Cool stuff at the 2017 PGA Merchandise show

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Cool stuff at the 2017 PGA Merchandise show

January 25, 2017

Águila Golf virtual reality trainer

Virtual reality comes to golf instruction. Plug your phone into the headset, load the app and create a 360-degree experience using actual course images to test your on-course decision making, improve your course management and learn through visualization. -- Ryan Herrington$349 (app and headset) / aguilagolf.com

Callaway GOLFIT sport band

Wearable technology made with the golfer in mind as the band tracks standard fitness metrics -- steps taken, heart rate, calories burned -- while also working as a golf GPS device on the course with information for 30,000 courses preloaded. The device can track your score and save rounds, along with fitness data, to an app on your smartphone for later review. Bluetooth enabled, it can also alert you when you receive phone calls, texts and emails. -- RH$200 / callawaydmd.com

4D Motion

Motion-capture technology has become a huge asset to teaching professionals around the world. One company hopes its biomechanical, Bluetooth-enabled system is a more affordable option for instructors. 4D Motion uses a set of sensors (as many as 12 or as little as one) to transmit swing data to an app in real-time. Swing path, hip rotation, clubface angle, etc., are all trackable through the app, which allows the user to pinch and zoom on any graph of data to recognize the specifics of a golfers' motion. -- Stephen Hennessey$1,450 for six-sensor system, $2,450 for 12 / 4dmotionsports.com

Under Armour -- Champ spike

You’ve never seen a spike like this before. We’ve seen Under Armour’s Spieth One shoe, and the most surprising thing about it is on the bottom. Flip the shoe over, and you’ll see a type of spike that’s totally different. Four spikes on each shoe are a type of hybrid spike – one half of it is shaped like a disc, and the other half looks like a normal spike.Champ worked with Under Armour and Jordan Spieth to make this spike that works hard to keep you locked in place while you swing. If you look at Spieth’s swing, you’ll see that his feet roll a bit. Adding in the half moon disc to the outsides of the shoes adds more surface area and creates a more stable base, in attempt to keep the feet from moving and rolling over during weight shift. The other five spikes on each shoe are Champ’s Zarma Tour RST.Will this new spike configuration keep the most egregious foot rollers locked perfectly in place? No. But it’s cool to see a new and different look in this category. -- Keely Levins

Ernest Sports ES16 Tour launch monitor

First launch monitor to combine doppler radar (for measuring speed) and dual photometric cameras (for tracking motion) in one device. The monitor tracks 14 different ball data categories and seven club data categories, while doubling as a full golf-course simulator. -- RH$5,900 / ernestsports.com

ToughLie 360

Recreate any lie with this portable teaching aid. Just rotate the device around to simulate downhill and uphill lies, and when the ball is above or below your feet. The ToughLie 360 is designed to be used as a tool to help you practice your short game or regular shots. -- SH$2,250 PGA professional price, $2,700 for non-PGA pros / toughlie360.com

Nikon CoolShot 80VR laser rangefinder

New vibration-reduction features promise better accuracy by mitigating shaky hands. Locked-On technology help quickly acquire distance to intended targets rather than background visuals. -- RH$400 / nikonsportsoptics.com

ShotScope GPS/Shot-Tracking

Companies featuring shot-tracking and GPS technologies have seen the appetite for real-time stats and data storing for golfers. A new product is launching in the U.S., hoping to capitalize on that success, too. ShotScope is a Scottish-based system, featuring a wristband for performance-tracking that uses a sensor-tagging system ($220) just like Arccos and Game Golf. A PinCollect button on the wristband allows a golfer to select the location of the hole, to help further track putting stats with a button-activated system. -- SH$220 / shotscope.com

Frogger Latch-It system

The company is launching a line products available in March to help you secure and gain easy access to your gear during a round. A Catch-Latch fastening mount can attached to any golf bag or golf cart. Devices to hold your smart phone, rangefinder, towel or club brush then quickly and easily connect to the fastener. -- RH$18 (rangefinder); $23 (smartphone, shown) / froggergolf.com

Golf Shoe Grabber

It’s not high tech, but it’s practical. A simple clasp lets you tote your shoes with one easy handle, making it easier to grab and go to and from the course. The device can be latched to you golf bag, and also helps you air out wet shoes that need drying. -- RH$25 / golfshoegrabber.com

Links & Kings canvas golf bag

The company compliments its line of leather golf bags with a new canvas Sunday bag, with leather details for 2017. -- RH$395 / linksandkings.com

Golf Pride MCC Align and MCC Plus4 Align Grips

Golf Pride has released a reminder grip. No, it’s not like the one with all the grooves and contours that you used right when you started playing. It looks like a normal grips, but has a firm, raised ridge that runs vertically down the back of the grip. It’s a subtle point of reference, to help you make sure that you’re taking that same grip each time.The grips will be available this spring for $11 / golfpride.com

OGIO Heritage Collection

OGIO is bringing retro back with this assortment of golf bags and carry-on luggage. The three pieces in the collection -- a canvas travel cover, a single-strap bag and a carry-on suitcase -- each come in two colors and are made from premium-grade canvas with leather accents. Paying homage to the early days of golf has never been so easy (and fun!). -- Ashley MayoCollection will be available June 1. The golf bag and travel case are $229 each. The overnight bag is $249. / ogio.com

Major Series of Putting

Want to win $1 million in a putting competition? The Major Series of Putting has kicked off this year with qualifiers around the country, in addition to events here at the PGA Show. For those who qualify: You gain entry into the main event -- to take place at the MSOP Arena -- to be built adjacent to Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. Nicklaus Design has designed the 18-hole putting course (seen here) to be built and assembled for the Championships -- to take place Oct. 27-Nov. 5. -- SHmsop.com

Big Max Blade Quattro

Due to the fact I worked in a bag room at club for five years, push carts really speak to me. I’ve folded and unfolded more of those things than I’d like to think about. That’s why I paused over the Big Max Blade Quattro. There are only two hinges you have to unhook to fold it, and when it’s folded down, it’s extremely compact. Historically, we’ve seen many cumbersome push carts. This is the opposite. -- KLIt will be available in the US in late February, in four different colors, for $299. / bigmaxgolf.com

Longleaf Tee System

The Longleaf Tee System is here to make sure you play the right tees, because you’re probably not playing courses at an appropriate length right now. Most golfers should be playing up. To get over the cultural issue of tees having genders and ages assigned to tees, the Longleaf system assigns numbers to the tees. There are eight tees in this system. Courses participating have to set up eight markers on their range -- all numbered, correlating to the tee boxes on the course – the first one at 100 yards out, the rest put out at intervals of 25 yards. Players show up to the course and hit a few drives out on the range. Whichever number marker the player’s drives land next to the most is the number tee box they should play their round from. There’s no men’s, women’s, or senior’s tees. There are just tees associated to the golfer you are. -- KLlongleafgfc.com

FootJoy Dryjoy Tour LTS Jacket

FootJoy’s designer started taking apart different jackets, counting the number of panels of fabric that were used to make them. He found upwards of 25 panels in some jackets. The number of panels matters, because with each panel comes the need for more seams. Seams add weight, restrict motion, and make it easier for water to get in. So, Footjoy decided to make a jacket with a few panels as possible. The Footjoy Dryjoy Tour LTS Jacket has five panels. Mission accomplished. -- KL$285 / footjoy.com

Bespoke Golf Sideways head covers

Made from genuine leather with a performance, moisture-wicking liner, the new Sideways collection, like the company’s other head covers, is customizable with 20 different colors and 14 plaids to choose from. Individuals can upload logos that can also be included in the design, and choose where to display on the headcover. Available for drivers, fairway woods and hybrids.$66-$76 / bespokegolfusa.com

Jones Golf Bag Ranger shag bag/cooler

The company used the same bottom design from its original golf bag line and turned into a multi-purpose accessory. The nearly 8-inch bag has a nylon/vinyl outside with an insulated liner, allowing it to hold up to six dozen balls or six cold beverages. -- RH$45 / jonesgolfbags.com

Seamus Golf pitch mark tool/bottle opener

Extending from the company’s line of ball markers, each of these hand-forged nickel offerings is heated to 2,000 degrees, hand hammered, and finished by a second generation blacksmith. They can also be personalized for no added charge.$55 / seamusgolf.com

Oakley Fairway Golf Carry Bag

Oakley is back in the golf bag business. They’ve re-entered the golf bag market with one design in 2017, a mid-sized carry bag. The most unique part of this bag is the compartment where the ball pocket is. The outside zipper opens up to a golf ball pocket. The inside zipper opens up to a cooler. Any ice that melts will drain out of the drainage holes, keeping your bag safe from getting wet. The entire pocket can be zipped off to allow you to clean the cooler. And it has the added benefit of making it easy to ship that piece off and get that part of the bag monogrammed. -- KL$160 / Oakley.com

Boa Closure System

Shoelaces are so 2016. You’ve probably seen the Boa closure system on FootJoy shoes in the past, but now more companies are using similar technology in their shoes. This year at the PGA show Ecco and Adidas are showing shoes that use Boa, and Puma has a similar technology on some of their shoes as well. You spin the dial to tighten your shoes, and then pop it up to loosen. The point of the technology is to provide a more secure, exact fit. Though boa is just now starting to make a big presence in golf, this type of closure system has found success in other sports: Running, skiing, climbing, and cycling all have products with Boa. -- KLboatechnology.com

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