The 2018 PGA Merchandise Show is upon us: Golf’s annual feast of golf products of all shapes and sizes—clubs, swing aids, apparel, gadgets, etc.—provides the latest examples of innovation in our industry. Golf Digest editors are combing the floor for the freshest and most innovative new products. We’ll update as we go, so check back often to see what we’ve surfaced.
Weatherman Golf Umbrella, available in 62-inch ($89) and 68-inch ($95) options.
TV meteorologist Rick Reichmuth has designed a golf umbrella that does all of the basic things really well. It’s made out of teflon-coated fabric to do what umbrellas do: keep you (and your clubs) dry. It has extra supports attached to the ribs so that it can withstand high winds (up to 55 mph). And it’s available in four different colors.
It’s the small details where this umbrella really shines. Up in the canopy there’s a mesh pocket where you can store your glove in between shots or while you’re on the green, so it’s staying safe and dry. You can also store your scorecard up there. One of the ribs is coated with silicone, making it nonslip. Hang your towel up there and the silicone keeps it from slipping out and falling to the wet ground.
If you’re the kind of person who has a tendency of losing things, you’ll like the Bluetooth feature. The umbrella has a Bluetooth tracking feature that pairs with an app on your phone to show you the location of your umbrella if you lose it. The app also tells you the weather of the location you’re playing, letting you know if you actually need to bring your umbrella to the course or not. That’s next level. —Keely Levins
TaylorMade’s Spider Interactive, powered by Blast Motion, $399.
We’ve seen a handful of major manufacturers partner with golf-data companies in recent years to create smarter products that offer significant knowledge to the golfer. TaylorMade did so with Microsoft in creating MyRoundPro a couple of years ago, and the latest example is the company bringing intelligence to a putting product.
TaylorMade has partnered with the motion-capture company Blast Motion, and SuperStroke, to create Spider Interactive, which will allow golfers to analyze their putting strokes based on data captured in each stroke.
Blast Motion’s sensors have been built into the grip of TaylorMade’s Spider putters, similar to Arccos’ sensors within Cobra’s drivers, to deliver information to golfers via an app that will be available on iOS on March 1 and for Android devices in Q2 of 2018, according to the company. —Stephen Hennessey
Phat Scooters’ Phatty HD and Sport HD riders, $2,399 to $2,999, depending on volume.
Innovative golf-course transportation products have really taken off with the success of GolfBoard’s launch at the 2014 PGA Show. Subsequent items like the Golf Bike and others have followed suit.
The next product to enter this space aims to take it up a notch. Enter the Arizona start-up company Phat Scooters, which launched its Phat Golf brand on Tuesday at Demo Day. The Phatty HD and the Sport HD, the company’s two vehicles showcased on Tuesday, each can hit 20 mph and come with equipped with removable, rechargeable electric batteries that last about 36 holes and front- and rear-wheel suspension.
Already touting a relationship with PGA Tour player Pat Perez and his wife, Ashley, it appears PhatGolf means business.