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GolfSpy Dave

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  1. So as it happens I just bought the flip up straw cap for my wife. She loves it. So far so good on durability. Here's the link at Yeti but I bet you can get it at Amazon and etc. https://www.yeti.com/accessories/rambler-bottle-straw-cap/21070160004.html
  2. I need one of those in a size 8. Literally just spent time searching on Amazon for big melon sun hats...
  3. So far I'd put it on par with the Flip 12 for ice retention. I took it to a winery last Sunday with a 4 pound Yeti ice block and a couple layers of cube ice. By the time we got home in the evening, the cube ice was still frozen to the Yeti block. You've piqued my curiosity though. I'm going to buy a block of ice tomorrow and see how long it takes to melt. I'll let you know how it works out.
  4. Dave's Take: Yeti's Hopper M20 Backpack Cooler How was your 4th? Welcome to the fifth of July. For those of you who couldn’t get today off, I feel your pain. July 5th is the second worst day of the year to work, surpassed only by Super Bowl Monday. Today one must focus on survival, not gains in the workplace. Speaking of survival, how did your beverage transporting go this past weekend? Did your cooler keep its cool, or are you spending the morning at work searching for a new ice chest? If you have no cooler needs, I appreciate you reading this recreationally. Should you need a new cooler though, I have a good one to share with you today. Yeti Hopper M20 Backpack Soft Cooler It’s been a while since anything Yeti has come my way. In fact, it was almost a year ago when I ran the Yeti Rambler bottles through their paces. I thought the bottles were solid, and I’m still using them a year later. Truth be told I felt quite validated when the Rambler bottles finished near the top of the 2021 Water Bottle Buyers Guide a few months later. Nice to know my takes are shared. Anyway, what I have for you today is Yeti’s latest version of their backpack soft cooler, the Hopper M20 Backpack soft cooler. I reviewed the previous model, the Yeti Backflip 24 back in 2018. Crazy to think that 2018 was four years ago... The Yeti Backflip 24 was a taller, and narrower version of the popular Hopper line of coolers. It looked like the other coolers in the line, even sharing the large zipper at the top its boxy body. Overall, it worked well, with its capacity and backpack straps placing the Backflip into its own niche. Since 2018, Yeti has moved away from the zipper closure in their larger soft coolers. In 2019, they released the new Hopper M30 cooler. This new cooler sealed with magnets instead of a zipper. The crazy thing was that the magnets sealed the cooler like the zipper did in the Hopper Two 40 and were way less likely to take arm hair when you reached in for a beer. I bring up these other coolers because the Hopper M20 Backpack cooler I have for you today is a marriage of the original Backflip and the M30. The backpack straps are still there, but the closure is now magnetic. Has Yeti combined the best of both worlds? MagShield Access The opening for the Hopper M20 Backpack cooler is probably the best part of the design. Not only do we lose the yard of zipper, but this magnetic top does one thing better than the one found on the original M30. This opening stays open. When you separate the magnetic edges, they stay apart. This makes loading and unloading much less of a bear trap experience. Overall, the top works like a dry bag. The magnets seal the airspace in the cooler, and then you fold over the top to secure the magnets. Add a couple of buckles and you have a top that is essentially air tight. I can attest to this as I saw the empty cooler swell up when I left it sealed in the back of my car. When the top is sealed, it is sealed. Should the Hopper M20 Backpack cooler top over in your trunk on your way to the course, it won’t get a single drop of water on your Cameron. I pressed on the sealed cooler, somewhat vigorously even, and I was not able to pop that seal. Reduced Capacity? The Hopper M20 Backpack cooler carries eighteen beers and ice at the standard Yeti 2:1 ice to can ratio. This means it holds a sixpack less than the Backflip 24. Typically, I am not supportive of less beer. Like ever. However, dropping the capacity drops the size of the cooler, and the weight of a full load. My back has welcomed the change. Plus, at eighteen beers, it's still beer-a-hole golf ready. The Hopper M20 Backpack cooler is still on the bulky side of things but is so much more streamlined than the Backflip. When full, it still packs a bit of a wallop on your back, but it feels more ergonomic than the Backflip. That cooler’s rectangular profile always made me think I was a 1960’s astronaut. The Hopper M20 Backpack cooler feels like a backpack. Straps The backpack straps are wide and padded enough to be comfortable. They are still simple in construction compared to most golf bag straps. Your bag’s straps are likely a bit more cushioned. The Hopper M20 Backpack cooler includes a removable chest strap to cinch up the system a bit up top. Missing though is the waist strap. This is too bad as one of the best ways to take the weight of a pack off your shoulders is to belt it at the waist. Perhaps the smaller profile of the Hopper M20 Backpack cooler didn’t allow a waist belt to properly hit the waist, so it was not included. Yeti did include a top handle and side handles though, and these are so helpful when transporting the bag. I could also see this bag as a shoulder bag like the M30, ditching the backpack straps all together. That said, it is nice to have the backpack straps in situations where you need your hands free. One of my favorite features of Yeti soft coolers in general is their HitchPoint Grid. You can attach all kinds of stuff to be outside of the cooler. My favorite thing to attach is the SideKick Dry. The Sidekick Dry gives you a waterproof pocket for storing your gear that you can access without opening the cooler to the elements. I seem to buy a new Sidekick every time I get a new Yeti. On The Course So how does the Hopper M20 Backpack cooler work on the course? In a power cart, it’s perfect. The cooler slides easily into the rear basket. The magnetic top is significantly easier to access in the cart than the long zipper of the Backflip 24. My other go to Yeti cooler, the Hopper Flip 12 also fits in the basket, but not all the way to the bottom. The Hopper M20 Backpack cooler goes to the bottom of the basket and won’t bounce out unless you are driving the cart like a maniac. Even then, you’ll likely lose your golf bag before the Hopper M20 Backpack bounces out. What’s with all the yellow? So, you may have noticed that the Hopper M20 Backpack cooler is yellow. It’s Alpine Yellow to be exact. Every now and then, Yeti rolls out their coolers and tumblers in limited edition colors. Alpine Yellow was released earlier this spring. The two current limited run colors are Nordic Blue and Nordic Purple. It has taken all my restraint not to pick up a Nordic Purple Roadie 24 hard cooler... Anyway, I love the yellow color, so I upgraded my Hopper Flip 12 to Alpine Yellow. Naturally, I needed a color coordinated Sidekick Dry as well. How could I not grab matching Rambler 20 and Lowball 10 tumblers? Impulse control issues aside, the Lowball 10 is my favorite insulated tumbler. It has a great weight and can hold twelve ounces without the lid. It’s my summer workhorse tumbler. By the way, there may be some room for speculation with the limited run colors. I noticed that some of the previous colors show up on eBay and Amazon for close to $500. If you have room to store a few coolers for a spell, you could likely turn a profit flipping coolers. How crazy is that? Dave’s Take on the Hopper M20 Backpack Cooler Overall, I think that Yeti did a great job with the Hopper M20 Backpack. It is a huge upgrade over the Backflip 24. Sure, it’s smaller than the Backflip, but I think that the size is ultimately more manageable. I’ve taken to the golf course, backyard barbeques, a winery, and on my back while riding my bike. It will be heading with me to the lake when I go camping and kayaking later this month. All in all, it is a great out-for-the-day cooler. No, it’s not cheap. Yeti products never are. A Hopper M20 Backpack cooler will set you back $325. Obviously, that’s quite an investment for a cooler. Investment is probably the way I look at Yeti products. I’ve had Yeti coolers and tumblers for years now and have yet to have one of them fail. Yeti construction is amazing. For their hard coolers, maybe this is not that big of a deal as those coolers can be thick and heavy. Basically indestructible. For the soft coolers, ultimately the construction comes down to fabric and flexible plastics. Both textiles seem way more prone to failure than hard rotomolded plastic, and yet they have yet to do so for me. Did the yellow color of these Yeti products catch my eye? Of course, but the reason that I ultimately bought them is that I know the quality that comes with the Yeti name.
  5. This was from last year. No 2022 contest.
  6. Actually three new ones came in last week...
  7. When I learned that Byron was sick, I dropped one of his putters in my bag as a gesture of hope. Now that he has passed I play it to remember the amazing man that I was fortunate enough to meet during my golf journey. Byron was one cool cat who made putters infused with his cool vibe. I will miss him.
  8. The vault is rad... Tiger fans would like some of the stuff in there. Cool non-putters as well. Let the photo bomb commence!
  9. Will any of the new putters be orange? Still love rolling balls with this putter
  10. If I could find a Newport, I'd game it. Maybe the putter will go up in value in a few years, but so will stocks and crypto. If you like the feel of the Tel3 insert, then play it and have fun for a decade rather than having it in the closet. Value can be assessed in enjoyment as well as in cash. I'm going to look again today to see if I can find one around here. If so, it'll see grass for sure.
  11. Thanks for sharing your Rambler stories guys. It's nice to have the validation that my experiences are shared by others. I may go and buy the big version now just to see how it will work camping/kayaking this week. Admittedly, hydration will be accomplished primarily in 12oz containers this trip...
  12. I have a good attitude toward hydration. Ah summer golf. Where I live in Sacramento that either means that you pay more to play in the cooler morning or pay less and brave the afternoon heat. In either case, I learned very quickly that having an extra bottle of water may be more valuable than having an extra sleeve of balls. Covid didn’t help either. I don’t know what it was like around your course, but our courses dropped all on course water, even turning off the faucets for Covid. With this, packing in water became paramount. As with many of you, my water transport is accomplished with double insulated bottles. While companies like Hydroflask may have been the early producers, lots of companies make them these days. Some work great, some not at all. All I know is that an insulated bottle that doesn’t insulate is super annoying. As such, I tend to keep an eye out for new bottle designs. The New Yeti Rambler Bottles Yeti is one of those companies that has made insulated bottles for a while now. Through the years they have made a few different versions. You may remember that I ran a Yeti 64oz jug through its paces a few years back. With that growler, the double lid design made cleaning a breeze. Something that can’t be said for other narrow-necked containers. It is once again the top design that sparked my curiosity with these Yeti Rambler bottles. I’ve got lots of other Yeti drinkware, so I was confident that these bottles would keep drinks cold. This new top though, was a curiosity. Chug Cap Love Now I know that I am not the only one to drink from a wide mouth bottle and end up wearing some of the liquid. When I’m on the hot course, I don’t mind this. When I’m drinking from the bottle at work, this refreshing overflow is not as welcome. The new Yeti Chug Cap does an amazing job of removing the slosh that comes with wide mouths, and also still allows you to have easy access for cleaning. As you can see from the photos, the Yeti Chug Cap is a two-stage lid. The top lid has the usual handle design, that is great for carabiner clipping by the way. Under that lid, we see the Chug Cap. This clear plastic cap has a smaller aperture, dramatically reducing the flow rate. You can still chug but doing so no longer becomes a whole body experience. This cap also unscrews from the bottle, allowing you to access the wide opening for easy bottle cleaning. It drinks like a narrow bottle and cleans like a wide one. Out on the course, the bottle performed as expected. It still had plenty of ice when I refilled it with water at the turn. I think it was 103 °F that day. Insulation is not an issue. As an added bonus, even full of super cold liquid, I did not notice any condensation on the outside of the bottle. This too speaks to the amazing insulation in the bottle. BONUS COVERAGE: The Yeti Bottle Sling One of the other things that motivated me to check out the Rambler bottles was the Yeti Bottle Sling. A drawback of packing a big bottle of water to the course is that you need to pack said bottle. Smaller bottles fit well in golf bag hydration pockets, but larger bottles can be problems. Usually, they get stuffed in the big side pocket, smashing all other contents. Hello PBJ pâté. When I saw the bottle sling, I wondered if this was a way that the bottle could be attached to the bag or push cart to make carrying the bottle easier. The short answer for me was yes. I used the sleeve and its strap to secure the bottle to my push cart, and also to my usual golf bag. The best fit though was with my Ogio bag, as this bag features the same web design as the Yeti soft sided coolers. That is another place where the sling shines. You can see in the photos how the bottle sling attaches to the front of my Hopper 12. This allows you to carry the bottle with the cooler, and not sacrifice the internal space doing so. Translation: The bottle does not kick beer out of the cooler. Anyway, on the Ogio bag, the clips fit perfectly. While I wish the bag was a little stiffer at the connection, it worked quite well as a bottle holding bag accessory. If you don’t have the attachments, you could also thread straps of bungee cords through the loops on the sling as the clips can be easily removed. Worth the Price It will likely not surprise you that these bottles are more expensive than others out there. The 26 oz bottle is $40 and the 36 oz is $50. There is also a 46 oz version, but I am not sure if that one will be golf friendly as it is kind of a monster. When you compare these prices to Hydroflask, they are not that much higher though. A 32 oz Hydroflask bottle is $45 and their 40 oz bottle is $50. Chug Caps not included with those either. Of course, there are other companies out there also making similar products, but I would warn you that similar does not mean the same. I bought a cheap double walled bottle from Walmart and the insulation failed as soon as I dropped it in the parking lot. I know that Yeti gets PXG-like hate sometimes for their pricing, and I too wish their stuff was less expensive. That said, I have run a bunch of Yeti gear through the paces through the years and I am still using that gear. Such cannot be said for similar products I’ve used from other companies. You get what you pay for I suppose. I’d like to wrap this up by saying that the Yeti Rambler is my new go to bottle for golf. I’d like to, but that would be a lie. You see, my wife happened to see what I was working on and commented on how much she liked the teal color of the bottle and how well it would be for her to take tea to her classroom. “Oh, is that a carrier for the bottle too?” Needless to say, I am out one 36 oz bottle and one large sling. Her review is a positive one as well. She was concerned that her smaller hands wouldn’t fit the bottle and that the top would be too tight for her to turn. Unfortunately for me, neither one of these things was an issue, and my Rambler rambled on the to Mrs.
  13. It's so crazy how the different bourbons show up at different levels in the states. Nearly every grocery store out here has 10+ bottles of Buffalo Trace on the shelves. No Weller at all, and Eagle Rare is rare. I would think FL would be closer to KY and have a better shot.
  14. A little bit. Finally found Heady Topper this week. That may have closed out the beer obsession. Bourbon has such diversity that it is fun to learn about and hunt. Allocated stuff is so expensive though.
  15. It used to be only private clubs. Distribution is a pretty new thing I believe. Hopefully it will expand quickly.
  16. Dave’s Take: The Clover Whiskey Collection Inspired By Bobby Jones https://www.thecloverwhiskey.com/home Bobby Jones Was Amazing Today I am going to give you my take on The Clover Whiskey Collection, a line of spirits “curated to sustain the legacy of golf’s greatest gentleman and champion.” While tasting bourbon on the clock is pretty darn amazing, learning more about Bobby Jones in the process was even more amazing. Obviously, I knew a bit about Bobby Jones before working on this, but I suppose I just lumped him in with others like Hogan, Hagen, Mackenzie, and so on. Not that those guys are slouches, but they all were filed away in my brain in the “historical golfers” folder. After a bit more reading, it became clear to me that Bobby Jones was ridiculously amazing. Obviously, he was a phenomenal golfer, in 1930 winning the original Grand Slam of championships (US Open, British Open, US Amateur, and British Amateur) at the age of 28. After retiring, he co-founded Augusta National, The Masters, and earned degrees from Georgia Tech (Mechanical Engineering) and Harvard (English). Did I mention he was also an infantry captain on the shores of Normandy in WWII? It’s like a time traveler went to the 20th century and decided to live the most amazing life possible, being the consummate man’s man of the time. It’s said that Mr. Jones also enjoyed three fingers of the local whiskey when he traveled, making The Clover bourbon a perfect product to associate with his legacy. Why The Clover? Again, some of you are more versed in this than I am, but the clover is a reference to Bobby Jones being born on St. Patrick’s Day. Bobby’s mother gave him a four-leaf clover medallion for good luck. He actually wore that medallion during every tournament that he competed in. Obviously, the blessings of the four clover leaves, Hope, Faith, Love, and Luck, served him well as he played. That sounds like the makings of a good toast to me... On To The Spirits The Jones family has sourced The Clover Whiskey Collection from “world-class distilleries whose operations and ownership we respect and admire.” I poked around a bit, and it looks like the original spirits are likely sourced in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana, and then sent to Piedmont Distilleries in North Carolina for proofing and bottling. One interesting thing about all of these whiskeys is that they are all single barrels, meaning no blends. This makes each batch of the spirits unique, meeting the taste requirements of those sampling the barrels. Side bourbon story. Did you know that this is how Pappy Van Winkle works too? I had a friend tell me as we were sampling from his ridiculous collection that the Van Winkle family tastes the barrels in the rick house, selecting the ones that will become Pappy. We were tasting Old Van Winkle and Weller Full Proof at the time. What he told me is that they both start with the same clear spirit, are aged the same period of time, proofed the same, and then the Van Winkle selection makes one Old Rip and the other Weller. Why I bring this up is that the Jones Family selecting the barrels for The Clover makes this a unique offering. No, I’m not saying it’s Weller or Van Winkle unique, but The Clover is a real boutique spirit, so much more than a blended stock bourbon put in a fancy bottle. Dave’s Taste Preferences Taste, like beauty, is subjective. As such, I figured that it would be a good idea to give you a little peek into my palate before I talk about these whiskeys. I am a newcomer when it comes to the bourbon arena. For years, I avoided all brown liquors having had the ever too common Jack Daniels “experience” in my 20’s. Thankfully, a buddy turned me on to Basil Hayden in a Monterey cigar bar a couple of years ago. From there, I started exploring and over the past couple of years, I have grown the collection to more bottles than my wife approves of. Not really, she has also started to enjoy bourbon as well. By the way, if you are curious about bourbon as a spirit, I recommend watching the documentary Neat on Hulu. It’s a great history of bourbon, best watched with a couple of fingers, naturally. Back to my palate. My current favorites Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond 10 year, Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, and Frey Ranch (a small distiller near Fallon NV). I tend to favor more of a sweet profile than a spicy one. Some full proof bourbons, like Booker’s, are great, others, like Old Forrester Prohibition Style, are too hot neat, and require ice. Hopefully that sets a bit of a stage, if not, just ask. Anyway, let’s get on to The Clover whiskeys. For reference, all of these were sampled on two different days, in Glencairn glasses, at room temperature, and neat (of course). I've bulleted the company published tasting notes first, and then followed up with my experiences. The Clover Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey Strength: 90 Proof Aged: 10 Years Aroma: Complex, rich, toasted oak Taste: Rich caramel, forward vanilla, and slight char Finish: Exceptionally smooth, long and soft Of the three whiskeys, this one had the strongest aroma. I found it to be a bit off-putting , but it did have a nice and pronounced oak aroma. The taste/mouthfeel was interesting. Most of the flavors were more front of the tongue compared to the other whiskeys. The char is pronounced. The feel is thinner than the other varieties, and the alcohol burn seems to be higher than the 92 proof. It’s a hot tongue sipper. All in all, it reminded me of higher end varieties of Jack Daniels. I suppose that is to be expected due to the similar production process. It is a very nice version of Tennessee style bourbon and has quite a unique flavor compared to the other two. This is one where your pallet may be drawn to this more than mine is. It was interesting to see that the color is a little lighter than the bourbon. I found this curious as the Tennessee version spent six more years in the barrel. Maybe it's a result of the proofing. The Clover Straight Bourbon Whiskey Strength: 92 Proof Aged: 4 Years Aroma: Blend of vanilla and subtle oak Taste: Deep caramel, soft vanilla, and hint of citrus orange Finish: Soft, lingering caramel, vanilla, and hint of oak The tasting notes are pretty spot on for this one. Oak on the nose, and a silky mouthfeel of caramel and vanilla. The flavors are a bit subtle, perhaps muted. Young might be another way to describe them. I think that this could be an amazing bourbon if it was in the barrel for a few more years. If a ten-year version could just enhance the profile of what is in the 4-year, it would be exceptional. The finish does hold some burn for a bit, but overall, what persists is the caramel sweetness on the edges of the tongue. I think that this is a solid bottle, but it faces stiff competition at the $40 price point. Some of you can find Weller Special Reserve for that price. Given the choices in my area at the price, I’d need to go with Eagle Rare over The Clover, but that’s probably not fair as I would take Eagle Rare over most things, regardless of price. Plus, Eagle Rare is a ten-year bourbon whereas The Clover only spent four years in the barrel. The Clover is a solid spirit, but it just needs a little more hutzpah to battle the big bottles. The Clover Straight Rye Whiskey Strength: 91 Proof Aged: 4 Years Aroma: Subtle oak and spice Taste: High rye, peppery spice, and subtle oak Finish: Warm, lingering caramel, and hint of cherry Rye whiskeys are usually not my go to spirits as I tend to prefer the sweeter taste of bourbon to the spice of rye. The Clover Rye Whiskey is causing me to question that paradigm. This rye is delicious. The aroma has a touch of fruit. My wife said it smelled like peaches. The taste is very smooth and features vanilla sweetness rather than the expected spice. The finish is a lingering sweet heat. Not caramel, but once again more of a fruity sweetness. My wife said that this one had a “yummy taste”. Though not fancy tasting language, I’d have to agree. This one is quite yummy. I love that the rye was the one I expected to like the least and ended up liking the most. This bottle will not last long in the liquor cabinet. Obviously, it is likely the low-spice nature that I find so pleasing. If you like your rye to pepper your pants off, this may not be the choice for you. The Clover: Solid Spirits With A Great Story Bottom line, I’m impressed with The Clover whiskeys, and enjoyed drinking them. For me, part of the enjoyment that comes with drinking premium spirits is the ritual, and the story. I’ve shared these whiskeys with a couple of friends now, and every time, we end up talking about golf and Bobby Jones. One can’t drink a whiskey with his name on it and not evoke of his spirit. If you are going to be hardline about it, the branding of a liquor has nothing to do with the taste of said liquor, but the overall experience is affected by branding. Naming plays a huge part in bourbon, seemingly every bottle has someone’s name on it. For us, the Bobby Jones name invariably leads to interesting discussions about golf. Mr. Jones would approve of you enjoying a few fingers of The Clover whiskey with your buddies after a round. The tendency to discuss Mr. Jones accomplishments may fade if drinking The Clover whiskey becomes commonplace with your group. Until that happens though, sipping The Clover will likely fuel conversations about golf and Bobby Jones’ amazing life. If you want to find a bottle for yourself, follow this Find The Clover link to see if a course, or shop has it near you.
  17. It's a good stick. I bought it initially because it came in a tube, my favorite for golf. I think that the tube one is a double robusto.
  18. It’s Been A Minute Hello all lovers of the leaf. It’s been a while since I have posted anything in the Cigar Lounge. Like everything else, you can blame the pandemic for that. I have not had anything to share in the lounge since I had not smoked a cigar in fourteen months. My reasoning was that if this was a virus that infects the lungs, then maybe it was a good idea to keep the lungs as healthy as possible. Is that a true thing? I don’t know, as I am not a doctor. Regardless, I did go for more than a year without a cigar. Once I was fully vaccinated though, my new plan became Got the Stabs, Have a Stick! New Kit Needed To celebrate the return of golfing with cigars, I figured that I needed a couple of things. First, I would go grab one of my favorite cigars, an Olivia Serie V. While the Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro is probably my favorite cigar, it can be a little much for the course. It’s more of a bourbon and bullshitting smoke. The Olivia works better for me on the course. The other thing that I wanted was a new cigar tool kit for the golf bag. Nothing like a new cutter, lighter, and case to boost the enjoyment of the smoking ritual. Naturally, I turned to Xikar, knowing that their tools have yet to let me down. And so, today I want to share with you these new cigar toys so that should you too want to step up your cigar tool game, you’ll have my takes to reference. First, lets talk about transport. Xikar Envoy Case To smoke a cigar at the golf course you first need to get the cigar to the golf course. Now I typically use the Xikar 5 cigar travel humidor for golf, but I wanted to explore something lighter and smaller. The five-cigar case works well but seems like overkill if I’m only taking one stick and not worried about maintaining humidity. The plan was to look for something smaller. The Xikar Envoy Case seemed like a solid single cigar option. Sure, I could just buy cigars in tubes, but not all my favorites come packaged that way. This case is simplicity personified. It consists of two sections that connect by the larger sliding over the smaller. It may be simple, but it works great for cigars of all reasonable sizes (up to 60 ring/7”). You just slide the top down until it fits the cigar. Could sliding too far damage the cigar? Probably, but the fit is tight, so it would take a significant impact to move that lid. As far as the ritual goes, the rich leather and cedar lining evoke feelings of luxury. Maybe that sounds silly, but the case feels fancy, and that makes me feel like I’m doing something fancy. All in all, I see myself using the Envoy case far more than the travel humidor, except maybe for golf trips, then I’ll likely need both. Xikar Enso Cutter Cutting the cigar is a big part of my smoking ritual. I think that there is a primal, perhaps medieval glee that comes with the cutting. Maybe it’s a touch sociopathic, but I love hearing that click when the blades sever the tip of the cigar. As I am a fan of Xikar’s round XO cutter, I had to take their new Xikar Enso cutter for a spin. Like the XO, this cutter features two synchronized cutting blades. But unlike the XO, this one only pushes from one side. The double guillotine blades move in sync when you press down on the cutting lever. I’m not sure if this is all gear driven like the XO as this time, as all mechanics are enclosed. To open the cutter, you will need to pull the edge up. Nothing spring loaded here. Once open, this cutter will take on a cigar up to a 72 ring gauge. That’s too much girth for me, but you live your life. Like I’ve come to expect from Xikar, the Enso cuts clean. Amazingly clean. One push and that tip is gone, with not a fray to be found on the edge of the wrapper. The profile of the Enso is a little on the large size. I did not expect it to have a diameter larger than the XO. That said, it is thinner than expected, and still fits perfectly for one hand cutting. Xikar Tactical Single Torch Yes, I definitely enjoy the cutting ritual, but it is the lighting of the cigar that I look forward to the most. Something about tapping into the primal element of fire and getting the first tastes of the tobacco as the cigar lights. That’s the best. Unfortunately, this is also where a noncompliant torch can take the ritual off the rails. Fighting for fire is not enjoyable. Prior to the trying out this torch, my go to fire source was the Xikar Tactical Triple torch. It holds an ocean of fuel, and lights the first time, all the time. It gives me everything I need, except the being new part, so naturally, I needed to take the Xikar Tactical Single for a spin. The surprising thing about the Tactical Single is that it is a bit larger than the Tactical Triple. Maybe not in width, but it is taller and thicker. The ergonomics are still sound though as its round-ish profile fits easy in the hand. Thumb access is perfect for lid flipping and button sliding. The knob to change flame height is huge and has quite a range. Pay attention to this as on full, this single jet torch produces significant flame. My Turrim single does not pump fire like the Tactical Single. After venting any air and filling the Tactical Single with premium butane, I put the ignition to the test. Ten out of ten times it lit. Granted, this was in my garage and not out in the elements. Not to worry though as once I was out on the course, performance was the same. Now you may have noticed that there is a nice groove on the top of the torch to hold your cigar. It’s a great feature, but I am not sure it’s golf friendly. It should work in a riding cart. Pick any flat surface then balance the cigar on the torch. Just remember it before you drive off. Walking the course, this feature may not work quite as well since the fill hole is on the bottom. I’m not sure I’d try this on the grass or dirt as I don’t want any debris to plug the fill hole. How it went... With all this build up, you may be wondering how that cigar was on the course. Full disclosure, it was delicious. I loved pulling the new tools out of my new MGS valuables bag. My Envoy kept the cigar safe. The Enso cut like Hanzo, and the Tactical Single delivered fire like Prometheus. All in all, it was great to enjoy a stick on the course again. As we return to normalcy, one of my goals is to appreciate more the things that I took for granted. A round of golf with my good friends and a good cigar is one of those things. BONUS TORCH: Palio Vesuvio Triple Torch As it turns out, I have a bonus tool to share with you, the Palio Vesuvio Triple torch. Though the Palio brand may not as well known as Xikar, I have found that Palio makes solid cigar tools. One of the welcome differences is that most of their tools are on the lower end of the cost scale. This torch, for example, lists on Amazon for $12.99 or two for $19.99. While it may not be as fancy as some of my other torches, the Palio Vesuvio Triple is a fire breather. It has a huge butane tank. It is easy to adjust. It spits triple tongues of fire to the stratosphere. And best of all, it only costs about $10! Add one to your golf bag, your camping gear, your boat, and wherever you usually enjoy a cigar. Should you drop it in the lake, or leave it in the golf cart, who cares? It was only $10. As far as bang for your buck, or flame for your fuel, this torch gets it done.
  19. Poppy Hills is a fun course. Good rate too if you are a NCGA member. You can take the long way back to Sac and play Yoche DeHe...
  20. Dave’s Take: EyePromise Vizual Edge Pro Hi MGS Folk. It’s been a minute since I last rolled out a Dave’s Take article, but I thought that this new experiment of mine was worth sharing. You see, that is what makes today’s post a little different. It is an ongoing experiment rather than a review. How’s that for a switch? Today is the first day that I will be taking the EyePromise Vizual Edge Pro eye health dietary supplement to hopefully improve my vision. Will it work? I have no idea, but that is what makes this an exploration rather than a report. I am starting with hopes, not data. Why am I focusing on my eyes? Working remotely over the past year has thrashed my eyes. I can tell that they are strained from working on the computer all day. The excess of blue light and constant focal distance have not been friendly to my eyes. The deterioration is obvious when I drive and the road signs that are usually clear have become blurry. A year of Zoom has fatigued the eyes as well as the spirit. When I see my optometrist this year, a new prescription will be involved. Lutein and Zeaxanthin It was a previous visit to the eye doctor where I learned about taking lutein and zeaxanthin as supplements for eye health. The doc talked about baseball players who were taking it to see the ball better, and that it could help reduce the irritation/glare caused from oncoming headlights while driving at night. Charged up with optimism, I went and bought a bottle of supplements, finished the bottle, and promptly forgot about buying more. Ah the joys of a short attention span. Padraig to the rescue Anyway, here I was knowing that my eyes are struggling, but not really having a plan about what to do about it. As fate would have it, this video of Padraig Harrington dropped into my lap. One of my goals in life is to pay attention to what is in front of me. Kind of ironic to say that when this is all about declining vision, but it often seems like solutions are out there if you can see them. So here was Padraig, a better golfer than I could ever be, looking into eye supplements to improve his golf game. It honestly made me laugh a bit as I don’t even think about how my eyes effect my golf game. They are of course involved, especially with putting. If you can see the contours better, you should read break better. Why EyePromise? Like I said, I try to pay attention to what is in front of me. Although I previously knew about the lutein and zeaxanthin supplements, I had basically forgotten all about taking them in the past to help my eyes. Then along came Padraig and the EyePromise Vizual Edge Pro to remind me. It was life saying, “Hey Dave, remember these?” Disclaimer and Plan First and foremost, I am not a doctor. I’m more of a test subject at this point. While I am not concerned with any of the vitamins and supplements listed in the EyePromise formula, I would suggest that you check with your doctor before taking these, or anything new. At this point, I am sharing the experience and not endorsing the product. And so here we are today. Like I said before, I popped the first packet of Vizual Edge Pro supplements this morning. Will they help? I hope so. How will I know? I’m not sure. Regardless, I thought that it would be a fun process to share with all of you. I do know that my eyes could use some assistance at this point. So can my golf game. I’m really hoping for some gains like Padraig discussed in the video. I’ll pop in here and there over the next month to let you know how it is going. Hopefully, I’ll have an eyeful of insights to share. For now, follow this link to learn more about EyePromise.
  21. Finally watched Neat tonight on Hulu. Such a cool documentary about bourbon. Enjoyed a little Blanton's as well. Neat, naturally.
  22. There is a random liquor store down the street that has Taylor for $69. Weller is crazy here at well over $100 for the green label. Did grab a bottle of Blanton's at grocery store last night for $61. Wife had the audacity to ask if I already had one at home. Only 2/3 full, babe. Back-up is needed.
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