PGA Merchandise Show – Golf Gear, Gimmicks and Equipment—Part 1

Kathy BissellCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2011

PGA Merchandise Show – Golf Gear, Gimmicks and Equipment—Part 1

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    Line to try the TaylorMade "White" driver

    Kathy Bissell

    There are several trade shows in the golf industry, but the biggest one each year is the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.  Gizmos, gadgets, golf gear and new equipment are rolled out every January and this year is no exception. From Demo Day, which included all the major equipment manufacturers, to the Orlando Convention Center indoor exhibition, the PGA Merchandise Show, held by Reed Expo, is now in its 58th year. 

Superbowl Themes

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    Packer headcovvers

    Three products at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show have football themes.  Two are headcovers, one for Packer fans and the other for Steeler fans.  Headcovers are official NFL licensed gear from Team Golf in Dallas, TX, which sells to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golfsmith as well as other golf and pro shops. 

    Suggested retail for the three pack is $44.95.  For a single headcover, $24.99.

The Wheel Deal

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    Former Pittsburgh Steeler punter Josh Miller caught the golf bug.  While trying to teach his young son to putt, he decided a training aid was needed.  Borrowing from his son’s Lego set, he made a one-wheeled device to attach to putters.  Training wheels for the putting stroke.  It worked well enough that he decided to visit Home Depot to get some parts to make a non-Lego version.

    Some club pros saw his makeshift device and suggested he go into business.  Miller calls the putting fixer The Wheel Deal.  They are selling it on line at $59 in a variety of colors.

    Miller punted for the Steelers from 1997- 2003 and then went to the Patriots. He was on the Patriots Super Bowl winning team when they beat the Eagles.  All that said, he still lives in the Pittsburgh area.


More Speed Please

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    Have you ever wanted radar for your golf swing?  Now you can get a small, portable unit that fits in your golf bag and is almost small enough to fit in your pants pocket.  Called Swing Speed Radar, there are two models. One measures clubhead speed and costs $99.  The other measures tempo and clubhead speed and is $149. 

    You can take Swing Speed Radar out to the golf course, put it next to you when you are playing and find out if your swing speed is consistent and if your tempo is consistent through the round.  The measuring devices are made by Sports Sensors, Inc., a company that has already made similar devices for baseball and soccer.

Speed Whoosh

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    Speaking of faster swings, Momentus Golf has come up with a training aid that is designed to help you increase your swing speed. It is called the Speed Whoosh.  The device looks like a four to five inch plastic golf ball on a stick.  The ball is magnetic and the action of the ball sliding gives golfers the feel of a proper release of the golf club.  They believe it will easily increase swing speeds by seven to 10 MPH in just six swings.

    As you swing the device, the golf ball slides down the shaft.  According to the  Momentus staff, the “ Whoosh”  also reduces the tendency to cast the club from the top.  Practicing with the “ Whoosh” is supposed to add 20-30 yards to your drives.   Jamie Sadlowski, former REMAX World Long Drive Champion has used it.

    According to the people at Momentus, it was developed using the same theories and training techniques used by Olympic athletes to get faster.  It is like a speed drill for golf, something that has not typically been practiced in the past.  


Remembering That Swing Key

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    If you’ve been following Rush Limbaugh’s progress on The Golf Channel with Hank Haney, you know that Limbaugh has so many swing thoughts every time he sets up to the ball he can’t remember them all.  Nobody can.  Maybe the swing thought bracelets are what he needs.   Available swing thoughts:  Swing smooth, tempo, balance, focus, visualize and alignment.  $ 14.99 each.  Could be Rush needs them all.

Straighter Golf Ball?

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    Just when you think there’s nothing new but another unpronounceable chemical compound golf ball cover material, Polara has created perhaps the first self-correcting golf ball. They call it the Ultimate Straight.   The dimple pattern on two sides of the golf ball is different than it is around the equator of the ball.   The result with the test robot is a dispersal pattern of less than 40 feet with the robot slice set up, which  they say compared to a slice of 90 feet.   Polara claims it is up to 75% straighter.  They say it also corrects hooks.   Right now they are offering a dozen balls for $29.99 


    Equipment Part 2, coming tomorrow.