Good golf ideas don't have to involve gimmicks


I know a good golf idea when I see one. I also think I know a bad golf idea when I see one.

For instance, what were the meatheads on mahogany row thinking when they came up with these ideas? Thanks to bleacherreport.com for these unique perspectives.

Benderstix, a foam ball on a stick, will help perfect your swing. Only $100 for a perfect swing. Sweet!

The Hot Biscuits ball warmer. It’s simple science: hot balls go farther. The Hot Biscuits ball warmer, for only $100, will keep your balls warm and drives up to 16 percent more distance. Careful there.

The Stand Up Putter. Pick a line, a few practice strokes, and the Stand Up Putter will stay in place as you step back to double check your alignment. Putting bliss for only $49.95.

The Potty Putter allows you to practice your putting while taking care of your other business. Align with your toilet, and practice those 16-inch putts from a sitting position. Thank goodness it’s only $19.95.

How about the Uro Club? Problem: You have to go, but you’re on the golf course with no relief in sight. Solution: Have the Uro Club in your bag into which you can urinate. Careful, watch your grip.

So much for the ridiculous.

The Palm Beach Post’s Brian Biggane reports the best new products from this year’s PGA merchandise show. This year’s good ideas. No kidding.

The Personal Golf Fan mounts in the cart’s cupholder and supplies a continuous stream of air for the occupants. The PGF was awarded first prize for new product at the show. It’s $139 at golfcartfan.com.

The Swing Shirt, invented by Ray Rafcavage, is an altered shirt configured to improve your swing. Now endorsed by renowned instructor Jimmy Ballard, it can be yours for $49 to $69 at golfswingshirt.com.

Targeted to golf courses, the PushNPutt flag stick for the practice putting greens automatically pops the ball out of the whole when triggered. Great for us older golfers and found at pushnputt.com.

Sunscreen Bands are a wrist band that changes colors based on how much sun exposure the wearer is getting. It warns you to apply more sunscreen or to get out of the sun altogether. It’s found at jadsinternational.com.

You’ve all seen the ball-tracking technology on the PGA televised tournaments. Now that technology can be yours with the FlightScope. Track the flight of your shots, analyze that swing and save data to make your game stronger. It’s $4,000 at flightscope.com.

Or maybe I can’t recognize a good idea.

My notion of a good idea can be experienced at Angel Park Golf Club. Problem: What to do with a beautiful patio area that is grossly under-utilized and how to reach more people than just golfers with a facility that should have so many more options? Solution: Put Mike Conner, Marty Haughian and Jed Francese on it.

Mike is senior VP of operations at OB Sports in Arizona. Marty is food and beverage director at Angel Park. Jed is group sales and activity host manager at Angel Park.

The 5-2-8 happening is the centerpiece of Angel Park’s dynamite new happy hour program. Better than ever in its third year, happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Friday. Located on Angel Park’s newly renovated lakeside patio, half-price drinks and appetizers are featured.

But on Tuesday, special things happen. From 5 to 8 p.m., the patio area rocks with live music, drink specials and a special $5 and $8 appetizer menu.

Marty sums up the success of the program: “It’s wildly successful. We redid the patio, added TVs, added the sails for additional shading and bought new furniture, and the special menu on Tuesday brought a lot of people here. And parents bring the kids and play on the nine-hole putting course located just below the patio.”

Jed adds that live music was the catalyst. He also books the talent at the events. “We knew it was going to be popular when people started calling to see who the performers would be for next Tuesday. The bands brought visibility. Now on Tuesday, it is the trendy spot to be.”

Jed notices competitors are copying some of the ideas in the form of restaurants with similar specials, restaurants/bars employing the same bands that appear at Angel Park, even with some on the same evening.

Jed added, “We got some more ideas. Maybe a jazz night. How ’bout a cosmic driving range party with music? That’s all I can say.”

Tommy Rocker was performing the Tuesday I visited. Great music, great weather, affordable food and drinks, panoramic views, golf course views and no video poker machines. Amen.

John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer. Contact him at jasay@reviewjournal.com.