Friday, August 26, 2011

golf bags

I hate golf bags.  They're so stupid, with all your clubheads clicking and clacking as you walk.  At least when you carry your bag, the clubheads all hang the same way.  Strap your bag onto a cart and it's chaos, digging around looking for the club you want.  Half the time you swear you've lost the club you're looking for.  And how great is it when you try to stick your club back into the bag, only to have its grip wedge up against another grip and refuse to find the bottom of the bag?  Especially when you've hit a poor shot and your patience is worn thin...

It seems to me there have been exactly two significant developments in golf bag design in the last 400 years.  The stand mechanism that makes the legs whip out when you set it down, and the "backpack" style shoulder straps.

Here are two concepts that are heading for the market soon:

This is sort of an integrated bag-and-pullcart.  There aren't many other details to date.  Very stylish, but no info about how the clubs are stored, how much it weighs, other features, etc.

This one by Kaala Golf ( is a similar wheeled cart hybrid, but also features a nifty rotating cartridge system to store and dispense each individual club.  The clubs are stored "upside down", with the head lying in a "lazy susan" at the bottom of the bag, and the shaft clipped in, like a pool cue, onto the rotating center barrel.  One interesting note with these designs is that they're air travel-ready, being hard cases.

I don't know if these designs fit my game.  I don't see how they can do double duty as a stand bag and cart bag.  I'm not sure how their cost will fare in the market against the hordes of cheap mass-produced standbags, which obviously sell at a very high margin.  Time will tell.  But I certainly appreciate the fact somebody is trying to make improvements long overdue.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

JT: golf fashion leader

When discussing golf fashion, many people tend to think of Ricky Fowler, who gets so much attention with his perfectly matched outfits.  While I appreciate how this human lollipop look does fly in the face of traditional golf style, I would beg to differ with those who view Ricky as a fashion leader, because color coordination and a flat-bill hat do not reflect a tremendous command of the art form.

The leaders in golf fashion's recent past have been Ian Poulter and Jesper Parnevik.  Ian's family was in the clothing business, inspiring him to bring new designs, particularly innovative trousers, to the fairways.  Jesper's family was in entertainment.  He brought tasteful but eclectic styles to golf, including the reintroduction of the tie-and-sweater-vest.  Ryan Moore recently tweaked Jesper's style with a grungier northwest sensibility.

Then there's Ryo Ishikawa.  With his ever-present upper arm sleeve, perfectly tailored western shirts, contrast stitching, and meticulous detailing/badging, this guy is on a whole other level.  Ryo consistently shows up looking like something you've never seen before, and looking really sharp.   Do you see how the pearl snap pockets on the shirt match the trouser pocket?  Do you see the faux epaulets talking to the military style cap?  This is a thoughtful, deliberate study in detail and fashion.

But Justin Timberlake is the clear leader in golf fashion.  Granted, he's not on The Tour, but he's a highly visible celebrity golfer who sponsors the Shriner's Open tournament, so I'm letting it slide.  Justin doesn't simply wear variations of one look.  He's got a hundred looks.  Often, it's a hip-hop inspired twist on the Parnevik standard, usually with a black trilby/fedora/derby, like this:
How does a guy throw an orange belt into that mix without it completely taking over?  It has everything to do with the stripe pattern on the shirt.   That's called understanding the basic principles of design.  Impressive, but not a big deal compared to this:

Yeah, lets get a camouflage ballcap, green hunting jacket, and fishing shades.  We'll even grow a beard to complete the redneck element of this look.  But now lets get some sporty red and pink stripes with white 70's piping on that jacket, and a snazzy designer urban belt for cultural contrast to balance it all out.  Cheeky chic.  Lovely.

JT, you are the golf fashion leader.


 ParaGolfer is all terrain, going anywhere the ball goes.
Paragolfer is a three wheeled buggy which has a rising seat to take the occupant from a sitting to standing position. The seat has chin and waste belts to keep the golfer balanced and in the seat.  The buggy is fully all terrain, meaning it can go in and out of sand traps, high grass, wherever the ball may end up.  And its design is gentle on the greens as well, making the Paragolfer easy for courses to embrace.
Cost is steep at this point, about $20,000 US, but for the freedom it offers, it’s money well spent for the disabled sportsman.


"The most exquisitely satisfying act in the world of golf is that of throwing a club.  The full backswing, the delayed wrist action, the flowing follow-through... are without parallel in sport."

-Henry Longhurst

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


is an art shop in Oceanside, CA that draws much of its inspiration from the game. (

Monday, August 22, 2011


This guy picked up an older bag from Goodwill and made a stencil to spray-paint some attitude on it.  There is precious little Do-It-Yourself within the world of golf.

I don't know...

...what this has to do with anything, but this guy is cool.  And it appears he even hires a caddy.

etiquette on the greens

hope she's got a divot tool if she's going to walk all over those greens in high heels


Ryan Moore is a top 50 PGA pro who refuses corporate clothing sponsorship.  He's from the NW, rocks a beard, and puts together totally fresh looks that respect golf's history.  I'm a fan.  I would rather shop at Goodwill and pay homage to golf's historical forefathers than pay Phil Knight another $60 for some 75-cent disposable plastic shirt made in the Philippines by eight-year-olds.

World Urban Golf Day

Portland tee-off is 12pm along with the rest of the world.  I might have to check this out.  The undersized tennis balls I throw for my dogs would work perfect.

This is global.  Check it out:

Basically, Urban Golf is a mashup of real golf, urban landmarks (poles, street signs, sewer covers, etc.), and a whole lot of fun!  “A game played on a large outdoor course located in a non-residential section of a city, with a series of targets spaced far apart, the object being to propel a tennis ball with the use of various clubs toward each target with as few strokes as possible.”  Here are some suggested “Golden” rules:

Respect your neighbors’ privacy and property. Pick your course away from populated areas. If the police ask you to leave a certain area, do so. Avoid altercations and do not give Urban Golf a bad reputation.  Vandalism, destruction of property and general rude behavior are for punk-ass kids and do not belong in this sport.  DON’T SCREW THIS UP FOR THE REST OF US.

The worse you play, the more fun you have. And that’s what this game is about. Having fun, not winning. Leave your competitiveness on the PGA tour. Boasting and other petty bullshit does not belong on the urban course.
If you can’t check yourself, put on your plaid pants, hop in your SUV and take it to Pebble Beach.

There is no one person in charge. You are not the leader of the group. Get over yourself. All decisions and adjustments to the game should be agreed upon by the golfers present.  If you have a god complex, move to the mountains, start a cult, and stay the hell out of the way.
Who’s game?


No game illuminates the human condition like golf does.  It's up, it's down, and the amount of control you have is fleeting despite your best efforts.  It's a lifelong pursuit.  It's a walk in the park with friends, a social occasion.  The game itself is a very odd activity, when you think about it.  The rest is not.  The game gives birth to an entire world inside your head, the kind that non-golfers will never understand, unless perhaps they're into meditation, yoga, or break dancing.  The rest is just hanging out, throwing on the appropriate attire, grabbing a beer, a flask, maybe a smoke, and trekking through the afternoon...

Every miniscule niche activity in the world has its own style magazines, blogs, emerging cultures, trends, youth movements, and independent start-up ventures.  But not golf.  Follow the PGA, buy your equipment from one of the dozen international mega-companies, and dress like either an accountant in Dockers or a marketing tool in some Nike/Adidas uniform.  Golf's current popular image and culture in this country is the least interesting, least inspired, lamest, and all-around most douche-y of any sport you can think of.

Well that's a rotten shame, because golf, at its essence, has more tricks than skateboarding, is more spiritual than surfing, and has scenery as gorgeous as any fringe outdoor extreme sport.  And no game wrangles fierce competition into a genteel setting for true sportsmanship like golf does.  It is the greatest game ever played.