ORLANDO, Fla. – We combed the 10 miles of aisles at the Orange County Convention Center and came up with a Cliff’s Notes version of “Best in PGA Show.” It’s an abbreviated list because, well, we don’t have enough space to cover everything that was unveiled, introduced and initiated.
Hard goods. The folks who refined the art of refining have taken adjustability to a new level with the R1 driver by TaylorMade.
The newest line in the R family features seven standard and five upright loft options (8 degree to 12 degree), seven face angle options and movable weight plugs to create the desired ball flight. All total the R1 allows for 168 different combinations of loft, lie and weighting.
The R1 retails for $399 and will begin shipping on Feb. 1.
Software. The buzz around the PGA Show floor was the ongoing efforts by the PGA of America to grow the game and few products on the convention center floor could serve that purpose better than the Game of Golf Institute.
The non-profit institute was created by businessman and philanthropist Derek Smith as a social media hub for golfers and was launched last November with a Web site (mygogi.org) and robust application currently available for iPhones.
“Our goal is to get everyone in one place and get them connected, that’s how Facebook grew,” said GOGI co-founder and CEO Kristian Traylor. “We see this as a superhighway for golfers to interact.”
Traylor said there are about 3,000 members currently signed up for GOGI, about 15 percent of whom are club professionals, and the current application allows you to track your scores and statistics as well as instruction tips from Todd Anderson and workouts from Randy Myers.
Technology. Already a staple on the PGA Tour and among many club professionals, the folks at TrackMan have taken a sizable step forward with the most recent edition.
The newest edition can now be used wirelessly with a smartphone and an application. Instead of a hard line and laptop, the litany of data can be accessed remotely and by multiple users at the same time.
“Combined with the video element that we now provide being able to access the information wirelessly is really the next step for us,” said Justin Padjen, TrackMan’s project manager.
The next generation editions range from $14,995 to $17,995 depending on if the unit includes the video option.
Game improvement. Smart Body Golf may not be the answer for all your swing woes, but it’s a good start.
From the leverage discs to the swing ball pro, Smart Body Golf focuses on the one area where most amateurs struggle – balance. As for the rest of you swing faults? You are own your own.
The complete Smart Body Golf performance pack is $199.95 and can be ordered at the company’s Web site (www.smartbodygolf.com).