Sitting here.. I’m reflecting on several things from the last week in golf. Some of my thoughts are about the upcoming 2019 PGA Merchandise Show, some of it is about the recent equipment releases while some of it is about what we witnessed this past week in professional golf. Much like when you go out to the grocery store with no list you’re merely picking up odds ‘n’ ends. So that’s what this article is going to be titled. It might even turn into a regular piece. Who knows?!

The Sentry Tournament of Champions was a fun event to watch. Yes, it left me dreaming of going to the Hawaiian Islands as it’s always been on my “Bucket List”. Since I was 10 years old. I’ve always dreamed of seeing sea turtles, volcanoes, visiting Pearl Harbor and since I started my foray into golf.. playing Hawaiian courses and experiencing the “Tradewinds”. In a script perfect for a product launch Xander Schauffele won with the new Epic Flash and Apex Pro 19 irons in the bag. His closing round (62) was remarkable but I want to look at a couple of other things. Bryson DeChambeau proclaimed the new knee height drop to be “a bit absurd”. No arguments here. I’ve mocked it enough recently. But it’s as stupid an amendment to the rules of golf as an amendment can be. While it isn’t hard to bend over at the waist to execute the drop (Bryson was a bit over the top) what are the benefits? In one video I made demonstrating my need for “muscle memory” the ball rolled forward from knee height and rolled back into a divot. Does it really make a difference? If anything, nothing has changed. Am I missing something? Heck, why don’t we just place the ball. Screw integrity.

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Photo Credit: Golf Channel

Sticking with the Sentry Tournament of Champions we saw a first. Under the new rules of golf we had our first penalty assessed. Dustin Johnson has the “dubious” distinction. DJ was assessed a two-stroke penalty when a pulled tee shot went into the long grass… where the wild things are. A marshal on the course had marked the area that they had believed DJ’s golf ball had come to rest. Locating a golf ball with a (TaylorMade Golf logo on it) Johnson promptly chopped it out. After hitting his shot he continued his walk and found HIS ball. There’s a lesson here folks. Stay loose for that knee height drop. Bend over and move the grass and identify your golf ball. Besides, there’s no penalty for the moved ball. Or at least that’s the way that I translate it.

This past week we saw plenty of product launches. In particular, those from the “marketing mammoths” of the industry. During these launches there was no shortage of marketing buzzwords. TBRAR, Speed Bridge, Triple Track, “our longest golf ball”, AI, Flash Face Technology and so on. They do marketing and they do it well.

TaylorMade Golf announced their 2019 range of products. From the newly designed TP5 and TP5x golf balls to their new M5 and M6 range of products. The irons have incorporated “Speed Bridge Technology”. There is something there that sort of reminds me of the Nike SlingShot irons. I know… it was horizontal as opposed to vertical. Upon posting pics on Twitter (@UntilTheNextTee) my “Tweeps” were definitely not sold on the looks. Nor was I. After all… how can you kiss a girl (or guy) if you can’t look at them? Maybe their performance outweighs the aesthetics.

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I beat the tar out of the pricing in articles so we will not beat that “dead horse” again. Or at least for now.

Callaway Golf also announced their product range. Featuring the Epic Flash metal woods, Big Bertha 19, Apex 19 and Apex Pro 19 irons and lastly the ERC Soft golf ball featuring “Triple Track Technology”. I’ve seen this sort of thing before and I commented on it back around 2015. Kick X Golf has/had their Tour-Z golf ball (who consequently got sued by Acushnet and I’ve held a secret for a long time about that) and while technically different the alignment aid on those golf balls were the same as the newly introduced Triple Track Technology. I said then that it was the best alignment aid on the market for putting and now that distinction clearly goes to Callaway Golf. The three lines do significantly improve alignment on putts as Callaway Golf demonstrated during the launch. With that said, I am very intrigued by many things about the ERC Soft golf ball. In particular, their hybrid cover which takes the feel of urethane and combines it with the durability of surlyn. Consider the cover a “love child” of the two materials. For $39.99 USD this sounds like a decent offering. Color me intrigued.

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The 2019 PGA Merchandise Show is coming up quick and my booked appointment schedules are full. Demo Day is crammed full of interviews with the likes of Wilson Golf at 9 am and a company called Eagle Rebirth at 3. In between are appointments with Callaway Golf, Bridgestone Golf, Cleveland Golf/Srixon/XXIO, Cobra Puma Golf, Jack Grace USA and many others. The mix is absolutely eclectic. I’m also going to be visiting with others that are unplanned. Epon, Miura, Knuth Golf, Fourteen and Lynx Golf are high on that list. I have no doubt that there will be some surprises and hidden gems. There always is.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

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The PGA Show Demo Day in my humble opinion is the proverbial “Crown Jewel” of the annual PGA Merchandise Show. Packed with all of the latest equipment and newest technology from golf’s manufacturers. Everything is there. The latest clubs, grips, golf shafts and more.

I’m always excited for this part of the show because it gives me the chance to swing as many products as humanly possible and report back on them. the list is complete and while the usual suspects  are there (Callaway Golf, Cobra Golf, PING Golf, Wilson Golf, Srixon/Cleveland Golf /XXIO) it’s the less than obvious companies that stick out for me. This year there are brands like ERG (Eagle Rebirth), Knuth Golf, Fourteen, PRGR that I will be swinging. Brands that I’ve never made passes with.

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For more information on PGA Show Demo Day please see the press release below as shared by Sherry Major. Ms. Major is a Media Consultant for PGA Exhibitions Worldwide.

World’s Largest Professional Golf Demo Event Offers
Exclusive Testing of Latest Game Technology

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2018) — The 17th Annual PGA Show Demo Day will feature an exclusive preview and hands-on testing of the latest golf equipment, technology, training aids and accessories at the 42-acre practice facility of Orange County National Golf Center (OCN) in Winter Garden, Fla., on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. More than 100 companies will be demonstrating their newest products to thousands of PGA Professionals and golf industry leaders, creating the world’s largest professional golf demo event. Throughout the day, golf teachers also will be able to learn from the best in their field at multiple range-side golf instruction workshops.

“The PGA Show Demo Day is a perfect beginning to PGA Show Week and traditionally energizes an already enthusiastic crowd,” said PGA Golf Exhibitions Event Vice President Marc Simon. “Testing the newest game technology from the top names in golf side-by-side on the range and speaking with equipment innovators headline a long list of popular Demo Day programming – including a packed schedule of demonstrations, numerous teaching workshops, fun skill contests and meeting some of the game’s best professional players making special appearances throughout the event. It all adds up to an exciting day for all involved in the business of golf.”

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PGA Show Demo Day is open exclusively to PGA Professionals and media from 9 a.m. to noon, with golf industry professionals joining the event until closing at 5 p.m. All PGA Show Demo Day attendees must be qualified industry professionals and registered for the PGA Merchandise Show. Additional Education Conference registration is required for instructional workshops. Visit PGAShow.com for additional details and registration. PGA Professionals will receive four MSR credits for attending the PGA Show Demo Day.

Top Golf Brands Participating
The 2019 PGA Show Demo Day will feature more than 100 top golf companies showcasing equipment, training aids, performance wear and golf accessories within more than 200 hitting bays of the massive OCN circular range, at multiple range-side practice greens, on the golf cart test track and in the Demo Day vendor village. Current participating companies (as of 12/13/18, updated regularly at PGAShow.com) are:

Adaptive Golf
Aerotech Golf
AfterShokz
Allied Powers LLC
Big Max Golf
Blast Motion
BodiTrak Sports
Bridgestone Golf Inc
Bushnell Golf
Callaway Golf
Certifresh Cigar
Cheesebrough Corp.
Chip Putt Max
Clicgear USA
Club Car Inc
Cobra Puma Golf
Double Eagle/Players Turf
EPON Golf
Ernest Sports
Fiberbuilt Manufacturing Inc.
Flat Cat Golf
FlightScope
FlingGolf
Foresight Sports
FOURTEEN/PRGR/ DAIWA-ON-OFF/
YAMAHA GOLF/MU Sports
FST Shafts
Fujikura Composites America Inc
Garmin USA
Golf Pride Grips, a division of Eaton
Golf Stix
Graphite Design/ Pro’s Choice Golf Shafts
International Clubmakers Guild
Knuth Golf
Links Choice
Lynx Golf
Maui Jim Inc
MCA Golf Inc
Miura Golf
Mizuno USA Inc
Nikon Inc.
Nippon Shaft
o2 Tampa
Otto Trading Inc.
P2 Putter Grips Ltd
Phat Scooters, LLC
PING
Pitchfix
Power Tee
PrideSports
Pukka Inc
Pure Grips
QUICK-UP GOLF RANGE
Sacks Parente Golf Co., Inc.
Salted Venture
SKIN Sunscreen
SKYiGOLF
Southern Tide
Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO
Strike Spray
Sun Mountain Motor Sports, Inc
SuperSpeed Golf, LLC.
SuperStroke Golf
SwingU
Switch Grips International
Synthetic Turf International LLC
The Perfect Putter LLC
The Putting Stroke Teacher
Titleist
Topgolf International
ToughLie 360
Tour Edge Golf
TPI
TPK Inc
Under Armour
U.S. Kids Golf LLC
Wilson Golf
Wittek Golf Supply
Yamaha Golf-Car Company
Yonex Corp

Outdoor Instructional Workshops
Hands-on instructional workshops return to PGA Show Demo Day at a range-side classroom of OCN (Tee #3), beginning at 10 a.m., and running through 4:30 p.m. The workshops are part of a comprehensive PGA Show Education Conference. Single-session, single-day, full-conference and an all-access pass, providing unlimited access to all PGA Show Demo Day Workshops and the full PGA Show Education Conference are available. Registration and details regarding savings for early registration through Dec. 14, 2018, for multiple same-facility registrations and for PGA Assistant Professionals are available at PGAShow2019.com/Education.

Workshops Schedule:

  • What are the Concepts, Skills & Steps to Teach and/or Learn the Swing? 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • Mike Malaska, PGA, 2011 PGA Teacher of the Year
  • Upper Extremity & Wrist Function for High-Performance Golf, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    • Lance Gill, Performance Director, Titleist Performance Institute Fitness Advisory Board; President, Lance Gill Performance
    • Mark Blackburn, PGA, Director of Instruction, Greystone Country Club
  • The Equipment Instruction Fit, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
    • Sean Hogan, Director of Instruction, Leadbetter Golf Academy
    • Brett Meyer, Leadbetter Master Club Fitter & Certified Coach, Leadbetter Golf Academy
  • Increasing Power & Distance in the Female Golfer, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • David Donatucci, M.ED. C.S.C.S., Owner, Florida Institute of Performance

The PGA Show Demo Day is produced by PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions and PGA Magazine and presented by AfterShokz, Fujikura, Insane Impact,Toptracer, ToughLie 360, Wittek Golf Supply and Yamaha Golf Car Company. Exclusive product partners include Flightscope (Registration Tent Sponsor), Pukka Inc (headwear) and Under Armour (Apparel Partner).

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About the PGA Merchandise Show
The 66th PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-25, 2019, in Orlando, will welcome some 1,000 top golf companies and brands and more than 40,000 industry professionals from around the world to the industry’s annual global summit for the business of golf. The PGA Show Demo Day, the world’s largest professional golf testing event, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Orange County National Golf Center. During PGA Show days, Jan. 23-25, at the Orange County Convention Center, PGA Professionals, retailers and industry leaders will uncover the latest trends, source the newest golf merchandise, test the latest equipment, learn proven business best practices, network among peers and move forward the business of the game. The PGA Merchandise Show, “the MAJOR of Golf Business,” is a trade-only event, not open to the public.

 

Until The Next Tee!!