Golf accessories run aplenty in the Golf Tips offices, and they're a big part of the game. But after you sift through the multiple cigar butt/puttershaft holders, groove cleaners, face-mark indicators, ball retrievers, sunblock applicators, iron head covers, ball markers and scorecard holders, you'll discover that only three items are true must-have golf accessories: bags, golf-specific eyewear and rangefinders.
Imagine life without a golf bag. That enough says a load about its importance. Today's models do far more than just carry your equipment from parking lot to tee box to green. They're complicated haulers that actually go a long way toward keeping those expensive woods and irons of yours in top playing shape.
As far as eyewear is concerned, there's no reason to doubt their effectiveness on the course. When the name of the game is contour reading and depth perception, anything that helps–and today's performance eyewear certainly does–is a welcome advantage.
And since you carry your own bag, it's likely you don't have your own caddy. Enter the rangefinder, your instant guide to the correct distance. WIth a click of a button, you'll always know the perfect club to hit.
Sky Golf SkyCaddie www.skygolf.com $350 By using the Global Positioning System, the unique SkyCaddie handheld device calculates exact distances at any golf course already programmed into the SkyGolf network. Forget tracking down yardage; the SkyCaddie will have it ready when you are. New courses can be easily added and stored.
Sunbuster www.sunbuster.info $119 Considered "seat belts for the eyes," the SunBuster line is designed for total UVA/UVB protection via high-impact, polycarbonate, SolaRex lenses that are decentered and distortion-free. The unique PuttReader lens (purplish tint) of the GolfCorrect series is designed to reduce green hues to bring out the browns, reds and yellows to help better see breaks on the green as well as clear out haze and reflection to prevent eye fatigue. Other features include a choice of lens sizes, each with AquaPel anti-fog technology._Ê Style featured: PuttReadersCaddyrack Caddyrack Original www.caddyrack.com $295 Keeping your clubs organized is a cinch with the Caddyrack Bag. Every iron has its own slot to keep the shafts and heads from banging against one another, and clips secure woods to the bag with a simple click. These features provide excellent security against breakage, especially on a golf cart where clubs are subject to more than their fair share of bumpy rides. New for 2006 is The Bag, a slimmer, softer version.
PING Golf Hoofer Extreme www.pinggolf.com $165 The popular Hoofer Extreme returns with scores of features designed to help make carrying a bag as comfortable as possible. The large, four-way, full-length divider system keeps clubs organized, and a unique zipper allows for access to the center section from within the bag, making it easy to retrieve items._Ê
Bag Boy NXO Revolver www.bagboycompany.com $159 This bag has a shaft lock system, a soft top divider, 12 functional pockets, two cooler pockets, two putter clips and expandable side pockets, but also a rotating center club section for easy access to every club in the bag. Whether on a cart or trolley, golfers can turn the contents of the bag as needed for quick, unhindered access.
Nike www.nike.com $99 Like all of Nike's shoes, the Nike golf sunglasses line is chock-full of options for the eyewear-conscious player. Each pair features Nike's Max Optics technology, which expands the visual sweet spot of the lens for a broader, clearer perspective. Fully UVA/UVB-protected, golfers can interchange a series of lenses that vary in tints. Style featured: Skylon
Adidas www.adidas.com/eyewear $149 With three golf-specific models to choose from, the highlight of the adidas sunglass line is in the variety of lenses and frame combinations that can be arranged. Each LST (Light Stabilizing Technology) lens is 100% UVA/UVB-protected and distortion-free. Also, golfers can choose among 10 different tints to accommodate various playing conditions. Light-weight and durable, the adidas collection is a popular alternative for all golfers. Style featured: on par L
Izzo Spirit II www.izzo.com $119 Weighing less than four pounds, the Spirit has a seven-way club-alignment system, a full-length apparel pocket, a waterproof valuables pocket, a Quick Draw water bottle pouch, an easy-access mesh ball/accessory pocket for convenience, and Izzo's legendary Dual Strap. Check out the varied assortment of Izzo bags as well as its new golf equipment online.
Callaway Eyewear www.callawayeyewear.com $160 The new line of Callaway Eyewear now features Neox lenses designed to not only reduce glare, shield 100% of UVA/UVB rays and prevent eye fatigue, but to actually help improve your visual acuity without darkening your vision. The tint functions to help golfers better see the contours of green surfaces. Style featured: Collection SeriesCargo Golf Pro Series 900 (PU) www.cargogolf.com $189 The Pro Series 900 is a fully enclosed travel bag and golf bag–at the same time. The wheel-driven, lockable shell provides durable protection for clubs in transit, and by removing the top, the bag doubles as a handy cart/carry bag. An external, removable skin layer with several pockets (including a valuables pouch) fits easily into any suitcase. The Pro Series can accommodate 14 clubs and a driver up to 45 inches in length.
Sun Mountain Lightning S www.sunmountain.com $215 The popular Lightning series from Sun Mountain has received a makeover but retains its place among bag leaders in convenience, comfort and durability. Its hallmark feature is the Roller Top handle, which makes slipping Dual X-Straps off the shoulders a piece of cake, while the ball-joint-connected, independent legs keep the Lightning S upright on inclines or uneven lies. For an even lighter carry, check out the Lightning bag ($175).
Scheyden www.scheyden.com $249 The golf line from Scheyden consists of titanium frames and fixed-lens styles. Made with a unique seven-layer coating, Scheyden lenses do everything from repelling water and perspiration to reducing glare and reflection, in both nonpolarized and polarized options. Another key offering is Scheyden's flip-up lenses._Ê
Bushnell PinSeeker 1500 www.bushnellgolf.com $450 The Bushnell PinSeeker 1500 features accurate yardage from five to 1,500 yards, within a one-yard tolerance for error. Also, unlike other rangefinders that only calculate distance, the PinSeeker 1500 is available in a slope-reading model that accounts for increases or decreases in terrain, resulting in an even better approximation of actual distance and slope-factored yardage. To use, simply look through the magnifying scope, push a button and pick up yardage readings._Ê
PeakVision Sports www.peakvisionsports.com $169 The top section of the PeakVision lens (UVA/UVA-protected) is a grayish tint, intended to manage the sun and bright sky. The lower region of the lens features a specially tuned amber tint designed to highlight the contours of the putting surface. PeakVision Sports offers a variety of shapes and styles that feature the Dual Zone lens. Style featured: Classic
OGIO Atlas www.ogio.com $159 With sports car-inspired curves, the Atlas bag is designed to fit perfectly on any golf cart or trolley. The top section features OGIO's popular Woode sectional dividers for better club organization, EVA molded shaft dividers, and a unique, zipperless ball pocket that snugly holds golf balls while allowing easy, fast access. Rugged and strong, the Atlas is one of several bags from one of golf's hippest companies.
Club Glove Aficionado III www.clubglove.com $179 Made of military parachute-grade and ripstop nylon, the Aficionado III is equipped for adventure. Weighing less than six pounds, the Aficionado can be stripped down to less than five pounds for a lightweight summer configuration. Multiple pockets add functionality, and the dual-strap design by Izzo fits the shoulders with a comfortable, customizable fit. Custom embroidery also is available.
Tifosi Optics www.tifosioptics.com $59 Extensive research went into the Tifosi GT (Golf/Tennis) lens. Each lens is designed to enhance object illumination, which refers to the wearer's ability to better see the ball in the air as well as to contrast against green grass conditions. Other features include an Enhanced Visual System that decenters the lens for distortion-free clarity. Style featured: Stelvio
Club Glove Last Bag www.clubglove.com $250 Nearly every touring professional has one, mainly due to its thick nylon construction and burst-proof straps, which accommodate large golf bags with ease. In-line wheels and a padded crown section make club protection and portability easy. We suggest you buy the Stiff Arm ($25), which provides added protection in the clubhead section to prevent against abusive luggage handlers. Multiple color options are available.