Welcome to another edition of the Fully Equipped mailbag, sponsored by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, an interactive GOLF.com series in which we field your hard-hitting gear questions.
What’s the next big thing to hit the golf equipment world? Ari. P., Pennsylvania
If we had a crystal ball that tells the future, you’ll be the first to know what it says, Ari. Truth is, as golf media we sometimes get an early look at new product iterations, but relative to long term developments—your guesses are as good as ours. In the last couple decades, equipment manufacturers have gone to great lengths to keep future developments secret, and unlike tech gadgets and cell phones that seem to routinely “leak” to the press in advance of announcements, rarely does that happen among with golf equipment. The only advanced glances we sometimes get comes in the bags of tour players—usually hidden under the guise of “prototype” or “tour issue” monikers.
That doesn’t mean we don’t dream, though. And in this edition of Fully Equipped, we’re going to dream big. Here are five things we’d love to see happen relevant to golf equipment—sooner or later in the future. Plus, one trend we’d love to see disappear.
Smart golf balls
We’ve actually seen this played out before — more than once, actually. And while it may seem far-fetched to play a golf ball with GPS built in, at the very least it could be an interesting tool for teaching and/or practice (and probably not so great for golf courses with a lot of water or OB markers). The most recent one we’ve seen is the BBall — a GPS-enabled ball that you can track with your cell phone and get a pile of stats and information. Is it the future? Maybe, if we can get past that looming global computer chip shortage.
More carbon composite tech in putters
We love carbon technology. It’s lightweight, strong and can be formed into virtually every shape. Cost aside, it’s a bit surprising we haven’t seen more carbon in putter designs. Perimeter and heel-toe weighting is all the rage with putters, and we think carbon composites will make it much easier for designers to move weight around. We saw a new one this year from LA Golf that has turned a lot of heads, made entirely of carbon composite with a stainless steel face insert. It’s only a matter of time until other putter OEMs follow up with composite models of their own.
More smart tech in all clubs, too
This is one we wish we’d see more of right now. Some equipment manufacturers have gone to great lengths to add sensors to shafts and to integrate apps into fitting and such, but we really don’t see any reason why this type of technology isn’t adopted across more brands and in every club in the bag. Arccos is one company leading that charge and really, there’s no excuse not to have it in all your clubs.
Driving ranges with launch monitors
This technology is already present at locations around the country and we love it. TopTracer can be found at more places and even though it costs more than a bucket a balls, it’s still less than forking over hundreds or thousands of dollars for a personal launch monitor. It’s simply a great way to track distances and to see stats with every club.
All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Pricing may vary.
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo
Leased golf clubs
Rental clubs are nothing new, but what if you could rent clubs for an entire season? Or maybe a week or month at a time? This could be a boon for new or aspiring golfers who aren’t quite ready to fork over big dollars for a full set of clubs. We suspect long-term rentals could be just what it takes to get golfers interested in the game and then willing to buy their own set for the long haul. And by the way, if you are a newbie, the Cleveland Halo XL irons make the game much easier. It’s almost like cheating.
BONUS! The end of basketball-inspired golf shoes
This isn’t a trend we’d love to see come to fruition, rather we hope it’ll soon come to an end. We know there will be haters and we get that a lot of basketball players play and love golf, but come on now. Leave the Dunks and Jordan’s where they belong, which last we checked was on hardwood floors and playground blacktops. Golf shoes should look like golf shoes or at the very worst, a casual/athletic shoe. Let’s put an end this trend in 2023, shall we?
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