**UPDATE: Apparently, Kevin Kisner, winner of the Chile Classic on the Web.com Tour, is no longer an official Nike Golf player. We will still try to find out what clubs he was playing for his victory this weekend.
I'm sure this has probably happened before - but I can't recall the last time I heard or read this. Nike Golf completed its own version of the Grand Slam this weekend - 4 for 4 in Tour wins. (Actually, 3 for 3 -- see note above). How's that for validating your equipment?
Whatever you have in your bag, you should feel confident that it is full of the best material and best technology to help you play your best. That sounds very 'industry-friendly' but it's also very sincere. To paraphrase a famous golf quote: "It's the Indian, not the arrow."
So we're sitting here watching Tiger at Doral and occasionally flipping over to the NASCAR race in Las Vegas. Tiger was ahead by five at the turn at Doral and in Vegas the field was all strung out, so there wasn't much drama at either venue.
NASCAR, as it so often does when things get boring, threw a caution for ''debris on the track.'' This allowed the safety crew to corral that oh-so-dangerous hot dog wrapper or whatever. But more important, it also bunched up the field and got a lot of popular drivers who were way behind back into contention.
And it made us wonder – why doesn't golf have its own version of a debris caution? Take today – Tiger's out of sight with nine holes to go. Surely there's a hot dog wrapper blowing around somewhere at Doral. Tour official Slugger White could call a timeout to fetch it and, oh by the way, bunch the field up. During the brief timeout, the players could check their spikes, clean the dirt out of their grooves, maybe even take a swig of Gatorade.
Then, when they resume play, the field bunches up behind Tiger – instead of cruising by five, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker and Graeme McDowell are just one back. Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott are two behind and Sergio Garcia trails by three. Slugger waves the green pin-flag, and off they go – and, voila, we've got a brand-new horserace.
Heck, if that works out, why not try another of NASCAR's concoctions – the green-white-checker finish? Throw another yellow pin-flag with a few holes to go, give everybody the same score, set them off on the 17th tee with two holes to see who wins.
It's genius, don’t you think?
What, you don't agree. Well, honestly, me neither.
Tiger running away from the field might not be ''dramatic,'' but it is still great to watch, and I suspect the TV ratings will reflect that. Plus, he's justly rewarded for his stellar play throughout the tournament – and, we all know, every stroke counts, no matter whether it occurred Thursday morning or Sunday afternoon. It's just one of the many reasons why we all love golf – even when the final outcome is clear well before the checkered flag flies.
After a couple decades as a caddie for such high-profile players as Nick Faldo and Henrik Stenson, Fanny Sunesson retired last fall to focus on coaching and mentoring golfers. This spring, she'll take on a new job – host of her own golf tournament in her native Sweden.
Sunesson will act as host of the inaugural Solvesborg Ladies Open on Scandinavia's Nordea Tour, which also is part of the Ladies European Tour's Access Series (similar to the LPGA Tour's developmental Symetra Tour).
''I was a little surprised when the request came, but this will be exciting,'' Sunesson said. ''The idea is that I will share my experiences from all the years on the tour. In Solvesborg I will take care of the sponsors of the pro-am, give lectures and make sure everyone is happy. If I have the opportunity, I will be on site throughout the competition.''
The Solvesborg Ladies Open is set for May 22-24 at Solvesborg Golf Club in Solvesborg, Sweden.
One of the things golfers like most about long putters is that they're heavier than standard-length models, and that extra weight tends to make them more stable during the stroke. The future of long putters might be in doubt, but that stability is a trait golfers will seek no matter the length of the shaft.
The new Tank putter from Odyssey is, as its name suggests, heavier than your average flatstick – its head weighs 400 grams, while its shaft weighs 150 grams. This extra weight, plus a counterbalance weight (weighing 30 to 40 grams, depending on the individual model, at the top of the shaft) helps to keep the Tank stable through impact and to quiet the hands during the stroke. In addition, the added weight engages the big muscles to promote a pendulum stroke that helps keep the wrists from breaking down.
''With Tank, we wanted to enhance the stability of the putter by increasing the Moment of Inertia [in essence, its resistance to twisting or rotating] of the entire club,'' said Odyssey Golf Principle Designer Austie Rollinson. ''We feel this achieves most of the benefits of anchoring without actually touching the body.''
In redistributing weight to enhance the Tank's stability, Odyssey focused on placing the balance point in each shaft in relatively the same position as in a conventional putter. So at each length, the balance point is in a slightly different place on the shaft. And because of their extra weight (19 percent heavier than a standard putter), the conventional-length Tank putters have a total club MOI that is 34 percent higher than a standard putter, while the longer options (32 percent heavier than standard) have a total club MOI that is 109 percent higher than a standard putter.
"At every golf club in the world, we've heard golfers say, 'I just want something a little heavier,'" said Odyssey Golf Global Director Chris Koske. ''With the proposed anchoring ban in discussions, we thought it was the right time to service golfers with an alternative and stability-focused method to putting and putter design.
''We didn't just do heavy – each component is carefully weighed to ensure a proper balance point and ultimate stability,'' he added. ''We brought two prototypes out to Riviera and one went in play immediately."
The Tank's head, with its two wings flanking a big cutout in the middle, looks a bit like the reverse of Odyssey's famous 2-Ball models. A string of small red dots on the crown provides an alignment aid, and the face contains Odyssey's popular White Hot insert, which claimed more than 30 victories across the worldwide tours in 2012. For 2013, Odyssey developed a new laser milling cutting process that better matches the insert shapes to the various head shapes.
Tank putters will be available at retail starting on April 12. They, along with the Metal-X Arm Lock putters that Odyssey unveiled in November, should attract serious looks from golfers either considering long putters or weaning themselves off of long putters.
For years, we've talked about the Tiger Effect. Over the last few years, though, I've seen many more examples of the Rickie Fowler Effect -- little kids decked out in flat-brimmed caps and brightly colored shirts.
But I have to say, the kid pictured in the photo above is a first for me. I'm pretty sure he (or she) is a big Rickie Fowler fan. But what I really want to know is how that hat is balanced on his (or her) head.