2010 PGA Merchandise Show
The Course Keeper Kit is an innovative folding rake that serves many functions on the course. (Kim/PGA.com)

Five hot items from Friday at the PGA Merchandise Day

Our Craig Dolch was once again on the prowl during the second day of the 57th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando on Friday, searching near and far to find five of the more unique items on display. One of those items was the well-thought out Course Keeper Kit.

By Craig Dolch, Special to PGA.com

Teach-n-Towel: Sometimes, the best golf training aids are the simplest.

Case in point: The Teach-n-Towel ($24.99).

It appears to be another golf towel – until you lay it on the ground and it has markings for where your feet are supposed to stand, depending upon whether you're hitting a driver, a fairway wood, an iron, a wedge and a chip. As the clubs become shorter, you move your left foot (for right-handers) closer to the ball to maintain the proper ball position and setup alignment with your clubs.

It's an ideal way for golfers – whether they are juniors, men or women -- to learn the proper ball position with their shots without the need of an instructor nearby.

There's also a Ms. Teach-n-Towel ($24.99) and a Teach-n-Towel Jr. ($19.99). For more information, go to www.teachntowel.com.
 
Course Keeper Kit: It's happened to every golfer: You've just hit a shot out a bunker and then realize the nearest rake is 40 yards away. Or you've watched your brand-new ball roll into the water, and it's just staring at you from the lake, where you can't reach it without getting wet.

The Course Keeper Kit ($39.95) can help. It's a folding rake head with a collapsible handle that stretches to 9 feet that's tined on one side and smooth on the other, enabling golfers to rake a bunker well enough to make a caddy proud.

The tool also doubles as a ball retriever when rake head is folded, enabling you to rescue that ball from its watery grave. There's also a compartment where you can store divot repair tools, a ball marker and tees.

Not only can this tool save you money, but also time on the golf course. For more information, go to www.coursekeeperkit.com or call 1-888-471-4(KEY).
 
Spackler Flip Flops: We all want to look casual on the golf course, and now there's a chance to look Maui-cool with the Spackler Line of Golf Flip Flops ($49.99) by Golf Gators.

"I used to always play golf in flip flops, but I had trouble with traction when I was hitting my driver," said Michael Ray, managing partner of Golf Gators. "So we put some Champs Stinger spikes on the bottom and they're as comfortable and dependable as any golf shoe out there."

The men's styles come in brown and black, from sizes 8-13. There's a bright-pink flip flop for women (sizes 6-11), along with a black-and-white design.

"We're not looking for the player who's trying to lower his handicap every single time he plays," Ray said. "We're looking for golfers who like to go out and have fun. And when you're relaxed, you're usually going to play your best."
 
Cleveland CG15 Sand wedges: With all the attention on the new grooves rules, getting the right sand wedge for your game has never been more important, even if you don't make a living by playing golf.

If you want to conform to the new, smaller grooves, Cleveland Golf's CG15 laser-milled wedges fit that bill. But if you're not a competitive golfer and you're looking for the most bite with your wedges, you can continue to get the old grooves.

"The groove issues and new wedge products have wedge and short-game awareness at an all-time high," said Chuck Thiry, Cleveland Golf's brand manager.

Thiry reminds golfers that manufacturers can continue to make and sell the old grooves equipments for the rest of 2010, but they have to stop selling in 2011.

"We expect consumers to be gobbling up larger-grooved wedges for the foreseeable future," he said.
 
Nuun Active Hydration: We've all had a great round of golf ruined by a bad finish, either caused by becoming too tired or making a poor decision. That goes for the world's best golfers, as well.

That's where Nuun Active Hydration comes in. Just drop one of the tablets into a bottle of water and you're left with a blend of electrolytes that hydrates your body and clears your mind.

"Most Americans are clearly dehydrated, but they don't even know it," said Randy Myers, Fitness Director at Sea Island Resorts. "The same goes for professional golfers. They work so hard to prepare for a tournament, the last thing they want to do is make a mistake late in the round because they're not feeling strong or thinking clearly.

"I can tell you this: Lucas (Glover) used Nuun to help him win last year's U.S. Open during that five-day slog."

Other PGA Tour players who use Nuun include Davis Love III, Geoff Ogilvy and Jonathan Byrd, Myers said.

Nuun ($6 for 12 tablets) contains sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium to maximize hydration. It comes in five flavors: Lemon-line, citrus fruit, tri-berry, orange ginger and kona cola.

"It was just a matter of time before nutrition caught up to golf like technology and the mental game," Myers said.

For more information, go to www.nuun.com.

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