Great new golf items this summer

By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
Connect with T.J.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Friday, July 31, 2015 | 11:24 a.m.

There is nothing about golf that I don't love. One of my absolute favorite parts about it is testing out new goodies.

With the summer here and the golf season in full swing, I figured it was a perfect time to share with you some of my favorite golf stuff that I've had the chance to try out.

Some of it will help your game and some of it is just downright cool.

DST Compressor Wedge ($99.99)

What the heck is going on with that shaft? Good question. In terms of "warm-up" clubs, this could be the greatest invention you ever lay your hands on. The scientifically curved shaft is designed to replicate the shape of a normal shaft under its maximum load during impact. Essentially, it forces you into the position where your hands need to be at impact and follow through. Even a short warm up with this club creates a quick muscle memory that you can bring right onto the course, where you're sure to hit more crisp, solid shots. It is a fantastic practice tool that truly makes an almost instant impact. For more infomation, visit www.dstgolf.com.

Big Max Blade+ Push Cart ($299.99)

OK. Before you scoff at the price, consider a few things. When you rent a golf cart, it costs anywhere from $13-$20 for 18 holes (more than that at some places). If you're an avid golfer and paying on the high end for a golf cart, you're looking at about $300 in cart fees over 15 rounds of golf. If you instead invest that money into a push cart, it eventually pays for itself. Not only that, but it has incredible benefits to your health.

Golf 2020 recently did a study on the health-related benefits of walking while golfing. Here are the key findings that were discovered:

- A walked 18-hole round, carrying a bag or using a hand/pull cart, is approximately equal to a 5-mile walk.

- The total caloric expenditure for an 18-hole round is approximately 2,000 calories for walking while carrying clubs and 1,300 calories when riding in a cart.

- Since walking is biomechanically more efficient than running, playing an 18-hole round of golf walking is roughly equivalent to a 3.5- to 4-mile run.

- When walking 18 holes of golf, blood glucose levels fall by up to 20 percent for the young, 10 percent for the middle-aged, and 30 percent for the elderly players, and body weight is slightly reduced for all groups.

- Repeated golf practice enhances balance control and confidence among all age ranges.

- Older golfers tend to have better static and dynamic balance control and confidence than non-golfing older, healthy adults.

- Regardless of handicap, sex, or course played, golfers exceed 10,000 steps during a typical round of golf -- which meets the guideline for exercise recommended by most medical and clinical physicians.

Now that you've seen the benefits of walking, let's get back to the benefits of the Big Max Blade+. I truly believe it is the next-best thing to taking a caddie. Aside from the impressive ease of unfolding, folding back together and slim storage size, I was amazed at how light it was. There was virtually no work required to navigate the course, even when going uphill. It saved a lot of energy you might not have if carrying your bag.

Also -- at least in my case -- I tend to play much better when walking than I do when riding. I have time to think about the shot I want to hit as I walk to the ball. I also had a couple of accessories added to the Big Max Blade+ -- the most useful of which was a storage net that attached to the back of the cart. This made it easy to access sunscreen, snacks, beverages and more.

You know what else I couldn't get enough of about this push cart? Not having to carry anything in my pockets. The top compartment near the handles allow storage for golf tees, a golf ball, ball marker and divot tool. You can also find room for your wallet, car keys and cellphone in the compartment.

I've tried a few push carts over the last few years. While many have a lot of the same features as the Big Max Blade+, I give the Blade+ the edge because of how light it is. Again, it's pretty much like having someone else carry your clubs for you. For more information, visit www.bigmaxgolf.com.

Bushnell Golf Tour X Laser Rangefinder ($499.99)

With a handicap that fluctuates in the 10-12 range, I long figured, "I'm not a good enough player to use a Rangefinder." After getting my hands on one, I quickly realized that I wasn't a good enough player not to have a rangefinder.

At $500, the Bushnell Tour X is expensive to be sure. But you know that old saying, "You get what you pay for?" Well, it applies here. This is the Rolls-Royce of Laser Rangefinders.

Until the Tour X came along, Bushnell offered rangefinders "with slope" and "without slope." The "with slope" version accounts for the "lay of the land" and would give the user a reading of the actual yardage to a target, along with the yardage you should play to given the elevation changes. For instance, a severely downhill shot might have a target distance in actual yardage of 150. But, with the rangefinder, the "with slope" yardage might read 135, meaning you'd want to play your 135-yard club instead. An awesome feature for amateurs, but not allowed for competition, which is why Bushnell also offers a "without slope" version.

The Tour X, however, is 2-in-1 thanks to its utilization of "Exchange Technology." There's literally a clip -- one red, one black -- that attaches to the front of the rangefinder giving you readings "with slope" when you want it and "without slope" when you can't have it.

A rangefinder is a big investment, but if you're a serious player, consider it an investment in your game and, ultimately, an investment in lower scores. Sure, we're not all pros who can hit our clubs within a yard or two of our intended target all the time. But wouldn't you hit it a lot closer to your intended target if you knew the exact yardage all the time?

Since the Tour X is accurate to within 1/2-yard, you're getting just that. For more information, visit www.bushnell.com.

Limited edition adi Camo Collection by adidas ($150-$190)

For the summer, adidas Golf has released a limited edition, individually numbered, camouflage footwear collection. The collection includes four footwear models -- adipower boost, adipower boost sport (men's and women’s) and tour360 x boa. 500 pairs of each footwear model will be available worldwide on www.adidasgolf.com and select retailers.

adidas climachill heather solid polo ($70)

This might be the lightest golf polo I've ever worn, which makes it extra nice on those hot summer days. The "cooling climachill" technology on the inside of the shirt, just below the neck, looks like aluminum dots. As you move around in the hot sun, those dots feel like someone just spilled cold water on you -- incredibly refreshing. If you're looking for a shirt to help you stay cool on a hot day, this is the one. For more information, visit www.adidasgolf.com.

Ashworth Travel Duffle ($349)

Let's face it -- if you're taking a short golf trip, you're going to need a bag to put your clothes in. Ashworth has you covered with its stylish Waxed Canvas and Leather Duffle bag. The duffle includes Old English harness leather, 18 oz. waxed canvas, an adjustable shoulder strap with rolled leather handles, embossed Ashworth branding and 200 denier lining. For more information, visit www.ashworthgolf.com.

Nike FI Impact 2 ($140)

It's amazing what golf shoes can do these days. These aren't your father's golf shoes (though I bet he'd love a pair). Over the years the golf shoe has evolved from the type of design you'd expect to see on an executive in a boardroom to something far more athletic -- so much so, that many of the new spikeless shoes can be worn on or off the golf course. That's the case with Nike's new FI Impact 2. It's designed with a stretchy yet supportive upper that adapts to the motion of your foot for a superior locked-in feel. A Nike Free-inspired outsole offers flexibility and a natural feel on the course. These shoes -- offered in four colorways -- are available on www.nikegolf.com.

Nike Golf Lockup T-Shirt ($35)

Made with Nike's contoured, Dri-FIT fabric, the Lockup T-shirt offers incredible comfort and a close fit. The soft triple-blend fabric is smooth against your skin and even when you sweat, it won't stick. All in all, it's just a fun shirt to emphasize your love of the game even when you're not on the course.You can find it at www.nikegolf.com

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.