Just got back from a Memorial Day family barbeque. We toasted and expressed our appreciation for our love ones lost, and for our lost military who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could, well, have a family barbeque. In that spirit I thought it would be a good time to bust out my stars and stripes golf apparel from Royal & Awesome. I’ve got a great pair of USA shorts and a USA cap, seen below. These are called “Pars and Stripes.”
Also with the ensemble is a white Royal & Awesome belt, below.
The american flag golf shorts are very comfortable and I love the style of the cap. I believe the Scottish might call the cap a bunnet.
I can’t wait for the 4th of July golf tournament to bust this apparel script out again.
One note on the shorts. I’ve found that Royal & Awesomes sizes are “skinny UK sizing” as opposed to “fat American sizing.” Knowing this I ordered one size larger on the shorts and they actually fit perfect.
The 4th of July is coming. Just sayin’.
It is spring here in northern Utah. What that usually means periods of rain, cold, wind, hail, with the occasional jump up to 95 degrees. The last couple of weeks the temperatures have been in the 50’s and 60’s on average. That’s perfect for the Puma Golf PWRWARM 1/4 Zip Popover, which I’ve been sporting on and off the course for several weeks. Here’s a shot from Valley View GC last week.
Puma Golf 1/4 Zip Popover
In the round above there was just enough of a chill that I needed to take the edge off my core, but not enough to wear long pants. Then again, my nickname is “no-pants” so it has to be pretty cold to go that route.
First things first. What on earth is “PWRWARM?” This is some amazing technology actually. It is a ceramic print that helps recycle and redirect the golfer’s body heat. Here’s how Puma describes it:
A CERAMIC PRINT THAT REFLECTS MORE OF YOUR BODY HEAT BACK TO YOU, SO YOU CAN KEEP PLAYING.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS
High-performance golf apparel that keeps you warm in cold conditions; it’s a simple idea. Here’s how it works:
1. Heat is absorbed by the PWRWARM ceramic coating from the body.
2. Excess heat is stored by PWRWARM away from the body.
3. Stored heat is released back to your body if it gets too cold.
So basically a ceramic material stores and releases the golfer’s heat back to him as needed.
The color shown above is one of seven color combinations, “white / gray medium heather.” Other combos include gray and black bases with the color orange, purple, and a couple of blue shades.
Sizes run from small to double XL. The size I’m wearing is an XL and it fits great, not too loose.
On The Course
As I mentioned, I’ve had this fantastic Puma Golf outerwear piece in action on the course for a few weeks. It has served me very well, taking the edge off the sometimes cold spring air here.
During the golf swing the 1/4 Zip Popover is extremely comfortable. There is no binding. No tight areas. No restriction when the body is coiled up or releasing a massive drive down the fairway. I particularly like that the fit is slimming but not loose. I need all the slimming I can get.
Off the course I’ll wear this piece in the office when it is chilly, or when I’m out on the town. It’s so sharp and comfortable it can work well for many situations off the course.
I love the style, performance, and comfort of the PWRWARM 1/4 Zip Popover. The white/gray matches up well with just about any apparel scripting I’m sporting. I especially dig how the gray matches up with my HOG hat.
Some golf outerwear can get into the crazy zone price-wise. Based on all the great properties and style of the 1/4 Zip Popover I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was in the $200+ range, but this piece is an extremely reasonable $75.00 retail price.
I’m stoked to take this piece as one of my scripting choices for my upcoming Scotland golf trip in July. Even in the summer the temps in Scotland can be a bit chilly if the sun goes behind the clouds. The 1/4 Zip Popover will be a perfect solution. Can’t wait.
In northern Utah we have four seasons: The beginning of winter, winter, the end of winter, and summer. Right now we are in the end of winter. It will be cold until summer, at which time it will top 100 degrees. When summer ends it will be back to winter shortly after that. I think you get the concept.
I’ve been taking advantage of the layering and warmth I get from my Carnoustie Sportswear Quarter Zip Suede Vest this end of winter. It has allowed me to keep warm but still be flexible and not restricted in my golf swing.
- 100% cotton, lining 100% polyester
- Lining for extra warmth
- Covered zipper treatment
- Classic fit
- Hand or machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle
My color pictured is “Bordeaux,” which is a good match for my evening adult beverage scripting. The other color available in this product is Grape. Obviously someone at Carnoustie loves certain grape based beverages as much as I do. I like it.
On The Course – On The Town
This vest is super good looking. The suede is classy and comfortable. I’m happy to wear this vest not only on the golf course, but at work, around town and wherever else I go when I need to keep my core warmer but give my arms some freedom.
During my golf swing the vest does its job, providing insulation and warmth. It does not hamper my swing, bind, or pull at any point. I also like the fact that it doesn’t interfere with my putter. I bend over quite far with a short putter and some apparel items which hang loosely can catch the top of the putter grip.
A golf apparel piece has to meet a few requirements for me. First is functionality. This vest shines at doing its job, keeping the core warm and insulated. Next is comfort. As I mentioned, this vest is super comfortable. Of course style is a factor, though not the #1 priority for me. No worries though. This vest is super stylish.
I look forward to summer, when I don’t need to wear layering like the Carnoustie sportswear Quarter Zip Suede Vest. Until then I’ll be enjoying its great benefits.
Following last week’s Masters Tournament meltdown by Jordan Spieth I thought it would be an appropriate time to post my book review of Don’t Choke – A Champion’s Guide to Winning Under Pressure, by Gary Player.
About Gary Player
First, let’s do a little quick history about Gary Player, which will show us that the man knows what he’s talking about.
From Johannesburg, South Africa, Gary Player won a total of nine major championships in golf, fourth all time. He is one of the few players to hold all four major championship trophies, known as the “Grand Slam.” Not even Arnold Palmer achieved this. Mind you, Gary’s success was during a time when some of the game’s greatest players were at their best, like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros, and more. Player won 18 majors counting the nine he won on the Champions (Senior) Tour. Gary Player knows how to win.
Player has carried his winning ways to the business world, running a successful golf course design company which has built hundreds of golf courses. Other areas Player has excelled in include real estate, marketing, and fitness. Perhaps best of all is the 30+ years Player has put into giving back through charity work and the Player Foundation, whose mission is to “provide quality education for underprivileged children and strengthen impoverished communities plagued by disease and crime.”
Gary takes us through a quick tour of his major golf championships in sequential fashion. He covers his preparation, lessons learned, mistakes made, and how to parlay all of those experiences into building up the don’t choke mentality. Though golf is how Gary tells the reader how to succeed, but the book is not necessarily about golf.
Most Positive Golfer EVER
Gary Player must be the most energetic and positive golfer to ever grace our planet. He’s so passionate about success and being positive. He always has something positive to say, and shares his valuable knowledge of success. You can feel his energy. It’s vibrant.
Gary always looks at the positive in situations. If there’s a fairway left and a lake to the right, Gary would tell you to focus on the positive telling yourself, “I’m going to split that wide fairway.” He would not recommend you focus on the lake by telling yourself “don’t go on the lake.” This is what makes the title of the book a little ironic to me. Saying “Don’t Choke” is like focusing on the lake instead of the fairway. Of course, the title is an attention grabber, so I get it.
The Secret to Gary Player’s Success
There is no secret to Gary Player’s success. Player worked harder and more tenaciously than his opponents and kept a positive, winning attitude.
Can I Translate This To My Own Success?
So I’ve finished Gary’s book and tried to absorb as much of his positive vibe as I can. I hope to apply this attitude in my future golf and business experiences. I hope this book helps give me the strength and courage to not choke on that 3-foot-putt on the 18th hole to win that $2.00 nassau. That’s pressure.
Gary Player Interview
I had the great pleasure of speaking with Mr. Player for an extended period of time in an interview about fitness. It was truly one of the highlights of this modest, independent blog’s 11+ years. Hope you enjoy it.
Now that I’ve confirmed the pending third HOG World Tour trip to St Andrews, Scotland, I can’t help having Scotland on my mind. It is a magical place. Sadly 99.999% of the courses in the United States do not play like true scottish links courses. Scottish golf is a natural, hard style of golf I far prefer to the overly-soft, over-watered, too green, over-manicured courses here in the USA.
One thing most golfers who have not been to there don’t realize is that there are a ton of courses in the town of St Andrews, not just the Old Course. That’s why I’m always giving people grief when they refer to the Old Course as St Andrews. “Hey have you played St Andrews?” they ask. I say, “which course?” St Andrews is the name of the town, not the course(s). In the town itself the other courses besides the Old Course include the New Course, Jubilee Course, Eden Course, Strathtyrum Course, The Dukes, and the Balgove Course. All but the Balgove are within walking distance. In a few minutes by car one can find even more courses: Castle Course, Torrance Course, Kittocks Course, Saint Andrews Bay Course, and Kingsbarns Golf Links.
The closest course to the Old Course is the New Course. While the Old Course dates back to around 1400, the “New” Course opened in 1895. Yeah, that’s “new” alright. The New is literally next to the Old. You can miss a fairway on the Old and the ball may end up on the New, and vice versa. I don’t recommend that though, because the New is out of bounds if you are on the Old and vice versa.
New Course Overview
Old Tom Morris is the architect of the New Course. The new is a par-71 course which tips out a 6,625 yards, short by modern standards. The new has many very similar designs and feels as the Old does, but is a little more straightforward and less quirky.
The course rating is 72.8 with a slope of 127 from the tips. For those of you in the UK, the standard scratch score (SSS) is 73. The rating would make the New just a tiny bit tougher than it’s next door neighbor, the Old.
From the tee, the new presents some great challenges. The course can be a wee bit (as they say in Scotland) tight. Errant tee shots will be penalized by bunkers, deep rough and in the worst case, gorse. If you don’t know what gorse is count yourself lucky. Gorse is a very nasty dark green bush with thorns which feasts on a strict diet of golf balls and the occasional golfer. Going into the gorse after a ball is usually not a good idea, unless you like scratching the hell out of yourself and ripping your fine golf apparel to shreds.
Some tee shots can be intimidating
Given the shorter nature of this course and the typical hard ground, driver is not necessary on many of the par-4 or even par-5 holes. The longest par-5 is 518 yards. Once again, distance isn’t the most important part of the tee shot at the New. Accuracy is.
The fairways can be tight on the New Course, but fairly flat in most places. If the golfer has managed to avoid the pitfalls mentioned in the tee description, the approach from the fairway is fairly straightforward.
Left rough approach on the 18th hole
If the golfer misses the fairway but avoids bunkers and gorse, the rough can be very thick and inconsistent. Difficult lies in the rough may be tempting for the golfer to hit the hero shot, but it is often wise to be more conservative and get the ball back into play.
The greens at the New are quite different than the Old. They’re considerably smaller and less undulating but still guarded well via bunkering and adjoining gorse and rough areas.
Because of the smaller greens, the hard ground, and the ways the greens are protected by bunkering or natural obstacles, I find the greens at the New fairly hard to hit. This puts a premium on short game. A green reached in regulation is not an overly difficult two-putt proposition like the gigantic greens on the Old.
The St Andrews Links Clubhouse is a very spacious and large facility featuring the pro shop, Swilcan Restaurant and lockers with showers. I’ve enjoyed a few meals in the Swilcan Restaurant and knocked back some refreshing beverages while overlooking the 18th green. Such a great spot.
St Andrews Links Clubhouse
Next to the clubhouse is a nice practice green for getting the feel and working on short game. There is no driving range. The nearest range is a bit of a walk or very short drive to the St Andrews Links Golf Academy.
The St Andrews Links Trust sells a few different great golf packages. I highly recommend purchasing a three-day or seven-day “ticket.” These packages allow the golfer to play unlimited golf in either three days or seven days on the six Links Trust courses other than the Old. In the middle of the summer there is so much daylight that a hardcore golfer could literally play 3-4 rounds in ONE DAY. I’ve done the 3-day twice now and loved it. In one day I played 18 on the the Jubilee, 18 on the New, and a relaxing 9-holes on the Strathtyrum Course.
The New is a fantastic links style golf course. It’s a great course on its own and serves as an excellent alternative or backup for times when the golfer is not able to get a tee time on the Old Course. Plus the cost is a fraction of the Old.
I highly recommend experiencing the New Course when traveling to St Andrews to play golf. The New provides a tremendous and satisfying links experience.
Kingsbarns Golf Links Review
Balcomie Links Golf Course, Crail Scotland
Fairmont Hotel St Andrews Review
Ardgowan Hotel St Andrews Review