2 UNDR -Golfers Performance Underwear

Product Review – 2 UNDR

https://2undr.com/ca/

My first thought, being honest, was ‘c’mon, they’re underwear’?!

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Designing ‘performance’ underwear and marketing these to golfers seemed a little confusing to me.  However, having purchased a pair to try I will say this: they are extremely comfortable; highly durable; and the innovative Joey pouch creates unique comfort I have not experienced in other underwear before.  So much so I went out a bought a second and third pair.  It’s more than just the material which has a cool, comfortable feel.  The pouch for your ‘boys’ provides a literal layer of protection which on a hot day on the golf course is appreciated.  And that is the truly innovative part, the “The Joey Pouch”.  As the Canadian 2UNDR website states, it helps  “to separate a man’s most valuable assets from bodily contact to reduce unwanted skin-on-skin contact, providing less chafing, more control and an altogether more luxurious feel”.

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Now you may read this and scoff and say, as I did, ‘c’mon, they’re underwear?’  The 2UNDR ‘Swing Shift’ model retails at Golf Town for $32.99 and comes in several colour options.  It is possible to order them off the 2 UNDR website as well.  They’re not exactly cheap, and make no mistake there’s nothing cheap about them.  And as is often the case you get what you pay for.  Consider it an investment.  The truly notable difference is when you go back to your standard underwear and realize, as I have, that they’re simply not as good or comfortable.

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I am not going to go overboard and say they’ve transformed my golf game; c’mon they’re underwear, but comfort matters on the course.  I can say with confidence that they’re the only underwear I plan on wearing on to play golf, so bring on the heat because I’ll be ready!

The Ladies’ Club – Celebrating all that is good in golf.

Course Reviews – The Ladies Club – Celebrating all that is good in golf

http://www.ladiesgolfclub.com/

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The downhill par shows that designer Stanley Thompson gave this course plenty of challenge.

First, it’s important to dispel some misnomers: First, The Ladies Club is not just for women.  Their website says it best, “Ladies’ is the only private golf club in North America where women have priority access to tee times, and where both women and men can enjoy golf in a welcoming atmosphere”.  Second, if you think the course must be a boring push over than think again.  Set at just over 6000 yards from the tips, this Stanley Thompson design is fair, playable, but in typical Thompson fashion it is the terrain which sets the design parameters and this undulating layout will test the game of all players.  The course, like the facilities and its people, is first class.  Playing there this summer was a highlight of my golfing year and I highly recommend this course.

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Fairways Fund CEO, Tiffany Chaisson hits her opening drive at The Ladies’ Club right down the middle

Located in north Toronto, specifically in Thornhill, Ontario, this course is conveniently located off Yonge Street but head into the grounds and you would think you’re far removed from the hectic pace of the city.  It is a course which honours it history and tradition and leverages its uniqueness as a truly women-friendly course to its advantage.  Playing with a fellow golf writer and head professional, Paddy Kelly, we were able to tee off early and enjoy a pleasant summer morning of golf.

The course boasts multiple tee decks which are allowing members to play and enjoy the game at all levels.  A new purple tee deck was something Paddy discussed, as many members wanted to keep playing but found the Red tees (just over 5000 yards) was getting too long.  A more senior and family friendly tee deck, this move demonstrated the care and attention the course makes to its membership.  Paddy demonstrated through his stories and initiatives he has introduced around instruction and introduction to the game, that the focus at The Ladies Club is participation and fun.  His energy is infectious and he combines knowledge and skill in the game with an ability to connect to people and the result is a club with an environment which could be the envy in the GTA.

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Using the terrain effectively, Thompson creates several beautiful vistas off the tee for players at The Ladies’ Club.

The Ladies Club also honours its unique and rich history exceptionally well.  The clubhouse provides a testament to the leadership of Ada Mackenzie who was instrumental in the course being built in 1924.  One of the leading Canadian women in golf, Mackenzie was able to engage Stanley Thompson in the course design.  Paddy Kelly noted that Thompson was acutely aware of the unique aspects of this project, making holes approachable with ample space to run the ball up the hole, for example.  Set on a beautiful piece of property, the course does not rest on its laurels; it has worked hard to earn Audubon International certification for its environmental stewardship.

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You can see one of Thompson’s key design elements at play; approachable greens.

The course also has another unique aspect to it; 21 holes of play.  Here, players can make a determination after 9 holes if they wish to continue for the final 9, or, take a more direct route to the clubhouse and play a 3-hole loop.  The ‘A’ holes further serve to maintain participation in the game and create diverse options for members.

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The grounds are fantastic, making it feel like an urban oasis.

Classic Thompson bunkering is featured which frames holes exceptionally well.   While just over 6000 yards, the course does provide two par 5’s over 500 yards.  A 36-34 layout, the course ends with a stunning stretch on 16 – 17 – 18.  A downhill par 3, a classic shorter par 4, and an uphill par 3 moving up the clubhouse cap off a wonderful golfing experience.   It is a course I could play over and over again.

I want to extend my thanks to Paddy Kelly and the people at The Ladies’ Club for a wonderful golfing experience.  Add this course to your must play list.

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Classic Thompson bunkering guards this 17th hole but Head Professional Paddy Kelly was able to execute this approach perfectly, including a great club twirl.

Aura –9 out of 10 – My playing partner for the day, Fairway Fund CEO, Tiffany Chaisson, specifically requested we seek to play here.  This history and the story of Ada Mackenzie was so compelling to her that she wanted this to be her first golf experience in Ontario.  The clubhouse shows off the history of this course exceptionally well but the real masterpiece is the course itself.

Value (cost / experience) – 7.5 out of 10 – With ideal location in the Toronto area, the greens fees are fair for a course of this quality.  Yes, it is open to public play and as mentioned it open to men as well as women.  The peak fee is $115 but there are shoulder season rates and a strong twilight fee which creates greater value.  Membership options are also available.

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The Ladies’ Club honours its history like few courses I have experienced.

Course Condition (fairways/greens, layout) – 9 out of 10 – In additional to strong environmental stewardship, greens crew at The Ladies’ Club keep this course in pristine condition.  Tee boxes, bunkers, fairways and greens were all exceptionally maintained.  The course layout was very walkable but did have some undulation to it as the course is bisected by the East Don River.  Holes 7 and 13 (both par 3’s) have challenging greens and it is imperative to keep the ball below the hole.

Overall Experience (how did the round make me feel; would I return) – A fun, playable golfing experience was not sacrificed at the expense of quality.  As a 10 handicapper, I found plenty of challenge but appreciated being rewarded for good shot making.  The course is an urban oasis and the history is on full display.  Paddy Kelly and his team are first class and exceptional at what they do. – 8.5 out of 10

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Third hole photobomb…looking back from the green across the pond to the tee deck.

Highlight (what is great about the course) – As I look back on the experience playing at the Ladies’ Club it was one of the more fun rounds of golf I had last season.  A terrific layout, brilliant design and a great day all combined to make my experience amazing.  The course creates the foundation for the clubs’ success but having a golf club which markets itself primarily to women and creates a positive golfing environment is something I appreciated experiencing first hand.  Also, there is no course I have experienced that tells its story and celebrates its history as well as The Ladies Club.

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The Don River cuts across the 16th hole in front of the green.

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The closing hole, an uphill par 3 closing off what was an excellent experience playing golf at The Ladies’ Club.

 

Looking Ahead to 2017

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Mid-January but always dreaming of getting in 36 a day!

We’re well into 2017 now and while the golf clubs continue to sit idly, except for indoor dome or simulator action, I know it’s only a few months now until the season begins.  But I am not spending of the off-season quietly sitting and waiting for spring’s arrival.  A new year brings optimism but also a plan and a commitment to improve.  So here are some thoughts, projections and plans for the year ahead:

  1. Getting my mind and body fit.

Reflecting back, I don’t think I’ve looked at my off-season preparation for golf in a truly holistic manner.  I’d try to hit balls as often as I could and workout every now and then but it never was truly effective.  A late summer move to my childhood hometown has helped me get into some more healthy habits.  Combined with a couple health apps on my smartphone and an investment in new exercise equipment I am giving 2017 a chance to be more healthy, happy and successful on (and off) the golf course.

Better sleep, better diet, an exercise regime which will focus on my heart and my overall flexibility are already helping me feel better.  I am reading more often – golf and non-golf books – and am starting to learn French.  All this to say is that my view on improving my golf game is being viewed physically, mentally and emotionally now.  I am continuing my golf lessons over the winter months and feel once I get to the middle of April I will be ready to build on my successes of last season.

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I can’t golf every day.  But like this sign says, at Eagles Glenn in Cavendish, PEI, I can have a good day and make choices to help me get better.

  1. More Champions and LPGA golf, less PGA Tour

Ever so slightly, I am starting to sour on the PGA tour.  Where I am finding enjoyment on

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I feel like I’m the only one not scoring 59.

TV is through the PGA Champions and LPGA.  Here I see players who hit it only slightly farther and play courses closer in length to what I do.  It is increasingly difficult for me to relate to PGA stars that hit the ball so far and are seemingly automatic around and on the greens.  I understand on TV we see the leaders play and those are the players who are playing the best.  But seeing pros dissect 500 yard par 4’s with driver and 9 iron just doesn’t appeal to me.  Maybe part of it is that in 2017 I become eligible for the Champions Tour (age-wise anyway. Yes, it’s a milestone year).  Don’t get me wrong, like you I’ll be glued to the Masters and all the important tournaments and I’ll still get more than my share of PGA Tour viewing in.  But with weekly scores of 59 or 60 now, and tour players’ relentless commitment to training the game is not what it once was to me.  My issue is not the players, it’s the ball…but that’s another rant for another day.

  1. Business Travel Plans

My 2017 business schedule is locked in.  I have extended visits to Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal lined up.  I certainly plan on tacking on some time out west to play Sagebrush and maybe one or two others on my Bucket List.  I have yet to explore the options (time or courses) for Ottawa or Montreal but the clubs will be coming with me and my habit of mixing some pleasure after business will continue.  I will do my research but not hesitate to put a call out on Twitter or FB for recommendations of places to play to help build my itinerary.  I’ll be hard pressed to match my success from the 2016 season which had me play in British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick.  There, I was able to knock off 5 courses off the Bucket List as well as play two others.  This year I’d like to knock off just as many on my revised list.

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No trips to Cape Breton planned for 2017…yet!

  1. Membership has its privileges

It’s possible I’ve buried the lede here but I have joined Hidden Lake Golf Club in my hometown of Burlington, ON.  As an associate member I can control the value proposition for myself but still get all the benefits of belonging, including the chance to play in the Club Championship in August.  The membership structure is such I can still make a commitment to play public courses in the area from time to time (I will not abandon my pursuit of my bucket list) yet have access to practice and playing facilities close to my home and at a fraction of the cost of other area courses.  It’s been over 35 years since I was a member at a club so this will feel new but will also be exciting.  I expect to wear out their short game practice area over the year.  But even in terms of rounds played, 20 rounds is simply not going to cut it (that was my total for 2016, one of my lowest numbers in some time).

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Christmas Eve 2015 – Hidden Lake Golf Club

  1. Practice with purpose. Play more competitively.

My index is currently 9.6 but that is not consistent throughout my game.  My weakest parts of my game are irons and short game (I’m more a 15).  I’ve worked hard to become an average putter and my long game/tee game has vastly improved (here, I’m closer to a 5).  So, to get better I feel I need to focus 3/4 of my time inside of 150 yards and most of that inside of 50 yards.  My new course will provide me great access and space to do so.  Through my instruction with Brian McCann I will create a plan to review and address areas of my game which are weak.  I love practicing and get much from an hour or two on the greens, range or short game area.

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OK, maybe this is extreme, but I do plan on making a greater commitment to practice in 2017.

Also, I am hopeful to play more competitive golf in 2017.  I wrote about my experience in 2016 at the Golf Ontario Baka Public Player Championships.  I won’t be eligible for that this year and will need to focus within my new club to get the competitive experiences I now crave.  An August Club Championship and weekly Men’s night will be a good starting point.  I’ll explore other options too as I love the competitive nature of golf.  But even with that, my filter for golf will always be to have fun.  It’s an amazing game.

Like New Year’s resolutions (which I no longer make) I don’t want to set a firm goal for 2017.  I strive to be a scratch golfer and break par regularly.  I have never broken par, my best round +3.  However, if pressed on the issue I’d like to see if I can get my index down to 5.0  This is a milestone I am seeking to achieve.   I have much work to do to get there…we’ll see how things go!

It’s going to be a fun 2017 golf season; I hope it’s an enjoyable and successful.

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Here’s to many great days for us all in 2017.  Play well friends.

 

2016 in Review – Top 5 Posts

2016 in Review – Top 5 Posts

I want to thank everyone who follows and supports my blog.  Three years now and I am still enjoying the opportunity to share reviews and travel information on interesting and wonderful public golf courses in Canada.  Expect more of the same in 2017.  It was a great year of golf for me, with chances to play in British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario.  I was able to play some amazing courses, meet great people and see parts of the country I have never experienced.  As is often the case there were some hidden gems and I tried hard to make a commitment to improve my photography skills and share more of these experiences with you.

Meeting and playing golf with fellow bloggers, venturing back into competitive golf after a brief absence and being able to maintain a single digit handicap are all things I look back on fondly.  Canada really is an amazing country to play golf in.  I find it so rich in golf courses that I recently increased my Bucket List of Canadian public courses from 74 to just fewer than 100.  Canada has well over 2000 courses so I have done some research, listened to Twitter followers and went with my gut in a few cases but added over 20 courses to my list.

In 2016, my top 5 posts all have an eastern Canada connection.  My 2015 PEI trip was legendary and I have written extensively on it.  Four of the top five posts were course reviews from this trip which I staggered as new blog entries over the winter of 2016.

#1. Stanhope Golf Club

Easy to walk, relaxed in nature and offering an incredible underrated and stunning back nine, Stanhope offers high marks for fun.  A benign opening nine gives way to an amazing stretch of golf holes on the back that are both challenging and awe inspiring.  Playing on an afternoon following a tough weather morning at demanding Crowbush Cove; Stanhope was a perfect course to cap off an epic day of 36.

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Not everyone gets to play golf with their best friend but at Stanhope it’s encouraged.

Click here to read the full post

#2 Oh, The Places You Will Go

Fairways Fund CEO, Tiffany Chaisson is someone I am proud to call a friend.  She also brings this amazing marriage of golf enthusiasm with unbridled passion for the game (making my own passion for the same seem pedestrian).  The opportunity to meet my Twitter friend in person, over a round of golf, came in July when we were fortunate to be hosted for a round at the incredible Ladies Club in Thornhill, ON.  The Ladies Club has a rich history and an amazing story of its inception that both Tiffany and I wanted to learn about.  Head Professional, Paddy Kelly hosted us and joined us for a round at this Stanley Thompson design which is a shorter course, but long on beauty and challenge.

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Ladies Club Head Professional, Paddy Kelly; Fairways Fund CEO, Tiffany Chaisson; and me!

Click here to read the full post

#3 Green Gables Golf Club

Sticking to Stanley Thompson, his work in Cavendish, in PEI, was my third most popular post in 2016.  Recent renovations by Tom McBroom helped bring this course back to its original lustre and an early morning fall tee time helped show off all its beauty.  The iconic Anne of Green Gables home, Oceanside views, classic Thompson design…it was there to enjoy.

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Anne’s house.

Click here to read the full post

#4 Eagles Glenn Golf Club

Practically within walking distance from Green Gables, still in Cavendish, is a more recent design.  Eagles Glenn, as I look back, is an outstanding golf course which is well framed by the rolling countryside and the design brilliance of Graham Cooke.  Superbly conditioned and on a stunning fall morning, this was a consensus favourite by our entire group.

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The Cartners won the last hole and were ready to tee it up.

Click here to read the full post

#5 Glasgow Hills Golf Club

This club of all the 10 played on our trip to PEI invoked the most discussion.  Stunning, immaculate in its conditioning and incredibly demanding, it presents a back nine which I really enjoyed.  With the most elevation changes of any course on the Island it demands accuracy and length.  But spend time before and after the round in their amazing clubhouse and restaurant and you’ll only focus on the great shots and the great views.

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This view from the patio of the clubhouse at Glasgow Hills is the best.

Click here to read the full post.

2016 in Pictures – Banff Springs (part 2)

In an effort to step up my photo game this year I am pleased to share 10 of my favourite golf images over the past year.  With a healthy layer of snow already in southern Ontario I hope this brings back good memories from your 2016 golf season and stokes the fire of anticipation for 2017!

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The story:  Given that these are two pictures of the same hole I don’t feel like I am breaking the rules too much.  The third hole at Banff Springs is my second favourite par 5 I have ever played (Highlands Links #7 gets top honours) and these views give you a good idea why.  While the 4th hole (see Banff Springs – part 1) gets proper accolades this is a highly underrated golf hole.  The sheer magnitude of the Rockies set against the expansiveness of this par 5 was incredible to experience.  I was blessed with a perfect morning for pictures and took full advantage.  The top image looks back from behind the green and the lower image was taken as I rounded the subtle dog leg and could see the green.  This courses is what bucket lists were meant for.

To all my readers, a very Merry Christmas, joyous and safe holidays and my best wishes to you and yours for a healthy and prosperous 2017.

In friendship, Mike

 

2016 in Pictures – Tobiano

In an effort to step up my photo game this year I am pleased to share 10 of my favourite golf images over the past year.  With a healthy layer of snow already in southern Ontario I hope this brings back good memories from your 2016 golf season and stokes the fire of anticipation for 2017!

The story:  My day of golf at Tobiano was simply amazing.  This course is well positioned in Top 10 lists of public courses in Canada.  My experience was somewhat solitary, as I seemed to bring in some stormy weather in my drive north from Surrey.  The dramatic effect of the weather in the distance set against the beauty of Kamloops Lake and the pristine condition of this course made it a real favourite of mine.  I was able to get 27 holes in before the weather won out.  But rest assured, I’ll be back and eagerly await a chance to play this very special course again.

Click here for my full review of Tobiano.

 

 

2016 in Pictures – The Ladies Golf Club

In an effort to step up my photo game this year I am pleased to share 10 of my favourite golf images over the past year.  With a healthy layer of snow already in southern Ontario I hope this brings back good memories from your 2016 golf season and stokes the fire of anticipation for 2017!

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The Story: The word golf enthusiast is not appropriate for Tiffany Chaisson because it simply does not properly reflect her love for the game of golf (I defer to her choice; Golf Passionista).  I have never met a golfer more passionate about the game then the CEO of Fairways Fund (which is its own fascinating story).  This is the second fellow blogger I was able to tee it up with in 2016.  Hosted by Paddy Kelly and the fine people at The Ladies Golf Club for a summer round, this photo was not staged.  No, instead, I was photobombed and the result is quintessential Tiff.  Great memories of one of the more fun rounds of golf I experienced in 2016.  The course, I would argue, is one of Stanley Thompson’s more underrated courses I have played; I loved it.