Saturday, August 31, 2013

Samsonite Trunk Organizer/ Locker - Is it worth to buy it and how good is it?

Samsonite Trunk Organizer/Locker - great way to organize your golf stuff

I am playing golf for decades and there is not a day I leave the house without my car being ready for golf at any time.

That meant for me. My golf bag was packed. I had a couple of pairs of shoes in the trunk, towels, a bag with tees and stuff and a bag with extra clothes. Also I had all kinds of things floating around every car I was driving at the time.

It worked out well, but most likely was a disaster and not nice to look at . I have to say, that while I was a single , it was not a problem and I felt OK with that. But times have changed and now I am sharing the car with my wonderful partner and the last I want her to see is chaos when she gets in the car and off to work or shopping.

So I did what I was planing for years. Buy a trunk organizer and get , yes you guessed it, organized.

The above photo is the official photo of a website and the stuff in the organizer is not mine. But below you will find some photos of my actual things.

I bought this item through an online retailer and got it for a good price. 39.99 $. I thought for the brand and for what it is , that is a good deal. Since I never had one, I did not know what to expect. After ordering I sat back and waited for my new addition to my golf mission.

I received it fast and right away check it out. It looked good , but was much more flat than I have pictured it. But after ready the little instruction tag I found out, that you can fold down the shoe department if you do not need it and have a flat case for easy storage. This is how it looked like after assembling it.

I already had the shoes in in this photo, but you can see how it is higher with the shoe dividers in it. When it came it was flat because they were not upside. You can use it like that as well if you like.

First I looked at the quality. It is a light case and certainly nothing you want to travel on an airplane with. Because it is very light, it is also not that solid. I liked that, because I need to take it in and out of the car all the time. Playing and practicing 7 days a week requires to be ready and organized all the time.

The top compartment came pre-assembled and I just had to open the bottom and stand up the dividers to get it all ready. I checked for any damages or so , but could not find anything.

So I looked at the photo on the tag ( which was similar to the one above) and started putting my things in. Only 30 minutes later I was done.

My shoes and extra flip flops were in the bottom part. This I really like. it has a see through  net like material in the front which enables the compartment to air out and help your shoes to stay fresher.

You can see the shoes in this photo.

The top I used for cloth, accessories and things like drink mixes, tea mixes, sun cream and so on. As you can see on my personal photos I have some tees in there and other things.

I now use it for 3 weeks and I love it. When I come home I put it back in my garage, open it and sort out dirty clothes etc. Then I replenish the case with fresh close and everything I might need for the next round, tournament or practice. I close her up and the case goes in its spot.

The garage looks much more organized. The car is clean and organized and I have everything ready and know where it is. I love it.

In regards to quality of the item. Well , it is a Samsonite. But it is a very light case. The material is a light and kind of breathing kind of stuff. The handles are simple foam, but I believe sufficient for the task and with having two of those handles placed perfectly, one on each side, this case is very easy to carry.

The compartments have dividers which are also lightweight and not something you want put pressure on. They are dividers and that is all they can do :) . The lid has 3 net bags with rubber on top to keep them closed when you have things in there ( like I have tees in them ).  Not the strongest rubber band I have seen, but it will serve the purpose for now and if taken care of well, they might last for a couple years or so. There is another net bag above those . This one has a zipper and in the manual it said this compartment is for money and wallet and so on. But I keep divot tools and ball makers in it. I have my money on me at all times. There is also a phone pouch, which I have not tried yet and some for pens and markers. I found that I can have all my stuff I need for that day including a full change of clothes , towels, hats and so and so on all in this organizer. I also have 3 pairs of shoes in it.

I do not put them in there when they are wet though. I wait until they are dry and then clean them and put them back.

The Zippers are OK, but do not look like the strongest kind. So we will see how long they actually will hold.

The Samsonite Trunk Organizer/ Locker is a great product serving it’s purpose with ease.  It is very light and easy to handle. It remains to be seen how good the quality of the production is and I will report about it in a few months or whenever there is something to report.

Meanwhile I think it is a good buy for the price. If you want to be better organized and make some room in your garage, room or car, the #Samsonite Trunk Organizer is a good product to  get.

Here are some photos of the Organizer and how I use it.

Top Compartment with lit as described above. You can store clothes and much more in it. It also has a bigger pouch behind the net bags which is close able with a zipper. I guess it is for paperwork or so.

The handles are simple foam parts. So I am not sure how long they will hold, but they feel good and serve the purpose.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Is a good website to shop from? - short website review

Golf Galaxy Online Shop - buying golf products made easy!

For more than 20 years I am active in the golf business. Be it as a player, teacher or  in sales. Until recently I still was active doing wholesale work for big golf companies. But , after travelling thousands of miles and seeing hundreds of shops I decided, I am done.

There is plenty of golf shops in our country that is for sure. We have large chains like Golfsmith, Edwin Watts, Nevada Bob’s and Golf Galaxy. Also there is thousands of smaller shops run by golf professionals , club builders and even just retailers. In other words, the golf business is huge.

Over the past years a new trend came along : The Internet!

In the beginning, most store owners were arguing that most shoppers prefer to touch before they buy. Also that the shopping trip to the store is part of the experience.

They have been proven wrong. Fact is, that more and more golfers are actually shopping through the Internet. There is several facts which support that, but I will have to write an extra note about that.

Today I want to share my first experience with one of the bigger online retailers.

Golf Galaxy

Golf Galaxy has stores and sells quality and brand products over the Internet. As most bigger retailers they understand, that both are beneficial ways to create income and if done right, actually go hand in hand.

After some great golfing on my site at a Golf Channel Tour Tournament I was excited to get two gift cards. One for 50 $ and one for 20 $. At this point I was not sure if it is good to have two cards and even if it makes sense not have the credit on one.

My first action was to go online and find a Golf Galaxy store in my area. Living in Florida I knew there must be a store close by or at least in the area. Boy was I wrong. The next Golf Galaxy store actually is located in Orlando, FL , which is about 2 hours from here.  That was pretty disappointing. However, right away I thought, what a great opportunity  to try out the website of this company. I always need equipment and golf balls. So I went to the website  one afternoon.

Pulling up the website took seconds. I liked that. That to me meant, that this will be easy to navigate which probably is a result of a website being well taken care of and on a good server.

My first impression of the website was : Simple and not confusing.

There was plenty of information on the homepage, dominated by discount offer headlines. Although I found it was a little much with all those off offers, it did not bother me at all.

It was no problem to find buttons to different product categories. All was very good organized and even if you have never been shopping on a golf website, you could do it by reading and clicking.

As an experienced Internet shopper I went to the search box right away. Their box was located at the top left side. A good spot because you tend to  look at it pretty fast.

I had a list of items ready which I considered on that day. With a 70  $ budget I knew it will not be a huge shopping trip , if I may say so.  First I was looking for golf balls. I play the same ball  at all times and so I just clicked on golf balls, found the brand, picked the color and added this item to my cart. I liked that there was info and feedback about golf balls available to the person browsing on the site.

Next I was seeking for a Smash Bag. A practice item I wanted for years, but never bought it.  Again I was able to locate this item fast and easy. This time by using the search box. I again added it to the cart.

Last I was looking for a travel case or organizer. This item was also easy to find and I actually liked what I found and added that to the cart.

My goal was to stay in budget. However, there was a couple things I had to consider. At that day Golf Galaxy offered free shipping for orders over 99 $ . But I did not reach this amount. So I was not eligible for free shipping. The shipping being about 6 $ I was not too concerned about the total. Also I saw, that there seemed to be some other coupons available through the site and I had hope that I might be able to use one.

Since I was done picking my items I moved on to check out my cart. The process starts very easy. Just click on check out and see what you have in it.

If you are satisfied go on next and you are asked to put in all your information for billing and shipping. There even is a way to put it as a gift address in, which I liked. Once I got that done I  arrived at the payment page.

Right in the beginning I was asked if I had a gift card, which I answered  with a yes and entered my number. There my first challenged showed up. I was only able to put in 1 gift card. That was not the plan and I was a little disappointed. However, before being very disappointed I actually read the small print and it told me, that if I have more than one card, I need to call  phone number ( which was clearly posted) and a person will combine the cards into one and I can proceed with my purchase.

Since I was at it right now, I called the number and it only took a couple minutes to get a representative on the phone. The lady was very friendly and asked me what I need help with. I explained what I am doing and what I have on my hand. No problem was the short answer. Further she explained to me how it will work and started the process of combining the cards.

She took the card numbers, put me on hold for about 3 minutes and came back with great news. I now had all my credit on one card which she confirmed by telling me the last 4 digits.

I was asked if I need anything else which I negated and we ended the call. So only about 6 minutes after I called I was ready to proceed with my purchase.

First I deleted the entry I had made a few minutes earlier and then I added the card number again and it worked. My 70 $ credit showed up and on the right site I found my new total.

Next there was a box telling me to put another promo code in. I did not have one, but another button offered me to click on there and see if there is a promo available today. Lucky me, there was a 5 % of every item code popping up. I was excited. The savings offset the shipping completely. So you need to make sure that you pay attention when you check out.

Confusing and not very good was the fact, that I saw sales tax on it. This was an out of state sale and I still do not know why I need to pay sales tax on that. However, because I was happy with the process so far I did not give it another thought. I think the fact that I found a promo code which saved me a few $ helped greatly with forgetting about the sales tax.

I added my CC number and proceeded to the payment page.

When you are there , you still can add or edit. That is really nice. There was not one page which did not exactly tell you what the deal is or what is going on or what you are facing next. I like that.

So I paid my order and got a confirmation number on the next screen and to my email. This  confirmation told me all about my order and also that I will get an email when the shipment goes out.

I was very happy with the entire process so far.

The website looked great and was fully functional. Golf Galaxy had a good selection of products for good prices and I was able to find what I was looking for.
Customer service was very friendly and efficient.

Only 2 days later I received an email that my order has been shipped and a tracking number for me to follow my order including an estimated delivery date. I was really excited now.

From that point I just waited and way faster than I expected the order actually arrived while I was playing a tournament.

When coming home I right away opened the large box and found everything in order. Nicely packed, undamaged and with a packing slip.

The Golf Galaxy website was a great experience. I liked the process and the service. The website works well and they have a decent selection of products with specials posted all the time.

I really found it cool that I could add the promo code which they offer openly and easy to find.

The Golf Galaxy online shop  is a golf product website which I would use again if I have a certificate or  whenever they beat prices I find on other websites. is a great website to buy all you need for your golf game.

Make sure you come back to this blog and read about the products I bought. My goal is to write 1000 personal golf reviews this year and then keep them updated. But I hope, that I will get comments and feedback all the time. Write me if  you like what you read or if you have something else to add. Please understand that not all comments can stay. Negativity is not welcome :). Thank you for visiting.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Is Wayne Golf Course in Bothell , WA a good course to play? - Wayne Golf Course review August 2013

Wayne Golf Course in Bothell, WA

16721 96 Ave NE, Bothell, WA 98011-1602 , Tel : 425-485-6327

We spent 2 weeks in WA, where I used to live. As a matter of fact I spent over 15 years there. Living, working and playing golf. Wayne Golf Course in Bothell , WA exists since 1931 and so it came with no surprise that even my grandpa used to play there. Back then I played here at least 1 time a week and I have many good and fun memories.

So we decided to go back and see how it looks like right now.

We played two rounds, one in the late afternoon and one in the morning. Since I am writing about the course it does not matter and so I will take the late afternoon round.

Being out and about doing some shopping and so on we decided to stop by at Wayne Golf Course to check out if we could get on to play a quick 18.  Driving on to the parking lot everything looked exactly like many years ago. Gravel parking and about half the lot was occupied. We went straight to the counter and asked if we could play. The young man behind the counter said it was not a problem and told us the rates.  20 $ plus 3.20 $ for a pull cart. Including taxes that was not too bad. We were thinking about riding, but in WA carts are super expensive. At Wayne you would pay 21 $ each to ride. Ridiculous I must say.

I asked the young man if it is busy out there and if we are going to make it. It was about 5 pm when we got there. He said , it is not a problem and not too many players were out there.

We got our equipment and were off to number 1. We only waited a few and were ready to go.

The front nine number 1 is a shot of the mat, so have a short tee ready to be able to have a good tee shot. The first 4 holes are on the flat side of the course while the second 5 holes are on the hill side. The front nine is the longer of the both. Fairways here are OK. The are green and run well ( in summer time that is). Hole 5, 6, 7 are along the hill and a little demanding when you walk. Steep and hilly with a couple blind shots.  If you have troubles walking I highly recommend to either rent a cart or not play. The back nine is very hilly as well.

The views on the front nine are nice. There is a stream going through the course where you can see boats coming along and much more. You actually do not feel like being so close to Bothell at all. The greens were actually in great shape. Not very fast but well taken care off.

Once you finished the longer front 9 you need to walk over the bridge to get to the back 9. Riding a cart is interesting as well as you have to actually drive on the street. But the course is there for so many years and decades, that you do not have to worry about it.

The back 9 is much tighter and much shorter. It has 3 par 4s and 6 par 3s. All tee shots are made from matts. So be prepared with short tees if you do not feel comfortable to hit irons of the matts. Again the landscape is very nice. Fairways on this side are OK. 10 and 11 are a little different. There is a lot of apple trees on the right side and those trees lose lots of colored leaves in which it might be hard to find your balls. However, it also makes for a nice atmosphere.

This is not an easy nine. Your shots need to be as accurate as possible. But do not get stressed out, there is trees to protect you ( or to get you in trouble). There is no sand traps , but some water you have to hit over and some ditches. But nothing to dangerous.

It took us about 3 ½ hours to play and we thought that was slow because we had slow players in front of us. At the same time I think you will never take more than 4 hours.

After the round we put our stuff in the car and went inside for a beer. The clubhouse looked as it always did. The bar was renovated and they had more outside seating.

It was nice , cozy and clean . I had a Stella and Christiane a Bud Light. The beer was cold and the prices were not bad either.  The server was very friendly and took good care of us. At the same time there was only 4 other people there, so it was not exactly a challenge to do so.

Overall we were satisfied with our afternoon round. The course was in OK shape and the service was good. The price was fair. We had a good time and planned to play again. Which we did a few days later with yet an extra player and our experience was as good as the first time. Only the second time our 3rd player actually rented a cart and my mother got to ride for free ( which usually would have been 21 $ just to ride along).

If you are in Bothell or the area and want to play a quick 18 on a challenging short course, Wayne Golf Course might be what you are looking for. A simple, short course with decent fairways and good greens. There is no driving range to warm up but a nice putting green to get some feel.

I know we will be back when we are in the area. Following are some photos from the course and the score card.

Wayne Golf Course , Bothell - Parking Lot and Clubhouse

Counter and shop in club house - they have some merchandise

View of landscape on back 9 of Wayne Golf Course

View on 17s green on back 9 from bridge with some of the many birds you will see

Wayne Golf Course - Course lay out


White tee

Front Nine
White tee

Back Nine
White tee
*Par value varies depending on tee boxes used.