The best golf tech of 2017

Smart gloves, glasses, transporters -- even shoes that'll up your game
By Joal Ryan, Contributor
1 of 20 Cobra Golf via Facebook

Cobra King F7 Driver

As we head into peak season in many parts of golfing country, here are 20 of the latest gadgets and goodies that reflect our increasing obsession with golf tech. Prices listed were current as of publication.

First up: Cobra's "first connected golf club."

The $349 King F7 Driver pairs the club with a smartphone app that allows you to track your game via GPS. Beyond that, the club features three different centers of gravity, allowing you three different potential approaches and flight paths.

2 of 20 GoGolf GPS via Facebook

GoGolf GPS

When paired with your smartphone, this wearable device is a tap away from telling you, literally out loud, how far your ball is from the center of the green. It's easily attached to your cap or glasses, and is newly available this spring for $79.

3 of 20 GolfBoard via Facebook


This electric-powered vehicle, which evokes a skateboard or snowboard, replaces a golf cart and promises to literally speed up your round of golf. Recently it's gone from something vaguely futuristic to something you can find at more than 300 courses worldwide. You can even buy your own. Prices start at $6,500 for the standard model that motors up to 10 mph.

4 of 20 Puma Golf via Facebook

Puma Titantour Ignite Disc golf shoes

The shoelace-that's-virtually-invisible-and-tightened-to-your-liking-via-a-disc is a feature that's familiar to runners -- and now golfers, via Puma's new $200 Titantour Ignite Disc.

5 of 20 FX-Sport (screenshot by ZDNet)

FX-Sport VC Golf headphones

The UK-based FX-Sport specializes in wireless sport headphones. Its new VC Golf model is called "the first psychological coaching device for golf." On it, you can access hours of soothing, sage words from golf gurus -- they get in your head so you don't lose yours. It's listed at $199.

6 of 20 Callaway via Amazon.com

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Driver

This new, redesigned Callaway driver, priced starting at $499.99, is souped up with its own interpretation of "Jailbreak Technology," -- one that basically prevents the club's crown, soul and face from deforming at impact. The intention: balls that fly faster and go farther.

7 of 20 Lady Classic via Amazon.com

Copper Tech golf glove

This non-slip, sweat-wicking glove is made with "high-grade copper fabrics" to reduce stiffness and joint pain -- and keep you out on the greens longer. It retails for $19.99.

8 of 20 Bushnell Golf (screenshot by ZDNet)

Bushnell Golf Pro X2

This laser rangefinder, which retails for about $500, features a "Slope-Switch" that allows the device to adjust for inclines and declines. Coolest of all, it literally gives you a jolt when it locks onto the pin.

9 of 20 Zepp via Amazon.com

Zepp Golf 2

Introduced in 2016, the Zepp Golf 2 is the wearable sports tech company's updated take on its golf-training system. Mount the Zepp sensor on your glove, pair it with your Zepp-app-enabled smartphone -- and swing away.

The app records and analyzes your handiwork. The Zepp Golf 2 kit, including sensor, mount and USB charger, lists for $149.99.

10 of 20 Nike Golf via Twitter

Nike Lunar Control Vapor

Rory McIlroy introduced these $175 Nikes to the links last fall. The Lunar Control Vapor eschews spikes for soles that "mimic ... snowmobile tires," as Golf.com put it. The resulting traction, per Plugged In Golf, is "spectacular."

11 of 20 FocusBand via Twitter


The FocusBand is a wearable device that monitors your brain activity via sensors. When paired with your phone or tablet, it gives you visual feedback on your state of mind, and can help you redirect or focus your emotions. While not built specifically for golf, the company says it's used by several top pro golfers, including Jason Day. List price is $500.

12 of 20 Wilson Golf via Facebook

Wilson Staff D300 irons

These babies were introduced at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show. Urethane-filled "Power Holes" allow 76 percent of the face to be free at launch, allowing for greater distance. (The "D" in the D300 series literally stands for distance.) The steel-shaft version retails for $799.99; the graphite version, for $899.99.

13 of 20 Stewart Golf via Facebook

Stewart Golf X9 Follow

The latest addition to Stewart Golf's series of electric carts, the X9 Follow will literally and faithfully follow you on the course via Bluetooth pairing. You can also operate it remotely, at distances up to 50 meters (roughly 164 feet). It retails for $2,999.

14 of 20 Selfie Golf via Instagram

Selfies ... for golf

Selfie golf? Yes. Really. Think of it as a selfie stick with a higher purpose. It allows you to capture stable video footage of your swing from your golf bag with the aid of an adjustable stick and smartphone clip. An exhibitor at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show, Selfie Stick retails for $38.95.

15 of 20 Puma Golf via Facebook

Puma Soundchuck Mini

This 5.3-ounce Bluetooth speaker with six-plus hours of battery life is the latest -- and lightest -- iteration of the Soundchuck. It clips onto virtually anything that moves on the course, like you or your cart. It sports a $79.99 list price.

16 of 20 Full Swing Golf via Instagram

Full Swing S2 simulator

Prices start at $19,900 for this golf simulator that allows you to virtually play world-class courses like Torrey Pines from your garage. The S2 comes packaged with 15 courses; you can add on more, all the way up to a total of 87.

17 of 20 Garmin via Amazon.com

Garmin Approach X40

This GPS golf band, which retails for $249.99, measures shot distances and calculates green distances. Like any good Garmin wearable, the Approach X40 doubles as an activity tracker.

18 of 20 Galvin Green via Instagram

Galvin Green Bow jacket

Call it "exceptionally lightweight" because it is; it weighs just slightly more than two golf balls. In any case, you get the idea: This windproof jacket from the Swedish golf-clothing company won't hold you back on the course.

Plus, the jacket's membrane is made of polytetrafluorethylene, whose pores are 900 times larger than water vapor molecules. The result: Sweat goes out and stays out. List price is $198.

19 of 20 TaylorMade Golf via Instagram

TaylorMade TP5 golf balls

The gadget-and-tech site T3 calls the TP5 and its sibling, the TP5x, the high-tech ball you'll want to pair with your high-tech clubs. Its secret sauce is a five-layer construction schematic, first used in TaylorMade's Penta TP, but tweaked in the TP5 series to add distance. The TP5 and TP5x each retail for $44.99 for a box of 12.

20 of 20 Volvik USA via Twitter

Volvik Vivid XT golf balls

The Vivid XT is the 2017 update on Volvik's popular matte-finish, four-piece-construction balls. XT stands for, what else, "extreme distance," includes a compressed-bismuth outer core and a zirconium-compound outer cover. A box of one dozen Vivid XTs runs about $40 on Amazon.com.

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