By Jason Mylroie, Compleat Golfer’s on-site equipment specialist.
Demo day is known as one of the best days of the year (along with the Sunday of each Major) for those avid golfers who have made the annual pilgrimage to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. Almost every significant brand in the game sets up a stall on a massive circular driving range at Orange County National Golf Resort giving PGA professionals and other attendees the opportunity to test out the latest products on offer.
This year saw the absence of major golf brands Nike Golf and Mizuno, however, some new faces popped up on the range including Ben Hogan Golf and the brand certainly garnered plenty of attention throughout the day. Many of the usual suspects such as TaylorMade, PING, Callaway, COBRA, Titleist and Erixon also took the opportunity to get their latest clubs into golfers’ hands, with taylorMade only launching its latest line of clubs, the M2 range on Monday, and so the brand also garnered the most attention.
The putting greens were packed with the top putter brands with many of the other chipping greens surrounded by the top wedges on the market. Major winner Greg Norman even made an appearance at the COBRA/Puma stand, where a Red Bull truck blasted out tunes all day long to keep the buzz up.
With three more days of the PGA Show to follow, I chose to rather try out some of the more exotic brands that aren’t readily available in South Africa, including Ben Hogan, Honma and Bridgestone and these three brands are sorely missed in our country, but can be special ordered at a premium rate.
Some other interesting stands at the range included a hickory golf stand where golfers were able to try out some of the clubs from many decades before and get a feeling of just how difficult the game used to be before the invention of game improvement clubs. A proudly South African brand by the name of SwingClick was also busy throughout the day showing the rest of the world how smart our locals can be with this very innovative training aid.
Check back tomorrow for highlights of the first day of the PGA Merchandise Show in the Orange County Convention centre.