PGA Merchandise Show observations from Friday


2011 PGA Merchandise Show – Taylormade/Adidas/Ashworth have a gigantic booth which takes up the entire north end of the convention center. It comes complete with media center, restaurant and driving range. With the new R11 and Burner Superfast 2.0 driver causing quite a stir (the hard-to-miss clubs with the white matte-finish heads), their range was busy from open to close. Attendees were so keen to try the new products they queued for over 30 minutes at times to get into a bay.

– Big Break alum, now LPGA and LET member Sara Brown seems to be all over the place at this show. The 25-year-old Michigan State grad has been making various appearances over the past couple of days. Unlike some of her new colleagues, there’s no question she’ll be in the field for the RR Donnelley Founders Cup.

– You always find weird and wonderful products at the show. Right next to the vibrating massage chairs is a company called Sun Pro-Tec Systems. They manufacture sun lotion and bug spray applying units that are geared to sit near the first tee. Similar to those air guns used to clean your shoes, these guns spray sun lotion or bug spray so you don’t have to get your hands all greasy before you tee off. It’s genius. Private clubs can offer the sprays for free, and pay-to-play courses can charge a minimal fee for each use.

– The Travis Matthew booth is boasting an old VW camper van, what looks like a Hummer golf cart, a ping pong table and no shortage of beautiful employees. The company is from California and has that laid back look which it outfits to tour stars such as Bubba Watson and Kevin Chappell. The ping pong table was busy throughout the day but later on, as some companies hosted receptions with free drinks, the ping-pong looked to be turning into beer pong.

See full coverage of the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show on our “Golf Central” special Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.