Great golf products you need to get to know

Paul Stankowski
Courtesy of PGA Golf Shows
PGA Tour player Paul Stankowski is a partner in custom beltmaker Francis Edward.
By John Holmes
PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | 10:05 p.m.
The annual PGA Expo in Las Vegas was rechristened the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience this year, and the new name better matches the fall trade show's focus. After Monday's Demo Experience out at Cascata Golf Club, the action moved indoors for Tuesday and Wednesday, and the hundreds of vendors included some club companies, more accessory firms and a whole lot of apparel vendors.
 
So what stood out on my two days on the Show floor? Since we're in Vegas, I put together my "Lucky 7" featured products of the day for both Tuesday and Wednesday on our PGA Fashion & Demo Experience page – but, lucky you, I've compiled all 14 of my picks right here, listed alphabetically.
 
PGA FASHION & DEMO EXPERIENCE: See our complete coverage
 
The "V" in Callaway Golf's new V Series of clubs stands for velocity, and this brand-new collection of drivers and fairway clubs is designed for golfers who need a little help generating more swing speed. The heads and shafts are extremely light in weight, and also are aerodynamically enhanced to move even more efficiently through the air. You might think that older and weaker golfers are the ones who would flock to these clubs, but Callaway notes that several pro tour players already have them in their bags. In fact, Marc Warren won on the European Tour with a V Series driver just last week. 
 
One factor that sets any piece of golfwear apart is the material from which it is made. At Chase54, the latest editions for men and women are made with Sorona, which is created from corn and boasts natural stain-resistant properties and an extremely soft feel. And by blending Sorona with Spandex, Chase54 has come up with a new collection of tops and bottoms that can keep up with the most aggressive of swings while maintaining their shape and comfort. Sorona also resists UV degradation and can handle more washings than most other fibers.
 
You might think of Austin, Texas, as more of a hipster haven than a golf community, but the Lone Star State capital is home to a solid collection of pro players – and a hot newcomer to the golf apparel industry. Criquet's offerings definitely have the Austin vibe – slightly retro, definitely casual, but very versatile and with a lot of thought put into the final product. These soft, comfy shirts are made of 100 percent organic cotton, have left-breast pockets and removable collar stays, and come in a variety of solids and stripes that are much cooler in tone than many of the bold colors found elsewhere. Along with traditional polos, Criquet offers a long-sleeved players' shirt and even a selection of long-and short-sleeved button downs.
 
Cutter & Buck men's collection 
As it nears its 25th year as one of the most consistent performers in the golf apparel space, Cutter & Buck has created a new array of its CB SunTec apparel options featuring ultra-violet protection of at least UPF 25+. The line also features pieces with Nano-Tex Aquapel, an eco-friendly water repellant that provides advanced protection against rain and spills while retaining breathability and comfort. For Spring 2015, the collection boasts bold brights in solids and stripes, plus woven-inspired prints with high-wattage color, as well as a mix of lightweight layering and weather protection pieces.
 
ECCO Men's Street Retro golf shoes 
Danish shoemaker ECCO unleashed a winner with its Men's Golf Street hybrid shoe a few years ago, and is building on that success with the release of its Street Retro model. It features street-inspired upper patterns made from highly water resistant Hydromax treated leather, and has an easy-care performance textile toe and heel cap. The removable textile insole wicks moisture while providing extra cushioning, and the patented E-DTS outsole technology has approximately 100 molded traction bars and more than 800 traction angles for excellent grip.
 
Francis Edward belts 
No trend in golf is hotter than customization, and no category of golf fashion is cooler right now than belts. So how great would it be if you could design your own belt? That's the idea behind Francis Edward, which counts PGA Tour player Paul Stankowski as one of its co-owners (Francis is Stankowski's middle name and Edward is the middle name of his partner Mike Vicary. To make your own belt, you choose the skin or leather you want – such as alligator or crocodile – the color, the length and even the stitching. These are, no doubt, high-end accessories, but, hey, you can match it to your favorite outfit, your golf bag or even your car seats. 
 
Garmatex IceSkin golf shirts 
Everybody wants to stay cooler and more comfortable out on the course. The latest option from fabric pioneer Garmatex is IceSkin, which combines the company's CoolSkin microfiber with natural jade mineral. This permeable fabric promotes evaporation and lowers the skin's temperature by reflecting the sun's rays off the jade minerals, throwing thermal energy away from the body. The shirts also contain Bact-Out, a proprietary, antimicrobial nanotechnology that resists odors and controls 99.9% of bacteria, even after 50 washes. 
 
Garmin Approach S6 GPS watch 
Garmin remains a leader in GPS technology, but its golf watches have progressed far beyond their roots. The new Approach S6 includes first-of-its-kind Swing Metrics that help golfers synchronize their swing mechanics and fine-tune their tempo, which makes it as useful on the range as on the course. It can also display emails and texts, and includes course mapping and the other features of previous Garmin GPS models.
 
Kentwool KW Series Socks 
Golf clubs are getting lighter by the year, as are golf shoes – and, at Kentwool, so are golf socks. The new KW Series blends wool and bamboo to create a line of golf socks that is thinner than the company's original models but maintains the strength and durability of those now-famous trailblazers. The KW Series features a couple of men's and women's versions of ankle-height and slow-profile models in light and dark colors.
 
Missy Maude women's apparel 
The people of Atlanta might know Missy Maude as the daughter of Braves CEO Terry McGuirk, but the fashion world is getting to know her as a fast-rising designer. The 20-something Maude broke into the industry with her Lissa Mar line of women's resort clothing, which proved so popular that she was actively encouraged to branch out into golf. Her first golf collection is out now, with a family of tops and bottoms in pastels and prints that are as appealing off the course as on.
 
Seamus headcovers 
Seamus headcovers stand out for the elegance in their simplicity. They're handmade – yes, handmade – of wool and fleece in Oregon, and come in a wide variety of tartans and other patterns – including some inspired by Oregon's famed Pendleton blankets – that give them a one-of-a-kind look atop your favorite driver. They also can be personalized with custom embroidery on the top or custom leather tags along the bottom.
 
ShoeToothe clubface brush 
How many times have you taken a practice swing or hit a shot and come away with a clubface full of dirt or grass? What do you do – wipe the debris off on your glove or your clothes, or get your towel wet or all dirty? The Shoetoothe, which clips onto your shoe, is a small brush made of thermo-plastic Rubber that is designed to remove debris from your clubface with just one quick swipe. The brush has a cuff guard to keep your pant leg clean, and comes in a variety of color options.
 
Tour Edge Hot Launch driver 
The biggest advance in equipment in recent years is adjustability, but all that functionality comes at a price. Tour Edge has tackled that problem with its new Hot Launch driver, which offers multiple loft options but carries a suggested retail price of just $199. The driver features a 460cc deep-faced head made of titanium, with the center of gravity positioned low and deep to help get the ball airborne. A non-adjustable Draw version ($149) also will be available when the clubs come to retail this fall.
 
Wolsey men's golf apparel 
British clothier Wolsey is one of the world's oldest apparel brands – it dates back to 1755 – but it is increasing its push into the American golf market with its new Sportsman men's golf/lifestyle collection. Several of its garments are made in the United Kingdom, and the line combines traditional British menswear colors with minimal and strong textual patterns to create a "less-is-more" aesthetic. The line offers a silhouette that is more middle ground than slim, and many pieces rely on Invista ThermoCool technology that helps regulate body temperature.