How To Choose The Right Cigar For Golfing
The above recommendations are far from definitive. Indeed, there are many other cigars that would be wonderful accompaniments during your golfing experience.
However, there is a surprising amount of considerations to bear in mind when choosing the right cigar to take with you on the golf course.
Complexity & Focus
First of all, it’s important to remember that you’re undertaking a sport that requires skill and concentration. If you add to it the social side as well as a cigar, it can become pretty distracting!
Therefore, think about the cigar’s characteristics and what effect that may have on you. A particularly complex cigar may end up being more of a hindrance as it could potentially distract you from your flow.
Similarly, if it’s a premium cigar, will you be able to grant it all the attention that it deserves? There are many affordable options that offer wonderful experiences. It might be a shame to miss out on its full potential because you keep setting it down or you’re thinking about the game.
For this reason, we have mostly suggested affordable cigars bar a couple of exceptions. While they’re all fantastic, it isn’t a catastrophe if you miss out on their nuances.
If you’re able to focus on both the cigar and your technique, that’s perfectly fine. Nevertheless, some people may struggle to multitask.
One of the most fundamental considerations to think about is the climate and its weather. There are golf courses all over the world with varying environments from foggy St Andrews to the deserts of Nevada.
Needless to say, the climate will have an effect on your cigars! Therefore, it’s important to choose wisely as it can affect your experience.
For instance, the dry desert can wreak havoc on tobacco. We’ve known some cigars to effectively disintegrate in our hands! Meanwhile, wet and humid climates can cause cigars to go out, which is frustrating, to say the least.
Hearty, full-bodied cigars with thick and oily ligero leaves tend to fare better in dry environments as they can resist the low humidity. Yet, dampness can cause them to go out or require a lot of work to stay lit.
Conversely, delicate cigars with thin and mild tobacco will quickly dry out when exposed to dry heat. As a result, they can have a very hot and bitter burn or simply fall apart. Nevertheless, they can endure wet weather far better than heavy cigars.
In mild, temperate climates, the above plays a much smaller role. That being said, keep it in mind if you play golf in extreme environments.
Indeed, the weather factors we detailed are closely related when considering the season. However, there are a few more things to bear in mind.
Firstly, think about the character of the cigar and its effects when you smoke it. A bold and full-bodied cigar may be too heavy in the searing heat. Yet a mild cigar would be quite refreshing. Meanwhile, a full-bodied cigar would bring welcome warmth if you’re out in the cold!
Frustratingly, this advice contradicts what we suggested as cigars most adapted to smoke in those situations. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping it in mind if you want to smoke something that brings the most enjoyment.
Similarly, each season has its own natural smells and sensations. Like pairing a cigar with cognac, it can heighten the overall experience. Are you playing during springtime? Perhaps consider a cigar blend that’s quite aromatic and floral.
Alternatively, if it’s the autumn or fall, a cigar with balanced woody flavours would be evocative of the season’s golden colours and falling leaves. Otherwise, a spicy cigar during winter brings out the comforting Hygge notions of mulled wine and a roaring fire.
Time Of Day
Although not entirely independent of either the season or climate, the time of day may play a role as well. Throughout the day, our olfactive receptors are bombarded by stimuli. As a result, the senses will dull and require stronger stuff in the evening to have the same effect as during the morning.
Conversely, a particularly full-bodied cigar may be overwhelming in the morning but thoroughly enjoyable as a digestif after dinner.
For this reason, we tend to opt for milder cigars in the morning and increase the intensity as it gets later. As a result, the cigars are better suited to the palate and far more enjoyable. You can check out the following guides to compare the cigars that we suggest for every time of day:
Be mindful of when you’re playing and choose accordingly. Needless to say, the climate and season may limit your choice. However, the weather changes throughout the day. Therefore, a mild cigar that would be unsmokable in sweltering dry heat in the afternoon may be perfectly fine first thing in the morning.
Ring Gauge & Vitola
Finally, think about the cigar’s format and how well adapted it is for the golf course. The first and most obvious factor is the cigar’s smoking time, which is linked to both the length and ring gauge.
Opt for a cigar that’s going to last long enough for the time you want. Needless to say, it doesn’t need to endure throughout the entire course but you don’t want to be left wanting either. Toros and Gordos will last a good few hours and will usually satisfy your needs.
Conversely, you may just want a short smoke so a Robusto would be enough. Alternatively, you could always bring several Robustos of different blends for a range of experiences throughout the game. You can learn more about their formats with our cigar vitola guide.
Golfing is an active sport despite what some people may say. As a result, you won’t be smoking at the same pace as if you were sitting in a lounge. You’ll likely take hard draws, which may be more regular.
As such, it’s best to avoid thin cigars with small ring gauges. These have a tendency to heat up when smoked too quickly, which results in bitter flavours and hot, unpleasant smoke. Consider wide cigars instead as they are more forgiving.
On a similar note, try to choose a sturdy and robust cigar that can take a little punishment. At the very least, you’ll be regularly setting down and picking up the cigar. You may also drop it or hold it in your mouth longer than usual.
Delicate cigars may easily get damaged and that would ruin your overall experience.
Cigar Tips When Playing Golf
If you take cigars with you on the golf course, here are a few tips to avoid some common pitfalls and unpleasant experiences.
Golf is very much a courtesy and etiquette-driven game. A golfer isn’t just judged by his skill but also as a gentleman. It thus stands to reason that you ask the people around you whether it’s okay to smoke.
Rarely will anyone say no but they will appreciate the gesture even if they’re not overly fond of the smell.
Similarly, bring enough cigars to share if you’re in a group. Hopefully, every else will be likeminded and will have thought of bringing their cigars. Likewise, remember to bring some if it’s expected rather than waiting for somebody to give you one.
If it has been organised beforehand that somebody will be bringing cigars, you should at the very least bring a lighter and cutter! However, you may want to bring a few cigars yourself so you can return the gesture.
Enough To Smoke
As mentioned above, we suggested choosing a vitola that’s large enough for the desired smoking time. Similarly, ensure that you bring enough cigars to smoke! It would be a shame for someone to be left out or even run out during the course.
Try to anticipate this issue by bringing slightly more cigars than needed. Hopefully, you’ll have some spare for next time! If you do, make sure that you have somewhere to store them until then.
Earlier, we talked about how cigars may take a beating while playing golf. Another natural element is the wind, the cigar smoker’s worst enemy!
Delicate cigars with thin tobacco can quickly experience burning issues in strong wind. However, no cigar is invulnerable to strong gusts.
You can try to curtail the issue by using your surroundings as a makeshift shelter. Yet, outside of a caddy, your options are somewhat limited on an open golf course!
Nevertheless, you can at least bring a suitable lighter that will work well in windy conditions, which we cover in more detail below.
Cigars Going Out
Whether in the wind or a perfectly still day, your cigar may go out from time to time. Unfortunately, it’s a simple reality if you’re neglecting it while taking your swing.
This issue is one of the reasons we refrain from recommending premium cigars as it’s a shame to relight them. Nevertheless, if you’re quick to relight it, it shouldn’t affect the quality too much.
Otherwise, opt for lighter blends that use thinner leaves like seco and volado. These tend to burn for longer when neglected whereas cigars that contain a high concentration of thick, oily leaves like ligero tend to go out. To understand what we mean by these terms, our guide to cigar anatomy will help.
Finally, consider tooling up with handy accessories for golf!
How Did We Rank These Cigars?
Every cigar featured in this guide has been formally tested at the very least or fully-reviewed on Bespoke Unit. Therefore, nothing in the list above hasn’t been sampled by us in a way that doesn’t analyse the cigar and its qualities.
When testing a cigar, we use the Bespoke Unit Cigar Formula, a quantifiable review matrix that we developed for ensuring that our reviews are balanced and standardised.
It has been incorporated into all of our reviews for over a year. Yet, we still revise it in order to ensure that it is properly optimised.
As a result, you can be confident that the cigars included in this guide have all been casually considered rather than listed at random.
Firstly, did we miss anything out? Feel free to let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, now that you’ve seen the best cigars for golf, why don’t you also check out our related guides below?