The Golf Industry Expo – Part 2

Last week, I attended the Golf Industry Expo put on by the PGA of Ontario in Kitchener. In a recap that I posted on Wednesday (Expo Recap), I covered some of the exciting products that I saw while I was there. Both equipment that has been released through press releases and others that were under embargo. One of those products seen has since been released to the public and consequentially I wasted no time in writing a review on the product. The Evnroll Putters ER10 Outback (ER10 Outback Review).  But there were more discoveries that I made that didn’t involve equipment.

I’m always into discovering and covering brands developed in Canada when I have the opportunity. Truthfully, I don’t get the opportunity too often. That changed last week during the show.

My first discovery was a golf lifestyle brand by the name of PLYR. PLYR is based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and they make apparel that lets people know that not only you’re a golfer but that you’re a PLYR… Or shall I say a player too. From a wide assortment of caps and toques (beanies) to outerwear and t-shirts, there is something from PLYR that you might like. I had the opportunity to talk to Plyr Golf Co-Founder and President Chase Porter and this is a brand that is starting to sweep across Canada and with any luck, beyond. For more information please visit Plyr’s website.

Later on in the day as I was walking through the show floor my eyes caught some pretty snazzy, bright, and fun pieces of apparel. Bright vivid colors, prints, and flamingos. Upon further examination, the booth was that of another Canadian apparel brand. This brand is just a little bit different than most I have covered. The reason is that it is apparel for junior golfers. Introducing, Swing Junior Apparel. Every year at the PGA Show I cover a lot of ground. The fashion end of the exhibition hall is massive yet out of all of the apparel on the floor there isn’t much in the way of dedicated junior golf apparel brands. Swing Junior Apparel is exactly that. They offer fun styles from girls rompers to athletic boys polos and everything in between. The apparel is high-quality, well-fabricated while the materials are lightweight performance fabric that is airy and they all have a great feel of hand. What’s more, is that they are very fairly priced. I had a great talk at the booth with Lynn holden (Logistics and Fulfillment) and I walked away very impressed with this brand, Swing Junior Apparel ranges in sizes from 4-18. Also of note is that they’re looking for Junior Golf Brand Ambassadors #SWINGtoWIN. For more information please visit Swing’s website.

There are more great products that I saw while at the show but if there is one that I wanted to talk about real quickly it would be new golf shoes coming out from New Balance Golf. I had the opportunity to chat with Wendy Shackleton (Owner of Shack’s Sales Agency). Ms. Shackleton is a rep for New Balance in Ontario. At the booth, I was introduced to the New Balance Fresh Foam Links SL. Available in a few different colourways including White/Green/Yellow these golf shoes are very attractive. As one might expect from a shoe company like New Balance they’ve invested countless hours of R&D into the kinesiology of the feet. The NB Fresh Foam Links SL”utilizes data-driven designs to determine zones in the midsole where altering levels of compression and resistance are aligned to provide ultra-soft cushioning and lateral stability”. Are you familiar with mapping technology like “BodiTrak” where it maps where your weight is placed throughout the swing? Well, that’s basically what New Balance had done with these shoes. They had my size so I tried them on. Right out-of-the-box they were comfortable, felt cushy but with support and quite frankly my temperamental feet loved them in the short time I had them on. A “live-fire” testing and review has been arranged and I will be wearing them in Orlando at the PGA Show. I cannot wait.

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Last but not least, I wanted to touch on a product really fast. While it may not be a golf product per se I wanted to touch on a beer, I mean, golf and beer go together right?! Just like peas and carrots. While at the expo I walked by a booth a tried a beer from a brewery that I had never heard of. That brewery was Amsterdam Brewing Company. Amsterdam are the producers of 3 Speed Lager which is a German-style Lager. this beer is the best-tasting beer that I have tried in my life. So good in fact that I have dubbed it “The Officially Unofficial Beer of UTNT”. This beer has won awards and rightfully so. If you’re a reader of mine and you live in Ontario, Canada get your hands on this craft beer. Amsterdam is the third-largest craft brewery in Ontario.

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

The Golf Industry Expo and My Naivety

So yesterday I finally made it to a golf trade show that I’ve been meaning to make it to for some time. That show… “The Golf Industry Expo” as put on in conjunction with the PGA of Ontario (Canada). It’s a golf trade show that brings together members of the golf industry from all aspects of our sport on a much smaller scale than that of the PGA Merchandise Show that’s held every January in Orlando, Florida.

The show took place in Kitchener, Ontario at a place called LOT42. It’s a really cool place as it’s a former industrial complex turned into a convention-type facility 9event venue). Being a first-time to the show I really didn’t know what to expect. After all, when I think of an industry show it’s hard not to think about the PGA Show. But, as I walked in and picked-up my badge I also received a really nice swag bag. It was actually an Adidas backpack. Which coincidentally will be making the trip to Orlando. It wasn’t until I had got home when I realized that there was swag inside. Inside were items like a golf towel by Blank Towel, a pair of sunglasses from Vigor Eyewear (Falcon Lumen+ model) and a couple of other little goodies. I’ll definitely put the sunglasses to good use. I look forward to testing and reviewing them.

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Great venue. LOT42 (Photo Credit: Explore Waterloo Region)

As I walked the floor, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the golf equipment industry’s players were there. Brands like TaylorMade Golf (Canada), Wilson Golf, Mizuno Golf, Cobra Golf, Cleveland/Srixon/XXIO, Tour Edge Golf (Golf Trends is their distributor here in Canada) and EVNROLL Putters (more. What’s different however about this show is that while everybody exhibiting at the PGA Show is for the most part no longer under embargo a lot of the product at this show is in fact under embargo. So in those cases, pictures are not possible.

But this show gave me a chance to see some products in-hand for the first time and it was products that I’ve shared press releases on already. So that makes it pretty darn cool. Here’s what I can tell you about a few of these products in a brief summary…

  • Cleveland Golf – The Launcher HB Turbo range of metalwoods looks really serious and I cannot wait to put swings on with them. They look like they’re going to be all business. They just look mean. The Launcher HALO hybrid has a great profile and if it performs anywhere near it looks (Gliderails to improve turf interaction) it WILL end up in a lot of golfers’ golf bags. The Launcher UHX look like they’re going to be long and may end up as a sleeper this year. Considering that they also will retail at $999.99 CAD makes them a consideration.

 

  • Cobra Golf – I won’t mince words. The KING Forged TEC are way nicer than the press release made them look. They look great in the release. They are stunning and these irons I cannot wait to put swings on and see how they perform. A review of these irons is imminent. However, what really surprised were their new T-Rail irons which is an all-hollow hybrid iron set. I wasn’t sold on their looks in the release and I was concerned about how they’d look at address. I can tell you that they weren’t that bad at all. As a matter of fact, when it came to the PW you could not see the cavity. These are going to worth a swing or three.

 

  • Mizuno Golf – The new MP-20 irons are beautiful. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the hollow-bodied HMB, the MMC, or the MB. Golfers are going to love them. Oh believe the info coming in… the ST200 line of metalwoods is coming. It’s on the USGA Conforming Golf Clubs List.
  • Wilson Golf – I finally saw the Staff Proto Blades in hand and yes they have been out for some time. For the longest time, I felt that the FG Tour 100 were the prettiest irons that I’ve ever seen. They were. The Staff Proto Blades are prettier and dare I say… More pure.

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So it was great to see some of the products that I’ve shared press releases about and have them in-hand for the first time. But what about the stuff that I saw that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of? Products under embargo? All that I will comment on is this. TaylorMade Golf has new golf balls on the way. The new irons from Wilson Staff for 2020 are absolutely going to smash it out of the ballpark. The new range of metalwoods from Cobra Golf reintroduces us to a couple of letters and holy smokes these have my curiosity beyond piqued!!

Oh about the title and my naivety. I rolled a new putter from EVNROLL that’s under embargo. I rolled putts with the new putter (ER10) and while I couldn’t take pics I will say that this putter is already a contender for a Teezy Award in 2020. It’s under embargo until a large golf website/blog leaks pictures of it. I’ll say it… it’s MGS. Hey! Some food for thought. Is it a leak if it’s planned? That’s not a leak. What it is… Is this! It’s actually how a golf blog/website gets a leg up on its competitors. SO, that’s what it takes to get a leg up eh?! Back door channels and discussions no doubt with a price tag attached to it. As much as I knew that this industry is elitist at its roots I didn’t think websites were too. I’ll never be them or the others and I’m okay with that. Don’t worry MGS et al… I’m just one little guy and you needn’t be worried about me. I wish that the rep hadn’t told me that but seeing that he did… It’s my responsibility as a writer to tell you that just because someone says it’s leaked… it’s not. Don’t always believe what you read.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee