Merchandise Show for the Masses

By January 26, 2003, 5:00 pm
PGA Merchandise Show LogoDue to the seeming lack of excitement and noticeably smaller crowds, there was talk on the floor at this year's PGA Merchandise Show to open up the final two days to the public to put some zip back into the show.
 
Is that a good idea or bad idea?
 
Obviously that depends on whom you ask, but it seemed more people had reservations about the idea than those who gave it the thumbs up.
 
Sure, it would no doubt bring a charge to the show, but at what cost? Less time with clients? Headaches trying to keep the elaborate and expensive sets intact? Having substantially more inventory on hand to sell to the mouth-watering public?
 
It's a tough call, and it probably won't come to fruition, but if they did someday grant entry to the public here in Orlando, I believe that that might possibly open up a can of worms in regards to golfers in other cities.
 
It wouldn't be fair for golfers all over the nation to fly down to Orlando every year, especially with their expendable income already being choked to death on high greens fees and over-priced golf clubs.
 
In a perfect world, the PGA Merchandise Show would come to be known as the Traveling PGA Merchandise Show. City to city it would go, a golfing circus if you will, giving untold millions the chance to experience a day or two in this Garden of Eden.
 
Time out. While we're in that perfect world for a moment, how about flights to Maui becoming complimentary and the greens fees on their jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring courses going for the cost of a loaf of bread in 1927. Aloha!
 
Poof!
 
Back to reality and back to the fact that only a small percentage of our golfing nation ever gets to enjoy this Mecca of golf equipment, apparel and gadgets. With that in mind, here is a small taste of what landed on this year's showroom floor, good, bad, strange or otherwise.
 
Blues Brothers actorsBest celebrity? Three-way tie between Fuzzy Zoeller, the Blues Brothers and SpongeBob SquarePants. Apologies to John Cook and Ivan Lendl, though if their mothers would have called them Fuzzy Cook or Fuzzy Lendl they may have been included. SpongeBob SquarePants gets the nod only because it's fun to say.
 
Strangest Booth? The booth that was hocking wooden hangers. Maybe if this had been the 2003 Hanger Merchandise Show, then there possibly would have been a nod for best booth.
 
Best Thing To Have Installed In Your Home That You Can Afford? One of the many putting greens that are now available and far more creative and realistic. Contours on the greens, smooth rolls, and even light rough around the fringe. Drawbacks? Sure, friends wouldn't leave and putting contests could cost you into the thousands.
 
Biggest Driver? Unofficial, but a whopping 510cc. Rumors of a 700cc were heard, but something about seeing a guy named Frankie in some dark alley by downtown Orlando.
 
Goofiest Putter? The Side-Stroke. Imagine shuffleboard, but with a mallet-style putter head.
 
Brush-TBest Gadget? The Brush-T. The 'pioneer' of bristle tees happily handed out thousands of their little product for those in attendance. Picture a cross between a golf tee and your toothbrush.
 
Biggest Booth? Nike, with 15,300 square feet.
 
Coolest Limo? The 60-foot SUV-style limousines that were roaming the streets outside the Orange County Convention Center introducing Tee-Zels, snacks that come in the shape of tees. I didn't get a ride to my parking spot that was two miles away, but I did get to taste the little pretzel snacks. Cute and delicious!
 
Best View? The Orlando Magic cheerleaders. Up close. What were they there for? Not quite sure.
 
Best Thing To Have Installed In Your Home That You Probably Can't Afford? DeadSolidGolf. It's one of those golf simulators that give you the choice of playing the world's greatest golf courses, but now in a home version. Cost - $37,500. Ouch!
 

Full Coverage of the 2003 PGA Merchandise Show
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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.