Seeing all these somewhat unusual misses during Friday's Ryder Cup matches got me thinking about choking and specifically how fine the line is to properly execute a golf shot. Put it this way, the players on both sides may be a little nervous at the first tee or the 18th green, but if they knew how small their margin of error was for hitting a good shot in golf, they'd even feel worse.
In my recent post comparing the statistics of the vaunted 1981 U.S. Ryder Cup team to its current edition, I suggested the U.S. team's performance in driving accuracy was relatively poor vs. the '80s hall-of-famers. The U.S. team's average rank in driving accuracy is 75, compared to the 1981 squad's average rank of 36.
Cobra's new line of AMP Cell metalwoods will be noticeable for its array of colorful choices (Silver, Directoire Blue, Barbados Red and Vibrant Orange) but that shouldn't overshadow the technology housed inside and around the flamboyant clubheads.
Brandt Snedeker's win Sunday at the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola equalled the biggest single-day payday in the history of professional golf. His combined take for winning the final tournament of the FedEx Cup Playoffs was $11.44 million. Pretty impressive for a guy using a driver that you can get at Golfsmith for $120 these days. Technically, Snedeker plays a TaylorMade Superfast TP, but you can still find standard issue models of the same name for one-thousandth of one percent of Snedeker's Sunday afternoon payday.
Many of those who are inside the game know the story of the development and long-running success of Ping, which began in 1959 under the inspiration, diligence and guidance of founder Karsten Solheim.
As I was walking out of the office Friday, I noticed an old copy of Golf Digest, circa 1998, with a back cover ad detailing the Ping TiSI driver. What caught my eye was a small feature on the club at the time, but something that we're finding more and more important today. The club featured the option to find different hosels for different lie angles, the idea to better fit each player's specific swing and measurements. Nearly a decade and a half later the idea of adjustability in drivers is common and increasing in its complexibilty. Ping's first venture into adjustability is the Anser driver, which seems to take adjustability in a different direction from its competitors, its foundation again seeming to be about individual solutions to golfers' problems centered on fitting. It is just one of a handful of current adjustable drivers that are attempting to solve problems better than drivers ever have before (and just wait a few months, you'll see drivers that encompass a range of possibilities that haven't been seen since the days of the 33-in-1 adjustable club). I write about it in the October issue of Golf Digest.