If there’s one word I'd use to describe this year’s PGA Merchandise Show, it’s COLOR.
Golf, that stuffy game with a long history of tiresome tweed, yawn-inducing khaki, and too-pale piqué, has awoken from its long winter’s nap to a blaze of color. Gone are the meek pastels of yesteryear that allowed golfers to hide behind their blandness. Today, optic is in—and primary is no longer secondary.
The trend, of course, is most evident in the realm of golf fashion. But we’re not just talking women’s shirts and skirts and skorts. Men’s clothing has caught the let’s-get-vibrant craze, too. Soon, players thrice the age of Rickie Fowler will be peacocking around the course with the same all-out vividness. Shirts, pants, shoes, hats, socks, belts—they’ve all been doused with color for 2014.
And it’s not just clothing, either. The equipment world is ablaze, too. Clubheads, grips, bags, balls, gloves, push-carts, head covers—they’ve all gotten a fresh coat of freshness. Those 460cc driver heads may have gone from black to white and back to black again, but nearly every manufacturer with something to hawk at the show had whipped out their Pantone book and gone crazy on one product or another.
I, for one, am happy to see it. Golf’s primary color may be green, but it’s great to see companies jettisoning restraint and taking a few iridescent chances. Yes, there will always be some players whose tastes trend toward the monochrome. But for those of us who appreciate a dab of exuberance and a dash of flamboyance, 2014 is shaping up to be a regular riot. Of color, that is.