Product review: 2 items to pack in your golf bag this summer

GottaGoGolf readers know we don’t publish reviews of products we don’t like, because we don’t want to waste our time or yours. These two items made our latest golf vacation all the more relaxing and carefree.

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A summer golf vacation at 8,000 feet has its hardships. The weather can change as quickly as you hit your first tee shot. Thin air takes a toll on the body. And every mosquito, horsefly and bee emerges from hibernation.

Five nights and five rounds of golf in Tabernash, Colorado, gave these two products a tough test. They scored birdies on our product review card.

swingOIL

Image of swingOILTraditional “swing oil” consists of a beer or a shot of some libation intended to loosen up the golfer. Though fun, this is wrong on many levels. The “swing oil” endorsed by Jason Day makes much more sense, with seven (non-alcoholic) ingredients combined to enhance the golfer’s performance.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin lubricate the joints. Turmeric treats inflammation. Citrulline Malate speeds recovery. Ginseng improves focus and Rhodiola Rosea suppresses stress.

But, swingOIL consists of just three ounces a pouch. And, it contains just 45 calories. How much could something like this help?

After five rounds of golf in five days at 8,000 feet, I’m a believer.

First, the taste: I tried three flavors (orange, lemon-lime, strawberry-banana) and liked them all. Even though the sweetener is sugar-free Taurine, swingOIL didn’t have an icky artificial taste. (My golf partner actually thought it was too sweet.)

Next, the packaging: The pouch travels easily but can be messy if you’re not careful upon opening. It tasted best after freezing, or at least very chilled.

Finally, the effects: After a couple of days, I realized that my body was neither sore nor tired, as it usually would be after golf at altitude. I had energy left at the end of my rounds and didn’t lose focus on the last few holes, the way I usually do.

I tried swingOIL before my round and in the middle of my round. You could also use it after your round to speed recovery, say, when you’re playing in a two-day tournament.

And though its makers do not suggest this, I guess you could even mix it with your traditional “swing oil” for a high-performance cocktail.

If you order a 12-pack, swingOIL runs about $2.50 a pouch. I found it at that price just the other day at a local golf course. (Hey, that’s half the cost of a beer!) Here’s Amazon link to swingOIL.

Honest Bug Spray

Image of Honest Bug SprayWhy put something on your skin that makes you hold your nose so that you don’t inhale it? On the other hand, if you like to breathe it, can it actually repel bugs?

Honest Bug Spray is made without the dreaded DEET or other pesticides. It has Rosemary, Citronella, Cedar, Lemongrass and Wintergreen essential oils, and its active ingredients are Soybean Oil and Ricinus. The slim 4-ounce bottle slid easily into a pocket on my golf bag.

My golf partner and I tested Honest Bug Spray in brutally buggy mountain conditions — windless mornings on fairways and greens alongside marshes and wetlands — and we noticed that, while we liked the smell enough to cover ourselves in the stuff, the bugs that swarmed our golf cart did not land on us.

We also confirmed the manufacturer’s recommendation: Reapply after two hours, or, in golfspeak, at the turn.

A two-pack costs about $25. Here’s an Amazon link to Honest Bug Spray.

Have you found anything cool lately to pack in your golf bag? Let us know please. Honest reviews welcome.

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