The PGA Show was, as usual, a fantastic smorgasbord of all things golf. If you’ve never been, it’s in a massive convention center with over 1,000 exhibitors showcasing every type of golf product ranging from tees to range equipment; to training aids, night golf, trophies and apparel. Throw into the mix of the marketplace the vibe of live TV—Golf Channel filmed there during the entire show – and you’ve got one rockin’ convention. Golf has truly gone “big time” and is downright hip. Booths were jammin’ with some poppin’ bass, and as you can see here, one even looked like the entrance to a nightclub, complete with hipsters and hits. All in all, it was reassuring to see the Golf Industry is not only keeping up with the times – but setting the pace. It’s an exciting time to be in the game.
Another impression from the PGA Show is that I never realized how many decisions the average golf pro must make. There are so many types of gear and gadgets. From golf balls to belts to score boards to golf carts, it’s all within the golf pro’s purview. Pros, like all of us, are trying to balance cost versus style versus utility and quality. The complexities of running a golf program began to dawn on me: It might not be as idyllic as I had always imagined. Next time I see our Club Pros and Buyers, I’m going to thank them for the beautiful and smart choices they make for our Course and the Shop.
The Top 5
Having said that, here are a few of my impressions of some of the 5 hottest products at the show:
True Links –The “IN” shoe at the show – several Tin Cuppers purchased these TrueLinks wingtips shoes, which are both attractive and comfortable! Golf footwear has even gotten hip!
Smartbar/Smartender– This company is going to make it big, folks! Apart from the fact that they were giving away cocktails every day, there is another reason this product was popular: It’s brilliant! Basically it’s cocktails at the push of a button. As I understand it, the Smartbar was invented by a former DJ. Apparently while working events, he recognized a need for a mechanism to pour drinks for a crowd efficiently. So bam! He created the Smartbar, which allows you to order an inordinate combination of cocktails--anything from as simple as a vodka tonic to a cosmo to a Fresh Breeze (that was my choice – vodka, cranberry, orange, and a splash of lime – YUM), all at the push of a button. The cocktails were perfect – not too watery, not too juicy, not too strong. At $25,000 per unit, you might have to be a millionaire to have one in your house – but I highly believe you will be seeing these on golf carts and in businesses soon. They are sure to be a bartender’s best friend.
Nead Custom Putters—several of the Tin Cup friends and family walked away from the Show grinning ear-to-ear after purchasing a new Nead Putter. These are incredibly well-made, beautiful custom putters, hand-made by a gentleman who used to hand-make racing car engines. His metalworking skills are definitely above par. These are costly, but durable and gorgeous--something to be proud of. You definitely NEAD this putter.
All for Color – Love these vibrant prints that can be found on tunic shirts, golf bags, purses, and totes. I didn’t get to purchase any at the show but I’m going to their website to see where I can buy their stylish products. The All for Color gear really freshens up the sometimes monochromatic life we live in.
Go Pro – What can I say? I’m a ham. I love this company. When you buy a Go Pro and stick it atop your golf hat or on your golf cart, you can get some great footage of both your golf swing and your friends goofing off. A really nice feature of Go Pro is when you buy the camera it comes with free editing software.
by Alexis Smith ..... Thanks for reading!