The Local Knowlege

Style

Paul Stankowski (and his belt company) can help you with your waist management

By Marty Hackel

If there's a fashion constant for me, it's that a stylish belt is critical to completing a great outfit. A lux accessory around your waist sophisticates your look without sacrificing personal style.

It's something Paul Stankowski knew when he played the PGA Tour and has adopted in launching Francis Edward. The exotic leather-goods company Stankowski (middle name: Francis) and business partner Mike Vicary (middle name: Edward) created in 2013 uses materials such as calf, lizard, bison and alligator skins to produce men's and women's belts, cash covers and, coming soon, yardage-book covers.
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Superior quality and craftsmanship is why the products are available only via specialty orders (prices start at $159) and in select high-end golf shops.

Francis Edward is a reminder that veteran golfers ("I'm not retired," says Stankowski, 44, "just on pause.") don't stop playing. They just start new businesses.

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Style

Beer drinkers who love golf will LOVE Nike's new golf belt

By Alex Myers

On Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert listed "free beer" as one of his suggestions for growing golf. We're pretty sure Mr. Colbert would be a fan of Nike's new belt then.

Related: Golf Digest's 2014 shoe guide

As you can see from the picture posted to Twitter by @PGApro1, the new belt has a built-in bottle opener:

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The belt also appears to be reversible. Is there anything it can't do?!

(h/t @pgapro1 and @darrenrovell)

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Gear & Equipment

Kaenon offers its own form of eye candy for 2014

By Stephen Hennessey

All golfers should pay more attention to protecting their eyes on the course. Polarized lenses help reduce glare created from water in hazards or sand in bunkers. One brand to consider this season is Kaenon, which has three new models for 2014.

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The Shilo (above), Ozlo (below) and Pintail (bottom) are built with the company's SR-91 lenses, which include a polarizing film that helps eliminate distortions.

Blog-Kaenon-2Ozlo.jpgThe lenses also include an anti-scratch hard coating. A 2006 study by the University of Utah found that more than half of the 52 club pros tested had eye disease from ultraviolet radiation.

Blog-Kaenon-Pintail.jpgEye protection from the sun should be as important as skin care for golfers. Kaenon's glasses (starting at $209) are worn by the PGA Tour's Kevin Stadler, Pat Perez, Carl Pettersson and Brian Gay and the LPGA Tour's Belen Mozo and Sophie Gustafson. For more information: kaenon.com.


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Gear & Equipment

A potential pain reliever for golfers with ailing backs

By Stephen Hennessey

Seeing Tiger Woods grimace the past few weeks on the PGA Tour is a reminder of how difficult it is to play golf with an ailing back. Serola Biomechanics, a company that has worked with chiropractors and pregnant women, thinks it can help everyday golfers cope with their discomfort.

The Sacroiliac Belt seeks to give support and improve the function of the sacroiliac joint (where the sacrum meets the pelvis), a common source of lower back pain. The belt ($41) was invented 23 years ago, but the company is only now targeting golfers.

NewStuff-Serola-belt.jpgHaving worn it since January to address my nagging back pain, I've felt a difference. It can be worn over or under your clothing but should be placed low around the hips, as opposed to over your waist. For more information, go to serola.net.

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Gear & Equipment

A product that's good to the last drop

By Keely Levins

There is no denying the importance of staying hydrated on the golf course. With its new filtration water bottle (officially dubbed NSF/ANSI 53), Genuine Thermos is going for simplicity in design.
 

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The 20-ounce, BPA-free water bottle ($25, available at Target) comes in four shades--clear, blue, pink and smoke--and has a locking push-button top that allows for one-handed operation. The filter is designed to reduce contaminants such as chloramine, atrazine and aesthetic chlorine. That way you no longer have to be concerned when filling up at a faucet or water cooler you come across at the course.

After filling the bottle up to 128 times, you should change the filter with
replacements sold separately; a two-pack costs $13.

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Style

Game improvement: A cold-weather golf hat you'd gladly mess up your hair to wear

By Alex Holmes

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.


It's early March, but in much of the country you're likely still wearing a winter hat on your frosty morning commutes. Perhaps you already own some cold weather golf gear that's doubling as winter work wear. However, if your links accessories don't look as appropriate on the train as they do on the tee box, we'd like to suggest a substitute.

Game-improvement-Tom-Morris-beanie-Navy.jpgTom Morris Prestwick Knitted Lambswool Hat -- $75,   Trendygolf.com

Pick up a solid, simple beanie in a basic color (offered in red, navy and white) and stuff it in your bag when you wait out early spring frost-delayed rounds. But before you do, put it in your back pocket before heading to work or going out for drinks with friends.
 

** Pssst -- Technically, on the retail calendar, we're well into the Spring season, so you'll find tons of winter weather gear on sale all over the web. Take a few minutes and consider stocking up on some staples.

You didn't hear it from us . . .

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Style

SkyCaddie Linx watch isn't your ordinary sundial

By Ryan Herrington

The upside with SkyCaddie watches has always been they are more than distance-measuring devices. They also feature fitness functions like a stopwatch, pedometer and calorie counter. The downside, though, was that to take full advantage of its course-mapping features, you had to pay an annual fee.


STIX0226.01.01.linx.jpgWith the SkyCaddie LINX ($250, available in March), there are no charges for access to basic distances on more than 34,000 courses (yardages to the front, center and back of greens via its GPS technology). Users can upgrade their LINX ($50 for a year) to track stats and view green shapes and distances to up to 40 additional hazards/carries per hole.


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The LINX comes in seven colors and is Bluetooth-enabled to sync with a complementary app for iPhone and Android.
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Gear & Equipment

Laser Link has new consumers in its sites with XL1000

By Ryan Herrington

New-product launches often involve companies touting how they bucked "traditional" designs to entice new consumers. The opposite is the case with Laser Link's XL1000.

Offering a range finder that golfers hold up to their eye to use a magnified viewfinder is hardly unusual. But, according to company VP Dan Steiner, the new model supplements the company's brand of pistol-shape devices and appeals to a broader audience. "It's a departure for us, but it adds a new dimension to our line," Steiner says.

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The XL1000 ($300, available the first week of March) uses Laser Link's distance-measuring technology to let golfers get yardages for more than just the flagstick. It's waterproof, weighs less than eight ounces and complies with USGA/R&A guidelines for tournaments that allow use of range finders, which now includes both governing bodies' amateur events.
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Style

Game improvement: Warning George Costanza, you might not want to read this post

By Alex Holmes

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.

If you're workin' with a wallet that's grown to George Costanza-esque proportions it's time to upgrade your billfold.

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Like most of us amateurs your golf swing is probably putting enough stress on your back and you don't need to compound the issue by sitting on a stack of dated receipts and infrequently used lunch loyalty cards. Strip down to the bare essentials and pick up a fresh card carrier that won't break your bank.

Tumi Textured Card Cases ($55) -- Available at tumi.com

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Gear & Equipment

Ping's new Sensor Cool gloves get boost with Bubba's Northern Trust triumph

By E. Michael Johnson

Bubba_PING_Glove (275).jpgNormally a tour pro switching gloves isn't a big deal. But when it's Bubba Watson -- a player known for being finicky about how things feel -- it's noteworthy.

Watson started wearing Ping's Sensor Sport, one of three in the company's new Sensor Cool line, last month at the Farmers Insurance Open. He had it on during his win at last week's Northern Trust Open.

The Sport ($20) and Sensor Tour ($24) are made of cabretta leather and have a material in the wristband to help wick moisture and keep hands drier. The Sensor Tech glove ($14) also uses the material but is made from synthetic leather for improved durability and performance in varying weather conditions.

Watson's glove deal calls for Ping to make an annual donation to the Bubba Watson Foundation based on the number of gloves sold.

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