Proud to be a Snell Golf Canada Ambassador

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“Welcome to the Snell Golf Canada team”.

With that email from Snell Golf Canada marketing strategist, Bill Crowe, I was officially a brand ambassador for Snell Golf Canada. Snell golf balls are new to the Canadian golf scene and having tried them recently I was convinced they were the ball for me.  Here’s a link to my recent review.

You’ll see me striping the optic yellow Get Sum balls on courses across the country. The combination of performance, durability and colour are a winner for me. For players seeking a performance ball, you should try the My Tour Ball. Arguably as good or better than the leading balls on the market, experience these for yourself. Can’t decide?  Try the Testing Pack (6 of each to allow you decide what is best for you).

The Snell website shares much about the balls and the story of Dean Snell (which is a great story). Online ordering helps control costs; it’s all about the average golfer and equipping them (us) with a great ball at a great price.  The process is easy and the team is very responsive should you have questions.

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To help set you up, when you order online use the promo code ’36aday’ to get an additional $2 off per dozen. But the real value is in their 6 dozen value packs. Save on shipping with a value pack order. Add the promo code ’36aday6′ and get an amazing $12 off your order.

I want to extend my thanks to the entire team at Snell Golf Canada. Like many golfers, I am loyal and passionate about my equipment. Two rounds with Snell Golf balls made me pursue a permanent change. If we get a chance to tee it up together I’ll share a Snell for you to try. To me, my tag line for Snell Golf Balls are: Play. Better. Value.

See you on the course!

Snell Golf Balls -Welcome to Canada!

Snell Golf Balls – Canada, there’s a new ball you need to try.

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First try using the Snell Golf optic yellow Get Sum ball was a birdie at Glen Abbey’s 1st hole.

Golf balls are the one of the only pieces of equipment we use on all shots.  Ensuring you have the best ball for you is worth investigating.  I have read and heard much about Snell Golf Balls.  Dean Snell’s story is a fascinating one.  It did not go unnoticed to me when Snell opened up Canadian operations, essentially providing easier access to a new brand of ball built by one of the brains behind the Pro V1/V1x.  The opportunity to try these two different balls – I’ve played them for two rounds now – has me thinking it is time to make a commitment to something that is better aligned with my needs from a golf ball.

Overall, the performance was surprisingly high.  Snell has two ball options – their ‘tour’ ball model called My Tour Ball.  It is a three piece ball.  Their other ball, Get Sum, a two-piece design, is available in white or an optic yellow.  I tested the yellow version.  Both balls have a quality, clean look.  My testing also included sharing the My Tour Ball for test play with a mid-handicapper and a low-handicap player to get their feedback as well.

The name does not bring a level of recognition (yet) but having two others play the ball sight unseen, their impressions were both of surprise and pleasure.  The low handicap player was curious if this ball was more to specs of a Pro V1 or Pro V1x.  My answer was a bit of both.  My rationale for this is the softness and performance of the My Tour Ball around the greens.  They seem to mirror the quality of the Pro V1.  However, with added durability it may borrow from the strengths of the Pro V1x.  The mid handicapper noticed the durability and clean look.  One critique shared was the logo sizing and use of font, but I like to putt with the blank side of the ball showing and truthfully have never looked at a ball through this aesthetic lens before.  As a 10 handicap player myself, the only real difference was around the greens and on approach shots but these differences were negligible to me.  The balls performed extremely well and I would be pleased to put these into play on a regular basis.  I’ll review each ball in more detail:

Get Sum

This was an underrated performer.  As a two-piece ball it showed surprising and impressive feel around the greens and quite possibly the best feel with any ball I have putted with, ever.  The option of an optic yellow colour is something that really appeals to me as the colour helps me track the ball better off the club.  And to me, Snell has created the most vibrant yellow colour on the market.  The release on my approach shots (9 iron) was between 5-10 feet which is acceptable to me.  The ball is very durable, having played two over two rounds and they stand up well to the inconsistencies of my game.  The ball has one side which is branded GET SUM along with alignment arrows around the name.  The ball created a level of comfort and confidence for me which I valued and appreciated.

My Tour Ball

This ball comes in a pure white finish and like Get Sum, has the name on one side and the other blank allowing players options to aid in alignment on the greens.  There are two distinct aspects of this ball which I have noticed in two rounds; the durability is fantastic and is much better than Titleist.  Attacking this ball with wedges will not scuff the ball.  I regret to say, like all balls, it is not immune to a cart path kiss.  The second distinctive feature to this ball is how it felt softer the closer to the green I got.  Greenside chipping or pitch shots responded very well.  Off the tee and with approach shots, my efforts to shape the ball worked well.  On approach shots (8 iron) there was next to no release (2 feet).

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Left: Optic yellow Get Sum.  Right: My Tour Ball

Overall, I would grade these balls extremely high.  I plan to visit the Canadian team in person; to learn more about their growth plans in Canada and place my first order.  The combination of visibility, performance, durability and value make this hard to argue.  It is much easier for Canadian players to access Snell golf balls.  While it is true that these are not available at leading retailers, on-line order is easy and the Snell team in Canada is engaging and responsive.  Can’t decide what to order?  Don’t.  Order the testing pack – 6 balls each of My Tour Ball and Get Sum.  Are you a value conscious golfer?  Get their 6 dozen value packs to save the shipping costs.  Want to engage the team directly?  They’re active on social media and are very responsive in communications.  This is good because I’d like to make a request for My Tour Ball in optic yellow, please!

Snell golf balls are here Canada.  Based on their performance it won’t be a secret for much longer.

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Gear Essentials – Rain Wear – Foot Joy – Dry Joys Tour XP Rain Jacket

Foot Joy – Dry Joys Tour XP Professional Rain Jacket

http://www.footjoy.com/catalog/35221

Foot Joy – Dry Joys Tour XP Rain Jacket – MSRP – $320.00

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While my summer golf season was drier than normal for me, I was finally able to give my new Foot Joy Tour XP Rain Jacket a solid test. With 2 days of rain over a 6 day fall golf trip, the jacket held up exceptionally well to rain, sleet, wind and cool weather.
I was so impressed with the comfort, fit and performance of this jacket that I can’t see myself buying anything other than Foot Joy in the future.

My preliminary research brought me to Golf Digest, who release their annual Hot List review of equipment, apparel, golf balls, etc. There are some items in the game of golf I will not sacrifice in terms of performance and quality and rain gear is one of them. I will play golf if they allow me to and this ‘commitment’ has led me to play in some extreme conditions. Constant, driving rain when the agenda is 36 holes requires equipment that can be trusted. This Foot Joy jacket received a Gold rating by Golf Digest, and it is a respected name, but the proof is in the performance.

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First, the material is exceptional, ideal really. Not too bulky so as to restrict movement but not too light to obscure performance. While I will not get into the science of how well this jacket breathes, in weather over 15c I would find the full length jacket a little warm. So much so I purchased a short sleeve version of the jacket for warmer weather. The jacket can be easily folded or rolled into a golf bag extended pocket along with rain pants with ease. The zipper is strong and durable and provides a deep pocket on each side. Velcro straps will fasten on the wrists to keep moisture out. To me, the neck of this jacket is not too low, nor too high so as to bunch or gather. After 36 holes in steady rain I was pleased that my shoulders remained dry. I have three areas in which I get very uncomfortable if they get wet – shoulders being one (my butt is the second and the third are my thighs – both of these can be accommodated with superior rain pants). The material dries well and well cared for this is a jacket that should last for several seasons.

Where I am most impressed is the range of motion I am allowed. Sizing for me was ideal in that there were no swing restrictions. Trust in my equipment allows me to focus on my game and not worry about the elements. In fact, I almost welcome the rain now feeling I get a leg up on others who are concerned about getting wet or being uncomfortable. I say bring it on. With my Foot Joy rain jacket and its proven performance I will stay dry. As for value? This is not a discount jacket and the MFRP for this in Canada is just over $300. In my experience, rain wear is seldom on sale. However, value does not always mean cheap and in this case the performance is where this shines, even on the rainiest of days.

My Ball of Choice – Yellow Srixon Z-Star

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Visible. Durable. And strong performance. The Yellow Srixon Z-Star.

For the better part of three years I struggled to find a performance golf ball I could trust.  Having played Pro V1’s for a while, and admittedly loving their performance around the greens I was frustrated at how easily they would scuff.  I had tried Nike, Bridgestone, Callaway…pretty much all the high end balls and liked them but did not love them.

My first experience with coloured Srixon balls was about five years ago with the Q Star.  Straight and durable, it was the durability and the ability to better follow the ball off the club that impressed me.  Upon finding out about  Z Star line I immediately tried them and was impressed.  Of course, dispersing play with these balls and my left over Pro V’s gave me an immediate comparator.  Durability and optics were the deciding factors for me and performance was not lagging as much as I thought it may around the greens.  Now?  It’s all I’m going to use.  I love their distinct colour and after many years finally found a ball I can trust.  Heck, it is even playable after a cart path ‘kiss’.

What is your golf ball of choice and how loyal are you to your golf ball?  Play well.

A Yellow Srixon Birdie Chip-In at Batteaux Creek

A Yellow Srixon Birdie Chip-In at Batteaux Creek

Gear Essentials – Rain Wear – Sunice Hurricane Gore Tex Pant

Gear Essentials – Rain Wear – Sunice Hurricane Gore Tex Pant

http://www.sunice.com/ca-en/golf

Sunice Hurricane Rain Pant – MSRP – $299.00

Large fits well for me who wears 34" x 32" pants

Large fits well for me who wears 34″ x 32″ pants

Living in Canada, with a compressed golf season to start with, having the proper golf gear can allow players to extend that season when the weather is less than ideal. If you’re like me, the prospect of playing golf when it is both cold and wet is not always enjoyable.

I play golf when I travel on business whenever possible, often piggybacking a day to experience a local public course. This June, while in Ottawa I traveled to Quebec to play Fairmont Chateau Montebello. Hard to believe but on June 2 I broke out my new rain pants for the first time since acquiring them this winter. Here’s my take on the Sunice Hurricane rain pant.

Excellent materials and the assurance of Gore Tex will protect well from rain

Excellent materials and the assurance of Gore Tex will protect well from rain

Gore-Tex is an assurance of quality and as I looked over a special for these pants on The Golf Warehouse website all I had to do was look back over rounds where – cart or walking – the rain managed to get through my less-than-excellent nylon rain pants. And with the prospect of traveling to PEI for 10 rounds this fall I wanted the kind of assurance that these pants will provide me. It was definitely an investment but one which will last many years. The fit is excellent; velcro can help tighten the fit without pinching. They slide on an off over golf shoes with relative ease which is appreciated. The pockets are most interesting. There is a generous back pocket which is deep to protect a score card. Front pockets are smaller and resemble cargo-style pocketing but I grew to appreciate this. First, they close very well. They hold a golf ball and tees/ball markers so from a size standpoint they are not restrictive to the needs of a player. They are external pockets only so there is zero risk they will leak. I like the fact the pockets were on the side and not more to the front of the pant. It was a design element I really appreciated as I played; they were positioned to allow full mobility and no restriction of my golf game. My only caveat is in warm weather they will make me sweat but from a protection standpoint these are outstanding. The day I played was cool, damp, overcast and 13c (55F) and I was comfortable but once the sun poked through and it started to warm I could feel the heat. Strong, durable and made of quality materials these pants will last a golfer many, many years and protect well from rain. Bring on the rain, I’m ready.

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Customization 2.0 – My Experience with Jeff Shuster

Customization 2.0 – My Experience with Jeff Shuster

Credible sources are important to me. And when a golf writer colleague advised me that Jeff Shuster is worth approaching when considering a new equipment purchase I was very confident in approaching Jeff to explore having a new custom hybrid made.

I have written before about my experience, and value, of custom fitting. I am a strong advocate of the process. Have things changed? No. In fact, what I was able to get during this experience was an increased sense of service, support and reinforcement to the value of custom fitting. At the risk of this becoming an advertisement I will say right now that honesty and transparency are very important to me. With Jeff I had a very clear sense that he is willing to work for me and with me, respect my constraints (for example; no upselling of products I can’t afford now) and provide very honest and practical advice.

I am sure I am like many golfer out there that value our clubs, are willing to make investments based on performance, but often lack knowledge to make informed decisions. This was one aspect that Jeff was comfortable to share, and did so using clear language. I was not confused by terminology which I did not understand. Sure, we talked about technology and technology options but in the context of my game and my desired results. A good fitter should take the time to provide the information needed to allow his or her customer to make a decision that works well for them. My new hybrid is the product I received but I was really able to acquire was a trusted and confident relationship moving forward.

There are many excellent fitters across the country. They do important work and help create clubs that fit and function as effectively as possible based on our skills. I’m glad to have found one of them who’s values in business align with mine as a consumer.

Get fit. Seek service that aligns to your needs and respects your knowledge and constraints. I am very glad I did this. I’ll never buy stock equipment again.

TripleBogey Beer – The Official Beer of the @36aday Blog

TripleBogey Beer – The Official Beer of the @36aday Blog

http://www.triplebogey.com/

First, the marketing opportunities are gold. Marketing a beer to golfers is like ACME Corporation marketing roadrunner-killing gadgets to coyotes; it’s brilliant. As a twitter junkie, I followed the baby steps of the TripleBogey Brewing and Golf Co. from its early days. And as this golf season started I knew I had to try some of this beer and appropriately attire myself with swag. A golf weekend in early May provided me the drive to make this happen.

Geoff Tait is a great guy to know (aside from the obvious, I mean the guy owns a freakin’ brewery!). He’s personable, engaging and very helpful. I was able to procure some of +3’s finest and along with a snappy new +3 toque, and with my supplies secured headed out for an annual golf weekend outside of Sarnia, to a small community called Forest, Ontario. To make a long story short – the beer is awesome, the weather was horrible and my golf game may be as good as it’s ever been (which I attributed to the beer on twitter that weekend).

More on the beer: I love the clean taste. A lager with 5% alcohol, the tall cans provided a crisp finish. And I was able to enjoy a few over the course of the day and evening and not wake up for golf the next day feeling or looking like Keith Richards. To me that’s important. My playing partners also enjoyed the beer, some a little too much! This is not going to be as detailed as a wine review here. Simply put, I like the beer. I like it a lot. And when the winter months are over and my affinity for beer drinking goes up at a similar pace to my interest in playing golf, it is nice to know I have a go-to brand which will satisfy. It tastes like a good, clean Canadian-made brew, meaning it is not too light, watery or void of flavour.

At the time of this blog draft, it is not available for sale at the LCBO or the Beer Store in Ontario but I’m hopeful one day…

Check the website, follow Geoff on twitter and ask…no, demand, your course sell TripleBogey.

TripleBogey is the official beer of the @36aday blog. Drink TripleBogey…play better golf (worked for me!)