When you and your three other buddies are playing eighteen holes on the links nothing complements the beautiful day better than a nice ol’ stogie Joe perched between your lips. This beautiful thing that the golf community has come to adore dates back a few centuries to the days of Christopher Columbus.
Columbus discovered tobacco when arriving at the shores of Cuba during the 15th century. As time went on Columbus began to colonize the New World. During the years of colonization Columbus would frequently have tobacco brought back to the Old World because of his, and his friends love for the newly discovered plant. The discovery of this plant opened the eyes of many people, which in turn caused the plant to become popular among the commoners and especially the royalty in Europe during the fifteenth century. Now, skip to the 1960s, or more specifically 1962. This was a time when the tensions of the Cold War were extremely high, which President John.F Kennedy was at the forefront of. As one of America’s most recognizable cigar smokers he still went and decided to implement an embargo on Cuba. This significantly impacted the availability of high end cigars that were previously shipped to America. Just as during the the prohibition in the early 1900s where alcohol became a luxury, it was the same with cigars during the 1960s. Cigars became associated with high class, and when golfers popularized the use of cigars, golf became associated with high class. During the early days of nobility in Europe, to the messy times of the cold war, and then to the present day we see a connection. This connection has been eminent since the dawn of the discovery of tobacco, which is that cigars are symbols of power and luxury, and by default, power and luxury are stylish qualities .
How the cigar became stylish
The cigar has helped propel the game of golf to new levels in terms of style. It has done this because all these smoothly rolled stogies have helped add that finishing touch to the clean-cut and fresh outfits all golfers wear. The way that people dress when on the golf course is a statement to who they are. With the help of the stogie it adds that classy, and almost “elite” vibe that makes people want to be like you. A reason that there has been an exponential rise in the use of cigar’s on the golf course in the modern day is because of the 2012 Masters Tournament held at Augusta National Golf Club. In the golf world the Masters Tournament held at Augusta receives the most praise out of all four major PGA events. During the 2012 Masters Tournament many spectators were caught constantly on camera smoking cigars (especially on the 15th hole). Those who attend the Masters as spectators are the epitome of amateur golf (those who play leisurely). Amateur golfers consist of most of the current golf world. With their major influence, combined with how much national coverage this tournament receives, it allowed the spirit of cigars in the golf world to take a leap and be more a part of the style of golf than it ever has been.
Secondly, the cigar is looked at as stylish in the golf world because during the mid-1990s the magazine Cigar Aficionado featured countless famous people smoking cigar’s. Not all of these happened to be golfers, but plenty of them also were. Such as soon to be hall of fame golfer Tiger Woods. He was featured on the cover of the May/June 2008 edition. This was during the tail-end of the prime of his career. Being one of the best golfers to ever swing the club, only arguably second to Jack Nicklaus, it indeed helped propel the popularity of the stogie when on the course. Needless to say, this was no mulligan for the cigar world.
The third contribution that has allowed the cigar to thrive in golf as an organic style is becasue of the level of relaxation that it brings upon those on the links. Just as how viruses are contagious, so is the relaxation and look of smoking a cigar. When you’re the only guy or girl in the foursome not smoking a cigar, you more or less feel obligated to take one. Thats the start, its a great look and a great feel. People also tend to like a nice stogie when on the golf course because once you over shoot your forty yard chip shot by fifty yards, and have to go wandering into the woods for fifteen minutes looking for your $10 Pro-V1 ball, nothing is more relaxing and soothing than when you have a stogie plopped in your mouth.
Etiquette. That’s the name of the game in golf. The unspoken rules of golf is what can make or break you having an extravagant day on the links. Etiquette doesn’t only go as far as rules such as don’t pass anyone or be quiet when someone is shooting their shot. This etiquette also extends as far as to knowing how to properly smoke your essential style piece. That would be your beloved cigar. Next you will see five vital tips on how to properly smoke a stogie on the golf course.
The first thing that you must be aware of is the weather. Such as be alert of which way the wind is blowing. Don’t be the dunce that takes a puff and then blows smoke in the direction of the person teeing off. If your a newbie to the cigar smoking game be extra careful. Make sure you also aren’t blowing smoke into those who are next to you watching the person tee of as well.
Secondly, snag a big fella. Bigger the better when you’re playing eighteen holes. If you’re playing late morning or at noon its bound to be packed. That means your going to be backed up at virtually every hole, so your going to have a lot of time to burn the stogie. Especially if you have a bunch of five-shot putters ahead of you. This will allow you to look stylish for the entire day while also giving you the benefit of the doubt if the cigar burns out on you. Larger cigars are more susceptible to relighting.
Thirdly, you must know how to cut a cigar. Don’t be they guy or gal who decides to use their teeth to get the butt off. That is a big no-no. This makes the cigar look trashy and makes it a nightmare for you to light up. All the style that is associated with the cigar gets thrown out the window if people see your stogie is visibly bitten off. Get a cutter, and cut it right.
The fourth cigar etiquette rule is that you must be cognizant of where you lay your cigar down. This rule is vital to your knowledge because placing your lit cigar on the green will result in burning it, and if caught doing this a proper ejection from the course will be soon after. This is a tough decision that has to be made between shots. In worst case scenarios always result to the rough. Place your stogie Joe as vertical as you can so the fire doesn’t get caught on the grass. Most courses will have a cigar holder in the cart, but if not you can also place your cigar in one of the cup holders. If your cart does not have a cup holder ditch that course; something is not right.
The final, and arguably the most important rule of cigar etiquette is to always remember a torch. No, not a lighter. If you’re a zippo collector and say things like “I only light up with my zippo’s,” than you won’t be smoking on the links. The wind and inclement weather can be a real bother on the course, which means small lighters wont really get the job done. Covering it with a hand in order to block the wind works as often as you think you can hit that chip shot five-yards off the fringe. Torch’s are essential and are the cornerstone to getting the stogies rocking and rolling for the day.
Knowing how to properly handle a cigar on the course is key to helping direct more focus towards your game. The less worrying you do about your cigar makes a big difference in the grand scheme of things. Who knows, maybe that little extra focus will help you shoot in the double digits.
What to smoke
When on the golf course and smoking a cigar it is also important to maximize your style and comfortability. The way you can do this is by picking the right cigar. The Padrón 4000 Maduro Toro, Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba Doble Cinco, Monte by Montecristo Jacopo No. 2 Habano Torpedo and Custom Tobacco’s Briarmont Classic are four of some of the best cigar’s to smoke on the links. These four cigars are your best bet for great results when driving, chipping, wedging and putting.
The Padrón 4000 Maduro Toro is a definite go to when swinging the clubs with your buddies for a few reasons. The Nicaraguan made Maduro Toro has a darker taste than your average cigar, but at the same time allows the smoke to run for long, which is key for when you are shooting your shot and don’t have your cigar in hand. You know you’re getting a quality product because this cigar is aged a minimum of three years, which allows the flavor to be rich. This cigar is also listed at a very fair price.
Up next is the Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba Doble Cinco. This is a rarity in the cigar community. It’s a tough one to find, but when found it is like you struck gold. This cuban cigar embodies features of both creaminess and spiciness right after the first few puffs. This cigar is a steal when playing eighteen holes because it never goes bad, and the taste is delightful for your four hour golf session.
The Monte by Montecristo Jacopo No. 2 Habano Torpedo is another cigar popular amongst golf players. This Dominican cigar is easily marked as super potent and strong. It has an extremely well rounded taste and a fantastic burn. So when your lining up for that three foot putt and totally botch it at least you have a great tasting stogie in between your lips.
Saving the best for last; we now have Custom Tobacco’s Briarmont Classic. This cigar is nothing short of the word soothing. Creaminess is the dominant attribute with this stogie, while also boasting its great complexity. This cigar is fantastic for when you’re on the links because it allows for a taste you will never forgot. If anything it will help improve your game because the relaxation achieved from this stogie Joe will make you concentrate harder.
Choosing the right cigar when you’re on the golf course is underrated. It’s importance is equal to the importance of choosing which club your going to use at any given spot on the course. The cigar you choose can also be make or break for social interaction. This is because some people may dislike the smell, or some may not think you are high class enough, and even some may think you’re to classy. Cigar choices can be hard, but with the right knowledge it isn’t to tough.
Cigars are to golf like honey is to bees. Its quintessential and implied. Since the days of St. Andrews in Scotland, and all the way to the present day at Augusta National in Georgia we see a staple within the game of golf. That is that the cigar is everlasting and is a symbol of what golf is.