Rolling into Another Show

By Adam BarrJanuary 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 PGA Merchandise ShowORLANDO, Fla. -- Well, finally.
After years of hoofing it around the massive PGA Merchandise Show, after hours of wearing through perfectly good shoe leather and putting Dr. Scholls kids through college and medical school, I have rolled into the 21st century.
For the 2007 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando this week, Ill have a Segway.
Actually, I wont be using the ingenious, powered personal transporter for the entire show, but I will get to try one. And thats fitting, because at the ever-enormous PGA Show, you need to move. A lot.
Whatever you may think of the state of the golf business, however you may wish participation were more robust, no matter how golf stands in your region, the PGA Show always puts its best clubhead forward. The lure of shiny and innovative new gear is strong every year. This year, the 54th version of golfs biggest annual meeting, promises to be a top contender on the all-time list. More than 1,250 companies will exhibit over nearly a million square feet of space in the Orange County Convention Center. Heres a brief ' and because of the breadth of whats on offer at the Show, far from complete ' look at what you can expect in reports on Golf Central and in our special highlight show in February.
Drivers. Take a moment. Of inertia, that is. This moment (MOI for short) has nothing to do with time, but rather with the way scientists measure resistance to twisting. All kinds of new driver head shapes designed to keep your drives on line ' including square models from Callaway and Nike ' will have their formal coming-out parties. Also, TaylorMade plans a new introduction of an MOI driver, as well as the latest r7, the Superquad. It will be TaylorMades first 460 cc driver with four moveable weights (you might have seen it on Golf Central when I was reporting from the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic).
Also, speaking of drivers and other long clubs, look for a new shaft thats not steel and not graphite, but rather combines the best of both ' as a matter of fact, its a material that until recently didnt even exist. Thats all I can say for now.
Irons & Hybrids: Look for a lot of introductions featuring fine-tuned sole geometry and improved weighting. The result? Higher flight, softer landings, and help for people who have a tough time getting sufficient yardage gaps between clubs, especially the longer ones. Oh, and there will be a new addition to TaylorMades Rescue sub-brand.
Putters: Adams Golf will be getting into the putter biz, showing off a recent acquisition that has planted putters firmly in their popular product line. Beyond that, we expect to see a lot of innovative shapes. Imagination is the only limit, and if you can make a new shape, you can distribute weight to its edges. Straighter putts for all.
Shoes & Clothing: Adidas will show off a new shoe that plays off last years success with the Tour 360. This one also provides a lot of mid-foot stability, the company says. In clothing, tech apparel continues to be the big story as golfers discover that comfort can be had in all kinds of conditions.
Fitness: The Titleist Performance Institute, riding the crest of the wave of interest created by its redesigned Web site, will be at the Show for those interested in optimizing the most fundamental piece of equipment ' the body. Greg Rose and Dave Phillips, Titleists two chief fitness gurus, expect to get a lot of questions. Likely overall message: Whatever your age or condition, attention to golf fitness pays off. Rose and Phillips are Golf Channel alumni, too.
As I said, thats just a taste of the huge smorgasbord we expect to enjoy ' and well mostly enjoy telling you all about it on Golf Central on Wednesday through Saturday, Jan. 24-27. Dont miss it, and dont miss Casey Bierer, Matt Adams and me on our Segways.
Because thats how we roll.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - PGA Merchandise Show and Convention
  • Getty Images

    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

    Getty Images

    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

    Getty Images

    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

    Getty Images

    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.