Made in The Shade, Putting with Sole and Radar for Your Swing

The PGA Merchandise Show just kept on giving in 2024.  Here are three more ideas to help your golf game this year.
Hideki Matsuyama - The Sentry
Hideki Matsuyama - The Sentry / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

As they used to say in Monty Python programs: And now for something completely different.  It’s The Shade Tee.

The Shade Tee is an umbrella created to be perfect for practicing on the range or even chipping practice in the backyard.

Why would you need that?  Heat reduction is why. Having this umbrella reduces the temperature on your body by 30 degrees, at least, according to Anderson Golf Ideas, the company that makes them. 

The Shade Tee telescopes to 10 feet so you can swing underneath it with ease. It has steel spikes that secure it in the ground. That also means you can also move it as the sun moves. Traveling shade, as it were.

The umbrella is six feet in diameter, which is big enough to fit over most of us. Honestly, if your diameter is more than six feet, you are in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not category.

Fabric on the umbrella, which is close to Masters green in color, is made from 50 UFP fabric, so it is kind of like wearing a 50 sunscreen when you are under it.  

It has steel spikes that secure it in the ground unless the wind gets higher than 15 MPH. And, to solve that problem, you could bring along some nylon rope or bungee cords and a tree stake or two available at the hardware or home store or Amazon.    

The entire device weighs less than five pounds. Collapsed, it shrinks down to 46” in length, just like your longest club, the driver. That makes it easy to put in your golf bag and take with you any place you play golf.   

The Shade Tee is just plain the next best thing to having a shade tree on your range. And it’s recommended by Matt Cahill, Head Pro at Seminole GC.  Pretty high praise, indeed.

Order online from Anderson Golf Ideas. $180/umbrella

Those !$&$&!*^%!! Three Putts!!!   

Why can’t you make long putts like Jordan Spieth?  It’s because you need help reading the greens. 

But now you can have an app in your shoes to help you get better. Yes. It’s actually an app in your insoles which you slip into your golf shoes! This breakthrough is from BRK70 as they write it or Break70 for us normal people.

BRK70 device measures the green slopes based on where you are standing, and it can help you learn to be a better green reader and a better putter. What it does is show you where the putting line is on your phone or smartwatch. Of course, it’s up to you to get the putt started on that line with the correct speed.

With Break70, you take a measurement from behind the ball, then from halfway between the ball and the hole, and finally from the hole. Break70 calculates green slope and distance to the hole. It shows you where the putting line is on your smartphone. 

All the calculating is done in a device which is inserted into special insoles that slip into your golf shoes. It was developed using technology developed by Baliston Shoes.

The makers of the app think it can take 10 strokes off your score, in theory anyway. The way most of us take 10 strokes off our scores is to skip the last two holes!  But if you struggle with putting, maybe this device is what you need to get better at it. 

The BRK70 insoles will be available this summer for about $250.

How Fast Am I Really Swinging Anyway?

Everybody is talking about swing speed these days. Of course, that’s because swing speed is directly related to the distance the ball goes. It’s the old physics formula of Distance = Mass (the golf ball) x Velocity (speed of the swing).

So, while having TrackMan to measure swing speed is fun, it’s also really expensive. Home systems start around $14,000 according to their website. The whiz-bang portable ones seen at PGA Tour events start at about $22,000. Those measure about everything a professional wants to know about his or her swing, 40 parameters in all. 

But for those of us who don’t have $22K to drop, there’s another way to measure for much less money: Swing Speed Radar.  It’s a small, portable device that’s been around for years. It doesn’t need an app or an attachment or a special ball and, reportedly, it’s easy to use.  

Swing Speed Radar measures swings from 40 to 200 MPH using doppler radar.  

There’s also a second device, that in addition to speed, measures Tempo Time from the start of the takeaway to impact. It is accurate to one-hundredth of a second. If swing one took 10 seconds and swing two took 8 seconds, you might have a tempo issue.  

The inventor of Swing Speed Radar is Al Dilz who had a career making radar systems for defense manufacturers. Think he knows how to get it right? Pentagon suppliers apparently believed he did. So, measuring a golf swing? Piece of cake.

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Best yet, it’s $140 for swing speed alone and $160 for one with a built-in tempo timer to help you groove your inner Rory McIlroy, Fred Couples or Ernie Els swing.  

Nobody has accused them of being short hitters, but they all have the ability to hit it long with beautiful, consistent tempos.