A Variety of New Gear

New Game

While some bemoan the lack of growth in the number of golfers, January’s annual PGA Merchandise Show proved there’s no shortage in the number of new products they can buy. By James A. Frank

Over the Moon
RocketBallz may be a funny name, but it accurately describes TaylorMade’s so-dubbed metalwoods and irons: They hit it long! The fully adjustable driver ($299) is aerodynamically shaped for speed; fairway woods and rescues ($229, $179) have low centers of gravity; and irons feature hollow-head construction and thin faces (from $699). taylormadegolf.com

Funky Flatstick
Leave it to Nike to push the boundaries of putter design: The Method Concept ($199) looks like the illegitimate offspring of a blade and a mallet. But there’s more than madness to this Method, its lightweight aluminum face attached to an asymmetrical stainless-steel back-weight proven to produce solid contact and true roll. nike.com

Swing, Data Data
If Apple made a golf product it would probably resemble Swingbyte ($149), an iPod-sized device that attaches to the clubshaft and wirelessly sends reams of minutiae on the motion—path, plane, and more—to a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Delve into the data yourself or have an online teacher analyze the abstracts to help you improve. swingbyte.com

Wood You?
Inspired by persimmon drivers of the past, the Cleveland Classic (from $299) is a retro rocket. Its pear-shaped head evokes the finest old wooden clubs, but the titanium face is the largest, deepest, and hottest in company history. Available in three different weights and shafts. clevelandgolf.com

Green in Regulation
Now your golfwear can be good even if your game isn’t. Shirts, pants, and sweaters from AUR may be available in a variety of styles and colors, but they’re all green at heart, made from recycled plastic bottles, coffee grounds, and bamboo. This fashion with a function is also anti-odor, moisture-wicking, and easy-care. aurgolf.com

Buddy System
Golf is supposed to be a quiet game, but players will want to hear what GolfBuddy GPS Voice ($199) has to say: Push a button and it speaks the yardage to the green—front, back, and middle. Preloaded with 35,000 courses, the Voice comes in eight languages, yards or meters, and clips to brim or belt. Say what? golfbuddyglobal.com

Get Your Tweak On
Callaway may be a little late to adjustability, but its RAZR Fit Driver ($399) was worth the wait. The multimaterial head—forged composite crown, titanium face—is streamlined to reduce drag; “OptiFit” technology allows setting the face angle and uses two interchangeable weights to promote a neutral or draw bias. Just dial and smile. callawaygolf.com

Shoeless Go
Sam Snead, who often practiced in his bare tootsies, would have loved Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. ($140), a locally designed, ultra-thin, lightweight, waterproof golf shoe that feels as if it’s no shoe at all. The “minimalist” design—feet spread wide and low to the ground, a unique five-spike pattern—encourages better technique and fewer injuries. barefootberbs.com


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