One of our most read blog posts is Smoking Cigars on the Golf Course: An Introduction. Since we wrote that post over 4 years ago we felt we needed to update it with new cigar & accessory recommendations.
Selecting The Right Cigar
While there are thousands of choices out there, here are a few considerations.
Select a cigar that's easy to light and stay lit, and easy to smoke. That means leaving the small & thin cigars at home. They burn too fast, too hot and are difficult to keep lit. Larger ring gauge cigars are your friends in the elements and on the golf course. You also want to select a mild to medium cigar, as smoking a nicotine bomb in the hot sun can send your game south very quickly.
Cigar sizes are listed by length in inches and then by ring gauge, for example a 7x48 is a cigar that is 7" long with a ring gauge of 48. Ring gauge is a measure of cigar width, a 64 ring gauge is equal to 1" wide. Cigar sizing is done at the factory rolling table while the tobacco is wet, so by the time you purchase the cigar it has dried out and is usually slightly smaller. Cigar sizes also have names associated with them like corona, robusto, Churchill and toro, however, over the year's the sizing has been bastardized with longer/larger cigars fitting into each category.
At the end of the day you want a cigar that will last 7-8 holes and is going to provide you with plenty of enjoyment, and is not going to distract you from your game. We recommend a cigar at least 6" long with a ring gauge of at least 48. But, please, do not grab the biggest/longest cigar in the shop. Don't be that guy!
While most of you are probably familiar with the mass market brands from the Dominican, Honduras and Nicaragua, we are big fans of the more boutique offerings from those same countries. Below are some new mild-medium strength sticks in various sizes that are perfect for smoking on the golf course.
Churchill Size 7" x 48
Tatuaje Havana VI Alimirantes
E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Gran Via
Padron Damaso No.17
Illusione 88 Candela
Gordo Size 6" x 60
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brûlée
Drew Estates Florida Sun Grown
Southern Draw Rose of Sharon
Asylum 13 Ogre Barber Pole
Toro 6" x 50
Villiger Cuellar Connecticut Kreme
7-20-4 Hustler Barber Pole
Ventura The Royal Return Queen's Pearls
La Palina El Diario
Espinosa Crema de Laranja
Tatuaje Anarchy Kaos Pale Horse
Drew Estate Undercrown Shade
L'Atelier LAT 56
J.D. Howard Reserve HR52
Illusione Eperney Le Monde
Diamond Crown Julius Caeser
If You Enjoy Flavored Cigars, Here A Few Options
Acid Kuba Kuba- Sweet & Spicey
Maker's Mark Cigars- Bourbon Infused
Drew Estate Tabak Especial- Coffee & Chocolate Infused
Drew Estates Kentucky Fire Cured Just A Friend - Hickory Smoke Infused
Having The Right Accessories
Now that you have a nice selection of cigars ready to go, you are going to need some accessories to cut, light, hold and store them.
CIGAR CUTTERS - No need to get a fancy cutter, most cigar stores sell plastic guillotine cutters for a few bucks, just make sure they are dual blade cutters, single blade cutters will crush your cigar rather than cut it. If you want something a little more substantial check out our 64 ring gage gun metal cutter in our store HERE. When cutting your cigar, only take off the very tip (cap) of the cigar, cutting too low can cause your cigar wrapper to unravel.
DID YOU KNOW: There are multiple types of cigar cutters and style of cuts? Read our blog article on the different types of cigar cuts HERE.
LIGHTERS - Many cigar aficionados espouse the bliss of lighting a cigar with a wooden match and toasting it to perfection. However, on the golf course you just need to get it lit and keep it lit. In this case, torch lighters are the way to go. While torch lighters can have anywhere from 1-5 jets, double or triple jet torches will work best. When lighting the cigar, do not put it directly into the flame, instead, hold the flame just below the cigar and it will start to combust.
Check out the JetLight New York lighter. JetLight is a solid brand and the New Yorker is dual flame lighter that is claimed to have the same power as a quad flame. Get the New Yorker HERE for under $15.
CIGAR HOLDERS - You can't keep your cigar in your mouth the whole round, and placing it in the chemical filled grass is not a great idea. Cigar wrappers are fragile so you need a safe place to lay your cigar down where it won't roll away and crack. We recommend the Cigar Minder, available HERE. The Cigar Minder allows you to clip your cigar to the golf cart, your golf bag and even your putter; keeping your cigar safe from damage and those nasty chemicals.
PRO TIP: When using the Cigar Minder always clamp the cigar around the label, not as shown in this picture from the manufacturer. Clamping around the label offers another layer of protection to keep your wrapper from cracking!
STORAGE - While you can simply keep your cigars in a ziplock bag, having a crush proof container that easily fits in your golf bag is a safer option. Also, you never know if you may get teamed up with another cigar fan, so always have a few extras on hand to share or swap. We still like the Herf-A-Dor X5 hard case shown below. It keeps your sticks safe, easily fits in your golf bag and costs about $20.
- Leave the band on until the cigar goes out. Removing a stubbornly glued band can lead to cracking of the wrapper and a less than enjoyable experience
- Smoke slowly! Smoking too fast causes burnt, harsh flavors ,so take your time and enjoy the smoke
- If your cigar goes out for more than 30 minutes, toss it and light another one. The longer a cigar is out the more harsh/stale flavors you will get once you relight
- This probably goes without saying, but don't inhale. Cigars are best enjoyed when holding the smoke in your mouth for a few seconds and then blowing it out your mouth or your nose (retrohale)
Cigar smokers need to be cognizant that not everyone enjoys the aroma of cigar smoke, and some people view any tobacco use as a filthy habit. To that end, here are a few tips to help you and your playing partners enjoy your round together.
- If you are sharing a cart, ask your partner if he/she minds you enjoying a cigar during the round, and certainly offer them one as well
- Always be the back cart so your smoke is not blowing behind you and into the face of your other twosome
- Keep an eye on the wind direction when standing on the tee box or green to make sure your smoke is not blowing in the face of your non-smoking partners
- Do not drop your ashes on the green or the tee box
- Do not set your cigar down on the cart as it can leave burn marks. The Cigar Minder again is a great option that can attach to your cart or bag
- Do not put your cigar out and leave it on the green, fairway or cart path. Instead, lay the cigar on the cart path and stomp it out. If you have water in the cart pour over the cigar to make sure it's out. Then carry the cigar to the next closest trash can. Again, make sure it's completely out and dispose of it. Smoldering cigars on dried out golf courses can ignite the grass or wooded areas so always exercise caution when disposing of your nub
If you have other cigar recommendations for the golf course, leave them in the feedback section below; and we will post them for our readers.