More than one thousand exhibitors will be showing their wares at this month’s 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. These radical innovations could be coming soon to a course near you.
By Drew Kort
Club Car’s “Shark Experience” golf cars. The result of a partnership between Greg Norman, Verizon, GPSi and Club Car, this connectivity center on wheels provides the golfer with accurate course and yardage information and built-in speakers with Bluetooth capabilities along with the ability to stream music (compliments of Slacker Radio), watch live television and even assist in the improvement of their game with golf tips from Norman himself. As this platform continues to advance golfers could see the addition of food and beverage ordering and Shot Tracer technologies. clubcar.com
Titleist AVX golf ball. Titleist has test-marketed this premium-distance, high-speed and soft-feel ball in Florida, Arizona and California as an entry to the Pro V line. The ball has a similar three-piece structure to the best-selling Pro V1, but early reports claim 10 yards in added distance and a lower compression. Plus, it also comes in high optic yellow. Titleist.com
OnCore GENiUS. Nicknamed “The Ball with a Brain,” this $25 ball’s shock-resistant core houses sensitive GPS electronics that capture and relay data directly to the golfer’s mobile device in real time—including location within a foot. More than just a way to lose far fewer balls and avoid lengthy ball searches, the OnCore GENiUS also transmits performance statistics such as carry distance, roll distance, spin rate, hang time, angle of descent, ball velocity, distance to the pin and more allowing the player to analyze and correct on previous shots. Through Bluetooth connectivity, integration with the OnCore mobile application keeps historical data from every course in which the golfer uses the ball through a small, separate device that can be left in the golf cart. oncoregolf.com
Arccos Caddie. Three years after its super high-tech, easy-to-use performance tracking system won the Top Buyer’s Choice Award at the PGA Merchandise Show, Arccos Golf is at it again. Through a subscription-service iPhone app developed in conjunction with Microsoft, Arccos Caddie leverages the powerful real-time data provided by its flagship Arccos 360 package. This innovative technology has the ability to provide highly personalized on-course information on club selection, hole strategy and GPS distances that account for wind, weather, elevation and more. Further, Microsoft’s Azure cloud communicates nonstop with the application to gather data points from other users and courses around the world, continuously enhancing information available to the player. During tournaments, this artificially intelligent caddie apparently even has enough sense to toggle off in compliance with the Rules of Golf. Now, the average player can feel as if they have Michael Greller by their side on every shot. arccosgolf.com
CaddySlacks. Not all innovations are high tech. Debuting at the Denver Golf Expo (Feb. 9-11) rather than the PGA Show, Caddyslacks were created by Carbondale’s Greg Didier for those of us who hate fumbling through our pockets for the correct tool. Caddyslacks offers unique slacks and shorts designed to facilitate an easy transition from the tee to the divot tool to the ball marker to the scorecard. All items feature a removable magnet embedded in the high-tech, breathable and quick-drying fabric for easy access to the ball marker, small fabric loops that hold multiple tees, specialized pockets for the scorecard, golf ball and mobile device, and a Velcro patch to hold a golf glove. Caddyslacksgolf.com