2011 PGA Show; Better Days Ahead?

2011 PGA Show Better Days Ahead?The golf industry might still have a ways to go to reach back into the glory days of a decade long ago, but if the tone, energy and excitement of the 2011 PGA Show was any indication, it’s a journey that is well underway.

Buoyed by a sense of optimism, some exciting new products and a refocus on the core of the game, this past January’s show, the annual gathering of PGA professionals and industry leaders in Orlando, was by far the most encouraging in recent memory.

The show kicked off with the annual Demo Day where professionals, media and anyone else fortunate enough to have access, tested and tasted all the new equipment that will be flooding golf super stores in the coming weeks. Catching the most buzz was TaylorMade’s R11 driver, the club that promises to be the “must-have” of 2011.

Like its predecessors the R7 and R9, the R11 features clubhead weighting that can be adjusted by players on the bottom of the driver. That features allows the R11 to be modified to a certain player’s swing and ball flight. A sleek looking white driver head makes this club look as good in the bag as it does in a golfer’s hands. Even with a retail point of $399 the R11 promises to be the hot club of 2011.

Others manufacturers making noise at the show was Ping with its new Tour-S wedge, Bridgestone with its golf ball lines and, Titleist, which always has a major presence at the annual trade show.

Golf apparel companies were also well represented with new spring lines of fashionable clothes for the game. Relatively new players in the golf space such as Under Armor were featured as were the traditional leaders such as Antigua, Polo Golf, Adidas Golf and Callaway, which is looking to reenergize its golf line.

Bottom line, all the major players in the golf equipment, apparel and accessories business, sold promoting and discussed the game over three energy-filled days. There were even some dignitaries on hand as PGA Tour star Matt Kuchar, LPGA stars Brittany Lincicome and Natalie Gulbis and legendary golfer Annika Sorenstam dropped at Orange County Convention Center.

Most in attendance agreed there was a strong energy present. Question is, will that translate to better days for a game certainly in need of them.


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