Wrist injuries are the third most common golf malady for amateurs—and first among the pros. Given the direct repetitive trauma of striking the ball and turf with the club, this probably shouldn't be surprising. But new Terris Golf Gloves ($29.95-$49.95) are designed to absorb some of the shock, thanks to built-in elastic polymer pads positioned strategically around the wrist, thumb or palm (depending on the model). The gloves are supposed to help relieve wrist pain for golfers with arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome and to help uninjured players avoid those problems. Two of the models are USGA legal for competition (Bruce Fleisher wears one on the Senior Tour), and the third, with extra padding in the palm, is designed for long sessions at the practice range. We found that the gloves, made from long-lasting goat-skin leather, fit comfortably and didn't interfere with feel. Call 866-426-1482 or visit terrisgolf.com.
Most major golf shoe manufacturers have finally caught onto the trend toward more fashionable styles on the links. But they're just playing catch up to forward-looking companies like Cyclonic. The little Delaware company you've probably never heard of has produced a line of spikeless golf shoes since 1998, and this year brings two new series—the Tour ($110) and the Game ($90)—with replaceable soft spikes. Cyclonic shoes employ the theory that a wider toe provides more stability and comfort, and they seem to be onto something. Walking eighteen holes in these kicks is no problem, and the spikes grip the turf solidly. Call 877-292-5664 or visit cyclonicusa.com..
Glossary: Kick Point
A golf shaft's kick point is the spot where the maximum bend occurs during the swing (measured in a two-inch area near the middle of the shaft), and most manufacturers rate shafts as having high, medium or low kick points. Shafts with kick points low on the shaft launch the ball higher with more spin, while high kick points produce lower, slower-spinning shots that can be harder to control. But kick point does not work in isolation: You can also influence trajectory by tweaking the loft of your clubheads, using balls with different spin rates (the more spin, the higher a shot flies) and switching to clubheads that are weighted differently around the perimeter. Only by testing various combinations of kick point, loft and spin can you make the ball fly as precisely as you desire.