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Golf gadgets to improve your game

By Greg Duke, CNN
updated 10:09 AM EST, Wed February 29, 2012
This new at-home simulator means players can use their own clubs to take on their friends or test themselves on replicas of major championship venues and other world-famous courses. This new at-home simulator means players can use their own clubs to take on their friends or test themselves on replicas of major championship venues and other world-famous courses.
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Take on your favorite courses
Play like the professionals
Design your ball
Must-haves for your hands
Developing mental strength
Fairway woods at their finest
The ideal divot replacer
Shoes for all occasions
Teeing off in style
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The new year has seen a whole range of new products to tempt the modern golfer
  • A variety of new and colorful gizmos and gadgets have come onto the golfing market
  • A new range of fashion accessories has also appeared for the 2012 golfing year

(CNN) -- Whether you're a weekend hacker or an accomplished scratch golfer, there are always new ways to improve your game.

You might seek coaching tips, you might try to learn from watching your idols in action, but sometimes the best option is to try out some tried and tested products.

There are a mind-boggling array of gadgets and gizmos on the market that claim to help you keep the dreaded double-bogey off your scorecard, so the CNN sports team has highlighted a selection of helpful golf aids.

From simulators to professional-level equipment, mental training software and clothes that let you play better, there is something for golfers of all capabilities.

1. OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator:

A personal favorite. There's nothing new about golf simulators but, unlike complicated in-home programs that can start at anything up to $30,000, this little beauty costs under $400 and features plug-and-play simplicity.

The OptiShot uses hyper-accurate sensors on a durable swing pad to record club-head speed, face angle and swing path.

You do need; a) a PC and b) nine feet of swing space. You don't need; a) good weather and b) golf club membership.

2. Adams Golf Women's Idea a12 OS Integrated Sets:

This brand has really come to the fore over the last 12 months and looks to be the market leader in the women's game thanks to sponsorship links with world No. 1 Yani Tseng and top American Brittany Lincicome.

Although not in everyone's price range at $899.99, this all-in-one 14-piece bundle can still save you some money while also benefiting from top-level technology.

Hybrid irons, fairway woods, a driver and a putter are all included along with a stylish cart bag and matching head covers.

3. Tin Cup:

Each Tin Cup fits over a golf ball and provides a simple design template for players to follow with a marker pen.

By choosing from dozens of patterns -- including flags, university logos, animals and novelties such as a cigar or martini glass -- any golfer can add a touch of personalization, for a cost of $19.95.

The makers claim that the "one way" arrow and "sharp shooter" designs also aid ball alignment, and the individual designs mean you shouldn't be arguing over whose ball it is buried in the deep rough.

4. G/FORE Golf Gloves:

To hit the ball well, you have to grip your clubs correctly -- so get a decent glove, or a few if you like a bit of variety.

Created by fashion designer and avid golfer Mossimo Giannulli, this collection features 18 color options, available for men and women at $35 per pair.

The gloves, crafted from premium AA Cabretta leather, are worn by tour professionals Ricky Barnes of the U.S. and Germany's Alex Cejka.

5. Pro Mental Coach:

Once an exclusive privilege of PGA Tour stars and the ultra-wealthy, personalized mental training is fast becoming a major trend among recreational golfers as well.

Created by a team of neuropsychologists, physicians and computer specialists, the program -- which costs $139.95 -- was first used by the PGA Center for Golf Learning & Performance.

A dynamic intelligence system assesses players' strengths and weaknesses, customizes a training regime and then adjusts in real-time according to a user's performance.

6. Adams Golf Speedline Fast 12 Fairway Wood:

Fairway woods have long lived in the shadow of gleaming new drivers, but this club is tipped to change things in 2012.

Top players Robert Karlsson and Ryan Moore already use this one, which Adams Golf calls the world's most aerodynamically efficient club thanks to its patented Velocity Slot Technology -- which significantly reduces drag and promotes a trampoline-like effect that literally launches the ball toward the hole.

Costing $249.99 per club, it won't break the bank for the average player.

7. CHAMP Flix Divot Repair Tool:

This colorful divot tool has a "switchblade" design that releases the tool at the push of a button.

And, when you've finished repairing your ball mark, the Flix's ergonomic form slips easily into your pocket while ensuring the lining of your clothes survives the round unscathed.

The Flix is available in pink, red, blue, orange, green or black and retails for $9.99

8. ECCO BIOM Hybrid shoe:

ECCO has gone to town on this fancy piece of footwear, which is being marketed as golf's first performance hybrid shoe.

The company says it scanned the feet of more than 2,500 athletes, resulting in an exceptionally lightweight shoe that provides stability, ground feel and swing power.

Designed to be worn both on and off the course, the shoe isn't cheap at $190 per pair -- but it is made from Tibetan Yak leather!

9. CHAMP Zarma FLYtee:

They say you drive for show and putt for dough, but if you can't get your first shot on the fairway then it's hard to keep the big scores off your card.

This tee features a unique six-pronged head and shallow cup that reduces friction, increases driving distance and improves accuracy.

Costing $5.99 for a pack of 30, it doesn't just improve your game -- it's also environmentally friendly. Each tee lasts five times longer than wood ones, which breaks down easily once discarded.

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