“The Major” of the golf business world, the PGA Merchandise Show, is an annual golf-fest showcasing the latest fashions, trends and products for the coming season.
During the final week of January, golf-lovers from around the globe head to Orlando, Florida, to explore, discover and enjoy what the show has to offer. With over 1000 companies to choose from and the world’s largest outdoor demo experience – plus all sorts of practical workshops, seminars and training sessions – this year’s show was a huge success.
What were the main headlines?
Bubba hits pink!
Two-times Masters Champion Bubba Watson took to the indoor simulator to promote his new Volvik S4 golf balls. He hit a few 300+ yard drives, and came to within six feet in a ‘closest to the pin’ contest. But the best bit? The balls were pink!
Beware of zombies!
Foresight Sports treated visitors to their very own vision of the future with their new video game, Zombie Golf. The aim? To take shots at the zombies before they kill you. Aside from the obvious fun element, the game is bizarrely good at focusing you on the direction and weight of your shots. Clever, engrossing and scary!
$1 Million putt
An 18-hole putting course, to be created by Nicklaus Design at the MSOP Arena on the Las Vegas Strip, was announced as the venue for the inaugural Major Series of Putting, on Oct 27–Nov 5. The competition gives golfers of all walks of life the opportunity to show off their putting skills in front of thousands of spectators and live TV cameras. The prize is a cool $1 million…
Callaway signs Wie
Callaway announced that 2014 US Women’s Open winner Michelle Wie has signed a multi-year equipment deal.
What’s new for 2017?
Here are some of the equipment and gadgets that caught our eye at the show.
Retro golf bags
There were so many golf bags on display, but OGIO have come up with something slightly different. By going back in time to a more retro look, their Heritage collection took some beating. With a new three-piece collection, including a travel cover, a single-strap bag and a carry-on suitcase (all made from premium-grade canvas and leather) they’re reminiscent of a golden age of golf, and are a lot of fun too.
Cost: Golf bag and travel case – $229 each, ogio.com
A lot of new products seem to feature GPS tracking these days, but ShotScope caught our attention. It’s a wristband that uses a sensor-tagging system to help track your shots. A PinCollect feature also allows you to select the location of the hole on the green so you can check your putting stats at home.
Cost: $220, shotscope.com
Other cool equipment for 2017
Ping Sigma G Putters
Titleist 2017 Pro V1, Pro V1x Golf Balls
Duo Trac Smart Ball
Under Armour – Champ spike shoe
New Ecco Golf shoe range – Cage Pro, Cool, Lux, Casual Hybrid
Nikon CoolShot 80VR laser rangefinder
Águila Golf virtual reality trainer
Seamus Golf pitch mark tool/bottle opener