November 17, 2016 - 1:06pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bogeybox
Bogeybox
PGA professional Clayton Balch (left) and Nik Bando have created an on-demand service for those who love golf apparel that offers a special bonus -- a free swing analysis.

After returning from a trip to the PGA Merchandise Show down in Orlando a couple of years back, PGA Professional Clayton Balch was back to his regular gig at Chelsea Piers in New York giving lessons.

While giving a lesson to his friend, Nik Bando, the student noticed some sweet new threads his teacher was wearing. Stuff from companies like Holderness & Bourne, Linksoul and Matte Grey – companies that Bando had never heard of, but thought looked sharp.

Balch explained that he had picked up the new apparel while he was at the Merchandise Show. He had some extras in Bando’s size and passed them along.

That’s when a light bulb lit up for Bando.

“I hate shopping,” Bando said. “Fitting rooms, waiting around. The whole process is terribly overwhelming and inconvenient. There had to be a better way. What about recommendations from Clayton, my PGA Professional? Unlike an employee at a traditional retail store, Clayton knew everything about me: my style, my size and color preferences. It was this personal relationship that helped Clayton make amazing product recommendations for me.”

That’s where “Bogeybox” was born.

Bando is the CEO and Balch is the COO of the on-demand clothing service where the duo essentially shops for you based on a bank of information you provide upon signing up. You tell them everything you like: size, fit, style, specific brands, etc.

From there, Bando and Balch put together a box based on your preferences.

Bogeybox gives you five days to try everything on at home and if there’s anything you don’t want, you return it. Shipping is free both ways and, Bando says, “there’s no pressure to purchase anything you don’t absolutely love. We think this is a smart, more simple way to discover great clothing.”

Oh, and there’s another thing that separates Bogeybox from other similar boxing services. Balch, a Class A PGA Professional who was the 2013 Chelsea Piers Teacher of the Year, offers customers a free swing analysis as an added perk.

“The complimentary swing analysis came about very organically,” Balch explained. “Since we assign each member their own Bogeybox Pro, we are in constant communication with them about new shipments, feedback on the items, and even swing issues. I was talking to a member one day and he was telling me about a terrible round of golf he played over the weekend. He said he didn't hit a single fairway and was trying to figure out what was going wrong with his swing. He knew I was a PGA Professional, so he asked if he could send me a video so I could take a look.”

From there, Balch took the video, uploaded it into a swing app and gave the customer a 10-swing analysis.

“He loved it and has been one of our best customers since,” Balch said. “From that point on, Nik and I knew that giving away a free swing analysis with each box, would make a lot of people happy and better golfers. So it was a win-win.” 

Here’s how ordering a Bogeybox works:

 

 

Bogeybox began as a monthly service, but Bando and Balch agreed that didn’t work and decided to change it to an on-demand service – in other words, you order a new box only when you want one.

“We quickly realized that most people don't need clothes every month,” Balch said. “With both Nik and myself being avid golfers, we wanted new clothes for every season, but sometimes more often and sometimes less. Neither of us were members of any other subscription services because we didn't like having to commit to something every month. We also didn't want to be stuck with any items we received. We took all of this information and designed the service around that.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Bogeybox, visit www.bogeyboxgolfclub.com

PGA Professional and student are driving force behind 'Bogeybox' business
November 17, 2016 - 9:32am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
Golf Channel
During the first round of the DP Tour World Championship in Dubai on Thursday, Rory McIlroy attempted a shot from the water on the par-4 16th hole. It took two attempts to get out and he wound up with a double bogey.

There's nothing professional golfers hate more than taking penalty strokes for unplayable lies.

If there's any chance of advancing the ball without taking an unplayable, players will do it -- remember that time Sergio Garcia hit one out of a tree?

Anyway, back to Thursday and the first round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, where World No. 2 Rory McIlroy, the defending champion, found himself struggling mightily.

After notching his first two birdies of the day at the 14th and 15th holes to get to 2 over for the day, McIlroy made his way to the par-4 16th. It looked like his approach shot may have found a watery grave. But, as he arrived at the green, McIlroy found that he actually still had a shot since the ball wasn't completely submerged.

The first attempt wasn't pretty, but the second effort was solid:

McIlroy would walk away with a double-bogey 6. He birdied his final hole for a 3-over 75. That has him tied for 55th in the 60-man field.

Going lefty wasn't an option for the two shots above, something McIlroy proved he could do at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in 2014:

Rory McIlroy needs two tries to escape water in Dubai
November 17, 2016 - 8:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
world's fastest golf cart
YouTube
In honor of today being International Guinness World Record Day, we decided to look up some of the craziest golf records we could find in the Guinness Book -- including world's fastest golf cart.

You may not have realized it (and, don't worry, we honestly didn't really know it was "a thing" until this week), but today is International Guinness World Record Day.

It's amazing the list of crazy records you can find if you have enough time to waste!

In honor of today, we decided to look up some of the craziest golf records we could find in the Guinness Book -- there are 328 of them total if you're interested in checking them out yourself.

Here are the 11 that stood out most.

11. Largest collection of golf clubs
From the Guinness Book:
Robert Lantsoght of Malaga, Spain has a collection of 4,393 individual golf clubs that he has been collecting since 1992. Robert has a restaurant on the Costa del Sol, which is renowned for golf. Every golf club in his collection is on display in the restaurant. Robert began collecting when he received a golf bag with a complete set of golf clubs in 1992 and he continues to update the collection on a weekly basis.

That's a lot of golf clubs to be sure, but I have to believe there are some avid golfers out there who might want to challenge it.

10. Longest Golf Cart
From the Guinness Book:
The longest golf cart measures 9.62 m (31 ft 6.74 in) from bumper to bumper and was created by Mike's Golf Carts (USA), the cart was measured in Perry, Georgia, USA on 30 May 2013.

 

9. Fastest Golf Cart
From the Guinness Book:
The fastest golf cart is the 'Bandit' by Plum Quick Motors, which achieved a speed of 191.12 km/h (118.76 mph) when driven by Robby Steen (USA) at the Darlington Dragway in Hartsville, South Carolina, USA, on 31 October 2014. This is the second time a cart from Plum Quick motors has taken the title for the 'Fastest.'

Call me crazy, but 118.76 mph in a golf cart seems a little excessive. That said, it would certainly put a dent into the issue of slow play.

 

8. Longest serving golf club member
From the Guinness Book:
The longest serving golf club member is 82 years 18 days and was achieved by Geoffrey Crosskill (UK b. 3 June 1922) at Eaton Golf Club, in Norwich, UK, as of 18 January 2016. Geoffrey joined the golf club after encouragement from his father. He paid one guinea for his original twelve month membership. In his time at the club he has achieved five holes in one. He continues to play twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, teeing off at 7 am.

- Current handicap: 16
- Best handicap: 9
- Best round: 77

7. Most holes-in-one in a single round of golf
From the Guinness Book:
The most holes-in-one in a single round of golf is 3, achieved by Patrick Wills (USA) at the Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Virginia, USA on 22 June 2015. The record was broken at the 2015 Summer Solstice Tournament.

I might have to quit playing after a round like that? Can't get better, can it?

6. Farthest golf shot caught in a moving car
From the Guinness Book:
The farthest golf shot caught in a moving car was achieved this week by former Formula One driver David Coulthard and Jake Shepherd (both UK), at Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey, UK.

The golf ball left the tee at a speed of 286.46 kmh (178 mph), and landed in the car 275 metres further down the runway; however, the 250 m marker was the closest point at which it could be evident that the record had been achieved.

Professional golfer Jake Shepherd drove a 285km/h golf ball just as Coulthard drove away in a 425kW Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster to catch it.

Coulthard accelerated to speeds of to 190km/h before the the ball landed in the cockpit of the SLS.

Call me crazy, but wouldn't any golf shot caught in a moving vehicle be amazing? Forget about 300 yards!

 

5. Farthest distance between two rounds of golf played on the same day
From the Guinness Book:
The greatest distance between two rounds of golf played on the same day is 15,982 km (9,931 miles) by John Knobel (Australia) who played two full 18-hole rounds, firstly, at The Coast Golf Club, Sydney, Australia, and then Forest Park Golf Club, Woodhaven, New York, USA, on 21 May 2006.

I hate it when your course has a shotgun tournament in the afternoon and you've got to play someplace else for that second round of 18. Knobel, clearly, hates that more than most of us.

4. Youngest hole-in-one golfer (female)
From the Guinness Book:
The youngest female golfer to score a hole-in-one is Soona Lee-Tolley (USA), aged 5 years 103 days at the par 3 7th at Manhattan Woods Golf Club, West Nyack, New York, USA, on 1 July 2007. The hole is a 125 yards long. Soona's older brothers are succesful young golf players as well.

3. Tallest professional golfer ever
From the Guinness Book:
The tallest professional golf player ever is Marcel Pickel (Germany, b. 10 June 1984), who was verified as measuring 2.06 metres (6 ft 9 in) on 22 September 2014 in Köln, Germany (to be checked). Pickel played on the PGA of Germany Tour from 2010 to 2013.

 

2. Oldest female golfer to score their age
From the Guinness Book: The oldest player to score her age is Kayoko Fukui (Japan, b. 5 October 1936), who scored 70 at Taiheiyo Golf Club, Karuizawa, Japan, on 16 August 2007. Her exact age was 70 years, 315 days.

Isn't that the beauty of the game? You're never to old to play... and, in this case, play well.

1. Most 18 hole golf courses played in one year
From the Guinness Book: The most different 18 hole golf courses played in one year is 449 courses by Cathie and Jonathan Weaver (both Canada), in various locations across Canada and the United States from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009. Husband and wife Jonathan and Cathie are both accomplished golfers with handicaps of 8 and 15 respectively. They played courses in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland (all Canada) and Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon and Nevada (all United States). They averaged 8.6 golf courses per week.

No truth to the rumor that the Weavers also hold world records for "most sick days used in a year at work" or "most envied couple amongst golf couples on the planet."
 

11 crazy golf records
November 16, 2016 - 3:33pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
#MannequinChallenge
@EuropeanTour on Twitter
Have you seen any #MannequinChallenge videos? This one from the European Tour might just be the best.

Remember planking? The Ice Bucket Challenge? "Icing" friends?

Well, all the rage lately has been the #MannequinChallenge where you shoot a video of a group of people just standing in place, not moving, like... a mannequin.

No joke... My wife and I were with friends at a winery over the weekend. At around 3 o'clock, the winery was closing down to the public for a wedding ceremony that afternoon. As we were finishing our glasses off, a groomsman from the wedding party got everyone's attention (about 50 people or so) and asked if we'd partake in the mannequin challenge for the wedding videographer.

We all did.

But I digress. On Wednesday, the European Tour released what may just be the #MannequinChallenge video to end all #MannequinChallenge videos.

Check it out ("Black Beatles" song in the background is NSFW, so turn off your audio):

That's got to be one of the most impressive social media videos ever shot, no? Just the sheer number of people involved holding their respective poses for that long? Amazing!

Well done to our friends at the European Tour. Their social media videos are always fantastic. 

European Tour aces its #MannequinChallenge video
November 16, 2016 - 10:23am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
You want to play golf up until the first snow fall but don't want to freeze while doing it? Here are some great tips on how to layer up without being uncomfortably bulky.

In many areas around the country, golf season is quickly winding down.

Colder weather is moving in and, before we know it, our favorite courses will most likely be covered in snow.

Before that happens, you're going to want to sneak in as much last-minute golf as you possibly can. But what about those dropping temperatures? Playing golf in a snowsuit sure doesn't seem like it would be any fun.

Thanks to advances in the fabrics used for cold-weather gear these days, you don't have to get dressed like Ralphie Parker's little brother, Randy, from A Christmas Story.

RELATED: Playing in cold weather tips | Preparation makes it a breeze

When it comes to playing golf in cold weather, PGA Professional Rob Labritz insists there are two major factors to keep in mind:

1. It's all about being comfortable -- make sure you're warm, but your gear isn't bulky.

2. You shouldn't worry about making a fashion statement in the cold.

"The thinner you go and the more treated, the more expensive it is," Labritz said. "You can go all sorts of routes. The internet is your best friend when it comes to this stuff for research. There are really some great deals to be had if you're looking in the right places."

For between $30-$50, Labritz said, you can find yourself items for a solid base layer from a company like Under Armour or Tommie Copper.

"It's a thin, tight, base layer that isn't giving off any kind of thickness, but it's warm," he said. "I recommend Under Armour, but if you want to spend a little more money, Lululemon has some great options to consider as well."

Not getting "bulky," obviously requires as few layers as possible. That's why Labritz fetches for either a sweater or a long-sleeved shirt that's a polyester blend.

"It's just easier to wear than cotton in the cold because the polyester is just stretchier than cotton," he said.

Now that your base- and mid-layers are covered, it's time to move into the outer layers. That, Labritz said, is where it can really get expensive... particularly if you're concerned about "looking good" rather than just "being warm and comfortable."

"Of course there's fantastic, expensive stuff out there that you can find out there that will keep you warm and you'll look great in it," Labritz said. "But, as we touched on earlier, there are deals to be had. Keep in mind that you're likely only going to be wearing this stuff a couple of times per year and it's not something you're going to be replacing on an annual basis."

While Gore Tex is king for the outer layer, there are cheaper offerings that are effective.

"They have high-end fabrics that are treated with a rain repellent that makes it warmer and water resistent," Labritz explained. "It's not Gore Tex stuff, but it will repel a little bad weather. Those are your three layers and they're all thin. They're made for golf. Now you're swinging like a champion. You get used to the tightness, but it's not bulky."

Through a quick internet search, Labritz actually found a waterproof John Daly Rain Suit for $79.99 -- for the jacket and the pants.

For $149, you could have Labritz's go-to pants for playing in cold or wet weather -- the all-weather pants from Galway Bay Apparel.

"I love them because they're light and the fit just like a regular golf pant," he said. "It's a very cool pant. It's a lined pant with a rain-pant outside with almost like a thin rubber on the inside, but it looks like a pant and is super warm. I wear it when it's below 60 degrees."

If you're looking for a little more and have the extra cash, Gore Tex is the answer. It can range in price from the hundreds and even into the thousands.

"When you get into the Gore Tex, it's a fabric -- a membrane that contains over 1.4 billion microscopic pores per square centimeter," he said. "These pores are 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet but 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule. That makes Gore Tex completely waterproof on the outside, but it breathes on the inside. If you find Gore Tex for under a couple hundred, you're doing well, but you want to be sure it breathes. It'll just get too hot and nasty."

So, if you're looking for some great cold weather gear, know what you want ahead of time and then do your research on the internet.

While you might live by the old adage, "You get what you pay for," just remember that in this instance -- if you're looking in the right places -- what you pay for doesn't necessarily have to mean you're breaking the bank. 

Rob Labritz, who has played in four PGA Championships (he was low-Club Professional in 2010 at Whistling Straits), is currently the Director of Golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in BedFord Hills, N.Y. He was also the PGA Met Section Player of the Year in 2008, 2013 and 2016, as well as the Westchester Golf Association's Player of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015. You can learn more about Labritz at www.RobLabritz.com and you can follow him on Twitter, @Rlabritz.

Golf tips: Layer up for cold weather without hindering your swing
November 15, 2016 - 11:01am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Patrick Reed, Ian Poulter
USA Today Sports Images
Could you imagine a team consisting of Ryder Cup legends from each side of the pond in Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter at the Zurich Classic?

In case you haven't heard, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans has announced a format change for the 2017 tournament. It's a change that's sure to give the event a huge boost of adrenaline too.

Unlike the typical week-in, week-out, stroke-play format that crowns a champion after 72 holes, the Zurich Classic will now be a 72-hole stroke play format featuring Foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and Four-Ball (best ball) during the second and fourth rounds.

From the Associated Press:

The starting field will consist of 80 teams (160 players). Each of the top available players from the PGA Tour Priority Rankings who commits to the tournament will choose his partner, who in turn must have PGA Tour status unless he is chosen as a tournament sponsor exemption.

Following the conclusion of the second round, there will be a cut to the low 35 teams and ties at the 35th position. In case of a tie after 72 holes, there will be a sudden-death playoff using the Four-Ball format.

Sounds pretty cool, doesn't it? Two pairings have already been announced: World No. 1 Jason Day will team up with Rickie Fowler, while major champions Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson will make up another pair.

With that, here are five other pairings we'd love to see with reasoning for each.


5. Bubba Watson and Tony Finau.
Why?:
Remember when Chris Paul went to the L.A. Clippers and that video surfaced with the reaction from dunk specialist Blake Griffin when he said, "Lob City!" With this duo at the Zurich Classic, it would be, "Bomb City!" Two of the longest drivers in the game today just blasting it out there from both the right and left side of the golf ball off the tee. Wouldn't that be fun to watch? It would be especially fun to take in in the Four-Ball format since both players would have the chance to absolutely unload off the tee on the par 4s and 5s.


4. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
Why?:
It's well-documented that this is a friendship that goes back years and years. A pairing featuring Spieth and Thomas could also serve as a preview for Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups for years to come. Since they're so comfortable with one another and so familiar with each other's game, this could truly be a duo that just ham and eggs its opponents to death. But what about Spieth and Patrick Reed, you're wondering? Fair question... but we've got a partner for Reed later on this list.


3. Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
Why?:
Two of the best -- and highest-ranked -- players in the game today, this would look on paper to be an unbeatable force. Are there any two players in the game over the last five years (not named "Spieth" or "Day"), who are more dominant when firing on all cylinders? When they're "on" there's not a weakness in either player's game. Plus, when facing a pair of rank-and-file Tour players in a match, we'd have to assume the intimidation factor would be pretty serious.


2. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Why?:
Didn't we already see this fail miserably at the 2004 Ryder Cup? Yes, we did. But, at that time, Woods and Mickelson were at their absolute peak individually. After wanting to beat each other's brains in every other week of the year, they were suddenly asked to play nice and play together. It was a fascinating recipe for disaster. Even though many knew it could never work, they'd all be lying if they said they weren't at least intrigued at the time... Things are different now. They're older. They're not winning with the frequency they once did. Guys aren't as intimated of this pair as they once were. And, from all indications of what we can see at Ryder Cups, it might not even be so far-fetched to say they're actually enjoying one another's company at this stage in their careers. A pairing in the Zurich Classic would be more fun than pressure cooker (Ryder Cup). Give it to us!


1. Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter.
Why?:
The two biggest Ryder Cup villains paired together as a team? Are you kidding me? Yes, please. Poulter has been a thorn in the side of Ryder Cup USA and their fans for years with his uncanny ability to play absolutely out of his mind and pull off whatever shot is required whenever it is required. Reed, meanwhile, has been that same thorn for European fans in the last two Ryder Cups played. The two guys that fans on both sides of the pond love to hate, together as one? Oh. My.  

5 pairings we'd love to see at the Zurich Classic