The Teezy Awards – 2018 PGA Merchandise Show (Best of the Rest)

Because the golf equipment version of the Teezy Awards was so long I thought that it was best to separate the equipment from everything else. By the way I just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to read The Teezy’s (Golf Equipment Edition) it really was a fun segment to write.

About the “Best of the Rest”. From technology to apparel and shoes to accessories and everything in between these are my picks for the best in show. By the way… just a quick shout out to Chef’s Cut Real Jerky. Their jerky is the “Best Tasting Product” of the show. Their jerky is the best tasting jerky that I’ve ever experienced!! If you need jerky for the golf bag… buy some Chef’s Cut. Some of these categories were so tough to select a winner but when there’s a will… there’s a way. So here we go! I present the “Best of the Rest”.

Top Training Aid/Instruction – Winner

EduKAYtion Golf (Golf 8.5) – Technically speaking I didn’t meet with Kay McMahon one of the founders of EduKAYtion Golf (Golf 8.5) until after the PGA Show a week later at MetroWest Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. But because she was present at the show (seminars) I have to add her. After meeting with Ms. McMahon and hearing (and learning) what Golf 8.5 was it was impossible to deny giving EduKAYtion Golf the win in this category. Imagine if you will an extremely easy to learn a functional, repeatable golf swing in 15-20 minutes. With the methods that she’s developed I watched her take a brand new golfer (you could tell she was) and in about 20 minutes she had the beginnings of a very functional golf swing. I went through a personal one on one seminar with Kay and I came home with a new-found excitement for golf, the golf swing and the way that the golf swing could be taught. My session was “mind-blowing” and “game-changing”, I should mention that Kay McMahon is also an inductee to the LPGA Teaching Hall of Fame.

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Runner-up –  The runner-up is a company based in Seoul, South Korea and it could have placed in the technology category as well. The company is called Salted Venture and their product is called IOFIT.  IOFIT essentially are a pair of “smart shoes”. The shoes feature sensors inside of the shoe and through these sensors it measures your weight distribution by using body-mapping technology. The sensors then relay the information back to your smart phone or tablet via Bluetooth.The shoes are fully functional shoes that feature a spikeless design and come in an athletic shoe version and a more traditional shoe. “Hanging back” is a killer fault in the golf swing and IOFIT can help golfers address this issue.

 

Top Technology – Winner

FlightScope mevo – In a category where there is a ton of great products the FlightScope mevo was an easy decision to win this category. By now the majority of golfers have experienced the use of a launch monitor at some point. These launch monitors cost thousands of dollars. Of course, these launch monitors are big, and are difficult to transport if they can be moved in the first place. Imagine a launch monitor that not only costs only $499 but is also so small that it fits in the palm of your hand. That’s the FlightScope mevo. It’s accurate within 3 yards (at 250 yards) and gives you all of the crucial data needed. Clubhead Speed, Ball Speed, Distance, Smash Factor, Spin and more. The FlightScope mevo connects via Bluetooth to your smart device (phone or tablet). The product sold well at the show from what I observed and it was among the busier booths at the Equipment Test Center (demo area).

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Runner-up – In a category that was an absolute dogfight I have to give this award to GAME GOLF and their new product the GAME GOLF Pro. My first PGA Show was the brands first year as well and they were the first GPS shot tracker that I became familiar with. It’s been fun to watch their product grow and improve as time has worn on. With GAME GOLF Pro you have a shot tracking device that is far and above other ones on the market. Imagine knowing your yardage with each club and playing golf with a caddie every round. That is what the GAME Golf Pro is. The “Smart Caddie” assists you by providing data-driven decisions based on the trends of your game. For the record, I wasn’t the only one to admire this technology. The new FitBit Ionic features GAME Golf as its pre-loaded golf app.

Top Golf Components – Winner

TPT Golf – I’ve featured this Swiss-based shaft company since their launch at the 2017 PGA Show. All that they’ve done since is create shafts that have placed second in the Ricoh British Women’s Open (Jodi Ewart Shadoff) and see the likes of Justin Rose and Jason Day put their shafts into play… and win. Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January using a prototype shaft (14.5-LKP-LT-LW shaft in his driver and 15.5-MKP-LT-LW shaft in his fairway wood). Meanwhile, Rose was using the 15-LKP-LT-LW to win three tour events in 2017. I made swings with the model that Rose used and it was the best shaft for me at the show. In fact, it was better than my tester and consequently gamer. TPT Golf is also in the infant stages of releasing iron shafts using their technology which is unrivalled.

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Runner-Up –  How often are golfers unsure of their grips? not just the way that they hold the club but the actual grip itself? What if there was a grip that helped you achieve the proper grip every time? There is and Golf Pride has the product. Although the new Align golf grips aren’t new they are to me. I experienced a few different grips while at the show and these to me were by far the best of the bunch. Great texture, three different models the Align grips are a winner. But the best feature of these grips  is undoubtedly the raised ridge that promotes proper hand placement every time which leads to more consistency.

Top Apparel – Winner

Arnold PalmerApparel – A lot of thought went into this category to determine a winner A ton of variables were taken into consideration. Among these variables were hand (feel), styling, MSRP and variety. When push came to shove it was Arnold Palmer Apparel that emerged the winner. Yes, you know that when it comes to a brand that has Mr. Palmer’s name attached to it you’re going to see apparel that epitomizes style and class. That’s exactly what Arnold Palmer Apparel exemplifies. The materials used are soft and offer great hand. The brand has a line-up that covers everything from mid-layers to outerwear and everything in between. A color palette that is bright and cheery without being over the top. A very reasonable price point and there’s one last factor that made Arnold Palmer Apparel the winner. 100% of the profits go towards the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation.

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Runner-Up – The runner-up is a brand that I’ve featured within these pages on several occasions. This brand also happened to have the most improved booth at the show. Antigua Sportswear. This brand continues to impress with a solid line of apparel as one might come to expect considering their tenure in the industry. Offering a full product range that includes travel bags and an extremely fair price point Antigua has something for everyone golfer in a bevy of sizes. Not to mention they also offer a stunning Women’s Apparel line and fashions.

 

Top Outerwear – Winner

ProQuip USA – Outerwear is an important category. Unfortunately, not all golfers are able to play in dry, warm locales. For that reason we need outerwear that will keep us dry and warm. Is there anything worse than being sopping wet and cold on a course? ProQuip USA offers a complete line of outerwear for both men and women. Sizing ranges from Small to 3XL for men and XSmall to 2XL for women. ProQuip USA offers everything that includes polo shirts but it’s their lambswool knits and waterproof collection that sets them apart. Their waterproof collection will keep golfers high and dry and they are loaded with all kinds of neat, functional features. Oh… if you do live in a hot climate look into their TourLite Rain Jacket. It’s light and moisture-wicking. One last thing… ProQuip “has been a preferred supplier to Ryder Cup teams for 31 years”.

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Runner-Up – Galvin Green has been in the outerwear game a long time. Galvin Green provides high-performance outerwear (and associated layers) that can stand up to any weather conditions. Gales off of the North Atlantic… no problem. The brand also features outerwear fashion that provides plenty of “pop” in its styling. Galvin Green is also the supplier to the 2018 European Ryder Cup Team.

 

Top Accessory – Winner

Aftershokz – Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured awarding the Top Accessory category to a pair of headphones. I think that’s mostly because I’m very picky to what a pair of headphones sounds like but in general I never wear them when I practice. however, Aftershokz has changed that. Aftershokz are headphones that feature an open-eared construction and the use of Bone-Conduction Technology. Aftershokz was on my “must visit without appointment list” and am I ever glad that I got the chance to experience these at the show. They are wireless, feature Bluetooth technology and the sound is pure. Their construction allows you to hear everything going on around you without completely drowning out ambient noise like voices or vehicles around you. Aftershokz are also sweat and dust resistant. Aftershokz was a clear-cut winner.

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Runner-Up – Much can be said of the Nova Scotia, Canada based company Dormie Headcovers. It’s a small outfit that’s run by Todd and Jeff Bishop who are PGA of Canada members. Dormie Headcovers offers premium handmade leather headcovers and accessories (caps, shag bags etc). Their designs are “top shelf” and the quality is unrivaled. Need a custom cover to show off a little bit of your personality? Look no further than Dormie!

Top Booth – Winner

Travis Mathew – Before I write this I need to clear something up. It’s tough for me to award this award to Travis Mathew because post-show I placed an order to the brand. Their customer service was sub-par (see non-existent). For a brand that I was so high on this has really made me suddenly apprehensive about them. But these awards are based on the PGA Show.

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Golf needs more fun. The PGA Show at times could be labeled as “vanilla” or as I’ve called it “oatmeal”. everything looks and sounds the same. Well Travis Mathew is the exact opposite! They are a booth that has a real fun, nightclub feel to it. Upon entrance to the TM booth you look around and it feels different. Light, fun. Last year was my first year venturing inside and they had a carnival like atmosphere with things like Skeeball, basketball hoops and pinball machines inside. This year… they had a bar feel to it. Eating shelled peanuts that you dropped on the floor, yes there was some beverages too but what was really fun was the karaoke component they had. That made the booth a real fun place to be. I love what their brand message is and what they do at the show. It’s a booth that until last year I felt like I didn’t belong in but that has since changed in a big time way. TM actually feels like who I am. Maybe the lack of customer service was an unfortunate anomaly.

Until The Next Tee!!

 

Trip… Over!

It seems so long ago that I was prepping to head down to Florida for the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. I headed out from the Niagara Falls, Ontario area the 19th of January and after an eventful trip I just got home at 7:30 this morning. Already the planning has begun for 2019. Too soon?

There were a lot of cool things that happened on this trip with much of the focus being on different things that I saw or encountered at the PGA Merchandise Show. While I’ve touched on some of those things through various posts it’s just now as I go through my pictures where I realize… “Oh yeah… I forgot about that!”. Recently, I announced that I was going to announce an “awards presentation” being the first annual “Teezy Awards” (PGA Show Edition). There’s going to be awards presented for many different things. Of course there are the usual suspects. Best driver, best fairway woods, best irons but I’m also going to focus on some gadgetry, gizmos and apparel as well. I’m even going to give an award for the best finish on a driver (metalwood). I admit that just recently I skimmed quickly through the “Hot List” and while I agree with some there are several that made me laugh out loud…. based on my findings.

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This trip also saw me get skunked as far as fly fishing goes. That has never happened and to not catch a fish over 2 weeks is more humbling than the game of golf. I was an outdoors guy long before I was a golfer. Out of all of my times that I’ve spent in Florida I had never seen a space launch. That changed this time when I was on hand to view the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket from Kennedy Space Center. It was amazing to be a part of history.

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I played golf while I was in Florida that took place on three different and new courses (to me). I’ve already written a review on the disappointment that was Apollo Beach Golf Club. What a shame! But I would also play golf at two other courses. The first was just outside of Lakeland called Schalamar Creek. What a beautiful course!!! The day that I departed I would play a quick nine at Bartow Country Club. I played well but the real focus of golfing was to do product testing and use a reconstructed swing. My time with LPGA T&CP Hall of Famer Kay McMahon and learning about EduKAYtion Golf (8.5 Golf) is going to be the focus of a feature article. Her methods make learning the golf swing… easy! No joke!! Testing of the new TaylorMade Golf Project (s) golf ball was amazing and the new Stick-It Magnetic Golf Towel from Monument Golf is as great as an accessory that I’ve come across. Have you heard of UFM? You will and the new kicks from TRUE Linkswear are better than ever.

I’ve been a little less active lately but that is going to be changing in a real hurry. Look for all kinds of articles, reviews and more in the very near future. This is going to be a very fun 2018. #seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

Until The Next Tee!!