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Tee-Zel Golf Snacks

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Feb. 2, 2003 -- What could be a better snack for golfers than a tasty treat in the shape of a golf tee?

That was the brainstorm of Michael Smoak, a golfer whose idea came to him while munching on a post-round bag of pretzels.

Smoak contacted some businessmen friends - also golfers - with his idea for creating a snack for golfers: A pretzel in the shape of a tee.

And so the idea - and eventually the company - of Tee-Zel was created.

Tee-Zel, headquartered in Beaufort, S.C., was officially incorporated in 2001 and produces what it calls "America's Original Golf Snacks." The name Tee-Zel is given to its tee-shaped pretzel product, while the tee-shaped cheese crackers go by "Cheez-Teez."

The Cheez-Teez were officially introduced at the 2003 PGA Show.

Individual bags of the products can be purchased at many pro shops or ordered online. Also available online are bulk orders and golf ball-shaped serving bowls.

All pretty nifty stuff. But no matter how nifty the idea is, no food product is going to sell unless it tastes good.

After munching through several bags of both varieties - and reluctantly allowing a handful of friends to try them as well - I'm ready to declare both the prezels and the cheese crackers absolutely tee-rific.

The Tee-Zels are an excellent pretzel, but my personal preference is for the scrumptious Cheez-Teez. In fact, I went through several bags of Cheez-Teez faster than I go through real golf tees.

And if you're wondering, no, you can't actually tee up a golf ball on a Tee-Zel product. Unless you use several of them to create a solid stand. But why would you want to when the things are so delicious?

• Nutritional info: Tee-Zels are 110 calories per serving (two servings per bag) with 1 gram of fat, 22 grams of carbs and 450 mg of sodium. Cheez-Teez are 200 calories per serving with 9 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbs and 360 mg of sodium.

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