The weather is warm and summer is right around the corner, which means it’s finally time to get back on the golf course. If you’ve been itching to hit the greens again but afraid you might’ve lost your touch, there’s no need to worry. We talked to pro golfers, instructors and other experts to find the best golf gear out there that’ll help you get your game in tip-top shape.
So whether you’re a beginner or have been golfing since you were a kid, there are plenty of gadgets on this list that will help take your game to the next level. From swing analyzers and indoor putting greens to expert-recommended clubs, you’ll have everything you need to hone in your swing all summer long.
Swiftwick Flite XT Zero Golf Socks ($19.99; amazon.com)
PGA golf professional and Golf Top 100 instructor Joe Hallett walks a lot — sometimes logging 20,000 to 27,000 steps during an event.
“I am on my feet all day long on the lesson tee and watching my LPGA players on the course,” he says. He credits these Swiftwick socks with providing comfort on the course, and says they’re also popular with his players — and with the caddies, who walk just as far, but with 50 pounds on their backs.
SelfieGolf Cellphone Holder Golf Analyzer (starting at $29.99; amazon.com)
More experienced golfers, pro golfer Hailey Ostrom adds, are usually into any gadget that will help improve their game. “I would also recommend a SelfieGolf cell phone holder. This phone clip attaches to any alignment stick and makes for easy filming, so you can film your swing and make adjustments on the range.”
Rukket Indoor/Outdoor Pop-Up Golf Chipping Net ($59.99; amazon.com)
Ostrom says her Rukket Sports golf nets and putting green became essentials in the past year. “They have a variety of golf products, including multiple full-swing hitting nets, chipping nets and a putting green,” she says. “Their products are easy to assemble and make up for days away from the course.”
Sklz Golf Indoor Putting Green ($35.99, originally $44.99; amazon.com)
Lifelong golf enthusiast Erik Tammar, who dropped everything a few years back to make a run at qualifying for the PGA Tour, now runs Swinger Box, a golf subscription box company based in San Francisco. “Stay on top of your short game with some target practice chipping around the yard and keep your putting game sharp by tapping the golf ball around the living room,” Tammar says. “You’d be surprised how much 30 minutes a day … can help increase your putting accuracy.” He also likes this Sklz putting green for an indoor challenge.
Eyeline Golf Putting Alignment Mirror ($29.95, originally $39.95; amazon.com)
Ostrom also loves this alignment mirror, which can help tighten up your stroke. “My favorite new toy is my putting mirror, a mirrored training aid that helps with eye alignment, contact, stroke distance and consistency,” she says.
NoSweat Golf Hat Liner ($27.99; amazon.com)
Ostrom, who is based in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona, recommends the NoSweat hat liner for those who are active outdoors. “As warmer months are approaching, we are more likely to sweat on the golf course,” she says. “A NoSweat hat liner will help eliminate the risk of touching your face by preventing sweat from dripping down your forehead.”
Maxfli 9-Foot-by-12-Foot Automatic Putting Mat ($49.99; dickssportinggoods.com)
Indoor putting mats are on the rise, according to Corey Roberson, director of golf at the Cordillera Ranch outside of San Antonio, Texas. “If you don’t have one yet, it’s probably a good investment so you can knock down a couple more 5-footers in your first round back,” he says.
Golf Swing Shirt Training Aid ($59.99; golfswingshirt.com)
“If you have room to make a full swing, working on technique will also help you prepare,” Roberson says. “One of the training aids I like to use is the Golf Swing Shirt. It’s a great tool to help you stay connected, and best used in your backyard or garage.”
Nikon Coolshot 20 GII Rangefinder ($199.95; amazon.com)
New golfers, Ostrom notes, already have their hands full trying to learn a challenging game, so adding in gear and equipment that will help improve their skills will only make the experience more enjoyable.
“I recommend an easy-to-use rangefinder, such as the Nikon Coolshot,” she says. “Learning how far you hit your clubs is one of the more challenging parts for beginners. A rangefinder leaves less room for error and helps to keep the pace on the course — a godsend for everyone!”
Dave Pelz Putting Track ($99.99; worldwidegolfshops.com)
For golfers with space at home and cash to spare, golf coach Dave Pelz, known for his books on the art of the short game, partnered with SYNLawn to develop the Dave Pelz GreenMaker Putting Green System, perfect for golfers of all ages and skill levels and available in four sizes. But if that’s not quite in the budget, try a putting track. “A product like this will help to groove your putting stroke, which will help your accuracy and touch,” he says.
Dave Pelz’s Sweet Spot Putting Clips ($34.99; worldwidegolfshops.com)
Pelz, who’s also the founder of Dave Pelz Scoring Schools, says he also likes putting clips. “These attach to your putter face with a Mylar adhesive,” he says. “It provides perfect contact on the sweet spot and produces a normal roll. Contact toward the heel or toe sends the golf ball rolling askew.”
Callaway Men’s Strata Complete 12-Piece Golf Set ($299.99; amazon.com)
“For new golfers, my advice is stay away from most gizmos that promise to fix your slice or increase distance,” Tammar says. “The best thing to do is get a starter set of clubs — or a secondhand set — and just make sure the length and flex is correct. Brands like Callaway and TaylorMade make great starter sets.”
Once you have the clubs, Tammar recommends setting up a lesson with a local pro. “Even just a few lessons will help any new golfer hit the ground running,” he says. “If you’re on a budget, there are some great instructors on YouTube giving free lessons as well.”
Puma SoundChuck Mini Bluetooth Speaker ($64.69; amazon.com)
Ostrom says that while there’s a seemingly constant influx of new “must-have” golf equipment each year, she has really noticed more and more Bluetooth speakers on the course. “The game is evolving and attracting a younger audience,” she says. “Having the latest speaker that not only plays your favorite jams but also conveniently clips onto your golf cart is the hottest new trend right now.”
Bose Frames ($240; bose.com)
Instead of having a speaker clipped to your bag, these sunglasses from Bose send music right into your ears while protecting your eyes from the sun.
TaylorMade SIM Max Fairway ($249.99, originally $299.99; dickssportinggoods.com)
Roberson says that while all the golf companies make good equipment, he’s seen a few things stand out for his members at Cordillera Ranch. “The new SIM fairway woods from TaylorMade are very easy to get the ball in the air,” he says.
Ping G710 Individual Iron (starting at $162.43; dickssportinggoods.com)
Roberson also loves the Ping G710. “Ping launched the game-improvement G710 iron and not only does it perform well, it looks good too,” he says. “They refined the lines to give it a cleaner appearance at address and drastically improved the acoustics.”
Callaway Mavrik Pro Irons ($899.99; dickssportinggoods.com)
Roberson says all golfers should get fitted for their equipment, but this is even more important for experienced golfers.
“At Cordillera Ranch, we encourage our members to schedule a fitting and we use TrackMan to help identify areas of improvement in their game,” he says. “The recurring theme I’ve seen with avid golfers is they don’t really know how far they carry each club and they fly too low. Golf is all about controlling where the ball stops and it’s easier to control that when it spends less time rolling.”
He says he’s seen a lot of success with the TaylorMade SIM fairway woods, and, when it comes to irons, his members have seen great performance from the new Callaway Mavrik line. “We are all looking for that extra 10 yards with the driver and I haven’t found it yet,” he says. “The G410 LST from Ping is in my bag and is a great option for high spin players.”
Callaway Supersoft Magna Yellow Golf Balls ($19.99, originally $22.99; worldwidegolfshops.com)
For more experienced golfers, Tammar says there’s plenty of opportunity to try out new ball designs that feature new materials. And, he adds, with patents expiring, prices have come down. “There are more golf balls now that can best fit your game, or just help you save some cash, more than ever before,” he says.
Ping G410 Fairway Wood ($259, originally $289; worldwidegolfshops.com)
According to Roberson, most golf club companies focus the majority of their engineering dollars on men’s equipment, and, he says, new male golfers have a lot of great game improvement options from the big four manufacturers (Ping, Titleist, Callaway and TaylorMade).
“I’m a little partial to Ping, as they have a reputation for building clubs that perform well for a wide variety of players,” he adds. “Specifically, their G410 woods and G710 irons have a very high moment of inertia, which helps tighten dispersion.”
Ping Women’s G Le 2 Anser Putter ($199; dickssportinggoods.com)
For women and for juniors new to golf, Roberson also recommends Ping, noting it’s one of the few companies that allocates a sizable portion of its research and development budget to those markets. “They recently launched the G Le 2 line for ladies and Prodi G line for juniors,” he says. “These lines are high-performance golf clubs that are not only lighter, but they generate more ball speed.”
Ping Junior Prodi G 7-Piece Complete Set ($859.99; worldwidegolfshops.com)
“Ping acknowledges your new junior golfer is going to grow and will rebuild the clubs for free after your child has a growth spurt,” Roberson says.
Bonobos Performance Golf Polo ($69; bonobos.com)
Tammar says one golf gear trend is the return of the boldly patterned golf shirts popular in the ’90s. “It’s a style that’s not for everyone, but definitely makes the game a bit more fun and is usually an icebreaker for strangers paired up on the first tee,” he says.
Women’s Sleeveless Printed Golf Polo ($50; nike.com)
This sleeveless polo is sure to be the conversation starter when you get back on the course. Plus, it’s made from Nike Dri-Fit, which wicks away sweat to keep you cool so you can focus on your swing.