ORLANDO, Fla. A few observations from Demo Day at the PGA Merchandise Show:
- Wednesday kicks-off the festivities for what is touted as the 'Biggest week in the business of golf.' When we arrived at 9:30 a.m., the line to get onto the Orange County National range must have been 100 people strong. Upon further inspection this was only a quasi entrance; the 100-plus were queuing for a free goodie bag.
- There seemed to be more people in attendance than last year, a sign perhaps the economy is rising from the doldrums.
- Puma had by far the most extravagant set-up with a giant inflatable tent, complete with DJ, free beer and teenage star Lexi Thompson, who didn't touch the beer, before you ask.
- Suzann Pettersen was her brilliant self as always, giving a demonstration to Nike customers and taking time to answer questions from me about her decision not to play in the RR Donnelley Founders Cup.
- Classic blade irons, like those from Wilson and Nike, are by far the most aesthetically pleasing golf clubs, its just a damn shame they are so hard to pure.
- The wind was whipping across the huge circular driving range at Orange Country National. David Mobley, long-drive champion and former Big Break contestant was on hand to show off his immense power. His demo was sadly into the wind, but he did tell me he'd fancy his chances of flying it the complete width of the range, about 400 yards when hitting back the opposite direction (downwind). I don't doubt him. Dave was not the only long-driver on display as Jamie Sadlowski was wowing them with his talents on the Adams tee.
- Free hot dogs proved a massive crowd puller for TaylorMade, you just had to avoid dripping mustard and ketchup on your brand new white-headed driver.