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Score one for golfers

Someone so committed to a sport as golfers are would want some gadgets to help make the time on the course a little more relaxing or to assist in knocking a stroke or two off the score. One such product is the Putt Pro. Designed to aid in putting skills, the Putt Pro transforms 5 feet of available space into an indoor putting green. Unlike other putting trainers, this unit features an electronic target area with a digital display that makes practice a true gaming experience.

When you are playing, the digital display shows the distance (anywhere from 5 to 40 feet) you have been challenged to putt. When the ball reaches the end of the artificial turf mat, the Putt Pro sensors automatically calculate and display the distance the ball would have traveled on a real green. Points are awarded based on distance and accuracy.

The Putt Pro is designed for one to four players and includes two practice modes and five competitive games with three different green speeds. It sells for $90 and is available by calling (800) 441-7888.

For those who want to practice their drives before hitting the links there is the Tee-Off Platform. This ingenious device consists of an L-shaped metal bar attached to a 1-foot by 2-foot artificial turf mat. The golf ball is connected by a string to the top of the metal bar.

The Tee-Off Platform allows the user to take practice swings and see if the ball would have traveled straight, sliced right or hooked left. The ball's height is adjustable so that it can simulate a tee or turf shot. Because the ball is attached to the unit by string, it is safe to use indoors or outdoors as long as you don't hit anything on your backswing.

Now available, the Tee-Off Platform Model Swing Trainer (model No. TO-01) sells for $35. For information, call (800) 533-9791.

Like any other sport, golf requires practice, practice and more practice. One method of practicing is to go to a driving range and hit ball after ball onto the field.

But how about a driving range for your own back yard? Even if you don't have acres of land, all you need is Austronet's new Golf Trainer. This item is a net device designed to act as a personal practice range.

It consists of a plastic-coated solid frame with a 6{-foot-square opening. A webbed netting is attached to the frame and is angled to give a 7-foot depth that stops the ball and prevents it from bouncing back.

Austronet's Golf Trainer folds for easy storage and is available from the Volm Bag Co. for $460. For information, call (715) 627-4826 or write to P.O. Box 170, Antigo, Wis. 54409-0170.

Under the hot sun, many golfers keep their composure with a cool drink, but where do they rest it while playing? On the ground? In the cart? How about inside a Cooler Cover?

Although Cooler Covers look just like standard golf club covers, they are designed to be inverted and used as a drink holder. Built inside these knitted covers is an insulated foam material that holds a 12-ounce can.

They feature a clip that secures the drink holder to the golf bag so that players can keep their drinks cool and have a place to set them while making a shot.

Cooler Covers are packaged at three for $20. For information, call (407) 288-3044.

Have a question? Write to the Gadget Guru c/o the St. Petersburg Times, 95 White Bridge Road, Suite 503, Nashville, Tenn. 37205. The FAX number is (615) 356-9596.

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