The 2018 PGA Merchandise Show was a huge success, perhaps an even better celebration of a healthier atmosphere for the golf business than a few years ago. Today we continue a look back at some things that stood out last week in Orlando.
You might not want to hang out too long with Peyton Robertson, a 16-year-old junior golfer from Fort Lauderdale. He’s a lot more than a player. He’s an inventor, a genius if you will and a young man who already owns a wall full of patents. He’ll make you feel like a total underachiever.
When he was 12 years old, he invented a better version of the sandbag used in areas where flooding occurs.
The ingenious sandbag (and Peyton’s “commanding delivery, innovative thinking, and sound grasp of the scientific method”) took first place honors in the prestigious Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. He was the youngest winner in the contest’s history and received a $25,000 award for his intention.
His latest invention was on display at the show. It’s called the DropStick.
The USGA has proposed a new rule, 14.3, for measuring the size of the relief area from where a ball must be dropped and played. The new rule slated to take effect in 2019 creates a simplified 20 inch relief area no nearer the hole and a new drop procedure where the ball no longer needs to be dropped from shoulder level.
In response, Peyton invented the DropStick. It is a convertible alignment stick which serves both as an on-range alignment aid and an in-round measurement device for the newly proposed twenty inch relief area.
Under the proposed rule, when taking free relief, players should: 1) determine the nearest point where there is no longer interference, 2) starting at that point measure a 20 inch relief area no closer to the hole, and then 3) drop the ball in that area. The DropStick, when converted, creates that precise 20 inch relief area and allows players to confidently adhere to the new rule. The stick pulls apart in the middle and a nylon-covered wire forms a conforming 20-inch area.
Total clever, totally cool. You can check it out at: www.GolfDropstick.com.
Peyton is a good player and his next goal is to attend Stanford University — the school would be fortunate to have him. Oh by the way, Peyton’s already started a foundation to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.
This young upcoming star is beyond impressive.
The Gohemain Turf Cruiser was a real attention getter. This company has come up with a vehicle that takes you out of the traditional golf cart and allows you to get some exercise akin to walking the golf course.
It’s a power-assisted, sit-down, one-person vehicle with four wheels. It has electric-assist power that allows the driver to regulate how hard or easy he wants to peddle his or her way around the golf course.
Love the idea! Less strenuous than a long walk but a lot better for your physical fitness than riding a cart.
The only drawback is that it’s not portable. But anyone who lives in a golf course community where they allow carts on the streets, this is the ticket.
The number of high-tech training devices in golf is getting a big overwhelming. We like the KeepItSimpleStupid approach when it comes to training aids.
InPutt is one of those.
The InPutt is a different version of the old Putting Arc. InPutt teaches an inside-square-slightly outside putting stroke that a lot of good putters have.
We like it because it’s small, portable, fits easily in your golf bag and it very easy to set up on the practice putting green. We also like it because it’s used from 10-feet and under and that’s where very few amateurs practice.
You can check it out at www.InPuttgolf.com.
Florida is a “flip-flop” state, if you will.
Our weather and casual atmosphere along with the influence of Jimmy Buffet has made the flip-flop the preferred footwear on weekends.
Only problem is you can’t play golf in ’em.
This company has come up with flip-flops with golf-spike soles.
Even better, they’ve produced them with your favorite college logos on them.
You can check them out at www.zoriz.com.
Okay, let’s give-in to some high-tech stuff.
We’ve all seen those books the pros on the PGA Tour carry that shows the grain and break direction on the greens. There’s been talk of banning them but that’s conversation for another day.
Now there’s an app that reads your putts on the cell phone screen, well, at least it replicates what the pros see in those booklets.
You can check it out at www.puttbreaks.com. It’s by GolfLogix.
Use the code: 9ca660 and get it free for a 30-day trail.
Discovered this company that has found a new way to get younger people on the golf course.
The sport of Lacrosse is booming across the nation. You need speed, skill and there’s physical contact but not to the extent of football. Thus the popularity.
A guy named Alex Van Alen has invented FlingGolf.
The game is played on a golf course and he’s developed what looks like a golf shaft with a small basket on the end. You load a golf ball into the end of the shaft in the little basket and fire it down the fairway with the same motion you use to throw a lacrosse ball.
You can check it out at: www.flinggolf.com.
FlingGolf may not be for everyone but as a former college lacrosse player, would love to give it a “fling.”
Finally, we couldn’t help but notice the heavy presence of Top Golf at this year’s show.
Top Golf is basically a bar/restaurant with a high-tech driving range attached. It’s a phenomenon.
Hope is that it might actually produce a few new “real golfers.” Time will tell.