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Birdie Ball: The Indoor, Portable Putting Green
Living in the Northeast where the golf season is slightly shorter than most, you are lucky if you can get seven maybe eight months of golf in. This forces the golfer to look for alternative ways to keep the game sharp or at the very least going in the off season. I have played golf for over thirty years and have tried and used many if not all options when it comes to indoor putting greens. I have used the automatic ball return devices, putting on the carpet and the indoor/outdoor carpet. Some of them are better than others but none of them are ideal in any way shape or form. They all have their various drawbacks and limitations. So when I was given a chance to review the Birdie ball putting green I was extremely excited for the opportunity.
Birdie Ball Inc. was founded in 2002 in Golden, Colorado, a small family business, that focuses on customer service and providing their invaluable customers with fun and innovative golf products. John Breaker the president was so kind in giving me this opportunity to review his product. They offer many different sizes and options to fit just about anyone’s budget. I chose to evaluate 3’ x 12’ size putting surface in the classic ½” green style. They sent me a medium green speed of 10-11 Stimp. Birdie Ball Greens offer three different speeds slow 9-10, medium 10-11 and fast 11-13 Stimp. I have three cups on one end and two cups on the opposite end, with bumpers on both ends. The setup also came with five hole flags, four low back cups, one high back, a hole deepening shim as well as a hole reducing insert and small section of green for creating breaks.
Let me tell you a few things about the Birdie ball putting greens before I get into the performance of the product. The green has a specific side to putt on. It is what they call the “fuzzy side”. When you unroll the green for the first time it is the surface on the outside of the roll. You should also always store the green with this surface to the outside of the roll. They list three items as the enemy of the putting green, heat, intense sunlight and pointed objects. So it shouldn’t be used in direct sunlight or while wearing golf shoes. They also have a disclaimer when it comes to pets as we know with claws and their ability to scratch and dig at items not a good combination for the putting green.
I have been rolling putts on the Birdie Ball putting green for over a month now. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t spend a few minutes on the green rolling some putts. The green rolls true and what they call the medium speed green rolls at a pretty good pace. They roll so true the fact is I can pick and aim for a specific side of the cup not just the cup in general. The bottom of the cups have small circles that hold the ball in place so you can easily aim for a space not occupied by a ball. You can easily set the green up for breaking putts also by inserting the provided shims underneath the green. I found that with the holes so close to the edges on the 3’ wide green it made the putt break very sharply. You pretty much couldn’t start the putt far enough out to the right or left to make the putt. If you had the wider four foot green I would think this would be fine. The Birdie ball putting green putts truer and more consistently than any other putting green that I have ever used or owned. The flags that come with the setup make it very easy to pick the balls up out of the holes (just like most putting greens on an actual golf course). The hole reducer works great when you want to narrow the focus and refine your stroke. I didn’t try this but they claim that you can slow down or speed up the pace of the green by using a broom or brush to either brush with the grain or against the grain of the surface. Yes the Birdie ball putting green has a grain to the surface. This is also the way they recommend cleaning the green off as well as using soapy water to clean any spots if you need to. The bumpers or edges they provide with the kit stop any speedy putts from racing away. The Birdie ball people offer many different choices when it comes to sizes and price ranges which should meet the needs of most anyone out there. They also offer other unique golf items on their website so check them out at birdieball.com, as well as their social media sites on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.
Golf Life Contributor
The Yuneec Drone: Electronic Aviation
Golf Life got a brand new toy before the holiday season and we took full advantage of it when we went down to Mazatlan, Mexico and did a feature on the El Cid Resorts! The toy; the all new Typhoon 4K Yuneec Aviation Drone! This drone can literally do it all. We were so impressed by this drone and what it can do, we featured it in our Golf Life TV Show: Holiday Edition!
Right from the box, this drone looked sharp! From the grey/silver tones to the matte black accents to the propellors and accessories, you can really tell Yuneec took some time making sure thing thing looked good! Once the Yuneec Drone is out of the box and everything is put together (which is extremely simple), you would be amazed at how easy it is to fly. This machine has capabilities we didn’t even know were possible. From hovering, to maneuvering, to the “watch me mode”, this drone has to be one of the easiest aviation drones to fly on the market.
Not only is it extremely simple to fly, but it was very useful in our particular case because of the 4K camera capturing abilities. The camera has a full HD 1080P with 12 Megapixels and a “no distortion lens!” We were able to capture some amazing footage from our trip to Mexico and we know, devices like this, will help with making our featured travel segments that much better!
The Typhoon 4K Yuneec Drone is something you can’t miss if you are in the drone market. This guy has everything you need, and more, to get the job done for whatever you have planned. For more information about the details of the drone, please visit yuneec.com . Check out our video above to see what we were able to capture and why we think this Drone is one of the best drones on the market today!
Myrtle Beach: Mystical Golf
Mystical Golf is a triple layer of Myrtle Beach golf properties within the abundant golf locale of the Grand Strand. Recently we traveled to Myrtle Beach and experienced The Wizard, Witch and Man-O-War layouts, under perfect autumn weather just 3 weeks removed from the fury of Hurricane Matthew. The storm unleashed its wrath upon the area with damaging winds that took down over 100 mature trees on the Mystical trio of routings (dumping nearly 20 inches of rain). We’re always amazed by the work of agronomy teams after such damaging weather. The excellent playing conditions we were provided just a few weeks after the storm made landfall in South Carolina was a testimony to the entire Mystical Golf staff.
Mystical Golf is the brainchild of owner and course operator Claude Pardue. Pardue is an old school golf entrepreneur who operates way outside of the modern business model (he doesn’t believe in POS systems, or layers of management. He believes heavily in giving back to the community’s youth and being visible to his customers nearly every day at each of his three courses (for a more detailed look into Claude Pardue and his business model, check out Trent Bouts’ in-depth feature “On His Terms” by clicking on the link:
Pardue hired golf course designer Dan Maples to craft the trio of routings, and Maples came through with three completely unique experiences for the avid linkster.
The Wizard clubhouse is a replica castle that overlooks the ninth (shown) and eighteenth greens. A wide open links style design, the Wizard will test your ability to control your golf ball on windy days (of which there are countless in the coastal community of Myrtle Beach). Bent grass greens aren’t the usual surfaces this far south, but both the Wizard and Man-O-War courses feature smooth Bent that rolls pure (the Witch has a hybrid Bermuda greens).
Man-O-War has the flavor of parkland Carolina but water is a feature in some part on all 18 holes (14th hole shown above). Many will choose M.O.W as their favorite course in the Mystical portfolio because of the playability and variety including generous fairways and mammoth sized Bent grass putting surfaces. Lag putt proficiency is a must in order to score here.
The Witch is anything but what the name implies. Set within 500 scenic acres, the Witch offers perhaps the best test of golf anywhere within Myrtle Beach proper. “The Broomstick” has a bit of everything, rolling fairways, magnificent par 3’s, well-undulated hybrid Bermuda greens and the demand that your ball striking be its very best. The experience starts with a magnificent cart ride through a shaded corridor of nature’s canopy en route to the 1st tee. Dan Maples’ routing traverses through magnificent foliage and undisturbed wetlands where vibrant Wildlife is intimately up close here on the 6796-yard championship layout. Maples’ arrangement of eclectic topography within such a beautiful setting has the Witch easily as my personal favorite f the Mystical tracks- a certified LinksNation gem, and a must play if you visit Myrtle Beach.
Tee markers resembling witches hats are made from the knees of Bald Cypress trees in the swamps within the 500 acres that make up the property of The Witch course.
Where to stay: Our group stayed at the Breakers Resort on the Ocean. Outstanding amenities, service and surreal ocean views are the norm at the Breakers. Vacation lodging & golf packages are available at http://www.breakers.com/.
What’s better than waking up to this view each morning? The scene from my balcony at the Breakers Hotel on a cool autumn morning in early November.
If you’re planning a Myrtle Beach golf getaway, Mystical Golf is worthy of your objectives – quality, value, variety, and service are all standard fare. The coastal Carolina area also boasts some of the nation’s best weather – combine all of these factors and that’s why avid golf vacationers from around the globe continue to flock to the Grand Strand.
Golf Life Visits The Links at Petco
Check out our video feature above, as Callaway presented The Links at Petco. At Golf Life, we are HUGE baseball fans. So when Callaway was putting together The Links At Petco Park, we wanted to be a part of it. Golf Life is a digital golf channel with employees who eat, sleep and drink golf. BUT, they also eat, sleep, and drink baseball. So, when Callaway decided to infuse baseball with golf we were very excited! For the second year in a row, Callaway Golf turned Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, into a golf course. If you thought last year was cool, it was even better in 2016. Callaway teamed up with the San Diego Padres to create nine holes of golf that go up, down, and around Petco Park.
The course was open to the public from Nov. 3-8. You shouldn’t be surprised that tee times sold out in a matter of hours, though. Within the 6 days that it was open, more than 2700+ golfers showed up. Starting from early in the morning to dark under the lights, tee times were only 8-9 minutes apart! Yes, the round was well over $200, but just the experience of playing golf on a baseball field is worth every penny.
From the #1 tee box, where you hit at home plate and have your swing being played on the “Big Mo, to the #9 where you hit from the third level on the third base line down to an island green in right field, you get nothing but an experience. Each and every hole is built upon a theme. But, one of the coolest aspects of the course is later in the round. Callaway partnered with the Golf HOF to bring you the Arnold Palmer Hole. This hole was dedicated to the legacy of Arnie and you had the opportunity to hit a shot with one of his wooden irons from back in the day!
On top of the experience, Callaway still found a way to help the city of San Diego and their charity partners. Between #4 and #5 was the ProKids Tent that sold mulligans. ProKids is a charity that introduces golf to young people. Every mulligan you bought, the more young people you were able to impact in the San Diego area! They raised almost $24,000 for ProKids in just 6 days!
This was truly an experience like none other. Having the opportunity to play golf on a baseball field was a dream come true and Golf Life caught it all on camera. Check out the video above to see the action and what the Links at Petco Park was all about. You will see why there were so many people that were interested, why 7,997 golf balls were hit a day, and why there were about 250 gallons of Arnold Palmers consumed. To see the leaderboard or get more fun facts, check out their WEBSITE!