TecTecTec and a Bored Ape
I last talked with the folks from TecTecTec at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show, where the French technology company displayed discount-priced laser rangefinders and GPS watches. It centered its business on the direct-to-consumer market and had reached No. 1 status on Amazon.com for its rangefinders.
At the 2023 PGA Show, I met Renan Lore, a company engineer and director. He said the company continued to find success with DTC, while increasing sales through retailers. The company also expanded its product lines.
The ULT-G GPS golf watch ($99.99) provides yardages to the front, back and center of the greens for more than 38,000 courses. The watch also notes distances to hazards. Its battery charge should last more than two rounds.
Lore said they also recognized many golfers want to hear their tunes while playing. However, as he noted, not everyone wants to hear someone else’s favorite melodies from 30 yards away.
Their Team8 S Golf GPS speaker ($99.99) addresses both golf shot location needs as well as tunes. Measuring about two inches wide and an inch high, the small round device uses Bluetooth for course data with TecTecTec’s mobile app and the user’s favorite music app.
The speaker’s small cloud of sound gives the player access to music without imposing his musical tastes on others, as well as audible yardage data. The magnetic bottom attaches the device to a golf cart and a small clip attaches it to a pocket edge or waistband. A tiny bungee cord also makes it easy to fit it to a golf bag.
Lore gave me a Team8 to test. The sound levels were fine, especially when I clipped it to my left-side waistband. It was loud enough to hear without bugging my playing companions.
The new KYLR rangefinder ($199.99) is smaller than some competitors, but still includes slope detection, a target lock vibration element, and a magnet for attaching to carts and other handy metal locations.
The ULT-S Pro rangefinder retails for $349.99. Its red display confirms the reading, uses optical image stabilization and includes a fog mode.
Lore also told me about the new Bored Ape line of products based on the NFT logo/meme craze, featuring Re’No of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Bored in Paradise and TecTecTec share the same owner, so one might expect them to be cooperative.
The Paradise Tote ($150), which began shipping in June, fits easily within a two-person golf cart storage area behind the seats. It moves easily from the trunk of a car or truck directly into the cart.
The optional Birdie Juice Cooler ($50), made of recycled PET, fits inside the tote to hold beverages. A bottle holder, a separate large space for balls, gloves, phones and other items, along with an optional safe ($30) and rain cover complete the package.
The Jungle Backpack ($190) is not aimed solely at golfers, but it could appeal to country club members for carrying golf shoes and other stuff to and from their lockers. A removable skin on the back side includes a large logo of the Bored Ape. Other logo options are available. There is also a padded laptop sleeve for the workaholic golfers among us.
Swing Control adding men’s line
Swing Control is an apparel maker based in Montreal, Quebec, with a long history in women’s apparel. Founded in 1979, the company keeps its design work in-house and uses its own seamstresses for construction of imported fabrics. As business development manager Siran Aghasarian said, “That gives us an edge.”
Originally centered in the lifestyle space, the company entered the golf world in 2009. Technical fabrics in prints, solids, plaids and game-inspired looks cut across various style groups. One common feature is a tummy-control panel with green dots on the interior band. The 18-inch skort is the most popular inseam in their collections, although the market is also moving toward a 16-inch option.
I met Brand Manager Josh Mark at the 2023 PGA Show. We discussed the company’s new initiative aimed at the men’s side. The Capsule Collection is starting small at first. “We’re slowly taking steps to develop the men’s lines,” he said. “We’re going for a Hugo Boss-type look and hope to get enough early adopters.”
Mark said the Techno shorts and pants feature an elasticized waistband for ease of movement, along with a gel gripper on the waist’s interior, while retaining belt loops. Each item is constructed with three different fabric weight options. “There’s a super lightweight version, a year-round that’s a bit heavier, and a heavyweight option for winter,” Mark said.
For the moment, the pants and shorts will be available in waist sizes from 30 to 38 inches, with a 34-inch inseam for the pants and a 10-inch inseam for the shorts. The hems can be easily tailored.
The women’s apparel retail prices range from $130 to $140. Mark said the men’s retail pricing ranges from $110 to $140.
Swing Control fashions are sold at green grass and specialty stores, Golf Town in Canada, and PGA Superstores in the United States.