ORLANDO, Fla. – After three days, 40,000 people, 1,000 vendors and 10 miles of products at the Orange County Convention Center, the PGA Merchandise Show is in the books. GolfChannel.com takes a final look at a few of the more innovative products hitting retailers' shelves this year, as well as some other sights standing out from the golf industry’s biggest week of the year.
Never Compromise Gambler series: Esentially re-launching the brand, Never Compromise has introduced their high-end, limited edition Gambler Series in 2011, which has already found its way into six tour players’ bags, with another 25 orders in the works from tour types eager to test.
That’s not a bad start, explained Adam Sheidon of Never Compromise, considering the putters initially hit tour practice greens just six weeks ago.
“David Toms (a longtime Cleveland/Srixon/Never Compromise staffer) had just about the best quote I’ve heard in a while,” Sheidon said. “He was telling me how he felt about (the Gambler series) and said flat out, ‘You know, I’ve played the Tour for 20 years and this is the best looking and feeling putter I’ve ever had in my bag.’
“I feel like that’s a good idea of how these putters have been received out there because we’ve had an amazing response to our product in a very short time.”
Along with the series’ classic good looks and soft feel from 303 stainless steel forging, a big draw to the Gambler series is the customizable options Never Compromise is offering that normally remain privy to tour players, not the average paying customer.
Launching Feb. 21 at mycustomputter.com, customers will be able to pick from a variety of graphics colors and designs, with an option to engrave personalized stamping onto the putter.
Club Glove Train Reaction: When it comes to your prized golf clubs surviving airport baggers’ sometimes less-than-delicate methods, there’s a reason over 90 percent of tour pros choose Club Glove for their clubs’ safety.New for 2011, Club Glove has introduced the Train Reaction series, which is a patent-pending luggage system that fully integrates three pieces of Club Glove luggage, designed so you, the weary traveler, can wheel your clubs and clothes with ease.
The assembled luggage “train,” as Club Glove calls it, self-balances when together, meaning it won’t topple over, which is always a good thing when hurrying to make that tee time. Club Glove says this system is so easy you can effortlessly tote up to 90 lbs. of luggage with just one hand.
Bender Stik: Teacher to the tour pros, Mike Bender, endorses a new product that allows for your golf-swing-in-progress to follow you everywhere. With the Bender Stik, explains inventor, PGA professional and Northern Iowa University golf coach, John Bermel, there’s no need for a number of different training aids that target just one specific aspect of the swing because the Bender Stik does it all. You can shape it and put it just about anywhere.
“The best thing about the Bender Stik is you can throw it right in your bag, take it with you and set it up on your bag or put it in the ground to help you with whatever you’re working on,” said Bermel. “It's easy, which is what we were looking for when we made this. It shapes in just about any direction, can vary in length and with the big, yellow foam ball on the end, you get that physical and visual feedback you’re looking for.”
Curious what else you'd find if you were roaming the convention center floors over the past three days?
Levy joined the Golf Channel team in 2010 as associate editor for GolfChannel.com.
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