ORLANDO, Fla. – Some observations from Thursday at the PGA Merchandise Show:
Just down the road at Walt Disney World, Mickey seems to be able to park thousands of cars without too much trouble each and everyday. The entrance to the Orange County Convention Center looked more like a scene from the movie 'Deep Impact' than the happiest place on earth Thursday morning – complete gridlock. Speaking of deep impact, that's how your wallet will be feeling after a day at the show. Daylight robbery on food and parking.
Maybe the traffic problems had something to do with the large number of attendees. A rough estimate would be 15-20% more people roaming the floor than last year.
Callaway had a Lamborghini Gallardo parked slap bang in the middle of their stand. The two companies are collaborating on the development of new materials. Apparently, the petrol tank had to be drained before the Lambo folks would hand over the keys, so sadly no chance of breaking into the OCCC tonight to take her for a little spin around the show floor.
The men in white coats are back in the Titleist booth. Legend has it, a tour rep would wear a white coat on the range, making it easy for players to find him. The tradition stuck and now when you reach the level of sales rep for Titleist they present you with your very own white Hickey Freeman blazer. It's very stylish and perfect if you happen to be planning a vacation to St. Tropez this spring, or heading to Central Park to sell ice-creams.
The old FootJoy classics are dead and buried I'm afraid, but fear not, a company called Lambda sells a very similar product. They are back at the Merchandise Show this year and along with the classic design they have a white slip-on loafer golf shoe; its priceless.
Natalie Gulbis is a great sport, appearing at the Winn Grips booth Thursday. I asked her in an interview how her love life was going, at which point she jokingly pulled Butch Harmon into the camera shot. You can see the interview plus much more from the show in our 'Golf Central' special Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.