By KATHARINE DYSON
Amazing how clever golf-crazed minds keep coming up with new gadgets and ideas. Many debuted at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, with some new twists on old saws.
The whiz-bang of G/Fore golf gloves grabs your attention for their more than 20 eye-popping colors and superb tailoring out of premium soft AA Coretta leather. Men are wearing them, women are wearing them. Whatever your attire, there is a G/Fore glove to match. We say it’s about time. www.g-fore.com
Explosive color along with bold, brash designs from Loudmouth continues to make waves as more and more golfers want to put some kick and fun into their game. They are wearing paintball-splashed pants and jackets, pink flamingo-patterned capris, South Beach orange and turquoise art deco skorts. And one thing we really love: Loudmouth apparel is very well constructed. With all the attention it’s getting, it’s no wonder Loudmouth has expanded to swimwear, hoodies, sunglasses, hats, belts, gloves, shoes, and even watches and golf bags. www.us.loudmouthgolf.com
When it’s time to re-grip your clubs (if you play much at all, you need to do this) why not live it up. Several companies are making really sharp colorful grips. We especially like SuperStroke Club Grips that come in lime green, orange, raspberry and other upbeat colors. They also come in a variety of sizes from Fatso to ultra slim. www.Superstrokeusa.com
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. What better time than to buckle down on how you protect yourself when you hit the sun. There are a lot of good lotions out there, but here’s an idea: Sun care you can wear by SanSoleil. Long-sleeved shirts filter out all the bad rays and come in 10 snazzy colors and eight prints like White Tiger and Tan Plaid. Some have Swarovski zipper pulls and all have cooling mesh on the underside of the sleeves. Choose soft, lightweight cotton or SolTek, a poly tech fabric that is whisper light with a tad of Spandex. The shirts’ UPFness lasts through a few seasons of washes too. www.sansoleil.com
We saw a couple of products out there that tell you all you ever wanted to know about your swing, must-haves for techies who love their cool stuff. Take SwingTip. A small gizmo attaches to your club, then the app you’ve launched on your smart phone or tablet, analyzes your swing and even tracks and charts your swing history. You know instantly what your swing path and face angle look like, your club speed, swing tempo and whether you’ve hit the sweet spot. Armed with all this knowledge, you can not understand what you need to do to improve your game. Sweet. www.Swingtip.com
Golf Buddy has done it again. First the “Voice” where a Garmin-like lady tells you the distance to the green when you push a button; now the Golf Buddy VT3, a talking GPS golf watch preloaded with 36,000 courses. Strap it on your wrist or snap it out and clip it to your hat. Golfbuddyglobal.com
Tired of the same old, same old hats? Visors that are way too big? Take a walk on the wild side with Madcapz hats for women created by designer Carrie Bell. They come in saucy, spirited colors and patterns including CheeriOh and Tiger Top. Best of all, these hats fit really well and are lighter in weight than most. www.Madcapz.net
Sock it to You
Zensah’s compression socks may sound therapeutic — and they should because they are — but the colors and argyle patterns go the extra mile with combos like turquoise, black and lime and even tie dye designs reminding us that something that works well and makes your legs feel good can also look great. www.Zensah.com
We also love Kent Wool socks. They fit your feet really well and stay up when they should. No baggy cuffs with these beauties. And if you do a lot of walking on the course, the cushioned comfort of Kent Wool is amazing. www.Kentwool.com
Vibram Five Fingers’ Speed XC Lite golf shoes look just plain nuts. But slip your tootsies into these flexible shoes-that-look-like-feet and you’ll become a believer — kind of like going barefoot. The women’s shoe comes in pink and white and turquoise and white. Gotta try a pair if only to get the smiles going when you arrive at the first tee. Also great off the course for fun and comfort. wwwvibramfivefingers.com
This is perfect for those among us who (ahem) can be forgetful when keeping score. ScoreBand is both a slick-looking watch and a score-keeping tool. No more need for beads, ladies. This gismo keeps your hole and round score with a touch of a finger Brilliant. Scoreband.net
Katharine Dyson is an award-winning member of the Golf Writers Assn. of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America.