Walking the miles of aisles at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show can be quite an interesting experience. Sure you see all the usual suspects like Ping, Callaway and Wilson, but the “big” companies only make up a small fraction of the companies exhibiting at this year’s golf product showcase. Held January 26-29, at Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge and the Orange County Convention Center, most of the 1000 or so exhibitors are smaller companies debuting niche products for golfers that one might only find each year at the PGA Show.
“The PGA Merchandise Show floor represents the very best names in golf, from market leaders and established golf manufacturers to service and accessory providers and the newest start-up companies. These influential companies and brands create an unmatched resource to build business in 2016,” offers PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions Senior Vice President and General Manager Ed Several.
More than 200 media members from all over the world take to the convention floor looking at all the new products and services. While it’s easy to cover the new Wilson golf ball or Ben Hogan Golf irons, one must go deep into the bowels and nooks and crannies of the show to see some of the weird and wacky gadgets and products that could just be the next big thing in golf. Here’s some of the weird and wacky from the 2016 PGA Show.
If you are the type of person that puts a value on golf tees that generally cost about a penny to the average golfer, the TeeTrimmer is going to be a must have in your golf bag. This of the TeeTrimmer as a pencil sharpener of sorts since it transforms broken golf tees into tees that can be reused for your next drive. Place any broken golf tee in the hole at the top end of the TeeTrimmer and turn. Golfers will get a fresh and brand new tee to use, it will be just a little shorter. The TeeTrimmer was being sold at the PGA Show for six bucks.
It seems as though robots are everywhere and that included the 2016 PGA Show. Ted Foxman is an entrepreneur and he had girls playing the part of robots for his booth featuring the KLVN golf bag. If that wasn’t strange enough for you, the KLVN bag is actually two bags in one. A cart bag houses a smaller carry bag on the inside. It’s not a bad idea and the bag looks like it will come in a variety of cool colors. This is an idea that could be taken to another level by one of the larger bag manufacturers.
“The unique design of the KLVN bag allows you to improve your game at the range, around the green, and cart path only conditions, by providing you control and mobility,” stated Foxman. “You can even play faster because you can simply eject the clubs you’ll need, walk some of the holes and avoid zig-zagging all over the course between your shots and your cart partner’s shots.”
Most attendees at the PGA Show aren’t thinking about underwear as they walk the show floor unless they are worrying they didn’t pack enough for the excursion to Orlando. Power Peax was out to change that mindset at the show. Their Power Shorts on display are supposed to help golfers rotate during their golf swing. Not only do they keep your muscles warm like any traditional pair of compression shorts, but according to their website, you “can learn how to properly incorporate your hips into your golf swing making it much more efficient and much more powerful, while taking the stress off of your upper body.”
Bad winter weather got you down? Not to worry thanks to Tex-Net. As seen at the show, now golfers can have their very own movable hitting bay with canvas walls for less that $6,000. Heavy duty construction means this will hold up under the harshest conditions, but be careful if you are using a space heater in the winter months.
Ask any golfer and they will tell you they hate to clean their clubs after a round of golf. The Riveer TourSpin club washer uses high-pressure water and precision spinning Venturi nozzles to clean all your clubs at one time. It cleans irons and hybrids and golf courses can offer use of this dishwasher on steroids to improve their bottom line. Let me know if you see this at your country club or local muni.
Other unique items seen around the show were U.S. Olympic hopeful figure skater, Franchesca Chiera appearing for a company that sells trophies and awards and less booth babes than in past years. I love a new company called Caddysnax that provides a box of snacks golfers can take with them out on the course. If you are struggling with that five foot putt, 5Footer.com is ready to help you with their $25 putting tool. All of that and the preshow skins mini golf tournament held at a Disney’s Fantasia miniature golf course. Can it get any weirder than that? I guess you need to stay tuned for 2017.