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Golf tech story and sidebar for Club Traveler magazine

Maybe you’ve decided to test your mettle with irons. Or maybe it’s that your work has you seeing more green. Whatever your reason for getting into the game of golf, there’s no substitute for practice. But there is, however, a detractor: inferior gear, because we all know subpar won’t get you under it. With this portable tech, a better swing is within grasp.
 

Ahead-of-the-Curve Vision
Add serious scope to your game with Bushnell’s compact, binocular-style laser yardage marker. It boasts 7x magnification and ranges up to 1,500 yards, and can even calculate slope angle. Waterproof and just 10 ounces, it requires no caddy—just a pocket (unless, of course, you take advantage of its built-in tripod mount). With this kind of spyware, victory, we promise, will be easier to see.

Watch Your Swing
Sharpen your swing—sans the pricey lessons—with the Approach S6 watch from Garmin, which uses its SwingTempo and Tempo Training technology to bring you closer to the ideal upswing-downswing ratio. Behind its stylish, full-color display also lies GPS-powered magic that can instantly summon comprehensive yardage and hole information on 40,000 golf courses. It’s true what they say: It really is all in the wrist.

Grasp Your Numbers
Get intel on what the heck your club just did with Arccos’ nifty, nearly weightless digital sensors, which screw right into the holes already in your club handles and send realtime swing data to your smartphone app for on-the-fly adjustments (and to the cloud for long-term patterns). Its GPS can calculate distances for your next shot, and Tour Analytics can suss out a player’s handicap in driving, approach, chipping, sand game and putting. Your clubs have been waiting for this.

Rule of Thumb
Compared with other sports, it’s safe to say golf is pretty tame. But what happens when, say, a sudden “gust of wind” sails your ball beyond the fence, or a dog on the lam giddily decides to turn your seventh-hole chip into a game of fetch? When things get hairy, it’s crucial to have lesser-known rules at your fingertips. The Rules of Golf app by the USGA is a foolproof way to prepare for the unexpected—and at a price of free, a no-brainer.

Get Spiked
Renew the sole without getting a new one. Champ’s Pivix spikes are lightweight, lower to the ground, and will give you sharper traction on the green. The translucent pieces come in a bouquet of colors and turn solid when it’s time to replace them. Luckily, their universal design will fit any shoe—including Jordan Spieth’s, who’s already a fan.

[Sidebar]

Any extreme-sports enthusiast knows well the pain of traveling with big gear. Fortunately for Elite Members, Hilton Grand Vacations’ Luggage Forward program spares the headaches with seamless delivery of all your big, awkward (but important!) luggage. Here are three pieces of gear that make traveling-while-athlete even easier.

ClubGlider Meridian. Named Editors' Choice for Golf Travel Bag by Golf Digest, the bag is hard where it needs to be and soft where it doesn’t. And its extra two front legs in front spare your back for the course.

Burton Wheelie Gig Bag. As the name implies, two tiny but crucial wheels will indeed turn your snowboard schlep into a delightful wheelie gig. But should you face a stair, a removable shoulder strap makes for an easy slinging.

Rhino Travel Bag. Pro-Lite’s surfboard bag makes the simple beautiful with its trim, lightweight design. A hardy zipper, external pocket, and air vent say one thing: It was made with actual humans in mind.