If the lovely bride isn’t there to do my apparel scripting for me (set my day’s outfit out on the bed), I like to go the Gary Player route. Black. Black matches black. I can remember that. So this black Puma D_Vent golf polo is perfect for those days. It’s also perfect for golf, even in the summer. Here’s why.
This polo features Puma’s dryCELL technology with moisture wicking properties. Moisture wicking is a process where the garment actually pulls moisture away from the wearer’s body. This technology helps keep the player more dry, cool and comfortable. The D_Vent also provides the wearer UV protection from the sun’s radiation.
The 100% polyester fabric is so much more flexible and comfortable than cotton. This fabric feels great in the golf swing and doesn’t restrict, pull, or bind. There’s even a slit or “vent” in the upper back which aids in comfort and provides a place for heat to exit, especially good when one needs to cool down after a 3-putt.
This polo is so comfortable I love wearing it for daily use, off the golf course. Whether I’m at the office crafting incredible golf blog posts or out chasing little Seve around the neighborhood, I’m comfortable, cool, and stylish.
Available colors: black, red, white, orange, “peacot” and blue.
Available sizes: small, medium, large, extra-large, double extra-large
I normally wear an XL and like a comfortable loose fit and Puma’s sizing is right on with that. Accurate. Not “skinny euro” sizing.
It’s hard to crank out a 2000 word review on a shirt. But since I picture is worth 1000 words, I came pretty close. Seriously though, this very stylish and affordable ($65) Puma Golf shirt scores perfectly in all the areas I consider important for a golf polo: comfort, style, performance, durability, easy care.
And my color selection, black, matches everything in my wardrobe. No failed apparel scripts.
The weekend grudge match today started out rough, pun intended. I had a new partner and he pretty much carried me the whole front nine. Despite his heroic efforts we were two-down starting the back. I knew I had to pull out the big guns for us to have a chance at coming back.
The latest in the cigar review queue is the Lobotomy by Asylum, courtesy of Famous Smoke shop. I was playing so bad I felt like I’d had a lobotomy. Could this stogie help bring my game back? After analysis of the Lobotomy slogan I was liking my chances:
“With a strength profile that will shock your receptors back to normal, and a flavor as complex as a Rorshach Test, these cigars will ease your stress and help you relax like never before. Get your Lobotomy now. Er… Asylum Lobotomy that is.”
As usual, I gave my opponents the opportunity to surrender before I powered up the Lobotomy. Their mistake was not accepting the offer. Upon my enjoyment of the Lobotomy, my game improved greatly and my partner and I scratched out a tie when it had looked like we were dead and buried.
Lobotomy isn’t one for the weak. It’s a bold cigar.
Dornoch, Scotland born Donald Ross began his golf career as an apprentice to Old Tom Morris at the Old Course in St Andrews. Old Tom was the greenskeeper for the Old Course in St Andrews and had designed many of the most famous courses in Scotland and the UK including Carnoustie, Prestwick, Muirfield, Machrihanish, Jubilee, and Balcomie Links. I’ve played a few of those.
Ross moved to the United States in 1899 where he began arguably the most successful architectural career in the history of golf. Ross is credited for designing 600 golf courses. Amongst those 600 are some of the world’s most famous and respected courses, which still stand the test of time. A few of Ross’s most notable courses include Pinehurst No. 2, Seminole, Oak Hill and Oakland Hills. A couple of others I like to add to the list are ones I’ve had the pleasure of playing, Burning Tree and Aronimink Golf Club. Ross’s courses are known for being natural and taking advantage of the lay of the land, not the “earth mover” type of golf architecture.
The Ross Course at French Lick opened for play in 1917 and has recently undergone a $5 million renovation to bring it back to Ross’s original design. Golf courses, like living beings, grow and change over time. In the renovation, bunkers which lost their nearly 100 year battle with the elements and nature were restored to their original specifications.
The Donald Ross course at French Lick is a par-70. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it is short or easy. In fact, the course clocks in at 7,030 yards which is long even for a par-72 course. The rating from the tips (the Gold Tees) is a strong 72.3 with a slope of 135. A solid test of golf. To accommodate players of all abilities and ages, there are four total sets of tees, the shortest measuring 5,050 yards.
The way each hole presents itself from the tee of the Ross course is so visually appealing. The landscape is hilly and features some very large elevation changes. The tees challenge the golfer to execute an accurate shot or find strategically placed penal areas including bunkers, hazards, long native grassy areas, and trees. Some tee shots are blind and the help of some course knowledge or at the least, a local caddy is a great thing to have.
The numerous sets of tees are not boringly arranged on one flat piece of ground a few yards apart. Rather, each tee set offers the golfer different yardages, elevations, and angles to the target. Regular golfers could create a very different playing experience by simply changing tees from round to round, or even making up their own combo set.
The fairways at the Ross course are welcomingly wide. That said, there are very few flat areas on the property. The golfer will be challenged to hit a straight from the fairway due to the undulations and uneven lies.
Strategically placed bunkers can and will penalize shots which are not placed in the fairway.
Donald Ross is well known for his amazing greens at courses like Pinehurst, Oakland Hills, Aronimink. Ross’s greens at French Lick are truly amazing; the prime feature of the golf course. Many of the greens feature the Ross trademark “upside down soup bowl” design, where any shot or even putts too close to the edge are rejected and end up rolling off into collection areas or false fronts. Those upside down bowl greens (photo below) present some very difficult challenges in the short game. The player can try hitting a high soft shot, bumping a low shot into the hill and onto the green, or my default choice which is putting. Getting up and down from greenside at the Ross Course is an accomplishment.
In fact, getting in the hole in two putts is an accomplishment. Due to the undulations, slopes, tiers and bowl edges, putting the Ross greens is the biggest challenge of the entire golf course. A two-putt on any green feels like a birdie. 3-putts can actually be a solid play.
Stay below the hole at all costs. Because of the speed of the greens and the incredible slopes and undulations, shots which end up above the hole are most often dead. Stay below the hole, even if that means missing the green short.
The clubhouse at the Ross Course oozes history and class. The pro-shop is full of great equipment and apparel and a great staff who are extremely helpful and pleasant to interact with.
Hagen’s Restaurant has a large indoor and outdoor seating area (right side of above photo). I enjoyed great food and great service between rounds on a 36-hole day. Hagen’s is named after Walter Hagen, who won the PGA Championship there in 1924.
The Ross course has an adequate putting/chipping area with a fantastic view (first photo), and very close to Hagen’s to insure the frosty beverages are topped off.
One drawback to the Ross and my only critique: there is no driving range.
The Ross Course is a pristine gem, full of history and personality. It will challenge golfers of all abilities and especially those like me, who consider themselves good putters. Be sure to plan a trip to French Lick to experience this historic golf course. The French Lick Pete Dye course (review coming soon), the Ross Course, and the French Lick Resort and Casino make for a tremendous golf buddy trip.
At the end of the 2016 golf season here in northern Utah I received the Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition for a review. I was excited to match it up with the 2014 HOG Product of the Year, the Exotics XCG7 Beta Fairway 3-metalwood, my current and awesome gamer 3-metal. I posted a quick first look article for the CB PRO U right away. Unfortunately I suffered a severe back injury shortly after receiving this beauty. Then as I was recovering and feeling better, winter snows hit here. A six month “frost delay” kept me off the course. Looking at this club in my office for six months was almost as painful as the back spasms.
Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition – click for more photos
Let’s take a look at the specs and features of the CB PRO U Hybrid. The unit in this review is a 19 degree.
The most noticeable feature of this hybrid is the strange looking sole (bottom) of the club head pictured below. This shiny section of “metallic waves” is called a Slip Stream Sole (SSS). Unlike other golf clubs which have non functional features which look cool but do nothing, the SSS reduces friction and interaction with the ground, regardless of what that ground is. The SSS helps the golfer keep club head speed at its maximum for more consistency and distance.
Tour Edge CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition – click for more photos
The forged face of the club is welded to the steel body of the head. Forged metals provide the best feel and performance, along with maximum distance.
The heel and toe are “cut out” to provide forgiveness and playability.
Finally the shaft of the club is the very popular Second Generation KURO KAGE Silver series.
Kuro Kage Shaft
Tour Edge CB PRO U Hybrid Video
On The Course
Prior to receiving this hybrid for review I was very happy with my previous gamer hybrid, a 19 degree Cobra Baffler. For any hybrid to dethrone that hybrid would be a tall task. When I first starting testing the CB PRO U, I A/B’d back and forth between the two. Both were fantastic. Knowing both clubs were solid, I put the Exotics in the gamer bag for about a two month testing period. If it didn’t work out, no big deal.
See the waves?
Over the course of now dozens of rounds I’ve completely fallen for the CB PRO U. The slightly smaller head and sole design shines in all sorts of situations. I can hit amazing shots with this hybrid even from rough which looks like it calls for an iron bail-out shot. From lies in the rough to tight lies on hard ground, I have 100% confidence when I address the ball with the CP PRO U. I have numerous heroic shots I could recount, most resulting in eagle putts on par-5’s.
CB PRO U Hybrid Topline – No strange patterns or graphics. No distractions.
On short par-4’s or long par-3’s the CB PRO U is fantastic off the tee. I can’t wait to take this baby to Scotland in a few weeks. I know it will shine on some of those shorter holes where driver isn’t the club.
Tour Edge could be in the running to be the first golf club manufacturer to win the coveted Hooked on Golf Blog Product of the Year twice. The CP PRO U is fantastic.
Golf GPS rangefinder watch technology is improving. No longer does the golfer have to wear a ridiculously large device to have GPS yardages and other great features on his or her wrist. Case in point is the new Bushnell neo iON GPS rangefinder watch. Let’s take a look.
Bushnell Neo iON GPS Rangefinder Watch
In the photo above I’m either playing a really short par-5 and I’m on the tee, or I just duffed my drive and did the walk of shame 50 yards forward from the tee. Take your pick. But the display does give a good example of the core information I need when approaching a green, the front yardage, middle yardage, and back yardage. Here’s a list of all the basic features of the Bushnell neo iON GPS Rangefinder Watch:
One button operation
Auto course recognition
Auto hole advance
Calculates shot distances
Up to four hazard or layup distances per hole
Extended battery life
Over 35,000 preloaded courses
On The Course
One of the most irritating things about many golf GPS devices, watch or others, is the amount of time it takes them to recognize what course they are on. In fact, some of the GPS units I use never find the course. This unit finds the course very quickly and does not lose it.
During the round the yardages are solid and quick. I’ve confirmed them with markers on the ground and via laser. Rock solid. Sometimes it’s better to think about the front or back yardages of the green. Say you have a green with a false front which repels shots. Knowing the right number to avoid that spot is a great advantage. The same goes with pins that are long. If the green has a bad drop behind it or deep rough, long is dead. Knowing these yardages arms the player with great information for a better approach strategy.
The pedometer is a very cool feature. My phone has one, but it isn’t as accurate, and it drains the battery badly. Knowing how many miles I’ve walked is also great. A 7,000 yard course may calculate out to four miles, but the walk can be double that or more. After all, the golfer doesn’t hit straight shots. Left. Right. Left. Right. You get the drill.
Another great bit of information the unit provides is shot distances. One may “think” their 9-iron goes 140 yards when in reality it goes 132. Knowing exact yardages, and accepting what they really are, will save strokes. If only I could teach myself to accept them… That’s another discussion.
The battery life of the iON is great. I’ve squeezed two full rounds out of a unit before charging. I think I could have gotten more out of it but wanted to be sure I had a full 18 for my next round.
I have the same critique for this unit which I have for 99% of the golf GPS watches I’ve reviewed, the proprietary charging cable. Why is it so hard for companies to put a standard micro USB plug on these units? That way one could charge it with a standard cable should he/she forget to bring the proprietary one.
The other issue I have with GPS watches is the fact that they are watches. I’m not a watch wearer and I find them especially uncomfortable in the golf swing. So I usually attach them to my golf bag. It would be nice if the unit could be stand alone, without the band.