The Best of the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show

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The Best of the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show

January 28, 2017

OGIO Heritage Collection

While the brand is known for modern, high-tech offerings, company officials were looking to create a boutique, retro vibe with the line of premium waxed-canvas bags that are also built with modern trims and hardware. -- Ryan HerringtonCollection will be available June 1. The golf bag and travel case are $229 each. The overnight bag is $249. / ogio.com

Foresight Sports

The intriguingly successful confluence between golf and nightlife in the form of driving ranges and golf simulators keeps adding levels. The latest to add a next level of non-traditional, golf-inspired fun to the driving range experience Foresight Sports.The high-speed camera-based launch monitor company, which debuted its souped-up GCQuad device at the PGA Merchandise Show, also showed off a few new games to make hitting range balls a little like going to the casino or fighting off The Walking Dead.Using the company’s golf simulator software, a player can hit balls into a net or into a driving range and an overlay video has their shots attacking a squadron of zombies that get closer with each misfire. A second option is a roulette version of golf where a shot lands in a roulette wheel virtually located on the range and players can then place bets while the golf ball bounces around the wheel. We’re not sure either activity is a way to groove your swing for Sunday, but it’s a sure fire way to get non-golfers thinking the game is rooted in fun. And that can’t be a bad thing no matter how many bogeymen are chasing you. -- Mike Stachura

IOFIT golf smart shoes

A product of Samsung’s experimental C-Lab, IOFIT launched its golf smart shoe at this year’s PGA Show after its Kickstarter campaign raised over $100,000 in a month in August. With pressure sensors on the shoe linking to a smartphone app in real-time, the product ($220) displays where a golfer’s weight is distributed -- not just by foot, but from heel to toe, and exactly how much -- throughout the entire swing, and the results are stored within the app for easy viewing. You can integrate video into the app’s display by capturing the swing on your smartphone. Wearable technology is one of golf’s fastest-emerging areas, and IOFIT, which won a CES innovation award earlier in the month, takes that approach literally with its smart shoes line available in multiple styles (classic or casual) and colors. -- Stephen Hennessey$359-399 / iofitshoes.com

Hole More Putts

Whether you’re a wizard on the greens or a yip waiting to happen, everyone could use help with their putting. Like full-swing shots, having data from a launch monitor would help identify areas you can work on. That’s the thought behind Hole More Putts, which uses an HMP tablet to produce data on five critical elements of putting. After as few as five putts the tablet calculates and displays your putting index on face angle, putter speed, impact point, attack angle and face path thanks to an infrared motion sensor. When synched with the tablet, the Hole More Putts app and website will provide video instruction to help you in the areas you need most. The $459 retail price (holemoreputts.com) includes HMP tablet, iPhone app and personalized instruction in the member’s area. -- E. Michael Johnson

Virtual Green from Full Swing Golf

One of the shortcomings of golf simulators has always been the lack of realistic putting surfaces. That’s not the case with Virtual Green, which is more realistic and adaptive than others before it. Made by Full Swing Golf simulators, which has found its way into the homes of PGA Tour players like Jordan Spieth and Jason Day, the Virtual Green product allows golfers to choose the type of break and speed of a putt. Thousands of pinpoint undulations on the green replicate the putt the user selects —downhill, uphill, left-to-right, right-to-left, etc. — all that’s left to do is practice your stroke. -- SHstarts at $38,500 / virtualgreen.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 grip, 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. -- Keely LevinsThe grips will be available this spring for $11 / golfpride.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

Nikon CoolShot 80VR laser rangefinder

It’s lightweight, waterproof, fogproof and measures targets up to 1,000 yards away, similar to other top-level rangefinders from Bushnell, Leopold and other competitive brands. But the features that make Nikon’s top-of-the-line device intriguing are the vibration-reduction technology that counters a shaky hand to give a steady view and a quick measurement, and the Locke-On algorithm built in to help quickly acquire distance to intended targets rather than background visuals. -- RH$400 ($450 for the 80iVR which also provides slope-adjusted yardages) / nikonsportoptics.com

Dormie Workshop’s “Side Door” headcover

For several years, Dormie Workshop has designed some of the coolest styles in terms of high-end, handmade leather headcovers. Along with offering an array of options on its website, the company, owned and operated by two brothers based in Nova Scotia, has the flexibility to create anything you’d like. Dormie's soon-to-be-released headcover, called the “Side Door” ($100), fuses the company's timeless leather look with ease-of-use technology. A simple zipper that runs diagonally along the bottom of the headcover makes it incredibly easy for a golfer to remove it without hassle and without stretching it out over time. You don’t even have to unzip the headcover, just “tear away” the bottom portion of the cover and the zipper effortlessly comes apart. Available in Spring. -- Ashley Mayo

Águila Golf virtual reality trainer

With virtual-reality devices going more mainstream, it was only a matter of time for it to move into the golf space. Where Águila’s offering, available in March, is intriguing is the multiple ways it can help improve players’ games. What stood out for us is the ability to improve your course management by being presented various on-course situations and learning, based on your handicap level, the best percentage play. Then you can visualize how the shot is played, training your brain for when the headset comes off and you’re playing for real. -- RH$349 (app and headset) / aguilagolf.com

Oska pain relief

Over time, golf is not a sport that is kind to the body. Aches and pains in the knees, wrists, back and other areas are commonplace with few remedies other than medications. Enter Oska, a wearable pain-relief device designed to reduce muscle stiffness, inflammation, ease chronic pain and increase mobility. The device, which is just slightly larger than an iPhone and can easily fit in your pocket, uses pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) delivered through a unique method called sequential protocol programming -- four frequencies specifically related to muscle ease, bone repair, capillary dilation and pain reduction. By helping to release the body’s natural endorphins, Oska helps reduce pain, promoting increased range of motion. By dilating blood vessels, it reduces inflammation. The increased oxygen rich blood flow promotes muscle recovery. The Oska device ($399, oskawellness.com) has, according to the company, been used to help those in the Navy Seals and U.S. Special Forces. It runs in 30-minute increments and a single charge lasts approximately 10 hours. It also has a wide reach so a device in the back pocket will reach well up the bag and down the legs. When not playing you can place it near a specific spot causing you problems for greater effect. -- EMJ

Ikkos golf app

The problem with learning golf is that as much as you want your swing to look like Jason Day’s or Adam Scott’s or Lydia Ko’s, it still feels like yours. An app from a company called Ikkos is offering a virtual reality based learning platform that doesn’t require binding straps, handcuffs or other sado-masochistic torture devices. Just your smartphone.With the Ikkos app, which features instruction with more than a dozen different sports, if you want to learn how to chip or hit the driver better, you simply view videos through a smartphone strapped to virtual reality goggles (Ikkos sells their own for $42, but any system will work). According to Ikkos’ Sean Hutchinson, the repetitive slow motion instruction becomes ingrained as you view the video for as little as 10 minutes a day. The brain science behind it is well-developed and has to do with the ideas of “mirror neurons” and “synesthesia.”“The immersive quality of the glasses make you more focused, and what you’re seeing is externally firing the neurons in this ideal pattern, so that what you’re seeing feels like you’re doing it,” Hutchinson says. “What we often hear from students is the expression, ‘I can see what it feels like.’”The Ikkos app is free and selected instruction modules are free, including the first golf instruction videos about body turn for distance from Derek Uyeda, head of instruction at The Grand Golf Club in Del Mar, Calif. -- MS

ToughLie 360

Replicate 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 full shots. -- SH$2,250 PGA professional price, $2,700 for non-PGA pros / toughlie360.com

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