Friday January 25th marked the last day of the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. As the show winds up for another 361 days… plans are already underway for 2020. A year that might bring perfect vision to the golf industry. The convention center staff in nearly a symbolic way turn out the lights to signal that the show is over… it’s time to take a look back at the final day of the 2019 PGA Show.

One of the areas of golf that I want to start focusing on more is health and wellness. While I’m no doctor or expert in the field I want to share with my readers methods or products that may help in the area of well-being. I started this trend in my Day One recap when I talked about Hemp Me. Today, I visited a booth that also develops CBD products. This company is called Iso-Sport. Iso-Sport produces a variety of CBD products that ranges from sublingual spray (under the tongue), patches that you wear on your back and even water enhancer. I tried a sample of their roll-on version of their pain relief product. Applying some to my neck (sore after our Lynx Transit bus rear-ended a car on I-Drive Thursday night) and my wrist. The cooling of the menthol was immediate and to be totally frank… I think it really worked. However, I’m sometimes cautious of using products like this because “Placebo Effect” is in the back of my mind. The product from Iso-Sport eased the pain in both my wrist and neck. This is definitely a product worth exploring further. Meanwhile, my partner in crime (Crystal) tried the sub-lingual spray (Guard). When asked about her thoughts she reported that she was not only able to focus better but she was able to have conversations with exhibitors without becoming tongue-tied.

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Just prior to the PGA Show I received and shared a press release within these very pages. That release was regarding a new set of irons from legendary manufacturer Miura Golf. Recently, the Himeji, Japan based company released the CB-301. This is a forged iron set that appeals to many skill levels because of it’s head shape, level of forgiveness and the fact that it comes in a forged body (as one might come to expect from Miura Golf). These irons are everything that I think of when I think of the Miura name. Clean and elegant. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to swing these irons at Demo Day because their booth was really busy. I even stalled for time at other booths waiting for a “quieter” time or a slight lull in the action to swing their products and it never came. When I looked at these clubs in the address position the look is one that will appeal to a huge majority of golfers. Looking down in the address position that topline is moderate and when people generally think of Miura irons they think about the Baby Blades. These CB-301 irons have a bit of a flange that moves the center of gravity low and back helping the golfer launch the ball. In the address position you cannot see the slight flange as it just seemlessly blends together. Truly a remarkable iron.

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The final product that I want to discuss in this segment is an apparel brand that comes from North Carolina. Specifically, Bald Head Island. From the vision of owner Claude Hope comes Bald Head Blues. “Clothing For Coasting”. Bald Head Blues is all about living the island lifestyle whether you’re actually on an island or simply wishing that you were (I’m the latter). The range of products goes from t-shirts, performance shirts (think fly-fishing) to polos and sweaters. The color palette features fun, playful and vibrant colors whilst the hand (feel) is very soft. I’m just in the process of testing and reviewing one of their Clubhouse 1/4 Zip pieces and this sweater is so comfortable. There’s almost a sensation of feeling relaxed when I wear it and in a way I feel like I’m at the beach soaking up some coastal Carolinian vibes.

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I hope that you’ve enjoyed my coverage of the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. These are just some of the highlights and products that I covered and/or discovered over the 4 days (Demo Day). I have a lot of content to share so keep coming to UTNT for reviews, stories and lots more.

So long Orlando!!

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOntheNextTee

 

 

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Prior to starting this review I just wanted to take the time to thank Kaleigh DeHart and Jaclyn Bertrand of Uproar PR for giving me the opportunity to conduct this testing. Without these ladies and their patience this review would never have happened.

Technology… no matter where you look it’s all around us. When you really think about it… golf and technology have really come to the forefront of the golf industry. It’s not just about golf clubs, golf balls, golf shafts and materials used to manufacture these goods. It goes so much deeper than that. Technology has done a lot when it comes to golf. It’s aided golfers in becoming longer and faster.

One of the trends that I’ve noticed in Orlando, Florida at the last few PGA Merchandise Show’s is that more and more tech gadgets are rising to the surface. From GPS units to wearable technology. However, technology to help golfers become longer and faster is useless unless you can optimize your numbers. This is where launch monitors enter the fray.

Launch monitors have become very instrumental in helping golfers find the right heads, shafts or golf balls for their individual needs. Most of the time this involves going to a fitter with a launch monitor that costs tens of thousands of dollars. After hitting a variety of shots you find out a lot about your game. Important metrics/data like launch angle, backspin, club head speed and smash factor to name a few. But what if you didn’t need to book an appointment to find out this information? What if you could go to the driving range and get this data with a piece of technology so small that it fits into the palm of your hand? Or better yet… if you can’t make it to a driving range you disappear into your backyard and make some strikes into a net achieving the same thing? That’s exactly what the personal launch monitor FlightScope mevo does.

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The FlightScope mevo is a piece of technology that I first learned about prior to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. While at the golf show in January I made an appointment to learn more about the FlightScope mevo. It was a device that I thought was so impressive and had so much to offer that I awarded it a Teezy Award in the Top Technology category. But what is the FlightScope mevo?

FlightScope has long been an industry leader when it comes to sports technology. FlightScope was founded in 1989 by its Inventor and CEO Henri Johnson. Mr. Johnson fell back on his background in defense and sports markets to create what became FlightScope as we know it. Since then, for the last 16 years golfers worldwide have entrusted products developed by FlightScope to not only perform better but to track and provide important golf ball data. The FlightScope mevo was developed to allow golfers to “practice with a purpose” at the range or at home.

The FlightScope mevo in actuality is a multi-sport device that can be used not only for golf but for baseball and soccer as well. The mevo employs a simplified version of the Doppler found in some of FlightScope’s larger units like their X3 model. Through the use of 3D Doppler Technology, golfers can gather essential data like Clubhead Speed, Ball Speed, Smash Factor, Ball Spin, Carry Distance, Launch Angle, Height and Time (spent in the air). Everything that you’d need to help you improve and shoot lower scores. Not only does the mevo unit capture and track this data the mevo also goes one step further in capturing video as well.

 

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As far as setting up and using the FlightScope mevo the process is pretty simple to do. When you unbox the mevo inside you’ll discover the radar unit, a carry pouch, metallic stickers, a USB cord for charging the unit and the instructions. Even for someone like myself that isn’t the most tech savvy person in the world. Once you’ve purchased your FlightScope mevo you download the free mobile app to your iOS or Android device. Most cell phones now come with the minimum requirements so compatibility issues shouldn’t be much of an issue. The app is a pretty quick download and doesn’t take up a lot of your device’s memory. In my case the app that I downloaded was version 1.3.2 and it’s taking up just over 100 MB on my device. So now that you’ve installed the app you’re nearly ready to go. The FlightScope mevo and its app use Bluetooth technology to track and store the data to/from your device so ensure that your Bluetooth with the paired device is turned “On”.

The FlightScope mevo can be used indoors and/or outdoors. For the purposes of this testing and review the testing was done mostly outdoors but it was used on the range, on the course (make sure it’s quiet with nobody behind you) and in my backyard into a hitting net (I did not use it indoors due to low ceilings). Prior to use go into “Settings”. It is here where you set up your device for use. There are three radar settings.

  1. Pitching (20 yards or less)
  2. Indoor (40 yards or less) and
  3. Outdoor (flight that is not interrupted)

*Please note that if using indoors you need 8 feet in addition allow for room to safely swing the club for proper readings. Also you need to set the mevo approximately 4 feet directly behind the ball and on your intended line .

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Also of interest in the settings menu are a couple are information to be input like is “Distance to tee”  (4 feet recommended) and “Altitude”. The latter being important if you live at altitude or plan a trip to a golf course at altitude. This way it gives you proper readings. I live at 528’ above sea level and set it accordingly. Also in the settings screen you’ll find the “Capture Mode” (data or video) and the number of blocks for the data to be displayed in (1 to 6). Generally, I used 5 blocks because it was this data that I was most interested in. I chose Clubhead Speed, Ball Speed, Launch Angle, Carry Distance and Smash Factor predominantly. However, in some cases I did elect to add Spin numbers to my data.

When it came to the testing of the FlightScope mevo I used it for a wide variety of purposes. When it came to greenside practice I used the mevo for a couple of purposes. The first thing that I used it for was to test the spin rates of different golf balls. By affixing one of the “metallic stickers” that come with the mevo I was able to differentiate the spin rates between “Ball A” and “Ball Z”. Important information to know when selecting a golf ball. Also, I used the mevo to show people the difference in spin when it came to greenside chipping and pitching with the focus being on the effects of flipping the club at impact. For the record, I did use the mevo to check my spin rates going into greens on full approaches as well. Also imperative for choosing a golf ball.

 

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But spin numbers aren’t what most people would want a launch monitor for. most golfers want to know how fast and far they hit the golf ball. My understanding at the PGA Show from one of their representatives was that it was within +/- 2 to 3 yards of their larger units at a distance of 250 yards. From my experiences, I would have to say that the irons were pretty darn accurate on the range and course thus translating into effective practice in the backyard. In saying that, it’s my opinion that the carry distance and club head speeds recorded were pretty accurate across the board. If anything it might have been a little shorter/slower by a shade than what I typically see in the “real world”. Bear in mind that the distance recorded with the mevo is strictly carry distance and does not look at total yardage (like units thousands of dollars more).

Smash Factor is the ball speed divided by the club head speed.The average PGA Tour player has a Smash Factor of 1.50 when they swing a driver (LPGA Tour is 1.49). A 15 handicap golfer (male) has a Smash Factor of 1.44 while his female counterpart has a Smash Factor of 1.41. Ultimately, Smash Factor is about the efficiency in which you apply the clubhead to golf ball. Say you have two golfers that swing their driver 100 mph. Player 1 has a Smash Factor of 1.50 and Player 2 has a Smash Factor of 1.40. There is a difference of 20 yards between the two golfers. The FlightScope mevo can help golfers improve on this front as well. Work towards consistency and that will equate to efficiency. You may not have to swing harder to go further. Instead, you just have to be more efficient with your swing to pick up an extra 10-20 yards.

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Launch Angle is relative from one golfer to another. For my purposes when I swing driver I’m looking for something around 11.5 to 13* of launch angle. The FlightScope mevo seems to track launch angle quite effectively with the results being right around what I’ve seen using other launch monitors. Also, it gives you the opportunity to see how much the launch angle changes from a full swing (imagine a 6-iron) to a knockdown shot. Think “stinger” and “flighting” the golf ball.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the effectiveness of the FlightScope mevo when it comes to solving “gapping” issues. Say you hit your PW 130 yards. A situation that is certainly not out of the question considering the stronger lofts of iron sets nowadays. Unfortunately, your GW only flies 110 yards. That means that you have a discrepancy of 20 yards. Thus you have a “gap” in your set. By utilizing the FlightScope mevo you can learn how far you hit each club and take the necessary steps to fill in gaps. These issues can occur with your longer clubs as well. Or perhaps, you could even eliminate clubs of similar distances and replace them with other clubs that would “bridge a gap” elsewhere. Maybe an extra hybrid or wedge?

Now are there any negatives with the FlightScope mevo? There are and they are quite minor. Personally speaking, if it were me I would trade a metric like time spent in the air for Angle of Attack (AoA). I really wish this was a metric that the FlightScope mevo tracked. I just feel it’s more important in the grand scheme of things. Also, I wouldn’t mind if the mevo had the ability to show side spin. Simply because, you can track clubface path through impact in doing so. I would also love to see ball flight so I wish the app had a “Driving Range” feature. Other than that I can’t really think of anything. I know that this device doesn’t cost thousands of dollars like so many others (maybe I’m asking for too much). Occasionally, you do get “no reads” but I’ve also experienced this on “commercial” launch monitors too. So in my mind it’s no big deal.

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Conclusion

The first thing that I need to say is that the FlightScope mevo offers a lot of bang for your golfer buck.  This launch monitor costs only $499. Quite frankly before I’d consider buying a new driver I’d purchase a FlightScope mevo with the same funds. There’s no doubt in my mind that the FlightScope mevo is THE best launch monitor at this price point. It’s pretty accurate and gives you all of the essential data that you need. Does it have all of the accuracy AND “bells and whistles” that monitors costing thousands more have? Perhaps not but I’m quite happy with that. Almost any discerning golfer with a tight budget could afford to own one. It’s lightweight and uber-portable. The FlightScope mevo makes practice even more fun.  The FlightScope mevo does allow you to “practice with a purpose”. I liked it in January… I love it more now. For more information on the FlightScope mevo please visit their website www.flightscopemevo.com

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

Incrediwear is on a mission. According to them that mission is a simple one. “To design innovative products to help people live incredibly”.

In case you haven’t heard of Incrediwear… you aren’t alone. It wasn’t until the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show when I first learned of the brand created by its founder Jackson Corley. Mr. Corley had suffered a near fatal cycling accident that threatened  to paralyze him for life. So, Mr. Corley set out to find a way to help himself and others to heal and recapture the life that he was accustomed to. To find a new way to heal from the pain associated from inflammation.

Initially, while at that show in 2017 I met Thomas Wilson who was representing the Incrediwear booth on the floor of the Orange County Convention Center. We started to discuss what Incrediwear and the benefits that individuals can get from wearing their products. As the conversation really began to unfold I mentioned my long history dealing with several health issues including and not limited to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and cardiac issues. As the calendar switched from 2017 to 2018 a new PGA Merchandise Show was fast approaching. Through using the Exhibitor List I noticed that Incrediwear would be attendance once again so I made a point to visit their booth. As fate had it Thomas Wilson was once again manning the booth. He remembered me and we discussed the possibility of setting up a review opportunity. Bear in mind, that since that 2017 show I had developed even more complications but more on that shortly. So I was introduced to Charlie Robinson who is the Content Marketing Associate for Incrediwear.

As discussions moved forward with Mr. Robinson where we discussed my ongoing health issues decisions were made on which products would be sent out for testing. Products from Incrediwear falls into three separate categories with different purposes in mind (Recover, Perform and Move). Below is a summary of the products that I’d receive for testing/review and my observations for each product.

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Incrediwear Circulation Socks (Quarter) – “The Incrediwear Circulation Socks relieve pain and discomfort for those suffering from poor circulatory conditions. The non-binding loose weave design allows for a form-fitting feel without the discomfort of a compression sock.” Through the use of  a fabric blend that’s “embedded with semiconductor elements to provide effortless comfort and exceptional durability”.

These socks are offered in both a Crew Cand Quarter length while being offered in black or grey. The Incrediwear Circulation socks are a sock that has soft feel. Made from a blend that’s 36% Cotton, 34% Polyester, 26% Nylon and 4% Spandex these socks are loose-fitting which aids in increasing blood flow. This is an important aspect for diabetics in general. Foot care is absolutely vital and loose-fitting socks are nearly vital. If loose-fitting and comfort is what Incrediwear sought out to achieve then mission accomplished. What I found really impressive was the fact that these socks didn’t slide down and bunch up. I’ve worn “Diabetic Socks” and they ALWAYS bunched up causing a blister(s). Incrediwear’s circulation socks never slid down and always stayed where they’re supposed to. The fit was perfect and I feel that it’s important to point out that my feet stay cool in my shoes while wearing them. Just to touch on the durability at this point I have worn them often and they’re as good as the day that they came out of the box. Perfection! MSRP $19.99 USD

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Incrediwear Men’s Performance Pants – The Incrediwear Men’s Performance Pants fall into their Move collection of products. The performance pants are geared towards “athletes looking to push the limits of their performance, the Incrediwear Men’s Performance Pants enhance the ability to perform by accelerating the body’s ability to recover. The Men’s Performance Pants are a base layer can be worn during and after activity to reduce muscle fatigue and enhance performance”.

Fabric blend’s that consist of semi-conductor elements are a recurring theme and they are also present in the Performance Pants. They are intended as a base-layer and they are very much that. While tight and form-fitting in fit the Performance Pants always maintained a high level of comfort. I admit that I erred in never wearing these under my shorts during my workouts but I did wear them under my pants during the never-ending winter that we seemed to have while walking my dog. The moisture-wicking qualities are excellent. Also, I wore the pants frequently after walks (when I wasn’t wearing them to begin with) and my lower body really seemed to enjoy them. Honestly, they’re comfy enough to act as a pair of “watch tv and lounge” pants. The fabric blend is 61% Nylon, 29% Polyester and 10% Spandex. If I were still playing hockey (goalie) these would have been my base-layer underneath my pads. Cold weather golf on the other hand… these are an easy “go to” MSRP $69.95 USD

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Incrediwear Circulation Shorts – Geared towards assisting those with muscle fatigue, issues associated with pinched nerves, hip injuries and groin injuries the Incrediwear Circulation Shorts “enhance the ability to perform by accelerating the body’s ability to recover. The Circulation Shorts are a base layer can be worn during and after activity to reduce muscle fatigue and enhance performance”. Incrediwear employs their signature fabric blend that’s composed of 61% Nylon, 21% Polyester and 10% Spandex.

Form-fitting and never uncomfortable. The Circulation Shorts were a very pleasant surprise and I only suggest that because I’ve worn products that simply were awful. Unlike those other ones I never felt constricted in general let alone right around the genitals. They are moisture-wicking, breathable and seemed to have exhibited anti-microbial qualities. The circulation shorts seemed to really assist my circulation and pain that I had in my hips and groin area. A very good product and the product that I’ve tested the least. Please don’t read into that… as mentioned a very good product. MSRP $44.98 USD

Incrediwear Leg Sleeves – The leg sleeves from Incrediwear stem from their Recover Collection. Recovery is the name of the game here. “Incrediwear Leg Sleeves accelerates recovery and relieves pain for those recovering from injuries or surgeries. The Leg Sleeve provides effortless comfort while reducing inflammation and swelling to accelerate the body’s natural healing process”.

Not intended to take anything away from the other products but these are the proverbial “best for last”!! Out of any of the products that were sent to me for testing it was the Leg Sleeves that turned out to be not only the most-rewarding but quite simply a savior… or saviors. How do I possibly start this section of my write-up other than saying that? The leg sleeves were astounding! As you might recall from earlier my health condition has quickly deteriorated. I have major blockages of the Renal, Femoral, Iliac and Tibial arteries. These blockages not only affect one leg but both. The pain from these blockages is excruciating at times making daily living often difficult and painful.

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The benefits of these leg sleeves are too plentiful to list all of them. Increased blood flow and pain relief are just two of the many benefits and the benefits that I noticed in aiding me the most. There were some days that I’ve experienced where I was not only in tears but walking was near impossible. Whether from activities like walking the dog, working out, golf practices or just living these leg sleeves proved to be a “Godsend” on so many occasions that it’s hard to express in words. Our family moved in May and the move kicked my ass so bad that it wasn’t funny. Especially my legs!! On those days that were nearly unbearable the leg sleeves made life bearable. They provided so much pain relief and I assume much of that has to do with their design. The design consists of a 3D weave and provides around the clock comfort. A cool little feature of these leg sleeves from Incrediwear feature little spots of silicon alongside the top of the inner hem. These help to keep the leg sleeves in place which mostly worked. However, I did experience some slippage. Not enough to detract from the benefits that I’ve received while putting the leg sleeves to use.. Measurement of your thighs is important in ensuring a proper fit. Incrediwear utilizes a blend of 66% Polyester 24% Nylon and 10% Spandex. Probably one of the best things products I’ve ever had the privilege to test and review!! MSRP $120 USD per pair.

In closing, Incrediwear offers a plethora of great products to help athletes and non-athletes alike. Benefits of their products easily outweigh the cost and if you suffer from leg pain etc these certainly are worth a look for you. Incrediwear offers products for both men and women and they also several products for issues not discussed in my review. If you’re looking for more information on Incrediwear and their entire product range please visit their website www.incrediwear.com

Until The Next Tee!!