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Review: Michigan’s Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, March 19th, 2018
Categories: Golf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleReviewsTravel

Michigan is home to over 800 golf courses and I’m doing my best to experience as many as possible by traveling there about once per year.  It might take a while to finish off the task, but it will be worth it.  Michigan golf is tremendous, especially in the north.

Now that I’ve convinced you to plan a golf trip to Michigan, you’re going to need a great place to stay.  Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has you covered.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa


Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is located just outside of Traverse City in Williamsburg, Michigan. There are endless nearby attractions for golfers and non golfers alike.  The resort is close to the east arm of Grand Traverse Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan. It’s a beautiful area.


On property are three very fun golf courses which boast widely different architectural styles, the Resort Course by William Newcomb, the Gary Player Wolverine Course, and the Jack Nicklaus Bear Course.  I had the pleasure of playing The Bear and The Wolverine during my stay.

The Wolverine Course (Gary Player Design)


Grand Traverse offers various rooms in their tower and hotel as well as condos and suites.  I stayed in the tower and my room was very spacious, warm, roomy, and comfortable.  Plus I could watch the golf courses from an eagle’s vantage point (image below).

Room With a View (of the golf course!)


Other than golf the resort offers WiFi, HDTV’s, two indoor and outdoor pools, three outdoor and one indoor hot tub, indoor water playground, private beach club, spa, salon, large fitness center, tennis courts, day care, nearby gaming/casino, business center, watercraft rental.


I did some shopping in the Marketplace during my stay.  There are numerous shops offering all sorts of great gifts, apparel and more.



There are five restaurants and lounges at Grand Traverse.  I enjoyed a couple of meals at The Grille, which is conveniently located near the golf, the place I need it.  The foot there was very well prepared, with generous portions and a great selection.

On the fancy night out I enjoyed the 5-star Aerie Restaurant and Lounge, which is one of the highest rated in Michigan.  Fantastic steak.


I found all of the staff to be very friendly, helpful, and professional.  No matter what I needed or where I was, the staff was well prepared and able to provide a great customer service experience.

Final Thoughts

You MUST plan on Michigan for your next golf getaway or a golf buddy trip.  Aside from the on property courses at Grand Traverse, there are dozens of amazing courses you can play. Check out the other Michigan golf course reviews here at Hooked on Golf Blog.  Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is a great choice for a home base on your Michigan golf trip.


Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Gallery

The Bear – Jack Nicklaus Course

The Wolverine – Gary Player Course

Review: Ecco Cage Pro Golf Shoes

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, March 8th, 2018
Categories: Golf ApparelGolf GearReviews

How many golf equipment reviewers test out a product for an entire summer and dozens of rounds from Utah to Michigan before posting their review? My guess is one. Case in point is this review of the Ecco Cage Pro Golf Shoes. I’ve been gaming these treads for almost a YEAR.  A YEAR.  I’ve walked 100’s of miles in them and hit thousands of shots, good and bad.

Cage Pro Overview

Ecco is renowned for their stylish and comfortable shoes, whether they be golf shoes or street shoes.  The Cage Pro follows that mold. I wouldn’t wear them for a year if they weren’t comfortable.

The Cage Pro is a “hybrid” golf shoe, meaning it can be worn on and off the course.  I’ve done both with great performance and satisfaction.

This super-lightweight shoe has soft “Dritton” leather which is water resistant via “HYDROMAX” treated leather. Despite being water resistant, the leather remains breathable to help keep the feet free of moisture.

The outsole features “SPYDR-GRIP” technology (I know… who thinks of this stuff?). This technology provides “pivot points” which boost the shoe’s stability.


Available sizes run from men’s 5 to 13.5, but be aware that all Ecco shoes are “euro” sizes and they go full sizes, not halves.  This means that if you are a 9 or a 9.5, there’s only one shoe size.  This is why I recommend trying them on before picking up a pair.  Despite being a US 9, I often find myself going with a “42” euro in Eccos, which they say is about an 8.5.  If I went with the next size up, that could be as large as a 9.5 and too big for me.

Available colors include white with blue trim, white with gray trim, white with red trim, gray with yellow trim, black with gray trim, and a brown/orange combo.  My choice, the white with gray trim, matches the widest variance of apparel, which is why I went that route.

On The Course

As I mentioned in the opening, I’ve gamed these treads for nearly a year with great results.  The “SPYDR-GRIP” looks like it might slip, especially on wet ground, but the traction is fantastic.  I kept a mental note on those treads in particular and I think I’ve slipped perhaps twice in thousands of swings.

While walking the hard ground of my hilly home course, the Cage Pros performed great. I’ve benefitted from a stable platform for my swing gives me great traction.  The shoes don’t beat up my bones either, meaning my back, knees, ankles etc.  Some shoes “walk hard.”  These don’t.

And of course I’m happy with the style of the Cage Pros.  Unique, sharp looking, classy, and not overstated.

Final Thoughts

At $210 there are certainly less expensive golf shoes on the market.  The Cage Pros are still a great value because of their performance, style, and especially their durability.  Highly recommended.

Review: Coast Apparel French Terry Crew Neck Sweater

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, February 19th, 2018
Categories: Golf ApparelGolf GearGolf LifestyleReviews

This one has been a nice review to work on.  Though it has been a moderately mild winter in terms of snow here, it has still been plenty cold. I’ve been enjoying my new Coast Apparel French Terry Crew Neck Sweater.


This is a cotton blend sweater, 55% cotton and 45% polyester.  Thanks to the poly portion it keeps its shape, is easy care, doesn’t wrinkle easily, and doesn’t shrink.

The cuff and collar are rib knitted with spandex, which helps them flex and keep their shape.

The chest features an embroidered crab logo.

The sleeves are raglan style. They continue in one piece up to the neck without a shoulder seam.

On The Course – On The Town

I’ve only logged three golf rounds this calendar year. It’s early.  I had this sweater in play in the last rough, walking on a very hilly course in 46 degree temperatures. It kept me so warm that a couple of times I had to take it off. I was generating a lot of heat walking. One reason to walk and not ride golf carts in cold temperatures.

During the golf swing the sweater stays comfortable and doesn’t stretch or pull, or resist my golf swing. That’s a big deal.

I really dig the looks and style of this sweater, and wear it regularly at the office as well as on the course. Below you can see it paired with the Coast Apparel Khaki Beach Pants (review coming soon).

The fit does run a bit small, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of getting one.


This is my first Coast Apparel review of hopefully many to come in the future. I love the quality, style and comfort.

Golf sweaters can run up to several hundred dollars.  The French Terry Crew Neck Sweater, at a mere $39, is a tap-in birdie.

Update: I mentioned that winter has been mild… but in the course of the day today we just got hammered with about 10 inches of snow. Glad I have this sweater to keep warm while waiting for the snow to melt.

Golf Gum – Chew Gum and Lower Your Scores

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, February 18th, 2018
Categories: GolfGolf For WomenReviews

Every year new golf products arrive here at Hog World Headquarters that make me say, “now I’ve seen everything.” I have seen everything, yet again.

Golf Gum is different kind of focus product. Instead of drinking a liquid, or eating some kind of energy bar, the golfer chomps on gum.


Inside Golf Gum is 80mg of caffeine, a little less than is in a normal cup of coffee. The caffeine helps the golfer focus, or stay awake if there was a previous night of partying.

Golf Gum also contains B-vitamins. These nutrients help the body convert food into fuel. This helps sustain energy level throughout the day.

On The Course

I have not yet tested out Golf Gum on the course.  It is a bit of bad timing.  On doctor’s suggestion I had to cut some things from my diet, one being caffeine. So I’m posting this out of a bit of a courtesy to the folks at Golf Gum, who sent me the samples.  I will definitely give the golf gum a shot if the doc gives me the thumbs up.

Perhaps this spring I’ll give out some golf gum to my golf pals.  If they beat me we’ll know it really works.

Review: Ecco S-Drive Golf Shoes

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, January 26th, 2018
Categories: Golf ApparelGolf GearReviews

The Ecco S-Drive golf shoes are quite unique, even between the right and left shoes! This design is an asymmetrical concept which is not only interesting, it is stylish and highly functional.  I’ve been gaming these shoes for a few months with great results not only on the golf course, but in daily use.  Let’s take a look.

Ecco S-Drive Golf Shoes – Overview

The S-Drive is a light-weight golf shoe which is stabilized by bonded microfiber. The microfiber provides strength while still delivering support. Despite this strength, the shoe is still able to flex with the golfer in the golf swing or walking the course. In my case, it also walking to lunch from the office.

The inlay of the shoe can be removed to make the shoe more roomy for those who need the space. Rather than doing that, I switched out the inlay for some specialized golf shoe inserts since I’ve been fighting off plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a painful situation in the arch and heel of the foot. With or without the inserts the shoes are comfortable and stable.

The S-Drive repels water through the use of Ecco’s special “hydromax” leather.

Lastly, the outsole of the shoe provides great traction, performance and stability due to 800 “traction angles,” as seen in the photo below.


The S-Drives are extremely stylish and I love the asymmetrical concept. Each shoe’s shape reflects the foot, not a cookie cutter pattern that the foot is jammed into. I love wearing these shoes on and off the course. At the office I get a lot of interested looks and questions about them.


Despite not having much in the way of laces, I can tighten them perfectly which gives me great support without sacrificing comfort. The shape is very friendly to my feet. I’ve walked many rounds on hard ground with them with no fatigue or aches.


Most importantly I find the performance of the Ecco S-Drives to be fantastic. From the first round I put them on I seemed to gain power and accuracy in my golf shots. The solid base with great traction certainly helps me make better golf swings.


Sizing is the one funky area with Ecco’s offerings.  They’re European sizes, which is fine. But the size ranges cover ranges like 8 to 8.5, 9 to 9.5, etc.  One has to definitely see how the fit is first to make sure the shoes are the correct size.  If the shoe fits, wear it.


The $160 retail Ecco S-Drives have been a great addition to my gamer setup.  I’m undefeated in golf money games since putting them into play. I may have to wear them to Vegas…

The S-Drive scores highly in the the most important categories in my personal rating system, performance, style, and comfort.

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