Christina Kim’s Controversy and Greg Norman’s CBD

As you might be aware in the last week or so LPGA Tour veteran Christina Kim has been in the news. The former Solheim Cup star had been participating in the LPGA Tour Q-School and she suddenly found herself immersed in the spotlight amongst golf fans on the #GolfTwitterverse. The reason, well she called out a playing partner for a rules infraction. Even though some say that her posts on Twitter were cryptic and that she wasn’t naming names, Kim took unbelievable heat. First of all, I applaud Kim for not naming names. Quite frankly, it doesn’t or didn’t matter who the guilty party(ies) were.

That was great until an article in Golf Digest popped up over social media and the names were revealed. The names were Kendall Dye and Dewi Weber. As it’s understood, the short version of the infraction was due to Dye asking via a gesture towards Weber’s caddie which club she was using (it was an 8-iron). Kim, witnessing this infraction reported it to a Rules Official. In case you weren’t aware, in competition you cannot ask a fellow competitor for advice. It was a pretty clear rules violation. The caddie is an agent of the golfer. The rule was broken. Period. Oh, and if Kim sees it and doesn’t report it then guess what? They all get DQ’d. Besides, all that Kendall Dye had to do was walk over to Weber’s bag and see what club was missing. Guys, do it all of the time. When I was playing Mini-Tour’s it was very common-place.

For those lambasting Christina and criticizing her. She wasn’t being cryptic, nor was she a villain in this situation. As a matter of fact, she was the opposite. She wasn’t just protecting the field she was protecting the integrity of the game. She’s no different than you and I. If someone did wrong by you. Say you watched someone steal your car. Would you give them a hall pass and not report it? The principles are the same, damned thing.

CBD. CBD and golf. It’s here to stay. Greg Norman is known for being a champion golfing legend and of course, he’s also known for his workout regimens. Have you seen him without a shirt on? The guy is a tank. In a Tweet that I saw this morning, Mr. Norman has invested time and money in establishing CBD products. Notably, his CBD-infused gel. Having invested heavily in the past on his winery among other things he’s a smart investor. Sure there’s money to be made here but I just feel that it’s of interest that he’s invested in CBD and he’s actually employing it. Mr. Norman, in light of the recent CBD fiasco on the PGA TOUR involving Every and Garrigus maybe, just maybe you can shed some light on this subject. I’d rather have guys using CBD then damaging golf courses or flipping off spectators. I know the hang-up is on the Olympics and anti-doping regulations. It’s a shame!!

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

WOMEN’S GOLF DAY REACHES OVER 25 MILLION PEOPLE

Women’s Golf Day 2019 blew all expectations out of the water last week as it smashed previous records for venues, countries and overall reach. The global celebration of golf succeeded in its goal of uniting women around the world, with 845 locations across 46 countries hosting WGD events that combined socializing and golf.

Outside of the course, the figures were equally astounding, with over 25 million people viewing WGD content for a total of over 47 million impressions across social media that included some of the biggest brands, influencers, and celebrities around the game.

Elisa Gaudet, Founder of Women’s Golf Day was blown away by the support for this year’s event and is delighted to be a part of the momentum that is gathering in the women’s game. She said, “From year one we’ve combined easy, fun golfing activities at golf venues with a bigger conversation about the importance of the global female golf market. Every year we’ve grown but 2019 has been a tipping point for uniting industry leaders, teaching pros, programs, courses, and events to celebrate women and golf for one day.”

Akron, Ohio - Firestone CC

Firestone Country Club. Akron, Ohio

The feeling of unity across the globe was reflected in comments from venues that hosted WGD events. Benedict Riches, CEO, Leadbetter Golf commented “We are incredibly proud to support Women’s Golf Day at The Leadbetter Golf Academy World Headquarters at Champions Gate, Orlando and across our academies worldwide. This is a fantastic initiative and perfectly aligns with our mission of building a lifelong game for golfers of all ages and abilities. We hope the 135 women who attended our event in Orlando not only improved their golf swing but made new friends as they joined the community of women golfers united across the world.”

Across digital and social media, WGD 2019 succeeded in driving the conversation about the women’s game with a huge variety of content being produced across WGD channels, international golf influencers, celebrities, brands, pros, and golf venues. Content varied from video clips and photos of participants at venues across the globe, often dressed in WGD red and white; women swinging a club for the first time and socializing with new friends, to some of the biggest names in the sport and from the world of entertainment showing their support for the day. Some of the best-known names that joined in on the #WomensGolfDay conversation include Tisha Alyn, Nikki B, Matt Ginella, Chris Harrison, Niall Horan, Blair O’Neal, Greg Norman, Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam, Paige Spiranac and Michelle Wie.

Callaway Golf celebrates Women's Golf Day

Callaway Golf HQ in Carlsbad, CA.

With Women’s Golf Day 2019 having been such a resounding success, Elisa Gaudet plans to build on the momentum and make sure that the conversation converts into action. She explains, “Women’s Golf Day is the start of the journey for so many women and that’s something of which I’m incredibly proud. There are so many great teaching pros and programs available already in existence, so if we can help women understand what a fantastic game golf is and the value of the communities that exist within the game then I know we can create the next generation of female golfers. The way that the industry has come together to show women’s golf at its best is so inspiring and I can’t wait to see how we can be at the heart of driving that conversation again in years to come.”

 

*46 Countries participating in WGD 2019

Armenia, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, United Arab Emirates,United Kingdom and Vietnam

Mauritius - Constance Belle Mare Plage

 

ABOUT WOMEN’S GOLF DAY

Women’s Golf Day (WGD) is a global golf initiative launched in 2016 to introduce women of all ages to the game and encourage existing female golfers to “tee it up” in a fun and highly inclusive environment. The one day, four-hour event has now taken place in 900 locations in 52 countries since its inception and has introduced thousands of new golfers to the sport while transcending language, culture, religion, and race to celebrate golf, women, and community. WGD created an incredible global community in three years and has the support of almost every major golfing governing body and organization. WGD’s primary hashtag #WomensGolfDay received more than 15 million global impressions to nearly 10 million users across Twitter and Instagram.

Introduction To Golf (Grow the Game)

I’ve always been an advocate of growing the game of golf. I’ve been quite vocal about what areas need to be targeted to see the game to continually grow. The path to a healthier and more sustainable golf industry lies through more focus on junior and women’s golf.

Having gotten back to work in the Pro Shop at Scenic Woods Golf Course we recently had our Georgian Bay Spirits Ladies League “Meet ‘n’ Greet”. The league itself looks like it’s pretty healthy with a fantastic turnout of ladies. About 98% of the ladies from last year have returned with several new faces being added to the fold. Last year, Monday nights were actually my favourite shift to work. I always look forward to welcoming the ladies into the pro shop for their night of golf. It’s their night!

IMG_20190409_072707

When I think about growing the game I really think I need to adjust my focus a little closer to home. As many of you know, my wife Crystal joined me at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show to have a look at some of the offerings for women’s golf. Golf clubs, apparels, accessories and so on. The only issue with that is that Crystal… is a non-golfer. For that reason, it’s been difficult for her to write more because she hasn’t experienced golf first-hand. I admit, that I sort of give her a hard time about her lack of contributions.

At the end of the day, I need to look no further than myself because I haven’t given her the tools needed to take up the game. Crystal’s been deeply immersed in the game while I’ve undertaken the game. She’s been on-hand during lessons that I’ve received, she’s caddied for me, and quite frankly she understands the game a ton. I’ve hinted on Twitter in some friendly jousting with Keltic Lodge and their parent company (GolfNorth Properties) that WE need to get out there. Of course, Crystal being a part of that conversation was happy to mention that she doesn’t golf. To which the other parties more or less heckled me. So… I know what needs to be done. Grow the game starting with my love.

The other day we were out killing some time on her day off. After visiting an arts and crafts store (she’s really taken warming to sketch) we wandered over to the local Golf Town where the plan was to look at drivers for me. As you enter the store there’s a practice green to test out and if all goes well buy a new putter. I started to roll a few putts (Cleveland Golf Classic 5.5) and then something nearly magical happened. Crystal asked for the putter. I can’t tell you how excited that it made me so I happily handed her the putter.

COLOR_POP

Crystal at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show

She started to roll putts with it and she was doing very well with a little bit of instruction. I explained that you only need to take the putter back 3-4 inches to make the ball travel 8 feet. It wasn’t very long but she rolled in her first putt. She may not realize it but she had “the look” in her eye. You know?! The look of when something clicked. There was a “liveliness” in her already beautiful eyes. A spark. But she didn’t stop there. She decided that she wanted to roll a few more putts and she did. Putting very well explaining that she liked the putter.

You know?! It’s amazing how a raw, baby-fresh golfer can perceive things when it comes to golf and liking or disliking something. As it turns out Crystal would roll countless putts during a quasi-lesson. In total, she would roll putts using putters from Cleveland Golf, Odyssey, PING, SeeMore (3 different models), Wilson Golf (Luxe), TaylorMade Golf (Spider Tour and Kalea) and Nancy Lopez. As she rolled putts with all of these models she explained to me what she liked and what she didn’t like. I found that she was very astute in saying that her eye didn’t like something or how something felt. For example, one of the Wilson Staff putters she didn’t like because “it was too busy” with all of the alignment aids. While she liked the feel of one SeeMore she didn’t like the other. In the case of the women’s TaylorMade Kalea she liked the feel (graphite shaft) but ultimately her eye didn’t like all three green alignment lines. She clearly said that if it wasn’t for the three lines it would have been her favorite. She determined fairly early on that she preferred a cleaner look.

Watching a brand new golfer like Crystal was even more fun. There she was rolling putts and you could see a noticeable difference in confidence between putters. She was pretty darn good with the Seemore thanks to their RST (RifleScope Technology) but the length was an issue. The PING putter that she tried was awful for her while the Odyssey (ladies), if shortened a touch, would have been pretty good. But three putters out of the bunch really emerged as frontrunners for her. Strokes were confident with the Wilson Luxe but when it came to the TaylorMade Kalea or the Nancy Lopez Golf Torri 217 they really stood out. No putts were left short and her strokes were not tentative which told me a lot about these two putters. Her set-up was perfect with her arms hanging loosely and naturally. Her stroke looked pretty natural and confident.

WZ519_zoom_D

Crystal liked this putter a lot. But would prefer just one alignment line.

Our night wasn’t quite done there as I would look at a few of their pre-owned drivers. But then she made her way over to the Women’s Apparel. She was like a child in a candy store. She was excited by brands that she either missed out on or never saw in Orlando during the show. Brands like Tail, Maggie Lane, Nine and Nine, Greg Norman, and Callaway Golf Apparel. There was another that got her attention in a huge way. Jamie Saddock with her edgy and fun design.

Grow Golf. Start at home.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOntheNextTee

 

“First Impressions” Review – Cobra Golf KING F9 SPEEDBACK Irons

When it comes to irons that impress some take a little longer than others. Meanwhile, there are some products that make such a tremendous first impression that you just know when you have a special piece of golf equipment in your hands. The new Cobra Golf KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons are one such example.

Having put the KING F8 ONE Length irons through their paces during a somewhat lengthy testing period in 2018  I made the final conclusion that they were the most fun I had swinging a set of irons (REVIEW HERE).

The thing about movies when they bring out a sequel is that there’s always the concern that the sequel doesn’t quite make the grade. I mean sure, the movie had its moments of comedy but it’s not the same. Look at Caddyshack vs Caddyshack 2 (has anyone watched the sequel?) When it comes to Cobra golf this hasn’t been quite the issue. When they first released ONE Length iron (2017’s F7) it was a decent enough offering in my eyes. The ONE Length concept model made sense to me and they were easy irons to swing and for the short time and limited experience with them, I walked away thinking that they would help a ton of golfers willing to give them a chance. The sequel in 2018 was fantastic but now in 2019 golfers see the third iteration. The KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons.

***If you haven’t seen the most recent review prior to this, I’ve changed the format up just a little bit. All of the technical information is now “The Pre-Shot Routine”. “The Transition” is how I break down the performance while “The Finish” is my final conclusion.

img_20160201_012821

 

The Pre-Shot Routine

When it comes to Cobra Golf I have said for several years that Cobra Golf is one of the biggest “movers and shakers” in the golf industry. Cobra Golf is always finding a way to be innovative. It’s one of the things that I admire about Cobra Golf and mentioned this fact to Tom Olsavsky during my time spent with him at the 2019 PGA Show Demo Day.  With that thought comes a question. How? “How do they (Cobra Golf) produce products that seemingly are better year after year?”. The answer is strenuous R&D efforts, brainstorming, and model development long before consumers and in some cases TOUR player’s see them.

When it came to the design of the KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons innovation and R&D were definitely integral components to the development of this iron set. Before we delve too deep into the irons let’s look at their moniker. “SPEEDBACK Technology”. In designing this iron set Cobra Golf sought out a way to make these irons “long, stable and accurate”. This was achieved by placing the CG (Center of Gravity) low while creating a design with high MOI.

cobraspeed

By adding a “steel belt” that is wrapped around the rear perimeter of the head the weight was set low and back. The end game here is to maximize distance through more carry and better launch conditions. When it came to increasing the MOI (stability or resistance to twisting) Cobra Golf R&D utilized the addition of Tungsten (33-grams between the heel and toe) of the long and mid irons (4-7).  Like its predecessor, the KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons feature the PWRSHELL face. The face features variable thickness which makes the size of the sweet spot just a little bit larger (E9 Variable Thickness). The forged PWRSHELL design “features a deep undercut sole with a 1.2 mm internal Speed Channel that absorbs and returns more energy” resulting in higher ball speeds thus equating to longer distance.

Like the previous years, Cobra Golf is incorporating Cobra Connect into the KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons. It’s a great way to track your stats and performance. The KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons come in two versions. Cobra Golf offers the KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons in both a Variable length and ONE Length variant (all irons in the set are a 7-iron length). Cobra Golf didn’t skimp on the golf consumer on their stock shafts with these irons. The KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons come with either KBS Tour shafts (steel) or in the case of graphite, the Fujikura ATMOS 6 ONE Length shafts are featured. The grips are Cobra Lamkin Crossline grips.

 

The Transition

(Conditions at Orange County National Golf Resort and Lodge while swinging Cobra Golf products was sunny, breezy with a crosswind right to left. Later in the day with the temperature was about 64*F/18*C)

Aesthetics – When the KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons are sitting in the golf bag it’s hard not to notice the carbon composite in the cavity immediately. It looks sleek and it was something done on the previous iteration. There is a slight difference between the Variable Length and the ONE Length in this area. The paint scheme. The Variable Length irons say “SPEEDBACK” in red whereas the ONE Length have it in blue and red. When compared to the F8 from 2018 I think the cavity view of these irons looks somewhat “boxy”. It just wasn’t blended in a way that I thought it could have been. Perhaps, it’s just a simple matter of the paint-filled areas where the tungsten is placed and advertised. They have a relatively “futuristic” look to them.

Flipping the club over into the address position you’ll see a relatively moderate topline. There are thinner toplines in this iron category (GI) but there are some others that make this look head look sleek and svelte when looking down at it. In the address position, for some reason, something bugged me. While there is some offset (as is the case with most GI irons) it wasn’t the offset that bugged me. There was something that I didn’t like with the cavity or something to that effect. Even as I write this review I still have a hard time expressing the right thought that I’m looking for. Unsettling maybe? That said, it’s not like the looks would sway me from not playing them.

f9irontop

Looking at the club face I loved the milling on the face. Although, the milled face isn’t strictly for aesthetics. There’s a high level of functionality involved as the milled faces aid in creating precise lofts with a perfectly flat surface area to work with. The hosel lengths vary for moving weight around to get the best CG location. Groovy right? Oh, speaking of groovy. Even though you can’t see them, Cobra Golf designed these irons to have three different spin “groove cuts”. The long irons featured Milled V-Grooves (4-7), the 8-PW has Milled U-Grooves, while the GW-SW have Wedge Grooves.

Sound/Feel – I won’t waste any time here. These irons sound and felt great. Overall, they were the best sounding clubs acoustically speaking. They have a “crack” that I associate to them. That said, the feel isn’t harsh and that fact can be attributed to the multi-material construction of the badge (aluminum, TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) and acrylic foam). Literature from Cobra golf says that these materials “promote a softer, more responsive feel” and they do just that. Strikes off of the massive sweet spot were distinct and crisp. Especially when it came to the long irons.

Performance – This is the facet of testing and reviews that golfers want to know about. Especially when dealing in a situation where the term of testing isn’t long by any stretch and limited to only so many swings. But these sticks PERFORM!

f9ironface

The KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons absolutely “killed it” on Demo Day. After I made my first swing with them I turned back to the bleachers at their demo area where my wife (Crystal) was sitting. I just shook my head. I knew with one swing that these irons were every bit as good as the F8 or dare I say… Better! That first strike was as crisp as any that I can recollect. The ball flight was long (7i) and it was “dead straight”. No sign of curvature whatsoever (bear in mind the wind direction). The next swing resulted in the same way… Two shots that were identical in every way. So I changed clubs. I selected a 5i and it was more of the same. I took 10 swings with the KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons and knew that they were one of the best for me during the show. At the very least, I walked away knowing that the F9 SPEEDBACK irons were an improvement over the incumbent.

Flighting the ball wasn’t an issue when adjusting to my right a little and hitting into the “teeth of the wind” a little more. Drawing and cut shots. No problem there as well. Like I said, these irons “killed it”. They nearly stole the show in their Teezy Award category (37/40 points).

f9ironcav

The Finish

When Cobra Golf introduced the KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons they already had a name to live up to. Not only was the previous generation “the most fun I’ve ever had swinging an iron (in my life)” but the really big brother (KING F9 SPEEDBACK driver) had already seen victories on professional TOUR’s worldwide (Lexi and Bryson).

Yes, there are better-looking irons in the category but looks aren’t everything. My issue was two minor things where one of which was something that I still can’t put a finger on to this day. When a golf club is this fun and easy to swing and you see immediate results it says a lot. These irons are geared towards 5-25 handicap golfers. Heck, if you’re Scratch or better why not? Rickie Fowler has KING F9 SPEEDBACK  4-iron in his bag. If it’s good enough for him… Why wouldn’t it be good for us?

If you’re looking for a 2019 iron set that you’ll get your golf consumers dollars worth for I highly recommend the Cobra Golf KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons.

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee