Several years ago I reported on the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando and noted, as a side to the serious equipment, the array of off-beat products available to gullible golfers and gag-gift givers.
Since then, things have only gotten worse – as evidenced by a recent story by Golf Vacation Insider called “2017 PGA Show: The Goofiest Products Pitches.’”
Let’s take a look at some of the silliest offerings at this year’s extravaganza:
Shoe Tips: Words you can attach to your golf shoe to remind you of two important swing thoughts. Examples: “Balance” and “Tempo” and :Vizualize.” Its ads feature a quote from the great Bobby Jones: “You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about.’’ I wonder which of the 18 available Shoe Tips Mr. Jones wore.
X Marks the Putt: No longer will you have to lug a penny around all day to mark your ball. Now you can mark it with a spot of ink, as you might a bingo card. It is, writes Golf Vacation Insider, a solution looking for a problem. The ink is washable, will not stain and will not harm the grass. Yes, and greenkeepers will love it.
The Greens Wizard: Having trouble reading greens? This little leveling device attaches to your shoe – not too close to the Shoe Tip, we trust – and shows exactly how level the green is – at least in the spot where you are standing. The rest of the green? Sorry, Bub. You’re on your own. Just $29.95, or you can go to Lowe’s and buy a cheaper level and some duct tape to attach it.
Bugle Tee: OK, this is a tee. It goes in the ground and you place a golf ball atop it. OK, you can find tees everywhere. But, hey, only the Bugle Tee carries a lifetime guarantee: “If a Bugle Tee fails, just send it back and it will be repaired or replaced.” Dear Sirs: I used your Bugle Tee and failed to hit my drive 220 yards. Please repair it.
FootWedge Pro: A creepy-looking wedge shaped like a foot, get it? Complete with bogus testimonials from Nick Falido and Phil Mickelsonn. As Insider put it: Why!?!?
Cirrus Wind Indicator: Tired of bending over, picking up a few blades of grass and tossing them in the air to determine wind direction? For just $34.95 you can trade those free blades for a puff of real smoke. The best part: for $14.95, you can get two replacement cartridges that smell vaguely like pine or acorn – in case you’re sick of that fresh outdoors golf course smell.
Easy Pitch: A tiny contraption you put on the end of your putter handle to repair ball marks on the green. Ads for this dumb thing comes with a little poem: “With Easy Pitch, divot marks are a quick mend – and the golfer doesn’t even have to bend.” Hallmark, are you listening?
Fatt Matt Swing Trainer: A club with a hole where the club face should be. With the Fatt Matt, golfers are told, you can now “focus on your body movements and stop trying to hit the ball.” Body movements without hitting the ball? Sounds more like ballet than golf. Or, as Insider writer put it: “$125 to whiff? I can do that with my own clubs.” Nuff said.
Contact Bob Bestler at firstname.lastname@example.org.