American Ex-Pat Experiences the ‘Honesty Box’ and other Scottish Golf Quirks

It was a reasonable request. If only the weather hadn’t been so unreasonable.

Please allow me to explain.

After six weeks camped out in the Scottish Borders, one would have thought that—certainly by now—I’d have ventured onto the Jedburgh Golf Club, just five miles south on the A68 from our self-catering cottage. But when the cottage’s owners asked if I’d familiarized myself with their pride and joy, I had to admit—rather sheepishly—that I hadn’t found the time.

Too much day job, I pleaded (there’s no escaping clients, not even with a buffer zone of 5,000 miles and eight time zones). Too many chores (foraging for food at the local Sainsbury’s, recycling my limited array of clothes through the wash and figuring out how to beam U.S. college football games onto our Scottish TV—not necessarily in that order). And, whenever the opportunity presented itself, too deep a need to return to the linksland (even if it meant driving past landlocked tracks like Jedburgh to get there).

Time flies when you’re on a mission.

But then the couple in question very graciously invited my wife, daughter and I to join them for dinner at their home. Suddenly, I had a deadline. After all, I wasn’t about to show up on their doorstep with only a bottle of cabernet in my possession.

So about six hours before the aforementioned engagement, I traded my laptop for a golf bag (the primary tools of my two trades) and braved the elements that—even to this American’s semi-trained eye—appeared decidedly dodgy. After the brief journey through Jedburgh’s town center and then up a steep hill past its historic jail, I was heartened to find a handful of vehicles in the club’s car park. If the locals were out frolicking about, then no reason why I shouldn’t be, too. Right?

Sun Mountain golf travel bag

The ‘Honesty!?’ Box

Actual sightings of humans, however, were another matter. The clubhouse was closed for the winter, save for a side door that led to the gents and a rather complicated version of the time-honored Scottish “honesty box,” a means of paying your green fee when no one is around to collect in person.

A sign above the slot offered step-by-step instructions:
Fill in the date, your name and your home club in the ledger book below
Grab a paper bag tag and remove the perforated end piece that contains a number
Check a chart on the wall to determine the fare due (just £10 on this late fall weekday), then write that onto the piece of paper with the number
Write the number next to your name in the ledger
Place the appropriate legal tender, along with the numbered tab, into an envelope
Write your name and number on the outside of the envelope
Drop the envelope into the slot
Attach the balance of the paper tag to your golf bag
Take two Tylenol to beat back the headache generated by all this stress
Proceed to the first tee


For the rest of the story go to Dan Miller’s Wee Egg Mon blog

[Read more…]

2014 Golf Gift Ideas

Golf gift ideas can be the easiest. Technology is always changing. Products are always improving. There are several golf essentials that need regular replenishment. There’s an endless array of trinkets. What more could a gift-giver want?

We’ve has assembled a Holiday Golf Gift Idea Guide to make it even easier. This gift guide is divided into sections to make it easier to narrow down. In this guide are gift ideas for the traveling golfer, for him, for her, for the hard to shop for, on a budget, and golf stocking stuffers.

golf gift ideas

Gift ideas for the traveling golfer include our ClubGlider golf travel bag, the waterproof  H2NO golf bag and our new Tour Series waterproof golf jacket.

A few of his favorite things includes: the Speed Cart V1 Sport golf push cart, Three 5  lightweight golf stand bag, C-130 golf cart bag, RainFlex waterproof golf jacket, and the  Chinook thermal pullover.

Sun Mountain has the answer for the tough to shop for golfer, too – a Sun Mountain  gift certificate! It’s delivered instantly to you by e-mail so works well for the last minute  gift, too.

Stocking stuffers for golfers can include a lot of ‘expected’ gifts: balls, tees, repair tools,  ….. Sun Mountain offers up some unique stocking stuffer ideas such as: waterproof golf  cap, golf mittens, a sand/seed mix bottle and even a golf umbrella.

A few of her favorite things includes: the new four-wheel MC3 golf push cart, the Sync  golf bag that fits so nicely with all of the Sun Mountain push carts, a RainFlex golf rain  jacket, the reversible Alpine Vest that looks good on and off course, and the lightweight Three 5 golf stand bag.

For golf gift ideas on a budget, check out Sun Mountain Special Buys for deals on previous year’s models.

Now, that’s shopping made easy!

John Houdek, Jr.

With heavy hearts we report that one of the good guys passed away earlier this week. The ever-present smile and positive attitude of long-time Wisconsin sales representative John Houdek, Jr. will be deeply missed by all of us at Sun Mountain.

John Houdek, Jr.

John (Johnny) Houdek Jr., 56, passed away at Aspirus Wausau Hospital Wednesday, November  19th, 2014 surrounded by his family after a hard fought six year battle with appendiceal cancer.

John Jr. was born August 30, 1958 in Geneva, IL, son of John Sr. and Virginia (Stark) Houdek.  He attended Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn, IL where he played on the golf team and graduated  from Amherst High School where he was awarded all-conference in baseball. He went on to study  business marketing and natural resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He was  captain of the UWSP golf team, where they went on to be conference champions. For many years,  he worked for this father at Houdek Golf Course Design and Construction. Then with the  guidance of his uncle Bruce, he entered the golf sales business as a representative for Pro Group  an Arnold Palmer Company, worked with Bridgestone and Town Talk, and ended his career as an  independent sales rep with Sun Mountain and Sterling Glass.

For those that knew John, he had a charismatic personality, and an ability to bring people  together and cultivate deep and lasting friendships. With family and friends, John always enjoyed fine wining and dining. He was a loving son, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle who cared deeply for his family, and took a very active role in each of their lives. He carried on the Houdek legacy of a mischievous sense of humor, and he served a fatherly role for his nieces as well as other children of close friends and family.

As an avid outdoorsman, John enjoyed fishing and hunting in locations everywhere from his backyard right here in Central Wisconsin, to Canada, and Alaska. He was passionate about other sports, including: softball, baseball, and above all golf and football. He was referred to as the “golf guy” in many circles, had a deep-running affiliation with the Wisconsin PGA, and formed relationships with golf professionals all over the country. He even got the rare hole-in-one at North Hills Country Club in Menominee Falls, WI. He was a Packers season ticket holder and attended multiple Super Bowls. John was also a passionate fan of Amherst sports after years of watching his nieces participate in everything from basketball and volleyball to golf and dance.

John is survived by his mother Virginia Houdek of Amherst, WI; aunt Violet Steinke of Sorrento, FL; two sisters Kathleen (Peter) Connolly of Wayne, IL, and Karen (Michael) Glodowski of Amherst, WI; two nieces Jennifer and Kate Glodowski, and nephew Erik (Collette, Logan, Reese) Connolly. He was preceded in death by his father John Houdek Sr.; and his uncles Bruce, Ronald, and Ladd (Earl) Houdek.

A celebration of life for John Jr. will be held at a later date.

The family would like to thank the doctors and nursing staff at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and University of Pittsburg Medical Center for their extraordinary care over the last several years. Additional thanks go out to the local community, Sun Mountain, Sterling Glass, and members of the Wisconsin PGA for their support of John and his family.

Sun Mountain Offering Three Models of Top Selling C-130 Cart Bag

For 2015, Sun Mountain is expanding its collection of top-selling C-130 golf cart bags to include three different models: a stand bag, a version with a 7-way divided top, and a 14-way divided top.

The C-130S stand bag is for cart-golfers who like to carry their bag to the practice range and enjoy the convenience of the stand. The C-130 7-way with a seven-way divided top is for those who don’t care for the individual club dividers, and the C-130 14-way is the traditional version of the C-130 for golfers who prefer the individual, club-divided top.

All versions of the C-130 are designed to work optimally on a riding cart. Features in common across all C-130 models include the reverse-orientation top and the three utility handles integrated into the top that offer multiple hand-holds for picking the bag up. Each model also has a cart-strap tunnel which allows the cart strap to pass through the bag and not block access to any of the bag’s pockets or crush any of the pockets’ contents.

One of the hallmarks of the C-130 is pocket space. All models of the C-130 feature nine pockets: two full-length clothing pockets, two velour-lined valuables pockets (including one sized for a rangefinder), a beverage pocket, and several additional pockets for balls and tees and other accessories. C-130 7-way and 14-way also offer an integrated putter well.

Sun Mountain is proud to acknowledge that 2014 marked the seventh consecutive year that the C-130 has been an award winner on Golf Digest magazine’s Hot List. The C-130 14-way received a Gold award.

Sun Mountain C-130 14-way golf cart bag Sun Mountain C-130S golf stand bag Sun Mountain C-130 7-way golf cart bag

Sun Mountain Collecting Golf Stories at #SMSadventure

We often hear tales of miraculous golf shots, masterful rounds, epic golf trips, and the bonds of golfing buddies. We are going to start collecting these  stories and accompanying photos on our blog in a section named #SMSadventure.

Tell us about your golf adventure and which Sun Mountain product you used.

– Did you take part in the Hundred Hole Hike and carry a Sun Mountain Three 5?
– Did you fly to Scotland for some links in the motherland and take your Sun Mountain ClubGlider?
– Did you win your club championship with a personal best round while pushing your Sun Mountain Speed Cart?
– Did you play through wind and rain on that once-in-a-lifetime round at Bandon Dunes wearing a Sun Mountain Torrent rain suit?

Stories and/or photos can be posted on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #SMSadventure or e-mailed to us at this link – https://shop.sunmountain.com/contact-us.

Your stories inspire us. Share your story using #SMSadventure.


Best Golf Inventions

A recent GolfWRX story listed the top 15 golf inventions.

The writer’s list (in no particular order) follows:

The Molded Golf Ball
The Tee
The Lawn Mower
Steel Shafts
The Stymie
The 14-Club Rule
Golf Carts
The Lob Wedge
Perimeter Weighting
Investment Casting
Metal Woods
Oversized Drivers
Graphite Shafts
We respectfully add some Sun Mountain inventions to this list:

[Read more…]

Plugged-In Golf H2NO Review

The folks at Plugged-In Golf conducted a VERY thorough test of the Sun Mountain H2NO waterproof golf bag.


(We do not suggest you try this at home. These are trained professionals on a closed track.)

And we passed …. with flying colors!

The review covers ‘style’, ‘quality’, and ‘design & performance’ and concludes with a video of a waterproof test no golf bag should have to live through. I mean, come on, do you know how much more fine and how much more pressure is behind a hose from 12” than from a rain storm? This test is like running the bag through a hurricane. And then he dumps the whole bag in a pool! We did not design the H2NO to withstand a temper-induced throw into the water hazard. But, alas, the bag passed the test. Whew! [Read more…]

WRX ClubGlider

wrx clubgliderwrx logoRonald Montesano from Golf WRX took our ClubGlider Meridian golf travel bag for a trial run and rated it 4.7 out of 5 for a score of “Fantastic”.

Here’s a summary of what he had to say:

Pros: Sun Mountain’s ClubGlider Meridian is the only golf travel bag that comes equipped with four wheels — one pair with retractable legs — that hold 100 percent of the weight. That provides stability and convenience while transporting clubs through airports, hotels and parking lots.

Cons: With an MSRP of $289, it resides in the higher price range of travel bags.

Bottom Line: The ClubGlider travel bag from Sun Mountain makes traveling easier with a set of added wheels and retractable legs, keeps clubs safe with thick foam padding on the interior and protects against wear with reinforced vinyl on the bottom of the bag. There’s plenty of value here.

For 2014, ClubGlider golf travel bags are available in four different models – Pro, Meridian, Journey and the new Tour Series – offering protection for golfers ranging from weekend warriors to touring professionals. Retail prices are $349, $289, $219, and $319 respectively.

Discover All of Sun Mountains Golf Bags HERE.

Hope for Warriors

We all know that Martin Kaymer was the banner-to-banner leader and winner of the 2014 U.S. Open with an impressive show of skill and calm under pressure. This 114th running of the US Open also had special meaning for eight Marines who possess these same qualities. [Read more…]

Combo Cart offers Golf Push Cart and Bag in One

Sun Mountain continues to innovate the golf bag and push cart markets with the introduction of the new Combo cart. Combo is a golf push cart and golf bag in one; offering convenience, stability, and durability. Combo folds for storage and opens easily for use. Combo is slated to be in golf shops Summer 2014 with a retail price of $469. For the retailer nearest you, call 800-227-9224 or visit www.sunmountain.com. [Read more…]