One of the latest evolutions in golf has eliminated holes altogether. GolfCross enthusiasts in New Zealand whack an oval ball into netted goals; when teed up vertically, the egg, as it's called, flies true, but when set at various angles, it can be directed left or right. The nine-hole course at South Island's Rippon Vineyard includes complimentary wine tasting (64-3-443-8084; golfcross.com
; round, $20). In Turkey, Cross Golf Cappadocia has its nine nets set amid the striking rock formations of Göreme National Park. The natural terrain is both fairway and rough. Hotel transfers, club rental, caddy, and post-game barbecue are included (90-384- 271-23-51; crossgolf.com.tr
; round, $370).
RUN FOR COVER
Keri Golf gives the functional-but-boring clubhead cover a fashionable twist. Side zips provide snug fit down the shaft, and water-resistant fabrics in sunny hues and bold prints protect against the elements. And as with any great accessory, there's a bag to matchthey pair perfectly with the company's new line of golf bags (kerigolf.com
; four covers, $75).
MEASURE FOR MEASURE
The new generation of range finders in the pros' bags this year (in 2006, the USGA approved the use of range finders during play) are also well suited for your next golf outing. With a downloadable bank of 17,000 courses in 45 countries, SkyGolf's SkyCaddie SG5 has GPS capability that can measure distances between you and up to 40 targets within one yard, and gauge the shape of the green from any approach angle (skygolfgps.com
THE WRITE STUFF
Keep a running record of your play on the world's most memorable courses in Smythson's Panama Golf Notes book, handmade in England. The 64 gilt-edge, featherweight leaves are bound in sky blue or navy lambskin, dignifying your scores even if you're marking more bogeys than birdies (smythson.com
You'll see the flight of your ball in HD when wearing Oakley's Radar Range, Pitch, or Path sunglasses, each style available in two lenses: The tungsten iridium lens reduces glare in bright sun, while the rose tint lens enhances contrast in flat light. No matter which lens conditions dictate, they'll keep smudge-free with water- and oil-repellent coatings. And the close fit means they'll stay in alignment whether you're hacking out of the rough or staring down at a birdie putt (oakley.com/radar
In its 101-year history, Pinehurst No. 2 has hosted the most championships in the United States. We caught up with Eddie Mackenzie, who has 19 years' experience caddying No. 2, to get his tips for playing the Donald Rossędesigned course.
Forget par: "The average score from the white tees is about 105. You gotta play No. 2 one shot at a time." Course management: "The greens are elevated and the crowning can be severe, and that usually involves laying up and then a chip-and-run up the hilllike at St. Andrews. Ross was a Scotsman, after all." Favorite hole: "Everybody loves 18. On Sundays, the hole is in the same spot it was when Payne Stewart nailed the 15-foot putt to win the 1999 U.S. Open."
Spending hours on the putting green will only benefit your score if you're correcting your bad habits. Working out the kinks is a cinch with Adams Golf's DiXX Digital Training Putter. The detachable computer measures the path, impact position, and face angle of your putts, while other sensors monitor details like hand vibrations. And it will track the progress of your swing as you improve. The putter, available in mallet and blade styles, is USGA approved for course play when the computer is removed (adamsgolf.com