2019 PGA Show Teezy Awards – “Best of the Rest”

With the excitement of The Oscar’s being handed out (I didn’t watch a second of it) the time has come. The pomp, circumstance, and electricity that is the Teezy Awards. This is the best of the rest… and in anticipation of next year I am going to be doing the presentation “Olympics-style”. Instead of talking about a winner and a runner-up there will be Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals awarded. So, without further delay.

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A new year with a different angle.

The Teezy Awards… 2019 PGA Merchandise Show “Best of the Rest”.

 

Top Men’s Apparel

GOLD (Bald Head Blues) This range of men’s golf apparel has an uncanny ability. The ability to somehow transport you from the rigors of everyday life to somewhere more relaxing. Perhaps somewhere off of the Nort Carolina coast where the brand gets its name from. Apparel from Bald Head Blues is light, bright, and comfortable. The quality and attention to detail are second to nobody in the business. Look for a review in the near future regarding their 1/4 Zip Clubhouse sweater.

SILVER (Original Penguin) They have a complete line of men’s apparel. From lifestyle t-shirts to pants and everything in between. The patterns are fun and they always have a theme. In one line the theme is 50’s camping. They’re fun, bold and each print hs “Pete the Penguin” in there somewhere.

BRONZE (Columbia Sportswear) – I’ll admit it. Columbia Sportswear surprised me just a little bit. It wasn’t so much the fact that they had eye-pleasing colors nor was I surprised by their technology as far as keeping golfer’s comfortable in all elements. What really surprised me was their price point. Their range of products has a very attractive price tag attached to them. the flaw, you will only find them in Pro Shops where they have been brought in.

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Top Women’s Apparel (As chosen by Crystal Toth)

GOLD (Motherputter) – After the show, women’s’ golf contributor wrote a piece on Motherputter. The brand features cutting edge styles that are bold. Styles that take you from the course to the club or vice versa. Motherputter also happens to have a wide variety of sizing. How do I know that Motherputter is good? Crystal hasn’t stopped talking about them.

SILVER (Golftini) – You might have seen women’s apparel from Golftini in the past. On-Air personalities Bailey Mosier and Nicole Castrale raved about them. Recently, Amanda Blumenherst was on GC Morning Drive wearing Golftini fashion. They’re trendy, smart and vivid. Golftini carries women’s golf apparel (and beyond) that features everything from Polos, Ponchos, Pants, and Skorts. One of the two brands that Crystal has talked about a lot since the show.

(BRONZE Jane Fifteen Thirty) – Boasting a blend of perfect fabric and perfect fit and fashion that’ll wear well anywhere comes Jane Fifteen Thirty. The beauty of their apparel is two-fold. Their range features slimming designs and mesh accents. Crystal was a sucker for the mesh accents where it was featured in the fashion that she looked at during the show. What really caught her attention was how they approached their sizing (sizes run from 1 to 7 (4XL) and how the tops are designed with longer length in mind.

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Top Accessories

GOLD (Evolve Golf)When it comes to accessories Evolve Golf has a lot of things right. But before I get into that I just wanted to talk about their booth at the 2019 PGA Show. The same booth has been used for the last 9 years. Their booth is constructed from repurposed wood. Evolve Golf cares about nature and how we impact Earth. Their Epoch golf tees are more durable than the standard wood tee or other similar plastic tees. The tees also feature their “Sweet Spot System” ensuring that you have the ball teed up at just the right height. Evolve Golf is more than tees as they also have a series of pitch mark repair tools, ball markers, and even their Motion Wool socks. More importantly, is Project Good Woods. Project Good Woods is an initiative that saw Evolve Golf coordinate with the Arbor Day Foundation. Their goal was to produce wood tees that do not cost more than the conventional wood tee but to “give back to the environment by a portion of the sale going the Arbor Day Foundation in the clubs region and in the clubs name”. This initiative has been instrumental in the planting of 10,000 trees.

SILVER (Zero Friction) – Zero Friction. They carry a wide range of products from golf tees, golf balls and now stand bags. The two-piece Spectra Matte finished golf balls come in bright colors. Yellow, Blue, and Red to name a few. Their Spectra SuperTubes come with a glove, 3 Spectra golf balls, and 10 tees. A perfect way to test out their products if you aren’t sure about them. Their Cabretta Elite golf gloves come in a wide variety of colors (too many to list) and the real winner here is that the gloves come in a Universal Fit. One size fits most. If I were to run a Pro Shop again, there is no doubt which gloves I’m carrying and offering to golfers. Zero Friction.

BRONZE (Oliver Thomas) Another exhibitor that Crystal was pretty hyped about. She was pretty excited when she told me about her discovery at the show. Oliver Thomas has a line of tote bags, duffle bags and more. Products feature “Everyday Carry meets Modern Function”. Their range also features machine washable totes and duffle bags (with built-in “secret stash” organization pocket), backpacks, crossbody bags, cosmetic cases, and fanny packs that are lightweight and water-resistant.

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Top Electronics (including Rangefinders and GPS)

GOLD (GOLFBUDDY)GOLFBUDDY claims the top honors in the Top Electronics category. Featuring everything from laser rangefinders and GPS units. New to the range for 2019 is their uber-impressive GolfBuddy aim W10 golf GPS SmartWatch that features a full-color screen and even green undulation (where available). The W10 comes pre-loaded with 40,000 golf courses in its library, automatic course updates (GOLFBUDDY app) and 13 hours of battery life in golf mode. This last point alone I challenge because I am always a skeptic about these claims. I’ve tested similar products that boasted the same just to come up well short. The W10 would be worth a test.

SILVER (OptiShokz) – From the same people that brought you the AfterShokz Trekz Air that received a ton of praise from these pages comes OptiShokz. Or to be more precise the OptiShokz Revvez. The OptiShokz Revez are sunglasses meets headphones but with a difference. These sunglasses integrate sunglasses and headphones in one. Featuring the same Bone Conduction Technology as the Trekz Air that I reviewed in 2018 the sound quality promises to deliver while keeping you safe due to their open-ear construction. OptiShokz Revvez will come with replaceable lenses including a Polarized version that those on the water will appreciate.

BRONZE (aboutGOLF) – I never thought that I would see the day where I would put a launch monitor/simulator up for a nomination. Mostly because these aren’t what your typical golfer could afford to put in our house. After all, we all can’t be the President of the United States. But here we are. aboutGOLF is the only simulator that is endorsed by both the PGA TOUR and Golf Channel. aboutGOLF features a new platform for 2019 called “aG Links”. This platform has too many features to list including aG Balance Pro weight and balance analysis, aG Flix video analysis and in a nutshell, is a full-blown entertainment system.

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Photo Credit: GOLFBUDDY

Top Footwear

GOLD (Skechers GO Golf) – When it comes to the number of styles, colors, and price point there was no stronger product range in the golf footwear category at the 2019 PGA Show. Skechers golf footwear won’t cost consumers any more than $150 (GO Golf Pro V.4 Honors) and include the ultralight GO GOLF MAX. When I picked them up there was almost literally no weight to them. For women, the varieties are plentiful, to say the least with models of shoes like the GO GOLF Max, GO GOLF Draw and the blingy GO GOLF Shine all being available. Skechers knows feet and they definitely know shoes as well. By the way, they also do have some apparel as well.

SILVER (TRUE Linkswear)From the Pacific Northwest comes TRUE Linkswear. For those of you who have followed me for a long time, you might know that TRUE Linkswear holds a special place in my heart. In a way, I nearly avoid writing about them because some might view my feelings as partial. I’m not. 2019 has seen the launch of some great shoes from Jason Moore (PGA TOUR star Ryan Moore’s brother) and company. Headlining the list are the TRUE Major. Designed with out of the box comfort in mind the TRUE Major features a 2-year waterproof design, full-grain leather a paracord lacing system and so much more. This is their most-refined shoe in my opinion. A performer that looks great. The bar was set really high with this shoe. Also of note are the OG Premium. The OG Premium is a reconstructed version of 2018’s TRUE Orgininal but features softer leather and improved waterproofing and comfort.

BRONZE (Jack Grace USA) –  A classic saddle shoe with a twist. Or shall I say… A swap? Jack Grace USA features what the company calls “Saddle Swap Technology”. Do you get bored easily? Do you have a keen fashion sense? If so then Jack Grace USA might be the ideal golf shoe for you. Why have a bunch of different colored shoes when you can have one pair of shoes and multiple saddles that you can quickly and simply change to match your wardrobe for a day on the links? That’s the genius behind Jack Grace USA. Jack Grace also features construction from premium leather.

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Top Training Aid

GOLD (Colour Path Golf) – Already the focus of a post-show article Colour Path Golf was a product that literally went from “What’s the point?” to “Genius”. Colour Path Golf relies on different colors and shapes to help the instructor teach golf to their students. Colour Path Golf is something that I’ve never seen in the industry meaning that it allows golfers to be visual learners in a way which we’ve never seen before. Through using the pieces in the kit swing faults can be easily explained with a ton of visual cues. Say you have an issue with leaving your shot pushed out to the right (RH golfer) and you don’t understand the explanation. Now you can see what you don’t understand. I saw this product at Demo Day and I was baffled about what it does. Then I had my appointment… IT’S SO SMART.

SILVER (PuttOUT Golf) – How many times do you use the driver during a round of golf? Assuming that any given course has 14 driving holes you might use it 14 times. Sometimes, the driver isn’t the right play. In comparison, how many times do you stroke a putter? Maybe 30 times… or a touch less or dare I say a few more. The PuttOUT Pressure Putt Trainer is a product that allows you to practice your putting at home (if you have carpet), a hotel room if you’re on the road or on any green where there may not be a hole cut where you’d like. The PuttOUT Pressure Putt Trainer is a ramp that simply returns your ball on a “made” putt. The trainer folds pretty flat so it’s highly transportable and can sit in your golf bag. PuttOUT has also recently launched a putting mirror and alignment gate.

BRONZE (Acu-Strike) – Acu-Strike is a training aid that can help golfers in achieving the perfect strike. This impact training mat provides instant feedback in letting you know there where your impact was in relation to the ball. Ideally, we want our divot to be after the ball. Anything before the ball is fat and you all but guarantee a poor result. Acu-Strike identifies where the golf club bottoms out turning the area dark. Also, Acu-Strike gives feedback on club path through impact.

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Top Health and Wellness

GOLD (HempMe) – Be on the lookout for a review of HempMe Rx CBD Ointment. There’s no doubt that one of the up and coming products at the PGA Show are products that are CBD based. Having been sore both Crystal and I decided to try some of their ointment. Well, what I can tell you is that the HempMe ointment worked. The pain was relieved within 45 minutes (for me) and in the case of an area that hurt… I was no longer in pain. I used to be the biggest pride when it came to CBD or Cannabis… that has since changed because I’ve seen and experienced what some of the benefits are.

SILVER (SCNS – 1st Tee) – Nutrition bars are a massive industry in general. 1st Tee offers a wide variety of flavors including Honey Almond, Dark Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin and more. Also,  SCNS offers nutrition bars that are gluten and dairy free and beef jerky. Everything that I sampled had very good taste and I would have no issue having a bar before my round. SCNS also happens to be a partner of the First Tee Program. “The First Tee is an organization that provides positive youth development through golf. SCNS is proud to donate $0.15 from the sale of each 1st Tee Dark Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Bar and 10th Tee Cranberry Trail Mix Bar, to The First Tee®, providing positive youth development through golf”.

BRONZE (Gelliflex)The very last product that I saw during the 2019 PGA was the Gelliflex Abacus. The Gelliflex Abacus is a self-therapy massage device. We’ve seen what an abacus is. A counting device that uses beads. The built on an H-frame the Gelliflex Abacus incorporates firm gel balls (Gelliprene) to help golfers massage their hands, wrists, elbows, and forearms. Also, the Gelliflex can be used for administering foot massage as well. This was a product that I really liked… and enjoyed.

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Top New Product

Stroke of Luck – The Stroke of Luck putting matt is my pick for Top New Product of the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. The Stroke of Luck putting matt combines a training aid (putting matt) with card games like poker. Stroke of Luck is one of those products that brought joy to people while I was in attendance at their booth during the show. You could tell people were having fun and really enjoyed it. The options of card games using Stroke of Luck are too numerous to list. Whether you’re playing poker with other golfers or by themselves the matt is a ton of fun.

The Stroke of Luck putting matt could potentially shine in the golf industry from a business standpoint. How many tournaments or leagues have you played in that were in a rain delay or canceled altogether? Instead of squawking about the rain your Pro Shop could have a Stroke of Luck Putting matt on hand. People could engage in playing poker while doing some golf-related activity while still supporting the club. 

I loved this product!!

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Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

2019 PGA Show -“Best of The Rest” Nominations

With the 2019 PGA Show Equipment Edition Teezy Awards in the books, it’s time to focus on the “Best of the Rest”. These are products ranging from apparel to footwear and everything else in between. Of course, for the most part, these are awards that aren’t given points for performance but what I look at are things like style, price point and even in some cases backstories. How did a company come to be, what drove them to get involved in the industry.

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Here are the nominees.

 

Top Men’s Apparel

  1. Swannies
  2. Original Penguin
  3. Columbia Sportswear
  4. Bald Head Blues
  5. AndersonOrd

 

Top Women’s Apparel

  1. Jane 1530
  2. Golftini
  3. Katherine Way
  4. StarBorn Skirts
  5. MotherPutter

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Top Accessories

  1. Beltology
  2. Zero Friction
  3. Oliver Miller
  4. C4 Belts
  5. Evolve Golf

 

Top Electronics (including Rangefinders and GPS)

  1. aboutGolf
  2. GolfBuddy
  3. ScoreBand
  4. Optishokz
  5. Guided Knowledge

 

Top Footwear

  1. TRUE Linkswear
  2. Skecher’s Performance
  3. Jack Grace USA
  4. New Balance Golf
  5. PUMA Golf

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Top Training Aids

  1. Acu-Strike
  2. Total Golf-Trainer
  3. Colour Path Golf
  4. Power Package Golf
  5. PuttOUT

 

Top Health and Wellness

  1. Bobo’s
  2. 1st Tee Nutrition Bars
  3. HempMe
  4. Iso-Sport
  5. Gelliflex

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Top New Product

The winner had already been decided on Friday that the show ended.

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

 

Best of 2018 – Teezy Awards

The final installment of The Teezy Awards for 2018 has arrived.

I’m going to quickly go through the “Best of the Best” for 2018. From the best equipment to the best accessory. So… let’s just jump right into it.

Top Driver – The winner of this category is no stranger to the title. Cobra Golf took the honors here from their showing at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. The KING F8+ was a perfect blend of feel, power, spin, trajectory and aesthetics.

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Testing of the Callaway Rogue Sub Zero was real impressive but one thing still bothers me about it. The feel. It just didn’t feel crisp like the Epic. Maybe the Epic Flash will bring home the honors in 2019.

Top Fairway Metal – Okay so I really didn’t have much of an opportunity to swing any new clubs in this category outside of the PGA Show. It was there where I crowned the Cobra Golf KING F8 fairway metal. For much of the same reasons that the driver one. Terrific acoustics, crisp and light feel off of the face and last but not least easy to launch. A confidence builder from the fairway.

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Under further review… the Launcher HB nearly got the nod. If you need help from the fairway… look at the Launcher HB. (Photo Credit: Cleveland Golf)

In retrospect, I had a change of heart for the runner-up fairway metal in this category. The Cleveland Launcher HB. Although it didn’t seem to get any or for that matter many accolades it was an impressive stick. The easiest to launch that I experienced in 2018 also had a sweet ballflight and a fair price point. Of note here as well was the silver like that represented the step-down that I also served another great purpose. Framing the golf ball. 

Top Hybrid – I was torn on how to choose this category. Things were looking really good for the TaylorMade Golf M3 to maintain the award. But then in late 2018 I received a product for testing. The catch? It’s a product for 2019. That said, it just may repeat at this time next year. The Tour Edge Exotics EXS  is THE best hybrid that I’ve used to date. Long, consistent straight ballflight, a premium shaft, great acoustics I could go on and on why it wins the Teezy Award for Top Hybrid.

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Top Irons – There’s going to be no split in this category between forged and cast. Or GI vs Player’s irons. It’s about the Top Iron. The winner of this category is the 1031 Forged from New Level Golf. These irons feel great, are plenty forgiving, it’s a pin-seeker and quite frankly it has all of the aesthetics that you could want. Not to mention it’s also a forged GI iron.

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What surprised me here was how close it was between the 1031 Forged and the multi-material Cobra KING F8 ONE Length irons. They were the most fun I’ve had swinging an iron that I can ever recollect. Super long, forgiving and they feel powerful at impact.

Top Wedges – These wedges aren’t forged. Which isn’t a big deal. Many of the “top brands” make wedges that are cast. But when push comes to shove you want a wedge that you’re comfortable with. It might be a blade like a Vokey or it could be a cavity-back. New Level Golf could have won this award too had I spent more time with it. But when you’re in trouble… you want a wedge that will save your bacon. For this reason the nod goes to Cleveland Golf and their CBX wedge. These wedges are super easy to get up in the air, easy to get out of bunkers, and the mass slides through the greenside rough like a hot knife trough butter. One of my Members (and students) this year bought two. I told Bob that he was the smartest golfer at the course.

Top Putter – There were plenty of putters that I rolled that performed great. The TaylorMade Spider is a putter that I generally putt very well with. More often than not it just seems like they just fall. I had a great time rolling the ArGolf Uther in Orlando. It walked out of Orlando with the award. However, late this year I was rolling putts with a SeeMore Giant FGPt. Center-Balanced, a 360 gram head weight (I’d be inclined to get it to 400 grams) and the renowned Rifle Scope Technology made for a putter that I was extremely confident with. That’s half of the battle in putting.

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Maybe it’s just SeeMore Putters in general. (Photo Credit: SeeMore Putters)

Top Golf Ball – There are golf balls that I consider my go-to golf ball or golf balls. What used to be Titleist is no longer the case. That honor belongs to the Srixon Q Star Tour. That said, the Bridgestone Golf Tour B XS is the Top Golf Ball that I tested during this product cycle. These balls barely slid into the competition this year. Great all-around performance from tee to green. It was a banner year for the Covington, Georgia-based company with Bryson DeChambeau winning three times, Tiger Woods once, Matt Kuchar once and Lexi Thompson winning on the LPGA Tour.

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I was surprised by how good the TaylorMade Golf Project (S) was when I tested it in Florida as soon as the show wrapped up last year. For less than $30 CAD it was a golf ball that was half to a full club longer and felt pretty darn good. Also what surprised me was how good it performed when it came to greenside pitches and chips. Not bad for a distance golf ball.

Top Golf Component – This category I lumped together with shafts, heads, ferrules, grips and anything else that you need to build a golf club. The winner here was clear cut. Not only did I experience great results using the TPT Golf 15-LKP-LT-LW but so did professionals using their various shafts on Tours worldwide. TPT Golf makes a wide range of shafts with various kickpoints, bend profiles and weights.

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Top Golf Technology – Probably the easiest category for me to decide. Initially, it wasn’t! But then long-term testing came of the FlightScope mevo. A device that costs the same price of most drivers on the market. It’s a personal launch monitor giving you important metrics like Club and Ball Speed, Smash Factor, Launch Angle and more. It transports easily from place to place as it fits into the palm of your hand. Great for figuring out your gapping.

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Top Golf ApparelArnold Palmer Apparel (APA). I left the PGA Show thinking that this apparel was sent from heaven. That was before I tested and reviewed their products. Everything from mid-layer to pants. My stance on APA became even stronger during and after the review. Fabric that has “great feel of hand”, apparel that wears real well, it’s sophisticated and trendy. The price point is more than fair. Not to mention 100% of the profits go towards Arnie’s Army Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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Top Accessory – Another category that was hard to decide. The final two that it came down to could have easily been placed in the Top Technology category too. But they weren’t. As I sat here and wrote this finale for 2018 I was torn in making a choice in a way similar to the Top Irons category. But a winner emerged. Shot Scope V2. A device that is not just a watch but also a watch-style golf GPS. The features give you exact yardages not just from the middle of the fairway but from off of the beaten path as well. Not only does it provide on-course information but it also provides you with a variety of stats to help you improve your game. This accessory is a performance tracker and it will find flaws in your game and help you improve. Shot Scope is always updating the app.

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I have to mention mention Aftershokz as well in this category. This is a set of headphones that features Bone Conduction Technology. They’re wireless, act as a headset so you can be hands-free on your cell phone, have rich sound and because their construction has an open construction design they are extremely safe.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee