Bombs Away at the PGA Show

By January 30, 2004, 5:00 pm
PGA of AmericaORLANDO -- Golfers have long complained about the strange process that goes into buying clubs, whether it be a driver, a set of irons or a utility club. They head into their local pro shop or retailer and pick up any number of clubs until they feel the shiny, beautiful instrument before them could quite possibly hold the secrets to straightening out their highly inconsistent games.
 
PGA Show Equipment Testing CenterOne problem. He or she doesnt have the opportunity to test the club. Cant really hit the darn thing, except for maybe a 10-yard blast into a net at the back of the store.
 
The same could be said in years past at the PGA Merchandise Show, as golf professionals and retail buyers from around the country could often see the clubs that they were going to start trying to sell back home, but ultimately didnt have a place to take them for a test spin, so to speak.
 
Well this year the organizers for the big show had a good idea ' make that a great big idea ' convert one end of the massive Orange County Convention Center into a giant hitting range, or as they called it, the Equipment Testing Center. Using up to 200,000 square feet of space, the testing center has over 45 hitting bays in which all attendees have the unique chance to try out the numerous new offerings from golf leading club manufacturers.
 
Many of the hitting areas are equipped with video swing analyzers and launch monitors to help customers get a better feel for the clubs they were hitting. Being able to see the ball flight also adds to the experience, and hopefully sends the buyers back home with a better understanding of the clubs, which in turn could be passed on to the golfing masses.
 
PGA Show Video Swing AnalyzerSpeaking of swing analyzers and the like, more than a few companies are in attendance showing off the latest technological advances to hit the industry. In a sport where it used to be just you, the ball and the great outdoors, hi-tech game improvement devices are starting to become mainstream.
 
Though most of this equipment is still way to expensive for the average Joe, more and more teaching centers and golf clubs are shelling out the extra money to give their members a more in-depth learning experience. The instance feedback these devices generate to the golfer is quite simply amazing.
 
While video monitoring has become a popular and cost effective training tool, it is now being combined with computer software to give the student - that includes everyone from Tiger and Ernie to you and I - a more complete insight to our own games.
 
Although for most of us, that could quite possibly be a scary thing.
 
Related links:
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