The PGA Merchandise Show is a week-long celebration of all things golf, highlighting the people, products and places that are intertwined with the game. Each day we’ve showcased the most noteworthy products we’ve spotted at the Show. If you’ve missed any of our coverage so far, you can catch up below.
Enjoy our final edition of Show Stoppers from the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show.
Directed Force Putters
There’s no bigger buzzword in putter design right now than balance. Terms such as “counter-balanced” and “face-balanced” have become staples of the modern golf equipment vocabulary, but a new putter company is hoping to add a new term to the list.
Directed Force Putters are lie-angle balanced, which founder Bill Presse says helps the putter stay square throughout the stroke and creates a more pendulum-like motion.
The 6061 aluminum putters are offered in lengths of 28-52 inches and lie angles of 61-79.5 degrees. Each of the 21 available lie angles is paired with a specific center of gravity (CG) that’s designed to work in harmony with its lie angle. Two screws — one in the heel, one in the toe — allow for the CG adjustments. The company also offers a side-saddle model with a lie angle of 79.5 degrees with a split grip, and its shaft has a rearward lean of 2 degrees.
The putters come stock with the company’s elliptical Press Grips (available in 1.25- and 1.375-inch models) and have a back-shaft design, both of which encourage a forward press. Watch the video below to learn more about the putters, which are available through directedforce.com for $399.95.
Bushnell Tour V4 rangefinders
Bushnell’s Tour V4 rangefinders could be the company’s best models to date. They’re lighter and more powerful than past models, and a change to the rules of golf also helped Bushnell improve their functionality.
The USGA’s revision of rule 14-3, effective this year, permits golfers to use distance-measuring devices that account for elevation changes as long as that functionality is disabled in tournament play. Bushnell’s Tour V4 Slope ($399) allows golfers to toggle the company’s “Slope” technology on and off through its menu, complying with the new rule. Bushnell also offers a non-slope version of the Tour V4 for $299.
Both devices are accurate to 1 yard, and will provide distances to flagsticks up to 400 yards away. They’re 30 percent smaller than the company’s popular Tour V3 rangefinders, and use Bushnell’s “Jolt” technology that vibrates to alert golfers when they have targeted a flagstick.
Areso Kine-Fit putters
SAM PuttLab is designed to measure the small details of a putting stroke that cause golfers to miss or make a putt. For that reason, many top instructors use the system to identify tendencies and correct flaws. SAM also works as a fitting tool, and can help golfers find the loft, lie, toe hang and grip size that will work best for their stroke.
A German company called Areso decided to take SAM’s fitting power to the next level. Its team worked with SAM to develop software that would identify which Areso putter will work best for golfers based on their SAM results, as well as the best specifications for their stroke (lie, loft, length, grip, head type and balance).
The Fowlers and Spieths
Arguably the two most popular young players in the game today – Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler — have made heads turn in the golf fashion world with their prototype shoes.
The “Rickie Fowler high tops,” officially named the TitanTour Ignite Hi-Top SE, are expected to hit stores as a limited edition release in June for $200 in the white-and-black colorway (pictured above), which was on display at the PGA Show.
The shoe wasn’t originally designed for public release; Fowler just wanted a shoe that matched his off-course look. Golf fans have been crying out for Puma to release them, however, so the company is giving the people what they want. The shoes are made with a leather upper, suede high heel and pig-skin interior.
We don’t know much about the “Jordan Spieth’s” from Under Armour — other than they’re really cool and Spieth wins a lot while wearing them. They were on display at the PGA Merchandise Show in the Under Armour booth, however, suggesting they may make it to stores before the end of 2016.
Tour Spin Club Washer
Have you ever left the driving range or golf course with grooves full of dirt and grass because cleaning them is just too much of a hassle? The TourSpin from Riveer solves that problem, and devastates bag boys everywhere.
Riveer is a 20-year-old company specializing in wash systems for a variety of industries, namely aviation and military. It began making golf-club washers over the last few years because owner Matt Petter is a certified “golf nut,” according to a fellow Riveer employee. For golfers, the 20 years of power-cleaning expertise will get their irons, hybrids and wedges cleaner than ever in about 45 seconds.
The automated system uses water pressure applied by rotational force to remove dirt and grass stains from golf clubs. They sell for $18K, while the tricked-out version with a cleat-cleaner and golf ball washer sell for around $29K.
The company expects some facilities will implement a “vending machine” tactic, having users pay coins or tokens to use the club-cleaning machine.
Ikkos goggles, which started as a way to train Olympic swimmers in 2008, use neuroscience principles to teach the brain how to perform body movements through visual and audio stimulation. Sound frequencies put the brain into a meditative-like learning state, while visuals seen while wearing the goggles teach the brain a movement pattern.
When you’re born as a baby, you learn movement by mimicking others, according to the company. Ikkos technology is designed to reverse engineer the learning process, and bring you back to the way you learned as a youngster – through imitation.
Here’s how it works: Download video content (YouTube works) into an App called CopyMe, and play it through the headset ($40), which repeats the content repetitively – around 30 times or more. Then put on the smaller goggles ($28), which are completely blacked out, and perform the intended movement.
The technology is currently being used for athletes, as well as for the rehabilitation purposes, namely cerebral palsy patients and stroke victims.