PGA Merchandise Show: A little of this a little of that
- By Jon Levy
- Jan 29, 2011 1:00 AM ET
Saw just about everything on Friday inside the endless miles of merchandise aisles at the Orange County Convention Center. Here are a few odds and ends from day two of golf industry mega-week, circa 2011:
Sexiest Women in Golf Magazine: What better way to tout a soon-to-be-released magazine than employing a pair of Bond-girl meets Lara Croft: Tomb Raider young ladies posing graciously, while holding a pair of existing publications – Colorado Golf and Desert Golf – that precede publisher Timothy Pade’s newest venture: Sexiest Women in Golf.
Yes, sex sells. And set to debut sometime in 2011, Pade is hoping this is still the case for his latest venture. Even though the magazine isn’t up and running quite yet, his website, sexiestwomeningolf.com – where you can log on and vote from a list of female golfers all facets of women’s game – is already in full swing. On this site you can peruse virtually every female golfer in the game and vote for your favorites, as well as sign up for monthly drawings to win various golf-related prizes.
But who are we kidding – prizes aside, you know you’re just curious to look.
Boccieri Golf: Stephen Boccieri, president and CEO of Boccieri Golf – the makers of The Heavy Putter – talked about his radical, and not-so trend-setting views on the technology of golf equipment. Boccieri was a former nuclear engineer for 25 years with a background in seismic analysis.
As a long-time golfer, Boccieri's curiosity of the how and why golf equipment was made the way it was for so many years, was primarily the brainchild for Boccieri Golf. In essence, Boccieri surmises the industry had gone about it all wrong, considering advances in other realms of science and innovation golf manufacturers could pull from. So, in 2004 Boccieri introduced the Heavy Putter, with the Heavy Wedge soon following and, just this week, has introduced the full matching set of woods and irons to complement. His “backweighting” technology, Boccieri said, helps a player hold the “angle of retention” longer before impact, as well as creating a more consistent square club face at impact, which should ultimately help you hit better and more consistent golf shots.
The technology in the Heavy Driver (pictured) features a unique dimple pattern, called “dimple face technology” that, along with the counter-balanced weighting, explained Boccieri, provides a higher velocity of ball speed at impact than many of his bigger and more well-known competitors.
Dancin’ Dogg Golf’s Optishot: You’ve seen it advertised all over Golf Channel and right smack in the middle of the OCCC floor, we got the lowdown on this $399 home version of a golf simulator normally costing in the thousands.
The verdict? It’s Golden Tee meets your real golf swing, which of course is great, unless your golf swing would be better served on Golden Tee. The graphics on the Optishot are amazing and, while president and CEO Brandon Theophilus knows more advanced simulators may provide slightly more accurate feedback when it comes down to the most technical aspects, his mission with the Optishot was to “make something realistic, accurate and bottom line, make something that was fun. And we wanted all of those things, but wanted to make it affordable to the average golfer. And I think we have done that,” Theophilus said.
The Optishot currently offers nine different courses and Theophilus says they will continually add more to the arsenal, as well as software improvements as more become available in the future.
ECCO: If they’re cool enough for Fred Couples then they’re cool enough for anyone. The ECCO shoe Couples debuted on Tour last year – the Golf Street Premiere – created quite the buzz in the golfing community because of their unique, street-meets-golf-course appearance.
“Our idea was to create a shoe that could perform well on the golf course, as well as something that you’d want to wear casually,” explained Todd Davidson, product and sales manager of ECCO’s golf division. “Part of our vision is to continue with this hybrid type of shoe and to create a shoe that has the feeling like you’re not really even wearing anything.”
Davidson said their new style for 2011, the “biom,” has a design that better follows with the natural motion of the foot. That technology, says Davidson, along with the cool, casual design, is how he sees ECCO continuing to move forward in the future.
Of course with “Boom Boom” Couples, the king of cool on your staff, the 2011 Presidents Cup captain could play in ski boots, for that matter, and people would probably follow suit.
Levy joined the Golf Channel team in 2010 as associate editor for GolfChannel.com.
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