Each year the "winds of change" blow into Orlando, Florida when the PGA Merchandise Show takes place. New products, new ideas, and all the latest technology are on display to those in the golf industry.
Well the winds came blowing on Tuesday- literally. Not only were the "winds of change" blowing but also the wind we all know and love as golfers and also some rain that will bring cooler temps to those attending the world's largest golf expo.
How do you try all the latest golf products in one week?
You can if you come to Orlando for the annual PGA Merchandise Show and attend Demo Day at Orange Country National Golf Center and Lodge.
Held on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at Orange County National's world largest driving range, more than 100 golf equipment companies set up to let the golf media, PGA pros, and show attendees try the latest and greatest in golf products.
Thousands attend, and nobody goes home disappointed.
"Demo Day is really a chance for me to gather knowledge about all of the new clubs and take that knowledge back to my members. Plus, it's a lot of fun hitting everything," explains Richard Lynch, PGA Professional at Shining Rock Golf Club in Northridge, Mass.
This outdoor demo day is a chance to try balls, clubs, and even launch monitors on a real driving range, under in conditions golfers have to deal with on a regular basis.
All the large golf companies were present and accounted for. Large areas are set up to try equipment from Wilson, Nike, Cobra Puma Golf, Bridgestone, and Adams.
I have to say that once again, I was most impressed with Adams and they way they really look at every aspect of a golf club before they bring it to market.
Justin Girard, an engineer with Adams Golf that I seem to talk with every year seemed even more excited this year that in year's past.
Adams Golf, the maker of the #1 Hybrids on Tour, produces easy-to-hit products that all players can use to enjoy the game more.
"We have three new hybrids that include the new "Idea," explained Girard. "We are showcasing our patented "upside down technology," our ABC technology for our irons, and a lot of trial and error goes into these clubs."
Adams Golf is a major player in the sport, but a smaller golf technology company like Ernest Sports from the Atlanta area attracted a huge crowd in the windy conditions. Ernest has a new cutting edge club fitting app available for our iPad that after evaluating your swing, it will email you club fitting results along with data like your ball speed and shot distance for you to keep in your records.
Even Champ, a company that makes golf cleats, tees, and grips had a big display and they were giving away some of the famous Champ tees to attendees to take home and try.
Some golf companies may not have had a booth or hitting area, but their presence was still being felt. Stephen Boccieri, the founder of Boccieri Golf was floating around talking to media members and touting his Secret Grip. Boccieri has added more back weighted grips to his popular line and he has a deal coming out this spring that is hard to beat when a golfer is looking for a great replacement grip.
I stress to you, this was only Demo Day at the PGA Merchandise Show. There are still three more days of the annual convention and miles and miles more to walk to see what the more that 1000 exhibitors have to offer.
Although now it will be all indoors, so we don't have to worry about the wind and elements. But as always, the winds of change will be blowing strongly in the ever-changing golf industry.