Four Cool Golf Things From PGA Show Demo Day
By Ryan Adams, PGA
It’s hard to imagine a much bigger demo day than the one that happens every January before the PGA Show in Orlando, Florida.
And with a big demo day comes big opportunity to see the latest and greatest equipment lines, training aids, fitness tools, robotic golf carts (yes, you heard that right) and much, much more.
One stroll around the massive 360-degree range at Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge can take a whole day to sift through all the options. Fortunately, for you, we sifted through the options with some PGA of America Golf Professional expertise — below, you’ll see four things that stood out, and maybe a few things to try in the new year.
Bridgestone brings new MindSet alignment feature to Tour B line
What more can you do to the outside of the golf ball to make it better? Bridgestone has found something. What appears on the company’s popular Tour B line looks like a green, red and yellow alignment aid but it’s actually what the company is calling MindSet, a pre-putt visualization technology that aims — literally and figuratively — to help golfers make more putts.
PGA of America Golf Professional Kent Thomas explains that MindSet was developed by 2015 PGA Champion Jason Day and his longtime mental coach, Jason Goldsmith, as a process to help with pre-shot visualization. Now the process is imprinted on all four Bridgestone Tour B golf balls — the X and XS for swing speeds over 105 mph and RX and RXS for under 105 mph, with XS and RXS having more spin — and lets golfers try the three-step MindSet process themselves.
The best part is they won’t be along either. Thomas says Bridgestone is working with PGA of America Golf Professionals around the country to host clinics and demonstrations centered around MindSet, so they’re helping and emphasizing the importance of a pre-shot routine on the greens. It’s a great 1-2 punch of new product and helpful expertise so keep an eye out for this new line, and clinics near you.
Epoch Eyewear, the brainchild of a veteran who wanted to make good sunglasses
When Rebecca Milner started this growing company a little over five years ago, she thought “epoch” was appropriate. The word means a period of time in history or a person's life, typically one marked by notable events or particular characteristics. In this case, forging ahead with her own sunglasses company, was indeed an epoch.
Milner, a military Veteran based in Colorado Springs, put her own spin on the word though, and although the spelling is “epoch” her blossoming company is called “epic.” And indeed, the eyewear is pretty darn epic. With a wide-ranging line of different shades, the best part is likely the price tag — most of Epoch’s glasses are under $40.
And you’re getting some serious quality with that $40. All Epoch sunglasses are polarized, super lightweight and lenses come in shatter-free polycarbonate or scratch-resistant versions depending on the type you buy. The company’s sunglasses with the green mirror lenses are excellent for golf, too, helping you read break better on the green and not squint as much on the course.
The Golf Swing Shirt is a genius training aid for those looking to make more solid strikes
One look at this shirt and you may be thinking, “How will this help me?” After hitting 10 balls with it on, I can attest that the Golf Swing Shirt is the real deal.
The shirt — you’ll fit in the same size as your golf shirt — is shaped like a neoprene tank top, but with a single, two-arm wide slot that you slip your arms into before lining up to make a swing. The idea is that having your arms trapped in together will help you use more of your body and core to make a swing versus your arms and hands. It certainly works.
The Golf Swing Shirt provides amazing feedback and instant correction, really promoting a connected arms and body move through the entire swing. If arms are moving ahead or lag behind, the shirt holds a swing up and the golfer will know — and more importantly “feel” — what they’re doing wrong.
After a few bad shots — which happens with most people who try the shirt — your swing will start to feel more in-sync . . . and as a result, your strikes will be more crisp. The Golf Swing Shirt can be used from chips all the way up to a driver, making it a versatile training aid for anyone looking to get better.
Brad Faxon’s wedge advice? Check the grooves before your grips
One of the great parts of PGA Show Demo Day is some of the demonstrations and clinics put on by golfers who represent certain brands. Brad Faxon had an excellent and well-attended presentation on wedges and what to look for when it comes to improving around the greens.
Faxon had some great advice when asked what golfers can do with their wedges as a new golf year gets underway, and went through a number of tips and lessons on using bounce, simplifying your set-up and having symmetry back and through the ball.
His best tip though is one golfers often overlook.
“Make sure you’re checking the grooves on your wedges,” Faxon said. “Even wedges that are three or four years old may not seem ‘old,’ to you but the wear on those grooves probably says something a little different.”
Fresh grooves on a new wedge, Faxon added, can help golfers improve their greenside spin almost instantaneously making shots from the fairway, fringe, rough and bunker a little easier.
“Go get fit, too,” Faxon told the crowd. “We think that drivers, woods and irons are the important ones to get fit for, but a properly fit wedge with new grooves can make a world of difference for golfers of every skill level.”