Product of the Year


Hooked on Golf Blog 2016 Awards – Product of the Year: Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, January 1st, 2017
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearProduct of the Year
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Drumroll please…  Happy New Year! Welcome 2017.  This is the final 2016 year-end golf blog post.  Today I’m happy to announce the best product Hooked on Golf Blog reviewed in 2016, the Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons.  Check out the Hooked on Golf Blog Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons review.

These small blade irons are perhaps the most deserving product I’ve ever awarded for the HOG Product of the Year awards. They’re as incredible as they look. If you were to look back on the Hooked on Golf Blog Twitter to the most retweeted tweets, you’d see that consistently the ones with photos from this review are at the top. These are one of golf’s best products and everyone knows it.

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

Most people see blades, especially ones like these which are 15% smaller than normal blades, and think, “oh these are blades so I can’t hit them.” WRONG! I’m not sure how, but Miura’s engineering and hand-crafted design makes these easier to hit than many clubs meant for higher handicap players, not single digits or pros. The feel of these irons is so butter. What a joy to play.

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this? Easier than you would think!

Congratulations to Miura. It’s not really a surprise that one of their products would win a HOG Product of the Year award. That’s pretty much what one would expect. But it’s still nice to recognize the quality, workmanship, looks, feel, and joy these clubs bring to the game of golf.


Hooked on Golf Blog 2016 Awards – Best Golf Golf Accessory: GolfBuddy CT2 Micro GPS

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, December 31st, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf AccessoriesGolf For WomenGolf GearProduct of the Year
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In the previous POY award I decided to choose the apparel item of the year based on the one I used most. I think that’s a great criteria for the 2016 golf accessory award as well.  I receive hundreds of golf accessories to review every year. Which one did I use most?  The GolfBuddy CT2 Micro GPS.

The GolfBuddy CT2 GPS quickly locks onto the course I’m playing and gives fast and accurate yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green as well as other “good to know” areas on the course like hazards.  The battery lasts several rounds.

Yes I’m mostly a laser user, but I really like having both a laser and a GPS.  Sometimes there are situations where a GPS is the only solution, like when there are trees or obstacles between me and the green.

Check out my review of the GolfBuddy GPS watch here.


Hooked on Golf Blog 2016 Awards – Best Golf Apparel Item: Puma 1/4 Zip Popover

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, December 30th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf ApparelGolf GearProduct of the Year
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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 In Action!

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.


Hooked on Golf Blog 2016 Awards – Best Golf Course: Cruden Bay, Scotland

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, December 29th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenHOG World TourProduct of the Year
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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.

Conclusion

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.


Review: Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf GearProduct of the YearReviews
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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

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.

Specifications/Features

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

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

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

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.

Conclusion

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.


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