Every year hundreds, nay thousands, of products are on display at the PGA Show in Orlando, Fla. A percentage of those can be found inside the dwindling (in both scale and number) booths of the big equipment manufacturers but there’s plenty that’s new and intriguing to be found in the booths of smaller companies. And with each passing year, more of those companies exist inside the digital wing of the golf equipment industry.
With that in mind, it isn’t any particular surprise that our “Best in Show” list is filled with entries from golf’s burgeoning technical age—though we did find a pair of putters with potential.
The gear on this list is largely innovative and each, in its own way, has the potential to reshape the how the game is accessed, studied and enjoyed.
Here are our picks for the best new golf products from the 2023 PGA Show.
PuttView X from Putt View
In simple terms, the PuttView X takes the company’s advanced green visualization technology and brings it to any hole on any golf course anywhere in the world.
Or, as the company says, PuttView X allows you to “turn any green into an interactive learning experience”.
Using AR (Augmented Reality), Microsoft’s Holo Lens 2 technology and a headset that falls somewhere between Oculus and Daft Punk, PuttView X allows you to see the ideal path of the putt and your aiming line as well as multiple speed variations that ultimately result in the ball going into the hole.
At $14,800 (introductory price of $13,890), the target audience is professional golfers and coaches but even if your coach doesn’t spring for a PuttView X, it strikes us as the kind of technology that will eventually trickle down into more affordable packages.
CaddyTalk’s CUBE offers the features you’d expect from a rangefinder. It has a slope feature, it can adjust distances based on environmental factors and it will buzz to let you know it’s locked onto the target. It also offers an external LCD screen that displays the distance to the flag.
What the CaddyTalk CUBE offers that others don’t is its unique CADDY mode. With CADDY mode, you don’t need to be at your ball to calculate the distance to the flag. While your partner is hitting, you can sip your beer and shoot your ball and the flag, all without leaving the cart.
The $349 rangefinder uses the Pythagorean theorem and the rangefinder does the rest. Be ready to play before you get to your ball.
NEXT Golf Tour Powered by Trackman
Officially launched Jan. 4, the NEXT Golf Tour allows professional golfers to compete virtually on any Trackman simulator worldwide.
The entry fee is only $100 with purses guaranteed to be at least $100,000. Initially fields are capped at 250, the top 30 percent get paid and there are divisions for both men and women.
As competitive golf pushes into the indoor space, it should open the doors for average golfers to compete as well.
Pro tip: If you’re going to play for money, use the RCT ball.
Rapsodo MLM2Pro Launch Monitor
The MLM2Pro is the next-generation mobile (or personal) launch monitor from Rapsodo. It brings a list of compelling new features including more camera angles, simulator play, spin capture, and … wait for it … Android support.
While the original relied on your phone, the Pro features a new dual-camera system. Impact Vision captures impact at 240 frames per second while Shot Vision provides down-the-line view and shot-tracing functionality.
While you no longer need your phone for video, your mobile device can be used to capture a simultaneous face-on view.
Spin capture is made possible by specially marked “RPT” (Rapsodo Precision Technology) Callaway Chrome Soft X golf balls.
Out-of-box simulator functionality comes stock with 30,000 courses (free for first year). You can project to a hitting screen using Airplay.
Rapsodo was already one to beat in the budget mobile launch monitor category. Priced at $699.99, the MLM2Pro is a compelling option for budget-minded golfers looking for accurate data and a little bit of fun, too.
A relative newcomer among a rapidly growing number of sophisticated putting simulators, the strength of TOURPUTT AR is its ability assess your putting tendencies—direction, speed and other habits—and then recommend drills to correct problems and improve your skills.
The TOURPUTT AR System projects things like a tempo guide and break of the putt while tracking the ball over the length of the putt. The TOURPUTT green features a fixed three-degree slope so you can practice the type of putts you’re likely to experience on the course.
During every session, data is collected so it can be accessed and analyzed within the TOURPUTT App.
Positioned as an enterprise-class teaching tool, TOURPUTT AR won’t come cheap but it is something we’ll be taking a long look at as we begin to outfit MyGolfSpy’s new testing facility.
Uneekor Eye Mini Launch Monitor
Uneekor is a rising star in the simulator world and, given the increasing interest in the consumer launch monitor space, it was only a matter of time before the company developed a mobile launch monitor.
Enter the Eye Mini.
Uneekor’s two-camera device can be connected to a PC for indoor simulator play. It also works outdoors where, in addition to what you can see with your eyes, ball flight and related data are sent to Uneekor’s mobile app.
Head data is limited but the Eye Mini gives you the stuff that’s most important: swing speed, attack angle, path.
At $4,500, the Uneekor Eye Mini is built to compete at the higher end of the mobile launch monitor market.
Pins & Aces
Think golf’s a little too stiff? Khakis and crisp blue polos not your thing? Pins & Aces is for the player who has a little edge and embraces a good custom piece. From Girl Scout Cookie ball markers, your state’s license plate and even a disguised liquor dispenser for your bag, P&A is speaking to the golfer who embraces the “game” part of the game. Let’s start with headcovers.
“Golf headcovers today are stale, boring and expensive” is right on the company’s website and they didn’t hold back at the 2023 PGA Show.
It doesn’t stop at headcovers for Pins & Aces. We’re talking about beanies, T-shirts, ball markers and more.
If you can’t find something from Pins & Aces, you just aren’t looking hard enough.
Bushnell Wingman View Bluetooth Speaker (and golf GPS)
Debuting at the 2023 PGA Show, the View is the second generation of Bushnell’s Wingman speaker. Unlike the original, the Wingman View offers an LCD display that allows golfers to see distances, not just hear them.
At its core, the Wingman View is still a speaker (and a damned good one at that). It offers full music controls, it still plays first-tee intros and other custom messages and you can still make and receive phone calls.
A BITE magnet allows you to mount it on the side of cart or any other magnetic-friendly surface.
At $199.99, the Wingman View packs a lot of punch at an affordable price.
LA Bel Air and Malibu Putters
At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss the LA Golf Bel-Air (blade) and Malibu (mallet) putters as just the latest in an overcrowded market.
Don’t do it.
LA Golf’s new putters feature a multi-material body and, while that’s not unusual, the use of 50 gram of carbon paired with 310 grams of titanium is.
In addition to high MOI and outstanding feel, LA Golf uses a SIK face with descending-loft technology to provide a consistent roll across the face.
If nothing else, the Bel-Air and Malibu serve as reminders that even within the confines of a familiar shape, it’s possible to create a putter that’s both unique and compelling.