever gotten a hole-in-one? If so, please either post it here and tell us the details or send it to our email address. We will put your name and club on the internet for all of our listeners to hear!

Our second poll question is:

What is the lowest temperature you will go out and play golf?
Contact us at

Since we also played a round of golf before the end of 2005, we give our synopses of our rounds.

Happy New Year and play lots of golf! Yeah!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Review: Titleist 904F Fairway Woods

Titleist 904F Fairway Woods
"My new Titleist 904F Fairway Woods are tee-rific!"

Their official name is the Pro Trajectory Titleist 904F Fairway Woods. I got mine with the YS-6 graphite shafts which are stock shafts. You can also select the Dynamic Gold S300 and the Titleist Speeder Fairway which are also stock or the several other custom shafts but the Y-6 is nice because of it's balance of stiffness with just the right amount of "give". I seem to always hit them directly on their sweet spot. It's almost like getting an unfair advantage when using these golf clubs on the course.

I visited Titleist's website to view the specifications on the Titleist 904F Fairway Woods. What really intrigued me was that professional golfers have used Titleist for years so how could an average golfer, a golf beginner like myself, do these clubs justice? Would they be too advanced for my swing? Would I be able to feel comfortable playing with an advanced set of woods that I thought were meant for lower handicappers? Note: Ernie Els used the Titleist 904F Pro Trajectory 3-Wood to win at the 2005 Dunhill Championship and Mark O'Meara's game also benefits from the 904F 15 and 17 degree clubs.

Right down to the packaging, I could see that these new woods were special. Even the headcovers, a new design (but typically Titleist), were intriguing. I knew I was in for a treat!

The first thing I noticed was a difference in the balance of these fairway woods compared with the old extremely bendable women's woods I was used to carrying in my bag. The YS-6 shaft didn't feel whippy and the head was small yet substantial, pear-shaped…and definitely Titleist.

Built from 355 Carpenter steel, these can also be called "fairway metals". A hot forgiving face with just the right sound when you hit it sweet makes the club exciting to use.

The C.G. was moved to the center of the club and you can feel the balance even when you just grasp the golf club in your fingers. It has true proper weight distribution. You get a high launch with a flatter trajectory. The golf ball just SOARS! I noticed that all my shots were centered on the face and the ball travelled AT LEAST as far as my old woods without effort!
Okay, perhaps I should stop gushing now.

I also noticed that the clubs I had selected, the 904F 15 degree and 19 degree (3 wood and 5 wood respectively) were VERY forgiving when I DID hit them a bit off-center. That encouraged me to keep using them on the range and, as I hit them a few more times, they felt better and better until I rarely hit one off-line or off-center. My 3-wood was travelling about 190 yards when I decided to put my two new 904F's away and try out my new driver (the Titleist 905T, of course…). I'll get to the driver in another article.

In conclusion, I give the Titleist Pro Trajectory 904F Fairway woods two thumbs up! They are beautiful to look at, delightful to hold, very forgiving and make you feel like a professional golfer when you use them. The newly designed headcovers (with the silver theme along the sides) add to the beauty of the set in my golf bag. They will be with me for a long time to come.

Thanks again to Titleist!

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