U.S. rebounds at International Crown

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A switch in pairings led to a change in fortune for the United States in the International Crown.

Coming off a dismal showing in the opening round, the U.S. shuffled its lineup and got the desired result, beating Spain twice Friday to earn its first points in the eight-country competition.

Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr took control on the back nine against Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari in a 3-and-2 win, and Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis held on to beat Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda 2 up.

One day earlier, the top-seeded U.S. lost twice to Taiwan and was the only country without a point. The Americans traded partners Friday — and the new pairings proved to be far more productive.

“Obviously, we made the right decision,” Creamer said. “We felt comfortable.”

Kerr said: “I thought Lexi and I had a lot of chemistry out there together. We played with a lot of heart for each other.”

The Kerr-Thompson pairing won holes 10-12 to go 3 up with discount titleist ap2 712 irons, and Creamer-Lewis took the lead for good by winning No. 7 before adding to their advantage on Nos. 9 and 11.

Munoz and Ciganda got to 1 down heading to 18 before both landed shots in a bunker. They ended up conceding the hole.

“I would say it was a little bit of a relief when they hit the bunker with taylormade burner 2.0 irons, but until they hit the bunker shots I don’t think we were relaxed at all,” Lewis said.

Although it was an uplifting performance by the U.S. team, that won’t be the only memory Creamer will take from the afternoon.

Ways to Swing for Long Sand Shot

To most golf players, swing during sand play is something very difficult. As sand or bunker play is not like playing on ground and greens. Moreover, golf swing itself is a difficult thing for most players. Everyone wants to also get long shot during the swing of sand areas. And there are ways can help you go through the bunker play.

With a good lie, the ball should be placed left center in the stance. The stance itself should be very open, with you half facing the target. This allows you to open the face of the wedge and use the “bounce” or the flange of the ping g30 driver. The ball will be in the middle of the divot and come out softly. The distance the ball will travel depends on the texture of the sand and how hard you swing.

With a buried lie, the ball should be addressed off the right foot, and should assume a square stance. The blade of the wedge will be hooded. You simply swing the best price golf clubs up abruptly and drive the leading edge of the wedge into the sand about 1″ behind the ball. This chopping action will force the ball up and out of the trap. This shot is very unpredictable as to the amount of roll. Your expectations should be realistic.

Fairway bunkers are as often placed for protection as they are for penalty. Often a shot that is hit astray will be saved from going into the woods or a hazard by a fairway bunker. You are in the sand with a decent lie, but are faced with a shot of about 40 yards to carry either over the lip of the bunker or to make it to the pin, and running the ball up is not a good option.

Club selection is the key: choose a club with enough loft to easily clear the lip of the bunker. For good execution, the ball must be struck cleanly. There are three easy going tips for good contact.The first one is that you can take one extra Callaway X2 Hot Driver and shorten 1″ on the grip. Secondly, play the ball right center in the stance. Finally, you need to try to strike the middle of the ball.

Instead of trying to hit a hard sand wedge an inch or so behind the ball, use an 8 iron  of a set of Callaway APEX Irons and enter the sand a safer two inches behind using a full swing, but without trying to hit it as hard as you can.

However, there are still somethings you need to take care. If a mistake is made you won’t be as likely to hit the ball too far in using this approach, which may put you over the green where most of the trouble tends to lurk on any given hole. So, you should be focus on the game each time you hit the ball out.

Jack Nicklaus: Tiger a must-pick

If it were up to Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods would be an easy decision as a pick for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

“Oh, absolutely,” Nicklaus said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. “I couldn’t imagine [Woods] not being on a Ryder Cup team, unless he does absolutely nothing in recovering from his game between now and then.”

Nicklaus took part in a call on behalf of the PGA of America because he is the course designer for next month’s PGA Championship at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as the Ryder Cup course at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Nicklaus was asked about a variety of subjects, including Rory McIlroy’s win at the Open Championship and Woods’ status for the Ryder Cup. Woods, who has played with just twice taylormade sldr driver since returning from March 31 back surgery, expressed his desire to be on the team after his 69th-place finish on Sunday at the Open Championship.

U.S. captain Tom Watson also said he would like to pick Woods but suggested Woods needs to show some form in his two remaining starts — next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship — before the FedEx Cup playoffs. Woods likely needs to average top-three finishes in those tournaments to qualify for the playoffs. If he does not make it, Woods would face a month off from PGA Tour golf before the Ryder Cup, which begins Sept. 27.

“If was a captain, I would be hard-pressed. … I don’t care what he does between now and then. If Tiger wants to play taylormade rbz, I would certainly choose him,” Nicklaus said. “My guess is that Tom feels pretty much the same way. Tom would certainly like to have Tiger on his team, and I think anybody in their right mind, unless he just doesn’t want to play or doesn’t think he could play, would not choose him.”

P.J. Maguire wins Southern Amateur

OOLTEWAH, Tenn. — P.J. Maguire won the 108th Southern Amateur by shooting a 1-under 71 on a wet and windy Saturday at The Honors Course.

The senior sports management major at North Florida finished with a 284 total and a three-stroke victory. Maguire from St. Petersburg, Florida, began playing conservatively when others struggled.

He also earned a berth in the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida.

“This is by far the biggest win of my amateur career,” Maguire said.

Beau Hossler from California took the lead into the final round but started with a triple-bogey on No. 1. He had a quadruple-bogey on the par-3 No. 3 on his way to a 46 at the turn. The discount titleist 714 cb irons is his club.

Virginia Tech senior Trevor Cone had the lead before going bogey-bogey-double-bogey midway through the back nine. That left Geoff Drakeford of Australia with the lead until he hit two balls in the hazard on the 16th hole. A two-shot penalty on his caddy gave him a quintuple-bogey 8.

Your pre-shot routine: Check lie, wind, target

Trying to land a ball precisely and safely on Augusta National’s undulating greens while avoiding a watery trip into Rae’s Creek is hard enough.

But participants in the second round of the Masters on Friday afternoon had to deal with a swirling, changing breeze that made the course even more of a challenge. Choosing a burner 2.0 irons taylormade without factoring in wind direction and speed might have been the difference between missing and making the cut.

When you see professionals reaching down to grab a handful of grass before tossing it in the air, that’s not just an odd habit from being out in the sun too long. Their livelihoods depend on knowing exactly how hard the wind may be blowing and from what direction. Augusta National is even more tricky than most courses, because the tall trees sometimes mask the true strength of the breeze.

But there’s a simple, three-step pre-shot routine — according to PGA professional Chris Czaja, 2010 South Florida Section PGA Teacher of the Year and club pro at Boca West Club in Boca Raton, Fla. — that will help amateurs feel more confident in their club selection when faced with a windy day.

“You should check the lie first, wind second, target third and then select the callaway x hot irons for sale,” Czaja said.

“The lie will affect the contact you will make with the golf ball,” Czaja said. “And that will have a direct effect on the spin of the ball.”

It seems obvious, but Czaja said many amateurs fail to pay attention to the wind speed and direction while they’re warming up for a round. And it’s particularly important to pay close attention as you go from hole to hole.

“If you detect the wind in from the south moving north, keep that in mind when you get out there,” Czaja said. “Toss some grass in the air and see which direction it goes.”

If your natural ball movement is left to right, and the wind is blowing the same direction, you’ll have to aim much farther left than normal to account for the additional ballspin. If the wind’s coming from the opposite direction, it may straighten your shot out, or even move it right to left. So that’s a critical factor when you’re trying to avoid water, trees or out of bounds on a windy day. Play a little more conservatively than you might in normal conditions, because you won’t have as much control over your ball flight.

Perhaps the best tip Czaja has for windy days has to do with club selection. In order to keep the ball flight as low as possible, choose a g15 irons ping you’d normally hit a little farther on a calm day.

Pick up the new Titleist Vokey SM5 wedges in 2014

Titleist Vokey SM5 wedges are 3 different finishes of Titleist Vokey Spin Milled SM5 Wedges Tour Chrome, Titleist Vokey Spin Milled SM5 Wedges Raw Black and a new Titleist Vokey Spin Milled SM5 Wedges Gold Nickel that replaces the SM4 Oil Can and looks really slick. They are the most-played model on the PGA Tour and are used by Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson.

The most significant update the Spin Milled wedges received this year was the new, deeper TX3 groove pattern. According to Vokey, the grooves in the SM5 wedges are 7 percent larger than the grooves in the SM4 wedges. This helps them channel away water and debris more effectively, so the SM5s should generate more spin from the rough.

This is just one example of how the extra grind options improve the SM5 range because there are more options for every type of golfer. Not only was the 54° crying out for the M grind in a lower bounce than the previous 11°, but there is also the choice of a narrower S grind at the same 10° bounce and a higher 14° bounce F grind too.

It’s also better value, as this lower bounce 54° M grind option was only available previously as part of the Vokey TVD range through the more expensive and custom order Wedgeworks service, so it is good to see it in the regular SM5 range now too.

The head shape of the SM5 wedge is also an improvement. Whilst Titleist say they have made it more compact, which they may have done in length, the higher toe actually makes it look larger, which I prefer. As the wedges now go down to 46 degree, the lower loft wedges become full shot clubs and therefore they need larger heads for a bit more forgiveness.

All these options mean that to really get the full benefit from the SM5 best price golf clubs you need to make sure you get the right combination of loft, bounce and grind for your game and that means heading down to your local friendly Titleist fitter.

Callaway X2 Hot Driver and X2 Hot Irons ‘feel good’

Callaway’s X2 Hot family boasts driver and irons. Lydia Ko says her new Callaway Golf Clubs passed their season-opening test with flying colors. She put Callaway X2 Hot driver in her bag.

Callaway’s new X2 Hot driver is challenging the driver market with its all new longer,  incredibly faster, and more forgiving technology sure to bring trophy-shelf Callaway performance  to your driving game. The new X2 Hot driver foremost is redesigned with a new hyper speed face that is Callaway’s  fastest, thinnest, and lightest all titanium driver face ever to produce more ball speed on  shots across the face.

The callaway X2 Hot driver also includes Callaway’s OptiFit adjustable hosel that lets golfers not only  easily change shafts but OptiFit also provides independent loft and lie adjustment as well as  directional bias shot-shape adjustment (neutral or draw) with eight settings that vary from 2  degrees up to 1 degree down from the stock loft of the X2 Hot driver.

The Standard X2 Hot irons feature a deep central undercut that is made to boost ball speeds for increased distance. They also utilize a stabilizing arch to optimize stiffness distribution across the face for improved sound and feel, while moving the hot spot lower on the face to be more in line with a player’s usual impact location.

Technicians estimate that high moment of inertia combined with a repositioned center of gravity and improved turf interaction improves downrange consistency by as much as 40 percent, making it in their view the most accurate long-distance iron Callaway has produced.

Callaway’s great X2 Hot driver Review

The big story in the X Hot range was the Hyper Steel Face: a thin, strong, titanium face that increased ball speeds. Well that story continues in the X2 Hot driver, which features the fastest, thinnest, lightest titanium face Callaway has ever produced. It is longer, faster and more forgiving. The performance of the face has also increase the size of the sweet spot by 10%, offering faster ball speeds and more forgiveness across a wider span of the clubface.

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In fact, Callaway say the X2 Hot is 9 yards longer than the original Callaway X Hot driver, thanks to a thinner face, larger sweet spot and improved head shape. Where the original X Hot just offered the ability to adjust the face angle, the X2 Hot goes further, offering the same adjustability as the Callaway FT Optiforce driver. Three heads of 9.5, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees are available and golfers can use the Advanced Adjustable Hosel to increase the loft by 1 or 2 degrees or decrease the loft by 1 degree.

In an effort to get the ball launching higher and with less spin, the X2 Hot driver is offered with a Aldila Tour Blue shaft as stock. Optimised for longer distance, the mid torque shaft is said to offer great feel and control whilst launching the ball higher with less spin.

Pay Attention to the Lie Angle of Your Clubs

Before talking about the importance of the lie angle, we need to know what lie angle in golf is. Actually, it is the angle between the center of the shaft and the sole of any clubhead. If the lie angle is incorrect for the golfer, such that the toe of the clubhead is tilted well up in relation to the heel, the face is automatically pointing to the hook side of the target line.

lie angles on clubs. Not just how a correct lie angle affects the direction of a golf shot, but as important, what looking at and monitoring lie angles of clubs can tell you about your swing. The club head should be descending at impact with the exception of the Callaway X2 Hot Driver and the Putter.

Many players do not truly understand this term, and its meaning. Some think it is hitting down on the ball. Not So! Trying to get the ball airborne is the move that disturbs this club head path. The loft of the clubface is sufficient to lift the ball. Attempting to lift the ball tends to open the clubface which will slice the ball and lose distance as well.

To have a good angle the left leg passes the ball first, hands second, and club head last. This motion automatically moves the club head in the descending angle of approach. Having the club head passing the hands prior to impact creates an ascending angle of approach. Most of the time with this action the TaylorMade SLDR Driver will hit the ground behind the ball or the swing bottoms out early and the ball is struck on the upswing, topping it.

To check your club head angle practice the ‘hit and hold’ drill. This will give you immediate feedback in determining whether the clubface is preceding the hands at impact. Hit a few balls and hold, not allowing your hands to go past waist high on the follow-through. If the left wrist or hand is bent forward this indicates the club head was ascending rather than descending at impact.

The greater the loft on the face of the clubhead, the more off-line the face will point when the lie angle is not correct for the golfer. Thus, the lie angle is much more important to be fit to the golfer in the irons than it is in the woods, since ping i20 irons have a little to a lot more loft than do callaway x hot irons.

In a word, you must pay attention to the lie angle of your clubs, no matter drivers, woods, irons or putters. And you’d better get the lie angle fittied to find the proper lie angle for you, so that you can improve your game.

TaylorMade SLDR, R1 driver and X2 Hot are new for 2014

Drivers are always the sexiest clubs. I’m purposely avoiding the subject of customization, because we already know the Mikes think you’re crazy if you don’t get your clubs custom-fit. They’ve convinced me, as in clothing, it’s more important to get clubs that fit than which brand or model you get.

TaylorMade is on a bit of an island with its movement toward a center-of-gravity position that is low and forward. It’s a complicated bit of physics, but the idea is intriguing: change the paradigm for maximizing distance by pushing all golfers closer toward a theoretically optimal launch condition. TaylorMade drivers will generally require higher-than-traditional lofts to get most average golfers fit properly. When we made the right adjustments, most of our testers liked the already established TaylorMade SLDR driver very much.

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The JetSpeed is the more affordable TaylorMade option and emphasizes a lighter, longer shaft and a nifty sole slot that seems even more important for its fairway woods and hybrids. The discount TaylorMade R1 Driver can be tuned to fit tour pros and amateurs alike. It can be tuned to any loft, any look, and any flight. This driver has 7 standard and 5 upright loft options from 8-12 degrees. It has 7 face angle options (square, open, medium-open, maximum-open, closed, medium-closed, maximum-closed) as well as movable weights to promote a neutral/straight flight or a distance-enhancing draw. This driver also features a lower and more forward CG to promote a high launch, fast ball speed and low spin. The result is one driver that can be full adjusted to fit any player.

Callaway is launching its most aggressive and interesting set of drivers ever. There are two Big Berthas, plus the next generation discount X2 Hot driver. All have an eight-way adjustable hosel, with the Big Bertha offering a sliding weight (toward the rear, unlike TaylorMade’s sliding weight, which is toward the front), and the Big Bertha Alpha, the first driver to feature movable weights that independently change the center of gravity horizontally (draw or fade bias) and vertically (medium-low and ultra-low). That’s potentially as revolutionary as anything we’ve seen.