Bombs Away at the PGA Show

By January 30, 2004, 5:00 pm
PGA of AmericaORLANDO -- Golfers have long complained about the strange process that goes into buying clubs, whether it be a driver, a set of irons or a utility club. They head into their local pro shop or retailer and pick up any number of clubs until they feel the shiny, beautiful instrument before them could quite possibly hold the secrets to straightening out their highly inconsistent games.
 
PGA Show Equipment Testing CenterOne problem. He or she doesnt have the opportunity to test the club. Cant really hit the darn thing, except for maybe a 10-yard blast into a net at the back of the store.
 
The same could be said in years past at the PGA Merchandise Show, as golf professionals and retail buyers from around the country could often see the clubs that they were going to start trying to sell back home, but ultimately didnt have a place to take them for a test spin, so to speak.
 
Well this year the organizers for the big show had a good idea ' make that a great big idea ' convert one end of the massive Orange County Convention Center into a giant hitting range, or as they called it, the Equipment Testing Center. Using up to 200,000 square feet of space, the testing center has over 45 hitting bays in which all attendees have the unique chance to try out the numerous new offerings from golf leading club manufacturers.
 
Many of the hitting areas are equipped with video swing analyzers and launch monitors to help customers get a better feel for the clubs they were hitting. Being able to see the ball flight also adds to the experience, and hopefully sends the buyers back home with a better understanding of the clubs, which in turn could be passed on to the golfing masses.
 
PGA Show Video Swing AnalyzerSpeaking of swing analyzers and the like, more than a few companies are in attendance showing off the latest technological advances to hit the industry. In a sport where it used to be just you, the ball and the great outdoors, hi-tech game improvement devices are starting to become mainstream.
 
Though most of this equipment is still way to expensive for the average Joe, more and more teaching centers and golf clubs are shelling out the extra money to give their members a more in-depth learning experience. The instance feedback these devices generate to the golfer is quite simply amazing.
 
While video monitoring has become a popular and cost effective training tool, it is now being combined with computer software to give the student - that includes everyone from Tiger and Ernie to you and I - a more complete insight to our own games.
 
Although for most of us, that could quite possibly be a scary thing.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show
  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.