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Equipment Report
  • Features

    Highlights from the 2019 PGA Show: Rangefinders, launch monitors, cool stuff, new gear and more

  • Features

    PGA Merchandise Show 2019

ORLANDO, Florida — After Demo Day on Tuesday, it was time to head indoors for the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center. Inside the show, hundreds of golf companies displayed their latest products. My job was to find the coolest and newest products. Below are the highlights.

Bushnell’s new Pro XE rangefinder


One of the most popular rangefinder makers in golf has a new version that not only measures slope, but also measures temperature and altitude to produce an adjusted “Elements” yardage. The rangefinder can be made USGA conforming using a toggle that provides only the actual number, as well. 

Previously, Bushnell used Jolt technology that would vibrate when the laser locked onto the flagstick. Now, the rangefinder will not only vibrate when locked on target, but a red ring will flash on the display, thus providing visual feedback that a golfer has measured the flagstick, and not a tree behind the green. 

Additionally, using BITE technology, the Bushnell Pro XE has magnets on the side of the bodies that golfers can use to mount on a golf cart. 

The new rangefinders will sell for $549.99 starting “sometime in March,” according to a Bushnell representative. 

Voice Caddie SC300


Voice Caddie’s new portable launch monitor uses Doppler Radar technology, and it measures carry distance, swing speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle and flight apex. It also has a distance voice output – in other words, an audible reading of how far you hit the ball – and it measures atmospheric pressure. 

At the PGA Show, Voice Caddie was running a deal for $330, but the regular price of these launch monitors will be $549.99. 

Mizuno launches golf balls in North America


Live at the PGA Show on Wednesday morning at its display booth, Mizuno announced new RB Tour and RB Tour X golf balls. These are Mizuno’s first golf balls to ever be released globally. 

The higher-flying, higher-spinning RB Tour, and the lower-flying, lower-spinning RB Tour X golf balls each have four-piece constructions with urethane covers. The golf balls have C-dimples to reduce drag, Mizuno said, in addition to a “high-energy ionomer mantle layer” and a dual core with graduated firmness. 

They will sell for $43, hitting retail worldwide in February.

EvnRoll’s new putters, Roll Board


Since 2016, EvnRoll has been making milled putters designed by Guerin Rife that have “Sweet Face” technology on their faces to improve roll across the impact area. The company has now launched four new head models and “gravity” grips. 

The new models include an ER1TS blade, an ER2.2 midblade, an ER5B mallet and an ER8.3 players mallet. The line is highlighted by the ER1TS due to its extreme offset. EvnRoll said the slanted hosel, which makes the shaft measure one-inch from the leading edge of the putter head, helps create greater stability. The increased offset, according to EvnRoll, also helps golfers set the wrist without the need for a forward press. 

All of the new putters come stock with ER5 Black grips, but new gravity grips are available for an upcharge. The V-shaped gravity grips have 35-gram EVA foam bodies, nine-inch 70-gram steel rods that run up the lower portions of the grips, and a 15-gram outer wrap. EvnRoll says the 120-gram grip designs help increase stability. 

Available in 33-35 inches, the new EvnRoll putters will sell for $359 for the stock grip, and $399 with a gravity grip. 

Cobra’s new King MIM wedge


Cobra’s new wedges are completely machine-made. 

First, the wedge bodies are made using metal injection molding (MIM), a process typically used in golf to make Tungsten inserts for club heads. As part of the process, a mixture of 304 stainless steel powder is heated and injected into a mold. Then, the wedges undergo a robotic polishing procedure on areas such as the sole and topline, instead of any hand polishing. The grooves are CNC milled, and the faces have a circular CNC-milled pattern to maximize spin. Additionally, the wedges are chrome plated. 

The aim for Cobra, by eliminating hand polishing, is to make the same shape every time, thus ensuring consistency among retail products. 

Cobra’s King MIM wedges come with a “Versatile” grind, which the company said is the same grind Rickie Fowler uses, KBS Rev 2.0 shafts, and they come in lofts of 52-60 degrees. The wedges hit retail on March 15 and will sell for $139 apiece. 

Garmin Approach G80


With both radar and GPS technologies, the Garmin Approach G80 acts as both a yardage-gathering device and a launch monitor. The 3.5-inch device measures club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo and distance. It also provides golfers access to more than 41,000 golf courses worldwide, according to the company, acting like a GPS; the courses display in color on the screens. The G80 has Touch Targeting to get distances to specific targets, and it provides yardage numbers to front, middle and center of the green. 

The Approach G80 is currently available for $499.99. 

Wilson launches Staff Model Blades to the public


The Wilson Staff blade irons that Gary Woodland popularized over the last few months will now be available in a retail version. They’re forged from 8620 carbon steel, have a high-polish mirror finish, a Fluid Feel Hosel and milled diamond patterns that frame the scoring lines. 

Currently available in right-hand only, the new Wilson Staff Model Blades (3-PW) are selling for $1,199 and come stock with Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips and True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts.

Golf Pride's new grips


Golf Pride has unveiled four new grip models for 2019, including a “Plus 4” Tour Velvet that’s built up with 4-wraps worth of rubber under the bottom hand, a Z-cord Align grip that adds to the Align lineup, new grips (MCC Plus 4 and Tour Velvet 360) that have Arccos sensors built into the butt end, and a new Tour SNSR grip shape that has less curve on the top portion of the grip. 

The grips will launch on March 1, according to Golf Pride. 

Lynx Golf’s interchangeable driver face


Lynx Golf was displaying a number of new products for 2019, but the highlight is its new Prowler VT that has an interchangeable face. Using SFT, or “Switch Face Technology,” Lynx’s new driver has a removable face that’s attached using screws. Between different lofts and face angles, the Prowler driver has 25 different face options, according to Lynx. 

The drivers displayed in two colorways – orange/black and silver/black – and they come with one face; additional faces will be available at an upcharge. The drivers are expected to go into production in March and sell for $525, according to the company. 

Fling Golf


This wouldn’t be a proper PGA Show highlight story without at least one outlandish golf product. Fling Golf provides a twist on the traditional game of golf with “sticks” that look like a hybrid between a golf club and a lacrosse stick. Instead of using them to hit a golf ball, Fling Golf sticks are mostly used by loading a golf ball into the head and throwing it … until it’s time to putt, at least.

To play Fling Golf, participants need just one stick. They start at $109, and are available in three models; the Launch for beginners (short, medium and long lengths), the Stinger, and the “BallStick,” which measures 51 inches and is made for “tall or potentially crazy players,” according to the company. 

Fling Golf says there are more than 15,000 golf courses that are “Fling Golf ready.”