A look at some of the best new golf gear, apparel and gadgets
We can’t get enough of checking out the latest in golf equipment, gadgets, apparel, accessories and more.
As summer winds down, here’s a look at some of our favorite new gear.
I first learned about the BAMF bag by Tacticool early in 2016.
The bag was like nothing I had ever before seen in golf, which truly is a rarity. Unlike most stand bags that feature a number of pockets, the BAMF was designed utilizing the MOLLE platform, which anyone in military or law enforcement is familiar with.
MOLLE stands for "modular lightweight load-carrying equipment."
Basically, anything made with the MOLLE load-bearing gear would attach to the BAMF bag. And, if you didn't already own any of the gear, you could purchase a variety of the accessories from Tacticool.
The concept was awesome and incredibly well received, but Tacticool Chief Brand Officer Jake Richmond was looking for a way to take it to the next level for the 2.0 version.
"Our favorite new feature is the diagonal row of MOLLE webbing on the main pouch," Richmond said. "When the bag is standing with its legs out, that row is now parallel to the ground. It can still support any MOLLE pouch, of course, but the beautiful thing is that accommodates almost any smart phone or Go Pro mount. And that means your golf bag suddenly becomes a ready-made tripod system you can use to record any shot on the course or at the range."
Seriously -- a tremendous feature that no one had thought of before now. But that wasn't all.
"Beyond that, we also improved the material-grade stitching on the webbing, added an exterior zipper pocket, increased some Velcro real estate, lengthened the shoulder straps flex range, gave it sturdier rubber feet on the stand legs, upgraded to top-of-the-line YKK zippers, and made a few other minor changes," he said.
Another feature that sets the BAMF apart is the way Tacticool distributes the balance of the bag and the 14 sleeves for your clubs. You can literally stand the full bag up straight and not worry about it falling over without the stand in use. That makes it incredibly easy to place on a cart should you decide to ride.
If you prefer to walk, you can simply remove the pouches and the bag weighs barely 5 pounds.
With most golf bags, you either have too many pockets, or not enough. With the BAMF, you can take along as much or as little gear as you'd like, whenever you'd like.
"This is a bag that our fellow military vets really love and understand," Richmond said. "But it's just a matter of time before every golfing dude realizes it's the best bag for them."
If you don’t already know about T.I.N. Box Partners, you should. They make the best yardage book covers in golf, in my opinion. And even if you don’t carry a yardage book, these make for a terrific scorecard holder.
Loads of touring professionals use T.I.N. Box Partners yardage book covers and they even provided the official yardage book covers for the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine. As fantastic as that is for the company, they’ve been doing something else with their customization recently that’s really caught my eye.
Since I became a father in 2014, I’ve become a big softy. Now that I have two boys ages 3 and 1, I’ve become a big softy times two. Any chance I have to include a piece of them in my golf equipment, I do – it could be their name or birthdate on a golf ball or ball marker; their names stamped on my putter or wedge; whatever.
But, when it comes to next-level customization, just give T.I.N. Box Partners all the awards.
Earlier this year, my 3-year-old created his first piece of art – a painting for me. I’ll treasure it forever. It sits in a frame on my desk and I look at it every day.
In a casual conversation, I told my friends at T.I.N. Box Partners about the painting. They asked if I could snap an image and email it over for them to see.
Then they got to work getting the image on a yardage book cover that now comes with me for every round of golf.
So many times people ask me: What’s the perfect gift for the golfer in my life?
If they’re sentimental like I am, these personalized/customized yardage book covers are it. They’re the best. They tell a story. And, if you’re having a rough day on the course, all you have to do is look at it and you’ll smile.
Price: Starts at $49 and up depending on model and level of personalization.
If you’ve gone to a club fitting in recent years, you may have notice all the fancy technology club fitters are using these days, most notably a launch monitor.
Launch monitors can also be an invaluable practice tool, but who has the extra $30,000 laying around that some of them cost?
That’s where FlightScope’s Mevo device comes into play.
The Mevo device is smaller than a back pocket wallet and packs easily into your golf bag. Along with an accompanying app, the device connects to your smartphone with Bluetooth technology.
I tested the Mevo at the driving range. With the Mevo set up 4 feet behind my golf ball and a tripod behind it holding my iPhone, I was able to capture video of my swing, along with numbers for club speed, ball speed, launch angle and carry distance. FlightScope provides dimple-sized, metallic stickers to place on the ball for optimal numbers, but I found the Mevo to work just fine on the range without the stickers. So, I saved the stickers for work at home when hitting into my net.
So, the question on everyone's mind is probably: Why do I need a personal launch monitor?
For me, it takes away the guessing game. I can get my clubs dialed in and know -- without hesitation -- which club to pull when I'm out on the course. I'll know exactly how far it's going to travel instead of wondering whether or not I have enough club.
Working with the Mevo, I have a more focused practice session. When a shot feels good, I can take a peek at the numbers and understand why the shot felt great, or vice versa, what contributed to it being so lousy.
If you prefer to wait to see all your date for when you get home, the Mevo app automatically uploads all your data to be viewed on the FlightScope website.
The FlightScope Mevo can give you the kind of data every time you practice that you'd only otherwise likely get during a rare trip for a club fitting or to a performance center.
The Mevo is incredibly easy to use and with the ability to track your practice sessions, you can view your progress over a period of time with just a couple of clicks.
The Mevo retails for $499 and 1,000 of the metallic stickers can be purchased for $25.
With the temperatures beginning to cool in certain parts of the country, it means the warmer clothes will soon be making their way back into our closets.
Southern Tide has some new offerings to keep you looking good on course, at a football game, or anywhere in between.
The striped Heathered Channel Marker polo, $89, offers a classic fit in a soft, stretchable Pima cotton. There's no interference with your swing in this piece. It can be worn with your favorite khakis, jeans or shorts and looks great both tucked and untucked.
You can also match the polo up with the Southern Tide Channel Marker pants, $99.50. Perfect for a crisp fall day, but light enough to keep you comfortable in warm weather as well.
And when it's time to add a top layer, the Men's 19th Hole Footwedge 1/4-zip pullover from Southern Tide, $125, doesn't just look great, but it's also terrific to have in the golf bag either to put on when you're chilly on the course, or to put on after the round when you head into the clubhouse.
Whenever possible, I try to make a round of golf part of a work trip. So, the clubs are always in tow in case there's a chance I can sneak away for 18 holes.
On those trips that are 2-3 days, I always feel like I'm taking too much luggage. There's the golf bag, which obviously gets checked, a small piece of rolling luggage for my clothes that I take on the plane and then a backpack for my laptop, camera and work essentials.
Do I really need all that? No.
Recently, I found another solution -- one that allows me to eliminate the need for the small piece of rolling luggage.
The Travel Pack from Aer is so perfect for a trip with a quick turnaround. It doubles as a backback for the laptop and a piece of luggage for your clothes, shoes and more -- all with separate compartments.
That's the part I loved. You don't want to go digging through all your clothes to get to the laptop or camera. You don't have to with the Travel Pack.
It also expands or compresses to fit your needs. For example, once you unload the clothes when you check into your hotel, you can make the bag smaller to take to your business meeting.
The Travel Pack has been optimized to meet international and domestic carry-on luggage size limits, so you don't have to worry about checking it at the gate.
The Travel Pack retails for $220.
As long as the sun is out on the golf course, I always have sunglasses on. Typically, those sunglasses are golf-specific in design.
But recently, I put a more fashionable-looking pair to the test -- the Kaupo Gap by Maui Jim.
Unlike the usual "wraparound" style you usually see on the golf course, the Kaupo Gap is more of an aviator.
Simply put, they are the lightest, most comfortable sunglasses I've ever worn. My biggest concern about taking them on the course was wondering about whether or not they'd slide off my nose either at address, or during the swing. I was so used to the golf-specific shades with the rubber arms that basically stayed put on the sides of my head.
I was pleasantly surprised with this offering from Maui Jim because that wasn't a problem at all. The adjustable nose pads and rubber inserts on the inner temples kept the Kaupo Gap sunglasses right where I needed them to be at all times.
Maui Jim's POLARIZEDPLUS2 LENS TECHNOLOGY eliminates glare, enhances colors -- perfect on the golf course -- protects your eyes from harmful rays and the MauiBrilliant lense is nearly as clear as glass with just one-third of the weight.
These sunglasses are the perfect accessory on and off the golf course.
Need help working out those aches and pains before or after a round of golf?
Rolflex is a handy tool to either keep at home, in the trunk or in your cart. Rolflex is designed to reduce muscle tension and sore muscles. Its unique ergonomic design replicates more than 40 massage therapy movements to help naturally relieve pain and regain movement throughout the whole body.
It can be used on the neck, back, hands and wrists, legs and calves, feet, arms, biceps and triceps.
The Rolflex is designed as a pressure-based therapy tool focusing on muscular tension with a more balanced approach to pinpoint accuracy. With its clam-shaped therapt arms, the Rolflex provides significant leverage, allowing users to clamp down and adjust the pressure to their liking or tolerance level -- think light, gentle massage versus a deep, aggressive massage.
Further, the Rolflex's ergonimic design allows you to self-massage nearly every muscle of the body. The compact design makes it easy to take Rolflex anywhere... even in your golf bag.
I'm immediately skeptical whenever I hear about a product touting itself as something that can, "immediately make you feel the perfect golf swing."
When I recently saw a commercial for "Power Package Golf" I was cynical... but the "forever wanting to be better" golfer in me was also intrigued.
So what is this orange device that clips to the bottom of your golf grip?
It advertises itself as a training aide that "corrects the most frequent faults golfers face with their golf swing."
What it does, essentially, is force the golfer to have his or her hands and arms placed in the optimal positions for takeaway and wrist set, which results in a proper swing plane that squares the clubface and -- in so doing -- generates rotation, which leads to power.
While at the range, I watched a quick instructional video on my phone to see how the device works. The Power Package recommends starting out with a shorter club, taking just practice swings and it was a terrific suggestion, as it did take some getting used to having an object touching your wrist and forearm while swinging.
In less than 10 minutes, it was like the device wasn't even there and I was hitting noticeably crisper, longer pitch shots off a tee. As I got more and more comfortable, I went to longer clubs.
As with everything in the golf swing, it's all about muscle memory. I have a feeling I'll be using the Power Package anytime I practice now and I look forward to seeing how much it pays off -- without the device -- on the course.
The Power Package sells for $79.99 and offers a 30-day money back guarantee.