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Opinion & Analysis

The Top-10 GolfWRX Stories of 2014

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At GolfWRX, we aim to satisfy all of your golfing needs. Need the best info on equipment, instruction and news from the tours? We cover all that and more on our front page and in our forums.

This holiday season, our staff began reminiscing on all the happenings of 2014. Eventually, they started talking about their favorite stories and debating which ones were the best. So went the fight for the stories that created the Top-10 GolfWRX Stories of 2014.

Congratulations to the writers who made the cut, and a big THANK YOU to all of the Forum Members and Featured Writers who’ve helped GolfWRX become the awesome golf community that it is.

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Story: What’s it really like when tour players hit new clubs for the first time?
Author: Zak Kozuchowski

Go behind the scenes with GolfWRX Managing Editor Zak Kozuchowski at TaylorMade’s 2014 Ad Shoot, where Sergio Garcia, Jason Day, Justin Rose and others tested the company’s R15, AeroBurner and RSi products for the first time.

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Story: The 3 most important areas of your golf body 
Author: Nick Randall

Even if you’re not interested in golf fitness, there’s something for you to learn from this story. Golf fitness expert Nick Randall identifies the three areas of your body that will help you maximize your on-course performance and minimize the time you spend in the gym.

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Story: Timeless tips to beat the cold: GolfWRX Guide to Winter Golf
Author: Rusty Cage

If you live in a cold place and play golf, this GolfWRX Guide is for you. It’s the best collection of cold-weather golf tips on the internet.

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Story: How to actually stay down through the shot
Author: Dennis Clark

“Hit down on it.” Every golfer in the world has said those words to a fellow golfer at one time or another, but what does “hitting down” actually mean? PGA Master Professional Dennis Clark explains.

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Story: Patrick Reed’s homophobic slur is a big deal
Author: Ben Alberstadt

GolfWRX Staff Writer Ben Alberstadt was one of the first journalists to take a stance on Patrick Reed’s choice of words after a missed putt in China. His opinion piece became the most commented story of the year of GolfWRX.

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Story: Barney Adams: Straight answers about equipment costs
Author: Barney Adams

Adams Golf Founder Barney Adams says it straight. GolfWRX readers have learned that through his column that offers an insider’s look at the golf equipment industry and the golf industry as a whole. This story about equipment costs is our favorite, but we recommend that you catch up on all of his stories.

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Story: Impact location by handicap
Author: Tom Stickney II

A little foot powder spray went a long way in this story, and shows us how impact location differs between golfers of different skill levels. It also confirms the theory that poor golfers hit the ball all over the face, while better golfers are more consistent.

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Story: What happens when you hit a shot off the cart path?
Author: Rob Rashell 

Ever find your ball on the cart path and want to play it as it lies? Here’s the science of what happens when you give it a go.

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Story: What’s Your Hidden Gem?
Author: Andrew Tursky

GolfWRX was created to be a place where golfers can share their opinions on all things golf. Assistant Editor Andrew Tursky took that mission to heart with this story about a course he discovered in the Hawaiian Islands. He asked GolfWRXers to share their “hidden gem,” or golf’s version of a great hole-in-the-wall pizza joint.

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Story: Our game’s obsession with fast greens is killing us
Author: Bob Carney

Playing a course with fast greens is a status symbol for many golfers, but GolfWRX Contributor Bob Carney sees it a different way. His story about the damaging effects of quick putting surfaces.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mad-Mex

    Dec 27, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Just lost all respect for this site after seeing that the Taylormade add, I mean “article” make the top 10, guess you spend enough on advertising,,,,

  2. Preston

    Dec 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Really questioning how the ranking was done. The patrick reed issue was really a non issue. The players reaction to new TM equipment was blown off as a sales ad.

  3. DatSliceDoe

    Dec 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    KINGLEO?

  4. Mlecuni

    Dec 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Sad for golfwrx to see patrick reed slur in the top 10. This website deserves better articles.

    • Martin

      Dec 23, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I agree completely.

      It was really a non-story.

      This was #6 and Tiger basically missing the year and be the subject or 7,568,763 individual threads somehow isn’t.

      • graymulligan

        Dec 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

        No, it wasn’t a “non-story”. It was a story that was on the year end list of 2 other golf publications as well. A golfer using a slur on the course is a big deal, whether it personally offends you or not.

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Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Aaron Dill is back!!!

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In this episode of TGD brought to you by Titleist, Johnny has a dear friend and master wedge human Aaron Dill to chat about Cantlay, The Masters, and his new TSi3.

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TG2: Testing the NEW Cobra King Tour irons and the Ben Hogan GS53 MAX driver

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Cobra’s new King Tour irons with MIM technology are built for better players looking to hit precision shots. The feel is very soft and responsive while the smaller profile lets you easily hit any shot in the book. Ben Hogan has released their most forgiving driver, the GS53 MAX and it is easy to hit. Designed with a ton of tech, this driver is long and helps reduce that slice!

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The Wedge Guy: Equipment tidbits for you to think about

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One of the most fun things about being a golfer is that we all want to get better–hit drives longer and straighter, iron shots that find greens more often, pitches and chips that get closer, and putts that go in more often. And we all seem to take great pleasure in finding that next “missing link” in our bags that will help us achieve one of those goals.

Today I want to share some thoughts about how little things can often mean a lot when it comes to tweaking your equipment. On the surface, a golf club seems to be a pretty simple thing—a piece of metal, at the end of a tubular piece of metal or graphite, with a rubber-like handle at the end. But when that golf club is put into motion at 100 mph or so, a lot of dynamics begin to happen.

As we ponder the dynamics of the complex action of swinging a golf club and the broad set of mechanics that come into play on every shot, I thought I’d share some random observations I’ve made over the years about equipment cause and effect:

Increasing your driving distance: The industry has taken us on this dramatic quest for distance and power, and the average driver sold today is over 45” long. That’s two inches longer than the standard of 25 years ago. And while the humongous driver heads brag about “forgiveness”, the fact is that your longest drives (and straightest) will always come from dead center hits. It’s still a fact that a sweet spot miss of just ½” will cost you 7-9% distance loss, and a miss of 3/4” will increase that to 12-15%. I suggest you try gripping down on your driver an inch or more the next time you play and see if you don’t hit the ball closer to the sweet spot and see it consistently going longer and straighter. It’s been proven over and over again.

Examining iron specs: The “standard” way a set of irons was engineered for decades was that the irons vary in length by ½”, and in loft by 4 degrees. But the past few years – driven by the relentless quest for distance – we have seen the loft gaps increased to 5° at the short end of the set and as small as 2.5° at the long end. The harsh reality of this geometry is that almost every golfer will have much smaller distance gaps at the long end of the set than at the short end, where distance precision is critical. I have tweaked my irons for years so that I have smaller length and lie differences at the short end than the long, and that allows my distance gaps to be more consistent. Most golfers could benefit from examining their TRUE carry distances from club to club and then tweaking lofts and lengths to fix their gapping.

Fit your putter. It amazes me to watch how many golfers–even some of the pros on TV–and see the toe of the putter up in the air at address. Simple fact is that this makes the face point left because of the loft. I’ve become a true believer in putter fitting. A good fit will ensure that your putter really is aimed at the target, and that the lie angle allows the ball to come off the putter straight. Yes, the style of putter is a matter of personal preference, but a putter that is accurately fit to you makes this maddening part of the game much less so.

Watch your grips. We spend hundreds of dollars on a driver or set of irons, and we get disposable “handles”. It’s a fact that grips wear out. They get dirty. And they need replacing regularly. Take a close look at yours. Worn, dirty grips cause you to grip the club tighter to have control. And bad shots are much more frequent because of that.

Experiment. The toys are a big part of the fun of golf, so don’t be afraid to experiment. I’ve long suggested all golfers should try the blade style short irons of one of your better player friends or pros, but experiment with other clubs, too. Hit your buddies’ hybrids, fairways, irons, drivers. Try different golf balls. [But I just can’t buy that tees can make a difference, sorry.] It’s fun.

So, there you have some random thoughts of the hundreds that swirl around in my head. Let me know your other questions about equipment, and I’ll try to address them in future columns.

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