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Midnight Inspiration Leads Longtime Shinnecock Caddie To Create a New Must-Have Item for Golfers

via/ 27East

Intrusive thoughts have a knack for showing up at the worst times, typically in the dead of night, derailing the best-laid plans for getting a full night’s sleep.

But for Paris Hodges, a middle-of-the-night wakeup jolt two years ago has been paying off.

Hodges, who lives on Shinnecock Territory and has been a caddie at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club for more than 30 years, experienced a lightning bolt moment one night. It led to the creation of “Bogey for Stogies,” a magnetic cigar holder he has invented.

The two-piece holder allows golfers to safely and securely anchor a lit cigar, attaching the holder to either a golf cart, magnetically, or even directly into the ground, like an oversized golf tee, while they’re out on the course playing a round and also enjoying a cigar.

“It just came to me one night, and I thought about it and said, ‘That seems like a good idea,’” Hodges shared in an interview last week.

Three decades of experience as a caddie had taught him that where to place a lit cigar while taking a shot or putt was a persistent, if first-world-esque, problem that golfers faced out on the course.

When the idea came to Hodges, he grabbed a pad and pen that was sitting on his nightstand and wrote it down, before going back to sleep. The following day, he went to visit his mother, Jackie Randall, an artist, and explained the concept to her so she could sketch it out.

The “Bogey for Stogies” cigar holder is now available for purchase in the pro shops at several top private golf clubs both locally and nationally, including Shinnecock Hills and nearby Sebonack Golf Club, Noyac Golf Club in Sag Harbor, Southward Ho Country Club in Bay Shore, and Landmand Golf Club in Homer, Nebraska.

The owner of Landmand put in an order for 1,000 of the holders after using one of them while he was playing a round at Shinnecock Hills in August, which was the first big order for Hodges’s product.

Since then, it has been featured on Dave Marr’s PGA of America radio show on SiriusXM, giving it more nationwide attention.

The success that Hodges is seeing now with his invention didn’t come easily or overnight. The two years that elapsed between the late-night inspiration strike and now were filled with a few ups and downs, and the kind of trial-and-error journey one might expect for a first-time entrepreneur.

Sketches that were sent out to 3D printing companies didn’t result in what Hodges was looking for at first. But he persisted and eventually was rewarded for that persistence.

“I had never done anything like this before, so it was tough, and I’m not really computer savvy,” he said with a laugh. “It was a little overwhelming at first.”

Because the holder needed to be heat resistant enough to safely contain a lit cigar, finding the right raw material took a bit of time. The holder is not only capable of attaching to a golf cart or being put in the grass, but it can also hold either one or two cigars.

When speaking about dealing with the ups and downs of getting it right and why he didn’t abandon the effort, Hodges said, “I just decided to go all the way through with it.

“I thought it was a good idea,” he continued. “And I was going to try to make it happen.”

Hodges was getting ready last week for a trip out west to attend the Club Management Association of America Expo running March 4 to 8 in Las Vegas, where he will have his product on display for perusal by a large gathering of golf club managers, who decide what products they want to carry in their pro shops.

He’s hoping the event will help bring more attention and sales opportunities for his product.

He also elaborated on another factor that has motivated him to invest the time and energy into making his creation as successful as possible: the recent birth of his first grandchild, Payton Lee Chester, who turned a year old last month, and his desire to spend as much time on grandfather duty as possible.

“I think that really propelled me to actually go all the way through with this,” he said. “Ideally, I’d like to make enough money so that I can be around.”

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