Golf Vacation Gear

Goofiest Golf Gadget from the PGA Merchandise Show


<center>Thumbs down on Tee-Up.</center>

Thumbs down on Tee-Up.

We couldn’t let our recent visit to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando go by without engaging in the time-honored tradition of making fun of the goofiest products we saw.

You may recall one of our previous Show recaps, when we divided up our product picks into the good, the bad, and the ugly.

This year’s product “champion” is something called the Tee-Up, and we found it while wandering one of our favorite areas of the show floor: the “New Product Center,” a veritable treasure trove of useless crap. 

Forget the carpeted booths filled with company reps and refreshments; here, hopeful inventors just plunk their gizmos down on long tabletops, add a pile of sales sheets and walk away eagerly anticipating a flood of orders.

Maybe it’s better that way. I probably would have gotten punched for what I said about Tee-Up.

The product itself looks like an inch-round section of a bed-of-nails, but made of plastic. When attached to the butt-end of a golf grip, it turns any club into a handy device for picking tees up. Tee…up. Get it? I can’t help but think of Steve Martin and his “Opti-Grab” eyeglass product from the movie, The Jerk.

But here’s my question: if someone’s back hurts so much that they can’t reach down to pick up a near weightless golf tee, how the heck are they swinging a golf club all day long? Or is the target market instead just the woefully lazy?

One of the selling points listed on the Web site ( is that the product, “does not interfere with play.” No, I could see how a fork sticking out of the end of a club wouldn’t.

And speaking of the website, if you just can’t wrap your head around how Tee-Up performs its magic, or how to properly install and use it, there’s a step-by-step user guide AND a video to assist you.

The video is actually kinda funny; you don’t see anyone in the shot, only the butt end of a golf club descending on a few unsuspecting tees from the top of the screen…like a heron stalking and stabbing fish. Ooh, I just thought of another selling point to use on the website: on the way home from the golf course, you could stop along the highway and help the chain gang pick up trash.

Of course, according to Tee-Up, the biggest benefit it brings to golfers is that it enables them to enjoy the game they love, “without bending over.” Yeah, until they ask you to shell out $7.99 for a package of these ridiculous things.

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  1. Leah

    July 20, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Bending over to pick up a golf tee and swinging a golf club use very different muscle groups in the back. You must be in your youth, because most older folks that I know avoid bending over as much as possible. By making fun of the Tee-up, you are mocking your elders.

  2. Craig B.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    No, I’m mocking the Tee-Up. Wouldn’t a better solution be to simply have an ample supply of tees? You can buy 1,000 biodegradable tees for about $40, the same as it would cost to outfit all your clubs with this gizmo, which, by the way, still doesn’t eliminate the need to bend over and put the tee in the ground.

  3. Stuart G.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    My wife has a patent on a golf device that really works. Any advice on how to market it or sell it for a royalty.

  4. Craig B.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Field test the prototype with golfers other than your family and friends, who may just tell you what you want to hear. If strangers are blown away by what you’ve got (not just mildly impressed) you have two options: 1) begin pitching it to relevant manufacturers or 2) find your own manufacturer and begin making the rounds at golf’s consumer and trade shows. Good luck!

  5. Randall B.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Don’t mock it till you’ve tried it! I don’t know if it’s the Tee-Up, but ever since I started using it about 6 months ago, my index has dropped 4 strokes! I also use it to comb my hair.

  6. Leah

    July 20, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    If I left tees on my course or range, biodegradable or not, I’d probably be expelled from my golf club. I need to say this again, older people don’t like to bend over. With the Tee Up, the golfer only bends over once (to place the ball and tee), not twice. My father was a champion golfer who quit golf at age 97 due to illness. When he reached 90 and had his 3rd hip replacement, he would have given his heart and soul for the Tee Up. I hate to see a good idea panned by youngsters who lack the experience to understand why it’s a good idea.

  7. Craig B.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Some courses have the forethought to equip their tee boxes with small receptacles into which used/broken tees are easily placed by hand or brushed with a club.

  8. Leah

    July 20, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    My beautiful Jack Nicklaus golf course has tee boxes – but I still have to bend over to pick up the broken tee and put it in the box. By the way, I just passed 60 a few years ago and I can bend over just fine, but I’m looking out for most of the older golfers at my club. You know, the ones who have the money to pay for your great golf vacations.

  9. Craig B.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    If you’ve got an iron in your hand, you can often scoop up the tee with the clubhead and deposit it without bending over (kinda tough with a metalwood, I know). And just to clarify — we’re not in the travel business. We don’t sell, book, or arrange golf vacations. We provide information and advice only.

  10. Dawn

    July 20, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I agree with you. These seems like a worthless item and, like you said, you still have to bend over to put it in the ground.

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