You can walk the 10 miles of aisles; you can try out balls, clubs and more in any of the 45 hitting bays located inside the Orange County Convention Center, home of the annual golf extravaganza known as the PGA Merchandise Show.
But how do you separate the men from the boys- the legit products from the rest when looking at the show as a whole?
It's tough. Just about every product at the show has some merit or redeeming quality, but each I year I look forward to giving my picks of what I liked and got my attention at the PGA Merchandise Show when it comes to technology.
Drive for show and putt for dough is the old saying, but is it true? The experts say, yes. So putting is important. Thankfully companies like Rife and Orlimar are stepping up to the plate to help your putting stroke in 2014. Rife putters have grooves that allow you to grip the ball as you swing and have more control. The new Vault.002 Series of putters offer four new Iconic models as well as the Chief, General, Ranger and Commander. Rife also is an innovator with their "Switchback" model that lets you add or subtract weight to the putter head. Orlimar is another big name when it comes to putter and they have teamed up with a legendary name. That would be Tad Moore for the Tad Moore Signature Series of putters. Each putter in the series offers traditional shapes with game improvement features and a patented washboard face milling. Golfers can be confident they will have more consistency, accuracy and a better idea of distance control.
Controlling your central point of focus is key to getting that perfect golf swing. EyeLoc Head Gear is eyewear designed as a training aid to help keep a golfer's eyes focused on the ball. Adjust the vertical lines to get that sharp line and with the slightest head or eye movement, your line will come off the ball. I'm hoping this helps keep my head still. EyeLoc Head Gear is available in two sizes, medium and large. Take your pick of two colors; Yellow or Black and the choice of either Dark Gray Polaroid or Yellow lenses. A simple concept, but one that works with some high tech head gear.
New Balance Golf Shoes
The name New Balance means quality when it comes to footwear, and that excites a lot of golfers. New Balance showed off spikeless models are part of their Minimus Collection. These golf shoes will be similar in build to New Balance's running shoes. Cleated shoes will feature a lightweight, flexible and supportive TPU outsole for stability and balance during the load-bearing phases of the swing. Champ will partner for the cleats and these shoes no doubt will be comfortable, durable, and high performance.
New Balance Golf footwear will be available in D, 2E and 4E widths for men and in B and D widths for women in modern-looking styles.
Adams is the maker of the most-used hybrids on the PGA Tour for what is now six consecutive seasons. 37% of all hybrids played on the PGA Tour are Adams. For 2014 they have revamped their irons and after talking with one of their club engineers you hear about all the technology and research that occurs when Adams releases new products. Adams is a golf club manufacturer that has embraced technology and they aren't shy about talking about it.
It's not a new product, but now it's enhanced. The Bluetooth-enabled SwingSmart sensor module clips to a golf club shaft in a matter of moments. It weighs less than 1 ounce and wirelessly communicates with the free app for iOS and Android devices. This now brings us to a completely new interface for the SwingSmart app that now gives access to all of your swing data including the 3-D Swing View without having to change through multiple screens.
Oakley rarely disappoints and they didn't at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show. New bags, shoes, and clothes, but what caught my attention were a pair of sun glasses that help your read greens. The glasses bring out the contours and breaks in green. You will be hearing more about this product.
SCNS Sports Foods
Energy bars designed especially for golfers. SCNS launched a new gluten-free Golf Energy Bar flavor, the 1st Tee Honey Almond Snack Bar at the PGA Show. They also had all of their 1st and 10th Tee flavors out for attendees to taste. There is no doubt they were having a busy show. The bars are delicious and help you get through a long round of golf in a healthy and nutritious way.
If you watch the Winter Olympics in a couple weeks, you will see various teams wearing Loudmouth designed clothing. Loudmouth first got its start in golf and for years they have been telling golfers to play LOUD! It's loud clothing, but it;s cool, trendy, and the technology in the men's and women's lines mkes the apparel durable and comfortable. You will also be seeing a lot more of Loudmouth. They have entered into licensing deals with makers of hats, ties, and even putter grips. It's a fun company and I love the apparel and check out all their lines for 2014.
My wildcard pick from the Inventor's Showcase this year is the HoleInOner. It's a patented combination bottle opener refrigerator magnet. It's in the shape of a golf tee and the marketing and licensing possibilities with this item are endless. The HoleInOner is put out by www.golfnetx.com.