Editors' Picks From The PGA Show
Our editors combed the showroom floor for the latest innovations in golf. These products stood out
January 23, 2014
Vibram Golf V-Classic Shoe
By the time you get over the unusual look of this five-toed shoe, you'll already be feeling the simple comfort that comes from the lightweight offering. The design is intended to promote better balance and stability, which can translate into a improved golf swing. Meanwhile, the health benefits of barefoot walking -- specifically the reduced soreness in your muscles and joints -- are hard to ignore.vibramfivefingers, $130; $190 (with leather upper)-- Ryan Herrington
Big Max Blade Pushcart
Trolleys have never been as fashionable in the U.S. as they are in Europe, but the Blade might help change that. Its sturdy, three-wheel design makes it impressively functional on the course. Its ultra-slim profile (5 inches deep when folded) makes it easy to store and transport off the course.BigMaxGolf, $299-- R.H.
FootJoy's StaCool glove
Sweaty hands can be a real deal-breaker. And frustrating. That's why FootJoy has designed the StaCool glove. It has a thin back that lets your hand breathe, and a nano-fiber, high-friction palm that grips better as your hand sweats. Simple genius. (Available on May 15.)FootJoy, $16-- Ashley Mayo
Sun Mountain's 2.5-pound bag
Sun Mountain is always innovating, and this year, they're debuting their lightest-ever golf bag. The Two 5, as its name suggests, weighs just 2.5 pounds. It's made with lightweight nylon fabrics, a minimal (yet still effective) strap system, and filament-wound fiberglass legs that are lighter than aluminum. The bag has four zippered pockets, a beverage pouch and a four-way, 9.5-inch top. (Available on July 1, in four colors.)SunMountain, $184-- A.M.
What started as a Kickstarter project has quickly morphed into one of the most talked-about products of the 2014 PGA Show. Due to hit the market in April, the four-wheel drive GolfBoard travels about as fast as a golf cart and allows golfers to control their direction with their feet -- like, you guessed it, a skateboard.GolfBoard, $3,500-- Luke Kerr-Dineen
What was born out of anger -- the inventor of the Golf Swing Shirt was so frustrated with his game that he jammed both his arms through one of his sleeves and started swinging -- is today an incredibly efficient aid to help golfers keep their arms and body connected throughout the swing. Laugh all you want at their new tiger print edition, but it works.golfswingshirt, $69.95-- L.K.
It's a growing movement: more golfers are jamming out to music while they play. But until now, there was never really a good way to do it. Cobra-Puma's Bluetooth "SoundChuck" features two magnetic, weather-proof speakers and a foam cord attaching them together, making it easy to wrap around your bag or a club while you play.pumasoundchuck, $130-- L.K.
SKLZ Glide Pad
The convenience of the SKLZ Glide Pad -- essentially a portable hitting mat -- is brilliant. At 10-by-19 inches and less than 10 pounds, it's easy to stow in a golf bag and travel with. The Glide Pad slides laterally after you hit the ball, which is designed to simulate taking a divot. You can stick a tee into it, too. If you're practicing in a net at home or out in a field, just plop the Glide Pad down and you have a practice mat that provides useful feedback.SKLZ, $99.99-- Stephen Hennessey
If a training aid is good enough to cure Charles Barkley's heinous swing, it's worth a look. The Memory Swing comes with a collapsible pole and a resistance cord with which you attach your club. It guides the user along a proper swing plane to develop muscle memory. It works -- after seven swings on the device, I took a swing with an unattached iron and subconsciously had the club in a proper position at the top and into impact. It might have cured me and Sir Charles.MemorySwing, $245-- S.H.
Full Swing Simulator's ION 2 Vision Technology ceiling camera
The Full Swing Simulator's ION 2 Vision Technology ceiling camera eliminates the most annoying part of simulator golf: the fact that you can only hit from one spot. It registers the ball within about a two foot diameter, so all you've got to do is drop the ball and hit -- the camera automatically adjusts to where you place the ball. The simulator is extremely cool, and a ton of fun -- but the cost is a tough obstacle to get past.fullswinggolf, $40,000-$65,000-- Keely Levins
The Cipher 3 Oakley Shoe
The Cipher 3 has a spikeless traction pattern on it, and Oakley has extended the pattern up onto the side of the shoe up around the big toe and pinky toe. While turning so far back in the takeaway that you're rolling onto your pinky toe isn't a good move for most, I really like the traction on the inside. That part of the foot makes a lot of contact with the ground, so I like that Oakley put some traction there.oakley, $140-- K.L.
This company makes two portable, lightweight battery packs with USB ports that charge just about any electronic device. The packs can be purchased or rented and come in two sizes: 6,000 milliamps (rent: $11/day; buy: $75) and 9,000 milliamps (rent: $14/day; buy: $100). The smaller of the packs will give an iPhone 5 at least 3 full charges before it needs recharge. Look for these guys at big events: tournaments, concerts, festivals and conventions.PlusBlue, $75-$100-- Brendan Mohler
Mission Athlete Care's Enduracool towels stay cool in even the most scorching climates. To activate, simply wet it, wring it out and pull on both ends in a quick snapping motion. The chemical-free towels will stay cool for at least two hours, and can be reactivated immediately with water, or even your sweat.missionathletecare, $15-$19-- B.M.