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GolfSpy Dave

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  1. Ballast Point's Bonito Blonde Ale An approachable beer, with some substance. Our Bonito blonde ale is inspired by our perma-sunny days. This brew draws you in with its golden color and soft malt character, while the light mouthfeel and dry finish keeps you coming back. And what would set a San Diego blonde apart? A subtle hint of hops, naturally. AVAILABILITY: Year-round in:12oz. Bottles, Cans & Draft ALC. BY VOL.: 4.5% BITTERNESS :20 IBUs This week marks a return to San Diego's Ballast Point Brewery. You may be wondering why, with all of the breweries out there, I am already back to Ballast Point. I could tell you it's because I like their beer that much, and I do, but I also like many other beers so that's not it. Truth be told, it's because Ballast Point contacted me and suggested that Bonito Blonde would be a great beer for golf. If a company takes the time to reach out like that, I can definitely take the time to drink their beer. DRINKABILITY: Great Blonde with bonus Bonito is a solid little blonde ale and is inherently drinkable. It's interesting on the finish. Definitely a little more dry and bitter than I was expecting. Perhaps it's that little extra kiss of hops in the brew. I'd almost describe the finish as a little pilsner-like. That's the lingering dry bitterness that I taste. I know it's not a pilsner. I'm just a guy, drinking a beer, and letting you know my thoughts. Anyway, don't be surprised if you are halfway through that six-pack before you know it. GOLFABILITY: Flawless Victory Golfability is a two fold category. First, would you enjoy drinking this as you play, and second, would drinking this put the stink eye on your golf performance. Bonito is light and refreshing, comes in cans, and has a low ABV (4.5%). I can't think of a more golf-friendly combination. Maybe if the can could act as a tee, or suggest proper clubs for yardages then you'd have a more golfable beer. Until that happens, this is a fine beer for any round of golf. Buyagainability: Staple Status Cemented Ballast Point's Bonito Blonde may not be as super fancy as some beers out there, but it's simplicity is super effective. I'll definitely buy more of these this summer, and it will always be in the take to the pool/course/camping/boating/adventure conversation. Bonus Beer!!!!!!! Ballast Point's Sea Rose Tart Cherry Wheat Ale A crisp wheat ale with a tart cherry twist. Our Sea Rose tart cherry wheat ale is a fresh take on fruit beers. Originally conceived during an employee-led R&D brew, it's one of our most imaginative recipes yet. The American wheat style is light and clean, while fresh cherry juice adds a soft coral color and fruity nose that gives way to a dry, slightly tart finish. It's approachable, yet unexpected—exactly what we love to brew. AVAILABILITY: Year-round in 12oz. Bottles & Draft ALC. BY VOL: 4.0% BITTERNESS: 8 IBUs What is this? Another new beer this week? Am I trying to push the boundaries of my liver? What's going on here? Well, truth be told, Ballast Point didn't just suggest beers that would be great for golf, they actually sent them to me as well! There is the lesson for other breweries out there. If you send me beer, I will drink it. I'll likely even write about it too! And so, here is a little bonus coverage of Ballast Point's Sea Rose. DRINKABILITY: Probably a YMMV Situation Sea Rose will likely not have the universal appeal as Bonito, and I'm sure that this comes as no surprise to BP, or to those of you wondering just what the hell a tart cherry wheat ale is all about. Simply put, Sea Rose is a very light bodied wheat beer, with a little extra touch of fruit flavor and tartness. I know I just basically repeated its name, but it's pretty spot on. It has the thinner body of the wheat ale. Not much malt body at all (aka wheat ale). The cherry is not overpowering, nor is the tartness. I'd not go so far as to call this one sour. Wife thought it had a wine-like taste. Some will like it (me), some will pass (she). GOLFABILITY: Swing if your Palate Says So Golfability is a two fold category. First, would you enjoy drinking this as you play, and second, would drinking this put the stink eye on your golf performance. If you are one who falls in the like the taste category, then definitely take it to the course. It is refreshing in an almost non-beer like way. The ABV low at 4% so your game should remain intact while you swig the rose. Coming in bottles is a bit of a golf no-no, but not one that can't be circumvented through responsible glass awareness. Buyagainability: Possible, but limited Ballast Point's Sea Rose doesn't quite hit the sweet spot for me like Bonito. I think that it is likely due to the unique flavor. Like many beers out there, I enjoy one, but am not motivated to spend a night drinking only Sea Rose. Bonito all night would be fine, because it is that kind of broad appeal brew. I'd definitely order another Sea Rose in a bar if I saw it on tap, but I'm not sure I'd commit to a sixer. Cheers!
  2. Definitely good looking sticks. Liked the BB8 short a lot. So did others as it was the first one to sell out...
  3. It may just be a state-wide policy against questionable beer choices
  4. Love the Clicgear mount. Totally going to engineer that this weekend.
  5. CA residents not eligible
  6. In light of recent European tour events increased first tee fanfare, let's discuss what you would pick as your tee off music. It can be hypothetical if that makes you feel better about music not being appropriate on the course, or what you really do when you roll out with that booming cart system (or small portable speaker). For me, it's Notorious B.I.G.'s Big Poppa. Great tempo to get the mind in the right place to take that first swing. "I love it when they call me Big Poppa." is also a great quote right after smashing a drive.
  7. My Scottish side ancestors were Campbells, but there is a whole lot of mixing of the nations in that lineage (Scottish, Irish, English, and Welsh). We wandered I guess. As a result, I always go general military plaid with Black Watch. Insert winter is coming joke here Seamus head covers and flask pouch are all Black Watch plaid.
  8. As another Gen X'er you may want to bump that 45 number or you'll get kicked out of the group... (Born 1965-1984 is Gen X) People who resist change are likely destined to be disappointed. Changes don't need to be major, but those of us who have been around a bit know that nothing ever really stays the same. Typically, change is for the better, or it doesn't last long. aka New Coke and Crystal Pepsi.
  9. I know that the local First Tee program around here gives young players some of these perks on local courses. $5 to walk 9 holes kind of thing. The other thing that came to mind is that the older players also need to be welcoming, and nurturing when we see kids on the course playing. Too often it's easy to get pissed that they are slowing down play, not following the rules, or whatever. The term "teachable moment" needs to be the norm. This is true for new golfers in general. I had a twosome in a cart behind me yesterday. I was walking solo and just hitting balls from different areas, as well as testing the new Bridgestone balls. Aka going nowhere fast. So I wave the two through on the par 3, and the one guy proceeds to shoot about a 10 on the hole. I made sure to be vocal about knowing that they didn't need to rush, and commiserating on how golf is a game we love to hate. Had I been a dick (I let you play through and you play like this?) we could have lost a player from the game. It only takes that much to turn someone off.
  10. This is a really good idea. How can it be accomplished? LOTS of junior camps in my area. Is that enough, or are there other avenues that need to be looked into.
  11. Thanks for the info. Always interesting to dive deeper into this stuff.
  12. Hot Course. But Cold Beer That's the whole point of coolers, right? Sure, maybe you are interested in other non-beer beverages (heresy!), but ultimately, we want to keep things cold in not cold places. I don't know about you, but a warm beer at the turn does not sound like something that is going to motivate me to finish the back nine. Golfers are very creative when it comes to keeping things cold, making sure that we can drink what we want and/or avoid the crazy course prices. $5.50 for a Bud Light can? I'm going to go with no thank you on that one. Instead, we do get creative. We often exploit the fact that we are already carrying a large bag with us, hiding small coolers, or even just cold cans in the pockets. Even the course bar knows the value of cool, with more than one course I've played including a bag of ice with a multiple can purchase. Insulation sucks, but at least there is ice involved. The Coolest of the Cool Which brings us to Yeti Coolers, the coolers known for their ability to keep ice frozen inside for a ridiculously long period of time. Cool side story: this was a happy by-product of the original intention. I was lucky enough last weekend to spend some time chatting with someone from Yeti at a local golf demo day. Much as I like the Yeti stuff, I didn't know their history. Basically, the owners/creators were a couple of buddies who were tired of coolers collapsing on them when they sat or stood on them. With that in mind, they designed a cooler that could stand up to the standing, one that they would want to have out fishing. So they designed these structurally stable coolers, and as fate would have it, found out that they also kept ice frozen for not hours, but days. The rep said that they initially drove a van, loaded with coolers, from store to store trying to sell them, doing all of their own legwork as they demoed to shop owners that they could jump up and down on them. A couple of guys mega engineered a cooler that they would want to use, and Yeti has grown from there. The Hopper Flip 12 First, please don't stand on the Hopper Flip 12, or any of the Hoppers for that fact, because they are soft-sided coolers, and your cooler contents will not likely be improved by your stomping. The Hopper line is not about the stability of the Yeti Tundra, but rather improved portability while retaining Yeti's signature ice sustainability. The Hopper Flip 12 represents the smallest cooler in the Hopper family, and as the name implies, it's the one with the flip top. It comes in two color schemes, with the Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue one depicted here today. My specific goal today is to look into the possibility that the Hopper Flip 12 could become the go to cooler for the golfer looking to take libations and liquids to the course. As such, I'm going to focus on three areas: Contents, Coldness, and Cart-ability Contents: Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Simply put, Contents is all about what the cooler can carry. There is a fine line here that a cooler must walk along to be ideal for golf. Too large and its bulk decreases its ability for it to fit into the cart, and thus lowers its Evade the Marshall sub-score. Hold too little, and why bring it in the first place? I'm so close to giving the Hopper Flip 12 the Goldilocks rating of just right. So close. It holds plenty of beer for you cart, maybe even your foursome. Initially I was a bit despondent that it was too short to hold 22oz bottles (a craft beer staple these days) only to realize that three of them would fit on their sides, along with a full complement of 12 cans, some tall cans even. Normal bottles also fit just fine standing up, but let's try not to bring glass to the course. My only grief with the size of the Hopper Flip 12 is that it is just a bit too wide to completely stuff into the basket on the back of the cart. An inch off of the width, and we'd be in the stuff in sweet spot. Coldness: Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Yeti is known for cold retention. I've got an old model Hopper 20, and it holds the cold like a champ. The Hopper Flip 12 uses the same construction materials as the other Hopper: Dryhide shell for waterproof toughness, and Coldcell Insulation to keep the contents cold. The big switch this time around is that the top flips open for easier* access to the contents, sealing up airtight via Hydrolok zipper. Hey Dave, why is there an asterisk on easier* in that sentence? Oh, you noticed that did you? Well the cooler is easy to zip and unzip, and the zipper seals out air (that's tight for a zipper btw) but it's a long zipper. Like longcat long. Prepare for a zipping odyssey when you open and close it. It's not tough to do, just takes a while to drive the zipper around the perimeter of the unit. You see though, that zipper is the price of admission when you want the cold to keep cold for a long time. Sure, a lighter gauge zipper would make for an easier zipping time, and a Velcro-sealed flap on the top would make it super easy to get beers out, but both would increase the rate of ice melting/warming. As for ice melting, I did a little, quasi-scientific test in my garage. Basically, I dropped a fully frozen plastic half-gallon of water into the Hopper Flip 12 and checked to see how fast it melted as it sat on my garage floor. I checked on it about every 12 hours. 36 hours later there was still ice, with it finally disappearing some time during the next 12 hours. That's a solid day and a half, and I didn't pre-cool the cooler, or have it full, both of which will stretch out ice life in the Yeti. I also just received a sample of Yeti ice. Supposedly this blue ice pack is legit cold too. Basically, even if I tried to play all four courses on the summer solstice up at Bandon Dunes, the cooler would keep up with the cold side of our bargain. Granted, my body would likely collapse somewhere near the tree on Old Mac... Cart-ability: Yeti Hopper Flip 12 As I said, the size is nearly perfect for the power cart back rack. It'll fit in there, but not super deep. Maybe penetration will improve with a little breaking in over time. We shall see. It does fit nicely on the seat in between the riders though, as it stays in place with a little bungee lashing to the rack. We did find that the flip lid was frequently left in the unzipped conformation, which wasn't a problem until the cart driver (not me) had flashes of Le Mans and the Rubicon Trail. Why am I always in his cart? Anyway, remember to zip the top. It will keep the stuff inside cooler longer and also prevent content loss through the hairpin turns. Under my Clicgear pushcart, yours truly is currently exploring lashing protocols truly as well. I'll let you know if I can figure out a way to quickly mount the Hopper Flip 12 in the cart's down under. Yeti Is Now 2 of 2 For Me As I said above, this is the second Yeti cooler that I have been able to run through the paces and again, I have come away impressed. The do keep your cold stuff cold, and are super durable in their construction. I took the Hopper 20 everywhere last summer, and was not gentile with it. Regardless, it still looks great, and works perfectly. Fun side note. The Yeti coolers float when sealed. Seems obvious, with the air-tight construction and all that, but it was a pleasant surprise when the Hopper 20 dove off of the boat last fall. Circled back, grabbed it, and nothing was amiss. For those of you balking at the $279.99 price, I asked the rep that exact question. I asked “What do I tell my readers when they ask about the cheaper RTIC, and other brand coolers?” Her simple answer was along the line of you get what you pay for. Yeti stands behind all of their products with a comprehensive warranty (3 years on the Hopper coolers, 5 years on the Tundras). Yeti stands behind their coolers, or rather on top of them. I think about the guys jumping on them at their inception. I love that image, and the idea that two guys with an idea can turn that idea into something bigger. Bonus Hopper v. Hopper Coverage! Here are some shots comparing the Hopper Flip 12 to the old style Hopper 20 so that you can check out the size differences. I'm actually hugely curious about the new Hopper 20/30 design as the zipper on my style was somewhere between annoying and predatory on my arm. May need to add another Yeti to the cohort.
  13. Good stuff casey. Now with $5 parking, it's the largest almost-free demo day
  14. I love Zinger so much, even if he's a bit rough to look at.
  15. I'd love to hit these and go through the fitting. Product looks amazing, but I'm no closer to that than buying a new G Wagon. Still, I look forward to seeing the ones that Zinger has coming, just like I look forward to seeing sweet rides on the road. And Nic, why don't you go put a live chicken in your underwear.
  16. It's definitely on my cv
  17. Probably my favorite black IPA. It's a tough style, where you can error too bitter or too malty. Balanced, refreshing, but with more body than the norman IPA. Bet you will like it.
  18. Sounds like a plan. Tend to frequent 19 Handles. I'll shoot you a message when I next get a hall pass.
  19. Orange whip has better balance IMO than the SKLZ swing trainer or similar ones. Just swings better. I also find that Advil is a great training aide these days
  20. 21st Amendment Brewery's Brew Free! Blood Orange IPA http://21st-amendment.com Four hop varieties and seven blood oranges ago, our founders brought forth in this brewery, a new beer, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that not all IPAs are created equal. Because sometimes, real fruit just makes things even more delicious. Blood Orange Brew Free! is brewed like our original west coast style Brew Free! or Die IPA, but with an abundance of fresh blood orange puree and a twist of citrusy dry hops. Refreshingly different. As Abe would say, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Alcohol Content: 7% Color: Deep Gold Bitterness Units (IBUS): 70 Bittering Hops: CTZ Flavor Hops: Centennial, Citra Yeast: Top Fermenting Ale Yeast Malts: Two-Row Pale, Munich, Caramalt Special Ingredients: 100% Fresh Blood Orange Puree Making a solid IPA different, but still solid That's probably my simplest take on today's beer. As a NorCal resident, I've had access to and have been enjoying the beers from 21st Amendment Brewery for a number of years. Initially, I probably became aware of them because in a sea of bottles, their beers were in cans. This was long before the current cans are cool movement too. Craft in cans had to overcome the crap comes in cans stigma of the day. As soon as you start drinking their beers, you know that 21st Amendment doesn't make crap beer, canned or otherwise. The progenitor of this beer, Brew Free! Or Die IPA is already firmly in my beer rotation, particularly in the summer when cans at the course, lake, and pool are most welcome. Often times I'll stock the cooler with their mixed 12-pack, since Back in Black IPA, Down to Earth Session IPA, and the new-ish El Sully Mexican lager are all solid beers, and activity friendly. Rip open 12-pack, add ice, done. Happy 4th of July partying. Needless to say, I always check the shelves for new beers from them, and for the arrival of the various seasonal cans Marooned on Hog Island is amazing! Thus it was a zero second decision to grab the sixer of the Blood Orange Brew Free! IPA DRINKABILITY: Bloody Good... First of all, don't start to freak out that this is a fruit beer. Besides, stigmas surrounding fruit beers should be fairly well dispelled these days as brewers are deftly adding all kinds of stuff to beers, like fruit, and producing solid products. Fruit is not added to hide crappy technique, but to expand the palate possibilities. This beer actually had a lot going against it since there is a local Sacramento brewery that makes a blood orange IPA that is not only one of my favorite IPAs, but one of my favorite beers, period. That's Track 7 Brewery's Blood Transfusion for the curious. Aaannnnyyyyhoooo, even with that high standard, I was impressed by Brew Free! Blood Orange IPA. It retains the great taste of the original, but ventures into a deeper land of citrus. I wouldn't say it's sweeter or anything like that, but it does fit the trendy descriptor of “juicy” quite well. The citrus complements the hop bitterness nicely and overall makes this a balanced IPA. GOLFABILITY: Moderation Suggested Golfability is a two-fold category. First, would you enjoy drinking this as you play, and second, would drinking this put the stink eye on your golf performance. Take this beer to the course, but maybe not the whole six-pack. First of all, this beer just screams drink me on a hot afternoon! It is probably going to crack 100F here in Sac soon, and I'll be packing some of these in the golf cooler. Some is the key word. Drinkable or not, it still packs a 7% ABV, which can get golf a little shaky. Perhaps mix in some of their session IPAs and your cooler game will be set. And stay away from golf machinery. Buyagainability: Once again, Already did! Six-pack number two of Brew Free! Blood Orange has already made it through check out. I went back a few days after getting the first one just in case this was a seasonal offering. Thankfully, according to the 21st Amendment site, this beer is now on the year round list, so you should be able to get it when needed. Did notice that He Said He Said is not under the seasonals. Hopefully that one comes back. Regardless, this can will be added to the cooler this summer for sure. Find out more about 21st Amendment Brewery HERE
  21. It may just be a phone call/email away. They mill them in house so who knows, you could start a trend. All custom cigar trays must be ordered by contacting customer relations (CustomerRelations@Bettinardi.com) or calling (708) 802-7400.
  22. Coming soon. Got to get through work first
  23. I've got the book and it's impressive. Probably weighs five pounds. Careful when it hits the coffee table. It's definitely not a cheap book to make. LOTS of full color gloss all over the place. Tons of info about PING and the golf industry. As a PING fan, I'm looking forward to reading it, and honored to be in it. Page 480 to be exact.
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