Last week my golfing buddy pulled the trigger on some new woods. I guess four years of me making fun of his 1982 clubs finally made an impact. While not new–new, he landed on Taylormade Aero Burners which he got for a steal on eBay. Unfortunately, the clubs arrived with no head covers. Actually, that was a blessing in disguise because stock head covers suck. Still, feeling the weight of caring for his new babies, Rod made due until a proper substitute could be found.
It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important — Arthur Conan Doyle
When I reviewed Sunfish Sales wool headcovers several people asked me “What can you say about headcovers?” The answer turned out to be “quite a bit.” Before I tried a set of Sunfish Sales’ heavy-duty knit covers, my headcovers were a source of annoyance rather than a compliment to my bag. I was far more likely to curse the clumsy neoprene socks that come on my clubs as I struggled to get them on and off or jogged back up the fairway to pick them up than I was to enjoy the look and feel of a quality piece of kit.
I call this the “Places you’ll never get to play” collection
Since that first review my woods and hybrids have worn Sunfish for every round, rain or shine, hell or high water. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments about my Sunfish woollies, along with inquiries about where to get them. And adding some class to your bag with Sunfish Sales knit headcovers was pretty straightforward, since Sunfish supplies custom covers to many of the top 100 courses in the US. For those who couldn’t wrangle an invitation to, say Winged Foot or Cypress Point, Sunfish’s website and prices starting at less than $30 for a luxe knit driver cover made things easy and painless.
So clearly the guys at Sunfish Sales had it all figured out. They’d done what they set out to do, and it’s time to put the shop on autopilot and head to the course for Cajun Martinis and afternoon golf, right?
The biggest update to the Sunfish Sales lineup for 2015 is the addition of leather headcovers. If Sunfish Sales’ wool headcovers are Spenser: For Hire, then the new leather headcovers are A Man Called Hawk. Yes, I know I just dated myself (and revealed some pretty questionable taste in television in my youth), but bear with me a minute. Spenser, as portrayed by Bob Urich, was tough but cultured. Well-read, a gourmet cook, as likely to talk the bad guys into surrender as he was to engage in fisticuffs. When the weather in Boston turned chilly, Spenser wore a classic wool peacoat.
Avery Brooks’ Hawk was the dark side of Spenser, the Yang to his Yin, the Han Solo to his Luke. Bald as a Sunday US Open green, carrying a huge, chrome Colt Python, wearing his sunglasses at night, as cool as the other side of the pillow. Regardless of the Boston weather, Hawk wore a Shaft Signature Badass Edition(tm) trenchcoat, made from black leather.
I was going to make a Shaft reference, but this is a family publication.
Sunfish’s version of that trenchcoat is a series of headcovers for your driver, fairways, hybrids, and blade putter that are hand-crafted from full-grain leather. As with their wool covers, Sunfish’s leather headcovers are handmade, which gives them character that’s missing from mass produced products. Sunfish uses real, full-grain leather that’s thicker and shows more grain than the thinner and more uniform split leather that some manufactures use. But leather is, after all, cow hide, and since cloning cows is illegal, different pieces of leather have different patterns and characteristics, even after the tanning process. Handcrafting their leather headcovers lets Sunfish accommodate the variances in the leather and makes each piece unique, which I think is extremely cool.
The quality of both leather and finish is top-notch. I tried my set with a selection of drivers, fairways, and hybrids, and for the most part they fit well and were easy to put on and take off. When I first put them on they were a bit snug, but being leather they soon broke in created a custom fit for my clubs. The nylon lining makes them easy to slide on and off, and the detailing makes identifying clubs simple and quick. Because of the design needs inherent in leather, the leather covers aren’t as long as the knit ones, leaving a few inches of my driver shaft exposed. This only became a concern when I was using a putter that has no headcover, letting the head of my aptly-named “Big Ben” from Ben Hogan rattle against the shaft of my driver. No harm was done, and I eventually rearranged my bag to eliminate the problem, but if you’re rocking a $300 aftermarket shaft in your driver you might want to check everything to make sure your clubs are riding safely.
Cypress Point, where they can literally look down on Pebble Beach.
The covers are available as sets or can be ordered individually in a variety of colors and patterns. Best of all they start at a cool $34.99 for putters, hybrids, and fairways, and $39.99 for drivers. Buy them as a set and $90 will get you a set of headcovers that should last longer than your golf career.
Of course not everyone wants to dress like they’ve taken the Red Pill and dropped out of The Matrix, and Sunfish has you covered there too. I don’t know about you, but when I hear “animal headcovers” I think of the Caddyshack gopher headcovers that are apparently part of the Acme Big-Box Golf Retail kit. Fortunately, when Sunfish says “animal headcovers” they mean the same high-quality wool and hand-knitting that goes into their standard knit covers, knit into a line of animals that look like the makers of sock monkeys decided to branch out.
It’s just one happy animal kingdom, until the lobster starts something.
Order them as a set or mix and match, starting at just $25 for fairways and hybrids and $30 for drivers, Sunfish Sales’ knit animal headcovers are a great choice if your tastes are a little whimsical.
Scorecard/Yardage Book Holder
This is the latest addition to my collection of “things I never knew I needed until I had them.” Until you’ve tried one, a scorecard or yardage book holder might seem like a necessity for the pros and their 3-volume yardage books, but a little shishi for weekend warriors who have more beers in their cooler than notes in their yardage book. Even when you try one, the difference is really in all the things you don’t notice. Unless you think about it, you aren’t likely to notice that you didn’t struggle to get your scorecard in and out of your pocket once during your round. That means that you didn’t have to stop and ask your partners what they got on the last par 3 because you couldn’t get the dogeared, sweaty card out of your pocket in a hurry, so you bagged it and moved on.
Made from the same full-grain leather as their headcovers, Sunfish Sales’ scorecard holder has elastic loops on both sides to hold your scorecard and yardage book, as well as a loop for your pencil. It sounds like a little thing, but having a loop for my pencil means that I always have a pencil, which beats the hell out of marking my scorecard with the same Sharpie that I use to mark my golf balls.
If you don’t see “Diver Down”, you should probably just order a plain vanilla cover.
Having my card and yardage book organized and easy to use hasn’t made me a better golfer, but it has definitely made my rounds more enjoyable. Be careful though, when your buddies see how easy it is to manage the card you might find yourself designated as the permanent scorekeeper. It’s a small price to pay for the convenience, as is the $35 price tag.
Customize your covers
Perhaps the most interesting addition to Sunfish Sales’ 2015 offerings isn’t really a product at all. New this year you can customize your headcovers right on the Sunfish Sales website. Visit https://sunfishsales.com/custom-headcovers/ and you can choose colors, designs, details, and even add custom text to your headcovers. Prices vary depending on the options you choose, but I priced a leather driver cover with everything, including having my name embroidered on it, and it still came in at a very reasonable $80. Considering that a leather headcover could well last longer than my golf game, I think that qualifies as an affordable luxury.
Seriously, you can get more options on your headcover than your Honda.
If Sir Arthur is right and the details are what’s important, Sunfish Sales’ 2015 lineup of knit and leather might just be the most important part of your bag. Adding a touch of class and removing the kinds of minor annoyances that can take you out of “the zone” can’t help but be good for your mental game, whether it shows up on your scorecard or not. You can see Sunfish Sales full lineup, learn more, and even create and order your own custom headcover designs on the Sunfish Sales website
Q: What do you call Chewbacca when he has chocolate stuck in his hair?
A: Chocolate Chip Wookiee.
Funny right? Ah, not really and neither are any of the assorted novelty headcovers you might be tempted to put on your clubs. Sure, it’s ok to represent your Alma Mater but even then, why not give your school some true respect by passing on the $8 headcover and instead opting for something more substantial.
How does one obtain some style advantage over the gimmicky sales rack at Golf Galaxy? One of the oldest types of head covers that are still widely used even today is . . . wool. A perfectly fitted, hand knitted wool cover has a very classic look to it that can instantly add style to your bag in a way that Marvin the Martian falls dramatically short.
Always willing to cover all aspects of the game, we humbly agreed to order up some customized offerings from Jan Craig Headcovers, who has been handcrafting premium wool head covers since 1962.
The Jan Craig story is not only fascinating but also a perfect example of why I love writing for Three Guys Golf, because like most people, I had never crossed paths with this premium headcover company. Learning about Janet Craig and her husband Bert’s passion for the game and for each other was not only inspiring, but it made me proud to have their covers on my clubs.
The beginning of Jan Craig started out I’m sure like a lot of small companies. Mrs. Craig wasn’t satisfied with what was available, as far as headcovers go, so she took it upon herself and handcrafted her own headcovers from worsted wool. It helped that she was good with yarn and needles because soon others were noticing her work and wanted a set of their own.
My favorite part in learning about the history of their company was how it was never planned to be a real business. In fact, the Craigs only intended to make enough headcovers to finance the couple’s yearly wedding anniversary trip to Pinehurst.
Luckily for us though, a certain touring professional by the name of Jack Nicklaus ordered a set, and as his recognition grew so did the attention paid to those stylish wool headcovers that graced the Golden Bear’s clubs. The rest is ongoing history as many top level PGA Tour pros now have Jan Craig Headcovers in their bags.
Like I mentioned earlier, the story is a great one and even though Jan Craig passed away many years ago her family has continued the tradition she started of handcrafting worsted wool headcovers now some 53 years after she created her first set.
When the package from Jan Craig arrived I opened it up and right away I knew I was dealing with superb quality. I likened it to Christmas mornings from my childhood when grandma would send you that hand-knitted sweater that you quickly toss aside, moing on to the next present hoping it’s anything but clothes. Maybe some twenty years later, when you’re much wiser, you’ll pull out that special blanket grandma made you for your 5th birthday that somehow has held up better than any other blanket you’ve ever owned and you begin to realize what went into making such a remarkable piece.
It wasn’t just Grandma taking some needles to yarn and making a piece of clothing or a blanket, but every strand of wool and every stitch was made with love and passion. This is Jan Craig in a nutshell. The quality that goes into every piece screams passion, pride and love.
Their covers are not sitting in a warehouse on a shelf waiting for an order to be fulfilled; they’re made to order, fully customizable and will take up to six weeks to come in. The time frame was tough to overcome but I had a feeling when I did have them in my hands it was going to be worth the wait, and it was.
The first sign that I had a superior quality product in my hands was the weight. Everyone is in love with lighter, faster, stronger, but when it comes to protecting those expensive metal woods in your bag you don’t want an inferior fabric or process. The time that goes into creating each unique piece is a testament to Jan Craig’s dedication to the craft and it is clearly shown in the details of their work.
The ordering process was as easy as it comes. You access the Jan Craig website and with one click of the mouse you’re in step one of the design phase. Next you’ll choose the club you like a cover for, then there’s an option to go with a 5” POM an 8” POM a Tassel or nothing. From there you get into color combinations and lettering.
For this review I went with a color combination of Scarlet & Gray that worked perfectly with my Cobra bag and, in my own vat of self-righteousness, pays homage to my beloved Rebels of UNLV. It’s the closest I’m going to get to the famed “Hey Reb” covers the UNLV Golf team has.
Since Adam went the way of the Pom Poms for his review of Jan Craig a few years ago, I decided to go with the tassel look to be different. Yeah, it had nothing to with the fact that they’re Pom Poms.
You can customize the headcovers with any number or letter configuration. I chose the “D” on the driver, “3W” on my fairway wood (which with my game will always be a 3-wood) and an “H” for my hybrid. Keeping with the color scheme I had the lettering done in white to match the accents on my bag.
The lettering came out perfect and it most definitely adds to the classic look the wool covers.
After a thorough inspection of the covers, examining every inch of fabric, it was time to grab my woods and see if the obviously well-made products from Jan Craig were actually user friendly. I say that because in the past I’ve owned a few that didn’t make it through the first couple of holes before the on and off action had transformed the head cover from a functional product to dust rag.
While checking out the Driver cover I noticed Jan Craig includes an elastic band right around where the hosel and shaft come together. I’m not sure how many other wool head cover manufactures are doing this, but it was the first time I had seen it used. It a great feature that allows a large 460cc driver to “slip” nicely into the cover and feel like it’s fully in place.
The driver cover has a very long sleeve and for that reason it may not be ideal for bags that have a shaft lock or a small slot for holding the club. I think it’s a great feature though and I love it. It adds even more protection to the club shaft so accidentally scratching up a shaft when returning it to your bag is no longer a worry.
The Hybrid and Fairway woods have a much shorter sleeve but I’m confident there’s more material than you’ll find on other wool head covers, at least when I compared them to the few I have there is a notable difference.
On and off, on and off, on and off, I spent a decent amount of time (what I’d reflect as at least two rounds on the course) taking the covers off and putting them back on. I’m far from an expert when it comes to fabrics but I have to believe that, because the covers are made from a more durable wool called Worsted (Google is your friend), the repetitive actions of removing and replacing will do little to wear down the material.
Jan Craig Headcovers offers a great option for those looking to add some style and class to their golf bags. The quality is phenomenal and with all the customizable options you can make them your own very easily.
When I started this review I wasn’t sure if I was the type that could pull off wool. I felt I didn’t have the personality to pull it off and over the past couple of years I have grown very fond of my leather covers. I certainly didn’t think it was possible that there was a fabric cover out there that would make me change it up.
Jan Craig and their amazing headcovers did just that.
Prices vary depending of the size of the cover of course. The covers we ordered sell for $62.00 (Driver) $59.00 (Fairway Wood) and $44.00 (Hybrid). For $165 you’ll get an outstanding set of headcovers that are built to last and will probably outlast your golfing career.
To see just how easy it is to customize and order your own set of Jan Craig Headcovers please visit their site and add some classic style to your bag.
My grandfather was a doctor in the post-war US, so of course he played golf. He carried his clubs in a leather bag, hit balata balls, and covered his hand-cut Persimmon woods with knit headcovers sporting a pom-pom on top. He might not have recognized my funky-looking TM Burner irons or my space-age Titanium driver, and I’m sure that he’d be taken aback by my putter, but I know that he’d feel right at home with my set of hand-knit wool headcovers from Sunfish Sales. He might even be a little jealous, because Sunfish Sales has gone to great lengths to make sure that they not only captured the classic look and feel of knit headcovers, but they took advantage of modern technology and production techniques to refresh the classic design and make their hand-knit covers a welcome (and affordable) luxury for modern golfers.
Sunfish Sales is the product of a childhood promise by founders/owners David Riggs and Alonzo Guess that they would one day own a company together. When I was a kid the height of my friends’ aspirations was that we’d have cable TV in our treehouse, a dream that never came to pass. But David and Alonzo kept their eyes on the prize and eventually ended up with Sunfish Sales, delivering fine knit products of various stripes to a grateful world. A few years after starting up, they decided to dip their toes in the golf market, and from there things have happened much faster than the 1950s look and hand-woven quality of their knit headcovers would make you think.
The list of prestigious courses offering Sunfish’s products reads like my bucket list, with names like Cypress Point and Bethpage topping the chart. Since buying a headcover at a once-in-a-lifetime course would be pointless if nobody could tell that’s where you got it, Sunfish offers custom embroidery or inclusion of the course name or club patch in the design. This touch makes them a natural for collegiate golf, and they are showing up (in team colors, naturally) in some of the highest-profile programs in the NCAA.
On tour, Sunfish Sales continues their focus on quality first. Only one professional uses the Sunfish wool covers, but when that one is Miguel Angel Jimenez, two would be superfluous. That’s right, I’m rocking the same headcovers as The Most Interesting Golfer in the World.
When I got my hands on the covers Sunfish sent for review, it was obvious why MAJ would love these – the man clearly appreciates the finer things in life, and just holding one of these cable-knit beauties in your hands tells you that they fall nicely into that category. I’m no expert on knitting, but even I can see that these covers are immaculately put together.
My samples are startlingly heavy, and very heavy-duty. The New Zealand wool and hand-knitting give these headcovers a very luxurious feel that would be perfectly at home in a fisherman’s sweater. I know this sounds strange, but mine even have a rustic and comforting wool smell to them – it reminds me of the coat closet at my grandmother’s house.
The Sunfish Sales headcovers have a cable knit pattern that uses a lot of yarn. This allows the cover to stretch easily over even a modern 460cc driver, while the strength of the knit pulls everything back tight and, aided by a little modern elastic that I know is there but is never visible, keeps the headcover where you put it. And a headcover that stays where you put it is an asset to your game.
Don’t believe me? Read on. When I told my wife that I was reviewing headcovers, her response was “What is there to say about headcovers?” I didn’t have a ready answer, but after playing a few rounds with Sunfish Sales wool headcovers I hit on the real beauty behind a good headcover: you don’t have to think about them.
How many times have you stood on the tee, you’re up, and you can’t get the the logo-plastered wetsuit that came with your new driver off? How many times have you had to backtrack up the fairway for your novelty panda or Darth Vader while the “3 hours or die” group behind you gave you the stink eye? A bad headcover is an annoyance, but what are your choices? If you do without, you stroll the fairways to a constant clanking that will drive even the most zen golfer crazy before the turn. Not only that, but without headcovers your $350 driver and $200 3w are clanking against your $150 hybrid, scraping the oh-so-expensive paint off all of them.
Another nice touch is that the pattern of the headcover tells you what club it’s hiding. A single stripe and a 6″ pom for your driver (or “1-wood” as my Grand Day called it), three stripes and a 4″ pom for your 3w, and another single stripe, this time with a 3″ pom for a hybrid. Each pom looks just right with the size of the club it’s covering, and I find that I can identify clubs faster with this system than with the factory headcovers.
For those who want to go the extra mile and really live the life of The Most Interesting Golfer in the World, Sunfish Sales is bringing out a line of leather headcovers for next year. I look forward to getting hold of some of those, and given the quality of these wool covers I have no doubt that the leather will be quite a treat.
$79.99 for the set represents a bit of an investment, but the quality of Sunfish Sales wool headcovers means you may never buy another set of headcovers. These covers have added a touch of class to my bag that I really enjoy. They protect my clubs, look great, and remove an annoyance from my round. I’ve tossed my previous mix-and-mismatch set of headcovers into a bin in my garage, if I ever actually sell a golf club (I’ve heard that people do that, but what do those people do when 3 friends drop in from out of town without their clubs and want to play?) I’ll put those ratty socks back on them, but until then I’m keeping the Sunfish covers on my clubs.
Check out all the Sunfish headcovers on their website.
The greatest golfers have always been described as artists. While technique is a requirement, it is the vision to see shots most could never imagine that has separated the great from the good. Whether it is Phil’s flop shot or Bubba’s 90 yard hook to secure the Masters, we marvel at the artistry of the game. The same holds true for golf equipment and accessories. Beyond technical excellence, it is the artistic vision that moves a product from good to exceptional
When it comes to headcovers, I am on the record stating that 99.9% of big brand headcovers are awful. Not only do they look horrible, they are not even that functional. On the other hand, for two years, I have admired from afar the Seamus headcovers. But until this winter, I never been fortunate enough to see them in person. In January, I picked out three headcovers from the growing Seamus pattern selection. Over the course of the spring, the headcovers have become a staple in my bag, and frankly, I do not see them ever leaving.
Founded by husband and wife team, Megan and Akbar Chisti, Seamus is truly and family-owned and run business. The unique perspectives both individuals bring to the table have helped to make the company one of the most respected small golf accessory companies around. Proof to this point is the fact that Bandon Dunes, along with a number of other prestigious golf courses, carry Seamus in their Pro Shop.
Over the years of writing for Three Guys Golf, I have found that every company has its own vibe and that beyond the actual products, it is that vibe that plays a huge role in how I end up feeling about the company. Now, with huge multi-million dollar behemoths like TaylorMade, that vibe is created in a marketing department by folks who measure trends and focus groups; with small companies the vibe is genuine and is a direct reflection on the owners of the company.
The Seamus vibe is one of tradition, honesty, and appreciation for beauty. Everything Seamus creates harkens to Megan and Akbar’s artistic values and background. Even their trade show booth, which was handmade using old boards and decorated with vintage clubs, signals the Northwest origins of the brand.
None of this is surprising once you speak with Megan or Akbar who are both soft spoken, kind, and insightful, which is a welcome change to the too often “over the top” personalities of the golf world. To me, it is the rare blend of craft, passion and vision that has been as big a factor in Seamus’s success as the product itself.
So what is it about the Seamus headcovers that has garnered such widespread praise? In my opinion, the beauty of Seamus headcovers is two-fold:
First, the selection of woolen patterns is so rooted in the origins of the game. Tartans and plaids from the old country run throughout the collection, many of which are Clan specific. Being a southerner, I don’t know too much about tweeds and other woolen fabrics, but browsing thought the Seamus site, you will find a mutitude of color selections that range from blues to reds to browns. I think it is the combination of color selection and fabric that is at the heart of their essence. So finding a single headcover you love is easy, but perhaps more difficult is trying to envision how different patterns will look next to each other. Fortunatley, I have found that it is hard to go wrong as the mere fact that the fabric and construction is the same means they all look great together.
In addition to the visional beauty of Seamus, the construction of the headcovers is outstanding. Nearly all of the headcovers are made from wool, which holds up incredibly well and tends to repel dirt. On the inside, you will find soft fleece which protects the clubs as well as makes it super easy to get the clubs in and out. Plus, the contrasting color and texture adds to the beauty.
You will note that the headcovers do not have a sock attached and are actually relatively short. While you might think this would lead to the headcovers falling off, this is not at all the case. Part of the reason why they stay on so well is because (in the case of the driver headcover) there is a hidden elastic band sewn inside near the top. Frankly, it is an ingenious little detail as it goes unseen but not unnoticed. Again, I think it goes back to the attention to detail that flows throughout the company. From a durability standpoint, I have been regularly using the Seamus headcovers for 4 months and they look just as good as the day I got them and I expect to keep them for many years.
Beyond the headcovers, Seamus is now branching out to other products including neckwear, wood iPhone cases, pitch repair tools and ball markers. While I cannot personally speak to all of those items, I can say that the ball marker is one of my favorites. I am a bit of a ball marker snob and only use ones that are hand made or one of a kind. I just feel like it is a great opportunity to show individuality and for the most part they do not cost very much. The Seamus ball marker is hardly flashy, but the hand pounded metal has a great weight and size.
I will end this post much the same way I have ended other headcover reviews. Every few years you go out and buy a new driver or fairway wood and for a brief moment in time they are your best friends. Inevitably, you grow weary and the love fades. Soon enough you are on the free market for the next stick to help your game.
Fortunately, this scenario does not have to hold true for many of the other items in your golf bag. Finding a set of headcovers is such an example. Since quality headcovers like Seamus will last for years and years, the actual investment becomes quite small given the amount of use they will get. If you are like the vast majority of golfers who are still toting around the stock headcovers, it is high time you take the plunge.
Check out all of the Seamus headcovers and accessories on the Seamus website.
My father was many things, but a car lover was not one of them. Hence I grew up believing the Nash Rambler was a fine automobile and was quite pleased with my first car purchase, a 1975 Toyota Corolla that cost $500. That car was followed by a Datsun B210, Ponitac Catalina and Subura DL . When I finally got a job that paid reasonably well I decided it was time to step up my game. Despite knowing it was a poor investment I happily slapped down cash for a 6 year old BMW 535i. Black exterior with black leather, yup, it was beautiful. I loved that car, but fidgety German engineering made it the “ultimate maintenance machine”, so after 4 years I gave up and sold my dream car. Since that time, I have forgone leather seats and while I tell myself I don’t really care about leather, the fact that is that is a lie.
From the dawn of man (well somewhere in early man time), leather has been a premium substance. Leather coats, leather shoes, leather gloves and of course leather seats all represent the finest of quality. Beyond the finer things, if you look at sports equipment in general, what do you find? Leather. Leather footballs, leather soccer balls, leather baseballs, basically any ball that you need “feel” is made from leather. Why then do we put rubber grips on our golf clubs? Sure, rubber is cheap, sticky, and holds up well, but in the end it is still rubber. Maybe it is time to take some advice from Tom Haverford.
Best Grips was founded by a Albert Sewell, who at the tender age of 13 realized he preferred leather grips over conventional rubber. Not satisfied with just any leather grip, Albert started to tinker with different textures and treatments (I am presumably skipping ahead a few years as I would hope he had better things to do with his teenage years). In 2008 he founded Best Grips and since that time the company has expanded their product line.
Best Grips currently offers six different grips for irons. What I find interesting is that each one is very unique not just in texture but in concept. Specifically, Best Grips borrows from familiar sporting goods to create such grips as the Grid Iron and Hard Court grip which share the characteristics of a football and basketball respectively. To me this makes perfect sense; both of those balls provide excellent feel.
In addition to the unique textures offered by Best Grips, they also treat many of them with ProTac which makes them tacky when they get wet. Actually, I have found the grips to be fairly tacky regardless of moisture but they do recommend wiping the grips with a wet towel every few weeks. With that said, I have been using the Best Grips for nearly 3 months and I can tell you with certainty that the grips have retained nearly all of the original tackiness despite my less than perfect maintenance record. To be honest, I have cleaned them only twice so I don’t think you have to worry about being a super clean freak.
The grips I installed are MicoPerf but are part of a special collection called Augusta Club Grip that will be available April 1st 2014. While these are special edition, nearly all of the Best Grips, come in a number of colors and can be customized with contrasting stitching. It just so happens that mine are Masters Green and kinda money!
From a feel standpoint, I noticed the difference right away when compared to rubber grips. For one thing, the lacing on the underside of the grip fits perfectly in your fingers to give you a sense of connection to the club. The other difference between the Best Grips and most other leather grips is the fact that they are not wound around the club which can lead to separation between the seams. Rather, the Best Grips are a single piece of leather that stitched together down the length of the grip which helps with durability.
Beyond the leather, this was the first time I ever played with grips that had stitching. For me, I instantly loved the look and the feel. Specifically, I found that when I set up for a shot, especially a tricky one, it helped me to get a feel for the club. Sensing the stitches in my grip brought consciousness to my hands and allowed me to feel “locked in” to the impending shot. Yea, it sounds hokey but I have never really thought much about the grip at address until recently.
Price and installation are not much different than standard grips. The cost is maybe $4 or $5 more per grip, but I never understood the concept of cheaping out on anything involved with irons or putters. Face it, they are your babies, they are what you keep for years . . . why not get exactly what you want even if it costs a little more?
Grip installation is done with an air gun and it is not particularly difficult. I did mine in about 30 minutes with the help of a friend. NOTE: you will need to use double sided tape and solvent. The only cautionary tale is to be a little gentle but honestly we did not have any issues. If you prefer to have your grips installed professionally, just make sure the shop has experience with leather grips and uses an air gun.
In addition to leather grips, Best Grips has recently branched out to putter shoes and headcovers. I assume it seemed like a fairly obvious way to expand since they owned much or the required skill and machinery. Because Best Grips is expanding their capabilities at a very rapid rate, it is hard to give you an exhaustive list of what they can do. To date, I have seen a few different headcover designs and models. Each one is made from genuine leather which can be embroidered, over-stiched or even laser engraved.
While the embroidery was cool, it was something I have seen before. However, the laser engraving was a process I have yet to see in person. As an example, Best Grips sent us a Three Guys Golf logo driver cover that included my signature. Holy cow, I would have never thought this to be possible but all I had to do was to scan a piece of paper that included my John Handcock (no I did not practice 20 times…only 12). The results are pretty cool even if my chicken stratch signature leaves much to be desired.
Bottom line is that the guys at Best Grips can pretty much create anything you can dream up. Being a small shop they are willing to work with you to find your ideal grips and headcovers. These guys, specifically Albert, are incredibly passionate about their product. Whether you want exotic skin grips, pink stitching, or a picture of your cat engraved on your headcover, Albert will make it happen.
You can check out all their products on the Best Grip website but I would also encourage you to reach out via email or twitter with any questions – they are super responsive.
Remember back in 2005 when everyone’s go-to jacket was made from rich black leather? Don’t lie, I know you still keep it in the closet hoping for the inevitable comeback. Damn, I miss wearing it! Super warm, indestructible, and agelessly cool.
While I may not be able to pull off my motorcycle jacket in 2014, I get a little solace now thanks to Rose & Fire. Mike Buchfuhrer, the man behind the brand, has been creating unique headcovers for about a year now. Using materials like denim and ballistic nylon, Rose & Fire has a look that quite frankly I have never seen before.
I had the opportunity to meet with Mike at the 2014 PGA show and get a first-hand look at the entire line. One feature that is common across most all of the designs is a large solid zipper and small pocket. Despite having limited use (insert SNL joke), it definitey adds to the overall vibe.
The other common feature is the brass ring on the end of each headcover, which can be used to remove them from your club, but mostly it just looks cool.
Perhaps because I am not military, the ballistic nylon did not speak to me and the denim was just not my thing but the leather . . . oh yeah, 100% money. I think what got me was that this is not your basic leather headcover. It is almost as if Mike reused all of the discarded 2005 motorcycle/pilot jackets to create these gems. You may note that many of these pictures are taken with my leather jacket as a backdrop and it is virtually impossible to differntiate the headcovers from my sweet Wilson jacket (ahh, no it is not a Wilson jacket).
To set the record straight, I have owned numerous leather headcovers but I have never seen one that is this rich. Most leather headcovers are made from some type of cowhide and are typically fairly thin. In the case of Rose & Fire I am convinced if you sewed enough of them together you would have a legitimate coat worthy of a New Jersey winter.
From a functionality standpoint, this may be the best headcover I have ever owned (and I have a bunch). Easy to put on, never slips off, rugged as road, they are just a beast which is exactly the vibe I want for my big stick. This goes for the putter cover as well. The thing is big, well padded, easy to slip on and off but securely fastened with velcro.
As regular readers know, I have a soft spot for small companies in part because I know how hard it is to build a business. Moreover, I inherently trust the quality that comes from folks who are passionate about creating a brand. I know how important every detail becomes and how hard they work towards perfection. Spending an hour with Mike as he explained each and every detail, it became clear to me that he is absolutely focused creating his perfect headcover. In part this means local manufacturing in California and using only the best hand-picked materials. This is the type of product I want in my bag.
So will they go in my bag? Will they replace one or more of the other headcovers I have and genuinely love? The answer is yes, I am absolutely putting the driver headcover in my bag. Fortunately, I was only sent the driver and putter cover so I don’t have to kick out any other woods. Even still, I think I prefer having a single leather headcover because it stands in such stark contrast from my other softer headcovers.
As for the putter cover, alas, I have a rule that if I am using a boutique putter that was hand crafted I will always use that company’s cover. I guess it is my way of acknowledging the work they put into creating the flatstick. However, big brand putters . . . see ya. The Rose & Fire definitely wins that match.
Rose & Fire headcovers run about $40-$60, with the leather version on the high end. You can see more of the Rose & Fire collection and purchase them on their website.
By far my favorite part of writing for Three Guys Golf is the opportunity to review products that I would otherwise never know about. This spring I came upon a small company called Appalachian Leather Works who sells handmade leather putter covers, yardage book covers and billfolds. The fact that they are located in the mountains of my home state of North Carolina is just frosting on the cake.
For years I have admired the yardage books that the guys on tour have, but finding one that was not boring or generic proved to be a difficult task. Fortunately, Appalachian Leather Works is neither boring or generic. Not only are they unique, but they come in a number of versions including gator, ostrich and snake. Each one is then hand-stitched with your choice of thread color. The result is a one of a kind yardage book that will be the envy of your foursome. Oh, and when I say hand-stitched, I mean stitched by a real person living in Boone NC.
So, you don’t have a yardage book? Neither do I, but don’t let that deter your decision because they also are perfect for a scorecard. Why then do you need a scorecard holder? Because you can. Since I began carrying my scorecard a month ago, I have absolutely fallen in love with it. There is just a certain feeling of confidence when you can mark your score in a tour version cover. It is just legit!
Along with the yardage book, I now also carry an Appalachian Leather Works bill fold. Like the yardage books, these too come in a number of skins and thread options. I have long since given up my George Castanza wallet, so it was not a problem for me to fit everything I need into it. I keep six cards and $500 cash with no problem (ok maybe $18.00 but you get the idea). Keeping the fold closed and secure is easy with the rubber ring.
Since recently moving to a blade putter, I was in need of a new cover as I much prefer non-branded club covers. The Appalachain Leather Works putter cover I have is black leather with yellow ribbon, but you can customize nearly every aspect of the cover including the color of the leather, ribbon, stitching and faux fur. The fit is perfect and easily slides onto nearly any blade putter. The velcro clasp at the back is completely secure so there is no worries of it falling off.
So beyond the fact that I totally dig all of the Appalachian Leather Works products, the fact that they are handmade by a guy who literally lives in the mountains rather an a multi-national company makes the purchase just a little bit more special. Sure, there are some things big companies are really good at, like making drivers, but if you want a headcover or yardage book that is representative of the passion you have for the game, then you should demand handmade.
You can see all of the Appalachian Leather Works products on their website. Additionally, we are offering a 10% discount on all purchases through the end of May. Just use code 3guys.
CRU Golf Headcovers: Have you ever gotten one of those gifts that is so beautifully wrapped, you hate to open it? It’s almost like the wrapping is part of the actual gift. And while we may be momentarily inspired to take this same care in our next wrapping exercise, most times we just settle for a gift bag. Unfortunately, many of us too often settle for the “gift bag” when it comes to the headcovers for our golf clubs. Isn’t it time we treat our clubs to a bit of high class gift wrapping?
Cru Golf is a golf headcover company whose product can cover and protect your clubs while looking like your clubs are exquisitely wrapped gifts for you each time you pull one out. These days there are plenty of choices out there for headcovers. Every school mascot and stuffed animal you can dream up can be found to cover your sticks.
However, if you are a bit more mature but tired of the standard headcovers that came with your clubs, there is a better option with Cru Golf. They are 100% leather covers and offer a variety of classic and vintage designs sure to please any golfer. Each cover is carefully crafted by hand by skilled craftsmen. All covers have been designed to ensure a proper fit on all sizes, including 460cc drivers. The interior has moisture wicking so you get the most performance from your clubs in both dry and wet conditions.
Cru Golf offers a variety of designs and colors in their Classic Cru and Reserve Cru collections. I received the Classic Cru in hot pink and white. Considering I am not really known for my “softer, girly side,” I like ordering products in traditional “girly” colors. I figure that if I really like a product despite the color, it has to be good. I must say that I was truly impressed as soon as I opened the box from Cru Golf. First, I got a whiff of that new car smell. You know the one I’m talking about, that fresh scent of new leather that just sends you into a dreamlike state.
Scientists say that our sense of smell is one of our strongest links to memories, and we all have that memory of the new car smell. Then I picked them up. They are striking covers indeed. These are not your typical mass produced, assembly line products. These covers are good, sturdy and of a quality that you rarely find these days.
They are what I imagine my 75 year old father is reminiscing about when he says, “they just don’t make things the way they used to.” If everything I purchased today were made with the quality of Cru Golf, I would have no returns and you would be hard pressed to find a customer that was not satisfied. The leather is a high quality thickness, and the stitching holding it all together is done by a steady hand, making this product a true cut above the rest.
If you have a father in law, brother in law, aunt, etc. that is a golfer, and you need something other than another golf shirt or sleeve of balls as a gift idea, Cru Golf is your answer. Whether you are getting them for yourself or someone else, you can’t go wrong. Cru Golf even offers a wide variety of custom colors and designs. You can add your personal touches right down to the piping color for a custom cover surely to please even the toughest of gift critics. For custom designs, you need to allow 3-4 weeks for your order.
All of the Cru Golf products are made in the USA and range from $37.99-$44.99 or $99 a set, and $63-$69 each for custom covers. For more information and to place your order today, go to www.crugolf.com.
Stitch Headcover Review: If you are golf gear nut, you know old school leather and wool headcovers are making a big comeback. One newcomer to the party is Stitch Golf. Founded in 2012, Stitch Golf is charging out of the gates in part because company founder Charlie Burgwyn has been around golf nearly his whole life. Coincidentally, I only live about 30 minutes from Stitch Golf so I took the opportunity to personally meet with Charlie to learn more about the company.
Before we get to Stitch the company, let’s go ahead and review the look of the headcovers. Stitch has two main lines, leather and wool. The leather headcovers come in a number of styles and colors but all are made with high quality leather giving them a wonderfully soft feel. If you look closely, you will notice that the headcovers have small imperfections and sometimes stray string as a result of the fact that each one is hand cut and sewn (in America by the way). To me this gives each headcover its own unique personality as no two are exactly the same.
As I mentioned, Stitch Golf headcovers come in a ton of styles each of which can be customized to fit your particular color and pattern preference. Since these are all handmade, custom orders take about three weeks. However, Stitch Golf also maintains a large selection of stock styles which you can purchase online, at many clubs, or even in some big box stores. From a price standpoint, the Stitch leather covers are a great value as you can get a 3 pack for about $100 – significantly less than most of the competitors. For example, many leather headcovers ask $85-$125 for just one driver cover.
During my conversation with Stitch founder Charlie Burgwyn, I learned that he not only worked in the golf industry for over 10 years but is also an accomplished golfer who played at the collegiate level. Beyond golf, Charlie and his team have deep experience in apparel and manufacturing industries, which is another reason why they have been able to grow so quickly. Just as important, the company seems very grounded in its values and commitment to quality and customer care. Judging from the pictures and testimonials people have sent into Charlie, it would seem that the product is being well received.
On the wool side, Stitch Golf offers a bunch of styles that are reminiscent of years gone by as well as some “alternative” versions (like the skulls). Stitch uses a 80% Merino Wool / 20% Acrylic mix which gives the covers a soft feel but is also a bit stretchy so that they can easily go on and off your club. The wool versions run about $100 for a set of four. While I dig the wool headcovers, I do think leather versions are the real flag-bearer for Stitch.
After spending 90 minutes at the Stitch Golf Headquarters I came away convinced that the company is for real. It is hard to believe how far they have come in such a short time which is a testament to Charlie and his team. There is a real sense of urgency and belief that the company can become the preeminent headcover manufacturer. Beyond headcovers, I would expect Stitch to move into other leather golf accessories such as shoe bags, score card holders and other related items. In the meantime, if you are looking for high quality, high style headcovers at a very reasonable price, I would encourage you to check out Stitch Golf.
Jan Craig Headcover Review:
Is it me or is “classic” the new black? Now some classic things I am all for, (e.g. the Arniewear line), but much of the classic stuff . . . well, not so much (and don’t get Matt started on the Classic Driver).
While Jan Craig headcovers could be called classic, I am not sure if that is the right term since they have been making them the same way for over 40 years. That’s right, over 40 years of doing one thing – making handmade wool headcovers. And when I say handmade, I mean hand-knit by a real live human using real wool yarn and knitting sticks.
Perhaps not a household name, Jan Craig headcovers have been in the bags of men like Nicklaus, Norman and most recently Tom Watson during his famous 2009 British Open. With timeless looks and signature pom-pom, Jan Craig is sure to remain stylish for years to come.
One of the cool things about getting to go to the PGA show is that you get to actually speak with the owners of companies and learn a bit of their behind the scenes story. During my 2012 PGA Show visit I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Barry Craig who, against the grain of most sales-pitch guidelines, showed me an old Jan Craig headcover that was partially falling apart.
What I did not know was that the headcover was actually over 20 years old but the owner (who remained nameless) had a particular affinity to the headcover and was hoping to have it repaired. While Barry would not give up the name of the headcover’s owner (my mind was racing), he did assure me that Jan Craig stands behind their product until virtually the end of time. Not exactly a “30 days with sales receipt” return policy.
In terms of styles, the Jan Craig website makes it simple to design your own wool headcovers by choosing from a ton of color combinations and pom-pom styles. Seeing that I can barely match my shirts and shorts, I went with the classic Ryder Cup version. While I have owned knit headcovers before, none of them compare to the Jan Craig headcovers, or even come close for that matter. Specifically, when you pick them up, you feel like you are holding a sweater.
I mean the thing must weigh 5 pounds. It is so freaking thick, you could cut it down and wear it if you ever had a castaway situation. Not to mention the pom-pom which is about as big as a child’s head. I am not sure how much yarn goes into the pom-pom, but I can tell you they are absolutely super-sizing it! And finally, if you can direct me to a better word than “pom-pom”, it wouldn’t be soon enough.
At around $50 per headcover, Jan Craig is clearly not the cheapest option. However, from a durability standpoint, I don’t see them ever wearing out or fading which actually makes them a bargain in the long run. So when you tire of your stock headcover that came with the club, check out Jan Craig headcovers – because while club technology changes every year, style does not.
Just4Golf Headcovers: Until recently, there were few options when it came to headcovers. There was your standard “came with the club” cover or the “oversized animal” cover but not much more. Fortunately, there are a number of new companies coming out with other styles to choose from. One of the more popular styles that is popping up is the knit sock throwbacks. Derived from a day when wool and cotton were the material of choice and argyle and stripes were in vogue , these new headcovers add a splash of color to your bag.
At the high end of this market, you have companies like Rocket Tour who make a pretty sweet headcover, but at $35 a pop it can be tough to justify for my used 4 wood. Fortunately, there are some more affordable alternatives with similar styling and quality.
Just 4 Golf headcovers is one of the companies making this style of headcover and they were nice enough to send us a few samples to check out. While the Just 4 Golf headcovers may not have quite the cache of Rocket Tour, they are up to 50% less per cover so they are definitely worth considering especially if you want to get 3-5 of them.
Background: Just4Golf Accessories headcovers come in ten styles and include putter covers for both mallet and blade putters. From a style standpoint, they have a nice selection of argyle, stripes and old school looks. Moreover, I would say 1/3 of their selections skew to women so it is a great shop for the ladies as well as the guys.
Three Guys Take: Overall, I was quite pleased with all of the Just4Golf headcovers. I thought the styles were unique and the construction solid. As a test, I tugged on all of the pom poms and each one showed to be securely fastened. In terms of functionality, all of the covers we tried easily fit on my clubs including a Ping G10 driver. NOTE: These head covers are NOT one size fits all which is really a good feature because it means the covers fit better and are more snug. Therefore, make sure you check the description to note if it is sized for a driver, fairway wood or hybrid. I did find that the fairway woods and hybrids are pretty close in size but you will definitely need the driver size for your drivers.
The other unique feature is the plastic toggle on some of the models that you can spin around to indicate what club it is (see photo gallery below). I actually preferred the models without this feature, but you can easily cut the tag off if you like.
Overall, I like the Just4Golf headcovers and they have a number styles which I would put in my bag. I also found that you could mix and match the styles (you will note that I have a black headcover mixed with the argyle in the below photos). Lastly, Just4Golf headcovers are incredibly affordable. Many of the covers are just $16.00 which is 1/2 the price of the big boys.
You can see more photos in our Facebook Gallery.
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