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Gear & Gadgets

Improving Life on the Fairways

July 12, 1998|JUDI DASH

Golfers always are looking for gear to improve their game and life on the course. Following are new products for the airways and fairways. Most are available in area stores.

Tough bag will travel: Traveling golfers are usually just a little nervous as they check their golf bag before a flight--air travel can be brutal on those precious clubs. Ogio's new rolling golf bag should take some of the trepidation out of the experience. The Rig is a hard plastic case on wheels fitted with soft molded compartments to hold 14 clubs firmly in place. In all, the bag has 2,100 cubic inches of storage area, including zippered compartments (many of which can be padlocked) for shoes, balls, tees and accessories such as cellular phones. Outside rings hold an umbrella, towel and other items. The removable lid locks via a three-digit combination lock, and the bag is pulled by a molded plastic grab-handle at its back (an optional shoulder strap also is available).

The Rig locking travel golf bag is $300 at sporting goods stores and pro shops. For a nearby store, call the manufacturer, Ogio; telephone (800) 922-1944.

Distance to a tee: How far does your ball have to go to get it where you want it? Why guess? The Yardage Pro 600, a compact range-finder binocular from Bushnell, displays distances to the hole to within one yard (from up to 600 yards away), aiding in better club selection. Powered by a 9-volt battery, the range-finder uses laser technology to measure yardage to most objects found on the golf course. Simply aim at the sand trap on the left or the large maple tree on the right, push the fire button, and the target's yardage appears within the liquid crystal display. The lightweight unit weighs less than 10 ounces and measures just 4 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Now if it could only hit the ball. (Be forewarned: Using such a yardage aid during a golf tournament is illegal.)

Bushnell Yardage Pro Compact 600 is $400 at pro shops and specialty stores. For a nearby store, call (888) 276-5945.

Swinging practice: Practice may not make perfect, but in golf it usually makes a big difference. The Speedwing portable training tool is a triangular piece of plastic that attaches to clubs and uses air resistance to strengthen your golf muscles as you swing. The faster you swing, the more resistance the Speedwing generates. Take it off, and you've gained faster speed, longer-distance hits and better club control.

Speedwing is $30 at pro shops. For a nearby store, call (800) 660-3763.

Pop goes the ball: Sure you could stash your golf balls in your bag or pockets, but here's a niftier idea. The Golfer's Ball Butler is a spring-loaded plastic golf ball dispenser that hooks onto the inside or outside of a golf bag and holds up to 12 balls. Just push a button at the top of the unit and out pops a ball. The ball butler measures 29 inches long and weighs 2 pounds.

Golfer's Ball Butler is $32. To order, call (888) 965-7349.

Gear & Gadgets appears monthly.

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