As I was wandering the seemingly endless aisles of the PGA Merchandise Show last week I stumbled upon a section of small homemade booths labeled “Inventors Row.”
This mixed collection of inventors, entrepreneurs, salesmen and dreamers stood proudly in front of the products they had spent countless hours dreaming up on golf courses, in their basements and cubicles.
After listening patiently to sales pitches and demonstrations, I compiled a list of the most interesting items I found so that you, too, can maybe get ahold of the next best thing in the golf industry.
THE ALIGNMENT BALL MARK
This simple device is going to lower my handicap at least 3 strokes this year, I just know it. Plus, I am sure it will keep my playing partners happy. If you’re like me and have trouble lining up the ball, walking back and forth checking your line, then this is the product you need.
You mark your ball by setting the two prongs in the ground. You can then swivel the top from behind with your putter to the proper line, giving you confidence you have the right aiming point. Then simply place your ball in line with your mark and sink the putt.
This small tool is everything you’ll need to keep your clubs clean, your grooves empty and your ball marks repaired. I know I am constantly fishing for a tee to clean my grooves (or have to pull a brush out of my bag) – no more.
Skinny Golf’s product will fit inside your pocket and provide you with everything you need to service your clubs out on the course. It has a built-in magnet, too, which I love for attaching to the club when walking to the green or for keeping a ball mark handy. The tool comes in two sizes and a variety of colors.
Dewy mornings and rainy conditions are a fact of life when you play golf, so Putter Stands came up with a clever way to help keep clubs dry when not being used around the green.
By attaching small discs to the top of your wedge and putter you can open up the top to create a holder that keeps them off the ground. The sturdy hinge will support the club and ensure it doesn’t pop open when you swing, and the putter top includes a magnetic ball mark so you’ll never have to wonder where it is again.
I think this is a such a clever product and something most golfers would find themselves using frequently. There are different shapes available based on your specific putter grip.
Usually drinking and rocking out go hand it hand. Well, VIBE has combined the two activities into their Cup. A screw-on portable Bluetooth speaker ensures that any sip you take is accompanied by some rocking tunes.
The speaker itself is powerful enough and sounds great. I found it easy to charge and connect and it fits perfectly in a golf cart cupholder. The cup is a nice, double-lined insulated container that I found kept my drink cool all afternoon on the course.
Vibe Cup even offers custom laser engraving if you’re looking for a cool prize for your golf event this year. I had a blast using it and like the fact that I can consolidate two items I usually keep in my bag into one.
The overall concept of POPTOP tees is the separation of the head of the tee when you strike the ball. The magnetic connection is supposed to allow for less resistance between the club and the tee and apparently makes the ball fly an extra 8 yards.
While I have not had enough time to prove this I think the idea could be sound. I did lose quite a number out on the course, though… While the base stayed nicely in the ground, the top flew about 10 yards in any direction. So be ready for a hunt.
But if you are looking for any way to get a couple more yards off the tee then they might be worth a shot. They come in a ton of fun colors and are reasonably priced. While you aren’t able to purchase POPTOPS just yet, watch for them in your local pro shop soon.
HIDRATE WATER BOTTLE
If you are like 99% of the population you probably don’t drink enough water during the day. I find myself especially lacking water intake when I play golf.
The Hidrate water bottle can be your own personal reminder / tracker to get your daily fluid intake. The bottle pairs with a phone app to monitor your consumption and alerts you with visual queues at the bottom of the bottle.
Setup / Use
After charging the base I found the setup easy to complete, and pairing with the app was simple. The app will ask you some information about yourself and your activity levels. It also pairs with the weather where you’re located to adjust your fluid intake accordingly. The bottle syncs with the app every couple minutes and I found it to be quite accurate. You can configure the reminders in the app which are both on your phone and via light queues on the bottle.
After using this for a few days I found myself much more habitual about drinking water, and whether on or off the course think it’s a good product to make sure you stay hydrated.
3-IN-1 GOLF TOWEL
The humble towel is often overlooked in the spectrum of golf equipment, but it is critical to keep your clubs and balls in tip-top shape. With that in mind, the 3-in-1 golf towel is the last towel you will ever need.
The concept is similar to that of an oven mitt. You can slide your hand into the towel, which is equipped with a scrub brush on one side and a polishing material on the other. I found the scrub brush to be quite useful during the round. After putting just a little water on it, my clubs were easily cleaned even after the messiest of shots. And the polishing side was perfect for getting off that last bit of water and ensuring I was completely ready to swing again.
This towel is the perfect size for keeping attached to a golf bag, is made of a really nice material and can be thrown in the wash when it gets dirty. It also comes with a built-in strap you can throw over your clubs to secure to your bag, and a carabiner to clip it.