With attendance down a bit and the absence of Titleist, Footjoy, Cobra and Ping, as well as a hundred or so less booths than 2002, the convention floor is a lot more enjoyable to walk around in and the people a little less stressed.
Throw in a Fuzzy sighting and things seem to be just fine and dandy here in Orlando, as you then realize just how much you missed on Thursday. But not to worry, fewer crowds make shopping and walking a pleasure, especially when dealing with what amounts to the biggest golf store in the world.
As the focus shifts away from Callaway, Nike and TaylorMade and their beautiful set-ups, the second tier of companies come into a bit more focus.
Ben Hogan, Nicklaus, E-Z-GO golf carts and Srixon, to name but just a few, make the transition from the top manufacturers to the mom-and-pop operations almost a seamless one. They too have well thought out and designed sets, yet a little more comfortable feel, partly due to the less traffic they receive than the big three.
But smaller has nothing to due to the fact that they still have quality products they are trying to get out to the golfing masses. Here's a look at a few:
Nicklaus Golfis enjoying the success of their Nicklaus AirMax 360cc driver and the cryogenic technology it incorporates in the club's make-up and design.
High quality, yet a relatively inexpensive driver, the company cryogenically treats the beta-titanium head by freezing it in nitrogen that's set at a minus-300 degrees. This process significantly hardens the metal, thus allowing for an ultra-thin but strong clubface for the 'maximum allowable spring-like effect.'
Srixon Golf has rolled out a couple of new golf balls, the Hybrid Tour golf ball and the Pro UR golf ball. Having Fuzzy Zoeller on hand is never a bad idea either, as he stopped by the Srixon station to sign some autographs and pose for a few photos.
The three-piece Pro UR ball is the latest in the crazy golf ball world that has a slight twist to it, featuring a layer made of solid rubber instead of Surlyn, which is used in most other manufacturers golf balls. The Pro UR has a suggested retail price $39 per dozen.
Srixon recently signed up both Karrie Webb and Robert Allenby to play the Hybrid Tour golf ball, as they join the Srixon stable with Thomas Bjorn and Fuzzy.
Full Coverage of the 2003 PGA Merchandise Show