Friday at the PGA Merchandise Show was much more productive than Thursday. I put on my game face and sketched out a tentative to-do list. Basically, I came to terms with the fact that I couldn’t see and/or do everything (this may be hard to believe, but I have the tendency to overextend myself). I figured the best way to show you guys what I saw is through pictures (I certainly apologize for the poor quality, but I went all amateur hour and used my phone, with the exception of several, like the one above, which is courtesy of Derek from 72strokes.com). Here we go!
Ever notice the expensive-looking figurines that serve as decor on the links? I kept passing the display and finally took a closer peek.
I caught up with LPGA pro Paige Mackenzie to talk about her recent endorsement deal with Cleveland and she gave me a little tour.
Walking to the next stop, I passed nearby Srixon and the display of electric yellow balls brought me to a halt, so I snapped a photo. Next up, I zipped by Callaway. My friends pointed out the larger-than-life banners of Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els that were displayed as bookends of the booth.
Almost scary, no? They were like giant dartboards!
I spent some time at the Kikkor Golf booth to talk with James Lepp, pro golfer and creator, about the company and his street-style golf shoe. (Stay tuned for the full story.) I ran into long-drive champ Jamie Sadlowski, who was hanging out with his fellow Canadian pals, and I finally met JC Deacon, who was working the stand. JC played on the UNLV golf team and we share a couple of good friends, but somehow our paths hadn’t crossed in nine years. So that was fun. I saw him and did a double-take because he looked familiar and then saw his name tag. I said, “Wait, you know Andres (Gonzales) and Tina (Mabanta)! They’re two of my best friends.” JC replied, “No, they’re mine!” You had to be there.
I saw a lot of shoes on Friday. I just missed saying hello to Ryan Moore, who was at the booth signing autographs and working the crowd. Moore signed an endorsement deal and became part-owner of the company last May. More on TRUE’s story coming up.
Yes, Travis Mathew actually had a beer pong table set up. Sold! The So-Cal based company has quickly become a favorite on the PGA Tour, with the likes of Geoff Ogilvy and Bubba Watson sporting the brand. Now I can’t wait for them to come out with a women’s line!
And that’s a wrap! I survived my first PGA Merchandise Show. I missed checking out tons of cool stuff, but oh, if only time weren’t an obstacle. It was a whirlwind trip, as I hopped on the first flight out on Saturday morning back to the west coast for the Phoenix Open. See you at the Bird’s Nest!