Repeating an annual tradition,this year's golf season unofficially opened for professionalsand retailers during the last weekin January. Taking advantage of thewarm Florida weather, everyone metup in sunny Orlando for the 2003PGA Golf Show—pretending, ofcourse, business was the priority ofthe day. In truth, it's really a front fora few days of playing golf in the sun.
However, this year proved to beunique. The usually crowded floorspace remained empty in certain sections.And the heavy arsenal of golfproducts and personnel that show upregularly each year didn't all show upthis time—reminders of the difficultseason the golf business endured thispast fall. But the decline in numbersdidn't upset the overall success ofthis year's PGA Show. In fact, duringmy wanderings I came across 4excellent golf products that are sureto improve your game and youraching back.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE
The first product that caught myattention was Procter & Gamble'sThermaCare Disposable HeatWraps(www.thermacare.com). Made ofcomfortable, wearable, cloth-likematerial, these disposable heat wrapsconform to your body's shape to providetherapeutic heat when you'rehurting. Each wrap contains smalldiscs made of natural ingredientsthat heat up when exposed to air.After opening up a HeatWrap andapplying it to your body's troublespot, you'll receive 8 hours of continuous,low-level heat and up to 24hours of powerful pain relief anddeep muscle relaxation.
You can't wear the next greatproduct I discovered during my wanderings,but your club can. TheSwing Perfect trainer ($100; www.swingperfect.com) analyzes yourswing path and clubface position theminute you begin your golf swingand provides instant feedback whenyou're done. If your swing is off oryour club is out of balance, the SwingPerfect trainer will vibrate, lettingyou know your swing needs correcting.This device keeps your club inbalance with a square clubface,which equates to long, straight, andaccurate golf shots. A lightweightcompanion to help your game thatfits into your pocket easily, theSwing Perfect trainer works forladies, men, or juniors.
TIPS FOR GRIPS AND HATS
Just as important as your swingthis golf season will be your grip.Since the grip is the only connectionto the club, it's vital that it feels bothgood and secure. One of the bestgrips on the market today is theWinn-Grip ($6; www.winngrips.com).But don't take my word for it. TakeTiger Woods' Coach Butch Harmon'sword. He endorses the product.
Now that we've discussed backand hand products, let's take a look atthe often forgotten body part thatneeds extra protection on the course:your head. As you know, the majorityof body heat is lost through the head.So, during the cold season or even onchilly spring days, golfers should weara hat. Fortunately, Yupoong (www.yupoongcaps.com) has developed ahat that won't become uncomfortableafter the first hole or require constantadjusting or repositioning.
Flexfit cap is the first type of baseballhat that genuinely feels comfortable.A 1-size-fits-all hat, it utilizesspandex in the sweatband andcrown, providing a perfect fit for yourhead every time. The company alsoensures that the Flexfit brand featuresa patented Permacurv visor—allowing the cap to maintain itsoriginal curve on the bill. You won'thave to worry anymore about ruiningyour perfectly fitting cap whenyou throw it into your bag after awonderful day of golf.
Adrian Davies is a former European
Tour player and European
director of golf for David
Leadbetter. He has been a PGA
Class A professional for 19 years
and is currently a coach and
advisor to PGA Tour player Frank Lickliter.
He welcomes questions or comments at