The die-hard Wisconsin golfers have no doubt hit a few rounds this spring, dodging raindrops, trying to stay upright in 50 mph winds and playing through intermittent snow squalls. For most of us, however, the season is just getting started.
So there’s no better time to present 10 “must haves” for golfers looking to lower their scores and have more fun on (and off) the course in 2022…or just trying to stay warm and dry.
Marmot Minimalist Pro Jacket: If the past few weeks have taught us anything about spring in Wisconsin, it’s to be prepared for any type of weather. Driving rain, violent wind, numbing cold, even snow… and sometimes on the same day.
Good rain gear is therefore essential. Marmot makes a great all-weather Gore-Tex jacket. It’s lightweight, waterproof, windproof, has taped seams for leak protection and Velcro adjustable cuffs to protect you from the cold.
But the best feature is a fixed hood with a drawcord, something we don’t often see on a rain jacket. With Marmot, the wet head is dead. $250.
NoSweat cup liners: On the other end of the weather spectrum, is there anything worse than playing on a 90 degree day and ruining a brand new $35 golf cap with a gigantic sweat stain?
NoSweat is a disposable, moisture-wicking liner that sticks to the inside of any hat or visor. The company’s patented SweatLock technology keeps sweat out of your eyes, reduces eyewear fogging and helps prevent hideous sweat stains on your headgear.
Simply peel off the tag and stick the liner inside your hat. $27.95 for a pack of 12.
SaltStick Fast Chews: Speaking of sweat, the average person’s sweat contains about 1,000 milligrams of sodium per liter, while a typical sports drink contains only 440 mg of sodium per liter.
This means that if you only drink sports drinks on those hot, humid days, you could become hyponatremic – a medical condition that can lead to nausea, fatigue and a series of weak drives and three-putt greens.
FastChews helps athletes maintain performance by replacing the five electrolytes – sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride – lost through sweat. FastChews are available in several flavors including Orange, Mixed Berry, and Watermelon. $15 for a bottle of 60 units.
KLYR Rangefinder: There are plenty of good rangefinders on the market, but we like the KLYR (pronounced “clear”) because of its size. The unit, made by TecTecTec fits in the palm of your hand or even your pocket, but also comes with a magnetic belt clip.
Accurate to plus/minus 1 yard, the KLYR rangefinder has a slope switch and can be switched between yards and meters – not that you’d use the latter unless you’re playing in the UK. KLYR also has a scan mode to determine multiple distances.
There’s no reason to waste precious seconds scrolling through sprinkler head yardages. Just aim and shoot. $199.99.
Tiger versus Phil: On those dreary, rainy days when even owning a Marmot Minimalist Pro Jacket can’t convince you to play, we suggest you curl up in front of the fireplace with a good golf book. Tiger vs. Phil: Golf’s Most Intriguing Rivalry is just the ticket.
The book examines the complicated rivalry and relationship between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, dating back to their junior golf days. It was written by Bob Harig, a longtime ESPN golf reporter who has covered both players since the start of their careers.
What do alpha and beta golfers of their generation really think of each other? Read Tiger vs. Phil and find out. On sale April 26. St. Martin’s Press, $29.99.
Divot advice: Former PGA Tour pro Bobby Clampett says he can tell a golfer’s handicap just by looking at his divot. Higher handicappers usually hit the ground long before the club makes contact with the ball, while divots for homer players start an inch or two after contact.
The Divot Board is a portable swing trainer that instantly shows your point of contact with the ball and the ground. This feedback helps you adjust your swing for better contact, which improves distance and direction.
The Divot Board is designed for use on carpet, grass or artificial turf. It costs $129.99 and the pad lasts between 1,000 and 3,000 swings. Replacement pads are $49.99.
Wilson Triad golf balls: Wilson Golf’s new premium Triad ball has been specifically designed for the golfer striving to get past the 80s…which is about 95% of people who play the game.
The Triad is a three-piece urethane-coated ball that shifts weight from the core to the outer layers, reducing driver spin for a more stable ball flight. Theoretically, at least, more fairways hit = lower scores.
In a press release, Wilson Golf Managing Director Tim Clarke said, “We are very pleased to introduce this innovative golf ball to a growing community of competitive players looking to take their game to the next level. The competitive golfer striving to break 80 is the one Wilson Labs had in mind. $39.99 per dozen.
Dave Pelz putting tutor: This handy putting trainer fits easily in your golf bag and teaches you how to commit to a line, then throw the ball over that line – two things easier said than done.
The Putting Tutor also teaches the golfer to align the face of the putter with the line of sight and helps improve stroke mechanics and green reading.
Mickelson, a longtime student of Pelz, helped develop the Putting Tutor, which Pelz says is used by more than 50 PGA Tour pros. $49.99.
GolfForever Swing Trainer: The GolfForever Swing Trainer is a tool that helps you safely improve three keys to gaining distance and consistency: mobility, balance and speed.
The training tool consists of a 44 1/2-inch multi-purpose bar, quick-swap weighted balls, and a 15-pound training cord and comes with a 30-day free trial at GolfForever, including full access to the GolfForever app and a personalized daily golf fitness program.
You’ll follow expert-recommended routines daily, based on your personal self-assessment, with access to an extensive library of golf fitness videos. $199 for the training tool; after the 30-day free trial, subscriptions cost $16.58 per month (billed annually) or $24.99 per month (billed monthly).
On the engraving By: Sheboygan’s cartographer Andy Bartell has combined his passions for cartography and golf to create unique and personalized wall art.
He uses mapping software and Google images to make renderings of laser-engraved routes on wood. Elements such as fairways, greens and bunkers are drawn, painted and stained by hand. Every piece he sells can be personalized, at no extra cost, with things like a favorite golf quote, Bible verse, or hole-in-one date and details.
“Everything that comes out is personalized,” Bartell said. “It will not be replicated anywhere else.”
The cost for an engraving of your favorite course is $345; customization and shipping to the United States are free.