Here at Golf Vacation Insider, we know what you’re looking for: honest, effective golf travel advice.
But we also know that if you’re a golfer who likes to travel, chances are travel isn’t the only thing you’re interested in.
That’s why we make the trip every January to the massive PGA Merchandise Show.
In short, if you’re a golfer, it’s the place to find the newest in golf equipment, products and services.
You loved our coverage of last year’s Show, so here’s our 2016 edition of the “PGA Show in Pictures.”
PGA Show Week kicks off in style at Orange County National Golf Club just west of Orlando, Florida. The facility is home not just to two acclaimed golf courses but an immense, 40-plus acre practice facility that includes a 360-degree grass driving range. This year, the entire circle was taken up by exhibiting companies.
Demo Day serves as an outdoor version of the three indoor exhibition days that follow. Companies from major equipment manufacturers…
…to minor training aid makers…
…to the folks from Golf Beer all set up shop in order to create some early PGA Show Week buzz.
We got a chance to get up-close looks at a bunch of the major equipment makers’ new clubs, but what caught our eye was a little bit of a throwback: PING’s TR 1966 line, which pays tribute to the Anser and Anser 2 putters that put them on the map as a company.
Given the large setup of Demo Day, spending all those hours trying new clubs can be exhausting:
By far, the most entertaining sight we encountered at Demo Day was not produced by a golf club, but an…interesting fitness related machine, which can only be done justice in video:
The Show Floor
This is where the main PGA Show action takes place. And as in the past, more than 10 miles of carpeted alleys were set up at Orlando’s massive Orange County Convention Center, weaving between more than 1,000 exhibitors. Once again, two massive rooms brought together a who’s-who of golf, from TaylorMade…
…to Team Tables, which strike us as golf’s answer to the famous “leg lamp” from the movie “A Christmas Story.
As usual, underdog companies tended towards eye-catching displays in order to generate buzz. The runaway winner for inventive booth design this year was KLVN (pronounced “kolven”), which makes a plastic cart bag with a pop-out carry bag for taking a few clubs to your ball. Check out the “robot” demonstration model:
Conversely, we’re compelled to give the award for “Biggest Head-Scratcher” award to the US Postal Service, whose booth was completely empty every time we walked by.
And the “Saddest Exhibit” award goes to the G-Trike, an alternative to golf carts that is so futuristic, its exhibitor didn’t even bother to bring a prototype to the Show:
If you’ve read Golf Digest over the years, you may have noticed ads in the very backs of issues for Golf Knickers. They were part of the enormous apparel section of the Show floor…
…as were Columbia, who seem to be branching out and applying the fabrics from their well-regarded Performance Fishing Gear apparel to the links.
We detected two overall themes this year. The first was over-the-top golf carts…
…and the second was colorful footwear – both shoes…
Odds and Ends
The PGA Show is always a good place to spot celebrities, such as Lou Holtz…
…and Johnny Miller:
Our favorite mascot on the Show Floor could be found at the SuperStroke booth:
We noted fewer “booth babes” than usual this year, but they were still part of the scene at Chef’s Cut Jerky…
…and the aforementioned Twitch trainer booth:
There you have it–the good, the bad and the strange from the 2016 PGA Show. What are your impressions of the state of the golf industry? Any interesting items we missed? Be sure to let us know below in the comments!