Its not something we talk about too much

There are soemthings we as guys just dont talk about very often.One of those things is what we wear as underwear. My wife and her friends talk about that and I can safely say I have never discussed that with a friend. To most guys its whatever we dont really care. I didnt at all. All I knew was I wanted boxer briefs. Well after using my regular cotton boxer briefs in 100 degree heat I would come home and just not feel great.

This is where the Under Armour Boxerjock comes into play. The Boxerjock is a pair of boxer briefs that uses Under Armour’s heat gear material to create a lightweight moisture wicking material. It also features some anti-odor technology as well. I liked all of these features and decided to invest in a couple of pairs.

I again ordered these online. They arrived in the mail and they were in their retail packaging. They are rolled up in the package and 3 fit in a fairly small box. I took them out and examined them pretty closely. First thing I noticed was how soft the material felt. I also noticed how “stretchy” the material was. I could tell I was going ot have a nice range of motion in these which was exactly what I wanted.

I put them up knowing I was going to play golf really soon. When I took them out it was around 90* and I put these on. Putting them on felt great. They were tight but not uncomfortable. They gave me a slight compression feel. This feel lasted throughout the round which is great. Normal cotton boxer briefs will stretch out throughout the round and end up feeling more like a boxer. A normal cotton boxer will get damp throughout a round and can cause chaffing and create some unwanted feelings down there. After 9 holes I went to use the restroom and noticed how dry the boxerjock was. After another 9 I drove home and didnt feel uncomfortable at all. Most of the time when I finish a round I need to go home and shower. There is no hope o fgoing out afterwards mainly because of how I feel underneath the shorts. With the boxerjock I have no problem going out afterwards. The moisuture isnt there. That leads to more comfort.

All I can say is the boxerjock has made a difference in my comfort during and after the round. GO pay the money for the boxerjock. I dont have much negative to say about it. If i had to choose something it would be how gaudy the waistband is. Its still comfortable. I cant tell you if the Boxerjock will be worth it to you but it is worth it to me.

Lets talk clothing

I dont know about you but I consider clothing a piece of equipment. If you are comfortable you will swing better and play better. The rest of this week I am dedicating my time to do some clothing reviews. Today we will start with a nice pair of Nike Flex Front Woven Short.

I ordered these online and waited patiently. I decided to go with the Steel Gray color because I felt they would go with any color I threw at it. When they showed up I pulled them out and felt the material right away. They felt soft and light which was exactly what I wanted. The other thing I noticed was how good the material looked. The color was nice and vibrant. I wouldnt say bright because they are a dark color. They managed to pull all of this off without the shorts looking “shiny”. A lot of times the moisture wicking material requires it to have a shine.These shorts didnt really fall into that category and I appreciate it.

After looking at them the next move was to try them on. They fit true to size. I ordered my size and they didnt fit too small or too big. It was right on the number. I didnt want to get the tapered fit because those tend to run small and get a little too tight for my golf swing. These are also the shorts with the longer inseam. I am 5′ 7″ and these still hit right. I would imagine if you are a tall guy the shorter inseam may not be for you.

Next step was to see how these shorts perform on the course. I played a few rounds in them and so far I am pretty impressed. I am really able to move freely in these shorts. The material kept me dry and cool. My favorite part is the weight of these shorts. It almost felt like I was wearing nothing. That made some hotter days very bearable.

Not everything on these shorts is great though.My biggest complaint is how cheap the hardware on the shorts feels .The button feels like it could fall off at any point and the zipper doesnt feel to hearty. This could be to save some weight and keep them light but it doesnt feel like it will last. To be fair it has lasted a little while but it doesnt feel like quality. The rest of the shorts are great and feel first class I would just like a nicer zipper and button.

Overall these are good quality shorts that will look great and feel great. When you are looking for clothing to wear on the course its hard to ask for much more than that. I think they are expensive for what they are and there may be an option for less money but it is hard to argue with how nice the short is.

The Bridges Golf Course

It was a perfect weather weekend here in Dallas. 72 and partly cloudly. For the last 3 weeks it has been gorgeous during the day but it has been awful and rainy on the weekends. With this being a nice weekend it was time to go play a little bit of golf. The weekend led me an hour north of Dallas to a small town named Gunter. Knowing the course was going to be full and having to drive an hour each way I knew I was in for a long day. After discussing all my golf options with my wife I decided it was going to be worth it.

The course was designed by Jeffrey Bauer and the architect on the course was Fred Couples. Thats right, Fred Couples considers this a signature course. As a University of Houston grad having Fred Couples involved sold it even more to. I obviously had to wear my red polo in support of my fellow Houston Cougar. Jeffrey Bauer may not be a name as famous as some other designers but DFW golfers may recognize his work. He has designed some of the best courses here in the DFW area including Cowboys Golf Club and Indian Creek. Having those two great golf minds come together to put together a course is something all DFW golfers should be excited about.

The course is a true links style course with mounds in the middle of the fairway and plenty of bunkers. One of the things I like on a golf course is when you can really see the other golf holes on the course and this course actually does a very good job of hiding the other holes on the course. It is routed very well in that sense. Courses sometimes get fit into a tight area. This leads to you going out one way and then immediately goign the opposite way right next to the hole you just played. At no point in my round did it ever feel I was going right back where I came from.  I wouldnt recommend trying to walk this course though. The elevation changes would be tough. Its also got some long distances between tee boxes. The way the course used its elevation was great. It was always a slow rise up a hill and a slow tiered descent down. At no point did it ever feel like one of the shots required you to grab an extra 3 clubs to make sure it gets there. That drives me nuts. The Bridges did make you think of the elevation changes but it was never anything overly large.

 

I preferred the front 9 over the back. The front had some very memorable holes and i thought closed out very strong from about hole 6 on. The most unique hole on the front in my opinion was the 4th hole. The tee box directs you towards the right side of the fairway. This is the shortest route through the hole but the safe shot is way out left. You take the bunkers on the right out of play but it makes the hole a little longer. I obviously aimed left and ended up hitting a weak slice. This put me right of the bunkers and into some long nasty grass. Ended up missing the green and 2 putting for a bogey. The 6th hole is another fun and challenging hole. From the Blue tee box I played from the scorecard says 252. Thats reachable with my driver and I may even go over the green. (pardon the humble brag there). The guys I was playing with had grabbed 8 iron and were talking about how difficult this hole was. The green was very hard and if you went into the bunker long and left of the green you were almost assured a bogey.  They scared me off of driver I pulled 7 iron. I hit my short approach shot and went to the green. I could then see exactly what they were talking about. The green was two tiered and it was a HUGE drop off to the right. If I would have missed to the left I would have been very short sided and it would have easily been a bogey.

The back 9 is no slouch either. The 13th hole is a fun hole. The score card has the hole listed at 368. The hole has 3 bunkers up the right side and it plays up hill. I obviously hit it right but managed to get it up and down and scramble for a par. While that was a fun hole the signature hole is the 18th. It requires 3 very good shots. The hole is broken up into 3 pieces. You will hit each shot to the different pieces. Each piece is basically a peninsula. The water comes into play if you hit it too long off the tee. You can try and drive it 265 to carry the water and end up on the second piece or you can decide to hit hybrid and hit it out left onto the first piece. I took option 2. I then hit my second shot to the 150 marker on piece 2. I hit my third shot pretty well. 2 putted and walked away with a hard earned par.

Considering it was February I didnt expect a lush green course. The grass was obviously dormant and brown but the fairways and the greens rolled true. The drive was well worth it for a course in such good condition during the winter. I cant wait to make the trek again and see the course when it is lush and green. If you live in Dallas make the drive. Its worth it

 

PXG hits the conforming list

On Monday we got a nice little treat on the USGA conforming clubs list. We got what appears to be a new driver from PXG. Its named the 0811XF. PXG has a set of irons named the 0811XF as well. This is the more forgiving set of irons so I will assume the driver is going ot be Xtra Forgiving as well.

The creator of PXG ,Bob Parsons, is the founder of Godaddy.com and is also the owner of a couple of very prestigious country clubs. He is a very avid golfer. He said he was looking to see what engineers could develop if making money wasnt a big deal. This was very intriguing. He had no concerns with losing money. This was an awesome idea until he released his irons and we got a peek at the price. An entire set from Driver to putter will cost you a cool $5k. This driver doesnt have an official release date or price yet but I have to believe it wont get cheaper. I would venture to guess around $750

The cost doesnt even begin to talk about the performance. Everything I’m hearing isnt great on the performance of the PXG woods. It is good but not any better than anything else out there. I think when you are charging double what the competition is, I should see some significant performance gains. I wont ever play a PXG club because of the cost. Im sure they are great but I cant justify the cost.

Getting Fit Properly Podcast

This is the time of the year where you may start getting interested in buying some of the new things that premiered at the PGA Show a few weeks ago. Rather than going and grabbing new clubs off the rack go spend the extra few dollars and get fit.

Getting fit can be overwhelming but I hopefully gave you some very useful tips to make it easier. I hope you use it and share it!

The Grint

During my PGA Merchandise show review I said how much I love the use of technology. Their are plenty of options out there for you to analyze your game.  I wanted to give GPS a try so I downloaded an app called The Grint. While using the Grint I started to use their scorecard and stat tracking features.

An Accurate GPS

Like I said I downloaded this program to check out its GPS. I wanted to get some measurements on courses I had never played before. I found the GPS to be very accurate. It used a nice over head view of the hole so you can see any hidden bunkers or any dog legs you may not be able to see from the tee box. The GPS also allows you to click and drag to various parts of the hole. If you want to know the carry of the bunker in front of the green it will allow you quickly know that information. I will say it did seem to wear down my phones battery pretty quickly. I may need to bring an external charger out next time I try to use it out on the course

A legit USGA Handicap

The Grint also has a score card feature that you can use while on the course. This will allow you to update your score as you go. They take that information and submit it to a “digital country club”. These are recognized by the USGA and work as a legit club. When you upload your scores to the app it chooses the closest digital club and you receive a legitimate handicap that you can take to any club. Its a free feature and honestly you should download it just for that reason

A nice hidden feature

When you input your score the app will ask you about your the direction of your drive and how many putts it took you to get the ball in the cup. Based on your score and how many putts it took you to finish it can determine weather you hit the green in regulation. You can get advanced stats which I elected to do for $20. I wanted to do this so I can analyze my game a little more. After four or five months of solid use I can safely say it is easily worth the $20 I paid for it. The knowledge gained by the stats has helped me determine what exactly I should work on. After looking through the information I saw that when I hit the fairway I was hitting the green in 49% of my shots. Combine that with the 2.1 putts per GIR and that leaves with a score just over par. Thats in comparison to missing the fairway. When I miss the fairway I only hit green in 19% of my shots. Combine that with a par save percentage of 21% and that leads to very very high scores. What I learned from this was I depend on my driver heavily. When it is finding fairways I can score much better. It also shows me when I do mishit driver I tend to miss it badly. I dont leave myself a shot at a par very often. This means I need to focus heavily on my driver. Thats just part of the analysis I can do with these stats.

Final Thoughts

The free handicap alone makes this app worth downloading. Add in a free GPS and its even better. Throw on top of that some advance stat tracking for $20 and I cant see why someone wouldnt want this app. Its worth the download for the Handicap alone but the other features make it even better.

Preseason training camp

In football training camp is where you go to get in shape. It is where you go to get the kinks worked out before the season starts. You want to make sure you are in tip top shape before the season starts. Earlier this week it was time for my clubs to go to “Training Camp”.

What does Training Camp look like for some golf clubs? The training camp involves getting the loft and lie checked. After a year of hitting balls, golf clubs can get bent out of their specifications. This is especially true if the clubs use a soft metal like one that is used on most forged iron models. Another thing that can knock those clubs out of specifications is hitting off range mats (which I do). The mats arent as soft as grass and cause a little bit more force on the club head.

I wanted to get my clubs checked and make sure everything was looking good. I took all the clubs to the simulator and wanted to get each iron bent based on the results I was getting. I didnt want to say bend all the clubs one degree flat or 2 degrees upright. A club could have been bent upright throughout the year while another could have been bent flat. While in the simulator I noticed I was pulling most of my long irons pretty badly. I bent my long irons 2 degrees flat. My mid irons were pretty close to perfect. I was still losing them left a little. I decided to bend my 6,7,8 irons 1 degree flat to get it a little closer to the middle of the green. I was expecting my short irons to move quite a bit to the left but I was surprised when I couldnt miss the middle with them. I thought it was maybe a good swing day but as I thought more about it the more I was thinking about how they perform on the course. They are usually pretty accurate. I decided to keep those standard. I told them to go ahead and bend all my lofts back to the standard. They told me when I picked up my clubs a lot of them were off by a degree.

I dropped the clubs off Sunday and they were ready to go Monday when I got off work. When I walked in they were finishing them up so I decided to go try on some clothes. When I was done I grabbed the clubs and went home. I didnt hit them because I had some other stuff to do and just didnt have the time. Well Wednesday was the first tiem I was able to get out and swing the clubs. I couldnt have been any happier with the results. Both the 4 iron and the 8 iron were flying even better than before. On the simulator you can set up a target green. I decided to do that since when we play golf we aim at a green. The 4 and 8 irons were flying right at the pin. Rather than missing left I was kitting the green.

Take a look at your iron specs before the season starts. one or two degrees can really make a huge difference. Its the difference between a 7 yard pitch to a short sided green and a birdie putt. This really gave me some confidence to see the change I made pay dividends. Hopefully I can turn this into some on course success.

How do we make this game younger

Hey everyone! After the PGA Show we have slowed down a little so I figured this would be a good time to discuss the problem of golf dying. I posted this article about 9 months ago but I wanted to have this conversation again. Lets talk everyone!

I constantly see the discussion that golf is dying or that golf is an old man sport. As someone who is younger  I find myself the target demographic everyone is talking about. Why do people my age not like golf and how do we get them to come out to the course?

Dunes-West_Time-Graphic

The biggest problem my generation has is with time. We grew up in the height of the tech era. We have a need and want for things to be quick. I myself have no problem going out and dropping 3-3.5 hours on 18 holes. It gets crazy when we start approaching 4-5 hours for 18 holes. Hell, I like golf and I find myself not wanting to go out and play because of the fear of being out there for 5 hours on a Saturday. I hate to say this but I have other things to do with my time on a Saturday than spend 5 hours on a golf course.I have a wife,friends,and other sports to watch. A day should not be spent doing one thing all day. Its crazy. Also on a Saturday during the fall I will be at the University of Houston game. If they play at 2 that almost always eliminates golf. If I knew I could get on and off a course in 3-3.5 hours I would be much more likely to play on that Saturday. A 5 hour round and a 2pm kick off requires me to tee off at 830 AM to make sure I can play 18 then make it home in time for kickoff. I see courses now that promote playing in 4.5 hours. Are you kidding me? If someone falls behind pace Im guaranteed a 5 hour round. Thats ridiculous. Just look at the picture above. Your goal is 4 hours and 15 minutes. If I reach that I feel like I am playing incredibly slow. It is crazy to think 4:15 is a good pace. If you want more younger people we must address the pace of play epidemic. It truly is killing this great game.

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The next biggest problem that is killing the game of golf with young people is the cost. My generation graduated college in the worst job market since the Great Depression. When we graduated no one had any money and it was tough for us to even find jobs. When I graduated college I took an internship paying the minimum wage. If it wernt for my wife making 30K a year we wouldnt have survived. When you look at that job market and you look at the complete lack of income I just couldnt afford golf. If you want to play you can always start with your basic beginner box set. For that you are looking at $250. Then you are going to need some golf balls. Maybe you dont care what you hit. Well there is $15. Now you want to hit a few buckets before you head out to the course. Those are $10 a pop. Now you are ready for the course. Time to pony up almost $50 to go play a cheaper course. It builds up very quickly. Dont even get me started on getting any kind of name brand club. I have shown how you can do it on a tight budget but that doesnt make it cheap. Looking at the top 100 courses in Texas only 33 are public courses. Of those 33 only 15 are under $100 . The cheapest is $49 at Memorial Park in Houston. When you are our age you also want to have a place to hang out. The best places to hang out after a round are usually the private courses which again we cant afford to get into. Equipment is too expensive and courses are too expensive.

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The final reason golf has a hard time attracting younger folks to play is the very uptight nature of the game. The “outrage” over the outfit above is a prime example of this. Reactions ranged from “How dare he disrespect the game” to ” He looks like a clown”. Me personally I like everything he is wearing and think he looks pretty good. One thing my generation loves is relaxation. We work hard throughout the week and on the weekends we want to be able to let our hair down and have a good time. The last thing most people my age want to do on the weekends is pay to have to wear slacks and a polo. Hell my job allows shorts, T-shirts, and flip flops. I have to get more “dressed up” to relax than I do to go to work. That is crazy. When I go out to practice I will wear a T-Shirt and some athletic shorts. When I do this I will draw some crazy looks. I am there to put the white ball into the round cup. Who cares what I look like? I have played courses that require your shirt to be tucked in at all times. No one my age wants that. We hate it. Let me wear some shorts and a T-Shirt. If I am being honest I will probably end up wearing a polo anyways. It also doesnt help that golf has a very “Good Ol Boys Network” feel to it. I would love to join a Mens Golf Association at my local course that has weekly tournaments that take place at 5PM. The problem is hardly any of those exist. If it has to be a 9 hole round lets do that!  Its very hard for a working guy to get into the good ol boys network and participate with them. Dont you dare even approach that group in jeans and a T-Shirt no matter how good you may be.

In order to keep our game alive and attract more people my age we must change how we see the game. I think it is wrong when we try to make the game easier. We dont need bigger cups and we dont need nonconforming equipment. What we need is a faster,cheaper,and less uptight game. To me the biggest thing is speeding up pace of play. If we can do that we can get more rounds in and increase the revenue the course make. If we do that maybe rounds will be cheaper as well. All we can do is hope.

Eight questions for a merchandise show vet

I personally have never been to a PGA Merchandise show. I know a lot of business happens at this show so I wanted to get an inside look at the show and find out more about what happens that we dont see from the pictures alone. I decided to ask some questions to mygolfspy.com’s John Barba. John just came back from his third PGA Show. Lets get a new perspective on the Merchandise Show from someone who has been before!

 

What do you expect from PGA Merchandise Show?

 

This is only my third show, so I’m still a little wide-eyed about it all. The major companies have already released their new stuff – so there are no major new product released from the big companies anymore – so I love looking for new companies or lesser know companies and see what they have to offer. There are always some hidden gems out there, and there are always some interesting human interest stories to uncover.

 

Who was the vendor you were most excited to visit and why?

 

I’m a Srixon and Wilson Staff fan, so I very much enjoyed visiting with them. I have to say both companies had the busiest and most energetic booths on demo day – lots of music and a ton of people hanging around, having fun and trying their equipment.

 

What is your favorite day of the show?

 

The Tuesday Demo Day is crazy fun – pretty much everyone you can think of has a tent or booth at the Orange County Golf Club driving range — it’s a HUGE circulator range and you can spend all day there walking the circle and visiting the tents.  The majors have really large areas, but again, there are plenty of hidden gems to find.  As I said earlier, I really enjoyed the Srixon and Wilson Staff booths, as well as the Callaway booth – enjoyed trying some of the new Toulon Design putters and hitting the Epic driver.

 

Yonex was a hidden gem – I had never tried their clubs but I absolutely fell in love with their CB and MB irons.  Among the nicest feeling irons I’ve ever tried – it’s too bad their equipment is next to impossible to find, but if you can find a Yonex fitter give these a whirl. You won’t be disappointed.

 

What is your favorite part of the show?

Demo Day, obviously, and during the actual show you can go to one end of the building and try some of the different products.  That’s where I was able to try Edel’s Single Length irons – those, along with Yonex, were the highlights of the show. I fully expected to hate them but Edel has done it properly – the heads are unique and the Paderson graphite shafts are designed specifically for Single Length.  Finding the unexpected gem is really fun.

 

Who usually has your favorite booth?

There are many that stand out — this year Srixon was particularly high energy – there’s a lot going on with that company this year, and their product line is outstanding.  Callaway is always busy and visually impressive, as is Cobra.  I also liked the Volvik booth – it was well laid out and Volvik has such a unique offering.

 

 

 

How might the show be different this year with Nike being out of the hard goods business?

Well, Nike was not at last year’s show, either – so they really weren’t missed, in my opinion. In my three years at the show, Mizuno has never had a presence, either. In previous years, Bridgestone had always gone all out and had an impressive booth, but they were not in attendance this year, which I found interesting.  Of course, Hogan wasn’t there either – and the last two years they had a pretty impressive booth (which was symptomatic of that company’s problems, but that’s a different story). There was some open space at the show, which was unusual – and show veterans said it seemed as though the foot traffic was lighter than in years past.

 

What are somethings you see but we as people who only look at pictures and write ups may not see or experience?

Interaction with folks from different companies, as well as press conferences and events. I got to meet Dean Snell for the first time – he’s really interesting to talk with and isn’t afraid to share some strong opinions about golf balls. That’s refreshing. I was happy to finally meet in person several of the people I work with over the phone from various PR agencies and OEM’s – getting to hang with Eli and Noelle from Srixon was a treat – and you just know it when you put faces and personalities to voices that it’s a person you can work with and ultimately be friends with. Like any other, it’s a relationship business and even though we’re officially “press” and need to keep a measure of objectivity, it’s good to get an in person sense of people so that you know you can trust them and they won’t try to BS you.

 

 

Who usually busts out a good surprise?

Edel – every show I’ve been to something interesting has come out of the Edel booth.  Last year I got to meet a legend. I was chatting with David Edel when he got a phone call. After he hung up he asked me if I wanted to meet Robbie Krieger, as in the lead guitar player for The Doors Robbie Krieger.  That was a treat.  This year Edel floored me with their Single Length Irons and the fitting process for them.  That was a real surprise.

 

Did you find any of those surprises this year?

Edel was totally unexpected – as I said, I was a little skeptical of single length irons for an experienced player, but the irons, along with the fitting process, blew me away.

 

Again big shout out to John Barba at mygolfspy.com for taking time out of his day to sit and answer these questions for me. Its always nice to get an insiders perspective on things. Im sure the show looks different to John than it does to me and you.