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Saturday, January 30, 2016

MacDuff's Top Five from The Show

The Show is over for another year. My iPhone showed I walked 33,000 steps over the 3 days in the Orange County Convention Center. My feet feel like it! I did finally find a restaurant in the Hall I had heard of! Chick-fil-A had a couple of carts serving the awesome chicken sandwich, but you had to look hard to find them!
The steps were not in vain. It was a busy show and with rainy Orlando days, many who come for the mediocre golf available in Orlando actually attended the PGA Show and checked out the 2016 ranges of hard and soft goods. And as I walked 33,000 steps, so you didn't have to, here are my
Annual Top Five from The Show.

Holderness & Bourne

It was the inaugural show year for this New York based company. Owned by two young entrepreneurs Alex Holderness and John Bourne, the company has created a terrific range of shirts, knits and accessories. With bold stripes and a color palette that will appeal to golfers on and off the course this young company are going places. Their small range of luggage and accessories in canvas and leather is also stunning.  See the range here.

Oak Locker

Oak Locker is a cool idea. You go online to their site, register and curate your own locker of clothing, clubs, courses, even your fantasy golf Tour players. Oak Locker allows you to buy products through their partner websites and has a library of current content that is engaging and informative. They have wisely been selective about their partnerships and as their tag line suggest they only promote "the best in golf." You can create your locker here.

Seamus Golf

It's no secret that I have been a Seamus fan since clapping eyes on a single headcover that co-owner Akbar Chisti was wandering the cavernous OCCC hall with several years ago. He and his wife, Megan (she's the other owner!) have taken their simple idea of plaid headcovers and created a brand built on great ideas, execution and passion. Their wool, metal and wood products crafted in Oregon are irresistible! See the Seamus Golf range here.


I so wanted to like swingOIL. It has a great name, packaging and marketing and their endorsement deal with Jason Day is spot on. So, I wandered by their booth and met the engaging owner, Thomas Healey and heard the story behind the company. (You can read it here) I'm pleased to report the drink supplement, available in three flavors tastes terrific and will definitely be in my bag once the season begins. With glucosamine, chondroitin and turmeric, swingOIL will unquestionably help my flexibility and concentration. Read the whole story here.


I have played the same set of irons for nine years now - Callaway forged blades. Having now seen in person the Titleist 716 T-MB irons I may actually switch brands. Built around a large tungsten weight with a thin top line they are an incredible looking set of clubs. I need to see my friends at Club Champion and go through a fitting to see if they will work with my rusty swing. Hopefully they will perform, because I really want these! Read more here.

Bonus Find! - Callaway Mack Daddy PM

This is a matte black line extension of the successful line created by wedge genius Roger Cleveland. I bought the 56 degree version last year and am very tempted to add the 60 degree version. My only question - why didn't they call it Black Daddy? Read more here.

Friday, January 15, 2016

It's Showtime! - Do's and Don'ts at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show

I know, I rewrite this piece every year. Hopefully honing it, improving it and making more sense with each passing year!

The PGA Merchandise Show is a few days away and everyone in the golf business is frantically printing, manufacturing samples and making meetings for O Town. It is the best time in our world to meet old friends, make new ones and take a look into the crazy world of golf merchandise and see what’s new! That’s all everyone wants – new, new, new!

So here we go again with my list of Do and Don'ts for the PGA Merchandise Show.
  • Wear comfortable shoes...this is no time to break in your FootJoy teaching shoes
  • Don't sell on other people's booths. They have spent thousands on the space and months preparing for the show - it is just not cool. 
  • Drink plenty of water. The free Pepsi isn't going to help your hydration! There are water fountains and it may well be the only free thing in the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC)!
  • If you want to do business, dress appropriately. Smart casual is perfect and don't dress as if you are a PGA Tour player!
  • Eat a good breakfast at your hotel because the food in the OCCC is like a hot dog in a movie theater...overcooked and overpriced. There is nothing good to eat in the Convention Center – nothing!
  • 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.
  • Be prepared to stand and talk. There is nowhere to sit down in the OCCC, so Note to the organizers, people are here to meet, so you may want to invest in some chairs.
  • 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 4 p.m.
  • Be patient. Everyone is busy and often running a few minutes behind. Whether you are buying or selling they will come.
  • Take some time to wander the floor. Go see the New Products section and marvel at the craziness of this business of ours.