Garia Golf Car

Good evening everyone! I figured I’d put my last few hours on earth to use (if you believe the doomsday folks) and expand my Christmas list a bit. Apparently, according to my wife and parents, I’m “difficult” to buy for. I’m pretty much set when it comes to golf stuff… the combination of my years of working in a golf shop and the minimal wear and tear on my equipment due to a total lack of playing leaves me in a position to not ask for much.

Like most guys, I’ve got my dream list of gifts. It’s fun being the guy with the nicest golf clubs or fanciest golf shoes but there are certain things that will make you truly stand out among your golfing peers. Over the past few months I’ve come across some pretty cool golf items and I think it’s time to add them to my list. Just in time for last minute shopping.

Want to impress that golfer on your list and win their love and affection for life? Check out these dream gifts…

XGOLF i2 Simulator

Golf simulators are nothing new but this one comes with all the extra bells and whistles… automatic ball feeder, weight sensors and a floor that automatically moves to match your lie. XGOLF has been around for over 12 years and have installed over 3000 simulators all around the world. Know someone with some extra room in the basement or an extra wing they’re not using? This would fit nicely.

Garia Golf Car

Most golf carts are functional but a bit boring. Extra cup holders and GPS units are nice touches but they don’t compare to a refrigerator, interior lights and a heated windshield (with wiper). Head to the company website and build and price your own car and then request a test drive. Don’t worry about quality.. these are built in Finland at the same factory that builds the Porsche Boxster and Cayman.

Garia Golf Car

Pescador Golf Shoes

I’ll admit it.. I’m more of a casual golf shoe kinda guy but the thought of having a pair of sweet python kicks is pretty tempting. Pescador is manufacturer from Spain that specializes in made to measure golf shoes. You might be the worst player in the foursome but it you will be able to take comfort in knowing that your shoes are worth more than the entire bag of the guy next to you.

Well.. it’s just after midnight on December 21, 2012. I should probably head out to my fallout shelter and chow down on some canned pasta. Thanks for stopping by!


Ever wonder what Jesper Parnevik is up to these days? Well good news… we found him.  Looks like he and a cast of PGA Tour players had some spare time and came up with this gem of a video. May I present to you… “Parnevik Gangnam Style”  featuring cameos by Dustin Johnson, Richard Johnson,Will MacKenzie, Fredrik Jacobson and Marc Turnesa. Awesome!

system c banner

Have you ever experienced one of those “it was a really good idea at the time” moments? Have you ever thought of a ridiculous idea, gone through with said idea and then been sued by one of the world’s largest golf companies because they didn’t appreciate the use of their name in your marketing materials? Ya… me neither. But I know someone that has…

As much as I love the latest and greatest in golf equipment, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the unusual. When I sit around with some of my golfing buddies and talk about “the good ol’ days” of working in the shop, the conversation usually focuses on some of the weird and wacky equipment that we had the opportunity to play and sell. When the talk turns to golf balls, there are two models that always come up in conversation – the Top-Flite System C and System T.

Some of you have probably never heard of these… mainly because they got phased out rather quickly. There isn’t a ton of information online about these but I still have a decent recollection of the whole concept. If I’m forgetting something, leave it in the comments below.

There were really two big wood lines in the late 90′s. Callaway was riding their Big Bertha line (Great Big Bertha and Biggest Big Bertha) while TaylorMade was in full “copper mode” with clubs like the Burner Bubble, Ti Bubble and Ti Bubble 2.

I remember our Top-Flite rep coming into the shop one afternoon with a “really cool” surprise. He pulled two boxes of golf balls out from his bag. New golf balls rarely excited me but these were a bit different. Our rep explained that this new line of balls were designed to maximize the distance and accuracy of Callaway (System C) and TaylorMade (System T) drivers. At first I was intrigued by the idea but after a few minutes of thinking, I realized that these were pretty ridiculous. Ever more ridiculous was the fact that the boxes had pictures of Callaway and TaylorMade drivers on them. I’ll never claim to be an expert in the trademark and patent field but even I could see the impending train wreck with these things. Somehow I didn’t think the..

“Callaway Did Not Participate in the Design, Production or Sale of these Balls. Top-Flite is Solely Responsible for this Revolutionary Ball/Club System”

warning across the front of the box was going to prevent ol’ Ely from suing Top-Flite. Regardless, we bought a bunch of them and conveniently set them up beside the corresponding drivers (I must say… merchandising has always been one of my strengths).

To my surprise, they sold quite well. Some customers bought them out of curiosity and others swore that they really maximized their Callaway and TaylorMade clubs. Some customers even bought them in hopes that they would somehow magically transform their $20 bargain bin drivers into Biggest Big Berthas. The most entertaining part of the whole thing was how TaylorMade guys wouldn’t touch System C balls and Callaway guys stayed away from System T’s. Had a Callaway club come in contact with a ball designed for the Ti Bubble, the results would have been disastrous.

It didn’t take long for the lawyers to get involved and eventually the balls were phased out. Prior to “the law” ruining all the fun, Top-Flite had gone out and challenged Titleist and Slazenger to a $1 million “our System C and System T balls will outperform your golf balls”  bet. Too bad these balls weren’t around long enough to see such a challenge unfold.

You can still find these balls online if you look long enough. The picture used in this post came from eBay where a hopeful seller is offering a dozen System C’s for $50. You’ll probably want to pass on this one and save your money.

Norm MacDonald

It’s not unusual that I find myself away from the television on the weekend. Gone are the days when my whole Sunday consisted of watching golf and football while eating a pizza and cracking open a few cold drinks. I’ve got a family now and we’ve got a whole list of things to do every weekend. One of the things that I rarely get to do anymore is watch a complete golf tournament.

I did my best this past weekend to catch as much of the Ryder Cup as possible but I still had to make the bi-monthly family trip to Costco for frozen pizza and toilet paper. Twitter has become a huge part of my daily routine (@bsiddle is my non-SirShanksAlot name) and I turned to it yesterday to keep me up to date on the golf. Twitter was buzzing with Ryder Cup updates and I must applaud folks like Shane Bacon, Stephanie Wei and Jason Sobel for their quality updates… but there was one guy that stood above all the rest. This guy…

Yes… former SNL news guy, star of the classic movie Dirty Work and fellow Canadian Norm MacDonald really knows his golf. I’ve been watching his Tweets for a few weeks now and I find his golf commentary to be very insightful and his predictions to be.. well.. a bit creepy at times. Hours before the big European comeback at the Ryder Cup, Norm went through all singles matches and predicted the final score would be 14-14. He also correctly predicted 7 of the 12 outcomes in the final matches. Going back through his Tweets, he’s  provided lots of solid sporting insight and predictions… many of which are correct. Regardless… he’s quickly become one of my favourite follows on Twitter.

Here are his Tweets regarding the Ryder Cup outcome…

I think it would be great to see Norm as a regular on a show like Morning Drive on the Golf Channel. He’s always entertaining on talk shows and the whole journalist thing isn’t that new to him. Norm’s brother Neil is an awarding winning journalist and the Senior Correspondent in Washington for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Move over Johnny Miller… you and your “the Europeans aren’t used to playing water holes” lines can hit the road. I think it’s time that Norm gets a chance…




GolfPunk Magazine

GolfPunk Magazine

Good afternoon everyone! I was rolling through our email this afternoon and saw a message from the guys over at GolfPunk. For those that don’t know, GolfPunk was (is) one of my favourite golf magazines and I was sad when they were ceased production a few years back. The old GolfPunk team has returned and they’ve just launched their new digital magazine under the same name. It’s well worth a read.. especially if you follow European golf.

It seems to be missing the Bunker Babes though… hopefully they can get that fixed in time for the next issue…


Golf Swing Faults and FixesThe golf swing is one of the most important parts of the game. If you’re unable to master good elements of a perfect swing, your scores will be sure to reflect it.

If you’re an avid golfer, whether playing several times a week, or simply a fan of the sport, you know that most of the game is about the golf swing. Sure there are other contributing issues to good performance. How well do your shoes fit, do you wear golf gloves, are your clubs custom fit? But at the end of it all, even with the worst set of equipment imaginable, a solid swing based on good fundamentals will still produce solid results.

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Whether you are a touring professional, or are simply considering taking up the game, one thing can be said of custom fit golf clubs: the comfort and confidence you get will repay their cost many times over. In fact, many of the best club manufacturers will offer you a free custom fitting session when you decide to purchase their brand of golf clubs. Professional golfers discovered the benefits of custom fit clubs decades ago.

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One of the highlights of my job is getting to help people get better at golf. The joy on a golfer’s face when they find out that “they can do it, really do it” is indescribable. Helping an avid golfer’s who’s been playing a long time is the most rewarding. These golf nuts have tried countless training aids, read several golf instruction books, subscribe to all golf magazines (including ones from overseas), and have spent untold amounts of money (and maybe a wife or two) just to shave a couple more strokes off their handicap.

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Good evening everyone. We’re pleased to welcome a new contributor to Brannon Watson is the Head Golf Professional and Owner of the Arkansas Golf Center in Conway, Arkansas. We were really interested in having more content from those folks working in the trenches… golf shops, driving ranges and golf courses. These people add a unique point of view and quality information. Have a question for Brannon? Leave it in the comments section and we’ll make sure he gets it.

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