By John Kim, PGA.com Coordinating Producer
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The final day of the PGA Merchandise Show is typically a little slower paced. Many professionals have to get back to work or families and sales orders and meetings galore have taken place the first few days. That’s the norm as I remember. But this year, there were still a large number of buyers and managers wheeling and dealing today, even as they packed their tents. The booths I saw all had a tremendously successful show, punctuated by the scene around their booth on what is often the “catch your breath and slow down a bit” day. But don’t feel bad for them, it’s a great problem to have.
1. LoudMouth Golf: What started out as a small display a few PGA Shows ago, and caught my eye as obnoxiously different (as I said in this space when I first saw them), LoudMouth Golf is unique, it’s over-the-top and it’s hilariously awesome. It’s more than a brand of clothes and accessories now, it’s a status symbol to own and wear. I can’t say it any better than they (or John Daly) can, so check out their goods. http://us.loudmouthgolf.com/
2. VedaloHD: I first wrote about this company for a Holiday Shopping Guide. Looks like word got out. Poor guys had no more glasses to sell at the Show when I stopped by today. In fact, could have sold out first day. I can’t take credit for that, but I can take credit for telling you now -- try these glasses. One time. You’ll thank me later. http://www.vedalohd.com/sunglasses/
3. Pukka Headwear: How different can a hat be? Well, according to the buyers and the industry folks crowding around the Pukka booth, there must be something there. Best collection of headgear I saw at the Show. Oh, and they gave me a hat. Actually, they virtually everyone a hat. http://www.pukkaheadwear.com/
4. Druh Belts and Buckles: Never heard of them? Me neither. But they had a huge crowd around all week. Maybe it was because of the plethora of models they had advertising and displaying their products. Or it could be their line that is used by several tour players all around the world. Whatever it is, they had a great show. http://druhbeltsandbuckles.com/
5. Scratch Golf: They first burst upon the scene as makers of custom wedges, with high-end quality that amateurs and tour players flocked to. Now, they have iron sets and are even starting production on putters. Also, they will soon have all of their clubs produced domestically in the good ol’ US of A. This is a company that seems to defy conventional wisdom -- high quality, higher-end pricing and true personal service to their clients -- and they’ve grown beyond even their high expectations. Newest endorsers David Duval and Cristie Kerr will only elevate their status even higher. http://scratchgolf.com/
And that’s my final five from the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show. But there were over 1000 exhibitors and I didn’t see one product that I wouldn’t want to have. It’s the greatest toy store in the world for a golf nut. I wish everyone could join us here for the fun and excitement and energy that this event encompasses. But whatever happens here at this Show, it’s going to affect your game at some point this year. I hope you get as much out of golf as you can and, from where I stand, you’re going to have a blast trying.