After nearly a decade of golf blogging I’ve managed to play more courses and test out more gear than probably anyone. But until today, my golf blogging career was not complete. I’ve now received my first cigars for review.
Gurkha Centurian Cigars
My new best friends at Cigars City thought I’d dig the Gurkha Centurian cigars. Tomorrow night myself and my cigar aficionado best friend will do the first round of “testing.” Can’t wait.
Report to follow.
Here are a few golf equipment and accessory items which would make great Father’s Day golf gifts. These are items HOG has reviewed in the past, and each description contains a link to the original for more details.
Snap-Hookz Golf Accessory
Snap Hookz is a golf accessory accessory. The unit snaps onto the golf bag’s umbrella buttons and provides ample hangars for other accessories like golf brushes, golf towels, GPS units, etc.
Tornado Tee – many color options availalble
Tornado Tee use a high technology mesh to reduce friction and increase accuracy and distance. Use the coupon code HOG to receive free shipping and TWO extra tees on checkout!
Perfecto Cigar Holder
Perfecto Cigar Holder in Action!
If dad (or mom) smokes cigars the Perfecto Cigar holder would make a great gift. The holder provides a place to put the robusto, catches ashes, and clamps onto all sorts of surfaces.
Golf Buddy GPS Watch
Golf Buddy WT3 Golf GPS Wristwatch
If you have some budget to work with for dad, pick him up a Golf Buddy WT3 Golf GPS Wristwatch. The watch has thousands of golf courses in its database, and provides yardages to front, center, back of the green. It also gives yardages to hazards as well as tracking golf scores.
3UP 3F12 Golf Balls – click to zoom.
Dad can always use golf balls. Many great brands are out there. I suggest golf balls from 3UP, The Ball, and Bridgestone Golf.
New Grips from Golf Pride
Golf Pride CP2 Wrap
Are dad’s grips ratty, old, falling apart, slippery? Having good grips can help improve dad’s score. Hook pops up with a set of new Golf Pride CP2 Wrap grips.
Personal Golf Launch Monitor
Swing Caddie SC100 Golf Launch Monitor
A portable launch monitor can be a great tool for improving dad’s golf game. When making adjustments, trying out new clubs, or just working on the swing, a launch monitor gives feedback on ball speed, launch angle, club speed and much more. The Swing Caddie is a new breed of “affordable” launch monitors.
There are many amazing golf choices in Las Vegas and I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing quite a few. For non-residents the cost of a round of golf in Las Vegas can be quite painful, upwards of $300-$500. There are great values to be found in the area though. With great weather most of the year, conditioning is usually quite good even on courses which are not as expensive. Today’s review features one of the lesser known and better values in Vegas golf, Rhodes Ranch Golf Club.
Rhodes Ranch Golf Club – Aerial photo © by Tony Korologos – click to zoom
Rhodes Ranch Overview
Rhodes Ranch is roughly a 30 minute drive southwest (depending on crazy Vegas traffic) from the Las Vegas Strip. From the south end of the Strip it could even be as short as 15-20 minutes.
Rhodes Ranch opened in 1997. The course occupies over 160 acres which feature very undulating topography. Those undulations were masterfully used by course architect Ted Robinson Sr., to produce fun challenges and interesting shot options for the player.
The course measures 6,909 from the tips, not terribly long. Length is great, but the course plays better with a more strategic approach. There are many risk/reward opportunities and holes which one can take conservative approaches or opt for more aggressive play. Much of the course is lined by tall, mature palm trees.
First hole heads toward the Las Vegas Strip – click to zoom
Tee shots at Rhodes Ranch are visually pleasing and not extremely threatening, barring a few forced carries. Landing areas are usually obvious, some tempting the player to cut the corner of doglegs.
Errant tee shots will be rewarded with odd lies on the rolling hills which frame the fairways and may be stymied by adjacent palm trees. Poor tee shots will find the Nevada desert. In both errant tee shot cases, players are able to recover without sending their scorecards into oblivion.
The fairways at Rhodes Ranch are wide and inviting, with undulations which can produce challenging lies. Some undulations require some strategy in shot placement for the player, who must pick a proper landing spot in order for the shot to finish in a flat area or a position with a good look at the green.
There are fairway bunkers, arroyos, and a few other challenges which can be penal to poor shots, but not scorecard busters.
One of the best parts about the fairways at Rhodes Ranch is the conditioning and maintenance. See in the photo below how perfect the grass is. Having walked the grounds for the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club many times, I can say without hesitation that the fairways at Rhodes are a very close second. When I asked regulars who play the course often about the conditioning, they told me the course is perfectly maintained year-round.
Look at how perfect the fairways at Rhodes Ranch are!
The green complexes are very scenic. Many feature beautiful landscaping, palm trees, and are framed by fine bunkering.
Putting the greens at Rhodes Ranch was just as fun as playing the perfectly groomed fairways. The conditioning was fantastic and they rolled true, albeit slower than the mountainside greens I’m accustomed to.
The greens were smooth, yet completely receptive to golf shots from even long irons.
Rhodes Ranch Scenic 3rd Hole – click to zoom – © Tony Korologos
The clubhouse at Rhodes Ranch is impressive. On one side is a fully stocked pro shop with lots of great gear and apparel. On the other side is the restaurant, a great place to have a beer or other cold beverage after the round. In my case, make that two.
The practice facilities are top notch, with a large desert driving range and a very large practice green which could accommodate dozens of players.
For a non-resident player during a primetime slot, rates at Rhodes Ranch hover around $100. That’s very reasonable for Vegas. If players are willing to brave the heat, twilight rates can cut that cost in half. Resident rates hover around $60 with twilight rates in the $30’s.
Rhodes Ranch Golf Club Las Vegas
From the moment I pulled up to the bag drop to the time I finished off my 2nd frosty beverage in the restaurant, the service level at Rhodes Ranch was excellent. All staff courteous, attentive, and helpful. A special mention goes to the great service of assistant pro Jeff Bricker in the pro shop.
Before booking a round of Vegas golf at the Wynn Golf Club, Bali Hai, Rio Secco, or Cascata, consider Rhodes Ranch. The course is fun to play, manicured brilliantly, and will not beat you up. Plus, you could play this fun course several times for the cost of playing the expensive Vegas courses once.
My all time favorite golfer? Not Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus (though Jack is a close 2nd place). That distinction belongs to Bobby Jones. Mr. Jones was quite possibly the best golfer ever. Since he retired from golf at age 28, we will never know how many major championships he would have won. When he retired at 28, Jones had 13 majors. Compare that to Tiger who at age 38 has 14. Do the math. Jack and Tiger might have had another dozen to catch Mr. Jones.
Bobby Jones was not only a great golfer, he dressed the part. Decades after Mr. Jones passed away the Bobby Jones apparel line continues the classy tradition. The line is celebrating its 25th year in business.
XH20 Aero Polo by Bobby Jones – click to zoom
Today’s subject is the new Bobby Jones XH20 Aero Polo. Lets take a look.
This polo is made from a proprietary polyester and lycra blend. These are two great fabrics for sport/golf performance in my book. They provide high moisture wicking, no shrinking, durability, comfort, and most of all easy care. Not much needed in terms of ironing and maintenance. Wash it and lay it down flat to dry.
Photobombed by Bobby Jones!
I really dig the Bobby Jones polo line up. The XH20 Aero Polo is very classy. The color scheme is fantastic. The black/green is such a great combination. I just realized this is almost the exact same scheme as the HOG logo and website theme. No wonder I like it so much.
Along with the great scheme, there’s the knitted collar. Inside the 3-button placket is a little embroidered Bobby Jones figure. Nice.
On The Course/At The Office
The comfort level of this polo is fantastic on the course or in the cube.
The look is very sharp. During the golf swing the polo does not bind or pull anywhere. I’m free to swing in comfort with no distractions.
The Bobby Jones XH20 Aero Polo at $85 is a mid-range priced high performance polo with style to spare.
I have a few other Bobby Jones apparel items to review so stay tuned.
I’ve been working very hard on this review. I’ve had many deep research sessions. In those sessions I’ve tested every configuration and environment possible to bring you, my loyal patrons, an in-depth and educational review of the highest quality. It has been tough work. Despite how hard the research has been it was an enjoyable and rewarding experience doing it.
Today’s review subject is the Perfecto Cigar Holder. This accessory crosses over between the golf and lifestyle worlds. This cigar holder has two core features which make it great, on or off the golf course.
As you can see in the image above, the Perfecto Cigar Holder features a clamp which allows the unit to be mounted to many random items like golf carts, tables, or perhaps even your opponent’s putter.
The holder for the cigar is capable of holding cigars of many sizes. There is an ash collection area which keeps ashes from falling and making a mess.
The clamp is great, but one missing feature I found myself wanting on the golf course was the ability to rotate the clamp and holder. I really wanted to clamp the unit on the pole for the roof of the golf cart. In that case, rotating the unit 90 degrees would have been the ticket. So for future development, I’d say the ability to rotate the clamp would be a great addition.
The Perfecto Cigar Holder allows the user to keep the cigar mounted, close by, and catches ashes. This would make a great Father’s Day gift for the cigar smoker (golfer or not) on your list.
Though this article marks the completion of my official review process of the Perfecto Cigar Holder, further personal research and testing will continue indefinitely.