Getting Paired… With “That Guy” (Or Girl)

You know, golf really is an amazing game. What other sport can you potentially spend 3 (to dare I say) 5 hours of your day with a family member, a friend or a total and complete stranger? As I sit here and think about the answer to that question I can only think of one answer. There isn’t one.

Golf really is great. It’s social and you get to take in the sights and sounds of nature, deal with sometimes grumpy starters and/or marshals with “holier than thou” attitudes, and who knows, in some cases you might even make a friend or new golf partner. But every now and then, through social media or other golfers, you hear about “that guy” that someone got partnered with.

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Who is “that guy”? Well, “that guy” can be any number of types of people. To sum up, one could say that “that guy” could be any individual who could easily railroad your day on the golf course and make it memorable for you for all of the wrong reasons. Maybe he or she’s just a grouchy individual who had a bad day before arriving at the golf course. To that end, I say leave it in the car back in the parking lot. Or sometimes, that individual just might be a total jerk in all walks of life.

Have you been paired with “that guy”? You know, the sort where you just want to tell them to “Shut up” before you’ve reached the third hole? I ran a poll on Twitter recently asking that very question. To my surprise,  I wasn’t alone and it wasn’t even close. I expected this poll to be closer. Much closer.

If you’ve never met me or played golf with me here’s what you need to know. I am, by nature, a very easy-going individual who likes to have fun and laugh. I am also a very lenient person and very understanding. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking golf or otherwise. When I am playing golf, I love to engage with others (unless I get the impression that they aren’t into it) and I love banter… In general.

So, after the PGA Show was over and I was trying to enjoy some downtime I managed to get some practice sessions in and I hoped to play some golf. So, on Monday right before leaving, I booked my GolfNow round for a golf course in Zephyrhills, Florida called Southport Springs Golf Club (there will be a golf course review). Upon arrival at the Pro Shop, I made small talk with the staff there (GM Earl Hines) and I was informed that I would be paired with two other golfers. Perfect!! I love meeting new people. Again, it’s part of the allure of golf. So I got my cart, proceeded to the parking lot for my clubs, and then made my way to the practice green.

As I’m working my way through my warm-up (testing golf balls for review) all of a sudden I hear someone yelling my name “ALEX!!” in a “twang” from a southernish part of the United States.  It was right next to the 1st tee with people on the tee. This was the first time that I met “Kentucky Dave”. Already I thought to myself “Uh-oh!”. As I turn and look around to find Dave I get my first glimpse. White and red Titleist cap, an older, ugly printed polo, and for the proverbial “piece de resistance” a pair of Loudmouth Golf shorts that caused my brain much undo harm and stress. It was sensory overload. Folks, I love Loudmouth Golf, but if you’re going to wear the bottoms please wear a solid shirt. No prints or patterns. Ugh!

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Point made. Don’t do this.

So, I packed up my stuff and drove the cart to pick Dave up. After exchanging pleasantries we went to his car and retrieved his belongings. We then met the other two guys that I was initially paired with and made our way to the 10th hole to begin our round.

After teeing off and getting instructions from the starter he started right away. He was telling me where to drive, how to drive including when to put the parking brake on and we haven’t even arrived to hit our second shot on the first hole. Which he unceremoniously shanked. He actually had 6 shanks during his round but who’s keeping track? He even told me to use the sand on the carts for divots as it was already out and beside me on the ground. But the hits kept on coming. I mean, I wanted to call him “Siri” because he “knew everything” about golf.

By the second hole, as we approached the green (it’s cart path and always 90* in and out) he was instructing me to not drive in front of the green inside of the “No Carts” posts. I felt myself just take in a large breath of air in a way to just cleanse and relax. Basically, it was all that I could do to tell him not to shut the “blankety-blank” up.

Now the swearing starts on the second green and he can’t figure out what’s wrong. He was whining, moaning, and bitching on the cart and we haven’t hit the third green. Again, he starts offering more advice on how to operate a golf cart and where to drive. But now, it gets worse. He starts to display his extremely “sufficient” golf course etiquette. Or shall I say, the lack thereof?

“Kentucky Dave” not only walked on the lines of putts, but also played out of turn (I’m not talking ready golf) as others were actually mid-swing hitting a shot, stood right behind us playing partners while putting and making full swings. He left the green before any of us putted out which is a bit of nitpicking on my behalf but it is still an etiquette thing. Did I mention him hacking apart the turf after one of his many poor shots? It was so bad that the two gents from Vermont (Charles and Hank) that we were paired with asked me about “my buddy”standing right behind them on the tee as they were making swings. I informed them that he was not in fact “my buddy”. Bear in mind that Charles and Hank were in their 60s-70s and they had already told me to not “Kentucky Dave’s” antics bother me (on the 5th hole). It was so bad that Hank told Dave that when it was his tee it was in fact… “His” tee. They told me that they were going to do it too!

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Finally, by the eighth hole after yet more instruction from “Kentucky Dave” I explained in the nicest way possible that he no longer had to instruct me on golf course operations. I told him that I am a former Director of Golf at a semi-private club, played on Mini-Tours, and essentially told him to cease and desist. I even offered/suggested for him to drive the cart if it would make his day a little more “stress-free”. He declined. I basically told him to “STFU”. After all of this, he insisted on putting on the parking brake every time that I got out of the cart. Perhaps a little OCD?

Things with his complaining and swearing never stopped and it was all that I could do to not excuse myself after 9 holes. He went on about “slow play” in front of us and it was apparent that he had never watched himself play. For the rest of the round he kept on going on about “what’s wrong with me today?” and inwardly I said “Your attitude”. He even asked me what I was saying and I never gave any advice. I couldn’t be bothered. This marked the first time in my life, where if someone asked me for swing advice I never gave insight. All that I said was “off days happen”.

Honestly, the Vermonters saved my day. I loved the banter with them. But then there’s “Kentucky Dave”. The funny thing is this. After the round, he asked me if I was going to go golfing tomorrow. He wanted to play with me again. I must have left a good impression. I casually declined because I had meetings at Innisbrook and Tarpon Woods Golf Club. Maybe next time Dave.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #untilthenexttee #seeuonthenexttee

TaylorMade Golf Company Announces the All-New TP5/TP5x PIX, Co-Developed and Played By Rickie Fowler

ADVANCED VISUAL TECHNOLOGY BRINGS ENHANCED VISIBILITY AND ALIGNMENT TO TAYLORMADE’S PREMIUM BALL LINE

CARLSBAD, Calif. (January 29, 2020) – TaylorMade Golf Company, an industry leader in innovation and technology, introduces the second generation of the high-visibility line of pix™ golf balls. For the first time, pix™ will be available in both the TP5 and TP5x models with a revolutionary visual technology developed in conjunction with Rickie Fowler.

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CO-DEVELOPED BY RICKIE FOWLER

Fowler has long been recognized as one of the best putters on the PGA Tour and his insights proved invaluable in the creation of pix. Over the course of a year, TaylorMade teamed with him to develop a golf ball that reflects his swagger and meets the performance demands of competing at the highest level.

“The pix graphics give you a precise focal point to work with. When we started developing the new design, one of my first comments was if we didn’t have the full TaylorMade logo in two places, we would have space to create a path that works for alignment and feedback.”

Rickie Fowler
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CLEARPATH ALIGNMENT™

Like many golfers, Fowler prefers to draw a line on his golf ball to help him align putts on the green. The previous generation of pix and all other high-visibility products made that virtually impossible. Inspired by Fowler’s insights, TaylorMade uniquely positioned a single TaylorMade logo and aligned it perfectly with that TP5/TP5x stamp to form a natural pathway through the centre of the ball. Twelve (12) strategically placed multi-colour graphics frame the single TaylorMade logo and TP5/TP5x stamp to form the company’s new ClearPath Alignment™ – the marquee feature of the new pix.

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ClearPath not only helps with alignment, but it provides immediate feedback on the quality of the roll. On a well-struck putt where the ball is rolling end-over-end, the golfer can see a clearing in the middle of ball which provides two key pieces of information:

  1. You’ve started the ball on your intended line
  2. You’ve hit a quality putt

We learned a lot in the development of the first generation of pix, but through our partnership with Rickie Fowler we’ve learned even more. His vital feedback led directly to the development of the ClearPath™ Alignment System. It’s not just about unique cool designs that are easier to see, it’s now validated at the top of the pyramid with a performance benefit like nothing else out there. It’s the ideal combination of style and function.

Michael Fox, TaylorMade Category Director – Golf Ball & Accessories

TP5/TP5X PERFORMANCE

In 2019, TaylorMade enhanced their flagship line of Tour balls and improved speed without impacting other areas of performance. The Speed-Layer System is comprised of four increasingly stiff layers, featuring a material called HFM. HFM is the fastest material TaylorMade has ever used and is essentially a tightly wound spring and when compressed generates more rebound energy for more ball speed.

The Tri-Fast Core consists of an extra-large, low-compression inner core (16 compression in TP5 & 25 compression in TP5x) and a progressively stiffer outer core and mantle. The combination of these three layers work in conjunction to create lower drag and increased carry – the primary reason TP5 and TP5x have become the hottest Tour balls in golf.

The Dual-Spin Cover boasts an ultra-soft cast urethane cover and a 30% more rigid inner cover. This system creates a condition that is ideal for greenside control, as the rigid inner cover forces the soft urethane cover into wedge grooves for maximum spin generation.

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PRICING & AVAILABILITY

The TP5 and TP5x pix will be available at retail on 2/28/2020 at an MSRP of $59.99 CAD per dozen. To learn more about TP5 and TP5x pix golf balls, visit TaylorMadeGolf.ca.

Product Testing Has Begun

With the PGA Show now in the books, the time has come for me to switch gears for the duration of this trip. From walking and running the show floor finding the latest and greatest golf products to what I perceive to be the fun part of this “job”. The time has now come for testing on-course and in the case of golf balls performance around the green.

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While at the 2020 PGA Show, I received a ton of terrific product samples to test for review. Today (well technically it’s now yesterday) I made my way to the YMCA Par 3 Course in Lakeland, Florida to test an array of golf products. The products that commenced testing were…

  • Wilson Golf DUO Soft+ Golf Balls
  • Bridgestone Golf TOUR B Golf Balls.
  • Volvik S3 Golf Balls (I only have one)
  • Hempcy Active CBD Oil
  • Zero Friction Ultra Feel and Oh Canada! Golf Gloves
  • AXIS 1 Golf Tour-S putter

While testing with these products commenced today some time has already been spent with the following where I have had an opportunity to form opinions on the 699 Pro irons from SUB 70 Golf and products from Boomer Naturals.

Please view the introduction video below.

Until The Next Tee!!

#TeeBoxChatter – 2020 PGA Show (Day One)

Hey Everyone!!

 

Today was the first day of the PGA Show in sunny Orlando, Florida. The day was full of great finds and for the most part I focused on health and wellness products. Honestly, it wasn’t the plan.

My day started off with a visit to ARGOLF. Last year, their Mordred putter won the Teezy Award for the “Top Putter”. While they are not offering new putters in 2020 they are offering new irons and wedges and they are sexy. Pictured below are their AR-F15 irons.IMG_20200122_090325065

Following that appointment I had the privilege of meeting Jason Hiland who is the owner of SUB 70 Golf. It’s always nice to put a face to the name. The passion that Mr. Hiland has for the game and his brand is infectious. There are some pretty cool things in the works.

While I managed to visit booths like Rapsodo, Lynx Golf (I had a fantastic talk with Stephanie Zinser), ONOFF/PRGR/Fourteen, and Bridgestone Golf where I had a nice chat with Adam Rehberg and Elliot Mellow about the new technology packed into the new TOUR B golf balls. These golf balls are definitely worth the hype. I’ll be putting them into play before I head home. Fun fact. Fred Couples is playing the TOUR B RXS.

I uncovered great new products. MNML golf bags are going to change the game and the way that we look at golf bags. USA Grass Golf could potentially bring golfers to golf that wouldn’t play otherwise. Using one ball and on club you can seemingly turn any vacant field into a golf course. Kaddi is a clip designed to carry your glove, tees, glove,and divot tool in one place by virtue of a belt clip. Athalonz golf shoes. Who ever thought that a pair of shoes could be considered golf equipment?

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And then there is Fred Smith of Disruptive Drinkware. His story and his products are worth an article entirely on its own.

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But the focus was on health and wellness. I uncovered products from Parform which offers golfers CBD gum, tinctures, energy bars and more. X2 makes a variety of refreshing, great tasting beverages. Playmakar (I shared a press release not long ago) has a wide variety of products designed to make you feel better. Boomer Naturals and their CB5 topical pain relief won the day and saved my bacon. It’s a product that I simply believe in after my  “live-fire” testing experience on the show floor.

That’s enough writing. Now it’s time for #TeeBoxChatter

Until The Next Tee!!