2015 PGA Show Thoughts
I’m not sure what to make of this; Have we hit the wall in terms of innovation? Are there so many rules that nothing new can be made? Do new ideas struggle to take off so why bother? Maybe I missed something that was truly “new”, but walking miles and miles on the convention floor and stopping at 100s of booths, I didn’t find it.
Even if there was nothing “game-changing” new I didn’t leave disappointed, the new 2015 golf gear that companies did bring was really solid across the board. The trends seem toward powered carts, shot/swing tracking and analysis, lifestyle apparel and clubs ideal for your game. Below are some of my 5 favorites from the show.
The new Ben Hogan irons by Terry Koehler look amazing. Building off his success with Eidolon and Score wedges, he is reintroducing the Ben Hogan name. These forged irons and wedges will come in specific lofts, not numbers. It might be slightly confusing at first, but once fit, these can be dialed in perfectly for each golfer. They had great booths at both demo day and the convention floor. It seemed that there was great buzz about these clubs.
Over the last couple years, Edel Golf has really hit it out of the park with their booth. It’s not so much how big or bold the set-up is, but the clubs that fill it are out of this world. Hand engraving, stamping, custom finishes, unique metal combinations and custom fittings make Edel putters and wedges show stoppers. I could spend hours at the booth looking at the details of every club. This year the addition of having their engraver actually working at the show was really cool.
ECCO Golf Shoes
The thing I appreciate most about ECCO golf shoes is that they actually introduce something new at the show. Most companies have had their product or press releases out for weeks if not months. But ECCO brings new shoes to the show every year. This years casual hybrid had to be my favorite. The style is outstanding and a slightly wider shape with a couple of width options make them more appealing to even more golfers. Plus Graeme McDowell’s metal spiked shoes were impressive.
How golfers travel from hole to hole is changing. My favorite new product in this category had to be the Golf Board. There are others like it, but this one felt the most natural and easiest to use. As a lifelong skateboarder/snowboarder/wakeboarder, hopping on one of these was a dream come true. While not for everyone, I look forward to using one of these for golf. I still like to walk, but if I have to take a cart, a Golf Board is the most fun way to go.
The SkyCaddie GPS units have been around for years. This year they are really branching out into other similar technologies. The SkyGolf Game Tracker and SkyTrak. The shot tracking device is similar to other brands, but the integration into the SkyGolf brand and apps looks excellent. The SkyTrak actually looks like the first “affordable” launch monitor for the consumer. It looks like it can compete with the big names, yet at a lower price point.