Field test: laser rangefinder, golf glove with a watch, and hinged-shaft driver

February 19, 2007

Get This!

Warning: Using Bushnell’s new PinSeeker 1500 with Slope will result in mockery. “That’s illegal!” playing partners will sniff. Fine–let those chumps squint over baffling sprinkler heads (“Does that say 68 or 89?”). For you, those days are over. Bushnell’s new laser rangefinder, which scans up to 1,500 yards, ignores background objects and dials in on the flag, so you need not lock in on Craig Stadler’s plumb-bobbing doppelganger for an accurate reading. Best ofa all, the “digital inclinometer” measures elevation changes and computes your adjusted distance. “A digital what-ometer?” our tester asked before sticking one tight after his PinSeeker told him a 165-yard downhill par 3 was actually playing 154 yards. Then his by-the-book buddy hit one over the green. Talk about a sucker pin.
PinSeeker 1500 with Slope, $ 643.95; call 800-221-9035 for a retailer near you.

Not This!

It’s a golf glove! No, it’s a watch! No, it’s a golf glove! Actually, it’s both. A snug love with a built-in timepiece–perfect for that punctual Michael Jackson impersonator in your life. But the makers of Glove Time say it’s great for golfers, too. The comfort of cabretta leather and the convenience of a timepiece, without a watchband to throw off your swing. Our tester was suspicious: Shouldn’t golf be enjoyed without concern for the clock? he wore it on the links one Sunday and watched the seconds tick off a six-hour round. Along the way, Glove Time got panned on the Hardpan. “Why don’t you just keep a watch in your bag?” asked his cart-mate. Then again, that leather felt good, and the watch comes in handy when you want to penalize your pal for slow play. But still: If Fred Couples can get by without glove or watch, do the rest of us really need two-in-one?

Break it Down!

Our sleep-deprived infomercial addict tests the collapsible Medicus Dual-Hinge Driver

Ah, Medicus–the name is ripe with the promise of Hippocratic healing, a swing doctor to cure all ills. So why does the club look like it needs repair? Everything hinges on the hinge, a joint in the shaft that breaks down on flawed swings. On the range, our tester drew the club back and…ugh! Two inches into his takeaway, the Medicus flopped like a fly rod. He tried again. And again. he paused and prayed for lightning, because only God–and infomercial shill mark O’Meara–can hit the Medicus. Finally, patience and persistence paid off. Taking the club back low and slow, swinging not with the hands but the shoulders, he wielded the collapsible club like a master. The shaft stayed intact. Thwack! A gentle fade down the middle. Now for the real test: Our swing man grabbed his regular driver and took some hacks. Sigh. Same old banana ball.

$159.80; 800-679-7171.