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They Might Be Giants

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PGA Merchandise Show LogoOrlando, Fla. -- The start of the 2003 PGA Merchandise Show got underway Thursday in Orlando, Fla., and there they stood, the unquestionable giants of the show - Callaway Golf, TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Nike Golf.
 
Theirs are not merely booths, like many of the 1,000 or so other company's in attendance smallish digs, but colossal, elaborate sets that dwarf those that are stationed around them.
 
Yes, there are a number of other manufacturers - Mizuno, Cleveland, Wilson and MacGregor, to name a few - whose presence is definitely felt, but none bring the juice quite like those big three.
 
Some might cry overkill, but all three do indeed bring to the table great and good-looking products year after year.
 
And it certainly doesn't hurt to have names like Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and
Colin Montgomerie on board to not only give credibility, but also give them the sizzle that the golfers of the world want to go along with the equipment and accessories that they fork down their hard earned money to buy.
 
A sample of what the giants have rolled out for 2003:
 
TaylorMade-adidas Golf is introducing into it's series of RAC wedges the RAC FE203 which is an unfinished, chrome-less version designed to rust.
 
With the same design as the original RAC (relative amplitude coefficient), the new rust model will create several performance advantages. For example, the untouched grooves remain in a clean, perfectly milled state, resulting in sharper edges that grip and 'hold' the ball more effectively.
 
The company says that the rust acts as a micro-abrasive coating that improves the groove's gripping power, producing more spin.
 
Carrying a suggested retail price of $140 per club, the RAC FE2O3 wedges will be available in a wide variety of lofts and bounce angles, including right-handed 48.06 (loft/bounce angle), 50.06, 52.08, 54.10, 54.12, 56.12, 56.14, 58.08, 58.12, 60.07 and 60.12; and left-handed 48.06, 50.06, 52.08, 54.10, 54.12, 56.12, 56.14, 58.08, 58.12, 60.07 and 60.12.
 
Callaway Golf has rolled out two more models to go along with their wildly popular Odyssey 2-Ball Putter line. The new Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Center-Shafted Putter is a redesigned version of the original 2-Ball design, while the new Odyssey DFX 2-Ball Putter is the first putter in the 2-Ball family to feature the companys patented Stronomic insert technology.
 
Known for their large mallet head with two golf ball-sized alignment aids positioned directly behind the center of the face on the top of the putter, its purpose being to help ensure the putter is square to the target, according to Callaway, and also helps golfers to better see the line his ball will travel after impact.
 
The company is hoping more and more golfers will find them to be not a fad in the always competitive putter world, but a putter with real staying power.
 
The company has said that shipments to retailers will begin in May.
 
Nike Golf, which is very new to the show as a major player in the equipment category, has wasted little time in fitting right in.
 
Along with a new 450cc driver, the largest they have produced, they also caught the eyes of many with a new series of clubs called CPR - Clubs for Prevention and Recovery - that they say 'lends hope for heart-stopping situations by making tough shots play easy.' Nothing like having no shame in comparing tough shots on the golf course with actual Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
 
The 450cc driver, meanwhile, also has the largest COR sweet spot in their line of drivers and will be set at a suggested retail price of $369. The driver should be available May 1.