As a rock & roll musician and metal head, I love skulls and general blackness. I’ve tried to cross a little of that rock & roll vibe from my music world to golf blogging. That’s how the Hooked On Golf Blog logo ended up being a golf skull. I was thrilled to find that my buddies at Tattoo Golf, who also love skulls, created a solid pewter golf belt buckle with a golf ball skull. What a match! As they say in Scotland, “brilliant!”
So here’s a picture of what I’m calling the world’s coolest golf belt buckle, the Tattoo Golf OB Skull and Crossed Clubs design:
A skull golf ball belt buckle made of solid pewter? Sign me up! - Click to expand
I’m wearing the golf skull belt buckle with a Tattoo Golf belt in the image above, but the buckle can be purchased separately for $24.99 and works with any belt with snaps. The buckle is designed to work with 1 1/2″ belts.
Welcome to the fourth and final post looking back at 2011 for myself and Hooked On Golf Blog. I start this post in July 1 2011, which happens to be when I’m on an airplane to golf’s home, St. Andrews, Scotland. What comes up first is the trip of a lifetime and the shot of a lifetime.
My first July golf blog came on the 2nd, Greetings From St. Andrews. It was a quick hello from the home of golf. Not much time to write, too much golf to be played and pubs to be experienced.
My 2nd July post is Great times in St. Andrews, more to come. Look at the killer pic of my golf group standing in the Road Hole bunker.
Within a couple of hours of arriving in St. Andrews, we were teeing off on the Old Course. Having traveled all day and having no feel for the huge difference between American golf and Scottish golf, I was happy with my 81.
Shot Of A Lifetime
At 7:00am the next day, we played the Old Course again. This is where I hit the shot of a lifetime–the greatest par I’ll ever have on the Road Hole, the 17th. To cap that off I make birdie on #18 to shoot a satisfying 77.
Picking my ball out after holing out from 196 yards, Road Hole – St. Andrews, Scotland
Other courses played while in St. Andrews include the amazing Castle Course, the unbelievable Kingsbarns, Strathtyrum, Jubille Course, New Course and the Eden Course.
Interviewed Robert Duvall
I had the great pleasure of interviewing Academy Award winning actor Robert Duvall about his starring role in the golf movie Seven Days In Utopia.
In August I had the pleasure of seeing my golf writing appear in an actual print magazine. My article on the Solstice Golfathon appeared in the Utah Golf Association’s Fairways Magazine.
On August 8th I posted a review of one of the best courses in Southern Utah, Coral Canyon.
The HOG World Tour headed for some sea and sun to southern California and the beach. While there I took some time away from basking in the sun to visit the Cleveland/Srixon world headquarters.
Part one and part two of my look back at 2011 covered the professional golf world, Tiger Woods, PGA Tour etc. Part three today covers the first half of 2011 for Hooked On Golf Blog as well as my own unique experiences. I’m lumping them together because it is too hard to separate them. So here’s a sequential look at January to June 2011 through the HOG and TK filter:
January is always a big post month because of the start of the PGA Tour season, and because of my annual trek to do live blogging from the PGA Merchandise Show. At the PGA Show I did a ton of interviews including Titleist, Taylormade, Bridgestone Golf, Cleveland/Srixon and many others.
Unfortunately in January I separated my shoulder skiing. I was blogging and shooting photos with one arm in a sling. The injury caused me to miss the annual Battle of the Golf Blogs in Orlando at the PGA Show. My role became photographer, reporter, tweeter and videographer.
Nike Machspeed Black Driver - click for review
My new Nike Machspeed Black driver review was posted.
Did a review of the Hexcaliber, a golf ball compression and roundness testing device. Very cool.
Nailed down Nike Golf as the grand prize provider for 2011 HOG/Space fantasy golf. I rule.
As I was staring at my blank screen trying to feed my cerebral cortex with coffee, struggling to pry a blog post out of my cranium with a digital crowbar when my buddy John Duval from Into The Grain suggested that I do a holiday golf gift guide. Fantastic idea. I did do a Black Friday golf post a few days ago, but this guide below will be a more comprehensive top 10 list covering everything from clubs to bags to golf balls. Each suggestion will link to my product review so you can get details and links to the manufacturer’s web sites. Only products I’ve actually tested/reviewed will be on this list.
I review about 400 billion golf accessories every year, a fraction of the number that hits my doorstep. A few fantastic accessories have stood the test of time with me. Below are the best ones I can suggest:
Frogger BrushPro – Under $20
The Frogger BrushPro, which I reviewed clear back in 2007, is probably THE most used accessory in my arsenal. I use the brush pro to keep my grooves clean, so I can have the best spin and control on my irons and wedges.
Rain Wedge – Under $20
The Rain Wedge is such a cool invention. I did my first review of the Rain Wedge clear back in 2006 and I still use it. I have a newer model I’ve used and will post a supplementary review soon. Basically the Rain Wedge is a retractable rain cover for the golf bag, sort of like a half umbrella. But it easily folds out of the way when you need to grab a club or put a club away. When not in use, it fits easily into a pocket or into a club slot.
iPING Putter App & Cradle – $25
I recently reviewed the iPING iPhone putter app. This is a very cool tool to analyze and improve your putting stroke. You can even compare your stroke with tour pros, or find the best putter (PING of course) for your putting style.
Sumi-G Head Cover
Sumi-G Head Covers – $20-$40
Perhaps the coolest looking and most innovative golf accessory EVER, the Sumi-G head covers protect golfer’s expensive woods and hybrids. No need to bend over and pick them up off the ground either. Just scoop them up.
FootJoy Layering System
There are so many great apparel manufacturers in the golf world. On the higher end I love Greg Norman‘s offerings and have many Norman items.
Puma makes fantastic apparel items, but don’t wear the all orange Rickie Fowler outfit unless you want to be mistaken for a traffic cone.
Tattoo Golf is one of my favorites in the apparel world. Love Skulls.
My favorite socks come from Kentwool and also from Ecosox.
Kikkor Golf Shoes
My favorite golf shoe selection is a no-brainer: FootJoy is at the top of the list. I have several pairs of Puma golf shoes as well. Can’t go wrong with either, but stylistically very different.
On the casual end, the Kikkor golf shoes are my favorite.
For outerwear I strongly recommend Columbia Sportswear as well as the FootJoy layering system.
For hats I go with HOG partner Pukka Headwear. Pukka is the maker of the super mega killer HOG/Space Golf Hats.
Greens Speed Reader
Wow I could post a million of these. My buddy Lance makes a swing aid called a Zoom Boom, which is a swing trainer that seemed to help me learn how to release the club.
The Pure Shot Driver helps you hit your driver on the sweet spot, and accentuates miss-hits to give you feedback.
Greens Speed Reader is a personal stimp meter which can help golfers get the speed of greens down.
Valuable trade secrets about to be revealed here… One way to get a lot of free golf in, is become best buds with the director of golf at your home course. Wondering how this leads to French golf pencils at Staples?
“Crayons De Golf”
The other day I stopped by the course to chat with my director of golf buddy. We decided to run a quick errand for the course, along with grabbing lunch. The course had run out of golf pencils and he needed to get some. Somehow he knew that the local Staples had golf pencils. I thought that was quite entertaining, and was even more entertained when I learned that the pencils were French.
Oui Oui! Crayons De Golf!
So if you golf pros or merchandise guys out there are freaking out because somehow you’ve run out of pencils at your local course, you know you can pick up some “crayons de golf” at the local Staples.