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Holiday Gift Guide: Vessel VLS Stand Bag

Santa visited the Seifert household early this year, delivering to my door step a large branded box from a golf company that over the past couple years has become my all-time favorite: Vessel.

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Perfectly marrying world-class aesthetics and industry-leading innovation and functionality, Vessel owns the market on high-end luxury golf bags, and nobody’s even close.

And it’s not just the looks with Vessel. Yes, their bags are gorgeous, but when someone asks me about my Player stand or Lux cart series models I should start leading with “How much time do you have?”

I can talk endlessly about the functionality of Vessel Bags. I show off their ingenious strap system, sturdy base and unparalleled stand leg setup, durable leather touchpoints and [on many models] zippers, magnetically closing cooler-lined bottle holders, velour-lined pockets and, of course, my favorite feature: Their magnetic rangefinder pockets.

Everything on a Vessel bag is designed and built with purpose. The zippers conceal and journey smoothly along their tracks with no rust or snags (even after years of use), the carbon fiber legs are strong and hold steady, and the magnetic pockets close with a satisfactory thwap. Their standard synthetic leather, even in white, holds up for the long haul and withstands staining or discoloration.

The whole thing comes together superbly and with the utmost quality. These beauties are built to last!

My maiden voyage on the course with my new VLS Stand bag

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Why a Lite Stand bag?

Vessel’s Player series bags are light, around 5-1/2 to 6 lbs, but nothing like the VLS and its 3.9 lbs weight when empty.

It has plenty of storage, sleek and stylish aesthetics, sits nicely on the shoulders and is the perfect equipment carrier for minimalist golfers and those who travel with their gear.

The VLS is ridiculously comfortable, and while the majority of its material is nylon it also has several leather touchpoints. The side and top lifting handles, for example, have a sumptuous look and feel.

Although Vessel is best known for their premium synthetic leather fabric, the new nylon twill that adorns the VLS is lightweight, strong and stunning, especially with the subtle black-on-black harlequin pattern and red accents of the DXR colorway.

The DXR Black colorway is striking on the new VLS Stand bag – impossible not to love those red accents!

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It’s not just the weight and fabric that make this such a comfortable bag, but also Vessel’s patented Equilibrium 2.0 carrying system. I was already familiar with, and love, this system because of my Player series bag, and Vessel has elevated that experience on the VLS by situating the straps nearer the top, making it rest higher on the back and shoulders and ultimately a little more comfortable.

Continue reading “Holiday Gift Guide: Vessel VLS Stand Bag”

Holiday Gift Guide: Old Fashioned Golf

I love to support local businesses, especially ones that are golf-related, and one of the newest entrants into the golf apparel industry is a Wisconsin one whose story I love and am happy to put my support behind.

I’ve been in touch with Co-Founder Kyle Herzog for quite some time, receiving one of their Polka State polos prior to the brand’s launch. After rocking it for a round at North Hills and getting a ton of compliments and questions about it, I realized quickly: “Hey, these need to be our team uniforms for the Wisconsin vs. Illinois Writer’s Cup!”

The team at OFG were happy to oblige, providing shirts that gave Team Wisconsin a major competitive advantage. Unfortunately, not even looking awesome that day would help us as we lost the Reid Hanley Trophy to Team Illinois in 17 holes of action. Major storms canceled the rest of the rounds and relegated our competition to no-limit Texas hold ’em in the Mistwood clubhouse. Everybody loved the polos, though – they’re crazy comfy, look good and are a great way to show your Wisco spirit!

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Given our relationship, I thought it would be nice to allow the guys from Old Fashioned Golf to talk about their brand and product, themselves. The following is from Scott Biely of OFG…

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What is Old Fashioned Golf?

Old Fashioned Golf began in the summer of 2020 during a pandemic round of golf at Thornberry Creek at Oneida in Green Bay. Three life-long friends Scott Biely, Kyle Herzog, and Joe Maretti started toying with the idea of a Wisconsin inspired golf apparel company with the main mission of showcasing their state and its incredible communities. After ten months of trial and error, the trio found the ideal material composition and sizing to not only compete in the crowded golf apparel market but to rise above the big names we all know. Old Fashioned Golf officially launched in May of this year to an incredible response.

  • “The most comfortable golf polo I’ve ever put on! Light, stretchy, and doesn’t rub at all! Love the Wisconsin flair!”
  • “High quality, very breathable and flexible. Great shirt!”
  • “WAY better than I expected. Great quality and love the pattern to show homage to the great state of WI”
  • “I am kind of a golf shirt snob and very picky. I found the Old Fashioned Golf shirt ultra-comfortable and didn’t notice it the entire round. Didn’t cling, wasn’t stuffy, etc. Big props!”
Founders Joe, Kyle and Scott of Old Fashioned Golf

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What do they offer?

Old Fashioned Golf offers a large selection of men’s golf polos, as well as hats and towels. Everything is designed and produced from scratch. Nothing is just a pre-made item with Wisconsin or OFG logos slapped on them. “We want our products to be 100% ours. If people decide to wear OFG we want them to know they are getting something they can’t find anywhere else. We truly feel if people give our polos a chance, they will love them” says Maretti. Currently their website offers ten different polo options all packed with the same great features:

  • Mega-Comfy, Mega-Stretchy Fabric (85% polyester, 15% spandex)
  • Light, Breathable, Silky
  • UV/Sun Protection (UPF 50+)
  • Anti-Odor, Anti-Microbial
  • Sublimation Printing (Never Fade, Never Bleed)
  • Wrinkle Resistant
  • Quick Dry
  • Double Reinforced Self-Collar
  • Tagless Design
  • Low Maintenance (Machine Wash Cold, Tumble Dry Low)

The primary focus has been and will continue to be Wisconsin inspired polos, hats, and towels. Most of the items on their website contain the state of Wisconsin in some fashion. The “Polka-State” and “Jasmine” designs (both shown below) offer original style with Wisconsin pride clearly on display. “We get messages all the time from people talking about how many people comment on their polo. From a distance a lot of our polos look like a normal stylish polo, but when someone takes a closer look, they see the Wisconsin pride on full display” says Biely.

Old Fashioned Golf’s Polka State polo, in red with white states
The Jasmine polo, in red, white and blue states

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The second focus of OFG is to simply have fun; especially through pop culture influence. “The game of golf brings so much joy to people and we want our products to bring that same joy. The three of us have been friends a really long time and share an interesting passion for pop culture that we want to incorporate into some of our products. Movies, music, and of course professional wrestling, all have a special place in our hearts” says Herzog.

This passion can be seen in some of the products they currently offer on their website. Whether it’s red, white and blue polos named after characters from the movie “Independence Day” or a polo designed after the t-shirt worn under the overalls of the evil Chucky doll, the pop culture influence is clearly on display with the young company.

The “Charles Lee Ray” (Chucky) limited edition polo

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Being a part of the community

“We don’t just want to make and sell Wisconsin themed clothing; we want to be a part of Wisconsin and it’s communities” says Biely. This philosophy has already created some great friendships in the community.

Old Fashioned Golf has worked with the Wisconsin chapter of the Veteran Golfers Association, for example. This great organization is “dedicated to enriching the lives of Veterans through golf.” This past August, members of the Wisconsin VGA wore Old Fashioned Golf polos as they competed in the regional championships in Kansas City, MS. “We are honored to have these heroes from Wisconsin wearing our polos as they play and compete in their golf communities. It has been incredibly humbling the support we have received from these brave men and women,” adds Herzog.

The Polka State polo at the regional championships for the VGA in Kansas City

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Women’s line coming in 2022!

Old Fashioned Golf is excited to announce a women’s line of golf attire debuting in 2022 – join our mailing list for updates as we roll it out!

Where to buy Old Fashioned Golf

Old Fashioned Golf polos ($59 apiece), hats ($29) and towels ($29) can be purchased through their website:

Old Fashioned Golf website

Holiday Gift Guide: MGI Zip Navigator Electric Cart

“Walking or Riding?”

The age-old question every golfer is asked at the pro shop desk. I don’t know about you, but I usually say riding. Walking an 18-hole round is appealing to me, but not with clubs strapped to my back. Well, that is about to change as I find my clubs strapped to the MGI Zip Navigator and no longer need to hop in a cart.

I find the trek between shots calming, and to truly experience a golf course I feel you need to walk it. 

First Impressions

When the box arrived for this cart I was surprised at how small it was. How could an electric cart fit in this? Then, when unboxing it I found all that needed to be done was to attach the wheels and charge the battery and I was ready for the course. If I didn’t know this was an electric cart I would not have been able to tell.

The motor housing is so compact and the styling is so nice that you will blend right in on the course. I am not usually one to read an instruction manual, but I would take 5 minutes to look through the materials that come with the cart. There are a couple of hinges and snaps you need to be aware of when setting up the cart. 

Weight and Size 

2 of the biggest questions you should ask before purchasing an electric cart should be: “Will this fit in my trunk?” and “Can I lift this into my trunk?” I can tell you with the Zip Navigator the answer is a resounding yes to both of these questions.

Coming in at a little under 35 pounds the cart is not light as a feather but I found it to be manageable to load and unload from my trunk without issue. The weight of it is actually a plus as it feels very sturdy on the course and you don’t need to worry about it tipping.

The overall folded dimensions of the cart are stated as 27.16″x24″x15.74″. Take a look at some of the pictures below to get a sense of size in the trunk along with the profile compared to my Sun Mountain Micro Cart. 

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Will My Bag Fit? 

I have owned a variety of push carts over the years – everything from 2 to 4 wheels, and one of the issues I always faced is whether my bag will fit on the cart. So I tested the Zip Navigator with 3 different sized bags so you can see exactly how your bag will fit.

I am pleased to say I had no issues with any bag, from a simple stand setup to a full staff bag. The bags all fit securely and I never had a problem with any falling off on the course. There are bungie style straps for both the top and bottom of the bag and there was enough adjustment area on both that they were able to keep it securely fashioned to the cart no matter the size.

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Out on the Course

Taking the Zip Navigator out on the course was an absolute treat. Watch the video below to see it in action:

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Here are a couple of points to highlight from the testing performed: 

  • Noise – This cart is whisper quiet. I think my regular push cart is louder going down the fairway. You won’t have to worry about interrupting anyone in your foursome when using the Zip Navigator. 
  • Stability – With the built-in gyroscope I never once felt like the cart would tip even when executing turns or going over bumpy terrain. MGI’s proprietary gyroscopic technology keeps the Zip Navigator on a stable forward path even when encountering bumps, slants and divots. Additionally, the weight of the cart made me feel at ease when traversing the course, and traction was never an issue across flat surfaces. 
  • Hills – The 4th wheel in the rear (anti-tip device) kept the cart from tipping over on small hills when traversing unattended. The cart struggled at times to get traction over larger hills, though, so I’d recommend holding the handle to ensure you make it up steeper inclines without spilling. 
  • Manual movement – One thing I found to be a struggle is the manual movement of the cart. When the wheels are attached to the motor it does not allow them to spin freely. If you need to manually move the cart for some reason, you’ll just need to set the wheels to free spin or else lift the cart so that only the front wheels are touching the ground. I didn’t really find this to be an issue on the course but thought it was worth noting. 
  • Remote – There is a wireless remote included with the Zip. I found it to be quite handy and left it attached to my belt clip between shots. I never lost range with the remote, but the cart supposedly stops if the connection is lost. There are lock and unlock buttons on the remote if you would like to slip it in your pocket and are worried about starting it by accident. Overall, I really liked not having to physically touch the cart every time I wanted to move it, and the convenience of the remote cannot be overstated. 
Zip Navigator Remote
Remote Holder
  • Speed – There are variable speeds for the cart but this thing can really move. It never had trouble keeping up and had plenty of power climbing hills. After a few rounds you will settle in on the right pace with the cart. There is an easy-to-use dial on the handlebar to adjust the speed, and to start the cart you simply press once on the dial and again to stop it.
Closeup of LCD display with battery, speed and distance

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  • Turning – The cart has a zero-point turn radius, allowing you to move the cart in a full 360-degree rotation with ease. You are also able to reverse the cart all by using the remote.
  • Setup – You can assemble and put the cart away after your round in under a minute. Take a look at the video below to see just how easy it is to get the Navigator up and running: 

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How Long does it Last?

Let’s keep the review PG here guys! Through my testing of the product I never fully drained the battery, but all of the other reviews I’ve read online stated it lasts about 36-40 holes. I think that is probably a fair assessment and that you probably do not need to charge it after every single round (though it wouldn’t hurt).

The cart is powered by a 24v 380w lithium ion battery that is easily detached from the unit to help keep the weight down during loading and unloading. I never felt the power or speed decrease after use and there is a handy battery gauge to keep your eye on the charge level.

If you ever do find yourself running out of battery on the course, it is easy to adjust the wheels to a free-spinning position and you can simply push the cart. 

Cool Features

There are a couple cool features that I think are worth noting on this product.

  • USB Port The back of the top handle has a USB charging port. I found this handy to charge the remote if I forgot or to keep my phone plugged in during the round.
  • Distance – There is a nice distance keeper on the cart which will show you how far you have walked for the round and also the season. This is a good way to log some bragging rights with your friends and also justify golf versus the gym. 
  • Accessories – MGI offers a number of accessories that attach to the Zip Navigator (listed below). I tried the water bottle and umbrella holders. Both attached securely to the cart with no issues.  
  • Flipping the wheels One trick I learned is that you can remove the wheels from the cart, flip and reattach them for storage. This kept the overall profile of the cart in my trunk to be quite manageable. 
  • Wheel Covers – This may seem like a small thing, but the Navigator came with wheel covers. After a wet or muddy round, I appreciated being able to put these on the wheels to keep my trunk clean. 

Accessories

MGI offers an impressive list of accessories that can be paired with your cart to make it the ultimate golf machine. If you plan on using this for every round, I would highly recommend investing in some additional gadgets for it. One thing that is noticeably missing is some sort of all-purpose bag or net to hold items. Plan on using one of your bag pockets for any miscellaneous items not called out to fit in an accessory listed below:

  • Zip Travel Bag
  • Zip Umbrella Holder Extender
  • Zip Wheel Covers
  • Zip Multi-Purpose Clip
  • Zip Scorecard Holder
  • Zip Drink Bottle Holder
  • Zip Sand Bottle
  • Zip Sand Bucket Loop
  • Zip Umbrella Holder
  • Zip Seat
  • Zip and Quad Series Rain Cover (Universal)

Other electric carts

MGI offers a wide range of electric carts priced from $600 for their X1 model up to $1500 for the Zip Navigator. In the industry as a whole, there are more electric carts that seem to come to market every year.

So how do you choose what is right for you? Make sure to look at power, portability, ease of use, battery life, accessories and warranty. Also look for a brand that has some experience. MGI has proven itself to be a leader in this space with the history and knowledge to back it up. While the Zip Navigator sits in the premium category as far as cost and features go, I think it’s worth it.

Final Thoughts 

Buying a Zip Navigator is an investment. Do I think it’s worth it for a frequent golfer? Absolutely.

You will make your money back in a single season on cart fees not to mention the health benefits of walking a course. The quality of this cart is absolutely amazing and I think anyone would be able to use it.

You also cannot even tell this is a battery-powered cart if that is something that concerns you. The sleek profile and minimal motor housing disguises its ability nicely, and the easy-turn radius is something that cannot be overlooked compared to its competition. Also, the fact that you can pair so many accessories with this cart makes it easy for you to have everything you need to play great golf at your fingertips. I cannot say enough good things about the Zip Navigator, and if you are a serious golfer who wants to walk the course then this is the product for you. 

Shopping with the above link utilizes an associate program that pays, at no cost to you, a small commission to WiscoGolfAddict

View the MGI Zip Navigator on MGI’s website here

Holiday Gift Guide: Live View Pro

Have you ever gotten paired with the annoying high-handicapper on the first tee who has plenty of tips to fix your game, but somehow can’t seem to fix his own? Comments like, “I can see your hips sliding” or “You’re cutting across it” ping off the back of your hat as you try not to hurl your driver at their head. Well fear not because I have found the product to give you an extra set of eyes for your game without having to listen to unsolicited observations from a stranger.

Introducing the Live View Pro, a pocket-sized camera that gives you an outside view into your game. 

Getting Started 

To get this camera working you will need to download the app from the Apple or Google Play store. The title is “Live View Sports.”  There is a single button to turn on the camera, and a nice blue light that flashes to let you know it’s ready to pair. You connect to the camera using a unique wifi signal that it provides and away you go. I found the setup to be simple – it took me about 45 seconds.

I would spend some time clicking through the app to learn navigation, but it is very easy to figure out. After getting the camera attached to the Live Pod 2 stand and connecting my phone I configured a couple settings to get started. You can customize a lot of settings including length of recording, playback speed and ball detection level. I chose to have the video record for 4 seconds before a ball strike and 2 seconds after. That seemed to be enough time to capture my entire swing motion. I set the ball strike level at a low volume so as not to pick up other noises around me, and finally I chose a slowed down playback speed on my instant replay. 

Live View Pro setup on the Live Pod 2 stand

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Notice the notch on the back that could be used for an alignment stick

First Swings 

To start capturing your first swings you can either hit the record button (which will continually capture your swing) or choose “Ball strike,” which listens for the noise of the ball being hit to start and stop the recording. I like having the ball strike on and it worked flawlessly every time, providing me short little clips of my swing to review. The slowed playback I configured was nice as I could then really focus on key points of my swing to see what was happening. 

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Live Pod 2 Stand

Live View offers a stand that can hold the Live View camera or your phone. I found this stand to be nice and compact yet surprisingly sturdy. I think it is worth the investment to get with the camera as you will want it on the range. I especially thought the stand was useful when it came to putting and getting an overhead view.

It should be noted that the camera does have a notch on the back that will allow it to attach to an alignment stick. This worked ok for me but I often found it unsteady in the wind so ended up using the Live Pod, instead.  

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Remote

There is a remote that is available to purchase for the Live View Pro. This connects to your phone with Bluetooth and can be used to start and stop a recording as well as manage playback. I found that I didn’t use the remote much and opted again for the sound of the ball strike to manage capturing my footage. 

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Using the Drawing Tools

One of the benefits of this system is the on-screen drawing tools. With the Live View app you are able to add lines, angles and markups to your screen in order to help you visualize training aids. I found this to be awesome simply for the fact that I didn’t have to set up anything to know whether I kept my hands low or my shoulders square. I was simply able to review the video in comparison to the lines I had drawn. You are able to save your line templates, too, which is really nice for when you want to come back and practice at another time and don’t want to have to re-think your swing guides.  

Dual View 

A new feature that Live View is offering is dual view. This allows you to use a second device such as your phone to act as a static camera providing another angle of your shot. In order to make this work you will need to have two devices. One that can be used as the second camera and one to review the videos on.

I used an iPad for my video review screen and my phone as the second camera. The setup of this does require you to register for an account, which can be done right in the app and involves signing up for a subscription service. There is a free 180-day trial so I would recommend giving it a shot and seeing what you think.

Once registered, the onscreen instructions were easy and I was set up in about 1 minute. I tried setting up two camera angles because I wanted to see my foot position at impact and whether I was sliding. This was really a cool feature to have instant replay on both angles simultaneously. I will be using this a lot at the range. 

Using my phone and the Live View Pro to get 2 different swing angles

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Putting 

I am really excited about how this tool can be used to help my putting. I set up the camera directly above my ball so I could get instant feedback on whether I was pushing or pulling putts. The fact that I could draw static lines in the app and review them on the video was amazing. I will be using this for putting a lot this winter inside.

One thing that I did have to configure was changing the sensitivity on the ball strike to pick up a much quieter noise to trigger the video. That can be done right on the side menu bar and I just lowered it from 8 to 3 and had no issue. 

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Why do I like this? 

I am not a huge data guy when it comes to golf. I find that if I can look at my swing and learn visually then I can usually correct what I’m doing wrong. I have tried setting up my phone to record my swing, along with all manner of apps in the past, but Live View has created a product here that takes the hassle out of all that.

The Live View Pro was so easy to use, fast to set up and provided instant feedback that I could review and adjust in real time. If you are looking to invest in something to help you practice and you want something that is simple then this is the product for you. I will definitely be keeping this in my bag for the range and think it will get plenty of use during the season. 

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You can purchase your own Live View Pro by clicking here

Use code “wiscogolf” to save $40!

Holiday Gift Guide: Duca Del Cosma

“Wow!” That was my first reaction when I opened the shoebox. Maybe now I finally know what the sudden wave of happiness feels like when my wife unboxes an expensive pair of heels.

I was blown away by these golf shoes not only in looks but quality. Just feeling the leather I could tell these were the nicest pair of shoes I have ever owned, and if you’re looking for something to set you apart on the course then these are the golf shoes for you! There are so many unique style and color combinations from this company that I have never seen before. You will certainly find something that is for you.    

Fit 

I am a range of sizes in shoes from 11-12, usually settling at an 11.5 due to my wide feet. Duca Del Cosma does not have half sizes so I am glad that I went with a size 12. The shoes fit perfectly on my feet. The leather is a bit stiff but I expect that to break in over the course of a couple rounds.

The shape of the shoe is very classic, and I like the look of a narrow, rounded toe when I’m looking down at my shot. There are a number of companies with goofy square and other odd shaped toes that really mess with my eyes when I am squaring up to the ball.  

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Out on the Course 

These shoes have built-in spikes, which seems to be the case with a good number of shoes these days. I did like the grips on these better than my FootJoys . I felt there was not only better grip but that they were more evenly distributed across the sole of the shoe. I never slipped out of a swing, but still felt like I had some freedom of movement which sometimes you don’t get with the removable spike shoes.

I am always curious to see how shoes perform under wet conditions as that seems to be most of my rounds. When I took these shoes out the ground was definitely wet but it wasn’t raining. I didn’t actively look for puddles but the shoes got plenty wet. Although feeling really guilty for getting anything on these works of art, my feet stayed perfectly dry. These shoes feel like they would be great on colder days and early morning rounds, but I think they may run a little hot in the middle of a July round. 

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Feel

Walking for 9 holes in my Duca del Cosmas was perfectly comfortable. While the leather is still a little stiff, again I am sure it will break in after a few more rounds. Size 12 was definitely the right call so go up a size if you are on the fence about what to get.

One thing I appreciated is that the heel of the shoe has extra stiff leather on it. I felt this helped keep my heel in place and didn’t feel any concern about my foot bending awkwardly during a swing. I wanted to test the firm heel against my current shoes so I put on my pair of FootJoys right after and the difference was night and day.  

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Do I need another pair of shoes? 

Trust me, you will not regret an investment in these shoes. They are by far the nicest shoes that have ever graced my feet, and to say I felt like a million bucks is an understatement. It is truly a quality shoe and has an amazing look. I think you will get a number of second glances on the course in these, and while I cannot guarantee you will shoot your best round ever maybe you will at least feel like you did with Duca Del Cosmas on your feet!

Shopping with this link utilizes an associate program that pays, at no cost to you, a small commission to WiscoGolfAddict

You can also shop Duca Del Cosma golf shoes on their website, here

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