Modeled after the rain suits Sun Mountain created for the 2011 USA Presidents Cup Team, the Sun Mountain StormTight golf rain-gear collection offers guaranteed waterproof protection using an advanced, new four-way-stretch woven fabric that shields against wind and rain while remaining breathable. StormTight
is available in a full-zip jacket and pants in men’s and women’s models, as well as long-sleeved and short-sleeved pullovers for men. Suggested retail: $149 to $229
The Nike VR_S Covert Driver is the first high-speed cavity-back design in a driver that conforms to USGA rules. The technology, already used in irons, leads to more stability at impact, resulting in greater control and
distance. With a simple pull, turn, and tighten, golfers can choose 15 different options for loft and face angle using the VR_S Covert’s Flex-Loft adjustability system. Suggested retail: $299
Crocs? On the golf course? Sure! The newest Karlson model offers an inno- vative, long-lasting, spikeless outsole in two stylish color options that look nothing like the clogs little kids wear. The raised beads built into the insole are a little unsettling at first, but after a few minutes of adjusting they provide a nice massaging effect. Suggested retail $129; www.crocs.com
In a light-hearted, easy-to-understand way, Gene Westmoreland explains the rules of golf in A Game for Life: Golf’s Rules and Rewards—his collection of essays about a subject he knows better than just about anybody. Nearly every rule examined has a real-life example that makes it easier to comprehend, and Westmoreland’s career as the Metropolitan Golf Association’s tournament director has given him thousands of such examples from which to choose. He makes a great case for playing by the rules, but doesn’t hesitate to loosen them up a bit to make the game more fun for duffers just out to enjoy a walk in the sunshine. $14.95 from Tatra Press. Proceeds benefit the MGA Foundation.
So-called “spikeless” shoes are popular, but they are not all created equally slip-free. Of course, a smooth, balanced swing can solve the problem of slippage, but who has one of those? The solution is the five-point-star traction sole on the new line of GoBe Golf shoes. The sole also has nonslip vertical and horizontal traction stripes to complement the star treads and provide a little more stability. GoBe shoes come in four styles for men and women. Suggested retail starts at $159; www.gobegolf.com
The Oakley CarbonPRO features a unique cleat system designed to reduce weight and keep your foot closer to the ground for added stability. They’ve also developed an innovation called Octostick to minimize foot movement inside the shoe. Additionally, a strategically placed carbon fiber shank under the midfoot gives CarbonPRO the most stable platform Oakley has ever built in a shoe this light. Suggested retail: $200; www.golf.oakley.com
Tour Edge may not have the name recognition like other brands, but it’s coming. Like the big boys, the Tour Exotics XCG6 driver allows for the adjustment of four face‐angle/loft settings to optimize launch characteristics for maximum distance and control. The club features a forged titanium face and utilizes four hexahedron weight pads to deliver a higher MOI (moment of inertia) for greater stability and forgiveness across the board. Suggested retail: $349
Cobra Golf’s newest driver, the AMP Cell, not only offers adjustability, but also allows you to channel your inner Rickie Fowler with four striking color choices: silver, blue, red, and orange. With Cobra’s
MyFly technology you can change loft from 8.5 to 11.5 degrees, while the SmartPad system keeps a square face at address regardless of loft setting. Suggested retail: $299
There are dozens of GPS apps for golf, but the leader in the clubhouse is GolfLogix. It’s loaded not only with more than 30,000 courses, but also with features like the target option that lets you choose an intermediate point (like the edge of a fairway bunker) and get the distance to reach it as well as the distance to the green from there. There’s a free version, but the annual $19.99 membership is quite reasonable and brings you the most options. Available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play, and BlackBerry AppWorld.
Learning golf can be hard, but Starting New At Golf (aka SNAG Golf) makes it fun. Kelly McCammon, a PGA pro and VP at SNAG, describes the game as a “bunny slope” for golf. While there are various assortments of gear (The First Tee and many clubs use SNAG equipment), the basic Player Pak includes two clubs (sized for ages five and up), balls, targets, and more. Everything is color-coded and simplified. Retail $109 at www.snaggolf.com
Adams Golf, not content to sit on their lead in hybrids played on the PGA Tour, has brought out two new versions—the Adams Super S and Super LS. Both have “Velocity Slot Technology,” the strategic placement of slots in the sole and crown that produce a spring-like effect near the USGA limits. In English, that means you’ll hit the ball farther. The LS version uses a titanium crown and face-piece brazed to a heavier stainless steel sole and costs a few bucks more. Available in lofts from 15 to 28 degrees. Suggested retail: Super S $199.99, LS $299.99