As I sit here watching fresh snow fall I am reminded that the holiday season is upon us. For all of my friends, family and loved ones in the United States I hope that each and every one of you have a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

holidays

With American Thanksgiving here means that Black Friday and the Holiday Season is upon us. As usual, I release a holiday gift guide based on products that I’ve personally used and recommend. In the past, this gift guide has focused on products that are under $100. However, I thought that I would change it up this year simply because there are too many gadgets that are more than $100 that I’d like to recommend.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the offing maybe now is the time to take advantage of some sales. So without further delay here we go.

Gift Under $25

Believe it or not, there are a myriad of great gifts for under $25. Among these options are gifts like the Tee Claw. It’s a multi-purpose tool that allows golfers to practice without using those annoying rubber tees when you’re at the driving range. Tee Claw allows users to employ real golf tees. Not only that you can use Tee Claw as a very effective training aid whether it’s putting doing the “gate drill” or the full swing working on club path. A terrific stocking stuffer. Tee Claw is currently offering a sale. 2 3-pack kits including lanyards for $21.95. Visit the Tee Claw website for more information.

IMG_20180130_215447_276 (2)

 

Also in this gift category is the Stick-It Magnetic Golf Towel. Stick-It utilizes a a high-strength magnet (25 pounds of pull) and a high-quality micro-fiber golf towel which absorbs water quickly and dries fast. You can use this towel tee to green and requires no bending to pick it up after use. You simply “stick it and pick it”. It’s a great alternative to traditional towels, transports easily from tee to green and stays on the bag without falling off. Not to mention you simply un-clip the magnet and throw easily into the washing machine to wash it. My review of the Stick-It  Magnetic Golf Towel is coming out and it’s worth the $24.95. For more information or to order please visit Monument Golf.

Gifts Under $50

Alright, there’s a plethora of options at this price point. One of the most obvious things to purchase at this price point is golf balls. Name a manufacturer and they all have one to satisfy your needs. If it were me looking for a golf ball in this price point I’d either look at the Srixon Q Star Tour, Vice Golf Pro Soft, or the Tour B range from Bridgestone Golf. There are others out there for less money but these are the top golf balls that I’ve tested where the budget leaves you a little extra for something else… or a little bit to get yourself something nice. After all, you’ve been good all year right?

tourb2

There is no way that I could mention gifts under $50 without mentioning 2UNDR. 2UNDR is known for a couple of things. First, they are the most comfortable undergarments that I’ve worn in my life. Secondly, the “Joey Pouch” which goes a long way in aiding the comfort of these undergarments. Featuring creature comforts like their “No Drip Tip” the boys are happy all day and night long. They have several cuts of boxer briefs, long underwear, shirts, caps and more all for under $50. Go to the 2UNDR website for more details and pricing.

Gifts Under $100

So now we’re starting to get into gift suggestions for under $100. As will be the case for every category there’s a proverbial cornucopia of ideas at this price point. Among the better one’s from my experiences include any of the product range from Arnold Palmer Apparel. Every piece is of the highest quality and extremely stylish. All of the pieces are under $100 and a 100% from the profits goes towards Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. For more information please visit Arnold Palmer Apparel for more information.

IMG_20180414_190049

While I cannot comment on their most recent wedges I can comment on their initial foray. Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company released their TK wedges in January of 2015. These are wedges that feature a ton of loft options. They offer great feel, forged heads, premium shaft options and a gentle price tag of $75 each (plus shipping). For more information please visit benhogangolf.com. Help your loved ones short game. They’ll love you forever.

Gifts Under $200

Be Original. Enjoy the walk. My favorite brand of golf shoes is without question TRUE Linkswear. I credit their shoes with saving my leg in 2014 after I developed gangrene leading me to fight to keep my right leg. Since then they’re the shoe that I swear by on and off of the course. Give your feet a break with their all-world comfort and versatility. In 2018, they launched the TRUE Original $149 and their TRUE Outsider $169. These shoes have been phenomenal and the TRUE Outsider is great for literally any function.

IMG_20180126_142324

 

It’s early in the testing process but I’m going to make a point of mentioning the Tour Edge Golf Exotics EXS Hybrid. This is a piece of equipment for the 2019 product cycle. It features a premium Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Blue shaft in many flex and loft options. The face is hot, light and responsive and sets up beautifully in the address position. Boasting Cup Face Technology with Variable Face Thickness (VFT Technology) the sweet spot is expanded.  You get a golf club with a ton of tech for $199.99.

IMG_20181120_143101

One of my favourite products discovered at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show and a product that tested extremely well was Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones. These received a very complimentary review and won the Teezy Award for Top Accessory at the 2018 PGA Show. These open concept headphones use Bone Conduction Technology to deliver great sound. Not only are they wireless and employ Bluetooth but they are very safe. For more information please visit the Aftershokz website for more details.

Gifts Under $350

Even though I haven’t had it in hand or made passes with it yet I just want to float the idea of the Exotics EXS driver again from Tour Edge Golf. For $299.99 and offering a ton of tech this driver is at least worth a mention and a look.

At any rate, this gift suggestion is going to be one of the last reviews for 2018 and one that will be released real soon. What do you get when you have a GPS Watch, sensors for the end of your golf clubs and an in-depth performance tracking system? The answer is the ShotScope V2. Wearable GPS Technology that helps golfer improve by letting them know their tendencies. Important analytics like average distance, putts per round, fairways and greens hit in regulation and so much more. The best part.. unlike other similar versions out there in the marketplace this one involves no tagging clubs. Just get up to your golf ball and fire away. The Scotland-based company retails them for 225 GBP which translates to roughly $288 USD however by visiting ShotScope.com you’ll see that they have some holiday season pricing.

V2_Render_FrontplusTags

If you’re about making New Year’s Resolutions and your goal is to lose weight and get into better shape than maybe trading the riding cart for a push cart is an idea. If there is one that I recommend it would be the Clicgear 3.5+. With features like maintenance-free tires, smooth movement, a large storage net, ease of folding/unfolding and a wide variety of accessories available you can let your imagination run wild. With a multitude of color options there is an option for everyone. It might have launched in 2007 but there have been several enhancements to improve on an award-winning design. Approximately $300 CAD.

Gifts Under $500

I won’t list more than one in this category. But the one I am going to list for under $500 is a product that I would invest that kind of money into long before buying a new driver for the same money. The gift suggestion is the FlightScope mevo. Practice with a purpose. Know exactly how far you hit each golf club and know the particulars. With data recorded like clubhead speed, ball speed, smash factor, back spin you’ll have all of the data (or nearly) that you could ever need. In my review I had a wishlist for this product for them to include AoA and Club Path but at $499 this is quite a lot of bang for the buck. Especially, when comparing to other launch monitors worth thousands more. Great for practicing indoors or outdoors. If you’re stuck in a dome during the winter then this is a gift for you. Visit my review or flightscopemevo.com for more details. They are offering $50 off for Black Friday pricing.

me4

I hope that this guide has helped you find a gift for your loved ones or perhaps yourself. There are great gifts available at every price point. From my family to yours please be safe this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

Until The Next Tee!!

 

 

 

Advertisements

This past January I came out of Orlando with an idea to do a “sort of” awards presentation based on my findings of various products at the show. At the time, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to do it however. Nonetheless, The Teezy Awards were born and much to my surprise and delight they’ve been well-received.

Emerging the victor in the ‘Top Accessory” category was none other than AfterShokz (Trekz Air). The question is… What is Aftershokz and what makes them so special? Well, in case you aren’t familiar with the brand Aftershokz here is a little bit of a timeline that features some of their accomplishments and who they are.

Aftershokz was founded in 2011 and opened their headquarters in East Syracuse, NY. In 2012, the brand made their official launch at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The brand started initially with wired headphones and later in 2012 they won the “Consumer Electronics category in the 2012 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards, a recognition earned for the company’s potential to widely impact the CE industry and make a difference in people’s lives”. By the time 2013 came around Aftershokz had already introduced the first Bone Conduction Technology headphones at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show which also featured their trademarked Premium Pitch Technology. In November of 2014, “the world learns that AfterShokz bone conduction technology plays a key role in the prototype product Microsoft has been designing as part of their Cities Unlocked project, which aims to make the world’s landscape more accessible to persons with blindness”. In 2015, building on their previous successes and advancements an Indiegogo campaign was started to fund a new project of theirs. That project was Trekz Titanium which ultimately brings us to this review.

 

aft

Bone Conduction Technology… it sounds fancy and scientific but what is it? In layman’s terms have you ever watched any military films or documentaries where the soldiers are listening and talking through headsets? Have you noticed that their ears were never encroached upon? That’s because, they were using Bone Conduction Technology. Essentially, sound is transmitted as soundwaves or vibrations. The soundwaves or vibrations are picked up by the inner ear through the bones of the skull. Because of this fact bone conduction transmission can be used with individuals with normal or impaired hearing.

Leading up to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show I was in contact with Jayme Schwartz who handles the PR for AfterShokz. Prior to the show, I shared a press release from them and arranged a meeting. On the floor of the Orlando County Convention Center I met with Mary Garlatti who took the time to show me their two models of headphones. The Trekz Titanium and the Trekz Air. Initially, my main purpose for visiting the booth was primarily just to see what these headphones using Bone Conduction Technology sounded like. As they were placed on my head and music was turned on I was immediately impressed by the tone and all-around sound of these headphones. For those that don’t know, I love music am a musician from a very musically talented family and I’m a real stickler food good sound. These had the sound while allowing me to hear everything around me. Without fully understanding how full of features these headphones were I felt that I had the winner of “Top Accessory” for my Teezy Awards. At any rate, a long-term testing and review was arranged and waiting for me when I got home from Florida was a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones.

The AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones are completely wireless and Bluetooth enabled. Some of the features of the Trekz Air headphones include…

  • 20% lighter than Trekz Titanium
  • Complete wraparound titanium design provides a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
  • LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage

Throughout my testing of these Trekz Air  headphones from AfterShokz I’ve used them in every possible scenario. Indoor range sessions, on the golf course while playing, at the gym during my workouts (and tanning), out for long walks with my pup and last but not least while driving. In fact, there is only one place that comes to mind where I haven’t tried them where I would and that’s on an airplane.

aft1

 

The headphones themselves come in a very neat package. Inside of the packaging you will find everything that you need to make the Trekz Air headphones work. Inside is an easy to understand instruction manual, a black pouch (rubberized), a USB charging cable and last but not least a tiny case that houses to earplugs. When it’s safe to cut out all of the ambient noise in the background stick in the earplugs which in turn makes Trekz Air headphones “nearly noise-cancelling”.

To say that I’m impressed with the Trekz Air headphones is a huge understatement. There are noticeable advantages that these headphones have over earbuds or headphones f other designs. The first is pure practicality. Unlike earbuds, the Trekz Air don’t fall out of your ears. It’s a chronic problem that I have with earbuds. Secondly, because of their open frame construction the impact of the Trekz Air headphones from a safety standpoint is staggering. An example of this was my very first use. I was walking my dog at night and it was a night where there was a fog lingering. I was walking down the one street (on the sidewalk) and there are literally no street lights present. As we were about to leave that street I heard a car approach from behind. The car didn’t have any headlights on and as I stopped Muskoka he pulled in right in front of us. Had I been wearing earbuds… one of us likely gets hit. The driver got out of his vehicle and apologized for not seeing us. These headphones are safe… period!! In case you like to listen to music on the golf course but don’t want to have a Bluetooth speaker that disturbs others these headphones are perfect. You can both hear the music and continue conversations with your playing partners with Trekz Air.

IMG_20180308_091403
The author wearing his Trekz Air headphones during an indoors practice session.

Because the Trekz Air headphones feature a wraparound design… the headphones are always secured onto your head. Throughout the course of the golf swing the Trekz Air headphones do not become dislodged from your person. These headphones are simply there just for the ride so swing away. Or in the case of working out not only is there no wire hanging there but again the Trekz Air remain in place. Whether you’re doing abdominal crunches, rowing, spinning or any sort of lifting the Trekz Air do not fall off. Is there a little slippage where you might have to readjust a little bit? Yes, after all they aren’t duct-taped onto you. And they are light… to the point where you don’t realize that you’re wearing them.

I’ve worn the Trekz Air in a number of climate scenarios. I’ve worn them in a light rain, snow flurries and of course the gym and that’s a place that could simulate a jungle with my perspiration. Because the Trekz Air features an IP55 certification it’s sweat and dust repellent. This doesn’t mean that you could wear them during a monsoon. I’m not suggesting that you can’t. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t. That said, the repellent qualities certainly live up to their billing.

 

The Trekz Air headphones have multi-point pairing. In fact, up to 5 devices can be paired at one time. As it stands I’m currently running my cell phone and laptop as paired devices with my Trekz Air headphones. You can be totally hands-free using Trekz Air. For answering calls you click the Multi-Function Button once. If you’re listening to music or a movie and you want to change the Equalizer setting you can do that as well by simply holding down the +/- volume buttons at the same time for 3 seconds and presto… the sound has been changed. Speaking of the sound. The trademarked PremiumPitch+ sounds great. The tones are rich, crisp and pure. I found that the bass was even more impressive when the earplugs were in.

aft3.jpg

I love the “Audrey says” voice prompts which only brings out more of the user-friendly qualities of these headphones. In the past I’ve reviewed technological pieces that boasted a certain battery life which would later be heavily debunked. This is NOT the case with Trekz Air. AfterShokz says that you get 6 hours of continuous music and calls on a single charge. It delivers that 6 hours!!!

In closing, I feel like a genius for giving the AfterShokz Trekz Air the nod for the Teezy Award. I honestly, had no clue how good they truly were but I do now. The Trekz Air headphones retail for $179.95 USD. Before I drop money on a pair of Beats By Dre (or similar) I would save the money and purchase these Trekz Air. Safety, performance, sound and practicality that you can count on. The Trekz Air headphones are offered in three colors. Slate Grey, Forest Green and Midnight Blue. For more information please visit www.aftershokz.com

#ShokzSquad

Until The Next Tee!!