The golf industry is no different than any other industry in that there is no shortage of copy-cats, corner cutters and imitators out there. Every major golf equipment manufacturer has had their products cloned, and anyone with a good idea better cash in fast because you can bet someone out there will try to copy it at some point. I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of new products introduced over the years with varying levels of success. Some are upgrades of existing products or ideas, and others are totally new concepts. Here are eight cool products that I have come across lately that deserve your attention!
The Drink Caddy (seen above) is part novelty item, part useful gadget. Many golfers like to have a drink or three when they play golf. This wouldn’t be much of an issue, other than the policy many courses have that don’t allow outside food or beverages on the course. They want to sell you their $3 Gatorades and $5 beers. Instead of stuffing beer cans in your bag, the Drink Caddy helps by disguising a drink dispenser as just another club in your bag. There is a pretty large 52oz (1.5 liters) reservoir that hides away in your bag, attached to the dispenser that pumps the liquid of your choice on demand. It works great and is easy to clean and use. You can’t use it with carbonated drinks, but other than that it is a great option for those hit-and-giggle scramble events to carry rum, vodka, wine or boring old water. You decide!
My new favorite apparel accessory is Nexbelt belts. Just like the tagline says, they have no holes. Instead, Nexbelt has designed a belt that uses a kind of ratchet system to size the belt. This system helps in a couple of ways. First, it allows a more precise fit than the old fashioned holes, and can be easily adjusted without drawing attention to your crotch. The other bonus of this design is that it allows them to make one belt for everyone up to 50″. You buy the belt, size yourself and then cut the extra length off yourself. They have dozens of styles and colors for men and women, work, casual and golf. Give them a look and access the online shop here.
This is as simple as you can get for a golf accessory. Have a bad back? Hurts to bend down and pick up your clubs around the green? Just install the MagneCaddy on the end of your putter and pick up those wedges with ease. The device screws into the little hole on the butt end of your grips and uses a powerful magnet to pick up anything metallic. When I say powerful, I mean it. I picked up a sand wedge with it and shook it in the air, but the MagneCaddy held it strong. The only problem with a magnet this strong is that it will cling to anything made of metal, including your car, the golf cart, other clubs in the bag, etc.
“Dammit, that golf ball flies too straight!” Ever hear anyone say that on the golf course? Yeah, me neither. The average golfer still hits the ball all over the place, despite all the wonderful technology in those $400 drivers that promise we won’t. Polara Golf is the only company that can back up those claims. They make a golf ball that flies so straight it’s illegal. The Polara golf ball has dimples of different sizes and depth arranged in a specific way as to self-correct in flight. As a result, when properly aligned to the target these golf balls fly on a flatter, knuckleball-like trajectory and they go very, very straight. The shallow dimples around the center of the ball are what help them fly straight, but they also reduce lift, meaning they will fly lower and carry less than regular golf balls. However, the lower spin also means they will roll more after landing. Overall I noticed a small difference in distance over a normal golf ball. Use a high lofted driver to counteract the lower ball flight and spin and these balls are awesome. They even make their own (illegal) driver to use with them that helps even more. Obviously you can’t use them in any USGA sanctioned events, but for the casual golfer they can certainly help make the game more fun!
Bob Renegar has been around for a while, but you may never have heard of him. He first designed his unique wedges under a different name, but he’s now selling his scoring clubs under the Renegar Golf brand. The Renegar wedge has a sole grind that is unlike any other on the market. According to Renegar, it allows the golfer to produce virtually any kind of shot around the greens, from any lie. The grind allowed them to lower the leading edge of the club without losing bounce. This permits the club to perform well from a variety of lies and circumstances around the green. This versatility is key for a good short game. I’ve used a similar sole grind for years, even if it isn’t exactly like his. In early testing, Renegar wedges are a joy to chip with and can handle closely mown collars, deep bermuda rough and sand with ease. Look for a complete play test and review of these cool wedges soon!
I have become attached to my rangefinder in much the same way that many people are to their smartphones. I’m so dependent on it that I can remember the exact date and course that I last played without one. Over the years they have greatly improved on the technology that was originally borrowed from range finders designed for hunting. Now, most models from all the major brands have some sort of flag-lock feature to be sure you are hitting the flag, not the trees behind the green when shooting a yardage. The Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt is one of the best. Not only does Bushnell’s Pinseeker technology work well, but the unit also vibrates when lock is established so you can be sure. The Z6 Jolt is also light and the display is very bright, so you can use it in all conditions. A review on this one is also coming soon!
Socks are socks, right? Except when they aren’t. Swiftwick makes compression socks for all sports including golf. No matter what sport you play, you want your feet to be comfy. Swiftwick socks fit like new every time you put them on, and provide support and moisture wicking for your feet. Not only that, but they look cool, come in many different sizes, colors and styles and they are made in the USA. What more do you need? Try them out!
From the “Why didn’t I think of that” department comes the simple but very handy Personal Golf Tote from Cynwark. We’ve all had to share a golf cart with a basket hog at one time or another. You know the type – they throw all their stuff in the basket behind the seats, leaving you no room to toss your empty beer cans and head covers. The nerve of some people. So you do what we all do, throw your stuff in the front storage compartments and end up leaving your sunglasses and keys behind. Well, now you don’t have to fight over the basket or forget stuff in the cart. Simply hang the Personal Golf Tote over the side of the cart from the seat handle and put your keys, wallet, snacks, golf balls, tees, your range finder, sunscreen and whatever else in it for safe keeping. At first I was afraid of the guys making fun of it, but they all thought it was a neat idea, and the ladies absolutely love it. Simple but thoughtful. It’s the perfect golf gadget!