Maybe it’s just me, but I will watch infomercials. I won’t buy anything but let’s be honest, the whole idea of them is a bit hilarious. Golf infomercials are just as hokey as anything out there. Previously I reviewed the infomercial for The Perfect Club, which is, in my opinion, the apex of Peter Kessler’s career. But hearing that Nike will no longer make clubs, balls or bags got me a bit nostalgic for some of these inventions (I know I’m linking to Golf Digest and I do so knowing what a complete gong show their website is in terms of navigation). I suggested on Twitter that if Tiger Woods is going to no longer use Nike clubs, maybe he should use an Alien wedge and a Perfect Club. Who knows, if he has the chipping yips maybe it can help him.
In any event, before we had wearable GPS devices and they weren’t a fairly common device to carry, GPS devices were rare (I remember the first time I played with a guy who had a Sky Caddie and thought we’d never improve upon that). But even before that, we had the GolfLogix GPS Infomercial on what seemed like an endless loop on Golf Channel. Behold:
Let’s watch this in all of its SD glory, shall we?
0:02: That didn’t take long. If you look at a 150 yard plate and are confused about what club to hit, maybe we need to have a chat. Guy in a cart with 2 bags with no passenger. This will never end well; kind of screams out “who likes slow play…THIS GUY!”
0:08: I like Gary McCord but for the love of everything, can someone tell him that the landing strip below his lip is…disturbing? Why is this a thing? I don’t mind his duster, but the landing strip…holy crap. Kind of makes you want Peter Kessler, doesn’t it?
0:16: I’ll say this for the GolfLogix GPS; it’s not that big. No bigger than a modern sky caddie or the Bushnell range-finder I use.
0:44: Garmin, a world leader in GPS. Admit it- you wanted him to say “it’s made in Germany- they make great stuff over there!” Oh, and nobody is walking an Arizona resort course that’s target golf, and the guy who is walking wouldn’t be seen with that fancy technology. He’ll step it off himself. Oh, and that guy who’s walking? You can bet cash he’ll have a ball retriever. Possibly two.
0:52: Practically bullet-proof? What exactly does that mean? Is that like practically bikini-waxed? Too soon…I know.
0:55: It took 54 seconds before we know Peter Kostis is in this thing? Let’s just say that the fact he’s reading cue cards is about as obvious as it is he’s wearing a blue shirt. I like Kostis (he’s one of the few good things about a CBS golf crew that needs a major overhaul), and his swing analysis is always bang-on but wow…to borrow a slogan, buy a stamp and mail it in!
1:20: Audio cut out briefly. You didn’t miss much.
1:25: More confidence AND more fun? If I see two bathtubs rolling out I’m stopping this. Just saying. Not judging but that kind of gets out of my purview.
1:38: Those swings they’re showing are all kinds of ugly. These people don’t need a GPS. They need lessons.
1:57: No pressing buttons or pressing through complicated screens? Far be it me to speculate but the Venn diagram of people this was geared for and the people who own a Jitterbug phone are two circles on top of each other…right?
2:09: It knows where you are on every hole…showing a guy near a hazard. So does it say “hey goober, might we try to find the fairway at some point today?” because that would be funny.
2:12: It will speed up your round? Really? If somebody hands one to Jason Day and tell him “hey, this will speed up your round” I will pay you cash. The fact that he named his kid Dash and his pace of pay is glacial is him trolling us, right? Seriously, Jason- if you’re reading this…let’s pick up the pace a bit.
2:40: The part where Kostis and McCord are talking like regular guys about “how we need to get more people playing the game” but wait- I didn’t think anyone cared about growing the game? A GPS isn’t going to help you find your ball if you hit it into waste areas. Just saying. And now we have a montage of people looking for their ball. Crazy idea- play your next shot and then help the guy look for his ball.
3:15: Yes, the USGA has approved DMD’s (distance measuring devices) but I’ll still get at least one idiot a month who will see me use mine and tell me it’s cheating.
3:17: Which one should you pick? Ooh…I know! The GolfLogix GPS! Let’s see if I’m right!
3:25: Yup, old people can’t use lasers….or use the computer unless they’re screaming about kids on the internet.
3:43: Hot damn! They picked the GolfLogix Golf GPS! Damn, I’m good! And hey- it’s powered by Garmin. Garmin! I’m just going to assume that Gary McCord’s safe word is Powered by Garmin. It probably is, but who knows for sure?
4:02: The numbers change while I walk…I can only imagine how explaining him how the sun and moon work must have gone.
4:18: Yes, distances to front/middle/back. FYI, the Sky Caddie does the same thing if you were wondering. I almost bought one several years ago but went with the laser range-finder.
4:35: If you’re a regular player and see 258, three words: JUST HIT IT. You don’t have that shot. Or this guide from a sprinkler head with a sense of humour:
4:42: That was an awkward transition; now they’re wearing different clothes (it’s called continuity, people) and Kostis is talking about pushing a little button. Nope. Not gonna go there.
4:50: Yes, it’ll show you the distance of your last shot. When I caddied I did that as well once, telling this old geezer who asked me how far he was to the green “you hit your tee shot 120 yards; you’ve got 320 to the front, 335 to the pin 350 to the back” being serious about wondering if he could reach the green (yes, in probably 2-3 more shots). This was in the mid 1980’s when persimmon woods were still common. So from 320 to the front he thought he could reach the green with a 3-wood. So no, slow play didn’t start because of Tiger Woods.
5:20: Kostis is sending McCord out on a mission. Is he coming back with breakfast? Maybe some beer? I’m hoping that McCord is looking for his former comedic foil, David Feherty. At the risk of having a hot take or blowing up golf twitter, Feherty’s interview show is really in need of something new. For starters, he needs to ask better questions and quit fawning over the people he interviews. Second…he’s falling victim on NBC/Golf Channel of being unable to tell me, the viewer, something I don’t know. He was a former professional who won on the European Tour and played in a Ryder Cup. Enough of the same tired jokes. Mix humour with actual information and quit fawning over the players. It’s okay to be critical; tell us why!
5:33: He’s in he right rough. It’s okay. Put the milk cartons down, everyone. I’m going to say this again. Gary, you seem a swell guy, but I’m begging you- shave that goddamn landing strip off your face. Leave the Rollie Fingers duster if you want. Let’s be honest, a GPS is not a secret weapon. We call that a foot wedge. He’s 142 to the center, folks and naturally he knocks it stiff. How is it that when he hit the shot it was sunny and clear and when it landed it was overcast? In film they call that “continuity” problems.
6:02: “Thanks, Gary” is Kostis’ safe word. I’m serious. Now we get to the “Gary McCord is so dumb (HOW DUMB IS HE?)” part of the show. And if you haven’t been watching, ABC’s remake of the original Match Game has been genius. Alec Baldwin as host is…how do I put this…is an inspired choice? As in, he’s good at it? If you’re asking, of course they brought back the Gene Rayburn long skinny microphone. I’m just going to say that having people drink while playing…works. The Canadian reboot has Sean Cullen and Debra DiGiovanni (both are hilarious but criminally under-used).
6:22: Another badly-edited transition and with McCord off huffing glue (allegedly), Kostis is now giving the sell. I mean, if you can turn it on, you can use it! He didn’t say what you could use it for (I mean, could I use it to kill a bug?), but I’m going to go with the idea that the intended use would be getting distances.
6:37: More ugly swings from regular golfers…that GPS device won’t help someone who’s in the Charles Barkley arena of ugly swings.
6:53: Didn’t know GolfLabs were the leader in independent testing…okay. While we’re talking about improving pace of play, why is it that I see 4 guys playing and only 1 ball? Hint- whoever is next should be ready to go.
7:23: Look, 7 minutes over 9 holes isn’t bad, but continuous putting, playing ready golf, and playing from the appropriate set of tees will cut even more time. We also don’t know what the normal difference between the front and back 9 times are. I’ve played with guys who, if you give them the number they still look completely befuddled. Or they’ll ask me what they should hit. This is why I drink.
7:45: I’m not Nate Silver but 16 golfers on an Arizona course is not exactly what I would call a significant sample size. But go on…
8:25: Is adding and subtracting that hard? IF you’re a legit 8 handicap and you can’t figure out basic yardages, that handicap is the equivalent of a lot of Botox treatment. It’s called vanity. I’m calling malarkey on that guy’s 8 handicap index unless he putts as well as touring professionals.
Look, if you don’t have a rangefinder or a GPS it’s not a bad investment assuming you know how far you hit each club (and are honest about it). There are smartphone applications that can assist (the free ones are uniformly bad) as well.