Tour Edge Exotics – EXS 220 Fairway Metals (Woods)

Recently, I shared an article about the new Exotics EXS 220 driver from David Glod and Tour Edge Golf. In today’s article, I shed a little bit of light on the fairway metals. Highly underrated, the EXS metalwoods from 2019 were top performers. The beautiful part about that range was that you received a premium product, made with premium components with a ton of technology for a very reasonable MSRP.

With the EXS 220 fairway metals, you get more of the same with a couple of new “wrinkles”. Lighter materials, a Diamond Cup Face (see more on that technology below), and an improved SlipStream Sole headline the features of the EXS 220 metalwoods.

For more, please see the excerpt from the full press release as shared by Jon Claffey. Mr. Claffey is the Vice President of Marketing for Tour Edge Golf.

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The EXS 220 Metalwood family.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

EXS 220 Fairway

The new EXS 220 Fairway Metals are made with a new Hyper-Steel that is 14% lighter than the previous EXS fairway metal, allowing for more weight to be positioned in the center of the sole and the rear of the clubhead to create dual-concentric weighting that produces a unique combination of ease of launch and low spin.

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The combination of the back weight, the Diamond Cup Face and Dual Carbon Sole produced impressive distance gains, while also providing extreme forgiveness off the face by greatly increasing the M.O.I. of the clubhead. Dual Carbon Fiber placements featured in the heel and toe and a new larger 6-gram weight placed in the rear of the clubhead helped create extreme weight savings that could be then repositioned to help create the extreme jump in MOI properties and to create the ideal C.G. position for a fairway metal. Additional weights will be available in 3 grams, 9 grams, 11 grams and 14 grams to help dial in the preferred swing weight and trajectory.

While typical variable face thickness would feature only three layers of thick and thin areas behind the face, Diamond Face technology features 44 different thick and thin  diamond shapes behind the face of the fairway metal, producing a sweet spot that is extended higher on the toe, heel and center of the face.

The SlipStream Sole features improved wider speed channels that create a faster
clubhead speed due to smoother turf interaction. The EXS 220 fairway metal also features the S.D. Bar used to improve the acoustic engineering by enhancing the richness of sound upon impact.

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Three 3-Woods will be offered in the EXS 220 fairway metal line-up, 13.5, 15 and
16.5 degree models. The 15-degree will be available in left-handed. There will also
an 18-degree 5-Wood and 21-degree 7-Wood available.

To see the chosen stock shafts for the EXS 220 Fairway, see the SpeedTested Shafts section below that will explain how the optimal shaft for every flex and swing speed has been selected for the EXS 220 line through extensive robotic testing. Also of note below, the Exotics 220 line-up will now be included in Tour Edge’s unprecedented 48-hour custom delivery program for custom orders anywhere in the continental United States.

The suggested retail price for the EXS 220 Fairway is $249.99.

 

 

2019 Year in Review – A Year of Growth

Happy New Year!! And Auld lang syne and all of that jazz. As we kiss good-bye to the year 2019 and welcome in 2020 I just want to wish everyone a very happy and safe 2020. I sincerely hope that 2020 is a happy and healthy year for all of you.

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Without all of you, I’ll be honest. There would be no Until The Next Tee. It’s my readers that drive me, wanting to educate golfers about golf equipment, apparel, the occasional tip, and sometimes talk about what it’s like to have toiled in golf Mini-Tours. Especially, considering it was during a time that I likely shouldn’t have been. My swing was undergoing weekly changes back then. Of course, I’m not shy about sharing my opinion on the game that I love so much. Sometimes, we have to hurt the ones that we love right?

As I look back on 2019 there are so many things that I can take away from it. Personally, golf-related, and blog-related too. Accomplishments that I wasn’t sure would be possible. So what were some of the accomplishments and highlights from 2019.

  • January saw me attending the PGA Show with my wife Crystal. It was her first time attending the show. The show was excellent and if there was one thing that I learned it was this. The parity in the industry from company to company was crazy good. For the most part, when it came to drivers/metalwoods that real determining factor separating one from the other was the shaft, The technology in this industry is at a point where I often wonder “where do they go from here?” and I guess we’ll find out in a couple of weeks at the 2020 PGA Show.

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  • March saw me back in Florida and playing golf testing the likes of Ben Hogan Equalizer wedges and playing my first real golf since my Stroke. It was a long fight back. From learning how to walk again (September to November) to walking the fairways again. Always remember to #fightandgrind.
  • The golf season here got off to a very slow start. Never in my life can I recall a spring like we had in 2019. Rains of biblical proportions kept courses underwater and for the most part, closed. Including Scenic Woods Golf Club where I worked for the second season.
  • Once the rains ceased and the course was able to have carts on it (no paths to really speak of) it was “go time”. That didn’t happen until June. I started off sort of slow and struggled at times with my golf swing. I admit that I was making compensatory moves because of the weakness on my left side from the Stroke. I was shorter and lacked power and balance. It’s amazing that as the season progressed my game really improved.
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Loving life on the golf course. Comfortable in my skin out there.

  • 2019 offered me a chance to work with companies that I never worked with prior to 2019 when it came to reviews. Golf manufacturers like SkyCaddie, Lamkin Grips, TaylorMade Golf (Canada), ZOOMTEE, Bridgestone Golf, Tour Edge Golf, and SUB 70 Golf to name a few. Thank you to all of those manufacturers for taking a chance on me.
  • When the dust settled on playing in 2019, the golf season was very kind to me. It was the lowest scoring average that I’ve ever seen since I started to play golf. Ironically, the Stroke might have helped. My left side is my dominant side and that was the side that was affected. It smoothened out my tempo. I’ve since gained strength, so we’ll see how it goes moving into 2020.
  • My First Ace. It was unwitnessed. But I swear, that it really happened.
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Approach shots like this became frequent in 2019 as the season wore on. My proximity to the pin made Birdies easy.

  • My low round was a -7 (65) 4x. My lowest total for 9 was a -6 (29).
  • I became a Member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada and the International Network of Golfers.
  • Until The Next Tee. When I started as Alexander Toth Golf I was happy if one person read what I had to say. After gaining traction I rebranded in 2017. I thought I made a mistake. I only had 8,500 views that year. 2018 saw growth to 28,900 views. 2019 saw even more growth. Call it 70,000 views (at the time of writing 68,730 to be precise). When I say thank-you, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Thank-you.

Well, that wraps up 2019 with a tidy little bow. If I may be so bold, I would love all of you to spread the word about Until The Next Tee. Please help me make 2020 the best year yet.

Late in 2019, I’ve been experimenting with “Live Twitter” and a little more video. Look for more of this in 2020 as I am getting used to being on camera. Look for #teeboxchatter. The coverage from the 2020 PGA Show will be aggressive.

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

Dome and Gym Time

So, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time over the last few months in the backyard. You see, in my backyard, sits the “UTNT Practice Centre for Deprived Golfers”. I have a Callaway Golf practice net set up so I can continue to make swings during the off-season. Which makes me think. Is there really an off-season?

While I’m back there hitting countless balls into the net I’m really only doing a couple of things.

  1. Getting my reps in
  2. Working on tempo and timing
  3. Working on my “quality of strike” and
  4. Make any mechanical tweaks that I see fit.

Honestly, this is the perfect time of the year for us in northern climes to make those adjustments. Admittedly, I’ve been working on having a bit of a bowed wrist at the top. Bowing the wrist does help to flatten the swing a tad on the way down. Truthfully, I’ve been working pretty hard on things because I’ve had some discussions with Crystal (my wife) and I do want to tee it up again when it matters. What’s the point of posting a 65 if it doesn’t mean anything?

It’s been over a year since my Stroke and the 2019 season saw me play the best golf that I’ve ever played. My lowest-scoring average (I had a couple of blow-up rounds 81 and 83) but I had a number of rounds SUB 70.

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Speaking of SUB 70.

My swing changed since my Stroke and my swing went from basically being aggressive and attacking the golf ball through impact to a move that’s more tempo-based. A huge reason for my scoring improving. It was a matter of more club with less swing and my GIR percentage increased. Finding the fairway has never really been an issue.

So I thought that today would be a good day to head indoors and see some ball flight. A dome session was in order. The dome where I go has a flight for about 80 yards as long as you don’t hit the ceiling. Which of course happens. It’s one thing to hit into a net and have really quality strikes.  But, it can be misleading. It’s another matter altogether when the ball has a chance to curve.

My session went really well today and other than a couple of low snap hooks I was really happy. The low snap is my miss. As long as nothing is leaking out to the right… Life is good. If I miss right, something went awry in my swing. Afterwards, I went to the gym.

I’m working out at Crunch Fitness and it’s a decent enough gym. I’m pleased to say that my weight is down to below 190 lbs, I’m feeling a little stronger and I guess I’m getting my “Inner Dechambeau” on. While I’m looking to gain muscle, I don’t wanna get big. I guess lean muscle mass is the goal.  Core work is essential and I will be taking SuperSpeed Golf into the gym as well. Golf, there is #nooffseason

There’s more news on the way so stay tuned.

#UntilTheNextTee

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

My Love and Appreciation of Golf is Because…

Recently, I wrote an article that was a somewhat scathing account of my season working in a pro shop (that article is here). While it seemed like I was complaining or talking very negatively about working in the golf industry I wasn’t.

The reality is that while there might be a few negatives about working the counter in a pro shop and yes you do see and hear a lot of questionable things (or complaints) there is a lot that I love about it. Before I get into that, however, I just want to point out that at the root of my issues with working at a golf course in a pro shop is that my issues are mostly internal. Namely, my jealousy. I actually get jealous that golfers get out the way that they do but especially our starters and marshalls. Believe it or not, there are guys there that have north of 50-100 rounds of golf played. It must be nice!!

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The fall season. I love this time of the year in the golf industry.

So my love of working in the industry. There aren’t too many industry’s that I can think of where you can enjoy everything from seeing the sun rising, the smell in the air, seeing the wildlife, and the daily banter with individuals who are showing up to “your office” to take part in something that they enjoy. I was once told by a member at a course where I was the Director of Golf that “it’s not about the 5% that are assholes… that it’s about the 95% that aren’t”. He was right in that summary. Yes, you always remember the bad ones but that is human psychology too.

As mentioned, in that editorial I have some great members and guests that show up to my work. For the most part, they are always willing to have a laugh. Truth be told I work in a shop where Mike is a very common name. Out of three guys that work there (my GM notwithstanding), I’m the only one not named Mike. So to say that I’ve often been called Mike on more than one occasion isn’t saying much at all. As a matter of fact, while I can remember the names of 300 members, another 150 league player names and some green fee players I find it humorous that I get called Mike. I’m one person and yes I do wear a name tag that says “Alex”. But that’s okay, they’re excited to be there and maybe a tad distracted. So one day one of my members (Andy) heard this happen no less than 5 times in a short period of time as we were talking. As he walked out he says “Have a great day George” I laughed so hard. Ever since then, it’s been a running joke where we call each other the wrong name. My favourite so far is him calling me “Octavius”. Like I said, banter I love it and welcome it with open arms.

As much as I love the banter what I really look forward to (believe it or not) is Ladies League. After the rush of the weekend, our Ladies League takes place on Monday during the day and evening. It’s a terrific bunch of ladies that play and to be totally honest I look forward to them coming to the course. It’s not just about Blanche who supplies us in the Pro Shop with her jam but it’s the overall vibe of the group. Especially the ladies in the afternoon. They are such a fun group that while they banter they just love being at the course to play some golf. You talk about “growing the game” this is a large portion that the industry needs to realize. Women’s golf is a vast resource that needs to be tapped more across the entire golf industry. But there they are. They come to the course, play nine holes, and then drink wine and eat until the sun sets to mark the end of another day. For the most part, it truly is a social game and an evening out away from the office. I appreciate that!!

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The sun had set on this Ladies League Night.

I guess the last part that I love about working in the golf industry is the education part of it. From a teaching standpoint it’s always great to see the look in a student’s eyes when “they get it”, they make a swing and the ball comes off like it never had for them prior. It’s the part of the education when you break through to a new golfer when you explain why you park the golf cart parallel to the pin. Education, when you get a message through to golfers that there is a business side and why things have to be a certain way and there’s more involved than cutting grass and for them to just simply show up without a tee time… And they get “it”. Lastly, there’s the reason why I write in the first place and have this blog. Whether it’s sharing my opinion through editorials or writing reviews. I love educating people on what’s out there and that there’s another opinion that may not be as popular or the same as their own.

This is why I love and appreciate golf.

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

OnCore Golf – ELIXR

It’s an exciting time about 25 minutes from my house for Buffalo, NY based golf ball brand OnCore Golf. They are about 36 hours away from the release of their first Tour-level golf ball called the ELIXR. A golf ball with an interesting name seeing that the definition of the word elixir is “a magical potion”. Bearing this is mind the moniker just might be very appropriate.

I finally met the guys (Bret Blakely and Steve Coulton) this year while down in Orlando for the PGA Merchandise Show. While having a couple of cocktails in the lobby area of the Hyatt Regency we started to talk a little about the ELIXR. This is a golf ball that was crowd-sourced… meaning they reached out to the golfing public to see what they wanted in a golf ball. Personally speaking, I spent a fair amount of time on the phone with Steve Coulton one particular day and I gave him my opinion on what a golf ball should be.

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New from OnCore Golf… the ELIXR

Recently, OnCore Golf sent out a press release which I will share with you and then I will talk about my findings in my brief time spent playing the ELIXR.

We’re undoubtedly excited about the ELIXR™ release on Wednesday, March 1, and we want you to be just as excited as we are about our new tour ball.

Preorders have closed for ELIXR™, but you can pick up your boxes from our online store or your local pro shop. See who carries OnCore products with our pro shop locater.

Why are we so pumped about this new ball? It goes without saying, but ELIXR™ is our best ball to date, so we’re thrilled to see outperform the competition.

So, what makes ELIXR™ so special?

·       Perimeter weighting from high density particles in the mantle layer increases the moment of inertia and reduces spin.

·       ELIXR’s spin decay has been reduced to allow for more backspin that carries the ball further. This is one of the reasons ELIXR™ outperforms competition in overall performance and stability in flight.

·       The thickness and softness of the urethane cover contributes to the control and feel into and around green in conjunction with the ball’s perimeter weighting.

·       ELIXR™ continues to impress every player that touches our new ball. Most players have said ELIXR™ is as good or better than any ball they’ve played.

We know you’ll love playing the course with ELIXR™ when the ball debuts Wednesday and we’re excited to hear your feedback on our newest ball.

Thank you for being part of the OnCore family,
The Team at OnCore

While discussing golf and specifically OnCore I was handed one of the new magic bullets. If there was one thing that I would do before leaving Florida it would be to put the ELIXR in play and get an early insight as to what it was like. After all, the above quoted text from OnCore Golf makes the ELIXR sound very appealing. Especially the perimeter weighting which of course is something that we have seen done to make golf clubs (irons) more forgiving.

I would test the ELIXR on a course that had good conditions and greens that were firm and typical of a design from the 1920’s. I was immediately impressed with the feel and flight of the ELIXR. On my old blog I did a review on their Avant golf ball and I was not shy about saying that while I really, really liked the Avant I hated everything about their MA – 1.0 golf ball. The ELIXR has a 85 compression rating and if there was such a thing as a soft feeling 85 compression golf ball than the ELIXR is it. The ball carried, and held it’s line very well with no variance. More to the point, I felt like I just had hit a golf ball with a 60 compression. I didn’t see any signs of spin as there was no ballooning and the ballflight was piercing. Every tee shot was identical in terms of flight and feel. Regarding distance, I would suggest that at the very least it was equal to or a bit longer than my “gamer” (Pro V1).

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A look at the alignment aid.

When it came to swings with irons again I found myself very impressed with the feel emitted by the ELIXR at impact. I would say that it fell in between what I’ve come to find with say the Avant and the Titleist Pro V1. Coming off of my Titleist 710 AP2 irons it was like butter. Of course, some of that is the irons right? I found that the flight very desirable as the ELIXR went out, carried but the descent angle is when the magic started to happen. Where other balls being tested were inconsistent at holding the greens the ELIXR’s exit trajectory was such that it came in sort of steep and stopped after one hop. I was really impressed with it’s drop and stop characteristics.

I had a very high GIR percentage so I wasn’t able to test the ELIXR’s  greenside capabilities when it truly mattered. But what I did do was drop an ELIXR around a couple of greens to see what it did. This part of the testing was inconclusive due to daylight constraints. But it does seem promising. When it came to rolling putts with the ELIXR I loved the alignment aid and the ball does feel great off of the putter face. There was no “wobble” as indicated by watching the roll/alignment aid. So I would conclude that the ELIXR rolls true.

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Hit a 5 iron into this 202 yard Par 3. Stopped 4 feet from the hole. Ball mark was 15 inches from ball. Control.

(I never finished the round with the ELIXR. Unfortunately, after piping a drive down the fairway and hitting a real nice second shot on a Par 5 I watched two guys drive over to my golf ball and unceremoniously pick it up. I never said a word as I felt like the Easter Bunny who dropped an egg and a happy child found it. Maybe it was good marketing for OnCore too.)

About a week and a half ago I visited their HQ located at The Innovation Center on Ellicott Street in Buffalo. I was in the area and wanted to follow up with Steve. Incidentally, I also ended up talking to Director of Business and Player Development Brian McGahey (formerly of Nike Golf) about the ELIXR and I saw a television spot that will be airing on The Golf Channel. I will say this. Guys, you have come a long way since the MA – 1.0 and the ELIXR just may be magical. It was suggested that maybe I could trade in the Titleist hat that I was wearing for an OnCore Golf hat and maybe the time has come. #BeMoreWithOnCore #OnCoreFamily

Until The Next Tee!

Video – 2017 Callaway Golf

Earlier this week, I took the time to write a review on the Callaway Golf Epic (Epic Sub Zero) driver. This past January I made sure to take a swing by the Callaway Golf booth at Demo Day to see what all of the hype was about. If you read my review Epic was everything that I thought it would be and more… fully living up to its moniker. I only wish I could have gotten onto a launch monitor while there for some hard data.

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Epic was… epic!

While I was at it, I made sure to put some swings in with the new Steelhead XR irons. In 2016, I was not crazy about the XR irons as “hot” as they were. The improvement on the Steelhead irons over the prior year was unreal. I wish I would have seen and made swings with the Steelhead XR Pro irons. Truth be told, I never saw them until after I interviewed  David Neville Senior Director of Brand Management for Callaway Golf. Hopefully the opportunity to swing the Steelhead XR Pro irons will arise.

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An upgrade over 2016?

Below is a video (click the link) that I recorded right after I made swings at Demo Day.

First impressions of 2017 Callaway Golf from PGA Show Demo Day

What Did I Learn?

February 9th. It feels like a “lunch bag letdown”. Having just gotten home from my time in Florida for the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show I am now finally having the time to sit down and do some writing. Or is it more of a time to sit back and digest everything that I took in?As I sit here in my La-Z-Boy recliner with my trusty Labrador at my side I sit here and reflect. I reflect on the trip that was PGA Show 2017.

The trip started out good enough. Surprisingly easy weather to drive through as I made my way through the hills of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. The latter being less hilly of course. As I drove through South Carolina and eventually Georgia I learned my first lesson. If you suddenly realize that you’re only driving 35 mph on the I-95 the chances are that you dozed off at the wheel and you need to rest. So I did… in Hardeesville, SC in some BP gas station right off of the interstate. Having fueled up on Dunkin (America runs on that stuff) I made my way into Florida. I wrote an article already but the history that I learned at my stop at the World Golf Hall of Fame about our game was so gratifying. But it was time to move on to family in Plant City, FL.

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My learning continued upon my arrival there. There is a “thing” that has been taking place in Plant City and that is something that is on Facebook called “Plant City Rocks”. The premise is that you paint rocks (you don’t have to be good) and you hide them much like the Easter Bunny hides eggs. People go out and walk and find them and re-hide. It’s a cool concept that simply gets people out and about. I also learned that the Hudson Hornet isn’t just in the Disney flick “Cars” and it is a real thing. A stunner of a car that caught my attention at a car show. I also saw a Studebaker pick-up truck and so many other amazing vehicles. But what I also learned (partially from Leah Remini) is that “Scientology” is everywhere. Even in a place like Plant City, FL. Before the show I also took time to go out to Apollo Beach, FL and visited the Manatee Viewing Center. If you’re in the area check it out as it’s a great walk, featuring new trails an observation tower and a cool Stingray exhibit (seasonal). I got to touch and feed some.. so cool. But tourist time came to an end and it was time for the show.

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Hudson Hornet

 

Demo Day as far as I’m concerned is the “Crown Jewel” of PGA Show week. It’s an opportunity to hit the latest and greatest. I learned that the parity in the industry is more tight than ever. Every company makes terrific products and the difference is finite from Company A to Company Z. Honestly, I will maintain what I have said for a while. It boils down to the shafts. That said, Callaway Golf did not disappoint with their new Epic and Epic SubZero range. Nor did TaylorMade Golf with the follow-up to M1 and M2. In my opinion they really improved on the M1 “big time”. The M2 sure as heck was impressive but the new M2 hybrid is light years better than 2016. I learned that I was wrong about my opinion of the Wilson Golf Triton driver as seen on the Golf Channel reality show “Driver vs Driver”. ONE and/or Single Length irons are here. Perhaps to be so bold as to suggest that they are here to stay. Cobra-Puma and Edel Golf both offer models. I admit I struggled with the Cobra ONE PW after cruising through the rest. Their booth was beyond busy and I had no time to swing their products really which was disappointing for me. Edel Golf  has a great product that is paired with amazing shafts from Paderson Shafts. Speaking of shafts… who knew that composites from the space and aeronautics industry or Formula 1 racing would find a home in golf? TPT Golf (see the review) and the likes of biomechanist J.J. Rivet and leading golf coach David Leadbetter certainly knew.

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Wilson Golf Triton… I was wrong and too harsh during Driver vs Driver

As the show moved from the outdoors to indoors I would learn more. Technology is massive in the game and look for a piece on my experience with K Vest in the future. While I’m talking about technology, look for an article/review coming soon from DuoTrac. Their CEO Jason Koo has found a real nice niche market in the launch monitor game with a soon-to-be released product. Not to mention preexisting sensor training system. I learned that Top Golf – Tampa is a lot of fun and that the hot colors of the season are going to be greens, yellows and blues. I learned that Biion Footwear are not just “Crocs in Drag” because they are so much more than that. I learned that a brand like Travis Mathew is not just for the skinny, cool, young and hip crowd. Even a fat, old kid like me can wear the brand and feel good about it. TM is truly a lifestyle. I learned that CHASE 54 is still like family and speaking of family I learned that Tiger Woods signed with TaylorMade. Wish I could have gotten that out as it happened but I was there for the announcement. My stupid cell phone carrier dropped the ball on my data plan. Skechers Golf is also not just shoes any more so I learned that too.

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Travis Mathew Booth. Boas and Beads Baby!!

Honestly, I could go on about what I learned but I won’t. All that I can say is that the game is still alive and well with tons of new and exciting products on the way. Stay tuned for articles on all of the brands mentioned and then some. It’s going to be a busy year… and I love it!

Until The Next Tee!