ORLANDO, FLORIDA — As is the case every year at the PGA Merchandise Show, certain products make you stop and take a closer look. Here are two items that caught our eye on day one at Orange County Convention Center.
Tabbed as “the unforgettable umbrella,” the Weatherman Umbrella uses a Bluetooth sensor and an app to make sure you are prepared for impending rain. Developed by Fox News meteorologist Rick Reichmuth, it’s a noticeably sturdy product made with Teflon coating and can sustain up to 55 mph winds without flipping inside out.
The smart umbrella launched in November and quickly sold out.
“About six or seven years ago, I was standing in front of a rack of umbrellas and didn’t know which one was better than the other,” Reichmuth told The Post. “They all say they are good, but my experience told me they’re not. Just tell me what the good one is and I will buy. That’s when I said, ‘I bet I could tell people what the good one is.’ ”
In short, here is how Reichmuth’s umbrella works: Through the app, you can plug in where you live and where you are playing golf. It takes the weather forecast and notifies you when your umbrella is needed. It also can tell you where your umbrella is at all times.
There are two golf-specific versions, one being 62 inches across and the other 68 inches. Each has a large mesh pocket offering handy storage for items like a glove, and a silicone-coated rib is in place for a towel. They both feature the highest UV coating possible for fabrics, a nice bonus for sunny days.
“From the very beginning I wanted to make a strong umbrella that doesn’t break,” Reichmuth said. “It’s a sturdier umbrella than the other ones out there and then these other features are just the other elements on top of it.”
Click here to read more about them.
BioMech Putting Sensor
Golf instruction is also heading in the direction of connecting to apps for real-time data and responsiveness. Few products display that more than the BioMech Golf Putting Sensor.
The sensor, which weighs less than an ounce, clips on to your putter just below the grip and intuitively understands the X, Y and Z axis, meaning that it can measure face angle and loft. The information is immediately available on any device, providing a score of how effective your stroke is based on how long the putter head remains square through impact.
“The nice part about this is that you can go out to the course and get immediate feedback,” says PGA professional Laird Small. “You can play on the course and receive real data.”
That data is collected and goes into an archive where your analysis is stored. You can also see a 3D version of your stroke that can pinpoint exactly how far open or closed you go on your backswing.
“We don’t have a template for exactly what your putting stroke should look like, because it’s still a personal preference,” Small said. “Some people like to putt square-to-square and others like more of an arc. Regardless, this provides excellent information for both instructors and students.”
The reports are easy to understand and a dream to have for the golf junkie. As you start putting several balls, you will notice a trend in your stroke and it takes little time to start on the path to improvement.