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Saturday, January 26, 2013

MacDuff's 3 Best Products at "The Show"

It's all over for another year and all the walking and talking is done until we descend on O Town again in 2014. There was certainly a positive energy in the room on the back of solid "rounds played" numbers last year - but don't be under any illusions, this "growth" was all about the weather and not about new players to the game. It was a busy show for MacDuff, but I did find the time to look at some cool new products and here are my Top 3 Best New Products for 2013.

1. G-Fore

Once again, fashion designer Mossimo Giannuli has created a stir with color. Last year it was his gorgeous leather gloves and this year he has turned his attention to golf shoes. Available in a several vibrant colors including these green ones with blue and white detailing - they have my name written all over them! You can see the gloves here and the shoes are on the way shortly.

2. Swingbyte

There were a proliferation of small devices like Swingbyte at the show. Confusingly, they all seemed to have "swing" in their brand name. I looked at them all and for me this was the best. Inside the Swingbyte are gyroscopes, accelerometers and other extremely long words. Through bluetooth the device pairs with your iPhone or iPad and generates masses of data and very cool graphics showing swing plane, swing speed, clubhead speed and much more. The Swingbyte 2 comes out in April and features a slightly different way of attaching to the shaft, as well as a software update. See more here.

3. Stitch Golf

I have been a fan since I first saw these woolen and leather head covers last year and I think 2013 is going to be a big year for Stitch. Made in North Carolina and already stocked by many of the leading clubs in the country these guys make beautiful products. The owners are industry veterans and already they have developed a reputation for great service as well as cool products. You can see them here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

7 Tips for a Successful PGA Merchandise Show

I have been going to "the Show", as everyone calls it, since 1989 and yes, it is golf's Groundhog Day but I wouldn't miss it for the world. It's an opportunity to meet old friends, make new ones and see the latest and greatest equipment from the big manufacturers and from those one man bands who just might strike gold with their latest product. So being an old hand here are my Top 7 tips to make the most of the show.

1. Wear comfortable shoes...this is no time to break in your FootJoy teaching shoes.

2. If you want to do business, dress appropriately. Smart casual is perfect and don't dress like you are on Tour...you're not, or you would be in La Jolla or Qatar and not schlepping around Orlando like the rest of us.

3. Eat a good breakfast at your hotel because the food in the Orange County Convention Center is like a hot dog in a movie theater...overcooked and overpriced.

4. Be very specific about where to meet your appointment. Pick a booth, preferably a small one so you can't miss the person you are meeting. Confirming your 1030 at the TaylorMade booth will almost certainly guarantee you'll still be looking for one another 20 minutes later. And remember there is nowhere to sit down in the Hall, so be prepared to stand and talk.

5. Give yourself time to move about the floor. It's a long way from the 1000 aisle to the 6000 aisle so don't make three appointments in 60 minutes in three locations. It's like trying to get from uptown to downtown in Manhattan at 4pm with no cabs - all the stars need to be aligned and it still takes twice as long as you think.

6. Be patient. Everyone is busy and often running a few minutes behind. Whether you are buying or selling they will come - see above!

7. Take some time to wander the floor. Go see the new products section and marvel at the craziness of this business of ours.