2011 PGA Merchandise Show

harris english

Just weeks after Russell Henley became only the 2nd amateur in history to win a Nationwide Tour event, his fellow University of Georgia teammate Harris English matched him by winning the Children’s Hospital Invitational.  The final pairing actually consisted of two amateurs, leaving the professionals to vie for the title of “low-professional” (and of course 1st place prize money).

An amateur winning a professional event is almost unheard of, but to have it happen twice within a matter of months is mind-blowing.  What exactly are they putting in the water over at UGA?

It must be something strong given English’s statements after his win.  LSU’s John Peterson (the other amatuer in the final pairing and the ultimate 2nd place finisher) started things off with this gem:

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Hirzl Golf Gloves

by Derek on February 9, 2011

in 2011 PGA Merchandise Show,Equipment

hirzl golf glove tour control

I wasn’t expecting to see anything new in the area of golf gloves at the PGA Show.  But I was really impressed with with Hirzl’s Trust glove models at the demo day.

Hirzl is a Swiss company producing a glove that works really well when dry and even better when wet.  To demonstrate this, they had you hit a few golf balls while wearing the glove.  Then they came over and soaked the glove/grip with a squirt bottle.  Amazingly, you could still take a full swing with 100% confidence.

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drain-o putting aid pga show

There were lots and lots of putting aids at the PGA Show.  I already posted a video about one of my favorites, the Perfect Putting Aid.  But I thought I would write about some of the other interesting trainings aids that I saw.

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Utopia Putters

I may have just found Miguel Angel Jimenez’s next putter.  Last week, “The Most Interesting Man in the World” showed us that a lob wedge can make a great putter in a bind.  Try blading a ball with a wedge on the putting green sometime and you might be surprised at how well it rolls the ball.

Utopia Golf has taken that concept of blading a wedge and turned it into unique line of putters.  The idea is that their “edge” technology face makes contact with the ball above the equator and forces immediate forward roll.  I hit a few putts with it at the show and it definitely seemed to roll well.  The forward spin makes the ball just want to go where the putter face is pointing at contact.

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There were a lot of putting aids at the PGA show (I’ve got another post that covers a few others coming soon).  But my favorite was the Perfect Putting Aid.  Most of the other putting trainers focus on training your stroke path.  That’s certainly important, but honestly, you can get away with a funky putting stroke as long as you can consistently start the ball on your intended line.

I grabbed the Perfect Putting Aid inventor, Chad Johansen, for a few minutes to give us a short overview of how it works.  As you can tell from his voice, he had been pretty busy talking with lots of interested show attendees :-)  But he was kind enough to explain it all one more time for us on tape (or memory card).

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Scratch golf has long been known for their gorgeous custom wedges and irons.  And their booth didn’t disappoint.  Their set of custom SB-1 irons featuring some sweet looking green paintfill, and KBS Tour shafts with a custom white polymer finish was generating a lot of buzz.

But these irons weren’t the only thing in their booth…

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GEARS Booth at the PGA Show

There were lots and lots of golf swing simulators on display at the PGA Show.  There must have been at least 10 companies showing their simulators, if not more.  And to be perfectly honest, most were pretty boring and didn’t offer much in the way of innovation.

But I did find 2 companies showing things that I thought were interesting.  The first was NaturalPoint’s GEARS system.  It’s built on the OptiTrack motion capture platform and uses 17 cameras to capture not just the ball flight, but the swing itself.

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The World's Most Luxurious Golf Publication

As I was walking around the PGA Show, I saw this huge book on a table and had to stop to find out more.  The book is called “Golf” and is the brainchild of artists/authors/TV producers Paul Skellett and Simon Weitzman.  They started out knowing next to nothing about golf and spent the last 4 years creating a book (really a work of art) that covers the game, the courses, and the story of golf.

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Friday night after the PGA Show I decided to take a ride on the world’s tallest skycoaster, or as Phil calls it “an elaborate $40 suicide machine”.  Phil was going to go too, but once he saw somebody else try it, he decided to stick to video commentary instead.

All I can say is that it looked a lot taller from the top than it did from the ground.

Stay tuned as we post up all of our great finds from the PGA show over the next week.

True Linkswear PGA Show

[UPDATE]: You can check out my full review of the TRUE Tours here.

I’ve written about TRUE Linkswear several times on this blog, so it was a given that I needed to stop by their booth at the PGA Show.  It might have been one of the busiest booths at the show relative to its size.  In fact I joked that it looked like a bomb went off in there.  And if you’re a new company at your first PGA Show that’s a good problem to have.

The booth was so busy that they had to stop sales on Thursday just to make sure they had some inventory left for the rest of the show.  And I believe that by 2pm today they were basically sold out except for the demo models in their booth.

TRUE was showcasing not only their current lineup but some really slick looking upcoming models, including a very limited edition Masters shoe that TRUE fans will be dying to get a hold of.

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