At GolfWRX, our goal is to satisfy all of our your golfing needs, whether it’s the latest equipment, instruction, reviews or news from around the tours. We cover it all and more on our front page and in our forums, and we’re proud of the job we did in 2015.
Below is the final list of our absolute favorite stories from 2015. We thought many of our GolfWRX readers would have some downtime this holiday season, and in case you do we decided to create this list for your reading pleasure.
Related: GolfWRX’s Top-10 stories from 2014
Congratulations to the writers who were chosen to appear on this list, 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.
Hole 1: The day I met Ben Hogan
- Author: Tom Stites
- Story link: Tom Stites, Hole 1: The day I met Ben Hogan
Tom Stites has spent more than 30 years in the golf industry, a career that began at the Ben Hogan Company where he worked for the man himself. Stites plans on writing 18 holes, a full round of first-hand stories, about his interactions with Hogan — the man who has had such a tremendous impact on golf equipment, golf history, the golf swing and the way golfers play the game — and other encounters in the industry.
This particular story made this list, because well, what’s more interesting than a tale about meeting Ben Hogan in a restroom?
Video: Hudson Swafford’s drill to hit more fairways
- Author: Scott Hamilton
- Story link: Video: Hudson Swafford’s drill to hit more fairways
Hudson Swafford’s swing instructor Scott Hamilton gave us an insider’s look into how one of the best players in the world practices his tee shots. This kind of access and instruction is what GolfWRX is all about.
The reality of aim and alignment, and why golfers get them wrong
- Author: Dennis Clark
- Story link: The reality of aim and alignment, and why golfers get them wrong
PGA Master Professional Dennis Clark is an expert at making the complicated seem simple, and addressing common misconceptions among golfers. This story about alignment is one that may change the way golfers look at setting up to a golf ball.
5 things I learned traveling with a Tour player
- Author: Nick Randall
- Story link: 5 things I learned traveling with a Tour player
Nick Randall, the fitness specialist from down under, takes us behind the scenes of a PGA Tour event as he travels, works out and walks the course with PGA Tour player Cameron Smith. In terms of behind-the-scenes access into the life of a Tour player, it doesn’t get much better than this.
An added tidbit: Smith isn’t well-known in the States, but he finished T4 in the 2015 U.S. Open and T25 in the 2015 PGA Championship. He earned his 2015-2016 PGA Tour card as a non-member who finished in the top-125 on the Tour’s 2014-2015 money list. He will also tee it up in the 2016 Masters.
Kinsler putter: Will the Raptor roar like Kinsler’s engine parts?
- Author: Zak Kozuchowski
- Story link: Kinsler Putters: Will the Raptor roar like Kinsler’s engine parts?
This story embodies GolfWRX; it takes a deep dive into a unique golf product, but you don’t have to be a gearhead to enjoy reading it. The putter feature comes from GolfWRX Editor Zak Kozuchowski, who has been leading our Editorial Department since 2012.
Hit it like a girl for more distance
- Author: Justin Padjen
- Story link: Hit it like a girl for more distance
The general population of male golfers look to imitate PGA Tour players. Justin Padjen’s story explains why that’s not the best plan of action for the average male golfer. Instead, hit it #LikeAGirl
The science of adding spin to your wedge shots
- Author: Tom Stickney
- Story link: The science of adding spin to your wedge shots
If you’ve ever wondered how PGA Tour pros hit wedge shots that take a few hops and stop dead, this story is for you. Stickney takes explores the science of creating spin, and offers four ways to create more spin in your own game.
10 things not to do at a PGA Tour event
- Author: Ben Alberstadt
- Story link: 10 things not to do at a PGA Tour event
If you’re planning to attend a PGA Tour event in 2016, make sure to read this story. Most people know not to yell “baba booey,” especially during a player’s backswing, but Alberstadt examines nine other things you shouldn’t do at a Tour event. It could save you some awkward encounters and death stares.
Inside the World of counterfeit golf clubs
- Author: Barney Adams
- Story link: Inside the World of counterfeit golf clubs
Barney Adams is a legend in the golf equipment industry, and in this story he takes readers into the underground world of counterfeit golf clubs. And if you haven’t read Barney Adams before, make sure to catch up.
The absolute facts about swing weight
- Author: Tom Wishon
- Story link: The absolute facts about swing weight
When Tom Wishon talks about golf clubs, golfers listen — it’s like Phil Jackson talking about the triangle offense. This story is like a handbook on swing weight, one of the most misunderstood concepts in golf equipment.
What really determines feel in an iron
- Author: Paul Wood
- Story link: What really determines feel in an iron
Paul Wood, Senior Vice President of Engineering for Ping Golf, explains what makes an iron “feel” better, as well as the differences between forged and cast irons.
A statistical analysis of what makes Jordan Spieth great
- Author: Rich Hunt
- Story link: A statistical analysis of what makes Jordan Spieth great
Rich Hunt is a PGA Tour statistician, so when it comes to statistical breakdowns on GolfWRX, his are the most thorough and comprehensive that you’ll find. Here’s his explanation, backed by the facts, about what makes Jordan Spieth great.
Rickie Fowler’s golf clubs are like no one else’s
- Author: Andrew Tursky
- Story link: Rickie Fowler’s golf clubs are like no one else’s
Rickie Fowler is one of golf’s unique characters, but he also has golf clubs like no other player on Tour. His Cobra irons and wedges are created through an extensive process that GolfWRX Senior Editor Andrew Tursky explains in great detail. If you enjoy one-off golf clubs, you’ll love this look at Fowler’s clubs.
How far you can actually hit your driver
- Author: Tom Stickney
- Story link: How far you can actually hit your driver
This story may single-handedly bring golfers with big egos down to earth.
“When I ask students how far they carry the ball and what their average total distance is, the answer is usually grossly inaccurate and overstated 99 percent of the time,” Stickney says.
Charts in this story show how far you should be hitting the golf ball based on your swing speed, which means arguments begin and end with this article.
How I hit drives 56 yards farther with one adjustment
- Author: Adam Young
- Story link: How I hit drives 56 yards farther with one adjustment
The headline of this story makes a claim that seems like it’s straight out of an informercial until you read the instructional gold. If you’re looking for more distance, you need to read this story from Adam Young, a golf coach at the Leadbetter Academy in La Manga Resort in Spain.
A special thanks to the recurring stories on GolfWRX, including Tour Photos, Revealing Photos, Tour Mash, From the Forums and Fantasy Previews.
What would WRX be without our Tour photographer Greg Moore, who takes the best and most timely equipment photos in the industry.
This new feature in 2015 is written by Tursky and provides entertaining and informative commentary about select Tour photos from Moore.
Every Monday, Ronald Montesano recaps the biggest news, results and goings-on from across the globe in the sport of golf, from both men’s and women’s tours, with his “Tour Mash” series. Golf news has never been so enthralling.
From the Forums
This series brings you the best of the best from our forums each week. It’s no easy task since our forums are so vast, but Alberstadt always seems to find the best topics, equipment and Tour news.
Ben Auten has the difficult job of predicting what players will succeed, or underperform, each week on the PGA Tour. In the unpredictable world of golf, this is far from a cake walk, but his thorough analysis and Tour trends are usually spot on (And nice call on Smylie Kaufman!).
A golfing memoir in monthly tokens: July
As some might say, if you don’t take the plunge, you can’t taste the brine. Others might not say such a thing. I’m taking the plunge, because I want to taste the brine. Here you’ll find the seventh installment of “A Golfing Memoir” as we trace a year in the life of Flip Hedgebow, itinerant teacher of golf. For January, click here. For February, click here. For March, click here. For April and May, click here. For June, click here.
“What do you think of weddings?”
“How comfortable is your room?”
The first question was offered by Grace Éimí Seáin. After he escorted her and sundry to her room via golf cart, they made plans to meet in the lodge for dinner. She had taken note of the path he chose to deliver her to her lodging house, and informed him of the time of her arrival to sup. Yes, he had offered to retrieve her in the same cart, as he should, and yes, he had nodded when she told him that it would be unnecessary.
The second question was posed by cirE “Flip” Hedgebow, itinerant golf instructor and relationship tyro. In anticipation of her arrival, he had checked the status of the newly-acquired guest house on the hill overlooking the seventh hole. When he realized that it had not been rented for the first two weeks of her stay, he sped up the work order on the landscaping and outside trim, so that it would be rentable no longer. Once that part of the plot was detailed, he let the crew know that he would text them each morning of their required, on-site hours.
The reason for the questions, was to re-break the ice. The two had not seen each other since Florida, and flowers need time to transition from bud to leaf. Flip had suggested that Grace ask him a question, to place her in a position of advantage. She acquiesced, but only after securing the contractual agreement that he would ask a subsequent one of her. His nod was his signature. In the large room down the hall from their table, a nuptial reception was in full roar. Sisters danced on tables, brothers shuffled with collars loosened and ties rakishly draped around necks.
“What do you think of weddings?”
He explained that he was of two minds: professional and personal. From the standpoint of his job, wedding receptions brought in lots of money to offset unforeseen expenses at the resort. The wait staff loved them, as ebullient parents showered servers and associates with healthy tips. Only rarely did guests lose so much control that damage ensued. Those matters were resolved efficiently. Flip also confessed that the energy that flowed from a reception resembled the type emitted by a waterfall, like the natural one behind the sixth green. The optimism of new life together, the rekindling of family ties, all generated a temporary but powerful élan, a brio that courses through the entirety of the space and inhabitants.
From personal experience, he had much less to offer. He could count on two hands the number of weddings he had attended as an invited guest. Not to say that he had few friends, but proximity and responsibility had kept him from more than a handful of receptions. Flip valued the uniqueness of each ceremony, be it religious or civil, and the measured opulence of the decor. It was hoped that it would once in a lifetime, after all, so why not go all out? For himself, he offered, should he ever take that step with someone, the decisions would be mutual and planned. No knee-jerk for him.
Three public-access buildings comprised the resort. The first was the lodge, which held the pro shop and offices on the first floor, along with a seldom-used locker room in the back. On floor the second, the combined bar and dining room sat to the north, while the banquet hall was on the southerly side. Adjacent to both lodge and first tee was the hotel, made up of two wings of rooms. The older wing was less ample but wider, and held all of the smaller rooms. For families, the new wing was deeper, and allowed for greater per-room occupancy. The final building was the aforementioned and still-unnamed guest house, away from resort-center. When the house went on the market, the heirs to Klifzota, in their German and Polish logic, moved quickly. The resort needed a space for large parties who wanted a bit of separation. An opportunity to steal some cash from Airbnb, especially during the seasons when the hotel sold out all of its rooms.
Flip knew how well-appointed the interior of the guest house was. He had worked with the marketing people to select fixtures, bed frames and other furniture, and had watched in solemn reverence as PR team matched shams and sheets to wall colors and lighting. The final product was understated and comfortable; not in the least bit intimidating. He suspected that Grace would be happy there, but wanted her own confirmation, which she gave.
July was always a rambunctious month at Klifzota. Across the rural highway, a music jamboree attracted tens of thousands for a display of patriotism and calamity. The celebration was enjoyed by aficionados of country music, as well as newcomers to that brand of song. Flip had been to so many renditions of the Vale Slam, as it was called by venue veterans, that he knew what to expect and how much to imbibe. Until the first day of the festival, he had no idea that Grace had keen insight into the genre.
It’s a classic case of wild child meets wayward boy, then grandmother steps in. My mother was a classical singer as a teenager, but she had an ear for all styles. She appreciated genius, no matter the rhythm, color, or duration. She met my father, a fiddler in a bluegrass band, and they had some times together. I was the product of one of those times. My grandmother, uncertain as to whether she would ever collect her daughter, offered to take me in for a spell. That spell became forever. I know that my mother and father are out there, somewhere in the universe. I hope that they are together and happy. I don’t begrudge them most days. Now you know why I was introduced as Agnes Porter the younger. Someday, you might learn about Agnes Porter the elder.
cirE “Flip” Hedgebow stared at her, words absent. She took his hand and away they walked, through the admission gate. What’s on your mind now? she inquired. Johnny Farrell and Willie Macfarlane, he muttered.
Those names caught her by surprise, unknown and disconnected. In the August incalescence, both persons would come to understand their kinship. Catching him as much by surprise was her follow-up question, completely unrelated to Farrell and Macfarlane: Is it all right if he comes and stays a few weeks?
Artwork by JaeB
GPI: If you stick with it, good things will come. The only thing you need to do is not give up!
There are tough days on the golf course, and those days teach us more than our successful rounds of golf. In this podcast, we discuss how micromanaging your golf swing can hinder your ability to perform with a clear mind and what one should do to remedy that. We also touch on what is going on with the PGA Tour and much more!
Club Junkie: Cobra King Tech hybrid and Baddazz Driver Shaft Review
Cobra’s new King Tech hybrid is a great option for just about any player. The adjustable hosel and weights should make this a great club for slicers or players who fight the hook. Baddazz shafts is a new company that is offering aftermarket performance for smaller budgets. The 70x is mid/low launch and very consistent.
U.S. Open qualifying and learning from a “bad” round
Jordan Spieth offers Bryson advice and reveals the player who gets heckled most
Tiger Woods takes photo with inspiring young cancer patient Luna Perrone
Symetra Tour player hit with baffling two-stroke penalty
Brooks Koepka reveals what Bryson said to cause his eye-roll reaction
Justin Thomas’ act of kindness to support fellow pro
5 big names who failed to qualify for the 2021 U.S. Open
Brooks the bully? Brandel Chamblee weighs in on DeChambeau-Koepka feud
Tour pro brutally left hanging when trying to congratulate Phil Mickelson
LPGA pro hit with one of the most costly slow play penalties ever
Cam Davis winning WITB: 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees, A1 SureFit setting) Shaft: UST Mamiya LIN-Q Gunmetal 70X 6F5 3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees) Shaft:...
WITB Time Machine: Tiger Woods’ 2012 AT&T National winning WITB
Driver: Nike VR Tour (8.5 degrees) Shaft: Graphite Design DI 6X 3-wood: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition (15 degrees) Shaft:...
Harris English WITB 2021 (June)
Driver: Ping G400 (9 @9.2 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XD 70 X 3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) Shaft: Fujikura...
Kramer Hickok WITB 2021 (June)
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees) Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X 3-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (15 degrees @14.7) Shaft:...
Opinion & Analysis2 weeks ago
U.S. Open qualifying and learning from a “bad” round
19th Hole1 week ago
Symetra Tour player hit with baffling two-stroke penalty
Equipment2 weeks ago
New 2021 Titleist T-Series irons begin tour seeding (updated with in-hand photos)
19th Hole6 days ago
Phil Mickelson rules out return to Detroit after ‘unnecessary attack’ from journalist
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Jon Rahm’s winning WITB: 2021 U.S. Open
Equipment3 weeks ago
Best of 2021 U.S. Open gear
Equipment6 days ago
Blade vs cavity back style wedges – GolfWRXers discuss
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Fans react to spectator running onto fairway and hitting shots at U.S. Open