The number of apparel items I get in to HOG World Headquarters for review is quite staggering. Bride of golf blogger is being slowly forced out of the walk-in closet. No really. That’s happening. I’ve gone through a lot of apparel reviews this past year so I had to establish my criteria for awarding the 2016 Product of the Year in Golf Apparel. I decided that I’d go with the item I wore the most throughout the last year. With all the items I have to choose from, the one I choose most is obviously something special.
The envelope please….
After a very short analysis it was easy to determine my most-worn item, the Puma Golf 1/4 Zip Popover. This is something I was able to enjoy wearing on the course and off. It was a great option for those days where there’s just a wee-bit of a chill in the air, or days when I needed a full cover layer underneath a rain or wind jacket.
Puma Golf 1/4 Zip Popover
The color I had with it’s great, neutral white/gray combo matched with just about everything else in my massive golf wardrobe. It’s stylish and very sharp looking. Last but not least the Puma Golf 1/4 Zip Popover is extremely comfortable.
Hats off to Puma for this great 1/4 zip. I’m sure Puma has been dying with anticipation to see if they won any HOG awards for 2016. They finally broke the ice.
Each year my hard work on this golf blog provides me with the opportunity to visit many great golf courses all around the world. 2016 was a tremendous year for playing courses which I had not previously played, from the USA to Scotland to Morocco. To qualify for the Best Golf Course Award for the year, the course has to be one I had not played previously. I narrowed the finalists down to a eight stellar courses played this year:
Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort, Indiana
Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, Indiana
Panmure Golf Links in Carnoustie, Scotland
Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, Scotland
Cruden Bay Golf Links in Cruden Bay, Scotland
Mazagan Golf Club at Mazagan Resort, Morocco
Royal Palm Golf Club in Marrakech, Morocco
Journey at Pechanga in Temecula, California
Those are some fantastic courses to say the least, in some fabulous locations. As great as they all are, one course stood out and not by just a wee bit either. Scotland’s Cruden Bay left me absolutely stunned. Here are a few picturesque reasons why.
Cruden Bay – ©2016 by Tony Korologos
The dunes above. What a view. Absolutely stunning.
How about the view below, from the 9th tee. It was a hell of a walk from the 8th green up to this point and despite nearly having a heart attack, the view was well worth it!
The golf at Cruden Bay is stellar. But it has a fun and very quirky personaly as well. Just ring the bell or push the button on the electric post to let the group behind you know it is okay to hit their approach shot.
And because I want to see another money shot, here you go below. This one from late in the day as the sun was setting and the shadows began to really accentuate the terrain.
In the photo above you can see a plateau in the background. That’s where the shots I mentioned from the 9th tee were.
I’m in love. Cruden Bay is one of the top courses I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
Awarding Cruden Bay the 2016 Best Golf Course Award was a no-brainer, and it was up against Golf Digest Top 100 USA courses on my list. I will be back as soon as possible. What a fantastic course, design, location and the town of Cruden Bay is quite fun as well.
I can see a potential problem coming up. I’ve got some new golf balls to test out from Forté Golf. Since almost no tour level golf ball made in this modern era is “bad,” I’m fairly confident I’ll like them. If I really like them, that will be the problem since currently these balls are not available in the USA. Forté is currently focused in Australia, but does have future plans to expand its availability.
The first of two models I have to check out is the Tour-Performance S model. This is an ultra soft cast urethane ball. Urethane is the material in the cover of the TP-S, same as in most high-end, name-brand golf balls.
This ball is a 3-layer ball which provides high ball speed off the driver but great back spin off of irons and wedges. I would expect this ball to compete well with the Titleist ProV1, TaylorMade Tour, Bridgestone B330 and other “tour” balls. “Tour” typically means urethane cover, high spin.
Review (as) Soon (as possible)
I will put this ball into play and review it as soon as I can. Keep in mind local courses are closed now though. It is winter in northern Utah. We are skiing now. 🙂
I saw this one coming for a while. I don’t normally write much about the “tour” anymore. There are so many millions of blogs and sites out there doing it. But I feel compelled to post about Tiger Woods switching to Bridgestone Golf balls. Obviously Tiger has read Hooked on Golf Blog and gathered how awesome the ball performs for my granny over the top dual chicken wing golf swing.
All due respect to Nike Golf, can you imagine how many more tournaments Tiger Woods would have won with the B330 or B330-S in the bag instead of the Nike ball? But now I wonder if it is too late. Time will tell.
It will be interesting to see where Rory McIlory and Tony Finau end up ball-wise too. A switch to the B330, or numerous other balls not the Nike ball could really help their consistency and performance.
The full Bridgestone Golf Press Release regarding Tiger Woods switching to their ball is here.
Here’s a new apparel brand I’ve yet to check out, Bradley Allan. They’re new to me at least. I have a polo from them to review called the Melange Men’s Polo Cadet.
Bradley Allan Melange Polo Cadet
I’ve taken this polo for one ride around the apparel scripting block so far. It’s quite comfortable and stylish. I suspected it was “euro” sizing and not fat American sizing and ordered an XXL instead of an XL. That was wise. If you get one, order one size up.
This is a pima cotton and polyester blend with some cool buttons snaps on the front.
I need to give this golf polo the full HOG test battery and will post a review soon. So far so good though!