By its very core, golf is a traditional sport that hugs tight to its history.
But we are in an age of technology and innovation and that's certainly changing golf equipment and fashions at an excelerated pace. Our GolfPass Equipment Resort for November showcases simple everyday golf tools - shoes, tees, launch monitors, rangefinders, etc. - that are all being modernized and improved with new ideas.
New fabrics and designs are making shoes more comfortable and versatile. We can envision a day when the new tee concept being launched by Zero Friction next month becomes a staple for all plastic tees moving forward. Sustainability is also a huge new theme in golf fashion as the world deals with the dramatic impact of climate change. It's wise to start supporting brands like the ones we feature that give back to Mother Earth. Here's a look at this month's products, just in time for some potential holiday shopping.
New lineup and more investors for True Linkswear
True Linkswear continues to pump out unique golf shoes that are comfortable to wear and perform on and off the golf course. We recently put the TRUE LUX Knit ($185) and TRUE LUX Knit Dead Golfer limited release ($195) models through a test run ... er walk ... during a couple rounds.
The first thing you'll notice? They glide on and off your feet like slippers. They're that comfortable and flexible. The TRUE LUX Knit features the new Wanderlux® midsole, a shock-absorbing foam meant to keep your feet floating on air. Both also come with two years of waterproof protection and stylish shoe bags for transportation. We don't use them, though. We wear them everywhere: Playing golf and walking the dog. A recent $11.25-million investment in funding from KarpReilly should accelerate the growth of TRUE's global business and brand, moving its vision forward even faster.
Rapsodo launches "Insights" to app and announces holiday pricing
One of the more popular consumer portable launch monitors, Rapsodo has unveiled updates to their MLM app and a lower price point just in time for the holidays. Rapsodo unveiled "Coach Connect" last year and have built upon that with their "Insights" platform. Launched this November, the app will analyze your driving range session with the MLM, and provide a "Key Takeaway" along with insight on your shot-shaping tendencies and club averages. Additional club analysis and more detailed insights are available with their Premium Subscription ($99/yr).
The MLM is one of a handful of consumer launch monitors at the $499 price point, but they've gotten a jump start on the holiday deal season. Right now you can buy the MLM for $424 at GolfBalls.com.
New rangefinder promises high performance under $300
Blue Tees Golf, a rapidly growing producer of golf rangefinders and accessories, recently released the new Series 3 Max Rangefinder, which comes in multiple colors, including a cool pink hue designed to appeal to the female golfer. We tested a blue model during a recent round, comparing its accuracy to a more popular brand that every golfer would recognize. The crystal clear display, advanced flag lock and pulse vibration of the Blue Tees rangefinder made it easy to find the yardage to the target. There's also a slope function that adjusts yardages for elevation changes. The unit comes with an all-weather case and two batteries, all for $50 to $150 cheaper than similar models on the market. If this were a blind taste test, users wouldn't have known the difference. Cost: $259.
Cool threads that give back
From now until December 15, TravisMathew will donate 100% of profits from the Eco Collection sales online and in TravisMathew retail stores, with a minimum donation of $100,000, to The Surfrider Foundation, a movement dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's ocean, waves and beaches, for all people, through a powerful activist network. The Eco Collection mixes beach fashions of bathing suits, hats and T-shirts with some golf apparel sprinkled in. The Wake-to-Wake polo ($89.95) and Hydro shorts ($84.95) are perfect for your next round. For more, visit their website.
Snazzy and sustainable for a cause
Galvin Green remains one of the best golf apparel brands for those willing to spend a little extra for quality. In recent years, they have managed to convert the majority of the textiles they use to sustainable sources, including the INSULA™ material that comprises the stretch, thin yet warm Drake pullover our Tim Gavrich swears by. This has gained them industry recognition. Earlier this year, their INSULA fabric won them the Sports Technology Award for Sustainability, and this month they entered a partnership with the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf.
Tees as repair tools?
The new TurfTee from Zero Friction provides golfers with two uses in one - a tee for bombing long drives and a ball-repair tool to fix the divot from hitting the green in reg. The two-prong “fork” on the bottom of the tee easily goes in the ground to safely repair ball marks. The Turf Tee will be available in mid-December, costing $12.99 for a 30 pack (including a velvet pouch) at Zero Friction's website. We love this idea because we're always losing fancy divot repair tools or forgetting them in our bag when we need one on the green. Golf needs more simple innovations like this.
Boxed wine for the links?
There's a new wine company angling to get into your golf cart. Gratsi, an Austin-based company, is promoting its boxed red and white wines as a transportable and eco-friendly option should you like to sip some easy-drinking vino during your happy hour twilight nines. The Old Country Red is a dry and fruit-forward Cabernet blend while the Old Country White is a floral and dry Sauvignon Blanc. The wine boxes are 3 liters each and are sealed tight and stay fresh up to a month long. They're also very low in sugar content, which can be helpful to avoid hangovers after a day outside. You can get two boxes for $70 (free shipping) or subscribe to save $10 on every order. We also liked the sturdy bacaro wine glasses currently on offer as part of their gift pack. Gratsi.com.