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Highlights from 2011 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando

Posted by: John Abendroth

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Spend a few days recently at the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando and there are always some exiting bits of news there, coupled with famous golfers on site.

Greg Norman was in his clothing booth, Paula Creamer was signing autographs with her pink golf balls and Matt Kuchar hit the opening shot indoors just after Branford Marsallis played the National Anthem. Generally I thought the expo was up-beat and the amount of people seemed to be more than in the past years when I have attended. This is good for the golf industry.

This year seems to be the year of colors, the driver and the year of the golf ball. Several companies are producing colored golf balls, in yellow and orange. I have seen a couple of tour players using balls by Srixon and Bridgestone but I don’t suspect to see Titleist with colored balls for a while. TaylorMade (www.tmag.com) had a huge presence with their own hitting range with about 20 stalls and they were a huge hit with the white headed driver, fairway woods and hybrids.

Also making a big splash was Flogton. What is flogton? It is golf spelled backwards and it is a company that wants to encourage more people to play golf but the twist is in the rules. How about a golf ball that really spins, a club that will make you drive further or rules that will allow you to take a mulligan or even throw the ball. Learn more at www.flogton.com. The former chairman of Sun Microsystems, Scott McNealy is the Commissioner of the newly formed Alternative Golf Association that will help present non-conforming golf balls and is looking into non-conforming golf clubs.

If the non-conforming balls do not go straight for you or you, the product for you may be from www.prazza.com. This company has a radar device that will find the golf ball you hit with their computer chip imbedded in the ball. They claim it works up to 100 yards. It is not cheap, $300 for the unit and about $50 for 3 balls. But…if you don’t loose the balls as often, I guess it is an ok deal.

It was fun, my feet got sore after 3-days of walking the aisles, but it is fun to see old friends in the business and to learn what is new in the wacky world of golf.  

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