By Angye Fox
Wine and cheese. Thigh high stockings and stiletto heels. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. All are great paired together.

How about another great pair? Cigars and golf. Let’s tee up that topic.

I took up the game of golf in my mid-twenties when I moved from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Tampa, Florida. I figured since golf was a sport I could enjoy year-round in the Sunshine State, I might as well learn how to play the game.

I loved it! I took a few lessons from a golf pro and was addicted to golf from the start. And then, I discovered business golf. I own an ad agency/PR firm and would take my clients out on the links to play 18 holes followed by cocktails in the clubhouse. Even after just one round of golf, our relationship was forever changed. That highly valuable 4 to 5 hours of time spent together without the usual interruptions from the workplace allows you to see someone’s true character. How do they handle a bad shot? Do they cheat on their scorecard? Are they considerate of others and watch for the other person’s ball? You can really learn a lot about someone from one round of golf.

So the move to Tampa the "Cigar City" also prompted another new discovery for me…..the hand-rolled cigar. A part of Tampa called Ybor City is rich with cigar history.

 



One weekend afternoon, I spotted a cigar shop on 7th Avenue in Ybor called Metropolitan Cigars and strolled in.

I tried my first cigar many years before that, a Swisher Sweet with the wooden tips, when I was living in Wisconsin. I was an avid smoker of these machine made cigars you can buy in a gas station. Heck, what did I know….I was still just a twenty-something kid. But I loved them and the taste. I found that smoking a cigar was like taking a mini vacation.

So while standing in the middle of Metropolitan Cigars, all I saw around me were hand-rolled cigars and there wasn’t a wooden tip on the end of any of them. I couldn’t figure out which end to light!

The gentleman who guided me into the world of fine hand-rolled cigars was Sonny Capitano. May he rest in peace.

Sonny owned this cigar shop in Ybor. And this was no ordinary cigar shop. The entire building was one big walk-in humidor. I was overwhelmed by rows and rows of cigars. Fuente, Cuesta Rey, Don Diego, CAO, JC Newman, Perdomo, Gurkha, Ashton, Padron, My Father, La Gloria, etc. It was like walking into an adult bookstore with so many choices. I didn’t know where to start!

So Sonny asked me a few questions about my cigar smoking. I told him I loved Swisher Sweets and he let out a shallow gasp. His frown turned into a smile as he sauntered down a row of cigars in the store. Then he handed me a Fuente Hemingway Classic.

He showed me how to cut it, toast the end, light it and puff and rotate. I took one puff and was blown away at the difference from my machine made sticks. I was hooked on the good stuff!

So now I’m in my twenties smoking fabulous cigars and honing my golfing skills. I went out on the links one day with my friends when one of the guys in my foursome brought cigars. Hmmm. I’d never smoked a cigar while golfing. I was usually concentrating on the game and my golf swing. Everyone lit up and so did I. I realized that cigar smoking on the golf course kept me calm and helped me concentrate on the mental part of my golf game. What a great combo!

Golfing and Smoking Cigars

From that point forward, I always make a point of bringing a variety of cigars with me to smoke on the golf course. Keeping in mind that I may be playing with golfers that have varying palettes.

Keeping the cigar lit and having a place to put the cigar while swinging were now important to me. Enjoying a cigar was a special part of my game…much like wearing a golf glove.

So I bought a reliable twin-flame torch lighter to light my cigars especially if the golfing conditions were windy. In addition, I have a handy cigar holder like the Callaway "Get-A-Grip" Clip to keep my cigar safe while I step away from the golf cart.

My two favorite types of sticks…….cigars and golf…..are a perfect match. If you are ever in the Tampa Bay area and would like to tee it up with me, please contact me through Cigar Chronicles. And remember to bring your sticks!

Angye FoxAngye Fox is a serial entrepreneur and has a passion for business. She created her first company when she was 19 years old and has started and sold over thirty different businesses throughout her lifetime. Angye hosts the radio talk show “Chix with Stix”, which is about Cigars and Golf, every Saturday on the Tan Talk Radio Network, in Tampa, Florida. She owns an ad agency, and obviously smokes cigars and plays golf. Earlier this year she competed in the Rocky Patel Foundation 2011 Golf & Gala Event and she has been to the Rocky Patel factory in Honduras. She also visited the Fuente Cigar Factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic in June 2011 and golfed the world-famous Playa Grande golf course in the DR during that trip. She is delighted to answer questions through CigarChronicles.com. Just comment below.

 

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