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Thought it was a joke but Costco Kirkland Signature tour golf balls are real

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, November 10th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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Found this in the bushes a couple of days ago:

Kirkland Signature Golf Balls

Kirkland Signature Golf Balls

After holding this ball in my own hand I now confirm that Costco/Kirkland brand Signature Tour golf balls are not a joke. It looked and felt like a Titleist ProV1. How can I tell if a ball “feels” like another just by holding it? It’s a skill only the top golf geeks and bloggers on the planet have I suppose. The cover feels soft and tacky, just like any tour-level golf ball.  The dimple pattern is similar to a ProV1.  And we all really know how Kirkland operates.  These may very well be ProV1’s, made by Titleist for Kirkland.  Or they may be made in one of the other, very few, golf ball plants in the world that make the balls for all ball brands.

I can see the next Costco shopping list now:

  • 14 year supply of toilet paper
  • 2400 pack of tampons
  • 16 pound block of cheese
  • 55 inch TV
  • Tour level golf balls
  • 400 pack of AA batteries
  • Honda Accord
  • Box of 12 frozen pizzas

I gave this ball to a buddy who plays ProV1’s and he’s going to try it out and give me some opinions.

If you’re reading Costco, you can send me a couple dozen and I’ll post an honest review of them.


Vegas Golf VIP Edition On-Course Game

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, November 7th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf AccessoriesGolf For WomenGolf GearMiscellaneousReviews
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vegas-golf-vipI’ve played different versions of “Vegas Golf,” the game where you have casino chips representing different good and bad situations that happen on the golf course. Recently I put the Vegas Golf VIP version into play with my group. $42 later I think it worked out quite well. Let’s take a look.

Vegas Golf VIP Edition

This is a golf game played between 2-4 golfers. It wouldn’t be possible to play more than four due to the players being in different groups. The game comes with 19 casino-style chips. Each chip represents an event that can occur on the course, like making a birdie or 3-putting. Some events are positive, like the eagle, birdie, 3-pars-in-a-row chips. Some events are not good, like the water hazard, 3-putt, anger, lost ball chips.

During play the “chip keeper” will hand out chips to players as the events occur. In my round yesterday for instance, I hit a tree on the first tee shot. Yes, I captured the tree chip. If another golfer hit a tree after that, he/she would get the chip. There are certain chips that are very active, like the 1-putt chip.

The group decides on a bet value per chip. In the case of my group, we decided on $1.00 per chip. So if a player ended up with say the birdie chip at the end of 18 holes, he would collect $1.00 from each of the other players in the group. If a player ended up with one of the bad chips, like the 3-putt chip, he would pay each of the other players in the group $1.00.

During the round it is quite fun to razz your opponents and hand them the tree chip or the lost ball chip. It’s great to get rid of that one. It’s also great to capture the birdie chip, and hope to be able to keep it for the whole round.

Accessory Bag

This version of the game comes with a nice accessory bag to store the chips in.  It clasps onto the golf bag for easy use and access.

Conclusion

Vegas Golf VIP is quite fun. My group had a blast playing it, except for the guy who ended up with the tree chip, worm burner chip, and water hazard chip. I don’t think he was too thrilled. But I digress.

This $50 valued golf game is $29 on Amazon and is a very fun and reasonably priced golf gift for the holidays, Christmas, Father’s Day, birthdays.


Best Place to Stay in St Andrews: Albany Apartments

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, November 5th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourLifeReviewsTravel
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albany_apartments_05I’ve now been to St Andrews, the Home of Golf, on three separate occasions.  I plan to return in 2018 and I know where my group will be staying, Albany Apartments.  It’s the best combination of price, convenience, location, and quality of the many places I’ve stayed in the “Auld Grey Toon.”  Let’s take a look:

Location Location Location

Albany Apartments is located on the famous North Street in St Andrews.  North Street intersects with Golf Place, the primary access road to the Old Course.  I would guess the total yardage from Albany Apartments to the Old Course is length of a short par-4.  A long iron to Golf Place, then a 9-iron to the 18th green.  It’s all of maybe a 90 second walk.  Albany is a 45 second walk from the most famous pub in Scotland, the Dunvegan.

If one heads the opposite direction of the Old Course, the center of St Andrews is a 3-5 minute walk.  Shops, restaurants, golf shops, golf shops, pubs, golf shops, pubs, are all very close by. Did I mention golf shops and pubs?

One minor drawback to Albany’s great location is that it could be “too close” to the pubs, if you know what I mean.  On a warm summer night with the windows open one might be subjected to the horrendous and embarrassing sound of 10 drunk americans singing “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” at 2:00 a.m. like I was.

Amenities

Albany features three bedrooms, located on the 3rd floor of the structure (see outside photo).  They’re accessed via a rather fun spiral staircase, as is the 2nd floor from the street level.  The bedrooms upstairs are spacious and feature a bathrooms with showers.

albany_apartments_03

Bedroom

On the main level, one level up from the street, is a kitchen, spacious reading/sitting/TV room, restroom with bath, and a back deck which is located in a secluded garden (first image).  The kitchen is fully appointed with a dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, microwave, and washer/dryer. There are even some staples in the cupboards.

Sitting Room

Sitting Room

Quality

The building was built in the late 1800’s, but renovated and modernized in roughly the mid-2000’s.  The inside is very nicely appointed with quality furniture, carpeting, fine woodwork, and lots of great golf memorabilia to enjoy.  The space is warm, clean, inviting, classy, and extremely comfortable.

albany_apartments_04

Patio

Pricing

Current pricing runs 50 pounds per person, with a four person minimum and three night minimum.  This is a very reasonable price.  Consider that a single room across the street at the Ardgowan Hotel ran me 120 pounds per night in 2012, and the rooms there are barely bigger than a sardine can.   With a group of four or more golfers the cost per golfer, especially considering all of the great offerings I mentioned above, is unmatched.  What a great value. To bring the cost down even more, a group of six could comfortably occupy the Albany Apartments.

Conclusion

Location, amenities, quality, space, price…  No hotel in St Andrews can come close in any of those categories.  If you are putting together a golf buddy trip to Scotland of four or more golfers and are looking for St Andrews hotels, look no further.

Related Links

Albany Apartments website

Ardgowan Hotel St Andrews Review

St Fairmont St Andrews Hotel Review

Kingsbarns Golf Links Review

Carnoustie Golf Links Review

Balcomie Links at Crail Review

St Andrews New Course Review


LostGolfBalls.com Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, October 24th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf GearReviews
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Golf balls can be insanely expensive. $40-$50-$60+ per DOZEN? $5.00 per ball? Damn. At that price I could lose $50 in golf balls on the first 4-5 holes on my tight, hazard-ridden home course if I don’t hit it well. That’s why I had to institute a “3-premium-ball lost limit” there. That’s a blog post for another day.

When I used to live next to the 1st tee on my home course I could sneak onto the course after hours and find literally hundreds of balls. I knew all the places to look because, well, I hit them there. Now I don’t have that luxury since moving a little farther away from the course.

There’s nothing better than finding a nice Titleist ProV1, or Bridgestone B330, or TaylorMade tour ball in the bushes. It’s like found money. No golfer other than perhaps PGA Tour pros is above playing that newly found ProV1 either. Hand raised.

So if a person is more than willing to play that pre-owned ball in the bushes, a look at LostGolfBalls.com is probably a good financial decision. LostGolfBalls.com has every model golf ball a golfer would ever want, slightly used, for a fraction of retail.

LostGolfBalls.com Golf Balls

LostGolfBalls.com Golf Balls

Quality Levels

LostGolfBalls.com offers several “levels” of used golf balls.

Refinished golf balls are balls that have been reconditioned at a factory that actually makes new golf balls. This is as close to a new golf ball as one can get without it actually being new.

AAAAA/1st Quality golf balls are mint used balls, not reconditioned. One may not be able to tell the difference between this and a new ball.

AAAA/2nd Quality golf balls are still in very good condition and may appear to have a little wear, similar to a ball that has been played for a few holes.

AAA/3rd Quality golf balls are still very playable but may have some smudges, scuffs, and blemishes.

Pricing

Pricing for the different levels of balls is proportionate to their quality level. I chose to go with a couple of boxes of my current gamer ball, the Bridgestone B330 or B330-S. Let’s do some comparing.

On Bridgestone’s website a brand new box of B330’s costs $44.99, plus shipping.

The highest quality AAAAA/1st Quality B330 from LostGolfBalls.com’s website is listed at $23.99, about HALF of retail. For a golf ball that performs the same, the golfer can literally be paying around half the money. Great deal.

The next level ball is the AAAA/2nd Quality. These balls are priced at $15.99 per dozen.

Finally, there are refinished B330’s available for $12.99.

Conclusion

As a decent amateur golfer with a low single digit handicap, I see no difference in playability or performance between the AAAAA/1st Quality balls, and a brand new B330 I’ve played for a few holes. Well, there is a difference actually. It’s in my wallet.


Tasting Soon: Mouton Cadet Ryder Cup Wine

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
Categories: Golf For WomenGolf LifeGolf Lifestyle
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Red wine is my evening adult beverage of choice. Tonight the lovely lady and I will be toasting the fantastic 2016 Ryder Cup with the official wine of the Ryder Cup, Mouton Cadet. Don’t let all those “unofficial” imposters fool you.

Moutan Cadet Ryder Cup Wine

Moutan Cadet Ryder Cup Wine


Yes this is the point were I have to lament the struggles and difficulties of running one of the top golf blogs in the universe. Taste testing Ryder Cup themed wine can be very difficult. Not everyone has the skills, perseverance, and mental fortitude to take on and overcome such challenges.

I do it for you, the HOG patron.

Stay tuned for my review of Moutan Cadet Official Ryder Cup wine.


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