Although it isn’t a trade show like the annual PGA soiree, the Michigan Golf Show nonetheless had a couple of interesting products:
LeanTwo is a portable golf stand for the practice range. It’s be useful if you don’t have a stand bag, or if the range doesn’t have more permanent fixtures.
R&B Putters offers a putter with a rounded face that has the same radius as a golf ball. The idea is that this will get the ball rolling immediately.
U9 Golf has an apparel line with a logo that’s only supposed to be worn by single digit handicappers. The logo is ok, but I’m not sure about the overall idea. I suppose if you’re a single digit you’ll want to brag about it.
Coolheads is a combination headcover/cooler. Seriously. It’s designed to hang from the side of your bag and holds 2 12 ouncers.
Smartcart is a smartphone app that lets you keep score and order food and beverages from the clubhouse. It’s free to you, but the course has to pay to get the service. I can’t see this catching on. First, phones should be off and in the bag on the course. Second, if a course wants you to be able to order, why not just have you call the number on the scorecard. The one advantage it might have is that it uses the phone GPS to tell the course where you are, so they can presumably dispatch a cart to slake your thirst.
Veris Cellars has a Ben Hogan Wine.
Big Birdie Golf is a yard game that uses a golf ball with shuttlecock feathers attached to the back. You hit the ball with a club, attempting to land it on a net with scoring areas. The feathers make the ball limited flight. It looks like a great picnic game.
Vision Fore Golfing is an optometrist who offers glasses designed for golfers. Carl Zeiss lenses, uv vilters, tint … but very expensive, as they start at $449.00.
Emberwood Putters has some absolutely gorgeous wood putters finished with automotive epoxies. They putt very well, and the price is right.
Rain Wedge is a bag rain cover designed like a folding baby carriage cover. I’ve thought about getting one of these.
The Polara Golf Ball is designed as a self-correcting ball, eliminating slices and hooks by 75%. It’s not USGA legal. But your pals won’t know, will they? I got a sample ball, and I’ll try it this spring.
Royal Tees has a line of rubber tees shaped like a rook. They’re from Jackson, Michigan.
Aim Pro had what I thought was the best product of the show. It’s a super large ball marker—the diameter of a golf ball—that has a black line bisecting it. To aid in aligning your putt, you set it down behind the ball as with a normal ball mark. Then, you adjust the Aim Pro so it’s set up with the line of your putt. Since it’s the size of a golf ball, you can step back some distance and get a very good look down the target line. When you’re ready, put the ball in front of the Aim Pro, aligning the ball’s alignment imprint (or one you’ve marked yourself) with the Aim Pro’s line. Pick up the Aim Pro, and the ball’s line maintains the line you set. They’ve also got a somewhat smaller (though still large) version that’s built into a ball mark tool. I’ll have a full review as soon as weather allows.
There also was a very interesting product—a plastic rack—designed to let you put your clubs in the storage area of suvs that are too narrow for a bag. I thought I picked up a business card, but I can’t find it. The inventor/owner said that he was inspired by the fact that even on large cars, the storage area often has a convex interior that prevents bags from going in sideways. The rack is an “H” shaped piece of plastic designed to get the clubheads above that club inhibiting curve. If anyone is reading this and can identify the company, I’ll place a link.