An Experience Unlike Any Other: Happy Masters Thursday!!!

By: Steve a.k.a TradeIn

A long time ago (2005), yours truly got the chance of a lifetime… A clubhouse pass to Augusta on a Thursday. I was working at a company in Atlanta, and the owner for some reason couldn’t attend (I’m assuming he needed a heart transplant or something), and gave me and a co-worker passes.

The whole day was a blur. I was young, and I don’t know if I fully appreciated what was happening at the time. I was so nervous I wore my Kenneth Cole work shoes. I felt like I didn’t belong… and well, let’s be honest- I didn’t. Especially not in the Clubhouse, where we stood with our mouths open, drooling at all the memorabilia and history right within our grasp. Not to mention walking through a gauntlet of golf legends live and in the flesh.

The best story that I have from that day is that we were able to eat at the Clubhouse because of our Clubhouse passes. Wait, did I mention that we had CLUBHOUSE passes????

When we asked the host for a table, he turned around and said: Mr. Nicklaus, will you be using your table”? The Golden Bear said something like “no you guys go ahead,” although I’m pretty sure I blacked out for a minute- But whatever he said, he was cool with a couple of nobodys sitting at his table.

Hopefully, the Back9Rally crew will be able to experience Augusta together someday, although I think it will be tough to sit at Jack’s table again.

Get your Pimento cheese and beverages out this week and let’s all root against PReed!!!!

Cheers,

Back9Rally

Top Tips for Visiting Topgolf Detroit (Auburn Hills)

By: Steve a.k.a. “TradeIn”

Finally. Topgolf in Michigan. It opened in early December, just in time for the Michigan winter. For golfers in the Mitten, it can be lonely at the driving range, and well let’s face it… kind of boring.

Topgolf offers the entertainment of a sports bar with a 3-tiered driving range with targets. Instead of grinding away at the rock pile, you and your buddies can order food, beer, and play different games all automatically scored by the microchipped golf balls, and displayed on a flat screen.

I’ve been to Topgolf a total of 5 times. Once in Las Vegas while waiting to go to the airport, and 4 times in Auburn Hills. I tried to go with friends, kids and at different days and times to paint the full picture. Here are a few tips for Topgolf:

Clubs or no clubs?

I’m going to say no clubs. The parking lot is huge and if you get stuck in the overflow lot, you’ll be hoofing your clubs a hundred yards or so. The clubs they have in the bays are nice, and in fact I was hitting all Callaway Rogues the last time I went.

If you decide to bring your sticks, you can check them in at the front desk while you wait for a bay, but I say hey… just leave them home. I believe they have Driver, 3-wood, hybrid, 5,7,8,9,PW but no SW… They have lefties and kids clubs available as well. I heard a rumor that the golf balls they use are so hard they can actually damage your clubs… not sure if there is any truth to that, but better safe than sorry.

Go Early if you Don’t Want to Wait

If you go at night, you’ll most likely have to wait. You can make “reservations,” but they are not guaranteed. Reminds me of a classic Seinfeld scene:

You may be able to get onto the ground level right away, but the second and third levels are much better, especially if you haven’t been there before.

I went there twice before 11am, and got right into a bay. If you bring your kids with you, I think morning is your best bet. It gets really busy at night, so I’d leave the kiddos at home and go with your friends at night.

Get 6 People to Split the Cost. You have to buy a $5 Lifetime membership the first time you go, and then you can rent the bay by the hour, or really in increments of 15 minutes. From 9am-Noon it is $25 per hour , Noon-5pm it is $35 per hour and 5pm – Close it is $45 per hour. Closing time is 11pm on weekdays and 1:00am on weekends.

So, what does Back9Rally think of Topgolf? Loads of fun! Better than real golf? Nope. However, it was a blast watching my daughter be able to hit balls and dance to the music bellowing throughout the place. It was much easier than taking her to a real course. It was also fun hanging out with the guys, drinking some All Day IPA’s and playing some of the different target games available. For non-golfers, I am sure they enjoy being able to hang out and swing the club a few times without having to buy equipment and go all golf crazy… but for us golf obsessed folks, Topgolf just ain’t the real thing baby.

As for the customer service, it is a mixed bag. I arranged a networking event there, made reservation and had to wait a half hour to get into a bay. I have left several messages for the staff there trying to arrange groups there and have yet to receive a call back… wait until they find out I’m a very important golf blogger Hahahhaha (kidding of course).

Our heaters were broken the last time we were there on a really chilly night, and every once in a while you hit a shot that doesn’t register for whatever reason.

On a positive note, the bay hosts and wait staff are great, especially with little ones during the mornings on the weekend… I’m curious to see if the novelty will wear off especially during the summertime, or if it will continue to be a go-to place to bring the family or meet with friends.

Let us know what you think!!!

Cheers,

Back9Rally

Back9Rally Christmas Wish List and Holiday Golf Gift Ideas

By: Steve aka “TradeIn” and Fred aka “Nightputter”

The Holiday season is upon us.  Gifts for kids and relatives have been purchased.  It’s down to the last minute and you’re scrambling to figure out what to get your significant other.  We have all been in this situation, wandering aimlessly at the mall on December 24th or browsing Amazon, convincing yourself that a gift a few days late is better than nothing at all.

Well, fear not!  If you have a golfaholic to shop for, we here at Back9Rally have compiled a list of 11 great gift ideas, from baller to budget-friendly:

  1. Personalized Golf Balls – We all need to go into the spring season loaded with enough balls to get us primed for summer.  It’s inevitable that your first dozen or two will end up OB, in the water, plugged never to be found, or you’re just to lazy to walk the 100 yards off target to get that breakfast ball.  You can’t go wrong with giving the gift of golf balls.  Added bonus, it’s the golf version of “pay it forward” as it continues to be found at courses around the world. Photo cred: @cartbarnguysLost ball
  2. Unique Golf Shirt – Golf has given us some pretty awesome fashion over the years.  Today’s golf gear is comfortable, versatile and allows you to make a statement on or off the course.  For the more daring check out GolfGods and pick up the F* Bogeys pinstripe polo.  Or visit our friends at Waggle for some fun options that will be the hit of the links.waggle.jpg
  3. Custom Club Work – Warning: not for the last minute shopper.  If you want the golfer in your family to really make his/her playing partners envious, send that favorite wedge or putter off to get customized.  There are some extremely talented folks out there that do crazy cool work.  We follow Wedge Wizard (@wedge_wizard) on Instagram and are amazed at some of his designs. wedgewizzard
  4. Indoor Putting Green – Let’s face it, we can all use more practice with ‘ol Billy Baroo.  In the winter (for those of us near the 45th parallel) your basement carpet ain’t gonna cut it.  There are tons of options out there at all sort of price ranges.  We would make a recommendation but Santa has not delivered on this one yet.  However, Amazon looks to have lots of options with many reviews
  5. Indoor Simulator for the Man Cave Family Area – Definitely wishful thinking on our part.  However, if you have the room and the funds, this gift could provide entertainment for the entire family!  Add an HD projector and it can double as an in-home movie theatre.  That is what we call a “win-win.”simulator
  6. Golf Bag – Like purses, in our opinion, you can’t have too many golf bags.  There are many situations that could cause one to switch things up.  For example, you get a call from a buddy to play The Loop https://www.forestdunesgolf.com only to find out there are no carts… You’re not going to want to carry that Sun Mountain C130 cart bag and if you’re not part of the #pushcartmafia you need something lighter.  Bonus: extra bags keep your clubs organized and not all over the house.  Sun Mountian makes some of our favorite bags and has a huge product line to fit all your needs.  It is hard to go wrong with one of the leaders in the industry for over 30 years.c130
  7. New Golf Shoes – That stench that fills the room after a morning round where 4 hours of dew and sweat combine for a pungent smell that even sends the dog running.  Ok maybe not that bad, but if you had more than one option it might be easier to keep those kicks from getting so rotten.  Tomo Golf Shoes looks interesting, we’ll be checking those out for sure. https://tomogolf.com
  8. New Grips – If it looks like your dog used your 7-iron as a chew toy, it’s time for some new grips (I’m looking at you Monday night Men’s league)…. you can’t go wrong with Golf Pride: https://www.golfpride.com Bonus tip: if you live in metro Detroit, go see Don Price at DC Golf Studio in Royal Oak for all of your golf repair / fitting needs: http://royaloakgolfcenter.com/golf-repair/
  9. AmpCaddy – If they made a Caddyshack 3, I know Al Czervik would have an AmpCaddy on his bag. This is a must purchase item for your next charity scramble, just try to keep it down when Judge Smails is teeing off. https://ampcaddy.com
  10. Blue Birdie Headcover – Looking to cover your flat stick with a cool design? Look no further than Blue Birdie Golf Company. Even if you 3-putt, at least you’ll be doing it in style!!! https://bluebirdie.golf
  11. Golf Weekend/Trip – Great for the couple (if you both play) or team up with your friend’s spouse to give the boys a nice get-a-way.  This option can be pricey but with sites like GroupGolfer you can keep an eye out for a fantastic deal. Like the Stay and Play package, we purchased last summer at TreeTops.  There are many bucket list options in just about every state.  Here in Michigan, The Loop at Forest Dunes is an option for a unique 36 hole design played on 18 holes.  IMG_0937

Happy Holidays!!!

~Back9Rally

7 Tips for the Golf-Obsessed Busy Parent

By: Steve aka “TradeIn” & Fred aka “Nightputter”

For golfers with spouses and children it can be difficult to fit 18 holes of golf into your hectic schedules. Work, kids, activities, family functions, napping… it can all cut into your time on the links. Especially for those of us in the northern states where the golf season is just long enough for you to feel like you’re finally playing well… and then in f*n snows and your done for the season. Fear not, Back9Rally is here to help with 7 tips on how to play more golf without going to the doghouse.

Disclaimer: Despite all of your best efforts, you will find a way to mess this up, so enjoy your golf while it lasts… Then get a soft canvas golf bag to snuggle up with on the couch after one of these tips has gone horribly wrong.

Hopefully our wives won’t read this (we’re taking one for the team):

1) Get up early and play golf you lazy bastard. We all know that waking up for golf is easier than waking up for work… So get one of the first tee times and you’ll be back in time for lunch, or to take a nap… Bonus: you’ll most likely have the course to yourself as most normal human beings are still sleeping in early on a Saturday morning.

2) Do something nice/helpful/constructive a few days before you ask if you can play golf. If you clean the garage and immediately ask if you can go on a buddies golf trip, the jig is up. Be sure to wait a day or two so its not so obvious why you performed said chore.

3) Don’t go through as many equipment changes as a tour pro. Yes, an upgrade from time to time is nice, but don’t spend your kid’s college fund trying to look like you’re sponsored by Taylormade (ahem… TradeIn). It’s you, not the clubs. Pro tip – If you just can’t help yourself, make sure you trade in or sell your clubs on Golf WRX in order to recoup some money for real world things… see: http://www.golfwrx.com

4) Get it out of your system. You know, like when your Dad caught you puffing on a menthol in 8th grade and made you smoke the whole pack? Same concept. Play 72 holes in a weekend, so that when you come home, you wreak of icy hot, cigars and Fireball… You won’t want to pick up a club for a few weeks, trust us on this one.

5) Don’t drink too much on the course unless you’re on a buddies trip. A couple of beers is acceptable, but don’t be cannonballing shots of Jack after a puff of the California Sensimilla. Your significant other will equate the golf course with debauchery and will be less likely to give you the nod for your next 18 if you come home smelling like Robery Downey Jr. and take an after-round nap… for 4 hours.

6) Join a league and play 9. Yes, most leagues are full of old men who are either retired or are able to get out of work at 3:30 easily, but finding a good league can benefit your game. You have a built-in tee time every week, and it is only 9 holes, so you’ll be back in time for a late dinner.

7) Get your family into golf. Don’t be one of those a-holes that uses golf to get away from their wife and kids. Golf can also be a family activity, and who knows, maybe your kid will get a scholarship to play golf somewhere (hopefully… since you blew their savings on the latest equipment).

*Bonus: When all else fails, start a golf blog that nobody reads, but tell your spouse that you are going to monetize it with enough followers… (ex. I need content, so I need to play golf).

So if by some miracle you made it to the bottom of this post… follow us and SHARE IT!!!!!! Tag a buddy that needs to hear this… We need a little help😂😂😂

Cheers,

Back9Rally

Top Golf Related Instagram Pages to Follow (Part 1)

By: TradeIn and Nightputter

We are relatively new to the Instagram world, and boy have we been missing out. When we had the idea for @Back9Rally, I don’t think we were ready for the sheer volume of golf nerds on “The Instagram” (that’s a Dad-ism for the kids out there).

What does this mean for the game of golf??? That remains to be seen, but it is comforting to know that there are a lot of people that are passionate about Golf (although it makes it a crowded marketplace and therefore harder to get free shit🤣🤣🤣).

Here are some of our favorite golf-related Instagram accounts, not in any particular order… Of course, we withdrew @Back9Rally from consideration, but we think we are a pretty strong newcomer at least for the Golfing Dads who like craft beer and want to play more golf without pissing off their family demographic…

Some of our Favorites Here, but this list is not exhaustive, Part 2 for more golf obsessed pages to come at a later date:

1) SkratchTV @skratchtv

I didn’t know this, but SkratchTV is owned by the PGA Tour, and was created to appeal to a younger demographic. The channel creates mostly video content that is funny, creative and really well done. Here is one of our favorite videos:

SkratchTV Club Drop Mix

2. Erik Anders Lang @erikanderslang

“The Most Interesting Man in Golf,” as some have referred to him is a golf-obsessed world traveler. He finds really unique golf stories and makes spectacular videos to tell the stories in “Adventures in Golf.” I don’t know when this dude sleeps, and how he gets to bring his dog snowball everywhere, but man he is living a golf nerds dream. Check out his podcast too for some great interviews. Here’s my favorite episode of AIG (my life goal is to get to Askernish).

Adventures in Golf- Scotland

3. The Buttsy @the_buttsy

Yes, you read that right… The Buttsy… the self-proclaimed amateur professional golfer, semi-pro comedian, plus-sized model and influencer is a NSFW golf version of the Truman Show. Plays a lot of sweet golf courses and drinks “Coors Lattes” on the course. Should you follow him? “Absuhf&$!?inlutley!”

5. Colorado Golf Blog @coloradogolfblog

I don’t know who these guys are, but they post a lot of funny videos and are automatically cool because they live in Colorado… Solid follow.

6. Foreplay Pod @foreplaypod

Everyone loves Barstool, so you can’t leave these guys out of the mix… Mostly funny golf-related videos that drive traffic to their podcast. They are also able to get media access to events like the US Open and Ryder Cup due to their Barstool cred. They are certainly doing their part to attract a younger audience and #growthegame.

7. PGA Memes @pgamemes

Best source of golf/related memes. This page can be brutal and NSFW at times, but man is it funny… not sure what is going on with their page right now as it seems to be disappearing and reappearing, perhaps having some issues with the lawyers down in Ponte Vedra…

8. Club Pro Guy @clubproguy

CPG is a parody of a golf pro and Mexican Mini-Tour legend. Although he seems to be more active on Twitter, he is a must follow. His weekly pressers after men’s league are fantastic, but usually on Twitter. NSFW at some points especially if his better half, Tawny is involved.

9. No Laying Up @nolayingup

NLU is best known for the hashtag #toursauce, which consists of club twirls, club drops, spotter signs for wayward tee shots and all of the other nuanced behaviors of PGA Tour players. Mostly content regarding professional golf, but they also write, vlog, and talk (podcast) about a myriad of topics in the game of golf. Apparently they need work on their promotional trailers according to Peter Kessler (see recent bizarre twitter beef). NLU crew is a must follow.

NLU Scotland Trailer

Thanks for reading this, you’re probably one of a select few to reach the bottom of this page 🤣🤣🤣 .

Part 2 coming soon…

Signed,

Back9Rally

Bogeys with Daddy: 5 Tips for Bringing your Kiddo to the Golf Course for the First Time

By: Steve aka “TradeIn”

If you are hopelessly addicted to golf like me, and you have kids- you want to share the joy/misery of golf with them as soon as humanly possible.

Ever since my daughter was born, I started planting the seeds for her to be my partner in crime on the links one day. On Saturday. I was able to take my daughter (who just turned 4 in September) to play Moose Ridge in South Lyon, Michigan for her first time on a golf course.

First Hole at Moose Ridge😍

It can be nerve-racking to take your child to the golf course, so here are my Top 5 tips for a great first round:

1. Who Needs College Football?: Book a tee time when you know the course will be rather empty, like on a college football Saturday in the fall. Go during the week if possible, or early/late season (I’m in Michigan where we only have a 6 month season). Call the Pro Shop and make sure the course knows you are bringing a little one. You may want to ask them for an ideal tee time. Bonus: Fall golf in Michigan is beautiful, and you may get some killer leaf peeping your round as well.

2. Bring a Non-Golfing Family Member: Find a course that allows non-golfing riders. The course may charge a rider fee, but it will be well worth the cost (For example, Moose Ridge charges $20). I played with my Dad (who took me golfing when I was a young lad), and my Mom joined us as a non-golfing rider. She was able to focus her attention on my daughter, who has a tendency to run everywhere she goes. I have enough to worry about with the state of my golf game… I don’t want to be nervous about her whereabouts when I’m fighting a slice off the tee box.

3. Drive for Show, Putt for Dough: I heard this on a podcast… I think it was the Erik Anders Lang Show (great golf podcast btw… Instagram @erikanderslang ). Start them off on the green first. Don’t be too aggressive when it comes to your having your little one trying to play from tee to green. Golf is hard. You want their first experience to be fun, not club toss city… (she didn’t really mean to throw the club😂).

Before you hit the links, get them fitted for a putter at your local golf shop (Carl’s Golfland for us https://www.carlsgolfland.com) and let them pick out a colorful ball (like a Volvik). My daughter was so excited to have her own putter (USKids Golf Jekyll), and some pink and red Volviks that she would run up to the hole, and put the ball a foot away and… its in the hole!!!!!

4) Bring Books or Other Entertainment: My Mom came through in the clutch and brought some Halloween books to read, while my Dad and I were hacking away at the course. My daughter watched me stripe a drive down the middle on the 1st tee (proud Dad moment), but at some point she figured out I’m not exactly Tommy Fleetwood (her favorite golfer), and read books with Grandma in between sinking putts.

5) Don’t Worry, be Happy: (Sorry for the Bobby McFerrin reference, we just saw Hotel Transylvania 3)… Don’t worry about your score, just enjoy the moment. Every golfer wants to score well, but this time it’s not about you. Don’t drop your usual F-Bomb or have a Jon Rahm moment in front of your kid. Keep the outbursts and shots of Fireball where they belong: Men’s League.

~Ben Hogan once said, “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” Heed his advice and soak in every minute with your son or daughter on the course.

*Shout out to the staff at Moose Ridge Golf Course. They were awesome with my daughter and even gave her a little souvenir ball marker and divot tool. I will remember that for the rest of my life, and although it’s a drive for me, I will make it a point to play there and recommend the course to others as much as possible. It is also a great course at a reasonable price, here is the link: http://www.mooseridgegolf.com

Moose Ridge Golf Course

I hope this helps you Dads (and golf Moms) out there to have a great first experience with your little golfer. Let’s grow the game together!

Cheers,

@Back9Rally

http://www.uskidsgolf.com

http://www.volvik.com

Top 5 things to Eat & Drink in Niagara Falls, Canada

By: Steve aka “Trade-in”

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!!! A long overdue post, so I figured I would drop it on Thanksgiving Day for our friends up north.

We took a trip this August to Niagara Falls, and had a room with a great view of the falls:

Interesting Fact:  Niagara Falls will eventually disappear into Lake Erie due to erosion.  But don’ worry:  You’ll have about 25,000 years to squeeze in a trip to the falls before that happens.

Because this was a family trip, I only managed to sneak in 9 holes with my father-in-law, but it was a unique experience. We played the oldest existing golf course in North America, Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, which is right on Lake Ontario. I highly recommend playing a round there if you get a chance. Here is the link to their website: http://www.notlgolf.com

Now, on to the food and drink… a side note: It was hard to find recommendations on where to eat in Niagara, and there are lots of chains. I think there are 8 IHOPs within a 5 mile radius, and I couldn’t find a place for poutine!!!! Maybe I am missing something…

1. Canadian Beer: I find Canadian beer to put way less emphasis on hops, and more on drinkability… a nice respite from the bold hoppy flavors of American craft beer. In addition to the standard Molson, Moosehead etc… Check out Niagara Falls brewing company. Great place in Clifton Hill to grab a craft brew and a bite to eat. https://niagarabrewingcompany.com


2. Pancakes and maple syrup: Did you know Canada has a strategic maple syrup reserve??? These folks take syrup seriously… Check out the Blue Line Diner for a truly Canadian experience, and some great pancakes and maple syrup. The place is owned and operated by former NHLer Marcel Dionne. http://www.bluelinediner.com/home

3. Canadian sweets: Beaver Tails are a Canadian tradition that I had never heard of before stopping for dessert in Clifton Hill… I don’t know why these delicious elephant ear type desserts aren’t sold on every street corner. The traditional style is cinnamon & sugar, but you can get many other decadent toppings. Also, try Canadian candy, they have all types of fun stuff (my favorite is Coffee Crisp).

4. The 19th Hole Patio at Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club: I had something called peameal for the first time in the form of a BBQ sandwich, and it was outstanding. Especially while enjoying a view of Lake Ontario and Fort Niagara. Stop by after your round, for some food and drink you won’t be disappointed.

5. Ketchup Chips: Yes, ketchup chips. Ketchup chips=Mind blown… go get yourself a bag, they are now available in the States!

Don’t forget to ride the Hornblower boat, it is amazing. Oh, and P.S. Bring an extra credit card, because this place is expensive!!!

Cheers, Canada!!!

9 Michigan Beers for a Back 9 Rally

Bell’s Oberon

By: Back9Rally

Disclaimer: This post in no way endorses drinking all 9 of these beers on the back 9 lol…. but seriously PLEASE drink responsibly (designated driver/Uber/Lyft/taxi/call your spouses, significant others and/or parents… c’mon people no excuses!!!)

You just don’t have it today.  You kinda feel like you want go home and see your wife and kids, and sell your clubs on eBay….  Or, launch them from a cannon into a volcano and check yourself into rehab.  But just then… you realize that there is always the chance to salvage your round… Time for a Back 9 Rally!!!

A little liquid refreshment on the golf course can (sometimes) put you into the zone for the back 9. So, we have taken on the task of sampling tens of beers from the Mitten in order to provide you with the best 9 Michigan beers after the turn. Without further a due, here is the list (debate & discussion welcome)! Continue reading