Golf courses are one of the last remaining refuges for cigar smokers and, with summer officially here, many of you are getting back out there and enjoying your two favorite pastimes. This article is a primer for the new cigar smoker or the golfer who occasionally enjoys lighting one up with the guys.
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.
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 or you are sure to look like the guy below. 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 is a list of some of our favorite mild-medium golf course sticks, that offer a lot more bang for the buck than the brands with which you are probably most familiar.
Churchill Size 7" x 48
Tatuaje Havana VI
Illusione ECCJ 20th
Crowned Heads Luminosa
Drew Estate Undercrown Shade
Caldwell Iberian Express
Gordo Size 6" x 60
Crowned Heads Headley Grange
Nomad Connecticut Fuerte
Asylum 13 Ogre
Curivari Buenaventura (See Main Image)
E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut
My Father Connecticut
If You Enjoy Flavored Cigars, Here A Few Options
Acid Kuba Kuba- Sweet & Spicey
Maker's Mark Cigars- Bourbon Infused
Drew Estate Tabak Espicial- Coffee Infused
Sam Leccia Black - 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 that will work just fine. Plus, if you lose it on the course or a playing partner "borrows" it, no big loss. When cutting your cigar, only take off the very tip (cap) of the cigar, cutting too low can cause your cigar wrapper to unravel.
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. Check out the refillable JetLine Triple Flame Torch which retails for about $13.
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 at Golf Gear Box. 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.
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 like the Herf-A-Dor X5 hard case shown below, about $12-$15 online.
- 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.