NOWHERE DOES a golfer see so much of what he wants so badly as he does at the sport's annual trade show in Orlando. Last week the aisles at the Orange County Convention Center were again bristling with cool stuff, and after four days of separating the wheat from the chaff, this is what made every member of our scouting party say, "I've got to get me some of that."
These shoes could be right up your alley
The slip-on Dexter Golf Mocs ($79.99) are timesavers—no more lacing up your spikes in the parking lot. Golf Mocs are made of neoprene and Lycra and are remarkably comfortable. If they look like bowling shoes, so what? Maybe you won't feel so bad about your 138 average.
Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!
The Ball War rages. The new entries taking no prisoners at the PGA show were all of the nonwound variety. The multilayer Titleist Pro VI ($54 a dozen) has been the talk of the Tour since last fall and is now available for regular hacks. What's different about the Spalding Strata Tour Ultimate ($54) is the tungsten pellet in the center, The Ultimate made news last month when Jim Furyk won the Mercedes Championships with it. The construction of the Wilson iWound ($34.99) is unique—a plasticlike lattice wrapped around a solid core.
Three more irons in the fire
The Mizuno MP-33 forged blades ($1,132 for eight with steel shafts) were the best-looking irons at the show. But beware: You gotta have game to play these lean, clean, scoring machines. For mere mortals a set of the resurrected Spalding Ben Hogan Apex Edge ($925), forged, perimeter-weighted clubs made of carbon steel or one of three versions of the TaylorMade 300 Series ($920) may be a better option.
When push comes to shove, try this
Pull carts are for sissies, right? Not the Sun Mountain Speed Cart ($199), which you push rather than pull. The cart rolls so freely on its inflatable wheels that you need only one finger to push it. The Speed Cart is light (15 pounds), folds up more easily than a road map and fits into the tiny trunk of that sports car you suddenly feel young enough to buy. To add a little attitude to your game, strap on an Ogio Stinger SKV bag ($199). The SKV (Single Kill Vehicle) has II pockets and eight top compartments, plus neat extras, such as the neoprene three-ball pouch that lets you squeeze out a ball when you need to reload. When you get too frustrated and feel the need to hit something, go ahead and smash the WhackDuck ($39.99) that hangs from your bag. It'll respond with one of 18 taped comebacks. The best: "You're not good enough to get angry!"
He took a Calc-ulated risk on a new shaft
The True Temper BiMatrx shaft ($60) was introduced in Orlando but made a bigger splash 2,100 miles away in Arizona, where Mark Calcavecchia (left) put one in his driver on the Tuesday of tournament week, then broke a 56-year-old Tour scoring record at the Phoenix Open. The shaft has a graphite body and a steel tip, making it light (about 80 grams) as well as stable. Another showstopper: the Fujikura Speeder 757 ($350, honest). The Bentley of graphite shafts, the Speeder is hot, hot, hot on Tour ( Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir have them in their drivers) for the same reason as the BiMatrx—it's stable, even at pro swing speeds.