2011 PGA Show Recap #1: Cool Stuff

Last week I attended my seventh PGA Show (and first since 2008), and I’m happy to report that this year’s industry ruckus was the most enjoyable one I’ve ever attended. This was in part due to the fact that unlike previous years, I didn’t have my time broken down into fifteen-minute increments, where one overly chatty rep at 10 AM could cause havoc all the way down the line. Everyone wants to wander the floor, but so many people are booth-bound and don’t have a chance to explore much. This year I did just that, visiting with old friends and making some new acquaintances, too.

Golfweek’s Brad Klein did a nice job of analyzing some of the trend lines in this show rundown; I’d simply add that the general atmosphere was, as a doctor might say, “cautiously optimistic.” Anyway, here are a few photos and comments from my day-plus on the show floor.

Edel Wedges: David Edel has teamed up with James Patrick for a new line of wedges. Some blingy custom ones are pictured left, plainer versions can be made to order as well. I especially liked the punch-dot face on the model below–I haven’t seen anything like this outside of a Jeff Ellis book in recent years, and it would be curious to see how these perform. (

True Linkswear Stealth: Without question, True Linkswear was one of the stars of the 2011 show. I missed the appearance of Ryan Moore in the company’s booth on Friday, but judging by the thick crowds the day before, it must have been a zoo. While the spikeless soles capture one’s attention, golfers and buyers seem to really be responding to True’s focus on slipper-like comfort and performance. The company’s hot product for ’11 is the Stealth (pictured left). This model features a nice cap-toe and an oiled waterproof leather upper that’s more luxurious than the company’s original offering, the True Tour. I could imagine taking these as my only pair of shoes on a golf trip, which is saying a lot. (

Smathers & Branson: A popular apres-Show activity, usually over drinks at the crowded bar of the Peabody Hotel, is quizzing friends with: “See anything good today?” A couple of people mentioned Smathers & Branson, which is not an Ozarks law firm but rather a company specializing in uber-prep handmade needlepoint products. Founded by a pair of Bowdoin College graduates, S&B have the collegiate accessories down pat. And if a cheerful Baltusrol flask is what your heart desires, this just might be your place. Fun stuff, with a distinctive look. (

TaylorMade-Adidas Booth: I didn’t get many pictures of this one, but TMAG gets my vote for Best Booth (with Fairway & Greene a close second). The word “booth” doesn’t really describe it, though–it ran the entire width of the hall, far away from all the other equipment manufacturers, and served as an endpiece to the entire Show. It had its own lounge complete with club chairs and even a small cafeteria. I liked the Pacific Dunes backdrop of their R11 range, too–a nice touch that made the sight of people banging balls against a screen marginally more interesting.  (


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