Top 10 Worst Golf Infomercial Products of All Time
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You know them, you hate them, and if you watch Golf Channel, you’ve seen plenty of them.
Golf infomercials present the wonders of clubs, training aids, instructional videos and everything in-between in an extended commercial format.
In the cluttered landscape of extraordinary items, which seem to go from laughable concept to production with nary a reservation, a few rise above (fall below) the rest.
Without further ado, the Top 10 Worst Golf Infomercial Products of All Time.
Honorable Mention: The Perfect Club
Image from xmworks.com
Back when Golf Channel had an article in front it, Peter Kessler seemed to be on anytime you flipped to the station. Prior to the somber baritone’s awkward dismissal/ departure from the network, his infomercial for the Perfect Club appeared to be on an endless loop.
The device was touted as “the most versatile club ever made,” and if Mr. Kessler is to be believed, it truly is perfect. The club essentially hits great golf shots from every line for its owner, no matter how high his/her handicap.
It’s difficult to find any video of the brilliant 30-minute infomercial, which is certainly by design. This is for the best, though, for those who haven’t seen the infomercial. Mr. Keller’s voice forever transforms the viewers association with the word “perfect” permanently.
Simply put, a drinking game in which one imbibed every time Keller says “perfect,” during the infomercial, would be a very short one.
But wait…there’s more!
Not only did Kessler lend his voice to the segment, but he is also the founder of the Perfect Club Company.
No. 10: Sensi Grip
In the infomercial for Sensi Grip, former ABC analyst Jack Whitaker refers to the product as a “revolutionary teaching aid.”
Unfortunately for Whitaker and other endorsers of the product, including Jack Nicklaus, the revolution, although televised, was a dismal failure.
Jack Nicklaus refers to the Sensi Grip as the most practical training aid he has ever seen. This is, it might be assumed, both because Mr. Nicklaus was paid a great deal to sing the praises of a product that makes the end of your grip look like the end of a boat paddle and because of the golfer’s strong feelings about the importance of feeling the club in one’s hands.
Regardless, the grip attachment, even with a star-studded cast of endorsers appearing in the infomercial, hasn’t had much staying power.
Hard to believe a beeping golf grip, which indicates such difficult to determine things as when you’re gripping the club too tightly, wasn’t a game changer…
No. 9: Benderstik
Peter Kessler’s triumphant return to the world of infomercials finds him hocking a foam ball on a stick.
Need to make sure you’re not dropping your head, sliding your hips, taking the club away inside or outside? Simply place the flexible stick in the ground and position the foam head in a position that will provide feedback.
As Peter Kessler will tell you, it’s just that simple.
Of course, the product doesn’t tell you what you’re doing wrong and looks like a desk lamp pressed against your head/back/behind, but at only 100 bucks, it’s a bargain!
Ninety percent of what the product does can be replicated by a one-dollar driveway stake, but Mr. Kessler isn’t lending his sultry pipes to the sale of that product, making it significantly less appealing.
No. 8: Dream Swing
For only $239, you can get a stake with an elastic band on it. When the stake is inserted into the ground and the band is attached to your club, all your swings will be perfectly on plane, and you’ll inevitably hit the ball like a tour pro.
End of story.
Arguably, the best part of the infomercial is the clearly overdubbed impact sounds which seem to be taken directly from Golden Tee Golf. The fashion, however, runs a close second.
The real star of the infomercial is the gentleman (Dr. Kevorkian?) in the yellow sweater.
Another high point is the swing analysis software, circa 1992.
No. 7: The Coach
Apparently, The Coach makes you a better golfer and substantially more fit in as little as 15 minutes a day, a few times a week.
Not sold yet?
Tom Nieporte, who ambiguously “teaches golf for a living” and looks like he has to go to the bathroom throughout the video, guarantees the product. Ditto Carol Preisinger, LPGA Teacher of the Year and Incredible Denim Shirt of the Year award winner.
Even better, The Coach is guaranteed to improve your golf game within six weeks. If it doesn’t, the company will “cheerfully” refund the purchase price.
Of course, it’s not exactly clear how The Coach is superior to say, a weighted club, a light sledgehammer or resistance bands. It is, however, about a hundred times more expensive.
No. 6: Hot Biscuits
File this infomercial under “Products I Was Pretty Sure Were Fake.”
Hot Biscuits (Hot Balls must have sounded a bit too dubious) relies on a simple principle of science to make your golf balls go farther…up to 16 percent farther, no less.
As the infomercial educates us, warm golf balls go farther. Ergo, place your ball in the Hot Biscuits warmer and your warm balls will fly into the stratosphere. Even better, this is (apparently?) legal.
The best moment in this infomercial is the sequence of “other methods of heating golf balls” including boiling and microwaving.
The price of this remarkable product? Only $129.95! Alternatively, Hot Biscuits sells for a buck when purchased from “We Don’t Care if You Steal It” table outside your local junk store.
No. 5: The Stand-Up Putter
Right behind fire, the wheel and the steam engine on the list of innovations that have changed the course of history is the Stand-Up Putter.
The moment when the putter is first shown standing alone and upright on the green is too sublime for words. Surely, man walking upright for the first time could not have been so majestic.
The Stand-Up Putter would have revolutionized the pre-putt routine. After picking a line and making practice strokes, the golfer would simply step back from the putter at address to double-check the alignment of the putter. The putter, for its part, would simply stand there waiting for your return like an adoring dog.
Of course, as we all know, if your putter is square to your target, then you’ll necessarily hole your putt. Silly things like body alignment, putter path, acceleration and deceleration, putt speed and, silliest of all, reading the putt correctly, matter little when you have a putter that’s a marvelous freestanding structure.
No. 4: EZ Par
There’s a product that can clean both your grips and clubs, saving you countless strokes per round.
No. It’s not water…it’s EZ Par!
The patent-pending formula restores grip friction and cleans the club face and dissolving dirt and sand in the exact same way water does.
Unlike water, which costs nothing, EZ Par costs $14.95 and comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee.
What a deal!
No. 3: The HammerX
Jack “The Hammer” Hamm is a legend, not only in the world of long driving, but also in the world of infomercial pitchmen.
Billy Mays may have rivaled Jack Hamm as a pitchman. Billy Mays, however, couldn’t drive a golf ball 473 yards.
Hamm’s ludicrous exclamations when striking the ball have long been a source of amusement for me. Back when DVR-ing was taping, I used to have a tape of funny things from TV in which Mr. Hamm featured prominently.
The decidedly non-USGA-conforming HammerX is Jack Hamm’s most ridiculous driver and is trumped in absurdity only by Hamm screaming “boom” and “pow” as he hits the thing.
No. 2 (Appropriately): The Potty Putter
The truly disturbing thing about the Potty Putter is that it’s only marginally more absurd than the products on the rest of the list, and it’s primarily available on gag gift websites.
What a eureka moment it must have been for the inventor of the Potty Putter. After all, putting and defecating are as timeless a combination as peanut butter and jelly.
Practice your putting while you “take care of your other business,” the narrator intones as several happy golfers sink one-foot putts from the throne.
For only $19.95, this could be you!
The product is lauded as “the most satisfying way to practice your game.” If the actors in the infomercial are to be believed, then greater joy has never been had on the toilet. Imagine the pleasure of holing a putt while…well, you get it.
No. 1: The Uro Club
Along the same lines as the Potty Putter, the Uro Club is by far and away the most brilliant golf innovation since the graphite shaft, or the dimpled ball.
The product is a classic example of ingenuity and problem/solution thinking.
Problem: I have to pee and I’m on the golf course.
Solution: Having an extra club in my bag into which I can urinate.
You’ll fool everyone when assuming the posture of the gentleman in the video who appears to be “just checking out his club,” while it’s clear that he has his club in hand beneath a towel and is…using it.
I am not sure what’s “discreet” or “sanitary” about carrying a golf club full of urine in your bag after you’ve relieved yourself in it. Apparently it’s a superior alternative to driving back to the clubhouse or going in the woods, though, according to the makers of the Uro Club.
The product promises “no embarrassing moments.” “Embarrassing moments,” apparently, do not include include urinating into the recessed butt of a golf club which you’ve paid 20 bucks for with a towel around your waist in the middle of a fairway in plain sight of your foursome.