How to Pick the Perfect Cigar

Famous Smoke Shop, official supplier of premium tobacco products to the Sunday Morning Group, has created a web-based utility that enables you to pick the ideal cigar to go with whatever you’re drinking too much of. You select a spirit, then a price range, than an activity (“entertaining clients,” “trying to forget your failures”), and it tells you what to put in your mouth. Not long ago, Famous Smoke sent us a nice big box of samples, and we held our second annual Cigar Day. Here’s Mike A. making a selection before teeing off:

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And here’s Tim C., using a cigar as a pushcart navigational aid:

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We tested four kinds: Oliva, Arturo Fuente, Macanudo, and CAO. Gene liked his CAO so much that he smoked it right through lunch:

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It was Chic’s turn to bring the food—and he did his own shopping and patty-formation:

p1190409We supplemented the burgers, dogs, and chips with some fruit salad we found in the clubhouse fridge—a leftover from the women’s member-guest, which had closed the course for several critical hours the day before. The fruit was quite tasty, even it’s supposed to be sort of good for you:

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The day was so hot that we ate in the parking lot, next to the men’s room, because it’s shadier than the patio. No one was in a hurry to go home.

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How to Hit a Lob Shot From the Back of a Pickup Truck

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Recently, the Sunday Morning Group held a shootout in which the prizes were some stuff sent to us by Famous Smoke Shop, our tobacco sponsor and smoking connection, which sells cigars online, by mail order, and in person (at the company’s headquarters and retail super store, in Easton, Pennsylvania). The format was lob wedge over the patio to the practice green, closest to the pin, from the bed of Fritz’s pickup truck. The prizes were a cutter, a butane lighter, a humidor, and a handful of cigars. The cutter, the lighter, and the humidor had the awesome logo of one of Famous Smoke Shop’s subsidiary websites, CigarMonster, which sells cigar-related gear. The cigars were Infernos.

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Fritz backed his truck up to the fence and dropped the tailgate. The truck’s bed has a plastic liner—good for spin. Climbing into the truck while holding a wedge, a ball, and a beer took some doing. Here’s Hacker (real name) using the bumper as a step:

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And here’s Nick P., taking a shot:

Nick’s ball didn’t stay on the green, so he didn’t win anything, but he did earn points for bringing lunch, including an SMG semi-first: barbecued chicken.

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Mike A. and Peter A. came in first and second in the cigar shootout, and took the cutter and the lighter, respectively. Chic came in third and took the Cigar Monster humidor:

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Chic is our golf chairman. One Sunday, he came close to shooting his pants: waist size on the front, inseam on the back.

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After the shootout, we held a quick meeting to decide whether to play a second eighteen or go home and do chores (i.e., take a nap).

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Have a Cigar! Hey, Have Two!

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There are two approaches to turning yourself into a human billboard: the single-logo, less-is-more approach, typified by Tiger Woods (Nike) and Jordan Spieth (Under Armour), and the how-much-personal-surface-area-do-I-control approach, typified by Jim Furyk and NASCAR. My friends and I fall into the second category, and, even though by now we have virtually covered ourselves with umlauts (thanks to Jägermeister, the official all-weather intoxicant of the Sunday Morning Group), we haven’t finished selling out.

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Recently, we added another major sponsor: Famous Smoke Shop, which sells cigars online, by mail order, and in person (at the company’s headquarters and retail super store, in Easton, Pennsylvania). Famous Smoke is what is known in the business world as a “good fit” with a lot of the guys I play golf with.

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Famous Smoke was founded in New York City in 1939 by David and Rose Zaretsky, and it’s owned today by their son Arthur, who, whether he plays golf or not, is now an honorary member of the Sunday Morning Group. The company operates several cigar-oriented websites—not just Famous-Smoke but also CigarAuctioneer (which sells lighters and other accessories) and CigarMonster (which has the coolest golf hats):

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When we played at Richter Park two weekends ago, we handed out a bunch of goodies that Famous Smoke had sent us during the courtship phase of our relationship: cigars, hats, shirts, towels, and other stuff. We gave those things to ourselves and also to random strangers, including this guy:

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It was like Man Halloween.

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Cigars have sort of been in the news recently, because the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba will presumably lead eventually to the normalization of relations between American cigar smokers and Cuban cigars. I asked our new friends at Famous Smoke about that, and learned that Arthur Zaretsky believes that an end to the cigar embargo would be good good for Cubans and for his company (and therefore, by extension, for the Sunday Morning Group), but that, for a variety of mostly legal reasons, he doesn’t believe it will happen soon. Even so, he’s optimistic, long-term; he told a local reporter, “I’ve been waiting 45 years to sell Cuban cigars.”

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Recently, someone told me that when the pros sell out they do it for money, not just for hats and shirts with awesome logos on them. Whoa! Maybe we’ll work on that next.