Gear to make golf getaways a tap-in
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Let’s face it: Americans’ favorite thing about travel is complaining about travel. It’s too difficult/expensive/frustrating, we moan. The price of gasoline. The summer traffic. The security lines. The airplane food. The lack of airplane food.
Golfers may be the biggest complainers of all – and not, it must be said, without reason. Trying to jam said clubs into an undersized trunk while balancing three other pieces of luggage. Getting dinged with charges for an “extra” bag. Our clubs getting dinged or, worse still, lost.
We could go on, but the point is surely taken. Some of these issues are intractable, short of congressional intervention. Others are not. There are plenty of new products and services out there to make the golf traveler’s life, if not exactly easy, then easier. A little perspective helps, too: Think about how much simpler it is for you to get to North Dakota’s Lewis & Clark Golf Trail than it was for Lewis and Clark. With cell-phone service and wireless Internet available, no less.
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Garmin Approach G5 GPS
In golf, unfamiliarity breeds bogeys. The Approach G5 takes the guesswork out of navigating new courses: With a touch on the display, you can get the exact distance to fairways, hazards and landing areas, never mind to the front, middle or back of the green. You can even drag the virtual flag to position it where you see it on the putting surface for greater precision. Downside? No more excuses for mis-clubbing.
Cost: $449.99; Garmin.com
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Club Glove Train Reaction luggage system
The Train Reaction not only turns three pieces of luggage into one, it also eliminates all of the downward and upward force on the handles. The upshot? Weight is so well distributed that Corey Pavin could pull Colin Montgomerie around in the Train. Four of the six offerings incorporate the company’s popular Last Bag and Burst Proof golf travel bag.
Cost: $667-$757; ClubGlove.com
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Ogio Bus travel bag
It’s called the “Bus” but made for the plane. This clever rolling duffel – built, like a 460cc driver, at the maximum dimensions allowable for a free check-on bag – features a magnetic detachable carry-on compartment with a shoulder strap, so it functions as two bags in one.
Cost: $299; Ogio.com
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Audio-Technica ATH-CKM50A in-ear headphones
Audiophiles, or just those who want to hear more music and less screaming baby in the row behind, behold: the ATH-CKM50A has excellent sound quality thanks largely to an upgraded direct diaphragm mount (don’t ask) and reduces ambient sound almost as well as noise-canceling headsets, while providing more comfort should you be inclined to nod off. They come with small, medium and large interchangeable earpieces for a snug fit.
Cost: $99; Audio-Technica.com