Friday, January 29, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Small innovations can add up to a lot. For instance, Sun Mountain came up with a handle near the top of the golf bag, which evolved into an opening carved into the bag. It doesn't sound like much, but that opening made lifting the bag out of the trunk or hoisting it onto a cart a lot easier. It was one of the great bag innovations of recent years.Sun Mountain, which specializes in bags, outerwear and pullcarts, seems to come up with a few new twists every year. I checked them out at the PGA Merchandise Show here in Orlando. You may have already seen my report on the Mantys, a motorized golf buggy that you drive like a Segway. Sun Mountain also has the Micro E-Cart, a new motorized pullcart that allows you to adjust the speed to match your pace, or set it to automatically roll ahead 15, 30 or 60 yards. It's easy to use and folds up without much fuss. The suggested price is $799. Two other novel tweaks are worth a mention. Sun Mountain makes Rainflex waterproof jackets and vests and has a new accessory for the vests -- a pair of slip-on thermal sleeves. They're not waterproof, but they offer extra warmth and can be removed easily. Simple yet effective, for $20. Another innovation is the Dry Hood, a golf bag attachment. It comes in a small tube-like pouch, attaches by a Velcro connector around the mouth of the bag and unfolds like a fan to provides an arched rain cover for your clubs. You can easily push the fanned cover back to get to the clubs, which is way better than wrestling a conventional zippered cover. It's $25 and pretty darn clever.

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