The 2016 PGA Fashion &Demo Experience is underway in Las Vegas. The first day features the PGA Outdoor Demo Experience at Cascata, an upscale golf resort in nearby Boulder City, Nevada. The Demo allows PGA members to test the latest equipment, training aids and golf technology. And there were lots to test.
The titans of the golf equipment were there displaying the latest gear.
First stop, Ping Golf. Ping is introducing a new putter, call the Ping Vault fitted with Ping pistol grips. The vault features an individually milled face pattern which speeds up off-center strikes, leading to more consistence distance control for fewer 3-putts.
Cleveland Srixon golf is introducing a new wedge, the RTX-3. It features a shorter hosel which moves the center of weight closer to the club face. Called Feel-balancing technology, club vibration is reduced to improve head stability at impact for better control.
Wilson has some new clubs debuting including a couple of drivers, hybrids and wedges. But the talk of the booth was the Oct. 4 GOLF Channel debut of "Driver vs. Driver". The reality show will follow the travails of would-be designers and their quest to win $500,000 with the best driver design, which will be sold in stores.
Callaway concentrated on its well-regarded club fitting and club selection -- but not before gloating on Jim Furyk's record-busting 58, an-all time low on the PGA Tour. Jim used Callaway’s’ Chrome Soft golf ball, a 9-degree Big Bertha, Big Bertha Alpha 816 fairway wood, RAZR X forged irons and an Odyssey Versa #1 wide putter.
Bridgestone has built a reputation for being one of the top golf-ball fitters in the sport. And they were busy Monday afternoon doing just that. Their analysis begins with assessing your golf profile, age, current ball played, driving distance, average score, shot shape and shot trajectory. Of their database of more than 300,000 profiles, turns out there are only 230 matching my criteria. My perfect ball? The Bridgestone e6 technology, which provides significant spin reduction to minimize slices and hooks. Hope they come on sale soon.
There were several one-off manufacturers displaying their equipment as well.
Fourteen Golf was founded in 1981 by one of the leading golf club designers in Japan, Takamitsu Takebayashi. He designs all 14 clubs in the bag but seems to specialize in wedges. Since we all love to spin a wedge, Fourteen golf’s technology features bounce on the heel portion, wider sole for more accuracy, and a thin leading edge.
Established in 1959, Honma Golf has been a favorite in Japan amongst elite Asian golfers. Honma drivers feature technology that allows the golfer to adjust the shaft length half an inch and control trajectory with a 360-degree angle-adjustment system. The loft, lie and face angle can readily be adjusted, a range of 360 degrees. Honma irons boasts of thin faces creating higher ball speeds across the entire hitting area.
TourEdge's Davis Glod, a former golf pro, saw a need in 1985 for more reasonably-priced equipment. Two years later he debuted his own line of clubs, hoping to change consumer’s perceived perception of quality versus value in golf club pricing. For 18 years the company doubled its sales volume compared to the previous year. Today the Tour Edge Exotics brand excels in fairway woods and hybrids categories.
To be sure, all brands of clubs feature their own brand of technologies, advancements and secret formulas. My advice: get a professional club fitting for your choice of weapon, analyze the proper ball you should use, open your checkbook wide and choose the latest, greatest golf gear.