Well everyone. We made it. Out with the old and in with the new. We bid a fond farewell to 2018 and in a few short hours we’ll be saying hello to a New Year. 2019 we’re ready for ya.

I just wanted to take the time to say a few words to you…my readers. Before I say anything further I just wanted to simply… Thank-you!! 

2019

Without all of you taking a few short minutes out of your busy lives to quickly read my articles I wouldn’t be doing any of this. It’s very humbling for me that you take any time take a look at what I have to say. From the beginning of me starting my own golf blog I was happy if anything I said reached one pair of eyeballs. I underwent a name change… re-brand what ever you want to call it. I was starting to gain traction when I decided that Alexander Toth Golf was no longer going to be feasible for growing a product. So in 2017, right before the PGA Show I made a difficult choice to start all over. Close the chapter on Alexander Toth Golf and start Until The Next Tee. When the dust settled in 2017 my stats were low and there was part of me that regretted the change. But, I decided to stay with it for another year.

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2018 was a year that was unreal for me. All of the regrets that I may have had slowly started to get forgotten. I was watching my site views grow per day and month and suddenly things were looking promising. In 2017, I had around 7,200 views (here at my .blog) while the .com gathered a little more. 2018 was a record-breaking year. All of the years that I’ve been writing and blogging I’ve never seen a year like this. The month of December alone was my best month ever by nearly 2,000 views and that too humbles me. After all, I’m just one little guy. It may not look like anything compared to the big guys (THP, WRX, MGS, Golfballed etc) but I’m happy with what my site has become and the growth that it’s seen. I’ve worked my arse off to get to this point. Funny thing this is all without Search Engine Optimization.

Without the companies that jumped on board with me to give me a shot… it couldn’t have been done without you. Bridgestone Golf, Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company, Cobra Golf, Callaway Golf, Tour Edge Golf, FlightScope (mevo), R-Motion, Shot Scope, Bald Head Blues, Loudmouth Golf, Bolle Eyewear and so many others all gave me a chance to test and review their products. Thanks so much! Later on, it was the likes of Wilson Golf, Srixon/Cleveland/XXIO, TaylorMade Golf Canada, Bettinardi Golf and once again Cobra Golf all made me privy to press releases of soon-to-be released products.

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Look for the review on the Equalizer wedge from Ben Hogan Golf in 2019.

I have to give thanks to marketing firms like Mary Beth Lacy, Vanessa Price (Read The Greens), Stuart Goldstein (Raker Goldstein), Al Abrams, Joe Wieczorek (The Media Group) and David Wheatley (Medi8 Golf) who sent me press releases to keep myself and my readers up-to date with products in manufacturers pipelines. Some of these releases also lead to reviews like Nexbelt, Shot Scope V2 and so many others. Thank-you everyone!!

2019 is going to be even better yet. Look for several changes. Some changes have already taken place like adding Crystal to the UTNT team. She’s going to be a real asset to all of this so as always thanks so much for staying by my side like you have for the last 21 years. the coverage that she’s going to provide will be at times edgy and she definitely gives a perspective on products that I likely wouldn’t cover. I’ve already made changes to the way that I’m doing things. More video, a podcast and updates to the site that will make UTNT more like a community. Look for a forum sometime after the 2019 PGA Show as well. Oh… there’s going to be downsizing as well. I’m getting rid of my .com to focus solely on what I have here.

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More golf in 2019. Better not leave these putts short in 2019.

2019 is a year where I will have other goals as well. Some golf-related and others that will only help my golf. For golf, yes I need to get out and play more. Sometimes this is hard to do when you work in the industry. But it’s something that I’m going to strive towards. While we’re at it… I need to address my putting while I’m out there. You can’t make putts if they don’t reach the hole (thanks Shot Scope V2). Is tournament golf and playing competitively in the cards? It might be but much of that depends on my amount of play and practice and of course my health. That said, I’m going to try to stay out of hospitals and have no more Strokes.

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Back here in three weeks.

December 2018 is finishing strong and we’re going to carry that momentum into 2019. Thanks everyone for being there and taking the time. 2019 will be fun and just think.. the PGA Show is fast approaching.

One thing remains for sure. The mission statement. Honest and unbiased reviews should go without saying. Being genuine is another thing altogether. I will always guarantee that we will remain genuine. In our reviews and editorials. If we don’t stay true to who we are than why bother?

From Crystal ,my children and myself. Thank-you!! Stay safe and please don’t drink and drive. #SeeUOnTheNextTee.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind

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What about that big upcoming tournament, the weather doesn’t look too promising does it? What are you going to do? Well, you are going to the tournament and you are going to cross your fingers. At least that is what I would be doing. I booked the day off, paid the money to enter the tournament and what if I can’t get another day off. Then what?

If you’re me, you’re going to go anyways. Why you ask? Because the course has a nice time consuming game that you can play. Get your mind off of the worries and who knows maybe the rain will clear allowing you to still play the tournament. But for the time being you can find something else to do.

Introducing “Stroke of Luck”. What is stroke of luck you ask? Good question. Stroke of Luck is a game of chance. You putt to win in this game. You can play it in the clubhouse, on the patio or even in the lounge. So even if it’s raining outside you have the ability to play. What the heck…let’s put a wager on it!

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Stroke of Luck is a putting board game. It’s lined up with various cards and also comes with a set of dice. It comes with a Universal putter that’s good for lefties and righties. There are 3 golf balls included as well.

The object of the game is simple.. “putt to win”. Let’s say you want to play a round of poker. You roll the dice to determine the starting position of the ball. You then take turns putting until you get a winning hand. Before each turn you roll the die to determine where you will be putting from. A bit of a challenge wouldn’t you say?

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In addition there are ways you can make the game more challenging. The game has a “stimp” (green speed) of 10-11. You can adjust the stimp and make it duplicate a break in the green if you really want to make it even more challenging. This can be done by a rope or something put under the map. Go ahead… give it that “uphill lie”.

This game can be played with the rules of just about any card game that’s dealt but it just depends on what you want to play. Poker seems to be the best option but there is a way to play Euchre as well.

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So, now that you know a little bit about the game how can you get it? Currently it’s not for sale currently since it is a brand new game. As of January 15, 2019 you can start to order it online at 2skills.net. There are 2 sizes you can purchase.

The “Executive” version comes in a 3′ x 8′ mat at a cost of $799 (plus S&H) and the “Club” version comes in a 4′ x 12′ mat at a cost of $939. This is a small price to pay for the amount of guests that you’re going to keep in the clubhouse during that bad weather. It will pay itself off in mere weeks. Also note the cards on each mat are dealt randomly so if you buy multiple mats they won’t be the same.

I myself am looking forward to seeing this product in action in January at the 2019 PGA Show. I think it’s time you start looking around too. For areas like where we live the golf season will come fast. Just think when we have snow on the ground we can still practice our putting.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

What kind of golf writer would I be if I didn’t write a piece on the modernized rules of golf? Or at least the changes to the rules as prescribed by the governing bodies (R&A and USGA) for 2019. While this piece won’t be about all of the changes about to take effect as the calendar changes to January 2019 it will be about certain ones and my take on them. Now does this mean that I won’t have a summary of at least some of them? Of course not… see below.

Dropping procedure: When taking relief (from an abnormal course condition or penalty area, for example), golfers will now drop from knee height. This will ensure consistency and simplicity in the dropping process while also preserving the randomness of the drop. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 suggested dropping from any height).

Measuring in taking relief: The golfer’s relief area will be measured by using the longest club in their bag (other than a putter) to measure one club-length or two club-lengths, depending on the situation, making for a consistent process for golfers to establish their relief area. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 suggested a 20-inch or 80-inch standard measurement).

Removing the penalty for a double hit: The penalty stroke for accidentally striking the ball more than once in the course of a stroke has been removed. Golfers will simply count the one stroke they made to strike the ball.  (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 included the existing one-stroke penalty).

Balls Lost or Out of Bounds: Alternative to Stroke and Distance: A new Local Rule will now be available in January 2019, permitting committees to allow golfers the option to drop the ball in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds (including the nearest fairway area), under a two-stroke penalty. This Local Rule addresses the concerns raised at the club level about the negative impact on pace of play when a player is required to go back under stroke and distance. The Local Rule is not intended for higher levels of play, such as professional or elite level competitions. (Key change:  this is a new addition to support pace of play)

Major proposals introduced in 2017 that have been incorporated into the modernised Rules include:

Elimination or reduction of “ball moved” penalties: There will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball; and a player is not responsible for causing a ball to move unless it is “virtually certain” that he or she did so.

Relaxed putting green rules: There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed. Players may repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes, animal damage and other damage on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt.

Relaxed rules for “penalty areas” (currently called “water hazards”): Red and yellow-marked penalty areas may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc., in addition to areas of water; expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed; and there will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.

Relaxed bunker rules: There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club. A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.

Relying on player integrity: A player’s “reasonable judgment” when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong; and elimination of announcement procedures when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it is damaged.

Pace-of-play support: Reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of “ready golf” in stroke play; recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke and other changes intended to help with pace of play.

It wasn’t that long ago when Canadian PGA Tour professional Mackenzie Hughes took to Twitter about them. Asking the golfing Twitterverse what we thought. Mackenzie… here’s what I think about some of them.

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Mackenzie HughesVerified account @MacHughesGolf Dec 19

Dropping Procedure: I think this rule change is pointless. Dropping from the knees? What was so difficult about holding the arm up at shoulder height and letting go of the ball? I’ll be sure to work on my technique.

Measuring in Taking Relief: Well this one has zero effect on me. For one who really is taking advantage of using the Bernhard Langer ski pole putter any more? Not I. I’ve always used my driver.

Removing the Penalty For Double Hit: have you “T.C. Chenned” a shot? If you aren’t familiar with the term Google T.C. Chen. I can’t remember if I’ve double hit a shot. However, if you have this issue… make sure that you accelerate through your chip or pitch.

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Balls Lost or Out of Bounds: Alternative to Stroke and Distance: Alright, this one I like. How many out there have legit handicaps where they’ve gone back to the tee to hit 3 from the tee in a casual round of golf on a backed-up golf course? Be honest! This one makes sense and could help the pace of play issue. Bear in mind that it’s technically a Local Rule. Golf courses… start printing new scorecards.

Elimination or reduction of “ball moved” penalties: No penalty for accidentally moving a ball during a search. Another one that I like. Just remember that fluffing a lie or using your “foot wedge” is not an accident. No honor among thieves.

Relaxed putting green rules: I really like this one too. The fact that it was a penalty for repairing a spike mark etc in the first place was silly. As far as leaving the pin in. It’s something that I already did ONLY when I played by myself. Keeping the pin in only keeps the ball out. Then again with my putting it’s really not a concern.

Relaxed rules for “penalty areas” (currently called “water hazards”): Honestly, this one makes sense. Say I have a massive piece of lava rock bugging me and my shot. Why not move it in hazard? It makes sense to me. that said, don’t have a crew of people on the ready to move massive boulders (Tiger… you know what I’m talking about).

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Relying on player integrity: Golf is supposed to be a game of honor. It really is. The fact that this needs to actually be outlined is ridiculous. We both know your ball travelled OB with 230 yards remaining to the green. So why are you dropping it at the 150 yard marker? The fact that fans watching at home can’t call in breaches is great too. I always wondered… where did they find the telephone numbers? Was it the Bad News Bear Go To Houston? “Let them play… let them play!”

Search For Lost Ball: Love this one! Love it a lot! Searches dropping from 5 minutes to 3 minutes is great. I know there are a lot of you out there taking “5 minutes” to search for that Pro V1 you hit OB. Yeah I know it’s a $5 ball… but you found it the last time you hit one OB so it cost you nothing. Can’t find it? Take advantage of the new rule (Stroke and Distance) and play on. Keep people employed in the golf ball industry. Oh and for the love of God and all things right in the world leave your ball rake (retriever) home. If I could I would ban them altogether. Nothing clogs a course more than those guys and gals spending 10 minutes or more around a water hazard ball hawking. Marshall’s/Rangers this goes double for you!! You guys already have garbage cans full of balls at home.

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Folks, if you’re playing a round of golf that is strictly recreational play “Ready Golf’. After all even though it’s late Sunday you aren’t playing for the Green Jacket. Also, for the same reasons if you hit the ball only 200 yards with a helping wind and/or are a 25 handicap please don’t even look at “the tips”. Play within your skill level and comfortable yardage. Maybe it’s the forward tees (not ladies tees.. don’t need that stigma) who cares? Not only will your round be quicker and not only will you maybe enjoy the game more but your handicap may drop as well too! It’s a win-win.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUonTheNextTee