Stuff we love: 11 must-have gadgets, apps and stroke-saving tools
October 11, 2017
1 of 11Courtesy Blast Motion
Blast Motion Swing and Stroke Analyzer, $138
Blast Motion may just be the golf gadget of the year. It's a putting and full-swing sensor that attaches to the grip of your club and works in three ways: as a speedometer, as a clock to measure timing, and as a compass to measure the 3D direction of your stroke or swing. The Blast is particularly useful for putting; its sensor tracks motion back and forth, up and down and side to side, allowing you to home in quickly on fixes and keep your game on a roll.
Portable speakers abound, but this little number from Cobra Golf (who else, with cool kids Lexi and Rickie on staff?) gets it right. Little package, big sound, and it clips right on to your bag. Metallica, anyone?
This nifty app is a scoring committee in your pocket that's keeping a real-time leaderboard for your event, regardless of how you're scoring it (stroke, Stableford, skins, etc.). It also tracks performance stats and features a pretty intense yardage finder. At the GOLF Championship in August, it turned our usual ragtag event into a Tour stop. -David Denunzio
4 of 11Courtesy Garmin
Garmin Approach S6 Golf Watch, $220
Programmed with more than 39,000 courses worldwide, the Approach acts like a caddie on your wrist, providing up-to-date yardages at almost any track you play. It also features a digital scorecard and can be programmed to accept and display e-mail and text messages directly from your phone. And get this: It even tells time.
This convenient device easily clips to your club's shaft and provides instant feedback on head speed, tempo, swing path and face angle to your iOS or Android device. You can also watch your swing in 3D. Use it to check if you're rotating the clubface correctly on your backswing and challenge yourself to swing faster.
This really is the age of knowing…everything. Distance to the pin, distance to clear the bunker, or how off line your driver has been all day. The screw-in caps measure all the numbers that an amateur really wants—distance, consistency, fairways hit (or missed), putts recorded, etc.—and tosses it into a slick smartphone interface. It's one of those things where you don't know what you're missing until you try it.
No decent player likes to admit that they can't roll the rock, but for years the difference between my good and not-so-good rounds has been my putting. After having tried, with little effect, a million different putters, grips and golf balls, the Flat Cat Solution finally helped me go drain-o with more consistency. The weight below my hands finally stabilized my stroke, and the flat top improved my grip. Shaky on the greens? Give one a try.
This thing just looks sexy—and it's deadly accurate, to boot, providing measurements to a tenth of a yard from up to 800 yards away. There's also a True Golf Range mode that combines the measurement from its infrared laser with the incline/decline to the pin, current altitude and temperature. Before using the GX5i3, I wildly miscalculated how much each of those factors affected playing distance. If you input your typical yardages, the rangefinder will also provide a club recommendation. Hey, who needs Fluff?
When you're a posh golf ambassador like myself, it's not easy to get your kit off—or on. Seriously, who's got time for packing? The chaps at DUFL understand this, so they keep my golfing attire in a who-knows-where locker and ship it, bloody nicely laundered, to my next port of call. Then they pick up the dirty bits and do it all over again. Brilliant! -David Clarke
10 of 11Courtesy EZee Golf
EZeeGolf Power Club, $995
Golf is tough enough when you're young and fit, but it's impossible when you're physically unable to swing a club. Enter this piston-powered driver, which can blast a ball up to 225 yards. You hold it like a club but you don't wield it like one. Instead, you set the distance, point and shoot. It's not traditional golf, but it'll keep you on the course when injuries or age are your handicap. -Josh Sens
This model is so good that it should almost be mandatory, especially if the goal really is to speed up play. It can shoot up to 400 yards, and with the slope calculation feature turned on it also provides the adjusted distance (a must for practice rounds). The best part? The unit jolts when it locks in the target. For me, it's confidence that the yardage is correct.