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Colorful fashions such as these offerings from Golf by Claudia Romana have claimed center stage at the PGA Show. (Photo: The PGA of America)
Colorful fashions such as these offerings from Golf by Claudia Romana have claimed center stage at the PGA Show. (Photo: The PGA of America)

10 Cool Things We Saw at the PGA Show: Friday

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More than 1,200 companies are exhibiting at the PGA Show this week, and PGA.com is busily walking the aisles. Some things, and people, stand out from the crowd, though, and here is our list of noteworthy sightings on Day 2 in Orlando.

By Jack Berry, Special to PGA.com

ORLANDO, Fla. -- They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what happens in Orlando eventually spreads everywhere. At least, it does this week with the start of the 55th PGA Merchandise Show. Here, the golf industry's brightest and most innovative companies come prepared to impress the eager but discerning minds of the PGA Professionals and retailers who help promote and grow the game.

Always a big draw at the Merchandise Show are the latest and greatest offerings in equipment. Here is a listing of the top 10 clubs/equipment items that PGA.com saw on the second day of the Show:

10. Smart Quill technology from Puma: Puma is only its third year in golf but it's been making athletic shoes for 60 years and its "Smart Quill" technology places 38 "quills" in different directions for maximum grip. The quill spikes are in different locations for the left shoe and the right. Geoff Ogilvy told Puma he wanted a shoe that was as comfortable and light as a sneaker but had traction like the metal spikes he had worn in winning the 2006 U.S. Open.

9. Sandon shirts: Sandon is new to the PGA Show and designer Don Berkowitz, who lives in Guatemala, said "People didn't know if the industry is ready for our shirts." They aren't your grandfather's stripes and solids. Instead they reflect Central American color with lightness and BIG designs.

8. John Ashworth, back in a big way: John Ashworth's return after 10 years to the company he founded was announced at the 2007 Show, and 2008 is the return to the Ashworth touch. "We were like vanilla without him," said Marketing VP Jim Dougherty. "He's the heart and soul of the brand and now we have a better focus on golf with new fabrics and blends that we've developed."

7. Filling out the luxury lifestyle: Peter Millar started as a cashmere sweater collection but now offers a wide selection for the luxury lifestyle, with complementary coats and pants as well plus leather accessories. Millar also carries fine merino wool.

6. Equipped like a pro: ProQuip has been the weather gear choice of 17 of the 26 Ryder Cup captains for both sides since 1981 and it wasn't surprising to see LPGA Tour star Meg Mallon trying on rainwear at the ProQuip booth -- and ProQuip isn't one of her sponsors but it did equip the 2007 Solheim Cup team. And for folks between 32 and 34 waist size, ProQuip also does odd numbers, 29, 31, 33, etc.

5. The rainbow connection: The color and fabric combinations at Oxford Golf blend and fit like David Toms' swing. Colors in shirts, sweaters, vests and trousers for men and women would make a rainbow blush and they fit like hand in glove.

4. Golfwear that women want: Sweet Lies' three principals -- Marianne Durham, Sara Cohen and Cathy Arslanian -- are accomplished golfers and know what women want. This is the third year they've imported fabric from Milan. "It feels like silk and the woman just feels good. It's luxury tech and great fitting on the bottom and that's 100 percent important."

3. Old Tom Morris would be proud: Joe Parisi of GolfKnickers is happy to see the rise of Hickory Stick tournaments because that lends to the old Scottish tradition of knickers. GolfKnickers is the whole outfit -- argyle sweater vests, shirts, stockings, caps and plain or plaid knickers.

2. Welcome to the jungle: Macaws are colorful birds and Macaw Apparel follows suit with 15 bright colors of mens, ladies and junior apparel and keeps them in stock 12 months around.

1. The leading edge in lids: Pukka Headwear is a long-established company but has been into golf headwear for only four years. Its goal is to be a trendsetter, so it offers a variety of fabrics including linen, sportmesh and the moisture-wicking tech fabrics in caps, buckets, visors and knit.

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