I feel it’s necessary to warn everyone who is reading this article. There’s been some very negative feedback from customers of Appalachian Leather Works. As much as I stand by their products I’m afraid their business tactics of late have become troublesome.
I’ve reached out to them several times. Attempting to resolve some of the issues the commenters on the post have left, but I’ve heard nothing back. It pains me to say this, but I feel it’s only fair to let everyone know that they will probably have to look elsewhere for a product rather than purchase from Appalachian Leather Works.
Appalachian Leather Works is a work of art you can hold in your hand
As my golf education has grown since starting this blog, I find it amazing how much I used to think what was acceptable or “OK” in the realm of the golfing world. I seriously thought there was nothing wrong with trotting out there wearing some hole-filled, off brown cargos and swinging with baseball batting gloves on both hands. Yup, I was Matty Two Gloves long before Tommy Gainey was ever considered to be a PGA Tour caliber player.
Don’t misinterpret my words, though; I honestly could care less what anyone wears while playing and I believe the majority of courses are a bit full of themselves when it comes to the dress codes . . . But I get it.
My moment of clarity came when I started reviewing products for Three Guys Golf a few years ago and firsthand got to experience the luxury side of golf by wearing “Real Golf Clothes” (as I like to call them).
Being brought on as a contributing writer at Three Guys has been a huge eye-opening experience. Reviewing apparel and gear has changed my entire perspective about golf and greatly enhanced my respect for this game, but most of all it has helped with my education and growth as a golfer, something I was never expecting.
Without even considering my swing (that could be 10,000 words three times a week), but instead thinking about all the other aspect that are involved in the game I look back and realize “damn,” I’ve come a long way since my days of hacking up ole Desert Rose.
With my new education and continuing evolution as a golfer, I’ve come across products and gear that, had you asked me ten years ago, I would have laughed at and wondered “Why in the hell would you need that?”
Items like a simple divot tool. I know, I know, gasp in amazement as you rightfully should. Never in a million years would I have thought about carrying in my pocket a divot tool. Same with a ball marker. You could use a tee for both purposes. The list goes on. A towel for my bag, a laser range finder, a brush to clean my clubs, etc., etc., etc.
It wasn’t until I first walked a course for “real” earlier this year at Streamsong that I even took into consideration a Yardage book or Scorecard holder. I mean that’s what the steering wheel in the cart is for, am I right?
Watching everyone else whip out their covers that day and quickly log in their scores while I fumbled to write down my numbers on the fat of my leg as I bent over was all it took for me to want one of my own.
Watching the PGA Tour on any given weekend you’ll see all the players with their Yardage Book covers, but seriously, I never fully understood what the deal was with them. I always looked at it as a “Pro” thing, why would I ever need one.
If there was anything, I learned from the round at Streamsong it was this: If you’re ever going to walk a golf course, then having a well-made and functional cover to keep your yardage book and or scorecard safe from the elements and easily accessible is a must.
Lucky for me, the very next day after Streamsong, I had the great pleasure of playing a round with Chris Ashley, the owner of Appalachian Leather Works.
The time we spent on the course was a perfect way to get to know him a little better and find out about his amazing company. I was delighted when Chris contacted me earlier this year and asked if I’d like to review one of his covers. With a resounding “YES” I let him know it would be an honor to do the review for him and I anxiously waited for my new cover to arrive!
100% Hand Made right here in the United States, Appalachian Leather Works offers a wide variety of premium leathers and exotic skins combined with your color of thread choice to give you a very customizable and unique cover that you won’t find anywhere else.
The detail on the cover I received is outstanding, and it was easy to see why Adam from Three Guys and fellow writer on this site, Andrew, spoke very highly of them. Andrew has three to date and I’m sure he’s on the hook for a few more later down the road.
I was thrilled when I opened up the package and saw the cover for the first time. I was even more elated when I turned it over and saw that Chris had added in a little extra something to make this cover even more personal to me by embossing ‘THE BREAKFAST BALL’ on the front. How awesome is that!
What I noticed right away was how thick and durable the cover was. You will never mistake the Appalachian covers for one of those cheap, floppy, overpriced imitation leather covers with the course logo embossed on the front. I found that out the hard way with my silly purchase while in the Streamsong pro shop.
Chris and his family go to great lengths to make sure that each and every one of his covers is built with quality, precision, and some good old fashion elbow grease. They’re more than just a cover. Some might even be inclined to call them works of art.
There isn’t a scorecard that his covers will not hold. As much as I wish there were a standard in the golf industry when it comes to how large you can print them, courses are going to do what they want to make their scorecards stand out. Even if that means making an obnoxiously oversized 3-page monstrosity (I’m talking to you Ironhorse Golf Club in South Florida) of a scorecard.
Yes, there will be cases like that now and then where the scorecards will not fit, but for the most part, I’d say 99% of the 150+ scorecards I have in my archives fit with perfection and believe me I checked!
I’m not much for flair or dramatics, so I went with a simple choice of black leather with red stitching, in keeping with the Breakfast Ball color theme of course. That and I like black; it just looks elegant to me.
On the inside of the cover, you’ll see a spot to hold a pencil and also the upper and lower straps to help keep your books or scorecards in place. Also inside you’ll find the Appalachian Leather Works logo alongside the “MADE IN USA” one.
For their stitching process, Chris uses the Saddle-Stich technique. Thanks to Google and YouTube I was able to do some research and find out why this method is used. After watching some videos on how the saddle stitch is done, it is a no brainer why this method is perfect for making long-lasting products.
The stitches are so robust and secure I doubt any one of them will ever come out. But, in the event, one does come loose, because of the saddle stitching you’re not going to have the thread unravel and lose your seam.
I’ve been using the cover for a while now, and honestly, I have no idea how I was getting along without one. It stays right in my back pocket during my rounds. If by chance I’m away from the cart and need to obtain a distance, normally I would walk back to the cart and retrieve for my laser. Now, I can just reach into my pocket, open up the cover to the yardage book and get an idea of where I’m at on the hole.
It’s already happened a few times and saved me from making some costly mistakes.
Another benefit I’m starting to notice is how I’ve been able to distance myself from the golf cart. Out here in Vegas, we don’t get to walk much. The courses are pretty extreme to walk, and I’m sure course management isn’t too excited about people strutting through the desert on an 115° day.
To detach myself from the cart I’ve been letting other people drive (I used to be that guy that “had” to drive) and then I do my best to get out of the cart and walk the last 120-100 yards of the hole. It’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of being confined to a cart for 18 holes.
A lot of the reasoning behind that ideology stemmed from the walking that round at Streamsong if you remember my post about that. Having all my information with me inside the cover has freed me from the constraints of a cart. I no longer have to wait to get back to the cart to log in my score. After I putt out, I grab my cover, write down my stats I track for the hole and move on. It’s sped up my game a tad.
So if you have thought about making an investment in a high quality, durable, unique custom handmade yardage book, scorecard, or cash cover then be sure to check out their website for all the items they offer.
The Custom “Executive” Leather Yardage Book Cover you see here starts at $95.00 and can be customized with three initials at no extra charge.
They also offer several other variations, and with the leather and exotic skin choices, your custom order possibilities are endless. Since these are handmade, there is a process for making such a high-quality cover does take time so figure approximately three weeks for delivery.
I was told by Andrew “You will not be disappointed. Believe me; it’s worth the wait,” and he was so right. I can say without any doubt the same thing to anyone who purchases an Appalachian Leather Works cover; you will NOT be disappointed.