Product Review: Golf Refugees’ Black Balls280509 Golf Refugees' black ball, on the tee at the 18th at Chambers Bay I found Golf Refugees through Twitter and after doing some research on the company’s black golf ball, became intrigued. Like most golfers I’d love twenty more yards off the tee and this ball promised it, plus touch around the greens, mostly because of its unique heat-absorbing black cover. According to the guys at Golf Refugees, due to its color, the ball absorbs more sunlight, making it both longer and softer on hot, sunny days. And easier to see in the air. It sounded too good to be true, and seemed a leap for a Titleist Pro-V1 boy, but also was worth investigating. I reached out with goodwill accross the pond, as Golf Refugees is based in the UK, and before I knew it was in possession of a sleeve of black golf balls. The company wanted me to put their new balls to the test. Non-Scientific Performance Test: Recently, while reviewing the 7,106-yard Chambers Bay on a bright and sunny day, I was playing well and thought it a great time to test out the black ball. I broke one out of my bag and warmed it in the sun on my push-cart for a couple of holes, turning it occasionally. We were playing the nine’s in reverse, having tee’d off on hole 10, and I decided the 541-yard par-5 18th (our 9th) would prove as the perfect proving ground. The black ball was actually warm when I put it on the tee. It looked cool. And it went a mile! The drive I hit on hole 18 was probably the best of the day, laser-beam straight, and probably 30-yards longer than normal. I then hit a hybrid from 235-yards to the back of the green, about 40-feet from the hole. Maybe there was something to this ball! It felt soft enough with the long game. The black ball, in service on the 18th green at Chambers Bay But then I three-putted for par. I’m a bad putter though, I had thought at the time. Not the ball’s fault. Then on the 491-yard 1st hole (our 10th), I smashed another drive with the black ball, and again it felt good off the club face. And again I put another approach within 40-feet. And yet again, I three-putted, this time for bogey. On the 2nd and 3rd holes I missed each green, and thanks to good chip shots made par. The black ball felt pretty soft with the wedge and each time I was left with two-footers to get up-and-down. On the 4th I stuck a wedge approach about 12-feet away, and below the hole. The black ball had produced yet another shot at birdie! And this time it was makeable. After sizing up the putt with confidence, I rammed the black ball four-feet past the hole, way offline, and was lucky to make the putt coming back for par. Back in the bag the hot ball went. And out came the trusty Titleist. And with it came a birdie on the 465-yard, par-4 5th hole. Granted, I hit three perfect shots on the 5th, but the result was telling, considering I drained a tough, 20-foot putt. Chipping: the black ball passed the test on this tough chip on the 2nd at Chambers Bay I’m not bagging on the black ball at all here. I think it is an amazing product, but better suited to player’s not used to putting with buttery Titleists’. It’s as soft as it needs to be for me everywhere but the putting green. It goes a mile, spins like mad on the greens, chips well and is actually easier to see in the air (but not on the ground). Plus, there’s a lower-case ‘r’ logo on the ball, which I thought was super cool. In terms of price Golf Refugees black ball is much cheaper than the Pro-V1, and almost fits into the bargain-ball category. A dozen balls only cost $25, plus shipping. For that price, they are definitely worth a shot. Technically speaking, the black ball incorporates Thermal Distance Technology, an icosahedral dimple pattern, 2-piece construction, and an abrasion-resistant soft cover . It is both R&A and USGA compliant. Check out at http://www.golf-refugees.com/index.html
We've had some decent weather in the UK, though sometimes it does rain now and then. These rainy days just don't suit our sun lovin black ball so he decided to take a trip across the pond, courtesy of Reid Wegley, for a sunshine break at the new Chambers Bay golf course.
There's been plenty of hype about this new 'Scottish link-style course' in the mainstream golf media. Chambers Bay will host the 2010 US Amateur and the 2015 US Open. A great opportunity for our black ball to absorb some heat and have a blast around the course. At 7,109 yards, though playin and feelin more like 7,400 our black ball just eats courses of this length. As long as the sun shines and there's a steady hand at the helm.
How many of us enjoy a little tipple on the golf course?
Whether it's from a hip flask, a wee dram in your coffee during a frosty morning or just a regular little pick-me-up after a few holes. Not being a spirit fan, a few gulps of a refreshing beer hits the spot for me.
It may even relax you, steady your nerves over that tricky downhill five footer, with the added bonus of seeing a double cup.
Where's the harm? Especially with supermarkets advertising cheap booze all day and all night.
Driving back home can be hazardous. Unless you're a member of a masonic lodge, with a quick nod and a wink you're waved on your merry little way.
So I’m searching the net for a few new golfing bits and I come across Golf Refugees. I’ve heard of them before but never really had a chance to have a look through their range. I really like the company as they’re not your traditional stuffy country-club brand. They’re a relatively new and exciting golf wear and golf ball company that offer something out of the ordinary. Funky designs that you can wear on or off the course with pride. A lot of the major brands are starting to go down this route now and are bringing high-fashion to the world of golf. It’s about time too but Golf Refugees are a brand that were always like that from the very start. They launched the company with the Black Golf Ball, a totally unique distance ball that heats up on a sunny day making the ball more elastic which gives you a few extra yards. Whether it’s a genius idea or a bloody stupid one I’ll leave up to you to decide but it’s definitely a fun idea. We had a go with the Black Ball recently on a very sunny day and you really can squeeze a few extra yards from them. They’re not the easiest things to find in the rough but we didn’t lose one (which is unique for us I can tell you.) After a full 18 holes, the ball was still in reasonable condition too which is more than can be said for my usual brand of ball. Now, all this is fine but what I really want to talk about is the clothing range. Not only is it funky, up to date and likely to annoy some stuffy member somewhere, it’s also eco-friendly. It ticks all the boxes.
When I say eco-friendly, I really mean it. All of Golf Refugees t-shirts are manufactured using renewable energy generated purely from wind and solar power. In fact, the Carbon Trust says that its large men’s t-shirts cut CO2 emissions by a whopping 89%. The company also uses organic cotton certified by the Soil Association in all its offerings. Now that’s a great thing to hear. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be less “Eco” if I tried but I do feel increasingly guilty about that. We know how to make the world a cleaner place, we have the technology and the money and all the tools so in my opinion we have a duty to do it, regardless of whether or not you believe the global warming argument. So it got me thinking. How eco-friendly are Nike’s t-shirts? Adidas or RBK? Ping, Callaway or any of the others. You know what - I don’t know. I can’t find any information about it and what does that tell you…they’re probably not eco in the slightest. If they were, they’d be shouting about it, you know they would. I stand to be corrected but it seems pretty clear cut. It’s not going to change my life or anything but when faced with a decision on where I spend my next £30 on a new golf shirt, I can’t help but be drawn to a brand like Golf Refugees. Not only will I be able to piss-off the old codgers but I’ll also be able to do it knowing that I’ve done a bit for mother earth and therefore, the golf course I’m playing on. My only gripe with the brand is the usual, they don’t do big enough sizes which winds me up. Still, they’re a new brand so let’s see what the future holds. If you want a decent shirt and a clear conscience you won’t go wrong with the Golf Refugees.
It seems that the LPGA tour is seriously short of cash, with fewer events and dwindling purses for 2009. There's even a group call for sponsors from an IMG representative on contact site Linkedin. What can be done? Should there be more collaboration between the Men's and Women's Golf Tours? With the PGA subsidising LPGA events for marital harmony. Call it housekeeping money. And then, in the near future, when women rule the World this favour can be reciprocated.
The Golf Refugees black ball is arguably one of the most easily-recognisable products on the market and it has proved very popular with amateurs as a result. They obviously look great and are extremely cheap by modern standards, but how does their performance match up? Have they got the substance to match the style? WG Editor Joe Whitley took them for a test drive and found out…
What they say: The Golf Refugees original black ball has a revolutionary heat-absorbing ultra-thin black cover which increases the temperature of the core materials when played in hot, sunny conditions. As a result, the Golf Refugees black ball transfers energy more efficiently than traditional white balls, to give you greater distance on your golf shots.
What we say: When I first got my hands on the Refugees black balls, I was torn. Torn between whether I was holding a genuine golf ball, or just a novelty gift that was going to explode when I hit it. Don’t get me wrong, I think the ball looks great, it is so out of the ordinary that it took a while to adjust to. “I’m not saying that it is as long as the Nike One Tour D, or any of the other premium distance balls, but it performs way, way above its price of £15 per dozen.”
But when I did get used to it, I discovered an extremely impressive piece of kit — not only was it remarkably long, it actually had a nice amount of feel, too. The distance was the most impressive asset that the ball brought to the table. Even when I hit the ball a little fat, or out of the toe I still found it to be very long and a real roller. The result was massive length with all the long clubs and superb roll on landing.
The Golf Refugees say that the Thermal Distance Technology (TDT) — which works on the principle that the black colour retains more heat, and that more heat means more distance — is to thank for this, but I’m not so sure — on the day of the test, it was wet, cold and soft but I still got very good results. If you do not mind the wacky, yet stylish black colour, and you have a handicap of 10-28, this is the perfect ball to beat both your friends and the credit crunch.
To sum up… A great-looking ball which performs way above its price. Although it can’t rival the premium balls, like the Pro V1, it could prove to be a great addition to your bag — especially if you have a handicap between 10 and 28.
Whitley Golf Ratings
Vital StatisticsRRP: £14.99 (per dozen); £3.99 (per sleeve of three)
Golf Refugees Carbon Neutral ‘Trophy’ T-Shirt We’ve got our hands on a fantastic golf t-shirt from Golf Refugees. Not only is it extremely comfortable and great looking, it is also good for the planet. It may not conform with many clubhouse dress-codes but it will provide you with a great off-course addition to your wardrobe. We’ve got some great images — take a look and see if it will be finding its way into your collection this summer…
What they say: As well as being 100% organic, certified by The Soil Association. All of our new t-shirts will also be carbon neutral. This means that they’ll only be manufactured using sustainable energy generated purely from wind and solar power. The Carbon Trust calculated that our Men’s size large shirt, cuts CO2 emissions by over 89%.
What we say: Although not many clubs will allow you to actually wear it out on the course, this fantastic golf t-shirt from Golf Refugees will prove to be a great addition to your off-course wardrobe.The Trophy tee, as it is called, combines a hilarious logo (which says: ‘No Trophies, So What?’) with comfortable and carbon-neutral cotton to provide a great way of keeping stylish and comfortable away from the links.
“What’s more, it comes available in four different colours and four different sizes so people of all shapes and tastes can enjoy it.”
But what makes it so appealing is the way it is made.From the very start, Golf Refugees ensure that it not only meets ethical and environmental guidelines, but endures a manufacturing process which saves fuel, money and ultimately the planet.The organic cotton which is used is grown to Soil Association standards and each final product is carbon neutral. This means that throughout manufacture, the t-shirts only use solar and wind-powered machinery — the result is no wasted energy, a cheaper finishing product and a company which is helping combat climate change. In terms of cutting carbon dioxide emissions, Golf Refugees say they save over 89 per cent.
“The Trophy tee, as it is called, combines a hilarious logo with comfortable and carbon-neutral cotton to provide a great way of keeping stylish and comfortable away from the links.” What’s more, it comes available in four different colours and four different sizes so people of all shapes and tastes can enjoy it.A very stylish and contemporary t-shirt for the modern golfer.
To sum up… A fantastic-looking, comfortable and ethical t-shirt which will be a great addition to the modern golfer’s off-course wardrobe. It is very funny, too, but may not appeal to the traditional golfer. Definitley one for the modern player.
Whitley Golf Ratings
Vital StatisticsRRP: £19.99
Colours: Moss Green (top right), Dark Red (left), Yellow, Brown