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Opinion & Analysis

“Who’s the most overrated golfer of all-time?”

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In this episode of “Yo, GolfWRX?!” equipment expert Brian Knudson and Editor Andrew Tursky cover a variety of topics including rolling back the golf ball, Tiger’s stinger vs. Stenson’s 3 wood, and the most overrated golfer of all-time.

Watch the video below, and enjoy!

Leave your questions for next week in the comments below, or Tweet it using the #YoGolfWRX hashtag.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Golfy McGolface

    Nov 14, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Everyone will just respond with who they don’t like.

  2. Tommy

    Nov 11, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    It’s a stupid question that begs for a stupid answer. Rated by whom? In whose mind? Johnny Miller!?…seriously? I know you weren’t around then, but, Johnny Miller? He came out of nowhere and won EVERYTHING for a few years…then family replaced golf as his main focus. Johnny Miller was Ricky Fowler on steroids and before someone says, “yeah, Fowler’s overrated too”, he’s not. Underrated, if anything. If they got paid for their stats, Ricky Fowler would have won it all last year….waaay better than Justin Thomas.

  3. stephenf

    Nov 11, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Tiger Woods. Widely thought of as greatest ever, without being best in U.S. tour wins (Snead) or majors (Nicklaus), or even close in worldwide wins (Player and DeVicenzo). Awesomely talented, tireless worker, possibly the best combination of short shots around the green and consistently excellent putting over a long time of any player ever. Terrible representative of what the game is supposed to be about.

    • stephenf

      Nov 11, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Also: Obviously an awesome ballstriker, but not smart about settling on a technique that would allow his body to keep making swings for decades; too important to hit 200-yard 6-irons and beat every player on every shot, distance-wise and otherwise. (Cf. the other piece on Bernhard Langer for contrast.) Absolutely, no question a man among boys in terms of competitive fire and mental toughness. Stood out in an era of skilled but mostly mentally soft competition. If we’re talking about ballstriking, short game, and scoring at the highest level on any given day, and adjusting for differences in equipment and the kind of play demanded in the game now, inarguably he’d be there with the best ever — Jones, Snead, Nelson, Hogan, Nicklaus, all of them. But if we’re talking about accumulated record and completeness as a representative of the game’s best qualities, no.

    • Mike

      Nov 11, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      This may be the worst comment ever. TIGER OVERRATED????? Remember that out of Snead’s wins 4 or 5 are team events so TIGER does have the most US individual PGA wins. I could rant forever at how dumb this comment is.

      • stephenf

        Nov 12, 2017 at 1:59 am

        Please do rant, Mike. When you do, be sure to cover who Woods had to beat that was the equal of Hogan and Nelson.

        But sure, go ahead and rant. What else ya got on majors or anything else? You wanna go on a little trip through Tiger’s “toughest competition ever” and see what people shot when they were tied with him or close to the lead in final rounds, what he had to shoot to beat them, what he had to shoot to win playoffs, etc.? We could go awhile. Start.

        • RG

          Nov 13, 2017 at 3:56 am

          Uhm…In golf we measure ourselve snot against others, but against courses and history. Tiger Woods won a US Open by 15 strokes. That is all.

    • stephenf

      Nov 12, 2017 at 1:55 am

      Also also: I’m not saying he’s the “most” overrated in the sense of “widest gap between reputation and actual skill/accomplishments.” I’m saying he’s the most constantly overrated by the most people, even if the difference between “best ever” and “one in a group of best-evers” isn’t all that big. It isn’t.

      It’s actually kind of hard to come up with “overrated” golfers, since golfers just are who they are, by record and by scores. I get why somebody would mention Daly, for instance, but I’m not sure anybody ever thought of him as an all-time great. He just is who he is.

      Before Dustin Johnson went and figured out his wedge game — which he really did, to his credit, because it was exactly where he was failing to take advantage of his length — I would’ve put him at the top of an overrated list. Not now.

      There are all kinds of guys who had stretches of Hall-of-Fame-level play and then faded, but it’s a little cruel to call them “overrated,” if they were never really “rated” in the first place by anybody who knew anything about the game. Same for guys who came out and looked really promising, got a lot of press, and then just didn’t get to top tier for any length of time, or at all. Hardly anybody remembers Keith Clearwater now, but he was going to be the next great player. Even Hogan touted his swing as being mechanically sound. It just didn’t work out.

      But as long as the question is who is or was the most overrated “golfer,” we’ve got Michael Jordan, who was widely talked about as having “tour-level talent,” but…come on.

  4. BeerandGolfandLuke

    Nov 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Michelle Wie

  5. Ole Tom

    Nov 11, 2017 at 8:44 am

    John Daly

    • Ross

      Nov 11, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Sorry Daly is 2 time Major champion, and if he had some sense of discipline he would of won a lot more imho. He is universally popular and a heck of a nice chap.

  6. TeeUp

    Nov 10, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Tiger Twig

    • Ross

      Nov 11, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      That is an interesting name, I assume you mean Tiger Woods. Now given he is often tagged as the Greatest of all Time he could be considered overrated however as he has 14 Majors it would be impossible to call him overrated unless you had an agenda.

  7. Markallister

    Nov 10, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    fred couples

    • stephenf

      Nov 11, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      In what way is Couples overrated? In any discussion of who’s “overrated,” you have to arrive at an agreed idea of how he’s “rated” at all. Most people think of him as a beautiful swinger of the club who had some great streaks, was never a consistent putter, missed too many short putts, loves the life out there, capable of some low scores and very good tournaments. Won a major — probably the right one for him and his style — and contended in others. I’m not aware of anybody thinking of him being on the short list of all-time achievers in the game. So how is he overrated? I’m seriously asking.

  8. TGK

    Nov 10, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    colin montgomerie. Could not win in usa until he was a senior.

    • Ross

      Nov 11, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Monty was not overrated he was however an underachiever, He dominated the European Tour for a Decade and is a Ryder Cup Legend.

      • TGK

        Nov 11, 2017 at 3:22 pm

        What is the difference of being an underachiever or being over rated? LOL.

        • Original_dan

          Nov 14, 2017 at 9:10 am

          Underachiever – Not living up to your full potential
          Over Rated – Full potential lower then how people perceive you.

          Almost Opposites

          • Ross

            Nov 18, 2017 at 4:43 am

            Cheers _dan, I wrote the exact response at the time but it’s still awaiting moderation?

  9. Rich Douglas

    Nov 10, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Fred Couples. Love him, but seriously.

  10. Travis

    Nov 10, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Brandel Chamblee

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Opinion & Analysis

Top 5 wedges of all time

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Wedges. They are the “trusted old friends” in our golf bags. They inspire confidence inside of 100 yards and help us get back on track when we hit a wayward approach.

There was a time not too long ago when a bunker was considered a true hazard, but over the last 80 years, as agronomy has evolved on the same trajectory as club an ball technology, wedges have changed a great deal along the way—from the first modern prototype wedge built by Gene Sarazen to clubs featuring various plating and coatings to increase spin and performance. There are a lot of wedge designs that have stood the test of time; their sole grinds, profiles from address, and performance bring back memories of great hole outs and recovery shots.

With so many variations of wedges in the history of golf (and so much parity), this is my top five list (in no particular order) of the most iconic wedges in golf history.

Original Gene Sarazen Wedge

An early Gene Sarazen wedge. (Photo: USGA)

Gene is famous for a lot of things: the career grand slam, the longest endorsement deal in professional sports history (75 years as a Wilson ambassador), the “shot heard around the world”, and as mentioned earlier—the creation of the modern sand wedge. Although not credited with the invention of the original  “sand wedge” he 100 percent created the modern wedge with a steel shaft and higher bounce. A creation that developed from soldering mass to the sole and flange of what would be our modern-day pitching wedge. Born from the idea of a plane wing, thanks to a trip taken with Howard Hughes, we can all thank Mr. Sarazen for the help with the short shots around the green.

Wilson R90

The next evolution of the original Sarazen Design, the Wilson R90 was the very first mass-marketed sand wedge. Its design characteristics can still be seen in the profile of some modern wedges. Although many might not be as familiar with the R90, you would almost certainly recognize the shape, since it was very often copied by other manufacturers, in their wedge lines.

The R90 features a very rounded profile, high amount of offset, and a great deal of bounce in the middle of the sole, with very little camber. Although not as versatile as modern wedges because of the reduced curve from heel to toe, the R90 is still a force to be reckoned with in the sand.

Cleveland 588

You know a name and design are classic when a company chooses to use the original notation more than 30 years after its initial release. The 588 was introduced as Cleveland’s fifth wedge design and came to market in 1988—which is how it got its name. Wedges were never the same after.

The brainchild of Roger Cleveland, the 588 was made from 8620 carbon steel—which patinad over time. Not unlike the Wilson before it, the 588 had a very traditional rounded shape with a higher toe and round leading edge. The other part of the design that created such versatility was the V-Sole (No, not the same as the Current Srixon), that offers a lot more heel relief to lower the leading edge as the face was opened up—this was the birth of the modern wedge grind.

Titleist Vokey Spin Milled

The wedge that launched the Vokey brand into the stratosphere. Spin-milled faces changed the way golfers look at face technology in their scoring clubs. From a humble club builder to a wedge guru, Bob Vokey has been around golf and the short game for a long time. The crazy thing about the Bob Vokey story is that it all started with one question: “who wants to lead the wedge team?” That was all it took to get him from shaping Titleist woods to working with the world’s best players to create high-performance short game tools.

Honorable mentions for design goes to the first 200 and 400 series wedge, which caught golfers’ eyes with their teardrop shape—much like the Cleveland 588 before it.

Ping Eye 2 Plus

What can you say? The unique wedge design that other OEMs continue to draw inspiration from it 30 years after its original conception. The Eye 2+ wedge was spawned from what is undoubtedly the most popular iron design of all time, which went through many iterations during its 10 years on the market—a lifecycle that is completely unheard of in today’s world of modern equipment.

A pre-worn sole, huge amount of heel and toe radius, and a face that screams “you can’t miss,” the true beauty comes from the way the hosel transitions into the head, which makes the club one of the most versatile of all time.

Check out my video below for more on why this wedge was so great.

Honorable mention: The Alien wedge

To this day, the Alien wedge is the number-one-selling single golf club of all time! Although I’m sure there aren’t a lot of people willing to admit to owning one, it did help a lot of golfer by simplifying the short game, especially bunker shots.

Its huge profile looked unorthodox, but by golly did it ever work! Designed to be played straight face and essentially slammed into the sand to help elevate the ball, the club did what it set out to do: get you out of the sand on the first try. You could say that it was inspired by the original Hogan “Sure-Out,” but along the way it has also inspired others to take up the baton in helping the regular high-handicap golfer get out of the sand—I’m looking at you XE1.

That’s my list, WRXers. What would you add? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Podcasts

The 19th Hole: Meet the world’s most expensive putter and the man behind it

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Host Michael Williams talks with Steve Sacks of Sacks Parente Golf about the idea and implementation of their revolutionary Series 39 blade putter. Also features PGA Professional Brian Sleeman of Santa Lucia Preserve (CA).

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

A day at the CP Women’s Open

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It’s another beautiful summer day in August. Just like any other pro-am at a professional tour event, amateurs are nervously warming up on the driving range and on the putting green next to their pros. As they make their way to the opening tees, they pose for their pictures, hear their names called, and watch their marque player stripe one down the fairway. But instead of walking up 50 yards to the “am tees,” they get to tee it up from where the pros play—because this is different: this is the LPGA Tour!

I’m just going to get right to it, if you haven’t been to an LPGA Tour event you NEED to GO! I’ve been to a lot of golf events as both a spectator and as media member, and I can say an LPGA Tour event is probably the most fun you can have watching professional golf.

The CP Women’s Open is one of the biggest non-majors in women’s golf. 96 of the top 100 players in the world are in the field, and attendance numbers for this stop on the schedule are some of the highest on tour. The 2019 edition it is being held at exclusive Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario, which is about an hour north of downtown Toronto and designed by noted Canadian architect Doug Carrick. The defending Champion is none other than 21-year-old Canadian phenom Brooke Henderson, who won in emotional fashion last year.

From a fan’s perspective, there are some notable differences at an LPGA Tour event, and as a true “golf fan,” not just men’s golf fan, there are some big parts of the experience that I believe everyone can enjoy:

  • Access: It is certainly a refreshing and laidback vibe around the golf course. It’s easy to find great vantage points around the range and practice facility to watch the players go through their routines—a popular watching spot. Smaller infrastructure doesn’t mean a smaller footprint, and there is still a lot to see, plus with few large multi-story grandstands around some of the finishing holes, getting up close to watch shots is easier for everyone.
  • Relatability: This is a big one, and something I think most golfers don’t consider when they choose to watch professional golf. Just like with the men’s game there are obviously outliers when it comes to distance on the LPGA Tour but average distances are more in line with better club players than club players are to PGA Tour Pros. The game is less about power and more about placement. Watching players hit hybrids as accurately as wedges is amazing to watch. Every player from a scratch to a higher handicap can learn a great deal from watching the throwback style of actually hitting fairways and greens vs. modern bomb and gouge.
  • Crowds: (I don’t believe this is just a “Canadian Thing”) It was refreshing to spend an entire day on the course and never hear a “mashed potatoes” or “get in the hole” yelled on the tee of a par 5. The LPGA Tour offers an extremely family-friendly atmosphere, with a lot more young kids, especially young girls out to watch their idols play. This for me is a huge takeaway. So much of professional sports is focused on the men, and with that you often see crowds reflect that. As a father to a young daughter, if she decides to play golf, I love the fact that she can watch people like her play the game at a high level.

There is a lot of talk about the difference between men’s and women’s professional sports, but as far as “the product” goes, I believe that LPGA Tour offers one of the best in professional sports, including value. With a great forecast, a great course, and essentially every top player in the field, this week’s CP Women’s Open is destined to be another great event. If you get the chance to attend this or any LPGA Tour event, I can’t encourage you enough to go!

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