Great New Products and some Great Florida Golf!
By TIM BAINES
It started with a bumpy descent into Tampa’s airport, a turbulent 40 minutes through the mother of all thunderstorms – thunder and lightning to the left of the airplane, hints of tornados to the right.
But that was soon forgotten, as were the snow-filled driveways that needed shovelling back home. The next day, we were on one of the most amazing golf courses in Florida, Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. What a beauty! With its secluded wooded canopy of the front nine to the breathtaking lake vistas on the back side, the Tom Fazio course was everything we expected … and more. And that was despite whipping “four-club” winds on some holes that certainly made the day adventurous as we took in the “wow factor” of a course where plenty of A-list golfers – including Henrik Stenson, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Ian Poulter and Annika Sorenstam – make their home.
It was Day 1 of a Most Excellent Golf Week, seven days that included the Tour Edge Media Day at Lake Nona, rounds of golf at Champions Gate, Heathrow Country Club (where we were fortunate enough to have dinner with legendary golf course architect Ron Garl, story to come on him in the near future), Saddlebrook Resort and two days of the always-interesting and sometimes overwhelming magnitude of the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Among our overnight stops during our golfcation was a night at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge, where we started in the dining room, then enjoyed late-night refreshments after sliding into the comfy chairs at the Members Lounge.
The Tour Edge Media Day is always as educational as it is fun, where media gets the goods on some of the latest and greatest golf innovations.
As the day’s sponsor, Tour Edge Golf always has great products to introduce. Tour Edge, which grew out of the garage of the father of founder David Glod more than 30 years ago, doesn’t get a lot of hype, but they make outstanding golf clubs, despite flying under the radar. The Traveling Golfer has a full set of the Tour Edge Exotics and swears by them. His consistency has certainly improved, along with his scoring average. I’m using a Tour Edge EX10 3-wood and the results have been incredible – long and, oddly enough, straight. The EX10 fairway woods are designed combining materials from around the globe for the most advantageous technology highlighted by a new Japanese high-density HT 980 steel cup face combo brazed to a heavier hyper steel body all to benefit the player who wants unprecedented power, forgiveness, and accuracy. Sounds like the perfect recipe for game improvement, right? The EX10 Beta fairway wood raises the level of performance with a traditional pear- shaped head re-engineered with improved centre of gravity technology for an ideal launch angle and reduced spin.
Tour Edge’s Exotics line has long drawn rave reviews. Tour Edge doesn’t pay PGA players, but several pros including Brandt Snedeker, Vijay Singh, Tom Watson, Luke Donald, K.J. Choi, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson and Chi Rodriguez have used the clubs.
I love the feel and production of the XJ1 driver, with its new titanium called “Supermetal.” There’s also the Hot Launch 2 and the EX 10, all very good products. Check out www.touredge.com
BYE-BYE TO ACHES, PAINS: One of the products we got to try was the Oska Pulse, a portable device that is said to reduce muscle stiffness, relieve pain and increase mobility.
“We’re really focused on trying to bring non-drug relief to the world,” said president/CEO Gregory Houlgate. “It works in a cellular level, you can have it in your pocket, getting a massage wtihout having to do anything. It just needs to be close.
“If you play the game of golf, you’re going to have pain at some point, it’s just hard on your body. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But the reality is, this is that good.”
Add the Traveling Golfer himself to the golfers providing testimonials about the Oska Pulse’s effectiveness. He stuck it in his pocket and says the aches and pains eased up. The website is www.Oskawellness.com
LIKING THOSE BALLS: Dean Snell was with Titleist for seven years, TaylorMade for 18 … so he knows a bit about golf balls. With his own brand, Snell Golf, he’s trying to get a message out to average golfers: “An average handicap is about 18 and they miss 17-of-18 greens. When everybody pushes these people to low compression balls, I’m a hockey player and that’s like shirt over the head and uppercut. It’s such a wrong message. When they push you into a low compression ball, they push you into a low-spin golf ball. Your 250-yard drive because you’ve compressed it more – if perfectly hit, you just hit it 250 yards and eight inches. Now, you have to play the next 150 yards with a golf ball that has low spin and flies high with no control. If you miss 17-of-18 greens, you need something with performance from around the greens.”
With a great price point, Snell Golf, which has gotten gold and silver placement on Golf Digest’s Hot List, are a great bet. Check out www.snellgolf.com
MORE GREAT STUFF: Some of the other great products we saw: KenRick golf belts (with a handy-dandy ballmark and repair tool kit built in, www.kenrickgolf.com Reks sunglasses (unbreakable frames and shatterproof lenses, with a great price point, www.reksoptics.com Bermuda Sands apparel (www.bermudasandsapparel.com), the SkyCaddie Linx GT golf watch (www.skygolf.com) and the always-outstanding Sun Mountain outerwear (www.sunmountain.com).