A staggering 1,200 exhibitors - taking up an even more staggering 500,000 square feet of the exhibit space - are on hand to offer up anything and everything as it relates to the golf industry. From strangely shaped clubs and windproof umbrellas, to funky golf tees and beautiful artwork, almost no stone is left unturned. Throw in the vast array of golf training aids and the endless amount of golfing accessories, and I believe a quick sampling is in order.
C-Thru Grips - One product that is starting to be seen ' or make that seen through ' on the various professional tours is the C-Thru Grip. Like the name suggests, these grips are made of a special transparent rubber, which in turn allows the golfer an almost endless list of ways to personalize their putter.
John Cook, one of the companys Board of Directors, displays his proud feelings for his alma mater ' the Ohio State Buckeyes ' on his putter, and as a matter of fact used it in his win at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Annika Sorenstam pays tribute to her native country by having a pair of Swedish flags to go along with her nickname Ms. 59. About a dozen or so PGA Tour players are thought to be using them at the moment and the company has a college advisory board in place to no doubt bring them all the golf teams in divisions I, II and III, both mens and womens.
But its probably at the amateur level, with us hackers of the world, where the product will most likely make it's biggest mark. Start looking around on the putting greens of your local clubs and youre sure to begin seeing through your playing partners' putter grip to the likes of the UCLA Bruins, the Florida Gators and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
art&stone - Along the same decorative lines, a company out of Tustin, Calif., is producing beautiful golf inspired tiles to be used as coasters, clocks, trivets, magnets, and napkin rings. Using a unique hand printing process that creates an old world look, the tile is quarried, cut and tumbled in Italy from high quality marble.
The company then scans an image or a piece of artwork onto the tile, such as a country clubs logo, a resort courses signature hole, the logo of a major championship ' or your favorite player perhaps. The finished product looks quite nice and makes for a great conversation piece or souvenir.
Jet Golf - No, this is not a game that you play at your local club with running shoes, but rather a service that is set up for those with a little - or some would say a lot - of disposable income.
The company, headquartered in Kalamazoo, Mich., will create an incredible VIP package for you and your guests with the luxury of riding in a private jet at the heart of the trip. But that's just for starters, as some of the destinations include golfing cathedrals such as Pebble Beach, Cabo del Sol, Pinehurst and Brandon Dunes in Oregon, just to name a few.
The packages also include lodging, coordinating tee times, ground transportation, catering and all of the other extras one would expect from such a high-end golfing excursion.
Heck, it's at least worth mentioning to your boss. You never know, you might get included on the trip!