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Golfer's guide to finding places that specialize in niche golf equipment

Clubs for lefties

Since nearly 90 percent of the population is right-handed, depending on which study you believe, it stands to reason that most golf shops cater mainly to right-handers. The amount of left-handed clubs for sale is usually limited. But an online site caters only to left-handed golfers: www.leftiesonlygolf.com. The site has drivers, irons, wedges, putters, hybrids and women's clubs all made for the lefty. "After many golf vacations, I found it frustrating to find the lack of an adequate selection of left-handed golf equipment wherever I went,'' founder Walter Tripovich said. "So in June of 1985 I opened a lefties-only golf shop. I lost money yearly, but finally got into the black in my sixth year. We're now in our 25th year and still going.''

Golf pull carts for those who still want some exercise

Let's say you want to get some exercise while golfing, but carrying your own bag is a bit too much. No problem. Golf pull carts are in style, and there are plenty to choose from. There is the basic cart, which has two wheels and straps to hold the bag down. And then there are several other souped-up models. Take the Aeroluminum A-4. It has a scorecard, ball, tee, pencil holder and beverage holder. It even has room to attach an umbrella to stay out of the sun. It does just about everything except pull the cart for you. However, there are carts that will do that. There is the Navigator 2 Remote Control golf cart ($1,800) or the Powakaddy Freeway II motorized cart ($1,150), to name a few.

Golf balls for the less than accurate

So hitting the fairway isn't really your forte. That doesn't mean you have to lose your ball every time it's pushed into the woods or sliced into a waste area. Check out RadarGolf, a specially designed golf ball with a microchip inside that the company swears does not affect distance. It includes a handheld device that picks up a radio signal sent out by the microchip. It also includes a shield pouch for the other balls, which blocks the signal they send out. Of course, a RadarGolf ball hit in the water is still as lost as any other kind, but it's good for those balls hit in the tall grass. ($199.95, includes one dozen balls) www.radargolf.com

Clothes for the vertically challenged

Consuelo Bova was tired of getting the blank stare from clothing store employees when she asked about men's clothes in smaller sizes. "They looked at me like I had three eyeballs,'' Bova said. In 2005, she launched a Web site called www.forthefit.com. It would specialize in clothing for men 5 feet 9 and shorter. Based in Tampa, the company has since moved to Orlando. The site was successful, and six months ago Bova added golf apparel to the collection. There are fitted clubs in golf, so no reason there shouldn't be fitted clothing as well. "Athletic wear was the next logical step for us,'' Bova said. "People were telling us this is something they wanted. So far we can't keep them on the shelves.''

Clubs for women

Sweet Spot Golf makes all kinds of drivers, hybrids and putters, but its niche is the pink drivers and putters. Some of the drivers have pink shafts, and the club heads have pink "Vs'' that also help you line up the shot. The company's Web site claims the drivers are aerodynamically sound and lightweight, which makes it easier for golfers with slow swing speeds to get through the ball. Another benefit of the pink clubs is that a portion of sales goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. For information, go to www.sweetspotgolf.net.

Clubs for kids

Most golf shops have a section for kids, but we found a site dedicated solely to kids golf. It is www.kids golfsuperstore.com, and it has a pretty large selection of clubs for ages 3 to teenager. It is broken into ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and teenagers. The Winston-Salem, N.C., company has full sets of clubs as well as accessories. Worth checking out if you have a child who is serious about golf.



When it comes to golf equipment, there is pretty much something for everyone. Looking for a reliable place to find left-handed golf clubs? No problem. Looking for a place to find pink golf clubs? There is one. Looking for golf clothes that actually fit people 5 feet 9 or smaller? There is a place for that, too. Not all golfers are created equal, and several businesses are trying to capitalize on that. A look at a few places that offer products for golfers who don't exactly fit the mold:

fast facts

LPGA Legends Tour

What: Legends Tour Open Championship

When/where: Nov. 18-22, Innisbrook Golf Resort, Island Course, Palm Harbor

Purse: $300,000

Tickets: Free, though a charitable donation is encouraged. Donations will go to the Ruth Eckerd Hall Foundation.

Format: Two rounds of stroke play. Tournament play is Nov. 21-22.

Notables: Amy Alcott, Pat Bradley, Jan Stephenson, Joanne Carner, Betsy King,

Patty Sheehan, Rosie Jones.

Contact: www.thelegendstour.com, (727) 942-2000.

Amy Alcott

Golfer's guide to finding places that specialize in niche golf equipment

11/11/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 12, 2009 8:41am]

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