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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: GOLFBUDDY
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.
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.
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.
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!!
Until The Next Tee!!