I’ve gotten about a million emails, tweets and Facebook updates regarding Black Friday. They’re at it already, even though Black Friday is two days away. Each year I like to post golf gift guides for the holiday season (politically correct term for Christmas), featuring products I’ve reviewed. Today I’m going to feature my top 10 golf gifts under $30. These are in no particular order, just the order that they stumbled out of my cranium. Each item has a link to the Hooked On Golf Blog product review for more details.
iPing Putter App – $30
Combined with the iPing iPhone cradle, the iPing application analyzes your putting stroke and gives all sorts of great statistics as well as comparisons with pro players’ strokes.
Score Band – $29
Score Band – click to see more
Score Band is a wrist mounted golf/tennis score keeper.
Punch in your scores on your wrist. Available in several colors.
SKLZ TRAINERmat Golf Fitness Training Mat – $29
Flexibility is the key to a fluid golf swing and more club head speed. I do my stretches and exercises at home on the SKLZ TRAINER-mat.
Frogger BrushPro – $19.95
The Frogger BrushPro has been a crucial part of my gamer bag since I first reviewed it back in 2007! The BrushPro keeps my grooves clean so I can have total control over my shots, especially in the short game department.
Champ Flix Switchblade Action Divot Tool – Under $10
Champ FLIX divot tool
The Champ Flix switchblade divot tool is great. It doesn’t poke a hole in my pocket or my leg, and it is very light. The magnetic ball marker is a nice, convenient bonus.
World’s Coolest Skull Golf Belt Buckle – $24.99
A skull golf ball belt buckle? Sign me up!
Tattoo Golf makes a killer pewter “skull and golf club bones” belt buckle. Just up my alley, being a rock & roll musician and golfer! Everyone needs a skull belt buckle.
Innovex V-Motion & E-Motion Golf Balls – Under $30 and as good as a ProV1
Innovex Golf V-Motion Tour Golf Ball – click to see more
Would you like to play a ball as good as a ProV1, but pay the price of Rock Flites? Try out the Innovex E-Motion and V-Motion golf balls! They’re great.
Kentwool Tour Wool Golf Socks – $19.95
Kentwool Tour golf socks
I know what you are saying, “$19.95 for golf socks?” Trust me on this. Kentwool golf socks are 3-4 times as expensive as regular golf socks from the standard manufacturers, but they’re about 492 billion times better. I have a sock drawer full of “nice” cotton golf socks I never wear anymore.
Asher Golf Gloves – $9.99 to $19.95
Skeletons and golf! Sign me up!
Asher Golf Gloves are cool. I’m a fan of any company who can combine skulls/bones and golf. Not only are Asher’s gloves cool looking, they work great and breath well.
Tornado Tee – $15.99 for 5 tees
Tornado Golf Tees
I have yet to post my review of Tornado Tees. I’m working on this one right now. But I’m so stoked about this cool product made by a local pal John here I needed to post.
Thanksgiving is the time of year that I post the annual “HOG Turkey Awards.” The Turkey Awards recognize the top 10 turkeys of the year in the golf world. John Daly has been a fixture in the list with his crazy on course antics over the years. But this year has been quiet. I suspect that JD knew he was not going to place on the list for 2012 so he fired it up a bit in Hong Kong, throwing his putter into some trees after getting mad at fans who were using cell phones and cameras. Daly was fined by the European Tour an undisclosed amount for the putter toss.
“Yes, the circumstances regarding crowd manners and behavior will be considered, but when it all boils down there is still no excuse for throwing his putter.” ~ Hong Kong Open tournament director Mickael Ericsson
Will that move be enough to make the top 10 turkeys of the year? Tune in Thursday to find out.
Turkey of the Year suggestions are welcomed. If you have suggestions, comment them in.
The quote of the day comes from Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez after winning the Hong Kong Open this weekend. You know Jimenez. He’s the pony-tail-wearing, cigar-smoking, sexy-warmup-dancing 48 year old “most interesting golfer in the world.”
“There is maybe olive oil in my joints, and drinking the nice Rioja wine and those things keeps me fit and flexible. Well, the most important thing (is), I do what I like to do in my life, and golf has given me all of this pleasure.”
If olive oil and wine are the secrets to golf and flexibility, I should be the #1 golfer in the world…
I’ve started a Google Plus page for Hooked On Golf Blog. I invite you to join HOGG+!
I’ll admit I’m not the biggest Google Plus fan at this point. It is a bit sterile and dos-like over there, and certainly small compared to Facebook though there are some 400 million on there. An associate of mine best described it, “Google knows algorithms, not people.” I hope that it improves, as I may be moving more to G+ as Facebook gets more and more screwed up.
With recent changes to Facebook I’ve really lost much of my FB mojo. Those Facebook changes mean that only a fraction of a page’s actual fans ever see the posts, unless of course they pay to promote them. I’m seeing less than 10%. HOG currently has 1,423 fans on Facebook. When I make a post there, only around 100 people see it. If the post is more popular, a few hundred see it. Those are the same numbers as back in early 2011 when the page only had 200-300 fans.
Links Have Less Views
Posts which get the least amount of views are ones which have external links in them. Straight text posts with no links reach more fans. I think FB knows you are posting external links to promote a website. And automated posts, like from RSS feeds? They get almost nothing or nothing. No views.
Example: A FB page I run had two posts yesterday. One had a link to an external website and the other did not. The text-only post currently has been viewed by 1,700 fans. The post with a link? 381 views. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Pay To Reach Your Own Fans
If I wanted one of my posts on Facebook to reach all of the fans who have already expressed interest in my page by clicking like, I’d have to pay $20. That may not sound like a lot, but consider that I’ve already worked to get those fans and in the case of 100’s of them, already paid Facebook advertising fees to attract the fans. If I only promoted one post per day, and I post several, I’d be at a bill of $140/week or $560 per month. As popular as this blog is, I can’t afford to do that.
A business associate of mine has a company FB page with 20K+ fans. They’ve paid FB $1000’s in advertising to attract them. For them to reach all 20K, they have to fork out $200 PER POST. That’s $1000/week for one post per day. I don’t think they have a $500,000/year advertising budget for social networking.
Sure it is about money. FB went public and has shareholders to answer to. They need to start bringing in dough. I understand that.
If I hadn’t already PAID MONEY to gain fans via advertising to golfers on FB, I wouldn’t have as much of an issue with paying to promote a post. But if someone clicked like they already expressed that they are interested. Having to pay to reach fans you already paid to get is like double FB taxation.
Consider that many sites like mine, actually promote Facebook by advertising and asking their patrons to like them. Each of my posts has a like button and the right sidebar of the site has a like button. I’m promoting them for free.
The Drawback To Relying On Social Networks
This is the drawback to relying on a third party website for for anything. The last few years I’ve had friends abandoning their blogs/websites and going to FB because it was free. I warned them that if FB decided to change a policy, a layout, a format, they’d be SOL. Well, here you go.
I’m Not The Only One
A recent article on readwrite.com quoted Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, “Facebook is driving away brands, starting with mine.”
The New York Observer web site posted this article, “Broken on purpose: shy getting it wrong pays more than getting it right.” The article describes in detail the role of sponsored stories. The article also speaks of other broken parts of social networks, like the fact that they don’t delete fake accounts so that they appear to have more members. Interesting read.
Dangerousminds.net has a great post addressing this issue as well called, “Facebook: I want my friends back. The biggest ‘bait n’ switch in history?”
“So why is it that our pageviews—our actual inventory, what we sell to advertisers—coming from Facebook shares are off by half to two thirds when the number of new ‘likes’ has risen so dramatically during this same time period?!?!”
Time will tell what this does to Facebook and to the entities who use it for fun or for business. I think it is ironic that the articles mentioned above have thousands of likes and that some pay to promote them. It is like FB eating itself to death. I even paid to promote the Dangerous Minds article on my personal FB page, 7 bucks, just to see what would happen. I already know that some companies are making plans to reduce their FB activity. Some plan on using promote to reach their customers one last time to tell them their new social network choice.
Stay tuned for my next post, follow Hooked On Golf Blog’s new Google+ page!