There's never a better time to share some cigars than on the golf course with a few of your friends. Check out this selection of mild flavored, easy-on-the-wallet cigars that are perfect for lasting nine holes with the guys, whether they're cigar novices or aficionados.
By Luke Steele of The Aspiring Gentleman
If you're new to the world of cigars you can find a great introduction in our previous post, En Fuego: A Beginner's Guide to Cigars.
I made a costly mistake this past summer. I packed my travel humidor on a Friday evening to attend a party, but ended up forgetting it at home. The next day as I dashed out the door on my way to the golf course, I threw it into my bag knowing it had a couple decent cigars inside. After teeing up on the 2nd hole, I pulled out the humidor to grab a nice relaxing cigar; I immediately spotted a nice J. Fuego Gran Reserva Corojo #1, whose size would afford me a solid 9 holes of smoking pleasure. I pulled it out, and immediately the gaze of the other 3 guys in my foursome fell on me. Just like that, my generosity emptied the humidor, and the four of us were lighting up. It all sounds good and well, except the other 3 cigars were each $15+ and generally small and strong – not ideal for the occasional smoker nor the golf course.
I have now changed my philosophy towards cigars on the golf course. I love the chance to share a cigar, but the above encounter only drained my wallet and turned three guys off of cigars for good. As a result, I now have some cigars which are my go-to’s on the golf course: cheap enough to give away, good enough to enjoy, easy enough to smoke for the first-timer, and large enough to last. Here is what I look for in a golf course cigar, and some of my favorites.
Firstly, a golf course cigar needs to be one you are happy to give away to a variety of people, both cigar connoisseurs as well as first time smokers. As such, the cigars should be inexpensive. To me this means under $5, a price point where there are plenty of garbage cigars, but also some good ones – if you know what to look for. Also, the cigar needs to be an easy smoke. I’ve smoked cigars that give a massive nicotine buzz even after a large dinner or have overpowering flavors; any such cigar should be avoided. Conversely, you want something with some good flavor that your golf buddies will actually enjoy.
Secondly, the cigar needs to be suitable for the golf course. With rounds lasting upwards of four hours, it’s nice to have something that you’ll enjoy for a few holes. Also, while you’re putting it’s nice to have a cigar that will sit comfortably in your mouth, so make sure to get something with decent ring gauge.
Here are a few of my picks that fit the bill:
Gran Habano Corojo No. 5 Pyramid
Pull one of these out, and you’ll instantly be the envy of your peers. Coming in at 6 1/8” long and a 52 ring gauge (diameter measured in 64ths of an inch), the beauty of this cigar is its shape, which tapers to a point at the cap. Allowing for easy cutting, this cigar also stands out from the usual tube-shaped cigars. While some consider this a strong cigar, my experience has always been that they are much milder than advertised. On top of that, you can usually find this cigar under $4, making it the cheapest cigar on the list.
El Rey del Mundo Robusto Larga
Not to be confused with its Cuban sibling, this El Rey del Mundo is Honduran; the Robusto Larga comes in at 6” long and 54 ring gauge. Dominant flavors include dark coffee and cocoa, and this cigar will produce billows of smoke. With pepperiness in abundance, it is probably the strongest on this list, but still medium by most standards.
The first Churchill on the list, this cigar measures 6 7/8” long with a 46 ring gauge. Longer and thinner than the previous cigars, the Churchill vitola is fantastic for the golf course. Heck, if Winston Churchill managed to smoke 10 of these end to end in a day, surely you and your fellow golfers will enjoy one. Similar in strength to the El Rey del Mundo, this cigar has plenty of wood, coffee and nuts on the palate.
Carlos Toraño Signature Collection Churchill
This cigar, coming in at 7” long and 48 ring gauge, should last 9 holes with ease. After smoking the perfecto size in this range, I immediately bought a 5 pack of these, and with sweet chocolaty flavors and a firm white ash, I haven’t been let down since. It can be tough to find one under $5, but try some internet browsing and you’ll be on your way.
Gurkha Doble Maduro
This is the dark horse of the list, literally. With a dark maduro wrapper, this cigar has a strong enough wrapper to leave your lips tingling, but a mild enough filler not to leave you spinning. At 6” long and a 52 ring gauge, this cigar sits in the middle of the pack size wise, and will add some variety to your selections on the course.
While summer may seem miles away, most cigar smokers agree that at least 6 months of aging significantly improves a cigar, so don’t hesitate to get shopping!