The 2019 Presidents Cup teams are set — USA by a million

Look out world, the Yankees are coming (again).

We’re about a month out from the 2019 Presidents Cup — let the official countdown begin. While speculation of who captains Tiger Woods and Ernie Els would pick for their respective teams for the biennial event — each allowed to choose four players instead of just two for the first time in history — the excitement doesn’t really start until the rosters are set.

That time is now.

Ernie Els revealed his captain’s picks Dec. 6, giving the nod to Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Sungjae Im, and Joaquín Niemann. Els’ picks join Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer, Haotong Li, Cameron Smith, and C.T. Pan to round out the International team, with assistant captains K.J. Choi, Trevor Immelman, Geoff Ogilvy, and Mike Weir.

That’s the team looking to right the ship against the U.S. after 2017 International captain Nick Price and Co. suffered nothing short of a brutal ass beating at Liberty National just two years ago, the Americans’ 10th victory in 12 events. If you don’t remember what exactly happened in 2017, you’re forgiven: the beating was so thorough it made the final rounds on Sunday all but unwatchable, with the U.S. entering the day with a 14.5 to 3.5 lead. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for pseudo-spoiler wins by Anirban Lahiri and Si Woo Kim on Saturday, the Americans could’ve closed the Internationals out before the Sunday singles rounds even began.

Embarrassing for sure, but that was two years ago. There’s no way the Internationals will let that happen again, right?

Well… here’s the thing: 2019’s version of Team USA is really, really good.

Captained by BDE himself (Tiger Woods) the American team is arguably more stacked than ever. The GOAT’s tapped Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed, and (as well all had hoped) third-person Tiger Woods to join Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Patrick Cantaly to keep the Internationals in their place. Fred Couples, Zach Johnson, and Steve Stricker round out the American envoy as Woods’ assistant captains.

Skipping the in-depth analysis and laborious breakdowns you can find elsewhere, the Americans laying it on the Internationals once again at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Golf Club is pretty much a guarantee. First, the U.S. has won seven straight against the International team. And with the exception of Kuchar, every player on the American roster is ranked higher than any player on the International team (Scott and Matsuyama are both raked above Kuchar). Els is fielding eight rookies and the youngest team in Presidents Cup history against the American veterans, three of whom — Koepka, Woodland and Woods — won majors in 2019, and all of whom are ranked top 25 in the world. And last but certainly not least, the Americans have the greatest player of all time turning in a card: TIGER FUCKING WOODS, looking to cap off a tremendous comeback season.

In short, USA by a million.

2019 Presidents Cup coverage begins Thursday, December 12, with the fourball opening round followed by the foursome matches on Friday. Saturday brings a full slate with the second round of fourball and foursomes, and closing on Sunday with the singles matches. Tune into the Golf Channel for live coverage Thursday through Sunday, and NBC for a replay of Sunday.

G-Tech Apparel has the hottest cold season item for your wishlist

G-Tech Button imageCold weather sucks — especially for golf. Colorado is no stranger to much-less-than-favorable temperatures, but oftentimes you just gotta say fuck it and get some swings in when you can. That usually means throwing on an uncomfortable amount of layers, adopting the legendary “Tommy Two-Gloves” look, and every other feeble attempt at staying warm, and still freezing your ass off. The fact remains that cold weather golf just sucks and always will. Thankfully, though, G-Tech Apparel is making the cold season a lot less sucky with its patented heated hoodie.

G-Tech Lee hoodieThis will be one of the easiest reviews we’ve ever written given the quality, look and performance of the two CGB branded hoodies we received just in time for the Colorado cold season. Even without its signature feature the hoodie impresses: the polyester/spandex material in the hydro-thermal hoodie is water-resistant, sporting a semi-glossy finish and stylish modern lines. It’s a sturdier hoodie that’ll keep you toasty on its own as well, with a substantial hood that covers your head, hats and beanies comfortably, too, without messing up your line of site when addressing the ball. First impressions placed G-Tech easily in the running for a daily use sweatshirt — and we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet.

Second impression: Holy shit. This is a game changer.

My first round in the G-Tech heated hoodie came on a 45-degrees at tee off kinda day. I made it to the first green before needing to lower the temperature setting from high to medium to keep from sweating, and never once found myself shivering or needing to warm my hands with anything but the heating “Therma Grip.” It had topped 58-degrees by the end of the round and the low setting kept me comfortable through the home-stretch. I had figured the battery pack would’ve died well before our 4+ hour round was over, too, but it lasted closer to 6 hours by the time all was said and done.

G-Tech Craig imageG-Tech’s patented Therma Grip is what brings the heat to this heated hoodie with low, medium and high settings. The control button rests on top of the pocket and couldn’t be easier to use. Hold down the button and select your setting (green/yellow/red = low/medium/high, respectively) and you’ll feel the heat distribution begin almost immediately. The heated grip rests in the belly pouch of the sweatshirt — along with the battery pack — and feels like a small strip of padding designed and fastened to be held in your hands. It may sound a little awkward, and granted it was at first, but that the heating element/battery pack placement adds about the same amount of girth as a pocket full of gloves, hand warmers and whatever else is the only not-spectacular thing we can say about this product. Don’t worry about it impeding your swing in any way, though, it won’t — and with the heat resting on your belly your core stays toasty too.

Ending with a bit of advice: when you buy your G-Tech heated hoodie (starting at $149) you’ll want to buy two, especially if you have a girlfriend/wife/etc. — this may be the most steal-able hoodie out there. As of this writing the company’s website says all products are sold out, so keep an eye out for new arrivals when they drop.

The Golf Wall Project is on a mission to make okay golfers better people

Golf In Your State VanIt’s just after lunchtime, two hours before we tee off, and the CGB crew is knee deep in the weeds off a urban trail on the Westside of Colorado Springs. We’ve filled the bed of a pick up with with heaps of garbage — everything from liquor bottles, cigarette butts and your typical litter to mangled shopping carts, bike tires and, of course, discarded underwear — and smiling all the way. It’s not our ordinary pre round warmup, but when @golfinyourstate (Matt Cardis) comes to town, the extra-ordinary should be expected.

GIYS recently launched the Golf Wall Project, a first-of-its-kind initiative inspiring golfers around the country to become more involved in their local communities by volunteering a little time and effort. The Colorado GWP meet up brought us to a busy local trailhead for a little cleanup, but the spirit of the project is much more than that. With trash bags and gloves on hand, Cardis explained that it’s not just about cleaning up the trail for other users, or notching a “good deed” off the list — it’s about recognizing the underlying issues our community faces, what each one of us can do about those issues, and inspiring ourselves and those around us to get involved and stay involved. All the while, Cardis says, the GWP is changing the perception of golf and golfers — removing the well-to-do, uppity, privileged stereotypes, and tossing them into the weeds, quite literally.

Our group, about a dozen strong, made quick work of our stretch of trail along the city’s notorious Fountain Creek, cleaning up the remnants of a few abandoned homeless camps and the areas bordering the paved path and bridge crossing. The immediate impact of the hour we spent out there certainly didn’t change the world or solve all the city’s issues, even though the trail was looking pretty good. But the long term impact the project had on the attendees is what it’s all about.

Golf In Your State

If you see this guy rolling through your neighborhood, follow him.

“I’m leaving a footprint and you guys are finishing the trail,” Cardis said in an interview with a local tv station that came out to cover the cleanup. “I get these guys out here today, they do this, hopefully they think it’s cool and have fun and they [do it again].”

Here’s a shocker: it was fun, and before the last bag was in the back of the truck we were already brainstorming what we could do next. Mission accomplished.

With the truck full and trail sparkling, it was time for golf. Each GWP initiative is tied to some kind of golf event, and, well, CGB knows how to do golf events. With Cardis’ blessing and help from our sponsor at King’s Deer Golf Club we set up one of our signature group skins games for all the volunteers, with the majority of the proceeds going towards future GWP initiatives.

Golf Wall Project twilight round

A twilight money game is CGB’s time to shine.

An epic twilight round ensued, finishing as a group of ten underneath an iconic Colorado sunset. Even after a nine hour day, no one was ready to quit. We gathered in the famous GIYS van for a final recap, and one by one each attendee shared their thoughts on the day’s events. A common theme arose: we normal, everyday, average golfers can change the world for the better with just a little effort, and, more importantly, we feel empowered to do so.

The Golf Wall Project will continue through 2019 and into 2020, criss-crossing the country wherever it’s called. There are a number of ways to get involved including enviable photo experience and golf travel packages — with 50% of the profit going to GWP — volunteering and/or simple donations. Visit golfinyourstate.com/golf-wall-project for more information and to sign up.

 

Ampcaddy golf speakers reign supreme in battle of the brands

The Ampcaddy Pro Max speaker.

Just to get it out of the way early; this post is not a jab at My Golf Spy (while entertaining, that’s not our drama).

We’ve been a fan of the Ampcaddy golf speakers since the launch back in 2014. The smart design and ample sound seemed hard to beat without upping your budget to the JBL realm, and more than enough to suit the needs of a foursome. Ampcaddy quickly became a staple in our golf bags and a focal point for our signature golf outings, so when when we heard about production on the Ampcaddy Pro and Pro Max speakers we could hardly wait.

In the meantime, we found one of our favorite new products of the year in the UpSide magnetic rangefinder, an excellent, less-expensive option measuring true distance and slope, with a badass magnet for easy cart storage when not in use. After testing the UpSide rangefinder we learned the company would also be jumping into the speaker market with its own compact magnetic device. Given the quality of the rangefinder, we expected to be impressed again, and, admittedly, began to question the strength of our Ampcaddy loyalty.

Ampcaddy Pro

The Amcaddy Pro.

When both speakers finally launched, though, it was hard to notice any significant differences, mainly because the Ampcaddy Pro ($79.97) and the Upside SuperX7 ($79) are the same exact thing, literally. The only difference between the two is the mounting system, the Ampcaddy with its signature clamp and UpSide with the magnet, and of course the branding. Other than that there is no difference — again, literally the same exact design — both are small and compact, delivering 15 watts of sound, water resistant, rechargeable and all around great speakers. What sets them apart is more minor functionality — Ampcaddy has it, UpSide does not.

 

UpSide SuperX7

The UpSide SuperX7.

Ampcaddy launched both the Pro and the Pro Max ($129.97) speakers at the same time, the Pro Max sporting the familiar Amcaddy pill-shape design with upgraded features. The Ampcaddy speakers can be paired to the same device for up to 80 watts of sound. The SuperX7 also has pairing capability, though only with one other speaker for up to 30 watts of sound. We ran through the Ampcaddy pairing gamut using two Pros, a Pro and a Pro Max, and even two Pro Maxes, just to see how loud we could actually get with the Ampcaddy. (The two Pro Max pairing for 80 watts proved the loudest, obviously, and earned us a noise complaint from a course resident before we even finished the first hole.)

Pairing any combination of Ampcaddy’s new speakers equals stupid loud music. Really, there’s no need for more than one — even the small Pro is more than enough — but we’d be lying if we said the pairing feature isn’t a game-changer, and useful when you really want to turn up on the course. The real kicker is Ampcaddy’s clamp mounting system proving better than UpSide’s magnet as well. While the magnet on UpSide’s rangefinder is a definite selling point, the company uses the same thing on the speaker. Though small, the speaker does weigh more than the rangefinder, and just a little too heavy for the single magnet to hold it securely. If you have a fast cart or pocked cart paths, the SuperX7 will come flying off if jostled too much. Ampcaddy’s mounting system not only ensures the speaker isn’t going anywhere, the added multi-directional swivel feature makes it easy to “aim” your sound away from other golfers as the need arises (and it will).

All is not lost for UpSide, though, we’ll still be singing the praises of the company’s rangefinder and ingenuity. But when it comes to delivering the on-course soundtrack, Ampcaddy still reigns supreme.

Rhoback performance polos are cool in more ways than one

Rhoback featuredFor all there is to love about summertime golf there’s one thing we all struggle with: beating the heat. Cold beers and bucket hats can only go so far when you’re already sweating by the time you reach the first tee box, and heaven forbid a good-looking cart attendant catches you rocking any less than flattering sweat stains out there. The clothes you wear on the course matter in more ways than one, whether you’re out there flexing your look or just trying to meet the club dress code.

Rhoback polos are made for those living an active lifestyle on and off the course, with a range of colors and styles suited for anyone’s taste. As a matter of fact, the company “craves activity” and is dead set on changing the way you think about your summer active wear. The quick drying and extremely breathable material — 92% poly and 8% spandex — is all but unnoticeable on the course, which is a good thing. No matter the temperature or precipitation in the air, Rhoback polos keep you looking great, and cool, without worrying about sweat stains, wrinkles or becoming disheveled and needing to change right after your round. That’s part of the company’s goal, to design all day active wear, ready to go from the course to a meeting to a dinner date without hesitation. The comfort fitted polos don’t impede your swing in any way and look sharp tucked or untucked no matter the outfit. The sturdy self collar holds its shape well and is all but guaranteed to never “bacon,” speaking to the durability of Rhoback’s designs as well.

Rhoback Casey Jones

The Casey Jones

To see the difference between Rhoback and standard golf shirts, imagine the difference between wearing a black polo on the hottest, sunniest day of the summer versus a white polo, or a long sleeve versus a tank top — it’s night and day. After two rounds at altitude in the baking July sun I should feel like a hot, sweaty mess (as indicated by the sweat stains covering my hat) but my Rhoback Casey Jones polo still looks fresh off the rack, and I could keep chasing the sunshine for another 18.

It’s not that Rhoback is the one and only company making great summer active wear, but Rhoback is making it more practical and accessible than others. Many a golf shirt looks, well, like a golf shirt and not always an appropriate option for off the course outfits. But Rhoback’s subtle, classy designs can be paired with just about anything, for just about anything — not too flashy or overpowering.

If you’re looking for a high performing active polo ready for whatever you can throw at it, out Rhoback polos to the test.