I made it back from not-that-warm Orlando and my 26th consecutive PGA Merchandise Show. Trust me, that’s nowhere near a record as I saw many attendees who I know have been going to the show since Old Tom Morris was trying to glom a free set of hickory shafts from True Timber.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll write about what I saw, especially new-product information on clubs, clothes, and more. I can’t say I saw every exhibitor, every booth, but I did see a great deal of new, interesting, and fun stuff. And I hope to hear from some of the many companies I missed.
In clubs, the three buzzwords were aerodynamics, lightweight, and price—drag, weight, and cost are all down. This is a good time to look for top-of-the-line technology at prices we haven’t seen in years. It’s tough going in the golf industry and manufacturers are not only being forced to lower their prices but to smile while they do so.
Although I didn’t see nearly as many fashion companies as I would have liked, what I did see was fascinating. Like the story I posted on Quagmire Golf before heading south, there’s no shortage of energy and excitement in soft goods, with both forward-looking and terrific throwback looks hitting golf shops soon.
Lots of electronics—GPS systems, launch monitors, transportation devices. I also conducted an informal survey of sunglass companies as I’ve long thought they were overlooked as golf “equipment.” Not only do we not take very good care of our eyes during four-plus hours in the sun, but the best glasses actually can make the game easier (and less of a headache, both figuratively and literally).
Again, to all those companies that I missed, please get in touch with me.
And to all you very kind people who had words of congratulations for my ING writing awards, my sincere thanks. I’m still stunned, as well as sore from having to carry the plaques in my knapsack on the way home. (My suitcase was six pounds overweight and what do you know, two wooden plaques weigh six pounds!)
Photographs courtesy of The PGA of America.