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First Look: Big Max Blade Quattro 4-Wheel Push Cart

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, November 20th, 2017
Categories: Golf AccessoriesGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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I try to walk as often as I can, but with a sketchy back I don’t like slinging my bag. That’s why I use push carts, also known as “trolleys” for you HOG patrons in the U.K.  I’m now sporting this 4-wheel trolley from Big Max Golf, the Blade Quattro:

The Blade Quattro sports “4-wheel drive,” in a folding package that flattens to a small footprint for putting in the trunk or storing in the garage:

I need to capture some video of the folding action. The wheel’s automatically fold under when the user folds the frame. Very cool.

I’m just starting my detailed review process, which of course means a lot of on-course evaluation. Stay tuned for my full review soon, lack of snow permitting here in northern Utah.

Until then, enjoy one more shot of the Blade Quattro doing its thing.


Cobra Golf Introduces 2018 Lineup Including First Ever CNC Milled Driver Face

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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Got some press releases from Cobra Golf yesterday with a TON of images of their new 2018 lineup and it looks intriguing. I don’t post press releases here, but I do at the HOG sister site HOGWire.biz. That’s the HOG newswire.  Here’s a brief overview of the new Cobra gear, and links to the galleries and press releases here at at HOGWire. If you’re just looking to salivate over hero shots of the gear, check out the HOG Cobra Golf 2018 image gallery.

King F8 and F8+ Driver

This is super intriguing! The first ever CNC milled driver face.  We’ve seen CNC milling in putters for years and even irons/wedges, but this is a new world for drivers. I’m curious what the benefit is to most amateur golfers, who usually have too much spin.  Personally I don’t have a lot of side-spin, so maybe it would work for me.

To see more of this driver visit the HOG Cobra Golf 2018 gallery.  To read more visit the Cobra Golf F8 driver press release at HOGWire.biz.

King F8 and F8+ Fairways and Hybrids

The new 2018 Cobra Golf hybrids and fairways.

 

To see more F8 Hybrids and Fairways visit the HOG Cobra Golf 2018 gallery.  To read more visit the Cobra Golf F8 hybrids and fairways press release at HOGWire.biz.

King F8 and F8 One Length Irons

First look at the F8 irons, which will be available in regular and one length versions.

 

To see more of this driver visit the HOG Cobra Golf 2018 gallery.  To read more visit the Cobra Golf F8 irons press release at HOGWire.biz.

First Ever Smart Set of Golf Clubs

A full set Cobra Golf clubs with Arccos 360 swing/shot tracking. Intriguing.

 

To read more visit the Cobra Golf Arccos press release at HOGWire.biz.

 


TPK Fine Leather Goods, Score Card Holders, Wallets, Golf Bag Tags

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
Categories: Golf AccessoriesGolf For WomenGolf GearReviews
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TPK Golf at www.tpkgolf.com offers some very nice leather goods and other accessories for golfers and non-golfers alike. Recently I’ve been sporting this very handsome and supple full-grain leather scorecard wallet:

The leather in this wallet is extremely soft and very classy looking. Plus it is light. I don’t like a lot of weight in my pockets when I’m golfing, especially walking. The wallet can hold scorecards and notes of many different sizes and formats and holds the card in place well.

Below is a shot with some other TPK products: card wallets on the left, bag tag and on the right is a wallet, but not just any wallet.

The wallet is called the “Back Saver Wallet,” which instantly got my attention. I have a bad back and the dumbest, smallest things can set it off. Because of that I never keep my wallet in my back pocket, especially if I’m sitting. Sitting with a thick wallet under one cheek makes your whole lower body get out of alignment, curing the lower back. Instant ache or even worse, a tweak.

The Back Saver is extremely thin and helps prevent a bad back from getting set off. Great idea. So far so good for me with my Back Saver, except for those times on the course when I win so much cash that it is too thick. Okay, that never happens.

Final Thoughts

TPK’s products are very classy and elegant. They can do custom logo or name engraving on just about everything they make too. Think about getting your name, company name, favorite college football team (Utah Utes), or pro team embossed onto a scorecard wallet or Back Saver wallet.

The holidays will be coming up before you know it. A custom TPK Golf product with your recipient’s name on it would make a fantastic Christmas gift.


Review: La Cana Golf Club, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is the golf capitol of the Caribbean with roughly 30 courses, fantastic weather all year (barring a few hurricanes), and great resorts.  The Dominican Republic is a perfect recipe for a golf buddy trip or golf stay and play vacation.

La Cana Golf Club

Location

La Cana Golf Club is located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, a short drive from the Punta Cana International Airport.  La Cana is a P.B Dye design, the son of famed architect Pete Dye.  There is a heavy Pete Dye influence of course, with some unique architectural twists.  With several other Pete Dye courses on the Dominican, the island could be called “Dye Island.”

Overview

La Cana Golf Club is a 27-hole facility. The three 9-hole courses are named “Tortuga,” “Hacienda,” and “Arrecife.”  I was able to play 18 when I was there, the Hacienda being my front nine and Tortuga the back nine.  There are five sets of tees at La Cana, with the longest tee (black) tipping out at 3483 yards for Tortuga, 3768 yards for Hacienda, and 3676 yards for Arricife.  This is not a short course from the tips, especially at sea level.   Course ratings and slopes will vary depending on which nines are combined for the 18.

Tee

There’s quite a variance in tee shots at La Cana.  Some are quite basic, what you see is what you get.  Some have some deceiving hills and mounds which can hide the fairway or landing areas, making things seem different or tighter than they really are when you arrive to the landing area.  Below is one of the more basic tee looks.

And below one of the more deceiving views, a short par-4 with huge dunes/mounds which hide a sharp dogleg left and wide open approach look at the green, from the right.  That approach is much easier than if the golfer were to take a line at the green off the tee, as it takes the water out of play.  Also notice the small bunker at the bottom of one of the mounds.  It has the look of a Pete Dye “volcano bunker,” as I’ve found on the Pete Dye course at French Lick Resort.

Overall, driving on the Tortuga/Hacienda 18 is not overly difficult unless the shot is so errant that it finds waste or native areas.

Fairway

The fairways at La Cana are fairly forgiving. There are many of the typical Dye waste bunkers that run the length of a few holes as seen below.

In some cases the sand is so hard in the waste areas one could use that to a strategic advantage.  One time I intentionally drove my ball down the waste bunker on a short par-4 and nearly ended up pin high after a long amount of roll.

As mentioned in the tee commentary, most fairways are straight forward with a little movement, but there are a couple of very “quirky” or experimental ones as well.  This is very “Dye-like,” on the Dye courses I’ve played, whether they be P.B Dye or Pete Dye.

Below is another “experimental” section, a large area of mini-dunes.  Somehow I ended up in here.  The lies and stances are quite funky.

If the area above was shaved more like a putting green and not the rough, it would be a carbon copy of the Himalayas putting course in St Andrews.

Green

The green complexes at La Cana present a wide variance of design styles, from the Donald Ross upside down soup bowl type to islands in the sand/water.  The bunkering around the greens flows nicely and provides for some challenging mid-range bunker shots if the green is missed.  Below is a combination of both the wrap-around and soup bowl.

I do like how there are areas around the greens which provide the golfer different and creative ways of getting up and down.  While the shot above may call for a lob wedge, there are run-up areas and collection areas which give the golfer other options, like the Texas wedge (putting off the green) or hitting lower, bump and run type shots.

Above, the obligatory “beautiful green with palm trees and the Caribbean in the background” shot. There are plenty of great views like this.

The most notable and photo-worthy hole of my round was definitely the par-3 5th hole on the Tortuga nine. The entire hole runs along the blue Caribbean waters and the green juts out a bit. I found this hole design very similar to the 17th at Edgewood Tahoe and the 15th at Scotland’s Kingsbarns Golf Links. Those are two of the best par-3’s one might ever play.

Final Thoughts

There are some very strong holes at the P.B. Dye designed La Cana Golf Club in the Dominican Republic. The course flows well and has a very nice feel to it. The ocean views are great and the inland holes are all interesting, with a wee bit of that quirky “Dye” experimental flavor.

Next time you are planning a golf stay and play or a golf buddy trip, consider the Dominican Republic and be sure to put La Cana on the docket. When you are looking for a place to stay nearby, consider the all-inclusive Secrets Cap Cana Resort and Spa.


Review: The Inn at Bay Harbor, Northern Michigan

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, October 9th, 2017
Categories: Golf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleReviewsTravel
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Northern Michigan is one of my favorite places in this great country of ours. It’s a special recipe featuring the waters of Lake Michigan, dense Michigan forest, fresh air, interesting topography, and friendly people. It is always a fantastic time when I can take the HOG World Tour to Northern Michigan, an opportunity I’ll always take advantage of.  On the last World Tour leg to the area I had the pleasure of staying at The Inn at Bay Harbor, an elegant resort right on the shore of Lake Michigan, minutes from the town of Petoskey.

Inn at Bay Harbor Map

Inn at Bay Harbor Overview

The Inn offers nine different types of accommodations, from a standard guest room to a penthouse suite.  The property offers access to some great recreation in the area, like golf in the summer and skiing in the winter.

The Inn at Bay Harbor

Located directly on the shore of Lake Michigan, guests can enjoy the pool or take a dip in the Lake. Other activities on property include kids activities, spa, dining, biking, shopping, and wine tasting from local vineyards.

Accommodations

I’ve been in the Penthouse Suite and the Master Suite, so I can speak to what they offer and show a few photos.  Let’s go big first, with the Penthouse Suite.

The Inn at Bay Harbor

Penthouse view

Suitable for large groups, the 3,000 square foot Penthouse offers five individual bedrooms and common living and dining areas.  There are two full kitchen areas for food prep (below).

Penthouse Suite Kitchen and Living Areas

Penthouse Suite Kitchen and Living Areas

There is also a laundry room with washer and dryer.  The best feature of the Penthouse is the huge deck area overlooking the grounds and Lake Michigan.  The view is stunning, especially at sunset.

The 720 square foot Master Suite offers a single isolated bedroom and large bathroom. The living area is spacious, including a kitchenette, fireplace, large screen TV, and a Murphy bed.

Master Suite

A comfy deck is also enjoyable for enjoying some fresh air.  Unlike the Penthouse there is no washer/dryer in the room, but down the hall is a shared washer/dryer setup. This was great for me as I had been traveling for many days, and ran out of clean threads.

Master Suite

Dining

There’s some excellent dining on property at The Inn:  Vintage Chop House & Wine Bar, Sagamore Room, Inn Cafe, Cabana Bar.

The Vintage Chop House served up amazing cuts of beef which I really enjoyed, and the atmosphere overlooking Lake Michigan was terrific.  The breakfast buffet at the Sagamore Room had a large selection of very well prepared breakfast items.

Final Thoughts

There are many great reasons to visit northern Michigan: golf, water sports, skiing, biking, or just relaxing on a hammock on the shore of Lake Michigan. I strongly recommend staying at The Inn for your northern Michigan trip.

Sunset on Lake Michigan as seen from The Inn at Bay Harbor

Sunset on Lake Michigan as seen from The Inn at Bay Harbor

Think golf buddy trip here. Your group of buddies could all chip in and book the Penthouse Suite. Golf in the day and poker, or whatever your fancy is at night in the shared living space.


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