Golf Vacation Gear

The 2016 PGA Show In Pictures and Video

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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.”

Demo Day

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.

This view across the range at Orange County National captures only a sliver of the exhibitors at Demo Day.

This view across the range at Orange County National captures only a sliver of the exhibitors at Demo Day.

Demo Day serves as an outdoor version of the three indoor exhibition days that follow. Companies from major equipment manufacturers…

Callaway always turns out in force for Demo Day.

Callaway always turns out in force for Demo Day.

…to minor training aid makers…

This burly fellow was wielding a resistance-based swing trainer called Twitch.

This burly fellow was wielding a resistance-based swing trainer called Twitch.

…to the folks from Golf Beer all set up shop in order to create some early PGA Show Week buzz.

4 Golf Beer

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.

PING's TR 1966 putters combine the company's traditional putter shapes with their recently developed True-Roll face technology.

PING’s TR 1966 putters combine the company’s traditional putter shapes with their recently developed True-Roll face technology.

Given the large setup of Demo Day, spending all those hours trying new clubs can be exhausting:

In order to maintain your stamina throughout PGA Show Week, it's important to nap strategically.

In order to maintain your stamina throughout PGA Show Week, it’s important to nap strategically.

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:

Moving on…

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…

Known as a company that makes bold statements, TaylorMade followed their marketing playbook at the 2016 PGA Show.

Known as a company that makes bold statements, TaylorMade followed their marketing playbook at the 2016 PGA Show.

…to Team Tables, which strike us as golf’s answer to the famous “leg lamp” from the movie “A Christmas Story.

Kudos to the golf nut who adorns the living room with one of these - you are braver than we are!

Kudos to the golf nut who adorns the living room with one of these – you are braver than we are!

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.

It seemed to us that the USPS should have saved their money and declined to exhibit at this year's PGA Show.

It seemed to us that the USPS should have saved their money and declined to exhibit at this year’s PGA Show.

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:

The G-Trike: no model, only pictures.

The G-Trike: no model, only pictures.

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…

9 Golf Knickers

The late Payne Stewart made knickers look classy. We might prefer more toned-down colors ourselves…

…as were Columbia, who seem to be branching out and applying the fabrics from their well-regarded Performance Fishing Gear apparel to the links.

Columbia is known as a great brand of fishing apparel - they should be able to carve out a niche among comfort- and breathability-seeking golfers as well.

Columbia is known as a great brand of fishing apparel – they should be able to carve out a niche among comfort- and breathability-seeking golfers as well.

We detected two overall themes this year. The first was over-the-top golf carts…

We're not sure what this massive cart has to do with sunglasses, but it caught our eye.

We’re not sure what this massive cart has to do with sunglasses, but it caught our eye.

We're not sure of a golf course that would allow this thing roaming the fairways.

We’re not sure of a golf course that would allow this thing roaming the fairways.

...or this one.

…or this one.

This one reminded us of a Smart Car, turned into a golf cart. At least it looks somewhat practical...

This one reminded us of a Smart Car, turned into a golf cart. At least it looks somewhat practical…

…and the second was colorful footwear – both shoes…

15 Spikes

Soft spikes cleverly showed off their Pulsar golf cleats on some colorful soles.

16 Skechers

Long regarded as a casual shoe brand for kids, Skechers is breaking into the golf market with a number of comfy styles.

17 NB

So is New Balance.

18 Biion

Biion, makers of lightweight, laceless golf shoes, can always be counted on for some out-there styles.

…and socks:

Kentwool remains the undisputed king of golf socks, and they've just started making underwear out of their famously soft, breathable material.

Kentwool remains the undisputed king of golf socks, and they’ve just started making underwear out of their famously soft, breathable material.

Kentwool even brought a mascot along to their booth this year.

Kentwool even brought a mascot along to their booth this year.

Odds and Ends

The PGA Show is always a good place to spot celebrities, such as Lou Holtz…

21 Holtz

…and Johnny Miller:

22 Miller

Our favorite mascot on the Show Floor could be found at the SuperStroke booth:

Super Stroke putter grips can be found in dozens of Tour pros' bags. We enjoyed their very tall mascot.

Super Stroke putter grips can be found in dozens of Tour pros’ bags. We enjoyed spotting their very tall mascot.

We noted fewer “booth babes” than usual this year, but they were still part of the scene at Chef’s Cut Jerky…

24 Booth Babe1

…and the aforementioned Twitch trainer booth:

25 Booth Babe2

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!

9 Comments

  1. Garry Mayhugh

    February 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Wrote to Columbia 4 years ago telling them how practical and comfortable their PFG shirt line was for golf. PFG = “Perfect For Golf.” Maybe they took notice. Waiting patiently for my royalties check.LOL

  2. Bill L

    February 3, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Did anyone address the “growing the game” question?

  3. Owen...Watford

    February 3, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Best photo prize must go to the Kentwool sheep

  4. John FL

    February 5, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I am passionate about golf. I think the club makers are making the sport too expensive for the average joe to play anymore. Come on guys 300-600 for a driver made in China, we all know the manufacturing costs are minimum compared to the marketing and development, but give us a break.

  5. Murray Henley

    February 5, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Chef’s Cut booth babe should have eaten some of their stuff.

  6. Alfred

    February 6, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I thought the come on picture of the guy laying in the yard was going to be about liability insurance.

  7. Bill Norcross

    February 6, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Golf is really great sport which you can play till you drop. Most agree the expenses are too high for Pro-Shop clubs, balls, clubs and apparel….why in the world don’t they (Pro-Shops) compete with discount stores. Low prices attract customers…Mickie ‘D’s’ is a prime example of volume sales. What what happens when Pro-Shops lower their prices in year end sales..Ta Da…stock gone !
    Are they too greedy or afraid of the ‘un washed’ ?

  8. Mike

    February 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Like the Shoes but will a manufacturer please produce a water proof pair, and I do mean I want to have dry feet in wet weather.

  9. JKC

    January 10, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Almost every green grass pro shop I am aware of offers to match prices of the discounters on new clubs shoes etc. I bot the new 917D2
    from my club 10% cheaper then the online guys even sell it.

    They don’t match clothing since that is harder to compare and especially the logo gear. I agree golf balls are are priced too high as well.

    If you look around you can find good deals if you can go without the newest model.

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